Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Strong Side by Alison Hendricks Narrated by Christopher Boucher

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Strong-Side-Audiobook/B07H3C8TYC?pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=QCD6VX2902BN5K80BEKG&ref=a_library_c4_libItem_B07H3C8TYC

Blurb

Their chemistry on the field is undeniable. But can they ever be more than friends?

Jason Hawkins is about to throw the biggest Hail Mary pass of his career.

If he can’t turn NFL recruiters’ heads this year, he’ll lose his shot at the one thing he’s ever been good at. But every quarterback needs a man he can count on down-field. For Jason, that man just might be the Tigers’ new receiver, Derek Griffin.

Four years ago, Derek nearly lost everything after being outed by his teammates.

Now he finally has a chance to get it all back as a walk-on for Eastshore College… if he can resist his immediate attraction to the gorgeous and very straight star quarterback.

An instant connection during practice leads to an easy friendship that only grows stronger off the field. Derek is convinced friendship is all it’ll ever be, but a very confusing moment of impulse leaves both of them fumbling for answers about their relationship.

As curiosity gives way to passion and passion gives way to something deeper, Jason and Derek will have to tackle their own personal demons to bring home the win and earn their happy ending.

Review

Derek was injured in high school playing football after he was outed to his team, he’s physically fit but mentally struggling with some of the aspects of the game. He needs football for his scholarship so he’s motivated to get past his insecurities. He’s also learned his lesson, and is staying in the closet.

Jason is a straight guy. Star quarterback. Determined to win. Dedicated to the game. And miserable. When he sees Derek struggling, he sees in him a great player and agrees to help him get over his challenges with a lot of practice. Derek – in turn – ends up helping Jason with his school work. They quickly become inseperable and best friends – which is both amazing and awful – since Derek has a massive crush on Jason.

After a particularly lingering tackle one day, Jason begins to question his attraction to Derek. Is it more than just friends? If he acts on it what will happen? Derek wonders, too – will he lose his best friend? Will he be putting himself at risk on the field again? Will he lose his scholarship?

**

Sometimes you get so lucky with these free Kindle Unlimited books! This is a new author and a freebie and WOW – what an amazing book!

The writing is crisp, evocative and erotic. There is very little “telling” and yet we get a nice, slow, BELIEVABLE and gradual move from straight guy to gay lover.

Derek really read as authentic to me – both in his fears on the field and with Jason romantically. If there are any areas where the story frayed a bit it is with Jason’s father. He’s portrayed, at first, as this quasi-alcoholic hard ass, and then that story line is kind of dropped and he becomes a slight annoyance and then an ally.

But for that one piece, this is a great story of GFY, friends to lovers, college aged, football loving, sweet and romantic yumminess!

Highly recommended and I can’t wait for the next in the series!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Christopher Boucher does a FANTASTIC job with this. He handles the myriad voices well, and I loved the accents he chose for the characters. There is a lot of emotion and humor and drama and he manages those all very well. Highly recommeneded!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+ Book Gay Mid level angst Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Recent Release: A Deeper Blue (The Game #2) by S.E. Harmon

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-deeper-blue-by-se-harmon-9928-b

Blurb

A year ago, Kelly Cannon couldn’t imagine he’d end up with his formerly straight best friend. It’s hard to believe he can finally kiss Blue any time he wants… as long as they’re in private. And there’s the rub. Despite Kelly’s promise to wait until Blue is ready to come out, he’s tired of sneaking around. The cracks in their relationship are starting to show, and there might not be enough spackle in the world to fix them.

Britton “Blue” Montgomery may not be the physics brainiac his boyfriend is, but he’s not stupid. He knows Kelly isn’t completely happy. But he’s not ready to be the poster boy for bisexuals and gays in the NFL. He just wants to keep his head down, play the game he loves, and go home to the man he adores. Is that too much to ask?

With the truth slowly coming to the surface, Blue must make a choice. If it means losing Kelly, there’s no decision to make…. He has to find enough courage to face the music and hope they’ll survive the fallout.

Man. Happily-ever-afters may not be just for Disney princesses, but they sure are a lot of work.

Review

So here’s the thing. If you loved book one, if you love this author and their style of writing, you will love this sequel.

It’s full of SE Harmon’s sense of humor, flair with sexual chemistry and attention to minutia (I mean detail- ahem.)

One thing I’ve felt about each SE Harmon title was that it was good but too long and needed a fierce hand with an editor and it’d be tight and wonderful. As it is, though there is a lot of interesting stuff happening, it isn’t needed IMHO. I felt like I understood the importance of Kelly’s career without having to go step by step with him through his teaching process. I get that the foot ball guys are jerks without having to sit through each moment of practice.

So, for me, I found myself wanting to skim a lot and though I found the sex hot – it got skimmed as well.

I definitely needed this book to close up what we started in book 1 and so – to that extent – I was happy to have read this – but I’m still left with that feeling of wishing it’d been shorter and more to the point.

I think fans of the author will disagree but I give this 3.5 stars.

3.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Book Dee Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Balls Up by Lexxie Couper

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24083717-balls-up?from_search=true

Blurb: Rhys McDowell. Striker for Manchester United. Bad boy on the soccer field. Badder boy in the bedroom. Rhys lives by the motto: never second-guess anything. His only regret in life is that he fell in love with the wrong man long ago, and no one has ever been able to erase that guy from his heart.
Until now.

Curtis Clarkson. Ex-captain of the Australian cricket team. A man once feared on the pitch, Clarkson is now a highly respected businessman with a devilish glint in his eye and a willingness to follow wherever life leads. He never expected it to lead him to a man. A cocky soccer player, no less. And a private shower in Heathrow airport.

When lust and desire take control of both men, all the rules of the game change utterly. Curtis never thought he’d fall for a guy. And Rhys never thought he’d fall again, period.
But when fame follows your every step, what happens behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there. And the penalty box may very well leave you not just sweaty…but broken.

Review: Now, this was a hot story ☺. Apparently, it’s part of a series but can totally be read on its own (the other stories are M/F). Anyway, Rhys is a footballer, trying to forget a guy he’s been in love with for a while. On a flight back to Oz (Australia), he bumps into Curtis, a cricketer. They’d met before, so they were somewhat familiar with each other. When their flight is delayed, they end up having a steamy encounter in the airport lounge shower, (and I’m not referring to the hot water producing steam)! There is also hot session at when they get together at their hotel.
Apart from the steam factor, there is a lot of humour in their verbal sparring. Along with the situation of both men being dogged by the press and making their relationship public makes this novella fun to read.

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
Book Bullying Fade to black/No Steam Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Mid level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone Uncategorized young adult

Recent Release: Jupiter (States of Love) by Rhett Heath

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/jupiter-by-rhett-heath-9708-b

Blurb

For fourteen-year-old Jacob Thomas, a Christian and the smartest kid in class, Bobby Versailles is completely out of reach. Jacob wishes a girl named Allie loved him because he still doesn’t get that he’s gay, but he always keeps his eyes peeled at school, hoping to catch a glimpse of Bobby.

It’s Bobby Versailles’s senior year. Captain of his high school football team, he’s bound to win Homecoming King and hopefully a state championship, but he’s been miserable for years. His fear of somebody finding out he’s gay has brought isolation and loneliness. He has hidden that he’s gay by going on dates with girls now and then, and also by working out and excelling at football—which has also helped teachers look past his learning difficulties. When he first eyes Jacob, it’s possibly love at first sight. Bobby becomes a little obsessed. Jacob has got to be gay, and when Bobby makes a move, both of their worlds turn upside down!

It’s 1982, and while the Nebraska Cornhuskers are barreling toward a possible NCAA National Football Championship, everyone in a small town two hours away hopes Bobby can lead them to a state championship. Can two teens with vastly different lives find love amidst the fervor of Nebraska football?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review

This is going to sound bad – but – in general I’m not a big fan of football, YA or “historicals” so… but I was really intrigued by this blurb and was looking forward to seeing how it developed.
Well …. This is a YA story and I think that maybe Juvenile lit is more appropriate given that they don’t act terribly Adult. Not to say that they’re kids… well. They are.

This felt like a book for kids. I liked it well enough and I appreciated the fact that this was based on real events so that must have shaped some of the authors writing decisions but – for me – it just felt a little young.

Not my taste in general. But overall good for fans of: YA, football and recent history.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
2.5 stars Age Group Book Bullying Dee Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Standalone young adult

Retro Read: Blindsided By You: A Gay For You Sports Romance by Cameron Riley

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31549350-blindsided-by-you?from_search=true

Blurb

 Could their forbidden romance be everything they never knew they wanted?
Seth is a college senior and star quarterback. Unlike his best friend Marc, he doesn’t love being a football hero — but since his coach is also his father, he feels trapped. When he meets Marc’s younger brother Aaron, Seth is surprised at the instant attraction between them, since he’s always considered himself straight.

Aaron knows he’s gay — his favorite pastime is reading M/M romance novels. It’s almost as if Seth stepped right from the pages of one of Aaron’s books and straight into his fantasies. Aaron is more than ready to make them real … if Seth will make a move.
But Marc doesn’t want his brother’s sexuality making headlines — for Aaron’s protection, yes, but also for the sake of Marc’s future career. Can Seth and Aaron keep their relationship a secret? If they’re discovered, can they survive the fallout?

Review:
The premise of the story had promise, but the execution and editing errors detracted from my enjoyment.
The beginning started off well: Seth plays college football and Aaron is the non- sporty type; complete opposites. Seth realises that he is not entirely happy with his life – he wants more. It dawns on him that he may not be entirely straight and admits to himself that he doesn’t really like football.
The MCs meet at a frat party and interest is kindled. However, from here, the storyline does not flow well. For some reason, Seth takes on the responsibility of paying for damages from the frat party, but what about his frat brothers? It was never clear that Seth orchestrated the party by himself. Another thing that didn’t work – Set takes a job at a gay club (to pay for the damages) and on his first day is able to find time to dance with Aaron? (he said it was his break, but it was last call for closing).
There were other inexplicable instances, but the last straw was that at the end of the book, despite Seth not wanting to play football, he goes in for the NFL draft and is happy to be selected!
The plot and editing issues made this a disappointing read.

2.5 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Gay GFY/OFY m/m May/December May/December Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Part of a Series Purchased Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words) Sports Virgin

Fragile by Monika Krasnorada

fragileBlurb

Part of the First Time For Everything Daily Dose 2011 collection

Dr. Andy Jameson considers the job of team physician for a regional college football team to be the perfect prelude to a specialized residency. But tending to injuries suffered during the brutal, full-contact sport is nothing compared to the injury he inflicts upon himself by falling in love with the ruggedly handsome head coach, Erik Sheridan. Andy’s content to love from afar until he literally sees the writing on the wall-a message hastily scrawled on the coach’s bathroom mirror-and realizes his last night on the job could be just the beginning of a life with the man he loves.

 

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(Fan Art by Karrie Jax)

Review

This is a delightful example of just how a short story should be!

In only 23 pages Monika Krasnorada shows us (emphasis on shows) that Dr. Andy has had a long time crush on the “straight” college football coach he works for as a team doctor.

Today is his last day serving the team and he’s sad and also longing for the ability to do something about his attraction.

Meanwhile the coach might have something to say about this attraction and how he goes about letting the Doc know… so sweet, so awesome!

Obviously we only get a small glimpse of this couple. But it’s enough to show us that the coach is new to gay sex, which I am sure they experimented with even more with help from videos at teentuber.xxx or places similar. The two men really match well together and the thought of long term and forever is definitely there.

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small

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(Copy purchased for review)

To Buy

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2357