California

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.

 
 

 

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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.

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:
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For Better or Worse by R. Cooper Review

     For Better or Worse by R. Cooper 3.5 Stars!

To the other firefighters in Montgomery, Javier is a quietly heroic figure with a reputation for staying calm and doing what needs to be done. To the small town gossips, he’s some kind of mysterious ladies’ man, despite how he hasn’t dated anyone in years. Truth is, Javier’s demisexual—it takes him a while to feel desire for someone, and most people don’t want to wait for that to happen. Tired of being hurt, he gave up on dating. He gave up with such determination that two years into spending nearly every free evening making dinners with his best friend, Jimmy, he’s only just realized that he’s in love with him.

Jimmy is noise where Javier is silent. He expresses his thoughts and feelings about every subject imaginable—except the reason he moved thousands of miles away from his family to start a new life in Montgomery. He spends his nights with Javier, cooking and jointly taking care of his rescue dog. If he’s noticed that he and Javier have been all but dating each other for the past two years, he hasn’t said, and Javier isn’t going to risk upsetting him by asking.

That is, until the very public romance between their fellow firefighter, Scotty, and school librarian, Cole, leads Jimmy to reveal more about his past. Suddenly, Javier has hope. If he has to change the minds of the entire town in order to woo his best friend, then so be it. He’s not someone to let a little fear get in his way, especially when it means a chance to make their date nights real.

Review

I like the tone of R. Coopers writing as it is a bit lush and character driven.

This book is best read after the first book in the series. It is really lovely friends to lovers romance featuring a demisexual and a closeted gay man who are best friends and fire fighters.

Jimmy and Javier share a strong connection but they both need to be much better at talking. I would have loved to hear them talk things out.

I liked the book a great deal but the lack of sharing of thoughts was frustrating. It is a great setting and circle of friends and I would like more in this series but more couple time (which was an issue in the first book as well).

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.

Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane Review

  Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane 3.5 Stars!

Since Hank Calder’s four-year-old niece, Josie, came to live with him, his life has been plenty dramatic, thank you, and the last thing he needs is a swishy, flaming twinkie to complicate things. But when Justin, the daycare worker at his gym, offers to do something incredibly nice for Hank—and for Josie—Hank is forced to reconsider. Justin may be flamboyant in his speech and gestures, but his heart and kindness are as rock steady and dependable as anyone, even Hank, could ask for. Can Hank trust in his dramatic “turkey in the snow” to offer his heart the joy he and Josie have never known?

Review
I am a big fan of Amy Lane’s Christmas novellas. This one is particularly sweet.

We have a common troupe of a brother left to raise his sister’s young child. I particularly like the scene where Hank is trying to just have a minute for himself but always does his best to act with kindness.

He is a jerk to Justin at first. The character development gets uneven because this feels like it is coming from not like more femme men but is really coming from having a more dramatic ex boyfriend…but it is a bit of a mess in how it is presented. Hank needed to make up for his jerkiness and be much more appreciative of Justin imo.

Justin is a ray of sunshine character but very real feeling none the less. I love child care worker leads. He is kind, self knowing, tough, and thoughtful.

A nice plot and a good love story.

Christmas with Danny Fit by Amy Lane 4 Star Review!

   Christmas with Danny Fitby Amy Lane 4 Stars!

In a perfect moment of cold November sunshine, pudgy accountant Kit Allen realizes Jesse, his new office assistant, is everything he’s ever dreamed about in a man. Feeling supremely unworthy and desperate to get a life—even an imaginary one—Kit embarks on a self-improvement campaign featuring DVD fitness guru, Danny Fit. In the meantime, Jesse has begun a subtle campaign of his own, one designed to bring Kit out of his DVD dream world and into Jesse’s arms. Jesse isn’t perfect—he’s no Danny Fit—but he hopes that the kind, funny man who has been looking at him so soulfully since his first day at work has what it takes to be everything Jesse has always wanted.

Review

This romance was just so right.

Lane handles the small space of novella with mastery. Kit and Jesse are both vulnerable and both take big emotionial risks.

I love a plain Joe here and we get that in spades in Kit. All of reasoning for not coming out and living his life as he has make perfect sense.

And so do Jesse’s choices.

It is a warm fuzzy to watch the crush turn into love and we get holiday fun and kittens. 

Borrowing Blue (Made Marian, #1) by Lucy Lennox Review

Review:

Borrowing Blue: A Made Marian Novel - Lucy May Lennox

Blue: When my ex walks into the resort bar with his new husband on his arm, I want nothing more than to prove to him that I’ve moved on. Thankfully, the sexy stranger sitting next to me is more than willing to share a few kisses in the name of revenge. It gets even better when those scorching kisses turn into a night of fiery passion. 

The only problem? Turns out the stranger’s brother is marrying my sister later this week.

Tristan: I have one rule: no messing with the guests at my vineyard resort. Of course the one exception I make turns out to be the brother of the woman my brother’s about to marry. Now we’re stuck together for a week of wedding activities, and there’s no avoiding the heat burning between us. 

So fine, we make a deal: one week. One week to enjoy each other’s bodies and get it out of our system. Once the bride and groom say I do and we become family, it’ll all be over between us. Right?

 

Review

 


I enjoyed this romance despite it being over the top in places and not make sense in others. Those issues had to do with things happening outside the romance itself. I liked the love story. It was sweet and hot. I had a good time. 

The other stuff…. Tristian’s brother’s motivations and why Blue’s sisters would be engaged to a homophobe when she has so many queer brothers…. Little sense is made…but I had a good time anyway.

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Winter Ball (Winter Ball #1) by Amy Lane Review

   Winter Ball by Amy Lane 4 Stars!!

Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work—and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected—nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games—and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie—but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Review

Awwww.

I love a friends to lovers romance. This is a wonderful one between Richie and Skip. These two heroes have both had really not satisfying romantic relationships in their past with women. The premise here is that because of their backgrounds (less educated with less resources exposing them to a wider point of view and language to think about things) and the hyper masculinity and homophobia of their home cultures, it didn’t occur to them that they were gay–that their sexuality was not heterosexual.

It is an intersting premise which I struggle to match to my own set of truths and feel classism at work here, I thought for these characters the idea worked. Especially for Richie who had so much to lose if he even let in the glimmer of the thought that he might not be straight.

Richie and Skip have been falling in love for years and here we get to see it move into romantic and sexual., They also both need comfort and home.

The soccer bits are great as is the circle of friends. Richie and Skip do a wonderful job communicating inside and outside of the bedroom and it is lovely.

Body imagine is discussed in compelling ways as Skio use to be overweight and Richie is a short man. It is a very loving book where the villains get what they have coming but there is a realism too,

I bought the next book right away and hope there is a third or more in this series.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane 5 Star Review!

  Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane  5 Stars!

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them — just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity — Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not — but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review

Wow. At first, I was leery. I don’t love New Adult. I am not always a fan of characters who are not self reflective. But this book is lush and keeps going and going and gives me all the love.

Rusty (awful name but then he has awful parents) is a slow processor who works hard, has been taught to have good manners, and is miserable as he doesn’t even see himself in an effort to get along with parents who see him as an asset rather than a person.

Oliver is quick witted, determined, and loved. And he loves Rusty because Rusty is kind and hot.

This is a very New Adult Romance as our heroes meet in high school. We get a wonderful friends to lovers troupe with a lot of finding yourself. There are all sorts of amazing moments in this book.

Rusty is wonderful and his struggle to become himself powerful and endearing. Oliver is just the best. I wish we were in his head as well. The cast of characters are just great.

The happily ever after is well earned and left me so happy.

Sink into this lovely, sexy, sweet romance.