Tag Archives: sports

Fighter (The Brick Yard #1) Carol Lynne

       ✨✨Reviewed by Michele✨✨

TITLE: Fighter

SERIES: The Brick Yard

AUTHOR: Carol Lynne

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: February 9, 2017

BLURB: For Lucky Gunn, the hardest fight of his life happens outside the cage.

On the South Side of Chicago sits an old gym called The Brick Yard.

Ten years ago, on a bitterly cold day, Lucky Gunn wandered into The Brick Yard dressed in a threadbare jacket, looking for refuge. He hadn’t expected the owner, Tony Brick, to welcome him with a job and a place to sleep when Lucky’s abusive and drug-addicted mother made it too dangerous to return home.

Dray was a gay man living in a world of straight fighters. When his secret was exposed to the media, he dropped out, giving Lucky a piece of advice-if you want to make it as a MMA fighter, bury the part of yourself that won’t be accepted.

Lucky discovered the cage was the perfect place to keep his demons at bay, but when he learns his trainer and mentor, Brick, is suffering from end-stage cancer, he begins to spiral out of control. After eight years, Dray returns to help Lucky and Brick deal with the devastating news.

With Dray so close, Lucky’s old desires return, and Dray teaches him more than how to fight. Torn between his career and the passion he feels for Dray, Lucky’s past demons resurface in full force, threatening his sanity and his budding relationship with Dray.

Despite leaving the cage years earlier, Dray finds himself in the battle of his life with the only man he’s ever loved. Will he stand and fight or walk away like he did years earlier?

REVIEW: First let me say I loved this book. It really captured my heart. This book is truly a angsty romance that will have you experiencing every range of emotion possible. This is a love story, but it reads like a labor of love for Ms. Lynne. 

This very emotional story is about two men, one of whom has had his dream of becoming a MMA snatched from him, and the other is trying to become the next champion. I fell head first into the story of Lucky Gunn’s life. As you meet these very complex characters you will get pulled into a very intriguing and intensely emotional story I couldn’t put down and neither will you. The Brick Yard becomes a safe haven for Lucky and many other boys who suffer from physical and emotional abuse…sometimes neglect at the hand of a parent. The owner of the Brick Yard, who goes by the name Brick ( I know right), becomes a father figure to Lucky. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of these two men and their connection to the others that form a family of sorts. As you meet Dray, Mack, and the boys you will laugh, cry, and at times get very angry. I’m a fan of this author and this book did not disappoint. Without a doubt this  will be one of my favorites for this year.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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X-Factor by Sean Michael

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: X-Factor

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: April 27, 2016

SUMMARY: Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his isolated dream home, and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds of athletes.

Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding. He knows he’ll never make it to the big time, but as long as he can get on his board and go, he doesn’t care. If only his manager, Blake Dobbs, would cut Ecco a break. The man’s possessive and mean, and believes he owns Ecco.

When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it’s lust at first sight. An injury on Ecco’s qualifying run offers an opportunity to spend quality time together at Henry’s home, away from the crowds and out from under Blake’s thumb.

At this rate, lust might turn into love, but not if they can’t keep their romance hidden from Blake.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2010.

Second Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, EDR: April 27, 2016

REVIEW: I’ve always enjoyed this author’s books, whether it be his series (Hammer is my favorite) or his stand alone books. Its this that keeps me drawn to his work. This book however, didn’t do it for me unfortunately. It wasn’t a bad stories in the sense that it was poorly written. It’s really well written: the characters are interesting and well thought out. The glitches for me was the dialogue and the execution of the storyline.

Let me give a brief summary: Ecco is a snowboarder with a manager with some major boundary issues that’s creepy and possessive, sliding towards abusive.

Henry is a well loved resident of the area who looks forward to the games that come through town one month a year. These two meet and it’s attraction at first sight. These two men get together and embark on a sexual relationship that soon turns into somethings more. But they’re not going to have their happily ever after. They have to keep the relationship a secret from Ecco’s bizarrely possible manager.

I absolutely love how the story focuses on these two men and their budding relationship. The book was saturated with sex which is par for the course with this author’s work.

The only thing that absolutely did not work for me was the dialogue. It was just too juvenile for my tastes. I just couldn’t with the constant dude, rock on, for real, dudes, and oh mans. The dialogue was more suited to teenaged skater boys than a grown man.

Dialogue aside, I rather enjoyed the book.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner Press

Torquere Press

 

 

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Tigers on the Run (Book 3) by Sean Kennedy

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

TigersontheRunBlurb

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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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!

amazing

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Enforcing Emory by Mickie B Ashling

Dreamspinner Presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6419

EnforcingEmoryBlurb

Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.

Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.

While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia

Review

Emory and Nik meet when Nik moves into the neighborhood. Emory is a teenager living at home and training for the Olympics. Nik is a professional hockey player in the minor leagues (or whatever word they use in hockey).

Emory is 18 and Nik 20. Both still live with their parents. Both fathers are bigoted – though Emory’s dad gets over it and Nik’s dad is psychotic. Nik is engaged to a woman and in denial of his sexuality (and a gay-virgin!) and Emory is super-flamboyant to the extreme and NOT a virgin.

The boys feel instant attraction and though it is fairly dangerous for Nik , they begin a relationship. There is a lot of drama about the families and their approval. Danger surrounding Emory’s Olympic games and his risk as a homosexual in a homophobic country. Danger surrounding Nik’s career (hockey) and his coming out to his father. Lots of steamy sex. Some very sweet and tender moments between the boys. And a nice if unrealistic ending that will make you smile.

The storyline of this novel is unique in that the relationship develops fairly quickly so most of the struggle is the couple working out how they can be together given the obstacles they face.

I enjoyed Nik and Emory but the fathers felt a little too much like caricatures to feel real. Though I enjoyed the resolution it felt a bit rushed at the end and a little too “easy”.

All in all it was a good book and I enjoyed it.

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Winging It by Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James

Dreamspinner Presents  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6081

winging itBlurb

Gabe Martin has a simple life plan: get into the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t include being the first out hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But things change.

Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite—careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport is impressive, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. And Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.

Before Gabe can figure out how to deal, a tabloid throws him out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, his game suffers.

Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate.

He can’t be blamed for forgetting that nothing stays secret forever.

Review

First Gabe is outed to the NHL, he survives and then makes friend with a new teammate, the young Dante. Soon their friendship turns into Dante’s exploring his sexuality, and becoming Gabe’s lover.

Dante is funny, bumbling, not good at keeping secrets and very, very loud in bed. Soon the entire team knows Gabe and Dante’s “secret” and then the couple has to make some decisions. Do they want the nation to know and if they do what does that mean for them, their team, Dante’s life?

**
This book was both really good and really long. For me, the hockey stuff was ok, but I mostly skimmed it. For some – it will be a treat because these ladies sound like they know what they’re talking about! I loved the relationship between Gabe and Dante because it felt so authentic. They are terrible at sharing their feelings, make silly mistakes, they have super hot sex and they sort of stumble along until they realize that they’re in this deep relationship.

It was a fun book, well written, maybe a bit too long, but overall a great ride!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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