ptsd

Aftermath by E. Davies Review

  Aftermath by E. Davies 3,5 Stars!

I’m off the market for a few months.”

Santa Barbara fire chief Jace Williams has found rock bottom. Suspended from work while a fatality is investigated, unable to escape dreams about that day, distant from his family, he has nowhere to turn for consolation. He just got the divorce judgement from his cheating husband, but he’ll only be a single man in six months’ time, thanks to California law. How did his perfect, organized life turn into this disaster?

“You boys make each other happy.”

As messy and spontaneous as Jace is tidy, Charles Bryan comes across as carefree, which is why he instantly dislikes Jace. A former self-harmer, he still needs the adrenaline rush of hang-gliding, so he teaches it and practices as a hobby, in between visiting his aging father. His dad keeps asking when he’ll bring back Justin, his ex… and he’s never had the heart to tell him he dumped the abusive bastard years ago. But it’s easy to hide a lot with a smile, and he follows a whim into reserved Jace’s arms.

“Against the odds, I like you.”

Despite their clashing personalities, they have a lot in common under the surface. Planning a wedding together gives them both something to do… and someone to tease. When Charlie’s dislike of strings and Jace’s reluctance to commit until the divorce is finalized give way to growing affection, neither of them know what to do. They didn’t expect to find the one at the best, yet worst, possible time. Is this what real love feels like?

 

Review

This is an opposites attract romance between two men who have been closed off in different ways. It is a lovely story in which they can’t seem to help falling in love with each other.

Jace is going through a painful divorce. Charlie is dealing with his ill parent.

They both have jobs which define them and they find each other and comfort each other and banter and heal.

Good stuff! I hope there is more in this series.

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!

Brandon Mills Versus the V-Card by Lisa Henry and JA Rock 4.5 Star Review

 Brandon Mills Versus the V-Card (Prescott College Book 2)

4.5 Stars!

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

Review

This is a great book and a great romance. Brandon and Alex are lovely.

Brandon struggles to integrate the abuse of his past, who he is now, and his sexuality.

Alex just shines. He is very young and watching him learn the complexities of love is grand. It is a great new adult love story.

I adore all the super nerdy moments as well as the funny college stuff.

I really loved the circle of friends and the family elements as well.

Light and shadow are all at play here it is a well written, sexy and thoughtful book.

Jacked Up (Birmingham Rebels #3) by Samantha Kane Review

Review:

Jacked Up: Birmingham Rebels - Samantha Kane

Linebacker Sam Taylor feels like a ticking time bomb. He left the army with emotional wounds as fresh as the scars on his back. Sam’s been living like a monk, but his best friend, defensive lineman King Ulupoka, wants to get him laid. Easy for him to say. The larger-than-life Samoan is a hard-bodied, tribal-tattooed fantasy. Sam agrees, under one condition: King stays to watch.

ER nurse Jane Foster is done being a good girl, and nothing says wild like picking up two of football’s sexiest players and bringing them back to your hotel room. Trouble is, she can’t decide which one she wants more. Sam is hot, sweet, and vulnerable. Jane’s more than willing to ride him into oblivion. But King’s intense gaze from across the room promises that the best is yet to come.

Sure, King has had his choice of girls and guys in the past. That doesn’t mean he’ll jeopardize his relationship with Sam over a case of locker-room lust—until a naughty nurse pushes them both out of their comfort zones. Seeing Jane and Sam together turns King on more than he ever imagined. If they’re game, he’s ready to tackle a three-way play.

 

Review

This book is scotching hot and Sam, King, and Jane are wonderful. This is a healing book for Sam and Jane gets to come into her own. 

King is my favorite character with his big sunny personality but he is the one we get to know the least.
I needed much more of his backstory and just time with him.

A great erotic read. Kane never disappoints with touching stories and really sexy times.

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Quinn’s Gambit (AURA, #1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn Review

    Quinn’s Gambit (AURA Book 1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn 4 Stars!

An unregistered human con wizard and a duty-bound, straight-laced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities, all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called Random Anomalous Reality Events or RARE, have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA, the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation, to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living in. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course, for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically induced luck, he works as a ‘freelance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small-time con, according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus, when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

Review

Quinn’s Gambit is a wonderful Fantasy/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance.

The world building is excellent and based on the idea that there is a magical rift dropping all sorts of magic beings into Earth. One of our heroes is a police Elf older and grieving the lost of his mates in the other realm with Alpha mixed in with the social awkwardness of adjusting to a new culture and being deeply hurt. Our other hero is Quinn, troubled in his own ways, a mage hiding the extent of his power and much younger, working as a con man.

They, of course, get together and the save the world.

This is a slow burn romance with a wonderful cast of others and a great premise of being set in this agency of crime solving and magical being immigration. The other all tone is light but with some dark topics, great character driven romance and adventure.

Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek by R. Cooper

Review:

Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek - R. Cooper

Former soldier Octavio “Tavio” Reyes works as a barista, a favorite with the customers—especially Tommy O’Shaughnessy. An avowed geek, Tommy comes in daily to flirt, usually under the guise of Trekkie talk. Tavio hesitates; now that he’s out of the army, he’s not sure how out he should be, or whether to take his chances on a geek devoted to sci-fi and comic books. But when Tommy compares him to an unemotional Vulcan, Tavio finally considers dating an out-and-proud nerd. Then Tommy surprises him again and introduces him to his daughter, whom Tommy loves even more than Star Trek or Tavio. Now Tavio has a whole new decision to make: Is he ready to romance a family man?

 

Review

 

Oh, R. Copper, you frustrate me. As always the writing, situation and characters are gorgeous. This romance is hot and sweet and everything good and compelling. 

It is a slow burn. I don’t mind that we get a fade to black sex scene (though okay I prefer not) but I needed more scenes after they started dating. More! lol

Original post:
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Falling Down by Eli Easton Review

    Falling Down by Eli Easton 4 Stars! 

osh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts

 

Review

 

I was worried that this book would be too dark for me with its topics of PTSD, depression, suicidal thoughts, homelessness….sound grim. doesn’t it? But Eli Easton handles these issues with grace and realism and embeds these struggles in wonderful human characters that we are lucky enough to watch fall in love.

This is a thoughtful romance that slow lets the light fill it up with lovely prose and complex characters. There is no extra angst and drama just a heartfelt and healing love story.

I very much recommend this book.

Blue Mountain (Pack #1) by Cardeno C. Review

    Blue Mountainby Cardeno C. 3.5 Stars!

Exiled by his pack as a teen, Omega wolf Simon Moorehead learns to bury his gentle nature in the interest of survival. When a hulking, rough-faced Alpha catches Simon on pack territory, he tries to escape what he’s sure will be imminent death. But instead of killing him, the Alpha takes Simon home.

A man of action, Mitch Grant uproots his life to support his brother in leading the Blue Mountain pack. Mitch lives on the periphery, quietly protecting everyone, but always alone. A mate is a dream come true for Mitch, and he won’t let little things like Simon’s rejections, attacks, and insults get in their way. With patience, seduction, and genuine care, Mitch will ride out the storm while Simon slays his own ghosts and Mitch’s loneliness.

Review

I tend to like Cardeno C best when the plots are character driven and we get oodles of couple time.

In this Wolf Shifter Romance, we get a badly emotionially scarred Omega wolf hero and a gentle giant (but really fierce with everyone else) Alpha Wolf hero.

Almost all the book is spent with the Alpha Hero giving the Omega Hero time to trust and heal. It is sweet and lovely.

The world building is uneven but it is a nice read.

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.

How to Raise an Honest Rabbit by Amy Lane 5 Star Review

   How to Raise an Honest Rabbit   by Amy Lane 5 Stars!

Everything about Jeremy has always been a lie—including his last name. When one grift too many ends in tragedy, Jeremy goes straight. But life’s hard for an ex-con, and Jeremy is down to panhandling and hope when Rance Crawford offers him work at a tiny alpaca farm and fiber mill. Jeremy takes him up on the job, thinking this could be his last chance to be a good man, and meets Aiden, who is growing into a better one.

As Aiden comes of age, Jeremy finds himself desperate to grow up, too, because Aiden starts looking to him for things Jeremy doesn’t know how to give. Being honest is terrifying for a man who’s learned to rabbit at the first sign of conflict—more so when Aiden gives Jeremy a reason to stay that can’t be packed up and carried in a knapsack. When Jeremy’s past comes knocking at their door, can Jeremy trust enough in Aiden and his new home to answer bravely back?

Review

I think this is one of those you love it or you don’t romances. Jeremy is a chatty (hyper) person and we are in his head so that is not for everyone. I loved it.

Despite, Amy Lane’s unfortunate use of “boy’ as a term of endearment (and even explained it is unfortunate, I was utterly charmed by this sweet, achey, slow burn romances between a much older beta hero and a much younger alpha hero.

What I loved is what good friends Aiden and Jeremy are. I loved how much of his own person Aiden is and that age doesn’t matter as much in some people’s development. I really valued how the story takes its time and Jeremy healing and the impact of his trauma are well details and just don’t magically go away,

I really liked all the kinds of love here and the talents. The farming, knitting, and shop stuff are just cool as are all the friends.

The best part is the romance. Aiden is steadfast and tender and tough. Jeremy despite being older and having a pile more trauma is less adult but comes into is wonderful own.

I have already reread it feeling I had gone to fast the first time.