Daily Archives: January 27, 2015

Friends With Benefits by Cheyenne Meadows

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5989

friends benefitsBlurb

Playboy wolf shifter Wiley can’t duck out of his pack’s biggest annual event, despite knowing his grandmother has possible suitors lined up and waiting. Wiley has no intention of settling down, and the situation dangles just above disaster. Thankfully, Wiley’s best friend, lion shifter Ram, agrees to pose as Wiley’s boyfriend for the weekend.

They find out fate has other plans when they kiss on a dare, and the passion erupts, so hot and intense they fear the couch may spontaneously combust beneath them. Neither man is able to push the small act of affection from his mind, but both struggle with uncertainty and the ramifications of following where their libidos lead.

If they can’t outrun their feelings, they’ll have to muster the courage to face their fears before they lose everything, including their friendship.

Review

Wiley is trying to avoid a family matchmaking by bringing home his best friend Ram as his “boyfriend”. Ram agrees because he’s a nice guy and wants to help.

While at the family picnic, they are forced to acknowledge that they’ve been in denial about their feelings for one another. Neither is ready to commit to being Mates, but it looks like their combustible passion will force the issue.

**

Man I wanted to love this book. First, we get that awesome Reese Dante cover. She is so amazing! Second, I really enjoyed the previous book I’d read by Cheyenne Meadows, Feline Persuasion. Third, Shifters!

But… even if you allow for some of the bizarre-ness that can come with shifter romances, this was just too much for me. I was very put off by the grandma storyline and Ram’s constant “she’s hot”. The little kids with the weird sex questions was a turn off, too.

The “hurdle” of Wiley being a playboy rang false when we never heard anything about him lusting after others or his prior exploits or any inkling at all of his feeling constricted as the relationship between him and Ram developed. Instead, he seemed almost virginal in his responses to their lovemaking.

The dirty talk wasn’t sexy, it was cheesy and porn-like. (And not good, sexy porn either!)

I wasn’t sure why Ram freaked out like he did after they had sex – that never made much sense – and I wasn’t at all convinced of their longevity as a couple, even after their mating and the “I love yous”.

I dislike shifter books where we don’t’ see them shifted! In this book, there was no real connection to Wiley and Ram being shifters. It was more like any two friends who become lovers and end up having a lot of (I will admit very hot) sex. Sure, their feelings might be a little motivated by their animals, and there is the biting, but in my opinion, if you took “shifter” out of the story, there wouldn’t be a heck of a lot missing. (Well, some of the weird family stuff, but even so that could be just a quirky family, not necessarily explained by being shifters.)

I also didn’t understand the “aging”. Are they immortal? Grandma is 800 but acting like a teen-ager. At 60 Wiley is still living at home and in UnderRoos? It didn’t make a lot of sense.

So… though I really love shifter books, give them LOTS of latitude in terms of expectations, this one was really pretty bad.

I give it 2.5 stars for the cover, good grammar and editing, hot sex and some funny lines.

2.5

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The Sol of Jupiter by Thaddeus J.

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5552

sol of jupiterBlurb

Turner Michaels is an idealistic junior enlisted communicator that wants nothing more than to successfully execute his duties. After being transferred to a light armored reconnaissance unit in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the young U.S. Marine starts to feel a bit overwhelmed and out of place from his usual role of support – that is until he is reunited with his old friend Jace Sozio. Reconnecting with one another is simple, but neither of them could have imagined the intense yet awkward attraction that would grow between them. Though admitting these feelings to one another poses a dilemma for the men, as neither wants it to threaten their close friendship. Taking things to a whole new level raises a number of other questions as well. First and foremost, would their peers accept them, or would they have to forever hide their relationship? And admitting their true feelings for one another is easier said than done. Their harsh supervisor is demanding and makes life miserable for the pair, and they also have a number of very good (though sometimes annoying) friends that make them question if they even need enemies. But with the help of their family and inspiring leaders the two will discover that loyalty and support are stronger than bigotry and misperception. Proving that the Corps indeed is a sacred brotherhood where men can trust one another with their very lives.

Review

This is a love story between two friends (from basic training on) during the times of DADT.

It is a very, very military story (lots of lingo) with little erotica involved. For some this may be a turn off. For others a chance to enjoy learning something new and for others a chance to have an m/m novel without a lot of sex scenes to skip/skim.

For me, it was not exactly my taste. I prefer more steam in my novels and since I don’t have a military background it was a bit more tedious to get through all the jargon/lingo. I was looking forward to some hot military man on man action… but I wasn’t exactly disappointed, just had to adjust my frame of expectation. The writing was excellent and very detailed, so you really felt you were there.

So I give it a 3.5 of 5 hearts and for those of you with a little different palate you might rate it higher.

FWIW I like the updated cover a lot!

3.5

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