Dinner for One by Meg Harding

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.

dinner-for-oneDinner for One by Meg Harding
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe  B&N

Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

four-half-stars

I think Meg Harding is in my brain at times and it’s the coolest thing I can think to have happen to me though she doesn’t know she is in my brain. I just think she is there because each time I read a new book from her, every one of my likes is checked off and she just nails it. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

So this book. It was really good and super full of sexy times mixed with a whole lot of food porn. Food porn is never a bad thing and the way the men in this book use food it oh so delectable.

So, to make a quick note of the set up: So, James is an important food critic for the New York Times and he gives a rather unfavorable review to L’amour Dans La Ville that Bastien owns. When James attends a bake sale with his brother and sister in law and formally meets Bastien the attraction to the fair skinned curly haired ginger with blue eyes is instatnt. When James learns the restaurant Basiten owns the doubt of anything happening sets in as James knows there is no way Bastien would give him a chance if he knew who James was.   Goodness. I want to smack James a bit for listening to his family on what to do about Bastien and keeping his job from him and yet, I want to just sit back and let it all play out because what is life without a bit of drama? BORING… am I right?

He doesn’t know what he can do. If there even is anything to do. How would he feel if he were in Bastien’s place? He’d be pretty mad, probably. Wouldn’t ever want to talk to him again. This, he thinks, is all stuff he should have considered before he started this stupid farce.

When Bastien offers James a chance to dine at his restaurant, he doesn’t think he’ll take him up on the offer but then he shows up. He shows up and not only gives Bastien a chance, he gives his food a second chance and realizes that he made a mistake with his review.

Reviews… let me just take a moment and say reviewing this book makes me a bit anxious. I am a little odd with my reviews as I know I ramble and they are more of me talking than formally reviewing.  You see, I mean, the whole story is based on a less than favorable review and how that plays into both men’s lives and relationships and while I know I loved this book, that I am not going to meet the author and fall in love, it’s still odd to find the words.

BUT… this was so damn good my anxiety can take a back seat. I adored the instant attraction between James and Bastien. I adored how much time they spent together and how their chemistry fly of the page and made me blush. Yeah, these two were hella sexy in and out of bed and when you add all the food into the mix? I am one satisfied ginger over here.

Yes, this relationship begins on an omission of career and yet, I am totally okay with that. I know that some have a firm line drawn in the sand when it comes to lies in romance but in real life, there are things you do keep from those you care about to not hurt them. Some you never let be known and others, you finally spill your guts for one reason or another so for me, James not telling Bastien what he does for his day job was okay and handled more than satisfactorily down the road.

I think it’s great you’re happy. I think it sucks it’s going to fall apart because you’re a moron.

The family interaction on the book just made me smile. Both men have amazing families and from what I have learned, this is the first book in a series based on James’ brothers… I wonder who we are gonna get next?

Now, there is some kink in this book and boy howdy did it heat up the pages. Yeah, it’s totally hot. I love that Bastien wants to capitulate to James and that James is more than willing to be all toppy. I loved that the kink was there but that it wasn’t overplayed and didn’t overwhelm the contemporary romance, more like it was the perfect seasoning to the perfect dish. Goodness, I promised myself I wouldn’t use food references in this but I just had to.

Dinner for One was a sweet, sexy and succulent romance. I adored the hell out of both men but have to give a hug to my fellow ginger Bastien for making James fall head over heels with all his wonderful ginger traits. I loved everything about this and hope that if you give it a try, you’ll love it too.

About Meg Harding

Meg Harding is a graduate student, currently studying MA Publishing in the UK. She plans to continue on to become an editor, all while continuing to write. When she isn’t writing she enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV.

Review Tour – Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote

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.

30234682Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote
Series: Housemates, Book Three
Release Date:June 22, 2016
Pages: 168 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jaybird Press
Purchase Link:
Amazon

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

This book is a complete story and can be read as a stand-alone.

four-half-stars

Okay. I am going to attempt a short review and not ramble per my norm but I have to say that I want to give Jay Northcote the biggest hug possible right now and I am not a hugger. You see, I’ve been in this weird sort of a book slump, not really wanting to read and most of what I picked up didn’t capture my attention, until I met Dev and Ewan and stayed up to read and fall in love.

Goodness. First let me say that yes, this can be read as a stand alone because I read it as one and while the couples from books one and two are present, they don’t take away from the story nor overshadow it though I will tell you, I am going back to read both of them very soon.

It was so much easier when they let their bodies do the talking. There was no misunderstanding when it came to this simple, physical desire.

This book was adorable, and sexy as hell and that my friends is the perfect combination to sell me on a book. GAH! I loved that the meet cute between Dev and Ewan was so ridiculously awkward but so adorable as well. Ewan is such a stand-up guy – and a ginger with freckles *swoon* – that though he mistakenly opens a package delivered to the wrong address, when he sees what’s inside, he takes it to the rightful owner. I LOVED this moment and how real it was. That is something I love about Northcote’s writing, it’s real and you don’t have to suspend reality to get into the story. I’ve received numerous packages that weren’t mine and had to take them to the right house, though my adventures never turned out the way Ewan’s did but still, things like this happen and people meet in all sorts of ways.

So anyway. Ewan takes Dev his package (yes, I am giggling at package) and then after a session on Grindr and seeing Dev’s profile, Ewan makes a decision to help Dev out and to save him from creepy dudes. I cannot say how much I loved how the boys progressed through their studies. The first kiss is always a favorite of mine and the first kiss with Dev and Ewan was so emotional that the chemistry was never in question and I too waited for each Friday night so we could all check items to do off Dev’s list.

I have to quickly mention that the reason Dev moves into the house with Rupert’s help kicked me in the gut. It was tough to read and knowing that jerks exist like that in the world, hurt my heart but I am do glad that Dev has the help and support of awesome people in his life.

Ugh and double ugh.

Dev, a man after my own heart with his lists and his practicality at everything he does, even sex.  It was so sweet to see him be able to be himself completely with Ewan and watch Ewan fall for all that Dev is and really GET who Dev is. Ewan… I fell hard and fast for him, almost as fast as I fell for Dev but these two were amazing together. All the sexy and the sweet, it was the best balance and really worked for me.

“Jesus, you like the dirty talk, then? You’re pretty kinky for a virgin.”

“I wasn’t trying to talk dirty. I just want to know what you like.”

“Somehow, that makes it hotter.”

Yeah, have I mentioned that this book was hot, because it totally was. It was so sexy, and sensual and fun though it had me holding my breath while I waited for the boys to talk it out and tell each other how they felt. It was, well… the perfect book for me at the perfect time and I am grinning as I write this because I thought my reading ability was broken. It wasn’t and now I have a wonderful story about lists, maths, cooking, first times, new friends and the romance that a girl like me lives for.

Practice Makes Perfect was hot and it was sweet and it had just the right amount angst for story about a boy who wants assistance with completing his sex to do list with a boy who realizes he wants to be more… well more than a friend with benefits.

About Jay Northcote

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with his husband, two children, and two cats. He comes from a family of writers, but he always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, he decided to try and write a short story—just to see if she could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary gay romance about men who fall in love with other men, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. He enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in his head to life through his words. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also publishes his own titles under the imprint Jaybird Press. Some of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is a transgender man and was formerly known as she/her.

Out of Frame (In Focus #3) by Megan Erickson

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.

Out of FrameOut of Frame by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 202 • Format: eARC
Published By: InterMix
Purchase Links:
iBooksAmazon Kobo

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.
 
And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.
 
At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he’s bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams…

four-stars

“Even though I really liked the girls, I felt like I was lying to them. They’d be like, ‘Oh damn, that Idris Elba is fine,’ and I wanted to be like, ‘Fuck yeah, I know, right? I’d hit that.'”

Dude, she totally wrote that for me. Everyone online knows who I swoon for. Gosh I love Idris Elba so much!!!! Thank you for including that.(If you didn’t write that for me, don’t tell anyone you didn’t ;D). Meeting Quinn from book two and reading about his character in this book was a bit of a refreshment for me. I loved the realistic ways Megan writes this series. I need to say this people this isn’t a GFY/OFY. J.R states the entire book that he’s bi-sexual. It isn’t a revelation that he has when he sees Quinn. I think that needs to be said, because I don’t want his sexuality to be taken from him. He was adamant about being who he is, but he couldn’t be out because of his career. It’s not so hard to see that, seeing as men don’t want their sexuality to dictate what job they can get or do. I freaking get, and loved him way much more.

Quinn’s mom giving him those sea bands were one of the most sweetest moments. Looked what the outcome was. I really liked Quinn, I didn’t see him as introverted as he stated to be most of the time, but that could be because he was on a spring break cruise with other college students drunk most of the time. Alcohol does give you liquid courage. I definitely connected with Quinn on the stifling or overprotective parents front. Not at his age maybe in my teens for sure. He couldn’t be himself, or grow to learn or make mistakes. When he opened up, I definitely saw that ginger side come out of him. I really enjoyed how understanding he was with Jay.

“It’s not even just about wanting to be with Quinn, or another guy. This is about me. It’s about being black and queer and compromising because that’s all I’ve ever done in my fucking life, you know?”

It was something about Jay as a character that grabbed at my heart. He’s not a character that I’ve read about before. He acknowledged liking both sexes. I felt so raw when he described his reasons for not coming out. I literally wanted to scream for him, because not once did he think about himself. He made a decision at 18, that unfortunately he hates 4 years later. He can’t just come out because all he thinks about is his brother’s medical bills, helping his parents out, he thinks about the fans & masses who he lied to for all these years. He has been told that his career wouldn’t be what it is, he’s afraid of having nothing. Reading his dialogue, I just got it. I liked what Quinn & Jay were able to mean to each other. Quinn had someone finally noticing him, and Jay had someone who knew the real him. Of course Megan physical scenes were hot, and while the dirty talk was severely lacking. I actually wanted filthy dirty talk, but hopefully we’ll get some in the next book. I’ll leave us with this line from Quinn that I liked.

He noticed me. And I made him feel special.

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.