Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Happy Place (Rainbow Plave #5) by Jay Northcote

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52042563-happy-place

Blurb

A first kiss from a younger man leads to a sexual awakening…

George’s strict upbringing has left him ashamed of his sexuality. In his forties now, he’s yet to come out or even kiss a man—until he meets Quentin.

Quentin has had enough of bad relationships with men who won’t commit. Still raw from the last one, he’s not ready to try again. But George is sweet, and helping the older man get some experience might be a fun diversion.

Swept rapidly into a deeper connection than they bargained for, they face a dilemma. George isn’t ready to come out, and Quentin wants a boyfriend who isn’t afraid to be seen with him in public. Can they find a way to navigate the unpredictable waters of their new relationship and find happiness together?

Review

An amazing, well-written May-December romance with the perfect amount of angst, steam, starry-eyes and sweetness.

I loved the realness of this story, how everything wasn’t just perfect lust and connection from the first. This romance felt so genuine and authentic, like something that could happen to actual people, which made it a very appealing read to me. As a reader I got to cheer for Quentin and George as they stumbled, doubted or misspoke and sympathized with them as they struggled through some pretty awkward moments. And most importantly, I got to see them fall in love which was absolutely heartwarming.

George is a product of his upbringing, poor guy, and in some ways he’s in a prison of his own making because of that. He has carried around a big secret for most of his life and doesn’t appear to have any friends he can turn to in order to break free and be true to himself, which was pretty sad. I loved his bravery and how he handled his coming out though. Quentin is a wonderful character too. I could easily relate to his longing for a relationship, as well as his hesitancy to open himself up to heartbreak, again.

I loved how these two men fit into the Rainbow Place “community” and I especially liked Seb’s role in their story, though the glimpses we got of the other characters in the series were great fun as well.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place #1) by Jay Northcote narrated by Hamish Long

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Rainbow-Place-Audiobook/B081ZD89V5?qid=1579551980&sr=1-3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P8PQKF7EMEC73VWM05P2&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3

Blurb

Can Jason find the courage he needs to be the man Seb deserves?

When Seb Radcliffe relocates to a seaside town in Cornwall, he feels like a fish out of water. He misses queer spaces and the sense of community he enjoyed when he was living in the city, and decides to open an LGBT-friendly cafe-bar.

Jason Dunn is the builder Seb hires to help renovate the rundown space where the cafe will be housed. Jason is also gay, but unlike Seb, he’s deep in the closet. He’s never had a relationship with another man–only allowing himself the occasional hook up with guys who are prepared to be discreet.

The attraction between the two men is instant and impossible to ignore. But while Seb is out and proud, Jason is terrified of being exposed. With the grand opening of Rainbow Place approaching, tension is growing among some locals who object to Seb’s plans. When things escalate, Jason is forced to choose whether to hide in the shadows and let Seb down, or to openly support the man he’s fallen so hard for.

Although this book is part of a series, it has a satisfying happy ending and can be read as a standalone.

Review

Jay writes lovely characters with just the right mix of humor, smexy times and angst. This is maybe a little more angsty that some of his earlier stories but not too heavy.

This is a great start to a new series with a lot of compelling characters and some deep emotions.

Hamish Long is a new to me narrator and I really enjoyed his narration!

4 of 5 stars for both story and narration!


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Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Read: Cold War (Cold War #1) by Keira Andrews

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20493931-cold-war?from_search=true&qid=NXt5XKrdKj&rank=1

Blurb

After an explosive locker room confrontation with his Russian rival ends in the most surprising and intense sex of his life, American pairs skater Dev Avira needs to refocus. He’s worked for years to win Olympic gold, and he can’t let himself—or his partner—down. Distraction in the form of steely and smoldering Mikhail Reznikov is the last thing he needs as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life.

But with the Games only days away, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Dev soon learns that beneath Mikhail’s arrogant and aloof exterior is Misha, a passionate man who warms Dev’s heart and scorches his bed. They’re both determined to win, but for Misha his freedom could be on the line. Can Dev put his deepening feelings on ice as he goes for gold?

Review

I’d read this a long time ago and when I recently read another by the author and found there was a book 2 I’d missed I re-read this so I could enjoy book 2. What a find! I forgot about these two and though so much has happened over the last few years – especially at the Olympic level, I feel this is still very apt.

I really loved how willing they both are to keep their relationship going when they really shouldn’t. The way that Misha is willing to go all in – despite the horrible consequences is what romance is all about – in my book.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, angst, skating, toppy tops and athletic bottoms.

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Twice Shy by Sally Malcolm

GoodReads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48559190-twice-shy?from_search=true&rank=1

Blurb
The last thing Joel Morgan wants is to fall in love again. Scarred by his failed marriage, Joel’s determined to keep his life emotionally stable—which means taking a job teaching fourth grade, fixing up his house on weekends, and avoiding absolutely all romantic entanglements. And he’s doing great.

Until he meets sweet but struggling single dad, Ollie Snow.

Following the tragic death of his sister and her husband two years earlier, Ollie became the legal guardian of their two young sons—much to the horror of the boys’ conservative grandparents. They think Ollie’s too young and too unreliable to raise their grandsons. So to prove them wrong, Ollie’s determined to parent the boys without anyone’s help.

Until he meets reserved but caring teacher, Joel Morgan.

As the only two men in the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, Joel and Ollie are thrown together over a series of fundraising events, and somewhere between the Beach Fun Run and the Fall Festival they fall in love. But Ollie has another reason for moving to New Milton—a reason he’s keeping close to his chest—and Joel’s wounded heart won’t trust a man with secrets.

Dare they hope for a future together, or will their past pain keep them apart forever?

Review
Joel and Ollie are two very insecure people. Both of them have had loss3 in one way or another and had to battle to get the life they have now. Twice shy is a sweet story of redemption and Trust. There’s also a cosy feeling to the story it’s gentle when it could very well have been angsty it’s charmingly set around different school events. Which brings a lot of other fun characters into the story. Some are from previous books but I didn’t feel I was missing out from not having read the first two books in the series. I haven’t read anything by Sally Malcolm before and I found this book to be soothing even though the journey Joel and Ollie take is hesitant. I think it is the way the book is written that kept me sympathetic to both characters reluctance to make their relationship public. It ws very much an on and off relationship. Both of them had their reasons for hesitation and it’s these reasons that e me from feeling irritated that they hadn’t got on with it already! Ollie has his nephews to think about and Joel definitely fit in the once bitten twice shy category.
Absolutely a feel good story that makes me want to investigate the first two books.

4 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Rules for Santa by Susan Hawke

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48392412-rules-for-santa?from_search=true&qid=0FmIi4bD8n&rank=1

Blurb:
Rule #18: Daddy’s boy will always believe in his Santa Daddy.

Homeless, alone, and now jobless, Cameron Evans is lost… until he’s found after a prominent local attorney literally trips over him when the boy is passed out from dehydration.

Scott Hendrickson has two things in life: his job as an assistant district attorney, and his son Davey. Other than that, he lives alone in a house that’s too big, too empty, too… lonely.

It’s not just Cameron’s life that might change for the better when Scott takes him in. Scott can provide material things and security, but Cameron returns the favor by breathing fresh air into Scott’s stale life.

Two men who need each other… one magical holiday season. Could a little Christmas magic be all that’s needed to bring the biggest gift of all? Maybe Cameron doesn’t need a Sugar Daddy… because he already has a Santa Daddy.

This is the third book in a series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Get ready for all the squishy holiday feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.
Review:
When Scott finds Cameron in need of help, he doesn’t hesitate to jump in and soon the two find an attraction beginning to take shape. Both men are surprised at the depth of their feelings and must work through many obstacles before finding a happy ever after. Will the two give in to their desires and follow their hearts?
I enjoyed this installment of the Davey’s Rules series. In this book we get to see Davey’s father find a boy of his own. Scott is a good man and father; I enjoyed the relationship that he has with Davey. Their interactions add nicely to this story and Davey’s easy acceptance of Cameron is sweet. Cameron is a young man in a dire situation and even as he accepts the help Scott offers, he wants to carry his share showing what a good man he is. The two are cute together and the love that they have for one another shows in all that they do. I enjoyed seeing their relationship take shape. Scott and Cameron’s story is a wonderful story about finding love when you last expect it. As we watch their relationship take place we also get to see more from Davey and some of the others at the club and I cannot wait to see Davey finally find love. The author does a wonderful job of bringing this world and its endearing characters to life. I was quickly immersed in Scott and Cameron’s story and am excited to see what will come next in this world.

Number of stars out of 5: 4



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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: I’ve Got This by Louisa Masters

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ive-got-this-by-louisa-masters-10788-b

Blurb:
A Joy Universe Novel

Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Except Trav Jones. For some reason, the visiting Broadway performer would rather Derek just go away. He appreciates Derek’s work ethic, though, and after Trav steps up when Derek desperately needs someone to fill in for his sick staff, Derek seizes the chance to convince Trav he’s not such a bad guy.

Falling in love while distracted by a murder at the park, food poisoning, and colleagues placing bets on their relationship won’t be easy, but between the two of them and with the magic of Joy Universe, they’ve got this.

Review: I loved Derek and his running commentary on things going on in his life and around him. He had a slyly snarky tone which made the overall story fun to read. The story is also told from Trav’s POV, so we get to understand why he’s the way he is.
Derek is somewhat of a workaholic, driven to excel at his job. He’s well-liked by all, so he’s pretty shocked when he meets one person who doesn’t (like him). On top of that, there’s a murder to solve and half the entertainment at the resort have fallen ill.
Trav is not impressed by Derek –at all ☺ But when Derek needs help, he offers his services and helps Derek out of a bind. As both men work together, they get to know each other – Derek loosens up about being work-driven and Trav learns to trust Derek.

This is a really good story with nicely developed characters, the humour (Derek ‘talks’ to the reader, breaking the 4th or 5th wall (I forget!)) and some description of the inner workings of a theme park. I would have like a bit more about the murder as an ongoing thread through the story, but as a romance, this was a really good story! I hope Dimi, (the PA), gets a story – I liked him ☺

4.5 stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Arrangement – A Homestead Legacy Story By: Alex Jane

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47326511-the-arrangement?from_search=tru

Blurb
Gabriel Webster’s pack is in trouble. His father’s failing health and his mother’s untimely death mean that the vultures are circling. It won’t be long before his family’s assets are stripped and his pack disbanded. When an offer of help arrives in the form of a marriage of convenience, he has little choice but to accept.

The arrangement would be the perfect solution, if not for one thing. Gabriel is to marry Nathaniel Hayward, the Alpha who was badly injured in the accident that killed his brother ten years before—and the man Gabriel has been in love with for as long as he can remember.

Trapped in a business arrangement masquerading as a marriage—in a strange, empty house with a damaged husband who barely tolerates him — isn’t what Gabriel expected from life.

But sometimes the last thing we want is the beginning of something more.
And an ending can be the start of something beautiful

Review: This is an enjoyable story with likeable characters and a good story line.
My only complaints are that there is not made of the shifter life and very little description of the century (19th) in which the story occurs (these are my personal peeves and they don’t detract from the overall story).
Gabriel is ‘heir’ to a failing pack when he receives unexpected help from his late brother’s best friend, Nathaniel. Nathaniel, an alpha who was injured in the same accident that killed Gabriel’s brother, carries both emotional and physical scars. He proposes a marriage of convenience with Gabriel, who agrees (he has harboured a crush on Nate for a while).
The ‘arrangement’ starts off with Nathaniel keeping his distance, being generally aloof and cold towards Gabriel. But Gabriel perseveres, drawing the stubborn man out of his shell. The men grow closer and things start to work well between them, but there a still few things that need to settled before the men get their HEA.
An enjoyable story!

 



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
What a wonderful addition to the world Alex Jane created with the Homestead series. An arranged marriage to save the Pack it’s not what Gabriel wants but it must be done. I love how the story slowly weaves in reconciliation and emotional healing for both Gabriel and Nathaniel. A second chance at love for them. It takes time for Gabriel to begin to understand Nathaniel and why he behaves the way he does. There is a gentle sweetness about the Homestead series which has been carried on in this book. I love that there is a small cameo part for Thaddeus and Samuel. The world Alex Jane creates is so vivid. a pleasure to read

5 stars out of 5



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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

 


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet book #1) by Joanna Chambers

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47167640-gentleman-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb
An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf

Review

Chambers skillfully and masterfully weaves a story of fantasy in a delightful historical setting. This is one of two books and has a HFN/Open ending that is not a cliffhanger but you would have to wait for January 2020 for the second installment in the series.

Much like in her Enlightenment series, the research put into this book is meticulous and her language rich. This is one of the things I like most about historical romance, and when done well it can pull you centuries back in time. Chambers paints a vivid picture of 18th century Scotland, alongside a werewolf tale that feels both mainstream and uniquely different. Her choice of cover art is by the fabulous artist Felix d’Eon, who does lgbtq+ art in his unique old school, humorist style and representation of ALL the letters (check his out, you will not regret it). An artist I have been following for a few years and admire, just goes to show how meticulous Chambers is in her world building and authenticity.

I rather enjoy shifters when they are well written, and I find there are so many that follow the same well-worn path I have to be very picky about what I choose to read. This story has all the classical elements yet keeps it fresh and intriguing. Lindsey is a very relatable, yet surprising character, and I was rather fond of him from the start. His miserable beginning at the hands of a cruel master is contrasted by the happy, almost vain man he became a 100 years later. His meeting with Drew Nicol is a perfect clashing of wills and passions and the opposites attract in an almost painful way. They are raw and sensual, extremely HOT together, and Drew is the most soulful character you just want to sooth and hug. They both fight against their most secret wants and instincts, and ultimately have to make some very hard decisions.

Lindsey is on the run from a dangerous individual, and in their game of cat and mouse Drew inevitably gets tangled up. Nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, they have to face the consequences of Lindsey’s actions, and I cannot wait for the second book to bring this story to its conclusion.

Number of stars out of 5
5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Working Jerusalem by BA Tortuga

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46852560-working-jerusale

 

Blurb
Buttoned-down and sexually repressed lawyer JD desperately wants to break free of the closet and explore his desires… and coffee shop owner Todd is just the man to take him on a wild ride through pleasure, pain, power play, need, and even love.

But though they complement each other better than coffee and donuts, they have to get past JD’s issues and confront the homophobic boss who wants to keep JD under his thumb before they can sample the sweet, erotic delights waiting for them.

Review
The blurb intrigued me for this book. I liked the idea of maybe a repressed guy breaking out of the closet and finding his kink. The relationship between Todd and JD gets steamy very quickly. The first half of the story is about them getting to know each other very well in all manner of ways. There is a very low level d/s element which is manly the dominant aspect. Todd is very take charge and guiding towards JD. The second half of the story is where JD takes a stand against his homophobic boss and the situation escalates to harassment and stalking. I did enjoy the story. I’m glad that the sexual relationship didn’t takeover the storyline but there was another side albeit a little weak. I found it to be an enjoyable and entertaining story. Interesting secondary characters who

3 of stars out of 5


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