Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=gmVbM2DFaa&rank=1

Blurb
He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Review

This is the perfect Fake relationship trope story, I like that they stumble into it and not plan in as a scheme of some sort. Russ and Esteban have this easy friendship that gets better the more time they spend together. I also enjoyed how, despite them making plans to ‘break up’, they keep getting pushed back, until they realize this had become much more then pretend.
Russ was my favorite character, he’s doing some big life changes and I could relate to that. He’s going after his dreams, figuring out what he wants, and that includes Esteban. Never giving up and going for it even when it’s out of his comfort zone. He inspires me to dream nigger, do better.

They are both well rounded characters for such a short story, with specific interests, tastes and personalities. Annabeth puts her unique touch into every story, with military heroes I always enjoy reading about. Also, there was just enough heat to keep satisfied, even though I would love more, but in a novella you have to balance every story component.
Sweet HEA, Romantic with just the right amount of taste for more, Mr. Right Now is the perfect Christmas Romance to bring a smile and warmth to your heart this holiday season.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Best Man (Close Proximity #1) by Lily Morton

GOOD READS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48316789-best-man

Blurb
Zeb Evans doesn’t do messy.

The product of a disorganized and chaotic childhood, Zeb likes order and control, and as the boss of his own employment agency he can give that to himself. Life runs along strict lines and he never mixes business with pleasure. Everything in his life lives in neat, alphabetized boxes. Until Jesse.

Jesse Reed is Zeb’s complete opposite. He’s chaos personified. A whirling cyclone of disorder. He’s also charming and funny and a very unwanted distraction.

Which is why it comes as a complete surprise to Zeb to find himself asking Jesse to pose as his boyfriend for a few days in the country at a wedding.

Zeb doesn’t do impulsive, but as the time away progresses, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the merry and irreverent Jesse. But can he bring himself to break the hard-won lessons he’s learnt in life? And even if he can, how could Jesse be attracted to him anyway? He’s so much older than Jesse, not to mention being his boss.

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages and Finding Home series comes a warm and funny romance about one man’s fight for control and another man’s determination to circumvent it.

This is the first book in the Close Proximity series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Review
This book was a fun, sweet read…everything I expect from Lily Morton!!
I loved all the pining in this book. Both Jesse and Zeb have mutual crushes on each other but don’t act on it for years!!! I don’t always like fake boyfriend stories, since they all seem the same, but Lily weaved a lot of humor into this story so this one standout. There are some wonderful side characters introduced in this story, hopefully they all get their happy endings too!
Cannot recommend this one enough!!!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47948494-the-lion-and-the-crow?from_search=true

Blurb

In medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society.

Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow.

Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.

Review

Set in 1300 The Lion and the Crow is a wonderful tale of knights in armor, facing enemies known and hidden. It has the flare and feel of old tales, Walter Scott type of stories or Robin Hood, with M/M romance. The writing fits the time period well, it was witty and full of charm. There see,ed to be a lot of research put into the story and it shows in the richness and flow of the plot-line.
I really liked Crow- Christian. He reminded me of Loki from the MARVEL franchise, cunning and beautiful and with a heartbreaking backstory. The Lion-William is so honorable, and he was very much the knight you imagine when you think about the crusades and the Middle Ages. They share an interesting bond, starting off as sort of enemies and evolving into friends with great banter and humor. William’s sister was also a great supporting character and the solution to her situation was an interesting, clever twist I was not expecting.

The Epilogue is bittersweet but, as a re-release you still have the old Epilogue as well. It’s gentler, and I would recommend it to readers who want the sweeter ending, though it is still a HEA both ways.

Number of stars out of 5
4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Test of Valor (Valor #2) by Keira Andrews narrated by Iggy Toma

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Test-of-Valor-Audiobook/197734867X?qid=1566147565&sr=1-19&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=T5W82KN42TZZ8DMK97TB&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_19

Blurb

They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.

Review
I fell in love with these guys in book one but I realized, once I’d gone back and re-read it, that they’d been left in a very HFN sort of situation and this book does a terrific job of sealing the deal.
Keira did a great job of showing us how Rafa’s insecurities are still running his life and demonstrating Shane’s issues as well. Rafa’s parents are not as “pretty” as they seem and though Rafa forgave them pretty easily, I’m not so sure either of them deserved it – just yet.

Australia was an interesting setting and appropriate given the new changes there!

I found the developing relationship to be wonderful and though the added “life or death drama” was a touch OTT – it served a nice purpose.

Overall I highly enjoyed this sequel and recommend it to fans of book 1 – but not as a standalone.

5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

 

If you enjoyed book 1 you’ll enjoy book 2! Iggy Toma does another great job with the drama and all the variety of characters – including a fair Aussie accent!

Highly Recommended!

 

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review
 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-secrets-we-keep-by-rick-r-reed-10761-b

Blurb
Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Review

Warning…There is a suicide in this book so that may be a trigger for some….

Just from reading the blurb I had a feeling this was going to be an emotional read. Jasper and Rob meeting happens during a dark time. They spark is there between them but Rob lives in Palm Springs and Jasper is in Chicago. The two strike up a pen pal relationship where the attraction between the two grow even more. Both men have secrets in their past that eventually come to light. I enjoyed this book a lot. I’ve always thought that romances that bloom from tragedy were special. The issue I had with this book was the last few chapters felt rushed and the big reunion fell a little flat. Regardless, I still recommend this book. It was a beautiful read!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1) by Keira Andrews Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Forbidden-Rumspringa-Audiobook/151594395X?qid=1567270521&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C1ZBX33XBS1DN4T22H8S&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.

Review

In this version of the Amish faith, electricity and running water are forbidden. Even English isn’t spoken in the home. School stops at the 8th grade and boys become married men at 18. In Zebulon even other versions of the faith are considered too lax and allow too much freedom.
Isaac is 18, and is now considered the oldest son since his brother Aaron left the faith in shame and is now, for all intents and purposes, dead to them. Isaac isn’t much of a farmer, the family business, so his father arranges for him to apprentice with their group’s carpenter, David Lantz.
David’s younger brother also shamed the community when he and 2 other kids got high and crashed their car and died. Now David is responsible for his mother and sisters, but financially speaking things are tough. David meets an “English” (non Amish) neighbor who helps him to sell some of his carpentry for cash to help his family. She also exposes him to things he never would have seen in the community: movies, magazines, MIRRORS, zippers, cars… the list is endless and with each new experience David’s beliefs are challenged more and more. Only his feeling of responsibility to his family remains the same: he can’t leave the community because he can’t leave them.
Isaac had noticed David and vice versa months before. When put in a situation of day to day proximity to one another the spark that started then ignites. It doesn’t take long before the two are engaged in their own version of “rumspringa” or adolescent romantic exploration and it involves lube!
Both men know what they are doing is strictly forbidden and this adds to the excitement. However, there will come a time when they both need to decide what the future holds : more unquestioning belief in a faith that has more questions than answers or doing the unimaginable and leaving behind everything they know to be together.

**
I admit I was not at all attracted to this book when I first saw it. I just don’t like religious themes – having had too many bad experiences. But I kept seeing the good reviews from people I trusted and I thought… well, I’ll give it a shot.
What a pleasant surprise! Yes, the religion plays a heavy, heavy role, but the romance is so beautiful that I didn’t mind the religion. For those of you with an interest in the religion Keira Andrews does an amazingly thorough job of explaining the Amish faith and the differences. I think you can skim those parts and still get the benefit of reading the story if those parts don’t interest you.
Isaac’s naïve view of the world, then his complete faith in love are really touching. I thought it was fascinating that of all the sins he was committing, he stood firm on not looking at himself in the mirror. Like, if he didn’t see himself doing these things, then perhaps he could still hide? David, is more comfortable with the “sin”, he’s more concerned about his family and his feelings of guilt surrounding them.
I found the ending to be actually sort of a surprise in the way things unfolded – it’s very exciting – you’ll enjoy it! And, even better news, this is book one and in book two we get to see more of the characters, that is awesome because … well I can’t tell you, but it will be great to see what happens next.
I had read Keira Andrews before and I found this book to be a step above her other books – it is very well written and the story is very touching and might just make you think, too.

Audio

John Solo seems to fit this story really well.  He does a nice job with the pacing and his tone matched that of the story.  This is a nice way to enjoy the story!

Recommended!

 

4 stars 


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Dirty Mind By: Roe Horvat Narrated by: Vance Bastian

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dirty-Mind-Audiobook/B07WMN4MH9?pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=VFQ4CVVDFSRTKBKA5AAJ&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07WMN4MH9

Blurb
Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career, and travels alone – his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex – the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.

When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.

However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of 21, clever, and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own.

Review
Dirty Mind was a delightful audiobook. I loved the slow burn between Alex and Christian. They start out as friends and the relationship continues on through correspondence for a few years until Christian moves to Alex’s town for school. The main issue I had with this one was Alex’s constant negative views about the age difference. Vance Bastian did a great job with the narration. He portrayed Alex perfectly! I strongly recommend this fun, sexy, lighthearted audiobook

4 stars for book and narration

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stained Hearts by: Parker Williams

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stained-hearts-by-parker-williams-10754-

 

Blurb
Can two hearts stained by past pain find healing together?

Tom Kotke held his husband of twenty-five years on the day he died and spent nearly a year adrift. Determined to force Tom back into the world, his family takes him to the Park View Diner, where he meets young stained-glass artist Aiden Dawson. For a brief moment, Tom doesn’t think about his deceased husband—a terrifying prospect.

Slowly, Aiden draws Tom out of his shell and helps him feel alive once more. But Tom isn’t the only one who has suffered. Aiden fears no one sees beyond his wheelchair. Even if Tom can convince him he’s different, they’ll still have to overcome their age difference and a secret that could destroy their future together

Review
Oh my this book got me right in the feels. I just wanted to hug both Tom and Brian. If you’re anything like me have tissues ready from the beginning. Grief is hard and this book lays it all bare. It’s a beautiful portrayal of healing. It’s not all plain sailing for them but the best things are worth fighting for. The whole family pull together and heal in a lovely heartwarming way. Such a gentle love story between an older man and a younger inexperienced man with a disability. There is a great twist involving Brian which I didn’t see coming and made so much sense. Brought a lot of the story together. I loved catching up with Noel and Lincoln such a wonderful treat. Each of the stories in the links in the chain series can be read can be read on their own but the characters from the previous books have little cameo parts. I think it makes them even more enjoyable if you’ve read them.
I finished this book with a contented sigh after reading the happy ever after ending. Perfect.

5 of stars out of 5

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Kel’s Keeper by K.C. Wells

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47316064-kel-s-keeper

Blurb

When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.

Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

Review

As the gorgeous cover promises, this book gives us a very intimate and sensual portrayal of a loving May/December relationship. The attraction between Kel and Luc is a longstanding one and simmers beneath the surface of their every interaction. Theirs is very much a slow-burn story with the author taking the time to build a solid foundation for this wonderful couple and to subtly, ever so gradually, set up the daddy/boy dynamic (no ageplay). That aspect of their relationship grows stronger and more pronounced as the story unfolds, bringing with it both amazingly sweet and tender moments as well as scorchingly hot ones. Hot and deliciously dirty.

I loved reading such a realistic portrayal of a daddy/boy relationship for once, it had all the hoped for steam (boy, did it ever!), with the added bonus of an expertly crafted love story between two amazing, well-rounded MC’s. What I also really loved about this book, is that Kel is such a strong person in his own right, Luc’s shoulder to lean on when he needs one, and even the initiator of several key moments in their relationship.

There is so much (unspoken) longing in this story, in part because Luc is determined not to impose his own desires on Kel, protective of his boy even to his own detriment. And perhaps he’s also a bit scared Kel will want no part of it. Luckily though, Kel grows to understand Luc’s true desires and the truth of their dynamic on his own, making the sweetest romantic gesture to show his lover how perfect they are for each other.

Luc is the ultimate daddy, a carer through and through, not just for the sake of kinkiness in the bedroom, but the real deal. Swoon… I loved how he put Kel first and looked out for him at every opportunity, even before they started sleeping together, without ulterior motives.

To conclude: this is a story to savor and re-read. Definitely a keeper 😉

 

Number of stars out of 5: 6

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Sense of Place (Thomas Elkins Book 3) by NR Walker Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sense-of-Place-Audiobook/B07V3B2ZLM?qid=1564953199&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=9QARA77ZDRX5ARE5WBNB&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Designing homes is easy. Finding home is something else entirely.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones finally have the support of their families, and their love grows stronger every day. Now living together, they think nothing can stand in their way.

But there are outside influences trying to pull them apart.

Cooper encounters a man, closer to his age and with connections high up the property development chain, who wants Cooper as his own. Tom encounters discrimination and a hidden agenda from a fellow senior partner who’s trying to take him down.

No matter what the world throws at them, Tom and Cooper are the real deal. Age differences aside, Tom has finally found his sense of place. His one true centre, his home.

Review

Tom and Coop have moved in together but it’s not all roses and wine for the couple.
Coop is on a new project that literally takes all his time and patience. Tom has to diverge from his normally not so “in your face” stance and make a stand for himself as Cooper’s lover.

On the family front, Tom’s ex is still not exactly supportive and there are problems on the job as well.

When Tom makes a wild decision that ultimately affects both he and Cooper, it’s Coop’s mother who ultimately gives him the best advice yet as to how to handle Cooper.

**

I ADORED this final installment to the Thomas Elkins series. It was romantic and sweet and sexy.

NR Walker found a way to make us really believe that these guys have what it takes to be a long term couple and not just a hot May/December affair.

The final “sense of place” that they achieve is so well-won and touching… I just loved it.

Because of that last bit, this series remains one of my comfort reads when I want to be immersed in that happy place with the couple who you just know will be together forever.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Well, I just can’t say enough positive things about Nick J Russo’s narration. He is just so good! I think what I appreciate most in this series is his ability to slow things down when the emotions get really high and how he’s able to move things along when the story picks up again. It’s very much like a person would do if reading it and makes it all that much more enjoyable to listen to.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review