Tag Archives: australia

Tigers on the Run (Book 3) by Sean Kennedy

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6631

TigersontheRunBlurb

Young Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.

As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.

Review

We saw Simon and Declan move from cautious lovers to full on partners in books 1 and 2. We saw lots of drama in between. Without sounding too glib, book three is yet more drama – but, really – isn’t that just life?
What makes books like these fun is the jumping back into the lives of the characters that you fell in love with originally. Simon’s sarcastic self, Declan’s reserve. Then there are Fran and Roger and Lisa and Abe – catching up with them in their lives as well.

Unfortunately there is also Jasper – and he takes up a fair bit of the book with his shenanigans, too. But things are changing with Jasper, he makes a new “friend” in Coby, Simon’s assistant.

So, if you are a fan of the series you’ll want to check in on the guys and see what they’re up to. Maybe in the next book we might find ourselves invited to a wedding so that we can see Simon and Dec “destroy the sanctity of marriage”? ☺

Though I wish there’d been some more “romance” in this “romance” it was fun catching up with the gang. (There is next to nothing in the smexy department, much to my dismay!) But lots of affection and true love.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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White Lies by Jack Byrne

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6729

WhiteLiesBlurb

Brent Winton is doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Since the death of their parents years ago, Brent is helping his younger brother Zach through law school in sunny Queensland, Australia. The boys share a cheap flat, and Brent works two jobs to support them, but Zach thinks the second job is merely bar tending. In reality Brent has turned to gay prostitution to ensure that Zach has all the best textbooks and the up-to-date laptop he needs so he can focus on his studies. When hot Russian refugee Dimitri moves in next door, Brent finds him mesmerizing, but fears that if he gets involved, Dimitri will expose Brent’s white lies. But Dimitri has a dark secret of his own, and the question becomes how either of them can learn to trust the other without blowing their cover.

Review

Brent is working as a rent boy to help his younger brother through law school. Dimitri is fresh from Sochi where his brethren can be killed for being gay.

Together they find love and find a way to live with their past mistakes.

**

This is a sometimes awkward and unbelievable but very sweet novella.

I liked the motivations the MCs had in their decision making even though sometimes the dialog and the way things worked out didn’t really feel authentic.

I think there are parts that are uncomfortable and some people won’t like in regard to Brent’s career choice, but in the end I think the author did a fair job explaining away the decision each MC made in regards to how those choices were handled and why they were made.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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Safe in His Arms Audiobook by Renae Kaye Narrated by Randy Fuller

Dreamspinner Presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6673

SafeInHisArmsAUDMEDBlurb

In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

Book Review
(Previously on this site)

Lon comes home from working in the mines, hot, sweaty, exhausted. After a nice shower and shave he catches the eye of a hot, young, twink staring at him in the public showers. He asks him to either suck his cock or quit staring. Figuring that will make the little guy scamper away, he turns back to his shaving. But what does he hear instead of the pattering of feet? “I’ll take option A.”

Renae Kaye’s book starts off with a bang right from page one and never lets up.

The story is both simple and complex. It’s simple in that Lon and Casey meet and immediately want each other. It’s complex in that both men have a past that is heavily influencing their todays.

Casey has been abused in his past. Badly. Really, really badly. But he’s strong and resilient, and despite receiving some amazingly bad therapy (not abuse, just wrong advice) he’s on the road to recovery. But he still has moments of weakness, of panic and it’s those moments that drive him into Lon’s giant arms.

Lon is a big guy, always has been. In addition to being physically immense, his heart is of equal size. He’s always been the caretaker. That back-fired once and now he’s gun-shy. Casey fits him perfectly, but Lon’s afraid he might let him down, and afraid he might not want him when he knows more about Lon’s past.

Despite their issues, (Lon’s past, Casey’s past, their age difference, family opinion, Lon’s work schedule ) they begin their affair and it burns brightly. Little by little they get to know each other and to cross the hurdles. Fortunately they have great friends with great advice and Casey has a wonderful therapist who helps them to see things clearly.

In just a few months it becomes clear that the couple are more to each other than a casual fling and things really heat up. But the past resurfaces in a couple of different ways, forcing the lovers to face things they hadn’t wanted to bring to light. It seems like things might not ever be smooth sailing, but when pushed, the truth, as always, sets them free.

**
Again, I was delighted with Kaye’s writing. Though her books are both funny and touching, Safe in his Arms is also deeply emotional. It is clear she did some research because the subject matter here is not an easy one. I applaud how thoroughly she addresses the issues of intimacy between partners when one has been abused. There was no quick solution or “magic wand waving” to fix the problem. The couple had to address the very real concerns each had, and face them directly. I also thought it was hilarious how the hurdle manifested for Casey, such a simplistic problem for a nineteen year old but when viewed through the eyes of the therapist it was really a very complex issue.

I also really appreciated the fact that Kaye’s secondary characters were real people, too. They had flaws and talents, none being all good nor all bad. I loved that Casey’s grandma suddenly took a different tack in the middle of the book when faced with Lon as a boyfriend for her grandson. It made her very real. I also loved the intriguing side story about Lon’s brother and sisters. Every bit of the story was important and fascinating and kept me turning pages to see what would happen.

I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it giving it 5 of 5 hearts.

Audio

I was so, so, so disappointed that they didn’t choose someone with an Australian accent to do this narration. Normally Randy Fuller is hit or miss for me. I have enjoyed some of his narrations immensely, others less so.

In this case he did an okay job. He tried to give some voice differentiation to the characters, didn’t attempt any accent at all, and did a fair job with the intense emotions.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed and was still disappointed with this choice in narrator. If it hadn’t been set in Australia and if I hadn’t heard wonderful narrators (Like the narrator for Blinding Light) I wouldn’t have been put off by Randy Fuller’s narration, it just didn’t “wow” me.

Narration 3 of 5

Total 4 of 5 hearts

4

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The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye

Dreamspinner Presents:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5450

ShearingGun[The]Blurb

At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.

Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.

Review
(From previous site)

Hank gets hurt playing “footy” and meets Elliot. There is some instant attraction, but Hank ignores it because he doesn’t “fish where he lives”. Hank fears being gay bashed like his uncle was and only goes to the city for anonymous sex and has resigned himself to a life of hook-ups and no real relationships.

Elliot the Quack (called by Hank, then turned into Quack Elliot, then Quakel) comes out to Hank but accepts that Hank is “straight” and becomes a good friend. Even once Hank is accidentally outed to Quackel the two are reluctant to start something up in their small, rural town, though the attraction is simmering between them.

As time goes by the reasons for not “fishing” get murkier and murkier until suddenly Hank was thinking about “fishing” but in fact he was already “hooked”.

**

I can’t say enough positive things about this book. It is funny, sweet, sexy, touching, a teeny bit angsty and just fun to read.

The Australian dialect is hilarious in the hands of the wooley headed sheep farmer and even Elliot has to translate sometimes to keep things clear.

The fishing theme is so well done! It gives Hank this way to think about his attraction to Elliot in this non-sexual way that ends up being totally emotional. Lines like “Suddenly fishing was my favorite pastime” or “I was a born again fisherman. “ And “Although fishing wasn’t all smooth sailing. Fishing trips got canceled at the last minute…”or “It seemed that the fish in my backyard were leaping from the pond onto my fishing rod”. I just loved them! So well used and imaginative and absolutely in character for Hank who is secure in his sexuality, mostly, but can barely get the words “I’m gay” out when the time calls for them.

The relationship between Elliot and Hank is magical. It’s such a slow burn as seen through Hank’s eyes. At first Elliot barely blips on his radar. Then, bit by bit, he grows on him, and suddenly what was sort-of attractive becomes beautiful. He’s now worrying about Elliot leaving him and wondering how he’s going to live alone for the next 25 years without him. Gah! So touching and sweet!

Meanwhile Elliot is just quietly persistent, he may have an end game in mind, but you’d never know it. He just does his thing, not hiding, not pushing, just being there, until now he’s a vital part of the community, of Hank’s life, everything.

I have really enjoyed all of Renae Kaye’s other books and this one tops them all.

I highly recommend this and give it 6 of 5 hearts, because I just want to go back and re-read it already!

amazing

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