Tag Archives: artist

Only Forever by Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

 

TITLE: Only Forever

SERIES:

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: November 30, 2016

 

BLURB: Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched mega yacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.

 

After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive resume, he was quickly offered a position on the private mega yacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!

 

REVIEW: This is another well written book by Scotty Cade. The story grabbed my attention with the very beginning. The prologue was a little heartbreaking. Set in a different time (1942), the story is about two men, one who, named Edward, unfortunately, has just lost the love of his life, Steven. But at the prologue’s end, sadly, Edward also passes away. Then the story flashes forward to the present time and gives us Heath and Theo. Heath to me seems to me to be a bit of a restless spirit or at least unhappy in his current job. He makes the decision to leave his current position and is quickly offered another one on a luxury yacht. It’s here that he meets Theo.

 

Theo is the captain of the luxury yacht where Heath is hired to work on and from the beginning, the attraction is strong and the sparks fly between the two men.  Not only that, there seems to be a bit of a sense of déjà vu between them. But there’s another catch: both men are supposedly straight but they keep having dreams about two men named Edward and Steven. This is where the story gets even more interesting. I haven’t read many stories featuring reincarnation but this is a trope that is seldom used that should be explored more. I definitely felt that the author did an amazing job of taking something that one would think would make the storyline boring but he managed to make it absolutely fantastic.

 

I absolutely loved the premise of this story. Everything about this book is so vivid and bright. I can’t describe it any other way.  The author’s writing style is amazing.  I was completely immersed in this story. His descriptions of the yacht, the crew’s lives, the weather, everything. As I’ve stated in past reviews of this author’s work, I thought that his descriptions were wordy but have since learned that his descriptions serve an important purpose. It draws you completely into the story. Thinking back on it now, I can remember feeling like I experience the same things that the characters are experiencing. You can definitely tell that the author has a vast knowledge of being on a boat or a ship. I’ve never in my life been near a boat but by the end of that book, I felt like I had taken a pleasure cruise. I definitely appreciate his descriptions as they give you the reader, the full experience of the story being told. Not only that but I felt that I got a special treat with the twist. Wow, I did not see that one coming. I loved it all.  

 

This book was beautifully written, which is par for the course for this author. I really appreciate his work.  This author’s characters are men of a particular age so you know that you’re going to get a more mature romance.  This is a signature Scotty Cade book: well written characters, wonderful plots and storylines and dialogues. You can also expect the editing to be spot on perfect.  Never in any of Cade’s book have I ever found one misspelled word, poor sentence or paragraph structure or plot holes. This author definitely believes in doing research before he writes the first word of any of his books.  The end result is a beautifully written, polished book. 

 

I definitely must give a nod to the super talented Reese Dante, the cover artist. Scotty has used this artist on virtually every one of his books and I must say that the beautiful cover matches the beautiful words within.

 

This is a story that will linger with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

 

 RATING: 🌟🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟🌟

 

BUY LINKS:

 

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

 

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A Different Breed by Angel Martinez

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: A Different Breed

SERIES:

PUBLISHER: MLR Press

RELEASE DATE: August 6, 2016 (first published November 27, 2010)

BLURB: Josh the vampire hunter falls in lust with one of the enemy; Richard has secrets and might not be sane–oh, sure, this will work.

Josh hunts vampires with relentless, cold precision until the night he confronts a gorgeous hunk of vamp in the woods outside Ithaca. Richard destroys all of his prejudices about vampires in the first few moments of conversation and the sexual sparks between them ignite almost as quickly. Richard offers the stability Josh never had. Josh offers the healing Richard needs so desperately.

But it’s nearly impossible just to walk away from a life of violence. An attack one evening leaves a friend in the hospital, Richard with a bullet through his chest, muttering about strange creatures, and Josh fighting to piece together what really happened. Are Richard’s nightmare attackers real, or is Josh’s favorite vamp losing his mind? Is there a reasonable explanation or has the hunter now become prey?

This title has been previously published.

.

REVIEW: This story was an absolute joy for me to read. Josh and Richard may just be my new book boyfriends. More so Richard than Josh. I just adore Richard to bits! He was an interesting mix of fierce warrior, sweet, gentle, protective, kind hearted, heartbroken vampire. He’s experienced love and loss many, many times. He’s still in mourning and feel guilty over the murder of his last human lover, whose life was taken by vampire hunters.

Josh is a vampire hunter whose led a hard life. A life filled with violence, abandonment, anger, and pain. He spots Richard one night and just makes up his mind to kill him. But the funny things happened on the way to killing the vamp.

Josh found that he couldn’t do it. One look at the beautiful vampire was all it took and the two men makes a connection. And it’s more than sexual.

I loved, LOVED this story. Josh was vulgar, rude, obnoxious, violent and a smart ass but that I felt was an armor he wore to block the pain of losing his twin sister years prior. Richard also was dealing with the loss of a loved one and these two finding each other at the time they did was perfect.

Martinez did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. The author had an entire cast of background characters brought in and was able to blend their dialogues and storyline without losing the focus on the MCs. This was definitely not a run of the mill vampire story, believe me.

Every little thing about this book was wonderful. The plot, which has been done before, was done in such a way in this that it wasn’t tired or overused. The storyline was lovely and you will fall in love with the characters. The ending was so very sweet, definite must for those who, like me enjoys a good HEA ending.

I would love to see a sequel to this, maybe a novella just to see how these two guys are doing.

I would definitely recommend this.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JKJ1E6K/ref=gi_dp_gtfa#nav-subnav

ARe

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-adifferentbreed-2083622-340.html

 

 

 

 

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Son of Money by Brandon Witt

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Son of Money

SERIES:

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2016

SUMMARY: Randall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is once more slipping under his family’s thumb.

Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.

While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.

When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.

REVIEW: I got this book not really expecting to like it. Not because the author isn’t good at telling a story but because it’s a storyline that’s been done numerous times before. I’ve read quite a few of them and I actually opened this book expecting more of the same old prince pretending to be pauper type of story.

Needless to say that I was presently surprised by what I actually got! Brandon Witt did an excellent job of telling a story that’s been told countless times and making it fresh and and interesting. I was expecting Randall to be the prince in the castle who was slumming, but what I got was a guy who genuinely wanted to make it on his own; to have an identity completely separated and independent from that pretentious clan of his. His character was quite likable.

Noah is my kind of people. He’s an animal lover, kind and just an all around nice guy. He and Randall were old flames years ago and an chance meeting put then in each other’s path. It’s then they realize that the old flames were still burning with them both and they went from there, rekindling their relationship.

Of course, it’s not going to be a smooth ride to their HEA ending. Their journey to happiness is becomes a bumpy road when some own threatens to expose the secret and unravel the life Randall has worked so hard to retain and maintain. Not only that, it threatens to destroy the growing romance with Noah. It is then you truly see the strength of the bond these men share. The problems that arise that would tear a less than strong couple apart brings these two closer together.

I can say enough good things about this book. The characters, storyline, dialogue, and technical aspects of the book were wonderful. Needless to say that it exceeded my expectations.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

BUY LINKS:

 

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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Believing Blue (Manchester Ménage #3) Nicole Colville

 

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Believing Blue

SERIES: Manchester Ménage #3

PUBLISHER: Hidden Pleasures

RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2016

BLURB: Is there a fated path we follow, or is it simply a series of coincidental events?
Police officer Kellan Howard is rumoured to have spent too much time in sub-zero temperatures, leaving him with a block of ice for a heart and women lining up to help thaw it. Mountain climbing is his only love, leaving no time for a relationship, and although meaningless sex satisfies his physical need, it’s empty. When he attends a fatal traffic accident, he didn’t expect his entire life to change. Along with a final message, Kellan is offered something else from the dying man: the chance to fall in love. Kellan’s never considered being with a man, but when he meets Valentino, he’s instantly drawn to him.
Suffering from crippling agoraphobia, talented Italian artist Valentino has a solitary existence, only experiencing life outside the house through his partner Stuart. When their relationship comes to an abrupt end, Kellan helps ease his suffering. A deep bond binds the two men together, and the sexual tension can’t be denied, but Valentino questions if the distance between their very different lives is too much, and if they can bridge the gap by themselves.
Ballet dancer Blue has a vibrant personality which demands attention, but his humour and courageous attitude are a shield. Blue’s good at making others believe in themselves, but what he needs is someone to believe in him. He could be the bridge both men are looking for, but Blue’s never allowed anyone to get too close, and when Kellan and Valentino enter his life, he desperately tries to protect his heart and his secrets.
When all three meet, the chemistry is undeniable, but each have fears about moving forwards. Together, they learn love comes in many forms. It can’t be restrained or labelled, and it doesn’t always appear in the way you first imagined.

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EXCERPT

“Blue!” both Things screeched at the same time and Blue cringed. “You’re a bunny?”
“Yeah.” Blue sighed. He’d explained this to his sisters, like, four times over the past two days what he’d be wearing for their charity event. If he wasn’t related to them and knew both his mum and dad, then he’d so guess inbreeding was the cause of the Things. “You look awesome!”
Both twins smiled that same bright smile and turned around simultaneously. They always dressed the same, ever since they were born, well, ever since they were conceived really, so it was no surprise both Things insisted on wearing Alice’s blue dress. They looked adorable though. With their flaxen hair tied back with a black ribbon and their pale skin seemingly airbrushed over, Blue was sure they’d get tons of donations.
No one could turn down the mentally handicapped, could they?
Okay, they’d never been diagnosed with anything, but Blue was confident it would happen one day soon.
Porsche and Mercedes gave him a kiss on each cheek, then just stood there… waiting, looking right at him. Expressionless. Serene in their obliviousness.
“What?” Blue looked through narrowed eyes at them.
“So—” Porsche…
“What do we—” Mercedes…
“Do?” Both!
They were living proof aliens existed! Seriously, one day some secret government agents would turn up, Area fifty-one-ing the place and taking the twins away for special tests.
Blue turned his nose up. “You’ve worked here, like, almost every day for the past year. What do you mean, what do we do? Work! Do the things you do every day.”
Both Things cocked their heads to the left, and Blue shuddered internally seeing their Children of the Corn vacant look. One of us…
“Okay… so…” Blue stepped back and looked around at all the complicated coffee machines. “You know, do stuff. Coffee shop stuff!” Oh, yes, he was awesome at this managing thingy. “Make coffee!” Yes! He totally knew what he was doing. His one-month experience at Costa was coming back to him.
Unfortunately, he’d been fired from that job… Something about blowing up one of the machines or something — Blue wasn’t really listening because he was covered in sugary foam, and that shit was hard to get out of your hair. Luckily, most of the customers and all of the staff were covered in it too, so Blue didn’t stand out as being odd.
It could have been anyone’s fault. Just because he was the one standing next to the machine and pushing all the buttons didn’t mean it was him who caused it to explode.
It totally was his fault, but still…
That machine was like some sort of bomb just waiting to go off. BOOM! No warning or nothing. Well, there’d been some sort of flashing lights and buzzing, but Blue had ignored them and continued playing around with the knobs and switches.
He failed to mention that part to Shayne though.
For no reason at all.
None!
Considering his duties as supervisor done, he decided to set up three big bright yellow buckets and signs for people to leave donations in, then had some cheese on toast and a coffee. It was actually alright, so the twins had learned something in their year there. There was a constant stream of customers and Blue had to leave his coffee to help serve. Before he knew it, the morning rush was over and he set the twins up in the kitchen so they could start preparing the sandwich fillings for the next wave of hungry vultures.
As he quite obviously didn’t know what he was doing with the coffee machine, when it needed refilling, he called Thing One to come sort it out, and he took her place with Thing Two.
It was while Blue was stuffing his face with a chicken tikka toasted pita that he snuck a peek at Porsche to check she was okay. Left alone to her own devices she could do anything, or more likely, nothing!
He leaned against the door, peeking through the gap in the frame, watching her secretly. He found her standing still, vacantly lost in her own little world while she waited for another customer to come in. He was about to throw a slice of cucumber at her face to see if she was still with them, when the ringing of the doorbell chimed and she came back to reality, smiling pleasantly at whoever walked through the door.
Blue stuffed another huge helping of pita in his mouth, then choked on it seeing who had just come into the shop, coughing up chunks of un-chewed chicken tikka, and making Mercedes run to him, slapping his back really hard! Like too hard.
Crazy bitch was trying to kill him!
She must have some sort of hidden strength because she practically knocked Blue through the open fire door and into the yard outside with one hit. He was choking more because of her help. They ended up in the yard, taking part in some sort of teenage girl slapping fight while he struggled to get her off him, and she tried to save him. Blue was acting like some deranged wild blue bunny fighting for his life, and her like some crazed Alice who’d taken too much coke and was off her face, attacking random innocent bunnies.
He could see the headlines of tomorrow’s papers: Alice in Wonderland Charity Event Tragedy. Two dead and more injured. How did it happen!
“For the love of God, stop it. You’re making it worse.” Blue leaned against the wall, rubbing his back and breathing hard. “What the hell is wrong with you? Do you take steroids, have you been working out, what about some sort of alien powers which have appeared as you got older? I knew you were the evil twin. I just knew. Right from birth.”
Mercedes, AKA, Thing Two, stroked his back, cooing at him like some dove. “Feel better now?”
“Feel better? You crazy cow! You just nearly gave me a serious spinal injury. I’m lucky I can still walk. I may need corrective surgery later in life and it will all be your fault, Xena Warrior Princess.” She sagged her shoulders, toying with her hair and looking sheepish. Blue hugged her tightly and gave her a kiss. “Oh, get back inside and finish those fillings before our Shayne gets back. I need to snoop on Porsche.”
His only saving grace was that no one had seen him. So after grabbing a cloth to wipe his face down, he took up his secret position again, spying on his sister and the customer.

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REVIEW: This is the third book in this wonderful series and gives us Blue’s story. I absolutely adored Blue’s personality. He and Kellan’s interactions with each other in the beginning had me in tears from laughing so hard.

The beginning of the book was sad; it started off with a heartbreaking tragedy. That tragedy however, is what brings these men together. The connection that these men make was fate and Ms. Colville as usual, tells this story in the most beautiful way.

Kellan is a man whose life is flowing along familiar lines. On the outside, he appears content with his life, but lately, he’s feeling unsettled and unsatisfied with the predicable paths his life is taking. An accident changes his outlook and an odd request from the man involved changes everything for him.

Blue’s character had so many layers to him. His personality takes on these interesting juxtapositions that I found fascinating. He’s flighty, yet grounded, confident and tough, yet self-conscious. He’s intelligent and funny and has a wicked tongue. He’s surrounded by friends and family who loves him yet he’s lonely.

Valentino is an artist who hasn’t been out in the world for quite some time, relying on a friend and his lover to bring the world to him. He’s content with this until his world is shattered.

Three men all on different paths in their lives. We as humans are all connected; it only takes Fate to bring us together.

This author masterfully takes her characters through every emotion: fear, longing, sorrow, grief and happiness. And she takes the reader along for the ride.

This author is absolutely brilliant. I love to read and I can honestly say that there are few masters in this genre and Nicole Colville is definitely one of them.

Take a bow, Ms. Colville. You have as usual, given the readers another masterpiece.

RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟

Author Information

                                      Nicole Colville

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Welcome to the home of bittersweet M/M romances which will leave you craving more

Nicole Colville was born and currently lives in Leeds, England. She is a wife to her very understanding hubby and mother of two young girls who somehow manages to fit in being a full-time author of m/m romance and erotica into her busy home life.

She loves writing complex characters in bittersweet romances which will leave you addicted and craving more from her men

Although best known for her popular series, Hidden and Knights to Remember, she also enjoys writing with friend, and fellow author, E.M Leya. Together they have published two books in their Sinful Temptation Collection with more planned.

Her new ménage collection based in the popular city of Manchester, England is her first solo full length novel outside of The Hidden Series and has three books planned for release in 2015 & 2016.

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/The.Hidden.Series.Nicole.Colville
http://www.facebook.com/nicole.colville.the.hidden.series

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Colville/e/B00C75T3R2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2

Twitter

twitter.com/NikkieColville

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045302.Nicole_Colville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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His Fallow Heart by Ava Hayden


Daily Dose Short Story
Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6585

HisFallowHeartBlurb
Can a lonely, aging farmer and a loveless artist whose creativity has gone missing find happiness on the prairies?
Life would be perfect for fifty-two-year-old farmer Finn Garrity if he just had someone to snuggle with by the fireplace. But single gay men aren’t exactly thick on the ground in Eagle Tree, Alberta.
Successful artist Philip Connaway wonders if his creative dry spell has anything to do with his dried-up love life. When Philip takes his nephew into farm country in search of a snowy owl to photograph, he meets Finn, who offers assistance. Together, they find the elusive bird—and much more.
Despite the attraction between them, differences, misunderstandings,

and self-doubt threaten to end Finn and Philip’s romance. For a future together, Finn must take a risk, and Philip must find a way to bring love to Finn’s fallow heart.
Review
WOW! This story was so well done!

Finn is a 52 year old farmer in Canada, he’s been alone for the last several years, and doesn’t see that changing. (Not too many senior gay farmer dating sites!) He’s pleasantly surprised when Philip and his nephew show up in town one day looking to photograph some owls that Finn thinks they can find on his property.

Philip is 46 and recently single, he’s an artist who has lost his inspiration. When he and his nephew meet Finn and see his property he thinks he might have found a way to get his inspiration back.

It takes some bravery, some trial and error and there’s some misunderstandings and hurt feelings, but eventually these two lonely souls find one another for their HEA.

**

The writing in this story is exquisite, the author manages to convey a wealth of emotion with some deftly crafted sentences and I found myself near tears several times.

I loved both MCs and even the sister and nephew were well developed.

The only thing I didn’t LOVE about this, was the very abrupt ending. I’m not sure if word count got to be an issue or if the author simply wanted to leave things in a way that was more vague on purpose, but I wish it’d been as well developed as the rest of the story or at least similar.

Once Finn and Philip get together they spend very little time together (on page) and though the author was very clever in how she gave us our HEA, it was so unsatisfying.

I wanted at least one more heart-to-heart discussion between the two to give me more of a feeling of permanence. I kind of felt cheated in that, though I know they end up together, I didn’t get to see much if any of that part of their relationship.

Overall, the writing was excellent and had this been a longer story I think it would have gotten a perfect score, I had to knock it down a bit for the ending.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Outing the Quarterback Audiobook by Tara Lain Narrated by John-Paul Barrel

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Outing-the-Quarterback-Audiobook/B00SKV13FW/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1424502838&sr=1-1

outing quarter audioBlurb

Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.

In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.

When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.

Review

(This was previously posted for the book.)

Will is in his last year of business school (to satisfy Daddy) playing the straight, star quarterback for SCU. What he really wants is to be a gay painter, but he can’t afford to be honest with either his sexuality or his preferred profession. His goal is to win a scholarship for next year and be honest then.

Noah is an out and proud artist, working 3 jobs to pay tuition, hoping for the same scholarship Will is after because he’s so broke he’s having a hard time paying the bills. In the meantime he’s having an affair with his teacher, who is also a judge for the scholarship.

So… you can guess what happens. Will and Noah meet. They start a relationship. Noah and his professor end their relationship (this isn’t taken well by the prof.). Will gets outed by the media. Noah loses the scholarship (sort of) due to sour grapes. Will and Noah make a go of it and with some razzle dazzle Noah ends up with a scholarship, Will ends up in art school and we get a really lovely HEA.

**
I’m a huge Tara Lain fan and this book just sort of underwhelmed me. It took several starts for me to finish, I just wasn’t swept overboard by any of the elements. The attraction between Will and Noah wasn’t spectacular. The storyline was predictable, which can be fine if there are other things to hook you in, but I just didn’t feel any zing with this story.

I really liked the secondary characters, Jamal and his sister Ev, and am excited to read Jamal’s story in the next installment, however.

I thought the writing was excellent, it was edited well, and of course I loved the happy ending, but overall, I just wasn’t wowed.

Audio

John-Paul Barrel is a new narrator to me. I really appreciated that he tried to differentiate each person with a unique voice. Some of the voices were better than others. I didn’t care much for his intonation and emotionality (acting) and didn’t like his overall “narrator voice” much. For me, unfortunately, it detracted from the overall listening experience.

Writing/Editing 5
Romance 3
Sex/Heat 3
Storyline 3
World Building/Characterizations 4
Audio 2

Overall 3.3 of 5 hearts

3

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Outing the Quarterback by Tara Lain

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5374

outingBlurb

Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.

In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.

When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.

Review

Will is in his last year of business school (to satisfy Daddy) playing the straight, star quarterback for SCU. What he really wants is to be a gay painter, but he can’t afford to be honest with either his sexuality or his preferred profession. His goal is to win a scholarship for next year and be honest then.

Noah is an out and proud artist, working 3 jobs to pay tuition, hoping for the same scholarship Will is after because he’s so broke he’s having a hard time paying the bills. In the meantime he’s having an affair with his teacher, who is also a judge for the scholarship.

So… you can guess what happens. Will and Noah meet. They start a relationship. Noah and his professor end their relationship (this isn’t taken well by the prof.). Will gets outed by the media. Noah loses the scholarship (sort of) due to sour grapes. Will and Noah make a go of it and with some razzle dazzle Noah ends up with a scholarship, Will ends up in art school and we get a really lovely HEA.

**
I’m a huge Tara Lain fan and this book just sort of underwhelmed me. It took several starts for me to finish, I just wasn’t swept overboard by any of the elements. The attraction between Will and Noah wasn’t spectacular. The storyline was predictable, which can be fine if there are other things to hook you in, but I just didn’t feel any zing with this story.

I really liked the secondary characters, Jamal and his sister Ev, and am excited to read Jamal’s story in the next installment, however.

I thought the writing was excellent, it was edited well, and of course I loved the happy ending, but overall, I just wasn’t wowed.

3.5 of 5 hearts.

3.5

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