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Left Behind (Finding My Forever, #3) by Michele Notaro 4 Star Review!

    Left Behind by Michele Notaro 4 Stars! 

My god, if I have to watch one more happy couple get together, I’m going to lose it completely and probably rip out all of my awesomely pink hair. My older brother is now married and has a family, my best friend is in a committed relationship, and the man I’ve wanted to be with for the last two years just can’t give me what I want… what I know I deserve… I need to do something, go somewhere else and clear my head.

So, when I get invited to a photographer’s convention in Florida, I jump at the chance. Now I can get away from all the coupled happiness around me and surround myself with… all the photographers from back home.

Well, crap.

Why didn’t I realize that I already knew half the people here? How did I not know that Andrew—the head of the jerk brigade—would be here too? Ugh. Well, at least I can hang out at the beach, right?

Review

The core romance of Levi and Andrew is great. They go from hating each other to loving each other and its fun.

Levi is in a no win relationship that he has just ended and Andrew is still stunned from a terrible betrayal.

We get a lot of dating, flirting, and couple time. Good stuff. Levi is a fun character and once we figured Andrew out, he is pretty great too.

You will like this book better if you have read the other books in the series since we get a ton of page time with past couples and future ones.

Good read!

A Little Bit Broken (Finding My Forever, #2) by Michele Notaro 4 Star Review

   A Little Bit Broken  by Michele Notaro 4 Stars!

I have felt alone in this world for a long time, so when new friends come into my life, I’m always afraid to let them get too close. I don’t know if I can risk my heart breaking when those people inevitably leave me. But I’m overwhelmed too. Overwhelmed and so incredibly lonely. Unfortunately, my past has a way of finding me and I’m going to need some help at the coffee shop I own. But it’s hard to find someone you can trust with only three applicants, one of which happens to be an ex-con. My prospects aren’t looking very good. When help comes from an unlikely source, will Harley’s past come back to haunt him? Will he let the surprising new friendship he’s found grow into something more, or will he let his rocky past hold him back on the things he needs most; friendship and love?

Review

This is a tender romance about healing.

Harely is coming off an abusive relationship and the other hero is coming home from prison.

We get a lovely circle of friends and wonderful falling in love.

This book as some nice thinking about domestic abuse as well as criminal justice reform.

This is a feel good romance about being treasured.

Checked Out (The Family Jules Book 2) by Sean Ashcroft Review

    Checked Out (The Family Jules Book 2) by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars! 

Librarian Charlie Jules really needs to stop falling for straight guys. Every man he’s been attracted to over the past year has turned out to be straight—including Scott, a cute new library patron who comes complete with an adorable puppy.

Charlie was almost ready to give up on ever finding love in Hope Springs, but when Scott kisses him…

… twice…

… he starts to realise that the gorgeous man of his dreams might not be as straight as he thinks he is. Is there hope for the two of them?

After uprooting his life and moving to Hope Springs to finally pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian, Scott still feels lost in his new hometown. He doesn’t really fit in at work and his classmates are all younger than him, so all he has for company is his small pack of foster dogs. That is, until he meets Charlie.

Charlie isn’t like anyone Scott’s ever met.

He’s never wanted to kiss another man before.

What the hell is he supposed to do now?

 

Review

I love me a nerdy librarian hero, so I am all in. Charlie is a great character. Scott is less well done. He is kind and loves dogs and lonely but as usually with Ashcroft a great deal of his emotionial and sexual landscape is sketched in.

The crush trope is well done and I love that Charlie, while nerdy, is not sexually shy.

This a light sweet romance with some unneeded conflict that would have been better replaced with character development.

However, it was a nice escape read. I can’t wait for the last brother’s story.

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.

Manny Makes Three by Sean Ashcroft Review

   Manny Makes Three by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars! 

Single father Mark doesn’t have enough hours in the day to both take care of his son, Dylan, and work his stressful marketing job by himself. Facing the prospect of having to leave Dylan with his aunt over the summer break, he realises that what he needs is a nanny.

Thankfully, Mannies Inc. have just the right guy for the job. Josh is qualified, good with kids, and more or less a human ray of sunshine. His resumé speaks for itself, and when he and Dylan hit it off, Mark knows he’s the perfect person to hire.

Mark’s never thought of himself as attracted to other men, but Josh is so warm and kind and good to him, not to mention amazing with Dylan. He finds himself drawn to the other man in a way he’s never experienced before, but he’s been alone for so long that he can’t bring himself to care. So what if he’s suddenly attracted to a man?

Josh is also struggling with his attraction to Mark, a man who represents everything he wants in life–stability, companionship, and a family of his own. He knows better than to believe that Mark would want him like that, but it’s so easy to dream…

Both men have already been hurt by love, but can they open their hearts again before their doubts tear them apart? Or will their worlds prove to be too different for them to be together?

 

Review

This is a super sweet romance between widower and his manny.

Mark is a great guy and so is Josh. Well, Josh is epically wonderful and kind.

It is lovely story that is thoughtful about grief and employer/employee relationships.

It could have been as thoughtful about bisexuality but it is a lovely light read overall.

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.

Falling In Time by Michele Notaro Review

   Falling In Time: A Finding My Forever Short Story by Michele Notaro 3 Stars! 

Watching him dance from that stage is mesmerizing. He is beyond gorgeous. Too bad I freeze every single time he tries to speak to me. If I could just talk to him, maybe I could… ugh, who am I kidding? He would never go for someone like me when he looks like, well, like that.

I’m a nervous wreck when I get roped into going out with Ezra and the other dancers, but somehow Ezra makes me feel more comfortable and I slowly start to let him in. Turns out, he’s not just a sexy dancer; he’s a sweet guy too.

When the two men connect, will Jamie be able to open himself up to what Ezra is offering, or will he let the fear of rejection and heartbreak ruin what could be?

 

 

Review

This is a lovely little short story. If you have been reading this series it is a great present to your self.

The couple is sweet. Flirty courtships with a shy hero and dancer hero is a great deal of fun.

Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote Review

     Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote 3 Stars! 

Will Rowan’s festival fling with sexy dancer Seth lead to something more permanent?

Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?

All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.

When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?

Review

This is a quick romance that gives us a peek into a British folk dancing tradition which I loved.

It is sweet and sexy and hopeful. 

Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat Review

   Dirty Mind by Roe Horvat 3.5 Stars!

Alexander Popescu is a university lecturer in a quiet German town. He’s a respectable man in his thirties who stays fit, has a decent career and travels alone—his only vice is an occasional greasy meal. And beer. And violent computer games. Nobody has to know about the other Alex—the acclaimed porn writer. His ingenious erotic fantasies earn him good money and keep his capricious mind harmlessly entertained.

When his young friend and protégé Christian transfers to Freiburg for medical school, Alex is overjoyed…and terrified that Christian will find out about Alex’s indecent alter ego. The time they spend together, as lovely as it is, could overturn Alex’s carefully balanced life. Suddenly, the writing is not good enough, his hair seems to be thinning, his careful hookups leave him unfulfilled, and his dreams are haunted by the innocent young man he’s vowed to protect.

However, Christian is not a boy anymore. He’s a grown man of twenty-one, clever and deadly attractive. And he’s hiding some secrets of his own

 

Review

Oh, I liked this one. The conflict about the age difference is real as Alex met Christian when he was so young.

Alex is a bit clueless though to Christian’s affection and that gets a bit wearing,

I liked the setting and the friendships as well.

I wish the book had spent more time after they got together but it was a fun read.

Red Hot by Sean Ashcroft Review

   Red Hot by Sean Ashcroft 3 Stars!

“Red Hot? That’s the profile title we’re going with?”

Newly-out firefighter Red has a pretty average life—a job he loves, supportive friends, big dreams, and a little trouble finding a roommate. That is, until he rescues a slightly odd computer nerd from his burning apartment building.

Andy isn’t just any computer nerd. He’s the computer nerd who single-handedly built the up-and-coming dating app, M4M. Until now, Red’s been afraid to put himself out there—but with Andy as his new roommate, he’s not going to have any choice. Andy needs a test case, someone to prove his matching algorithms can find anyone the perfect partner.

When he discovers that Red’s never been on a date before, Andy makes him his pet project—he’s going to find Red the man of his dreams, whatever it takes.

The only problem is that Andy is the man of Red’s dreams, and Red can’t bring himself to face the embarrassment of telling him—after all, Andy isn’t interested, right?

Little does Red know that Andy’s been thinking the same thing. If only his algorithms agreed…

Review

While I liked each hero, they each felt more like sketches to me than fully developed characters and the conflict to their romance got a bit tiresome.

I loved the set up and who each man is but I needed more time of them being together as such different people to make this book work for me.

I will read more by this author thought because despite all of that I enjoyed the book.