hometown

Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1) by Annabeth Albert 4 Star Review

   Trust with a Chaser  by Annabeth Albert 4 Stars!

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks… Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans. Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for. When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

 

Review

I am so excited about this series. I love Annabeth Albert’s writing. These books are warm, sexy and have emotionial depth.

This love story is no different. I like the set up of this series based in the small town that needs the economic boost being a queer friendly town might bring it. This premise reminds me of the real life town of Guernville in California.

I like that we will get a series of the people moving to the town to make it so.

This romance features a man from the wrong side of the tracks moving back home to rejuvenate the town and the closeted police chief. We get family issues, good friends, and falling in love with an older man.

It is a very lovely read.

Crunch (The Riley Brothers #4) by E. Davies Review

   Crunch (The Riley Brothers Book 4) by E. Davies 3.5 Stars! 

“I don’t have a right to complain.”
Tattoo artist Floyd Turner’s faith in justice was destroyed when he was a rookie cop. He struggled for a couple years with drinks and his own anger. He’s long past that stage – now, he runs a tattoo shop downtown. But despite his fulfilling career, he’s nervous about the upcoming high school reunion. Not having a date to bring there reveals his insecurity: he aches for something more. And then, when he thinks things can’t get any more stressful, his former patrol partner walks in.

“These tattoos better make a difference.”
After his past caught up with him, cop Greyson Peters became a fitness instructor and moved back home. His old career was hard from the start, and he’s always struggled to find a healthy outlet. He’s slowly healing, pouring his energy into exercise, but he’s still got unsightly scars he wants covered. It’s hard to be a playboy when his self-confidence keeps taking hits. Worse yet, his family keeps pressuring him to get back into the force.

“I turned my pain outward, you turned it inward.”
With Floyd’s family chasing him for a debt he’s long since paid and Greyson struggling to find closure for the career he still misses, the two old classmates are drawn together sharing skills. Both men are openly gay now, and they slowly realize they could always be fake dates for the reunion. As their feelings strengthen, can they even hold out until the reunion to admit that they’re both afraid of wanting more? And can they open their eyes and see the support all around them?

Review

Davies books are always solidly good. This romance between Floyd and his ex police partner explores a range of topics from guilt, to policing, to self harm, to what we own our families.

The romance is hot and tender.

I am so happy for Floyd to get a happily ever after and to rejoin this circle of friends in this lovely series.

Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising, #1) by Samantha Kane Review

      Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising Book 1) by Samantha Kane 4.5 Stars!!

You can go home again—if you can get a foot in the door.

A year after packing and moving from L.A. to Mercury, North Carolina, John Ford still hasn’t adjusted to the heat. Or to life without his long-time partner. As he fixes up the old house he bought, the quiet becomes his only companion, and he’s content with that—until a deep-voiced stranger plants himself under a tree across the street.

Eight years ago, Connor Meecham left someone behind in that house—himself. Now he’s back to find the man he used to be, before drugs and prison sent his life careening off the tracks. But it’s not his mother’s face peering through the window any more. It’s a man who seems as lost as Conn himself.

When John learns what the house—and the dying town—mean to Conn, he finds himself opening the door to his heart. Just a crack. But it’s enough to get mixed up in a world of emotions as complicated as the recipe for the perfect cherry pie. Where one misstep can turn something sweet and juicy into one hot mess.

Review

Given the iffy title, I wasn’t expecting a great deal out of this book and was really pleasantly surprised.

I knew the love story would hot because Samantha Kane is an excellent erotic writer who uses sexy times to deepen the connection between characters. And the book has that loveliness for sure but this romance is also emotionial rich and sexy.

Many themes are at play here but the one I think is exceptionally well down is returning to your Hometown. Connor as been in recovery for two years and out of prison for more than a year. He decides to go home (its been the the better part of a decade) to reclaim the parts of himself, heal others, and build himself anew. He has to deal with the fact that someone has bought his family home, his mom has passed while he was serving time for possession and selling sex (though the charge was changed to vagrancy), reckon with how the town has changed, pick up old connection, forge new ones and find work. He left town as a golden football star in a small Southern town. He returns as a much better man in recovery, mindful, out about his sexuality and his past.

John is new to town and healing from the grief of losing his partner.

Class, age , and power difference play out in this romance is a powerful and healing way. They are emotionial equals and the joy of this book is in watching John and Connor fall in love and become partners.

The small town stuff is great and there are some wonderful secondary characters.

The writing is superb. Emotionially compelling, realistic (with the fantasy of less homophobia than there might be and John being really rich), and sexy.

Can’t wait for the next in the series.

Pansies (Spires Book 4) by Alexis Hall Review

 Pansies (Spires Book 4) by Alexis Hall 4 Stars!

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

Review

This is my first Alexis Hall book and I was impressed.

The writing is lyrical and such a pleasure to sink into. I love the detail of the North of England Contemporary setting geographically, historically, culturally and in the dialect.

The romance is compelling. I have a great discomfort with the falling in love with my former bully theme but Hall does a good job of dealing with all the layers though even more self reflection and therapy on both their parts would not have hurt.

The grief and depression of Fen’s character and yet solid internal adulthood paired with Alfie’s outward adulthood with the seeking of a full recognition of self and needs and wants make for a compelling love story.

They are both great wounded loving. people and the cast is wonderfully complex as well. They have friends and family and jobs. Those things all evolve as they fall in love and choose a life together.

The main thing that keeps this from being an smashing success of a romance for me is that Alfie’s character is given more light than Fen’s so that when Fen makes some decisions, we are left a little uncomfortable as to if that his best self because we need to see more of Fen’s healing than we do,

Overall, I highly recommend this book for a lush and engrossing romance.