Release Day: Three Bears By A. Nybo

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/three-bears-by-a-nybo-9881-b

Blurb

At Three Bears surf break, the attraction between a group of friends is anything but “Luke warm….”
Dan goes to stay with his best friend Josh in Margaret River, the surfing capital of Western Australia, to sort out his sexual confusion. But his best friend is the source of that confusion. Having never been attracted to a man other than Josh, Dan fears risking their friendship just to discover men aren’t his thing.
Within the first few days, Dan meets Luke, a local barista who offers him surf lessons. Dan soon finds himself emotionally coveting not one, but two men. When they go to Three Bears, his hidden desires begin to emerge. As the ambiguity of Dan’s mixed signals clears, it becomes apparent both of his surfing companions want him—badly.
It is only when Luke and Josh hook up that they formulate “Operation Three Bears,” an adventurous plan that might lead to a satisfying outcome for all of them.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Review by Aerielle

Three Bears is a surf spot with 3 different grades of waves, a Papa, a Mama and a Baby, so don’t let the title full you into thinking its about three burly, hairy guys. This is a story about three men coming together in a beautiful story about self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Dan meets Luke at a coffee shop and strikes up a conversation which leads to Luke offering to teach Dan how to surf. Dan is in town visiting his best friend Josh. Dan has always felt an attraction towards Josh and wants to spend this time to try and sort out his feelings. After hearing Dan talk about Luke, Josh eventually goes to the coffee shop to meet him too. This leads up to all three going to Three Bears to surf. All three guys feel an attraction towards each other, but no one voices this. Luke becomes aware of Dan’s attraction towards Josh and Josh sees Dan checking out Luke. Luke and Josh eventually start a relationship and try to figure out how to include Dan. When all three finally come together the chemistry is off the charts!!

My only real issue with this book was the authors writing style. I have never read anything by A. Nybo before. I found that some scenes tended to end too abruptly. I do enjoy MMM as long as it is done right. This book was borderline for me, with Josh and Luke plotting ways to get Dan to join them but in the end they both had real strong feelings for him and they felt incomplete without him. Three Bears is apart of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series but it is a standalone novella.

4 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Karen

This is a quick and at times amusing read, but I didn’t really feel very invested in this throuple’s road to bliss. 

It just didn’t click for me. The author takes the time to set the stage, so to speak, introducing the three MC’s to the reader and each other, but as far as the actual relationship between the three men is concerned, everything feels very rushed to me.

Once they’re on the same page, they all jump into the physical side of things very quickly, especially considering Dan is still in the closet for nearly half the book. This bothered me, I’m more of a slow-burn kind of girl. I’m also not a fan of fade-outs, so that ruined the more sensual scenes for me. 
A missed opportunity to explore the connection between the three men some more and raise the emotional stakes. 

The connection between the MC’s feels lacking in intensity for me and I just don’t see where or how they actually fell in love with each other. Josh and Dan have a shared history and years of friendship between them to build on, but Luke is a recent addition and they don’t really know him all that well. 

In an mmm romance good communication and a solid emotional connection between all the MC’s is crucial, and I just didn’t feel like that was the case here.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Truus

Short sweet read. It’s all about three guys with their friendship and love.
Dan is confused about his sexuality… to figure out all his feelings he goes to his best friend Josh… even though his feelings for Josh are the reason why he is confused.
On his way to Josh he meets Luke… Luke will teach Dan how to surf.
Dan is more confused because now he is attracted to two guys.

He doesn’t know those same guys have strong feelings for Dan.

I found it an amusing read, not strong developed but that didn’t bother me. It was a sexy entertaining read, it had a lot of tension… it was funny, light and fresh. All three had nice friendly caring personalities. A threesome can be tricky in a story, the dynamic can be awkward but in this short one it was convincing and they fit perfect.

Number of stars 3,5


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Audiobook: His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane Narrator: Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-leading-man-by-ashlyn-kane-9598-

Blurb

He wrote a comedy. Fate directed a romance.

Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.

Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset

Review
This is a sweet and fluffy feel good story. Perfect light listening when you want the romance without any angst. The majority of the story takes place on a film set where friends become lovers. Naturally our two leading men gradually become more than co-workers. Drew came across as a bit of a diva. I’m sure that Ashlyn Kane totally intended him to, but he has a lot of redeeming qualities as well. I loved the way they ended working together. It was one of those possible disastrous scenarios which comes good. I found the whole film set setting quite interesting. The whole premise for the film they are making is a great story in its own right. Wonderful secondary characters, Drew’s agent and Steve’s mother, and the Director.
As always Kenneth Obi provides great narration. He gives distinct voices to all the characters I was never in any doubt which character was speaking. The only thing was I didn’t feel the connection between Drew and Steve. I’m not sure if that was the writing or the depth of character. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable audiobook. It’s light enough to fill an afternoon or accompany you when you are on a journey.

4 of stars out of 5 for both story and narration.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: At Your Service by Ariel Tachna Narrated by Jeff Gelder

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/at-your-service-by-ariel-tachna-3471-b

Blurb
When Anthony Mercer walked into Au cœur du terroir, he was looking for good food and a pleasant evening spent with a friend. He never expected to meet–and sleep with–Paul Delescluse, a waiter at the restaurant. After spending a magical week together in Paris, Anthony must return to his life in North Carolina, while Paul remains in France.
Despite the distance and the lack of promises between them–Paul wants sex, not a relationship–Paul and Anthony forge a solid friendship. Then Anthony’s job takes him back to Paris, this time to stay. Paul is thrilled to have him back, but Anthony has a harder choice: be another of Paul’s conquests or fight for the relationship he knows they could have, if only Paul would believe it.

Review
I have been a big fan of Ariel Tachna since I read her Langs Down series, but I wasn’t sure if I would like this one since I am not a big fan of long-distance love affairs. I ended up enjoying this one for the most part.

Anthony is an American in Paris for a week for work and ends up having a week-long affair with sexy French waiter Paul. He keeps reiterating that this affair will end once he leaves and goes back home which is fine with Paul who has been scorned by love in the past. When the last night rolls around Paul, especially seems reluctant for their time to end, which was surprising to me since he comes off as a bit of a man ho, but that gets addressed later in the story. They part ways but continue to communicate first via email then later through Skype. Both men go on with their lives while encouraging each other to see other people.

Paul gets jealous when Anthony starts seeing another man and ends up having many one-night stands. Anthony ends up getting an opportunity to start up a branch of his work in Paris and Paul invites him to stay with him until he finds a new place to live. They both tell their loved ones that their friendship is more important than jumping back into bed with each other. They have one slip up, but both agree that they should remain platonic friends. Paul really struggles with his feelings for Anthony until he finally bears all and tells him that he wants to try a relationship with Anthony. Anthony, who is afraid of getting hurt again agrees to think about it if Paul can provide that he is really ready for a monogamous relationship.

Paul is determined to prove that he’s trustworthy but eventually Anthony’s rules start to run him ragged and neither men really see it until Paul’s brother brings it to light. Paul uses sex as a way to combat loneliness and Anthony tries to find ways for him to cope when he can’t be there. Eventually they get their acts together and some really good scenes happen from there. The story ends rather abruptly. I really wish that there was an epilogue showing how the guys are doing 6 month or so down the line.

Narration:
I have listened to quite a few books that Jeff Gelder has narrated and while he isn’t a favorite of mine his does an adequate job. My issue with him is he doesn’t tend to change the tone of his voice much to inflect certain emotions. During certain sexy scenes it almost sounds like a character is laughing. I do have to say that I loved his voice for Paul. Super sexy French accent!

4 stars for story and 3.5 stars for narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Crocus by Amy Lane narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Blurb
Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart

Review
(Previously reviewed by Mary on site.)
In my opinion you really do need to read or listen to book 1, Bonfires, before starting Crocus. Bonfires is the story of how Aaron and Larx meet and fall in love with all the complications of joining two families. It ends when Larx’s eldest daughter Olivia comes home from college and tells them she is pregnant. This book takes off from that point. We learn that not only is she pregnant she also has Depression. Amy Lane handles this very difficult subject very well. There is no miraculous recovery just because it suited the storyline. We go through Olivia’s struggles to move out of the dark place she is in and Larx’s struggles as a parent to help her. At the same time his rock, Aaron is injured whilst on duty, one of his students is suffering from domestic abuse and is missing in a snowstorm. In amongst this two brothers need his support. There is so much to keep you on edge desperate to know more and wanting everything to work out. I love the dose of reality and practically Amy Lane has in these stories. By the way the book ended I am certain there will be a third book, can’t wait.

From Morgan: I absolutely agree with Mary. Even though the HEA for our guys happens in book 1, we don’t really see them interacting a whole lot together because – in typical Amy fashion – they are BOMBARDED with drama. Though the drama is still in heavy doses in book 2 – our guys handle it TOGETHER and that makes all the difference.

I was glad to see Amy confront the depression issues head on and not shy away from the less than perfect side of pregnancy, etc.

Highly recommended and can’t wait for book 3!

Audio

I just love Nick J Russo. I can’t say that enough. He makes every listening experience a joy and I always know I can depend on him to provide a quality character choice and interpretation. I love how he manages to give Aaron the laid back and stolid voice while in the next breath giving us the hyper and sometimes frenetic Larx.

Well done and highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars for both


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Time to get Paranormal: Born of Air by Sean Michael

 

Carina Press
https://carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488024368_born-of-air.html

Blurb

Meet the Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

He said he was flying on a silver dragon. He called me “Markus-meine.” Who would know all that? Who? And how?

SWAT cop and dragon shifter Mark Beteferoce had—and lost—a soul mate. He’s finally at the point where he can get through the days without thinking about what used to be…until he tastes Quincy O’Brien’s doughnuts and takes him home to play.

Quincy O’Brien is a gifted baker, but at night he dreams of soaring through the sky on dragonback and being topped by the perfect Dom. Mark satisfies the kinky urges Quincy has only explored in his subconscious, pushing his limits and caring for him afterward.

From the start, their connection was more than sexual. It’s known; it’s familiar somehow. And it’s slowly driving Mark insane. What shouldn’t be possible most certainly is, and the bond between himself and Quincy runs deeper than either of them could ever have realized.

Review

Mark once had a soulmate, but he was tragically taken from him. Since than he has hidden all his feelings and wants away never thinking that he would ever find love again. When Mark takes a chance and decides to try to have some enjoyment in his life again he finds Quincy. The two seem to be made for each other but after a wonderful night Mark hears words from his past come from Quincy. Mark is unsure of what this could mean but soon he must decide if he is truly blessed again with a rebirth of his soulmate and take a chance on love again or let Quincy and his second chance slip from his grasp.
I loved watching Quincy and Mark’s story unfold. The two men make a great couple. Both men have strong personalities and together they shine. It was nice to see the attraction that they share turn into something much deeper. Mark has lived in pain for so long and with Quincy he is given a second chance, but it is up to him to take it. I enjoyed the relationship and the banter between the two men. Mark is a good man and it was nice to see the different facets of his personality come out with Quincy.
Their story is heavy on the sex, but it is what brings these two together from the start and it is what centers and completes this pair. They are at the beginning of their relationship and it is something that is more than just fun and satisfying. It is a deeper level of connection for the men.
It was also nice to see the scenes with the three brothers and their soulmates enjoying themselves together, the strong connections both physical and mental was easy to see and the camaraderie was nice. All were ready to welcome Quincy and make him feel like family.
This is a sexy fast paced story that grabbed me right from the start and did not let go until the very end. The author has built a wonderous world around these dragons and I am excited to see what comes next in their world.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Purchased for Review

Coming Soon! The Spy’s Lovesong By Kim Fielding

October 2!

 

 

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-spys-love-song-by-kim-fielding-9882-b

Blurb
For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.
Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.
Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Review

This absolutely pains me to say, because I am a huge fan girl of Kim Fielding – but this absolutely did not work for me.

It was well written.

It had interesting characters.

The setting was unique and well described.

The premise was also unique and TIMELY!

But the romance fell absolutely flat for me. 🙁

There was little steam – which is fine – but it can help bring a couple closer in the reader’s mind and it wasn’t there. Most of the time I didn’t get the feeling the couple thought they’d make it out alive much less together and even by the end I was scratching my head at how these two could possibly work in the real world.

So much of this was about the machinations of the “spying” and the evading police etc that I didn’t get to feel our MCs really grow as a couple.

Another disappointment for me was the lack of musicality in our musician. Though he had his moments I didn’t like him “before” – aka slutty rock musician – and I didn’t get to see enough of him “after” to make that opinion change.

As for Reid – I wanted to shake him! He frustrated me over and over and I never felt close to him and I never saw closeness between him and Jax.

So… while I’m sure others will love this – Kim is an amazing writer so it’s only appropriate that they do! – it didn’t work for me unfortunately.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Love You So Special by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-special-by-tara-lain-9894-b

Blurb

Artie is a simple guy, a blue collar plumber, not smart, and still deeply closeted, the only thing special about his life are his colorful tropical fish. Artie is working in a concert hall when he hears the music for the first time. Intrigued and instantly enamored, he even finds an excuse to go back after hours to try and hear it again. The mysterious musician might be a figment of his imagination, but a few days after when he goes to the ritzier part of town for a job he hears it again. The source is the pianist and composer Francois Desmarais, international talent, beautiful and rich, and oh yeah, his boss.

Francois is a world renowned musician with fans all over the globe, too bad he can’t stand to talk to people and crowds petrify him. Secluded and barley making any public appearances, Francois is fascinated with the cute guy working in his property. He feels safe and at ease in his company, something he never though himself capable of feeling again, and they become friends. Just when Francois starts feeling more confident in himself his fear of strangers turns out to be justified and Artie has to decide if he will stay in the closet or stand next to this amazing man he grew to adore for much more than his talented fingers.

Review by Karen
This is a very cute romance, but definitely a whirlwind one.

Once the MC’s start to have feelings for each other, everything just goes incredibly fast. I feel like they skip a few steps in the whole let’s get to know each other process. I would have liked it better if the author had given them a bit more time to fall in love.
François and Artie are very sweet together though, and do have a great connection, however fast it came about.

I did really like that music was so important to both men. It felt almost like a third in their relationship and was wonderfully described. A piano and Chopin… what’s not to love about that combination? It gave François all the advantage he needed to woo Artie.

Danger lurks in the crowds of fans that gather to hear François play, however.
When it comes out of the shadows, it does so suddenly and unexpectedly.
A great way to add tension and suspense to the story and give both François and Artie a chance to prove what they’re made of.

Artie’s coming out felt a bit rushed to me, especially the conversation with his family. I feel this was a missed opportunity to add some more emotion and depth to the story, but it did not detract from my overall enjoyment of it.

This was a fun, quick read.

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Neta
This was a true sweet read, quit funny and just all around pleasure. Both main characters were interesting, Francois with his elusive personality and mystic and Artie, the big tough plumber with the heart of gold and softness. I especially liked how each did not live up to the stereotypical expectations of similar characters, and managed to surprise me along the way. This book had all of Tara’s charm and sass with a surprisingly small amount of sex which was actually nice. It fit the story well and I was not missing it, even though Tara’s books tend to be on the lava side of hot this was a bit milder. I liked the pacing too, they formed a nice friendship before they moved to the romantic side and it was fun getting to know them.

This is a great palate cleanser after and emotional read or a really bad book you need to flush out (did you see what I did there?) full of funny moments that will make you smile and unforgettable characters.

Number of stars out of 5
3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review by Dee

A really nice story about a regular, blue collar guy meeting and falling for a classical pianist. There is humour, a bit of hurt/comfort and a good bit heat in the story.
Artie is closeted, somewhat due to his job but mostly because he really hasn’t had a reason to declare himself. François had been subject to a traumatic incident (as a kid) and is quite wary of people in general. When both men meet, they feel a connection that trumps both their fears. Artie finds someone to protect and brave being out for; François finds someone (other than his mum) to have his best interests at heart.
This is another good standalone addition to the ‘Love You’ series!

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Review: Rocked Hard by Morticia Knight

Pride Publishing Presents

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/rocked-hard

Blurb

Can the touch of a rock god last forever?

Legendary alt rock singer, Aubrey King, is making a comeback after many years out of the spotlight. Rumors of his sexuality have always dogged him, and while he’s never come out publicly, his reasons for leaving the industry had nothing to do with his fear of discovery. What matters to him is the music. That’s his truth, and so far, his only real love. He aches to find someone to share his life with, but his propensity to fall fast and hard—along with chasing men he knows can never be his—has left him all alone.

Rock journalist Bryan Gallagher was first turned on to rock music at the age of twelve when he became obsessed with Aubrey’s band, Falling in Stereo. His friends, and even girlfriends, would sometimes tease him that he was hot for Aubrey. But it was all about the music and nothing else—at least that’s what he’s always told himself. When he’s approached about helping Aubrey write his memoir, it’s not only a dream assignment, but an exciting opportunity to work closely with his idol.

When Bryan meets Aubrey, the electric heat between them is unnerving. He’s further confused by how intense Aubrey’s attraction toward him is and how deeply they connect over their shared obsession of music. While Bryan struggles with uncertainty regarding his own sexuality, he also has to navigate through the perils of working with a lover and keeping their relationship a secret.

But Bryan’s biggest struggle of all might be determining whether declarations of true love from a rock star can ever be trusted.

Review by Xanthe
What a great story! I fully enjoyed the characters and the story line of this book from Morticia Knight.
Aubrey King is our rocker looking to make a comeback and has taken on Bryan Gallagher, rock journalist, to write his memoirs. Aubrey has always known he’s gay but the Rock and Roll life that he used to live never allowed him to be open as to who he truly was and he has never had anyone worth coming out for
Bryan, unlucky in love is about to meet and write for his inspiration for writing about the rock world. He’s been a fan since he was a boy and this is his ultimate dream come true. Though things take a turn he wasn’t expecting with some flirtation coming from Aubrey. Having never been attracted to a man before Bryan’s not quite sure how to handle things.
Moving forward with the project, both men become much more than they could have ever expected and big decisions have to be made for both of them.
This, for me, was an absorbing read. Constantly wanting to know how things are developing with both the MC’s and the life that they are moving towards. Aubrey’s lifestyle and person is a bit different to what Bryan was obviously expecting and I love when a character is sent off kilter in that way. Exploration between the two moves quickly and is hot(!) though Aubrey is very keen to point out that any and everything is going to go at the pace that Bryan wants, refusing to hurt or push him in any way. Bryan takes his time with thinking about the changes cropping up in his life since meeting Aubrey, even his interactions with others become interesting.
My only niggle with this book is the speed at which things happen in the beginning. I understand instant attraction and getting to know each other but for someone who has never experienced it with another man, it didn’t really ring true. However, Aubrey is such a lovable guy you can’t help but fall for him and how he expresses his feelings. Both he and Bryan bring out some of the best lines about the other man, just making you awwwww at them both.
There’s quite a bit of drama separate to but also impacting their relationship. It’s interesting to read how both men want to deal with things and the resulting changes it has on both of them.
I love some of the secondary characters we have – Rudy, tour manager and Jimmy, bassist, are the two guys to be truly relied upon, and Ed the man you love to hate. Bryan’s mother is adorable and I would have loved to have gotten more interaction with her and both men.
I’d definitely recommend this book!

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Sorel

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book, but it didn’t seem realistic enough to me and instead of feeling pulled into the story, I felt like quite detached from it.

Both Aubrey and Bryan were likeable enough characters, but from the very first meeting the whole relationship felt slightly off, even false. Maybe it is because I am not a big fan of insta-love and this was very, very instant.

As a character Bryan came across as very grounded and down to earth, but way too excepting of his attraction and very fast relationship with Aubrey. From never showing any interest in a man, to jumping into bed with one within a couple of days of their initial meeting, just doesn’t ring true.

As for Aubrey himself, at times I found his childlike quality towards love and commitment far too sugary and implausible. Even with the explanation we were given, the insecurities he displayed seemed more like a teenager than a rock star of 42 and had me pausing in annoyance on more than one occasion.

Overall, it was an easy, readable book, but it just didn’t grasp my attention like a good book should.

3 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: Prophet’s Pass by Chapman Brown

release day review

 Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/prophets-pass-by-chapman-brown-9877-b

Blurb
Political journalist Aiden McCabe is used to interviewing presidents and world leaders. On a night out with friends, Aiden has a chance encounter with a handsome, enigmatic young man who leaves a lasting impression. Soon after, Aiden is assigned to travel to Utah, where he’ll interview Orson Jensen, a prominent Mormon politician and Republican presidential hopeful. While the Jensens’ faith and values couldn’t be more opposite to Aiden’s urbane, Manhattan disposition, he can’t help but be charmed by the friendly clan… until the stranger Aiden met in the club reappears, and this time with a startling revelation—one that could tear the Jensen family apart, destroy Orson’s political career, and change Aiden’s world forever.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review
This was an interesting read that delved into religion, specifically Mormonism and how being gay is or isn’t accepted. Aiden is sent to Utah to write up a profile on a prominent Mormon politician. He admittedly knows very little about the Mormon religion and at one point thinks that the family will go all Kathy Bates on him. He is surprised to find that religion aside the family appears very loving and accepting. He then meets their middle child Hunter, who he had a run in with at a gay bar a few months prior. Hunter, at first does not admit that he is gay. He tells Aiden how much his family and his status in the church means to him. During a snow storm, one of Hunter’s sisters goes into labor and this leaves him and Aiden home alone for a few days. Its during this time that Hunter accepts that he is gay and that coming out will most likely cause him to loose his family and his position with the LDS church. There is a blow when the family comes back unexpectedly and Aiden is forced to take the brunt of the blame. He leaves Utah and goes back to New York and Hunter is forced to make a choice.
I really enjoyed this book for the most part. I am not Mormon but I do have a few close friends who are and from what I know the author did a good job of relaying the basis of their beliefs. Through Aiden, he also voiced a lot of the doubts non Mormons have about this religion. There is a sex scene between Aiden and Hunter that I really don’t believe should have been included. I think it happened really fast and may have been included because the author thought it was needed to make it a romance. The ending was a little lackluster but I prefer happily ever after endings versus the happily for now, which this is. This novella is a part of Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love series, there is no need to read any of the other books as each one is a standalone.

3.5 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Safe Place- Rainbow Place book 2

Good Reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41049130-safe-place?from_search=true

Blurb:
Almost 18, Alex is firmly in the closet and desperate to get out. Working hard to get the grades he needs to go to university, were he will be finally able to live out and proud away from his bigoted, homophobic father is his only hope. When Rainbow Place, the new café in town and LGBTQ+ safe heaven, is vandalized Alex can’t help but join the cleaning efforts. And there he meets Cam.

23 year old Cam can’t help but be attracted to the young, beautiful guy he meets at the café, and when Alex shows up on opening day he seizes the chance to talk to him, and maybe a bit more. He soon realizes Alex’s home situation is more complicated, and despite wanting him romantically, backs away in favor of being friends. When Alex fails to get the grades he needs he is devastated, and when he is outed by his father Alex finds himself homeless AND jobless. Cam steps in and offers his couch until Alex is back on his feet, but will they be able to keep their friendship without crossing the lines they drew? With so much sexual and emotional between them, how can they not cross them?

Review
The magic of Jay Northcote’s writing to me is the sense of community he creates. He has a wonderful touch for creating a group on friends were each is interesting and unique in his/her/their way. In this series, much like his Housemates books, you get the feeling of an ongoing story and enjoy all the side characters popping in again with an update. The other part of his writing I absolutely adore is how he describes sexuality and sexual acts. Jay brings a realness to every scene, both physically and emotionally, he shows situations that are not pure romantic idealism, and for that I admire his writing and storytelling.
I have to admit it took me a bit of time to get into the story of Cam and Alex, I was a bit put off by the fact Alex is not 18 yet even though it was just a few months and 6 years apart is not such a big age difference. I eventually learned to like them, when Alex grew and matured so did his story and it was an amazing transition to read. They go from casual almost hook-up to friends, to eventual lovers and it took the time it took because Alex needed to understand who he is first, stand up for himself and figure out how he want to live his life. Cam’s refusal to be more than a friend to him is frustrating but in the end it gave them the safe place to be themselves so they can find to courage to be a couple. It was a VERY satisfying ending to an emotional journey of self-discovery and growing up.

As always, Jay’s writing is funny, witty and sexy, with a bit of angst and a lot of self-restraint to make the fire burn that much hotter when they let lose.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review