Encore By Ruth Clampett

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Encore-Ruth-Clampett-ebook/dp/B074W11WPV/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1506886862&sr=1-1&keywords=encore+ruth+clampett

Free on KU!

Blurb

When shy programmer, Charlie, is dragged to a “Magic Mike” club in Hollywood by his co-workers, the last thing he expects is to be pulled onstage. But when he’s approached by Ramon, a dancer whose only focus is to bring him pleasure, something awakens in Charlie that can’t be denied.

Yet heated attraction only goes so far when one man dreams of true love and a life finally fulfilled, and the other is still grieving the one he lost, and the mistake that cost him everything.

Can a realist and a dreamer from two different worlds move forward and build a future together, or will their painful pasts keep them from fulfilling their destiny?

***This standalone is a M/M love story with graphic sex.***

Review

This is a story of leaving the past in the past. That by doing that you have the opportunity to see what is in front of you and ahead. Charlie is so wrapped up in taking care of his sister, hiding in the closet, and regrets of his past choices that he is just walking through life with no plans or goals. Ramon has run from his past only to find that it has followed him from Miami to L. A.

I get the impression that this book was plotted out with certain events the MC’s needed to get through and then as an afterthought tied together. There are 3 or 4 swells of intense emotions and situations in the story and then a conclusion to that episode, only to move to the next one. I liked how one MC’s impression of themselves is so opposite to how the other MC sees them.

I liked the storyline I just felt like it was too planned.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

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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Copy Purchased For Review

 

 

Kink Month: Polar Reaction Audiobook by Claire Thompson Narrated by Josh Walker

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Polar-Reaction-Audiobook/B01M0XH4WL/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1501774066&sr=1-1

Blurb

A passion hot enough to melt a glacier. A love that shakes them to the core…
The savage Antarctic winter is closing in, and three research scientists are scheduled for the last flight out – until an unexpected blizzard traps all three of them in the compound. There’s Tuck, who joined the project only to be close to sexy-but-straight Brendan, the man of his dreams. And Jamie, who has always admired the other two from afar.
Thrown into a dangerous situation, the three of them turn to each other for survival, solace…and more. As Brendan overcomes his confusion over his impulses, the trio begin a sexual exploration that explodes into passion and unbridled lust.
Once the rescue helicopter airlifts them to safety, Brendan comes to his senses, returning home to his carefully constructed, closeted life. But there’s a Brendan-shaped hole left behind in Tuck’s and Jamie’s hearts. There’s only one way to fill it: by breaking through Brendan’s reserve to reclaim the man they both love.
Warning: this books contains explicit M/M scenes.

Review

Being as this is Kink Month and I’m VERY Vanilla – I (chickened out) chose ménage. 😉

I’ve owned this audiobook forever and – for whatever reason – never listened to it. So, I decided now’s a great time to see why – or what I was missing.

Well…. On the one hand it has a lot going for it. It has geeks forced into a tight space with the air of “this might be our last kiss” about them. It has two – closeted – gay men and one bi-curious/in denial gay man who are thrown together and in a situation where passion finally ignites.

I thought that there was a lot of great sexual tension that bled into a lot of great sex. Beyond that, the relationship building was practically non-existent.

The triad barely worked – one part of the dynamic – Jamie and Tuck – clearly feels more than Brendan – and though – by the end – they’ve worked this out – it never felt solid or like a true, balanced triad.

As for the narrator, he didn’t really work for me. His voice is a bit too old and he didn’t do enough to differentiate the MCs so it was hard to know who was doing what or when and I had to keep reversing to see what was up. (It’s hard enough with 3 MCs – all male – but the narration didn’t help to keep them separate.)

All in all I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook – it wasn’t that enjoyable – and the story was good if you enjoy ménage sex – but it wasn’t great if you’re looking for a great romance.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by E.J. Russell

release day review

Riptide Presents

https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-druid-next-door

Blurb

Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?

Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree-hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.

All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.

Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

Review

This is a great series!
I’m gonna admit that I don’t really love long books. I like to dive in and get my happy and move on. That’s just how I am. (I love short stories for that reason, too!) So… when I see long(ish) books I tend to be leery… but… this totally pays out!

While this can definitely be a standalone, I recommend reading book one first: https://openskyebookreviews.com/cutie-and-the-beast-fae-out-of-water-1-by-e-j-russell/ because it sets up a lot of the very important backstory for the main conflict found here.
However, the author does explain the history, so if you start with this, you’ll be fine.

Being from Oregon I had to laugh at all the “eco consciousness” that Mal fights against. It’s pretty funny! There are several other “inside” jokes about the PNW but really, anyone who understands how liberalism can go to extremes will appreciate them.

Mal is vain and from another generation and it was so gratifying to see him paired with someone like Bryce. Bryce, who seems mild mannered, has a backbone of steel and when it comes to what he cares about he won’t be pushed around. The two get magically linked and from there the two find they also share a powerful sexual connection as well. (This was really interesting – I won’t spoil it- but there’s more here than meets the eye!)

We get to see a lot of David and a bit of Alun in this story, as well – which was fun. There’s the overarching “mystery” of a curse which is tied to David’s story and a somewhat hysterical and daunting list of “tasks” to break the curse – which ties back numerous times to David’s story as well.

This book was even funnier than book one and had lots of magic and was maybe even a bit more steamy than Cutie as well.

I’m giving this 4.5 instead of 5 because there were a few times when the curse/mystery/etc seemed to drag a bit and some of Bryce’s inner waffling got a bit repetitive. However, it was a page turner and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really hope we get this series on audio because I think it will be even better in the hands of a great narrator!

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Plaid versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by K.C. Burn Narrated by David Ross

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/plaid-versus-paisley-by-kc-burn-8755-b

Blurb

Two years after his life fell apart, Will Dawson moved to Florida to start over. His job in the tech department of Idyll Fling, a gay porn studio, is ideal for him. When his boss forces him to take on a new hire, the last person he expects is Dallas Greene—the man who cost him his job and his boyfriend back in Connecticut. He doesn’t know what’s on Dallas’s agenda, but he won’t be blindsided by a wolf masquerading as a runway model. Not again.

Dallas might have thrown himself on his brother’s mercy, but his skills are needed at Idyll Fling. Working with Will is a bonus, since Dallas has never forgotten the man. A good working relationship is only the beginning of what Dallas wants with Will.

But Dallas doesn’t realize how deep Will’s distrust runs, and Will doesn’t know that the man he’s torn between loving and hating is the boss’s brother. When all truths are revealed, how can a relationship built on lies still stand?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is a great series! It’s full of geeks, hot smexy times and kilts! What’s not to love?

I thought the time spent waffling over who to tell and who might find out and what everyone’s motivations were to be a bit tiring, but I also really thought that the HEA was well-earned by the end as a result.

I didn’t always understand why the secrecy and if there was anything that detracted from this story it was that. I think if everyone had a simple conversation a lot of the angst could have been avoided and that type of angst makes me crazy.

However, the characters are unique and well-developed, the smexy times were scorching and overall I really enjoyed this as a standalone or as part of the series.

Audio

As with my previous encounters with this narrator, I hold the opinion that this is a fair way to listen to this story. David Ross doesn’t really add much to the “interpretation” of the story – no accents or extreme emotion – but he reads each part clearly and it’s always obvious which character is speaking.

He didn’t annoy me – which is HUGE – and didn’t distract me from the story. If you’re in the mood to listen rather than read, this is a nice alternative.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Kink Month: The Starving Years Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Starving-Years-MMM-Dystopian-Romance-Audiobook/B01I1VAQSU/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1501112574&sr=1-1

Blurb

The chemistry between these three men is undeniable, but is it enough to save Manhattan?
Imagine a world without hunger.
In 1960, a superfood was invented that made starvation a thing of the past. Manna, the cheaply manufactured staple food, is now as ubiquitous as salt in the world’s cupboards, pantries and larders.
Nelson Oliver knows plenty about manna. He’s a food scientist–according to his diploma, that is. Lately, he’s been running the register at the local video rental dive to scrape together the cash for his outrageously priced migraine medication.
In a job fair gone bad, Nelson hooks up with copywriter Javier and his computer-geek pal Tim, who whisks them away from the worst of the fiasco in his repurposed moving truck. At least, Nelson thinks those two are acquainted, but they’re acting so evasive about it, he’s not sure how they know each other, exactly. Javier is impervious to Nelson’s flirting, and Tim’s name could appear in the dictionary under the entry for “awkward.” And with a riot raging through Manhattan and yet another headache coming on, it doesn’t seem like Nelson will get an answer anytime soon.
One thing’s for sure, the tension between the three of them is thick enough to cut with a knife…even one of those dull plastic dealies that come in the package with Mannariffic EZ-Mealz.
The Starving Years is a must-read for fans of dystopian romance looking for scorching M/M/M chemistry in a fast-paced, page-turning adventure.

Review

I’ve had this on my TBR list forever. I’m a huge fan of both Gomez and JCP and I know that this was likely to be amazing – but… I really dislike “dystopian” anything and I wasn’t sure this was going to be ….my sort of book.

Well, I was right and wrong.

First, the very surprising thing is that the dystopian part was really fascinating to me and the whole “mana/food” thing and poverty/poor rights and the conspiracy theory stuff was right up my alley! It was gripping and clever and really well done.

Second, the romance – in this case ménage/triad really didn’t work for me at all. It starts out as a love triangle (which I hate) and never really gets on good footing after that. I think I’d label this “romantic fiction” – if that – because the relationship stuff just sort of happens and doesn’t always make sense and isn’t the focus of the story by a long shot.

While there is some sex there isn’t a lot and it really felt like everyone agreed to the triad to get to the person they wanted and I didn’t feel a connection between all three of them – at all. We’re left with a vague HFN and I didn’t feel like this was a relationship to last.

Gomez, as usual, does an amazing job with this and I wanted him to speak using Javier’s voice – FOREVER! I loved how he handled the three male leads (as well as the other characters who were far from secondary) and managed to keep all of them separate and distinct.

I was glad I listened to this instead of reading because I may have been tempted to skim and I’d have missed out.  

So, I can definitely recommend this, but if you’re looking for a “romance” this probably won’t satisfy. But, if you’re interested in dystopian speculative fiction and love a good political/conspiracy thriller – this is for you!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood

release day review

Sales Link

http://hyperurl.co/khnznx

Blurb

Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Review

Who’s in the mood for something really sweet, sexy, light and fun?!?

This was just what the doctor ordered for me. I was definitely in a bit of a reading slump and was fortunate enough to get my hands on this a bit early!

It’s got so many things that I love: a nerdy MC, a really sweet MC, a blind date (a meet cute that actually makes sense and works from a plot perspective), funny siblings, hot “gay virgin” sex, some realized and well developed “feelz” and a super sweet HEA!

I found Henry to be adorkable and a fun MC. I thought that he was a bit “too” clueless, but only in the best way. I loved how patient Asher was with him and how much fun they had as friends before making things more intimate.

I found Henry’s level of self-awareness to be authentic but his willingness to try new things a bit out of character – though we are given some compelling reasons for his change of heart.

This just hit all the right chords for me and really made me smile as well as gave me that warm feeling I look for in every romance.

Highly recommended!

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Plaid versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by K.C. Burn

(I found this image on the internet:http://www.thekiltstore.com/164248/products/xx_calendar_men_in_kilts_year_2017_calendar_coming_soon.aspx  – Now I wished I’d had this calendar starting in January!!  😉  Don’t you wish kilts were part of more standard uniforms?!  We could include this in our Men in Uniform Month!   )

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/plaid-versus-paisley-by-kc-burn-7875-b

Blurb

Two years after his life fell apart, Will Dawson moved to Florida to start over. His job in the tech department of Idyll Fling, a gay porn studio, is ideal for him. When his boss forces him to take on a new hire, the last person he expects is Dallas Greene—the man who cost him his job and his boyfriend back in Connecticut. He doesn’t know what’s on Dallas’s agenda, but he won’t be blindsided by a wolf masquerading as a runway model. Not again.

Dallas might have thrown himself on his brother’s mercy, but his skills are needed at Idyll Fling. Working with Will is a bonus, since Dallas has never forgotten the man. A good working relationship is only the beginning of what Dallas wants with Will.

But Dallas doesn’t realize how deep Will’s distrust runs, and Will doesn’t know that the man he’s torn between loving and hating is the boss’s brother. When all truths are revealed, how can a relationship built on lies still stand?

Review

This is a great series! It’s full of geeks, hot smexy times and kilts! What’s not to love?

I thought the time spent waffling over who to tell and who might find out and what everyone’s motivations were to be a bit tiring, but I also really thought that the HEA was well-earned by the end as a result.

I didn’t always understand why the secrecy and if there was anything that detracted from this story it was that. I think if everyone had a simple conversation a lot of the angst could have been avoided and that type of angst makes me crazy.

However, the characters are unique and well-developed, the smexy times were scorching and overall I really enjoyed this as a standalone or as part of the series.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review