3 Stars

Goaltender’s Penalty by V.L. Locey Review

Review:

Goaltender's Penalty - V.L. Locey

It was supposed to be a fun-filled night at the arena, cheering on the Harrison Hawks, ogling the blond Acadian god/goalie in the crease, and maybe, if he was really lucky, catching an airborne puck with his hands and not his face.

Unfortunately for Daryl Hamilton, his first minor league ice hockey game ends with him catching something with his face, but it’s not a puck. It’s the fist of his dream goalie, Ryan Amirault. But while his nose may not be thankful for the badly timed autograph request, Daryl can’t say that the rest of him isn’t pleased with how things are turning out.

Not only is Ryan turning himself inside out to make things right with Daryl, the spark of attraction between the two men is slowly blazing up into a roaring inferno. The only problem – aside from two black eyes – is that Ryan isn’t out, there’s a viral video of the nose-crunching encounter, and a rather curious sports reporter is snooping around the daycare center where Daryl works. If their new love can survive all that, it will survive anything.

Story also appears in the Scoring anthology

 

Review

Aww. I love Daryl and Ryan. This is a lovely romance where a fan gets to fall in love with a sports star They are both great character. Good stuff!

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1622147/goaltender-s-penalty-by-v-l-locey-review

Nothing Special by Jay Northcote Review

   Nothing Special by Jay Northcote 3 Stars!

Noah thinks he’s nothing special. Average height, a bit on the skinny side, and cute but rather geeky, he’s relentlessly ordinary. He certainly doesn’t expect to be noticed by Sol, the gorgeous dark-haired stranger Noah sees on his commute home most days. But when Noah’s friend, Dom, persuades Noah to take a huge risk in a bid to get Sol’s attention, things turn out better than Noah dared to hope. Noah and Sol start dating, and much to Noah’s surprise, his feelings seem to be reciprocated.

But Noah’s insecurities make him doubt Sol. He doesn’t believe he’s interesting enough or sexy enough to hold Sol’s attention, and as Sol tries to get closer, Noah’s instinct is to pull away to protect himself. If their relationship is going to survive, Sol needs to convince Noah that he sees Noah very differently than Noah sees himself. Because to Sol, Noah is something very special indeed.

Review

This is sweet wish fulfillment where the hero gets is daily commute crush. They fall in love fast–too fast for the kind of character development that would make this a better romance and there could be a higher heat level but I enjoyed this story.

The Only Guy (The Guy, #2) by Skylar M. Cates Review

Review:

The Guy From Glamour - Skylar M. Cates

Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.

 

Review

 

I  liked this romance well enough that I bought the rest of the series. Loved forever romances are a treat. 

Jesse is a great artist hero and I love who he is as a kid. Aaron took a long time to get a clue but when he did it was worth it.

Both our heroes need to work on communication but it is a fine romance with lots of great details.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1618301/the-only-guy-the-guy-2-by-skylar-m-cates-review

Hue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, #1) by Jordan Castillo Price Review

Review:

Hue, Tint and Shade - Jordan Castillo Price

Asking for help can be a challenge for even the best of us, and so it’s doubly intimidating for quiet, introverted Tommy Roth. An online exchange leads to a meeting with a psychic who assures Tommy that his naturally subdued aura is to blame for his timidity. Blue and violet tones are out, and shades of yellow and red are in!

Of course it’s a bunch of baloney, and to make it worse, the intimidating shop clerk overheard the whole conversation.

Just when it seems like Tommy’s life can’t get any more dreary, a colorful character drops out of the sky. Nathan’s so vivid, he seems to good to be true. Is he?

 

Review

 

It is cute, weird and sexy,  It is also short and it is hard to know what is going on sometimes but it is a nice little pick me up of a romance. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1622034/hue-tint-and-shade-petit-morts-1-by-jordan-castillo-price-review

Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote Review

Review:

Nothing Serious - Jay Northcote

Mark O’Brien is finally being honest with himself. His relationship with Rachel is over and he’s moving out of the home they’ve shared for six years. They get along, but he can’t fix a relationship when the person he’s with is the wrong gender.

Jamie Robertson, one of the removal men, is huge and ridiculously gorgeous, and Mark is smitten at first sight. When a cardboard box splits, revealing items of a personal nature that Mark never wanted anybody to see, he’s mortified. But it sparks the start of a beautiful friendship with benefits.

As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, the two men get increasingly close and “nothing serious” turns into something rather important to both of them. But communication isn’t their strong point. Will either man ever find the courage to be honest about his feelings?

Review

Such a nice sexy romance between an man who has just come out and a younger hero who has always been himself.

 

Northcote writes a lovely little character driven love story. A good way to spend the afternoon.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1592385/nothing-serious-by-jay-northcote-review

Without a Compass by Helen Juliet Review

   Without a Compass by Helen Juliet 3 Stars! 

Riley Anderson isn’t an outdoorsy guy. He’s a desk jockey, office by day and couch by night. So when his family insists on a camping trip for his father’s 50th birthday he’s hardly thrilled. Things only get worse when Kai shows up, too.

Kai Brandt’s more than eager to go camping with his best buddy, but his buddy’s little brother Riley is all grown up now, and hotter than hell. Kai’s willing to help him pitch more than just a tent… Which is weird, because Kai never swung that way before.

Events conspire to out Riley’s secret AND leave him stranded in Kai’s care for longer than they’d planned for. Trapped together in the wilderness, they’re going to have to face a few hard truths if they’re going to make it back to the world.

But even if they manage it, the experience will leave them forever changed.

Review 

Juliet writes really sweet romance with kind characters and engaging love stories at the center.

Riley is a wonderful person who fights hard to be himself and there for his family. Kai is a big strong affable guy who takes life as it comes.

We get camping in the English countryside, some uncomplicated villains and stuck outside romance.

Good stuff if the end is a bit rushed.

Who We Are by Nicola Haken Review

   Who We Are by Nicola Haken 3 Stars! 

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

Review

So much going on in this book. We have a lot of angst but a good amount of joy too.

Our heroes are both raising teenagers. My favorite parts of this book actually deal with Tyler and Scott as much as Sebastian and Oliver. And I love the cat and the besties as well.

The romance is good too as it looks at two complicated adults leading full lives falling in love. Good stuff.

The Pill Bugs of Time (Offbeat Crimes #2) by Angel Martinez Review

The Pill Bugs of Time (Offbeat Crimes Book 2) - Angel Martinez

Relationship and communication issues plague Officer Vikash Soren, but those are nothing compared to facing stick-throwing tumbleweeds, pill bugs and…time travel?

Vikash Soren, the perfect police officer except for his odd paranormal ability, never seems to lose his temper. Always serene and competent, he’s taken on the role of mediator in a squad room full of misfits. But on the inside, he’s a mess. Unable to tell his police partner that he loves him, Vikash struggles silently, terrified of losing Kyle as a lover, partner and friend.

 

But life in the 77th Precinct doesn’t leave much room for internal reflection. A confrontation with a stick-throwing tumbleweed in Fairmount Park leads to bizarre consequences involving pill bugs, statues and…time travel? If Vikash manages to survive the week and stay in one point in time, he might be able to address normal things like relationship problems. He just needs Kyle to have a little more patience. Maybe a few centuries’ worth.

 

Review

 

This is the second book in the Off Beat Crimes series and the world and characters are great.

 

Kash and Kyle from the first book are on the case. Being closeted at work is taking a toll on their relationship and they have a case to solve.

 

I liked all the adventure elements and the emotionial struggles of Kash’s character.

It was a fun read with a nice romance and HEA.

Original post:
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Spun! (The Shamwell Tales, #4) by J.L. Merrow Review

     Spun! (The Shamwell Tales)  by J.L. Merrow 3 Stars!

An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory — just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.

Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?

Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want — or their love could be over before it’s even begun.

Review

I like a great deal about this book but it ends before we get a fully developed relationship. I wanted to see Rory and David as a couple and in love. They just basically start really being together when the books ends and it was frustrating.

Rory is a great guy. I love that he has shared custody and the underlying discussion of gendered childrearing. His sexuality could be better discussed between him and David for richer emotionial intimacy.

David is wonderful as well if we take him for his actions in this book. We might need a bit more self reflection as he grows up and gets what he really needs here. I like his interactions with his mom around love.

The circle of friends and the setting is great. Even though most of these books have had problems for me, I like this world and wouldn’t mind reading more but with more couple time and longer romance time.

Twinkle Star (Kindle Edition) by Nicky James Review

   Twinkle Star by Nicky James 3 Stars!

Meet The Cast

Julian – Desert Dreams stagehand. Sexy, tall, manly, and deeply closeted. Age, 35.

Twinkle Star – Over-the-top, vibrant, and flamboyant actor. Age, 25.

It’s the last show of the season before Julian gets a much needed Christmas break… What could go wrong?
When diva actor Twinkle Star makes his appearance… life for Julian may never be the same.
Julian’s life demands subtlety, but when your secret is Twinkle Star, things get complicated.

 

Review 

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the Christmas Novella.

I like the setting, Palm Springs and the theater world, a great deal. I like Star’s character and I am interested in Julian’s internalized homophobia.

However, Star pushes really hard. I am not sure why he would and what is so great about Julian that he would want to especially when he is clear about wanting an out partner.

We don’t get enough exploration of Julian’s issues to make them not be unsympathetic based on where he lives, works and who already knows.

So…. mixed.