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

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

 

Coming Soon: Threepeat by KC Wells & Parker Williams

August 21!

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/threepeat-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9822-

Blurb
Can two Doms open their hearts again for a young man desperately in need of their help?

Two years ago, Aaron Greene and Sam Thompson were devastated when their submissive broke the contract that bound the three of them together. They still wonder what happened and whether they can find a way to move forward. When Aaron finds a sick young man by the curbside, his protective instincts kick in, and after consulting Sam, he takes Tim home.

After being thrown out of his home, Tim Waterman finds himself on the street, doing whatever he needs to survive. Until a bear of a Good Samaritan scoops him up and saves him. Then one bear becomes two, and a chance discovery gets him thinking about what might be, if he’s bold enough to make a move.

So what happens when Aaron and Sam wake up one morning to find Tim naked in their bed? Will they get a new chance at life, or will history Threepeat itself

Review
On finishing Threepeat I have mixed feelings, I didn’t want it to end and a feeling contentment, a satisfied sigh at the way it ended. I do love this series. I’m growing fond of all the characters just like I did with Collars and Cuffs. Sam and Aaron are heartbroken after their Sub leaves them. They just don’t understand why. Two years later they are coming around to the idea of trying again. This for me was an important part of the story, it sets up the premise for how their relationship works and how a sub fits into their dynamic. For Tim being found by Aaron is a blessing. He couldn’t survive much longer on the streets by himself. This is another emotional journey KC Wells and Parker Williams takes their readers on. The abuse Tim suffers at the hands of his family and insecurities arising from that along with the grief Sam and Aaron are feeling made it a compelling read for me. The emphasis of this story is relationships and family. Building a strong family from people who love you for who you are. Because of the abuse Tim suffered the kink is on the lighter side with some inventive aspects, the tickle session sounded more torturous than others I’ve read! Despite the emotional aspects the story is low angst with a lot of emphasis on communication. Maggie as always is a wonderful secondary and character and has a greater role in this story. On the whole it is a stand-alone book but like with other series you get more enjoyment knowing the background to a lot of the other characters.

5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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

Recent Release: Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40742519-truth-betrayal?from_search=tru

Blurb
All the light went out of Jake’s life when his older brother Caleb died in a traffic accident. Getting through the aftermath was always going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done, but finding out that the tall stranger at the graveside was the one driving the car? At least Jake now has a target for all the rage inside him. Because the man responsible for stealing Caleb’s light from the world has no right to intrude on their grief.

Liam had known deep down that it was a mistake to go to Tennessee, but he’d hoped saying goodbye to Caleb would ease the pain inside him. The hostile reception from Caleb’s family and friends comes as no surprise, and Liam flees before things get ugly. They obviously know nothing of Caleb’s life in Atlanta, and maybe it’s better that way. Caleb’s secrets can die with him.
When Jake turns up at Caleb’s apartment to collect his brother’s possessions, what he discovers is the first shock in what is to be a series of revelations, turning Jake’s world upside down. New knowledge brings fresh pain and anguish.

Jake isn’t the only one who’s hurting…

Review
This is such beautiful and powerful story. It’s taken me a while to read because life had other idea about the best use of my time! I have found that when I was not reading l was constantly pulled back to the book. Thinking about the characters when l’m not reading. But sometimes the best way to savour a book is slowly so that all the bubbling emotions can be processed. Grief is hard to deal with at the best of times but finding out that the brother you idolised had a whole other life is extremely hard. Not to mention that Jake is also dealing with his own sexuality at the same time as finding out your brother didn’t feel able to confide in you. Then accepting you were scared to confide in him is a hard journey to take. Jake is lucky he now has Liam to guide him and be his friend whilst both of them come to terms with losing Caleb and the emotions involved in loving each other. Bring into the mix the bigotry and prejudice and there seems to be so much going against them. For me this is a story of faith, trust and hope where love ultimately prevails. The emotions are so powerful There were times I was crying for Caleb, Jacob and Liam. That is a sign for me that already this will be one of the books I will read over and over again.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

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

Audiobook: Family Man by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/family-man-by-heidi-cullinan-and-marie-sexton-8839-b

Blurb: Sometimes family chooses you.

At forty, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay—even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants.

Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence—though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.

It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important—their families’ or their own.

Review:

(Review of book on site previously by Anna)

I love this book. Have re-read several times. I don’t know if it resonates with me especially, if, like Vinnie, I too was late to the party of realizing who I really am or if it just such a great story by such talented writers that it would resonate with anyone.

At almost 40, with 3 ex-wives, a huge catholic Italian family and countless jobs behind him, plumber Vinnie Fierro suddenly realises that he might be gay. This assumption is not as outlandish as that sentence may look, there are reasons, believe me…
Testing the theory by going to a gay bar leads to a meeting with a local from his neighborhood, Trey Giles, a 25 year old college student, with so much on his plate that he has no time for dating and no desire to sleep around, until he finds ‘someone special’. With sex off the table, the two are free to explore being in a relationship and being intimate with out any pressure from either side.

There a truckload of angsty issues, this book could easily have veered off into very heavy territory, but despite the Vinnies fear of coming out and being abandoned by his family, and poor Trey’s mess of a life with two jobs, college and looking after an aging grandmother and a raging alcoholic for a mother, it somehow manages to stay pretty light and feel good.

I have re-read it several times, still love it and I’ll be the first in line when it’s released in audiobook format. I only have very minor niggles about it and one of them is the request for Hank’s story from the authors. There must be a story to tell there!
4.5 of 5 stars

Review by Morgan
I agree with Anna so much! This was a wonderful book and I’d read it several time and have found something new to appreciate with each new read.

This time, as a listen, I got the joy of the new narrator – he’s AWESOME – as well as the appreciation that the slowing down and listening to a story really brings.

I think, what this time ‘round has shown me, is that this book really works as a coming of age book that happens to have a lot of romance in it. Both of our MCs are really growing in this story and their coming together helps with that growth, but isn’t necessarily the main or only cause of that growth.

I loved how Colin Darcy portrayed Vinnie – he felt spot on to me! It was wonderful! He also really shone in his ability to handle the emotional saga between Trey and his mom. He had me in tears! Really well done and highly recommeneded!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: A Fool and his Manny by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-fool-and-his-manny-by-amy-lane-9714-b

Blurb

Seeing the truth and falling in love.
Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.
At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

 

Review by Morgan

I adored this couple! I loved the idea of the younger guy who falls for his “nanny” but ends up getting him! He was just the right amount of contrite and then bossy to really flip all my switches and he felt authentic to me.

The romance moved at a very low angst, steady pace and I loved seeing all the familiar faces. While this is definitely a good standalone, it’s better if you’ve read the others before it.

Watching Dusty move from kid through to adult was just right, too. Enough of the kid stuff for him to feel “real” but not so much that it was weird seeing him as an adult.

If you’re a fan of the author, the series or “mannies” this is for you! If you’re in the mood for a sweet “coming of age” book – I think this is wonderful for that purpose, too.

As for the upcoming audio: I don’t want this to sound like John Solo isn’t good – he is! – but I sure do wish we could have Nick Russo or Gomez for this series as well – I’d love that so much!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest

 

Review by Mary

A fool and his manny is book 4 of Amy Lane’s Manny series within the Dreamspun desires collection. It can be read on it’s own but I think you get a richer story by knowing the history in the previous books. I liked the beginning of this story. There is a a bit set in the present day which then flashes back to a couple of important episodes before coming back into the present. Oh my heart went out to Quinlan. Such a gentle soul to have been hurt so much by an ignorant family. Dusty’s determination for Quin to see him as anything other than a teenager is great. He is just what Quin needs, someone in his corner and a whole family supporting him. It’s rare to get to see a character grow into an adult. Dusty is about 9 or 10 in the previous book growing into the teenager Quin meets when he joined the family 7 years ago. These are characters and a family I grew to love. Low level angst when Dusty was pushing Quin to face his fears and Dusty getting a little dominant over Quin again to push him into dealing with his fear of rejection and see that Dusty wasn’t going anywhere. I’m not sure if this is the end but I hope we get to see this clan again, they are quite fun.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review