Categories
6 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Back To School Bi-Sexual Christmas College/University Contemporary Exploration Firefighters Friends to lovers Gay Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Holiday Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Medical Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Single Parent Virgin

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

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Gay Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mild/low level heat Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Reconcilliation second chance at love

Audiobook: Best New Artist by BA Tortuga Narrated by Brian Hutchison

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/best-new-artist-by-ba-tortuga-8924-b

Blurb

Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman just told Nashville to kiss his you know what. After winning Best New Artist at an award show, he knows it’s time to head back home to Texas. So after a very public meltdown, Tuff makes his way to Austin, where the Red Dirt music lives large.

Jonah Littlejohn once loved KT more than anything in the world. When KT loses it on national TV, Jonah knows he has to reach out and offer his home studio as a place to heal and make music. A bad relationship has left Jonah broken and wary of romance, but he wants to help his old lover out.

Seeing Jonah again proves to Tuff that he’s made the right decision. Now all he has to do is convince Jonah that they’re the most perfect duet there’s ever been

Review

I liked the premise of this story. Kasey Tuffman has already made it big in Nashville but it all comes crashing down but rather going home to lick his wounds he goes back to what he knows. I must admit I have never heard of Red Dirt music before and was so intrigued I looked it up. I thought this was going to be a story with a lot of angst but it isn’t. Best New Artist is about starting over and second chances, in love and in life.
Jonah has been through a lot. He was in an abusive relationship which left him reluctant to be in another relationship again. I got quite involved in KT and JoJo reconnecting. KT didn’t want to push anything knowing how hesitant JoJo was so they bond over music. There is a great cast of secondary characters, KT’s family and Jonah’s best friends Brian and Christian.
I hold my hand up that I don’t know anything about Texas so I can’t comment on whether Brian Hutchinson’s accent was good or not but it suited me. I got a good feel for atmosphere surrounding the story. He adds depth to the story and is very pleasant to listen to. There were some occasions when I wasn’t sure whether KT or JoJo was speaking but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it. The dialogue helped build the atmosphere, there are quite a few colloquialisms which I enjoyed hearing. Brian Hutchinson’s smooth voice certainly had me paying attention and I will definitely look out for him.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Bullying DA Fated Mates Gay Gay Heat Index m/m m/m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan mpreg Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter Standalone

Northern Pack Lodge Series by Susi Hawke

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=northern+Lodge+Pack

Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/series/212550-northern-lodge-pack

Omega Stolen (Northern Lodge Pack #1)

Blurb

THE LAST THING HE WAS LOOKING FOR…

Jake is an alpha wolf on a mission to find his missing sister, who’s been kidnapped by the Alpha of his former pack. What he didn’t expect to find was a whole group of omega’s being held captive along with her. When he catches the scent of his fated mate among the group of omegas, he knows that he will do whatever it takes to get them all to safety – even if it means taking them all, along with a group of his alpha buddies and forming their own pack, a thousand miles to the north.

WAS THE ONE PERSON HE NEEDED.

Kai was shocked when his own father sold him to the evil Alpha Fremont for a paltry sum of gold. He is befriended by the ragtag group of omegas who also being held in a life of captivity. That is, until the night that a gorgeous Alpha appears, looking to rescue his sister. He takes all of them to safety, along with his studly posse of alpha wolves, moving them all up north to form a new pack.

HIS FATED MATE…THE FATHER OF HIS CHILD?

Kai soon becomes pregnant, settling into his new-found role as the Alpha’s mate, he begins to feel safe for the first time in his life. As his pregnancy progresses, so does the danger, as the former Alpha tracks them down – putting their new pack, and Kai’s future happiness, at risk.

This is the first book of the new Northern Lodge Pack series. Every book is guaranteed to have a HEA, but it’s advised to read them in order for maximum appreciation. 18+ readers only please! And yes, this book contains M/PREG, knotting, adults doing lots of sexy naughty things to each other, and the occasional use of potty mouth language!

Omega Shared: M/M/M Shifter Mpreg Romance (Northern Lodge Pack #4)

Blurb

Omega Shared is the story of two wolf men named Owen and Zane…and a bear named Karl. This unlikely threesome are fated mates, who need to figure out a way to be together that will work for all three of them.

Karl is an alpha bear without a family of his own, since bears are solitary creatures who only form attachments to their mates. Lonely, Karl longs for family, and the comfort of having a support network, like his friends in the wolf pack enjoy. Little does he know it, but he will soon be raising his brother’s cub. It would be a good idea if he had mates to help him when the adorable three-year-old girl appears in his life.

Owen is a wolf that doesn’t make attachments. In his life, people leave. Never having had a family, he’s pretty sure that he’s not cut out for one anyway. Instead, he will just enjoy his secret affair with Karl. Who cares if they’re both alphas? It’s not like Owen’s looking to mate and have pups of his own anyway. No, he’s better off just fooling around with the alpha bear, than to risk his heart with an omega. Even one as tempting as Zane.

Zane lost his entire family on the day of his high school graduation. It’s been three years now, and Zane is finally starting to heal and come into his own as an omega. When he sees an alpha from his pack kissing a bear shifter, Zane is intrigued. He’d never realized that alphas could be together romantically. Now, he can’t get the memory of the two strong men kissing each other out of his mind. He feels a pull to them both, but he can’t tell which one is his fated mate. They both smell so good to him! But, he couldn’t possibly be a match to Karl, could he? Can wolves and bears mix? Is it even allowed? Zane has a lot to figure out if he is going to get what really wants from the two alphas: a family of his own.

This is the fourth book of the Northern Lodge Pack series. Every book is over 30k and guaranteed to have an HEA, but it’s advised to read them in order for maximum appreciation. 18+ readers only please! And yes, this book contains M/PREG, knotting, adults doing lots of sexy naughty things to each other, and the occasional use of potty mouth language!

Review

This was a fun series to find! I’m betting that reading them in order is probably the best way to go about things, but I enjoyed book one and was really in the mood for the ménage so I jumped to book 4 and didn’t find myself lost.

These are longish books with a lot of character development, a fair amount of sexy-times, a fair amount of “shifted” times and mpreg!

There are the requisite bad guys out to sabotage the new pack and loads of personal insecurities to overcome.

In book one, Kai and Jake bond fairly seamlessly and they end up working together to help defend their new pack throughout most of the book.

In Book 4 the pack is nicely established but Karl and Owen still don’t feel comfortable sharing their mated secret. While I found it hard to believe that the pack could be so oblivious or that the couple could ignore their third mate for so long – I enjoyed watching them interact. Karl and Owen are opposites but both so alpha and Zane really compliments them well.

I’ll probably go back and read more from this series as it was really well-done.

Highly recommended to fans of shifters and mpreg!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copies Purchased for Review

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book class difference coming of age Contemporary Exploration farmer Gay Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hockey Homophobia Insta Love Little to no angst m/m Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Sports Standalone Virgin

City Boy: Hot Off The Ice Book 1 by AE Wasp

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/City-Boy-Hot-Off-Book-ebook/dp/B07339WG93/ref=la_B01FHWWJ90_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504219480&sr=1-1

Free on KU

Blurb

Follow the money or follow your heart? Either way, you lose.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.

Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.

Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it?

He’ll lose Bryce if doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

Review

This was just plain fun! It was sweet, had some emotionally charged moments, great chemistry, somewhat believable situations and – most importantly – Hockey!

Well, a little hockey anyway.

I loved the exploration and the tender sides we get to see of both MCs.

Highly recommended and an author I’ll now be looking for!

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Back To School Book Dreamspinner Fated Mates Gay Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Military Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Shifter Single Parent Teacher

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

Categories
3.5 stars 4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Back To School Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Dee Enemies to Lovers Exploration Gay Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Humor Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone Unrequited Love Virgin

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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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Back To School Book Bullying College/University coming of age Contemporary Exploration Football Gay Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Morgan NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat Sports Virgin

Back to School Month: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair


Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-quarterback

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

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

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Back To School Book College/University Contemporary Dreamspinner Football Gay Gay Geek/Jock Geek/nerd/techie/gamer Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Sports Standalone Virgin young adult

Back to School Month: My Roommate’s a Jock Well Crap Audiobook by Wade Kelly Narrated by Jason Lovett

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/my-roommates-a-jock-well-crap-by-wade-kelly-5407-b

 

Blurb

 
It’s easy to become cynical when life never goes your way.

Cole Reid has been a social recluse since he was fifteen, when he was outed by his high school baseball team. Since then, his obsessive-compulsive behavior and sarcastic nature have driven away most of the population, and everyone else hates him because he’s gay. As he sees it, he’s bound to repulse any prospective friends, let alone boyfriends, so why bother?

By the time Cole enters college, he’s become an anal-retentive loner—but it’s not a problem until his roommate graduates and the housing department assigns Ellis Montgomery to move in with Cole. Ellis is messy, gorgeous, straight, and worst of all, a jock!

During a school year filled with frat buddies, camping expeditions, and meddling parents, Cole and Ellis develop a friendship that turns Cole’s glass-half-empty outlook on its head. There must be more to Ellis than a fun-loving jock—and maybe Cole’s reawakening libido has rekindled his hope for more than camaraderie.

Review

From the title I went into this story thinking it was going to be a comedy and whilst there are a few amusing parts it is mainly a romance. Cole was equally endearing and frustrating. I understand the reasoning behind his neuroses he seems like a hard person to live with. Not that a Ellis is a saint but he seems to understand how comfort and reassure Cole, drawing him back out into college life. Ellis’s friends Rob and Russell are great characters. They provide the foil for jokes and a 3rd person view speculating on whether there is anything going on between Cole and Ellis. I liked the way they were manoeuvred in to being roommates by Stan, very devious. In regards to Cole and Ellis’s relationship I liked how all the doubts and insecurities were portrayed. Both of them had their own issues to come to terms with including Cole realising he had built up a prejudice against jocks. Ellis had the harder time though, he had to come to terms with being gay and loosing his virginity. It was good that Cole wasn’t stereotypical timid Nerd and Ellis the big confident jock. I liked seeing their frailties, made feel a more realistic situation. The only part I didn’t like was when the story switched to Cole’s mother’s view point. I didn’t really see the reasoning behind it.

Jason Lovett is a good narrator, perfect sound for young adults. He reads the story rather than perform it and that suited me fine. I didn’t have any trouble distinguishing between the characters because their personalities were so distinct and he puts a lot of expression into the narration.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World angels Angst Level Book Fantasy Gay Gay Heat Index m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Pride Publishing second chance at love Secret Identity Speculative Fiction Standalone

The Angel on the Northern Line by Catherine Curzon

Pride Publishing Presents
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-angel-on-the-northern-line

Blurb

 
When your average, run-of-the-mill retired superhero Latin teacher meets an angel on the underground, it’s not only runaway trains that spark.

Christian Winter used to save the world. In World War II, when good and bad was a simple matter of whose side you were on, life had seemed so much simpler. Back then it was easy for a superman to see the troops safely home. Back then it was easy to be Mithras.

Long since retired to teach Latin in a London school, the man who used to be Mithras wants nothing more than a cup of tea and a quiet life. All that changes thanks to a runaway train and a red-headed Scottish angel on the Northern Line whose eyes are bluer than a summer sky, and who just happens to have a thing for chaps in tweed.

Swept along by Freddy Rose’s passion and enthusiasm, Christian’s efforts to resist the Scottish angel’s attractions aren’t exactly heartfelt, but can the passionate angel and an encounter with a very important lady tempt Mithras back to a life of adventure?

Review

I found this a very enjoyable short story. Christian Winter is weary and heart sore. His days are filled teaching Latin and trying to forget his past. I felt for Christian. He still has his super powers but doesn’t want to use them since the war. Meeting Freddy on the Northern line was a little escape. Until he saves the train and has to leave quickly before he is identified. So beautifully written. I understood his reluctance after the war to still be the hero he once was. Freddy is quite a character more like a cheeky imp than an angel! They are gorgeous together so passionate. I started out wondering which direction the story would take and was pleasantly surprised with super heroes were part of the norm. The ending took me by surprise but left me smiling. Perfect for a quick read.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Medical Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) second chance at love Single Parent Valentine's Day

Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/earning-his-trust-by-alicia-nordwell-8830-b

Blurb
Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too

Review

I love manny stories, so a single dad and a second chance at love is right up my street. But to be honest there is something missing. I found it hard empathise with Evin and
a lot of times I found myself asking questions, that were addressed later in the book, like the circumstances and details around Daniel’s (Evin’s husband) death and what about a family network. Evin said his family was still in Georgia but what about Daniel’s family? I would have liked that kind of background earlier on in the story. Just to understand why he was struggling alone as a single parent. How Evin earned a living was also left unexplained until halfway through. Because I had these unanswered questions rattling around my head I found it hard to concentrate on the storyline.

I understand that this story is about Ben rebuilding his relationship with Evin after he walked away from him when they graduated college but it’s 3/4 of the book before Ben even explains himself and asked for a second chance. There is more focus on the friendship rather than the romance. Which would be fine in a slow burn where you know it’s going to happen but in this case I could see them just being friends and nothing else. I’m not really sure how much use bringing a homophobic incident was to moving the relationship along, seemed to just be another cause of misunderstanding between them. The cutest character is baby Micha. At least in this story he was not the perfect angel I seem to read in other books with babies.

I’m in two minds about this book. It’s not terrible but it’s less than I was expecting after reading the blurb. Overall I’m giving this book a generous three stars.

 

3 of 5 stars

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