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:
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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.

 

signature-fonts

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.

Working It by Christine D’Abo

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.

Working It: by Christine D’Abo
Series: Ringside Romance #1
Release Date: February 6, 2017
Pages: 247 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
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Nolan Carmichael is getting a fresh start—new career, new company, new life. The only problem is, he liked his old life just fine . . . until an accident robbed him of his health, his job, his self-confidence, and his ability to go out in public without having anxiety attacks.

Zack Anderson has scared away his last four administrative assistants. So when he hires Nolan on a whim, he’s not too worried, since Nolan will be gone within the week anyway. Two weeks later, Nolan has made himself indispensable, completely reforming Zack’s schedule, life . . . and libido.

But in a company already torn by internal politics, one wrong step could ruin both their careers. And not only are they working to reopen Ringside Gym, Zack’s retreat when he was a troubled teen, but they also can’t help themselves falling for each other. If only the rest of their lives could go as smoothly as things do when they’re alone together.

three-half-stars

 

Dude!!! What happened???? The first half of the story was going extremely well, and then it declined rapidly. Hmm no. That’s not how it was suppose to happen at all. Working it was going well as enemies to lovers story. I recall stating in previous reviews that I don’t like clingy, needy, or PUSHOVERS as characters. I know realistically they are out there, but I really hate it. Nolan was going well as a character, but then at some point, he decided to be a pushover. It’s nothing wrong with it in a committed relationship, but someone like Zach will always be able to pushover a potential lover because he doesn’t have to own up to anything. FFS, it wasn’t that serious, and a day could have waited. I’m just a strong willed woman, and I refuse to accept certain behaviors from people.

Nolan is trying to get a fresh start again in life. After a life altering accident he is willing himself to get back into the world. Dealing with anxiety and panic attacks doesn’t make it easy. He decides to take a job where his skills exceed his skills. Sure he’s skittish at first, but something in him calls to Zach. Difficult Zach, who is super abrasive, demanding, and not a people person at all. Zach seems to have all this pent up frustration and anger inside of him. He’s super demanding, and doesn’t seem to have a heart. With all these qualities, I had to stop to think what about Nolan called to him. Why, Nolan? He was on the cusp of an anxiety attack during their first meeting. It couldn’t be attraction, because both stated numerous times how they weren’t each other types. Not knowing each of Zach’s backstory I can only presume that besides Nolan being the opposite of him, he’s always never cared for someone. This is something that I wish the author would have wrote about. I would have loved to see a backstory on Zach. I can definitely see when the chemistry between the two started, sure it moved fairly quickly. I do think professional wise that they work wonders together. It shows a glimpse of how they could be personally. I really loved seeing the difference between Zach and his careers. The CTO job is just a stepping stone to something he loves. The Boxing gym that saved his life is something that he is putting his blood, sweat, and tears into. I think seeing more of this in a potential epilogue would have garnered a higher rating from me. 

I didn’t like the Miranda obstacle in the story. That sentence seems a little mean, but that story line did nothing for the story. I don’t like filler information, and I didn’t gain anything from it. Zach’s reaction to the situation was spot on. I’m still confused on what the author was trying to show with it. It didn’t help at all. **Sigh**, the L word was used at the end. Do I think it was to early? Yes, these two have a lot to work on, and we didn’t get to see them grow at all. All in all, I thought it started off really well, but declined around the 50% part of the story. I will read book two. This was an ok read for me.

About Christine D’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

My thoughts on any of my Goodreads reviews are only my opinion as a reader. I don’t post anything here that I’d give less than three stars to.

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.

Anthony by J.P. Barnaby

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.

o-anthonyAnthony by J.P. Barnaby
Series: Survivor Stories, Book Four
Release Date: June 27, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.

Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.

Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.

four-stars

You have no idea on how long I’ve been waiting for this book!!!!

No worries because she lives up to the expectation. This series is so devastatingly hard to get through. It puts your emotions through the ringer for sure. But you know what, I didn’t even cry, much. I feel slightly cheated on that front. I wanted wracking pain and emotion! I should be able it wasn’t, right? LOL. I’m such a masochist for this series. Even though book 2 doesn’t exist in my world.

Well it took forever, but her stories always deliver. I mean you can see Anthony crying out for help in Spencer’s book. Ugh I went into rage mode because of his parents. It’s like they forgot about their youngest child. I know the focus was and is on Aaron. He went through a traumatic experience that it’s hard for any parent to just stop caring for him and moving on.

Anthony is the youngest of the bunch. I think he was 9 years old when he had to move down to the basement. A basement he was scared of. He had to fight the demons at home and at school. Gosh, my protective instincts were on high alert in this book. I am still ragey mad by certain things that have happened in the book that didn’t get talked about, but I’ll let you read for yourselves.

“Being invisible was exhausting.
Like bouncing off transparent walls in an attempt to escape, only no one else sees the walls.
Ever.”

I won’t give away the plot, but Anthony’s impulsiveness shows through his age. I mean, he didn’t think things through in the beginning, and this could have went another way. Meeting Patrick saved his life.

Patrick and Brendan are bother suffering it seems. Living with the brutal death of their father and a constant reminder with the crime isn’t a happy place. I will admit, I didn’t know which road we were going for a bit. Both guys are dealing with things internally and Anthony comes along and it’s like everyone eyes are open. They figure out how to work together. What it means to have one another? Anthony and Brendan come together in a special way.

Anthony has a lot to learn. He has to figure out what he wants in life. I liked the pairing of him and Brendan. It kinda forced Brendan to start caring about himself. It forced Brendan to open his eyes, and realize that he’s still alive. Regardless of everything else, he’s living, barely if that.

I don’t know what the future holds for the series. I will admit, I missed Spencer in this book. He’s my favorite. Barnaby has written a thought out series. It’s emotional, heartbreaking and leaves everyone wanting to stand in from of these guys. I’d be happy if this was the end of the Survivor Series, because it’s not the end to the survivors but the beginning.

Time for them to live.

About J.P. Barnaby

JP Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over two dozen books, including Aaron and the Little Boy Lost Series. She recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta to appease her Camaro who didn’t like the blustery winters. JP specializes in recovery romance, but slips in a few erotic or comedic stories to spice things up. When she’s not hanging out with hot guys in leather, she binge watches superheroes and crime dramas on Netflix. A physics geek, she likes the science side of Sci-Fi, and wants to grow up to be Reed Richards.

Dormant Heart by Lane Swift

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.

DormantHeartLGDormant Heart by Lane Swift 
Release Date:  
Pages: • Published by: Dreamspinner Press  • Format:  eARC
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner • Amazon • ARe

Amateur photographer Josh Thornton is out but not so proud. He’s estranged from his family, his boyfriend dumped him, and his job at an estate agency is in jeopardy—especially after he crashes his boss’s car in the middle of nowhere on his way to Hartley Manor.

Callum Black works at the English country estate and lives there in an isolated cottage. Left mute by a childhood accident, he’s more comfortable in the company of animals than people. But when Josh—literally—crashes into his life with his camera and his friendship, Callum realizes his peaceful solitude has been more than a little lonely.

Josh’s affection for Callum deepens even as he’s consumed by doubts over Callum’s sexuality and whether Callum could ever love him. And Callum is haunted by the secret that stole his voice—a secret that keeps him tethered to Hartley Manor. When the past comes hurtling painfully back into the present, Josh and Callum have to overcome their fears and breathe life back into their dormant hearts in order to have a chance at their own picture-perfect future.

 

four-stars

 

This was my first time reading from this author, and I enjoyed it a lot. My terms of category would be romance story with a side of realistic fiction for two please! I am happy we got dual point of views from Josh and Callum. I liked both characters a lot, but Josh stole away at my heart. This story is about friendship, love and little bit of self-discovery. Neither guys were given the chance to learn about themselves. Sure they went through two different paths, but it shows in their coming together how they each have grown. I think the author did good job on the writing of the story, and the tone that she was able to keep. Even with the romance playing a background at some points, I still really liked it.

I’d like to add him to my boys who needs comforting pile straight away. He comes off super lonely in this story even when he is around people and with Callum. Godness those moments of despair that he showed had my eyes watering up. He’s 23 and yeah that’s considered a grown man, but he still needed comfort, love, recognition. It doesn’t seem like he ever had it. I freaking loved that he didn’t give up or just fall into a pit of pity. I wanted to wring the necks of every one of his family members and friends. They were just plain out ugly and mean. I couldn’t wrap my head around that strangers treated him better than his own bloodline. I had to sit and think that sometimes blood doesn’t make them family. Josh hasn’t experienced much it seemed, and he was so vulnerable to mute Callum. That’s another good guy there. I was kinda skeptical on Callum reactions & emotions towards Josh. I was thinking the same as Josh really, could he like Josh as much as he said he was. Or was it the combination of him being new, and nice to him. As much as I liked him from Josh’s point of view, I learned a lot about him in his own point of view. Especially seeing the world from his eyes, and him definitely get the regressed memories on why he is unable to speak. Those memories were super hard for him to comprehend, and he had the best support out their. This was good, and I could definitely see it being longer, or maybe a follow-up in the future. This quote about sums up both guys journey by the end. It wasn’t easy, but they were able to manage.

“If baby birds don’t get coaxed or kicked out of the nest they never learn to fly.”

About Lane Swift

Lane Swift is a fiction writer, mainly of contemporary romance, sometimes featuring a mild dash of paranormal.

She lives by the sea in Hampshire, England, with her husband, two children and two guinea pigs, and can often be found at her beach hut, imbibing coffee and dreaming up happy-ever-afters for her heroes and heroines.

Over the years, she’s worked as a waitress, a lab technician, a science teacher and a telecommunications consultant. She’s also played women’s rugby, climbed one mountain and run one marathon, but has never managed to learn how to whistle.