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How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg Review

  How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg 3 Stars

The man of your dreams could be sitting right next to you.

Former boy band member Justin Hayes isn’t looking for a man. He just wants a quiet, scandal-free Christmas at home in Chicago, out of the public eye. But his best friend and bandmate is subjecting everyone to his destination wedding, and Justin can’t dodge the “best man” bullet. All he has to do is get to the island on time, survive the reunion, and get Chuck to the altar with as little drama as possible. What could possibly go wrong?

Jack Basinger’s own plans for a quiet Christmas have been dashed by the summons to his daughter’s hasty wedding with a man Jack has hardly met. On the bumpy flight to the island, he finds himself comforting a nervous — and extremely attractive — young man. One hasty sexual encounter in an airport bathroom later, they both feel much better. No one ever has to know, after all.

Now Justin and Jack must find a way to explore their attraction, despite the distractions of disapproving family members, unexpected announcements, an impromptu concert, and an island paradise that proves there’s no place like home.

Review

I really liked Gregg’s writing style and both heroes were very engaging. However, the short format didn’t allow for the character development that would have made this a much better book.

It was a quick read but some of the more intersting aspects just couldn’t be explored here. We do get a lovely epilogue though.

Don’t Twunk With My Heart (Loving You, #2) by Renae Kaye

Review:

Don't Twunk With My Heart (Loving You Book 2) - Renae Kaye

Kee Smith isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows who he used to be—the ignored gay son who chose a blue-collar job just because no one expected it, the submissive bottom who enjoyed large, masculine jocks who put him in his place, the sleek, fashionable twink who partied all night. But after his ex-boyfriend hit Kee and called him names, Kee retired from the social scene.

Back after a year’s hiatus, Kee still doesn’t know where he fits. His friends say he’s a twunk—a twink who put on muscle and turned into a hunk—but Kee is searching for somewhere to belong. Instead of going back to his usual type, Kee hooks up with twink Tate Stevens—a fashion-industry professional who works the image hard. It proves to be the best decision he’s ever made, and not just because he’s starting to regain his sexual confidence.

With Tate, Kee can open up about his fears and confusion without ridicule. Tate has his own fears about putting on weight and getting old. It will take work to make a relationship of opposites succeed, but they begin to realize the compromises will be worth it if they can be together.

 

Review

 

This is an interesting and enjoyable romance. I picked it up because I love Jay from the first book in the series and knew he would show up in here. He did and he is wonderful. 

This couple is the kind that accidentally fall in love. They aren’t really each other’s types until they are. They don’t have much in common until they do. It is lovely.

The dancing and friend scenes are the best.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1581821/don-t-twunk-with-my-heart-loving-you-2-by-renae-kaye

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.

The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You, #3) by Renae Kaye Review

Review:

The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You Book 3) - Renae Kaye

 

Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door—and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.

Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life—get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend… and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his expenses, so they become housemates.

Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes.

Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem—he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.

 

Review

I have lots of conflicting feelings about this one. There are a number of pros.

 

We get to seeing Jay and Liam who are in the first book in this series and who I adore. They are wonderful here. The whole circle of friends are great.

 

Vinnie’s family is wonderful and it is a great look at a non traditional family from a child of one’s perspective. I love how much a part of his family Vinnie is and who much they love him.

 

Aaron has a great family as well though we see less of them and he is a all around great guy.

 

The banter, friendship and love between Vinnie and Aaron is great. Christmas is very well done. 

 

Rene Kaye is thinking a lot about the spectrum of sexualities in this book Aaron though slowing in love with Vinnie and sexaully attracted to him identifies as straight. He is not attract to any other men but Vinnie and is attracted to women from porn to really life.

Vinnie is a gold star gay having never been with a woman or been interested.

 

Part of this romance is achey because Vinnie just makes himself so vulnerable as he flat out loves Aaron and will take what he can get. As you can imagine, it takes Aaron a while to get his head around where he is at with Vinnie.

 

I believe in their HEA (though I am a bit confused but something in the epilogue though I think it just means they married and had a child way down the road) and this speaks to good writing on Kaye’s part.

 

But like the first book in the series, I wanted a little more. I wanted more exploration of Aaron’s habit of dating two women at the same time beyond a high sex drive or if that was it, I wanted more time devoted to talking about it than we get.

 

I wanted more thinking inside the book on the range of sexualities and more time with them after they become an out couple.

 

I read that there was a lot of grrrrrr about this book and author antics. I can see why. If I didn’t like the first book in the series so much, I wouldn’t have picked it up and wouldn’t advice anyone to do so without having read the other books. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1577814/the-straight-boyfriend-loving-you-3-by-renae-kaye-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

The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters by Amy Lane Review

 The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters  by Amy Lane 3 Stars!

Rance Crawford is an alpaca rancher, fiber mill owner, and self-proclaimed grumpy bastard. When sweet, charming tenderfoot Ben McCutcheon moves onto Crawford’s rural road, Rance is very aware that Ben makes it a grand total of two gay men in their tiny town, and even though he is instantly, painfully smitten, any move he makes could be simply chalked up to being hard up. Using his best weapon and favorite skill, Crawford launches an awkward, wordless effort to make sure Ben is kept warm during the cold Colorado winter, every last piece of him—especially his heart.

Review

I enjoyed this novella a lot and it is a great kick off this this series which I loved.

Rance is super gruff and social awkward and a badass sweetheart.

Ben is just charming.

The setting and the circle of friends and all the knitting are great and come on Alpacas.

This is a slow burn and we get much more of Rance and Ben in the other books in the series but the characters while engaging are pretty flat. The courtship is wonderful but the book would have been better with more after they are together time and insight into their pasts and day to day love story.

There is one crazy part that almost knocked me out of the book and I can’t believe it survived editing where Lane refers to being aroused is a very disconcerting way. It happens twice and then lucky NEVER AGAIN. lol

So, a must of the knitter and pretty fun for all.

Twelfth of Never (Blind Faith #3.5) by N.R. Walker Review

   Twelfth of Never  by N.R. Walker 3.5 Stars! 

Will Parkinson has been with Mark Gattison for five years and, in his words, there has never been a dull moment. Will has always been the serious one, the responsible one. Mark is the irresponsible man-child who loves nothing more than to make people smile.

But Will has an ache for something Mark won’t give him.

Until he does.

Join Will, Mark, Carter, Isaac and Brady, Hannah and her family (and some other special guests for Christmas) and have yourself a Merry Twelfth of Never.


Review

I really like Max and Will so, of course, I like this follow up Christmas Novella.

We get a lot of updates and even some cross over from another series.

You can guess from the blurb what the plot is going to be about. It is very well done and a lovely holiday read for free!

Townie and the Twink (Men of Holsum College, #3) by Daisy Harris Review

Review:

Player and the Prude - Daisy Harris

Insightful to a fault, Gabe Ashton knows Nick Flynn’s gay even if Nick doesn’t. And after seeing how the townie looks at his “buddy,” Gabe knows Nick is in love with a guy who’ll never love him back. So Gabe invites Nick to campus parties and to hang out with new people. But soon their friendship turns physical, and Gabe wonders if he’s in just as much denial as Nick is. Nick’s straight—or so he’s always assumed. But he can’t deny that the things he’s doing with Gabe are hot. More than that, he likes Gabe in a way he’s never liked anyone else. Well, anyone else except his high school friend, John. The hardest thing to give up is a fantasy, and the hardest thing to face is the truth. But if Nick wants the man standing in front of him, he’ll have to give up the one he never had

 

Review

I had avoided reading this series but well ManLove classic or not isn’t a huge advertisement of thoughtful written romance. Also, this publisher can be a bit pricey and the books are never lendable so I can try a writer through lending without buying and with a ManLove title my library doesn’t seem to carrying them…

However, I am liking this series. 

Gabe goes after Nick. The part of the book where Gabe has superpowers of observation is a bit underdeveloped and a bit arrogant as well. I would have liked Gabe to grown as much in this book as Nick does.

Nick is well drawn. I love that he is a transfer student to the college and walking the working class/middle class change over that become more educated sometimes signals. 

Gabe was very kind and loving to Nick and I liked the romance.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1616736/townie-and-the-twink-men-of-holsum-college-3-by-daisy-harris-review

The Last Guy Breathing (The Guy, #3) by Skylar M. Cates Review

Review:

The Last Guy Breathing (The Guy Series) - Skylar M. Cates

Henry Clueley doesn’t want to be in Glamour, not after moving far away to overcome a difficult, if privileged, childhood. He’s no longer that pudgy kid desperate to escape his hometown, but it still holds painful memories. When his recently widowed mother needs him, however, “dependable Henry” does the right thing—even if it means leaving the IRS to take a boring corporate position. Things don’t stay boring for long. Soon Henry helps the local sheriff’s department unravel a crime. Posing as half of a fake couple seems like a fun idea… until Henry learns he already knows the deputy playing his other half.

Deputy Locke may be new to the Glamour Sheriff’s Department, but he’s fought his way up in the world and is determined to make a good impression. He keeps his private life quiet, even from his beloved younger brother. Locke knows better than most the need to protect what’s his.

Henry resents the arrogant, gorgeous cop, and Locke thinks Henry is sheltered and spoiled. Their secret and steamy encounter only adds to the animosity. As they join forces, Henry thinks a relationship with Locke would be catastrophic, but the white-hot passion between them makes it hard to resist.

 

Review

 

I am very much enjoying this series. We Met Henry in earlier books and it is nice to see him get his happily ever after.

Locke is a bit of a jerk. He stays pretty locked down and judgemental for a bit too long. Henry also assumes too much.

But the pretend romance is fun and the lack of drama around it turning into more is nice. I like watching Henry become more of who he is and Locke taking emotionial risks.

A nice read.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1616251/the-last-guy-breathing-the-guy-3-by-skylar-m-cates-review

Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow Review

   Played! (Shamwell Tales Book 2) by J.L. Merrow 2 Stars

Posh boy Tristan Goldsmith has one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when the Shamwell Amateur Dramatics Society begs him to take a leading role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an added incentive, he’ll be giving private acting lessons to a gorgeous local handyman who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances.

As a late-diagnosed dyslexic still struggling with literacy, Con Izzard’s never dared to act before. With arrogant yet charming Tristan helping him with his lines, he finally has his chance to shine. But Con’s determined not to start a romance with a man he’s convinced only wants a casual fling.

Tristan’s never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when he realises his attraction to the tall, muscular handyman isn’t just physical. Just as he thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes with a slip of the tongue that shatters Con’s trust and sends him running for cover. This show may be over before the curtain’s even opened.

Review

There are some lovely moments in this book but overall its very unsatisfying.

Tristan is not very self reflective, entitled, self centered, arrogant and often cruel. He is 24 not 6 and as an actor one would hope be way more in touch than he is.

I think Merrow sets him up to be a study in unexamined privilege but he but he is mean and so thoughtless his road back to redemption needs to be longer than this book allows. We also have to spend time with his even more awful friends Amanda and that is not a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Con is lovely but a bit of a doormat. The rest of the plot is engaging which is why I finished it but Tristan should have had to work harder and longer on his change to get a HEA.