Categories
adult - 18+

There Goes Sunday School By: Alexander C. Eberhart Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview
https://www.audible.com/pd/There-Goes-Sunday-School-Audiobook/1705249442?qid=1601593441&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TM9R2TGEP01XNQPQFSS3

Blurb
In 16-year-old Mike Hernandez’s life, only one thing is clear: Gay is not okay. His family’s life revolves around the church, a church run by the vocally intolerant Pastor Myers, so Mike has resolved to spend his life in the closet. His only escape – besides the occasional, anonymous gay make-out session – is his art. He pours his complicated emotions into risque drawings he keeps in a secret sketchbook. A sketchbook he carries everywhere.
When his sketchbook goes missing in the middle of Sunday school, Mike is sure his life is over. He’s going to be outed, ostracized by their community, condemned by the pastor, maybe even homeless. What’s worse, the pastor’s son, Chris, suddenly seems hell-bent on adopting Mike and his friends, and he has no idea why.
When an awkward confrontation with Chris leads to an unexpected kiss instead of a much-expected punch, Mike’s world is turned upside down. As their friendship grows and faith is questioned, Mike may be forced to choose between the comfortable life he’s always lived and a chance at the love he never thought he deserved.
Review
There Goes Sunday School was a funny, yet heartbreaking coming out story.

We have Mike, who seem like the all-American teenage kid. He has his two best friends, Tanner and Jackie. They hang out, smoke a little pot and just act like normal teenagers. Although Mike is hiding a secret. He’s gay. He is afraid of coming out. His family are heavily involved in Church, Mike even goes to a Christian high school. He crosses paths with his pastor’s son Chris and the two have a tenuous friendship. Eventually, Chris reveals that he is gay as well and their friendship becomes quite rocky as Mike’s fears take hold.

My heart really broke for Mike and Chris. These were just two young guys who wanted to be loved and to belong. They had to grow up in a toxic church environment. There is a line in the story were Mike says that there are no happy endings for him, because he is an abomination, and abominations don’t get happy endings. This broke me. It reminded of my own issues with the Christian church.
This is actually a pretty funny book; despite the heavy issues it deals with. Mike’s friends, Tanner and Jackie are hilarious. I love the bickering between these too. I also like the interaction between Mike and his sister Rosie, even though there are too many scenes between the two of them. I was a tad bit disappointed with the ending. Even though this is a book dealing with high schoolers, I wanted a big happily ever after, which I know is unrealistic but that’s me and my big mushy heart.

Narration by Joel Leslie was fantastic, as always. He did a great job, bringing these characters to life. I was really impressed with his ability to have these kids sound like kids.

I strongly recommend this audiobook!!!

5 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Mr. Perfect by Aimee Nicole Walker

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55346405-mr-perfect?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=HvzH1qMDGS&rank=1

Blurb:
By day, Felix Franklin is an investigative journalist. By night, he produces Sinister in Savannah, an investigative podcast, with his two best friends. Felix’s life revolves around three principles: fortune favors the bold, honesty is everything, and love is for schmucks.

The podcast is back to investigate allegations that a local businessman is dabbling in money laundering. On the surface, everything about Cameron Spencer, aka The Auto King, appears to be perfect. The trio of trouble quickly learns all that glitters is not gold. Seeking the truth will challenge Felix’s convictions and put his life in grave danger. The biggest threat to his well-being isn’t an unknown villain; it’s the reappearance of his first and only love.

Jude Arrow had it all: great looks, charming personality, and a lucrative career as Atlanta’s hottest news anchor. So, why had he recently relocated to Savannah? When the two reporters are forced to work together, Felix will get a chance to ask him. The answer will stun Felix until he remembers not to believe anything that comes out of the heartbreaker’s pretty mouth.

Love and hate are two sides of the same coin and just as conflicting as the battle of wills that ensues. Will the chip on Felix’s shoulder save him from trusting Mr. Wrong or ruin his chances with Mr. Perfect?

Review: Book 2 of the Sinister in Savannah series and is best read in order – book 1 is a great start to the series.
From the first book, we already know that Felix, one of the podcast crew, has a history with Jude. We also know the story that the pocast crew is going to chase down. What we don’t know is how involved both the past (Felix and Jude’s) and the investigation is going to be. Boy, was this an exciting story!
The ‘former-lovers-to-enemies’ feelings Felix had for Jude was sort of deserved and he kept them up for a good amount of time – it was well done, didn’t go overboard – and when both men sort things out, it’s not all plain sailing, but they get their HEA.
The investigative story goes from being a local warranty scam to a much bigger crime issue, including murder. It kept me invested in wanting to see how it would end. Of course, towards the end we find out Rocky’s love interest – that is going to be hella interesting!
I highly recommend this series and the one before that introduces the podcast members.

5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Pieces of You audiobook by N.R. Walker, narrated by Glen Lloyd

audiobookreview

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53351569-pieces-of-you?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=xyeXC1Pzm9&rank=1

Blurb
Dallas Muller has everything he never expected he’d have. He owns a successful motorbike mechanic shop in Newcastle, and he’s madly in love with his boyfriend of four years, Justin Keith.

Justin has always struggled to find where he fit in, never realising his true worth or what it means to be loved—until he met Dallas. Living and working together might be too much for some, but Dallas and Justin wouldn’t have it any other way.

When a terrible accident tears their world apart, Justin’s left with no memory of Dallas or their relationship. Trying to put the pieces back together is almost impossible when some pieces are blank and some are missing altogether. Dallas has to let Justin find his own way back to him and just hope that their love will light the way.

Review
The narration was an issue for me, I think the narrator had a weird cadence when the characters were not talking, and it threw me off. When characters were speaking, he had a great range of emotions, distinct voices and I liked the narration a lot. It was still hard for me to ignore all the other parts when he had his normal speaking voice. It was not bad. I just didn’t click with it and it was bothering me all the time.
Listening to the story a second time (after reading the e-book) I still felt like the ending was a bit too cut off. Even though it was a soft cliffhanger type of ending, I felt like I was missing pages and looked to make sure I had read through.
What I loved: The way the amnesia and hospital stay were described. It felt much more realistic them any book I read with a similar plot, and it punches you in the gut that much harder because of it. The plot revolves around a few characters, and it feels small yet significant in its focus on them. The story flowed so well, and I adored how Dallas made sure to keep the boundaries so Justin could feel safe to recover and feel what ever he felt without pressure to remember the years he lost.
I did feel like towards the end it became a bit rushed to have a sort of HFN ending. And to me the Slow Burn, and the wonderful, gentle pace of the story were lost. I look forward to the next piece of the story to see how Dallas and Justin face the new challenges that will surely come their way.

Number of stars out of 3 of 5



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Categories
adult - 18+

The Captain and the Baker (The Captivating Captains #7) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54451031-the-captain-and-the-baker?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=3fYNEGJETN&rank=1

Blurb
When a hot-tempered TV chef and a mild-mannered baker meet on the rugged Cornish coast, they’ve got the perfect ingredients for a red-hot snack.

Sweary and stressed celebrity chef Jake Brantham is the captain of several floating restaurants. When he’s sent to the idyllic village of Porthavel to turn a pirate ship into the next gastronomic sensation, it’s the last place on earth he wants to be.

Locryn Trevorrow is the bakery king of Cornwall. From the humble pasty to a wedding cake fit for a mermaid queen, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about the art of baking. He lives in a cosy world of gingham and ganache, but at night he goes home to his smugglers’ cottage alone.

When he’s adopted by a lost kitten, Jake soon discovers that there’s more to Portavel than cream teas, lobster pots, and the annoyingly fastidious Locryn. As the village prepares for the wedding of its favourite young couple, Jake and Locryn find themselves as unlikely matchmakers for two locals who’d given up on love.

Torn between the call of Hollywood and the kisses of Locryn, will Jake choose a mansion in Beverly Hills or a cottage on the Cornish coast?

Review
The Captain and the Baker was another delightful read in the Captivating Captains series. I am obsessed with cooking shows and competitions, add in British humour and this book had everything I like.
The main characters, Loc and Jake are complete opposites. I loved all the banter between these two. My only negative about this book was that it was told from only one point of view, I really would have loved to get some scenes from Loc’s view. Otherwise this is a fun, quick read.
I highly recommend this book!!
4 stars



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Categories
adult - 18+

Paint by Number by Andrew Grey

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-by-number-by-andrew-grey-11718-b

Blurb

When New York painter Devon Starr gives up his vices, his muses depart along with them. Devon needs a change, but when his father’s stroke brings him home to Alaska, the small town where he grew up isn’t what he remembers. Enrique Salazar remembers Devon well, and he makes it his personal mission to open Devon’s eyes to the rugged beauty and possibilities all around them. The two men grow closer, and just as Devon begins to see what’s always been there for him, they’re called to stand against a mining company that threatens the very pristine nature that’s helping them fall in love. The fight only strengthens their bond, but as the desire to pick up a paintbrush returns, Devon also feels the pull of the city. A man trapped between two worlds, Devon can only follow where his heart leads him.

Review
Paint by Number was another great story by Andrew Grey. This story, like most of Andrew’s books is sweet and full of feelings. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Devon and Enrique. I like that these two have a long history between them. Friends to Lovers is one of my comfort tropes. I thought that I might have a hard time with this book since Devon is a recovering alcoholic and that subject tends to be a touchy one for me, but Andrew handled the subject well. I also like the fact this this story took places in Alaska. Unlike the last few books I read from Andrew, this one really sucked me in. It’s written very well (not surprising), has compelling characters and beautifully described settings.
If you’ve never read a book from Andrew Grey and even if you have, I highly recommend this one.

5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Starling’s Again by Aver Rigsley

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54138709-starling-s-again?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=WqRrPGnFsp&rank=1

Blurb:
October 1943. Manhattan, New York.

Peter Corcoran has been a Friday night regular at the Starling Club for so long that he has his own seat at a back table. From here, he watches the battalion of stunning single ladies take turns dancing with the most handsome man in the whole establishment. That attractive man is not only his best friend but also his roommate—and it won’t be one of the drop-dead-gorgeous women who Daniel Bennet goes home with at the end of the night.

When the closed apartment door cuts off the rest of the world, Danny gives him the first of a series of burning kisses—kisses that never cease to shatter Peter’s universe. But the tiny, cynical voice in the back of his head has him doubting their strange, secret charade and wondering if their romance could ever be more than just an indulgence at the end of the week, when prying eyes aren’t looking…

Review:
Short, but sweet story of two friends navigating around the romantic feelings they have for each other.
While Danny dances with ladies at the club they frequent – Peter can’t help wondering if Danny truly feels the same way about him, even though they go home together each Snight.
It’s sweet the way Danny reassures Peter of his feelings; showing him with gentle touches and telling Peter how he felt about him in the past, and how he feels about him now.
It’s a good story, just wish it was longer. It would have been nice to see if their plans for their future worked out.

3.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Fire and Diamond By Andrew Grey

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54471813-fire-and-diamond?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=jkIVHzXXH9&rank=2

Blurb
A Carlisle Deputies Novel

When Deputy Nick Senaster chastises a bunch of college kids at a bar, he doesn’t think anything of it, even if their leader is gorgeous. The guy is too young and way too cocky, and soon Nick has an emergency foster placement to focus on. His first job is ensuring ten-year-old Ethan knows someone cares for him. But Nick doesn’t realize Ethan is a package deal.

When Alexander finds out his abusive stepfather, Dieter, has lost custody of his half brother, he’s torn between relief and dread. Alexander can’t get custody until he can provide a home for his tiny family. In the meantime, at least Ethan’s foster father will let Alexander visit.

So of course the man turns out to be the cute but dour cop who gave Alexander a hard time.

Soon Nick and Alexander discover they misjudged each other. Nick is more than an authoritarian automaton, and Alexander has a drive and a maturity that belie their first meeting. But between a campaign of intimidation from Dieter, their own insecurities, and the logistics of dating with Ethan’s fragile sense of stability hanging in the balance, they have their work cut out for them if they want to build a future.

Review
So far I have enjoyed all the books in the Carlisle Deputies series and this one did not disappoint. Like all of Andrew’s books, the characters very well written. The story itself deals with issues of child abuse so that may be triggering to some.
Nick and Alexander are the main couple of this story. Nick is dealing with his boyfriend leaving him and also the new foster child he took in. Alexander has his own family issues as well.
This is a typical Andrew Grey story, a little action, some suspense, a touch of heat and a whole lot of romantic feelings.

4 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Abstract Love by: Sara Dobie Bauer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Number of stars out of 5 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


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