Categories
adult - 18+

Abstract Love by: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher and link to book (i.e. Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53977278-abstract-love

Blurb
Sam never expected to move back to Cleveland.
Donovan never expected to be attracted to a man.
Well, shit happens.

After high school, Sam Shelby moved to New York. Eight years later, he returns to Cleveland and lands a job at the best ad firm in town. It would be the perfect gig, if his boss weren’t such an ass.

After his wife leaves, Donovan Cooper questions everything. The arrival of a young, arrogant, gifted graphic designer at Donovan’s firm is the last straw.

Tempers flare over office gossip, and following a nasty argument and scathing kiss, Donovan flails away from heterosexuality while Sam struggles to keep his “no relationship” rule intact.

Despite ugly socks, fiery fights, and their best intentions to not fall in love, these bullheaded coworkers can’t deny their chemistry. Donovan seeks happiness while Sam seeks success, but is there room for more?

Review
I had no idea what I was getting into when I chose this book. The blurb intrigued me. I am so very happy I did. This book is going on my read again list. Both Donovan and Sam are such real characters. Each of them are going through their own problems and never expected to be drawn to each other. The push and pull between them was captivating. Donovan realises he is stuck in a rut, so stuck he doesn’t know how to get out until he meets Sam. Sam is fighting old demons. What I like about this book is that neither of them is the answer to each other’s problems but together they make coping with them more bearable. I admit in the beginning I wasn’t certain about the gay for you aspect of the story but it completely works. The secondary characters of Zen and Monica provide humour making the story less heavy.
This book impressed me enough that I’m now going to check out other works by Sara Dobie Bauer, can’t believe I haven’t found her work before.

Number of stars out of 5 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Sticky Fingers by Davidson King

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50665726-sticky-fingers?from_search=true&qid=w97pllIB6p&rank=1

Blurb
When the desperate needs of his family must come before his dream of finishing his degree, Kyle, feeling both guilt ridden and heartbroken, knows what he needs to do. But when his help isn’t enough, a shady idea offered by his even shadier friend proves the only saving grace.
Mergers, acquisitions, and philanthropy consume Maddox’s days and nights prompting an overdue visit to his best friend’s luxury resort. Finally enjoying some R&R, he meets an adorable botanist working there for the summer. But a surprise visit from his ex and a shocking theft from his suite turn Maddox’s trip into chaos.
Trusting his gut, Maddox strikes a deal to help Kyle make up for his sticky fingers. But when his heart gets involved and his ex refuses to let go, Maddox’s plan starts to unravel. A summer of romance, deceit, and greed have both men navigating emotional waters, leaving them to wonder if true love and their happy ever after will come to pass.

Review

I felt like this book was really rushed, much of it was just too silly and the plot evolved fast with not enough believability to me. The beginning especially, felt to me like there was a need to get characters into a certain position in the plot and there was little care into how they got there. Kyle was too gullible in an annoying way, and the issue with his parents needing money felt like just a thing thrown in there. The story has a bit of Beauty and the Beast vibe, Kyle is indebted to Maddox who manipulates everything on a gut feeling to set Kyle up in his mansion to pay off his attempted theft. Maddox was very immature, at one point Kyle tells him “your acting like a 5 year old” and I couldn’t help but think how true that was, and not just that part of the story. There is also a bit of a thrilling twist, but it was very obvious to me what was going on and was a bit too cliché in my opinion.
I don’t know what it was about it, but towards the last 30% I was skimming most of the pages to just get it over with. Some parts where funny, but I am sad to say I was disappointed with this book.

Number of stars out of 5
2.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Digging Deeper (Interlocking Fragments #2) by Michele Notaro and Sammi Cee

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48846687-digging-deeper

Blurb

Hendrix~

One minute, I’m on patrol with my partner. The next, I’m waking up after being in a coma for weeks and my whole world has changed. On the bright side, my twin brother tells me he’s moving home after being gone for almost ten years, and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, I woke up. That’s definitely a positive. On the other hand, they don’t know if I’ll ever walk again, my brother’s dating my best friend, and I’m starting to obsess about my brother’s best friend … yeah, like that’s not a disaster waiting to happen. How’s my brother going to feel if I admit I’m bisexual after all these years? After watching him struggle alone?
And am I really thinking about Gavin, the man I’ve resented for keeping my brother away all these years? But I can’t take my eyes off of him, especially when his brown eyes seem so sad and haunted.

Gavin~

Following my best friend to Baltimore was an easy decision since he’s the only family I have, and finding a physical therapist job was a bonus. But now I’m afraid of being a burden to him and his new boyfriend, so I’ve been keeping to myself. The loneliness is seeping back in, and the person that’s been helping is the last one I’d expect. Hendrix has always hated me, but the more I help him recover, the more of him shines through, and I begin seeing him in a different light. He’s always been my best friend’s grumpy, twin brother, but now he’s the straight guy I can’t stop thinking about, the one I can’t stop checking out, and the one I can’t have. Not that I even want anyone after everything—my baggage is too heavy for even me to deal with, let alone someone else… but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about him.

With Hendrix harboring family secrets, and Gavin’s painful past still bleeding like an open wound, can these two men find a way to help each other dig deeper? Or will they hide from their truths and forsake the potential staring them right in the face?

Digging Deeper is the second book in the Interlocking Fragments series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the whole series. This is a contemporary romance intended for 18+.

Review

I mostly agree that this is a standalone, however, you’d miss out on a LOT of back story if you only read this – and – since book one was so good – I’d recommend reading them both – in order!

This is a recovery story – for both our MCs. Mostly Hendrix, but Gavin has his healing to do as well.

I loved the way these two played off one another and their chemistry is scorching!

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll love this and if you’re a fan of tough love and inspiring HEAs this is the story for you.

Highly recommended!

5 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Deal maker by Lily Morton Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Deal-Maker-Audiobook/B07YGWH9MT?pf_rd_p=f7d83ab4-b13f-4b8d-8333-ba0de3107275&pf_rd_r=XT0YA13M5730HHKA4GGJ&ref=a_pd_Rule-B_c5_adblp13nABCD_1_1

Blurb

Sometimes your mouth makes deals that your heart can’t honour.

Jude is a highly successful model, but a very reluctant one. His life is full of casual hook-ups with pretty men in glamorous locations, but it’s still empty. However, circumstances decreed a long time ago that this was his path, so he’s resolutely stayed on it and accepted his fate with good grace. He made a deal with himself and his hook-ups. Get in, get out and no ties with anyone.

However, an accident at home one night leads to him making a new deal and accepting the offer of help from an unlikely source. It leads to an unexpected summer of falling in love with a larger than life man and his child.

But by the end of the summer his reasons for not staying are still valid. Will he turn away? Can he?

Asa is a talented actor who has spent time away from the scene to look after his son. But now he’s back, and the last thing he needs are complications from the gorgeous man who is staying with him. Scarred from too many betrayals, he has no intention of forming a lasting tie with anyone. However, he can’t resist the beautiful man with secrets, and to his horror he develops feelings.

But a deal’s a deal and they said it was just for the summer. What can Asa do with a man who has forever in his eyes and goodbye on his lips?

From the Amazon bestselling author of ‘Rule Breaker’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy.

Review

Unlike the first book in the series that took some effort to get into, I liked this one from the start. Jude is the perfect snarky character to ever grace a books pages, he does his outmost to be a ditzy, clueless model parody to make Asa’s life difficult. And as funny as that was, I liked that the author didn’t take it too far or it could have been annoying. Asa, for his part, is also a clever witty man and catches on to Jude’s act, shifting their relationship to a new territory.
Asa is just a big old cuddly softy that makes the ultimate book boyfriend, and his relationship with his son is sweet and touching. Billy is the cutest, most conniving little boy you can imagine and seeing how Asa and Jude orbit around his was wonderful.
I liked how much Jude was a well-rounded character, he had many good reasons to be the way he was, and Asa did too. It made the conflict of the story that much more interesting because you could clearly take either side. Finding their HEA was not easy and they each had to fight old scars and pain from past relationships to get it.
This book is both funny and genuinely touching, with great supporting characters too. The replies to fan mail Jude writes in Asa’s name at the beginning of ever chapter are hilarious! Choosing to read them out in Asa’s voice is even more so!

The narration by Joel Leslie is, like always fantastic! He fits characters like Jude and Dylan so well and his accent work his so good! I cannot get enough of his accents, he’s like a chameleon, smoothly moving from character to character. This book was hilarious and he just made it that much better with his nuances and acting skills.

Number of stars out of 5
4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Reveal (Men of Hidden Creek Season 4, Book 4) By HJ Welch Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Reveal-Audiobook/B07X58KMXT?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=SK2XT2CQKD7VRSRSSWQ5&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07X58KMXT

Blurb

“I wish this were real with you.”
Geeky Jason Miller has never really been with a man, and his bullying colleagues at NASA know it. But when an innocent white lie gets out of hand, Jason never would have guessed his gorgeous-but-straight childhood friend would leap to his rescue.
Firefighter Channing Forster saves people every day, so when protecting his former next-door neighbor turns into faking a relationship for a work getaway, he doesn’t hesitate. As the weekend goes on, though, Channing starts to think that he doesn’t just see cute Jason Miller as a buddy anymore.
Are Channing’s feelings for Jason real enough that he could be his first? Jason needs to accept his true self before he can love another. But when his colleagues and boss discover his many secrets, will he lose everything forever, including Channing?
Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be enjoyed on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This audiobook contains not-so-fake boyfriends, a stowaway kitty, and enough fireworks to outshine the Fourth of July.

Review
I loved this! I found Channing to be AWESOME and I truly wish he was a person I could know and love because I totally would!

I found his “coversion” to bi-sexuality to be totally believable and totally sweet and wonderful.

If I have a complaint it’s that the Nasa “boss” was supposedly trying to be more open and keeping with modern times but time and again Jason’s nemesis – I forget his name – says homophobic and bullying comments in front of their boss and it’s brushed off til the end when he damn near kills people!

Jason was a doll and though I grew a little weary of his “but how can he be attracted to little ol’ me?” a bit trying – he mostly charmed me. I SUPER loved all the wives! They seemed like a hoot as well, and another great group of folks to get to know.

I bought this for Nick Russo and he did another tremendous job – including the southern accents!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

 

Copy Purchased For Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish Narrated by: Kirt Graves, Tor Thom

audiobookreview

Audible:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Raze-Audiobook/1541445473?qid=1564953992&sr=1-16&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QA740D25TFCXJP2DZ4RA&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_16

Blurb

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.

Review

This was so, so good!
It took me awhile to get into this because I was really nervous about the entire “sobriety” thing that is a recurring theme in the series but – though it is definitely a main theme – it almost took a back seat to the really sweet and awkward romance between these two totally mismatched heroes.

I loved that Felix had to really dig deep and find his own happiness and how Huey had to admit his “patterns” were no longer helpful.

The heat is just right – a fair amount of steam but this is really more about the feels.

Highly recommended! I think it’s best when read as part of the series but it can absolutely stand on its own.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I really enjoyed Kirt Graves’ part of this narration, he does a nice job as Felix – high strung and energetic. I wasn’t a huge fan of Tor Thom. On the one hand he did fit Huey but it was harder to listen to him because I felt like I wanted him to be less clunky in my ear and his breathing bothered me.

In any case, it’s a wonderful way to experience this story.

4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Recent Release: Paint It Black by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-it-black-by-amy-lane-10680-b

Blurb

Everybody thinks Mackey Sanders’s Outbreak Monkey is the last coming of Rock ’n’ Roll Jesus, but Cheever Sanders can’t wait to make a name for himself where nobody expects him to fill his famous brothers’ shoes. He’s tired of living in their shadow.

Blake Manning has been one of Outbreak Monkey’s lead guitarists for ten years. He got this gig on luck and love, not talent. So hearing that Cheever is blowing through Outbreak Monkey’s hard-earned money in an epic stretch of partying pisses him off.

Blake shows up at Cheever’s nonstop orgy to enforce some rules, but instead of a jaded punk, he finds a lost boy as talented at painting as Mackey is at song-making, and terrified to let anybody see the real him. Childhood abuse and a suicide attempt left Cheever on the edge of survival—a place Blake knows all too well.

Both men have to make peace with being second banana in the public eye. Can they find the magic of coming absolute first with each other?

Review

Beneath the Stain is one of my all time favorite books, not just Amy book, but all time. I was ECSTATIC to find she’d written more! The story takes place several years and several kids later for the band and it’s members.

Just as Stain ripped our hearts out, so too does Paint it Black.

Poor Cheever. Gah. Remember how we hated him in Stain? Well, there was a HORRIBLE reason he was such a dick. That part of the story was very, very hard to read and it made Grant and Mackey seem only a little sad.

I loved the slight switch here where – once things are a little stabilized, Cheever is the one explaining life to Blake and helping him to see the Truth.

It was fantastic seeing the boys again and watching them with their kids and finding out how Briony keeps them all under control! I can’t wait for the audio and I can’t recommend the book highly enough!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Honeymoon-for-One-Audiobook/1977348653?qid=1558200219&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=G4TDFP1ZMFBCZMTMVBYP

Blurb

The wedding is off, but the love story is just beginning.

Betrayed the night before his wedding by the supposed boy of his dreams, Ethan Robinson escapes the devastating fallout by going on his honeymoon alone to the other side of the world. Hard of hearing and still struggling with the repercussions of being late-deafened, traveling by himself leaves him feeling painfully isolated with his raw, broken heart.

Clay Kelly never expected to be starting life over in his forties. He got hitched young, but now his wife has divorced him and remarried, his kids are grown, and he’s left his rural Outback town. In a new career driving a tour bus on Australia’s East Coast, Clay reckons he’s happy enough. He enjoys his cricket, a few beers, and a quiet life. If he’s a bit lonely, it’s not the end of the world.

Clay befriends Ethan, hoping he can cheer up the sad-eyed young man, and a crush on an unattainable straight guy is exactly the safe distraction Ethan needs. Yet as the days pass and their connection grows, long-repressed desires surface in Clay, and they are shocked to discover romance sparking. Clay is the sexy, rugged man of Ethan’s dreams, and as the clock counts down on their time together, neither wants this honeymoon to end.

Honeymoon for One is a gay romance by Keira Andrews featuring a May-December age difference, a slow burn of newfound friends to lovers, first-time m/m sex, and of course a happy ending.

Review

When I read the blurb I thought – ugh – I really don’t like jilted stories or rebound stories or holiday romances… but I love Keira Andrews and so I had to give it a go. Well, as always, she does not disappoint!

The emphasis on this is not the rebound but the realization of feelings that Clay has been hiding from himself for years. Sure, he’s a little older, they’re from different CONTINENTS and he’s on the rebound – but of course – it’s all gonna work out in the end! (LOL)

These guys do find a way to make it work that seems plausible – but really – in the end – it’s their journey that is so ooey gooey delectable. They talk, they aren’t afraid to emote and they have some pretty steamy smexy times!

Luckily the family thing isn’t an issue and beyond all the major hurdles we already know about, the author didn’t throw in more to be OTT.

This was a really lovely story that I recommend to fans of the author, fans of Australia, fans of May/December romance and fans of OFY/GFY romance.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Joel Leslie does a great job with the accents and – as always – he’s great with handling the wide variety of characters, the emotion and the timing.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish

Good reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42274594-raze?from_search=true

Blurb

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix.

Review

This was so, so good!
It took me awhile to get into this because I was really nervous about the entire “sobriety” thing that is a recurring theme in the series but – though it is definitely a main theme – it almost took a back seat to the really sweet and awkward romance between these two totally mismatched heroes.

I loved that Felix had to really dig deep and find his own happiness and how Huey had to admit his “patterns” were no longer helpful.

The heat is just right – a fair amount of steam but this is really more about the feels.

Highly recommended! I think it’s best when read as part of the series but it can absolutely stand on its own.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Here Comes Trouble (Nothing Special #3) by A.E. Via Narrated by Aiden Snow

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Here-Comes-Trouble-Audiobook/1977343732?pf_rd_p=d4bd4ee1-b56e-4ffb-8f73-3fbb8d604669&pf_rd_r=K2MX6R0AMP3S7SYERRQ4&ref=a_author_A-_c19_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Detectives Mark Ruxsberg and Chris Green are very good at their jobs. Being the enforcers for God and Day’s notorious Atlanta PD Narcotics Task Force causes the crazy duo to get into more trouble than they can often get out of. The pair never misses out on an opportunity to drive their Lieutenants crazy with their dangerous, reckless, and costly stunts, landing them in the hot seat in front God… often.

Ruxs and Green love their jobs and they don’t mind the very demanding schedule that leaves them little time for socializing or dating. It was fine with them, they enjoyed hanging out with each other anyway.

However, most of the men in their close circle of friends and colleagues are pairing off and settling down. God has Day, Ro has Johnson, and their Sergeant Syn has Furious.

For the past several years, Ruxs has only sought out the advice and company of one person, his partner and best friend Green, and vice versa. Both of these alpha males are presumed straight, but neither can deny the heat that’s building in their once ‘just friends’ relationship.

Review

I love this series! It’s super sexy, full of romance, and full of Alpha males falling in love – often with other Alpha males!

In this case we get a bi-sexual enforcer who falls for his “straight” partner who is also falling. The two end up pseudo-adopting a kid and become a really wonderful family.

While I do sometimes skim over the smexy times – there are a lot! – the romance and the storyline keep me hooked and eagerly turning pages.

I’m a big fan of this “new to me” narrator Aiden Snow and I’ve LOVED what he has to do with this series. He totally gets the characters and does a great job with the accents, the emotion, the dialog and even the female characters.

Highly recommended!

4.5 for the book
5 for the narration

Overall 5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided For Review