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Stood Up (The Family Jules Book, #3) by Sean Ashcroft Review

     Stood Up (The Family Jules Book 3) by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars

Riley Jules has been in love with Brent Morrison since they were fifteen years old. He always thought the day of Brent’s wedding would be bittersweet, but he couldn’t have predicted that Brent’s fiancée would leave him standing at the altar.

With his best friend hurting, all Riley can think of is how desperately he wants to comfort Brent–but then one thing leads to another, and before he knows it, they’re falling into bed together. It seems like a one-time thing, but…

Maybe Riley’s feelings aren’t so one-sided after all.

Brent’s had a lot go wrong in his life–his parents dying, being left to raise his little sister alone, and now being humiliated in front of all of Hope Springs–but maybe the one good thing he could have is Riley.

That is, if he could just get Riley to stay in one place for more than five minutes.

Can Riley and Brent grab hold of their moment and keep each other close?

 

Review

I was very much looking forward to this last book in the Family Jules. As much as I like Riley and Brent, the book drags.

They need to talk more and the side plot of why Brent was jilted. I like the Brent is kind but the romance unspools slowly. A bit more talking would improve the love story.

 

Shy by John Inman Review

Review:

Shy - John Inman

Dating is hard enough. Throw in an incontinent Chihuahua, an unrequited love affair, a severe case of social anxiety disorder, a dying father, and a man-eating hog and it becomes darned near impossible. Still, it takes two to tango—and when Tom Morgan, a mild-mannered assistant bank manager with a debilitating case of shyness, meets Frank Wells, who is straight off the farm and even shyer than he is, sparks start flying. 

Just when Tom and Frank’s burgeoning love affair is rolling along nicely, Frank must return to Indiana to oversee the farm while his father battles cancer. Tom tags along to help Frank out and finds himself slopping hogs and milking cows and wondering what the hell happened to his orderly citified existence. And what’s with all the chickens? Tom hates chickens! 

With Frank’s help, Tom grits his teeth and muddles through. Funny what a couple of guys can accomplish when they’re crazy about each other. Not even nine hundred chickens can stand in the way of true love.

 

Review

 

This book is over the top and a great deal of fun. The humor wanders into gross out and that gets in the way of the sexy sometimes but it is all witty and tender. 

The main characters are great and except for Frank’s dad the rest of the characters are pretty cartoonish. But that is okay.

This is a romp with with a slice of sweetness that will take you smile and enjoy the goofy.

Original post:
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Ten in the Bin by N.R. Walker 4 Star Review

Review:

Ten in the Bin - N.R. Walker

A short story, approx. 12.5K words. 

Heartbroken, Dean Cartwright leaves Sydney and heads home, to the coastal town of Newcastle. In a bid to make new friends, he signs up for a local rugby league team where he meets a man known as Macca.

Dean and Macca are both front row forwards, meaning they’re the biggest guys on the team. Over six feet tall and over a hundred kilos each, they’re a force to be reckoned with on the field.

But when Dean gets knocked out, Macca gets even by punching the other guy, and both Dean and Macca end up on the sideline. 

Dean soon realizes that being knocked unconscious is the best thing to ever happen to him.

Story is set in Australia, and uses Australian English

 

Review

 

What is not to love? I have rugby and ginger hero with a crush? 

This is a sweet and sexy romance about two guys who play rugby together and find love. No angst and all joy. I really loved it.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1588406/ten-in-the-bin-by-n-r-walker-review

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.

What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote Review

   What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote

When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

Review

There are so many troupes here I love-friends to lovers, childhood friends, pretend relationship.

This is a joyful Christmas read with a great and sexy relationship between the heroes.

This is a happy read!

Let It Snow (Minnesota Christmas Book 1) Heidi Cullinan Review

   Let It Snowby Heidi Cullinan 3.5 Stars! 

The weather outside is frightful, but this Minnesota Northwoods cabin is getting pretty hot.

Stylist Frankie Blackburn never meant to get lost in Logan, Minnesota, but his malfunctioning GPS felt otherwise, and a record-breaking snowfall ensures he won’t be heading back to Minneapolis anytime soon. Being rescued by three sexy lumberjacks is fine as a fantasy, but in reality the biggest of the bears is awfully cranky and seems ready to gobble Frankie right up.

Marcus Gardner wasn’t always a lumberjack—once a high-powered Minneapolis lawyer, he’s come home to Logan to lick his wounds, not play with a sassy city twink who might as well have stepped directly out of his past. But as the northwinds blow and guards come down, Frankie and Marcus find they have a lot more in common than they don’t. Could the man who won’t live in the country and the man who won’t go back to the city truly find a home together? Because the longer it snows, the deeper they fall in love, and all they want for Christmas is each other.

 

Review

I had a lot of fun reading this Christmas Romance because Frankie is a delight. He is kind and funny.

Marcus worked my nerves a bit as he stays gruff and grumpy a bit too long and it takes forever for him to see clear of his cheating ex.

Frankie is big hearted and takes risks. All the snowbound fun is great and good look in to North Minnesota culture.

While, I thought Marcus’s friends were a bit over the top, I am wishing them luck with other people in love.

What’s in a Name? (Foothills Pride #1) by Pat Henshaw Review

    What’s in a Name? by Pat Henshaw 2 Stars 

Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Bar rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.

Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.

While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.

Review

There are seeds of a good book in here. I didn’t not enjoy it but the plot took the easy way out too many times and several ideas were undeveloped.

Here is what I liked: The setting in the foothills of the Sierra’s during the migration out of the Bay Area for a portion of the queer community. The heroes are kind. I like that even though this romance is super fast, they have really been falling in love for months. I like the friends and businesses.

The wish fulfillment of dating and courting is a bit saccharine but I enjoy that sometimes. The villains are cartoonish–especially the ex boyfriend.

If the characters had been more developed, out side of the Twink and the Bear, then the book’s plot would have been driven more by internal factors rather than a bit manic external ones.

The sex is off page. I don’t mind that but sex scenes based in their character would have let us seem them intimately and moved the romance plot forward in ways that this book lacked.

I liked the writing so I will try again with this author.

Bloom Box (Heartsville) by Cate Ashwood Review

Review:

Bloom Box (Heartsville) - Cate Ashwood

If there’s one thing William Sullivan knows less about than how to run a business, it’s flowers. When Will is left carrying responsibility for the flower shop he’d leased for his cheating ex-boyfriend, he is sure it will lead him into financial ruin. 

Just when he’s about to abandon all hope, in walks Milo Hart—young, overflowing with energy, and perhaps best of all, a genius when it comes to flowers. Will hires him on the spot and they begin a working partnership that might be Will’s only saving grace. The more time they spend together, the more Will’s feelings for Milo evolve and Will must choose between keeping things strictly business, or taking a chance to let love bloom. 

 

Review

I love Milo. He is so much himself and in hot pursuit of the man he wants.

 

Watching the flower shop come together is as fun as the romance. I would have liked more of the couple’s outside relationships and less plot holes  but this is a lovely little sexy romance.

Original post:
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Faking It (Metropolis, #1) by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack Review

Review:

Faking It - Devon McCormack, Riley Hart

Gary should be living it up in his South Tower unit of Metropolis, but he’s having a hard time adjusting to his newly single status. It’s not easy to walk away from five years with his ex, who he discovered was cheating on him with some North Tower twink. After a night out partying, licking his wounds, he goes to bed alone. When he wakes the next morning, there’s a naked guy in his bed. Not just any guy. A stud from North Tower. But hot as he is, what the hell is he doing in his room?

Travis doesn’t get why Gary’s freaking out. So he went home with Gary’s roommate and accidentally crawled into the wrong bed. It’s not the first time he’s woken up in a strange place. Maybe Gary would loosen up a little if he gave it a try as well. Travis has more important things to deal with though…like his meeting with an investor who could give him the money to start his massage clinic.

They’re both sure that’s the last time they’ll have to deal with each other until a mix-up leads Gary’s ex and Travis’s investor to think they’re an item, which Gary and Travis use to their benefit by posing as a couple around town. Soon, they discover the chemistry between them is off the charts. Travis brings out a sexual confidence Gary didn’t know he had–one Travis enjoys exploring with him. But as the two keep up their boyfriend hoax, Gary realizes Travis isn’t as shallow as he thought. Gary’s starting to develop feelings for him. But Travis doesn’t do relationships, and Gary should know better, considering they’re just faking it…

Review

I like a good fake relationship romance and this is a fun one. 

I like Gary who is still hurting from his awful ex. Travis is harder to like but I warm up to him as the book goes on.

I like the idea for the series and the circle of friends is enjoyable. I am glad when Travis and Gary get their HEA.

Original post:
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Cover Up (Skin Deep Inc. #3) by L.A. Witt 4 Star Review!

   Cover Up: A Skin Deep, Inc Novel (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Wit 4 Stars! 

After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.

Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.

From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?

Review

I  read this in one sitting. I am fan of the series and I hope there will be more books though it doesn’t look like there is another couple teed up.

Lucas is a wonderful hero who is struggling to regain his feet after two divorces and starting his tattooing career. I love the way his bisexuality is presented in the book.

Nate is in the process of getting a divorce. This love story pivots on the question of rebound or not rebound.

It is a lot about loss inherent in a divorce as well. I really liked this part of the book.

The circle of friends is a real treasure in this book as is the tattooing and Navy aspects.

There could have been more depth with the family of the two heroes but overall this is a really nice read from a great series.