Release Day Review: Medley (Changing Lanes #2) by Layla Reyne

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37556674-medley?from_search=true

 

Blurb

Sebastian Stewart was never Mr. Dependable; he was more the good-time guy who only wanted to swim, party, and ink tattoos. Until he cost his team the Olympic gold four years ago. Bas is determined to do right this time around—by his medley relay team and his rookie mentee.

Jacob Burrows is in over his head. The Olympic experience—from the hazing, to the endless practices, to the unrelenting media—makes the shy nineteen-year-old’s head spin. He’s trying to be everything to everyone while trying not to fall for his gorgeous tattooed teammate who just gets him—gets his need to fix things, his dorky pirate quips, and his bisexuality.

When Jacob falters under the stress, threatening his individual races and the medley relay gold, he needs Bas’s help to escape from drowning. Bas, however, fearing a repeat of his mistakes four years ago, pushes Jacob away, sure he’ll only let Jacob down. But the only path to salvaging gold is for Jacob to finally ask for what he needs—the heart of the man he loves—and for Bas to become the dependable one.

Review

 There was a lot to like about this:
Jacob – super adorkable esp. with the pirate stuff
The Olympics
Swimming
Alex and Dane

There was a lot that was …. Less great:
Continual teenagey angst – even though most of the characters are older than that
A lack of communication
Lack of steam

This is more of a YA than a NA story. I think if you go into it like that – with those expectations – it’s feels better. As an NA story it felt lacking.

I really enjoyed book 1 a bit more, but I’d keep with the series.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/when-everything-is-blue-by-laura-lascarso-9420-b

Blurb
When they were kids, Chris Mitcham rescued Theo from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that arise at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.
When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and his stunted, tenuous relationship with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery?

In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with awkward firsts and a few haters, but also the unexpected comfort of a friend turned lover

Review
Usually I don’t go for YA stories but I am so glad I chose this one. This book is a beautiful story of young love. The struggle of best friends becoming lovers at its best and I didn’t want it to end. The story is told from Theo’s point of view. We see how difficult he finds it navigating the path through adolescence. Chris is always there for him but Theo tells himself that he can’t keep relying on that and is certain Chris is straight. I absolutely loved the depth of feeling the author portrayed in this book. It brought a sense of realism and I felt like I was watching a snapshot of both their lives. I thought this was excellent writing since we never got the story from Chris’s POV but I felt I knew what it was from the dialogue and Theo’s comments. The other characters in the story all added strength in their own way. Theo’s twin sister as the opposite of him and provides a good contrast. His hardworking loving and supportive mother and indifferent absent father. And lastly we have the catalyst Dave who victimised Theo. Theo and Chris get their happy for now ending, they have a journey ahead of them and I hope we will get a chance to check in on them in a few years. It feels like they could have a lot of interesting stories to tell before they get their happy ever after (fingers crossed)
On the strength of this book I will definitely look for more by Laura Lascarso

4.5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reyne

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/relay

Blurb

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

Review

There were things I loved and some things I didn’t care for with this story.

Loved:

The Ginger.

Alex.
The Olympics.
Swimming.
The team.
The chemistry between Alex and Dane.
Alex’s family.
How Dane handled his family in the end.

Not so much:
I’m not a fan of “second chance” stories because I miss that initial “spark.” I thought Dane was very immature and I’m not sure Alex was wise in getting back together with him. (Of course it pays out later in the story – but Dane didn’t do enough to regain his trust at first -IMHO.)

I can’t wait for the audio – I’m really hoping it’s someone who can do all the accents!

I’m really looking forward to the next installment!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Back to School Month: My Hero Audiobook by Max Vos Narrated by Jared Bradford


Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/My-Hero-Audiobook/B0147LP8RC/ref=a_search_c4_1_7_srTtl?qid=1504115418&sr=1-7

Blurb

When he was 16 years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means “bear”. The shy jock remembers his saviour, and the two men become friends.
Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there…
Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the worlds are just around the corner. His father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.

Review

Let me start by saying sports and/or college based books are not my first choice when choosing a book. They get a little angsty for me and so I normally avoid them. This audiobook was suggested for me to listen and review and I am really glad I did not let my aversion to this type of story stop me because it really was a nice, sweet and thoughtful story. Rich is portrayed as a man who is comfortable in his skin, knows what goals he has set for himself and is working hard to achieve them. Johnny is a younger man who is just starting out at college and he too seems comfortable with who he is and where he’s at in life so far. But college opens many doors for students, and Johnny finally gets to meet his hero, the person who saved his life many years ago. From there a friendship develops and seems to move on to a curiosity phase of man on man action. And wow what action, there was no hesitation on Johnny’s part!
You have the typical problem of coming out for Johnny and Rich feeling like he was used, but in the end a HFN ending that leaves you with a warm feeling.
Jared Bradford is a new narrator for me and I have to say his timing and inflection were spot on. The voices for each character were recognizable, and appropriate. You always knew who was speaking and what emotion was being expressed.

5 of 5 stars

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