Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47795450-tough-guy

Blurb

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Review

This took me FOREVER to get into. I just wasn’t as compelled as I had been with books 1 and 2. I’m not sure exactly why – but I didn’t gel with the couple as much as I had with the others. The chemistry was just off for me I guess.

I do enjoy a good hockey player book and Rachel Reid is a great author – so if you enjoyed books 1 and 2 I’d take a look at this – but it wasn’t my favorite.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Read : Holding the Edge (Cold War #2) by Keira Andrews

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23511650-holding-the-edge?from_search=true&qid=NXt5XKrdKj&rank=3

Blurb

Gay figure skaters keep their relationship secret—and end up on thin ice

Misha Reznikov has an Olympic gold—and a secret lover who just happens to be the silver medalist. Now that their competitive days are over, Misha and former rival Dev Avira are setting up house in LA and giving their relationship a shot in the real world. They agree that keeping their romance strictly under wraps is best for their pro careers and Misha’s family back in Russia. So what if Dev hasn’t told his parents, and they never eat out for fear of being spotted? It’s not perfect, but they’re together.

But as they prepare for a special holiday skating show on Christmas Eve in Dev’s hometown, tension builds. How long can Misha and Dev keep their love secret—and what happens if one of them wants to stop hiding?

Review

This is a lovely sequel to book 1 and maybe gives some more solid “E” to the HEA from book 1.

I loved the family scenes and the interactions with the pairs female partners.

Highly recommended to fans of book 1.

4 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

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: Flash Rip (Flash Rip #1) by Keira Andrews

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48054988-flash-rip?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

On Australia’s hottest beach, the most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Flash Rip is a gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This was so amazing!  I really felt the tension and the pain it took for Liam to make the reach to being an out and proud man in a partnership.  Keira did a really nice job with the pacing.  Cody’s constant, unwavering support matched his age and experience, while Liam was understandably lagging behind and so, so fearful but when he does make the transition  it felt authentic.

 

I loved learning about Barkers beach and the life of full time lifeguards.  I always learn so much when I read Keira’s books – they are so clearly well researched.  I also loved all the new slang I learned!

 

This was not my favorite sexual theme, I’m not real keen on D/s but it was gentle and it really felt necessary for Liam and his development romantically.

 

Highly recommended!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid Narrated by Tor Thom

audiobookreview

Audible:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Game-Changer-Audiobook/1541431626?qid=1572134542&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=7TJ5WG0S76CGPFKH47C1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pregame rituals very seriously. In this case, it’s not just a lucky smoothie he’s craving—it’s the man who made it.

Pro hockey star Scott Hunter knows a good thing when he sees it. So, when a smoothie made by juice bar barista Kip Grady precedes Scott breaking his on-ice slump, he’s desperate to recreate the magic…and to get to know the sexy, funny guy behind the counter.

Kip knew there was more to Scott’s frequent visits than blended fruit, but he never let himself imagine being invited back to Scott’s penthouse. Or kissed with reckless abandon, never mind touched everywhere all at once. When it happens it’s red-hot, incredible and frequent, but also only on Scott’s terms and always behind his closed apartment doors.

Scott needs Kip in his life, but with playoff season approaching, the spotlight on him is suddenly brighter than ever. He can’t afford to do anything that might derail his career…like introducing the world to his boyfriend. Kip is ready to go all-in with Scott—but how much longer will he have to remain a secret?

Review

First I want to say “How did I miss this when it first came out????”
I’m a huge hockey fan and I’ll tell you I get really annoyed when authors don’t know the sport or do a crummy job integrating the sport with the romance.

Rachel Reid does neither.

I read book 2 first, because that’s what I’d requested but I immediately turned around and read this because it was that good!

I can’t say if this one or that one is better because they are so different.

In this we have a “good boy” but closeted and another pretty “good boy” but out who meet. Kip has no real knowledge of hockey and doesn’t even recognize Scott as the star he is.

The author does a terrific job of giving us the regular NHL cities with probable NHL teams with different names. It allows her to lean on our own knowledge of the city and the fan base and the experience without having to infringe on rights or create an alternate world.

I was very impressed by this and her knowledge of the sport.

The romance is really sweet with some smokin’ hot smexy times and the sweetest HEA ever!

I really can’t say enough about this!

If you like Cinderfella stories, hockey, sports romances, coming out stories and sweet love stories – this is for you!

 

Audio

 

Tor Thom did a fantastic job with this.  He has a lovely deep voice and really tries hard to give all the characters a unique voice to match their persona.  He’s a relatively new narrator (to me) but I’ll definitely keep him on my radar for the future!  Recommended!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Suckerpunch (Hockey Gods and Monsters #1) by Elyse Springer

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/suckerpunch-by-elyse-springer-10800-b

Blurb

A rookie goalie with a secret and a handsome yet hotheaded defenseman clash in the locker room and on the ice—but their shared desire to make the playoffs might help them move from enemies to lovers.

When the goalie for the Seattle Cascades hockey team is injured while drunk driving and Alex Fanning is recruited to take his place, Alex thinks his dream has come true. But to hold on to his hopes, he must keep his vampire heritage secret as the sport moves to ban Paranormals. The sexy but infuriating defenseman Sasha Petrov won’t make that easy. The injured goalie was his best friend, and he resents Alex’s presence—maybe even enough to use his bloodline against him.

Tensions mount, but the realization that there’s more to their feelings than animosity hits both men like a punch to the gut. Alex and Sasha’s newfound friendship promises passion, but a shocking betrayal could cost them all the ground they’ve gained

Review

This was so much fun! It was great hockey with lots of authentic information that illustrated the author’s knowledge of the sport. It had a compelling alt universe that demonstrated a layer of bigotry that can be used to illustrate any number of biases that are surely occurring in the sport (and in our nation).

The romance was so sweet – slow burn, full of miscommunication and sexual tension.

I loved the HEA and I really hope this is the beginning of a long series because I can’t wait to see more from this world!

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton narrated by Matthew Shaw

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=family+camp+eli&ref=

Blurb

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

Review

I loved this!

I’m always reminded – after I read an Eli Easton book – just why she’s one of my favorites.

It doesn’t matter the subject matter or the MCs, she manages to make even the most recalcitrant part of my heart.

In this case it was easy. You have a very loveable – do gooder – teacher – with a dopey sense of humor – trying to do right by a couple of “less than easy” kids and he’s an instant favorite. Next you introduce an – in the closet – baseball player who only wants to be the best because he’s a foster kid at heart, too.

It was a no brainer. These guys are loveable. The kids are great – felt pretty real – and the situation was believable – mostly.

I’m not a baseball fan but I can imagine this is what they’d go through and hopefully – one day – we can have out players without all the media going crazy.

If you’re a fan of the author, sports romance, kids, dopey humor and sweet romance – this is for you!

 

Audio

Matthew Shaw is so easy to listen to. He doesn’t do crazy, over the top accents, but he makes it clear which character is speaking.

He handles the moms and the kids and the MCs all very well and made this great story a great audiobook!

Highly Recommended!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2) by Avon Gale , Piper Vaughn

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43263028-goalie-interference?from_search=true

Blurb

It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 72,000 words

Review

This is a fun series! If you’ve read and enjoyed book one you’ll absolutely love this one! We get to see the MCs from book one and the entire team again. Ryu is stoic and controlled he absolutely does NOT know what to do with the tempestuous Emmitt, aka Army.
The strike sparks off one another right away and that predominates their relationship. I was glad to see more humor in this and a fair bit of hockey to keep me satisfied until hockey season starts up again!

The emotions come, though they are a little overwhelmed by the smexy times and the angry sex. It was nice seeing the relationship between Tristan and Sebastian from a distance – it made them feel more complete than they had by the end of their story.

This is recommended to fans of hockey, angry sex, the authors and bratty goalies!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Poetry in Motion by Samantha Wayland

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47520304-poetry-in-motion?from_search=true

Blurb

Travis Campbell has been at this hockey thing for a while. He knows his days on the ice are numbered, but he’s happy with the Moncton Ice Cats and he’s still got some time to figure out what comes next. He’s been taking college classes online and thought he knew what he was doing, but then he made the ultimate rookie mistake. It turns out the poetry class is not the easier way to get his required English credits.

Barnaby Birtwistle has exiled himself to the wilds of New Brunswick, leaving London, his so-called friends, and his cheating ex behind. His life is finally getting back on track, and he’s going to keep it that way, even if it means living like a monk.

Travis is expecting a bookish nerd to help him pass his staggeringly boring class; Barnaby is expecting a meathead hockey player who struggles to string two words together, let alone appreciate poetry. Turns out that they both have something to learn.

Review

Yay!       Hockey is just around the corner and this books gets you right in the mood!

I love Samantha’s books and it was great seeing a couple of the old MCs again.

I was not expecting this book to have the serious undertones that it did, but I was so pleased to see the subject of traumatic head injuries being discussed like this here. It’s something you hate to see as a hockey fan – but they’re a reality. In theory all the new rules are designed to limit them, but just as the book illustrates – things happen – trainers ignore the signs, players aren’t always honest and when push comes to shove – sometimes our priorities aren’t what they should be.

This was both ridiculously sweet, and super hot! Add in some humor and it was a total win for me!

I’m totally not a poetry fan – but I appreciated the work that was done to integrate poetry into the story and I believe it definitely added something to the mix.

I’m a big fan of big ol’ hockey players being sassy bottoms and this was a delight!

All in all I couldn’t ask for better!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Hearts Untouched Author: Andrew Grey Narrator: Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heart-untouched-by-andrew-grey-9888-

 

Blurb
An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track – and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources – so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.

As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams…and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.

Review
I’m not sure how to review this book. It was easy to listen to. The story flows with no great surprises. A good friends to lovers story that I get the feeling only possible because of Duncan’s injury. It meant Duncan looked at life and at Todd differently. It was nice briefly catching up with characters from the previous books. I did wonder why Duncan wasn’t more angry that he couldn’t compete any more but Todd still was. This is a story where everyone is nice, apart from the one ‘villain’ in the story. But even then they weren’t terrible. There is also a battle against the unjust actions of the USOC, again not so terrible. Overall a pleasant story without much bite.
Greg Tremblay’s narration is as wonderful as usual. He gives us the personality of each character. He fleshes out the story with his performance and it is so well done that I am happy to listen to him.

3 stars out of 5 for book
5 stars out of 5 for narration

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review