Author Archives: Morgan

How to be a Normal Person By TJ Klune

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HowToBeANormalPersonLGBlurb

Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.

Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.

Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Review

This story almost defies description. If you’re a fan of TJ’s you know how he likes to rant. Well, this is almost one crazy rant after another.

It’s really hysterical and at times very moving.

It’s basically a love story about two men who aren’t “typical” in any way. They have many idiosyncrasies and somehow they work magically together as a couple.

I know that the whole “asexual” aspect – to me- was fascinating. I’m not well versed in the subject, so I can’t judge how well it was portrayed, but since TJ himself identifies as such, I can only imagine it’s accurate. I loved learning about that and seeing it played out in a romance genre known for it’s sex scenes.

There were times I was moved to tears (when Gus thinks Casey is leaving forever and when he returns) – TJ is good with the feels!

I recommend this to anyone interested in learning something new, laughing out loud and reading a sweet and sometimes sentimental love story.

I only give it a 4 and not a 5 of 5 because I still think it could be edited down to a more concise and tighter story (maybe a few less tangents).

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Ghosts of Halloween Past (Sequel to Blind Devotion) by MD Grimm

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7016

GhostsofHalloweenPastLGBlurb

Sequel to Blind Devotion

Wolf shifter Sheriff Jack Ulger and cougar shifter Travis Kuger protect the shifters and their human allies living in Haven, Montana. They have known each other for nearly a decade but weren’t always friends. One Halloween night, as teenagers, that changed when Travis saved them both from an abandoned mill and the ghosts haunting it.

Years later, it’s Halloween again, and Travis never shared the ghostly experience with anyone, least of all the skeptic Jack. But he soon regrets the omission when Jack becomes trapped in the same abandoned mill while trying to find two lost kids. Jack must now protect the children, fight off a spiritual attack, and find a way to freedom. Travis knows something is wrong and enlists the help of their friends, and he can only hope they’ll be in time to save Jack from the dark entities.

Review

This is a nice Halloween story that takes a look at Jack and Travis before they’d mated and again, later, after they’d been together awhile.

The ghost story is spooky and creepy – just like you’d want for a Halloween story!

I enjoyed seeing some of the back story for our couple as well as seeing them again, more fully mated.

For fans of the series this is a must read!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Blind Devotion (Shifters Book 3) by MD Grimm

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3140

 

blind devotionBlurb

“The Shifters: Book Three”

In Haven, Montana, the shifters and their human allies are safe-for now. But that safety hinges on the town’s location remaining a secret, and it’s about to be compromised.

Cougar shifter Travis Kuger spent the past ten years alternating between craving revenge and wishing he could forget his painful past. Ever since the shifter-hating Knights blinded him and killed his family, Haven-and Sheriff Jack Ulger-have been Travis’s refuge.

Travis and Jack know their friendship could be much more, but Jack is part of Haven’s ruling wolf shifter pack. If he takes a non-wolf mate, he’ll be banished forever. But when one of the Knights infiltrates Haven, love becomes the least of their problems.

Review

Travis is hurt by a group of hunters who hate shifters. He finds his way to Haven, a place where shifters can be safe. He is befriended by Jack, but resists anything more because he’s afraid to love again. He lost his entire family to the hunters and can’t risk that kind of emotion again.

Jack has been slowly falling for Travis, for years. But he can’t be with someone not a wolf shifter and still be in the pack’s good graces.

When danger comes to Haven, Travis and Jack are forced to admit their feelings and fight for their right to be together – both against the pack and their own worries.

**

This was a really sweet, slow burn love story. Though there is some danger and some struggle against the pack, most of this is the two of them getting to know one another and slowly growing from friends to lovers.

I love that their pull is as strong as any “True Mate” type attraction, though that isn’t the case. I also loved the magicky stuff the Agency people add to the mix.

I really appreciated the slow pace and easy love in this story and am excited to read the sequel! (I haven’t read books one and two but will absolutely do that now, the continuing saga with the Agency and the Knights is very compelling.)

4 of 5 hearts

4

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The Plumber (Workplace Encounters) by Serena Yates

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6979

Plumber[The]LGBlurb

Hard work and long hours have made Will Kovar’s business, Total Plumbing Solutions, a success. When he’s called to fix a bathroom at the Safe Home for Girls and Boys and sees how tight money is for the charity, he’s happy to donate his time. Meeting the home’s manager, Steve Hayes, is an added bonus, especially when Steve invites Will to dinner to thank him for his generosity. Will learns Steve’s wealthy family isn’t happy about his choice to make a career in social work, but neither man expects Steve’s parents to leave eighteen children out on the street to prove their point. Will is determined to help Steve figure out how to provide a safe and happy home—for both the children and themselves.

Review
Will is a plumber and a workaholic. Steve is a social worker who runs a home for Children. Will’s family won’t accept that he’s gay. Steve’s family wants “more for him” than being a social worker.

Though it’s hard, both men work crazy hours, these two guys make the time to be there for one another. When Steve’s home is threatened, they team up to find a solution. Through their steadfastness, they show one another’s families just how wrong they are and how to open themselves up for new “truths”.

**

There is nothing technically “wrong” about this story other than it was very bland. There was no sexual tension. Once they met they began dating. When there was trouble, they discussed it and sorted it out. When there was trouble with work they teamed up and found a good solution.

I just felt no spark from this story. The characters were nice, their romance was sweet, but there wasn’t anything compelling to it.

3 of 5 hearts

3

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For a Rainy Afternoon Audiobook by RJ Scott Narrated by Ian Gordon

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7026

ForaRainyAfternoonAUDLGBlurb

Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House.

The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does.

Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.

Review

Robbie is a rootless artist who is gifted a benefactor in the form of 80 year old Maggie. She and her ladies read and drink tea at the Post Office/Library she sets up in an old train station. Robbie runs the place and lives in the apartment above it – giving him time and space to paint. This works excellently for 10 years until Maggie dies. She then gifts the entire place to him in her will along with some enigmatic papers and instructions.

Jason, an American, is a long lost distant great-grand-nephew to Maggie. He’s gifted her house and the other half of the enigmatic papers and instructions. Under suspicious circumstances the house he inherits needs massive renovations and he’s forced to seek shelter with Robbie.

Well, it’s a match made in heaven… literally? The two get along great and end up solving Maggie’s “mystery” and living HEA.

**

RJ is a great writer and this short little story is a wonderful example. It’s sweet, very British: full of tea, cold weather and old things! Though the romance between them is quick, and I wish that there was more character development and maybe some more smexy times, but I enjoyed the setting and the sentiment very much.

Audio

Ian Gordon is a lovely British narrator.  It really suited the story and since it’s placed in England I think choosing a British narrator was wonderful.  I did chuckle a bit at his “American” accent.  But it was really cute and it didn’t detract at all.  I loved it!

This is absolutely the best way to appreciate this story.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue by Charlie Cochet

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6909

BetweentheDevilandthePacificBlueLGBlurb

For the last six months, Detective James Ralston has worked the nightshift as security for the Pacific Blue Hotel, and every night at 2 a.m. his rounds lead him to the radio room where the handsome and mysterious Franklin Fairchild sits listening to waltzes as old as the hotel itself. James is drawn to Franklin, but Franklin is a man at the end of his rope, and James has no intention of getting caught up in whatever trouble Franklin is in. A heated encounter late one night sends James down a disturbing path and has him questioning everything around him, including his very sanity.

 

 

Review

James is ex military, ex cop, ex detective and a current security guard for an old hotel. He meets Franklin in the hotel on his sweep of the hotel each night at 2 am. Eventually he and Franklin move past just exchanging pleasantries to becoming more “involved” with each other.

Once he begins to dig deeper into Franklin’s life, he realizes that Franklin may be in danger – and that maybe there’s more going on around him than he really knows.

**

This is a short story and unique, not quite like the other books of Charlie Cochet’s I’ve read. It’s definitely coming out at the right time of year, but I don’t want to give too much else away.

There is a twist – to be sure – and a very satisfying HEA.

I really enjoyed trying to keep up with the twists and turns the story takes us on and appreciated the subtle language cues Charlie gives us to help solve the mystery.

I recommend this to fans of Halloween stories and detective stories.

4.25 of 5 stars

4

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Cold Feet Audiobook by Jay Northcote Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Cold-Feet-Audiobook/B016J9TQXM/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1446220523&sr=1-1

cold feet audioBlurb

Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?

Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.

Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.

As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.

Review:

(From book previously on this site)

Sam and Ryan are best “mates” (I love the British!) from university planning on a holiday in the country when the snow comes. Instead of being a casual thing with four roommates – now it’s an intimate stay between the two.

Sam is openly gay and has known he’s had feelings for Ryan forever. Sam knows those are pointless as Ryan is straight. (We’ve heard that before, right?!)
Ryan has had feelings for Sam pretty much since Sam came out and made Ryan look at sexuality in a different light. But Ryan doesn’t have the fearlessness Sam does, so he hesitates from jumping in the “gay” pool and watches for a while. Being snowbound forces those feelings to the surface and he and Sam begin to explore their feelings (and each other!).

**
This is a lovely short-story perfect for the holidays. The set-up for forcing Ryan to confront his feelings felt natural and their easy, slow start into moving things physical also fit the age and the setting. There is a bit of steam and smolder, but most of this is about their changing feelings and their emotions. Though we do get a very HEA ending, it also left us feeling that this was really the beginning of their relationship and we were just glimpsing its origins.

This isn’t as angsty as some of Jay’s other novels, certainly not as steamy, but it is every bit as sweet and sentimental – full of all the wonderful “feels” that she is great at delivering.

Of course, I’m always a sucker for the GFY theme, coupled with the British and the friends to lovers… it hit all my buttons in a big way!

Audio

Matthew Lloyd Davies is wonderful! He does all the voices so well, including the women! I love the varieties of accents he uses to give the speakers a local flavor. Very nice narration.

I highly recommend this holiday treat and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts!

4.5

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My Prince by Anna Martin

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6999

MyPrinceBlurb

After growing up in a rough part of town, George Maguire worked his way out of Manchester and to a career as a design engineer. Alexander van Amsberg, an architecture student at the University of Edinburgh, wasn’t the sort of guy he normally had explosive, hotel-room one-night-stands with. Alex was charming, classy, and, as George later learns, Prince of the Netherlands.

Fate brings them together again, and Alex makes sure to get his sexy stranger’s phone number this time. Despite all the reasons why they shouldn’t work, something clicks, and Alex thinks that this time, he might have found the right guy. But Alex’s aristocratic ex stirs up trouble in the press for George and his humble family, and Alex realizes he has to get real about having a boyfriend from the wrong side of town.

While George acknowledges his modest upbringing, he doesn’t let anyone insult his family. Life’s no fairy tale, and regardless of his royal title, Alex might destroy his one chance for happily ever after.

Review

George, a rugby player and sports equipment designer, meets a man out one night and they have a hot night at a hotel. George’s hook-up, Alex, is obviously “posh” so George figures he’ll never see him again. He’s shocked when he sees him on the TV and finds out he’s one of the princes of the Netherlands!

Alex is the fifth in line for the throne (read as never really in line). He’s an architecture student living in Scotland and has no plans to ever go home for any length of time. He has a hot time with George, but doubts to ever see him again. When they meet, months later at a charity event, he thinks it must be kismet. They exchange numbers and from there start a “thing” that becomes a relationship.

There stands a lot between them and happiness including George’s own place in the closet, Alex’s family and expectations, the press and George’s family of 7 siblings. But… after a lot of time and patience they manage to make their own fairy tale happy ending!

**

Anna Martin is an amazing writer! I have admired her work from the first book I read of hers, Tattoos & Teacups and really enjoyed her books Summer Son and Solitude.

This is not only my favorite of her books, but will go on my list as the best book I’ve read this year! I loved it!

George is so very real, but so is Alex. Their relationship is fraught with difficulty and impracticalities but they persevere and survive in a way that seems very authentic and plausible but yet terribly romantic and special.

I loved how open Alex was and how shy George was. I loved the way Alex brought Doug in to “educate” George and how well George responded to the prodding. The need for George to know more about gay history was thought provoking without being preachy.

The sex/chemistry between these guys was incendiary but what got to me the most was their emotional connection.

I was a bit daunted by the length of this book, especially when they hooked up fairly early on. I was anticipating loads of angst and separation or fighting to fill the pages, but what I got was a very organic telling of the blossoming and deepening of their relationship. I really felt that these guys had what it took to make things work by the end of the story because we’d seen their relationship grow.

Anna’s writing is lovely and smooth, her characters are really well developed and three-dimensional. I cannot gush enough about this story. It was really and truly a fairy-tale for modern times and it was wonderful, I can’t recommend it enough!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes 4.5) Audiobook by Shira Anthony Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Dreamspinner Presents

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SymphonyinBlueAUDBlurb

A Blue Notes novella

Are you a fan of the Blue Notes series? Would you like to know where the couples from the first four books are now? This is your chance to catch up! Aiden and Sam are finally getting married. But when Cary and Antonio’s baby daughter makes her appearance a bit earlier than planned, the big reception is put on hold. David Somers normally conducts orchestras, but this time he devotes his energy to “conducting” his friends so that everyone can join him at his Milan villa for a reunion at an intimate Thanksgiving dinner.

Sam and Aiden, Jules and Jason, David and Alex, and Cary and Antonio are soon assembled, and each couple shares something they are thankful for. Played out in four movements, this symphony is a celebration of friendship and love, orchestrated by David.

NOTE: Although novels in the Blue Notes Series are standalone books and can be read in any order, this holiday novella is a sequel to the first four books in the series.
Review

In books 1-4 we met these characters: Jules and Jason (Jazz musician and manager), Aiden and Sam (Lawyer and Opera Singer), David and Alex (Musician and Conductor) and Tonino and Carey (Lawyer and Cellist). They all had their love stories to tell. This is after.

They’ve gathered for Thanksgiving both to celebrate the holiday and to wish Aiden and Sam congratulations on their engagement and to welcome Tonino’s and Carey’s new baby girl to the world.

Each couple has a little something “more” to add – but I’m not telling!

This was a very sweet “epilogue” of sorts and fun for fans of the series. If you haven’t read the books I doubt you’d be as entranced, but I’d recommend reading the entire series to fans of great writing, romance and music.

The audiobook is absolutely amazing! I have loved Peter B Brooke and his narrations of the previous four books, so I was cautious about this one. Why did they change? Will he be as good. There were ways that Andrew McFerrin was as good and in some areas I think even better. I LOVED it. He really and truly “acted” (like the touching scenes like when Carey and Massi have their “moment”). He does all the accents very well including the kids and women!

I very highly recommend this book and the audiobook and give it 6 of 5 heartsamazing

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More Than a Friend (More Than: Book 2) by Nic Starr

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6928

MoreThanAFriendBlurb

More Than: Book Two

Tim Walker is a free man. He’s broken up with his girlfriend and is ready to move on to a new relationship. But the relationship he wants to pursue is fraught with challenges. Firstly, Scott Richardson is a man, and only Tim’s closest friends know Tim’s bisexual. Secondly, everyone knows Scott relishes the single life. And then there’s the big one: Scott is the younger brother of Tim’s best friend, Paul.

Scott can’t deny an attraction to his brother’s friend Tim. Lean, dark blond, and blue-eyed, Tim is hot and hard not to notice—especially since Scott and Tim work together. Too bad the man is straight, and too bad Scott worries how Paul will react if Scott hooks up with his best friend.

Tim and Scott want to see if there’s a chance for more than friendship between them, but neither of them wants to lose Paul. Together, they must find the courage to follow their hearts and find a way to have it all.

Review

Tim was dating a woman, he’s always been “bi” but hasn’t really shared that with anyone. When he’s newly single he discovers a crush on his best friends brother that might be reciprocated.

Scott and Tim begin dating but try to keep it under wraps because they don’t want to hurt Paul (the brother and BFF) in case things fall apart.

**

This was a pretty predictable and bland GFY/OFY story. There was no discernible tension and only a bit of steam.

Neither character stood out as particularly interesting and the plot didn’t have any fantastic twists.

It’s a solid “best friend’s brother” romance and it was ok.

3 of 5 hearts

3

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