Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Recent Release: Paint It Black by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-it-black-by-amy-lane-10680-b

Blurb

Everybody thinks Mackey Sanders’s Outbreak Monkey is the last coming of Rock ’n’ Roll Jesus, but Cheever Sanders can’t wait to make a name for himself where nobody expects him to fill his famous brothers’ shoes. He’s tired of living in their shadow.

Blake Manning has been one of Outbreak Monkey’s lead guitarists for ten years. He got this gig on luck and love, not talent. So hearing that Cheever is blowing through Outbreak Monkey’s hard-earned money in an epic stretch of partying pisses him off.

Blake shows up at Cheever’s nonstop orgy to enforce some rules, but instead of a jaded punk, he finds a lost boy as talented at painting as Mackey is at song-making, and terrified to let anybody see the real him. Childhood abuse and a suicide attempt left Cheever on the edge of survival—a place Blake knows all too well.

Both men have to make peace with being second banana in the public eye. Can they find the magic of coming absolute first with each other?

Review

Beneath the Stain is one of my all time favorite books, not just Amy book, but all time. I was ECSTATIC to find she’d written more! The story takes place several years and several kids later for the band and it’s members.

Just as Stain ripped our hearts out, so too does Paint it Black.

Poor Cheever. Gah. Remember how we hated him in Stain? Well, there was a HORRIBLE reason he was such a dick. That part of the story was very, very hard to read and it made Grant and Mackey seem only a little sad.

I loved the slight switch here where – once things are a little stabilized, Cheever is the one explaining life to Blake and helping him to see the Truth.

It was fantastic seeing the boys again and watching them with their kids and finding out how Briony keeps them all under control! I can’t wait for the audio and I can’t recommend the book highly enough!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: From a Jack to a King By: Scotty Cade Narrated by: Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-a-jack-to-a-king-by-scotty-cade-9718-b

Blurb

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity – at least on the surface. In public, he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice – gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.
Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Review

This was a fail for me. I didn’t enjoy the MCs – I wanted to like Bay as a geek/loner and King as the confident opposite but it felt forced and not at all realistic. Which is fine – but not what I was after. I thought the self help stuff was interesting and unique from a “romance novel” standpoint but I didn’t connect with King and as a result I didn’t find his story compelling.

I think others have enjoyed this but I couldn’t get behind the characters so I wasn’t attached to their relationship.

I found the narration to be only ok, nothing to make me want to keep listening when the story wasn’t enough.

I think a lot of this is personal preference versus poor writing or bad narrating. None of this jumped out at me and had it not been on my review list I’d have stopped reading/listening.

2.5 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Burden By K.C. Wells

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/burden-by-kc-wells-10399-b

Blurb
A Love, Unexpected Tale

They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it’s not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

Review
Burden is the second book in the Love, Unexpected series. To be fully enjoyed book one Debt should be read first, since events and characters from that story show up frequently in this one.

Randy is a vice cop in New York City who spent over a year working undercover at an illegal brothel. It was there that he met Jesse, who causes him to start questioning his sexuality. Jesse is a young vivacious man who starts working at the brothel to help pay for his education. When the club gets busted Jesse agrees to testify but this causes his parents to withdraw all support. With no other job prospects, Jesse is forced to return to selling his body. Randy and Jesse start to hang out after the trial and feelings start to grow between the two.

Burden was extremely well written. KC does an amazing job at conveying the characters feelings. This story had good flow with very little angst. The romance and chemistry between Randy and Jesse was scorching!! I highly recommend this one!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Escape to Paradise By Cailtin Ricci

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/escape-to-paradise-by-caitlin-ricci-10136-b

Blurb

His attraction to men means Kalean is the black sheep of his wealthy and powerful family—but it won’t get him out of attending his brother’s pretentious wedding ceremony. Kalean doesn’t want to go, but if his parents insist, he has a stipulation: he’ll be there with a man on his arm.
On the pleasure planet, Wish, Kalean goes to a brothel to meet some potential escorts. But the man who captures his attention isn’t one of those on offer….
Descani is as surprised as anyone at Kalean’s attraction to him—and at his own interest in the young man. He’s even more perplexed as a bond begins forming between them.
But a murder rips apart Kalean’s family and redefines his role. He’ll be isolated on his cold and barren home world, far from the warm and colorful planet of Wish—and the arms of the man who’s coming to mean so much to him—unless he can find a way to escape the forces separating them.

Review

This book is the newest in this series. It has shy and inexperienced Kalean. His family owns the mining rights to the icy planet they live on. If there was royalty, they would be the monarch. His cold and distant family grated on my nerves. Hard to be out, but not accepted. Pretty well swept under the rug. Then as stipulation to go to his brother’s wedding, he meets Descani. A character that by description is almost feline like…but no mention of tail. They are very hot together. Kalean started shy, but as the book progresses he became comfortable in his new freedom. Descani’s character is amusingly brash and very forward. Great contrast to Kaleaan who is shy and just accepts thing as is while brooding in silence. A few sad parts, but not bad. I enjoyed the added character of Lethe, his sister in law. She has spunk. The descriptions of the locations are great and you feel transported to the planets in this story. Great book., it was hard to put down.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Happens-Anyway-Audiobook/B07KFPTB1Q?qid=1545259106&sr=sr_1_11&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_11&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=YHWG1TZ8336AY89GBJ7V&

Blurb

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas, what could possibly go wrong?
Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.
Luke is 20,000 dollars short for the renovations on Halligans, his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.
But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.

Review

Soooo cute! This is adorable! We have a really sweet guy who has hit a rough patch and an adorable but weaker guy who hasn’t really stood up to his folks like he should.

This is pretty much the ideal set up for a “fake boyfriend” and it plays out pretty wonderfully.

I found it easy to fall into and was mostly swept away – the narration helped make this so easy!

There were a couple of things that brought me out of the story. Derek’s life is too easy and I didn’t always understand why his super sweet family was the cause of such angst. I also felt like he was offering a huge sum of money for 4 dates without sex.

But… it was pretty fun and I enjoyed it – especially with Sean Crisden’s narration – his voice is so sexy and easy to listen to!

4 of 5 stars for the story and 5 of 5 for the narration

4.5 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Rough Trade (The Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell

Carina Press

https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781488097195_rough-trade.html

Blurb

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

Review

Amazing action-filled story, the suspense nearly killed me! I also loved the sly humor that snuck in when the MC’s weren’t running or fighting for their lives.
This is a gritty romance between two heroes who have both been beaten down by life and aside from the suspense plot, it has some heavier themes too, like sexual abuse and its resulting mental health issues. So not a lighthearted read, but definitely an amazing, insightful, original and gripping story.
The two MC’s could not be more different.
Ghost takes a very dim view of the world and the people in it, and doesn’t trust easily if at all. He’s experienced some horrible things in his young life. But he survived. He’s very much a fighter, never giving up and using whatever means possible to get through another day, stealing, lying and cheating as he goes along. He needs every bit of his resolve and strength to fight for his life (literally) and for his chance at happiness with Duncan.
Duncan is the quintessential strong, silent type. He’s a firm believer in justice and made a brave choice to do the right thing in a difficult situation, only to be betrayed by the very people who were supposed to have his back. Now he’s struggling to find a new path, slowly realizing he can’t return to his former life. And then he meets Ghost!
The connection between Duncan and Ghost builds up slowly, with ups and downs, but it is beautiful to see the trust between them grow and to see them get closer, however tentatively at first. Ghost has serious mental health problems, and I was glad to see him reach out for help, going to therapy and building a life for himself. Love was not an easy fix for him, though it was an important motivator. I really liked that extra little bump in the road, the realism it brought to the story.
I very much enjoyed this book! I was so caught up in it, just couldn’t put it down once I started, which doesn’t happen to me all that much anymore.
This book is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

Number of stars out of 5:5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time to Comfort: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663475-love-me-louder?from_search=true

Blurb
Noah Dixon is damaged goods. After an accident leaves him physically scarred and emotionally vulnerable, dating isn’t in the cards, so he throws himself head-first into his retail job. When he’s obligated to attend his best friend’s engagement party on Fire Island, it dawns on him he’s about to spend yet another weekend feeling totally invisible and alone among a swarm of gorgeous men.

That’s when the idea of an escort comes in.

After Will Crossen was forced to put his theater major on hold in favor of two jobs to tackle his ailing mother’s hospital bills, he tells himself becoming an escort isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just another form of acting, right? He doesn’t expect his newest customer to be the cheery, overconfident sales associate he avoids like the plague at his day job. Talk about awkward.

But what happens on Fire Island stays on Fire Island…especially when a smoldering attraction sparks into flames. Will doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and for the first time, Noah realizes someone is seeing him behind all the scars. But between their jobs, Will’s massive familial responsibilities, and Noah’s vulnerabilities, they don’t stand a chance unless they find a way to let love speak louder than their demons.

Review
I enjoyed this story immensely!!

It had everything I want in a romance: emotional depth and a real connection between the MC’s, great chemistry and a lovely slow-burn hurt/comfort theme.
Throw in the excitement and angst that comes with falling for a fake boyfriend and I knew I was in for an allnighter because no way was I putting this book down!

Noah feels inadequate and has a very low self-image, especially with regards to his appearance. Initially, this skews his view on the world, read Will, and he has a difficult time accepting that Will might be genuinely attracted to him.

Will takes care of his mother and works two jobs to make ends meet, giving up his dream of a career in the theatre. I love his sense of responsibility and family.

Noah and Will dance around each other and their true feelings for quite some time, afraid to give too much away and get hurt, hesitant to believe that what they share between them could be real.

I love how the fake boyfriend trope was written here, with the closed-off colleague turning out to be an escort! The author didn’t take the easy way out by turning the route of insta-lust, but slowly let the feelings build, raising the emotional stakes bit by bit.

We get to reconnect with some of my all-time favorite characters as well, which was a delightful surprise!
Tate & Sebastian are such an adorable couple and I loved that Tate’s alter ego, Frieda Love, was the one to give Noah and Will that final little nudge to help them confess their true feelings to one another!

As is the case in all her books, Christina Lee surrounds her MC’s with engaging, three-dimensional secondary characters, be they family, friends or co-workers, drawing us into the wonderful fictional world she created. If only there was a portal the reader could step through to make their acquaintance!

I loved the title of this book so much!! Its message is incredibly apt and feels so true to these two amazing characters.
The extraordinary Frieda Love sums it up marvelously:

“Sometimes people need you to love them a little louder!”

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Review copy provided by Author

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Established Couple Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m/m Mary D Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased Re-Release Scorching/high heat Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Take it Off by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29339656-take-it-off?from_search=true

 

Blurb
Turnabout is foreplay.

High-end Market Garden rentboys Tristan and Jared have found their niche. Men are willing to pay good money to watch Tristan tease Jared, and the two of them seduce London’s elite with sex and power games.

Except Tristan is less and less interested in getting money out of the johns these days. He wants his partner in crime, and he wants the seduction to be real. But is Jared just in this for the pay?

When Rolex, the john who started it all, returns to Market Garden, the boys jump on the opportunity to service him – and each other – for a fresh pile of cash. Rolex isn’t the only one itching for a rematch, though. Jared’s been waiting for a chance to get back at Tristan for teasing him so mercilessly the first time.

And for a former stripper, revenge is a dish best served extra hot

Review
The boys are back in this second book and so is their John, now nicknamed Rolex. This time it’s Jared ramping up the steam. Phew what a sultry lap dance! Where as book 1 is from Jared’s POV this book is Tristan’s. I loved the way both stories were written in the POV of the characters that were on the receiving end of the action. Again the writing is excellent, not only for the level of sexuality but the psychological side as well. Perfect for when you’re in the mood for a quick very hot read.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Book Christmas Exploration Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m/m Mary D Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased Re-Release Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Quid Pro Quo by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28811723-quid-pro-quo?from_search=true

Blurb
For the past six months, Jared’s been selling sex at Market Garden, a London club that caters to the better-off. But business is slow in the run-up to Christmas, when businessmen and bankers are too busy bickering over bonuses to rent themselves a little high-class action.

Though Jared’s wallet finds the downtime unnerving, the rest of him rather enjoys the opportunity it gives him to admire Tristan, an old hand in the club whose reputation usually sees him well-booked. Jared has been crushing on Tristan for months – he’s no more immune to Tristan’s cockiness and confidence than the johns, and those are just Tristan’s inner qualities.

Just as Jared’s about to chat Tristan up, a businessman asks for something a little different: he wants to book them both. They agree – and Jared finds himself going from crush to mind-bending lust as he’s made the pawn in a sexual power game. Tristan shows him how a pro handles a john while delivering the top-shelf sex for which the Market Garden is so rightly renowned.

Review
Short steamy and hot. This short story captures a moment in time for two high class rent boys. Jared and Tristan who work in the exclusive Market Garden Club. Men with money to burn and little time pay to be satisfied. I liked the way Jared was a little in awe of Tristan’s confidence and jumps at the chance to ‘work’ with him when the John requests it. Tristan, builds the level of sexual tension for both Jared and the John. Making the John pay for every new aspect. The writing is excellent. So atmospheric, it’s like you are there watching all three of them.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer