introvert hero

Ex-Boyfriend Material by Sean Ashcroft Review

Review:

Ex-Boyfriend Material - Sean Ashcroft

Alex is smart, charming, and attractive. Good at approaching people and getting them to sleep with him, his talents fall down when it comes to maintaining a relationship. His last boyfriend left him with a broken heart and without half the rent, so now he needs a new roommate. This time, he wants someone mature, sensible, and not even a little bit attractive to him.

What he gets is Liam–funny, gorgeous, and surprisingly put-together for a man who doesn’t own a single shirt without a stain on it and has an incurable oral fixation. 

After months of feeling as though he can never move on while he lives in London, America is Liam’s fresh start. His breakup with his girlfriend left him heartbroken, and home only reminds him of everything he’s lost. With a twelve-month contract on offer, the chance to take a break is too good to pass up. All he needs now is a roommate, since his company-organised apartment has fallen through.

He runs across Alex’s Craigslist posting and thinks the other man seems perfect–little does he know that his new roommate is also nursing a broken heart, and coping with it by sleeping his way through the entire population of New York.

Both of them know the dangers of getting into a relationship with their roommates. Alex spent months stuck in a relationship that made him increasingly unhappy, Liam had to move away from his home to give himself a chance to heal.

They seem to soften each other’s rough edges, fill the gaps in each other’s lives. But love is risky, and their hearts are fragile–can they learn to trust one another and take the chance to have a home in each other’s arms? Or will their pasts and their fears get in the way of their happiness?

 

Review

 

This is a slow burn romance with one demisexual hero and one introvert hero with self esteem issues.

It is slow going and there is a nice exploration of demisexuality as well as bisexuality. 

The heroes become roommates, then friends and then finally lovers. 

I would have liked to spend more time with them as lovers and see them bloom a little more but it was an enjoyable read.

 

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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!

My Fair Dork (Men of Holsum College, #8) by Daisy Harris 4 Star Review

Review:

My Fair Dork  - Daisy Harris

They say a guy can never be too hung. Well, Harold Jacobs doesn’t know who they are, but they’re wrong. Socially awkward for as long as he can remember, Harold feels his enormous package is just one more thing to be embarrassed about. Especially once hunky and popular Owen McKenzie notices it in the showers. Owen knows he’s bi, but he keeps that secret close to his chest. He likes Harold, and wants to help him shed his dorky image and maybe even find a boyfriend. Still, Owen can’t stop obsessing about Harold’s equipment. And as much as he doesn’t want to flip-flop on his sexuality, Owen does want to test-drive what Harold has between his legs. Their friendship erupts into full-blown lust. But can Owen accept the loss of his golden-child status and be Harold’s boyfriend? And can Harold outgrow his insecurity in time to keep the man he loves?

 

Review

 

Owen and Harold really worked for me. I love that they seem very different but come together as friends and become a safe place for each other. 

I am a bit of a sucker for the “too well hung” trope and like the way it is explored in this romance. 

Owen is less likable than Harold but that is only until he lets himself just be. Harold gains more self assurance.

The love story is realistic, touching, and hot. All good stuff.

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Emergency Contact by Elle Brownlee Review

Review:

Emergency Contact - Elle Brownlee

When Liam’s best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He’s great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.

Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn’t sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.

Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.

 

Review

 

I really like the characters in this book but the lack of communication on both their parts gets old. It would have been a richer book if we could have seen them be vulnerable to each other for a few chapters at the end.

 

I like a Math based character a lot but whoa does Liam have trust issues.

 

Garrett is wonderful but even he needs to speak up more.

 

I would read more books by this writer.

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Hue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, #1) by Jordan Castillo Price Review

Review:

Hue, Tint and Shade - Jordan Castillo Price

Asking for help can be a challenge for even the best of us, and so it’s doubly intimidating for quiet, introverted Tommy Roth. An online exchange leads to a meeting with a psychic who assures Tommy that his naturally subdued aura is to blame for his timidity. Blue and violet tones are out, and shades of yellow and red are in!

Of course it’s a bunch of baloney, and to make it worse, the intimidating shop clerk overheard the whole conversation.

Just when it seems like Tommy’s life can’t get any more dreary, a colorful character drops out of the sky. Nathan’s so vivid, he seems to good to be true. Is he?

 

Review

 

It is cute, weird and sexy,  It is also short and it is hard to know what is going on sometimes but it is a nice little pick me up of a romance. 

Original post:
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No! Jocks Don’t Date Guys (Jock, #2) by Wade Kelly Review

    No! Jocks Don’t Date Guys by Wade Kelly 3.5 Stars!

What is a sexy soccer stud supposed to do when “following family tradition” falls 180 degrees opposite his closeted ideal?

From birth, Chris Jackson has been schooled on how to land a cheerleader. After all, his father married one, and his father’s father before him. Heck, even his older brother married a stereotypical cheerleader the summer before Chris went off to college. For two years, Chris dodges invasive questions about relationships by blaming his lack of female companionship on grueling practices and heavy course loads. But his lack of interest in girls should’ve given his family a clue. It isn’t until Chris mentions meeting a boy that his father’s synapses short-circuit.

Alonzo Martin is anything but a buxom blond. From his black hair, combat boots, and trench coat to his nail polish and guyliner, the mysterious introvert isn’t easily persuaded to date. Alonzo’s insecurities keep Chris at arm’s length, but Alonzo’s painful past might meet its match in the charismatic jock’s winning smile and sense of humor.

When opposites attract, only cheerleaders and gummy bears can help overcome fear and family tradition.

Review

Despite the light hearted title, this New Adult romance does some heavy emotionial lifting.

Chris is a sunny extrovert hero who is kind and while not out yet is very much out to himself.

Lonnie is an introvert who we slowly open himself to Chris and a circle of friends that show him it is okay to be his full self in a a safe place.

The love story and healing of Lonnie is really well done and Chris is someone anyone would fall in love with in his steadfast, attentive, and brave ways.

The cheerleader side story is just awful, creepy, disjointed and weird and almost ruins to the book. I elected to ignore it.

Looking for Group by Alexis Hall Review

  Looking for Group by Alexis Hall 3 Stars! 

So, yeah, I play Heroes of Legend, y’know, the MMO. I’m not like obsessed or addicted or anything. It’s just a game. Anyway, there was this girl in my guild who I really liked because she was funny and nerdy and a great healer. Of course, my mates thought it was hilarious I was into someone I’d met online. And they thought it was even more hilarious when she turned out to be a boy IRL. But the joke’s on them because I still really like him.

And now that we’re together, it’s going pretty well. Except sometimes I think Kit—that’s his name, sorry I didn’t mention that—spends way too much time in HoL. I know he has friends in the guild, but he has me now, and my friends, and everyone knows people you meet online aren’t real. I mean. Not Kit. Kit’s real. Obviously.

Oh, I’m Drew, by the way. This is sort of my story. About how I messed up some stuff and figured out some stuff. And fell in love and stuff.

Review

I loved this story right up until the end. The end could have been so much better. Richer with more detail.

However, I think if you aren’t a gamer nerd with lots of time in MMO’s (Warcraft particularly) a great deal of this romance set in game with make you nuts. It is a bit like a foreign language. There is a glossary at the back which you should read first.

I am a gamer (even though I don’t game much anymore) so those parts were fun for me. The conflicts were true to life outside the game and the love story sweet.

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell Review

Strong Signal (Cyberlove Book 1) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell 4 Stars! 

I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.

That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.

I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.

But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.

Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.

Review

I was charmed by this romance which takes on heavy issues of growing up in the rust belt, being queer in the army, middle eastern wars, anxiety, and panic and also thinks carefully about love connections over the internet and still manages to be sexy as hell with enduring and endearing characters.

Kai and Garrett are a wonderful pair of heroes. All the long distance and remote courting is well done and then the reconciling the demands of money, time, and mental health take this love story to the next level.

There are all sorts of intersting ideas explored from introversion to sex work but the story telling is engaging and compelling and they really earn that Happily Ever After.

I am thrilled we get to see them in more books in this series.

Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan 5 Star Review

Review:

Antisocial - Heidi Cullinan

A single stroke can change your world.

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten college to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour. 

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

 

Review

While I love the romance in this in this book, the discussion of art is so powerful, it often steals the show.

 

This romance is a slow burn and not just because one of the heroes is asexual. The fall in love is really pretty magical as they take down wall after wall for each other.

 

It is also a very well done New Adult with the kinds of conflict that have to do with finding new understanding of your family of origins and becoming your fuller self.

 

The setting is compelling as the circle of friends that builds and the mythology contained in the manga and an exploration of toxic masculinity from all parts of the policatal spectrum that is explored.

 

The writing is lyrical and lovely and while the pace might be too slow for some, it really worked for me.

 

At the heart of this book is the love story which is all about intimacy.

 

So very good!

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My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! (Jock #1) by Wade Kelly Review

Review:

My Roommate's a Jock? Well, Crap! - Wade Kelly

It’s easy to become cynical when life never goes your way. 

Cole Reid has been a social recluse since he was fifteen, when he was outed by his high school baseball team. Since then, his obsessive-compulsive behavior and sarcastic nature have driven away most of the population, and everyone else hates him because he’s gay. As he sees it, he’s bound to repulse any prospective friends, let alone boyfriends, so why bother? 

By the time Cole enters college, he’s become an anal-retentive loner—but it’s not a problem until his roommate graduates and the housing department assigns Ellis Montgomery to move in with Cole. Ellis is messy, gorgeous, straight, and worst of all, a jock! 

During a school year filled with frat buddies, camping expeditions, and meddling parents, Cole and Ellis develop a friendship that turns Cole’s glass-half-empty outlook on its head. There must be more to Ellis than a fun-loving jock—and maybe Cole’s reawakening libido has rekindled his hope for more than camaraderie.

 

Review

Okay. Wade Kelly is killing me a little bit. The parts of her books and this book that are good are so very good and this there is these little bits and pieces that are off putting, out of place, not resolved and as another review put it haphazard. This makes it hard to recommend her books as I know someone will want to throw them across the room and to ask for the high price of Dreamspinner books even tougher. 

I love mean witty Cole. I love his funny and his personality and even how difficult and yet assertive and brave he is. I was charmed by his nerd self.

I like sunny Ellis a great deal as well as he learns who he is and how to be with himself and Cole. His lack of communication and freak outs seem out of character and took too long. 

The cast of friends is interesting and I kind of would like them to get their own romance. MF for the super nice future pastor. The next books in the series takes place when Ellis (now well adjusted and married to Cole awwww) is coaching and teaching (cause that happens in a university so easily lol)

There is some crazy sauce that is not needed but the romance is sweet and hot overall with lots of couple time. I liked it a lot. 

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