Daily Archives: February 15, 2015

Here Without You (One Voice #2) by Mia Kerick

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6035

here without you Blurb

With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as what he wants battles against what he feels he must do.

Separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. But they are faced with separate issues. Casey copes with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. And Nate fights for his sister’s survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally.

Nate’s effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which threatens to blast their relationship apart before they can adjust to the changes in their lives. They must find their way back to a united path before it’s too late.

Review

You have to have read book one for this to mean much to you.

In book one our three MCs have faced bullies and won! Now they are 18 and off to college… well Casey and Zander are. Nate has stayed at home to take care of his [bitchy] sister Cindy and keep her safe from his [evil] uncle.

If anything, book one was Casey’s story and this is Nate’s.

Casey and Zander are in school and there are a few hurdles: Casey is still really nervous in crowds, especially around girls/women. Zander wants One Voice to make it big, right NOW, but has to organize his priorities straight or lose what’s really important.

Nate, however, is facing depression, loneliness and hopelessness and most of it without support.

Cindy just won’t let up. She pushes and pushes and pushes and the results are an abusive uncle who takes it all out on Nate.

When Nate tries to take time for himself it’s harder to go back each time. He feels pulled in several directions and has no one to turn to for unbiased support.

Finally, things come to a head and Cindy ends up hurt. Nate spirals out of control and the boys think things have actually come to a heart-breaking end.

Luckily their love is stronger than that and they manage to pull Nate back from the brink and keep their “throuple” (a threesome couple) alive.

**

Wow. Book one was hard to read and this one is harder? The emotions are deeper and even more difficult because there is the more “adult” side to their lives.

I absolutely loved the way Mia Kerick handled their growing relationship intimacy. It was, again, suitable to the age (maybe now we’d call it Young Adult) and still felt really authentic and yet very touching.

It was so hard to read Nate’s part in this. He was suffering so much and felt so alone. When he finally gives in and lets the boys back in to his life it’s so beautiful.

I loved Zander’s family and Casey’s family absolutely rocked!

I think there is a book three in the works and I hope it’s Zander’s turn to take the lead.

I can’t wait for the next installment, but this felt very satisfying on its own.

PS LOVE the cover!

All in all 5 of 5 hearts

5

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Hungry for Love Audiobook by Rick R Reed Narrated by John Solo

Dreamspinner Presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5914

hungry loveBlurb

Nate Tippie and Brandon Wilde are gay, single, and both hoping to meet that special man, even though fate has not yet delivered him to their doorstep. Nate’s sister, Hannah, and her kooky best friend, Marilyn, are about to help fate with that task by creating a profile on the gay dating site, OpenHeartOpenMind. The two women are only exploring, but when they need a face and body for the persona they create, they use Nate as the model.
When Brandon comes across the false profile, he falls for the guy he sees online. Keeping up the charade, Hannah begins corresponding with him, posing as Nate. Real complications begin when Brandon wants to meet Nate, but Nate doesn’t even know he’s being used in the online dating ruse. Hannah and Marilyn concoct another story and send Nate out to let the guy down gently. But when Nate and Brandon meet, the two men feel an instant and powerful pull toward each other. Cupid seems to have shot his bow, but how do Nate and Brandon climb out from under a mountain of deceit without letting go of their chance at love?

Review

Brandon is an “almost-virgin” who is looking for a permanent guy. He decides to try his luck with online dating and posts an ad on what he hopes is a “sincere” site. His ad is answered by, what appears to be, a great guy named Nate. Little does he know that “Nate” is really Hannah, Nate’s sister, disguising herself as her brother.

There are a few twists and turns, but eventually Brandon wants to meet “Nate” and so Hannah convinces the real Nate to meet Brandon and “let him down gently” since she feels so bad for interfering in sweet Brandon’s life.

What happens next, however, is not on Hannah’s script at all! Nate and Brandon really hit it off and it seems like the two might just be made for each other after all.  Until… Brandon discovers more than one secret Nate’s been hiding and he must decide if he can really trust Nate with his heart.

**

I have found that, though I really like Rick Reed’s style of writing, I don’t ever quite bond with his characters very well. This is his third book that I’ve read and though I am always impressed with his writing and creativity, I don’t feel attached enough to the MCs to feel “involved” with the story.

In this case I just had such a hard time with both Nate and Hannah that it colored my enjoyment of the story. Hannah was beyond “quirky” and landed straight in “psychotic” land. There is no way any sane person would either act like she did or put up with her meddling. Her friend Marilyn, also seemed borderline crazy to me as well. Nate came across as bi-polar or severely wishy-washy. He was the man-whore with no deep feelings for most of the book with occasional “outbreaks” of romantic idealist.

I thought Brandon was awesome and I felt bad for him the entire time. He had a crappy self-esteem but seemed so sweet I was really hoping he’d get someone truly amazing to make him see how wonderful he is. Nate never seemed like that guy.

I thought the end was rushed and awkward and very unsatisfying. I didn’t feel at all comfortable that they’d make it as a couple, though the impression is one of a HEA.

Audio:

John Solo does most (all?) of Rick Reed’s books and is always a steady performer. He tries hard to differentiate the characters with differing voices and I enjoy his narration.

Writing/Editing 4

Romance 2

Sex/Heat 2

Storyline 1

World Building/Characterizations 3

Audio 4

Overall 2.5 of 5 hearts

2.5

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