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Playing with Fire by Avery Cockburn Review

  Playing With Fire (Glasgow Lads Book 3) by Avery Cockburn 4 Stars! 

Robert McKenzie has a secret. As the only straight player on an all-LGBT soccer team, he’s known to fans as “McWhataWaste.” No one would guess Robert’s actually bisexual. At twenty-one, on the verge of a brilliant career in video game design, he’s finally ready to be his true self. The only thing keeping him in the closet is…his gay best friend?

Liam Carroll has a problem. His gorgeous pal and teammate wants to kiss him and touch him and…everything with him. But for how long? With Robert embarking on a bright future—far from their rough-and-tumble East End streets—Liam may soon be left behind. He can’t risk falling in love with a man he can’t live without. His solution? Keep things casual, “see what happens.”

Aye, right. After a single camping trip, the bridge back to mere friendship is well and truly burned. Now Robert wants more than sex, but diehard cynic Liam won’t drop the barriers around his heart. These two tough center-backs must find a way forward as lovers, or their lifelong bond—the heart of the Warriors team—will rupture for good.

Review

There is so much achey goodness in this book.

A rich friends to lovers romance that contends with biphobia, making a life together, and hope.

All the conflicts hurt a little because they are true and real.

While I am not always thrilled with Liam’s thoughts or action, he grows and risks a lot and his romantic gestures are the bomb.

Robert is wonderful and how he decided to make things work real seals the loveliness of this story.

A great cast, a great setting, and great writing!

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates, #3) by Jay Northcote Review

     Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates Book 3) by Jay Northcote 4 Stars! 

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

Review 

Oh, I love this book. What a joyful romance!

I like the heroes so much. This romance is sexy and equal. There is a little bit of communication problems but those makes sense.

A great ginger hero who is thoughtful and sexy geek. Sigh.

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young Review

    On Dublin Street by Samantha Young 4 Stars! 

Review

I have been meaning to read this book forever and since I apparently refuse to leave modern day Scotland this week, I finally did!

Och! So the hero is super hot and super jerky. I would start setting up things to fall on his head if he kept coming into my apartment without asking but whatever, Romanceland.

I love that the heroine goes to therapy. Thank the goddess.

The chemistry is smoking and the setting grand. The writer stuff is fun.

His super richness and serial mono stuff is a bit over the top as is some of the drama but other aspects of the book really work well and the secondary characters are great.

The writing is lovely too.

Good fantasy romance stuff.

Play It Safe: A Glasgow Lads Story by Avery Cockburn Review

  Play It Safe by Avery Cockburn  3.5 Stars! 

fter living together for three months, Fergus Taylor and John Burns have come to love each other’s quirks, and the bond between them is starting to look permanent. But when John wants to take things to the next level, Fergus balks, haunted by the betrayals in his own past.

John knows if he’s not careful, he could lose Fergus. If only he weren’t so bad at being careful.

To overcome his fears, Fergus must embark on an epic journey, a journey that will test his faith, his trust, and his ability to keep a cool head in a hot, hot place.

 

Review

I thought I might get annoyed at an extra helping of angst but this short story is a sweet peek back in on John and Fergus and the gang.

Fergus is still working through trust issues and they go somewhere that makes me want to wash with disinfectant (and this is because I have been to places like this in my misspent youth) but this is really a sweet, tender, and funny little follow up.

Playing for Keeps (Glasgow Lads Book 1) by Avery Cockburn Review

    Playing for Keeps by Avery Cockburn 3.5 Stars! 

Fergus Taylor is damaged goods. Reeling from a brutal breakup, he’s determined to captain his LGBT soccer team out of scandal and into a winning season. For that, he needs strict rules and careful plans. He does NOT need a brash, muscle-bound lad messing with his head and setting his body afire.

John Burns has a rule of his own: Don’t get attached. Boyfriends are for guys with nothing to hide. Nobody—not his university mates, not the men he beds—knows his family’s shame. Now his double life is starting to unravel, thanks to a certain Highlander whose storm-riddled eyes turn John inside out, who wears a kilt like he was born in it.

Fergus is the first man John wants to share his secret with—but he’s the last man who could handle it. John knows the truth would shatter Fergus’s still-fragile heart. But how can he live a lie when he’s falling in love?

Review

This is my first book by Avery Cockburn but it won’t be my last.

I love the idea for the series which is an  LGBTQA soccer team in Scotland. The series has a lads title but I hold the lassies get a series as well.

I expected the book to be a bit lighter than it was but the angst here is well down and powerful.

This is an inter faith star crossed lovers romance more than the heartbroken romance that that the blurb conveys.

The love story deals with the tensions between Protestants and Catholics in current Scotland and it also deals with refugees from hate coming to Britain (though not in its leads characters though I hope the series will one day)

I don’t want to give too much away but it is a compelling love story and super hot as well. We get kilts. Grrr.

The love is a bit rushed but the heroes form a deep like as well as lust and secondary characters are great.

British Bad Boys: A Bad Boy Romance Boxed Set Review

  British Bad Boys: A Bad Boy Romance Boxed Set 3 Stars!

Come and spend time with a dirty-talking London tattoo artist, a Scottish bad boy, a British gangster who won’t take no for an answer, and MORE! These men are all hotter than hell and have accents to die for. Whatever your desire, you’ll find it within these pages.

What are you waiting for?

 

Review

Carved in Ink by Marissa Farrar

The heroine inherits a building with a tattoo shop and the grumpy tattoo ship owner. The hero is a bit too hot and cold for me but it is an enjoyable read.

Fast Lust By Lucy Felthouse
I enjoyed this peek into British Motorcross with a romance between a reporter and motor cross rider.

Heavy Metal Lust by Victoria Blisse

Younger Rocker Hero with an older single mom heroine. Fun stuff that would have made for a good longer romance.

Innocent Lies by Lexie Bay

Mobster Romance. Not my favorite.

In Training by K D Grace

Reality show back drop in this quick fun romance.

The Gamesman by Tabitha Rayne

I always have fun at the Highland Games! Could have had a bit more development but a fun one.

The Red Scot (A Curvy Girls Club Novel, #1) by Twyla Turner Review

The Red Scot (A Curvy Girls Club Novel Book 1) by Twyla Turner  2.5 Stars! 

She’ll be the greatest fight of his life…

Bradyn ‘The Red Scot’ MacTavish is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, despite his humble beginnings as the fat kid growing up. A tragedy that befell his life changed him and made sure that he never felt helpless again. He spent years making a name for himself in the octagon as an alpha beast, but when it comes to the ladies he is a fumbling mess. Always feeling like the unpopular kid. The day that Payton Bailey walks into his gym changes everything.

When it comes to men, Payton is as clueless as she is with social cues. She prefers to stick with what she knows: Sci-Fi, comic books, video games and web design. After a heartbreaking incident her freshman year of college, she was never able to look at big muscular men the same way again. So imagine her surprise and absolute fright when she catches the eye of the massive, hulking MMA fighter, who she secretly nicknames The Red Giant.

The computer geek has done her best to avoid, ignore, and even maim Bradyn but the stubborn Scot has no intentions of letting the skittish lass slip through his fingers. And with the help of her three friends, he just might win the fight of his life.

Review

I enjoyed this book a lot but there are writing errors and almost all the tropes of the book are heavy handed.

What saved it was fun dialogue, a great circle of friends, a wonderful sweet hero, and a geeky heroine.

Our hero and heroine are both shy which is fun. The hero is very self aware and kind. The heroine has PTSD from a past attempted rape.

The hero’s lovely wooing of the heroine plus the fact that that he is a super hot Scot let me enjoy the book despite the telling passages, lack of complexity, and typos.

In Time (Play On Book 2) by Cd Brennan Review

 In Time (Play On Book 2) by  Cd Brennan 

Rory Cameron is all about rugby. He’s been playing since he was a wee bairn in Edinburgh. By now, he should be a powerhouse with his single-minded dedication to the Traverse City Blues Rugby Club. But something is missing. With his dad breathing down his neck to make a big club, the last thing he needs is a sassy country girl distracting him.

Grace making the men’s team? Improbable. Rory coaching a women’s rugby team? Unbelievable. Falling for the girl? Absolutely.

Grace Bowman moves to Michigan to forge a new life without her family’s constant mothering. She refuses to let her diabetes keep her from the life she craves. Time to live big and take chances—carpe diem and all that. Still, the last thing she expects is for things to heat up with the coach of the women’s rugby team. If her new lifestyle doesn’t kill her, rugby just might. But Grace is willing to take the chance for a winning try with Rory.

3 Stars

 

Review

This book irritates me because it is close to being a great book but falls short.

Everything that is here is very good but truncated.

For example, there is a point where Rory freaks out but it is really not explored, processed, or integrated.

The heroine is reckless with her health and this is a key and compelling element of the story but we don’t get to see her growing and changing. The book just ends.

Rory makes a big personal change and again we barely get a taste of his new life.

The love story is stunted which makes sense given the character but we don’t get to see it bloom.

This has a more Happy for Now ending which is not my favorite.

I love the rugby and the psychology in the book The characters are really human and the pairing is good but it all needs more depth and completion.

I am hoping the third book in the series will move in this direction.

Thunderclaw (Alien Warrior #2) by Penelope Fletcher Review

4 Stars!

What does this woman want…?

Sìne is a hot mess. A broke single mother who learned alpha men are abusive monsters, she gave up on the fallacy of ‘true love’ long ago. So upon meeting the King of all alphas and the Commander of all bad-asses who profess everlasting adoration, she runs screaming. Literally. Talked into hosting the unusual ‘out-of-town’ visitors by her family, she discovers King Beowyn is overbearing, vain, selfish, and belligerent – just like she suspected! But he makes her laugh, and her troubled daughter sleeps peacefully in his arms. His perpetual shadow Eorik is broody, self-righteous and an annoying know it all. Yet his touch is gentle, he acts as if her word as gospel, and her daughter thinks he’s the second coming. Her broken belief the opposite sex can be strong, caring and trustworthy is reforged, and Sine takes a chance on the beautiful life they promise… then lands on the Verak home planet and faces an ugly surprise six hundred strong.

Who does this warrior King desire…?

Planning to take a quick trip to Earth for a feisty nubile to bed, Beowyn finds himself in a quandary when his chosen human makes it clear he will share her bed and no other. Wanting her for his own, he omits a trifling truth to get her to his home planet. On the journey his vessel is attacked by vengeful L’Odo, and they crash on a forbidden planet. Rescue by his Ra allies is swift, but two of their party remain lost in the dangerous wilds. Beowyn must decide to return to Vayhalun in time to retain the right to be known as the Great Alpha, or stay to lead the search for his missing loved ones, forfeiting a throne his mighty Dyna has held for aeons.

What does this protector dream of…?

Eorik is in love with a male he cannot have. He finds solace in protecting Beowyn and doesn’t complain when he flits off on foolhardy adventures. That is until they travel to Earth and Eorik finds his One – the same female his liege is adamant is his. Struggling with the pain of watching those he loves from a distance, he finds himself stranded on a planet of both paradise and peril, protecting the most innocent of those he cherishes. He and the human babe rush to reunite with their convoy as a nameless terror stalks them through the jungle.

Review

This books reads much better if you read or reread the first in the series first–Venomous.

This is a sage. A big, fat, multi layered sage with a triangle of a poly romance that works for me. ‘

The loved forever theme and the heroine who does not trust adds great tension to this science fiction romance.

I love that the heroine doesn’t just leave. She has family. She is a mother. She is practical.

The layers peal off all the characters (main and secondary). There are huge plot events. They all need to talk more but it is very good anyway.

I am not thrilled with the ending of this one in terms of a big lead up to the next book instead of closing this one fully (we get a nice HEA) but I am looking forward to the next one.