Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1) by Keira Andrews Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Forbidden-Rumspringa-Audiobook/151594395X?qid=1567270521&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C1ZBX33XBS1DN4T22H8S&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.

Review

In this version of the Amish faith, electricity and running water are forbidden. Even English isn’t spoken in the home. School stops at the 8th grade and boys become married men at 18. In Zebulon even other versions of the faith are considered too lax and allow too much freedom.
Isaac is 18, and is now considered the oldest son since his brother Aaron left the faith in shame and is now, for all intents and purposes, dead to them. Isaac isn’t much of a farmer, the family business, so his father arranges for him to apprentice with their group’s carpenter, David Lantz.
David’s younger brother also shamed the community when he and 2 other kids got high and crashed their car and died. Now David is responsible for his mother and sisters, but financially speaking things are tough. David meets an “English” (non Amish) neighbor who helps him to sell some of his carpentry for cash to help his family. She also exposes him to things he never would have seen in the community: movies, magazines, MIRRORS, zippers, cars… the list is endless and with each new experience David’s beliefs are challenged more and more. Only his feeling of responsibility to his family remains the same: he can’t leave the community because he can’t leave them.
Isaac had noticed David and vice versa months before. When put in a situation of day to day proximity to one another the spark that started then ignites. It doesn’t take long before the two are engaged in their own version of “rumspringa” or adolescent romantic exploration and it involves lube!
Both men know what they are doing is strictly forbidden and this adds to the excitement. However, there will come a time when they both need to decide what the future holds : more unquestioning belief in a faith that has more questions than answers or doing the unimaginable and leaving behind everything they know to be together.

**
I admit I was not at all attracted to this book when I first saw it. I just don’t like religious themes – having had too many bad experiences. But I kept seeing the good reviews from people I trusted and I thought… well, I’ll give it a shot.
What a pleasant surprise! Yes, the religion plays a heavy, heavy role, but the romance is so beautiful that I didn’t mind the religion. For those of you with an interest in the religion Keira Andrews does an amazingly thorough job of explaining the Amish faith and the differences. I think you can skim those parts and still get the benefit of reading the story if those parts don’t interest you.
Isaac’s naïve view of the world, then his complete faith in love are really touching. I thought it was fascinating that of all the sins he was committing, he stood firm on not looking at himself in the mirror. Like, if he didn’t see himself doing these things, then perhaps he could still hide? David, is more comfortable with the “sin”, he’s more concerned about his family and his feelings of guilt surrounding them.
I found the ending to be actually sort of a surprise in the way things unfolded – it’s very exciting – you’ll enjoy it! And, even better news, this is book one and in book two we get to see more of the characters, that is awesome because … well I can’t tell you, but it will be great to see what happens next.
I had read Keira Andrews before and I found this book to be a step above her other books – it is very well written and the story is very touching and might just make you think, too.

Audio

John Solo seems to fit this story really well.  He does a nice job with the pacing and his tone matched that of the story.  This is a nice way to enjoy the story!

Recommended!

 

4 stars 


Copy Purchased for Review

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

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Kel’s Keeper by K.C. Wells

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47316064-kel-s-keeper

Blurb

When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.

Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

Review

As the gorgeous cover promises, this book gives us a very intimate and sensual portrayal of a loving May/December relationship. The attraction between Kel and Luc is a longstanding one and simmers beneath the surface of their every interaction. Theirs is very much a slow-burn story with the author taking the time to build a solid foundation for this wonderful couple and to subtly, ever so gradually, set up the daddy/boy dynamic (no ageplay). That aspect of their relationship grows stronger and more pronounced as the story unfolds, bringing with it both amazingly sweet and tender moments as well as scorchingly hot ones. Hot and deliciously dirty.

I loved reading such a realistic portrayal of a daddy/boy relationship for once, it had all the hoped for steam (boy, did it ever!), with the added bonus of an expertly crafted love story between two amazing, well-rounded MC’s. What I also really loved about this book, is that Kel is such a strong person in his own right, Luc’s shoulder to lean on when he needs one, and even the initiator of several key moments in their relationship.

There is so much (unspoken) longing in this story, in part because Luc is determined not to impose his own desires on Kel, protective of his boy even to his own detriment. And perhaps he’s also a bit scared Kel will want no part of it. Luckily though, Kel grows to understand Luc’s true desires and the truth of their dynamic on his own, making the sweetest romantic gesture to show his lover how perfect they are for each other.

Luc is the ultimate daddy, a carer through and through, not just for the sake of kinkiness in the bedroom, but the real deal. Swoon… I loved how he put Kel first and looked out for him at every opportunity, even before they started sleeping together, without ulterior motives.

To conclude: this is a story to savor and re-read. Definitely a keeper 😉

 

Number of stars out of 5: 6

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/never-a-hero-by-marie-sexton-10608-b

Blurb

A Tucker Springs Novel

Owen Meade is in need of a hero. Sheltered, ashamed, and ridiculed by his own mother for his sexuality, his stutter, and his congenital arm amputation, Owen lives like a hermit, rarely leaving his apartment. He hardly dares to hope for more… until veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves in downstairs.

Charming, handsome Nick steals past Owen’s defenses and makes him feel almost normal. Meeting his fiery, determined little sister, June, who was born with a similar amputation, helps too. June always seems to get her way—she even convinces Owen to sign up for piano lessons with her. Suddenly the only thing standing between Owen and his perfect life is Nick. No matter how much he flirts, how attracted to Owen he seems to be, or how much time they spend together, Nick always pulls away.

Caught between his mother’s contempt and Nick’s stubbornness, Owen makes a decision. It’s time to be the hero of his own story, and that means going after what he wants: not just Nick, but the full life he deserves.

Second Edition

First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, May 2013.

Review

Never A Hero has a lot of good things going for it. This book is a little more angsty than the other books in the series. The two main characters, Owen and Nick are both dealing with emotional and physical issues. Without realizing it both men are looking for the same thing, acceptance and they find this in each other.

I have read both editions of this book and honestly, I was hoping that some things would have been changed. Without giving too much away, one of the main characters, is keeping a “secret” from the other MC. I really don’t like how the “secret” was revealed.

I still think over all this is a decent story with some really great moments.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Blind Faith (Blind Faith series #1) by N.R. Walker

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Blind-Faith-Audiobook/B07RLSSXB3?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B07RLSSXB3&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=BMF5SGWABJ4AFRJPG1YP

Blurb
Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece makes a house call to a very special client.
Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.
Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

Review

Story:

This is an incredibly sweet slow-burn romance with a couple of surprisingly intense emotional moments thrown in as well. A classic N.R. Walker book, beautifully written and with complex but lovely, three-dimensional characters.
Isaac has known a lot of loss in his life and as a result has an understandably hard time letting people, or an utterly lovable and smart dog, into his heart. He’s never been in a relationship and doesn’t seem to have much of a social circle outside his work and family. When he meets Carter, there’s an almost instant connection between the two men and it was quite endearing to see them slowly circle each other and get closer step by prudent step.
However, there are some bumps along the way that they need to overcome and learn how to deal with as a couple. Isaac has a temper and a tendency to lash out rather than show his vulnerability or talk something out calmly. The moments when he does open up about how he feels though, are wonderfully written and deeply moving.

Narration:
Michael Pauley’s narration of this book was all I could have wished for. I love how he performs the more emotional scenes and brings such feeling, nuance and depth to every word. I really enjoyed listening to his take on Carter’s and Isaac’s story. He seems to always have such a good understanding of the MC’s and excels at bringing them to life for the listener.

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: The Doctor’s Date By Heidi Cullinan

June 18

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-doctors-date-by-heidi-cullinan-10557-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Doctor’s Secret

Copper Point Medical: Book Two

The hospital’s least eligible bachelor and its aloof administrator hate each other… so why are they pretending to date?

Dr. Owen Gagnon and HR director Erin Andreas are infamous for their hospital hallway shouting matches. So imagine the town’s surprise when Erin bids an obscene amount of money to win Owen in the hospital bachelor auction—and Owen ups the ante by insisting Erin move in with him.

Copper Point may not know what’s going on, but neither do Erin and Owen. Erin intends his gesture to let Owen know he’s interested. Owen, on the other hand, suspects ulterior motives—that Erin wants a fake relationship as a refuge from his overbearing father.

With Erin suddenly heading a messy internal investigation, Owen wants to step up and be the hero Erin’s never had. Too bad Erin would rather spend his energy trying to rescue Owen from the shadows of a past he doesn’t talk about.

This relationship may be fake, but the feelings aren’t. Still, what Erin and Owen have won’t last unless they put their respective demons to rest. To do that, they’ll have to do more than work together—they’ll have to trust they can heal each other’s hearts.

Review
I absolutely loved this story!!! Heidi gives us her take on two men going from enemies to fake boyfriend to sweet, loving partners.
Erin and Owen spend a lot of their time together snarking and stepping on each other’s toes but they both end up wanting to protect and rescue the other from their demons. I felt so much anguish learning about their pasts.
This book was pure emotional romance. Erin and Owen had such a strong emotional connection. There are a few make out scenes that are extremely mild considering this is a Heidi Cullinan book.
I suggest reading the first book, The Doctor’s Secret since almost all of the characters in this story are in that one as well. This book also continues the arc from the first book about the overbearing hospital board.
This was a great story with lots of emotions and sweetness. I strongly recommend it!
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Honeythorn by Marina Vivancos

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44589386-honeythorn?from_search=true

Blurb

Omega Milan Pryor knows his duty. He must travel North through the continent towards the snow, the cold, and his new betrothed. They say that Lord Alpha Raphael Ledford, the man he is to marry, is as artic as the weather of his land. But Milan has always been an optimist. Perhaps he might find friendship in the arranged marriage. Even love.

It doesn’t take long for Milan to realize that all the rumours about Lord Raphael are true. Reclusive, distant, frigid. Milan finds himself unwelcome in what he must now call his new home. He’s used to fighting for what he wants—but can he survive a husband as cruel as Lord Raphael?

Being bonded to one who rejects you is a painful thing. Will Milan be able to win his husband’s regard? What terrible secret is Lord Raphael keeping, and will Milan be able to discover it before it’s too late?
Or will Milan perish along with his heart?

Review

This book is set as Regency era with a slight Steampunk feel. It’s Omegaverse with hint of mpreg possibility, but did not happen in the book. Milan is from a family in the South, who is arranged to marry Raphael from the North. I was sad for Milan in the beginning for Raphael’s behaviors. The talks about steam powered machines in everyday life was fun to read. I also enjoyed the stark contrasts between the personalities of both men. Other than a VERY rocky beginning, the slow build between the men was wonderful to read. There was a big twist towards the end that surprised me. The background characters were a delight to read and really added to the tone of the book. Overall a very enjoyable read.

Number of stars out of 5

5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Obsessed (bundle) by Quin Perin

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43198063-obsessed

Blurb

All Meik cares about is lust, not love.

An eager boy toy, that’s what he’s looking for. Someone who worships the ground he walks on. The very second he lays eyes on the enigmatic, street musician Sebastian, he believes he found his new playmate. Obsessed with the young man, Meik introduces him to a world full of sins and desire until the man’s presence threatens to reveal dark memories he had locked away tightly.

Review

This book is at once deliciously smutty, sneakily romantic and utterly heartbreaking. What a rollercoaster this has been! It’s so refreshingly different and original. I loved it!

The story is written from the pov of Meik Lennen, a man who seemingly has it all and is bored with the sameness of his easy, luxurious life. Until… a chance encounter with a mysterious street musician, Sebastian.

There’s a lot of very hot dirty talk and gratuitous sex, deliberately throwing the reader off the scent of the unique love story that is to follow. Almost slyly at first, the authors drop little hints to help the reader understand Meik better and gradually flashbacks are introduced as the story unfolds further. These give us a truly heart-rending glimpse into Meik’s past and it finally starts to make sense why he is so broken and closed-off.

Honestly, I love Meik!! He starts out, and continues for quite a while, as a real jerk, but in the end I just wanted to cuddle him and cheer him on. After shaking him a little (no, a lot), because the man is so oblivious! Sebastian remains a mystery for some time, because we get our info through Meik and he’s not always the most perceptive of narrators. I like Seb’s resilience and his acceptance of Meik, warts and all.

As the emotional connection between Meik and Sebastian continues to grow, Meik is forced to recognize that he actually feels something for the younger man. Something more than lust, that is. Can’t say he gives in with good grace, but he does go after his man in his own fashion. The continuing flashbacks into Meik’s past are beautifully written and very sweet, poignantly so.

After a certain event… Meik and Sebastian have a falling out of sorts. The L-word is still something Meik has a lot of trouble accepting, and he fights it. So hard. Will he have the courage to embrace it (again), knowing how deeply it hurts when things go south?

The story concludes in a very unique way, with the focus shifting even more to Meik’s origin story.
He is always so blunt, arrogant and cold even (on the outside) that seeing him so vulnerable and sweet with his first love was an endearing change of pace. Knowing what was coming didn’t make it any easier to read though. Meik’s emotions are raw and overwhelming, his grief so real. He’s totally forgiven for closing his heart off like he did.

I adore Quin & Perin’s writing style. They are brilliant with picking the right word or comparison to make the reader understand just how much their character is feeling. I love the way they cut off sentences to create more tension and heighten emotions.

Can’t wait to see what they bring us next!

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest 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