Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Hardwood (Four Bears Construction #3) by K.M. Neuhold

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54025139-hardwood?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Hb9DpJP7yC&rank=1

Blurb

I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

Review

Another great addition to this wonderful, funny series! The token straight guy in our lovable band of friends turns out to not be so straight, after all. Getting to know Everett better was great and I loved Watson for him. Watson is fun and flirty, secure in who he is, and has an incredibly big heart. I loved that he gets all the mushy devotion he’s dreamed of, even if there are some hurdles to overcome first. I really like the realism that sneaks in this otherwise lighthearted, romantic story with Everett’s struggle to come out and the sorrow he feels over the years he’s spent trying to be someone he’s not. It never gets too dramatic or dark, but it’s there and adds a touch of genuine emotion that resonated with me and made all the happy, sweet moments in the story that much more intense and appreciated. I also oved the heartwarming way in which Ev’s relationship with his ex is portrayed, not the stereotypical witch of an ex-wife, and how important his daughter Livi is throughout the story. And now… over to Ollie so he can finally, finally have his HEA too.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2) by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48979969-angels-sing?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=exeFJVJDDE&rank=2

Blurb

Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits what dire straights the bookshop is in.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey.

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense, and sweet aura, have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, its Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

Review

This was AMAZING!  Eli did it again!  I adored this!  It was sweet with such a lovely Christmas-miracle twist that I was in tears!

 

I loved Stanton.  LOVED him.  He was adorable and he was equally matched with Jamie.  The two of them together are like cotton candy ice cream!  Just sweet as can be!  Mia is fun and keeps the story from getting maudlin and I loved Stanton’s mother and her input as well as her relationship to Mia.

 

This is fun, sweet, sexy, and adorable.

 

Highly, highly recommended!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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+

Audiobook: The CEO Christmas Manny by: Angela McCallister; Narrated by: John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-ceos-christmas-manny-by-angela-mccallister-10040-

Blurb
Anything but business as usual.
Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors – including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father – the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish…and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun – that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.
Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily-ever-after he’s always dreamed of?

Review
I have so many mixed feelings about this audiobook that it’s been hard to focus them for this review. First I should say that I liked it. I enjoy Manny stories and on several levels this ticks a lot of boxes for me. But I found it hard to connect with Sasha and Nic. They’re similar in that they both have hateful parents and are driven in their chosen profession. Both of them are compassionate people but Nic’s demanding father has driven the compassion down to a very low priority in his life. Nic’s niece and nephew need attention from their uncle but is get a series of nannies. Sasha’s compassionate nature has meant he’s been taken advantage of in the past. which has left him with no home or job, until he becomes a Manny to Lucy and Ben. I enjoyed the slow burn story but did feel there was some unnecessary angst. Nic’s self centred attitude caused unnecessary pain to Sasha. Poor Percy (Nic’s friend and assistant) is left with the dirty work. I’d love to see Percy have his own story. Nic does eventually come to his senses and has a happy ending with Sasha. I would have loved an epilogue where Nic’s father suffered for his actions but alas it was not meant to be.
Jon Solo is an excellent narrator. The emotional ups and downs he gives emphasis and the overall tone he uses make it a more compelling listen.

4 of stars out of 5


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Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Splintered by Tal Bauer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44669567-splintered?from_search=true

Blurb
Everything in Ben’s life was perfect. He had it all. The good career. The perfect partner, Evan. The happy home. They were even talking about turning the extra bedroom into a nursery.

But things start to splinter.

Evan begins missing time, not knowing where he was or how he got there. Terrors in the night rip them both from sleep, and Evan’s suddenly violent outbursts cost him his job and his reputation.

And voices in his head turn from whispers to screams, commanding him to act.

To turn on Ben.

How far will Ben go to save his partner’s life? How far is too far?

Should he have just… run away?

Review
I love Tal Bauer’s writing. The first part of the book is suspense the second is supernatural thriller. This story begins at a tense time between Ben and Evan which was conveyed so well that I felt uncomfortable. I never do well witnessing fights between people and this story starts with Ben thinking it’s the end of his relationship with Evan. The tension is palpable. Ben’s description of his feeling of dread as ‘an ice cream scoop to his guts’ is so evocative. But Evan is hiding his own problems and they are a lot more terrifying than possibly splitting up. As the situation between them increases the tension builds the story becomes a fantastic thriller. No matter how unsettling I just can’t stop reading. I felt like I wanted to read peeping through my fingers. As you can tell I’m not a horror fan but this story was compelling. I am happy with the ending and I’m so glad I read it during the day and not before bed.

number of stars out of 5. 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44349918-no-quick-fix

Blurb

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caretaker to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too.

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t he seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

Review

Ho Hum. That’s what my overwhelming feeling from this was, unfortunately. 

First, the MCs don’t get together til almost the 75% point and I was frustrated and bored. Emery is engaged to a WOMAN for most of the book, and though they don’t cheat – it’s not awesome either.  

Like in other books of hers, the two MCs are fairly recognizable in Calmes stories and they don’t diverge much here. For example, Mary loves to give us these “unsuspecting” heroes and then show us their heroism – in this case Brann.  Emery is the super nice guy everyone in town loves but who doesn’t suspect it himself and is surprised by the adoration.

I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I’ve been a Mary fan for a long time and lately she just hasn’t wowed me with her work. Her characters feel like repeats and their trajectory to love is the same path with slightly changed scenery.

There are some reviewers out there who point out some Mary-isms – I’m not cool enough to keep track of that stuff – but when I do see those reviews I think – Oh Yeah – that’s SO TRUE! The very specific designer clothes, the pea coats, the waggling brows, the fact that the women all love the MCs to the point of being ridiculous… it’s all in here.

The cover by Reese is gorgeous and I was absolutely compelled by the blurb, but it just didn’t pan out for me.

For devoted fans of the author or maybe for folks new to Mary – this one will appeal. Otherwise… maybe not.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44437664-family-camp

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!

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Helix by Anna Martin

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/helix-by-anna-martin-10255-

Blurb
When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

Review
The blurb attracted me to this story. I was intrigued as to how the two couples would react when they found out about each other. From previous experience of Anna Martin’s work I was confident that it was not going to be some parody. I loved reading about two very different love stories growing at the same time. Each from a very different perspective. The mature couple with their previous experiences and issues and the younger pair with their own very different but no less important aspects to a building relationship. There was the innocence and gentleness of James and Dylan’s as opposed to the passionate intensity between Steve and Mark. Each couple looking for something different. It was also interesting reading the near miss meetings between the two pairs.
The very different parenting styles were interesting and I could see the pitfalls coming. Thank heavens for Frankie or I wonder if Mark and James would have built the bridge between them so easily. It surprised me how much of an unreasonable ass Mark became, there really is no fool like an old fool.
The epilogue rounded things up beautifully.
I think this book would work really well as an audiobook.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Inside Out (Road to Blissville #6) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43580798-inside-out?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
Romeo Bradly and Julius Shepherd moved to Blissville for the same reason: a fresh start. Romeo was looking for a school district where he could make a real impact in the lives of students and faculty, and Julius was eager to teach one of his passions to the best and brightest at a school with a nationally ranked science program. But the sleepy little town offered them much more than they’d bargained for—quirky people, unlikely friendships, and an all-consuming attraction that turns them inside out.

When unexpected circumstances threaten to cancel the school play, Romeo’s theater background and Julius’s musical expertise make them the perfect pair to save the day. Working together so closely makes it harder for the men to ignore their growing feelings. After all, the heart knows what it wants and doesn’t care about age gaps, race, or professional conflict of interest. Romeo and Julius will learn that they have far more in common than they realize, and their differences will make them stronger if they give love a chance.

Their commitment to each other and the play will be tested when outside forces target them as a couple and exert pressure to cancel the production. Romeo and Julius vow to prove their love can conquer any challenge and will burn strong well beyond the curtain call.

Inside Out is a whimsical, May/December romance featuring a man learning to love again and a man falling in love for the first time. It is the sixth book in the Road to Blissville series and can be read as a standalone book or part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Review
Inside Out is the 6th book of the Blissville series. This one can easily be read as a standalone. This book is very light hearted, funny. Romeo and Julius are both well developed characters. The two men come together after fighting their attraction, to help a trio of kids bring their school musical to life. As a huge musical nerd, I thoroughly loved this plot line. Julius ends up composing the music and the scene when Romeo hears it for the first time is absolute magic. When word gets out about this musical, a homophobic faction arises to try and shut the production down. Even with the threat of a homophobic group on the rampage, this story has very little angst and still comes off as a very sweet and swoon worthy read.

5 of 5 stars


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