There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title:There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Release Date: March 17th, 2017
Pages: 220 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

three-stars

 

 

This was extremely difficult for me to read, get through and wait two months to review. Let’s review here: In my head I have a really close relationship with Rhys Ford, and this rating or review won’t seem like it. In fact, I’ve dreaded writing this review since I finish reading it. I haven’t felt this letdown in a long time. She’s one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t like it.  I was finding it hard to get my words out without stabbing myself in the heart during the first place. If this was Rhys idea of a contemporary romance, then I prefer her murder mystery books. This was angsty, slow burn on the romance, and difficult to read for me.  The relationship was completely one – sided for me, and it never felt like a romance. Hell, the story felt like I was wading through quick mud while reading it. While I did like Jake & Dallas as characters, I still didn’t quite like the story as much as I would have liked.

Jake comes from a super abusive childhood. The abuse is so deeply twined into his soul, that he is not able to see the good in people. He’s so scarred from his childhood, and even worst that his tormentor is his father. A father is who sick, but still is able to keep his hooks into Jake. Dallas is the complete opposite, yeah he knows what love lost is, but he is more free spirited and able to open up at love. Their careers is what leads them to a chance meeting. Soon after it’s like fate stepped in and interceded.

This point on their was an excessive about of literary things happening that my brain wasn’t able to understand. Plenty of times, I had to step back and think why?? We all know how I feel about angst. A little is okay, I like people to work for it, but too much throws the story completely off. I really wanted the book to end at those points, I didn’t care if they did or did not get together. Dallas had these grand gestures for Jake about love, and friendship, but they were NEVER reciprocated. I literally hate with a passion, a one-sided relationship. I’m all for being someone’s backbone, but I was really waiting on Jake to open his eyes and realize what he wasn’t doing. How do we get this grandiose love story where I didn’t feel anything. At best a friendship is started and Jake can start healing, at worst nothing. I felt Nada, zip, zilch, NOTHING. In fact by the 75% I was waffling on calling it quite. Its something that I never felt while reading a Rhys Ford book. After reading it, I was straddling the fence on my rating.

The only thing that saved me was Celeste. She was a fun character, and the writing. Ford knows how to write, but the overall product was not something that I enjoyed personally. It had its moments, but they were very small and far in few in the story. I think fans of slow burn romance, angst, and heartbreaks will most likely like this.

 

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About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

True Colors by Anyta Sunday

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

True Colors: by Anyta Sunday
Series: True Love #2
Release Date: March 14th, 2017
Pages: 226 • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.

But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.

Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.

Afraid of falling in love.

Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?
~~~~***~~~~
“True Colors” is an enemies to lovers, boy next door, first time, slow burn M/M romance with a generous helping of UST. This no-cliffhanger, HEA book can be read as a standalone.

three-half-stars

I am not a fan of the angst. She is not a fan of the angst. We are not a fan of the angst. I.HATE.THE.ANGST.

I got that out of my system. I don’t go looking for angst, because I always get so ragey made by midway through the book, but end up enjoying it. I don’t want to feel that way towards my books. I really liked Leo Loves Aries, and wanted to read more of this authors’ work. It’s a big difference of slow burn romance, and angst central. I can deal with slow burn romance, because the buildup of their love & devotion is so beautiful to watch. Angst is some hard core b.s. While I felt like the story was angsty enough, I also felt like March was over melodramatic. Put your pitchforks away and let me explain.

Marco went through a traumatic experience. I applaud him for having the strength to succeed in day to day things. During this traumatic time he was betrayed by someone he trusts. I get all of this. 16 is a hard age to adjust to and deal with. I think whatever happens during the time is life changing, but for Marco the one thing he didn’t expect with his fallout with his best friend Oskar. Someone he counts on, depends on, and loves deeply. Oskar has been his life force during this troubling time. But the betrayal came from Oskar. Marco hasn’t allowed himself to heal internally, and his hatred it seems for Oskar is damaging everything around him. His and Oskar’s family is friends/neighbors/family together. They’ve been in each others lives forever, and by the boys not being friends anymore its hard to adjust to. Fast forward to the present. Both guys are 20. Adults in every sense of the word. Oskar is moving back home after being away for 2 years. Marco is moving out of his home, and finding the independence that he needs. He doesn’t take into account Oskar moving back throws a wrench into his mental plan. Here’s my thing when they communicate or start to build up to where they were or could have been, I feel like Marco was stagnant in this sense. I get him being upset and mad. I get Oskar doing what he did. What I don’t get is an educated, smart person who plans to be a high school teacher, and was once a teacher holding a grudge for this long. At times I felt like every time Oskar was on page, and Marco didn’t like it was very melodramatic. Oskar practically begging for his forgiveness, and Marco defiantly holding his past against him. This is all my take on the situation. Its very easy for me to say these things, and not have it been about me.

I will say out of my melodrama comment, I did enjoy the story. I loved the author’s take on the chapter titles and meanings. It was super fun to see what each meant. This was an angsty friends to lovers romance, and outside of my quips on a certain situation I did enjoy it. I really am glad that I gave this a chance. I did fans of Sunday will love Marco & Oskar’s love for one another. It’s the best kind of romance when its a near friend of yours. I really loved Oskar as a character. He seemed so mature for his age, and even Marco who I felt could be lenient sometimes, but I understand it was a defense mechanism. It can be read as a standalone and a definite recommend.

 

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About Anyta Sunday

Anyta Sunday – New Zealand writer in Berlin, Germany.

A born and raised New Zealander from Wellington, I’ve been exploring the literary world since I started reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Stories have been piling up in my head ever since. Fast forward to my mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), I started to put them to paper.

My genre of choice is romance, both adult and YA, gay and straight. You can take a closer look at my books, available as e-books for download in many formats!

When I’m not pushing my characters deeper into adventure, I chase my sons around the house and fight my two comical cats for the desk chair.

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

ouI received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Off Base: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #1 
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Pages: 304 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon• Kobo • Barnes & Noble

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

four-stars

This was way more angstier then I like, but it was really good. It brought out plenty of emotions from me, and I’m glad I was able to finish it. It was a point of time in the story where I wanted to punt Zack’s ass through the field goal range. I wanted to shake him, and hurt him for not realizing what he was doing to himself and Pike. It took me a while to put Zack from Connection Error together with this Zack. I mean, he was a douchebag in Connection Error, and a little bit docuhy here, but the man was hurting internally. Gah!!! I really dislike when authors force me to like the A-Holes. I fell for Zack after a while. I adored Pike! I thought he was amazing, and I just wanted to wrap him up and never let him out my sight. *Le Sigh*, here goes my thoughts.

Poor Zack, this man is the epitome of The River D-E-N-I-L-E. He’s in denial about his sexuality and his love for Pike. He is SEAL who is intensely lonely, and really buried deep in the closet. Well not buried, but he’s not owning up or accepting of his sexuality. I really love how Albert makes these guys who I find myself disliking really make it up to me at the end. Zack has this internal angsty thing going on. When work like becomes to much for him, then he ventures out on his own living by himself. Well not entirely, because while he’s immediately against the idea of having Pike; out and proud Pike as a room mate there’s something there for Zack to convince himself to let it happen.

It’s a slow burner for sure with the romance. While Pike is realizing he’s falling for Zack, he knows it isn’t reciprocated at the least by Zack. I really enjoyed Pike’s character. He was super sweet and understanding. I hate what he went through with his first love, but I think it definitely put into perspective of his future romances. For characters like Pike who I feel get shafted in stories it enables my mama bear features and I automatically want them to dump or hurt the one that causes them pain. I’m so happy Pike didn’t listen to me lol. It definitely hurt Pike a multitude of rejections from Zack. The one thing I continuously have to realize is, you can’t force anyone to except their sexuality. It has to be on there own personal time, and I’m uber grateful that Albert writes things this way.

I cannot wait until the next book in the series. Hopefully its’ the LT with the kids, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Harper. Yeah, I got my eye on him. Albert has been winning lately with all her release, and I’m telling you she’s becoming such a favorite of mine. If you haven’t read her #gaymers series then you best get to it. This is a definite read and hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

A Selfless Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: A Selfless Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Series: Men of Manhattan, #6
Release Date: September 07, 2016
Pages: 132 • Format: eARC
Published By:Wilde City Press
Purchase Links:
Wilde City Press

Ryan Carter always hoped his life would turn around for the better. He has a job that he loves, and another one that he hates. Becoming a rent boy was never his life plan, but circumstances forced his hand. When his life falls apart, hunky firefighter Michael Callahan comes to his rescue. Ryan knows better than to believe someone as wonderful as Michael would ever want to be with someone who sells his body. But spending time with Michael gives Ryan something he’s never had before.

Hope.

For months, New York firefighter Michael Callahan has been thinking about the hot guy he rescued while working crowd control during a robbery standoff. His brother is very happy dating a man, and Michael wonders if he’s finally ready for a relationship of his own. An apartment fire brings him face to face with the young man who’s been haunting him for months. Their friendship starts strong, but will Ryan’s alternate life put out the flicker before it has a chance to flame?
Can Michael convince Ryan that he wants him no matter who he is? Or will the relationship turn to ash before it even begins?

three-stars

When I see that Sandrine Gasq-Dion has a new book out, that’s exactly how I feel. I feel in love with her Assassins/Shifter series. I mean I brought every book in that series. She is one of book crack addictions. I love her cheesy, over the top, fluffy, stories. They bring me all the feelings in the worlds! I love the laughter, the banter, and gosh they are hot. I suspend reality when I read her book, that’s totally fine with me. Her books generally have the same formula, but the woman has produced about 60 something books she’s doing something right!

I didn’t even know it was going to be more in this series. I hadn’t seen a shifter book in two years I think, and I never got through the spend off series. With this one, because I hadn’t read the series since book #5, I was more trying to remember the story line. I do know that book 1 & 2 were my favs out the series. Alot of characters in this book so I wouldn’t read it as a standalone just yet.

Dare, I say that Sandrine went angsty on me? Yeah, that’s totally what it feels like. Listen, the guys in these stories are usually bumping bottoms and having insta-love thoughts by 30%. This was different, and I think because of it; it took the feelings and emotions that I generally have with this series. It was kinda a letdown. I liked Michael and everything, but he was a little to passive for me. I never really warmed up to Ryan. I felt like he was a rent-boy only by name. Seriously, what rent-boy has a damn job and willing will sell their body? He never asked for more hours, or legitimately tried to get another part-time job. I went to school and worked, it’s very doable. I didn’t like this trope for him. I am not even sure if I liked them together. Sure once they got over the drama, they were cool, but besides physical attraction I didn’t feel anything between the two. It was an okay read for me, not what I’m used to by her, but I can’t have them all. I am looking forward to the next in the series though! I can never really pass up a SGD book obviously.

About Sandrine Gasq-Dion

I have been blessed in this life to not only have parents that support me, but kids that do as well. I grew up in a loving but “Old School” French household. My parents worked for the airlines (TWA) so I was able to see a lot of Europe as a kid. I moved to Seattle Washington at the age of 22 and stayed there for twelve years before moving to Alaska for a little over two. Fairbanks, AK was one hell of an experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back! I spent a little over a year in South Carolina before moving back to Arizona. I then left for Kansas for five years and now reside in Arizona. I’ve been connected to the military in one way or another for over half my life and wouldn’t change a thing about it. Writing has become my full time job and I’ve never been so happy doing a job I love and being able to do it in my jammies. I plan on writing until I dry up and die. Hopefully, that won’t happen soon!

Connection Error (#Gaymers #3) by Annabeth Albert

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Connection Error by Author Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers #3
Release Date: Sept 05, 2016
Pages: • Format:eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Carina PressAmazon

It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

This book is approximately 66,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

four-stars

I was literally like this the entire time with Ryan!!!! GAH!!!!  Annabeth, why did you do this to me? I was on an extreme high from Beta Test and you give me this ANGST FEST!!!

I get the hives with to much angst, and for some folks this might be just for them. At the end of the story, I’m still not sold on Ryan. Book three is way, way, way more angstier then the other two. They were both my kind of feel good love stories. This was a good hurt/comfort, but I can’t be happy because I feel like I don’t know where I stand with Ryan. I feel like I was in a relationship with him, and the entire time he was playing with my emotions. I’m to uncertain of him to be happy with the outcome. Do you get me? Well if not , let me break it down for you.

Josiah, sweet, ADHD brain riddled, kinky Josiah. I liked him, and in his book he read a tad bit different for me. I guess because we’re reading from his pov. It’s nice to see all his vulnerabilities and see him in a different light. I liked him alot, and I think he handled Ryan well. I think that Jos isn’t use to the type of attention or love that he wants from Ryan. I found him to be a typical 23 year old. His character was a little over the top, and I’m happy the way Annabeth went about Jos and his ADHD. He talked about his fears, his desires, and at the end of the day I think he was just trying to Adult. It’s kinda hard for him to be an adult when he’s basically coddle by his mom, but I think him gaining his freedom and standing up for himself showed such character growth.

**Groans** Ryan. I get all of his neurosis. They make sense. Ryan is an ex- navy seal who is having trouble acclimating to civilian life and the lost of his fiance. Well his fiance dumped him and moved on. Ryan frustrated me, and in my head I kept yelling at myself that he shouldn’t frustrate me. I know this, but it still got on my nerves. Apart of me gets it, he couldn’t give Jos what he needed because Ryan wasn’t in control of his own life. This is where angst heaven came into play. Every little stepping stone and progress they made together, Ryan would shut it down automatically. And yeah, for a time, it completely read like he was leading Jos on. Leading him on just so Ryan wouldn’t be lonely. It was like pulling teeth at best. At worst, I kept screaming at Ryan. “What do you want?”

This gif is extremely perfect for me, because I was Ryan Gosling screaming at my kindle. Come on!! Ryan had all the cards in his hand. Yes, your life wasn’t where you wanted it to be, or what you pictured your recovery to be like, but it wasn’t fair to Jos at all. I’m winding down now, and I liked the story, and all the pain it put me through. I need some fluffy goodness from Annabeth Albert to make up for this.

About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

His Royal Favorite: by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #2 
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Pages: 245 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
Amazon

The conclusion of Lilah Pace’s racy, romantic male/male duology following His Royal Secret…

James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He’s decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media’s harsh spotlight.

When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?

James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.

Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James’ side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?

four-stars

Book two was not for the lighthearted at all!!! It was super emotional and way more angsty!!! GAH. I dislike angst and reading this is why. In my head Ben would have got over himself 20% into the story. I get it, and understand ALL his reservations but I totally was being #TeamJames over here and wanted him to sacrifice his freedom for James. It didn’t work like that, and man this book did wonders to my emotions. I feel like I need a palate cleanser and need to read a comfort read or some fluff afterwards.

This picks up immediately after book two. I almost want it to be a trilogy because I like these two characters so much. I think the author handled this wonderfully. Nothing was easy to any of the characters to me. Both guys were constantly tested, it really made them put their future in perspective. I couldn’t imagine living like that, and too see Ben trying should have been enough for me. I really like Ben alot, he’s independent, career-orientated, and self reliant. To see him part ways with the pieces that he feels makes him about did me in. I’d understood the resentment and the falling apart from one another.I think James was one of the realistic guys ever. Yeah he lived in a bubble, and doesn’t have a debit card, but he constantly gave Ben an out. He was willing to allow the love of his life, a life instead of being in the media spotlight constantly.

On top of those two, Indigo’s mental health status has reached a boiling point. I felt for James, because he’s rolling solo on this. He has no help, he has no training and he’s trying to do what he thinks is the best of her. Bravo Ben!!! Thank you for saying what I’m sure everyone reading is thinking. We can’t help Indigo without professionals, and it’s time to allow someone else to take over the reigns for a little while.

I did find myself less enamored with this then book one. It was tamer in the physical acts, it was way angstier I ever would have expected. It didn’t have the same magic as book one, but I guess you could say it was the honeymoon period for those guys and they needed a break. I’m looking forward to more from this author. This series is one I’d definitely recommend!

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.

Wildflowers by Suki Fleet

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

wildflowersWildflowers by Suki Fleet
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Pages: 80 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Xavi doesn’t believe in love anymore. Love has never changed the outcome of anything. It has only hurt him. 

Sam is sick, and he wants one last thing. He wants Xavi to be with him, to stay with him until the end. Xavi drops everything and promises Sam he will be there. 

As they travel across the countryside in a stolen sea-green Cadillac, they search for something neither has the courage to admit he’s looking for. But as the days slip away, Xavi isn’t sure he can keep his promise; he isn’t sure about anything. He can’t help Sam do this. He can’t stand by and watch Sam suffer, can’t be content to let Sam give up. 

Saving Sam becomes the only thing that makes any sense, the only thing Xavi wants. Loving Sam becomes the most important promise he will ever make. Now he just has to convince Sam that life—and love—are worth fighting for.

five-stars

There are first times for everything and this will be a first for me. I truly short review because I lack the words or the willpower to not fangirl and lose sight of what’s important.

I love Suki’s work. There is this ethereal feeling I get when I read her words and what they do to me.

Wildflowers was perfection. It was angst and beauty. It was painfully with its sorrow. It was gorgeously filled with regret and it was amazing.

Wildflowers is a story about a boy who doesn’t want to be alone. It’s a story about overcoming your fears and letting down walls. It’s a story about letting the what if’s become a reality.

It’s a story that make me sob so much I joked with a friend that my Nook turned into an arc and floated away on a sea made of my tears.

I cried. Oh how I cried but those tears were of mixed emotions for Xavi and Sam… oh Sam. Just so much in this short story and I loved it.

It was amazing and worth it.

So much love for the boys. So much love for Judy. So much love for Joe and so much love for Suki.

This book is angsty AF but if you don’t feel when you read, why read at all.

Oh and I was listening to music as I read and this song, the lyrics… just work for this, for me.

Okay.

Rambling ginger… out.

About Suki Fleet

Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.

Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and is currently a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com she’d love to hear from you.

Auguries of Summer by Mel Bossa

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Auguries of SummerAuguries of Summer by Mel Bossa
Release Date: April 24, 2016
Pages: 193 • Format: eARC
Published By: JMS Books
Purchase Links:
JMSAmazonARe

Easy-going Sebastien divides his time between working as a cleaning technician, caring for his widowed father, and running off to the park for soccer practice. Coasting through his existence, he’s convinced he doesn’t have much going for him.

That isn’t what his best friend Jack thinks. Quick-witted and passionate, Jack is fascinated by art and history, but the greatest book or painting could never compare to how he feels when he’s alone with Sebastien.

In the last five years, Seb and Jack have shared everything, sometimes even a bed. Yet though their chemistry is smoking hot, Sebastien keeps Jack at a safe distance. But when the two move in together to lower their living expenses, that distance gets smaller and smaller, until Sebastien and Jack are standing so close, they can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes … the love of their life.

five-stars

I am drained now. Totally drained and totally satisfied from this book, my first from the author. I am going to try to review this but when books leave me strung out, I find it hard to put words together to make sense.

I am a huge fan of the friends to lover’s trope and when you make it best friends with wonderfully squirmy and gooey UST to full blown swoon central throughout the story, it’s like it was written just for me.

Tell me a story, Jack. Tell me about one of those great love stories you’ve read about.

I adore the way the story is told. I love that we meet them in the now, that the story starts with Sebastien’s present POV and the situation of him moving into a new apartment over the summer to share expenses with his best friend Jack. We learn that these two have a history, that they were lovers briefly in the past but them being friends is what mattered most. But we also quickly learn that Seb has it bad for Jack but is terrified of what it all means.

Let me get this out, the UST is off the charts with these two and the confessions were so overwhelmingly romantic I was hooked before I had a read a quarter of the book. I wanted Jack to spill his guts and for Seb to let down his walls and accept that he is truly in love with his best friend. I wanted them to create gorgeous meals together and listen to Jack tell Seb stories and Jack to soak up all that Jack offered. I wanted it so much it hurt and it was the best kind of hurt.

Ugh.

This book is so rich and by rich I mean with emotion and the perfect blend of storytelling that sucked me in so fast I had no choice but to marinate in it until my fingers are pruny. I love books that make me look things up and nearly every time Jack opened his mouth to tell one of his stories, I was googling to catch up and to simply be in the scene with them.

So, we know the boys are best friends and they have feelings for one another but Seb, he holds Jack at arm’s length and won’t allow himself to let go and be fully in love. It was heartbreaking to be in Seb’s head and deal with his perpetual struggle of accepting that his “Heteronormative straight acting” self was so turned on by Jack and effeminate men like Jack. There is so much internalized angst with Seb that I was so damn thankful the author took us back five years to see when he and Jack met.

Jack was something else. I’d never known a man so alive and turned on by everything. His mind sped all the time. He had thoughts and opinions on everything.

I was jonseing for this meeting between the boys but this whole back story is filled with the self-loathing of Sebastien’s need to feel masculine and not so “gay “while fighting his feelings for being turned on my effeminate men like Jack. They are what turns his crank and gets him off but he’s terrified to admit it, even to himself. He falls hard for Jack the first night they spend together but doesn’t know how to fit Jack into his world without hurting him and that his the last thing Seb wants to do. Keeping Jack at arm’s length is the only way he can assure they stay friends and Jack doesn’t get hurt. But Jack, he wants Seb and will go to remarkable lengths to show it though it often falls on Seb’s deaf ears and heart. Boy oh boy, the whole past part of this book was heartbreaking and yet brilliant with how it was laid out and where it was placed in the story. It gives the reader so much insight to Seb and you learn that Jack is everything to Seb and everything he wants to be; free and completely himself regardless of what the masses think or the judgment they pass. I cannot express how much I loved the Batman and Robin story and how Seb had always known the type of guy that did it for him though he tried the opposite and then… Jack came into his life.

From the moment I’d first seen Sebastien… I’d known he’d make me suffer, but that the highs would be worth every low.

After we learn what happened five years ago, we get back to the present and I have to say thank you so very much to the author for ending the story with Jack. I needed to know his thoughts on Seb and what better way than when it all gets so real for the two of them for us to be in the POV of the man who is Seb’s rock and who rocks his world. Phew. Yeah, this was a great read and I am in love with the story.

The issues of the child being the adult to a parent was here along with a few social and mental health issues and they were dealt with well. Seb’s relationship with his parents wasn’t the easiest though he adored his mom. He tried so hard to be a good son and help, even with his dad after his mother passed away. It was just so hard for him, he’s been this kid in an adults body for so long, he doesn’t quite know how to adult but then again, how many of us really know how to do the proper adulting thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the side characters as they never distracted from the story but added depth and character to Seb and Jack. But the boys, they are front and center and their romance, their love story was gorgeous.

Auguries of Summer is a lovely tale of best friends to lovers who give in and give it all to be happy. It’s a story about seeing the signs you may miss out on what could make your life full of love, of checking off those boxes of happiness not everyone gets to experience and savoring them. It’s a tale about being able to move on from grief and accept that you can be happy with a loved one’s passing and it’s simply, at the heart of it all, a love story of two young men who were made to love each other.

 

 

About Mel Bossa

I’m the author of numerous novels featuring LGBT characters. I live in Montreal’s beautiful gay village with the love of my life, a bisexual man who contributes a lot to my writing and has also designed some of my covers. As a queer (bi) woman, I’ve often been misunderstood or judged, so I try to find peace in dreaming up worlds where grace wins over fear and ignorance.

Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

CloseToYouLGClose to You by Skylar M. Cates
Series: Sunshine and Happiness
Release Date: March 28, 2016
Pages: 248 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner Amazon ARe

Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

four-half-stars 

I had ridiculously high hopes going into this book. Tomas and Marc with their tumultuous relationship or lack thereof has been talked about through books one and two. We know these two are in love but won’t let it happen. We’ve seen the downfall of their friendship and of Tomas moving out to take care of his grandfather and how it has wrecked both men. We know they have been friends since middle school… but we didn’t know the whole story… until now.

Told in the dual (TF for that!) POV of Tomas and Marc, we begin with a middle of the night call for help. Tomas needs Marc and Marc will never say no to Tomas, unless it has to do with his heart. So he rushes off to help find his grandfather who has left home in the middle of the night and ease the anxiety and pain that his best friend is going through.

I want to be with you. Why can’t you be with me? I fell when we were only kids. With all my heart and soul.

Immediately we get into the back story of these two; how they met and when they first see one another and I was so happy for that. We been told how long they have been friends but I was desperate to see it and going back tens of years with Tomas and Marc was not disappointing at all.

Marc, you have always intrigued me from the first time I met you in Here For You. Your rough childhood had been mentioned but when we get the first glimpse of it, I was a bit of a mess. I am so sorry you dealt with that but then I think all things happen for a reason and it all led you to Tomas, even when you wanted it not to.

Tomas, you sir wear your heart on your sleeve and it has always bled for Marc. Knowing that you would give all if he would just let you love him, even from the first two books, tore my heart out. Seeing you as a young man, stole my heart and my respect. Speaking up to be Marc’s partner was so sweet, even though you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

…but once, they loved each other. Love in the way best friends only can – fully and completely, without borders.

Marc and Tomas are an amazing couple who have been through so much together and even more when they were so horribly parted. I love that we get a back and forth time jump of them so we know where it all went wrong, how the boys were hurt and how it shaped them into them men they are today. I had a love/hate issue for the back stories because they were bittersweet but so damn worth it. Getting the bits of their past up to the reunion and how it became a reunion? Ugh. I get why Marc did what he did to try and protect himself when he sees Tomas after all those years apart and I LOVE what he did when he finally decided to put it all on the line to get the man he has always loved.

I have one small gripe with the story and that is the tense it’s told in; third person present tense. For me, knowing HOW MUCH these two want to be together and HOW MUCH we know this from the first two books it bummed me out that the tense made it feel more mechanical when all I wanted was the feelings. Though it bugged me, it wasn’t enough of an issue for me to stop reading because I couldn’t stop reading this story, no matter what.

Close to You, was a gorgeous story of first love, of true love told in only the way it could be for Marc and Tomas, with everything – heart, body and soul. This story will take you on a ride of emotional angst that will have you begging to be hurt by these two over and over again because everything in this book is worth it.

 

 

About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

PatchworkParadise_600x900Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Release Date: March 28, 2016
Pages: 275 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide • Amazon • ARe

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

four-half-stars

I cannot believe I enjoyed this as much as I did when it had so much ANGST. I’m against anything angsty. I loathe it if it’s too much, and I always end up mad. What happened? I do not know, all I know is I started reading it at midnight and by 3 a.m. I was drunk on angst, tears, and happiness. I had a serious conniption. It was so heartbreaking, but so freaking good by the end of it. I was able to get over my grief of Samuel. My grief was really Ollie’s grief, it was so cloying and thick. I could never imagine going through what he did, but he was such a champion for me. He never gave up or gave him. I loved that he wasn’t sticking to anyone’s time table on when to move on, or when to stop grieving. It’s no realistic time table at that. I’m a sucker for a friends to lover story, and Indra Vaughn knocked this book out of the part. This was respectfully done and beautifully written.

I am so swoony over Thomas. I mean everything he did left me star eyed. I like that his friendship with Ollie was very important. I also enjoyed the fact that he didn’t pressure Ollie to be in a relationship so early. I like how Thomas was able to put aside his feelings for Ollie, and he traveled to give Ollie some space. Thomas traveling and finding someone special left me so confused, but as usual the author wrote at such a realistic pace that everything worked out. Thomas finding out he was a father was a realistic reaction to me. I mean, I would be terrified and questioning if I could do this. I love how quickly Oliver decided on his feelings and what he wanted. I liked that Thomas having a baby wasn’t a deterrent for him, and he realized this is everything he always wanted. But once everything clicked into place with this group of people. I would have love to see a bit more of the physical romance, I mean it’s little to no sex in the book. I’m okay with it because the emotional connection shined so brightly that I didn’t notice the lack of sex until the very end. All in all, this was such a good book, and I’m happy that I picked to read it. I am so looking forward to more from this author.

About Indra Vaughn

Indra Vaughn moved from Belgium to Michigan in 2008, leaving everything behind that wouldn’t fit in a single suitcase. She now lives in the suburbs of Detroit with a dog who thinks he’s a toddler and a toddler who resembles Bam Bam in more ways than one.

Indra’s professional background is in nursing and Chinese medicine, but she prefers to spend time making up stories about mysterious men and their unrequited love.

If you ever meet her, ask her about that teenage angst-infused poetry collection. That’ll break the ice for sure.