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.

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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. 

Book List 2018

Review: A Touch of Magic by Isabelle Adler

a touch of magicTitle: A Touch of Magic

Author: Isabelle Adler

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ Romance

Summary: After returning to the straight and narrow, Cary Westfield hopes to rebuild his life as a stage magician. Only thing is, the success of his new show is entirely dependent on a strange medallion inherited from his late grandfather—an amulet that holds a rare and inexplicable power to captivate the wearer’s audience.

Ty prides himself on his ability to obtain any item of magical significance—for the right price. When a mysterious client hires him to steal a magical amulet from a neophyte illusionist, he’s sure it will be a quick and easy job, earning him a nice chunk of cash.

As it turns out, nothing is sure when greed and powerful magic are at play. When a mob boss with far-reaching aspirations beats Ty to the snatch, Cary and Ty form an unlikely partnership to get the amulet back. The unexpected spark of attraction between them is a welcome perk, but each man has his own plan for the prize.

All bets are off, however, when it is revealed the magical amulet holds a darker secret than either of them had bargained for.

Review:

This is a book I wish there was more of. It was good as is, but it left me a little bit hungry for more, in particular for learning more about the characters within.

Ty is an enigma, wrapped in a….no I’m just kidding. He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold and I do truly love him. He’s lovely, and he might possibly have an inkling of it.

Cary is a sweetheart, but definitely not as sweet as he seems. He’s a total secret badass.

My favourite character though was definitely Bas, who is flamboyant and interesting in equal measures.

This book is a fun heist-like romp. I thoroughly enjoyed those parts of it, but this book is not the greatest if you are looking for slow-burn romance. But if you’re looking for instant attraction, and gratification then this is definitely the book for you.

I’m excited to see this universe expand, and the magic within it to do so as well.

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

 

Book List 2018, Contributor: Luke Black

Review: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

accepting the fallAccepting the Fall by Meg Harding

Publisher: Oceanside Press

Length (Print & Ebook): 62k 

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Buy Now

Summary:

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.
This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

Author Meg Harding’s take on Accepting the Fall: “Not everything is perfect, and it’s not always going to go right the first time around. It’s not any less special because it was flawed.”

Praise for Accepting the Fall: “A character driven, second-chance romance. Recommended for anyone craving a low-angst, tender, contemporary story stuffed to the brim with feels and sweetness.” – Piper Vaughn

Teaser:

“I’ll handle this,” he said. He fished around in the backpack he’d brought along and withdrew a small pill bottle. “Ibuprofen. Take one.” He held it out.

Zander glared. There was a drop of sweat beading at Cole’s temple and his hair—what could be seen of it poking from the hat—was curling. Zander simultaneously wanted to see Cole looking similarly hot and flushed while underneath him and to tell his upbeat ass to fuck right off with his ibuprofen and sunny attitude.

Cole shook it, his lips twitching. “On second thought, take two or three. Your eye’s started to twitch.” Whatever restraint Cole had been using must have escaped him, and he let a smug smirk takeover his stupidly handsome face.

Before common sense was able to get a word in, Zander stepped forward. The animal instinct part of him had one goal in mind: kiss the smirk till it went away. Their past didn’t matter in the present. Cole was here and everything about him tugged on parts of Zander he didn’t know what to do with. Only Cole had ever made Zander’s brain go blank with need. Cole turned Zander into the kind of person Zander didn’t know how to be, and much like in the past, it was irresistible.

And terrifying.

Unlike his seventeen-year-old self, the adult Zander did now—deep down—possess the tiniest inkling of self-control. It was this iron will that enabled his common sense to kick in right as the tips of his shoes brushed the tips of Cole’s. Cole’s hand, bottle covered by his curled fingers, pressed against Zander’s diaphragm. Zander could feel the jut of Cole’s knuckles through the thin fabric of his shirt. Cole’s eyes were wide saucers, the blue almost entirely swallowed by the expanding black of his pupils.

It was the same look he’d given Zander on the bus.

Zander sucked in a shaky breath and on legs that felt wooden, took several steps back. He held his palm out and Cole let the bottle fall, landing dead center. “Thanks,” said Zander, far too huskily.

About Meg Harding:  Meg Harding is a sucker for things on four legs and works as a pet meg hardingsitter when she’s not writing. She’s an editor and a lover of fanfiction. She enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV. Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin, with a bachelors in Psych and a masters in publishing. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

Connect with Meg Harding: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Our Thoughts:

Continue reading “Review: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding”

Book List 2018

Review: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

tiny (1).jpgA Tiny Piece of Something Greater

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Out Now!

Length (Print & Ebook): 258 Pages

Subgenre: LGBT, Interracial/Multicultural, New Adult

Editor’s Note: Some readers may find some of the scenes in this book difficult to read. We have compiled a list of content warnings, which you can access at interludepress.com/content-warnings

About this Book: 

Reid Watsford has a lot of secrets and a past he can’t quite escape. While staying at his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, he signs up for introductory dive classes, where he meets Joaquim Oliveira, a Brazilian dive instructor with wanderlust. Driven by an instant, magnetic pull, what could have been just a hookup quickly deepens. As their relationship evolves, they must learn to navigate the challenges of Reid’s mental illness—on their own and with each other.

jude pic.jpgJude Sierra talks A Tiny Piece of Something Greater: I want readers to walk away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it is like to thrive with mental illness—or strive toward it—and what it is like for two people to be and fall in love in these situations. I’d love for readers to come away knowing that love doesn’t cure mental illness, nor should it. Reid and Joaquim love each other as they are.

About Jude Sierra: Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include HushWhat it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews.

Connect with Jude: Site | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

Teaser: 

Joaquim’s body is beautifully settled into the rhythms of his deep, sleeping breaths. Reid is no longer angry. Well, he’s a little angry at himself. If I wake Joaquim with kisses, will that be enough? Will he remember the apology from last night and let it stand?

Eyes closed, Reid scoots closer to Joaquim and puts a hand on his hip. He promised to talk to Joaquim. And even without that promise, they should talk. Joaquim is the potential for a healthy relationship, finally.

When Reid’s body heat comes into contact with his, Joaquim stills and then stretches. Joaquim’s body is a luxury: muscles tensing and loosening, all stunning bones and inviting skin. Reid wants. He wants to glut himself on this man, to soak up every moment with him while he can.

Review: 

This book was a good read, but a hard one, so that is definitely something you should go into knowing.

The depth of the writing about mental illness was what drew me into this novel, because at no point does it treat mental illness like something that is not real, or something that is to be disparaged. Instead it is treated with a thoughtfulness, and consideration that is deserved of anyone who has been diagnosed with something that might make them a little bit different.

Reid is a character with a lot of humour despite his circumstance and has a sweet centre as he tries to figure out what his life will be. There is a major character evolution with his character throughout this book that made it captivating to read.

Joaquim however is my darling. I loved him so much. He was so sweet and kind, with good philosophies on life, and life’s journey and where it should take you. His consideration toward Reid was amazing.

This book was upsetting at times, but in the end I was so glad to have read it, because it is such a kindly written novel, with a lot of humanity in it.

Buy Now!

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