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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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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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Crossroads by Riley Hart

Riley Hart Presents http://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-Riley-Hart-ebook/dp/B012BTIZPY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1438279950&sr=1-1&keywords=crossroads+riley

 

crossroadsBlurb

After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…

Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.

Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that’s determined to trip them up at every turn.

(Fabulous Fan Art from Karrie Jax!)

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Review

Nick is newly divorced. He married his high school sweetheart (despite his mother’s objections) and was married (happily?) for 17 years before he found out his wife had been cheating. Now he’s moving on and moved into a duplex of his own.

Bryce is a player, always with a different woman, until lately. His recent health run pushed him into the arms of his best friend. When they realized (after the health crisis is resolved) that they were better as friends than lovers, Bryce is stuck with a family who will be disappointed at yet another failed relationship.

Bryce and Nick become neighbors and fast friends. Bryce is convinced Nick will be happier once he finds a new woman. The only problem is, the more time they spend together, the more neither wants a woman.

**

Double GFY people! Yes! It sounds so fantastical, but it is SO WELL DONE! Riley Hart is an amazing writer and she absolutely manages to pull this off.

She spends a lot of time building the relationship (as friends) between the two guys and then showing us that with an open mind (and an open heart) the two can explore their feelings for one another physically as well as emotionally.

I loved the similar yet different reactions each man received from their families. Though Nick had only ever been with one person, his feelings for Bryce follow a similar pattern and it’s totally reasonable that his mother would think he’s jumping the gun again. It’s also fair that Bryce’s family would think his impetuosity is throwing him into another doomed to fail relationship.

But… both men are being true to their authentic selves. Just like the motorcycles, Bryce KNEW Nick was THE ONE. And just like his cooking Nick knows his own heart and has to trust it where it concerns Bryce.

The sex is OFF THE CHARTS hot! But … so is the love. These guys aren’t afraid to reach for one another emotionally and it’s so very sweet and tender.

I loved this book – gave myself a book hangover as I had to read it all in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down at 2 a.m.

I can’t recommend this enough!

6 of 5 hearts

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Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert

Lyrical Press Presents http://annabethalbert.com/coming-soon/

treblemakerBlurb

On Perfect Harmony, the ambitious competitors heat things up on stage and off…

Cody Rivers is determined to be a rock star, but couch-surfing between bar shows gets old fast. Joining an a cappella group for a new singing competition show could be his last chance at real fame—unless the college boy from the heart of the country messes it up for him. Lucas Norwood is everything gothy, glittery Cody is not—conservative, clean-cut, and virginal. But when a twist in the show forces them together, even the sweetest songs get steamy as the attraction between them lights up the stage. Lucas wants to take it slow, but Cody’s singing a different tune—and this time it maybe a love song…

Review

Cody is the goth-hot-snarky-toppy, openly out singer and dancer that hopes to take his group to the finals in this singing competition. When he meets Lucas, the “I’m gay but celibate and a virgin” farm boy from Iowa, he’s openly rude to him. But…
He can’t help but be attracted to all that goodness and at first he views him as a challenge but later it turns into something more.

**

This is a long book, maybe a bit too long, with a lot of time spent on the actual show.

Though I wanted to love this book – the cover rocks, the premise is awesome, and plus – music!- yay!- I didn’t. I never felt the “love” between Cody and Lucas. Lucas was conflicted and conflicting. He claims he’s confident in his gayness, but Cody really called it when he tells Lucas he’s ashamed to be gay and hiding it behind the celibacy thing.

Cody is mostly a harsh jerk throughout most of the book and even when the couple is “tender” with one another there is an underlying meanness to it.

I guess I just never quite bonded with the characters, so I didn’t fall for their relationship and to me, that’s what I look for in a good book.

The writing was excellent and the characters were well formed, just not my cup of tea, so to speak. I may be in the minority here, so … give it a go, especially if you’re a fan of the author and music shows and gay virgins and snark.

3 of 5 hearts

3

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Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kenedy

Rennie Road Books Presents http://www.amazon.com/Him-Sarina-Bowen-ebook/dp/B011LSLI9G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1438406497&sr=1-1&keywords=him+sarina+bowen

himBlurb

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

Review

Jamie and Ryan have been friends since they were 13 and playing with one another at an Elite summer camp for up and coming hockey players. Ryan was the “bad boy” always pushing Jamie’s limits, and Jamie was glad to come along for the ride.

At the end of their last summer, before college, Ryan pushes Jamie one last time and the results are disastrous. As a result they haven’t even spoken for the last four years. Now they face one another in a championship setting at the college level and Ryan is determined to mend fences.

Jamie, being the awesome guy he is, though he was hurt and confused by what happened, forgives Ryan and the two start their friendship again. This time as coaches at the same summer camp.

Over the ensuing 6 weeks of camp, Ryan can’t hide his ever present love for his best friend, and strangely Jamie is receptive.

They spend the time exploring one another with the caveat that it all has to end at the end of the summer because Ryan can’t be out in his first year as a professional hockey player and … lots of other reasons.

But… there’s a surprise waiting for you… and a happy – very, very happy- ending!

**

WOW! This has to rank as one of the best books I’ve read this year and that’s saying a LOT!

It was full of humor, sports, warm moments with teenagers, super – I mean super duper- hot sex, tenderness and fun.

I highlighted so many phrases because the wit was outrageous!

My favorite is this:

Jamie chuckles. “You sure you don’t want to go the bisexual path? ’Cause I’m pretty sure you won’t have any trouble in the chick department.”

“S’all good. Wouldn’t be fair to the straight guys if I threw my hat in the pussy ring. They wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Another is:

Wes pushes his finger in deeper, rubbing that spot that makes me see stars. My prostate. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me the prostate was some kind of magical pleasure zone? Are there unicorns and orgasm fairies dancing around in there?

It’s so refreshing to see the bi-curious guy just go for it. I truly believe he’s an honest-to-God bisexual and that’s uncommon for this genre.

The ending was awesome – realistic, touching, sexy and sweet.

I can’t rave about this enough and I hope this writing duo make many more books for us to enjoy!

6 of 5 hearts!

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Johnnie Audiobook (Siphon #1) by Cardeno C Narrated by Greg Tremblay

The Romance Authors LLC Presents http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Johnnie-Audiobook/B010TCE1ZI/ref=a_search_c4_1_8_srTtl?qid=1436336185&sr=1-8

johnnie audioBlurb

A Premier lion shifter, Hugh Landry dedicates his life to leading the Berk pride with strength and confidence. Hundreds of people depend on Hugh for safety, success, and happiness. And at over a century old, with more power than can be contained in one body, Hugh relies on a Siphon lion shifter to carry his excess force.

When the Siphon endangers himself and therefore the pride, Hugh must pay attention to the man who has been his silent shadow for a decade. What he learns surprises him, but what he feels astounds him even more.

Two lions, each born to serve, rely on one another to survive. After years by each other’s side, they’ll finally realize the depth of their potential, the joy in their passion, and a connection their kind has never known.

Review

The book starts off with Hugh’s near death! Hugh, a lion shifter and Premier (head honcho) has so much energy in his body that he requires a Siphon (an extra being who can carry around the excess energy) to be near him at all times. When not near the Siphon or if the Siphon dies, the excess energy reverts back to the Premier and the overload is fatal. As a result the Siphon’s life is guarded zealously. But he’s not necessarily treated well, beyond that.

In this case the Siphon has been protected and yet ignored since birth, so much so that he doesn’t even have a name! His feelings of desperation and loneliness cause him to take measures into his own hands, and as a result he almost ends up killing both himself and his Premier.

Hugh finally takes notice of his Siphon’s depression and starts to fix things by first giving him a name (everyone has only ever called him the Siphon), Johnnie.

What happens next is the bonding of Hugh and Johnnie and the revelation that they can mean even more to each other as mates than simply Siphon and Premier.

There are hurdles: jealous shifters want to take the Siphon both for their own and to hurt Hugh. Neither Hugh nor Johnnie know how to handle their newfound relationship and neither does the pack. But in the end we get a wonderful Cardeno happy ending that will bring tears to your eyes.

**

I just absolutely adore Cardeno C books! This is another wonderful new shifter series and I can’t wait for more! I loved the “energy” sharing twist and the very dark, dark beginning. It was quite a contrast to the very happy and light tenor the rest of the story carries.

Johnnie is wonderfully sweet and Hugh adorably clueless. Their love is tender and sincere, the sex is hot and the story moves so quickly you wonder where the time went.

I loved this book and highly recommend it to Cardeno fans, shifter fans, and fans of sweet love stories.

6 of 5 hearts

Audio

Greg. Tremblay. Sigh.

I just love him!

He did another absolutely amazing job with this. He gives so much emotion to poor Johnnie and does a fantastic job giving Hugh just the right amount of robotic certitude (at first) then utter adoration as he discovers his deep love for Johnnie.

It’s always like diving into a movie when listening to Greg tell his tales. I know I’m going to be blown away when he’s listed as the narrator and he never disappoints. When I see his name it’s an auto-buy for me!

Having him read this story that I loved so much was simply paradise and I listened to it all right away and started listening to it for the second time immediately again, because it’s just that good.

6 of 5 stars

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Home and Away by Samantha Wayland

Lock Awe Press Presents
http://www.amazon.com/Home-Away-Samantha-Wayland-ebook/dp/B00Z7KJUCW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435979338&sr=1-1&keywords=home+and+away+samantha+wayland&pebp=1435979339508&perid=1EF5M5WW6F8WD3CFYSMT
home and awayBlurb
You can build a team, but you have to find your home.

Rupert Smythe is fond of many things. Callum Morrison isn’t one of them.

Rupert is a quiet, thoughtful business man and, sadly, a total wimp. Maybe not the ideal candidate to run a professional hockey team, but he signed on to do it anyway. As his life has reminded him on an almost daily basis since, this isn’t the most brilliant idea he’s ever had. And that was before Callum showed up.

Being in the spotlight is just part of being a professional athlete, but Callum needs a break. He arrives in Moncton unannounced, determined to help grow the team he just bought, and under the assumption he’d be welcome. Possibly he should have tried to make a better first impression.

Callum figures he can push through the rest of the summer, never expecting two kids, a host of friends, and his growing feelings for Rupert to derail everything he has ever believed about what he wanted, and what he could have.

Review
Rupert is a co-owner of a hockey team, but deathly afraid of hockey players. He is forced to work with them on a daily basis and manages well enough until Callum, the brother of the other co-owner bardges his way into his life when Garrick (the brother) is called away.
Callum is an in-the-closet hockey player and gruff on a good day, insufferable on his worst.
When Rupert’s little brother goes missing and is subsequently found, Callum rushes in to help Rupert collect him and then get him set up in his new home.
Callum comes from a large family and is great with kids, Rupert is an only child and raised by nannies. Together they make a great team helping poor Oliver acclimate to his new life. While doing so, what started as enemies morphs slowly into lovers.
Callum has never had a boyfriend, only hook-ups, he can’t come out because he fears there is no room for a gay hockey player in the NHL.
Rupert knows his time with Callum is on borrowed time but can’t help falling in love one day at a time with the gentle giant.
**
This book is so rich and full of emotion. I fell in love! There are so many layers. Callum is essentially a virgin – it’s been four years since he’s been intimate with anyone (for a specific reason) and never has he had more than a hook-up in a bar.
Rupert is growing through his own painful past experiences with large men and has no experience being a father.
Oliver is a four year old who was essentially abandoned by his uncaring mother and spends the first several weeks mute.
Christian is a boy Callum and Rupert meet through a Scout service skate lesson. He’s twelve, believes he’s gay and is the only son of a very homophobic drunk.
From Samantha’s previous book, … Net (see review on this site), Alexi and … show Callum how safe it can be to be gay and a hockey player.
There are some very obvious plot holes and some things that you just have to suspend your disbelief – but the slowly building love story and the heart warming relationships that develop between Oliver, Callum, Rupert and Christian are amazing.
The dialog is witty, Samantha does an excellent job of showing and not telling and the secondary characters are just as rich and well developed as the primary characters.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, even to those of us non-hockey fans.
Though it is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Crashing the Net first because it adds a bit to the back story and it’s a really good book! (Reviewed on this site previously.)

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland

Loch Awe Press Presents http://www.amazon.com/Crashing-Net-Samantha-Wayland-ebook/dp/B00M197TCA/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MCAN7646D12FV8P0A6E

crashing the netBlurb

Mike comes to Moncton wanting nothing more than to play for the Ice Cats and finally live on his own terms. He’s broke, bruised, and covered from head to toe in cheap lube, but he isn’t going to let that stop him. All he needs is a place to live and some time to figure out how to reconcile who he really is with who everyone wants him to be.

Dumping three gallons of lube on the new kid is just another day at the office for Alexei. He knows exactly who he is: a goalie on the ice, a prankster in the locker room, and a man who knows better than to share his private life with anyone. He’s let people in before and it’s taught him that if he can’t have what he really wants, it’s better to be alone.

Despite their apparent differences, an unlikely friendship grows. Neither of them could ever have guessed how much they really have in common.

Review
(Posted on Previous Site)

H.O.T. This book is hawt! Mike is a 22 year old, newly living on his own and playing professional hockey. He meets Alexi after being beat up after a “night on the town” and Alexi becomes his protector and mentor.

Mike has the hots for Alexi but could never imagine that Alexi might also be gay. Well… he is and he’s been jonesing for Mike big time.

When the two finally get together they burn the sheets! Mike is the big V but that doesn’t slow him down. Alexi kind of likes things rough, but so does Mike so there’s no problem there.

There is a minor hiccup when Alexi feels Mike needs to go out and sow his wild oats before settling down and the fact that Mike hasn’t come out to his rigid parents… but those don’t last long.

Overall this was a fast paced read, the first half all about the sexual tension and the second all about exploring the reality.

There was a fair amount of tenderness and sweetness, enough to keep me satisfied, and a very happy ever after.

I highly recommend this book and give it a 4.5 hearts of 5.

4.5

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Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs by CC Dado

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6601

ImposterinZebraStripedBriefsLGBlurb

When recent college graduate Nathan Harris makes a life-changing move out from under his mother’s thumb and into his own place, he is determined to take some risks. He is tired of not being good enough, tired of allowing his fears to control him.

What he thought would be an exciting adventure ends up being one jaw-dropping mishap of embarrassment after another, leaving him with a life he doesn’t even recognize anymore.

His once boring, lonely existence has been replaced by a brownstone filled with colorful friends, a rough around the edges, tattooed bad boy best friend, and a stripper for a boyfriend who’s not even sure he’s gay.

Review

This turns out to be two stories in one!
From Grand Adventures, an anthology, CC Dado gave us Brandon and Josh, two seemingly disparate men who end up perfect for one another.
(Link to full review here: )

The review for that story (Chapter 12, The place across the hall) :
A really cute short story about a guy who falls in love with his neighbor.

Josh has a (typical-for-him) one-night-stand-guy in his apartment when someone (his June Cleaver-eque) neighbor bangs on his door to invite him to a party for one of the other tenants. John isn’t a joiner. He has tattoos. He sleeps around. He doesn’t do relationships.

Brandon is all about relationships and has “fancied” John since day one.

The brief meet and greet at the party leads to a complete change in John’s thinking and Brandon manages to capture the heart of the lone wolf.

We start the story with Nathan aka Nate aka Nathaniel, moving out from under his mother’s domineering thumb (she refuses to be called “mom” insists on being called by her first name, Aurora and she has refused to his “coming out speech” three times now and he claims he’s autistic when every mental professional she drags him to ends up prescribing HER the medication, not him.) He is very bright (3 points below genius level) and has just recently finished school and is working a dream job at a lab working on Alzheimer’s.

Nate sees an ad for a sublet, thinks it’s fantastic, but in his completely virginal and socially inept way, totally misinterprets Josh’s overtures of friendship as a come- on and nearly dies of embarrassment.

This merely serves to make them instant best friends.

So now, Josh, Brandon and Nate are bonding and so we get to see not only Nate’s story but a continuation of Josh and Brandon’s story.

There ends up being a party thrown again on the roof of their apartment and a stripper is ordered. The original stripper is sick, so a replacement (his brother) is called in a pinch. Neither the original nor the replacement stripper is gay, but willing to dance for men as they pay more.

Something happens when David – the stripper’s brother – sees Nate from across the room and the two end up in clench. David is shocked and runs away. Nate is horrified – again.

The rest of the story is Josh and Brandon navigating the changes in their relationship while helping Nate to come out of his shell and while helping David learn how to trust his instincts.

It’s a very sweet, touching story, low, to no steam, but sexy nonetheless. I loved that we got to see such a satisfying conclusion to the Josh/Brandon story and though we didn’t see as much of David and Nate as I’d like, I’m hopeful we’ll see them in the next? installment.

The writing is excellent and grabs you from the start.

I sincerely hope we see more from this author and this couple in the near future.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Bachelor Party (Brandt and Donelly Caper: Case #5) by Xavier Mayne

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6450

BachelorsPartyBlurb

A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File Five

Med student Oliver Mitchell has discovered a way to make more tips as a bartender—put on ripped workout gear and serve drinks at the hip new gay club, Burn. The only catch is Oliver is straight. The staff and patrons don’t mind, though, and Oliver fits in well—until he meets James Buchanan Whitford, a local politician with a secret: he’s married. When James’s scheming wife attempts to catch him in flagrante with Oliver, they flee the city for the refuge of James’s cabin in the woods. There, Oliver faces a new challenge—he’s starting to feel more for James than friendship. Their new relationship must survive political intrigue and small-town politics before they can be together.

With their wedding two months away, it’s time for Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly to have a bachelor party. Ethan’s older brothers are excited, but Ethan is not. As a straight guy who fell in love with another man, the whole ritual is fraught with complications, and he struggles to reconcile newly granted marriage equality with old traditions. Brandt and Donnelly work to help James and Oliver find their way to happiness while pulling off the bachelor party of the year.

Review

Oliver needs some extra money for med school, his BFF Millie tells him that with his hot bod he should be a bartender at Burn – a gay bar. Though he’s intimidated he gives it a go, and really enjoys the experience.

While tending bar, he meets James, a sad slightly older man with whom he immediately clicks. At first just as friends, but when James ends up in a compromising position, Oliver helps him, and the relationship evolves.

Meanwhile, Brandt and Donnelly explore their sexual relationship, explore what it means to be “gay” or “in love with a man”, plan their ridiculously hilarious bachelor party with the help of our favorites Bryce and Nestor.

This book really emphasizes that labels aren’t helpful. Love is love. The end.
Who a person loves does not define who they are.

As always I was touched by the caring relationships demonstrated here: brothers, friends, lovers, families…in a multitude of ways all showing different types of love.

And the sex was way hot and the humor literally giggle out loud!

My only complaint – small one – is that the two stories were almost separate – like reading two books kinda mashed together. I missed having Brandt and Donnelly more centrally involved in the other love story and hope to see more of them in their wedding book – next? Hopefully, next? Pretty please? I can’t wait for their wedding I just know I’m gonna cry my eyes out!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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