Books List 2019, Reviews

Review: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

red, white and royal blueTitle: Red, White and Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA+

Release Date: May 14th, 2019

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Summary:

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

My Scattered Thoughts:

How much do I love this book? Oh, let me count the ways.

Alex is one snarky, snarky boy. I love it. He is full of humour, and yes angst and I do enjoy his character quite a lot. He is not flawless, in fact he is never even thought of as infallible and there were a few moments I was horridly embarrassed for him.

Henry. Oh loveable, secretly nerdy Henry ❤ He is so awkward. It is so amazing, and he’s funny, and a bit tragic.

This book is good. It’s liberal, angry, and seeking justice even as it weaves a romantic tale around our two lovely main characters.

It’s mushy at times, heart-wrenching at others, but through it all I just felt good whilst I was reading it. I was also reluctant to leave it behind, wanting to slow my pace almost as much as I was desperate to get to the end.

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Books List 2019, Reviews

Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

what if it's usTitle: What If It’s Us?

Author(s): Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Genre: LGBTQIA+, YA, Romance

Summary: 

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Continue reading “Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera”

Book List 2018, Reviews

Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Better Not Pout - Banner Graphic 1.2

“Annabeth Albert delivers another charmer with Better Not Pout. A sweet and sexy holiday read that finds a grumpy St. Nick charmed by a do-gooder elf and his snowy town. Better Not Pout will warm your heart and soul this holiday season.”

— Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey and Trouble Brewing series

Better Not Pout was charming, sweet, and sexy all at once! I love everything Annabeth Albert writes and this was no exception.” — Cat Sebastian, author of The Soldier’s Scoundrel, The Ruin of a Rake, and The Regency Imposters series

BETTER NOT POUT by Annabeth Albert 9781488038686 Front CoverBetter Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Publisher:

Carina Press (Harlequin)

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday November 12, 2018

Print (mmp): Tuesday November 27, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 288

Print (mmp): 288

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Holiday Romance, Military Romance

Order at:

Carina Press

Barnes & Noble (mmp)

Barnes & Noble (ebook)

Amazon

Book Synopsis:

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

***

Annabeth Albert says that, “BETTER NOT POUT is a male/male holiday romance featuring endearing characters with a fun, flirty plot that will remind readers of their favorite holiday rom-coms.”

Excerpt:

        Not that this cranky Santa seemed particularly enamored of him or easy to get to know, but Teddy was determined to give the guy a pleasant day, especially after the disastrous start. Not that he’d call it a disaster—any time he got a glimpse of a muscled ass that spectacular was a win—but Nick’s discomfort had been almost palpable. And yeah, he seemed to be rather attached to his rank and title, but Teddy simply wasn’t that formal. Commander Grace had always insisted that they call her Miriam, and he was on a first name basis with plenty of other military personnel.

“So the first stop is the old Lee barn,” he said. “That’s outside of town, then we’ll work our way back to the resource center with a few other stops.”

“Are people really going to be able to guess one barn from another?” Nick sounded highly skeptical.

“Oh yeah. The Lee barn is part of a historic estate and it’s open for tours during daylight hours.”

“But after dark…” Rhonda laughed knowingly. “The estate is a favorite make-out spot for teenagers, and no amount of chase off from the police can stop them. Everyone will recognize the barn, but no one will want to cop to why. That’s why it’s perfect.”

“I see. Watch the road, MacNally. Posted limit is fifty-five. You don’t need a ticket.”

“We’re good.” Teddy tried not to show his irritation at the rebuke. He supposed he could have compromised and let Nick drive himself to the sites, but as usual Teddy had had a plan and didn’t want to deviate from it, even if it meant putting up with the backseat driving. “And it’s Teddy. There are so many MacNallys in and around Mineral Spirits that you’ll get twenty heads swiveling if you call for MacNally.”

Review:

This book is so good, and cute, and lovely, and wonderful and definitely provides some warmth in the holiday season.

Teddy is like the holiday spirit in the form of an actual person, and I wouldn’t have him any other way. I love that he is such a good person, and it’s just so great to have a character like him, who is flawed but inherently good.

Nowicki is also a good person, he just doesn’t want anyone to know it but it does get revealed piece by piece in reading this book. It’s a good novel, especially at this time of year, and in the climate we’re in where everything seems to be going wrong.

It’s a comfort to see something go right.

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen

building foreverTitle: Building Forever

Author: Kelly Jensen

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance

Summary:

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

My Thoughts:

Loooove is in the aaaaiiiir!

The love between the two main characters in this book. My love for the two main characters and the plot, and the author and everything.

Simon is a character who I just want to wrap in blankets and hug him so so so tight because he needs to learn how to open up. He needs love! Better love than stupid Brian provided him with.

And Charlie, oh wonderful father, wonderful writer Charlie who needs to look around him every so often and not into the past. He needs to learn how to look forward.

This book hurts, but it’s so good all at the same time and none of this review makes sense and I almost don’t care but you seriously just need to pick it up and read it. Go to your local bookstore, your local library and give it a read. You will thank me for bathing you in some wonderful warmth in the incoming holiday season, with all the cold weather upon us.

So good.

Book List 2018

Three for the Price of One: Love Letters A-C by Anyta Sunday

LoveLettersFromGreenville_A-C (1)Titles: Admiring Ash; Begging Ben; and Challenging Chance

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: Romance; LGBTQIA+

Series: Love Letters

Series Summary:

Feisty. Nerdy. Sexy. Secretive.

Greenville has them all.

A small town with big hearts, Greenville awakens at the mercy of Millionaire Row, the wealthy neighborhood across the tracks from Poplar Low.

Bad-tempered boys meet cheeky lovers.

Colliding worlds spark a fire of emotion. Heat rages. Hearts mend. Love is lost. And found.

Love Letters are playful, sexy, contemporary M/M stories that can be read as standalones.

Welcome to Greenville. Come for the sexy boys. Stay for the HEA.

—————————————————————————-

AdmiringAsh-fAdmiring Ash

A is for Ash Heartford.

Adorable, strong, and independent.

Abandoned by his parents and attached to only person—his little sister.

Attracted to River, the sultry man who saunters onto his doorstep with startling news.

Always yearning for more River, yet afraid to let him in.

Should he play it safe, or claim his legacy and risk losing his heart?

A is for Admiring Ash.

Excerpt:

Who was this River? What was he doing here, unless . . .

Ash narrowed his eyes. Attractive and charming. Hadn’t his sister mentioned she was crushing on a local college guy? “Oh, fuck me. You’ve knocked up my sister, haven’t you?”

All playfulness evaporated as Ash catalogued River from head to toe. Would Ash be spending the next twenty years raising a kid that resembled this man? Would that kid grow up—like all the Heartfords—addicted to love? Raising fatherless children? Obsessed with falling for men, believing, every time that this one was the one?

He’d hoped he and Danielle would kick the tradition.

He almost punched the stunningly sculpted man in the mouth.

Review: 

Admiring Ash is the first book in this new series from Anyta Sunday and it does not disappoint.

Ash is a bitter sweetheart, that is the only thing I could think of to describe him as, and yet I love him so much. He’s been through so much and yet he tries so hard for his little sister which is definitely a story-line I can get behind. He has hope though, even if he doesn’t quite know it yet.

River is a ray of sunshine and I love him so much. His insistence that Ash open up to the possibility of more in his life than just the thought of chasing money is what makes this book so filled with warmth.

This one is another winner for sure and you should check it out here.

Continue reading “Three for the Price of One: Love Letters A-C by Anyta Sunday”

Book List 2018

Review: Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne

imperial stoutTitle: Imperial Stout

Author: Layla Reyne

Genre: M/M Romance, Suspense

Series: Trouble Brewing

Summary: It’s a good thing assistant US attorney Dominic Price co-owns a brewery. He could use a cold one. Nic’s star witness has just been kidnapped, his joint operation with the FBI is in jeopardy, his father’s shady past is catching up with him and the hot new special agent in San Francisco is the kind of distraction best handled with a stiff drink.

Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne has his own ideas about how to handle Nic, but his skills are currently needed elsewhere. The by-the-book FBI agent goes deep undercover as a member of an infamous heist crew in order to save Nic’s witness, break up the crew and close the case before anyone else gets hurt. Nic in particular.

Things heat up when Cam falls for Nic, and the witness falls for Cam. As the crew’s suspicions grow, Cam must decide how far he’s willing to go—and how far into his own dark past he’s willing to dive—to get everyone out alive.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

This book probably would’ve been a little bit easier for me to understand if I had previously read the series which it had spun off of.

Since I did not, I was in for a tiiiiny bit of confusion. And when I say tiny I mean that there was a few times where I actually found myself re-reading things, and whole chapters to make sure I understood what the heck was going on.

That being said, the banter, camraderie and teamwork between almost all of the characters in this novel kind of made it for me.

Cam and Nic made up the rest. They were interesting enough to keep me looking, and trying to imagine the scenarios they found themselves in. The backstory was there just enough to keep me from putting down the book and wondering if I should read the whole other series first.

It was refreshing in a way to have there be two characters who were within the LGBTQIA+ family and not have it be the end of the world for other characters, like some huge big thing. Because frankly it shouldn’t be. The two characters were accepted, without argument. It was nice. I enjoyed it.

I think before I do read the second one I will give Reyne’s other series a lookie-loo so that I fully understand what is going on this time around 🙂

Announcemet

Freebie for a day: Scorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta Sunday

ScorpioHatesVirgo-f-webScorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta Sunday

Series: Signs of Love #2

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self published)

FREE IN E-BOOK FOR ONE DAY ONLY: July 11, 2018

Length: 245 pages

Subgenre:

Contemporary M/M gay romance, friends-to-lovers

The title includes: sarcasm, sexual content, and a slightly sappy HEA

My Review

All buy links:

http://www.anytasunday.com/#scorpio-hates-virgo

 

Book blurb:

This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his old nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Especially his old nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past . . .

“Scorpio Hates Virgo” contains sarcasm, sexual content, a slightly sappy HEA, and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.

It can be read as a standalone.

Themes: Light-hearted, friends-to-lovers, slow burn

Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

Excerpt

                                                            percalinary

noun / per . cal . i . nary

 

Definition of PERCALINARY

: a reference containing words and their definitions and usage according to Percy Freedman and Callaghan Glover

: a reference explaining the implied meanings of words as used by Percy Freedman and Callaghan Glover

 

Example of PERCALINARY in a sentence

My first time watching Percy and Cal interact required frequent recourse to a percalinary to understand what the hell type of flirting these two were up to.

Author Bio:

HEART-STOPPING SLOW BURN.

A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta:

 

Author website: http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anytasundaybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

Announcemet

Cover Reveal! Anyta Sunday’s Pisces Hooks Taurus

PiscesHooksTaurus-f.jpgPisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday

 Series: Signs of Love #4

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 69000 words / 285 pages

Teaser:

Does love at first sight exist?

Find out in Signs of Love 4, an opposites attract romantic comedy featuring an unapologetic romantic and a broken realist.

More wit, banter and bad puns – and even more heart-stopping slow burn!

OUT OCTOBER 2018!

 

About Anyta Sunday:

HEART-STOPPING SLOW BURN

A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, and Thai.

 

Connect with Anyta:

Author website: http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anytasundaybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

 

My thoughts:

I love this series so I am super excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. Anyta Sunday writes with a kind of heart and humor that I can appreciate as a reader. I can’t wait to see what she’s come up with here.

Book List 2018

Review: True to You by Tony Correia

TRUE TO YOUTitle: True to You

Author: Tony Correia

Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary: 

Jorge Gomez is a gay teen from a working-class family who is expelled from school after fighting with bullies on behalf of another kid. He starts training to become a pro wrestler, and finds that he has the talent that could make it a promising career. At the first wrestling show Jorge attends, he meets Thom, who is from a politically active upper middle-class family. It’s a case of opposites attracting, but Jorge feels threatened when he learns that Thom’s ex-boyfriend is determined to win Thom back.

Jorge tries to reconcile his sexual orientation with the image and loyalty demanded of a career as a wrestler. Looking to jumpstart his career, he switches to a wrestling club that promises to make him a star. When he adopts a flamboyantly gay “bad guy” wrestling persona, Thom calls him out for promoting homophobia. Jorge reacts badly with the result that he is kicked out of the club and is dumped by Thom. The crisis leads Jorge to find a way to be true to himself and who he is, and to reconcile with Thom.

Review:

Jorge Gomez is a character with a lot of heart. This is something you definitely see from the beginning of this novella. He can’t stand bullies, and he wants to be the best person that he can. But he also wants to be the best wrestler that he can which leads him down a path of almost self-hating homophobia.

Thom tries hard as well, and does his best to support Jorge but knows when not to. Therefore he knows when to step back for himself and Jorge, which is one of the most realistic things I’ve read in one of these stores.

That being said this would be all the better if it were just a little bit longer. The characters could have been fleshed out more, the story as well and it would have felt less rushed.

Received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2018

Review: Good Boys by Keelan Ellis

good boysTitle: Good Boys

Author: Keelan Ellis

Series: The Soloman Mysteries

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Summary: 

Having risen through the ranks of the Baltimore City Police Department to the elite Homicide unit as an out gay man, Paul Solomon has always prided himself on his integrity and self-reliance. As the last vestiges of his failed eight-year-long relationship fall away, Paul finds himself adrift, forced to rely on others to help him find his footing again.

When Paul and his partner, Tim Cullen, are called to the scene of a double murder of two high school students on the city’s west side, Paul finds the lives and deaths of the two boys hitting closer to home than he’d expected. With his personal life in upheaval, he struggles with the perspective needed to untangle the web of secrets and lies that led to their demise.

While working his way through the complicated case, Paul starts getting his life back together. After a date with an enigmatic young man takes a dark turn, he reaches out to an old flame who brings some much-needed lightness to his life. But Paul finds that relationships, like murder investigations, are never as simple as he’d like.

Review:

This book swept me up and didn’t put me down until long after I’d turned the last page. It was pretty damn awesome, if I’m going to be honest, without leaving too many spoilers laying about.

Paul is not perfect, he’s imperfect. He’s not the best partner, not even the best detective but he does what he can and he is determined to do as well as he can in his life and his job, even when he’s in a bit of a slump. He also doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone which I do like.

The other characters are not as fully fleshed out as I would like but I have a feeling they will be later on in the series.

The mystery is pretty solid, and the plot is not slow moving. I look forward to the next work in this series.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.