Retro Read: See The Light Audiobook by Cassandra Carr Narrated by Jason Hilton

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17366214-see-the-light

Blurb:
Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.

Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction.

The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. When their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight, though, will their love survive or be put on ice?

Review:

Wowee was this a sexy read. Jason “knows” he’s gay but has done very little to act upon this knowledge. He’s visited some clubs but never had a relationship and never really had the “full sexual experience” as he defines it (penetrative) and doesn’t know that he wants it. He’s a hockey player first and foremost and though he accepts that he likes men more than women, he’s not quite sure he’s comfortable identifying as a “gay man”, and he isn’t out to anyone.

Patrick is the opposite. He’s older. He’s had relationships. Though he still isn’t out professionally, he’s out to his friends and family. His interest in Jason at first is strictly professional, but when Jason begins acting peculiarly around him, he begins to have his suspicions. When he bravely acts on these suspicions he’s richly rewarded and the couple begins a deeply closeted affair, consisting of stolen moments over the course of months. They don’t even live in the same state, they have busy schedules and it is hard for them to be together.

The benefit of this is that Patrick can’t rush Jason or push him to doing anything that makes Jason uncomfortable and this helps ease Jason into accepting his sexuality more.
I thought the dialog between the guys felt very natural and masculine. Neither guy was overly “in touch with his feelings” much and so the natural hurdles that would exist between two recalcitrant males felt organic.

When the couple is in close contact during the Olympics things really begin to heat up. There is an uncomfortable moment when a homophobic slur is made that stops play during a game and Jason has a crisis of conscience about continuing his “straight” charade when others have to face discrimination without support. Patrick leaves the decision up to Jason on how much to reveal, advising that times might be changing, but there are never any guarantees.

Finally, an accident forces the couple to show their hands and they have to face the media, their team, and their family, and (especially hard for Jason) – themselves.
**
All in all, the story was really very well written. The slow movements toward couple-hood felt natural and well-paced. The sex was super hot and the emotions were real and fulfilling. I thought the hurdles were realistic and tackled in a way that seemed authentic.
The narrator did an excellent job. He has a very deep voice that really seemed to fit both Alpha Males and I really enjoyed his narration of their bantering dialog especially.
I hadn’t read the author or listened to the narrator before, but I will now be on the lookout! I highly recommend both the story and the audiobook and give both 4.5 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression:

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Lover (Survivor #2) by T.M. Smith Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Lover-Audiobook/B07GZC4KV9?qid=1536329926&sr=sr_1_10&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_10&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=GX4Q07035T3SV4TE7PHD&

Blurb

Lover – A Survivor story

Life has not always been kind to Shannon Dupree. On the outside he’s carefree and fun loving, but when it comes to his past he’s evasive and secretive. Running away from emotionally bereft parents at just fifteen, Shannon escapes life with them but steps into the waiting arms of the devil.

Rory Landers is a rising star at the Bureau. His personal life, however, is nothing to write home about. He hopes to take his limited relationship with Frank Moore to the next level when they finally solve the Langford murder case, but that doesn’t turn out as planned. On the plus side, he meets free-spirited college senior Shannon Dupree.

Rand Davis finds himself fortysomething and single when his partner of more than a decade is unfaithful. Taking over the Cold Case Squad frees up some of his time, and Rand welcomes newfound friendships within the Langford-Moore family circle. He thinks relationships are not in the cards for him until he meets an agent with an attitude and a vivacious blond that make him want so much more.

Past, present, pain, and suffering collide, ushering in the possibility of a life and love worth fighting for. Although their personalities couldn’t be more different, their three hearts beat the same. Shannon, Rory, and Rand learn the definition of love, commitment, and strength and if they allow themselves, the trio will find all that and more—in each other.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I definitely enjoy this series. I thought book 1 was amazing and really heart wrenching at times. This had some of that same emotional pull but didn’t feel as tightly presented as book 1.

I’m not always a big fan of ménage and it has to be done right for me to enjoy it versus think it’s ok as far as the romance goes. For me – the chemistry and the hurt/comfort was right on target for this throuple – however, I didn’t always feel they were equal partners and that Rand sort of felt like a addition rather than integral to the overall success.

Perhaps if the story had gone on longer or the throuple had developed sooner I might feel differently – but we get to see these guys acting as a unit for only a very short time and while it has huge potential – I can’t say it’s more than HFN for me.

The writing/editing/pacing seemed up to the author’s usual standards and I think fans of her work will be pleased.

Recommended.

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is awesome as always. He manages to keep each of the distinct voices in the throuple separate as well as unique and fitted to their character. He handles the emotions and drama well and makes their smexy times absolutely smolder!

I absolutely adore listening to this narrator and I always know he will not only do a writer’s words justice but that he will – in many cases – add to the overall experience and make it better!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Get Paranormal: Angel’s Honor by Erin M Leaf

 

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/series/117290-angel-shifters

Blurb
Raphael had no idea what he was getting into when he went to Castle Archangel to study the People’s oral history. He didn’t expect his wings to suddenly change from brown to the purest white—the mark of an Omega, the destined mate of the Alpha. There has never been a male Omega before, not in all the millennia angels have flown the skies of Earth. However, when Raphael meets ebony-winged Gabriel, the true leader of the People, he knows he wants this man more than anything. Change is not always bad.

When Gabriel’s wings suddenly turn to startling ebony, he must deal with the knowledge that he is an Alpha, a leader of the angels. When he discovers that his destined mate is a man, he must accept that being Alpha of the People means accepting more than he’d expected. When their current leader challenges him, accusing Gabriel of committing one of the People’s most dishonorable crimes, Gabriel must fight: for his honor, for his mate, and for the survival of the angels.

Be Warned: m/m sex

Review

As you can see, I’ve been on an Erin kick! I’m not typically a fan of angel stories but I liked this one quite a bit.

I LOVED the change in form our MCs undergo and the GFY aspect of this was really well done. The flying and having sex – super hot!

The story was a bit too short for me to feel invested in, but for a short story it did well.

I skimmed the second book – it’s M/F and it didn’t work for me at all.

I’m interested in book 3 so I might pick that up.

I’ll definitely be skipping book 4 as it is m/m/f which I generally don’t like much at all and especially given how much I disliked book 2 I’ll be giving that a hard NO.

Recommended for angel fans.

3.5 of 5 stars

 


Copy Purchased for Review

Recently Released: Something About Us (Saint and Lucky #2) by Riley Hart

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41136356-something-about-us

Blurb

Falling in love was the easy part.

Lucky and Saint are head-over-heels for each other. It doesn’t matter that they met only a few months ago. It also doesn’t matter that this is Saint’s first real relationship and Lucky’s first with a man. They’re infatuated, happy, and excited to start their life together in LA.

It isn’t as easy as they thought.

Away from home for the first time and feeling like he has to compete with Saint’s experienced and cultured friends, Lucky is a fish out of water. Saint is still coming to grips with his recent loss while doing everything he can to keep Lucky happy. The only time things feel right is when they lock themselves away from the world—when they’re alone, everything is perfect.

But reality comes crashing back in to challenge them at every turn. Lucky and Saint need to learn how to stand together, as well as apart, if they’re to have any hope of making this last. They’re learning the hard way that “I love you” is when the real work begins.

Review

I’m not super big on sequels but I have to say that book 1 really begged for more and Riley delivered!

When we left Lucky and Saint we knew they had big hurdles facing them if they were going to make it work and this book shows us those hurdles.

There’s lots of hot smexy times and some great feels along the way.

For fans of book 1, this is a must!

(Not a standalone!)

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: The Drive (Close Proximity Book 3) by Erin M. Leaf

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41137628-the-drive?from_search=true

Blurb

Liam is done with love, but his daughter Portia has other plans. When he arrives to pick her up from college, she sets him up with her friend Charlie, and merrily heads off to her internship without them. Liam is left with an uncomfortable hard-on for Portia’s bestie, and a long drive to Vegas with a guy too young to know what to do with a guy Liam’s age.

Charlie thought he liked girls. More specifically, he thought he liked Portia, but when her dad offers him a ride home after graduation, he suddenly, shockingly realizes that he doesn’t like women at all. He likes Liam, and he wants to hook up as soon as possible, and maybe not ever let go. So, when Liam makes an offer he can’t refuse, what’s he supposed to do? Say no to the hottest person he’s ever met?

Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I wish this were longer! Erin really had me hooked with these two and their romance just moved so fast that was pretty unsatisfying.

I really wanted to see this May/December relationship roll out slowly and/or at least watch these two mesh their lives once it exploded into coupledom so quickly.

Liam was HOT and Charlie sounded perfect for him and I was even proud to see a positive female character portrayed in this story – woot!

In my perfect world we’d have gotten to either take more time getting to know these guys as individuals or spent more time with them as a couple – however –

For what it is – an erotic story about a car ride – it’s way hot!

4.25 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Relase: Handy Harry by Erin M. Leaf

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26850546-handy-harry?from_search=true

Blurb

Reclusive artist Rufus Ward’s house needs repair, but he hates demolition and dust. However, when handyman Harry Hande rings his doorbell, Rufus lets him in. He’s everything the famous painter likes in a man: young, sexy, and somewhat confused about his sexuality. Rufus thought he was done with dating, but Harry is hot enough to push him from loneliness into love.

Harry’s sensible demeanor disguises desperation. His brother is a jerk and he needs to move out, but his fledgling business isn’t quite ready to support him. Rufus is supposed to be just another client, but when they meet, all of Harry’s preconceived notions of attraction are demolished. Lust launches him into the dare of a lifetime. Will letting Rufus draw him nude destroy him, or will his true nature come out?

Review

This would totally have gotten all the stars had it been longer. I LOVED the GFY thing and the reclusive artist meets hot handy man thing but everything moved so fast L

I know this is erotica but there was enough there to make it more substantial – Erin Leaf is really good at character development – so I was hoping for more.

However, as far as fantasy “quickies” go – this is a winner! We get a bit of hot smexy times, some gay virgin sex and a lot of self discovery.

If you’re in the mood for something hot and fast – this is for you!

4.25 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Coming Soon! Q*Pid by Xavier Mayne

August 28!

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/qpid-by-xavier-mayne-9833-b

Blurb

Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?

Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.

Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app—one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.

Drew and Fox have little in common—aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer—and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials—they might find their way into each other’s hearts.

Review by Morgan

 

This is a fun trope – the GFY trope and a double GFY – YES – sign me up! I absolutely loved this. It was sweet, romantic and my only (small) complaint was that I wish we’d had more smexy times.

What I love about this story is what I fell in love with in Frat House Troopers: great character development and a (mostly) believable way for two “straight” guys to fall in love! Where FHT had a little more pull for me was there was more “exploration” in the bedroom that I missed with this couple.

However – the upside is we definitely get a lot of emotional bonding and the end result is a really romantic story with a touch of heat.

If you’re a fan of the author or the trope – this is recommended for you!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Karen

Cute and enjoyable read! Very well-paced story with a lot of funny moments and teasing banter between the MC’s.

I was pleasantly surprised by this original take on the Gay/Out For You trope, focusing very much on emotional compatibility and building a friendship first. Love and attraction come after, or at least, are only acknowledged after.

At first glance, the MC’s, Drew and Fox, couldn’t be more different. Not exactly “match made in heaven” material. Even worse, they both identify as straight, so it throws them for a loop when Archer, the Q*Pid AI, matches them. A 99.5 percent match no less!! In spite of all that, they each take a chance and start dating each other anyway – I mean casually meeting up – as friends do… in a friendly manner.

Drew and Fox are so genuine when they are together, falling into friendship/love almost seamlessly.
I loved that! If only Fox wouldn’t stay so willfully blind to his feelings! How many interventions from his bestie Chad does that man need?

I adored the secondary characters in this story, especially the two most important ones, Chad and Mrs. Schwartzmann. They are quirky, loyal and a lot of fun, as well as excellent friends to Drew and Fox, giving them a piece of their mind when they need it. Which is often.
Though I don’t know if Mrs. Schwartzmann needed to sound quite so much like a yenta channeling her inner Yoda.

I’d have liked it better if the author would have left the question of Archer’s independence, or the possibility of him going rogue, a bit more open. I think it a pity that his “acting up” was so neatly explained away.

A lot of attention was given to Veera and Archer, explaining the AI and the Q*pid app, to make it sound plausible and the risks more real.
I hope that means the author has other Q*Pid books planned!

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Sorel

 

This is an interesting book in that the story is told from three points of view. Drew, Fox and Veera, the woman who designed and programed Archer, the AI matchmaker.

 

When Veera programed Archer it wasn’t just to match dating profiles based on what the clients said, it was also to learn from how they used the internet, their reactions to memes and social media, but all within the parameters of the original profiles. Then one day, because of a communication error, Archer ignores the sexual orientation parameter and matches two straight men. Drew and Fox.

 

What follows is the story of these guys, both serial daters, who meet to laugh over the mismatch, then become friends and finally find the love they had been looking for.

 

I found both the main characters likeable, although Fox’s attitude to dating women seemed calculated and clinical, which was slightly off putting. But overall this a good fun story.

The cast of side characters were a great addition to the tale, especially Mrs. Schwartzmann, Drew’s elderly neighbor and best friend. Also dropping in on Veera and her chats with Archer added an interesting element to the story.

 

Overall, this was a fun book to read.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Serving Him (Series: The Retreat) by LM Somerton

Pride Publishing
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/serving-him

Blurb
An escape from the real world can only ever be temporary.

Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfil his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realises he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.

Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what he needs to separate himself from his past.

Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually reengages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalise the past ultimately fail and he comes to realise what he’s always known – that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.

By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that’s he’s allowed a happy ever after and will he find the courage to accept it

Review
Have you ever started a book devouring every page then slowing down because it’s near the end and you don’t want it finish? Well that’s what I did with Serving Him. Oh boy I thought I loved Olly, Aiden, Alistair and all the other Subs and Dom’s from the Edge series but sweet sweet Rowen has claimed a piece of my heart.
Lorcan has come to the Retreat to claim back his life and start anew. Rowen has done the same. Both are now ready to bring BDSM more fully into their lives. Rowen is exploring being a submissive by working for The Retreat. An exclusive English Country House set up to cater for a wealthy Dominant’s every whim, whilst providing the utmost safety for the Submissive. Over his stay Lorcan and Rowen’s relationship turns towards love. But Rowen having already made one big change is unsure about the future. LM Somerton writes breathtaking scenes between Lorcan and Rowen. I could visualise everything and connect with the emotions between them. As I said earlier I didn’t want the story to end and had such a pout when it did. I want more. What happens next? There is definitely more to to tell about these two like Lorcan meeting Rowen’s family and the two of them visiting the Underground Club. Patience is a virtue so they say, so I’ll have to be virtuous for a while, yeah right as if!

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Read: The Billionaire’s Bodyguard Series by Erin M. Leaf

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/series/142586-the-billionaire-s-bodyguard

Blurb

Billionaire Alex Roman needs a bodyguard. His best friend, Jesse Emerson, an ex-Security Forces Specialist, needs a job. What could possibly go wrong?

Jesse thinks protecting Alex will be a piece of cake. He’ll get to spend quality time with his oldest friend while avoiding his ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Why would Alex introduce him to everyone as his lover? And why didn’t Alex tell him about the threatening notes he’s been receiving for months?

Alex has been in love with Jesse for years, not that he’d ever admit it to his best friend, but he’s not above making a practical joke out of it. Telling everyone that Jesse is his boyfriend will go a long way toward relieving the stress of the threats he’s been plagued with recently. Unfortunately, when someone tries to shoot him at a charity gala, he discovers that maybe he needs Jesse’s skills more than he realized…

…because sometimes a billionaire’s best friend is the fake boyfriend who’s really his bodyguard.

Blurb

It’s Christmas Eve and billionaire Alex Roman screwed up. He promised his boyfriend, Jesse, that he’d be home for the holidays, but he went to a last minute meeting in the city and got trapped in a snowstorm. Now he must face a fate worse than death: spending the night in a strange motel. Alone.

Jesse Emerson thought he could trust his boyfriend to stay home when it’s snowing outside. After all, his father and Alex’s grandfather died in a blizzard, and since that fateful day, neither of them enjoys winter weather. Instead, Alex is nowhere to be found. Jesse has no choice but to head out into the storm to find his wayward lover.

When darkness falls and ice blankets the roads, will the magic of Christmas Eve somehow bring Jesse and Alex back together, or will both men perish in the cold, lost and alone?

Blurb

Alex Roman controls a business empire, but he can’t control his personal life. Just when he thought he and his boyfriend, Jesse, could settle down and enjoy their life together, their past comes back to haunt them once again. They never discovered who killed Alex’s grandfather and Jesse’s father, and neither man would’ve wanted to know the truth if it meant tearing them apart, but that’s what happens.

When a crazy gunman targets Jesse for the sins of his father, he reluctantly decides he must leave the love of his life in order to keep him safe. Little does he know that his decision to protect Alex may ultimately be his undoing. Alex tracks him down and the gunman follows. A deadly confrontation leaves one man down, and their relationship fractured.

Will their love survive the ultimate test?

 

Reviews

This is a series that must be read in order.

It’s a friends to lovers, first time gay, bodyguard romance. These guys have been friends forever and though they live in different “worlds” have been living in each other’s pockets forever. It’s literally only the sex that differentiates them from lovers and once that barrier is crossed there’s no going back.

This is erotica, so a lot of this is hot smexy times – but it’s not overwhelming to the story.

I loved the chemistry between these two and found the continual “screw you” they gave to the outside world to be amusing.

The story line isn’t super believable and Alex’s continual denial of the danger gets to be annoying, but overall the relationship is enough to make up for these issues.

I am a fan of the author’s paranormal materials and I found this to be just as engaging.

If you’re in the mood for something light, a little funny and a lot sexy – give this a try!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Audiobook: Shared Revelations By: Andrew Grey Narrated by: J.J. Boyer

audiobookreview

Blurb

It’s the 60s, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be different. Eddie Baronski spent his high school years looking out for his partially deaf friend, Jack Emmons. Now that they’ve graduated, they spend their free time at Green Bay’s newly renamed Lambeau Field, taking in the practices.
When Eddie’s crush, Johnny Grant, a new Packers team member, offers him a ride home, Eddie thinks it’s the start of a grand romance. But Johnny and Eddie may not be on the same page, and love – true love – sometimes comes from an unexpected quarter.

Review

This was both really sweet and touching and not very satisfying.

I loved the idea that it spans almost 7 decades and gives a teeny tiny glimpse into the lives of these two men, but as far as page time I almost feel like we got more on page time with Eddie and Johnny and Eddie’s fantasies about Johnny than the real love story between Eddie and Jack.

While I’m sure there’s a reason behind the whole Lambeau field being the center of attention – I’m not sure what it was.

What I would have wanted was more interactions with Jack and Eddie as boys, and then maybe some glimpses of their struggles over the years so that the culminating Epilogue would have felt hard won.  This could have been about being gay, being deaf, growing up in the 60s, being hurt by an old closeted lover…. but it wasn’t any of those things.

I was expecting to see good ol’ Johnny again or at least hear about him – but he just disappears and I’m not sure what the first half of the story has to do with the second half at all.  Or what it matters that one of the MCs is deaf.  Or that some of it happened in the 60s.

So, while I appreciated the premise of this story – I think it mostly confused me.

Audio

JJ Boyer was a narrator, not really a perfomer. He did a nice job reading this story but didn’t really add anything to my overall experience.

So, while I’m an Andrew Grey fan and I usually love short stories – I’d have to give this a pass.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review