Categories
adult - 18+ Amberquill Angst Level Book Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Military Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Scorching/high heat

Finding the Way Home by Sean Michael

FindingWayHomeBlurb

When he arrives home from a long stint in the hospital after losing his right arm to an IED blast, Sergeant James Miller certainly doesn’t expect his keys not to work and a strange man answering his door, only to learn his boyfriend has dumped him. Yet that’s exactly what happens, and James is just happy that he can count on his old platoon buddy to have his back, and a spare bedroom he can use until he gets on his feet.
Horace Grundy the third—“Horse” to anyone who doesn’t want to get his butt kicked—is retired and has a tidy house on the beach that he calls home. The place isn’t big, but he figures there is plenty of room for James, even if he has always fancied the man.
Thankfully, the two of them fit together well, and soon the roommates become more. But James’s past isn’t ready to let go of him yet, and the new lovers are caught off-guard when James’s ex-boyfriend suddenly reappears in his life. Can James and Horse’s new relationship weather the storm?

Review

This is a lovely short story about James “Jimmy” Miller who gets back from the War with an amputation only to find his boyfriend of seven years has left him for a doctor.

He calls on his Army buddy, Horace “Horse” Grundy for a place to crash. Horse, who has always had a crush on Jimmy, readily agrees.
There is virtually no angst in this lovely story of two guys re-connecting and then falling in love. Since it’s Sean Michael, there is plenty of hot sex and some tender moments surrounding body acceptance.

At the end there is a bizarre incident with the ex that kind of feels out of place, but it serves as a catalyst to move Jimmy and Horse’s relationship forward as well as give Jimmy some closure, so in the end it works.

I really enjoyed this little story about love and recommend it to fans of the author, military men, disabled vets and hot sex scenes!

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy generously provided by the publisher for review)

Amberquill Presents:

http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/2243-Finding-The-Way-Home.aspx

Categories
Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book College/University Exploration Gay GFY/OFY Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Virgin

Winter Chill Audiobook by Aria Grace and JJ Hunter Narrated by Michael Pauley

winter chill audioBlurb

Indie Walker started college with a basketball scholarship and a plan to stay focused on his studies. His roommate and best friend Daniel is one of the most popular guys on the wrestling team. When a power outage during a winter storm forces them to get closer than ever before just to survive the night, their relationship changes forever. Neither are gay but the physical chemistry they have is undeniable. Unfortunately, Daniel’s issues at home might be too severe for them to overcome.

Review

Indie and Daniel are roommates at college. When Christmas break rolls around a snow storm moves in essentially trapping the two in the dorms. They become closer to one another first as friends then begin to explore a more physical side of their relationship.

Indie is sure he isn’t/can’t be gay, though Daniel is more willing to embrace the idea. However, when something happens between Indie and Daniel’s evil step-mother to drive the two apart, the alone time makes both boys realize they want more from their relationship.

**

This is a very sweet, a little bit sexy, first time for both boys, GFY/OFY novella.
I liked that the boys mostly spoke with one another as you’d expect, for their age. I thought the step-mother thing was a bit too melodramatic to be believable, but it served its purpose.

I really, really liked the narration by Michael Pauley. He did an excellent job with giving the boys a distinctive flavor and the emotions and smexy times were handled very well.

(I’d like to say that I do wish more thought had gone into the cover.  One naked chest does not really explain a thing about the book.)

Overall a 4 of 5 stars for both book and audiobook.

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(Copy Purchased for Review)

To Buy

Aria Grace Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Winter-Chill-Audiobook/B00U7TCKUW/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1439754902&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book College/University Contemporary Gay Homophobia Humor m/m Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Review Copies Scorching/high heat

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

middleBlurb

DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.

REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.

When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.


Review 

This story was such a wonderful surprise. I have to admit I was completely sold on this book based on the cover. Have you seen the two delectable men on that cover? Phew! I knew I had to read it!

Daniel is a great character. He’s tough, smart, ambitious and funny. All of those wonderful tattoos he has is a bonus! Daniel grew up in Philadelphia with his father and two brothers. They have a family run auto mechanic shop. Daniel has never really felt like he fit in with his brothers. He was always the smart kid into music and school and his brothers take more after their dad and work with him running the shop. His family doesn’t understand him being gay and they don’t really understand his love for English and school. He put himself through years of college with little to no support from his family.

Daniel moves to a small town in Michigan after getting a job at a local college. It’s a very small town where everyone knows everyone and Daniel is a complete city boy. Big adjustment.

Rex is a strong but quiet type of guy. Sort of like a gentle giant. He’s got muscles on top of muscles and he makes his own furniture to earn a living. He’s very good with his hands and really enjoys cooking. He’s a bit of a loner which is due to some tragic events that happened in his past. He has trouble meeting and talking with people. He has a cabin in the woods and he mostly keeps to himself.

I really loved everything about this story.

It’s told in Daniel’s POV which I absolutely loved because you get to know him so well. All of his quirks, his sense of humor, how he thinks and all his insecurities he feels about himself as a person. As someone being capable of loving another.

After finishing the story I would have loved even more if the story was told from Daniel and Rex’s point of view because Rex is just such a big teddy bear and I would have loved being in his head as much as Daniel’s. But I felt all in all that the author did a great job in showing the reader how Rex felt about his “issues”.

I enjoyed falling in love with Rex and Daniel as they slowly fell in love with each other. I absolutely loved Ginger and I really enjoyed the closeness that her and Daniel have. Daniel has a really crappy family who never made him feel as if he mattered. He never felt that his family is proud of all his achievements and his brother Colin is just awful to him. It’s no wonder that Daniel has certain insecurities. I love that he’s a scrapper and a fighter. I love his taste in music and his love of teaching and writing. I think what I liked the most was that every sex scene was written in a way that each scene was brand new…if that makes sense…like it wasn’t the same old same old…each intimate moment was written so erotically with Rex being very tactile and Daniel responding so whole heartedly.

So many things made me laugh out loud…the verbal dialogue between Ginger and Daniel…the fact that an espresso was named after Daniel. There are some really great secondary characters like Leo who is a young guy Daniel meets at a record shop and Rex’s friend Will who only wants to protect Rex from being hurt.

I hope the author gives us a book about Leo and Will. There were some sparks flying with those two. And of course Ginger who is Daniel’s bestest friend and go to person. Daniel’s brother Colin is a complete douche throughout the whole story, but I can see him being redeemed once we learn what his deal is.

The words are so descriptive and I was always “in” the story…I was there while they picked their Christmas tree… I was in their bedroom every time too!! Everything about Rex pushed my buttons…His body for one…I had a lovely time visualizing all those muscles…the fact the he cooks and makes things with his hands…His relationship with his mom…the fact that he moved around all the time and was extremely shy…and poor Jamie…that made my heart break for Rex…He is just such a great guy who wants to take care of Daniel… I want Rex!!

There is a HFN. There are a few things left in the air but not in a bad way. Will Daniel take the job at Temple? Will Colin ever tell Daniel what his deal is? Is there a romance in the cards for Leo and Will? I really enjoyed the realness of the book…and this will most definitely be a re-read for me. (An audio version of this book would be absolutely fantastic…I would love to hear Daniel’s inner thoughts on audio! )

Five stars!!

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Copy Purchased for Review

To Buy

http://www.amazon.com/Middle-Somewhere-Roan-Parrish/dp/1634762126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439962802&sr=8-1&keywords=roan+parrish

Categories
adult - 18+ Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Homophobia m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased

Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts by Charlie Cochet

BewareOfGeeksBlurb

Julian “Quinn” Quinetro, a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer, has been injured on the job, and all he’s looking for is a little peace and quiet to recover—difficult to achieve with his large Cuban family. An adventure in picking up his prescriptions puts him in the path of his geeky, brownie-baking neighbor, Spencer Morgan. Spencer sweeps into Quinn’s life like a tropical storm of sunshine and rainbows. Not surprisingly, it’s chaos at first sight. Quinn’s in need of a little tender loving care, and Spencer decides he’s just the man for the job. Their very different lives might clash, but they might also find some common ground—and maybe more.

 

Review

Spencer is a socially awkward, comic-book-loving, computer nerd who works from home. He’s been secretly crushing on his super-hot SWAT team neighbor for the last year and now that the guy’s injured he figures it’s his chance to be “friendly”.

Quinn is a no-nonsense, kinda grumpy guy who isn’t really looking for a relationship. He’s never even noticed Spencer before and now the guy is showing up all over the place.

After a disastrous “first” meeting, they quickly become friends. When Quinn’s loving but meddlesome family butts in AND his sometimes dickish friends get involved things move from friends to “more”, but can it last and is it real or just a game to Quinn while he’s laid up?

**

First I have to say that I love, love, love, LOVE Charlie Cochet. I’m a huge fan. So I was psyched to see a contemporary short of hers coming out and devoured it right away.

I love the humor, the characters, and the set-up. Geek meets God. God’s a grumpy-ass and Geek is too-cute-for-words.

What I think was missing in this story is length. I know, I know. People always say they want more, more, more. But really, in this case I did think it was necessary.

I wanted the conversion from pesky neighbor to friend to be slower. As it stands, one big meal and Quinn is spilling all his feelings and Spencer is telling his life story. I wanted Quinn to be reticent for a longer period of time, forcing Spencer to really make the effort.

Second, there was so much wonderful detail that kind of got squished in the middle and left alone. Quinn’s family is hysterical! I love them! I wanted more time with the mother plotting to get Quinn and Spencer together. More inappropriate blurts from the father. More matchmaking from the brother-in-law.

Third, I was sort-of confused by the direction the sexual nature of the relationship went. Once there was kissing there was off page “making out” for days? Weeks? Then the final scene – definitely HOT – but the only time we see them in that way. It felt kinda disjointed and strange to not see the physical side of their relationship develop more organically.

Fourth, the climactic final scene. Ugh! I wanted to punch Javier square in his… well face is fine but really?!? What an a-hole! I was glad Quinn got him a good one, but I didn’t understand his motivation at all! I also didn’t think Spencer would have gone for the whole stripping thing to begin with and once he saw a room full of people – he’d have been out of there! But he stayed then there was the Misunderstanding (capital M) and a quick make up scene.

If we’re going to have a Big Misunderstanding, give it time to fester and have the boy do some real groveling. But since the whole stripper thing kind of felt like left field I’m not sure how that would have even worked out.

So… on the one hand I loved so much of the story and thought it was terribly cute and sweet but knowing how well Charlie can create full and well drawn out stories I was a bit let down. Maybe if I’d never read anything else by her I would have been satisfied, but even her Christmasy short stories seemed more well-rounded than this did.

I still liked it and would recommend it and give it 3.5 of 5 stars.

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(Purchased for review)

To Buy

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6637

Categories
Angst Level College/University Contemporary Gay Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Trans

Lonely Hearts (Love Lessons Book 3) by Heidi Cullinan

lonelyheartsBlurb

With the quiet help of his wealthy family, Sebastian “Baz” Acker has successfully kept his painful past at bay. But as the end of college draws near, his friends—his buffer zone—are preparing to move on, while his own life is at a crippling standstill.With loneliness bearing down on him, Baz hooks up—then opens up—with Elijah Prince, the guy Baz took a bullet for last year. The aftershocks of their one-night stand leave giant cracks in Baz’s carefully constructed armor. For the first time, the prospect isn’t terrifying.

Accustomed to escaping his demons by withdrawing into his imagination, Elijah isn’t used to having a happy herd of friends. He’s even less comfortable as the object of a notorious playboy’s affections. Yet all signs seem to indicate this time happiness might be within his grasp. When Baz’s mother runs for a highly sought-after public office, the media hounds drag Baz’s and Elijah’s pasts into the light. In the blinding glare, Baz and Elijah face the ultimate test: discovering if they’re stronger together…or apart.

Warning: Contains sex in a Tesla, sex in a cupboard, sex under a piano, kinky role play, and a cappella RuPaul songs. Just a couple of boys groping, battling, then finally loving their way to becoming me.

Review

This is book three in a series, and while technically it can be read on it’s own, it is definitely much better read – in order – as part of the series.

We met Elijah in book 2. He was the son of the crazed religious zealots who was a rent boy, homeless on the streets of the city for awhile, and then Aaron’s roommate. His folks got crazy when they found out he’d only “faked” being converted back from being gay and was, in fact, still gay – and attempted to shoot him! Baz, who we’ve also met before, got in the way of the bullet and sustained an injury but survived to add another scar to his repertoire.

Baz is the poor rich boy whose parents are the “Illinois equivalent to the Kennedy’s”. He was bashed as a teenager and is now crippled sometimes with chronic pain and eye difficulties.

Baz and Elijah had actually met before all the shooting when Baz had rescued Elijah from a trick gone bad and sent Elijah back to the evil parents.

Ok – now here we are today at Walter and Kelly’s wedding (woot!). Elijah is depressed. Baz is depressed. Elijah has a super crush on Baz and Baz is always “worried” about Elijah’s well-being.

They hook up. (Mild form of saying they have super-hot-monkey-sex in Baz’s new Tesla!) From there on the two are mostly on again/ off again lovers then boyfriends.

But… there’s a lot of drama. Elijah has so much guilt surrounding his “Poor Elijah” fund that he takes on a sucky food service job to allay the guilt (though he doesn’t need the cash.)

Baz is feeling unsettled because all his friends are “growing up” without him and graduating and now he needs to decide what he wants to do with his life.

Plus the media is in a frenzy because Baz’s mother and uncle are making moves in the political arena that put Baz and his life in the spotlight.

Elijah’s still in the news from being the victim of his crazed parents but he’s also now dating Baz and that isn’t good for the campaign – what with his background and such.

And… there’s Lewis/Lejla the almost trans friend Elijah makes while doing dishes.

So… lots of stuff and a little bit of the music scene too.

Eventually, they get it all sorted (of course they do!) and find their own version of the Disney Princess Happy Ending – and we get to see Laurie and Ed again! (Woo Hoo!)

**

Wow – I get it now. Even in summarizing this story I have to include many, many, many words!

This is a long story – 355 pages as compared to the 270 of book 2, but not as many as the 379 of book 1. There is a lot – a lot– of detail and a lot of drama.

But… there are a lot – a lot – of feels, too.

I really love Heidi Cullinan’s characters. They are rich, flawed – very flawed sometimes – real, emotive, charismatic, sometimes cantankerous yet charming, and very well developed. Even if you hadn’t read about them before, you know by the end of the book that you have a solid sense of each of these MCs as well as their cadre of friends.

She also has a way of taking these guys through some really awful stuff and making it seem manageable in a way that is realistic. No quick fixes or band-aids, but hard work and sacrifice. (For the most part – see the end for what I mean.)

In this book, we also have some seriously HOT sex, too. These boys can be DIRTY and it shows! But – somehow – it’s also very loving and revealing and tender at the same time.

I absolutely adored Lewis/Lejla and I hope s/he might be featured more in future works. Her story was so honest and heart-felt and really high-lighted some of the difficulties in actually becoming trans that get sort of swept away with the whole emotional process.

Of course it was so great to see our friends Walter and Kelly, Aaron and Giles again – moving on with life and being cute with each other. And the extra-special I about smiled my face off – Laurie and Ed from Dance With Me! Squeeee! I love that book and I LOVE those guys! I was stoked when Ed kinda put the eye on Baz but then said he had enough man waiting on him at home! Whoo-ee. Love those two!

I had just a few issues with this book.

First – the length. I really and truly felt it could have been shortened without losing any of the specialness. It felt – at times – like we were accounting for every minute of every day and every emotion either boy felt. A lot of the “agonizing in my head” stuff both Elijah and Baz did really could have been summarized because by the end I kind of felt bashed on the head with it. And I’m not sure that I needed to know every feature of the Tesla to appreciate that it was fancy and expensive. And I didn’t need to know every decoration on every table at the wedding. And I didn’t need to know about every movie made by Miyazaki.

Second- the ending. I’m going to sound hypocritical here but stay with me a moment when I say that the ending was too rushed. We spent agonizingly long pages outlining Baz’s pain and lack of direction and tons of time hearing Elijah’s self-deprecating and clearly depressed inner workings and in the span of only a handful of pages those two major problems are seemingly solved by bumping into the right guy at the right time and agreeing to eat more healthy and limit the cigarettes and alcohol.
Of course I’m being glib, but it felt that way. Especially Elijah’s part of the equation. I just didn’t buy that he would full scale decide he had everything to live for, reject drugs as a method of self-medicating, and embrace this new, organic, yoga-filled life when he’d been the poster child for self-destruction not 20 pages ago.
I think, realistically, long-term, intense therapy, AND some significant life-style changes over a long period might grant him some relief…

I mean, I really appreciated the sensitivity that Heidi shows around chronic pain (both with Ed and Laurie and now Baz and Elijah) and how a person’s definition of “sexual intercourse” can be different based on fulfilling different needs. So, maybe a bit more attention to the importance of in-depth psychotherapy for someone whose parents SHOT at you is warranted.

However – by large margins my complaints are pretty minimal in the face of how much I did appreciate where this book goes and the overall feeling of happiness that we end up with for these two very, very lost boys.

I highly recommend it to fans of the series and for those who might want to read it on it’s own I say Go For It! It’s really good, Heidi is a phenomenal writer and despite being a bit wordy, the ride is absolutely worth the time it takes.

4.5 of 5 stars

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This copy was generously provided by the Publisher through NetGalley

To buy

Samhain Presents
http://www.heidicullinan.com/Lonely-Hearts

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Bodyguard Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Gay m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Romance

Guarding Morgan: Sanctuary, Book 1 by RJ Scott Narrated by Sean Crisden

guarding morganBlurb

Morgan Drake is the only witness to a murder in an alleyway. Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation offering witness protection to anyone whose safety is compromised. Morgan discovers a bodyguard’s arms can offer more than protection.
Morgan is the only person who can give evidence for prosecuting the cop responsible for the crime. When the FBI safe house where he’s being held is compromised, he follows the instructions of the agent in charge and runs.
Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation that offers witness protection when FBI security is questionable.
When Morgan’s handler sends him to Nik for safety, neither Morgan nor Nik could imagine that two weeks alone in a cabin in the woods would have their hearts racing with something much more than merely trying to keep Morgan alive.

Review

Morgan runs away from his safe house where someone has compromised and injured his FBI protector. Luckily there’s a backup plan and Nik and Sanctuary is on deck to take over when the FBI fails.

Nik is exhausted from having just finished an assignment but he can’t tell his friend Taylor from the FBI no.

Nik and Morgan find the safehouse and begin the long wait for the trial that will hopefully end Morgan’s confinement, but it’s not easy. Morgan is worried about his safety and having nightmares from the murder he witnessed.

Nik doesn’t want to compromise Morgan’s safety but he can’t deny the attraction between the two.

Ultimately they give in to attraction but lust and maybe even love isn’t enough to keep them safe.

When Morgan is injured Nik runs away, thinking himself a failure. But Morgan won’t give up easily.

**

I thought that this was a fun and sexy, mostly light hearted listen. Sean Crisden is one of my favorite narrators and he always does a fantastic job with the growly alphas and the smokin’ sex scenes.

This is a great start to a new series.

4 of 5 stars for the book and the narration

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(Copy purchased for review)

To Buy:Love Lane Books Limited Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Guarding-Morgan-Audiobook/B00WNBIKMY/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1439753785&sr=1-1