Time for the Holidays: Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane (re-release)

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/christmas-kitsch-by-amy-lane-10019-b

Blurb: Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review: Rusty is a “nice boy”. Tries hard, plays football, dates girls… but he’s not the “quickest”. He can eventually figure things out – given enough time- but he takes awhile to get there.
Good manners and a fascination for the new kid – chocolate to Rusty’s vanilla – prompts Rusty to befriend snarky, openly gay, Hispanic and funny Oliver. Oliver can hold his own with Rusty’s “friends” but it’s Rusty who becomes Oliver’s best friend in the last year of high school.
When it comes time for Rusty to go to Berkley, where he just knows he’s going to fail, Oliver does all he can to assure him that he’ll be there for him and that he knows Rusty won’t get lost in the shuffle. And… he kisses Rusty – telling him to just “think about it”.
Rusty is left at Berkley- lost, scared, trapped with a crazy but warm-hearted-hyper-sexual-roommate (Rex), and the memory of Oliver’s kiss to make him question…everything.
When it becomes apparent that Rusty is in fact not ready for Berkley – though he tries damn hard – he is ready for Oliver and knows that Oliver is more than just his best friend. Rusty goes home for Thanksgiving and is greeted by Oliver and kisses. His family witnesses this and kicks Rusty out of the house.
Luckily, Oliver’s family is there to help Rusty pick up the pieces and get him set up. What follows, is Rusty’s jump into the deep end of adulthood and his navigation of his first real relationship that also happens to be his first gay relationship.
Oliver’s impatience and love both help and hinder him in this process, but the underlying support he and his dad offer Rusty give him the strength to grow into the man he needs to become.
**
After Gambling Men, this is my favorite Amy Lane book. It is sweet, funny, tender, lightly sexy and really wonderful.
Rusty’s character is so open and honest as is Oliver. I love that the two have constant communication about their feelings, but even so, still manage to run into trouble because relationships are hard! Oliver just can’t understand Rusty’s reluctance to have him move in and Rusty just can’t be pressured in to giving Oliver anything but a wonderful home.
Oliver is just smart and snarky enough to ease the saccharine sweetness of Rusty’s goodness and make them a real, fun, and sexy couple.
I loved the interactions with the secondary characters. The role model of Oliver’s dad. The hilarity of the cousins. The hero-worship of Rusty’s sister. And the eventual grace of Rusty’s parents.
I read this book when I need a warm hug on a rainy afternoon and it always makes me feel better.
I can’t recommend it enough.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
There is a special place in my heart for Amy Lane and her books. It was through Amy’s Little Goddess series, I followed her carefully laid out book crumbs which led me to the world of MM romance. She was also the first ‘real live author’ I wrote to after reading her work and I was so excited when she wrote back.

Knowing how Amy writes, I was expecting to shed a few tears over this book, and I wasn’t wrong.
Rusty is an absolute sweetheart. With his upbringing, he could have been a really arrogant bully, but he isn’t. He knows he isn’t that smart, but he still tries his hardest. He doesn’t want to go to college as he knows it will be too hard for him, but he goes anyway to please his parents.
His one rebellion is to fall in love with Oliver Campbell. And he gets kicked out of home for it.

I adored Rusty right from the beginning. Reading the book from his point of view, he may not quite have rose tinted glasses, but there is an innocence to the way he sees the world that can’t help but charm the reader. Oliver may be the smaller of the two boys, but he is smarter and does everything he can to fiercely protect Rusty.

This book is what Amy Lane does best. Great characters and a story that will rip out your heart and stomp on it before carefully putting it back inside you to beat another day.

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Rivals (Gaymer Guys #1) by Alison Hendricks

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42183978-rivals?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Finn:
The Cyclones are more than just a team to me—they’re my family. As captain, I give my all to make sure they’re taken care of. Sure, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for me, but I’ve always been able to ignore my own needs. Until Ryker.

I know he’s all talk. But it’s such dirty, distracting talk that it costs me and my team qualifying points. I shouldn’t let him get to me, but I want him in the worst way, and a hookup at a gaming convention seems as good a place as any to get over him.

But when he earns a spot with the Cyclones, all my hangups over this guy are brought to the forefront, 24/7. I expected to give in to my attraction again, but I never thought he’d become an integral part of my team… and my life.

Ryker:
Beating the Cyclones isn’t just about bragging rights for me. It’s about proving to my dad—and myself—that I’m worth more than the internship he’s oh-so-generously offered me.

There’s only one problem: I’ve been low-key obsessed with their captain, Finn, for the better part of a year. He’s everything I want, and everything I want to be—driven, talented, passionate. He also hates my guts, which honestly only makes me want him more.

But it only takes one insanely hot encounter to tell me I won’t be getting him out of my system anytime soon. And when I finally have the opportunity to join the Cyclones and pursue my dream, the one thing I want most of all is him.

Rivals is the first book in a brand new series! While all these books feature gaming and geekery, you don’t have to be a self-professed gamer to enjoy them. If you like the idea of hot, adorkable nerds falling in love, you’re in the right place.

Review

Funnily enough… there was way too much sex in this IMHO. I had to bump this down a notch for that alone.  I wanted more relationship and less humping.  They thought about having sex.  Had sex.  Then thought about how they had sex.  It was too much.

I was very captivated by the enemies to lovers, but sometimes the ages of the MCs felt off – at times too young and others too mature. Inconsistent definitely.  But – maybe – some of that was them growing… hard to tell.

However, the gaming stuff sounded legit and fascinating and I’m stoked for a new series!  Sometimes I was overwhelmed by all the gaming jargon, but it was mostly done in a way that non gamers cold follow.

Recommended!

4 of 5 stars

Retro Read: See The Light Audiobook by Cassandra Carr Narrated by Jason Hilton

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17366214-see-the-light

Blurb:
Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.

Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction.

The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. When their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight, though, will their love survive or be put on ice?

Review:

Wowee was this a sexy read. Jason “knows” he’s gay but has done very little to act upon this knowledge. He’s visited some clubs but never had a relationship and never really had the “full sexual experience” as he defines it (penetrative) and doesn’t know that he wants it. He’s a hockey player first and foremost and though he accepts that he likes men more than women, he’s not quite sure he’s comfortable identifying as a “gay man”, and he isn’t out to anyone.

Patrick is the opposite. He’s older. He’s had relationships. Though he still isn’t out professionally, he’s out to his friends and family. His interest in Jason at first is strictly professional, but when Jason begins acting peculiarly around him, he begins to have his suspicions. When he bravely acts on these suspicions he’s richly rewarded and the couple begins a deeply closeted affair, consisting of stolen moments over the course of months. They don’t even live in the same state, they have busy schedules and it is hard for them to be together.

The benefit of this is that Patrick can’t rush Jason or push him to doing anything that makes Jason uncomfortable and this helps ease Jason into accepting his sexuality more.
I thought the dialog between the guys felt very natural and masculine. Neither guy was overly “in touch with his feelings” much and so the natural hurdles that would exist between two recalcitrant males felt organic.

When the couple is in close contact during the Olympics things really begin to heat up. There is an uncomfortable moment when a homophobic slur is made that stops play during a game and Jason has a crisis of conscience about continuing his “straight” charade when others have to face discrimination without support. Patrick leaves the decision up to Jason on how much to reveal, advising that times might be changing, but there are never any guarantees.

Finally, an accident forces the couple to show their hands and they have to face the media, their team, and their family, and (especially hard for Jason) – themselves.
**
All in all, the story was really very well written. The slow movements toward couple-hood felt natural and well-paced. The sex was super hot and the emotions were real and fulfilling. I thought the hurdles were realistic and tackled in a way that seemed authentic.
The narrator did an excellent job. He has a very deep voice that really seemed to fit both Alpha Males and I really enjoyed his narration of their bantering dialog especially.
I hadn’t read the author or listened to the narrator before, but I will now be on the lookout! I highly recommend both the story and the audiobook and give both 4.5 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression:

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

release day review

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/strays-by-aj-thomas-9875-b

Blurb

Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.

But the minister who exploited him wants him back.

Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….

 

Review by Karen

 
This was a really fun paranormal romance, set in a well-drawn imaginary world.

Mal and Jory are a match made in heaven, or hell rather, since both of them are demons, though only one of them actually knows that. I was quite intrigued by the mystery surrounding Jory ‘s powers and identity and had a hard time stopping myself from skipping to the end to find that out sooner than the author intended.

I adore Mal for the way he cares for Louise and for how suddenly and completely he loses his heart to Jory. Even believing it’ll mean forfeiting his own life, he’s still all in and wants to protect Jory…no matter what. If only Mal could also find a way to be completely honest with Jory about who they both are without losing him. Decisions, decisions…

Jory’s a dear as well, a genuinely kind and caring person. He doesn’t start off squeaky clean though, helping a corrupt reverend to deceive his gullible congregation, but we can forgive him because he truly does help people and in a way he sticks to the only (manipulative and ungrateful) family he’s ever known. And almost gets himself killed in the process. Poor guy.

I really liked the hierarchy in the demon-world, and the way it mirrors human society in a way, though on a darker and more dangerous scale because, hey…demons. There’s a lot of strife and one-upmanship, both close-knit and dysfunctional families, and last but not least, discrimination between the different species.
I loved the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the original take on the incubus-mythology. The secondary characters were lovely and I hope to see more of them in future books, especially Keygan and Neal. Neal is great as a demon turned guardian angel, booze and all.

I very much hope this will turn into a series!

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review by Neta
I was very interested in this book and love the plot going in, I do have to say as I got into it I was constantly confused and felt like details were too vague. I mainly feel like the world was not build clearly enough, for example some names of creatures were not explained and I found myself trying to make sense of them or having to wait for another tidbit of information to understand the meaning of authors intent. When you have a fantasy setting such as this and you invent names for things there needs to be some consistency and clarity. I was too focused on understanding these small things to enjoy the story itself at times. I also feel like Jory himself was not clearly defined as a character, and at times he was unaware of his Incubi bloodline and the fact demons and Hell exist. Other times he was very cool about magical, supernatural things and his un-human-ness and I found that a bit strange. There is a bit of mystery involved in this story, and it was done fairly well and was interesting and unexpected at times but the Supernatural elements being so undefined really got in the way for me.
Mal and Jory are cute together, sweet and fun, I loved his companion Louise was a character I really liked, there was something about her connection to Mal and the story behind her name that touched my heart. Neal was a mysterious one, and I don’t feel I fully get what his deal is and his connection to all the other supernatural things going on in this book but he was funny and I liked him as well.
I wish this book had better structure, and a bit more cohesiveness, because the plot was interesting with lots of potencial.

Number of stars out of 5
3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

There is much about this that I liked. The world building is unique and definitely interesting and kept me reading. I wasn’t ever quite sure what Jory’s deal was and how he went from healer to powerful incubus and even what all the rules governing his status was – and that made this a frustrating read.

Mal also confused the hell outta me in that at times he seemed eager to give up his life and then he would reverse and be sort of stand offish – all without really even knowing Jory that well.

I sort of understood the others who were there defending Jory but all in all I feel like this was a story with parts missing.

The romance itself was ok, but again, there was SO MUCH going on that it was hard to really focus on the romance at all and in fact it didn’t really fell like a focus, more like a side interest.

By the end our guys have a tentative HFN but it wasn’t super satisfying to me.

I was captivated by the magic and world building but underwhelmed by the final execution of the story itself, especially the romance.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Get Paranormal: Duck! Audiobook by: Kim Dare Narrated by: Rod M. Maskew

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Duck-Audiobook/B01NCLJWJ9?qid=1535303252&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JEEM5XB5ZEQJSXBW1DRC&

Blurb

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck – and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

Review
I have loved this retake of the ugly duckling fairytale for a long time. The essence of the original fairy tale is still the structure of the story which makes it familiar whilst bringing it into the realm of shifters. We meet Ori living a life of drudgery being bullied by other bird shifters. The Avian nest has a hierarchical structure and Ori being a duckling is low down the pecking order, so to speak. The author has selected birds that suit the nature of the characters being portrayed. This gave me wonderful imagery. The superior Hawks and other birds of Pray being at the top and the pigeons scurrying about in service roles.
Reynard, a Hawk, is disgusted with the way Ori is being treated and offers him a role as a servant in his home. This is where the Master/slave story starts. If BDSM is not your cup of tea this might not the story for you. The core is Dominance and Submission but it doesn’t have a lot of kinky scenes, so it might be worth taking a chance. Reynard, being a Hawk, is a strong character and with the societal hierarchy consent seems to be taken for granted. His drive is to protect and care for Ori. Ori looks up to Reynard and equally wants to take care of Reynard by serving him. From this the love grows and blossoms. The huge bump in their relationship comes from when Ori has his final shift and becomes a Swan. I don’t think I’m giving much away given that it’s based on the Ugly Duckling fairytale. How they deal with this dramatic change though is what makes the story. Can their love overcome such an obstacle? I’ll leave you to discover that for yourselves.

Regarding the narration, I am a fan of Rod M. Maskew’s narration. He excelled at portraying the nature of each bird’s character through the tone and voices he chose. The Hawks were superior upper class English men and the crows were noisy ruffians. Ori was gentle and meek but also gracious. Apart from the second book, magpie, I don’t think he has narrated anything else, which is such a shame.

5 of stars out of 5 for both

Purchased by reviewer

Recent Review: Never Let Me Go by Elaine White

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40966513-never-let-me-go?from_search=true

Fashion photo of young model man on white background. Boy posing. Studio photo. Black and white

Blurb
We were everything to each other, once. Now we’re basically strangers. The most I get from Bradley, as we pass in the hall, is a glare or a shove against the lockers.
The problem is that I don’t mind.
I’d do anything, be anything and give anything, to be with him. Even if he is arrogant, crass, and the sexiest man in school. He’s also dominant. Over me. Only me. And I love it.
I was waiting for graduation. Until we’d left school and the constant rules, the judgments and gossip. I was waiting until I had the guts to ask Bradley to be my Dom for real. Forever.
I just never expected him to make the first move.

Warning: be prepared for no explicit content, teen drama, snark galore, and a whole lot of tension between strong Dom/sub personalities. These boys know who they are and they aren’t about to hide it.

Review by Aerielle
I had a really hard time getting into this book. Bradley (one of the MCs) was pretty unlikable and I had an issue with the way he treated Rory throughout the story. Bradley seems to have a lot of self loathing issues regarding his sexuality which ends up with him treating Rory abysmally. Rory on the other hand comes off as a complete doormat. He pretty much takes whatever Bradley dishes out. This is supposed to be about two young men’s journey into a D/s relationship but this book goes about it in the wrong way. The only part of this book I like was the epilogue. It was a sweet ending to a “meh” book.

Number 2.5 stars

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Rebecca
This book has a great D/s dynamic without going into the S&M kink. The few time jumps in the book was initially confusing, but it got better. Bradley was a very complex but adorable character. You feel bad for him, but yet in other ways you don’t. Rory was adorable and reminded me of how I was a little in high school. Both are strong willed. The couple had ups and downs and I definitely rooted for them. Very well written book. I enjoyed reading it.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/when-everything-is-blue-by-laura-lascarso-9991-b

Blurb:

Theo Wooten and Chris Mitcham have been friends for years, despite Theo’s nerdiness and Chris’s golden boy charm. Theo lives next door to Chris with his twin sister and his mother after his parents divorced. His relationship with his father is rocky, his social status a mess and his sister is much cooler than he is. For the last year Theo has been attracted to Chris, and he feels bad about not telling him but is afraid of losing their friendship. When Theo’s sexuality is revealed will he be able to keep all the people he cares about?

Review:

overall:
I rather enjoyed this book both for the quality narration and the interesting Coming Of Age story. It is both poignant and funny, and written in a lyrical descriptive way I love! This book is a great YA Coming Of Age that is sexy and achingly heart waring. If you like YA with lots of sexy times this just might be the book for you! This story is full of emotion and realness, it’s a beautiful tale of self-discovery and knowing one’s worth.

Story:
This is a classic Friends To Lovers with Theo and Chris sharing this incredible bond that goes beyond social status and ethnicity. I say this because throughout the book that issue comes up, both as racist slurs, jokes and material value VS love and caring. The best example is Theo’s parents, a white dentist and a Hispanic immigrant. Theo’s father keeps measuring his value in money, and despite the fact his mother is not financially sound you can clearly tell she is much more supportive and caring than his cold, selfish, alcoholic father. These important themes are incorporated well into the story and give it more depth. Another notable element is Theo’s namesake, his great uncle, who has dementia. Captain Wooten is a wonderful side character that is a mirror image for Theo, showing him what happens when you let fear and familial expectations dictate your life choices. Theo is very much struggling with his identity and how he wants to live, and his visitations to his Uncle show him a side of his family he did not know about.

I love how this book shows a true teenage struggle, the exploration of sexuality and questionable decisions fueled by hormones and confusion. Theo is sucked into a relationship with a boy he probably shouldn’t, despite being in love with his best friend Chris. I know many reads shy from books where an MC has a relationship with another character, and here it is described in detail. I personally do not like these kinds of things in stories but here it was fitting, it felt very human to me, and VERY teen like. Chris, his best friend and supporter is such a mature young man, I loved how he steered Theo through the turbulence of his coming out and his relationship with his father. He is the rock that Theo leans on, and he has a very optimistic attitude. The way they get together and explore their connection was wonderful, frantic and gentle at the same time. Also, their relationship is much more HFN then HEA, and that also is fitting these characters and where they are in their life, this is just the beginning of their story.

Narration:
Michael Mola did an amazing job narrating this book, I especially liked how he used breath and added a lot of effects in his narration. He truly preformed this book, and it added a whole new dimension to it. He had a distinct voice for every character, juggling many personalities with ease. The only thing I would change is the accent he did for Theo’s voice. Theo is described as coming from a home were his mother spoke Spanish to him growing up. His twin sister is said to understand but not speak it and it implies that she is trying to “pass” as white American rather than Ethnic. However I do not understand why the narrator chose a Spanish accent for Theo, especially when he did not pull it off so well. It sounded weirdly French and awkward, and in no part of the story does it say he had an accent, nor does it make sense if his twin does not. It was such a shame as everything else from his tone to his pitch was so good and I really enjoyed and admired his skill in performing this book. It’s not a deal breaker for me but was a constant let down and the reason I gave this book 4 Stars and not 5.

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Coming Soon: No Way Out by Julie Lynn Hayes

August 28!

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/no-way-out-by-julie-lynn-hayes-9831-b

Blurb
Scheduling for guest posts and reviews (including Release Day Reviews). Final copies available soon.

Wyatt Findley is an up-and-coming artist, attending a prestigious art institute in St. Louis. His mentor, Lukas Callahan, has snagged a sweet house-sitting job for him in a gorgeous home in a well-to-do part of town. Wyatt can’t help but notice two men who live just across the street.
They make an odd couple, since there must be a good twenty years difference between them. And yet there is something about the younger man that calls to Wyatt.

Shylor Lind has been living with Randy Grant for fifteen years, ever since Grant hired Shy’s mother as his live-in housekeeper. But five years ago, their relationship changed when Shy’s mother sold him to Grant and took the money and ran. Since then, Randy has been training Shy to be his submissive, dominating him in every way. There is nothing Shy can do about the situation, and he has nowhere to go, no one to turn to.

And then Wyatt enters his life… and nothing will ever be the same, as Wyatt engages in a battle for Shy’s very soul

Review
I’m so conflicted by this story. It is by no means BDSM but a story about modern slavery. It’s of a young man being systematically abused and controlled to a point where he has no free will. He too scared to do anything out of routine for fear of punishment. But what do you do when an adult of consenting age doesn’t ask for help or make any sign he needs help to get out of the situation he is in. This is the position Wyatt is in when he suspects Shylor is being abused. His instincts tell him something is not right. Others try to tell him that whilst they don’t like it, it’s the relationship between two consenting adults. And there is the crux, consent. Shylor starts to believe he deserves more, to be treated better once Wyatt shows him how it could be. I felt for Shylor, even more so when it became apparent other Dom’s did not intervene even when they suspected Shylor was, at the very least, being mistreated. The story finished too abruptly for me. I felt that there was more to tell. This may come in another book, I hope so especially as I don’t believe Randy has gone out of Shylor’s life yet. There are also some interesting secondary characters that I would like to know more about.

3 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/On-Davis-Row-Audiobook/B07FK3X4W3?qid=1533353429&sr=sr_1_10&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_10&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=W1E89REAYVSSRC54DJ64&

Blurb

Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.

Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.

Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is such a wonderful, heartwarming story. It’s not Christmas themed, but it is absolutely something you’ll want to enjoy during the holiday season.

NR Walker is the MASTER at giving us characters who tug at your heartstrings, whom are prickly on the exterior and marshmallows on the interior. That’s CJ. Noah, of course, is undeterred by all the bluster and sees the man on the inside.

In addition to these guys really clicking in terms of personality, we’re also given an absolutely gorgeous chemistry that is also very sweet and tender.

If you’re a fan of the author, of underdog stories, or simply a person who wants a lovely happily ever after – this is the story for you!

5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Joel Leslie does another fantastic job – not only giving us Australian accents but different variants of Australian accents! I can’t imagine the research he must do!

In any case, he gives us – again – a wonderful portrayal of both the fear of falling in love for the first time as well as the emotional freedom that comes from being true to yourself.

Highly, highly recommended.

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40742519-truth-betrayal?from_search=tru

Blurb
All the light went out of Jake’s life when his older brother Caleb died in a traffic accident. Getting through the aftermath was always going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done, but finding out that the tall stranger at the graveside was the one driving the car? At least Jake now has a target for all the rage inside him. Because the man responsible for stealing Caleb’s light from the world has no right to intrude on their grief.

Liam had known deep down that it was a mistake to go to Tennessee, but he’d hoped saying goodbye to Caleb would ease the pain inside him. The hostile reception from Caleb’s family and friends comes as no surprise, and Liam flees before things get ugly. They obviously know nothing of Caleb’s life in Atlanta, and maybe it’s better that way. Caleb’s secrets can die with him.
When Jake turns up at Caleb’s apartment to collect his brother’s possessions, what he discovers is the first shock in what is to be a series of revelations, turning Jake’s world upside down. New knowledge brings fresh pain and anguish.

Jake isn’t the only one who’s hurting…

Review
This is such beautiful and powerful story. It’s taken me a while to read because life had other idea about the best use of my time! I have found that when I was not reading l was constantly pulled back to the book. Thinking about the characters when l’m not reading. But sometimes the best way to savour a book is slowly so that all the bubbling emotions can be processed. Grief is hard to deal with at the best of times but finding out that the brother you idolised had a whole other life is extremely hard. Not to mention that Jake is also dealing with his own sexuality at the same time as finding out your brother didn’t feel able to confide in you. Then accepting you were scared to confide in him is a hard journey to take. Jake is lucky he now has Liam to guide him and be his friend whilst both of them come to terms with losing Caleb and the emotions involved in loving each other. Bring into the mix the bigotry and prejudice and there seems to be so much going against them. For me this is a story of faith, trust and hope where love ultimately prevails. The emotions are so powerful There were times I was crying for Caleb, Jacob and Liam. That is a sign for me that already this will be one of the books I will read over and over again.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer