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True Brit by Con Riley 4 Star Review

    True Brit by Con Riley 4 Stars!

Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.

Ed Britten is an ex-soldier with a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.

Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.

Review

I was utterly charmed by this book but it has some loose ends that were annoying because if these issues had been addresses it would have went from being a very good lover story to an excellent one.

Pasha and Ed are very different people. However, they are on a singing show together and end up needing each other and liking each other very much.

This a spot on pretend relationship plot for those of you who like me love those. It is great.

They communicate and are steadfast. There are lots of twists and turns that I don’t want to give away. Each character is detailed and the exploration of the heroes and falling in love is grand against the backdrop of the show.

They are both very smart but hurting and take time to show each other fully who they are.

It is a really good book.

The ends that that dangle: A better understanding of what happen to Ed in the army, more with Pasha’s auntie and his sexuality… And others stuff lol.

Very good overall.

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.

How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon Book 2) Eli Easton Review

Review:

How to Walk Like a Man - Eli Easton

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If this job doesn’t kill Matt, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

 

Review

This is a fairly light hearted shifter romance. I like the mythos and the characters. I would like it better if it was a known paranormal world. The conflict of “nobody must know” gets a bit old but it fun.

 

Roman is wonderful of course. It is cool the way Easton has him settle into his human body.

 

I like Matt less and would have wanted more time with him after he was out but all in all this is a sweet fun tale with adventure thrown in.

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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.

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.

Who We Are by Nicola Haken Review

   Who We Are by Nicola Haken 3 Stars! 

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

Review

So much going on in this book. We have a lot of angst but a good amount of joy too.

Our heroes are both raising teenagers. My favorite parts of this book actually deal with Tyler and Scott as much as Sebastian and Oliver. And I love the cat and the besties as well.

The romance is good too as it looks at two complicated adults leading full lives falling in love. Good stuff.

Owning It (Metropolis, #3) by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack 4 Star Review!

   Owning It  by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack 4 Stars!

Just out of an eighteen-year marriage, the last thing Jackson expects the first time he visits a gay bar is for a sexy, drunk, twenty-six-year-old twink to mistakenly climb into his Jeep. The twink part he’s good with, the drunk part…not so much. As far as Jackson’s concerned, the boy should come with a warning label. But Derek is not as flighty as Jackson thought…he’s actually pretty incredible. Getting to know the wild, funny man is a breath of fresh air. And when Derek calls him Daddy? Christ, he never thought something like that would feel so right.

Derek has serious daddy issues, and his name is Jackson. He’s stubborn and controlling…and ever since Derek woke up in the silver fox’s condo, he can’t get Jackson out of his mind. Maybe because no matter how many times he throws himself at him, Jackson doesn’t take the bait. And maybe because Jackson is the one person who sees him for who he really is. But Derek loves a challenge, and he’s eager to rock Jackson’s world.

Jackson isn’t interested in a meaningless hookup. He wants the real Derek, not just the sassy jokester everyone else sees. But it’s not easy for Derek to open up. He feels much safer guarding his heart. And Jackson needs to figure out the balance between living for himself and the mountain of responsibilities weighing him down. Derek and Jackson must find the common ground between hookup and commitment–if they can’t own their issues and work together to overcome their faults, they could smother the flame between them that’s just beginning to ignite.

Review

I love this romance between the over the top Derek and Jackson.

This romance really works because they allow each other emotionial intimacy as well as physical. Both heroes are complex and engaging and the chemistry is smoking hot.

This is a funny book but it is also tender. Derek gets the love he deserves and so does Jackson.

We also get close friendships. Good stuff!

Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers Review

   Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers 3.5 Stars

fter the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.

Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.

Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.

Review

This was on odd book for me. I liked as much about it as I didn’t. Archer and Mallory are both sympathetic characters but as they are both taciturn, it is hard to get to know them.

I like the way the book is divided into half with a realistic separation of the characters in the middle and a change in point of view. I can feel the love for each other and they way grief is processed is powerful.

However, lots of details just flutter out there. Archer’s brother makes little sense or at least we don’t get to understand him nor Archer’s money situation. We barely get to see his parents nor really know what he looks like.

Mallory is less mysterious but even in his point of view his past and emotionial life are a bit blurred.

So, I enjoyed it as the writing itself was compelling but it could have been much better.

Grind (The Riley Brothers #6) by E. Davies 4 Star Review

   Grind (The Riley Brothers Book 6)by E. Davies 4 Stars!

“My family could accept me being gay, but not trans.”
James is in trouble. His family turned their back on him after he transitioned, and he was forced to start his new life without them, but now he’s paying the price. Buried in debt, his last chance is to start a business with hunky carpenter Ryan and hope that they succeed. The one thing he can’t afford is a distraction, but what if Ryan is the only one to see past it all and love him inside and out?

“Strictly-business is hard around you.”
Ryan Hart doesn’t rattle easy. From lazy contractors to being the last single friend, nothing bothers him until he meets James. Ryan’s new business partner pushes him to follow his dreams, even though he faces problems Ryan’s never considered. Ryan doesn’t back down from a challenge or from threats to his business, James’s hard-won privacy, and their future together. As business partners, of course. Nothing more.

“I can’t believe they don’t see you as the man I love.”
They both know mixing business with pleasure is a bad idea, but the pull between them is too hard to resist. Can Ryan have it all with the clever, caring, bossy guy who’s won his heart?

Review

This is my favorite book in the Riley Brothers series.

I love James. I love the reality of how hard it is to find good work. I love how he uses his talent.

I love Ryan as well. I like how open and caring he is. I like how James and Ryan are better together than they are apart.

The aspect of their relationship that intersects with transgender issues is well handled.

This is a wonderful love story.