self esteem issues

Falling In Time by Michele Notaro Review

   Falling In Time: A Finding My Forever Short Story by Michele Notaro 3 Stars! 

Watching him dance from that stage is mesmerizing. He is beyond gorgeous. Too bad I freeze every single time he tries to speak to me. If I could just talk to him, maybe I could… ugh, who am I kidding? He would never go for someone like me when he looks like, well, like that.

I’m a nervous wreck when I get roped into going out with Ezra and the other dancers, but somehow Ezra makes me feel more comfortable and I slowly start to let him in. Turns out, he’s not just a sexy dancer; he’s a sweet guy too.

When the two men connect, will Jamie be able to open himself up to what Ezra is offering, or will he let the fear of rejection and heartbreak ruin what could be?

 

 

Review

This is a lovely little short story. If you have been reading this series it is a great present to your self.

The couple is sweet. Flirty courtships with a shy hero and dancer hero is a great deal of fun.

Cookies and Coffee by Mathew Ortiz Review

Review:

Cookies and Coffee (Cookies and Coffee. An unconventional love story) - Mathew Ortiz

Peanut butter cookies…are they the key to finding true love? Douglas never imagined he would meet the man of his dreams, while wrestling a bag of cookies from him! No way that smoking hot Dr. Stanopolous would be interested in him…would he? 

Dr. Antonio ‘Tino’ Stanopolous couldn’t decide what he wanted to take a bite out of first; the peanut butter cookies in his hand or the delectable nurse trying to snatch them away…or could he do both?

 

Review

 

I was bopping along and then I realized it is a serial. Agh. Even with Kindle Unlimited where I can get all of the books, serials rarely work for me. 

This is a sweet romance between a doctor and nurse. The nurse is a plain joe which is a favorite of mine and other heroes are super kind. No man whores here. 

Some editing needs.

Original post:
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Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter by R. Cooper 4 Star Review

Review:

Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter - R. Cooper

To help out his sister, Scott moved to the small town of Montgomery, where there isn’t much to do and no one for him to date. Well, there’s one other openly gay man in town—Henry ‘Cole’ Porter, a widower who runs the school library, but after one drunken night together, Cole has kept his distance. Scott is used to that. He spends a lot of time working out to look good, and from the slow way he talks and the frat house atmosphere at the fire station where he works, it’s easy to assume he’s stupid. Most people are happy to admire his body and assume that’s all he wants from them, and deep down, Scott is too afraid to try asking for more. 

Which is why sweet, romantic Scott has been secretly pining after Cole for months when some of the town’s nosier residents decide Cole has been single long enough. They have a plan to throw every successful, smart, professional gay man in a thirty-mile radius Cole’s way, whether he likes it or not. Their list of candidates doesn’t include Scott, and Scott’s insecurities prevent him from stepping forward—even when it seems as though Cole is asking him to. 

Cole is everything Scott isn’t; highly educated, stylish, with refined tastes. He’s also stubborn and sarcastic, and not nearly as smart about the workings of his own heart as people might think. It might take a lot of the wrong men for him to realize the right one has been in front of him all along.

 

Review

 

 

I liked this romance very much. It looked carefully at two very different men seeing their way to be together and in love. The conflicts are mainly internal but we do have a lot of blocking going on.

Scott is younger and shy. He is very good looking and thus people see him as shallow and not bright even though he is clearly kind and smart.

Cole is a widower and funny. He is older and more established and people think he is too smart for Scott.

However, Scott and Cole are very attuned. I love those moments in the book where Cooper manages to show us just how right these two are for each other. 

Cole has to see Scott and Scott needs to value himself more but they get there. As with most of Cooper’s books lack of communication is a huge issue (quit it!) and the story needs to be longer after the couple really connects.

There is a weird aside in this book with all the straight women matchmaking and basically objectifying the gay men in town which is very meta to the Male/Male Romance dynamics that is worth a look as well.

 
 

 

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Getting Him Back (Ethan & Wyatt, #1) by K.A. Mitchell Review

   Getting Him Back (Ethan & Wyatt) by K.A. Mitchell 3 Stars!

Ethan may have followed his high school sweetheart to college only to get dumped his first day there, but he’s not going to let that stop him from exploring all his new life has to offer. Sex-only hookups, his photography, new friends and a campus-wide game of zombies vs humans all help keep his mind off his broken heart and move him toward building a new, better life without his ex.

And then there’s Wyatt. Mysterious, grouchy—hot. And possibly not gay. But Ethan’s not going to let that stand in the way of figuring out what makes Wyatt tick. New college goal? Get Wyatt into bed and into Ethan’s life.

Step one: arrange a “tutoring” date. Step two: “accidentally” bump into Wyatt as often as possible. Step three: explore the sexy body under that ever-present hoodie. And when their friendship deepens into something neither of them expect, convince Wyatt he’s not just a pity fling or a one-time hookup, but that Ethan is in it for the long haul.

 

Review

Hmm.

I like Wyatt a lot. I like the premise of following your boyfriend to college only to get dumped.
There is some college like stuff that is fun. I like the romance when it is happening. I enjoyed Ethan’s coming into self awareness and growing up.

There is a lot of stuff that is just not great though. This is a three part series with the same couple. It would have been much better as one book. Also, while the college stuff is handled nicely the overall setting is generic. Ethan’s ex is made too simple and what happen not really resolved. And too much insta love.

Sooo, I will read this writer again but likely not the rest of the books in this series.

Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper 4 Star Review

      Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper  by R. Cooper 4 Stars!

After an accident left him broken in body and spirit, Charlie Howard retired from the police force to teach at a community college. Life has taught him that he’s unlikely to get what he wants, so he’s stopped asking. Instead, he hides from the world in the apartment complex he manages. After all, no one can leave him if he doesn’t let anyone in.

Will, a sexy, classic-film-loving twink, moves into the apartment across from him and—to Charlie’s surprise—makes it clear that he’d like nothing more than to hole up with Charlie and get kinky. Will has no problem expressing what he wants in bed or out of it, but he’s never dated anyone long-term, and Charlie isn’t sure Will’s ready for anything serious.

Charlie is a serious kind of guy. He wants Will and everything a relationship could mean, even if he doesn’t have any experience in that scene—even if that makes him vulnerable. As they grow closer, Charlie realizes that it’s time to start asking for what he wants, and if he wants to be happy, he’ll have to risk everything and ask Will to stay.

Review

This is a tender and hot romance between a gruff older Criminal Justice Professor and a young hair stylist.

It is an opposites attract romance between Charlie and Will, neither of whom are great at talking or letting themselves be fully scene. At the end of the book, Charlie’s lack of sharing is frustrating but because there are all kinds of levels of intimacy (the heat factor is much higher here than in most Cooper books), the struggle to articulate and risk on these heroes part feels more natural.

I think the love between them is a healing love and I liked the slow flowering. The end of the story was a bit of a mess but we get an HEA that satisfies. They fully see each other.

Nothing Special by Jay Northcote Review

   Nothing Special by Jay Northcote 3 Stars!

Noah thinks he’s nothing special. Average height, a bit on the skinny side, and cute but rather geeky, he’s relentlessly ordinary. He certainly doesn’t expect to be noticed by Sol, the gorgeous dark-haired stranger Noah sees on his commute home most days. But when Noah’s friend, Dom, persuades Noah to take a huge risk in a bid to get Sol’s attention, things turn out better than Noah dared to hope. Noah and Sol start dating, and much to Noah’s surprise, his feelings seem to be reciprocated.

But Noah’s insecurities make him doubt Sol. He doesn’t believe he’s interesting enough or sexy enough to hold Sol’s attention, and as Sol tries to get closer, Noah’s instinct is to pull away to protect himself. If their relationship is going to survive, Sol needs to convince Noah that he sees Noah very differently than Noah sees himself. Because to Sol, Noah is something very special indeed.

Review

This is sweet wish fulfillment where the hero gets is daily commute crush. They fall in love fast–too fast for the kind of character development that would make this a better romance and there could be a higher heat level but I enjoyed this story.

#First Impressions #Second Chances by Heidi Belleau Review

Review:

#First Impressions #Second Chances - Heidi Belleau

Jonah Gilchrist lives a double life. On the internet, he’s a fashion-blogging Tumblr celebrity. In the real world, though, being an awkward gay virgin isn’t as cute and endearing as it is online — it’s a target on his back. After years of being bullied, Jonah’s determined to start afresh at college, but it’s hard to remake yourself when you’re sharing classes with your ill-fated junior high crush.

Sebastian Rose, with his easy-going manner and great sense of humor, was one of the most popular guys in junior high. He was also one of Jonah’s only defenders. Too bad Jonah knows Sebastian’s kindness was only pity.

Bumping into each other after all these years makes it seem like the universe itself wants Jonah to have a second chance at his first love. But how can he ever hope to reinvent himself when Sebastian’s presence pulls him further into his past? Then again, maybe moving forward doesn’t have to mean leaving the best part of your past behind.

 

Review

 

I liked a lot about this book. I loved that Sebastian wasn’t this perfectly turned out hero and that he was Jonah’s crush I thought the social media stuff was fun.

However, Jonah wasn’t very self reflective until the very end and didn’t get much of an arc (and he needed one). 

It was a sweet fast read.

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Short Stay (Love Lessons, #3.5) by Heidi Cullinan 4 Star Review

Review:

Short Stay (Love Lessons) - Heidi Cullinan

Hot messes have a hard time with happily ever after.

 

Baz Acker and Elijah Prince have it all. They’re engaged, and their wedding is guaranteed to be a spectacle no event will ever top. So why are they hunkered down in a quiet corner of the Acker mansion, restless and edgy while they wait out the holidays?

 

When Baz suggests a road trip with Walter and Kelly to Las Vegas, it sounds like an ideal escape, but it turns out Vegas only amplifies their unease. Elijah can’t slough off the self-hating his parents programmed into him, and he worries how that will affect his marriage. Baz, crippled en route because of too much time spent in the car without rest, must face the truth that his wealth and influence can’t always counteract the limits his disability will put on his–and Elijah’s–life.

 

With help from their friends, a wily poker player, a take-no-prisoners drag queen, and a smooth-talking casino owner, they face the truth that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination where they book a stay. What happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas–it will follow them all the way down the aisle.

 

Review

 

At first I was reluctant to read this short story with Baz and Elijah because I wanted no more drama for them.

I am glad I did. This is a wonderful New Year’s Eve romance that puts all the whipped cream and cherries on their happily ever after.

They struggle through self esteem, chronic pain, and lack of communication issues but they learn how to be a unit. 

There are ton of easter eggs in here for Cullian’s other series.

It is a great big romantic time.

Original post:
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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.

Christmas with Danny Fit by Amy Lane 4 Star Review!

   Christmas with Danny Fitby Amy Lane 4 Stars!

In a perfect moment of cold November sunshine, pudgy accountant Kit Allen realizes Jesse, his new office assistant, is everything he’s ever dreamed about in a man. Feeling supremely unworthy and desperate to get a life—even an imaginary one—Kit embarks on a self-improvement campaign featuring DVD fitness guru, Danny Fit. In the meantime, Jesse has begun a subtle campaign of his own, one designed to bring Kit out of his DVD dream world and into Jesse’s arms. Jesse isn’t perfect—he’s no Danny Fit—but he hopes that the kind, funny man who has been looking at him so soulfully since his first day at work has what it takes to be everything Jesse has always wanted.

Review

This romance was just so right.

Lane handles the small space of novella with mastery. Kit and Jesse are both vulnerable and both take big emotionial risks.

I love a plain Joe here and we get that in spades in Kit. All of reasoning for not coming out and living his life as he has make perfect sense.

And so do Jesse’s choices.

It is a warm fuzzy to watch the crush turn into love and we get holiday fun and kittens.