At Attention 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.

At Attention: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform, #2
Release Date: April 10th, 2017
Pages: 209 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links: Carina Press BooksAmazonKobo

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

two-half-stars

 

You know, I’ll admit I waffle if I should give this book 3 stars for the author, or the actual story. I had to go with my gut on this. This was a disappointing read. I struggled throughout the entire story. My biggest thing is that we’ve read this scenario before. There was nothing new or exciting for the same thing again and again. I love Annabeth’s work tremendously but it took everything in me to power through and read it. I seen all the high rating, and love for it. I had to wonder was we reading the same book. The general formula of a widower and a crush getting together was just it. There was nothing significantly interesting to me. Not one point. If I read ten pages then I forgot what the first 5 were. I even put it down for a while to read something else, and it still didn’t draw me in or give me a glimpse of hope that it gets better.

I liked Apollo from book 1. I guess in his book he lost all the sparkle and excitement that I wanted to read about. Yes he was a caring father, and a tad overprotective but that’s human nature. He’s grieving and still in the mindset about Neal. I don’t know how he feels about Dylan honestly. Even at the end, I sort of was not buying his feelings. I guess they feel forced to me. On Apollo’s side it just felt physical. I didn’t see the attraction outside of that, and I’m bothered by this mostly.

I know Dylan has always liked Apollo so I can believe his attraction. He does some classic stupid things, but they are classic and one reason this trope is so popular. Trying to only stay physical without getting their emotions involved is dumb. One because Dylan’s emotions were already there and they just came back full fledged. This was really a contemporary novel nothing really major happens outside of the story.

I tried and tried to read and get involved with the story but it just seemed liked missed connections to me. I will read book 3 because I know Annabeth’s stories work well for me. I just didn’t like this one at all.

 

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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.

Dear Santa, Dear Dad by T.J. Masters

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.

dear-santa-dear-dadDear Santa, Dear Dad: by T.J. Masters
Release Date: December 14th, 2016
Pages: 48 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

2nd Edition

Two days before Christmas, widower Steven drives to the North of England to meet his estranged son, Andy, hoping for a reconciliation. Steven rejected his son when, as a nineteen-year-old student, Andy came out to his parents. Andy now enjoys a happy and fulfilling relationship with Peter, who initiates contact with Steven by forwarding an almost childlike letter to Santa, in which Andy asks for a father who loves him.

Andy isn’t quick to forgive his father, but the bad weather conspires to strand them all together over the holidays. Father and son experience a steep learning curve, not helped by Steven’s realization that his son’s lover is older than he is. But proximity and familiarity have a way of breaking down barriers, and if all three men can work together in the spirit of cooperation, this Christmas might be one that changes their lives forever.

First Edition published by Amazon Digital Services, 2013.

two-stars

Okay this didn’t go at all how I expected it to go. The blurb is clear, BUT it’s needs to be stated that the romance isn’t the main character or from the POV of the main character. I feel completely mislead. I like the idea that Steven wants to reconcile with his son who he completely turned away from for being gay. I’m all for making amends, but I do not want it to happen at the expanse of my holiday story or it to be the entire plot for the story.

I really didn’t get a chance to know Peter or Andrew. I would have liked alternating pov’s for the couple, or at least to get their feelings on the situation. I definitely don’t think it should be classified as a romance at all. It wasn’t a romance for the main person, it was more a redemption story and making amends during the holidays. I didn’t really care for it. I wish it could have focused on Adrew & Peter and the making amends storylines had played second fiddle.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

More Than Okay by Bru Baker

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

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:More Than Okay by Bru Baker
Release Date: September 28, 2016
Pages:58 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Something in Jake’s relationship with Connor is changing, and not for the better. The only thing that’s been growing between them recently is silence, and when Connor starts lying about where he’s been and slipping out of bed at night, Jake fears the worst.

Jake gets the surprise of his life when he finds out what Connor has really been doing. It couldn’t be further from what he’d expected. Instead of ending the relationship, Connor has been building up to taking the next step together with a huge romantic surprise for Jake.

The scare shows Jake what’s really important, and the ordeal might make them stronger and bring them closer together than ever before.

two-stars

I don’t do well with the miscommunication trope. It makes me want to punch random people. I do not like it. I can’t stand it and this is the gist of this short story. I’m not sure what’s the point of the story if it’s going to be miscommunication for 80% of the novella. I didn’t find anything reassuring. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t even want to push through a 60 page book. I honestly spent most of the time rolling my eyes at the absurdity. The whole reminiscing of the past seems irrelevant for the amount of pages that this is. I feel like if that was going to happen then it could have been longer. Besides the sex nothing else was good. I won’t even speak on the reveal. Unless you want an entire review filled with angry eye rolls, and destruction gifs then its best that I leave it alone. That’s an issue, if I all I wanted was a smutty book then I could have choose something else. I’m not trying to be mean, but the trope took away any amount of happiness or joy I could have while reading this. The writing was the only semi-good thing going on.

About Bru Baker

Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers’ advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone’s willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.