Review: Saving Alexander by Susan Mac Nicol

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Book:  Saving Alexander by   Susan Mac Nicol
Pages: 256
Published by: Boroughs Publishing Group
Synposis: Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it.

Famous author though he may be, Alexander Montgomery is not someone you take home to meet Mother. Seriously flawed, damaged by a horrific past, he’s trying hard to claw his way back to normality. But how can anyone respect what he truly is? His therapy involves regular sessions at Study in Scarlet, an exclusive S&M club.

Then comes Sage. Tall, with black hair and blue eyes, an up-and-coming actor with impossible charm and boy-next-door good looks, he’s the perfect choice to play the leading man in a TV adaptation of Alex’s last best-seller. Even more, he is a man you introduce to your family. Which Alex would do—if he weren’t taken by another man who offers the punishments Alex prays will wipe away the past and make him the person he wants to be. Yet, perhaps there is another path to redemption. If only the solution would reach out and touch him.

three-half-stars

This was a very angst-filled, hurt-comfort book featuring an upcoming and coming writer Alexander Montgomery who has turned to S&M to deal with the painful and abuse-filled past. When his series was optioned for a tv show, Alex finds himself infatuated with the lead actor Christopher Sage. I had a harder time decrypting the source of Alex’s agony than I had figuring out the bad guys in this book. But it was so uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure Alex really wanted to live because of the extreme amount of pain he was intentional enduring.

I was so happy that Sage became a source of comfort but I don’t accept Sage’s “black Irish” moods as an excuse for some of his callous behavior and comments concerning the S&M. It was mean and it didn’t show patience after Alex had asked for some time. I just wished that maybe they had sought to see Melanie, Alex’s therapist together to help them navigate this uncharted territory. Melanie was the unsung hero in this novel to me because of her dedication and persistence with helping Alex. Other secondary characters were important too and I enjoyed their inclusion in this couple’s journey.

I like that author tackled such an emotionally heavy subject but this story was painful to read. I was rooting for seriously healing and happiness for two people who have been through such tragic pasts but I felt that Sage could have been more understanding than he was to Alex. I liked this book but I didn’t really connect with Alex and Sage as a couple. I did feel more invested in Alex as a survivor. This book was emotionally difficult for me.

Ezi

About Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little
treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated,
there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason.
She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.

Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea
and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a
little while, good things happen to good people.

Author Contact Links:
Email: susanmacnicol7@gmail.com

Ezi & Mika Dual Review: Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

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.

Block and Strike: by Kelly Jensen
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

four-stars

It’s rare for Ezi and I to want to read the same book. We have completely different taste on books. She wants the angst, and I want to kick it for a punt return. Hell we wanted this book for different reasons. Ezi immediately stated that the blurb was angsty, I wanted it for the child mentioned and the hurt comfort it seemed to be throwing out there. He’s our first dual review ever on Oh My Shelves. Hope you guys enjoys it.

Ezi’s Review

I liked this story because this is a love story that the author took time to develop. This story was well written and the main characters were constructed methodically.

Jacob “Jake” Kendricks was a man who let his temper get the best of him at times, which resulted in a stint in prison. When he was released, Jake resolved to lay low and piece his life back together starting with rebuilding his relationship with his nine-year-old daughter Caroline.

Jake finds his neighbor Gareth Maxwell “Max” Wilson on the steps of their apartment building, beaten to a pulp. After Jake takes Max to the hospital, Jake’s kind heart makes him take pity on a young bullied guy. A sweet friendship developed ensued and later blossomed into love for Jake and Max.

This story was not a fast insta-love type of romance. It was a layered story where the author took her time to build up the characters. I felt invested in both Jake and Max as individual struggling with their various issues as well as their budding romance which was wrought with trust issues. Both characters had to learn to depend on the other as well as heal their own hearts from past hurts.

I haven’t read this author before, but I enjoyed the story-telling. I empathized with all the characters and couldn’t help but root for them. My only issue was the slow pace of the story. I understand it was necessary to really focus on individual struggles of both Jake and Max, but I was hoping for the romance to get underway a lot faster. It also took a while for the author to reveal why Jake spent in prison and I got impatient. Still, at the end I was left very satisfied with the ending. Jake and Max healing each other made everything worth it.

Mika’s Review

Talk about a slow burner! Goodness, my add wasn’t going to allow me to participate any longer if things didn’t happen at the correct time. It’s my third book by Kelly Jensen, and I really love how relatable and realistic her stories make me feel. This book was no different. Jake & Max are two individuals who needed a Win in life. They both have struggled with various issues that has happened to them.

I really adored Jake’s character. I loved how he wanted to protective Max, teach Max, and love Max in a way that he hasn’t been yet. Jake struggles seems minuscule compared to everything Max goes through in this story, but Jake has a way to go. He has to deal with his actions that lead him to prison. In the blink of an eye his life change, and the person who suffered the most was Caroline his daughter. I think Max is good for Jake because being with him teaches Jake patience, and makes Jake want to keep his temper in check.

Max, oh max. Goodness, he pulled at my heart strings continuously. I am so surprised that I didn’t cry. I didn’t shed not one tear, but I really empathized with his character. Max didn’t have any hope for his future. He seems so despondent about life, and yeah life has completed effed him over. No parents to love him, no family to cherish him, and he’s only 22 but seems so much older. I am uber grateful for Jake. Yeah, Jake’s issues is what caused Max pain unbeknownst to both guys, but it also allowed Max to see what real love is. Jake’s love, teaches, friendship and family allowed Max to open up and be confident. It allowed Max a glimpse of a future that is obtainable if he wanted it.

This redemption story on both parts was equally good. It’s a slow burner for sure. The romance is in the background and while it plays a major role, I’d like to think both guys have healing and growing to do separately and together was more important. I will tell you from the books I’ve read by Jensen, that I’ve come to really appreciate her take on the realistic fiction trope in Gay Romance. I love how relatable and normal they are. These are everyday people in her stories, they could be your spouses, brothers, fathers, uncles, and cousins. This is a definite recommend for me. I really liked it!

About Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Born in Australia and raised everywhere else, Kelly now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and herd of four cats. After disproving the theory that water only spins counter-clockwise around drains north of the equator, she turned her attention to more productive pursuits such as reading, writing, writing about reading and writing stories of her own. She also enjoys volunteering at her local library, playing video games and holds a brown belt in Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido and Tang Soo Do. Her family is not intimidated by her.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, short stories, and this bio. She does not consider this bio a seminal work. Her books are much more interesting (and definitely sexier). You can view a list of them here. She has been writing reviews of books and video games for web and print magazines for nearly fifteen years. Her book reviews can be found at SFCrowsnest, Goodreads and here, on her blog.

Currently, she is working on several projects, including a science fiction romance series co-authored with her best friend and writing partner, Jenn Burke. The first three books of the Chaos Station series are available now, with the fourth due in January 2016 from Carina Press.

Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

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.

glass-tidingsGlass Tidings: by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: 2016 Holiday Charity Bundle
Release Date: December 5th, 2016
Pages: 226 • Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Links:
RiptideAmazon

Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus south after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.

He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.

Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.

Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.

But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.

Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.

 

three-stars

 

You guys, I really tried! So much angst, and I can’t live for this.

 

This was suppose to be my second take with Amy Jo Cousins, I have stayed CLEARED away from her since Off Campus. Off Campus was way too angsty for my taste. I’m a chicken. I don’t deal well with angst. Glass Tidings was so hard for me to get through. I kinda got defeated midpoint through the story. I LOATHED the non communication between these two. It was so much internal dialogue, and not enough dialogue between the characters. This is no way in shape form against Cousins, since its her style and people rock with it. It’s just me and my taste doesn’t sway that way.

Because of so much internal monologue going on, I don’t know if I really like Eddie & Gray. I mean, overall I think them enough, but it could be because I wanted the story to be over. Both guys are dealing with internal measures. Eddie is basically a grifter and meets Gray because of witnessing a accident. Gray is a loner, and is okay being a loner. Eddie is a products of the system and for him he doesn’t believe that people do anything for the goodness of their heart. Gray is still reeling from being left from a past lover.

This was definitely a slow burn romance. It took a long time for them to take any step towards romance. It was a lot of walking around each other in circles and the copious amount of internal monologue. It was a bit emotional and so freaking intense, but I think that has to do with the angst. I can’t recommend this for my reading pleasure, because I didn’t like it as much as I expected. It might be perfect for people who enjoy this writing style, and the way the author weaves a story.

About Amy Jo Cousins

Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes contemporary romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with winning.

Private Truths by C.B. Lewis

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.

private-truthsPrivate Truths: by C.B. Lewis
Release Date: December 2, 2016
Pages: 264 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For two role models with their reputations on the line, privacy might be a luxury they can’t afford, and love might be impossible.

After returning from service, Army veteran Jack McCall fought his way back from addiction and joined a charity supporting homeless veterans in London, where he became an inspiration to others. He approaches Edward Marsden, Viscount Routhsley, a known playboy and philanthropist, about sponsorship for his charity. To his surprise, Edward isn’t the shallow pleasure-seeker everyone assumes, and he and Edward share many interests. Little by little, they are drawn together in spite of the different worlds they come from.

But for two men in the public eye, happiness won’t be so easily achieved. Edward fears coming out as gay will shift attention from his charity work, and Jack worries his relationship with the aristocrat will undermine the integrity of his foundation. They come under intense scrutiny, leading to an inevitable clash between Jack and the press who won’t stop harassing them. As what they’ve built comes crashing down, Jack and Edward must make a choice: continue presenting the facade the public expects, or expose the private truths in their hearts so they can be together.

four-half-stars

Okay C.B. Lewis this is 3 for 3 from you. I am in love with your writing and stories. You are so close to being a favorite author for me. Definitely an auto-buy for me. Time Lost is on my Best Books of 2016.

Private Truths is a contemporary romance novel set England. It’s slow paced and methodical in plot. I’ve been dreaming of you writing a contemporary novel and you have blown my expectations. This romance was steady paced with an actual plot. I loved the Nobelman and the Ex-Army guy falling in love. You can see the moment both guys start falling in love. Their relationship was purely sex at a point, but after an unfortunate event they care thrust together and the love, trust and devotion gradually makes an interest. Told from Jack’s pov and brilliant done, I really got to see the starting point of Jack’s interest in Edward and his love for his job.

Jack works at Those Returned a charity for veterans. Jack is uber passionate about his job. He loves making the nightly runs whether its feeding his brother in arms, or clothing them, or just checking up on them. Jack talks about his past sparingly. We know he suffered injuries while in the military. Certain incidents happen when events from 5 years ago becomes public. He’s closed himself off to his best friend because of an accident. I would call him a loner. Outside of his job and co-workers he doesn’t do much. That’s until he meets Viscount Routhsley. A blond bombshell with enough money to sponsor Those Returned. Jack makes it his mission to get Edward to invest into his charity. What starts as shameless flirting leads to other things.

I think Edward surprised me the most. When we read about Nobelman or people of nobility its always seem like they are bourgeois type, high handed type, or the looking down on folks kind. Edward and his parents were the opposite of all of this. I think he might be my favorite Nobelman. He was super down to earth, sweet, compassion and generally cared about Jack’s well being. I loved the chemistry that they both had with one another. The joking, laughing, gentleness was so much needed in my reading. I needed a real romance and I think this fit the bill on anything that I can ever ask for.

Jeez, this is what I asked for. Now, I’m sitting here thinking on what next can C.B. right for me. Idk. I love her science fiction, and obviously her contemporary novels. I don’t care at this point, I just want her to write and produce a novel every 3 months for me. I need more from her. I highly recommend this book. I highly recommend her Out of Time Series. You will not be disappointed in any of these books.

About C.B. Lewis

A book-lover from infancy, C.B. has been writing and telling stories for as long as she can remember. Based in Edinburgh, she has diverse tastes and will quite happily attempt to write any genre, but always come back to history, fantasy, and sci-fi like an old friend. C. B. Lewis is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She has been writing and telling tales for almost as long as she can remember, and has a brain that constantly fizzes with an abundance of ideas. If she’s not working on half a dozen things at once, it should be considered a slow day. She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. A lot of the travel has also been research-based, and if pointed at any historical event, she will research it vociferously, just because she can. Normally, she is based in Edinburgh, where she tends toward the hermit-lifestyle, needing nothing but a kettle, a constant supply of tea, and – of course – the internet. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas, and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.

Bender by Gene Gant

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.

BenderLGBender by Gene Gant
Release Date: June 16, 2016
Pages: 86 • Format: eARC
Published By: Harmony Ink Press
Purchase Links:
Harmony InkAmazonARe

A Harmony Ink Press New Adult title appropriate for ages 16+

Nineteen-year-old Mace Danner is a college freshman—and a male prostitute. He specializes as a submissive-for-hire to dominant clients. Mace has never experienced any erotic longings, but his profession satisfies much darker needs. He believes he deserves the abuse because he was responsible for the death of his brother. When ill-treatment at the hands of customers isn’t penance enough, Mace turns to the bottle, hoping to drink away the demons still plaguing him.

RA Dex Hammel doesn’t like the road he sees Mace going down, and he offers his help before it’s too late. There’s no denying the chemistry between the two young men, but a lingering lack of physical desire continues to confuse and upset Mace. He seems set on destroying himself, and Dex might not be able to save him.

three-stars

Trigger warning:Physical Assault

So I’ve read a previous book by this author and loved it. I’m okay with the no sex on page and I love the cover. This was a little heavier then I thought it would be. Mace is a 19 year old who decided to sale his body for money. I’m almost certain he didn’t need to do it. Yeah he’s a college student and they have bills, and his parents had to move to Springfield, but he could have gotten another job. His reasoning for selling his body all was internally. He didn’t get sexual gratification from sex. He doesn’t even get an erection during these times. No with his clients he gets the humiliation and degradation that he needs to live on. He is suffering from an enormous about of guilt surrounding his brother’s death. Mace hasn’t dealt with it. It’s as if he’s just floating by in the world. He has no friends, he keeps communication between his parents to a minimum. He’s an empty vessel in fact.

Along the way he meets Dex one of his resident advisers. I like Dex, but certain actions of his or his words confounded me. I mean, Mace explained some things, and went through some thing and you get frustrated about his performance. I was perturbed by that big time. He turned me off, and yeah I was able to forgive him. Mace went through a brutal attack that seriously pissed me off since one of his attackers was their at every corner he turned. I was so mad. It made me emotional because he couldn’t escape and I’m so happy that he sought out help before his harmed himself. Not only is he dealing with this guilt, but he’s dealing with his sexuality. He’s never been attracted to people sexually. It fact he doesn’t get an erection ever outside of his normal facilities. I do like the fact that he was able to get help and talk to someone. I’m not okay with the physical violence in the story, but it’s life things happened. I swear I wish he would have reported it, but I know where he was coming from. I do like the author’s style of story telling, and can’t wait for more from him.

About Gene Gant

‘m Tennessean by birth, a resident of Memphis for most of my life. I tried living in a few northern cities after graduating from college, but I couldn’t take the brutal winters, and I missed good ol’ southern barbecue. Now I make my home on a country lane outside of Memphis. When I’m not reading, working out, watching movies or spending time with family and friends, you can find me tapping away at my computer.

Black Dust by Lynn Charles

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.

Black Dust 900px COVER (web Tumblr)Black Dust by Lynn Charles 
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Pages: 312 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
InterludeAmazon ARe • Indiebound • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble iBooks • Book Depository

No matter how busy he keeps himself, successful Broadway musician Tobias Spence can’t outrun the memory of a tragic car crash from his past that claimed a friend’s life and permanently injured his former boyfriend, Emmett.

Even after losing Tobias, Emmett Henderson made peace with that awful night, living in his Indiana hometown where he has become a revered choral director. When his students are asked to perform in New York City, he decides to chance reconnecting with his former love, if for no other reason than to get a proper goodbye.

When Emmett and Tobias finally meet 15 years after parting ways, it is clear to both of them that their feelings for each other have not changed. As they explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

three-half-stars

I was on the fence about asking for this book. I went back and forth about 5 times because I decided. I’d never read anything by this author but the cover kept calling for me. I’m glad it did, because I liked it. Do you ever get ragey mad when reading a book? I do all the time. I get so angry at the characters that I want to DNF a book. This book made it to my hulk rage stage. I was so angry at Tobias, and honestly I don’t know if I like him. Black Dust could have been a 5 star read for me. It lacked the emotional response to be that was needed with this second chance love trope. It was really good writing, and I enjoyed the story. But a select few emotional feelings wasn’t good enough to give it 5 stars. Certain areas of the book I could see where people would get emotional and connect with these characters. I felt like the emotional parts weren’t executed well. It’s like the cues were off for reader to book. I didn’t connect emotionally and for an emotional reader like myself it’s needed. Another thing that took away from the story was the music as a main character. I love that it’s the focal point for Emmett and Tobias. It’s where their love started and ends. It was so such a big component and for a person that isn’t musically knowledgeable it took away from the story.

“Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”

Onto what I loved. Emmett. Emmett, and more Emmett. The man is such a good person. Gah!!! Everything about him worked for me. Here’s where second chance love stories work. Emmett who has forgiven Toby for everything including the accident and walking away was able to try. It was Emmett saying the past is the past, and I’m looking forward to the future. Everything about him as a character was what I love about reading. He is content with his life now, and yes wants Toby in it. I loved that he didn’t give up, even after Toby walked out again. I liked that he was brutal and relentless towards Toby. I love that he owned his despair in his life. He owned up to not being okay after the accident, not living his hopes and dreams. I love that he handled it. It’s not cute, easy, rainbows or sunshine. It was hard work, and he had people in his life to help him through it, but mainly he had himself. Toby has been running away from his self so long. I felt bad for him, to not have any roots down due to his grief was overshadowing everything. I’m writing this and realizing it was an emotional read for me because I was angry most of the time. I was angry at Toby for hurting Emmett, and hurting himself as well. I was angry at Tobias for walking away like that. I was angry for not giving Emmett more of himself, and mostly I was angry at him for not being able to forgive himself. I had to realize, that I can’t dictate a person’s grief. I have to realize that just because I felt like he needed to come to terms with it doesn’t mean that he needs to it. Things happen in people’s life when it’s meant to me. I enjoyed this author’s style of writing. I look forward to more from her.

About Lynn Charles

Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.

Foxes 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.

Foxes by Suki Fleet  26238271
Release Date: February 8, 2016
Pages: 274  • Published by: Dreamspinner Press Format: eARC
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner •  Amazon • ARe

When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

five-stars

 

Can’t lifetimes be measured in heartbeats? The faster a heart goes, the less time you have?

If the above is true, must be close to death then after reading this. I can’t stop my heart from beating so fast it hurts. It hurts. I hurt and yet the hurt is a complete comfort.

There is a theme with Suki’s books; the ever plentiful absence of parental figures, the absence of speech either voluntary or not and there is the over whelming theme of boys doing things for survival that most of us don’t think about. There is this void with her characters but it’s the fortitude of not giving up that makes the void fill and spill over with hope.

The big thing about Suki and her books is you get immersed in them. From the first word and a dip of your ill formed pinky toe, you think you are testing the waters of the world she creates, when in reality, you’ve already jumped in with both feet. You’ve jumped in and didn’t realize it until your chest becomes so tight because you haven’t come up for air. You’ve held your breath and let the gorgeous misty words fill your chest as you blissfully drown in the context of the story.

I want to tell you all about this story but I don’t know how to. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful. It’s angsty and amazing. This book, is everything and there are things I think I caught on to more because of myself or maybe because the author is like me?

Maybe she is like me because what I also loved is the sneaky way the author sneaks songs into the book. I guess, if you don’t know them you wouldn’t notice them but just like a song by The Smiths got tossed into TiNaLS, there are songs from The Cure in this that shredded my already stomped on heart. I mean, come on! If Only Tonight We Could Sleep and Pictures of You. Smith and Fleet as a duo of angst? One does not survive unscathed, I promise you.

If I had a single wish right now, it would be for someone to hold on to, or for someone to hold on to me. Not because they feel obliged to, or because they have to, but because they want to, because they want me.

Danny. What has happened to him? OMG. This kid, from the first page I wanted to hug and cuddle him until he gave in and hugged me back. I want to give Danny all the warmth, all the warm showers and flowers and food and a cool room to sleep deep under warm blankets. I want to give him a room full of things that need to be fixed, not because he needs them as trade but because it’s what he does. I want him to look at himself with as much want and love as he deserves and I want him to accept it. To accept that he is beautiful because of who he is and how he loves and protects those who matter… even when they ask why he doesn’t give up.

OMG! This book, it hurt me so damn good.

Micky, good lord this kid. I got him and his want to help people but inability to deal with it. I really get it because I am the same way. I get that it’s too much at times to just be yourself and deal with your own issues but taking on the issues of others, it’s crushing to the soul. But Micky is beautiful, sparkly and everything that a boy like Danny needs but what is going on with them? How will they make this new fragile thing called love work?

These boys. This story, it was amazing but it’s Suki Fleet so it’s what I expect. The layers of story and character are achingly peeled away until you are raw. You can’t help but feel what these characters go through as you read their story. This isn’t just story- it’s an entire universe of bright skies, of tumbling warm feelings and emotions so big, they can’t be contained to one continent. It’s so ridiculously gorgeous that I can’t tell you enough how much I loved reading it.

Fragile things, every single one of them. Lives are so terrifyingly easy to break. And yet, I love every single second. If I didn’t love it, it wouldn’t hurt so much.

Yeah… that.

 

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.

Lollipop, (Candy Man #3) by Amy Lane

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.

LollipopLollipop by Amy Lane  Series: Candy Man
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Pages:  250 • Published by: Dreamspinner Press  Format: eARC
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner •  Amazon • ARe

Ezra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.

Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.

 

 

four-half-stars

Miguel was on the lookout for one more thing to make Ezra happy, one more thing to talk to him about, one more thing to keep their growing friendship alive and thriving.

Oh my goodness, my feelings were in happy sugary sweetness overdrive!!!! Amy Lane has made me happy, and I didn’t cry. Yes!!! I think this was my very first book by her and I didn’t shed a damn tear. Ha, you take that you Temptress of Tears & Angst!!! From the very beginning to the end I was in love with these two characters. I honestly think these might be my two favorite characters by her. Ezra is a doll, no a kitty cat that needs love! He broke my heart, but then pieced it together with his strength. Miguel surprised me, I didn’t expect this from him at all. Miguel needs to be put on the pedestal and I don’t say that often about characters.

This is book 3 in the Candy Man series, and best far the greatest all of all. I love Adam & Finn a tons, they are great together. Derek & Rico are okay as well. But this friends to lovers trope is beautifully done. Ezra has flown to Sacramento trying to get that old thing back in Rico, but unbeknownst to him Rico has moved on. Stuck on a lawn with nobody sees me Miguel and this is fate at it’s finest. I didn’t know how this was going to work out at all. Ezra seemed so shattered and broken, and I am so happy to see that he got to enjoy his life a little. He was extremely kind, and the littlest things made him smile. I think I was grinning from ear to ear. Seeing him with Miguel’s nieces & nephews had me awwing all over the place. His conversations with Therese was adorable as well. His life hasn’t been easy or his own’s for the longest that he hasn’t got a clue what he wants to do or who he wants to me. One thing for certain is Miguel is always going to watch his back. I think Ezra was meant to be for Miguel. He was just waiting around to find someone to need and keep him for a change. Miguel is the best. I understood him, it’s hard having a voice when you have 5 siblings. I enjoyed laid back Miguel a ton, but when jealous & possessive Miguel came out it was Muy Caliente. It was a different Miguel, an assertive Miguel.

Both guys are so good for one another confidence and ego. I think Amy Lane killed it with the dialogue between these two guys. You can see the love and devotion blossoming before our eyes. I highlighted so many good parts in this story. It’s my first favorite book of the new year! Well done.

And then Ezra simplified all of that, boiling it down to the one thing that was most important, and so so simple. “Love you, Miguel,” he panted against the bed. “Love me too?” Of course he did.

About Amy Lane

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.