Colorado

City Boy (Hot off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp 4 Star Review

    City Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 1) by A.E. Wasp 4 Stars! 

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.

Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.

Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it?

He’ll lose Bryce if he doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.

Review

Awww. This is a great romance. Bryce and Dakota are wonderful together. Bryce falls into a gentle giant category of hero who has been clueless about his own sexual orientation though many around him have not. He is kind and so hardworking.

Dakota is younger and has had one fairly abusive relationship in the past but he is also kind.

The meet up of theses too and their circumstances are a bit over the top but they talk about it like grown ups which is nice. The sex is hot but so is the communication.

The issues with coming out in sports are well done. The cast and setting are great.

The villain is a bit flat and uncomplicated but overall this is a really lovely book and I am hooked on this author now.

Incoming (Veterans Affairs #1) by A.E. Wasp 4 Star Review

     Incoming: by A.E. Wasp 4 Stars! 

How do you comfort someone who won’t admit they’re hurting?

Sparks fly on a hot Fourth of July weekend when newly-discharged army vet Troy Johnson and veterinarian Dmitri Wellington meet on a blind date.

Troy is pretty sure he’s gay, but since he’s spent the last eight years in the Army, his actual gay dating experience is, well, zero. But he’s out now, and far from his conservative family. If the hot Veterinarian he’s been undressing with his eyes wants to go on a date, Troy is more than willing to jump in.

Troy is everything Dmitri’s ever wanted in a guy – gorgeous, smart, and funny. He likes dogs, he has the sexiest trace of an accent, and his kisses set off fireworks in Dmitri’s entire body.

But leaving the war behind is easier said than done. Troy has secrets he won’t tell, and the demons he’s running from are hot on his heels. When he realizes he’s hurting more than just Dmitri’s heart, Troy flees in horror, leaving behind everyone who loves him.

Dmitri has to find a way to reach Troy before he does something he can’t take back.

 

Review

Troy and Dimitri are great characters. They are complex and wonderful.

This is a very fast fall in love but it works. We get a lot of time to see them in a relationship. We get to see Troy’s PTSD come to impact their relationship but we also get to see Dimitri’s issues with trust and intimacy come to fore as well.

It is a great cast and setting with all sorts of wonderful details. I would have liked a bit more in terms of Troy and his family and Dimitri dealing with the causes of some of his issues but it was a really good hot romance with thoughtful explorations of many generations of war.

Wasp is very good writer and I can’t wait for more books!

The Mistletoe Effect by Cate Ashwood Review

  The Mistletoe Effect by Cate Ashwood 3 Stars

Although Christmas is his favorite time of year, all is not merry and bright for Danny Ellis. After being laid off and facing eviction, he’s eager to make a fresh start. When a friend mentions an opportunity in Sin City, he packs up and heads west. Unfortunately, plans run awry when his truck breaks down a little more than halfway there and he’s stranded in the cold with no money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Vegas.

‘Tis the season, but not for Merrick Holland, who loves being a part of the community in the small town of Rowley Bridge. Christmas has been a little tainted since his father died three years ago, and when people start to deck the halls, he withdraws. When Merrick finds a man asleep inside his bakery one morning, rather than call the police, Merrick makes him a cup of coffee, and after hearing his story offers him a job and a place to stay.

The two men strike up an unlikely friendship, but with Christmas only three weeks away, could a little holiday magic bring them together?

Review

A sweet little Christmas romance with a down on his luck and a broken down car hero and a baker hero who takes a chance on him. Both heroes are kind and the novella is a bit like a gingerbread cookie–fast and sweet.

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.

Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys, #1) by Brandon Witt Review

Review:

Nachos & Hash - Brandon Witt

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

 

Reviews

 adore Darwin and I adore Cody. The yearning in each of them is tender. 

Darwin wants to find an man to love and Cody doesn’t think he can ask for more than what he has. 

The courtship of this book is great as is the circle of friends.

We are moving through a sweet and sexy romance when the plot takes a dark turn with some internal struggles for one of the heroes. 

And while this turn is realistic and the issue (not to give spoilers) one that deserves attention especially in a series that look critically at issues within the gay community, the turn is sharp and a more developed understanding of the character would have enrich the book.

The aftermath is better handled and we end in a very loving place.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1609741/nachos-hash-mary-s-boys-1-by-brandon-witt-review

Vodka and Handcuffs by Brandon Witt Review

Review:

Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary's Boys Book 2) - Brandon Witt

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

 

Review 

Ultimately, the plot of this book pulled in to many direction so that I couldn’t settle in and enjoy the story.

 

I like this circle of friends and Mary’s and was happy to to see the cast but the heroes spent a great deal of time a part and the drama and angst meter was sky high from minute one.

 

I have some issues with consent with the drunk sex, then the subplot with the evil partner really runs the show. I like some scenes a great deal but I never get the love story I am hoping for with this two very compelling heroes.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1609739/vodka-and-handcuffs-by-brandon-witt-review

Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair by Amy Lane Review

   Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair  by Amy Lane 4 Stars!

After three years of waiting for “rabbit” Jeremy to commit to a life in Granby—and a life together—Aiden Rhodes was appalled when Jeremy sustained a nearly fatal beating to keep a friend out of harm’s way. How could Aiden’s bunny put himself in danger like that?

 

Aiden needs to get over himself, because Jeremy has a long road to recovery, and he’s going to need Aiden’s promise of love every step of the way. Jeremy has new scars on his face and body to deal with, and his heart can’t afford any more wounds.

 

When their friend’s baby needs some special care, the two men find common ground to firm up their shaky union. With Aiden’s support and his boss’s inspiration, Jeremy comes up with a plan to make sure Ariadne’s little blackbird comes into this world with everything she needs. While Jeremy grows into his new role as protector, Aiden needs to ease back on his protectiveness over his once-timid lover. Aiden may be a wolf in student’s clothing and Jeremy may be a rabbit of a man, but that doesn’t mean they can’t walk the wilds of Granby together.

 

 

Review

This is a must read if you are a fan of this series. I am so I really liked it.

I will tell you a secret, I don’t love extended same couple stories but this one about Jermey and Aiden really worked for me.

I loved the journey of this couple and the place and people.

This is lovely (despite the use of the nickname boy again). I love how both Aiden and Jeremy come into their full self and into their relationship.

Knitter in His Natural Habitat (Granby Knitting, #3) by Amy Lane Review

 Knitter in His Natural Habitat   by Amy Lane 3 Stars! 

Stanley’s life took a left turn at a knitting shop and hit a dead end. The closest thing he’s had to a relationship breaks things off to date a “nice boy,” and none of the pretty young things in Boulder’s limited gay scene do it for Stanley. He needs to reevaluate whether working as a floor designer for a series of craft stores is really where he wants to be.

 

Then Stanley does a peculiar thing: he starts to live the life he fell into. Stitch by stitch, he knits his life into something meaningful. Just when he does, Johnny, the store’s new delivery boy, walks in.

 

Johnny is like no one Stanley has ever met: he doesn’t believe in quickies in the bathroom and has a soft spot for theater and opera. There has to be a catch. When Johnny’s dark past comes back to haunt them, Stanley realizes how much he loves his cushy life in the yarn store—but he’ll give it all up to keep the man who makes his ordinary life extraordinary.

Review

This is a book you need to read as part of the series to really enjoy it but it has lots of its own charms.

Johnny is someone we know of from the previous book and his story is compelling. I am really happy he finds his prince.

Stanley, we also met in a previous book and he is great. He learns to be treasured and treasure himself and really value his life in this book.

The romance is a bit insta love but the dating is nice.

Embattled Hearts by JM Madden Review

  Embattled Hearts by JM Madden 3 Stars!

John Palmer hasn’t felt like a real man since he was injured during combat in Iraq. Though not content with his new life, he is mostly adapting, just like the other vets at the Lost ‘N’ Found Investigative Service. When Shannon Murphy is hired on as the new office manager, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. Before long, John finds himself wondering if he could ever be the kind of man Shannon needs.

Shannon Murphy wasn’t really looking for love when she hired on at LNF, but finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sex-on-wheels former Marine, John Palmer. The man is grumpy and nearly impossible to work with, but his brand of masculinity appeals to her on a basic level. Soon Shannon is wondering just what it would take for John to want her the way she wants him.

When an old enemy tries to settle a vendetta against Shannon, John insists on protecting her. He moves into her house, fanning the spark of attraction into a blaze. But the danger continues to escalate. Will the connection that they’ve found survive when they’re thrust into a fight for their lives?

Review

I liked the setting of the this agency for veterans and the characters very much, I love a grumpy hero so John was really a lot of fun for me. Shannon is sweet.

The writing is a bit clunky in places and the villains are crazy and cartoonish but I did like how no one was stupid (well the villains were) even if I thought the villains motivation were simple to not believable.

I will read more in this series.