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Glitterland by Alexis Hall Review

Glitterland  by Alexis Hall 4 Stars! 

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and — most of all — himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

Review

Alexis Hall makes the ending up to me by adding a short story that was really needed to make this book complete.

Darian. I love him. He is clever and knows himself. Ash has to grow a lot in this book to deserve him but he does.

This book has all the wonderful trademarks of a Hall book-contending with imperfect characters, setting, class and such love.

We get a great romantic gesture and a well needed grovel. As well as a wonderful look at how to let other people make their own choices and live (and thrive) with who we are.

Good stuff!

Fire Balls (Balls to the Wall Book 2) by Tara Lain Review

 Fire Balls by Tara Lain 3.5 Stars!

Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

Review

While the writing is a little broad and lacking nuance and detail that would make the book really great, this is a very enjoyable love story.

We have an artist hero with a crush and a firefighter hero who struggles to accept himself fully and give a life for himself.

There is great banter here the plot if a bit fast is well done. The character arcs are a bit sharp and certain major plot evolutions are rushed but there is much to enjoy. I wanted more time with Hunter and Rodney as a couple but what was there was sweet. I will read more books in this series.

Just Stop Me (Escape to New Zealand #9) by Rosalind James Review

4 Stars!

Lots of young women dream of being a princess. Nina Jones isn’t one of them. After escaping from her palace/prison by burying herself under sacks of fertilizer, she ends up in a beach cottage on New Zealand’s South Island. She’s meant to be looking after a cantankerous widower. Too bad she doesn’t know how to boil an egg.
Iain McCormick may be an All Black, a member of New Zealand’s elite rugby team, and a bona fide celebrity. During the offseason, though, he’s meant to be a regular Kiwi bloke. A good son, a good neighbor, and a good citizen. But civility comes harder when you’ve been dumped at the altar. He doesn’t need anybody he has to look out for. He definitely doesn’t need to fall in love.

Yeah, right.

Review

I had a lot of trouble getting into this book because I really hate the fake royalty theme. I was restless at first.

However, I went back after reading James’ Just Say Yes which is a 5 star read for me and really loved this one.

I will say it is a tear jerker in the secondary romance of the heroes parents and the grief of his grandfather. I loved this part of the book.

The hero is messed up from his wedding that didn’t happen and the heroine is messed up from being controlled by all the people in her life.

It is a lovely book of healing and sexy too.

The hero and heroine both really grow and it is wonderful to see. The heroine could have revealed her secret a bit earlier and there is another something that doesn’t get followed up on that happens to her but overall this is a very good romance.