Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Dreamspinner Gay m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Standalone

Coming Soon! Don’t let Go by Andrew Grey

August 7th!

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dont-let-go-by-andrew-grey-9792-b

Blurb
Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.

Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.

The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight

Review
I always feel happy and contented when I finish a book by Andrew Grey and Don’t let Go is no exception. It’s an interesting concept where both main characters have hidden identities. Both of them know the pressure of touring and being in the spotlight. And both of them have reached a point in their lives, for different reasons, where something has got to change. It made it such a pleasant read that both Zeke (Hy) and Robert (Avery) are not looking for love but welcome it completely when it comes into their lives. They initially meet as a one night stand, a diversion because neither recognises the others professional persona. By fate or coincidence they meet again, on Zeke’s family ranch. From there on love grows and life is idyllic until real life and other people intervene. There are bitter sweet moments as well as hot scenes between them which round the story off perfectly. I fell in love with both Zeke and Robert and whilst they have ended in happy ever after place I wouldn’t mind visiting them again too see how they’re getting on.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Book Dee Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Balls Up by Lexxie Couper

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24083717-balls-up?from_search=true

Blurb: Rhys McDowell. Striker for Manchester United. Bad boy on the soccer field. Badder boy in the bedroom. Rhys lives by the motto: never second-guess anything. His only regret in life is that he fell in love with the wrong man long ago, and no one has ever been able to erase that guy from his heart.
Until now.

Curtis Clarkson. Ex-captain of the Australian cricket team. A man once feared on the pitch, Clarkson is now a highly respected businessman with a devilish glint in his eye and a willingness to follow wherever life leads. He never expected it to lead him to a man. A cocky soccer player, no less. And a private shower in Heathrow airport.

When lust and desire take control of both men, all the rules of the game change utterly. Curtis never thought he’d fall for a guy. And Rhys never thought he’d fall again, period.
But when fame follows your every step, what happens behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there. And the penalty box may very well leave you not just sweaty…but broken.

Review: Now, this was a hot story ☺. Apparently, it’s part of a series but can totally be read on its own (the other stories are M/F). Anyway, Rhys is a footballer, trying to forget a guy he’s been in love with for a while. On a flight back to Oz (Australia), he bumps into Curtis, a cricketer. They’d met before, so they were somewhat familiar with each other. When their flight is delayed, they end up having a steamy encounter in the airport lounge shower, (and I’m not referring to the hot water producing steam)! There is also hot session at when they get together at their hotel.
Apart from the steam factor, there is a lot of humour in their verbal sparring. Along with the situation of both men being dogged by the press and making their relationship public makes this novella fun to read.

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Established Couple Gay m/m Mary D Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Audiobook: Leaning into Always by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-Into-Always-Audiobook/B07773JHRN?qid=1530503341&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=RDN95195QDGESTGSF51G&

Blurb
Life is good for Eric Schuster. He owns a highly successful tech company, has a great group of buddies, and he’s about to marry his best friend, the man of his dreams. Eric is pleasantly surprised to find the transition from friends to lovers has been easier than he thought. But after running into an overly friendly ex-boyfriend on an impromptu trip to their shared hometown, Eric realizes things are about to get complicated.

Zane Richards is a quintessential California surfer dude turned professional sailor. His laid-back approach has helped him navigate difficult times in his life. Eric may not share his easy-going mindset but Zane knows without a doubt Eric is the one. However, carving a future together may require confronting a piece of the past Zane thought he’d left far behind. Both men will have to decide if they’re willing to risk what they know for a chance to lean into always.

Review
This story is only a few months on from the end of Leaning in Love. Eric is not trusting his relationship with Zane. He never had a solid romantic connection with Nick and they both knew they were not each other’s forever guy. He can see this with Zane and he wants it so much but what if it doesn’t last? I liked this story better than the first because once they accepted their attraction the hard bit comes next the belief in what they have. This has never been a problem for Zane but it’s a real test for Eric. Zane is so sure of his feelings that he is blind to reality. Especially when it comes to an old lover. He thinks Eric is just jealous.
I got on much better with Seth Clayton’s narration in this story. Zane had a more gravelly voice which helped to distinguish him from Eric. Also I think the story held my interest more. I think it helped that I listened to it straight after the first book.

3.5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Book Gay Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Audiobook Month : Leaning into Love by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-into-Love-Audiobook/B074SVHHMH?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QWBECWC9QJKP4ETXVAS8&

Blurb
Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

Review
This first novella and the next one, Leaning into Always, are about the same couple, Eric and Zane. I love a good friends to lovers story especially when they’ve known each other along time. It’s that moment of realisation that their friendship is much more than that. This moment comes for Eric and Zane when Zane is helping Eric sort out his feelings for former lover and current business partner Nick. Eric is wary at first he doesn’t want to risk their friendship but Zane convinces him otherwise. Zane is perfect for Eric, so laid back and calming. Nick is one frustrating character in this story he just doesn’t know what he wants and his actions just cause more problems. The story is told from Eric’s point of view but there is a bonus chapter from Zane’s POV which made me smile. I was so glad the next book continues their story.
I must confess I didn’t take to Seth Clayton’s narration. There was nothing wrong with it per se I just wasn’t gripped by it. I ended up starting the story over again because I realised I hadn’t been listening to it. There just wasn’t a spark which kept my interest. It might be because Eric and Zane sounded very similar to me. It didn’t spoil the actual content of the story just my connection to it.

3 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Rugby Sports Standalone

Recent Release: Blindsided By T.A. Chase, Devon Rhodes

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blindsided-by-ta-chase-and-devon-rhodes-9591-b

Blurb

A Men of Sports Story
Love can hit you hard before you even see it coming….
When rugby player Liam transfers to Melbourne, he’s blindsided by his attraction to the hottest lifeguard on the beach. Luckily Matty knows mouth-to-mouth….
Liam’s left his friends and family—everything comforting and familiar—back in Canberra. He knows it all comes with the job, adjusting to a new city and a new team, but he’s lonely. Maybe it’s time to find something outside his career to fulfill him.
Working as a lifeguard and being by the ocean is Matty’s dream come true. The big, blond, blue-eyed hottie new to his beach catches his attention right away. When he runs into Liam again at the pub, he takes the shy league player under his wing and into his group of mates, and they become fast friends.
But when they go from friends to lovers, the emotions that come with their deepening romance catch them both off guard. Can two men without any experience at relationships navigate their way to steady ground?

Second Edition
First Edition published by Totally Bound Publishing, December 2013.

Review

The story, a friends to lovers slowish burn story, is well written. The 2 MCs and the other characters are well developed and likeable, well maybe not Korey ☺
Matty and Liam are sweet and fun, apart and together. When they meet, the chemistry is there, but neither man knows if the other is into guys. As they decide to be friends, it slowly dawns on both of them that they fancy each other. The progression to lovers was smooth and pretty much drama-free, which I really liked.
There were a few things that didn’t work for me (personal peeves): the spelling was US for most of the words, including mum- I kept having to reread the beginning to make sure that it was set in Oz. The other is that there wasn’t much distinction to location- it was easy to imagine that they were at a beach in Melbourne, Florida and not Melbourne, Australia. As I said, these are my pet peeves and not enough take away my overall enjoyment of the book.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
2.5 stars Age Group Book Bullying Dee Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased Standalone young adult

Retro Read: Blindsided By You: A Gay For You Sports Romance by Cameron Riley

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31549350-blindsided-by-you?from_search=true

Blurb

 Could their forbidden romance be everything they never knew they wanted?
Seth is a college senior and star quarterback. Unlike his best friend Marc, he doesn’t love being a football hero — but since his coach is also his father, he feels trapped. When he meets Marc’s younger brother Aaron, Seth is surprised at the instant attraction between them, since he’s always considered himself straight.

Aaron knows he’s gay — his favorite pastime is reading M/M romance novels. It’s almost as if Seth stepped right from the pages of one of Aaron’s books and straight into his fantasies. Aaron is more than ready to make them real … if Seth will make a move.
But Marc doesn’t want his brother’s sexuality making headlines — for Aaron’s protection, yes, but also for the sake of Marc’s future career. Can Seth and Aaron keep their relationship a secret? If they’re discovered, can they survive the fallout?

Review:
The premise of the story had promise, but the execution and editing errors detracted from my enjoyment.
The beginning started off well: Seth plays college football and Aaron is the non- sporty type; complete opposites. Seth realises that he is not entirely happy with his life – he wants more. It dawns on him that he may not be entirely straight and admits to himself that he doesn’t really like football.
The MCs meet at a frat party and interest is kindled. However, from here, the storyline does not flow well. For some reason, Seth takes on the responsibility of paying for damages from the frat party, but what about his frat brothers? It was never clear that Seth orchestrated the party by himself. Another thing that didn’t work – Set takes a job at a gay club (to pay for the damages) and on his first day is able to find time to dance with Aaron? (he said it was his break, but it was last call for closing).
There were other inexplicable instances, but the last straw was that at the end of the book, despite Seth not wanting to play football, he goes in for the NFL draft and is happy to be selected!
The plot and editing issues made this a disappointing read.

2.5 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall Book 1) by Tara Lain Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/volley-balls-by-tara-lain-8014-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

A Balls to the Wall Romance

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2011.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

I read the original edition and though this says it’s twice as long as the original, I can’t say that I noticed a heck of a lot of difference.

I love this series and though this wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it’s still a lot of fun!
(I’m not sure if she’s redoing the entire series, but I see that there’s at least a new cover for book two so…) In any case, FAST Balls is my favorite of the series, reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/fast-balls-balls-to-the-wall-5-by-tara-lain/) and I think that, though it’s not necessary, reading them in order helps to introduce the characters in a really nice way.

David is the owner of an art gallery who’s recently left an ex who abused him. He’s not really looking to date, but open minded when opportunity comes along. Edge and Gareth are Australian Volleyball players who are in town during a tournament. Gareth knows he’s gay but he’s deeply in the closet, Edge has some secrets of his own and some self-examination in his future.

To me, you have to just accept a lot on faith with this story. Don’t try to look at it too deeply- there are a lot of plot holes and amazing insta-love moments that aren’t terribly realistic. We don’t get a lot of relationship building here, as Gareth sees David once and is pretty smitten and makes some important life decisions with only a little bit of encouragement from David to go on.

The relationship between Edge and Gareth actually makes the most sense – given their history – and I guess the triad kinda makes sense – given that David is the only one with any real relationship experience at all. (This was the hardest for me to swallow. I could buy David and Gareth, Gareth and Edge and even David and Edge, but the three of them, coming together, and agreeing that this would work for them? I had a hard time seeing this given the brevity of their time together and the situation with Edge and… Well, it was a hard sell. The other thing that bothered me was the dialog – sometimes David and Gareth spoke in ways that didn’t always feel authentic. “Shall I …” etc. I just reminded myself this is fiction and kept reading. )

The sexy times are plentiful. Gareth’s mom is awesome. The art sounds fun. Seeing Edge switch gears and share with Gareth and David – super, scorching, hot and at times sweet, too. I didn’t really buy the triad, but found the guys fun to read about anyway, and I really enjoyed the other books in the series so…

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is one of my favorites. Is his Australian accent good? Not the best. Is it good enough. You bet! I still loved this even though it wasn’t my favorite by this narrator. He’s still easy to listen to and fun. He’s great with the comedic timing and the smexy times and that makes this worth the money!

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Gay GFY/OFY m/m May/December May/December Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Part of a Series Purchased Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words) Sports Virgin

Fragile by Monika Krasnorada

fragileBlurb

Part of the First Time For Everything Daily Dose 2011 collection

Dr. Andy Jameson considers the job of team physician for a regional college football team to be the perfect prelude to a specialized residency. But tending to injuries suffered during the brutal, full-contact sport is nothing compared to the injury he inflicts upon himself by falling in love with the ruggedly handsome head coach, Erik Sheridan. Andy’s content to love from afar until he literally sees the writing on the wall-a message hastily scrawled on the coach’s bathroom mirror-and realizes his last night on the job could be just the beginning of a life with the man he loves.

 

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(Fan Art by Karrie Jax)

Review

This is a delightful example of just how a short story should be!

In only 23 pages Monika Krasnorada shows us (emphasis on shows) that Dr. Andy has had a long time crush on the “straight” college football coach he works for as a team doctor.

Today is his last day serving the team and he’s sad and also longing for the ability to do something about his attraction.

Meanwhile the coach might have something to say about this attraction and how he goes about letting the Doc know… so sweet, so awesome!

Obviously we only get a small glimpse of this couple. But it’s enough to show us that the coach is new to gay sex, which I am sure they experimented with even more with help from videos at teentuber.xxx or places similar. The two men really match well together and the thought of long term and forever is definitely there.

5 of 5 stars

5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

(Copy purchased for review)

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