Nothing Special (Nothing Special #1) by AE Via (Review)

nothing specialBlurb

Cashel Godfrey is big, tattooed, and angry, so people typically keep their distance. Fresh out of the police academy no one is looking to partner with the six foot four beast. When Cashel scanned the orientation room, he wasn’t expecting sexy hazel eyes to be locked onto him. Eyes of the gorgeous Leonidis Day.

Leonidis is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic, and the only one that can make Cashel smile. He’s an out and badass detective, but when Cashel saves his life in a raid that turns deadly, he sees something in the big man that no one else does…something special.

Warning: Two sexy narcotics detectives. One with a serious hot spot for big gun-toting men, the other that yields a cannon; so be ready for the obscene sexual bang when these two come together.

Review

So you can tell from the description that we’ve got two cops, super alpha, super sexy who are already friends. What Leonidis (Day) doesn’t know is that Cashel (God) has some secrets… including his sexuality.

Day is out an proud but God seems to be all straight.

There is lots and lots of sexual tension between these boys and a bit of pain. Cash’s family thinks he killed his father and now won’t speak to him.

And of course there are bad guys doing some bad things that put everyone at risk. Pushing God and Day into each other’s arms.

So – yeah – there are some other issues. Homophobic jerks on the squad and a young guy who steals to help his mama and a weird sexual tension between the aforementioned homophobe and… Some of this made the story a little wonky but if you set that aside and focus on the relationship (especially the sex) it’s a pretty sappy, sweet and HOT story.

I definitely think the author got better as the series progressed in terms of writing and plotting, but I still love this story and re-read it often. I just loved how crazy for each other these two guys get and how willing they are to be vulnerable to each other.

I was able to easily overlook some of the stuff that didn’t exactly make sense or seem at all close to reality for the sake of the “lurve” these guys shared.

Another warning – there is a scene at the end – kind of random- where they all “share partners”… some people are really put off by this. It was pretty hot, if you ask me, and definitely didn’t make me feel like “cheating” since all of them were together – but be warned – it’s in there!

So I highly recommend this book to lovers of two alpha males going at it, sometimes silly dialog, over the top sex scenes and really sappy love stories.

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Amira Press Presents:

http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Special-E-Via-ebook/dp/B00MC82KIS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440743446&sr=8-1&keywords=nothings+special+ae+via

Ethan in Gold (Johnnies #3) Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

EthaninGoldAUDMEDBlurb

Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies and aspiring porn star for www tube v adult movie site, he gets exactly what he wants—comradeship and physical contact on trade—and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.

Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who—against the odds—seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.

Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package—the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.

Review

Evan had an experience early in life that forced his parents to both over-protect him and divorce themselves from him in the physical sense. He became – as a result – touch deprived and sort of manic about it. Starting a job in the porn industry making x-rated movies for www.watchmygf.xxx just seemed like a great way to get all that touch he craved.

Jonah is a quiet guy who loves his dying sister. He’s a virgin and really only wants to share that with someone who will be there for the long haul. Though he and Evan are attracted to each other – the odds of them being “the one” for the other seem pretty low

But… they take the time to work on their friendship and explore what could be between them.

**

This is quite different from the first two and the last book in the Johnnies series. Yes – it’s Amy – there’s angst – but it’s a little more distanced and not nearly so present in this story like it is with the others.

I loved the thought that to Evan giving up porn was a down-side. (in contrast to the others who were so ready to drop it when they found their love.) It gave us the perspective that some people really do CHOOSE this as a their profession for it’s positives. And to Evan it really was all positives.

Evan’s family, Jonah’s family, seeing the other guys and seeing some of the action from a different perspective… these things seemed to fill up most of the story, in my opinion. My biggest complaint (and why this is my least favorite book in the series) is not that I didn’t love the MCs or their stories – quite the opposite. I just felt more distanced from them and their relationship as it got overridden by all the other stuff from all the other people stealing their limelight.

Still in all – of course it’s a wonderful book and a bit lighter to take after the major angst of Chase and Dex- sort of angst-lite if you will and well worth the read/listen.

Audio
Again Sean Crisden does another amazing job and I really appreciated that he did all the books so we got all the voices back when we re-visited previous MCs. I never really liked Evan’s voice much – so it got kinda annoying at times, but not really enough to distract from the overall enjoyment.

4.5 of 5 stars for the book and the audio

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Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5074

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

 

 

 

Running With Scissors By LA Witt

running with scissorsBlurb

Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Review

So I will admit that I mostly skimmed this book.

I LOVE the idea. LOVE the author. LOVE the cover. But I didn’t love the outcome.

Jude left his band high and dry and when he returns he’s told absolutely no hook-ups will be tolerated with other band members. So of course… he and AJ find themselves having to hide their developing love for each other and that causes lots of strife and on again/off again angst. Turns out Jude had a “thing” with another band member and there are unresolved feelings between the two to this day.

I didn’t really like Jude all that much and kinda felt AJ was a bit wishy-washy. So their “passion” was just as uneventful for me. In fact, I thought the most passionate thing in the book was the violent reaction to the hook-up the other band members had rather than the love between our two MCs. (The women in particular were pretty screechy.)

I was kinda hoping for this “super shy on the tour bus” guy to become this totally “hot and madly passionate” guy with his beau but it was kinda luke-warm instead. Usually LA Witt is full of hawt and sexy love scenes sometimes a little on the kinky side, but this was pretty white bread.

I think, had I not had high expectations because of my fandom for the author I wouldn’t have felt as let down, because it is still a “good” book, just not as great as I’d come to expect. (As you can tell from my previous review of Static – I am a big fan of this author.)

So, with that… I give it a fair 3 of 5 stars.

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Title provided thanks to NetGalley

Riptide Publishing Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/running-with-scissors

Sense of Place (Thomas Elkins Book 3) by NR Walker

sense of placeBlurb

Designing homes is easy. Finding home is something else entirely.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones finally have the support of their families, and their love grows stronger every day. Now living together, they think nothing can stand in their way.

But there are outside influences trying to pull them apart.

Cooper encounters a man, closer to his age and with connections high up the property development chain, who wants Cooper as his own. Tom encounters discrimination and a hidden agenda from a fellow senior partner who’s trying to take him down.

No matter what the world throws at them, Tom and Cooper are the real deal. Age differences aside, Tom has finally found his sense of place. His one true centre, his home.

Review

Tom and Coop have moved in together but it’s not all roses and wine for the couple.
Coop is on a new project that literally takes all his time and patience. Tom has to diverge from his normally not so “in your face” stance and make a stand for himself as Cooper’s lover.

On the family front, Tom’s ex is still not exactly supportive and there are problems on the job as well.

When Tom makes a wild decision that ultimately affects both he and Cooper, it’s Coop’s mother who ultimately gives him the best advice yet as to how to handle Cooper.

**

I ADORED this final installment to the Thomas Elkins series. It was romantic and sweet and sexy.

NR Walker found a way to make us really believe that these guys have what it takes to be a long term couple and not just a hot May/December affair.

The final “sense of place” that they achieve is so well-won and touching… I just loved it.

Because of that last bit, this series remains one of my comfort reads when I want to be immersed in that happy place with the couple who you just know will be together forever.

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy Purchased for Review)

To Buy:

Pride Publishing Presents

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/sense-of-place