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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. 

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The Other Side of the Roses by R. Cooper Review

  The Other Side of the Roses by R. Cooper 3 Stars!

Sami is twenty-seven and happy to live at home with his family, even if he is a little lonely and dissatisfied with his job at a nursing home. Caring for people is what Sami does. Unfortunately, putting his loved ones first is also part of the reason Sami is single. As accepting as his parents are, he isn’t sure how they’d react if he brought home a boyfriend. So he spends more time than he should dreaming of what might be, and fighting with his younger sister over the perfect sunny spot on the couch. Which is probably why the perfect potential boyfriend chooses that moment to move in across the street.

There’s just one problem—his new neighbor isn’t really new. He’s the son of the woman Sami’s mother has had a feud with for years. Toby and Sami grew up together but were never allowed to say more than a few words to each other despite Sami’s repeated efforts. Quiet, serious Toby was Sami’s first and biggest crush, and everyone knew it—a big part of their reason their mothers didn’t get along. Toby’s mother went as far as planting dozens of thorny rose bushes around her house to ensure Sami couldn’t even see Toby anymore.

But Toby’s mother is long gone, and Toby has no interest in reviving the feud. If anything, he seems determined to end it. Finding out why, and if it has anything to do with the way he looks at Sami, means Sami will have to raise the issue with his family—and dare to step beyond the wall of roses that kept him out all those years ago.

Review

While I was utterly charmed by this funny sweet romance of Sami getting his high school crush of a nieghbor and loved every moment of it, this love story is too short to be satisfying.

There is a cute re meet, a great family, flirting, romantic gesture and then we get to a first date and a yes I like you and then we are done.

Gah. So, much more fun could have been had.

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton Review

 How to Howl at the Moon   by Eli Easton 4 Stars! 

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.

 

 

Review

At first I thought this book might be too silly for me in its basic concept of the quickened. What I was thinking? Very few things are too silly for me!

This is a light hearted paranormal romance with characters, a little action, and sweet love and spicy story.

The dog shifter stuff ends up being fun and not silly. The heroes are great. Yea! More please!

Blowing Off Steam by Joy Lynn Fielding Review

     Blowing Off Steam  by Joy Lynn Fielding   3.5 Star! 

Sam Chancellor has been in love with the steam engine Old Bess since he was six years old. Well, maybe not literally, but even when he’s lost everything else in his life, he’s always had her. But now her place in his heart has been unexpectedly challenged. Her new driver, Ryan Saunders, is the embodiment of all Sam’s fantasies.

Ryan has written off Sam as just another geeky trainspotter—until the moment Ryan sees him without his usual shapeless hoodie and realizes that, for a nerd, Sam’s pretty built. When Ryan overlooks Sam’s awkwardness long enough to suggest a hook-up, Sam seizes the opportunity—and Ryan—with both very eager hands. Finding common ground in their shared love of Bess, their time together is better than Sam ever dared dream.

But there’s a reason Ryan never talks about his past. And when Ryan’s job is threatened, Sam’s well-meaning intervention endangers more than just their fragile relationship.

 

Review

I should admit right up front, I like the nerdy hero Sam in this book, love trains. I am not a trainspotter like Sam but I like them enough to go to every train museum I see and take long and short train trips whenever I can.

So, this book had me at trains. lol

The old steam train and Sam are wonderful in this book. I love me a nerdy shy hero. Ryan is a lot more selfish and unkind than I think Sam deserves but it he grows.

There is a plot afoot which adds drama to the story but I would have been content with Ryan growing much more in his character and Sam valuing himself more but all in all a fun love story.

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days–until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community… but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over–for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again–in ways she could never have imagined…

 

Review

This is a magnificent book which looks closely at issues of gender, aging, cultural norms, and selfhood.

Powerful in every way, it also has the fun of first contact, tech, colony, and aliens.

A must read particular for the heroine who is not a twenty something and has a an epic journey and her own Happily Ever After made of her own mind and hands.  While not a romance, it is a love story with the self.