Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer

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.

Breaking the Ice: by Tali Spencer
Series: States of Love
Release Date: April 19th, 2017
Pages: 86 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better — until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart — and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

three-stars

 

Breaking the Ice is a cute enemies to lovers story. Heavy on the ice fishing, low on the steam, and plenty of sass. I loved Matt’s sass. Being the poster boy for out & proud in this small Wisconsin town doesn’t even matter to Matt. He likes what he likes, does what he does and isn’t going back in anyone’s closet for anybody. John is new to town, and with all new people they find the popular people and try to fit it. Its what he did here, regardless of the homophobe taunts could have been aimed back at him, he just wanted to fit in.

I know next to nothing about fishing. Its not in my wheel house and I’m okay with that. Matt explained enough for the both of us. I really enjoyed his style and delivery on such things. He was a forgiving person even though he didn’t want to. I don’t really know if I liked John personally. I feel like we got to see the glimpse of him in a bad way, but post making up and setting amends it kinda flew passed. I didn’t get a feel of him like I would have liked to. This book is very much low on steam, which was another downer for me. They did move pretty quick together for my liking, or it could have been the second half of the book was rushed in my opinion.

It wasn’t a bad story, but it wasn’t as exciting as I would have liked it to be. The relationship growth was all on page, and majority of the book was spent talking about Ice Fishing. I would have liked too see them work things out together and definitely on page. It kept me interested enough to finish so there’s that. I think people would like it.

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About Tali Spencer

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.

Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Tali’s other books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, and Adored, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often posts free stories and excerpts on her blog.

The Unlikely Prospect by Lex Chase

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.

unlikelyprospectthefs_v1The Unlikely Prospect: by Lex Chase
Series: States of Love
Release Date: December 7th, 2016
Pages: 126 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

In Prospect Harbor, Maine, lobsterman Harper Cook has always loved the sea. He and his two brothers work the harbor waters, in a fishing village of one thousand where everybody knows everybody else’s business and nobody wants to be different.

When it’s time for the annual Men of Maine pinup calendar, Harper’s brothers eagerly volunteer him. Harper isn’t thrilled to bare it all to raise money for an elementary school playground—until he meets out-and-proud Los Angeles out-a-statah Sean Blackburn: the highly available first-grade teacher with Hollywood heartthrob looks.

Harper has no desire to ever stand out from the crowd, but Sean persists and earns Harper’s friendship. Through Sean, Harper opens up to new possibilities. Things get steamy, but Harper still protects his heart. Though the right pressure in the right place might crack even a loner lobsterman out of his shell.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

four-half-stars

Fits all my Checkmark List people!

√ Cheesy and Fluffy Goodness
Adorable Older MC
Virgin
Pinup Calendar
√ A little bit of kink
Noisy Siblings
Shy MC
√ More adorableness
√ A Novelist

I loved this book!!! The right amount of swoony cheesiness and fluff for me! Harper and Sean were truly adorable together. I loved the Cook brothers. I thought they showed real camaraderie between siblings. This was my first read by Lex Chase and I really liked it. It was a bit choppy at times, and transitions were a little bad, but I was able to forget that because I was enthralled with the story.

Harper is a loner by nature, only working and hanging out with the family when he’s forced to. He’s the oldest of 3 boys who are all Lobster-man. This book caught me in the right mood. I loved how shy, awkward, and lovable Harper was. He was prepared to spend the rest of his life alone until his brother Joe asks him to pose for a calendar to support his niece’s playground. Harper will do anything for his family at the end of the day. Forget about talking, or him being socially awkward, his family matters because Mumma said it does. He meets Sean who is completely opposite him of every way. Sean awakens a need in Harper that he didn’t know he had. It was such a quick angst free love story.

The building of their relationship was magical. I liked how well they fit together. Again some of the transitions bothered me, but I was able to look passed it because the story was super good, and swoony. I couldn’t flip the page fast enough to see what was going to happen next. I really wish this was a full length novel. Both guys were able to explore each other and learn what works for them. I love how tender and caring Sean was when it came to their physical relationship. It was a no pressure book, they became friends and lovers all in one go. I would have liked to meet Joe and Danny’s family since they talked about them enough. Would also have liked to see Sean in his element at school. I would definitely recommend this cheesy goodness, definitely caught me in the right mood and it’s a feel good favorite of mine this year!

About Lex Chase

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.
Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, she has intense emotions about Hannibal’s Hannigram, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.
You can find her in the Intarwebz here: