Tag Archives: out for you

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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Fever Pitch (Love Lessons #2) Audiobook by Heidi Cullinan narrated by Iggy Toma

Samhain Publishing Presents: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Fever-Pitch-Audiobook/B00UTU656E/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1427734190&sr=1-2

Fever Pitch audiobookBlurb

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella

Review

(Book review from previous site)

Finally!

That’s what I said when I found out Love Lesson’s was to finally have it’s sequel!

I knew it had been planned for a long time and was super excited to finally read it! Let me tell you that I was NOT disappointed!

This is another long book of the new adult variety, in keeping with the Love Lesson’s theme. Fever Pitch takes place at another university in the mid-west, small and liberal arts oriented – but no gay swans, mores the pity.

Aaron and Giles actually attended high school together their senior year. It is in their last days there that Aaron begins to give in to his cravings for male romance and Giles is happy to help him explore this side of his personality. Unfortunately, both boys are really quite scarred from past experiences and the relationship is over before it really begins, leaving Aaron tentatively in lust/love and Giles really pissed off.

Aaron follow Giles to St Timothy’s University, mostly in stalker fashion, and over the course of many months they eventually forge a friendship through their mutual love for music.

During this bonding process we get to see our friends Walter and Kelly again – woot! Walter ends up helping Aaron deal with his new feelings and helps him to “get his man”.

Once the boys get together the drama doesn’t stop. There are other crazy parents involved and other sad gay boys to be saved. We see parents who can help save lives and those who set out to ruin them. There is lots and lots of music being played, composed and sung. And finally there is a wedding. Sigh. Walter and Kelly get married in what has to be my all time favorite gay wedding to date.

I just loved these two books so much! This second book is even stronger than the first. The side issues are more serious and the tragedies more tragic. If I’m being honest… the sex is hotter too, but don’t tell that to Walter or Kelly.

I loved how the book furthers the lives of people we met in book one, but if you didn’t read the first book, no worries, this stands on its own quite nicely.

Again Heidi has given us a love story interwoven with some serious, coming of age issues and the result is a rich tale, full of well developed characters and satisfying story lines.

Audio
Iggy Toma does another amazing job with this sequel to Love Lessons. Again he gives us so much emotion and does such a nice job with the voicing that you can’t help but be captivated. I really appreciated his ability to just become fully engaged in the story and let the raw feelings ooze through his voice so that the listener feels like she is right there with Giles and Aaron, feeling their joy and pain.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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Fire Inside Audiobook by Dawn Douglas Narrated by Randy Fuller

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6202

fire insideBlurb

After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.

Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.

Review

Tyler is a very, very young star basketball player who was recruited out of HIGH SCHOOL to play pro ball. He’s scared. He’s conflicted. He’s also gay.

Eric was hired because he’s gay. Tyler’s manager wants Tyler safe and so far all the staff either uses Tyler for his connections, his money, or his access to sex. Eric is seen as being immune to all that based on his past history and his indifference to the female form.

Eric is immediately attracted, both physically and emotionally to Tyler. He sees Tyler as a kid brother at first: needy, shy, naïve, innocent. When Eric begins to suspect Tyler might swing his way he’s conflicted about those feelings. He doesn’t want to take advantage of the guy but he’s also developed some serious feelings for him that go more than skin deep.

Tyler has had some super-bad experiences in h is past that make his life rituals important, and one night the team loses it’s winning streak, forcing Tyler to do something he hates, but feels is necessary to bring the team back to winning. It’s superstitious and awful, and it almost breaks him.

Luckily Eric is there to pick up the pieces and together they finally admit their attraction and begin to act upon it.

**
If you had asked me to rate this story at about the 50% mark I’d have given it 5 hearts, easily. It is so amazingly engaging. Dawn Douglas has created the perfect innocent paired with the toughest Alpha male and the sexual tension between them was both believable and hot. The separation between them was authentic and you questioned Tyler’s sexuality right along with Eric throughout most of the book. (Is he gay and closeted? Is he in denial? is he gay for Eric?… it was hard to tell!) The basketball stuff was a little unbelievable, but interesting and acted as a nice background for the romance to develop against.

I absolutely detested Tyler’s past (as I was supposed to) and felt wretched for how it affected him. I so wanted Eric to help him move through his fear and pain and know what real love is.

Without spoiling things for you, they do get together… in the last few paragraphs of the book. All that sexual tension is released with a few groping sessions and lots of tears and no resolution, let me say it again, absolutely NO resolution.  Eric does not get to help Tyler get through this, we can hope he might one day, but we are left without only hope.

The book/story just ends. POW.

I was flummoxed! Then pissed!

The story was so, so good and then it just ended… like the bell rang and the author had to turn her paper in at the end of class.

Since I was listening to the audio book I had to check to make sure I had the full story and that there wasn’t some technical error.

What I found was that, no, this is the entirety of the story, but that the ebook had this included as an epilogue/author’s note:

“I LOVE short stories. Not that novels aren’t wonderful, but there’s something special about being able to say everything you need to in a limited number of pages. And my favorite short story, bar none, is Frank R. Stockton’s The Lady, or the Tiger?
If you ask me when I’m irritated with my husband, stuck in traffic, or generally having a bad day, I’m pretty sure a tiger came out of the door to the right at the end of the story. When I’m in a better mood, a lady came out of the door, and the hero rode off into the sunset with his prize. I like the fact that the ambiguity of a short story leaves room for imagination.
In this novella, Tyler has some very serious history to address. Instead of turning what I had always intended to be a novella into a novel and exploring psychological issues that are far above my pay grade, leaving these particular characters with some ambiguity, with a happily for now, felt like the right thing to do.
That said, I’m the author, right? I created them, which means I’m allowed to suspend reality if I want to…
So in my mind, the real end to Tyler and Ram’s story goes something like this:
Tyler and Ram both found excellent counselors. The Fire Foxes won four successive NBA Championships. Tyler came out. The universe said, “Huh,” and moved on with life. Ram got his master’s degree from Wash U, went into politics, and changed the world. They got married, adopted baseball crazy twin boys, and were frequent guests on “Real Time with Bill Mahr.” And they lived happily ever after for the rest of their days.
The End.”

So, yeah. The author tells us that since this is her story she can end it however she wants and that in her mind the couple ends up with a HEA but she doesn’t owe her audience the actual WRITING of the HEA.

Without this author’s note, I would barely call it a HFN (Happy for now).

Needless to say, this did not sit well with me and it definitely affected my rating of the book.
I had really loved this story up until the (NOT) ending and was so, so disappointed at where it left off.

Audio
Randy Fuller is not my favorite narrator, but he does a fairly nice job with the narration. I enjoyed his voice choice for Eric, but felt that Tyler sounded a bit too old and not enough different from Eric.

All in all I can’t really recommend this book or audiobook because I wouldn’t want to inflict the frustration I felt on anyone else.

I give it a 2.5 of 5 hearts simply because Randy did a nice job and the writing was good up until the end, but the overall story/enjoyment really wasn’t there and I wouldn’t recommend it at all.

2.5

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Blood On The Mountain Audiobook (The Mountains Book 4) by PD Singer Narrated by Finn Sterling

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Blood-on-the-Mountain-Audiobook/B00S5HOUYM/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1424713981&sr=1-2

blood on mountainBlurb

The Mountains: Book Four
Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school – and the luxuries of electricity and running water – can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn’t have to come out. He doesn’t plan on Kurt’s vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.
“Your future, your fear, and me,” Kurt tells Jake. “You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.” Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful, but deadly crop that doesn’t belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake’s reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.
Kurt’s skills and Jake’s silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess – how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?

Review

This is Jake and Kurt, back to being rangers again. (Previously in the series: Jake and Kurt meet when Jake decides to be a fire ranger for the summer in between undergrad and grad school.  They have since spent the last couple of years working seasonal jobs while Jake gets in-state residency for school.  Kurt is also a ski instructor in the winter.  They have had their ups and downs, mostly about Jake’s closetedness but generally are deeply in love and in it for the long run.  In book one there was a life threatening fire and in book two there was an avalanche.  There is a book in the series (Book 3) in which Jake and Kurt are only minor characters, but this book returns to them as the MCs. )

The story opens with strip archery! The couple is still in love but argues about Jake’s future. First, Kurt wants him to start Pharmacy school in the fall (leaving his summer job early). Second, Kurt wants Jake to come out of the closet so that when the summer is over the two can live in a one-bedroom apartment as a couple.

To complicate matters, there is a situation in the mountain involving bad guys and drugs. As with the other books, someone is in danger and someone gets hurt, but in the end the good guys are victorious!

**

As with the other stories PD does an amazing job with detail. She tells us meticulously about archery, the plant life, the rodeo, even the medical care our hero receives and it feels authentic and true. (Not being an expert in those things I can only guess… ☺ )

I loved the story coming back to Kurt and Jake, they are definitely a great couple and now that they’ve been with each other so long their sex is even better!

I also love how Kurt is this “expert” in everything.  Of course he can ride a bucking Bronc!  He can do EVERYTHING!

I felt that the drama was more within reason than in some of the previous books and added a thrilling element to the story.

Though I will read the final book, I am sad to see Kurt and Jake go.

Audio

Finn Sterling did another great job bringing the story to life and making the listening experience a good one.  He always does a nice job with the voices of Jake and Kurt, trying to differentiate all the characters without going over the top.

Writing/Editing 5
Romance 4.5
Sex/Heat 4.5
Storyline 4.5
World Building/Characterizations 5
Audio 4.5

4.6 of 5 hearts!

4.5

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Passing Through by Jay Northcote

Available February 20th!

Jay Northcote Presents:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TIGJ88W

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-passingthrough-1742934-149.html

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/518978

PassingThrough_FINAL

 

Blurb

Don’t waste a chance at happiness…

Leo is a lonely workaholic with no time for romance in his life. His job in London takes all his energy and commitment. When he goes to Cornwall to stay with his terminally ill uncle, Edwin, love is the last thing Leo expects to find.

Tris lives in a cottage on Edwin’s land. Gay, but still half in the closet, he and Leo bond over their affection for Edwin, and the pull of attraction between them proves too strong to ignore. In Tris’s arms, in the wilds of Cornwall, Leo finds a peace he’d forgotten existed.

On his return to London, Leo finds himself grieving for more than just the loss of his uncle. When some unexpected news gives Leo the chance to return to Cornwall, he’s afraid it will be too late to rekindle things with Tris. But having learned much from his stay with his uncle, Leo doesn’t want to look back and wish he’d done things differently.

It’s time to seize the day—if it’s not already too late.

Review

Leo temporarily moves to Cornwall to spend time with his dying uncle. While there he meets Tris, a closeted gardener who is renting a house from Edwin, Leo’s uncle.

The premise of this story is simple: boy meets boy, boy kisses boy, boy loves boy, boy leaves boy, boy misses boy, boy returns to boy.

But….

There is way more to this story. Each of the men in this story has a history they need to wrestle with in order to become the happiest they can.

Tris needs to come out of the closet, forgive himself for his divorce and for deceiving himself and his family for so many years.

Leo needs to realize that he is more than his job and that happiness cannot be found working 80 hours a week.

Edwin, probably the most touching story of all, gets to finally tell his story and embrace the life he couldn’t for all these years.

**

On the one hand this story has very little angst for our two MCs. Their love story moves fairly quickly and without a lot of drama.

On the other hand, what I loved about this book was Edwin’s story. It’s both heartbreaking yet romantic and sweet at the same time. I loved how his love story helped Leo and Tris appreciate what they have (or could lose). He was an amazing character.

All in all this was another very well written story by one of my favorite authors, Jay Northcote, who consistently gives us wonderful, three-dimensional characters and a tender and sweet love for them to find.

Writing/Editing 5

Romance 4.5

Sex/Heat 4

Storyline 4.5

World Building/Characterizations 5

4.6 of 5 hearts!

4.5

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Excerpt:

On the beach they crunched along the shingle to the edge of the rocks, then turned to look out over the sea. It was almost completely dark now, and the moon was rising, casting streaks of bright silver on the oil-black water.

They stood in silence, watching and listening to the crash of the waves. Leo’s heart felt suddenly too large for his chest. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, a place that had barely changed since his childhood. The sea came and went with the tides, the sands shifted, but the rocks were constant. Yet here Leo was, an adult now rather than a boy, and his uncle reduced to an echo of the man Leo remembered—physically, at least. Unexpected tears prickled the backs of Leo’s eyes as a rush of emotion so strong that it made him draw in a sharp breath assaulted him. He swallowed hard, forcing the feelings back down.

Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Tris turn towards him, but Leo carried on gazing out at the gentle, rolling movement of the sea. Tris shifted his feet in the sand, bringing him closer. The warm skin of his arm brushed Leo’s, and Leo ached for more contact. He needed human warmth and touch to chase away the cold emptiness in his heart.

 

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.

 

http://www.jaynorthcote.com

Drive Your Truck by Julia Talbot

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5988

drive truckBlurb

Home on compassionate leave for his brother’s funeral, Navy SEAL Garrison Matthews needs to blow off a lot of stress and grief before he returns to active duty. In honor of his brother, he takes Bettie, the brothers’ souped-up vintage truck, out for a spin. A bit of an adrenaline junkie, Garrison has no problem finding trouble. This time trouble’s named Walt, and he happens to be Garrison’s sister-in-law’s brother.

Neither man expects their fun to amount to anything else, but after an injury sends Garrison home for good, he turns to Walt, hoping to start a new life. Walt is a closeted sheriff’s deputy, and while he adores Garrison, he isn’t sure he’s ready to come out… or for such a big commitment. Being fresh out of the service isn’t easy on Garrison either. To find their happy ending, Walt and Garrison must overcome their trust issues and get ready to settle down together.

Review

Garrison meets Walt at Garrison’s brother’s funeral. Walt is Garrison’s brother’s wife’s brother. Phew. Got that?

Basically they are sorta, kinda, in-laws-ish.

Garrison is still a SEAL but he’s out. Walt is a cop, and he’s NOT.

At first they hook up and it’s nothing but letting off steam. But as time moves on, they become closer and closer. Garrison gets out of the military, injured, and Walt lends him a hand his guest room. But when things start to look too “suspicious” to the locals, Walt essentially kicks Garrison out.

Garrison wants more. Walt is worried about his reputation and getting hurt if Garrison dumps him and leaves him “out” and alone.

But when someone nearly dies, things become clear.

**

I really liked this book. There were times when the writing, especially the dialog, got a bit clunky and in the middle of the book I was a bit annoyed with Walt for all his waffling, but overall, I thought it was a good romance and it felt pretty realistic to me.

I liked that the boys communicated like boys. Short sentences. No outpourings of devotion. They were honest about their attraction right from the get-go. I also liked that the “drama” was mostly in Walt’s head, which I also think is realistic. So many times we are our own worst enemy.

The sex was pretty hot and when the “I love yous are exchanged” they felt sincere, if anti-climactic.

The name is a bit of a misnomer – the truck really doesn’t play much into the story, though it is a cute/sentimental part of the story.

PS Any story where the dog gets some page time is a good one! ☺

Writing/Editing 3.5

Romance 4

Sex/Heat 4

Storyline 3.5

World Building/Characterizations 4

Overall 3.8 of 5 hearts

4

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