Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Fated Hearts by Garrett Leigh, narrated by Dan Calley

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fated-Hearts-Audiobook/B087CC3PL4?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=13bed4e9-e83d-4210-8510-a695400e0d63&pf_rd_r=0KCH2687J8CNATEV6XYK

Blurb
“He’s not a wolf.”

Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in. And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.

Almost.

Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.

Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.

“I won’t let him die.”

Review

There are a lot of shifter stories out there, and standing out isn’t always easy, but Garrett Leigh managed it effortlessly with Fated Hearts. I loved the detailed world-building, the action and danger in this dystopian society and the combination of magic and science.

All the characters were intriguing and complex, making this the perfect basis for a very promising series. I so hope there’ll be more to come.

I loved the angst in this story, and the incredible pull between the MC’s. Zio and Devan are wonderful together, when they get there, because obstacles abound.

Narration: Dan Calley did an amazing job with his performance of this story, the pacing and emotional intensity were great and he brought a wonderful array of voices for all the different characters. Is it just me or are British accents just absolutely yummie? I also really loved the accent he did for Devan.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love has no direction by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-has-no-direction-by-kim-fielding-11492-b

Blurb

A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

Review

I loved book one in this series. In general, I love Kim’s characters and her ability to tug at our heart strings – especially since she uses “regular joes” instead of billionaires, or rock stars, etc.

I didn’t love this. I was frustrated by the fast way the two hooked up and was really frustrated by the ending.

I wanted there to be MORE – something more profound and something more concrete. Instead I felt like this was a very watered down story which more or less ambled along until it stumbled to the end.

I’m sure some of my bias is that I didn’t really like the ambiguity we’re left with surrounding the future – but even with that aside – the romance just fell a bit flat for me and I was never quite convinced of it’s longevity.

In any case, Kim is a great writer and the story itself is well written – I just wasn’t so sure of the overall impact it left behind.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Socks for an Otter by Posy Roberts

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/new/50238860-socks-for-an-otter

Blurb: He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.
But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.
On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.

This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.
But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.
Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?

Review: I loved this story! It is a touching story, but not maudlin. The plight of the homeless is told in a simple but impactful way.
Seb and Louis make a great couple. Seb reads older than his age (23) – not in a bad way – showing that life on the street can and will make you grow up real fast. Louis is a caretaker – always needing to be needed. The one time he failed to be there for his loved one resulted in tragedy. With Seb, he has a chance to feel needed again, though Seb wasn’t very accepting of what he thought of as charity. This makes for some prickly interactions between both men, but their simmering attraction and willingness to listen to each other helps them forge a relationship.
Lovely story!

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Ricochet by Reese Knightley narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Ricochet-Audiobook/1977364659?qid=1577645604&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=T3KP9YNSWZYSX0XT018C&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

WITSEC victim Noah Bradford knows secrets that could get him killed, and staying hidden seems like a good plan. What he didn’t plan on is losing his heart to a man who is sworn to protect him.
Battle scarred US Marshal Robert “Mac” Mackenzie has a job to do, and guaranteeing the safety of Noah Bradford is at the top of that list. Mac will do whatever it takes to keep Noah safe, even if it means walking away.
Mac and Noah, brought together during extreme circumstances, have been separated by evil. It’s been six years, give or take, and Noah is coming for vengeance against the men who killed his mother. He’s on a collision course with Mac, who has no idea of the man Noah has become. Sparks fly and the heat sizzles when these two powerful men are reunited, but will they survive the passion the past created?
Contains mature themes.
Review

I had missed this series when it came out in e-books. Wow! I LOVED this. It had danger and intrigue and an amazing sweet and HOT love story.

It’s about over coming childhood trauma and falling in love – even though you shouldn’t – and finding long lost loves again.

It’s heavy on the crime story/mystery – so be prepared. But – the love story is still the main focus IMHO.

Tristan James is amazing – as usual – and was a joy to listen to.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Interpretive Hearts by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/interpretive-hearts-by-amanda-meuwissen-10886-b

Blurb
Love is easy once you learn the steps.
In the competitive world of dance, Teddy was a flawless performer and hardass choreographer who students feared and admired in equal measure. But hip surgery ended the glamour and drama, and now Teddy is recovering at his beach house, lost and listless.
Until he meets Finn, his neighbor, who is too perfect, gorgeous, and kind to exist—but very ill timed. In a seaside town as small as theirs, they can’t avoid each other, especially since Finn is also Teddy’s new physical therapist. But Teddy isn’t the man he used to be, and though Finn flirts shamelessly with him, Teddy can’t believe a has-been dancer is worthy of someone so young and full of life.
Finn’s sunny smile is also hiding heartache. Pursuing Teddy challenges both his professionalism and his self-preservation, but if he can convince Teddy to trust him, maybe they both can heal.
Review

An enjoyable and easy read, well written, with interesting MC’s and a likable cast of secondary characters. I liked the hurt/comfort aspect in the story and the atypical dynamic, with the younger man being the one to help his more mature love interest heal, physically that is.
I wasn’t entirely swept off my feet though. The emotional connection between Teddy and Finn was certainly there, but the push and pull, hot & cold routine on both sides didn’t help matters any in creating that “meant to be” magic that I tend to look for in a romance. I’d also have liked more scenes with them in a relationship and growing closer, whereas now the story mostly focused on their will they/won’t they dance.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Love and Linguistics by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-and-linguistics-by-tara-lain-10895-b

Blurb

In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.

To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.

El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.

Review

Delightful m/m retelling of My Fair Lady with some darker elements added to the plot, bringing a sense of danger and tension to the story that isn’t there in the original.

El Martin is an amazing character, very driven to make something of himself, hardworking and just the sweetest, unassuming guy underneath the tough boy exterior he’s trying to shed.
Henry is very much the oblivious scholar, too focused on his paper & career to take into account the feelings of actual people like El. He’s quite smug and a bit of a snob, but when he falls in love, he falls hard and it’s easy to forgive him for his imperfections.
I liked how the relationship between El and Henry was written, the misunderstandings and the mutual longing. The secondary characters were great too and it was wonderful to see El gradually making new friends and even a new life for himself.

All in all, an enjoyable, sweet read.

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Flash Rip (Flash Rip #1) by Keira Andrews

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48054988-flash-rip?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

On Australia’s hottest beach, the most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Flash Rip is a gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This was so amazing!  I really felt the tension and the pain it took for Liam to make the reach to being an out and proud man in a partnership.  Keira did a really nice job with the pacing.  Cody’s constant, unwavering support matched his age and experience, while Liam was understandably lagging behind and so, so fearful but when he does make the transition  it felt authentic.

 

I loved learning about Barkers beach and the life of full time lifeguards.  I always learn so much when I read Keira’s books – they are so clearly well researched.  I also loved all the new slang I learned!

 

This was not my favorite sexual theme, I’m not real keen on D/s but it was gentle and it really felt necessary for Liam and his development romantically.

 

Highly recommended!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review