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

Ebb and Flow (Love’s Charter #2) by Andrew Grey

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ebb-and-flow-by-andrew-grey-8779-b

Blurb

To achieve happiness, they’ll have to find the courage to be their own men.

As first mate on a charter fishing boat, Billy Ray meets a lot of people, but not one of them has made him as uncomfortable as Skippy—because he’s drawn to Skippy as surely as the moon pulls the tides, and he’s almost as powerless to resist. Billy Ray has spent his life denying who he is to avoid the wrath of his religious father, and he can’t allow anyone to see through his carefully built façade.

Skippy is only in town on business and will have to return to Boston once he’s through. After all, his father has certain expectations, and him staying in Florida is not one of them. But he doesn’t count on Billy Ray capturing his attention and touching his heart.

Billy Ray doesn’t realize just how much he and Skippy have in common, though. They’re both living to please their fathers instead of following their own dreams—a fact that becomes painfully obvious when they get to know each other and realize how much joy they’ve denied themselves. While they can’t change the past, they can begin a future together and make up for lost time—as long as they’re willing to face the consequences of charting their own course.

Review

I picked this up because I’d enjoyed the world building in book one and I thought it’d be great to see what was happening with our friend Billy Ray.

This story is pretty similar to Setting The Hook in that we have a “good ol Southern boy” meeting a “city slicker” and the two finding ways to mesh worlds once they fall in love.

There is a bit more drama and angst in this and I wasn’t as invested in these guys as a couple as I was in book one, but that could be due to reading this rather than listening.

It was enjoyable if not amazing and I’d recommend it to fans of the series and the author.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook Month: Setting the Hook by Andrew Grey Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/setting-the-hook-by-andrew-grey-8741-b

Blurb

It could be the catch of a lifetime.
William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.
Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.
William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.

Review

This is one of those rare treats for me: a book I’ve not read, only listened to. I really love Greg Tremblay and am a fan of Andrew Grey’s as well.

We start with Mike and William, who by now are already friends, but neither is sure the other is gay, and they live several states apart. Add to that the fact that Mike lives in the conservative South and William isn’t sure he can commit and you’ve got a recipe for disaster!

But… these guys click – and when opportunity meets attraction there’s combustion. It takes awhile (maybe too long?) for our guys to figure this stuff out – but the story is low on angst and there are no artificial obstructions in their path. They’ve simply got to work through their issues until the right answer comes along.

I appreciated the fact that there was no “magic bullet” – simply compromise and change and sometimes some hard work.

While I wish the ending hadn’t felt so rushed – our guys aren’t together long before the end – the Epilogue felt lovely and hopeful.

I loved Mike’s family as well as all the boat talk.

Greg did a nice job with the accents – none over the top, but a subtle twang here and there, a bit of snobbishness once in awhile and – as always – an excellent use of timing and cadence to portray emotion and humor.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and recommend it!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Beach Balls by Tara Lain Review by Dee

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/beach-balls-by-tara-lain-8440-b

Blurb

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But coming out would threaten all he’s built as the lead attorney for WMA Development, and the million dollars he can get when he finishes pushing a big land remediation project through the City Council. Then on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to live a different life. But Adam’s dreams are shattered when he walks into the council meeting and finds the fire-breathing environmentalist who’s screwing up his chances of winning is none other than that same beautiful man. Sky Sea Mickeljohn doesn’t compromise, so how could he find himself lusting after a damned developer? And what happens when somebody open’s Adam’s closet door? These two better start telling the truth if they’re ever going to find world peace.

Review by Dee

This is a fun, ‘opposites attract’ story. I liked the premise – a developer, Adam, finds out that the guy he has a thing for, Sky, is an environmentalist and that they are on opposites sides of a development project. I wasn’t a fan of Adam at first – he didn’t speak up when his colleagues made bigoted comments – but I warmed to him as he started to become more honest with himself about his values and sexuality.

Sky was nice, though he exuded a ‘righteous’ environmentalist zeal. The flaws in both men were a product of their upbringing/life experiences, part of their backstory (which we find out during the course of the story). Both men fall pretty fast and hard for each other, but there are bumps on the way to their eventual HEA. Both men have to reassess their priorities and beliefs to make things work.

I enjoyed reading Beach Balls and will try others in the series.

 

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Beach Balls (Balls to the Wall #3) by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/beach-balls-by-tara-lain-8440-b

Blurb

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But coming out would threaten all he’s built as the lead attorney for WMA Development, and the million dollars he can get when he finishes pushing a big land remediation project through the City Council. Then on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to live a different life. But Adam’s dreams are shattered when he walks into the council meeting and finds the fire-breathing environmentalist who’s screwing up his chances of winning is none other than that same beautiful man. Sky Sea Mickeljohn doesn’t compromise, so how could he find himself lusting after a damned developer? And what happens when somebody open’s Adam’s closet door? These two better start telling the truth if they’re ever going to find world peace.

Review

In this series, we gradually meet several men who move in the same social circles as they each find the love of their lives. In this installment the prickly mistanthrope, Sky Sea Mickeljohn meets “money grubbing” developer Adam – under sea!

Their “meet cute” is hysterical, sweet, and sexy. They have some seriously hot smexy times, but when they realize who the other is “in real life” – they become the enemies they are.

Sort-of.

Because their attraction is so hot, both men are reluctant to simply give up on the other man. While, IMHO, neither man is particularly easy to love, they manage to fit together and strengthen the other’s weaknesses and together make it work.

Like the others in this series, this is fast-paced, full of personal growth and hot smexy times.

If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll enjoy this, but you don’t have to have read any of the others to enjoy this on it’s own.

I liked it, it’s definitely not my favorite – I never really warmed to either man – but it was fun and I loved the octopus!

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Hard Candy (Bend or Break book 7) Audiobook by Amy Jo Cousins Narrated by Cooper North

audiobookreview

Audible Link
http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Hard-Candy-Audiobook/B06X9XX1RZ/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1488502841&sr=1-1

Blurb

How to get over someone? Get under someone else—as soon as possible.

Vincent Lim always assumed his best friend (and occasional hookup) Austin would be waiting for him—that eventually they’d end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.

After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with a dance major, Vinnie knows the drill. Minimize the embarrassment by pretending they’ve never met. Yet Bryan’s vibrant spirit and calm center lure Vinnie like a shelter from an emotional storm.

But Vinnie’s thrown off his game by the rest of Bryan’s total package. Vinnie’s a rowing jock with a single-minded focus on living up to his parents’ academic and social expectations. Bryan might as well be outfitted with glittery butterfly wings—with plenty of pride to match. Vinnie’s haphazard attention to a lover won’t cut it this time.

Physically, they can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

Warning: Contains one uptight rower, a dancer who can rock a skirt like nobody’s business, yoga lessons, and the benefits of being very bendy.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

This is book 7 in the series, but really you only need to read book 6. (The rest of the series is awesome, though, so … ya know…)

We met Vinnie in Book 6 – he was the boy Austen was pining and pining after. Well – after being summarily dumped by Austen, Vinnie goes on a bender and meets Bryan.

Though their first meeting was less than great, both men realize they want to see more of the other – although Vinnie is clearly on probation as he nearly says and does all the wrong things.

Over time – not unlike Austen and Sean – Vinnie is spending more and more time with Bryan, until it’s clear that Bryan means a lot to Vinnie. The problem is Vinnie lacks the ability to say his feelings in a way that doesn’t offend.

**

I loved Bryan and Vincent together. I would really have loved to spend more time in Bryan’s head as he was clearly a very complex and fascinating person and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of him to satisfy.

The fact that these 21 year olds were so great at communicating with one another was a breath of fresh air – especially after all the nonsense between Austen and Vinnie previously.

I was also glad to see that the parents weren’t going to be a big deal.

All in all this was a very sweet and sometimes funny story and a great way for us to see Vinnie all set up and happy.

4.25 of 5 stars

Audio

I’m so glad we get to have Cooper North as the narrator for this series! He absolutely ROCKED this! I love the voice he chose for Bryan and I really felt connected to these characters through his interpretation. He has a great concept of emotion and timing and is very easy to listen to. He’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite narrators! Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

Love me like a Rock (Bend or Break # 6) Audiobook by Amy Jo Cousins Narrated by Cooper North

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Love-Me-Like-a-Rock-Audiobook/B01NC3DLA3/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1488168966&sr=1-1

Blurb

In art and in love, it s the rough edges that make things interesting.

Having grown up with artistic implements always in hand, there’s almost nothing Austin can’t make real. Except for one thing—an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate and occasional hookup, Vinnie.

The combination of emotional and sexual frustration fuels a spark between Austin and the nude model in his drawing class. Austin isn’t used to having trouble focusing; models are merely challenging subjects to be rendered on paper. But the geology TA’s direct blue gaze is powerful enough to drag Austin’s focus away from his physique.

After a quick and very dirty post-class encounter, all the reasons that Austin has been waiting for his best friend go fuzzy in his mind. Sean is nothing like Vinnie. Sean is persistent, pays attention, and makes it clear he wants to be together.

But if Austin can’t get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose his friend, or his lover. Or both.

Warning: Contains rock geeks, tent sex, a dictatorial cox whose idea of a good time is drawing naked dudes, plus one naked dude who wants to be more than a good time.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is the 6th book in the series, but it can absolutely be a standalone!

Austin and Vinny are best-friends-with-benefits. Only Austin really wishes it was more than that. In fact, he’s pining. But Vinny isn’t responsive and Austin figures some day he’s gotta do something about that.

Meanwhile, Austin meets Sean. Sean is a ginger! who models for one of Austin’s classes. He can’t keep his eyes and then his hands and then his mind off of Sean once he actually sees the guy.

Sean is everything Vinny isn’t – and at first that freaks Austin out – but – over time – he realizes that might just be a good thing.

**

I fell in love with this series in book one and Amy Jo Cousins hasn’t disappointed me yet! I think this is my second favorite in the series – but really – it’s a close second to book one.

Austin is a GREAT character and what I love about the writing is how well Amy Jo shows us the progression in his head from “Sean’s a fuck buddy” to “Sean is something important”. It’s very well done and oh so sexy!

I was very glad to see the communication in this book was open and honest and never the central theme. Yes, Vinny and Austin could have talked to one another more, but I totally understood that Vinny and Austin’s history sort of precluded that from be a viable option. Sean only knew the “more adult” version of Austin so he could be a different guy. Someone Vinny never really knew.

Vinny’s absence from the story was important because as a reader I didn’t want to be attached to him through Austin (especially since the next book is about Vinny and a new guy!) so I was grateful that his part in this story was small.

The smexy times were plentiful but not overwhelming and though I wish we got to see them later in life – post graduation – I know that the HFN is solid and will lead to a HEA eventually.

(My favorite scene is when Sean makes Austin art supplies when they are out camping… Swoooon!)
4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Cooper North has narrated this entire series and he does so masterfully! I think he sets just the right tone for the age of the MCs as well as the emotions. He gives everyone unique voices and it’s always easy to know who is speaking. (Which is hard given how many secondary characters there are in this series!) I think he really adds to the overall enjoyment of the experience and his narration is highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review