Guest Reviewer: Lickety Split by Damon Suede

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.

Lickety Split: by Damon Suede
Release Date: March 13th, 2017
Pages: 286 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Lickety Split: Love won’t wait.

Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.

Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.

Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.

four-stars

This book is a hard one to review. I thought the writing and storytelling was really good but there were things I didn’t like about it. Most of those things though are personal preferences so…on one hand I didn’t like this book but on the other, I liked it a lot (yes, helpful I know).

Patch heads back to the small town in Texas where he grew up to settle his parent’s estate. His dad’s best friend Tucker still lives on the property and is caretaking. Patch had a crush on Tucker as a teen but the older man was always mean to him so he’s dreading seeing him again. For the first 30% of the book I didn’t like Tucker. Not at all. He has had a life of running around on women, stealing from an ex and leaving a bunch of kids all over that he never took care of. (the kid thing is a hard limit for me) By 60% I found myself warming to him a bit. I think the thing that stands out about this for me is the author never makes excuses for him or tries to pretty up his past. Tucker is what he is. As the story goes on both Patch and the reader see this and learn to accept it. The good in him slowly unfolds and I have to say he treated Patch wonderfully and with the utmost care. By the end there is no doubt in your mind he loves Patch and he’ll anything he can for him. 

The whole thing made me think a lot as I was reading this. I didn’t necessary like Tucker and I wouldn’t in a million years get involved with someone like him but at the same time I could see the beauty in their relationship. I think that it is a great piece of storytelling when the author can make you care about a character you don’t actually like. I had spent the first 60-70% hoping Patch would go back to his life in New York but somehow as the story unfolded I found that I had somehow bought into this relationship hook, line and sinker. All the things I had been worried about (the age gap, the lifestyle differences, the life experience differences) all just melted away and I found myself rooting for these two to get a hea. On a side note, I also liked how the author handled the age gap and their past. Super realistic imo and not something you see often in romance stories.

Two of my biggest issues though were the slang and the crudeness of the story. They, especially Tucker, talk in heavy Southern slang and there were entire passages where I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about. In fact, there is this huge pivotal moment in their relationship towards the end and I literally don’t know most of what was said. I read it 3x and then just decided to go with it. I got the general idea. I found this frustrating because it did impact my overall enjoyment. I think I missed some of the emotions by not understanding scenes. 

And my biggest complaint…..the crudeness. Gah….it was horrible for me. A sex scene would start off and it would be kind of hot or kind of romantic and then Tucker would open his mouth and it would shoot straight into gross territory for me. This is a really personal preference though so this may not be an issue for other readers. Some examples were: “releasing his meat”, “You got a big load stored up for me? You carrying a lotta squirt in them balls?”, “the fat rammer”, “his fat branch”, “he kissed the juice of Tucker’s knob”, “He bent to suck the sauce off”. These were just never ending and I swear the word “dick” was never used and “cock” only once. It was constantly his “meat” (which I find so, so gross) and a million other euphemisms. (euphemisms are a pet peeve of mine which didn’t help). SO……..different strokes for different folks and all that. I’m including these examples because I know a lot of people told me they didn’t like Hot Head due to the crudeness. I had no issue

with that book, in fact I loved it, so be prepared. If it was too crude for you this is probably not going to work. (I’m just giving little examples….the sex scenes were all pretty crude.) On another note, there was a Hot Head easter egg which made me smile. I love when author’s do those.

I have really mixed feelings about this. Huge portions of it I didn’t like and even by the end I didn’t love Tucker but, I really felt the love between these two men. I felt their emotions so strongly and there’s a scene towards the end where Tucker lays his feelings out that was really beautiful. I think the author did a really good job on making this relationship feel real and turn out good. Big kudos to him for doing this and for writing a romance outside the box.

 

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Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1) by Elle Casey

Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1) by Elle CaseySeries: Shine Not Burn #1
on 2013-07-01
Pages: 350
AmazonNarrator: Lauren Ezzo
IT HAPPENED IN VEGAS.
I can't be held responsible. Things that happen there are supposed to stay there, right? Right? Yeeeah. Not so much.Andie's just days away from tying the knot, but there's just ooooone little glitch. Apparently, she's already married. Or someone with her name is married to a guy out in Oregon of all places, and the courthouse won't issue her a marriage license until it's all cleared up. Tripping her way through cow pies and country songs to meet up with a man who gets around places on horseback is her very last idea of how to have a good time, but if she's going to get married, make partner at the firm, and have two point five kids before she's thirty-five, she needs to get to the bottom of this snafu and fix it quick ... before her fiance finds out and everything she's been working toward goes up in flames.
two-half-stars


Clearly, my idea of humor differs from a lot of people because I didn’t chuckle once while listening to this audiobook. There are many things I disliked about this book but Andi and her missing backbone tops the list. I’m sorry but this one didn’t entertain me at all.

Andrea “Andi” Marks was this young ambitious attorney who had a life goal of making partner, getting married and having a couple of kids by her early 30’s. She doesn’t have any fun, just work, work, and more work.
When she goes to Vegas with friends for a bachelorette party, she goes buck wild on the drinks. This is where hunky cowboy Gavin MacKenzie, enters the picture.

Gavin was in Las Vegas for his brother’s bachelor party when he saw Andi and they did what you do in Vegas.

2 years later when spineless Andi is getting ready to marry her rude fiancée Bradley, the county clerk refused her a marriage certificate as She is Already Married…in Vegas.
*Gasp* I mean…I am so surprised. Why, I declare! I’ve never read such a thing before. What a novel plot twist.

So Spineless Andi, who do you want country bumpkin Mack or ambitious yet treats you like crap fiancée Bradley? Really hard choices for you, right?
#FirstWorldProblems #MagicBox #NeededWhiskeyToGetThroughTheBook #StillDidntLaugh

Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt

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.

RopedIn_600x900Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Pages: 155 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide 

Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

 

three-half-stars

So I enjoyed this one more then I expected. My only conniption is that it isn’t longer!!! I wish it was because I was enjoying the relationship between Graham and Kaz. Loved the age-gap between the two, even though it’s not specified to much. In my mind it’s a gradual thing. LOL. I hadn’t read the first edition of this book, and the cover is what drew me in. I like the idea of a roper and a protester getting together. These two had to navigate their real life and beliefs outside of sex. Sex was a keystone for both. They fit just right for each other, but outside the bedroom it was them being on two sides of the street.

Graham was dealing with his feelings of being gay. Admitting and acting on it. His only experience seems to come from his best friend/roping partner Jackson. Graham has basically been in love with him for the last ten years and when they do finally do something it scares him off and they’ve been in a awkward place ever since. Meeting Kaz was such a scary but invigorating experience for him. I really liked seeing them go head to head against each other. I like seeing both guys explain what they do and why it’s passionate for them. The D/s relationship was unexpected but I enjoyed it. I loved seeing the chemistry between the two. I know it was fast, but I definitely can see why they enjoyed each other. Graham can finally be free and be himself, and Kaz can be with someone. I enjoyed this alot, and wish it was a full length novel. Happy with what I got as well.

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.

She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Trial by Fire by B.A. Tortuga

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.

TrialByFireLGTrial by Fire by B.A. Tortuga 
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 228 Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon ARe

One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

four-stars

I reckon I should tell y’all how sweet this story is and it was. So sit back and lend this ginger your ear for spell.

I am not going to go into great detail with my review on this book. I am a firm believer that telling you what happens in the book, things that made me surprised should be left to each individual reader so I am gonna hit a few points and let sleeping babies lie in the arms of adorable, rugged and sexy cowboys. You ready? You best get your aww faces on…

When Holden’s twin brother Landon and sister in law Addie die in a plane crash, Holden becomes the one to care for his niece Chloe being left guardianship over the little baby.  But as much as Holden loves his niece,  he is a bit in over his head with running his cattle business,  taking care of a baby, dealing with his aging parents and then a fast talking Aussie comes into the picture with a punch or um,  yeah.

Lachlan, said Aussie, has been searching for his sister Adelaide who ran away from the oppression that comes with the family business only to be met with bad news. She died in a plane crash with her husband, leaving behind one baby girl. When Lachlan arrives in Texas determined to meet his niece and take her back with him, he realizes this family he judged on reputation alone, might not be the worst place for Chloe.

No one knew how he felt but this man right here.

Now, I know I said to get your aww faces on, which is true but this was also a bittersweet story when you remember the catalyst that has brought Holden and Lachlan together with Chloe between them. There is loss here, for both men and both families and that loss, it’s presented in a lovely way that allows the reader to feel and also heal.

This is a story about family and a story about doing what’s best for the greater good and that good is baby Chloe. I loved how she was front and center for the story and how much love she draws to her. Holden is a great daddy, he will move the world for his niece and make sure he does everything in his power to do right by her late parents, even if that means pushing away her relatives from the Land of Oz.  And then you have Lachlan who has come to Texas, determined that Miss Chloe needs to be with her mother’s family, that they have lost so much of Addie already, they cannot miss out on being a part of her daughter’s life.

The men have a rough beginning with one another and yet they are able to put that all behind then and focus as much on the now but not letting go of the past that has brought them together. During a argumentative family moment,  a storm hits that leads to an acknowledged shared grief, where a small touch ignites more than either man know was there and sets the barn on fire… Mmm Hmm. But then, you know things happen and regardless of guilt or innocence, these two cowboys are put to a painful task that makes them lean on each other in more ways than one.

Trial by Fire, or as I like to call it, two cowboys and a baby, was a sweet, steady and yet wild ride that teaches you about second chances and the true meaning of family. Get your aww faces read to watch an Aussie and a Yank fall head over spurs for a tiny baby girl as they fall into each other’s arms.

“Do you think it’ll ever be less odd? Life, I mean.”

“I think we’ll find a new normal.”

 

 

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Justice Healed by Olivia Jaymes

Justice Healed by Olivia JaymesSeries: Cowyboy Justice Association 02
on 2013-12-08
Pages: 265
AmazonB&N
You can’t go home again, but if you do, pretend you want to be there.

Dr. Madison Shay has left Chicago and moved back to her small town roots to take over her father’s medical practice. She’s not the skinny, gawky red haired, four-eyed girl any longer but it sure feels that way. She still remembers the painful teasing from her classmates and always feeling like she didn’t belong. She wants this time to be different but deep down she knows she’ll never be part of the cool crowd.

Sheriff Tanner Marks might have been the captain of the football team years ago but things aren’t as rosy now. He has a son who hates him, and an ex-wife who is about to marry a man Tanner thinks might be a criminal. He doesn’t really have time in his life for a woman. Considering the things he’s done in his past, he’s not sure he deserves one either. He can’t help but feel envious of his friend, Seth Reilly, though. He found the love of a good woman. Is it too much to ask that fate send him someone as well?

Madison and Tanner aren’t looking for love but it feels like the town has other plans. They keep finding themselves thrown together and it’s not unpleasant in the least. In fact, they’re starting to enjoy themselves. There just might be a future for them after all.

When a drug war between two cartels breaks out, their little town is caught in the crossfire. Tanner will call in every favor he can, from the five cowboy cops he trusts most in the world, to keep his town and the woman he loves safe. He’s going to show the bad guys what cowboy justice really means.

Publisher’s warning: This book contains hot sex scenes between a sexy small town sheriff and his very lucky woman, including action in the shower, on the kitchen table, and in front of a roaring fire.

Series description:
The Cowboy Justice Association is a group of six lawmen in Montana who work together to keep the peace. If only they could find that peace in their own lives.
four-half-stars

In the series sophomore effort, Sheriff Tanner Marks would like a romance but isn’t sure he deserves it or has time for one. He’s trying to keep his son from repeating his mistakes as a father and husband; the drug dealers are getting bolder in his territory; his ex-wife is marrying a criminal and; he’s starting to think retirement might not be such a bad thing at his age.

Dr. Madison Shay thinks of herself as the four-eyed, geeky, gawky, awkward 14 year old redhead she was teased for being as she grew up, except now she has a medical degree. Tanner comes to see Madison’s father, for care after a bar fight but Madison’s on duty. Tanner thinks that just fine. He also thinks Madison’s grown into that height and hair just right.

Town wedding planner, Sherry goes through the eligible men in town as she and Madison play a game of pretend matchmaking and lament Madison’s lack of a love life. Sherry decides Tanner would be perfect for Madison and gets the whole town to help get them together. Neither Madison nor Tanner is too upset about it since they like each other already.

Tanner’s obligatory monthly meeting with the other small town sheriff’s in the area to hash over common problems and help each other out as needed, gives the reader a chance to look over these rugged lawmen and pick a favorite. For this outing, both the vigilante and the drug cartels are heating things up and leaving bodies in the boy’s backyards.

This undiscovered gem of a mature series has plenty to recommend it. There are well developed characters, worthwhile drama, action and suspense. It also has just enough humor to make you smile. The leads are generally over 30, the sex is steamy (and in this read very safe sex), plus the story is relatively fast paced, interesting and well written.