by Karrie Jax
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A Resilient Love Story
Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.
High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.
An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.
I loved this book – see my review here:
Brendon Marcus lives for his work. A boy genius who fast-tracked his way to college professor by his early 20s, he doesn’t know any other way to be. People confound him. So when Josh Horton, the assistant football coach, pursues him, Brendon isn’t sure what to make of him. Josh has his own problems. His successful parents aren’t particularly happy with his career path, and some of the players don’t like having a gay assistant coach. He begins to have doubts, but Brendon makes the world look a little brighter.
First, let me say that I am a fan of Andrew Grey and I am a huge fan of the Geek/Jock story, so this hit my buttons in a big way. I like that Andrew made Brendon a strong if very naïve geek and that the relationship between him and Josh wasn’t a typical “I am your hero since I am so big” type of relationship. It was very sweet, pretty short, and had a little hot sex to make it an all around good read.
(This was one of my first audio books reviewed. That site crashed so I’m re-posting it here Funny how your opinion changes as time passes! )
So, I don’t know how many of you read the book before the audio version or vice versa or one and not the other, but – so far in my experience – I have always read the book first. This is important to note, because it means that I had already formed pre-conceived notions about the “voice” of the MCs. That being said, I think that Nick J Russo did a good job. His voice is smooth and nice to listen to. He tries really hard to give all the characters a separate “voice” and though this can be distracting at times, it’s also a nice touch. It helps to keep clear who is doing the speaking.
Josh’s “character” as read by Nick wasn’t how I would have read him (at all) – but it wasn’t bad, just different. Brendon is done very well, and matches what I would have imagined.
(Now looking back on things – my hero worship of Nick makes me appreciate how awesome this narration is!)
Nick tries to add in appropriate emotion and (ahem) groans where appropriate and that’s also a nice touch.
As a staunch proponent of reading then listening – I will say again that this is a good interpretation, and certainly worth listening to, even if you haven’t read it first.
4 of 5 stars
Copy provided by Dreamspinner for an honest review
Brent is a jock, Logan a geek, these men are a world apart. But if opposites attract, maybe it’s the differences between them that make it worth the fight.
Brent Kelly is a laid-back tradesman whose only concerns are drinks with friends and which man to bed next. In need of a new accountant to sort out his nightmarish shoebox of tax receipts, he’s referred to Logan Willis.
He doesn’t expect to be intrigued by the science fiction-loving, geeky guy with dark-rimmed glasses and a TARDIS blue shirt. So his fascination with the soft-spoken Englishman surprises him, and their mutual attraction is completely unexpected. He most certainly never expects to fall in love.
One a jock and the other a geek, both men know the differences between them are vast and could cause problems. But in this opposites-attract erotic drama, maybe it’s the differences between them that make staying together worth the fight.
Brent is a self-made electrician, he plays football and is a fairly laid-back, jockish type guy. He goes in to do his taxes and find himself captivated by the nerdy accountant in the blue shirt, Logan.
Logan is an ex-pat from Britain. He’s slim and decidedly geeky. When the cute electrician starts showing an interest by drawing him in with questions about Dr Who he can’t help but be entranced.
This is a wonderful, almost no angst story about two men discovering just how opposites can attract.
I loved how open Brent was. He didn’t try to beat around the bush, but put himself out there. And though a little guarded, Logan reciprocated. The one moment of “Misunderstanding” was quickly laid to rest and we got our happily ever after.
The smexy times are hot and the ILYs are really sweet.
I absolutely adored this and I highly recommend it!
6 of 5 stars
Copy purchased for review
Totally Bound Publishing Presents
Tyler has used Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as a shield against the truth since he was seventeen. Cut loose from his Navy career and mourning his mentor’s death, Ty must come to terms with his desires for another man even while he fights to keep the PTSD from pulling him under.
Rancher Cass Cartwright’s relationships never last more than a few hours, and that’s just the way he likes it. Now he’s done the one thing he swore never to do: fallen in love. Can Cass convince Ty to let go of his past or will sabotage at the ranch kill their love before it has a chance to grow?
Ty has lost a lot in this world, his family, his career, now somebody close by. But he has a place stay and a new job, with a super-hot boss, Cass.
Cass owns a ranch out in the boonies and doesn’t ever imagine he’ll have a partner. He finds his lovin’ in the next town – miles and miles away – to protect his heart and his sanity.
When a sweet matchmaker plops Ty in his lap, he can’t say no. He has to help, protect and love this new ranch cook – even if he has to convince Ty of that plan first.
This is a very sweet, sentimental, and sexy short story about two hot guys finding each other and filling the lonely spots in their hearts.
There is a bit of drama thrown in and some PTSD, but mostly it’s about them falling in love.
It’s a wonderful first book to a series and there are loads of interesting men at the ranch whose stories must be told!
I’ve never read this author before, but I’m a fan now!
4.5 of 5 stars
Copy purchased for review
Hot Corner Press
Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.
Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.
It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. The death of Jae-Min’s cousin is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.
Cole was a police officer who lost his lover and his job to a murder. (It’s way more complicated than that, but you’ll have to read/listen to the entire series to get the full extent of the story. You don’t find out here, but you get dribbles and drabbles along the way, piquing your interest.) He’s now a private investigator, on a job. He meets Jae-Min at the house of one of the people he’s investigating and is instantly attracted.
Jae is Korean, he can’t be gay. But he is. That is a huge deal for him. He’s attracted to Cole but he knows for the sake of his family he has to push him away. Cole won’t let that happen.
The mystery in this book is: Jae’s cousin committed suicide – or did he? There is a lot hidden in Korean society and it’s up to Cole to dig through all the secrets to find the truth. Of course, in the meantime he gets hurt too, but he seems to have 9 lives – like Jae’s cat!
We get to meet most of the characters we will grow to love throughout the series including Cole’s brother Mike, his assistant Claudia, his BFF Bobby and Jae’s bestie Scarlet. The mystery gets solved and the beginning of the romance between Jae and Cole begins.
Though the mystery takes up the bulk of the story, to me, the romance is the main thrust of this book and the entire series. Watching Jae-Min and Cole learn to be a couple is the best part of this series. The funny side characters (some of whom get their own stories later on) are an added bonus.
I loved this book and the entire series and also gave it a 5 of 5 stars.
This is a case where the audio version is so amazing as to sometimes surpasses the written word. Greg Tremblay totally gets what Rhys is writing and he “performs” the story, not just reading it.
There are times, and I have said this before, where you feel like you are listening at the door, or listening to a movie soundtrack, instead of a simple narration.
It is supremely excellent.
Each character has a distinct and unique voice, and Greg even has a great singing voice.
I give the audio version a 6 out of 5 stars because it is Rhys’ words performed so excellently by Greg that together, the combination surpasses the book as an experience.
Jason Grant runs his own IT business from home, owns his own home, and has the best friend he could imagine. What he doesn’t have, or believe he will ever have, is love. When Jason catches a glimpse of his new neighbor on moving day, his libido ignites and his fascination in piqued. He even manages to concoct an excuse to go over and meet the man who makes him hope and want for more than he has in years.
Keith Skyler is a shifter in a world where his kind is known to only a few, but they don’t often mix and they never mate. Keith has been hoping for a mate since before he can remember, but gay lynx don’t have true mates. As far as he knows, they don’t have mates at all. However, while moving his little family across Seattle—and away from their tribe—his reality tips and spins more than he thought possible.
When these two men meet over a dish of five-cheese broccoli-noodle casserole, sparks fly. Who knew a welcome to the neighborhood gift could give both of them their chance at love?
Keith is a lynx shifter who suffers under the thumb of his autocratic father, who is also his alpha. In 3 years he will have a chance to stand on his own and challenge him, but for now he must either follow his rules or work around him.
Keith is positive he has no mate, as far as he knows there are no gay shifters, so he’s almost worried when he scents something “mate-like” on the air as he’s moving into his new house. He’s ecstatic to find that it is his mate and his mate is a man!
Jared is a little bit gun-shy in the love department. He’s been burned in the past and has a low self esteem as a result. When he spies his new neighbor moving in next door, he wants to be friendly and introduce himself. He is overwhelmed when he realizes that not only is this hot guy gay, but he’s totally into him!
There are quite a few things these guys have to work through to make it to their HEA. First there’s Keith’s very conservative (and controlling, evil, manipulative) father. There’s the whole “Introducing a human into the world of paranormals” and there is Jared’s resistance to a relationship based on the “mate bond” and his own low self-esteem.
But… love does conquer all and after some fierce fights, some fantastic alliances and some really hot sex… they do get their HEA.
I love shifter romances! The “mine”, that dramatic pull of attraction, the animal-like qualities that get explored, the magic… so much fun and creativity!
This follows a fairly common theme. Meet, mine, how to explain, oh-no not a human, it doesn’t matter, mine, etcetera. I did like the addition of the vampire-friend Sasha. He was fun and loyal and spunky and managed to force these guys into communicating when it looked like they were going to get stuck in the middle of a “Big Misunderstanding”.
The father was super-evil and it was nice that he got beaten down, so that was pretty satisfying. I enjoyed the “uber-skills” Keith ends up having – I love it when authors use the shifter element and actually do something with them as shifters!
I wasn’t super-impressed by anything being new or really unique, but it was a solid, fun, sexy read. I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of shifter romance.
4 of 5 stars
Copy provided by Dreamspinner Press