Great Parents

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.

My Hero by Max Vos Review

    My Hero by Max Vos  2 Stars

When he was sixteen years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means ‘bear’. The shy jock remembers his saviour, and the two men become friends. Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there… Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the Worlds are just around the corner, his father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive…. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.

Review

I didn’t hate this. It just ended up being ho hum. The emotionial conflict were pretty flat and the resolutions too fast but then they weren’t all that believable based on the characters to begin with.

I liked the heroes up until Johnny started acting not like himself. The come play in the sex scenes kept moving this toward erotica more than erotic romance which seemed both out of character and out of tone with a basically sweet romance.

I might try another book by this writer to see if character and plot development improves.

Jumping Jude (Made Marian #3) by Lucy Lennox Review

     Jumping Jude by Lucy Lennox 3.5 Stars! 

Jude: Reaching the top of the country music charts brings out the crazy, and there’s no one crazier than my ex. Unfortunately, his threats to out me are escalating. Enter the bodyguard of my dreams.

I’d probably chafe under his constant presence if his attention to my body wasn’t so… ah… thorough. Now I have to worry about outing myself to millions of fans if I can’t keep my hands off him in public.

Derek: Now I’m an ex-Marine turned babysitter. If I have to hear Jude sing his mega-hit Bluebells one more time, I might murder him myself, and after 6 years in special ops, I know my way around a weapon. Unfortunately, so does he. Except his arsenal includes washboard abs and a killer set of pipes.

I’ve faced guns, knives, explosives and yet it’s Jude Marian who may end up bringing me to my knees.

Review

 I like this entry into the the Marian series a ton. Jude and Wolfe are very sexy. The conflict makes sense and they have great banter.

They are both wonderful men and it wonderful to see them fall in love and get their happily ever after.

These series is pretty sappy and has a great cast of characters and family members. Good stuff.

Taming Teddy: Made Marian Series by Lucy Lennox Review

   Taming Tedd by Lucy Lennox 3 Stars!

Teddy: If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s commitment. You don’t become an award-winning photographer by staying in one place. I’m always on the road, looking for the next shot, the next award, the next hot body. Which is how I end up on Dr. James Marian’s front porch in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska. He’s known as the Wildlife Whisperer, and I want to photograph him in action. He’s reluctant at first, but I can be persuasive.

Soon enough I have him in bed saying yes over and over and over again, but my ability to shoot and scoot is frozen by a Denali snowstorm.

Jamie: I always thought of myself as the marrying type. Until I got left at the altar. Now I have a new motto: never commit and never fall in love. So when a cocky nature photographer decides I’m the key to his next masterpiece, it seems like the perfect arrangement: the hotshot’s only in town for a brief assignment and then he’ll be gone. No commitment, no strings, and no chance of getting my heart broken again.

There’s just one problem: I think I’m falling in love. Now I’m afraid that maybe I’m the marrying type after all. And he definitely is not.

 

Review

The animal lover in me loves this book and I like Teddy and Jamie. They are fun and have great chemistry.

I like the rest of the Marian clan as well and the Alaskan setting is awesome.

The conflict is a bit lame and the issues with Jamie’s ex are really not clarified in a way that makes him a real person.

This was a nice fun read overall and I will check out the rest of the series.

Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote Review

Review:

Nothing Serious - Jay Northcote

Mark O’Brien is finally being honest with himself. His relationship with Rachel is over and he’s moving out of the home they’ve shared for six years. They get along, but he can’t fix a relationship when the person he’s with is the wrong gender.

Jamie Robertson, one of the removal men, is huge and ridiculously gorgeous, and Mark is smitten at first sight. When a cardboard box splits, revealing items of a personal nature that Mark never wanted anybody to see, he’s mortified. But it sparks the start of a beautiful friendship with benefits.

As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, the two men get increasingly close and “nothing serious” turns into something rather important to both of them. But communication isn’t their strong point. Will either man ever find the courage to be honest about his feelings?

Review

Such a nice sexy romance between an man who has just come out and a younger hero who has always been himself.

 

Northcote writes a lovely little character driven love story. A good way to spend the afternoon.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1592385/nothing-serious-by-jay-northcote-review

Without a Compass by Helen Juliet Review

   Without a Compass by Helen Juliet 3 Stars! 

Riley Anderson isn’t an outdoorsy guy. He’s a desk jockey, office by day and couch by night. So when his family insists on a camping trip for his father’s 50th birthday he’s hardly thrilled. Things only get worse when Kai shows up, too.

Kai Brandt’s more than eager to go camping with his best buddy, but his buddy’s little brother Riley is all grown up now, and hotter than hell. Kai’s willing to help him pitch more than just a tent… Which is weird, because Kai never swung that way before.

Events conspire to out Riley’s secret AND leave him stranded in Kai’s care for longer than they’d planned for. Trapped together in the wilderness, they’re going to have to face a few hard truths if they’re going to make it back to the world.

But even if they manage it, the experience will leave them forever changed.

Review 

Juliet writes really sweet romance with kind characters and engaging love stories at the center.

Riley is a wonderful person who fights hard to be himself and there for his family. Kai is a big strong affable guy who takes life as it comes.

We get camping in the English countryside, some uncomplicated villains and stuck outside romance.

Good stuff if the end is a bit rushed.

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.

Holly & Hockey Boots V.L. Locey Review

   Holly & Hockey Boots by V.L. Locey 2.5 Stars

Minor league goalie Adam Seiger is a nice guy. He’s kind, cute, and a little quirky (but show me a goalie who isn’t) and he loves to interact with fans. During a meet and greet after a game Adam meets Cason Reyes, a hard-working young man with stunning amber eyes and a smile as sweet as a candy cane. Desperate to see Cason again, Adam does something more than a little naughty.

To add insult to the egg nog, it appears that one little white lie may end Adam’s chance of having a merry Christmas with a new boyfriend. Will he end up with nothing but a lump of coal in his stocking, instead of the man who owns his heart?

Review

This one is tough call.

I love the crazy quirky Adam. And I am always up for a Christmas romance and when you mix in hockey everything gets better.

But the secret goes on too long and takes some of the pleasure out of the story for me,

Another Shot (Heartsville) by J.H. Knight Review

Review:

Another Shot - J.H. Knight

The town of Heartsville means something different to everyone who lives there. For Aaron Forester, it’s a gay-friendly buffer between himself and the rest of the world. After being outed in high school and bullied to the point of violence, his family uprooted their lives and relocated to the small hamlet. He’s moved on from all that and now owns a popular café in the bustling shopping district. But after twenty years of happy living, Aaron’s past creeps up on him in the most unexpected way. 

Brad Collins only has one regret and he’s carried it with him since he was a teenager. When he moves to Heartsville and gets set up on a blind date with the most adorable, engaging man he’s met in a long time, he couldn’t be happier. But Brad didn’t expect the guy to be the person he outed in high school—whom he’s now falling in love with. 

Aaron and Brad hit it off instantly—in and out of the bedroom. But after a long overdue apology and a small serving of resentment, is their fledgling relationship worth another shot? 

Review

 

Hmmm. The blurb does give everything away but I don’t mind that because it keeps the story low angst.

 

This is a decent read and the most interesting thing about it is the idea why we are cruel when we are young.

 

The romance is lack luster because the book kind of ends when the real relationship would begin.

 

Still a great setting and cast.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1588391/another-shot-heartsville-by-j-h-knight-review

A Family for Christmas by Review

    A Family for Christmas  by Jay Northcote 3.5 Stars!

Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretence makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.

 

Review

Well, this sweet little English Christmas romance should warm you right up. It has a great setting and wonderful family and holiday traditions. It is fun to watch a hero with trust issues fall in love.

Very cozy and sexy.