Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Uncategorized

Sinner’s Gin (Book 1) Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Tristan James

 

SinnersGinAudLGBlurb

There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.

After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.

Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.

Review

Miki is an orphan, abused and neglected by the system, who finds his calling in a band called “Sinner’s Gin”. He meets Damian and the two, along with two other boys, set the world on fire with their bluesy rock. Until one night, when a mysterious car crash destroys their world, killing everyone but Miki.

Kane is an Irish cop from a huge but great family, who likes his job and working with wood. One day his wood working is interrupted by a strange dog that belongs to Miki. Besides their instant attraction, the two end up spending time together when Miki becomes the center of a bizarre crime spree involving dead body parts being delivered to his door.

Rhys Ford is a poet and she writes elegant, flowing, beautiful love stories full of pain and passion and promise. Sinner’s Gin combines a compelling mystery with a passionate love story between an angsty rocker and a sweet but tough cop.

Plus there’s Dude – an awesome mutt – who has klepto tendencies and likes to hog the couch.

The audio book:
Narrated By Tristan James
Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins

Tristan James.

Just gorgeous.

All those lovely Irish accents just flow off his tongue like warm honey. It is a truly sensuous experience to hear Rhys’ evocative words read in that warm, husky voice. Just as I praised Rhys and Greg Tremblay for their work on the Cole McGinnis series, I am equally praise-laden for the Sinner’s series.

Tristan is a treat to listen to and combing him with another of Rhys fantastic stories is a match made in heaven.

I give both book and audio book 6 out 5 stars – amazing!

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Copy provided by Dreamspinner for honest review

 

Book:
http://www.amazon.com/Sinners-Gin-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00ASH7QOS/ref=la_B005UTGKSW_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407107671&sr=1-6

The audio
http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Sinners-Gin-Audiobook/B00HNESWJW/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1407107702&sr=1-4

Categories
adult - 18+ Amberquill Angst Level Contemporary Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Music/Rock Star Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) second chance at love

Romancing the Bouncer by JD Walker

bouncerBlurb

Bennett “Ben” Pachowski has been a bouncer at Throwbacks for years. He likes his job, though he gets tired of being thought of as more brawn than brain simply because of his size. He also prefers to be romanced before sleeping with a man.

Ben’s favorite band, Rebel’s Ultimatum, occasionally plays at the club, which gives him an eyeful of the sexy bass player, Monty Mabuse. They’ve been eyeing each other for months, though Ben is content to flirt and nothing more, since “commitment” seems a foreign concept to the selfish, arrogant and flirtatious bass player.

But Monty wants Ben to become the next notch on his bedpost, and a devious trick to get what he wants blows up in his face.

Will Ben be able to forgive Monty for his deception? Perhaps, but if Monty wants to have a relationship with Ben, he needs to make some changes, and it remains to be seen whether he can become the kind of man Ben will respect, let alone love.

Sometimes, a little romance goes a long way…

Review

Ben is a bouncer at a club. He thinks the bassist for the up and coming band that plays at the club is hot, but a player, so he stays far away, despite the mutual flirting.

One night the bassist, Monty, who won’t take no for an answer, sets up a “rescue” wherein Ben saves Monty from the unwanted advances of a “fan”. After the rescue he then essentially forces Ben to take him home where Monty feeds Ben liquor and then seduces him, despite Ben’s having told Monty repeatedly “NO!”

Ben is pissed when he realizes what’s happened the next day and refuses to see Monty. Monty, who by now is going on tour, is crushed and chastened.

Meanwhile, Ben gives up his career as a bouncer to work in a facility for the care of elderly people.

Monty continues to try to get Ben to forgive him and one day Ben does.

**

I could not get behind this book at all. What Monty did amounted to rape in my mind and Ben should NEVER have forgiven him. They never spent any time together as a couple so I have no idea if they’d make it or not (unlikely since Ben is happy in his new job and Monty needs to travel all the time with his newly emerging rock star status) and for me to believe that suddenly they want to be together and have some kids? Nope. I’m not buying it.

This book just didn’t seem at all plausible or even something that I wanted to support if I was willing to totally suspend my disbelief (which I love to do, I am a paranormal fan after all!).

I can’t recommend this book, and though the writing was fine, the story didn’t pass the grade for me. I always assume a writer can’t write every story for every person, so I will absolutely give this author another chance.

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1 of 5 stars

Copy generously provided by publisher for honest review

Amberquill presents

http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/2256-Romancing-The-Bouncer.aspx

Categories
Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual College/University Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Mild/low level heat Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Sports Virgin young adult

Social Skills Audiobook by Sara Alva Narrated by Andrew Eiden

 

 

social skillsBlurb

Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate – until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison. Jared’s attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor’s self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?

Review

Connor’s first year at university is turning out to be very hard. He’s very shy and socially awkard and gay. He finds a group of friends but is still rather lonely. When he meets (and falls for) Jared, a jock, he’s shocked when his attentions are returned.

Jared is a jock and tries hard to be “a man”. In fact, that’s one of his most identifying “issues”. When he realizes his attraction to men, he tries to be “bi” but finds that if he’s honest, he’s really “gay” and that’s hard for him to accept. He doesn’t want to let his mom down and his friends are kind of jerks about stuff like that.

Jared, however, loves being “the one” for Connor. They click and just feel good together. Jared, however, can’t deal with being public about their relationship and ultimately they split.

When something happens to make Jared realize he can’t let his friends or family expecations rule his life, he realizes he needs Connor more than he ever thought possible.

**

Boy… what to say?

First, it’s easy to love Connor. God, he’s just so painfully shy and geeky and you want to wrap him in a blanket and tell him it all gets better from here. (As a former band-geek I TOTALLY get Connor, so I’m a little attached to his happiness.)

Then there’s Jared… who, let’s face it, acts like a guy in his situation really probably would.

So… on the one hand I commend the author for that feeling of authenticity. I could buy this story as happening. There was some (mild) on page sex but mostly this is a YA book about coming out and coming into your own “selfness”.

I was (of course) rooting for the couple… who wouldn’t… but Jared has a long way to go to convince me he’s worthy of Connor and I’m not sure we quite got there. Jared’s kind of a jerk and though I think (especially in private) he really cares for Connor, are they really likely to succeed (long term) as a couple… meh… I don’t know.

But… FWIW I do think they come really close to being a good example of “first love” and gave both characters their first taste at being true to themselves.

So… the die hard romantic in me wasn’t very satisfied, but the more pragmatic reader of stories recognizes that this is a well written book full of really well developed and realistic characters that touches on some important topics in growing up and does it very well.

(I LOVE the cover and really, really want to give that boy a big hug!)

Audio

I thought Andrew Eiden did a good job with the narration. I liked how he handled the emotions and though he didn’t do a lot to “act” or give special voices to the characters, he was easy to listen to and made for a good way to experience this story.

4 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Sara Alva Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Social-Skills-Audiobook/B00NIYVOW8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1441569197&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Bodyguard Contemporary Exploration Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse m/m May/December Mild level angst Music/Rock Star New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Virgin

Fret (The Rock Series book 1) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

fretBlurb

Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.

Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.

Enter Axel Blaze. Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.
Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.

Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out. Or do they?

Review

Gareth and his brother have been beaten down by life, but came up swinging. They formed a band and have hit the top after touring with Black Ice and Ivory Tower (from Ann Lister’s Rock God Series). Now Gareth wants to come out and live honestly (and quit having sex with women and start having sex with men!) When he does come out a crazy stalker keeps trying to hurt him, so the band hires a bodyguard, Axel Blaze to protect him.

Axel is a tough ex-Seal, gay, but doesn’t “do” relationships. He has a hard time letting anyone touch him beyond the basic necessities and an even harder time opening up emotionally.

At first Gareth resents the need for Axel and Axel doesn’t make it easy for him. But the constant stream of near misses proves Axel’s importance and skill at life saving and the constant time spent together shows the two how much more they could have if they just let it happen.

**

This was a tremendously sweet, sexy and fun story. There are a few areas where I didn’t exactly follow the logic of the “stalker”, but in the end that really didn’t matter.

The smexy times and chemistry between Axel and Gareth is wonderful and the slow burn to the final coming together was well worth the wait.

I loved the HEA and really enjoyed all the parts leading up to it. The low angst, high steam is just what I was craving and I highly recommend it.

I’m really looking forward to more in this series.

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Skull Blaster Publishing Presents

http://www.amazon.com/FRET-Rock-Book-Sandrine-Gasq-Dion-ebook/dp/B014RHMFMC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1441521642&sr=1-1&keywords=fret+sandrine

(Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Humor m/m Mild level angst Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat

Perfect Imperfections Audiobook by Cardeno C Narrated by Charlie David

perfect imperfectionsBlurb
Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle-of-nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant, bartender, and adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with “The” Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once-in-a-lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.
Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing to pretend about their relationship.

Review

First, I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite books ever and definitely my favorite by this author. It. Was. Amazing!

Jeremy Jameson – “JJ” to Reg- has famous parents and has been in the music industry since he can remember. He’s super famous and really out of touch with the “real world”. He goes out one night “incognito” to a bar to simply “be” and meets Reg, the bar tender there.

Of course, Reg recognizes him, but plays it cool, and the two strike up a friendship over several beers.

Reg is the most laid-back person you could ever meet. He’s the perfect foil for the sometimes overly dramatic JJ. JJ is astute enough to recognize this and asks Reg to come with him on his latest tour. They decide that being “boyfriends” would make this decision make sense to JJ’s manager and the rest of the crew, without having to explain the complexity of why they really want to do this. (JJ needs Reg and Reg is dying to help him out.)

So… even though JJ has been nothing but “straight” and JJ doesn’t even realize Reg really is gay… they embark as lovers on the tour.

The tour is fraught with media blitzes and pushy paparazzi, making JJ crazy. Reg is there to calm him down, however, and with each passing day, Reg is growing closer and closer to JJ and vice versa.

Here is where the story becomes golden for me. JJ continues to act and say and do these ridiculous things – things no straight guy would ever do – but he’s so clueless that it totally works! Reg is never abusive of this trust, only showing him – for once- true love and affection the only way he knows how.

When Halloween comes, the pair go out on the town in costume (JJ in drag!) and suddenly their relationship takes a dramatic turn.

There are a few hurdles thrown in there at the last – but most of this book is really a smooth-sailing adventure of sexual exploration and finding love.

It was tender, sweet and hilarious, all at the same time!

Charlie David does the audio and he is superb! He is one of my favorite narrators and does an excellent job here as well.

The only thing marring the experience from being 100% perfect is that (in the audiobook) there is a theme song. It’s very nice. At the beginning of each chapter and at the end, there is a little blip of the song played. It really made me jump out of the story because it interrupted the flow. I’ve heard some audio books where there is a little music at the beginning of each chapter, but not the end, too. I think that skipping the intro music and definitely not doing it both places would have helped me stay in the story easier.

But – that was a small blip and overall I can’t recommend this story enough. It was wonderful! I’ve read it over and over and already listened to it twice!

6 of 5 stars

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Purchased for Review

To Buy

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Perfect-Imperfections-Audiobook/B014I46OXK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1440704444&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Gay Hidden Lovers m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Music/Rock Star NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Riptide Publishing

Running With Scissors By LA Witt

running with scissorsBlurb

Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Review

So I will admit that I mostly skimmed this book.

I LOVE the idea. LOVE the author. LOVE the cover. But I didn’t love the outcome.

Jude left his band high and dry and when he returns he’s told absolutely no hook-ups will be tolerated with other band members. So of course… he and AJ find themselves having to hide their developing love for each other and that causes lots of strife and on again/off again angst. Turns out Jude had a “thing” with another band member and there are unresolved feelings between the two to this day.

I didn’t really like Jude all that much and kinda felt AJ was a bit wishy-washy. So their “passion” was just as uneventful for me. In fact, I thought the most passionate thing in the book was the violent reaction to the hook-up the other band members had rather than the love between our two MCs. (The women in particular were pretty screechy.)

I was kinda hoping for this “super shy on the tour bus” guy to become this totally “hot and madly passionate” guy with his beau but it was kinda luke-warm instead. Usually LA Witt is full of hawt and sexy love scenes sometimes a little on the kinky side, but this was pretty white bread.

I think, had I not had high expectations because of my fandom for the author I wouldn’t have felt as let down, because it is still a “good” book, just not as great as I’d come to expect. (As you can tell from my previous review of Static – I am a big fan of this author.)

So, with that… I give it a fair 3 of 5 stars.

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Title provided thanks to NetGalley

Riptide Publishing Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/running-with-scissors