How To Save A Life by Eli Easton

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.

How To Save A Life: by Eli Easton
Series: Howl at the Moon #4
Release Date: August 28th, 2017
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By:Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.

Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?

Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?

 

four-stars

I really enjoy this series! I’m not an animal person at all, but I would love to have all these dogs with me. Easton’s, Howl At The Moon series is one of my favorite shifter series! Each book has something different in it. This book had me tearing up in the first 10%. I couldn’t believe it. I really enjoyed Rav’s characters and Sammy’s earnest personality.

Rav is a biker, with a heart of gold. Running a no-kill shelter and taking in dogs when he doesn’t have enough room. Sammy is such a sweet doggy. He’s a sweeter human. He’s had a tough life up until getting to Mad Creek, but he pushed through and made it work. This was a relatively slow burn on the romance, and it wasn’t bad persay. Not the steamiest, but I can always understand it isn’t needed. I liked how Rav stuck to his guns with the town. Loved all his reservations, fears, and hopes being played out on the page. In each book, Eli defintiely distinguished each personality with their dog’s counterparts. I really liked Rav and his knowledge on how each dog is. Love how he was able to be patient with Sammy. Allowing Sammy to learn on his own, about what he wants and doesn’t.

Don’t know how I feel about some of the other characters getting page time. It felt rushed in a sense that no other story offered it, and felt like the author didn’t have much to say with these characters. I also couldn’t understand making Rav’s background so heavy for it to dull off at the end, and nothing to come from it. The ending didn’t feel like an ending. More like a middle. It didn’t feel like a proper ending like the rest. I don’t know whats to come for Rav & Sammy. Even these problems to me, wouldn’t make me change my rating. I did like it. I really would like to see Rex & Simon get a book, of course not together but seperately. Its a lot more quickeneds in Mad Creek that need their stories told!

 

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About Eli Easton

Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas

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.

Pins and Needles: by A.J. Thomas
Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Pages: 300 • Format: eARC
Published By:Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.

four-stars

 

I enjoyed Pins and Needles a lot. I’m kinda shocked because it was a true slow burn with the romance. It was minimum at best, and the plot was really informative. To be honest, what first drew me to the story was the blurb. Felt very real, and something that I haven’t read a billion times over now. I deserve a cookie of some sort because whenever I hear the word FRACKING my eyes usually glaze over and I become distracted by something else. I’ve heard it on countless political shows, movies, court shows and everything else. Never would have imagined it to be in my reads but this was good. It was different and I loved the buildup for the romance.

Nate and Sean together were very good for one another. Each guy is lacking in the personal romance and real life feels. I like that they were so different from one another, but totally compromising and interesting to the other. Nate made me fall for him so much more. Always been the outcast from his uber conservative family decides to take a stand, and be his own man. Not caring what his father thinks, he branches out on his own. His very first case is against a multimillionaire company and their employee. Sean’s life hasn’t been easy at all. Never having the love he’s had from parents he’s like a lost boy. Not realizing the entire time he’s had all the love from Hawk that he could ever want. We really don’t know the real Sean. I think because he’s always been second choice to his mother the only way he can survive is by adapting to his surrounding. That’s heartbreaking in itself.

The plot for this story was so thoroughly researched and written really well. I learned some new things, and loved how it was intertwined with the romance. Yes the plot was more then the romance, and normally it would be an issue for me, but every single piece was important for the story. It made complete sense in the end. I really enjoyed the side characters. Hawk & Tonya were really good for Sean’s soul. I love how tattooing brought Sean & Nate on another level. Loved seeing Nate’s ruthlessness come out when he turned his professional face on. Sean was spectacular in himself as well.

All in all, I thought this was a really good solid story. Excellent writing and story telling. A definite slow burn with the romance. I mean really, really, really slow burn. If you can’t handle it then skip it. The story actually has substance so be prepared to actually be wow’d. I look forward to more books from Thomas.

 

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Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood

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.

Textual Relations: by Cate Ashwood
Release Date: August 10th, 2017
Pages:122 • Format: eARC
Published By: Cate Ashwood
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by dinner with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

 

three-half-stars

 

I thought this book was super adorable. I enjoyed this a lot. A feel good romance with carefree feelings, and love in the air. I swear, when I was reading this I felt like tweety birds should have been circling my head. That’s how whimsical and magical it felt to me.

Henry is the same old boring person he usually is but a year older. He doesn’t like change or attempt to change. His routines are his until that unexpected text from a stranger confirming a date. Him being the nice person he is responds that its the wrong number. I like that it bothers him so much that he goes to the said place to make sure the person is okay. Another unexpected is Ash is short for Asher not Ashely what he presumed in the first place. Henry meets Ash, and is intrigued by a person who would go on a blind date. They hit it off. Its an amazing time, and Henry is thrilled at all the new things he’s able to do, and realize what else is out in there in the world. That’s what he thinks until Asher kisses him at the end of their not-date. Its magical, but Henry doesn’t have much to say until he comes to term that Asher must be gay, and no other kiss has made him feel like this.

I loved the way the author went about writing if from this point. Of course Henry was scared, but the literal person he is, he had to think on what it means about himself. He had to come to terms on whether being gay was something he could deal with. Well Bi in his case, but he realized that Asher is the first person in his lifetime who has made him happy. Its a new experience each and every time they spend together. It’s scary, new, exciting, and I loved seeing Henry come alive on page. Asher was amazing and patient as well. 

I wish they was a full length novel, that’s really what my rating is based on. I feel like it was so much more to cover between these two. I needed to see them grow. Yeah the epilogue was great, but I’m greedy and hopefully we can come back to these guys in the future. A recommend from me for sure! 

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About Cate Ashwood

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan

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.

Shelter The Sea: by Heidi Cullinan
Series: The Roosevlet #2
Release Date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 190 • Format: eARC
Published By: Heidi Cullinan
Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes & NobleSmashwords

Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.

Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.

four-stars

Shelter the Sea is such a good follow up to Carry the Ocean. Loved seeing Emmett and Jeremey’s love continue to grow.

This book was much lighter than book one.  Not saying that the guys didn’t have difficulties, but I am so ecstatic that Heidi didn’t torture our guys apart to give us a story. This was a lot more realistic then book one if you want to say that. This book dealt with the difficulties of living with a mental illness. This was such an eye opener for people who don’t seem to matter or get pushed to the wayside. This story was a lot bigger then Emmett & Jeremey to me. Of course every couple goes through little snits together and its healthy. This was them plus the people in their everyday life and everyone else they inspire around the world. It was very emotional at times.

Half of the book focuses on their relationship. Some of it is happy, sad, funny and its them. We see Jeremey struggle with his depression a lot more. We also see him open up and he’s a lot more vocal in his wants and needs. Emmett, oh such a sweetheart. I love Emmett’s resilience. He does not give up. This man is the ultimate fighter and champion of his beliefs and causes. Their relationship grows, and we see them grow individually on page to grown men  and better partners for one another.

This was political heavy. Not to preachy, but very detailed and informed on what goes down. I think Heidi did wonderful with his research for this subject. It’s an emotional journey to say the least. It shows how messed up the government is when it comes to Mental Health and its patients, families and allies. It shows the ugly truth about money being the root of everything in this country. It also shows people of different everything coming together for a cause. It shows them banning together to fight to get the same rights as everyone else.

Shelter the Sea is a good closure to their story. It wasn’t very romancy, but it had its moments where it mattered. I think fans of the book one will be very happy with the outcome to this story. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of the series as well. Hats off to you, Heidi.

 

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About Heidi Cullinan

Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteered for One Iowa during the fight for marriage equality and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too

Heidi enjoys reading, watching movies and TV with her family, and listening all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Heidi is an active social networker, and of course has good old-fashioned email.

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

ouI 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.

Off Base: by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #1 
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Pages: 304 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon• Kobo • Barnes & Noble

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

four-stars

This was way more angstier then I like, but it was really good. It brought out plenty of emotions from me, and I’m glad I was able to finish it. It was a point of time in the story where I wanted to punt Zack’s ass through the field goal range. I wanted to shake him, and hurt him for not realizing what he was doing to himself and Pike. It took me a while to put Zack from Connection Error together with this Zack. I mean, he was a douchebag in Connection Error, and a little bit docuhy here, but the man was hurting internally. Gah!!! I really dislike when authors force me to like the A-Holes. I fell for Zack after a while. I adored Pike! I thought he was amazing, and I just wanted to wrap him up and never let him out my sight. *Le Sigh*, here goes my thoughts.

Poor Zack, this man is the epitome of The River D-E-N-I-L-E. He’s in denial about his sexuality and his love for Pike. He is SEAL who is intensely lonely, and really buried deep in the closet. Well not buried, but he’s not owning up or accepting of his sexuality. I really love how Albert makes these guys who I find myself disliking really make it up to me at the end. Zack has this internal angsty thing going on. When work like becomes to much for him, then he ventures out on his own living by himself. Well not entirely, because while he’s immediately against the idea of having Pike; out and proud Pike as a room mate there’s something there for Zack to convince himself to let it happen.

It’s a slow burner for sure with the romance. While Pike is realizing he’s falling for Zack, he knows it isn’t reciprocated at the least by Zack. I really enjoyed Pike’s character. He was super sweet and understanding. I hate what he went through with his first love, but I think it definitely put into perspective of his future romances. For characters like Pike who I feel get shafted in stories it enables my mama bear features and I automatically want them to dump or hurt the one that causes them pain. I’m so happy Pike didn’t listen to me lol. It definitely hurt Pike a multitude of rejections from Zack. The one thing I continuously have to realize is, you can’t force anyone to except their sexuality. It has to be on there own personal time, and I’m uber grateful that Albert writes things this way.

I cannot wait until the next book in the series. Hopefully its’ the LT with the kids, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Harper. Yeah, I got my eye on him. Albert has been winning lately with all her release, and I’m telling you she’s becoming such a favorite of mine. If you haven’t read her #gaymers series then you best get to it. This is a definite read and hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

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.

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.

Picked Fresh by Posy Roberts

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.

PickedFreshCoverPicked Fresh by Posy Roberts
Series: Naked Organics, Book Two
Release Date: June 23, 2016
Pages: 269 • Format: eARC
Published By: Labyrinth Bound Press
Purchase Link:
Amazon

Is five thousand miles far enough to say I love you?

Hudson Oliva loves stability. He was a throwaway teen before finding Kaleidoscope Gardens but has since thrived at the commune. When Jude Garrity moves in, life gets even better, but Hudson still craves more. He knows he has to be satisfied with their exclusive status being temporary and that Jude will eventually navigate his full sexual awakening with their other housemates.

Hudson has a journey of his own to make. It might only require going home to settle his grandmother’s estate, but he plans to use his time away to figure out how to temper his feelings for Jude and bury his jealousy once and for all. But when Jude joins him on his trip, Hudson falls even deeper in love, especially after Jude stands by his side when he finally confronts his mother for rejecting him.

However, it’s not all hearts and flowers while they travel. They’re over two thousand miles from home when Hudson learns a ruthless corporate farm threatens the commune they both love. In order to save their way of life, Hudson must ask his mother for help. And if he wants a chance at a stable future with Jude, he has to tell him the truth about his feelings, no matter if it ruins the harmony he’s tried so hard to preserve.

four-stars

Once again, another good book from Posy Roberts! I really adore her writing style and the amount of emotions that she produces with her characters. This isn’t an ordinary series with just romance. Her stories are realistic fiction. They are for the obscenely normal folks. I didn’t know what to expect with this book. Having book Hudson and Jude go through their pass together was great. I think it was a good learning curve for both. It shows each one of them, why the other is the way he is.

Hudson’s emotional journey for hard for me to read. All these years later, his coming out sort to speak still hunts him. His relationship with his parents still enrage him. His father’s departure from his life leaves him feeling inadequate in his masculinity where he has to keep saying “that’s not what a man is”. For all the good things his Papi did for him, not accepting him during those years devastated and destroyed his confidence. He’s working through his feelings of inadequacy, vulnerability and jealousy. I really like Hudson on this journey. We can see the affect meeting his mother after 12 years is doing to him on page. They may have been some resolves with him and her. But I’m still so pissed at her. And yeah, maybe she’s a victim of her own. It was painful to read those parts, but I love Jude for being there.

Jude who has had his own issues. His issues with wanting sex and exploring it. He’s lived a hard life as well, has overcame it in a way. He’s 21 so he’s still growing. Seeing his parents about did me in. But I loved how his siblings rallied around him and the younger ones to do what’s right for each other. I cannot wait for the little brother to get a book.

**See what I did Posy, I put it out their in the universe :)**

Seeing Jude and Hudson together were beautiful. Both loving each other but not knowing how to say it to one another. I found those scenes very beautiful and at times felt like a voyeur for reading them. The unexpected for me was the Leo & Charlie point of views. Poor Leo, I think he felt like apart of him was missing instead of traveling. I get it, Hudson has been apart of his life for all these years and the first time he’s left for a period of time. I really like Charlie’s character and want his character study as well.

This book is about redemption, self-discovery, self-love and acceptance. At the end of the day, Hudson & Jude has something so powerful that they needed to know that they can overcome anything as long as they are working together. Life on the commune is going to be different now with the expansion, but I look forward to reading the next in the series. I really do love Posy’s words. I think this book was no different.

Mulligans by Charlie David

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.

MulligansLGMulligans by Charlie David
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreampinner AmazonARe

2nd Edition

Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.

The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years. But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.

First Edition published by Palari Publishing LLp, 2010.

 

three-stars

I’m glad I’m not the only one left feeling like this after reading this book. I do think that certain things should have been in the beginning of this book. Like, I don’t know that it was a freaking movie first. I could have watched it somewhere instead of taking my time and getting invested into the story. I mean not once did I overly complain that it wasn’t a damn romance or that it 4 different p.o.v. I mean 4!!! I was okay with the dreary tone of the story. I was okay with the Stepford Wife Stacey, and the Entitled Tyler. I even put up with the aloofness of Nate. Most memorable character belonged to the 10 year old Birdie! I adored her, everything else gets me ragey mad. No wait, it gets me mad. The treatment of Chase in this story gets me mad. Don’t get me wrong, I understand he played his part in this Telenova, but No One, No One treated him right. He’s a kid at the end of the day and yeah he’s only 20.

This entire family is wrapped around the notion that they are perfect and living the American dream. Well hate to rain on your parade sweetheart, but most people lives aren’t perfect. They are living in an illusion of their lives. I mean I can understand Nate and Stacey were high school sweethearts who became teenage parents at the age of 16. They didn’t have a chance to grow up or experience things like normal young adults. They have to become parents early and doing so Nate repressed a side of himself that he never got to experience. I was able to deal with the tone and pacing of the story. It’s not a romance at all. Everything seemed to implode in one weekend. Chase basically has no one that cares about him. He talks a little about his alcoholic mother and his father died when he was younger. So he’s done everything by himself and he then he enrolls into a university after working hard at a junior college. There he meets his straight jock best friend Tyler. That’s how he seems Tyler. Tyler who comes from the perfect family with a summer beach house. The summer beach house is where lives comes to be destroyed it seems. Tyler’s entire reaction at Chase not telling him he was gay was b.s. imo. He was that heartbroken, did he not understand why Chase never said anything? I literally wanted to punch him in the face a couple of times. He was clueless, and selfish. GTFO about being hurt because he didn’t share it with you. I won’t give away the plot in case some miserable sap decides to read this. Just know it’s not a HFN or HEA. It’s just ends. Really after all of this shit, Chase is left with no one, Stacey has to get a real personality, Tyler needs to come up off that pedestal and Nate gets to drive off in the sunset with some resolutions to work out amongst himself. Sure. That’s fine. Well let me explain my rating, I was enjoying the story all the way up until the 85% mark. I couldn’t rate 0 stars, that seemed unfair even though my thoughts are telling me too. At one point I was think 4.25 stars because after all of ranting I was still liking the book, but then it ended and after all the F bombs I throw at it, I had to think impartially and like a reader. So I went with the cordial 3.

About Charlie David

Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump which shot over 100 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.

In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York. In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award. In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.

A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment Inc., a production company whose film and television credits include Mulligans, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Discovery Networks, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Hollywood Suite, hereTV, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.

He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include travel, encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, mosaic tiling and podcasts. He resides in Toronto and Montréal, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.

Auguries of Summer by Mel Bossa

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.

Auguries of SummerAuguries of Summer by Mel Bossa
Release Date: April 24, 2016
Pages: 193 • Format: eARC
Published By: JMS Books
Purchase Links:
JMSAmazonARe

Easy-going Sebastien divides his time between working as a cleaning technician, caring for his widowed father, and running off to the park for soccer practice. Coasting through his existence, he’s convinced he doesn’t have much going for him.

That isn’t what his best friend Jack thinks. Quick-witted and passionate, Jack is fascinated by art and history, but the greatest book or painting could never compare to how he feels when he’s alone with Sebastien.

In the last five years, Seb and Jack have shared everything, sometimes even a bed. Yet though their chemistry is smoking hot, Sebastien keeps Jack at a safe distance. But when the two move in together to lower their living expenses, that distance gets smaller and smaller, until Sebastien and Jack are standing so close, they can’t see what’s right in front of their eyes … the love of their life.

five-stars

I am drained now. Totally drained and totally satisfied from this book, my first from the author. I am going to try to review this but when books leave me strung out, I find it hard to put words together to make sense.

I am a huge fan of the friends to lover’s trope and when you make it best friends with wonderfully squirmy and gooey UST to full blown swoon central throughout the story, it’s like it was written just for me.

Tell me a story, Jack. Tell me about one of those great love stories you’ve read about.

I adore the way the story is told. I love that we meet them in the now, that the story starts with Sebastien’s present POV and the situation of him moving into a new apartment over the summer to share expenses with his best friend Jack. We learn that these two have a history, that they were lovers briefly in the past but them being friends is what mattered most. But we also quickly learn that Seb has it bad for Jack but is terrified of what it all means.

Let me get this out, the UST is off the charts with these two and the confessions were so overwhelmingly romantic I was hooked before I had a read a quarter of the book. I wanted Jack to spill his guts and for Seb to let down his walls and accept that he is truly in love with his best friend. I wanted them to create gorgeous meals together and listen to Jack tell Seb stories and Jack to soak up all that Jack offered. I wanted it so much it hurt and it was the best kind of hurt.

Ugh.

This book is so rich and by rich I mean with emotion and the perfect blend of storytelling that sucked me in so fast I had no choice but to marinate in it until my fingers are pruny. I love books that make me look things up and nearly every time Jack opened his mouth to tell one of his stories, I was googling to catch up and to simply be in the scene with them.

So, we know the boys are best friends and they have feelings for one another but Seb, he holds Jack at arm’s length and won’t allow himself to let go and be fully in love. It was heartbreaking to be in Seb’s head and deal with his perpetual struggle of accepting that his “Heteronormative straight acting” self was so turned on by Jack and effeminate men like Jack. There is so much internalized angst with Seb that I was so damn thankful the author took us back five years to see when he and Jack met.

Jack was something else. I’d never known a man so alive and turned on by everything. His mind sped all the time. He had thoughts and opinions on everything.

I was jonseing for this meeting between the boys but this whole back story is filled with the self-loathing of Sebastien’s need to feel masculine and not so “gay “while fighting his feelings for being turned on my effeminate men like Jack. They are what turns his crank and gets him off but he’s terrified to admit it, even to himself. He falls hard for Jack the first night they spend together but doesn’t know how to fit Jack into his world without hurting him and that his the last thing Seb wants to do. Keeping Jack at arm’s length is the only way he can assure they stay friends and Jack doesn’t get hurt. But Jack, he wants Seb and will go to remarkable lengths to show it though it often falls on Seb’s deaf ears and heart. Boy oh boy, the whole past part of this book was heartbreaking and yet brilliant with how it was laid out and where it was placed in the story. It gives the reader so much insight to Seb and you learn that Jack is everything to Seb and everything he wants to be; free and completely himself regardless of what the masses think or the judgment they pass. I cannot express how much I loved the Batman and Robin story and how Seb had always known the type of guy that did it for him though he tried the opposite and then… Jack came into his life.

From the moment I’d first seen Sebastien… I’d known he’d make me suffer, but that the highs would be worth every low.

After we learn what happened five years ago, we get back to the present and I have to say thank you so very much to the author for ending the story with Jack. I needed to know his thoughts on Seb and what better way than when it all gets so real for the two of them for us to be in the POV of the man who is Seb’s rock and who rocks his world. Phew. Yeah, this was a great read and I am in love with the story.

The issues of the child being the adult to a parent was here along with a few social and mental health issues and they were dealt with well. Seb’s relationship with his parents wasn’t the easiest though he adored his mom. He tried so hard to be a good son and help, even with his dad after his mother passed away. It was just so hard for him, he’s been this kid in an adults body for so long, he doesn’t quite know how to adult but then again, how many of us really know how to do the proper adulting thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the side characters as they never distracted from the story but added depth and character to Seb and Jack. But the boys, they are front and center and their romance, their love story was gorgeous.

Auguries of Summer is a lovely tale of best friends to lovers who give in and give it all to be happy. It’s a story about seeing the signs you may miss out on what could make your life full of love, of checking off those boxes of happiness not everyone gets to experience and savoring them. It’s a tale about being able to move on from grief and accept that you can be happy with a loved one’s passing and it’s simply, at the heart of it all, a love story of two young men who were made to love each other.

 

 

About Mel Bossa

I’m the author of numerous novels featuring LGBT characters. I live in Montreal’s beautiful gay village with the love of my life, a bisexual man who contributes a lot to my writing and has also designed some of my covers. As a queer (bi) woman, I’ve often been misunderstood or judged, so I try to find peace in dreaming up worlds where grace wins over fear and ignorance.