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

Audiobook: Love You So Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain Narrated by Narrated by: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-hard-by-tara-lain-9492-b

Blurb

Third Edition

Craig Elson’s life has hit rock bottom. Even though he’s one of the best strategic planners around, a more confident guy takes credit for his work, and despite being a good-looking man, he suffers insults from the slimiest creep at the bar. Taking care of his beloved mom, who has Alzheimer’s, uses all his funds, leaving him in a plain, depressing car… and a plain, depressing life.

Until he sees gorgeous grad student Jesse Randall and his T-shirt that reads “I Would Bottom You So Hard.” The message seeps into Craig’s soul, and he asks Jesse to teach him to top.

Jesse’s had his eye on the quiet hottie who comes into the coffee shop, and he’s more than eager to perfect his tutoring. He sets out to get Craig a new job, a new apartment, and a new life so far outside plain and depressing that it’s unrecognizable.The problem is, Craig loves his lessons—and his teacher—too much to want to graduate. How can Craig reach the top without losing his sassy bottom?

First Edition published by Love Has No Boundaries, June 2013.

Second Edition published by Tara Lain, October 2013.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

First I want to say how lovely it is that Dreamspinner and Tara Lain are working together to get her older titles re-issued. They are such nice stories and I’d hate for them to disappear!

I like the new cover but kinda loved the original…. But that might just be sentiment.

I remember loving this when I first read it and thinking it was so sweet and quirky! I still love it and think it’s sweet and quirky but on this re-read I found myself a little put off by some of the dialog and how it didn’t seem to fit the characters … it seemed a little older than the guys ages in the story.

In any case, it’s still a sweet and funny and lovely story and I can’t wait for the sequel!

(As far as I could tell there was nothing new added to this version.)

3.75 of 5 stars

Audio

Ry Forest is new to me but does a really good job.  He doesn’t do a lot to make the two characters wildly different but he uses his acting skills to give them each a unique character.  He’s very easy to listen to and he’ll definitely be someone I’d look for in the future.

This was a great way to enjoy this story.  Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Stand by Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane Narrated by Peter B Brooke

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stand-by-your-manny-by-amy-lane-9516-b

Blurb
Learning to trust and falling in love.

Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!

An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.

Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I absolutely loved these guys! The hurt/comfort between these two was off the charts in the sweet factor and I fell in love with them and their little extended family/ies.

I kinda wanted their “de-virgininzing” to be hotter – but I guess that’s more the Dreamspun thing than anything else. Book 2 was a bit steamier and so this was a bit of a let down.

The glimpses of previous MCs was appreciated and I’m looking forward to the next in the series very much.

I really hope Nick Russo gets to do the narration…. Just my hopeful hint!

For fans of the author and the series this is a must, if you’re new to the series this isn’t my favorite of the bunch but it’s Amy so it’s great!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Sigh
Disappointed.  It’s not Nick Russo.

Peter B Brooke is just did not live up to my expectations.  His accents were good, but many times his voice lacked the emotional depth that this type of story really needs. This made it really frustrating to listen to. 

While his voice overall is enjoyable at the end of it all, the frustration won out.

I’d give the narration 3 of 5 stars and overall 3.5 of 5 stars.

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Changing-Lines-Audiobook/B07FTQFYWN?qid=1532653346&sr=sr_1_7&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_7&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4ASJP8BBWXR5XYHCEDXT&

Blurb

Can Tennant show Jared that age is just a number, and that love is all that matters?

The Rowe Brothers are famous hockey hotshots, but as the youngest of the trio, Tennant has always had to play against his brothers’ reputations. To get out of their shadows, and against their advice, he accepts a trade to the Harrisburg Railers, where he runs into Jared Madsen. Mads is an old family friend and his brother’s one-time teammate. Mads is Tennant’s new coach. And Mads is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

Jared Madsen’s hockey career was cut short by a fault in his heart, but coaching keeps him close to the game. When Ten is traded to the team, his carefully organized world is thrown into chaos. Nine years his junior and his best friend’s brother, he knows Ten is strictly off-limits, but as soon as he sees Ten’s moves, on and off the ice, he knows that his heart could get him into trouble again.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This drew my attention since I’m currently jonsing for some hockey! I was also curious about these two authors as a writing duo. I’ve not really been a Vocey fan, and some of RJ Scott’s latest works haven’t really impressed me – but I love her earlier books.

I think – overall – that they’re a good team. I think the new subgenre is good for Scott and gives a new direction – away from ranching and crime fighting – for her considerable writing talents.

The premise of this story and it’s start are very promising. May/December, Coach/player, family friend, closeted professional athlete, single father… you name it – lots of sexual tension and the need to keep things on the DL. I think, however, that the end result of all these reasons to keep things quiet were too many for our MCs to overcome in a short story.

There were just so many hurdles and not enough time for them to be really overcome in a way that made sense.

I appreciated that they didn’t just jump into bed, but the “slow” was too slow and Jared came across way too “father figure” and not enough “lover”. He was bossy and I never felt his emotions other than lust.

Ten seemed- sometimes – ridiculously immature and I thought his family was both ridiculous ( his oldest brother) and wonderful (his sweet mother). I wasn’t sure why he was there, but the Russian goalie – Stan – was my favorite and I hope we get to see more of him!

The book kept my interest and I’ll definitely pick up more in this series, but this wasn’t my favorite hockey book of all time.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Sean Crisden is such a joy! He always provides a reliably wonderful listening experience and his voice is so damn sexy that I know he’ll make the most of the steamy scenes in any romance! He does a great job voicing the different “characters” and I can’t wait for Stan’s book – he does such a nice Russian accent!

 

Highly recommended!

(On a side note – I’m REALLY missing hockey right now and it was awesome listening to this story – hockey by an author who clearly loves/knows the sport!)

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Steamy Romance: The Blueprint Audiobook by SE Harmon Narrated by Sean Crisden and Alexander Cendese

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-blueprint-by-se-harmon-9446-b

Blurb

Kelly Cannon is satisfied with his life. He has friends, a wonderful family, and a great job. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.
NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. From his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career. From his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again. From the fans. From his agent. And from his mother, who has popped up on the radar after leaving his family years before. And now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.
When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number-one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay.
It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.

Review

(Book reviewed previously)

I was really attracted to this because “Friends to lovers” and especially, first time with a man romances are some of my favorite things. I’m not a big football fan, and luckily the football didn’t overwhelm the story.

I thought the original ideas were great – long time friends finally explore some sexual feelings for one another – but the execution never felt good. Blue is mostly an ass and I never felt a strong connection between these guys – despite their being friends for years and years.

The sexual component was sometimes really hot and somehow felt flat, too. I just never bought in to Blue’s change of heart and though I could tell he liked the sex – I didn’t feel the emotional connection.

I think fans of the author, fans of football romances, and fans of gfy/ofy will probably find this at least entertaining. The writing was good, it was the romance that wasn’t great.

3 of 5 stars

Audio
I love dual narrators and Sean Crisden is one of my favs, so this is an obvious win for me! I thought their VERY distinct voices really helped to emphasize the difference between the two mcs. Sean was lovely and growly and really suited Blue. Alexander’s Kelly wasn’t as “twinky” as I think I’d have expected but he did a nice job representing him.

Both narrators really tackled the steamy scenes well – and since there are A LOT of them – that is important.

Listening to this really brought home the fact that this is a HFN and I’m hoping the next book gives us a bit more of these guys- even though I know it’s about a different couple.

5 of 5 for the narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Steamy Romance: More Than Make-Believe by Tymber Dalton

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16083209-more-than-make-believe

Blurb

When you fall for a fantasy, how do you know it’s more than make-believe?

Travis Collins, a straight college student, finds himself in a financial bind. He’ll do anything legal, including going gay for pay and spending a weekend as “Craig Rocke,” with gay porn star Marston Cougar. Marston tells him to remember it’s all fantasy for the camera even though it feels like more.

Gary Carmeletti, also known as Marston Cougar, has a respectable day job. He started out making gay porn to pay for college. After getting his heart broken, he has a no-dating rule. Now paired with “virgin” Craig, he finds it hard to keep it make-believe when he’s losing his heart.

Gary’s niece needs surgery, and he almost has enough money to quit for good. But now that he feels a true connection with his fantasy costar, will he be able to find a happily ever after when he feels it’s more than make-believe?

Review

This is one of the first m/m romances I remember reading and it (to me) is so romantic. Travis is so hopelessly in love with Mars and spends the entire time they are filming trying to himself out of it! The whole “big brother/reality TV” thing is absolutely NOT my thing and it in and of itself almost ruins this for me – but the set up is almost like a fake marriage and so it works.

As you can imagine this is full of hot smexy times, but it is also very tender and touching as well. I absolutely LOVED the ending and I still consider this one of the sweetest “hot” romances I’ve ever read.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Steamy Romance: The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

Good Reads Link

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15708784-the-hot-floor?from_search=true

 

Blurb
Two plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Dumped by his boyfriend and reduced to living in a grotty bedsit, Josh Carpenter has gotten used to expecting the worst. Now he lives only for his job as a glassblower…and occasional glimpses of his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman.

Every time he overhears the diminutive academic and the hunky plumber having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of what they have.

To his amazement, Rai and Evan find his embarrassing tendency to blush utterly charming, and the three men grow closer over the course of the long, hot summer. Despite Rai’s charming flirtation and Evan’s smoldering gaze, Josh is determined never to break his new friends’ loving bonds.

On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle of one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself

Review
This hot story is told from shy insecure Josh’s point of view. We get a very brief glimpse into his history, an overbearing father, no other family and not much luck in love. This helped me to understand his reticence and why his first thought was always one of rejection. Rai and Evan live in the flat (apartment) below his and above his bossy friend Denise. I do like Myles writing. She is very British. The phrasing and descriptions she uses gives me a good sense of a crumbling Victorian or Georgian divided house they all live in and the type of people they are. Rai and Evan are in a long term relationship, they do however like to have a third join them from time to time. They are also a bit of exhibitions and love to explore anything kinky. This is where the hot fun comes in. Rai is certainly imaginative and they are all so randy. It’s very fun to read. Josh, is shy, never felt he’s entitled to ask for what he wants. Rai and Evan bring this out in him, get him to overcome his tongue tied reticence. I wouldn’t say Josh blossoms with them, it’s not in his nature to be forthright but he does find love and somewhere he belongs. Two men who love him back. I loved the mix of humour and serious relationship issues. Its not easy introducing another into an all ready established relationship or being the third coming in. That mixed with Josh’s insecurities made it all very credible to me.
I loved the bonus Christmas story at the end, made me laugh just picturing the scene.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Steamy Romance: Unforgiven By: Ruth Clampett Narrated by: Eric London, Iggy Toma

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Unforgiven-Audiobook/B071X7VW49?qid=1532034461&sr=sr_1_4&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QRVS6K5PXVWC340YMVBR&

Blurb

Would you live a lie to hold onto the one you love?
Dean and Jason are best friends, like brothers since boyhood, now architecture students and college roommates. They’ve always had each other’s back, but when one walks in on the other with another man, everything changes. How do you explain to your best friend that he’s the one you’ve always wanted, that until now your life has been a lie?
Desperation and shame are two dirty words that run through Jason’s veins. He carries the scars from a wayward priest who stole his innocence and left him shattered. Meanwhile for years he’s watched Dean pursuing woman after woman, as his own heart slowly breaks.
When their world blows apart, they learn the powerful bond between them has more fire than either understood. Can two broken souls find the light in their darkness and come together to make a whole, or will sins of the past be forever unforgiven?

Review

This was a mixed bag for me. First, through no fault of the author, this is a really bad time for me to read anything remotely “angsty”. When I asked to review this – more than a year ago – I wasn’t as worried about our world – as I am today. Unfortunately we had some miscommunication and it took over a year for me to get the audio code and now… well, I’m in a different place.

 

However, the story itself is really good. There’s no denying that. The author does not pull ANY punches and if you have triggers – especially around molestation – please read the reviews that allude to the triggers. I don’t consider these things triggers for me personally but they were VERY disturbing and hard to read.

 

As for the romance – well- Dean is kind of a dick throughout most of the story and Jason is a pushover. That made it hard for me to root for these guys as a couple. Though I love the whole “discovering your gay side” stories – and that part was usually pretty dang hot! – the way Dean treated Jason before and after made it less … good.

 

The ending definitely ties things up for these guys and leaves us with a pretty solid HFN if not HEA.

 

What saved this – for me – was the dual narration. I think, had I been reading it, I’d have bailed. However, the narration was awesome! I really love dual narrators as I think they really help to differentiate the MCs so nicely!

 

I thought Eric London and Iggy Toma were well suited to their MCs and did an excellent job with the emotion, the timing and helping to immerse the listener in the story. For that reason I’d definitely recommend this, though I had reservations about the story itself.

 

 

Story 3 of 5 stars

 

Audio 5 of 5 stars

 

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

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