Back to School Month: Five Dares by Eli Easton

Coming October 2nd! To Riptide Publishing

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/five-dares

Blurb

Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible duo” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Nantucket. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.

Review

Wow! I was not expecting Eli Easton to write such HOT stuff! I’ve always been a fan of this author and always appreciated her way with chemistry, but she really doesn’t hold back anything with this! I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, there have been a couple of her recent books that got pretty steamy like: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29827939-a-second-harvest and https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33865025-snowblind

Anyhow, this is a great book for two guys finding love right under they’re noses. We’re given a series of back stories to fill in the “dares” and this showcases just how good of friends the two are and how close they’ve gotten over the years.

This was fun and steamy and great for fans of the “friends to lovers” trope.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Back To School Month: Rim Shot by Skylar M Cates

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rim-shot-by-skylar-m-cates-8880-b

Blurb

Can college roommates go from friends to lovers?

Kyle: I’m confident that with hard work, my position as point guard can carry me from rural Indiana to the NBA. I also know I’m attracted to guys, but admitting it might disappoint my father, who is all I have in this world. I have big dreams, so I’ll stay in the closet. As long as my life remains scandal-free, I have a shot.

Micah: My large family can’t spare the money to help with my education, but that won’t stop me from studying medicine. I needed to get out of the house I was sharing with my ex before I went insane. Luckily, I heard about a guy looking for a roommate. Living with a straight jock won’t be easy, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Review

I thought this was really sweet. There is a lot of “learning sex” in this book but it’s done well and with the feels that should accompany it. I thought it felt pretty organic and authentic and wasn’t too much of a stretch to believe.

I really bonded with these guys and enjoyed watching their story emerge.

All in all this was sweet and enjoyable and I highly recommend it to fans of college/GFY/OFY stories.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Back To School Month: The Rebuilding Year Audiobook by Kaje Harper Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Rebuilding-Year-Audiobook/B075QL61GS/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1506049025&sr=1-1

Blurb

Losing nearly everything leaves room for the one thing they can’t live without.

A few excruciating minutes pinned in a burning building cost Ryan Ward his job as a firefighter, the easy camaraderie of his coworkers, his girlfriend, and damn near cost him his left leg. Giving up, though, isn’t an option. Compared to the alternative, choosing a new profession, going back to school, and renting a room from the college groundskeeper are simple.

Until he realizes he’s falling in love with his housemate, and things take a turn for the complicated.

John Barrett knows about loss. After moving twice to stay in touch with his kids, he could only watch as his ex-wife whisked them away to California. Offering Ryan a room seems better than rattling around the empty house, but as casual friendship moves to something more, and a firestorm of emotions ignites, the big old house feels like tight quarters.

It’s nothing they can’t learn to navigate, though. But when dead bodies start turning up on campus—and one of the guys is a suspect—their first taste of real love could go up in smoke.

Product Warnings
Contains two hot men wrestling with a shift in their sexuality, as well as a few positions probably listed in the Gay Kama Sutra. But it’s not all about the hot and sweaty—especially when your previously straight life knocks on the door and comes back to visit.

Review
(Book previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/the-rebuilding-year-by-kaje-harper/)

Ryan is a med student, former fireman who was injured in the line of duty, looking for a cheap place to stay while studying. He meets John on campus where John does the maintenance for the university. John is recently divorced father of two who is looking for a friend and someone to share expenses.

John and Ryan quickly become great friends and find themselves inexplicably attracted to one another as more than friends. Neither has identified as gay before but are suddenly seeing the other as very attractive.

There are a lot of hurdles. Neither is willing to jump into this without being sure of their feelings. Ryan has scars on his body that makes him leery of opening himself up to anyone. John’s wife and family aren’t going to see this as something to embrace. And – there’s a dead body found on campus and John is a suspect!

With a lot of careful movements forward and some deep discussion the couple explore their new feelings and in the end find a deep and abiding love.

**

This was one of the first mm books I ever read and I have re-read it dozens of times! I absolutely loved it. It’s a double GFY, both male “virgins” and they are so very sweet with each other! Kaje Harper is an amazing writer, she carefully crafts their relationship so that it is believable and romantic and yet full of realistic challenges and day to day hurdles.

I can’t recommend this book enough and I am ever so excited to read the sequel (finally!)!

6 of 5 stars

Audio

It’s so funny how different (sometimes) a book can “hit” you when you listen to it rather than read it. This was one of my all time favorite books because it does such a nice job of really exploring “gay for you” and now that I know more about sexuality, I think John is probably more “demisexual” than bi or gay. I think Ryan is probably bisexual – not that any of this matters, but I was noticing how frustrated I got when both men jumped on to the “I’m gay now” bandwagon, when really… they probably aren’t.

In any case, I also noticed how much John annoyed me with his letting Cynthia get away with murder… and how wishy washy he was at times – well – they both were at times…

But… Gomez Pugh is one of those delightful narrators who could read me (probably) any book and I’d at least be entertained if not love it! He’s a great voice actor and really knows how to handle emotions and timing.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this and couldn’t stop once I started.

Highly Recommended!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Back to School Month: Something Like Spring Book 4 Audiobook by Jay Bell narrated by Kevin R Free

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Something-Like-Spring-Audiobook/B00UO03PZ8/ref=a_search_c4_1_6_srTtl?qid=1505922174&sr=1-6

Blurb

Nothing in this world is permanent. Friends, lovers, even family can all
disappear in the blink of an eye. Without these anchors, it’s all too easy
to find oneself drifting.

Jason Grant doesn’t have much, aside from a beat-up old guitar and knack
for getting kicked out of foster homes. His latest placement is set to be
just another in a long line of failures. Then he meets Caesar Hubbard, a
handsome guy who lives down the hall. For the first time in his life,
Jason wants to stay, which means learning to be part of a family, and not
letting his feelings – or his actions – ruin his first real chance of
falling in love.

Something Like Spring introduces a new character to the Seasons story, one
with a troubled past and an equally turbulent future. Jason must traverse
a winding road fraught with emotional conflicts and tough decisions – a
road that might just lead to a certain couple in Austin.

Review

The Something Like series continues, taking the story into new territory
with a new generation of young men looking for love and happiness.
The original three books were all telling one big story of the love
triangle between Ben, Tim and Jace, so I was curious how the series would
continue with a new protagonist. It works great with a new supporting cast
expanding with close ties to the original cast, so it’s a new direction
with lovingly familiar characters now stepping back from lead to
supporting roles.
Jason Grant has bounced from foster home to foster home ever since his
troubled mother lost custody of him as a young child. Jason refuses to
accept any of his new foster families, finding creative ways to make sure
they reject him sooner rather than later. Things change though with his
newest foster home when he meets his sexy bad boy new foster brother
Caeser Hubbard.
The Hubbard family have an interesting dynamic. Caesar is the only
biological child of the conservative family, who’ve taken in many other
foster kids over the years. They’ve adopted two other children, and while
they provide a good life, they’re also demanding high standards. Jason,
who’s wanting to stay in a home for the first time since he lost his first
home, struggles to fit in without losing his identity. Falling in love
with his conservative Christian foster parents’ darling son is a recipe
for disaster, especially when Jason discovers Caesar’s surprising secret
past.
Like all of Jay Bell’s books, there’s a real journey that takes the story
through years of love and loss. Jason’s situation changes and he meets
other young men whose lives will intertwine with his -hunky, sweet
William, fierce, difficult Kelly, muscle boy Nathaniel who refuses to love
or be hurt again – and they all get their own books to come.
Kevin R. Free’s youthful enthusiastic narration continues to bring the
story to life and makes the experience more enjoyable.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Back To School Month: Something Like Autumn, Book 3 Audiobook by Jay Bell narrated by Kevin R Free

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Something-Like-Autumn-Audiobook/B00MPUO9AU/ref=a_search_c4_1_8_srTtl?qid=1505922174&sr=1-8

Blurb

Love can appear unexpectedly: a chance meeting at a friend’s wedding, the
arrival of a handsome new co-worker…or while being robbed at a
convenience store.

For some, love seems an impossible dream. Growing up gay in small-town
Missouri, Jace Holden thought his chance would never come. When he meets
Victor – a wild soul and fellow outsider – his chances of finding love go
from bleak to a very uncertain, maybe. Bracing his heart, Jace chases
after his desire, hoping for a warm hand to hold his tight.

Something Like Autumn tells the story of Jace’s life before the events of
Something Like Summer, while also revisiting his time with Benjamin
Bentley.

The Seasons Series: Book 1: Something like Summer, Book 2: Something like
Winter, Book 3: Something like Autumn, Book 4: Something like Spring.

Review

This is book three of Jay Bell’s Something Like series. While each book
stands well on it’s own, I recommend reading them in order. The overall
experience is enhanced as the overlapping narratives from different points
of view continue to paint a bigger picture.
If you’ve already read book one and/or two, you know where and how Jace’s
story ends, and going through it again was kind of hard, but it’s still a
beautiful story, and there’s a lot of new story that unfolds in Jace’s
past and his first love. Going into it, you should know this one isn’t
going to give you a traditional happy ever after.
Jace is one of my favorite characters in this series (which is also one of
my favorite series), but the younger Jace we get to know here is a little
different from the mature, steady dependable adult we know. We get to see
him grow into that wonderful man, but we first meet him here as an
insecure high school student, still struggling to accept his sexuality in
a less enlightened time.
He falls for a very quirky, unusual boy named Victor. Victor was a
fascinating character I fell a little bit in love with too. He’s a free
thinker but he has trouble fitting into society. Even as he helps Jace to
accept himself, Victor is deeply troubled, suffering from mental illness.
Victor is charismatic and bewitching but ultimately his troubles are more
than Jace can save him from and Jace has to live without him.
The later part of the book takes us through more familiar territory of
Jace’s second love with Ben, and the triangle with Ben’s first love Tim.
Retreading a familiar story may sound boring, but this is Bell’s signature
move, and he makes it work. Each new retelling brings a different
perspective that keeps the story compelling.
Narrator Kevin R. Free gives a youthful enthusiastic reading that makes
the book more fun to listen to. He’s a familiar voice, doing all of the
Something Like books so far, and I like his style.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Back to School Month: Temptation by Design by Andrea Dalling

 

 

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Temptation-Design-Andrea-Dalling-ebook/dp/B01MXVCHW1/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1505409187&sr=1-5&keywords=temptation+by+design

Free!

 

Blurb:

Forbidden attraction…
Shakespeare professor Ben Silver teaches in a small college town with few prospects for love. Most gay men he meets are students and off-limits. That’s never been a problem until architecture major Chase takes over set design for the college production of Macbeth. Older than most college juniors, his maturity and leadership skills—not to mention his smoking-hot body—capture Ben’s attention. But a tryst could ruin Ben’s career, and he can’t risk it.

Awakening desire…
Former petty officer Chase Coltrane understands fraternization rules. His years in the Navy taught him to keep his hands to himself, especially where people in authority are concerned. But when Ben ignites Chase’s attraction to men, Chase’s self-control heads out to sea. He wants to explore this newly discovered part of himself, and the sexy, charismatic professor has tied knots around his heart. Will his desperate attempt to win the man he loves destroy their future? Or will it lead them on a path to lasting love?

Review:
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I loved how the two MC’s fit so well to each other. I loved that they just couldn’t keep away from each other and I loved how accepting and open minded Chase’s parents were.
I hated that it truly seemed like an insta love. I hated that there was really no second guessing by Chase on his sexuality. And I hated that they thought jumping into a marriage would solve their problem.
That said we have a story of a tenured professor and a 29 year old student who seem to get caught up in each other. They have to work closely in a school production and the looks between them get hotter and hotter until they kiss. From there it’s downhill. Fraternization is frowned on severely at this small east coast school. Add in a student who keeps quoting her ethics class and you have 2 guys trying hard not to show their attraction. The story moved along smoothly and evenly, keeping me engrossed until the end

This was a quick read and a HEA for the couple. Overall I enjoyed the story and would consider reading more from the author.

4 of 5 stars

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Back to School: Learning From Isaac by Bev Bentham


Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Isaac-Tarnished-Souls-Book-ebook/dp/B00JO2FD02/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505408708&sr=8-1&keywords=learning+dev+bentham

 

Free on KU!

Blurb:

It’s hard to break out of a rut. For years, Nathan submerged himself into his job at St. Genevieve’s. He enjoys teaching, hates faculty meetings, loves his science and has committed himself to the cycle of college life. Along the way, he’s become resigned to being a gay man in a straight culture, a Jew among Catholics, and single in a world of couples. Then the brilliant Isaac Wolf appears in his classroom. Isaac’s a few years older than his fellow students, gorgeous, self-composed and Jewish.

Isaac has his own secrets, which Nathan finds out at the racy new club downtown where the boys who dance out front can be bought in the back room. Nathan thinks he’s about to get a lap dance, but behind the beaded curtain the man on his knees turns out to be Isaac. Nathan’s mind isn’t the only thing Isaac blows. Afterward, Nathan can’t stop thinking about that night. The question is whether Nathan can let himself fall in love with a student, much less someone with Isaac’s checkered past. Is it too late for a student to teach his professor the true nature of love and respect?

Review:
There a many issues covered in this story, we have a professor/student issue which also includes an age difference, we have a man prostituting himself to pay for college, we have the aftermath of said prostitution of being both recognized and assumption of being a paying client. With all of this controversy going on I think the author did a great job of telling this story.

We get the story from Nate’s point of view. Nate has become complacent in his life. He teaches a specialized year long class at a small college. His last relationship ended with his partner being unfaithful and giving him the clap. As a professor he knows the implications of getting involved with a student, yet his mind goes there quite often. On top of that he believes the age difference will make a true relationship impossible.

Isaac risked everything by declaring his love for another man only to be deserted by his parents and discovering his lover is married to a woman with kids. He is enrolled in an expensive private college and is practical about not graduating with a massive debt. He gets into dancing and other things at a strip club to pay down his debt.

Throughout this story it really seems like Isaac is the more mature of the 2. Isaac has a much better handle on controlling his impulses. With Nate we get the usual what ifs?

The sexual interaction between the 2 were hot. As well as all of the protection put in place waiting for a clean slate diagnoses for Isaac. When all barriers are dropped it ramps up even more.

An easy, enjoyable read for a day off

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Back to School Month: Off the Beaten Path By Cari Z

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/off-the-beaten-path-by-cari-z-8844-b

Blurb

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely

Review

I’m always looking for a new twist on a shifter story and this did not disappoint.
With the way the world is you could see werewolves being treated in manner described in this story. Used when it suited the Government but kept isolated out of fear. The world building is superb. The treatment of the werewolves is so unjust they gained my sympathy immediately and I was so pulled in that I was sorry when I came to the end of the book. I felt connected with Wade and Henry. To have the Government take your child and never to see her again would be heartbreaking. He is strong in his determination to get her back. Henry is pulled in so many directions. He has his duty to his pack as Alpha and to his role as an elite black ops soldier. I liked the way both Wade’s and Henry’s situations were explained without taking too much time away from the crux of the story, the burgeoning relationship between Henry and Wade and Ava not being able to shift back. I hope Cari Z has plans for a sequel or a series.

The only problem I had was that it is written from both Henry and Wade’s points of view in alternating chapters. This did throw me a bit and I kept checking who’s POV I was reading. However I was so captivated by the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment. If you are a fan of shifter stories I wholeheartedly recommend Off the Beaten Path.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

• Sexuality 
o Gay
• Themes 
o Military 
o Single Parent 
o Teacher
• Time Period 
o Alternate World
• Trope 
o Fated Mates
o Hurt/comfort

Back To School Month: Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love Book 2) by Anyta Sunday

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Scorpio-Hates-Virgo-Signs-Love-ebook/dp/B0758764SL/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1504730979&sr=1-1&keywords=scorpio+hates+virgo

Free on KU!

Blurb

This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?
Nobody, that’s who.
Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.
Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.
Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past . . .
* ~* ~* ~*
“Scorpio Hates Virgo” contains sarcasm, sexual content, a slightly sappy HEA, and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.

Review by Morgan

If you were a fan of the first book in the series, you’ll love this as well.  It’s full of witty dialog, UST and snark.

It’s fairly low steam and it takes most of the book for our MCs to even kiss, but our guys are very funny together.

 

3.5  of 5 stars
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Review by Dee

This is a fun frenemies-to-lovers story! I loved the banter between Percy and Cal, Both guys met several years before and sort of rubbed each other the wrong way. Later on, (years really), Percy has to go back to the home he shared with his aunt, to prep it for sale, when he meets Cal again. The 2 men begin a slow friendship to love which is fun to watch. Both men grow in different ways – Cal, who is straight- accepts his attraction to Percy; and Percy learns to trust that not everyone leaves. Cal’s family and the neighbourhood residents add to this fun story.
4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Back to School Month: My Hero Audiobook by Max Vos Narrated by Jared Bradford


Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/My-Hero-Audiobook/B0147LP8RC/ref=a_search_c4_1_7_srTtl?qid=1504115418&sr=1-7

Blurb

When he was 16 years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means “bear”. The shy jock remembers his saviour, and the two men become friends.
Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there…
Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the worlds are just around the corner. His father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.

Review

Let me start by saying sports and/or college based books are not my first choice when choosing a book. They get a little angsty for me and so I normally avoid them. This audiobook was suggested for me to listen and review and I am really glad I did not let my aversion to this type of story stop me because it really was a nice, sweet and thoughtful story. Rich is portrayed as a man who is comfortable in his skin, knows what goals he has set for himself and is working hard to achieve them. Johnny is a younger man who is just starting out at college and he too seems comfortable with who he is and where he’s at in life so far. But college opens many doors for students, and Johnny finally gets to meet his hero, the person who saved his life many years ago. From there a friendship develops and seems to move on to a curiosity phase of man on man action. And wow what action, there was no hesitation on Johnny’s part!
You have the typical problem of coming out for Johnny and Rich feeling like he was used, but in the end a HFN ending that leaves you with a warm feeling.
Jared Bradford is a new narrator for me and I have to say his timing and inflection were spot on. The voices for each character were recognizable, and appropriate. You always knew who was speaking and what emotion was being expressed.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review