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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What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger

matthewWhat It Looks Like: by Matthew J. Metzger
Release Date: August 20, 2016
Pages: 264 • Format: Kindle Edition
Published By: JMS Books LLC
Purchase Links:
JMS BooksAmazonARe

Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former tenant of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.

But this isn’t what it looks like.

Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.

 

four-stars

I want to start off saying bravo Metzger!!! This was my first book by him, and I learned so much and really enjoyed it as well. I mean, my first props goes to the realistic feelings that I felt the author was able to get across the pages. This was also my first Transgender book. I didn’t even know it was the case, because I just brought and read it on the strength of the cover. I was a little surprised, but then I learned so much and a lot of my questions were answered when reading this. I loved Rob’s criminal ass. Haha, he is a bad boy, but so what? He has literally given Eli that life that he’s only dreamed of.

Rob is literally every parent’s worse dreams for their kids. Ha!!! I would literally fight him over my child. I don’t even care to deny it, but for someone’s else kid he’s amazing. Sure he’s had a rocky life, and things weren’t handed to him. He had to grow up fast, and take care of his youngest brother by any means necessary. Yeah he’s tattooed, doesn’t have the best of jobs, fights, and fucks like a beast, but he’s also there. When I say there, I mean he listens. It might not have been what you want for a potential mate, but after reading this then I definitely want Rob for my kid. Rob understood Eli when no one in his whole life got it. He accepted it as a gay man, and as a partner for someone he cares about big time. I was literally team Rob all the way. He deserved better treatment from Eli and his family. I mean, he did put up with a lot, but that made me like him even more. I liked the softer side of Rob that we were able to see. I like seeing Rob vulnerable and unsure of himself, because it was a humility that I wasn’t sure if he had or not. Well, that’s not exactly true because only a person with a heart and conscious would give Eli the $700 pounds needed for his surgery. Only a kind-hearted man would jump in front of a knife to protect his lover and his sister. Only a kind hearted man would encourage his partner to achieve their dreams and not to let his fears dominate his life. I mean if Rob is that bad, then I want me one. He just needs a little love, and encouragement. I know, I just gushed over Rob, and I literally don’t do that to new characters but this book was super impactful to me.

Eli, Eli, Eli. I have a love/hate relationship with you. Sweetie, you were just to angry for me. Argh, so many times, I was on your side. I got why you had these feelings, and were mad at your family. I just thought it was completely unfair at times to not hear them out. I do think it was maybe childish to throw these temper tantrums so much. I get it, they never accepted your transition. Call it being ignorant to the cause. I thought you were great for Rob, but then you went and decided to be your parents. The one time Rob needed you, you switched teams and automatically thought he was guilty. I was with Rob on he needed space. I mean, he was going out his way time and time again for you. To prove himself to your family, out of love and respect but you weren’t their for him that one time. I mean, I liked Eli as a flawed character. This was his first major relationship. He was dealing with a lot. He was dealing with finally finding someone who accepted him, and enjoyed his kink as well. He was dealing with not having the close relationship to his family. He had to deal with hearing all these bad things about Rob, and trying to see if it was all worth it.

When it’s all said and done I think it was very well put together story. I loved the pacing of the story. I enjoyed the ups and downs of everyone in here. I think it’s super cool to see all different facets of life. I learned alot, and this story was super insightful. I think these characters were so realistically done. I loved the genuine feelings that I get while reading these. I liked knowing that someone out there can relate to these characters. I thought the writing was very good. One of my favorite things were the crassness of the story. Gosh, potty mouths were everywhere. It was vey British and very me. I look forward to reading more from this author. Very enjoyable and highly recommend it!!!!

About Matthew J. Metzger

Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British author currently living in Bristol. As much a character as those in his books, Matthew is a good-for-nothing layabout masquerading as a productive and useful member of society. It’s not working.

Both Matthew and his author are queer as they come, a little screwed up in the head, and thoroughly British and blasé about pretty much everything. Matthew may write romance, but it’s romance with the gritty bits in!

Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club #3) by J.A. Rock

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.

MantiesInATwist_600x900Manties in a Twist by J.A. Rock
Series: The Subs Club
Release Date: April 2, 2016
Pages: 283 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide • •

Look, I’ll never stop missing Hal, but this Subs Club my friends started to review suck-ass doms isn’t gonna bring him back or give him justice. For me, it’s just another chance to hang out with my friends, even if they think I’m too dumb to understand the important work we’re supposedly doing.

But maybe I’m not as dumb as they think—at least I know when I’ve got a good thing going. Which is why I just moved in with my dom. Ryan’s awesome possum. He’s really short, never makes me feel stupid, and is up for anything. One word: costumes. Two more words: women’s underwear. We’re all about the lace, no leather.

Except when we do pony play. We first tried it as a joke, but turns out I’m ballin’ at it. Now PetPlayFest is coming up, and I wanna take down the Subs Club’s archrival, Cinnamon the ponygirl, in the horse show.

My friends think I’m spending too much time with Ryan and ignoring my obligations to the group. But since when is friendship an obligation? Ryan’s my first serious relationship, and I want to take it . . . seriously. At some point I need to think about my future, not my past.

—Kamen

 

three-half-stars

I’d like to think that nothing else surprises me with this series, but I need to remember I have one more book after this one. In my mind Kamen’s story was suppose to be whimsical since he was already in an established relationships. The relationship wasn’t a bummer for me. I liked that they supported each other, and were able to find peace being together. I like how Kamen came to his moments about Hal. He decided that everyone was able to grieve differently and it’s okay. I like how defensive he got when protecting Ryan from his friends. Goodness, I love Kamen, but it just felt like something was missing for me. Maybe it wasn’t as emotional as the other two, but he didn’t seem like the profound type. Well, no can’t really say that because when the man puts his mind to it he really gives it what he got. The whole conception regarding pony play was amazing. I do think he was facing his fears but doing something so out of the box for him.

I think my confusion comes with the exploration of kink. This is the lightest of the book, and his two kinks to be weren’t explored as much as book one and two was. I mean, the manties is the biggest selling point. I think only it being a factor in the minimum way was discouraging for me. I really wanted it explored, maybe something profound could come from it, or who knows maybe he wears them everyday in lieu of briefs. I don’t know, but I wanted to know. The pony play is happenstance for me. It wasn’t something Kamen ever seemed interested in, and only got interested to take down the world’s biggest Bish. I get it compete in something to throw her off. He did kind of put alot more focus into this then I thought he would. I enjoyed reading from his view points on this experience. I liked doubtful Kamen because it showed his serious side.

As usual, the Subs Club appearance is needed. I finally got my kid time!!! Thanks J.A, Zac was amazing. Loved Kamen’s and D conversations. They were hilarious. I loved Kamen’s viewpoint on Hal, and his innate ability to focus on Gould unlike the others would do. His relationship with Miles is so much more then one can expect. Sure he isn’t the brightest bulb but he the glue that definitely keeps these 4 together. I will say that I do love that everything isn’t traditional for either one of these guys. This is an eclectic group of people, but it works.

About J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.