When Forever Ended by Cara Dee

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.

when-forever-endedWhen Forever Ended: by Cara Dee
Series: Camassia Cove #2
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

At ten years old, Kelly and I were two rambunctious boys who carved our initials into a tree in the forest. We promised to be best friends forever and bumped our fists to seal the deal. I never should’ve kissed him that summer before college. It was a day that buried me in shame, a day I spent the next twenty-four years regretting, a day I never told anyone about.

At forty-three, depression was suffocating me. Not even my wife and two children could lift the heavy fog. I was riddled with guilt and self-hatred, and I was starting to realize that I would slowly fade away until nothing remained. Then one day, Kelly was back in town.

10% of the proceeds will be donated to Hope For Depression.

(All novels taking place in Camassia Cove are standalone.)
four-stars

I literally need to tip my hat off to Cara Dee. I really am a fan of her writing style. I don’t want to use the word plain, but maybe it’s more homey and realistic. I am always able to connect with her characters. I don’t necessarily have to be in their shoes, but she makes it to easy to relate to their struggles. I do like the way Cara tackled depression. I think we all know someone living with depression, and this book was such an eye opener for me. Its so easy for me to tell someone to get over things, but I’m not in their shoes and I don’t feel like they do. This book was completely different then book one. I loved book, and I really enjoyed this one as well. I do feel slighted in the sense that I would have liked to see more with Will & Kelly. It was nice for the two different p.o.v’s but because the focus on the story was for them more then anything I would have like them to have more screen time together. This wasn’t some quick fix for Will, he had to want it, and adjust to life differently then what he is used to.

Cara has written some of my favorite comfort read books, and this series is definitely gaining group to add to the list. I really like the simplistic way of life that her characters have. For me, I feel like they are relatable is so many ways. I adored Kelly. Oh my gosh, did I? I looked how he treated Will, and was so forthcoming with his past history with depression. It must have been really hard to walk away from someone that you love because of your fears. Kelly doesn’t have it easy. He’s adjusting to life with his sexuality and accepting it.

Will is 43, married with two kids, and severely depressed. The one thing that I would have liked was some prologue and a glimpse in the life of Will before Kelly came back into his life. I don’t think it was real clear on his reason for depression. I believe so many things that can have caused his depression, but its certain things that the characters speak on a past event that I felt like maybe it should have been included in the story. It was emotional to say the least, I felt all Will’s vulnerabilities, and his heartbreak.

Word to the wise for all those HEA people, there is cheating in this book. Don’t lose sleep over it, cheating happens in real life here folks. This series is realistic fiction so real life situations happen here. I really would be so much happier if this book had 100 more pages. I never wanted it to end. I wanted to see the progress of everyone by the end of the story. Was Will’s depression cured? Hell no, it is manageable by the end of the story. That’s all I can ask for. This definitely made me want to go back and re-read book 1 and this again. I love this writing, and can’t wait for the next in the series!

About Cara Dee

here aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends

Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet

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: Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet
Series: Sassy Boyz #2
Release Date: November 7, 2016
Pages:262 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
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Z doesn’t need a hero…

Azariah “Z” Hayes is a diamond. Equal parts strength and sparkle, he’s more than capable of standing on his own stilettos. So if waiting tables and stripping at The Vibe are what it takes to keep a roof over his head, well, there are worse ways to earn a living.

Connelly is a white knight with a badge…

For NYPD detective Connelly Reid, to serve and protect is just another day at the office—even if that means protecting himself from his own true desires. He’s been curious about Z, his waiter, for months, but it’s not until he sees him in his makeup and heels that the curiosity becomes a fierce attraction. Z, despite all his over-the-top dazzle, might just be the man Connelly has been waiting for his entire life.

But when Connelly investigates underground porn and drug activity with ties to The Vibe, one thing becomes very clear—acting on what he knows is going to hurt Z, financially and emotionally. And though Connelly would love nothing more than to fix all of Z’s problems, no amount of mind-blowing sex can make Z comfortable becoming dependent on his lover. Yet if there’s one thing Connelly knows from his years on the force, it’s this: when things go bad, you need a trusted partner to have your back.

four-stars


Alot more angst then I’m willing to read. Jeez, it was hard to wade through at times.

Hmmm…. This book was a lot to take in. Z and Connelly were two completely different guys from Ansel & Fitch. I like that they were different, but goodness I would have rather the romance to just have been the focal point. You have Azariah,  who will never except a handout or help. Connelly is constantly helping out. It’s a clash waiting to happen. For Azariah, he’s never depended on anyone and will refuse help just to not look weak or needy. That’s all Connelly knows. He is the person who will help until its not fair to him anymore. They don’t call him Boy Scout for nothing. I wanted him to be a lot more selfish earlier in the story. He has so much on his shoulders that he’s not living life to me.

It wasn’t fall in love fest like book one. I wasn’t immediately smitten with these two. It took time, and work for them to payoff. I think because the plot played such a heavier influence on these two, that it was barriers put up between the two. I hope you get what I meant. Connelly’s job played a bigger role in who he was. All his life he’s had to help out, and be the surrogate man in his family’s life since his father passed, that it is no wonder he goes for the fixer upper guys. Every single one of his ex’s needed help and after getting any form of help from Connelly they bounced. I don’t know if Connelly liked it that way, but he wasn’t able to ever see a future with anyone because of his loyalties elsewhere. I think the chemistry between these two were electric. I like that Azariah wasn’t so passive when it came to Connelly. They just seem to mesh well with one another. Azariah is a hard nut to crack. When it actuality he isn’t. He’s used to be on his own, and to be so young he’s super cynical when it comes to love. This is a man who’s only form of love died when he was 12. His mother is the only person ever in his life to see him shine, accept him, and love him unequivocally.

“I’m a realist all the way. Reality is dark and gritty and completely fucked–up.”

There was a few moments that Azariah completely pissed me off. I thought he was completely selfish, but I had a hard time staying angry because Connelly was super accepted. I think he accepted it shows more to his nurturing side as well. I do felt like the plot was a bit to much at times. I wish it could have been toned down so we got more time for these two to grown and love.

It was a really good story. I enjoyed seeing more of the Sassy Boyz and can’t wait to read Lirim’s book next. That boy is just asking to be held and protected. I liked these two together and yeah they haven’t been together that long by the end of the book, but I can see these two together for a while. Their personality just meshes well together.

About Elizabeth Varlet

Elizabeth Varlet is a nerd at heart and spends way too many hours binging on episodes of her favorite television shows. If you love Doctor Who, Supernatural, Stargate, Star Trek, Sherlock, or Firefly you are already her best friend.

She started writing stories in high school and hasn’t stopped. Now, her characters like to get frisky under the covers – or the stars, they’re not picky. She’s a thirty-something, newly married, world traveler who devours books like they were candy.

To contact Elizabeth, send her an email to elizabethvarlet@gmail.com. Or follow her on any of her social media sites.

Interborough, by Santino Hassell

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.

tinoInterborough: by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Boroughs, #4
Release Date: October 24, 2016
Pages: 249 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

four-half-stars


Don’t even look Raymond’s way. I got this.

Listen up folks, when Sunset Park came out, I saw all the negative comments about the couple. I didn’t argue with anyone, everyone had a right to their own opinion. I’m okay with you not liking Rayvid together. Perfectly fine in my world. It takes alot of emotions for me to fall in love with a character. I literally will read their story a bajillion times throughout the year. My list is 5 guys. It’s never changed for the last 5 years maybe. It’s always Zsadist, Zane, Reyes, Vadim, and Cole. It’s been these 5 forever. When I read Sunset Park, Raymond literally crawled under my skin. He imprinted on my soul. That’s the only honest way to describe the feeling I get when I talk about Ray and read about him. I have to tip my hat to Santino Hassell. The man can write. It’s beautifully flawed. His story telling, his realism, and his emotions are so powerful that you can do nothing but show the man some damn respect. It’s only a handful of authors who can read series and all be high 4 and 5’s. It’s not easy and you might get bored with the same story just regurgitated. I’ve had this book for a while, and it took everything in me not to crack it open. I wanted it to be fresh for release day, and get to openly discuss with my peers all the growth we see in these characters.

It’s been almost 2 years since David and Ray got together. There’s been growth that we can see on page for both guys. I loved Ray’s transition to being “an adult”. He went from everyone providing for him to holding down two jobs and going to school. I loved seeing his passion about being his own man. David is still there, going through the motions with his career that left him feeling uncertain. I really like David. He’s someone who lives in his head, and I know plenty of people like that. David needs constant reassurance about their relationship. I actually felt David was right. He had plenty of reasons for why he felt the way he did. The biggest problem in their relationship was the lack of communication. It’s authentic. Sure having sex feels good for that moment of time, and afterwards but you problems come back big time. I feel like the stress of life got to these two.

Hassell wrote a book that everyone should be able to relate to. Hell I had these problems in the beginning of my relationship. Going to school and work, leaves your love life feeling destitute. I really enjoyed seeing all the different cast of characters. Loved seeing more of Ray’s friends, and even Michael and Nunzio. This was an appropriate representation of a relationship in the real world for me. Can I say it was perfect? No. I wanted to throttle both of them on numerous times, was I happy with the outcome? Yes!! Did I cry? Fuck yes. Was it another baby makers? Check back with me in 9 months for certain.

All in all, I truly loved this book. It’s possible my love for Raymond overlooks everything. I can see myself re-reading it that’s for damn sure. I had some good times with this crew, and how about that epilogue? Oh my goodness, I definitely cried. It was amazing. I highly recommend this series. I think you’ll find yourself enraptured by these characters from book 1 up until now.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

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!

Where We Left Off by Roan Parrish

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.

roan-parrishWhere We Left Off: by Roan Parrish
Series: Middle of Somewhere, #3
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Pages: 260 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Leo Ware may be young, but he knows what he wants. And what he wants is Will Highland. Snarky, sophisticated, fiercely opinionated Will Highland, who burst into Leo’s unremarkable life like a supernova … and then was gone just as quickly.

For the past miserable year, Leo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the powerful connection he and Will shared. So, when Leo moves to New York for college, he sweeps back into Will’s life, hopeful that they can pick up where they left off. What begins as a unique friendship soon burns with chemistry they can’t deny … though Will certainly tries.

But Leo longs for more than friendship and hot sex. A romantic to his core, Leo wants passion, love, commitment—everything Will isn’t interested in giving. Will thinks romance is a cheesy fairytale and love is overrated. He likes his space and he’s happy with things just the way they are, thank you very much. Or is he? Because as he and Leo get more and more tangled up in each other’s lives, Will begins to act like maybe love is something he could feel after all.

four-stars


First thing first: It’s a little bit of Will & Leo in all of us.

I just had to get that out. Let’s just be honest friends, Monogamy isn’t for everyone. There I said it. Initially, I had a feeling that this was going to be the one people didn’t connect to. I mean, everyone wants to read the grand love story. They want the magic of finding someone and falling in love. They want to read about love, need, wants, and passion. I’m one of those people as well. But I do live in the real world, where shit ain’t sweet as much as we’d like to thing. Some folks don’t do monogamy, and it’s nothing wrong with it. Some people prefer the benefits of a relationship with no title and strings attached. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I liked Will. I know, put your pitchforks away. Will came off as a jackass. I don’t think that’s wrong. He is an a-hole, but his reasons and his walls are rock steady baby. Leo, sweet baby Leo. I swear he was giving me Carrie Bradshaw this entire book. I wanted to protect sweet Leo, but Leo came to his own realizations at his own time. Yeah he went through his mini heartbreak, but it was for his own good.

I think Roan did a fantastic job with these two. This might have been the most light hearted out of the trilogy so far put it packed a punch for real. I think I like this book so much because it dealt with people’s feelings and talking. The one thing that these two did was talk. I respect Will so much for being so open about his limitations. They might not have been how he felt at the end, but at that time it was so truthful that it was hurtful for poor Leo. Goodness, I bookmarked so much on my kindle about these two. Let’s be very clear hear folks. Leo wants romance, love and commit. I can see why. It’s something that he isn’t getting or had ever. He wants to be someone’s only love. Will doesn’t want it. He is frank, a little jaded, and super sure of himself.

“If you know that I don’t want a relationship, and you wouldn’t just be thinking of it as sex, then where does that leave us? Because it kind of seems like it’s leave us someplace where you end up feeling like I’ve betrayed you, and I end up losing my best friend.”

That’s the crux of it all folks. I can’t seem to put down all the words that I want to. I have so many thoughts on this story, but the one thing I can say is I loved it. I enjoyed it a lot. The supporting cast is amazing. I love this series so much. It’s realistically done, and features every day people. I like to think that from this we learn that romance and hearts and kisses isn’t everyone’s wishes. I won’t spoil the book for you, but I do think you should give it a shot. You might be surprise. Leo is super smart, and he realizes he worth. Will is super complex and his reasons for not wanting a relationship is so clear once you get into the book. I highly recommend this. I think I’ll read anything by this author. Her writing gets me so much. Love it.

**If you read the book, then the Sex & City gifs are self-explanatory**

About Roan Parrish

ROAN PARRISH is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

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.

nrwalkerThe Weight of It All: by N.R. Walker
Release Date:September 16, 2013
Pages: 244 • Format:eARC
Published By:Blueheart Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.

He joins a gym.

Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.

As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.

Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.

three-half-stars

Going into this book, I was on a constant high from the Spencer Cohen Series. I loved it, and was super happy for something else so soon from this author. I liked it, but it was definitely a low-angst story. A feel good kind for the realistic people. I did find that after a while I missed the mark with the humor. It was okay, but after so many jokes I was bored. Reed did get on my nerves about working out. I am on this journey and don’t whine this much. It was a complete turn-off to hear him constantly whining about it, and all the self doubts. I wonder if he would have these doubts if He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named ever left him.

I enjoyed Reed. He was such an amazing coach and guy. I wish I had him as a personal trainer. Good Lord, it’s hard and to see him make these changes in his life and talking to Henry from experience made my day. I truly liked him as a character. I loved that he was positive to Henry. Very motivating as well.

All in all, I liked the story. It was low on the steam side, and I had more then a few of eye rolls, but it was realistic. Everything that each of the mc went through was understanding. I look forward to more from this author as usual.

About N.R. Walker

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Defenseless by A.J. Rose

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.

Defenseless: by A.J. Rose
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Pages: 438 • Format: eARC
Published By: The Grim Writer Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon • ARe

From Rainbow Award-winning author AJ Rose, Defenseless is a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping story of love through adversity.
——

Kyle Decker knew dating Jesse McGovern would change his life. Young and in love, and with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, the world is theirs to conquer.

But their victorious Pride celebration ends in a savage attack, brutally demonstrating they’re far from equal. Instead of wedding planning, Jesse and Kyle face an arduous recovery and a shattered sense of their place in the world, their once-promising future suddenly something to survive.

While Jesse struggles with a permanent injury and its emotional aftermath, Kyle’s single-minded focus on Jesse’s recovery is the only thing keeping his demons at bay…for now. What was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love is now full of lies and resentment.

With their dreams tattered and forever changed, trusting anyone—even each other—is daunting. So how can they have faith in twelve strangers on a jury? They’ve already learned the hard way it only takes a moment to become truly defenseless.

four-half-stars

I don’t even remember the last time that I cried throughout an entire book. This book had me crying non-stop. Certain areas of the story was super heartbreaking and wonderfully written, that I had no choice but to email Rose at 1 a.m. telling her how I felt. I live in Chicago so this story was extra special to me. I’ve been to a couple of these places, and I could close my eyes and just picture everything that happened. When I say one of the best realistic stories I’ve ever read. It was brilliant. Now the book is not without it’s faults. It’s long, over 400 pages. Certain aspects of the legal issue I could have done without but, I had to realize that they made the story way more authentic.

I read the blurb, but I don’t think I was ready for how impact the story was going to be. With books usually like these, I’m either fuming by the end. I end up being upset about how one of the mc’s acted or how the dialogue went. In this I can say, every response, every tear, every argument, and everything else is exactly how I would react. I can say the guys reactions to the crime were spot on, and very real. Kyle and Jesse are just starting their lives together. And while at the moment the biggest issue is Kyle coming out to his parents about him being bi-sexual. We see how it is eating him up inside. We see Jesse being the supportive boyfriend by not rushing him. Jesse is everything to me. I love how he has a no holds barred talk with Kyle several times in the story. Jesse is very supportive, and he lets Kyle know constantly that sure his parents might be support him but everyone else will.

While this is the biggest flaw, nothing they can ever expect happens to them. They are the victims of a hate crime. They are attacked where LGTBQIA people are suppose to be safe. Boystown/ Pride in Chicago is fabulous. I literally was at Spin every Friday, Saturday night in undergrad. It was my hangout spot with my friends. I’ve never had a bad experience or was subjective to any form of discrimination. Jesse and Kyle are celebrating, and at the end of the day 4 heterosexual guys didn’t love themselves enough to leave them alone. This changed their lives drastically. Kyle & Jesse are no longer who they were in the beginning of the book. They go through a lot. It’s heartbreaking and I loved every minute of it.

From here on out it’s a struggle for the guys to be outside, to be alone, to talk to one another. This is where the author’s writing skills excel big time! I found myself crying for them, and with them. I loved the pacing of the story. The gradual uphill of their struggle. I loved reading from both guys pov’s. It showed the decline of their relationship. Even with the decline, I understood it. I get it. I couldn’t imagine going through this. They were happy and in the cusp of 4 minutes their lives changed drastically. I really liked this story. It’s one of my favorites of 2016. I look forward to more from Rose, and I applaud her for writing such an awesome story.

About A.J. Rose

I talk to imaginary people, speak of events that didn’t happen. I tell lies. Also known as fiction, of the gay erotic variety.

Rented Heart by Garret Leigh

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:Rented Heart by Author: Garrett Leigh
Release Date:Sept 12, 2016
Pages: 228 • Format: eARC
Published By:Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.

Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.

Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.

Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.

four-stars

 

This was a really good solid story from Garrett Leigh. I enjoyed it alot, and I thought it was the right amount of angst, love, redemption and acceptance.

I requested this book off the author’s writing ability and this beautiful cover. I adore the story. Rented Heart is the story of two lonely guys who aren’t looking for love, but happen to fall in love. Liam is dealing with the death of his husband. He’s lonely and doing everything in his power to stay to himself. He’s grieving and decides to relieve himself of some stress and loneliness and meets Zac. Rentboy Zac who is just trying to survive another day and not think about the past of his old life in London.

Leigh’s writing is truly magical, and the one thing that I’ve noticed in this book that we don’t see in a lot of gay romance is Kindness. They were both nice to each other. It wasn’t the same ole be mean to the rent boy, or the rent boy doesn’t need saving. Liam didn’t try to save Zac not one iota. He wanted a friend, who happens to need help. I appreciated the generosity that Liam had, and I appreciate the way Zac was with them. It was almost timid like in manner, but them being nice was a breath of fresh air. I liked that Liam saw Zac, not as a whore but as a person.

“..there’s not much I wouldn’t pay for the privilege of spending a few hours with you.”

This quote damn near did me in. Liam might have been lonely, but he wasn’t bitter. He was focused now that he got a burst of freshness being around Zac. I don’t even think it was the sex. I think it was having someone around for him to be himself, and to be there for someone else. This story being told about rent boy redemption was uplifting and about self-worth. Liam kept reminding Zac that he wasn’t a whore. I think for Zac he was really worried if Liam’s feelings for him can be true or be because of him being lonely. This is why I’m super proud of the age-gap. I think Liam was mature enough to teach Zac certain things, and be a friend then try to change him. I am gushing over Liam that’s all. I damn near fell in love with him all over.

Zac also has his fair sure of issues. He is enabling his best friend. They’ve been in this lifestyle so long that boundaries get crossed and friendships get blurred. I wouldn’t change a thing between Zac and Jamie. They are who they are for a reason, and if all of this had to occur just for them to get an ounce of happiness then I’m game.

This is a must read for people. I liked it alot, and always seem to get a get read from this author. It was the right about of angst, and love for me. I even was able to not cry! I know, me who cried at everything she writes. I recommend this to everyone!

“Don’t rent your heart out for nothing when I reckon you’ve both been through enough to deserve a hell of a lot more.”

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

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.

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale

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: Empty Net by Avon Gale
Series:  Scoring Chances #4
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.

Please be advised: This book does contain some non-graphic references to past childhood physical/emotional abuse as well as issues relating to ED (bulimia and restricted eating, disordered thoughts about eating)

three-half-stars

I’m annoyed. I guess I should get that out first. I’ve had nothing but hits with this series, and book 3 is my all time favorite. I’m annoyed for many reasons concerning this book. It took me 7 days to read this book. A big surprise for me, I was not able to put up with the antics of the first half. I went from rage, anger, annoyance, guilty and a slew of other emotions. It took a lot for me to not DNF this book. I knew it was a part of me in the first two days, but I did a normal thing by trying to read something else. I succeeded in that, and read a few other books. That lead me to believe that it wasn’t just me.

I did not connect to the book until the last half, and I enjoyed it. I’m so conflicted on the rating to actually give the book. I want to be as fair as possible, but it’s half because I didn’t care for the first half which is important. I needed to be drawn in by both guys, and for me this entire book seemed liked redemption for Laurent. In the mist of him gaining his confidence and learning about his sexuality, I feel like Issac was forgotten completely. I could be wrong here, and maybe his job the entire book was to be support for Laurent. He did a great job on that front, but where was Isaac in all of this? Do a few sexual experiences, and helping Laurent equals “Issac time”? I’m trying really hard to understand, but I’m not getting it at all.

I feel like Issac experiences were left out or on the back burner. No, I didn’t expect him to have some made up stuff happen for the book, I kinda just needed him to have a little independence in his book. I wanted to see a different side of him, and while he was a great support system, and eventual boyfriend I feel lost on his behalf. Again, these are all my perceptions and I’m definitely in the minority according to the ratings. Even after reading the ending, I felt nothing. No connection really, and I didn’t feel quite satisfied. I still look forward to more in the series. I might re-read this someday and my feelings could possibly change. Who knows?

About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.