Recent Release Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott ,V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35559022-ryker?from_search=true

Blurb

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Review
I really loved this book! It’s definitely a YA/NA – it has a lot of angst that is age appropriate (and therefore a little frustrating) but still fits the ages of the MCs involved.

I think this can be a standalone but you’re definitely missing a lot of subtext if you don’t read these in order.

There was enough steam to keep things feeling hot but again – age appropriate.

I was pretty mad at the authors – when the hurt Ten in the last book – but I am hoping he seems on the mend and will hopefully be back up and skating soon 😉

I’ve really been enjoying this series and can’t wait for the next installment!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day: Three Bears By A. Nybo

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/three-bears-by-a-nybo-9881-b

Blurb

At Three Bears surf break, the attraction between a group of friends is anything but “Luke warm….”
Dan goes to stay with his best friend Josh in Margaret River, the surfing capital of Western Australia, to sort out his sexual confusion. But his best friend is the source of that confusion. Having never been attracted to a man other than Josh, Dan fears risking their friendship just to discover men aren’t his thing.
Within the first few days, Dan meets Luke, a local barista who offers him surf lessons. Dan soon finds himself emotionally coveting not one, but two men. When they go to Three Bears, his hidden desires begin to emerge. As the ambiguity of Dan’s mixed signals clears, it becomes apparent both of his surfing companions want him—badly.
It is only when Luke and Josh hook up that they formulate “Operation Three Bears,” an adventurous plan that might lead to a satisfying outcome for all of them.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Review by Aerielle

Three Bears is a surf spot with 3 different grades of waves, a Papa, a Mama and a Baby, so don’t let the title full you into thinking its about three burly, hairy guys. This is a story about three men coming together in a beautiful story about self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Dan meets Luke at a coffee shop and strikes up a conversation which leads to Luke offering to teach Dan how to surf. Dan is in town visiting his best friend Josh. Dan has always felt an attraction towards Josh and wants to spend this time to try and sort out his feelings. After hearing Dan talk about Luke, Josh eventually goes to the coffee shop to meet him too. This leads up to all three going to Three Bears to surf. All three guys feel an attraction towards each other, but no one voices this. Luke becomes aware of Dan’s attraction towards Josh and Josh sees Dan checking out Luke. Luke and Josh eventually start a relationship and try to figure out how to include Dan. When all three finally come together the chemistry is off the charts!!

My only real issue with this book was the authors writing style. I have never read anything by A. Nybo before. I found that some scenes tended to end too abruptly. I do enjoy MMM as long as it is done right. This book was borderline for me, with Josh and Luke plotting ways to get Dan to join them but in the end they both had real strong feelings for him and they felt incomplete without him. Three Bears is apart of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series but it is a standalone novella.

4 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Karen

This is a quick and at times amusing read, but I didn’t really feel very invested in this throuple’s road to bliss. 

It just didn’t click for me. The author takes the time to set the stage, so to speak, introducing the three MC’s to the reader and each other, but as far as the actual relationship between the three men is concerned, everything feels very rushed to me.

Once they’re on the same page, they all jump into the physical side of things very quickly, especially considering Dan is still in the closet for nearly half the book. This bothered me, I’m more of a slow-burn kind of girl. I’m also not a fan of fade-outs, so that ruined the more sensual scenes for me. 
A missed opportunity to explore the connection between the three men some more and raise the emotional stakes. 

The connection between the MC’s feels lacking in intensity for me and I just don’t see where or how they actually fell in love with each other. Josh and Dan have a shared history and years of friendship between them to build on, but Luke is a recent addition and they don’t really know him all that well. 

In an mmm romance good communication and a solid emotional connection between all the MC’s is crucial, and I just didn’t feel like that was the case here.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Truus

Short sweet read. It’s all about three guys with their friendship and love.
Dan is confused about his sexuality… to figure out all his feelings he goes to his best friend Josh… even though his feelings for Josh are the reason why he is confused.
On his way to Josh he meets Luke… Luke will teach Dan how to surf.
Dan is more confused because now he is attracted to two guys.

He doesn’t know those same guys have strong feelings for Dan.

I found it an amusing read, not strong developed but that didn’t bother me. It was a sexy entertaining read, it had a lot of tension… it was funny, light and fresh. All three had nice friendly caring personalities. A threesome can be tricky in a story, the dynamic can be awkward but in this short one it was convincing and they fit perfect.

Number of stars 3,5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Crocus by Amy Lane narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Blurb
Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart

Review
(Previously reviewed by Mary on site.)
In my opinion you really do need to read or listen to book 1, Bonfires, before starting Crocus. Bonfires is the story of how Aaron and Larx meet and fall in love with all the complications of joining two families. It ends when Larx’s eldest daughter Olivia comes home from college and tells them she is pregnant. This book takes off from that point. We learn that not only is she pregnant she also has Depression. Amy Lane handles this very difficult subject very well. There is no miraculous recovery just because it suited the storyline. We go through Olivia’s struggles to move out of the dark place she is in and Larx’s struggles as a parent to help her. At the same time his rock, Aaron is injured whilst on duty, one of his students is suffering from domestic abuse and is missing in a snowstorm. In amongst this two brothers need his support. There is so much to keep you on edge desperate to know more and wanting everything to work out. I love the dose of reality and practically Amy Lane has in these stories. By the way the book ended I am certain there will be a third book, can’t wait.

From Morgan: I absolutely agree with Mary. Even though the HEA for our guys happens in book 1, we don’t really see them interacting a whole lot together because – in typical Amy fashion – they are BOMBARDED with drama. Though the drama is still in heavy doses in book 2 – our guys handle it TOGETHER and that makes all the difference.

I was glad to see Amy confront the depression issues head on and not shy away from the less than perfect side of pregnancy, etc.

Highly recommended and can’t wait for book 3!

Audio

I just love Nick J Russo. I can’t say that enough. He makes every listening experience a joy and I always know I can depend on him to provide a quality character choice and interpretation. I love how he manages to give Aaron the laid back and stolid voice while in the next breath giving us the hyper and sometimes frenetic Larx.

Well done and highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars for both


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day: A Dom and His Warrior by Xenia Melzer

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-warrior-by-xenia-melzer-9871-b

 

 

Blurb

Leeland Drake and Jonathan White are a committed BDSM couple and have just moved in together. Leeland has only one year left in college, and everything seems perfect… until Leeland’s uncle asks him to stand in for an injured UFC fighter.

Leeland wants to help his uncle, but he remembers all too well from his years competing in martial arts how strenuous life as an athlete can be. He doesn’t want to risk his relationship with Jonathan. After some discussion, they decide Leeland will go pro for a year.

As if the training and strict diet weren’t bad enough, the pressure skyrockets when Leeland encounters homophobic fighter Noah Adams—especially when they end up facing each other in the championship.

Between the bigoted rants of his opponent, the scrutiny of the media, the pressure from his sponsor, and a fire in his uncle’s gym, Leeland is close to breaking down. Only Jonathan’s support and love keep him focused enough to set foot in the octagon once more—and maybe even walk away a winner

 

Review by Truus
Leeland and Jonathan

As a perfect fit D/s couple Jonathan and Leeland will move in together.

Martial arts is Leeland’s expertise and to help his godfather he has to go pro as UFC fighter for the next year. He don’t really want to, but family matters and he has to help his uncle.

It is harder than they ever could imagine, the stress, the bigotry and homophobia, the exhausting days. Leeland has such a hard time but he is lethal and vicious.
But opponents can be vicious too… and ugly.

A very captivating story with wonderful personalities. Smoothly written with a nice flow. Jonathan and Leeland are not in a typical BDSM relationship. They play in their own way and have their own rules. Deep rooted love is the what glued and hold them together. Between all the training and fighting we can enjoy some delicious hot and satisfying scenes and how they still learn from and with each other. Their friends who are all subs and Doms are irreplaceable and their stories woven into this journey are also awesome. And all this together made it to an entertaining story. I just love the dynamic between Doms and their subs.

4.5 of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Mary

A Dom and his Warrior is the third book in the Club Whisper series and can be read as a stand-alone. Having said that there are characters from the previous books with cameo roles in this book and it’s nice to know their story to give some context. To be honest I didn’t love this story as much as the previous two. I couldn’t find the hook, that something to pull me into these characters story. Both Leeland and Johnathan are lovely kind generous men. Maybe too bland? Leeland goes through so much to help his uncle with the training to be a UFC fighter but never has a tantrum. Yes he has a wobble which he comforts with a sugar binge but no drama. That’s what I think I was missing, the drama of Leeland being constantly under pressure and harassed by his homophobic opponent. On the other hand Xenia Melzer knows how to write hot BDSM scenes. In fact the book opens with a scene. One that completely fits in with both Leeland and Jonathan’s temperaments being such nice guys. It was a nice story, don’t get me wrong and I might be too harsh because we all need something mellow every now and again. The other aspect that distracted me was that Leeland wasn’t sure what to make of Emilio and Garrett’s relationship. This aspect kept being mentioned but wasn’t resolved. Possibly it was setting up the story arc for the next book.

 

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Recent release: Traded Out by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41555624-traded-out

Blurb

Olle Svensson came to Canada to play hockey, but now he’s wondering if twenty-five is too late to start university back home in Sweden. Things started out well, but then his friend Jamie gets caught with a guy in a men’s room stall at a random bar. Olle knows he should have stood by Jamie, in the bar and the locker room, but he’d been caught off-guard. He’d thought…well, it doesn’t matter anymore what he was thinking.

Jamie Gallagher is in hell. He’d been sure none of his teammates went to that bar, but now he’s been outed against his will and doesn’t have a single ally on the team. He’s giving serious thought to giving up on hockey until the Moncton Ice Cats come to the rescue. Jamie never thought he’d be so happy to be traded.

The only down side is that Olle is coming with him.

A Free Read through Insta-Freebee from August 28th to September 4th together with other authors ->
https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/FC…

Review

I love this series and this author (and hockey)! This is a rather long story for a freebie and is wonderful!

It’s got a fair amount of hockey in it but is definitely relationship focused. We’ve got a clueless Jamie and an adorable Swede who quietly loves and protects Jamie until he finally clues in!

There is a bit of smexy times a lot of laughs and a nice glimpse of some of our previously loved and adored MCs.

Highly recommended for fans of the series/author but is absolutely fine as a standalone!

5 of 5 stars

Retro Read: Take a Shot by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40382971-take-a-shot

Blurb

If you want to score, you have to take the shot.

Chris Kimball is good at keeping things to himself, but when he breaks his leg during a hockey game, he quickly realizes his biggest secret might be impossible to keep. It was hard enough being in love with his best friend and teammate, Tim Robineau, but when Tim takes care of him as he recovers, Chris’s feelings only grow stronger.

Tim is aware that some people think he’s dumb, but they’re wrong. He’s just an easy-going guy who enjoys spending time with his team and friends—especially Chris. Tim has dated a lot of women who couldn’t understand that, and figures he’s cursed when it comes to love—but he’s not. He just doesn’t know it.

Yet.

***This story previously appeared in the Changing on the Fly Anthology***

Review

Tim and Chris are best friends and professional hockey player teammates. Tim 100% identifies as straight and Chris has been pining for Tim for a long time.

If you’re a fan of the author, Mike and Alexi are on their team and have suspected that Chris and Tim are perfect for each other, so they help the relationship along.

Chris gets injured on the ice and Tim realizes that he has more than “friend” feelings for his bestie.

**

This was a really fun and super sexy read. I love Mike and Alexi so it was great seeing them again. Since it’s short, Tim’s movement from “straight to gay” was a bit fast, but… it worked. (It’s not necessary to have read the other books in the series – that just adds “flavor”!)

Highly enjoyable!

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Review: Home and Away by Samantha Wayland


Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25690047-home-and-away

Blurb
You can build a team, but you have to find your home.

Rupert Smythe is fond of many things. Callum Morrison isn’t one of them.

Rupert is a quiet, thoughtful business man and, sadly, a total wimp. Maybe not the ideal candidate to run a professional hockey team, but he signed on to do it anyway. As his life has reminded him on an almost daily basis since, this isn’t the most brilliant idea he’s ever had. And that was before Callum showed up.

Being in the spotlight is just part of being a professional athlete, but Callum needs a break. He arrives in Moncton unannounced, determined to help grow the team he just bought, and under the assumption he’d be welcome. Possibly he should have tried to make a better first impression.

Callum figures he can push through the rest of the summer, never expecting two kids, a host of friends, and his growing feelings for Rupert to derail everything he has ever believed about what he wanted, and what he could have.

Review

 

(Book 2 of Mike and Alexei’s story is here:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/checking-it-twice-by-samantha-wayland/

 This was previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/home-and-away-by-samantha-wayland/)

Rupert is a co-owner of a hockey team, but deathly afraid of hockey players. He is forced to work with them on a daily basis and manages well enough until Callum, the brother of the other co-owner bardges his way into his life when Garrick (the brother) is called away.
Callum is an in-the-closet hockey player and gruff on a good day, insufferable on his worst.
When Rupert’s little brother goes missing and is subsequently found, Callum rushes in to help Rupert collect him and then get him set up in his new home.
Callum comes from a large family and is great with kids, Rupert is an only child and raised by nannies. Together they make a great team helping poor Oliver acclimate to his new life. While doing so, what started as enemies morphs slowly into lovers.
Callum has never had a boyfriend, only hook-ups, he can’t come out because he fears there is no room for a gay hockey player in the NHL.
Rupert knows his time with Callum is on borrowed time but can’t help falling in love one day at a time with the gentle giant.
**
This book is so rich and full of emotion. I fell in love! There are so many layers. Callum is essentially a virgin – it’s been four years since he’s been intimate with anyone (for a specific reason) and never has he had more than a hook-up in a bar.
Rupert is growing through his own painful past experiences with large men and has no experience being a father.
Oliver is a four year old who was essentially abandoned by his uncaring mother and spends the first several weeks mute.
Christian is a boy Callum and Rupert meet through a Scout service skate lesson. He’s twelve, believes he’s gay and is the only son of a very homophobic drunk.
From Samantha’s previous book, … Net (see review on this site), Alexi and … show Callum how safe it can be to be gay and a hockey player.
There are some very obvious plot holes and some things that you just have to suspend your disbelief – but the slowly building love story and the heart warming relationships that develop between Oliver, Callum, Rupert and Christian are amazing.
The dialog is witty, Samantha does an excellent job of showing and not telling and the secondary characters are just as rich and well developed as the primary characters.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, even to those of us non-hockey fans.
Though it is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Crashing the Net first because it adds a bit to the back story and it’s a really good book! (Reviewed on this site previously.)

6 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Promises: The Next Generation (Bounty Hunters #5) by A.E. Via

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41183779-promises?from_search=true

Blurb
Duke Webb has run the most successful bail recovery agency in Atlanta for over twenty years. That’s because he has a team of trained, competent hunters backing him up to keep his name feared on the streets. But Duke knows that nothing can go on forever. His hunters are in committed relationships and ready to settle down, and so is he. That’s what leads him to start his new training program.

“That’s the new vision for Dukes. Veterans operating and tracking behind the scenes with a new powerhouse apprehension team on the streets.”

Brian and Quick are the first to offer up two new recruits.

Kellam Knight has studied martial arts under his sensei, Quick, since he was eight years old. A tossed-out reject from high-society, Kell has a problem fighting on the right side of the law. If he sees an injustice, he has to correct it. He doesn’t have to run and cower from his enemies anymore, he’s a fighter who can protect himself and others. When Quick offers Kell the opportunity to join Duke’s training program, he’s all in. Except he’s not prepared for the straight, over-confident, extremely disciplined, sexy man Brian has recruited to be his partner.

Tyrell Jenkins’ world was flipped upside down when his father never returned home from his last deployment. He’d been Ty’s teacher, mentor, his guide to living a righteous life as a good man. His father didn’t raise him to be like every other young, stereotypical male in Atlanta. Instead, he’s been taught to be respectful, to speak the language of real men. When Brian King – his father’s most trusted comrade – finally comes to him with the truth, he doesn’t come alone. He comes with trained men hidden in the shadows… and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a brotherhood unlike any other.

This installment is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN standalone. Each book centers around a new couple.
This book ends in a HEA. NO cliffhanger.

Review

I loved – LOVED – this book! Which is no surprise as I am a big fan of AE Via and this series. However, in that series, I definitely love some books/ couples more than others and I LOVED these two together.
First because the author isn’t afraid of a little COLOR! She absolutely gave these guys unique qualities that felt very authentic and special and could only be there because of their background experiences flavoring their expressions both verbal and outward appearances. It was awesome! As a reader I get tired of all the MCs falling into “boxes” of this type of character and that type and these two – while they absolutely had some characteristics of Alpha and twink/submissive – they absolutely were NOT the typical of either of those characteristics.

I kinda felt a Malcolm X vibe from Ty and a karate kid vibe from Kell. In either case it was unique and though sometimes Kell acted in ways that weren’t always explained – he was mostly consistent and so it was ok. I had to subtract ½ a star because at the beginning Kell is described as this tough, crazy, off the rails at times vigilante and Duke and Quick have to keep bailing him out. To me, he humbled a bit too quickly and I never saw that part of his personality again. I’d have liked to see that rise to the surface now and again and see how Ty handled it/used it to his benefit against the bad guys.

In any case – while I think you can read this as a standalone I don’t think it’d be as good. There’s just too much going on with the other characters and I think this is best read in order.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/164584

Highly recommended to fans of the series/author!
4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Review: Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22797434-crashing-the-net

Blurb

Mike comes to Moncton wanting nothing more than to play for the Ice Cats and finally live on his own terms. He’s broke, bruised, and covered from head to toe in cheap lube, but he isn’t going to let that stop him. All he needs is a place to live and some time to figure out how to reconcile who he really is with who everyone wants him to be.

Dumping three gallons of lube on the new kid is just another day at the office for Alexei. He knows exactly who he is: a goalie on the ice, a prankster in the locker room, and a man who knows better than to share his private life with anyone. He’s let people in before and it’s taught him that if he can’t have what he really wants, it’s better to be alone.

Despite their apparent differences, an unlikely friendship grows. Neither of them could ever have guessed how much they really have in common.

Review

Hockey season is just around the corner – so I’m doing my own little homage and reminding people of some great books that’ve come out about the great sport!

(Previously Reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/crashing-the-net-by-samantha-wayland/)

H.O.T. This book is hawt! Mike is a 22 year old, newly living on his own and playing professional hockey. He meets Alexi after being beat up after a “night on the town” and Alexi becomes his protector and mentor.

Mike has the hots for Alexi but could never imagine that Alexi might also be gay. Well… he is and he’s been jonesing for Mike big time.

When the two finally get together they burn the sheets! Mike is the big V but that doesn’t slow him down. Alexi kind of likes things rough, but so does Mike so there’s no problem there.

There is a minor hiccup when Alexi feels Mike needs to go out and sow his wild oats before settling down and the fact that Mike hasn’t come out to his rigid parents… but those don’t last long.

Overall this was a fast paced read, the first half all about the sexual tension and the second all about exploring the reality.

There was a fair amount of tenderness and sweetness, enough to keep me satisfied, and a very happy ever after.

I highly recommend this book and give it a 4.5 stars of 5.

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Private Charter by N.R. Walker

release day review

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40911969-private-charter?from_search=true

Blurb

Stuart Jenner’s job is high stress, high stakes, and everything he’s strived for. So why, when the apex of his career is within reach, does he stumble? At his doctor’s insistence, he books a privately chartered yacht to sail around the Whitsundays for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex. When his friend-with-benefits bails on him at the last minute, Stuart decides to go alone.

Foster Knight left the rat race behind six years ago, bought a yacht, and now calls the Great Barrier Reef his home. Sailing tourists around tropical waters is all in a day’s work, and he’s never been happier. When his next client arrives alone, the two-week charter will be the most private job he’s ever had.

Foster can see how stressed and exhausted Stuart is, and he promises him extensive rest and relaxation. Stuart slowly realises his original plan for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex might not be lost yet. Confined to a yacht, isolated by aqua-coloured oceans and the sweltering sun, Stuart and Foster are about to find out just how hot the tropics can get.

Review

This was amazingly sensual! NR Walker is definitely stepping up her game in the “heat” department and I like it!

The romance is (as per her usual) really sweet and very satisfying (I loved the Epilogue!!!!!) But what stood out for me – besides her obvious skill at research – was the heat in this story. It was off the charts!

These two men do a little growing but mostly just enjoy each other’s bodies and that’s ok by me!

Highly enjoyable!

4.25 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review