Scotland

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!

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.

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.