Reviews

Jumping Jude (Made Marian #3) by Lucy Lennox Review

     Jumping Jude by Lucy Lennox 3.5 Stars! 

Jude: Reaching the top of the country music charts brings out the crazy, and there’s no one crazier than my ex. Unfortunately, his threats to out me are escalating. Enter the bodyguard of my dreams.

I’d probably chafe under his constant presence if his attention to my body wasn’t so… ah… thorough. Now I have to worry about outing myself to millions of fans if I can’t keep my hands off him in public.

Derek: Now I’m an ex-Marine turned babysitter. If I have to hear Jude sing his mega-hit Bluebells one more time, I might murder him myself, and after 6 years in special ops, I know my way around a weapon. Unfortunately, so does he. Except his arsenal includes washboard abs and a killer set of pipes.

I’ve faced guns, knives, explosives and yet it’s Jude Marian who may end up bringing me to my knees.

Review

 I like this entry into the the Marian series a ton. Jude and Wolfe are very sexy. The conflict makes sense and they have great banter.

They are both wonderful men and it wonderful to see them fall in love and get their happily ever after.

These series is pretty sappy and has a great cast of characters and family members. Good stuff.

Wheels Up (Out of Uniform #4) by Annabeth Albert Review

Review:

Wheels Up (Out of Uniform) - Annabeth Albert

heir love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations…

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO—and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semianonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction—they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good. 

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

 

Review

 

I like Annabetb Albert a great deal and I love this series. I didn’t love this book and struggled to finish it. 

I adored the opening with Dustin and Wes meeting in San Diego but once that got to San Diego the book went south for me. 

Partly, I never really got over Dustin not being more honest and open with his brother (a hero from a previous book in the series). I am also not a huge fan of forbidden romance but good writing (and Albert is a very good writer) can move me past that. However, I just never adjusted the the angst and the lack of couple time in this book.

Not for me. 

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1622167/wheels-up-out-of-uniform-4-by-annabeth-albert-review

Taming Teddy: Made Marian Series by Lucy Lennox Review

   Taming Tedd by Lucy Lennox 3 Stars!

Teddy: If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s commitment. You don’t become an award-winning photographer by staying in one place. I’m always on the road, looking for the next shot, the next award, the next hot body. Which is how I end up on Dr. James Marian’s front porch in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. He’s known as the Wildlife Whisperer, and I want to photograph him in action. He’s reluctant at first, but I can be persuasive.

Soon enough I have him in bed saying yes over and over and over again, but my ability to shoot and scoot is frozen by a Denali snowstorm.

Jamie: I always thought of myself as the marrying type. Until I got left at the altar. Now I have a new motto: never commit and never fall in love. So when a cocky nature photographer decides I’m the key to his next masterpiece, it seems like the perfect arrangement: the hotshot’s only in town for a brief assignment and then he’ll be gone. No commitment, no strings, and no chance of getting my heart broken again.

There’s just one problem: I think I’m falling in love. Now I’m afraid that maybe I’m the marrying type after all. And he definitely is not.

 

Review

The animal lover in me loves this book and I like Teddy and Jamie. They are fun and have great chemistry.

I like the rest of the Marian clan as well and the Alaskan setting is awesome.

The conflict is a bit lame and the issues with Jamie’s ex are really not clarified in a way that makes him a real person.

This was a nice fun read overall and I will check out the rest of the series.

Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter by R. Cooper 4 Star Review

Review:

Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter - R. Cooper

To help out his sister, Scott moved to the small town of Montgomery, where there isn’t much to do and no one for him to date. Well, there’s one other openly gay man in town—Henry ‘Cole’ Porter, a widower who runs the school library, but after one drunken night together, Cole has kept his distance. Scott is used to that. He spends a lot of time working out to look good, and from the slow way he talks and the frat house atmosphere at the fire station where he works, it’s easy to assume he’s stupid. Most people are happy to admire his body and assume that’s all he wants from them, and deep down, Scott is too afraid to try asking for more. 

Which is why sweet, romantic Scott has been secretly pining after Cole for months when some of the town’s nosier residents decide Cole has been single long enough. They have a plan to throw every successful, smart, professional gay man in a thirty-mile radius Cole’s way, whether he likes it or not. Their list of candidates doesn’t include Scott, and Scott’s insecurities prevent him from stepping forward—even when it seems as though Cole is asking him to. 

Cole is everything Scott isn’t; highly educated, stylish, with refined tastes. He’s also stubborn and sarcastic, and not nearly as smart about the workings of his own heart as people might think. It might take a lot of the wrong men for him to realize the right one has been in front of him all along.

 

Review

 

 

I liked this romance very much. It looked carefully at two very different men seeing their way to be together and in love. The conflicts are mainly internal but we do have a lot of blocking going on.

Scott is younger and shy. He is very good looking and thus people see him as shallow and not bright even though he is clearly kind and smart.

Cole is a widower and funny. He is older and more established and people think he is too smart for Scott.

However, Scott and Cole are very attuned. I love those moments in the book where Cooper manages to show us just how right these two are for each other. 

Cole has to see Scott and Scott needs to value himself more but they get there. As with most of Cooper’s books lack of communication is a huge issue (quit it!) and the story needs to be longer after the couple really connects.

There is a weird aside in this book with all the straight women matchmaking and basically objectifying the gay men in town which is very meta to the Male/Male Romance dynamics that is worth a look as well.

 
 

 

Original post:
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The Arrangement by Felice Stevens Review

     The Arrangement by Felice Stevens 3 Stars!

Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he’s not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.

Damaged goods. That’s all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it’s the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.

As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.

Review

I liked each of these characters but the idea so common in Romance novels that one of the heroes can’t even give a hint at what is happening in his home life with his brother is tiring.

Why does it have to be a secret? So, for me the main conflict of this book is too drawn out and it would have been a richer love story if we got more time with them as couple living their lives.

They are both complex enough people that conflict could come from who they are and adjusting to being a family.

How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon Book 2) Eli Easton Review

Review:

How to Walk Like a Man - Eli Easton

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If this job doesn’t kill Matt, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

 

Review

This is a fairly light hearted shifter romance. I like the mythos and the characters. I would like it better if it was a known paranormal world. The conflict of “nobody must know” gets a bit old but it fun.

 

Roman is wonderful of course. It is cool the way Easton has him settle into his human body.

 

I like Matt less and would have wanted more time with him after he was out but all in all this is a sweet fun tale with adventure thrown in.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1593835/how-to-walk-like-a-man-howl-at-the-moon-book-2-eli-easton-review

Crunch (The Riley Brothers #4) by E. Davies Review

   Crunch (The Riley Brothers Book 4) by E. Davies 3.5 Stars! 

“I don’t have a right to complain.”
Tattoo artist Floyd Turner’s faith in justice was destroyed when he was a rookie cop. He struggled for a couple years with drinks and his own anger. He’s long past that stage – now, he runs a tattoo shop downtown. But despite his fulfilling career, he’s nervous about the upcoming high school reunion. Not having a date to bring there reveals his insecurity: he aches for something more. And then, when he thinks things can’t get any more stressful, his former patrol partner walks in.

“These tattoos better make a difference.”
After his past caught up with him, cop Greyson Peters became a fitness instructor and moved back home. His old career was hard from the start, and he’s always struggled to find a healthy outlet. He’s slowly healing, pouring his energy into exercise, but he’s still got unsightly scars he wants covered. It’s hard to be a playboy when his self-confidence keeps taking hits. Worse yet, his family keeps pressuring him to get back into the force.

“I turned my pain outward, you turned it inward.”
With Floyd’s family chasing him for a debt he’s long since paid and Greyson struggling to find closure for the career he still misses, the two old classmates are drawn together sharing skills. Both men are openly gay now, and they slowly realize they could always be fake dates for the reunion. As their feelings strengthen, can they even hold out until the reunion to admit that they’re both afraid of wanting more? And can they open their eyes and see the support all around them?

Review

Davies books are always solidly good. This romance between Floyd and his ex police partner explores a range of topics from guilt, to policing, to self harm, to what we own our families.

The romance is hot and tender.

I am so happy for Floyd to get a happily ever after and to rejoin this circle of friends in this lovely series.

Emergency Contact by Elle Brownlee Review

Review:

Emergency Contact - Elle Brownlee

When Liam’s best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He’s great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.

Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn’t sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.

Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.

 

Review

 

I really like the characters in this book but the lack of communication on both their parts gets old. It would have been a richer book if we could have seen them be vulnerable to each other for a few chapters at the end.

 

I like a Math based character a lot but whoa does Liam have trust issues.

 

Garrett is wonderful but even he needs to speak up more.

 

I would read more books by this writer.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1592528/emergency-contact-by-elle-brownlee-review

Getting Him Back (Ethan & Wyatt, #1) by K.A. Mitchell Review

   Getting Him Back (Ethan & Wyatt) by K.A. Mitchell 3 Stars!

Ethan may have followed his high school sweetheart to college only to get dumped his first day there, but he’s not going to let that stop him from exploring all his new life has to offer. Sex-only hookups, his photography, new friends and a campus-wide game of zombies vs humans all help keep his mind off his broken heart and move him toward building a new, better life without his ex.

And then there’s Wyatt. Mysterious, grouchy—hot. And possibly not gay. But Ethan’s not going to let that stand in the way of figuring out what makes Wyatt tick. New college goal? Get Wyatt into bed and into Ethan’s life.

Step one: arrange a “tutoring” date. Step two: “accidentally” bump into Wyatt as often as possible. Step three: explore the sexy body under that ever-present hoodie. And when their friendship deepens into something neither of them expect, convince Wyatt he’s not just a pity fling or a one-time hookup, but that Ethan is in it for the long haul.

 

Review

Hmm.

I like Wyatt a lot. I like the premise of following your boyfriend to college only to get dumped.
There is some college like stuff that is fun. I like the romance when it is happening. I enjoyed Ethan’s coming into self awareness and growing up.

There is a lot of stuff that is just not great though. This is a three part series with the same couple. It would have been much better as one book. Also, while the college stuff is handled nicely the overall setting is generic. Ethan’s ex is made too simple and what happen not really resolved. And too much insta love.

Sooo, I will read this writer again but likely not the rest of the books in this series.

Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper 4 Star Review

      Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper  by R. Cooper 4 Stars!

After an accident left him broken in body and spirit, Charlie Howard retired from the police force to teach at a community college. Life has taught him that he’s unlikely to get what he wants, so he’s stopped asking. Instead, he hides from the world in the apartment complex he manages. After all, no one can leave him if he doesn’t let anyone in.

Will, a sexy, classic-film-loving twink, moves into the apartment across from him and—to Charlie’s surprise—makes it clear that he’d like nothing more than to hole up with Charlie and get kinky. Will has no problem expressing what he wants in bed or out of it, but he’s never dated anyone long-term, and Charlie isn’t sure Will’s ready for anything serious.

Charlie is a serious kind of guy. He wants Will and everything a relationship could mean, even if he doesn’t have any experience in that scene—even if that makes him vulnerable. As they grow closer, Charlie realizes that it’s time to start asking for what he wants, and if he wants to be happy, he’ll have to risk everything and ask Will to stay.

Review

This is a tender and hot romance between a gruff older Criminal Justice Professor and a young hair stylist.

It is an opposites attract romance between Charlie and Will, neither of whom are great at talking or letting themselves be fully scene. At the end of the book, Charlie’s lack of sharing is frustrating but because there are all kinds of levels of intimacy (the heat factor is much higher here than in most Cooper books), the struggle to articulate and risk on these heroes part feels more natural.

I think the love between them is a healing love and I liked the slow flowering. The end of the story was a bit of a mess but we get an HEA that satisfies. They fully see each other.