Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Bi-Sexual Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Virgin

Retro Read: Hiding in Plain Sight Audiobook by Cassandra Carr Narrated by Jason Hilton

Good reads link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26799230-hiding-in-plain-sight

Blurb:
Vladimir Gusev exists in a living hell. A year ago in the Olympics the professional hockey player was forced to use a homophobic slur during a game, and guilt is eating him from the inside out. Not only is Vladimir not a homophobe, but in the aftermath of the Olympics, he was finally able to admit his true nature to himself. Yet he’s been taught homosexuality is a sin, so he tries to push away his feelings, but to no avail.
Joe Bufford is an out gay man and an ex-Delta Force member who was medically discharged after an injury to his hand leaves him no longer able to perform his duties. His job as a mechanic at the airport is hardly a long-term career choice, but Joe has no idea where he can utilize the skills he learned in the Army.
Vladimir and Joe meet, and Joe instantly recognizes Vladimir as a terrified closet case. Before he knows it, Joe is offering to help Vladimir figure out what he is and what he wants. As time goes on, Joe begins to hope more and more that the answers to those questions lie with him.

Review:
This is book two in the Safe Harbor Series and it is so good it even surpasses book one!
First, we see the homophobe from Book one is actually gay and hiding it because of the Russian Mob and threats to his family. Second, we see someone experience being gay for the first time in his life. Everything. Third, Joe is amazing. He is kind, sweet, sensitive and really grounded. But… he’s ex-Delta force so he can kick ass, too! He’s the absolute perfect guy to tackle a giant hockey player and take on his closeted issues.
Vlad has a lot keeping him in the closet. He has to wrestle his own issues with being gay and feeling less “manly” and those are interwoven with fear about his family and their reaction in Russia, and he worries about his job security as a hockey player and his reputation in the media (since the Olympics branded him a homophobe he’s been ridiculed).
Joe is reluctant, at first, to be the guy that introduces Vlad to gay sex for fear of being abandoned for the closet (he just got out of the military and is grateful to be out and proud) or being abandoned for the next guy once Vlad decides to stretch his new gay wings. But he can’t resist Vlad’s honest and sincere desire to learn more about being gay and he’s super attracted to him, as well.
Finally, the couple agrees to a trial arrangement, with the caveat of no strings and nobody can know. Both men are fooling themselves if they think they aren’t invested, and it becomes clear that neither thinks of the other as merely a “fuck buddy”.
Politics moves Vlad into confessing his sexuality and Joe does it proudly by his side, with the help of Jason and Patrick from book one. A very HEA is had by all.
**
The narration for this book is both way better and way worse than book one. On the one hand, there are several glaring mistakes where it is clear the narrator messed up and nobody went back to edit out his mis-starts and throat clearings. However, those almost fit in. The guy’s voice is just so natural in the role it feels like he’s telling the story to you personally and those things happen in normal conversation. I wasn’t bothered by them, I just chuckled when I noticed a mistake.
On the other hand, the narrator does a fairly awesome Russian accent that makes the smexy scenes to die for! Ooo la la. Did I enjoy Vlad telling “Joey” in a thick Russian accent “I want to fuck you!” Wow! Scorching hot! (I loved that Vlad calls Joe “Joey” and nobody else is allowed to call him that… super cute!)
So – despite some technical errors and a few strange plot twists and turns I really, really loved this book and this narration and give them both a 5 of 5 stars. You are seriously missing out if you don’t give this one a try. (They are both stand alone books and don’t necessarily need to be read in order, though reading them booth adds a bit to the enjoyment.)
Overall Impression:
5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book Exploration Gay Gay Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

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

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Carina Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Sorel Standalone

Coming Soon! Game Changer by Rachel Reid


October 22!

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38620127-game-changer?from_search=true

Blurb
This hockey superstar needs to focus on his game — not on love.

Scott Hunter is the superstar captain of the New York Admirals hockey team. He has lived his entire adult life in the spotlight—and in the closet. One day he stops at a smoothie shop after a run and is immediately charmed by the cute guy behind the counter.

That guy is Kip Grady, an underemployed college grad who would never in a million years think he had a shot with the rich and famous Scott Hunter. Scott returns to the smoothie shop every game day, telling Kip—and himself—that he likes to stick to routine when he’s playing well. The chemistry between them is immediate and undeniable, and finally Scott tells Kip he’s interested and invites him to his penthouse.

They begin a passionate relationship full of red-hot sex and sweet romance. But after weeks of barely leaving the confines of Scott’s penthouse, Kip isn’t sure how much longer he can be Scott’s secret. With the pressures of the playoffs upon him, Scott needs to decide how big a risk he’s willing to take for Kip—and himself.

Review

Scott Hunter is so far in the closet he can hardly see daylight. Having lived his whole adult life playing professional hockey, a game not known for its gay friendly attitude on the ice, he feels he must hide this large part of himself. His sexual encounters are few and far between and usually in a foreign country where nobody knows him.
That all changes one day when he goes into a smoothie shop and sees the cute guy behind the counter.

Kip Grady is a college graduate still living in his childhood home because he can’t afford to move out, and working in a smoothie shop, a job he hates, until Scott Hunter, the captain of the New York Admirals comes in one day…

This is a cute romantic tale of two men and their instant attraction for each other.
Both Scott and Kip are likeable enough, but they just didn’t seem to ring quite true for me. The “I love you’s” came far too quickly and once I love you had been said (and said often) the taking each other for granted and walking away just seemed too easy. Nobody was putting any major effort into keeping this relationship alive and when things got a little tough, they quickly walked away.

There is also a lot of sex in this book. A lot of sex. So much so that at times it felt like word padding.

But overall, this was a well written enjoyable tale, with no major angst and a very sweet, big romantic finish.

3.5 stars of 5

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review