childhood friends

Moving Maverick (Made Marian, #5) by Lucy Lennox Review

Review:

Moving Maverick: A Made Marian Novel (Volume 5) - Lucy Lennox

“Do you remember what you promised?”

Maverick: I haven’t been back to Rabbit Island, South Carolina, since my parents died and my grandmother, Mimi, rejected me. I’m only returning now to attend her funeral and sell an estate I never wanted. But the moment I step foot on the island and fall into Beau’s arms, I realize it might not be so easy to say goodbye after all.

Beau Talmadge was always the boy next door, but now he’s no longer a kid. The man is hot as hell and pushes all my buttons in the very best way. I’m supposed to leave in a week. Sell everything, close the door on my past, and walk away forever. So why am I letting myself fall for someone who lives thousands of miles away? And how the hell am I going to break it off when it’s time to go?

“That I’d come back.”

Beau: It took one short summer to fall in love with Maverick Mitchell and fifteen long years to forget him when he left. I’d never expected to see him again, but when he shows up at Mimi’s funeral looking lost and lonely I can’t resist doing anything I can to comfort him. Falling into bed with Maverick is easy and the nights we spend together are as hot and steamy as a South Carolina thunderstorm.

I know it’s not smart. I know it’s not what he planned. But dammit, Mav belongs in my arms, in my bed, and in my life. So how the hell do I get him to stay?

“Took you long enough.”

Fair warning: Moving Maverick is a 73k word gay romance novel featuring sweet tea vodka, fancy salt and pepper shakers, guys catching crabs (not that kind), Aunt Tilly with a knife, and multiple detailed instances of man parts touching.

 

Review

 

The setting is the real star of book and Beau and Mav are very cute together. There is a pile of sexy times and some fun with salt and pepper shakers. 

I like the romance here but the again the backstory (why Mav’s grandmother gave him up) and some other elements of conflict don’t really work well.

We get less of the whole family in this book but tons of couple time and a sweet romance.

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northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1594906/moving-maverick-made-marian-5-by-lucy-lennox-review

Drawn In (The Family Jules, #1) by Sean Ashcroft Review

     Drawn In (The Family Jules Book 1) by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars! 

Owen Jules isn’t gay, and the last thing he expects is to get married to his childhood best friend. But when he moves back to his hometown after losing his wife, he finds Jude sick and at risk of dying, all because his medical insurance was cancelled.

Between wanting to help Jude out and wanting to get custody of his daughter back, Owen takes the plunge into a fake marriage, hoping to solve everyone’s problems at once.

As Jude begins to recover and the two of them settle into married life, Owen starts to get a little toocomfortable with being married to his best friend. Owen begins to wonder if he missed out on a lot by getting married for the first time when he was eighteen–including the chance to explore his sexuality.

Jude seems like a safe person to experiment with, but will that put Owen’s little patchwork family at risk? And what happens when outside forces challenge their newfound stability?

Can Owen and Jude find a way to be happy and raise Kalya together?

Review

While I enjoyed this friends to lovers marriage of convenience romance, there are places that needed a great deal more development.

Owen and Jude make a great couple. And putting them in the intimacy of marriage is lovely to watch. However, we don’t get enough detail on Owen’s previous marriage or a thoughtful discussion of his sexuality. And this lack weakens the overall book.

What we do get is a great family setting, sweet romance and a critique of the sad state of the health care system.

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:
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#First Impressions #Second Chances by Heidi Belleau Review

Review:

#First Impressions #Second Chances - Heidi Belleau

Jonah Gilchrist lives a double life. On the internet, he’s a fashion-blogging Tumblr celebrity. In the real world, though, being an awkward gay virgin isn’t as cute and endearing as it is online — it’s a target on his back. After years of being bullied, Jonah’s determined to start afresh at college, but it’s hard to remake yourself when you’re sharing classes with your ill-fated junior high crush.

Sebastian Rose, with his easy-going manner and great sense of humor, was one of the most popular guys in junior high. He was also one of Jonah’s only defenders. Too bad Jonah knows Sebastian’s kindness was only pity.

Bumping into each other after all these years makes it seem like the universe itself wants Jonah to have a second chance at his first love. But how can he ever hope to reinvent himself when Sebastian’s presence pulls him further into his past? Then again, maybe moving forward doesn’t have to mean leaving the best part of your past behind.

 

Review

 

I liked a lot about this book. I loved that Sebastian wasn’t this perfectly turned out hero and that he was Jonah’s crush I thought the social media stuff was fun.

However, Jonah wasn’t very self reflective until the very end and didn’t get much of an arc (and he needed one). 

It was a sweet fast read.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1622036/first-impressions-second-chances-by-heidi-belleau-review

Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7) by Anne Tenino Review

Review:

Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay) (Volume 7) - Anne Tenino

Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.

The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.

When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.

 

Review

 

I wanted to read about Gabe and Lucas because of reading Seth’s romance in a later book in the series. 

Seth is Gabe’s hook up here. Gabe treats him pretty badly in this book. 

While the sex scene are hot here and I like the professions of the two heros as well as the settings and side characters, I never really like them. 

They didn’t communicate well with each other or themselves in the past and they don’t know.

It is irrupting. LOL. And they are still fairly not great with other people. Lucas is a bit socially awkward and internal but Ternino doesn’t quite pull off these character traits for me to make up for when he is a jerk and Gabe is callous about everyone but Lucas and then thinks he knows what is best for everyone. Not attractive. 

The parts of the book where Gabe and Lucas are attuned (in bed mostly) are great but the rest is neh to grrrr,

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1582221/wedding-favors-bluewater-bay-7-by-anne-tenino-review

Perfect Catch by N.R. Walker Review

Review:

Perfect Catch - N.R. Walker

Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.

What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.

With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?

The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

A 20K short story which was part of the It Was Always You anthology

 

Review

 

 

Awwwww. This is a super sweet and super hot friends to lovers romance with two best friends who finally take the risk of telling each other how they feel.

 

This is a feel good love story with a great setting. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1588402/perfect-catch-by-n-r-walker-review

Chase the Sun (Free Fall #2) by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn 4 Star Review

Review:

Chase the Sun - Nyrae Dawn, Christina  Lee

Jamie Tolland has only ever known his small Oregon town. Same job, same friends, same gay bar. He feels obligated to stay, especially as his mother’s illness progresses. But when a situation presents itself in the form of a vintage sports car, he jumps on the chance to not only repair it, but also drive it to its new owner in LA.

Conner Murphy left Oregon years ago to make his life in West Hollywood. Like his unconventional parents, he’s always been a free spirit, never settling on one job or girl for too long. When he inherits his late uncle’s classic Chevelle, he’s more than happy to let his childhood friend Jamie help.

Jamie and Conner are as different as night and day. Even after years of living apart, they still have a blast together—but now it’s mixed with an undeniable spark of attraction. Before they know it, they can’t keep their hands off each other. For Conner it’s all new and exciting, but Jamie isn’t the type of guy who takes this sort of intimacy lightly.

Conner soon realizes that Jamie quenches something deep inside of him that no one has before, but he doesn’t know how to handle a real relationship. As Jamie’s time in LA comes to an end, and the more they struggle to get on the same page about their feelings, the more Jamie realizes that trying to tie Conner down is as futile as capturing the sun.

 

Review

 

Watching Conner and Jamie fall in a love is a joy. They were friends as kids and while Conner has never been with a man he has always had an open sexuality. 

Jamie leaves his small town and gets to experience LA. This book is a little love note to Los Angles which is always a treat because it is a great unrated city. 

Conner is open hearted and kind and sunny but he has layers and complexities. The family lives of our heroes add textures to this love story as do the circle of friends. 

Then, we get s pretty sweet romantic gesture to send us on your HEA way.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1613645/chase-the-sun-free-fall-2-by-christina-lee-and-nyrae-dawn-4-star-review

Wrapped Together (Portland Heat) Annabeth Albert Review

Review:

Wrapped Together  - Annabeth Albert

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

 

Review

 

A lovely addition to the series with a Christmas flare. I adore this street in Portland and love Hollis Alcott and Sawyer Murphy in this friends to lovers opposites attract romance.

Hollis is a great uptight hero who it turns out is uber sexy in bed. Sawyer is a wonderful sunny hero.

 

I wanted a little more on the issue of Sawyer just not being read for a relationship with Hollis until recently. It would have given the book more depth to explore this topic but it is a enjoyable romance with lots of quirks and turns.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1581465/wrapped-together-portland-heat-annabeth-albert-review

Living Out Loud by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn 4 Star Review!

Review:

Living Out Loud - Nyrae Dawn, Christina Lee

Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving. Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought. When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.

 

Review

 

This is a sweet, tender, hot and healing romance featuring Ben from the Free Fall series and Xavier. 

They are both complex heroes who need a happily ever after and get one. This book looks at conversion therapy and its horrors while celebrating the joy of love and touch.

Very well written and moving.

 

 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1614179/living-out-loud-by-christina-lee-and-nyrae-dawn-4-star-review

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen 4.5 Star Review

Review:

Goodbye Paradise - Sarina Bowen

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home. 

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world. 

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves. 

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires. 

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels? 

 

Review

 

4.5 Stars

 

I love Sabrina Bowen’s writing and we get to see her really shine here with the story of Caleb and Josh.

 

They have always been friends. They live in a polygamist cult. They have been cut off from the wider world though Caleb has more access as he gets to go into town for supplies.

They are in love with each other though Josh is a bit clueless as to the fact the Caleb returns his feelings.

 

This is a sweet romance and a triumphant one. Josh and Caleb fight hard for happiness. They escape, they adjust, they act on their love, they make a life for themselves. More interesting to me is the working out of rank and power dynamics after leaving those set by the cult.

 

 

Caleb, to me, would have a bit more culture shock than he does but it is a small annoyance. I love how we stay with this couple deep into a hard earned HEA. Yea!

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