Tag Archives: British

Bear Among the Books by TJ Masters

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Bear Among The Books

SERIES:

AUTHOR: TJ Masters

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
RELEASE DATE: September 2 , 2016

BLURB: Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

REVIEW: I didn’t think that this book would hold my interests hen it was first presented to me but I was pleasantly surprised. Very much so.

Here you have this young man, Jason, who at nineteen doesn’t know how to read. He’s a sweet young man, bright but had learning difficulties where left him illiterate. Let’s talk about him a bit more. This young man was in no way lazy or uninterested in learning, he was quite the opposite. He was passionate about books and his thirst for knowledge was obvious. There was just never anyone who actually took the time to take a vested interest in helping him learn until he meets Ben.

Ben. Sweet, gentle, intelligent, soft spoken Ben. He’s a librarian, a gentlemen of 48, whose just decided to live his life as it is. He has his books, his colleagues that he likes in a job that he loves. You get the sense that he wasn’t not looking to fall in love that he’s just sort of put that part of himself away after the passing of his husband/long term partner.

I think initially, when he notices Jason, he’s intrigued and notices how attractive he is in passing; it wasn’t overwhelming. But once he discovers the young man’s secret, he wants to help him.

I really like this book. When many think of a May/ December or older man/younger man romance, there’s a tendency to tell the story with certain slant. I was really glad to see that it wasn’t the case with this book. Ben genuinely cares about Jason, he has a vested interest in helping this young man live up to his full potential. It’s actually sad that people in the education system failed this young man.

The romance aspect wasn’t as believable as I would’ve expectedly to be. I just couldn’t see these two as a couple not because of the age difference but because of the tone of the relationship. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Ben does in no way take advantage of Jason, I just felt that the relationship was driven by feelings other than love and attraction. I think for Jason it was more of an attraction to his mentor and for Ben it was driven by loneliness and a bit of lust. But it was in no way disgusting.

This aside, I think the book was well very written. There wasn’t any heat between the two characters in my opinion but then again, that’s quite alright because I think these two men made better friends than lovers. The chemistry between the two was a slow burn that never truly turns into a raging fire and that is okay.

All things considered, I think the story worked out rather nicely.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

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.

image

 

 

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.

image

 

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

image

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

Blue Eyed Stranger (A Trowchester Blues Novel) by Alex Beecroft

Riptide Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/blue-eyed-stranger

blue eyed strangerBlurb

Billy Wright has a problem: he’s only visible when he’s wearing a mask. That’s fine when he’s performing at country fairs with the rest of his morris dancing troupe. But when he takes the paint off, his life is lonely and empty, and he struggles with crippling depression.
Martin Deng stands out from the crowd. After all, there aren’t that many black Vikings on the living history circuit. But as the founder of a fledgling historical re-enactment society, he’s lonely and harried. His boss doesn’t like his weekend activities, his warriors seem to expect him to run everything single-handedly, and it’s stressful enough being one minority without telling the hard men of his group he’s also gay.
When Billy’s and Martin’s societies are double-booked at a packed county show, they know at once they are kindred spirits, united by a deep feeling of connectedness to their history and culture. But they’re also both hiding in their different ways, and they need each other to be brave enough to take their masks off and still be seen.

Review

This is the second book by Alex Beecroft I’ve read and the second book in her Trowchester series. I really admire her writing. She is fluid, coherent, descriptive and not telling, creates amazingly detailed characters and a deeply emotional story.

This is a very DARK story. There is an almost instant connection between the two lovers but the physical aspect of their story is a slow burn.

Martin is in the closet and Billy has some serious psychological problems. When they find each other they find that other piece of their soul that completes them.

Martin teaches history at a high school (British equivalent) and is obsessed with historical re-enactments. As a result there is A LOT of history in this story.

Billy’s depression also plays a major role in the story line and though Martin helps he is not the “cure”, which is awesome.

So… I have a hard time reviewing this book. On the one hand it’s quite good, but… I can’t say I “enjoyed” it. It’s very hard to get through at times, the subject matter is heavy and the history will either be fascinating to you or boring…

In either case – if you are in the mood for a more “meaty” romance I’d recommend this – if you’re looking for light and fluffy – keep looking.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Jaybird Press Presents  http://www.jaynorthcote.com

http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Hand-Jay-Northcote-ebook/dp/B010EAQOKA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435333224&sr=1-1&keywords=jay+northcote+helping&pebp=1435333226202&perid=1EYVZABV63GSN849P5VG

helping handBlurb

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

Excerpt:

 

Afterwards, Jez blamed the alcohol for loosening his tongue, because he didn’t think about it before he spoke. The words tumbled out before he could stop them.

“Man, I’m seriously horny now. Have you got any decent porn on that laptop?”

“Huh?” Mac snapped his head around to meet Jez’s gaze. Jez’s heart pounded erratically, but his dick was still standing to attention. “What… you mean, you want to wank in here? Now? Wouldn’t that be weird?” Mac sounded seriously freaked out.

Jez backtracked quickly, cheeks hot. “It doesn’t have to be weird. I’ve done it before with guys at school, and it’s never been a big deal. But don’t worry about it. I’ll go and watch my own stash instead. But I need something soon, ’cause I’m gonna explode after watching that sex scene.”

Jez was expecting an instant no from Mac. He wouldn’t have blamed him. A lot of guys wouldn’t be into what Jez was suggesting. Jez’s heart still thumped hard, but his arousal didn’t abate despite his anxiety. He was shocked by how much he wanted this.

Mac bit his lip and frowned. “Seriously. You’ve done that?”

Jez shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “Yeah. Like I said, it was no big deal. Just guys messing around.”

Mac stared a moment longer, then he stood, and Jez’s heart sank as he walked away. But Mac only went to fetch his laptop from the dining table. He sat back down and then opened it and tapped in his password.

“What sort of stuff do you wanna watch?” Mac’s voice was gruff and he focused on the screen rather than Jez.

Fuck. They were really going to do this, then.

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

 

Review

Mac and Jez (James and Jeremy) are friends and roommates. Both are a little broke, so a bit stuck for entertainment.

Jez has “experimented” with other boys while in the all boys prep academy before university, but Mac has only ever identified as straight.

One night, a little beer, a hot episode of “Game of Thrones” and the next thing you know, the guys have a little “wank session”. No touching, but a bit of watching.

This was hot.

So the next and the next and the next times progress slowly from watching to touching, to sucking to… you get the idea.

Interestingly, it’s the kissing and the cuddling that make each of them wonder “am I gay/bi”.

It isn’t until they are “outed” that they have to face facts and admit that this might just be something more than they bargained for.

**

Jay Northcote is the master at giving us confused, but sweet, sexy and charming guys – college level or near – who are open to new ideas and willing to explore with wide eyes.

The smexy times are really, really hot and the slow build to the love affair is rewarding and fulfilling.

My only wish would be for more time in Mac’s head – somehow – because I didn’t feel like I really got to understand his motivations very well. Jez was so clear but Mac more of a mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts.

4.5

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Because of Roses by Richard May


Daily Dose Short Story
Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6561

BecauseofRosesBlurb
After the death of his longtime partner, American attorney Dan Evans is reassigned to his firm’s London office. It’s a change his life sorely needs. While admiring roses in a small village in the Cotswolds, Dan meets Martin Saint John. Martin, still fit and attractive at seventy, has also lost his partner, and now spends his time growing roses, meeting friends in the pub, and going to church on Sundays, content with his quiet life. Roses and tea progress to spending weekends together exploring the countryside, but the differences between Dan and Martin go beyond the fifteen year age gap. If they can open their hearts and accept love—instead of accepting its absence—they might find a second chance at happiness. All because of roses.

Review

In this very short story a 50ish year old man moves to England from America after having lost his partner to a heart attack. He meets his neighbor, a 70is year old man, who has lost his partner to cancer.

Over the course of the next 6 months they develop a friendship that turns to more.

It is a very sweet, simple story about finding love at any age. There is no angst, really no hurdle and in a way, the story needed it. I loved it’s simplicity and the message that you are never “too old” but I wasn’t quite sure it was enough…

The writing was lovely and I applaud the author for giving us MCs of that age.

3.5 of 5 hearts

Takes Two To Tango by Vicky Heysham


Daily Dose Short Story
Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6582

TakesTwoToTangoBlurb
Established TV personality Daniel Josephs only agrees to take part in a reality dancing show in London to lose weight. Single, successful, and (mostly) sorted, he’s already happy, even if he secretly wishes his love life was as rewarding as his professional one. Young athlete Will Smith, who gave up the earldom he inherited to pursue Olympic dreams, is far from happy—not to mention not interested in someone as old as Daniel. But when Will’s past catches up with him, it’s Daniel who helps him piece his life back together.

Review

This is an odd story. On the one hand, it’s very British and you have to read it carefully to follow who is doing what and why. On the other hand, it is very fast paced and loosely framed, so the author leaves us with a lot to fill using our imagination.

Daniel is the older guy, out and proud, who stars on AM TV shows but took on the dancing with the stars stint to help stay fit.

Will is a member of the aristocracy, in the closet, training for the Olympics and looking to make some connections. He’s very intense, by comparison Daniel’s very laid back.

In a somewhat strange turn of events, Will gets dumped by one of the dance coaches and has no place to live after also being outed while dating said dance coach. Daniel, who had always had his eye on the younger man, but kept getting rebuffed, helps him out by offering him the use of his spare room until the contest ends.

Eventually, Will and Daniel end up romantically involved and though geography is against them, they manage to find their HEA.

**

This story never flowed quite right for me. It sort of hopped all over the place and I never felt a strong connection with either MC or their subsequent coupledom.

I appreciated the uniqueness of the writing style, but found it a bit too scattered to say that I liked it.

2.75 of 5 hearts

3

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Rainbow Connection by Alexa Milne

MLR Press Presents http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=AMRAINBW

rainbow connectionBlurb

Two men, one with a past, and one determined to give them a future, together.

Mick Flanagan has kept himself hidden since his only lover died three years ago. He works at night, keeps to his routine, has impressive facial hair, and avoids contact with other people. Enter Ceri Llewellyn, with his constantly changing rainbow-coloured hair, who seems determined to talk to him. Gradually, Mick tells his story and begins to trust Ceri, but Mick has a past that contains more than just a dead lover. Can Ceri show him that he deserves to be loved and, above all else, help him find his true self?

 

Review

This was a surprisingly different book than I expected. I was thinking it would be a fairly fluffy geek/nerd love story with a twinky/goofball and instead I got a fairly rich, and deep story about a deeply controlled man who has never been on his own and doesn’t know what to do when he is.

Mick’s mom is a piece of work. She never let Mick stray far from her grasp all throughout his childhood, threatening home schooling and demanding almost complete isolation from him while instilling fear of the outside world into his head. It is only dumb luck that Mick finds love at the hands of a paramedic, Alfie, who both saves his life and rescues him from his mom.

But Alfie has his own imperfections and he, too never let Mick be his own man. He loved Mick, to be sure, but he controlled him and never let him flourish. Neither his mom nor Alfie encouraged his creativity or self-reliance and when Alfie suddenly dies, Mick is on his own. (His mom kicked him out for being gay, of course.)

Now, three years later, Mick is coping – just – but still not thriving. He meets Ceri (pronounced Sherry – it’s a Welsh name) at work and is immediately captivated by the outgoing man who literally changes his hair color each week.

Ceri is a big kid – not quite but almost ready to settle down and admit he will never be a pro-skateboarder at the age of 27. He meets Mick and thinks he sees a diamond in the rough hiding behind the awkwardness and the bushy beard.

The two start to get to know one another and Mick slowly comes out of his shell. Here things move along rapidly (maybe a bit too rapidly) and they become lovers. But Mick is still holding tight to his dead-lover’s memory and can’t let Ceri in.

Only when an old friend interferes can he really let Ceri in and get past Alfie. At the same time he finds out his mother is dying from cancer and may only have a limited time left around for building bridges.

What really surprised me about this story was how much growth we got to witness in Mick. He really was so controlled, but in both cases lovingly, if not dangerously. Ceri has to dance around helping him without taking over and becoming the next leader Mick follows blindly.

All in all I really enjoyed this and will definitely look for more from this author.

4.25 of 5 hearts

4

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Speak No Evil by Alexa Snow

Loose Id Presents http://www.loose-id.com/speak-no-evil.html

as_speaknoevilBlurb

Jamie Kincade’s world is turned upside down when Sebastian, a young man who doesn’t speak and who shares the ability to see ghosts that Jamie’s had since childhood, enters his life. Jamie finds Sebastian fascinating on multiple levels, and is determined to help him learn to speak again. But he can barely keep his thoughts – or hands – off Sebastian, who wants him and makes no attempt to hide it.

The age difference between them – Sebastian is almost 15 years Jamie’s junior – is a problem for Jamie, but Jamie’s reluctance isn’t the only thing keeping them from focusing on the potential they might have as a couple. The collection of ghosts Jamie has been living with in relative harmony for more than a decade has no intention of leaving Sebastian alone now that he’s here. Their desperate attempts to get Sebastian’s attention are a distraction Jamie would be grateful for if they didn’t upset Sebastian so much. Jamie is torn between wanting to send Sebastian away for his own good and wanting to drag him off to bed, and with Sebastian tempting him both deliberately and subconsciously, it can’t be long before Jamie’s self-control snaps…

Review

Jamie has a house full of ghosts he can see but nothing else. One night he finds a real human, a man, Sebastian, out huddled from the rain in his garden shed. Turns out Sebastian can not only see the ghosts but he can hear and speak to them, too. When he can speak, that is.

Sebastian has been mute since his parents died in a fire years ago and has also been on the run since then, having no other family that he knows of. He wanders into Jamie’s shed one night and finds more than just shelter.

Together they learn more about ghosts and their “abilities” than they’d ever want to know and also find love.

**

From page one this story gripped me and kept me turning pages. It is very well written, captivating and interesting.

Though the romance is a fairly easy going May/December story, the addition of the ghost story and the mystery hiding in Sebastian’s life make this an interesting and fast-paced story.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

5 of 5 hearts

 

5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

The Marrying Kind (Owen and Nathan book 2) by Jay Northcote

Jaybird press presents: http://www.jaynorthcote.com

TheMarryingKind_FINALBlurb

Nathan wants to put a ring on it, but is Owen the marrying kind?
Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.

A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.

All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.

If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind.

Review

Just as we always suspected, it’s not always shiny-happy-dove-filled-moments when our MCs happy endings arrive. Such is the case with Owen and Nathan.

They are a typical couple who argue over the remote and the dishes, don’t always have super-star sex but really, really love one another.

When their friends get married it sets Nathan to thinking about his own wedding – to Owen. Owen, on the other hand, doesn’t have a great role model for marriage and isn’t quite ready to see himself march down the aisle.

However, in trying to make Nathan happy (so he thinks) he asks Nathan to marry him one night in a drunken bit of brashness and then lives to regret it over the coming months.

The dissonance between his actions and his feelings are felt by Nathan and the two grow apart – fortunately they realize the problem before it gets catastrophic and we do see the pair with their HEA, after all.

**

This was a very sweet, fun, more realistic look at love through the eyes of an established couple.

I loved how Jay Northcote managed to put in some of life’s realism into the fairy-tale romance. Owen’s job, his family, Nathan’s expectations… these are all things real couples have to manage, and sometimes love isn’t all you need.

If you enjoyed Dating Game you will want to read this and if you haven’t read Dating Game – you should!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

The Dating Game Audiobook by Jay Northcote Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Jaybird books presents  http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Dating-Game-Audiobook/B00UMDCOZ4

dating audioBlurb

When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously.

When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex.

Owen doesn’t think that sounds too difficult. He’s expecting Nathan to find his charms irresistible anyway. But as they grow closer, Owen begins to care more about proving himself to Nathan than he does about getting him into bed.

Review

(book reviewed previously)

Owen has always been out and proud, at least since college, and that’s when he first met Nate.  Nate was “straight” through college, but he’d noticed Owen, and sublimated that interest, back in college, as well.  Later, now that Nate is finally being true to himself, Owen wants to see if reality is as hot as the fantasy.  But Nate doesn’t do casual relationships and that’s all Owen knows.

On a lark, Nate offers to have sex with Owen, but only if Owen will agree to five sexless dates first.  Surprising them both, Owen agrees.

At first Owen is merely placating Nate, biding his time, proving that he can do “dating” as well as the next guy.  But it doesn’t take long for things to get “real” and suddenly Owen is looking forward to each new date without worrying about trying to get in Nate’s pants.

Meanwhile Nate is falling for Owen, but positive that Owen will never settle down with just one guy and certainly not him.

After a few fairly minor hiccups, the two manage to make it through date five only to find that what started as a drunken bet has developed into something very real and both end up very happy with the results.

**

What a sweet, fun, fantastic read!  Jay has given us another winner!

Both characters are very likable, their emotions are sweet and straight-forward, their romance both hot yet touching.  Neither has a boat-load of angst to overcome and the main hurdle in this story is mostly one of self-perception.  Owen doesn’t see himself as a “boyfriend” type and Nate isn’t sure of his appeal.

I really enjoyed the old-fashioned “getting to know you” dates these boys went on and enjoyed the sexual tension right along side them.  Sure the sexual tension and flirting was there, keeping the steam level high, but since the entire point was to wait for the sex “to mean something” you know (or at least assume) that each encounter isn’t going to end up in the sack.  It was refreshing!  It made their parting kisses that much sweeter and more meaningful (both to the boys and the reader!).

Jay isn’t afraid to be “British” and her dialog is full of British sayings and the boys travel through the country giving a taste of the locale as well.  I loved the unique phrases, even something as mundane as an all you can eat buffet (an eat-all-you-can buffet) or kissing (snogging) or push-ups (press-ups) take on an international flavor and bring another interesting quality to the story.

The secondary characters are fun as well.  Simon, Jack and Kirsty are all well developed and help us to understand our MCs all the better while adding more humor to the mix.

5 of 5 hearts

Audio

I was really glad that a British narrator did this audiobook, I think that adds to the UK flavor Jay Northcote sets up in her books.   I liked him well enough, I thought that sometimes I could have used more variation in the voicings and maybe a little more raunch or emotion… but I really liked it.

Overall, 4.5 of 5 hearts for the Audiobook