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adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Homophobia Humor m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased

Tell Me It’s Real Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Michael Lesley

realBlurb

Do you believe in love at first sight? Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.

Review the book and the audio version:

Can’t. Write. Laughing. Too. Hard!

Oh my effing God this book is funny! TJ has said that he resembles Paul the most of any of his characters and I can believe it. Paul is hysterical. He has absolutely no filter and he is neurotic as hell. His family and friends are just as off the charts colorful and laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying inducing.
When I read the book I laughed out loud so many times my husband made me tell him what I was reading – I had him going on some of the lines delivered too.

Paul has a sarcastic GPS named That Damn Bitch that wants to kill him. At one point:
“You have arrived at your destination,” That Damn Bitch said.
“We’re in the middle of the freeway!” I shouted at her.
“Recalculating,” she growled.
“She just wanted us to stop so we’d get hit by a tractor-trailer,” I muttered.

“Please make a U-turn,” That Damn Bitch said.
Sandy stared at the GPS. “Isn’t she supposed to say make a U-turn when it’s safe to do so?”
I shook my head. “She used to say that, but for some reason she stopped. I thought it was a malfunction at first, but now I know she just wants me to die.”

Paul has a grandma with a homophobic parrot named Johnny Depp.
“Here comes the rump ranger!” every time I walk into her house.

Paul is at the zoo and falls into the Hippo exhibit.
“Sandy! Oh God, Sandy! I think I got some of the hippo shit water in my mouth! Call the fire department! Call the army! Send big guns! I don’t want to die! There are so many things I need to do! I always wanted to learn to line dance!”

That’s only a teeny small fraction of the hilarity in this book. Add to that the narration by Michael Lesley and it’s doubled! Michael adds just the right amount of lisp to Paul’s monologues and diatribes to make you cackle and just enough sugar to Helena Handbasket’s drawls to make you purr.

You can’t listen to this anywhere you need to be quiet. You will be laughing out loud. Seriously guffawing.

Besides being a LOL book – for once, really, laugh out loud – it is a sweet, sweet romance.

Vince is a gorgeous if a somewhat clueless homo-jock that falls for Paul instantly despite the fact that Paul does absolutely EVERYTHING wrong.

Helena/Sandy helps Paul to realize he has to be brave sometime and even when Paul is brave he manages to fall on his face. (You remember the scene where he hits his head on the mattress – right?) But it all works out in the end and like all TJ’s work it ends so sweetly.

I cannot rate this book high enough! If you want a book full of hilarity and a sweet romance – look no further, this is the masterpiece.

Six out of five stars for both the story and the audio version.

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Copy purchased for review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Tell-Me-Its-Real-Audiobook/B00LBF5JK4/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1443154320&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Baseball Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Hidden Lovers High School m/m Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat second chance at love Sports

Caught Running Audiobook by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux Narrated by Jeff Gelder

CaughtRunningAUDmedBlurb

Ten years after graduation, Jake “the jock” Campbell and Brandon “the nerd” Bartlett are teaching at their old high school and still living in separate worlds. When Brandon is thrown into a coaching job on Jake’s baseball team, they find themselves learning more about each other than they’d ever expected. High school is all about image – even for the teachers. Brandon and Jake have to get past their preconceived notions to find the friendship needed to work together. And somewhere along the way, they discover that perceptions can always change for the better.

Review

Brandon and Jake were never friends nor really enemies in high school, simply occupants of totally different social spheres. Ten years later they are both teaching at their old high school and things are looking a lot different than they did back then.

Brandon, who was home schooled for much of his schooling, was never a “team” type of guy. But, he’s still an athlete. When the school needs a coach to help with the winning baseball team, new teacher Brandon is pressed into service.

Jake is very skeptical of Brandon’s “help” in the coaching department, but after seeing the guy run, he re-evaluates. They end up kind of working really well together as coaches, and that slowly blossoms into more.

It’s a slow-burn, but both are aware of the other physically, more than just friends. It takes an act of bravery on Jake’s part to test the waters, but once he does the two barely come up for air!

These are still tough times, and nobody can find out about them… and are they willing to even admit how important they are to each other?

**

I really loved this and it was my first audiobook that I bought in the m/m genre. It’s an easy read. Very low angst, very hot sex, fun dialog, quirky MCs and in general just a light fun book.

Now that I’ve read a ton more in this genre, and have come to expect a bit more from it, I can say that there are things that could be done to improve it – ie make these guys move past the ILYs to the nitty gritty living life in secret as co-workers, dealing with Jake’s pain management, coming to grips with Brandon’s life ambitions… lots of heavy “issues” that got fairly well brushed under the rug at the end of the book and left as things to be dealt with “later”.

I think that, as authors, both Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux definitely grew and improved as they published more books, but as far as a fun, light books go – this still ranks among the top!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Jeff Gelder isn’t my favorite author, and as has been pointed out in other reviews, he makes many mistakes with this narration. In addition, his tone is rather flat or sometimes takes on an up note that doesn’t fit the story.   In any case, it isn’t horrible, but it’s not great, and other narrators could’ve definitely done a better job.

Regardless, I still highly recommend this book and as a way to enjoy this without reading it, this narration will absolutely get the job done.

So for the book and the narration a solid 4 of 5 stars.

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(Copy purchased for review)

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3247

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
Angst Level Bi-Sexual College/University coming of age Contemporary Established Couple Exploration Friends to lovers Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index Hockey Homophobia m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased second chance at love young adult

Bully and Exit (Midwest Series book 1) by Brigham Vaughn

bully exitBlurb

Theater student Caleb Stockwell is ready to leave college behind. Too bad his past isn’t ready to let him go.

With less than a month to go until graduation, Caleb runs into Nathan Rhodes at a house party. Nathan is a star hockey player for Western Michigan University and finally ready to step out of the closet. He’s also the guy who broke Caleb’s heart in high school.

Nathan’s determined to make amends for what he did four years ago, but Caleb isn’t willing to risk getting his heart stomped on again. With only a few weeks left before they go their separate ways, it’ll take all of Nathan’s creativity and help from some interfering friends to convince Caleb to give him a second chance.

Review

Caleb and Nate met in their senior year of high school. Caleb wasn’t sure of his sexual orientation, but he knew he was sometimes attracted to guys and girls. Nate was pretty sure he was gay, but was in no way prepared to act upon his desires.

When Caleb catches Nate’s eye, they begin a hidden affair – mostly innocent – that ends in disaster on Prom night.

Now, it’s four years later and though they’ve been at the same university, they’ve not met up again. Until now. It’s one month before graduation and when Nate sees Caleb at a party he just knows he has to do what he can to both let Caleb know how much he’s changed, how sorry he is and how much he’d like to start over again.

Caleb has been carrying around a lot of pain and anger from the incident in high school and can’t let it go. With the urging of his friends and family and a relentless pursuit by Nate, he finally agrees to sit down and hear Nate’s side of the story.

In the end we get a very solid HFN that looks promising and a very satisfying end to the pursuit.

**

I really liked this book. I was worried because I don’t like “second chance loves” as a general rule. (For me that first meet is what really pushes my buttons) but in a way we get that too as a series of flashbacks into the boy’s high school life.

There is lots of talk of sex and some uncomfortable discussions of past lovers, but only one real sex scene between the MCs. So, to me, this reads as just barely a NA book and almost a YA book.

I appreciated, however, that the reactions of both guys felt pretty authentic and age-appropriate.

If you are a fan of second chances, college romance and geek/jock pairings – give this one a try!

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy Purchased for Review)

Amazon Presents
http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Exit-Midwest-Book-1-ebook/dp/B011BZWO6A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1442196151&sr=1-1&keywords=bully+and+exit

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book College/University Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Geek/Jock m/m May/December May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased

It’s Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane

ItsNotShakespeareBlurb

College professor James Richards is in a rut and feeling his age. He moved to northern California to escape heartbreak and humiliation, but so far the only good thing to happen to him has been his Boston terrier, Marlowe.

Then James’s toughest student sets him up with her best friend. Rafael Ochoa is worlds apart from James—chronologically, culturally, and philosophically—but he’s also beautiful, kind, and a shot of adrenaline to James’s not-quite-middle-aged heart. Together, the two of them forge a bridge between James’s East Coast sensibilities and Rafael’s West Coast casualness, but can their meeting of the hearts survive James’s lack of faith in happy-ever-after?

This is the prequel to You Can’t Make an Omelet from the DSP’s Halloween Howl Series.

Review

James has run from Maine because he got worked over spectacularly by his ex. He now works as a tenured professor in a small community college in California and he’s feeling each and every one of his 43 (bitter) years. Except… for his dog. He loves his dog and … well… he loves to teach, too.

Rafael is in his late twenties and hasn’t settled down because in his family they don’t believe in “the gay”. So despite his huge heart and hot body, he can’t find someone willing to be with him long-term.

When Rafael’s friend (and James’ student) set the pair up for a cute meet, it’s instant attraction but neither feels the other could possibly be in it long term.
But James can see the big picture and understands that sometimes life is the bridge where you meet and Rafael knows how to be loyal and true and sometimes those cute meets work out into forever.

**

I laughed when I read on GoodReads that this is the “prequel” to the teeny tiny short story from the DSP Halloween anthology. It’s wonderful (so is the Halloween story, but this is like 5 times as long!). James struggles so hard not to be a sad sack, but his heart is still broken and (more importantly?) so is his pride. When he sees the “underwear model” Rafi – it’s so wonderful how he’s willing to at least let go long enough to give it a try.

I loved that Rafi was so blunt and open with his feelings. We didn’t have to do the whole “men who won’t talk trying to figure their shit out” thing, because both men were fairly transparent. And… there were still problems to be worked out – real problems- and prejudices that had to be left behind.

The smexy times in this book are scorching and the humor is practically on every page but the most outstanding part of this story is the deep emotion and vulnerability that both guys show – pretty much from the start.

I loved this story very much and if you haven’t yet – I urge you to look it up!

(Plus – YOWZA that cover! Ai- papi!)

5 of 5 stars

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Purchased for Review

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2589

Categories
Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary Dreamspinner Established Couple Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index m/m May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased

Put a Ring On It by KA Mitchell

put a ringBlurb

Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via a NYC Times Square Flash mob.

Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms…

Review

Kieran and Theo have been living together for several months and dating for over a year. Everything looks likes it’s going great, so what does Theo do? He takes his very introverted and socially awkward lover to Times Square to propose to him (without having ever brought up marriage before) with a flash mob made up of Broadway singers and dancers.

Not wanting to hurt Theo in front of God and everybody Kieran reluctantly says yes, but it is not his idea of an ideal situation.

Then, to compound things a morning talk show runs with this and promotes their marriage by offering to pay for their wedding in Hawaii so long as they do it in 2 weeks.

Now, just when we think Kieran is going to make a run for it, they manage to come to an agreement only to have it blow up in their faces whether its from well-meaning friends, or family or a devious producer.

In any case, they manage to finally come to an agreement everyone can live with.

**

This was a different KA Mitchell than I’m used to. I’m quite used to her having “anti-heros” (Bad Boyfriend series) and smokin’ hot sex scenes and these are there. But she has also really touched on some of the important issues every couple faces – communication, trust, honesty and a willingness to be vulnerable.

There were times when I was so mad at both guys, but I totally saw where they were coming from.

I got a little bogged down by the side story with Theo’s college buddies and wondered at the amount of page time they received but I appreciated some of what they had to offer.

I was also a little disappointed by the ending – I won’t spoil it for you – because it didn’t feel as deeply personal and emotional as the rest of the story and in fact felt pretty rushed.

That being said it was still a great book and a nice change of pace from the typical romance that starts with two lovers meeting and ends with them in and a HEA.

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

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Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Purchased Rent Boy Scorching/high heat Shifter

Fairytale Shifters: Beauty and the Beast by Sean Michael

beauty and beast seanBlurb

As a rhino shifter, Tromp knows that he’s not the sexiest beast in the world. In fact he’s clumsy and he can’t see very well, and that’s whether he’s in his human or animal form. Still, he enjoys going to the bar and watching the other shifters hooking up, especially the dancers. Then he sees a slinky kitty dancing on the little stage and he’s immediately smitten. He knows a sexy beauty like that would never go for him, but he’s happy just to watch and fantasize about what could be.

For his part, panther shifter Pepper might be gorgeous on the outside, but he knows most people see him as nothing more than a piece of meat and he’s had a hard past. There’s something in the way the big rhino shifter looks at him while he dances, though, that makes him feel special. So when his stint on the stage is over, he heads right to the rhino’s table.

Can Tromp and Pepper ignore the world’s expectations and find what they need in each other?

Review

This is a short, erotic (lots of sex) story of a rhino shifter who meets a slinky cat shifter at a club and the two immediately find they fit the other’s needs.

I really liked how Sean Michael used the senses and the animals’ abilities in human form to make these more than people who shift into animals but people who have animal qualities too.

Of course it was also really sweet how Pepper and Tromp also clicked so well and so easily.

This is a great short story for all shifter fans!

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Sean Michael Presents

http://www.amazon.com/Fairytale-Shifters-Beauty-Sean-Michael-ebook/dp/B014U5MB8E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1441986133&sr=1-1&keywords=fairytale+sean+michael

Categories
Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual College/University Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index High School Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Sports Virgin Wrestling young adult

Superhero Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Tristan Wright

 

SuperheroAUDMEDBlurb

It’s not easy for a young gay artist like Jordan Carson to grow up in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where all anyone seems to care about in middle school and high school are the sports teams. But Jordan was lucky. He met Owen Nelson in the second grade, and they’ve been BFFs ever since. Owen is a big, beautiful blond and their school’s champion wrestler. No one messes with Owen, or with anyone close to him, and he bucks popular opinion by keeping Jordan as his wingman even after Jordan comes out at school.

Their friendship survives, but Jordan’s worst enemy may be himself: he can’t seem to help the fact that he is head-over-heels in love with a hopeless case—his straight friend, Owen. Owen won’t let anything take Jordan’s friendship away, but he never counted on Jordan running off to find a life of his own. Owen will have to face the nature of their relationship if he’s to win Jordan back.

Review

Owen and Jordy have been friends since forever. Jordy is the arty, small boy to Owen’s large, jock, wrestling counterpart. When Jordy comes out Owen protects him and together they make a comic about a superhero who looks suspiciously like Owen with a counterpart who is suspiciously like Jordy.

Once, in a swimming pool, things between Jordy and Owen crossed the line – but Owen wasn’t ready for something like that, so it gets “tabled”. They remain friends, and in fact the three of them (Jordy, Owen and Emily – Owen’s long standing girl friend) remain tight throughout high school.

Eventually these guys face graduation and moving on to college. It’s at this crossroads that Owen must decide where his loyalties lie. Emily has decided on Smith – no wrestling there!- and her own career path. Owen had thought Jordy and he would be together forever, but when Jordy chooses something different, Owen has to come to grips with the fact that he can do without a lot of things – Jordy isn’t one of them.

**

You know I’m a huge Eli Easton fan (all my previous reviews can be found here:  http://kimichanexperience.com/?s=Eli+Easton or on GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=Eli+Easton), so this was right up there among the top titles of favorite books. The best part is that though it is YA, there’s an appropriate amount of hot smexy times, done just like Eli knows how to do ‘em!

The HEA and feels in this book are wonderful, as are the very well developed MCs and secondary characters.

Eli’s writing is always crisp and flowing, smart and engaging. She makes you laugh and say “awwww” every time.

“Say yes, Jordan,” he said, shifting closer.
“No,” I said.
Owen smiled. “Close enough.” And then he kissed me.”

I highly recommend this to any fan of the GFY/friends-to-lovers theme, don’t be dissuaded by the age, it’s just as hot as you’d want it to be!

 

Audio

Tristan Wright is a new narrator to me, but he does an excellent job with the narration. He doesn’t do anything over the top as far as voicing or acting goes, but he’s easy to listen to and does a nice job with the emotions and making the story come to life.

 

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

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Categories
Angst Level Book College/University Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Football Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Scorching/high heat Sports

Steamroller by Mary Calmes (Book Review)

SteamrollerBlurb

About the last thing Vincent Wade expected was for Carson Cress to ask him out. Vince is a dedicated biology student and a bit of a loner. Superstar quarterback Carson is larger than life, and he lives under a public microscope. There’s no way they should work. But Vince is learning that sometimes people just come steamrolling into your life and all you can do is hang on for the ride or lose your heart in the process. If their relationship can survive the fallout when an injury derails Carson’s future plans, maybe Vince can finally find something to believe in.

 

Review

Vincent is that snarky, obviously gay guy who kind of “reverse snobs” the “cool kids” before they can hurt him.

Carson is the golden boy. Never can do any wrong. Living the lie of being straight and playing football for his parents.

Carson wants Vincent, but Vincent isn’t going to make anything easy. He’s distrustful, and not eager to be anybody’s secret.

It takes an epic change in Carson’s life for Vincent to realize that Carson means it when he says that he and Vincent will be together forever… and like a steamroller, he always gets what he wants.

**

This is one of my first m/m books ever and it pleased me so much I’ve kept going and never looked back! It hits every single one of my buttons. Geek and jock. GFY. A very, very HEA. Humor. Passion. It’s so much fun to watch Carson court Vincent and for bitter and cynical Vincent to become putty in his hands.

Of course – it’s Mary – it’s gotta be amazing!

5 of 5 stars!

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(Now we just need an Audiobook to make it perfect!)

 

 

(Purchased for Review)

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3199

 

 

 

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.

3.5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small

(Purchased for review)

To Buy

Dreamspinner Presents

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