Dex in Blue (Johnnies #2) Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

DexInBlueAudMEDBlurb

Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.

Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?

Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.

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(Magnificent FanArt Thanks to Karrie Jax!)

Review
This was one of my very first Amy Lane books – maybe the very first – I forget. But it’s still one of my all time favorite books of hers and of the genre.

In book two we see Dex fighting his own battles. He has had exactly one male lover and is not – yet- convinced he’s gay. He has many luke-warm girlfriends and one of them convinces him to give gay for pay porn a shot. So he does. And it’s like he’s finally able to be himself. He. Loves. It. And he’s good at it.

We are now several years down the line and he’s moved to the production side of things. He’s just dumped his lover because he’s tired of being the booty call on the side when he has feelings involved.
Kane is a simple guy with a big dick. He likes girls but can deal with the “boy sex” if that’s what it takes to give him some control of his life. He’s never been one for school and when his sister’s daughter needs chemo, he steps up to the bat doing the gay for pay thing to help pay the hospital bills.

Dex and Kane end up as roommates when Kane’s sister throws him out of his own house (yeah, it never makes a lot of sense) and Dex needs a shoulder to cry on after dumping the crappy lover.

Because – you know – the porn and all – they give each other comfort in a physical way and suddenly a moment of support has kind of turned into a “thing”.

For Kane – who never really questions things too deeply – the “thing” is comfortable and nice and he wants to keep it. But he doesn’t really do “labels” and he doesn’t really identify as “gay” so how can Dex be his boyfriend?

Dex has been down this road before and can’t do it anymore. When Kane ends up inadvertently flirting with a girl at a holiday party and messing things up more by not understanding why that’s a bad thing in Dex’s world – Dex puts down an ultimatum.

Luckily – Kane finally figures out that “anything that keeps him and Dex in the same bed is a good thing” and he fights for that tooth and nail.

**

This book has it’s fair share of angst. Right off the bat – first chapter, Dex’s lover is killed. OH MAN. That hurt. Lola, the sister, is a super-bitch and keeps Kane from his niece because he’s “dirty”. The ex-lover tries to screw things up as does Johnnie himself. Finally, Dex’s family has to make things really ugly but in the end all the tragedies serve to make Kane and Dex more tightly drawn together.

What I love about this book and what keeps me coming back to it again and again is the love. It’s so clear that these two are made for each other. The feels in this book are tremendous without feeling out of place for two men.

I love that both are sometimes “toppy” and that both lean on the other at one point or another.

The secondary characters are as rich as the MCs and the storyline about the niece and Johnnie and the receptionist… so wonderful without distracting from the main love story.

The sex is scorching hot and the emotions wonderful. I can’t say enough great things about this book!

Audio
Sean Crisden – narrating God that he is – does an exceptional job with this. I LOVE his Kane. He’s wonderful. My favorite scene is the “I’m not a booty call” scene. He does the emotion so perfectly! He even manages to give all of Dex’s family their own unique voices – including the women!

Again, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s absolutely best if read in the series but can totally stand on its own without any problem whatsoever.

6 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

To buy

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5048

 

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)

The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye Narrated by Dave Gillies

ShearingGun[The]AUDMEDBlurb
At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.

Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.

Review of book found here:

http://kimichanexperience.com/shearing-gun-renae-kaye/

Audio:

Having David Gillies read this was outstanding! He did an amazing job with it and I really loved listening to his accent since this book was so FULL of local flavor.
I absolutely think this added to the overall experience and made a great book that much more enjoyable!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

Dreampsinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6857

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

Chase in Shadow (Johnnies #1) Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

ChaseinShadowAudMEDBlurb

Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.

Nobody knows the real Chase.

Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.

Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.

Review

Wow. Okay. First, if you haven’t read an Amy Lane book and you are starting with this series – take heed and have plenty of tissues on hand!

Amy can write fantastical fantasy with crazy and sometimes funny figures, she can write humorous contemporary romance with quirky and quant characters, and she can write heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, hanky-shredding, angst-filled stories that rip your heart out and make it bleed.

This is that last kind.

But – and this is HUGE – she gives you a tremendous pay out. This is important. In her stories she will absolutely drag your heart out through your nostrils but then she mends it, patches it up, and fluffs it with so much caring and tenderness and purely sweet and luscious goodness that when it goes back into your chest (usually at the end) it feels so much better than when you started.

In this series we have Johnnie (who we hear from in his own story Black John) a director of gay pornography. He runs a respectable shop, no taking advantage of the models, clean, safe, etcetera – but it’s porn. Now it’s often called gay for pay, but the so-called straight guys… not always so straight.

That’s where Chase comes in. Chase is gay but he “can’t be”. He has had a horrible childhood – one where he sees his own mother’s suicide and lives with a father who somehow blames Chase for her death.

He turns to porn to make money, though he has a girlfriend he “loves” and wants to be with. He takes on the name Chance and finds his true home with Johnnies.

There Chance meets Tango. Tango is really Tommy, and Tango/Tommy has no problem being gay. They hook up and find an immediate love connection. But Tommy can’t take it that Chase continues to stay with the girlfriend and internalizes his own pain with a horrible eating disorder.

(I warned you – Angst. City.)

We know from early on in the story that Chase attempts suicide. The story explains the whys and the hows and then the what happens next.

Mercy, Chase’s girlfriend is not particularly vilified – although her decision at the end strikes me as not necessarily in line with the rest of her persona and is particularly harsh given the circumstances.

Chase and Tommy are a match made in heaven – both kinda screwed up but oh so passionate. It’s wonderful to watch them fall in love and it was absolutely horrible to watch each of them fall apart as a result of this love.

We also get to meet the cast of characters that fill the coming books and that, too, is fascinating.

I really loved how Amy was able to really get into Chase’s head and show us that in his mind he had NO CHOICE but to do what he did but then – at the last frickin’ moment – it all got so clear for him.

The time spent in the psych ward was hard to read and maybe drug a bit, but I think it helped to really cement the huge change in direction that occurred in Chase’s thinking.

Like I said at the beginning – Amy knows how to bring on the Angst (with a capital A) – but she also brings you back down with an incredible happy ending – one that we get to see develop in the next books even more.

I absolutely love this book, this series and the author. (FWIW this is my second favorite book in the series – Dex is my favorite – but they are all so dang good!)

Audio:

Sean Crisden is a master! I love all his narrations and this was one of the first I’d listened to. He makes a point of keeping all the various characters separate which is a huge undertaking in this series. We end up with a total of 4 couples and lots of side characters and they all are voiced somewhat differently. So giant Kudos there! He also has a way of making the emotion feel so authentic. He does “perform” the stories – not merely read them.

6 of 5 stars

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To Buy

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4948

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

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

Fragile by Monika Krasnorada

fragileBlurb

Part of the First Time For Everything Daily Dose 2011 collection

Dr. Andy Jameson considers the job of team physician for a regional college football team to be the perfect prelude to a specialized residency. But tending to injuries suffered during the brutal, full-contact sport is nothing compared to the injury he inflicts upon himself by falling in love with the ruggedly handsome head coach, Erik Sheridan. Andy’s content to love from afar until he literally sees the writing on the wall—a message hastily scrawled on the coach’s bathroom mirror—and realizes his last night on the job could be just the beginning of a life with the man he loves.

 

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(Fan Art by Karrie Jax)

Review

This is a delightful example of just how a short story should be!

In only 23 pages Monika Krasnorada shows us (emphasis on shows) that Dr. Andy has had a long time crush on the “straight” college football coach he works for as a team doctor.

Today is his last day serving the team and he’s sad and also longing for the ability to do something about his attraction.

Meanwhile the coach might have something to say about this attraction and how he goes about letting the Doc know… so sweet, so awesome!

Obviously we only get a small glimpse of this couple but it’s enough to show us that the coach is new to gay sex, the two men really match well together and the thought of long term and forever is definitely there.

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

To Buy

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2357

What He Left Behind by LA Witt

whatheleftbehind

Release Day!

 

Blurb

Can you ever have a second first time?

Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.

Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.

A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.

Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.

Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.

Review

Wow. So – we start with Michael and he’s 5 years out of a HORRIBLE relationship where he is horrifically abused to the point that he’s got Stockholm Syndrome. He’s in therapy but he’s having trouble getting over the hurdle of sexual intimacy.

Michael and Josh have been friends forever and on again/off again lovers in the past. Michael shares his problem – not being able to date anymore because he can’t bear the thought of intimacy. Josh is crushed. He’s always known Michael as a very sensuous person with a high libido. He can’t stand the idea of Michael being trapped and alone due to the a-hole ex.

Josh is married to Ian (for 10 years now) and Ian is awesome. Ian hears the tale about Michael and suggests that since Michael trusts Josh – why doesn’t Josh try to get Michael out of his sexual slump.

So it starts. And it works. But it has a cost. Eventually – after some interesting and open conversations – it’s decided in invite Ian in (because Michael needs to experience someone NOT Josh, to test if he’s ready) and the chemistry is so good….

Luckily, our trio navigates some very tricky waters and we have a very nice HFN that looks to be a HEA.

**

So I’m very torn here. I really, really loved (and bought in) to most of this book. God! It was so horrible seeing the stuff Michael endured and Josh and he are clearly so good for one another and it was amazing how well LA Witt was able to guide them through the terrible PTSD and make it believable and touching and yet sexy too.

I also loved Ian. I totally bought into his caring for Michael, his devotion to Josh, his relationship with Josh and thought he and Josh had some amazingly hot sex.

I EVEN bought into the ménage aspect of the relationship. The chemistry is very obvious and though it maybe moved a bit quickly based on the slowness of the rest of the book, I still bought in.

However – my stumbling block is the final chapter. I wanted them to form a relationship, I think they might be able to do so. But – we NEVER saw them function together in any way other than sexually and so I can’t KNOW they will make it.

If I had a wish it’d be that the author gave us a few less sex scenes (there are a LOT) and some more relationship building between the three characters. As it stands I feel they are left on shaky ground and unless there is a sequel I can’t feel super great about it.

But… I did like 90% of the book and thought the touching way the abuse/recovery was handled was amazing and the smexy times were really hot!

So… 4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

 

To Buy:

Samhain Presents

http://www.gallagherwitt.com/?p=4817