Audiobook: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair Narrated by Greg Boudreax

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Quarterback-Audiobook/B07C7MYH7X

Blurb

Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ever after for both of them.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Well, ‘tis the season for sports minded romance! This is one of three or four GFY or supposedly straight guys finding their gay side that I’ve read in the last month. Honestly, they’ve all been really good, so I haven’t minded one bit!

What I liked about this was that Trevor speaks up for himself and isn’t willing to be shut up in a closet. Trevor is also pretty unique and funny and as a character, was a lot of fun.

Matt is pretty typical, as far as jock characters go – though I found his willingness to try things at the happy ending massage place pretty funny.

There is quite a bit of exploratory/virgin sex , some pretty unrealistic team mates and some super awesome family members. The dialog was witty and fun and there wasn’t a lot of football to get in the way of the romance – which I appreciated!

I really enjoyed this and recommend it to fans of GFY/OFY jock/nerd romances.

4.5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

This might be the first time I’ve ever said this… but while Greg did his usual great job, I’m not sure he added as much to this as I was expecting.  I didn’t see a big difference between Matt and Trevor and I figured there’d be at least something what with all the potential for accents based on location, heritage, etc.

I thought he did great with some of the other guys on the team but I was looking for something a bit different for the two MCs.

It was still wonderful and amazing and a great way to enjoy this story.

Highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Release Day Review: Medley (Changing Lanes #2) by Layla Reyne

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37556674-medley?from_search=true

 

Blurb

Sebastian Stewart was never Mr. Dependable; he was more the good-time guy who only wanted to swim, party, and ink tattoos. Until he cost his team the Olympic gold four years ago. Bas is determined to do right this time around—by his medley relay team and his rookie mentee.

Jacob Burrows is in over his head. The Olympic experience—from the hazing, to the endless practices, to the unrelenting media—makes the shy nineteen-year-old’s head spin. He’s trying to be everything to everyone while trying not to fall for his gorgeous tattooed teammate who just gets him—gets his need to fix things, his dorky pirate quips, and his bisexuality.

When Jacob falters under the stress, threatening his individual races and the medley relay gold, he needs Bas’s help to escape from drowning. Bas, however, fearing a repeat of his mistakes four years ago, pushes Jacob away, sure he’ll only let Jacob down. But the only path to salvaging gold is for Jacob to finally ask for what he needs—the heart of the man he loves—and for Bas to become the dependable one.

Review

 There was a lot to like about this:
Jacob – super adorkable esp. with the pirate stuff
The Olympics
Swimming
Alex and Dane

There was a lot that was …. Less great:
Continual teenagey angst – even though most of the characters are older than that
A lack of communication
Lack of steam

This is more of a YA than a NA story. I think if you go into it like that – with those expectations – it’s feels better. As an NA story it felt lacking.

I really enjoyed book 1 a bit more, but I’d keep with the series.

3 of 5 stars

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Release Day Review: The Little Library by Kim Fielding

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-little-library

Blurb

Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.

Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.

In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.

Review

Kim Fielding is a terrific writer, you can trust that any of her stories are always going to be an amazing journey with well-developed characters and a well-planned plot.   This is a very gentle love story about two men who’ve had some struggles in their romantic pasts but are still willing to try.

I love the imagery of the little town bonding over books and the idea of book sharing as a community. (I wish things like that would happen!) While e-books are fantastic that is one major down side to the technology – fewer paper books to share. L

There wasn’t anything earth shaking in this, but the love between these guys and their personal growth was sweet and easily captivating.

This is the perfect book for people in the mood for something light, sweet and easy.

Highly recommended!

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Coming Soon! Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall

Riptide Presents on April 9th 2018

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/magic-runs-deep

Blurb

For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.

Elrid, the invading king’s brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.

However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given—and the man he loves.

Review

This is more of a fantasy with a bit of romance. There is no steam, and the physical nature of their relationship is hinted at only.

The writing was wonderful and the world-building well-done, however, this isn’t my thing. While I could appreciate the skill in the author’s ability, I probably wouldn’t have chosen this if I’d known that the romance was a secondary issue rather than the main pursuit.

I think fans of high fantasy and people looking for LGTBQ MCs without romance as the central theme will really enjoy this. If you’re like me and you crave the romance, you might be disappointed.

No rating.

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Release Day Review: The Pick Up (Up Red Creek #1) by Allison Temple

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-pick-up

Blurb

Kyle’s life is going backwards. He wanted to build a bigger life for himself than Red Creek could give him, but a family crisis has forced him to return to his hometown with his six-year-old daughter. Now he’s standing in the rain at his old elementary school, and his daughter’s teacher, Mr. Hathaway, is lecturing him about punctuality.

Adam Hathaway is not looking for love. He’s learned the hard way to keep his personal and professional life separate. But Kyle is struggling and needs a friend, and Adam wants to be that friend. He just needs to ignore his growing attraction to Kyle’s goofy charm, because acting on it would mean breaking all the rules that protect his heart.

Putting down roots in this town again is not Kyle’s plan. As soon as he can, he’s taking his daughter and her princess costumes and moving on. The more time he spends with Adam, though, the more he thinks the quiet teacher might give him a reason to stay. Now he just has to convince Adam to take a chance on a bigger future than either of them could have planned.

Review

There was a lot about this that had potential. I liked the idea of Kyle revisiting his hometown and reconnecting there. I liked the idea of a nerdy teacher giving him a run for his money and I thought his daughter was adorable. (Later in the story I also really liked Kyle’s father, too.)

For me, unfortunately, I never really liked Kyle all that much. I didn’t connect strongly with him, or understand his background fully. While I thought it was cute at first, his calling Adam “Mr Hathaway” all the time got under my skin. Since our guys spend so much time struggling, I really wanted them to have a decisive HEA and it’s only tepid.

I won’t say that I’m looking forward to book 2 in this series, but if the blurb is intriguing I wouldn’t turn it down based on this experience.

This might be a case of “it’s not the book, it’s me” but this just didn’t work for me that well.

3 of 5 stars
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Enemies to Lovers: Pressure Head, Plumbers Mate #1 by JK Merrow

Riptide
https://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Head-Plumbers-Mate-Book-ebook/dp/B078TPW1QY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr

Blurb
Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights

Review
I absolutely loved this story. It reminded me of a modern day Miss Marple, but could have been more to do with the quaint English country village setting (rather than any similarity Tom Paretski has to her). Just like the good old murder mysteries there are red herrings to mislead you from the clues but still kept a good pace leading you to the conclusion. All done with humour. This story certainly kept me smiling.
Tom has a unique gift of finding things. Mostly it’s things people want to keep hidden, which is useful to some and an annoyance to others. One person who finds it useful is Tom’s old school bully who turns up again back home. Phil is now a private detective. Tom is still attracted to Phil but is wary of getting too close especially as Phil had made Tom’s life hell. The way these two circle each other, work together and eventually get intimately acquainted is very well written. Phil is so prickly and Tom is a bit too trusting for his own good.
This book is a great start to the series and I look forward re-reading the remaining ones and the new one coming out next month.

4 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Going Overboard (Anchor Point #5) by L.A. Witt

On February 5! 

Riptide Presents
https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/going-overboard

Blurb

Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the harbor patrol unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.

Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.

Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the harbor patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.

As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.

Review

This is another solid “friends to lovers in the military” from LA Witt. As usual her in depth knowledge of the military is amazing and detailed and really makes the story feel authentic.

I thought the brain injury part of the story was the most compelling piece and Dalton’s struggle to regain his “sea legs” was heartbreaking at times.

I was underwhelmed by the romance – it was nice, full of smexy times and supportive – but I felt it took a backseat to the rest of the obstacles in the story.

If you’ve been a fan of this series you’ll enjoy this as well. It can be read as a standalone and I think the non-romance parts of this carry the story enough for it to be worth the read.

4 of 5 stars

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Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reyne

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/relay

Blurb

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

Review

There were things I loved and some things I didn’t care for with this story.

Loved:

The Ginger.

Alex.
The Olympics.
Swimming.
The team.
The chemistry between Alex and Dane.
Alex’s family.
How Dane handled his family in the end.

Not so much:
I’m not a fan of “second chance” stories because I miss that initial “spark.” I thought Dane was very immature and I’m not sure Alex was wise in getting back together with him. (Of course it pays out later in the story – but Dane didn’t do enough to regain his trust at first -IMHO.)

I can’t wait for the audio – I’m really hoping it’s someone who can do all the accents!

I’m really looking forward to the next installment!

4 of 5 stars

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Lace-Covered Compromise by Silvia Violet

release day review

Riptide Presents

Lace-Covered Compromise

Blurb

Adam Kingston expects to inherit his father’s multinational conglomerate. When he finds out half of it went to Nate Thomas—an annoying man whose dreams for Kingston Corp.’s future clash with Adam’s need to stave off financial disaster—Adam is furious. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to wrest control of Kingston Corp. from Nate.

Nate may be soft-spoken, but he refuses to be swayed by Adam’s arrogant demands. When Nate accidentally drops a pair of his lacy panties in front of Adam, there’s no mistaking Adam’s interest. Nate hadn’t realized Adam was bisexual, but now that his secret is out, Nate is willing to use Adam’s lust against him if it means protecting the welfare of the company he loves.

For Adam and Nate, hatred and desire are closely linked. Their inability to compromise threatens the company and could expose their tightly held secrets. But as they work together to develop a plan to save Kingston Corp., they begin to realize there might be more to their relationship than anger and lust.

Review

 
This was a great “Enemies to Lovers” story with some super sexy lingerie. Our guys have some deep animosity between them thanks to Adam’s father and they aren’t afraid to let things get loud.

They move pretty quickly into a sexual relationship and from there it’s a matter of working things out (mostly in Adam’s head).

If you love a little rough sex, some denial and a bit of inner angst – this is for you. Oh – and Manties!!!

Recommended!

3.75 of 5 stars

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Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/off-the-ice

Blurb

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Review

This was a pretty sweet, very low angst May/December/OFY story of opposites attract.  It had some of the trademark snark that Avon is known for and a bit of the hot smexy times that she and Piper are so good at. 

While it had some funny points, for me, it lacked that strong comedic thread that I adore from Avon.  It had a fair amount of hockey –  although I don’t think you can have too much hockey!  I think the relationship developed in a way that felt natural and the sexual tension was sizzling!  (I loved the first confrontation in the professor’s office – yowza!)  I’m not a big fan of the whole power dynamic, vaguely D/s thing – it was mild – but I think the age difference and Tristan’s low self esteem would have been enough without it.  However that wasn’t a huge aspect. 

I really enjoyed this and, as far as this writing team goes, I think I enjoyed this one the most and I’m looking forward to more from the series.

 

This is highly recommended to fans of the author, fans of May/December relationships, fans  of hockey romance and fans of opposites attract.  

4 of 5 stars

 

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