wrestler

Winter Chill by Aria Grace and J.J. Hunter Review

  Winter Chill by Aria Grace and J.J. Hunter 3 Stars! 

Indie Walker started college with a basketball scholarship and a plan to stay focused on his studies. His roommate and best friend, Daniel, is one of the most popular guys on the wrestling team. When a power outage during a winter storm forces them to get closer than ever before just to survive the night, their relationship changes forever. Neither are gay but the physical chemistry they have is undeniable. Unfortunately, Daniel’s issues at home might be too severe for them to overcome.

 

Review 

This was good quick read for an chilly afternoon. Blackout stories are always fun. I am not a fan of “gay for you” but this is a sweet friends to lovers romance.

Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith Review

Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith 3.5 Stars! 

Buck Cooper is big.

So big, in fact, that people don’t see him anymore—not at work, not in his love life. He’s become 300+ pounds of invisible. But when a family situation shanghais this Texan to Tokyo, suddenly being big makes him a spectacle—in a good way, especially when the spotlight at a sporting match lands on Buck and forces him into the sumo ring. Will this accident of fate be Buck’s chance of a lifetime, making him Big in Japan?

 

 

 

Review

The parts of this book that are good are so good that it warrant this high rating. I completely loved the book while I was reading it. However, as I have mulled over the book my enjoyment dims a bit because of some truncated elements of the plot that make it less fulfilling and silly in places.

What I loved: This book takes a deep dive into Sumo culture. I show up for this kind of detailed exploration in my romance novels. Clap my hands and give me a cool drink, I settle in.

Sumo hazing is crazy. I love me some Sumo (yeah not a sentence that most Westerns say but there it is) and was thrilled to to seek out this book based in the world of Sumo. It was really wonderful. The story showcases the sport, the athleticism and the culture.

The setting in Japan through our hero Buck’s (clearly and American) eyes well done. I got very hungry reading this story. All the senses are used to tell the tale of living in a vastly different place than he is use to and it is well done.

His hero’s journey is lovely to trace. Buck is the best person. His motivation are human and he is good without being saccharine. He does the right thing because that is his nature but the writer is gifted at showcasing how hard these choices can be for so many reasons.

The body issues that are explored here are powerfully rendered looking at culture, self worth masculinity, bullying and other nuances.

Buck works hard and is open minded. Love him!

When he falls in love, it is sweet. (FYI this book never gets past kisses which is a nice break from hotter fare).

However, the romance could have been way more developed, They are hardly ever together. We needed more couple time, I really would have liked some of the book from the heroine’s point of view. She remains pretty idolized.

There is crazy side plots of all kinds that are way over the top. Those are sort of fun but need to be balanced with more relationship development.

So, 3.5!

Building a Bad Boy by Colleen Collins Review

   Building a Bad Boy by Colleen Collins 2 Stars

Her own custom-made bad boy

When Kimberly Logan makes men over to find their mates, she knows the type of guy women want. However, Nigel Durand, an all-around beautiful hunk of man, might be her toughest client yet. He’s got the droolworthy look, but his nice-guy personality and sweet ways make him too available. Looks as if she’s in for a lot of hands-on coaching.

Too bad the more she has her hands on him, the more tempted she is. And when he throws himself into being “Nicky,” his charming and sexy alter ego, Kimberly can’t resisL.especially when he delivers steamy kisses and whispered promises. After hitting the sheets with him, she knows this is one bad boy she’s not letting go!


Review

The hero is wonderful. He is thoughtful, funny, nerdy, hot.

The heroine works my last living nerve.

The basic plot that he comes to her for a makeover because he is sick of not getting the woman he wants is fine.

How slow she is to realize he is great as is and how dumb she is about her job to the point of immorality is a no go for me.

I didn’t want her to get him. Grow and change I am all for but it is never good when I want to snatch the HEA out of one of the leads hands and give it to anyone else.