university setting

Rim Shot by Skylar M. Cates 4 Star Review!

   Rim Shot by Skylar M. Cates 4 Stars!

Can college roommates go from friends to lovers?

Kyle: I’m confident that with hard work, my position as point guard can carry me from rural Indiana to the NBA. I also know I’m attracted to guys, but admitting it might disappoint my father, who is all I have in this world. I have big dreams, so I’ll stay in the closet. As long as my life remains scandal-free, I have a shot.

Micah: My large family can’t spare the money to help with my education, but that won’t stop me from studying medicine. I needed to get out of the house I was sharing with my ex before I went insane. Luckily, I heard about a guy looking for a roommate. Living with a straight jock won’t be easy, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Review

If you like New Adult Sports Romance, go pick this up. Kyle and Micah are great. They both work so hard.

i love all the complexity that make up their relationship with each other and other people. Particularly well done in this book is the relationships with their families.

This is a slow burn romance where we get to see them crush hard on each other, become best friends and fall in love.

So much to enjoy here!

Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer 4.5 Star Review!

   Heels Over Headby Elyse Springer 4.5 Stars!

Jeremy Reeve is one of the best divers in the world, and he’s worked hard to get where he is. He intends to keep pushing himself with one very clear goal in mind: winning gold at the summer Olympics in two years. That medal might be the only way to earn his father’s respect as an athlete.

Brandon Evans is everything Jeremy isn’t: carefree, outgoing, and openly gay. With his bright-blue eyes and dramatic tattoos, he’s a temptation that Jeremy refuses to acknowledge. But Jeremy can’t ignore how talented Brandon is—or that Brandon has no interest in using his diving skills to compete.

They’re opposites who are forced to work together as teammates, but Jeremy’s fear of his own sexuality and Brandon’s disinterest in anything “not fun” may end their partnership before it begins. Until a single moment changes everything, and they help each other discover that “team” can also mean family and love.

Review

t is a real joy to read about such well drawn characters as Brandon and Jeremy.

In Jeremy, we have a driven uptight hero who has suppressed his emotionial and sexual life in the hopes of being the best and therefore good enough. His journey is a long one to letting go of looking for acceptance from his family that will never come.

In Brandon, we have a seemingly carefree hero who depends to much on himself. He lives in the present but does not look to the future with hope.

The sports aspects of this romance are superb. The exploration of what it takes to be best at the world in diving is finely detailed. The coach and the female diver character add emotionial layers to the plot.

The love story is a slow burn because of Jeremey’s struggle not to act on his desire. I love the time the book takes and the many phases. I feel that Brandon was too eager in parts of the book but the closing and how Jeremy and Brandon evolve together and as individuals makes this a wonderful book.

The prose is lovely in every moment.

Solid Education by Bianca Sommerland Review

   Solid Education (Higher Learning Book 1) by Bianca Sommerland 2 Stars 

Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. Which he tells himself, repeatedly, every time the other man attends his class.

Until the day he looks over to see Gage’s seat is empty.

When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, the lines of their teacher/student relationship are blurred. Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him.

Things he’s more than willing to learn.

 

Review

Well, the dog is great but I never get over what a jerk Derek is to Gage.

Professor shouldn’t treat students that way and I don’t mean the falling in love thing. He is just cold and unreasonable.

However, I did love the way Gage resolves the teacher student thing without drama and how he goes after what he wants. There is also a nice epilogue.

My Fair Dork (Men of Holsum College, #8) by Daisy Harris 4 Star Review

Review:

My Fair Dork  - Daisy Harris

They say a guy can never be too hung. Well, Harold Jacobs doesn’t know who they are, but they’re wrong. Socially awkward for as long as he can remember, Harold feels his enormous package is just one more thing to be embarrassed about. Especially once hunky and popular Owen McKenzie notices it in the showers. Owen knows he’s bi, but he keeps that secret close to his chest. He likes Harold, and wants to help him shed his dorky image and maybe even find a boyfriend. Still, Owen can’t stop obsessing about Harold’s equipment. And as much as he doesn’t want to flip-flop on his sexuality, Owen does want to test-drive what Harold has between his legs. Their friendship erupts into full-blown lust. But can Owen accept the loss of his golden-child status and be Harold’s boyfriend? And can Harold outgrow his insecurity in time to keep the man he loves?

 

Review

 

Owen and Harold really worked for me. I love that they seem very different but come together as friends and become a safe place for each other. 

I am a bit of a sucker for the “too well hung” trope and like the way it is explored in this romance. 

Owen is less likable than Harold but that is only until he lets himself just be. Harold gains more self assurance.

The love story is realistic, touching, and hot. All good stuff.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1618586/my-fair-dork-men-of-holsum-college-8-by-daisy-harris-4-star-review

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.

Bossy and the Brat (Men of Holsum College, #5) by Daisy Harris Review

Review:

Bossy and the Brat - Daisy Harris

Calvin Beaumont is a biology major, lab tech, and resident advisor—everything everyone expects him to be. There’s only one problem. He likes boys. In particular, a flirty dance major who was a freshman on his hall. It’s sizzling summer at Holsum College, and Tyler Burk isn’t a freshman anymore. When he notices his hardworking resident advisor has same-sex feelings, he goads, teases, and tempts Mr. Bossy into dating on the sly. Cal may not be out, but he’s domineeringly hot, and Tyler doesn’t mind keeping things quiet…for a while. But Calvin has wanted Tyler all year, and their sexting and secret rendezvous soon blossom into something neither one of them can control. Can Cal control his secret, as well as his sexy little brat? Or will he be man enough to admit he’s not the man everyone thought he was?

 

Review

 

I really like Cal and Tyler. Like how Tyler goes after Cal and doesn’t give up. Its charming especially when it flips and it turns out Cal likes to be the boss.

This romance explored sexuality on several levels. Tyler hasn’t been treated well by guys in the past and Cal is just deciding to be who he is.

We get a nice circle of friends and good character arc for our heroes in this New Adult romance.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1618584/bossy-and-the-brat-men-of-holsum-college-5-by-daisy-harris-review

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.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Amy Jo Cousins 4 Star Review

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Bend or Break Book 6)  by Amy Jo Cousins 4 Stars!

When friends lose the benefits, can the friendship be saved?

Love Me Like A Rock

With the right art tools, there’s almost nothing Austin can’t make real. Except an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate and occasional hookup, Vinnie.

Emotional and sexual frustration fuel a spark between Austin and Sean, the nude model in drawing class. After a quick and very dirty encounter, all the reasons Austin has been waiting for Vinnie go fuzzy in his mind.

But if Austin can’t get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose both his friend, and his lover.

Hard Candy

Vincent always assumed he and Austin would eventually end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.

After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with Bryan, a dance major, Vinnie is drawn to his vibrant spirit and calm center.

Physically, the rowing jock and the glittery dancer can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

 

Review

This is a lovely pairing of a romance.

We get two best friends Austin and Vinnie who are not good romantic partners for each other. They each find love that helps them grow and become their richer selves.

I enjoyed Austin and Sean romance a great deal. I do wish that we had been in Sean’s head. He was a great character I loved how he went after his crush on Austin. This is a wonderful coming of age story for Austin where he learns to love and be loved. Sexy too with lots of fun moments.

Vinnie and Bryan’s romance is a bit more moody. As they come together to trust as well as like each other the tenderness of the romance comes in. There is an intersting discussion of sexual desire that I wish had more page time but overall I was really happy with this queer New Adult Romance.

The overlap and braid of the two love stories makes this book special.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane 5 Star Review!

  Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane  5 Stars!

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them — just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity — Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not — but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review

Wow. At first, I was leery. I don’t love New Adult. I am not always a fan of characters who are not self reflective. But this book is lush and keeps going and going and gives me all the love.

Rusty (awful name but then he has awful parents) is a slow processor who works hard, has been taught to have good manners, and is miserable as he doesn’t even see himself in an effort to get along with parents who see him as an asset rather than a person.

Oliver is quick witted, determined, and loved. And he loves Rusty because Rusty is kind and hot.

This is a very New Adult Romance as our heroes meet in high school. We get a wonderful friends to lovers troupe with a lot of finding yourself. There are all sorts of amazing moments in this book.

Rusty is wonderful and his struggle to become himself powerful and endearing. Oliver is just the best. I wish we were in his head as well. The cast of characters are just great.

The happily ever after is well earned and left me so happy.

Sink into this lovely, sexy, sweet romance.

Blame It on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton Review

 Blame It on the Mistletoe  by Eli Easton 3.5 Stars! 

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

Review

Adorable. This romance has a lot of things I like, genius, geeky hero. Yes! Friends to lovers. Yes! Roommates! Woo hoo!

The writing is crisp and fun. I love both heroes. It has just a dab of angst as one hero comes to terms with being bisexual and maybe a little more toward men on the spectrum.

I wish it wasn’t as short at the end and we got more HEA after the angst but it is really good!