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

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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

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To Buy:

Samhain Presents

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

Clarity of Lines (Thomas Elkin #2) by NR Walker

clarity of linesBlurb

Sometimes it’s not the two people in a relationship who fight falling in love, sometimes it’s those who love us that fight against it the most.

Finally together, forty-four year old Tom, and twenty-two year old Cooper, are ready to show the world they’re together. They’ve established their relationship is worth it, and want to share it with their families.

Both men thought accepting the age difference was their adversity to overcome, and theirs alone.

Their loved ones, however, will prove them wrong.

For their families, lines are drawn and start blur. Through a series of events, life shakes Tom’s foundations, the lines for him have never been clearer.

Review

In book two Tom and Cooper are established as a couple, but there are obstacles to overcome.

Tom and his ex-wife and son. Cooper and his friends and his family.

Tom and Cooper also have to work out living arrangements. Tom just can’t quite find the words to convince Cooper to move into his apartment.

**

In a lovely extension we get to move into the meat and potatoes of their relationship. Beyond the heat of attraction into the seriousness and the emotion.

I really love how NR Walker allows us to see her characters grow and change as the relationship changes. In this case using Tom’s asking Cooper to move in with him as a way to guage where he’s at emotionally is a very clever tool that both illustrates that Tom may still have some reservations about opening his heart and Cooper might also still be craving some independence.

The smexy times are super hot, too!

This is a wonderful sequel and the new cover is beautiful!

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

To Buy:

Pride Publishing Presents
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/clarity-of-lines

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)

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)

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.)

Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkins Series Book 1) NR Walker

elemets retrofitBlurb

Book one in the Thomas Elkin series
Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?
A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.
Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.
Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.
Review

Thomas Elkins got married young to a woman he mostly loved, they had a wonderful son but then Tom realized as he got older that his love of men could no longer be denied. He got divorced, moved out and moved on.

Now, he lives his life as a rather famous architect in a lonely apartment in NYC, neither miserable nor happy.

One day his son brings home a friend, a very cute, very interested and interesting friend. Eye-ball messages may have been exchanged, but really, Tom thought nothing of it. He’s 22 years older than the guy for Pete’s sake!

When that friend, Cooper, ends up being Tom’s new intern, trouble really starts showing up.

Cooper is 22, trying to make the best impression he can on an icon in the industry who also turns out to be his friend’s father and a super-hot-newly-out-gay-guy!

Cooper doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he notices the looks Tom inadvertently sends his way, not to mention the fact that the two can talk for hours without missing a beat, and the fact that he’s smokin’ hot… he decides to go for it.

What happens next is the two men making room in their lives for a less-than-usual relationship, in a dangerous-for-them environment.

Tom is afraid he’s too old. Cooper doesn’t know what a real relationship even looks like. Tom is scared that Cooper might be using him for his prestige. Cooper is worried he’ll never measure up or be thought of as an equal. Both are afraid of getting caught by their friends and family.

In the end (part one that is) they decide to dive in and make a go of it because what they feel is too wild and amazing to dismiss.

**

This is the first series I read by NR Walker. I have to admit that I avoided it for a long time mainly due to the name. It felt – stodgy. When I read the blurb I was worried it was going to be a very weird father figure type romance due to the tremendously large age gap.

BOY was I wrong. NR Walker is an amazing writer. Her stories simply flow off the page and into your heart. She creates these REAL characters with heart, and flaws, and compassion and fears and then shows us how they can grow/change/heal in the new relationships they forge.

Tom is kind of … boring. He doesn’t take a lot of chances in the personal department and has gotten lackadaisical at work. He’s… comfortable.
Cooper comes along and messes that right up!

Cooper is young, but way older than his years. Sure, he messes up and acts his “age” sometimes, but for the most these two guys are really well suited and never did I feel like there was a father figure vibe whatsoever.  (Amen to the differences between Gen X and Gen Y!)

The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot, but has elements of realism too. The boundaries they set and the expectations.

All in all I absolutely loved this book (and series) and am happy to promote the new cover!

6 of 5 stars

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To Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Retrofit-Thomas-Elkin-Book-ebook/dp/B013E7UN8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439500494&sr=8-1&keywords=elements+of+retrofit+walker

 

 

 

Hello world!

This blog is all about Romance!  We review books about romance (mostly m/m – but there might be an occasional m/f, f/f, m/m/f, space-alien-babies, what have you).

In addition we are inviting fan fiction, slash fiction, fan-art – anything that moves you to create.

We hope you find something that entertains you or inspires you – Enjoy!

Feel free to email us at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.