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
Contemporary Friends to lovers GFY/OFY Heat Index Humor m/m Mid level steam/heat NetGalley New Adult Review Copies

Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2) by j. leigh bailey

reckless hopeBlurb

What’s life without a little risk?

Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.

Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.

Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.

A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.

Review

Micah is the epitome of the son who carries the world on his shoulders. He supports his paralyzed mother, cares for his teen-aged sister, works two jobs – one in a nursing home, and attends college part-time. He’s busy. He’s got no time for silliness.

Sebastian has the world at his feet. He’s reckless, carefree, and loves getting into trouble. At first Micah is a sexy challenge, then he’s his touchstone.

When push comes to shove Micah needs a responsible partner, not someone to drag him into trouble, the question is, can Seb be who Micah needs and will Micah ever let anyone in to help?

**

Oh man! This book tugs at your heart strings! Micah’s story is so touching and sweet. He’s such a good guy and needs so much for someone to love him and help him.

Seb is deeper than you think and actually the perfect foil for Micah’s steadfastness.

Together they are a perfect couple and I loved how slowly but surely their romance developed.

Though they are both young, they’ve lived through so much trauma that their “always and forever” feels real and authentic.

The writing is excellent and the story wonderful. I can’t wait for book three in January!

5 of 5 stars

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To buy

Carina Press
http://ebooks.carinapress.com/B9422DDB-905A-48AC-9DAB-139FAFA19E40/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=37482223-4303-4D86-95AC-04497D36C1F3

 

(Copy generously provided by NetGalley)

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
adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Bodyguard Book Exploration Fantasy Friends to lovers Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter Virgin

Healing Fire by Sean Michael

healing fireBlurb

What will it take for a dragon prince to defy his father and fly on his own?

Prince Jules, the least favorite of the Dragon King’s children, lives simply, banished to his rooms and the amazing adventures found in his books. He has never left the palace or shifted into his dragon form…he’s never done anything.

Dragon shifter Lem is assigned to Jules as his new bodyguard, and is determined to keep Jules safe from the Graithen, who killed the prince’s previous guardian. Lem grows to hate how the King hides Jules away, and longs to show him how to fly. His love for Jules also grows but it is forbidden, like so much in Jules’ life.

When the Graithen attack again, though, everything changes.

Review

The story starts with both Lem and Jules losing someone close to them. Lem is a guardian and he fights to keep the kingdom safe from the Graithen. Jules is the last and unwanted heir to a throne that hides him away.

When Lem is newly assigned to Jules’ care he and Jules forge an immediate bond, one that rapidly transcends bodyguard/charge.

They explore their relationship in the palace until one day it becomes imperative that they flee. Once they are out in the world magnificent changes occur and Jules and Lem finally learn their true potential.

**

Sean Michael is as diverse a writer as I have seen. He can write some incredibly raunchy, sordid, kinky and super-sexed stories and then he surprises me with something like this.

This is a tender and sweet, though very full of sex, story. Lem and Jules are wonderful together and their magic is spectacular.

I loved almost every bit of it – my only complaint was the way Jules and Lem sometimes thought or spoke in these one word phrases. I think that a few scattered in gives a nice impression but they were fairly constant and after awhile they pulled me from the story.

4 of 5 stars

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To buy

 

http://www.amazon.com/HEALING-FIRE-Sean-Michael-ebook/dp/B013HDK12S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1439599952&sr=1-1&keywords=healing+fire

 

(Purchased for review)

Categories
adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

Served Hot (Portland Heat #1) by Annabeth Albert

served hotBlurb

In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…

Robby is a self-employed barista with a busy coffee cart, a warm smile, and a major crush on one of his customers. David is a handsome finance director who works nearby, eats lunch by himself, and expects nothing but “the usual”—small vanilla latte—from the cute guy in the cart. But when David shows up for his first Portland Pride festival, Robby works up the nerve to take their slow-brewing relationship to the next level. David, however, is newly out and single, still grieving the loss of his longtime lover, and unsure if he’s ready to date again. Yet with every fresh latte, sweet exchange—and near hook-up—David and Robby go from simmering to steaming to piping hot. The question is: Will someone get burned?

Review

Robby is a guy who can’t get a break in the boyfriend department – that’s all he wants, but he can’t find a permanent guy. He’s in a great place to find love, Portland, OR – and he’s had quite a few try-outs, but none who are perfect.

David is a “just out of the closet” coffee drinker who casually pushes all Robby’s buttons. They sort of flirt with one another for weeks and months then at a Pride Fest Parade they kiss and thus start their “relationship.”

Here’s the main problem: David doesn’t know how to be in an “out” relationship, his last partner died while in complete denial that they were even “dating”. Robby has so many insecurities that he hesitates to ask for or expect what he wants and deserves. So… for weeks and months more the relationship very (agonizingly) slowly moves forward.

Something’s gotta break though, because Robby can only stand in the shadows so long before he’s going to run.

Luckily – David gets his act together before it all ends in tears.

**

What I loved about this:
The writing: crisp, clear, subtle artistry, deliberate and evocative.
The setting: I loved how well Annabeth described Portlandia. From the gentrification of Alberta to the coffee snobbery to the hipsters on every corner.
The characters: Each was a very three-dimensional person and intriguing on their own merits.

What I didn’t love:
The fact that if Robby had only spoken up so much could have been resolved. It felt a bit contrived, though it did make some sense given his dating history.

All in all it was a wonderful first novel (for me) from this author and I will absolutely be looking for more from her and the series!

4.5 of 5 stars

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To buy

http://www.amazon.com/Served-Portland-Heat-Annabeth-Albert-ebook/dp/B00ONTR778/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

(Copy purchased for review)

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Just Desserts Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

just desserts audioBlurb

Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.

Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.

Review
(Book review previously seen on kimichanexperience.com)
Boone’s heart was broken years ago and he hasn’t let anyone in since. His buddy, Scott, captures his interest, but he’s a player and Boone can’t risk that kind of hurt again.

When it finally looks like the player might settle down, Boone realizes he can’t let Scott go to someone else and together they embark on the relationship both had been pining for, for years.

This is another wonderful Mary Calmes love story, full of clueless MCs, tough guys, friendship, laughter, well structured secondary characters and hot sex. Add to it the Yakuza, NOLA and some amazing chocolate mousse and you have Just Desserts!

Audio

Greg Tremblay has done it again. He is such an amazing performer! He always adds to the story and brings it to life.  I ADORE the lovemaking scenes and he’s always so great with secondary characters and unique accents.  Simply wonderful!

5 of 5 stars

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To Buy
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Just-Desserts-Audiobook/B013PUKEE8

(Copy purchased for review.)