Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review: One Step Further

Title: One Step Further

Author: Felice Stevens

Publisher/GR LinkGR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Stutters, Dogs, Finding Love

Rating: 5 out of 5

Lock this book up: 4 keys out of 5.  The sex is hot and supports the romance. 

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Adorable.  Gives me all the feels. 

SynopsisAlex Stern has it all; good looks, charm, a job he loves and everyone calls him a friend. He lives life to the fullest at a breakneck pace, in the city that never sleeps. But Alex is also a master pretender; not even his best friend sees the pain that Alex hides so well. Alex himself isn’t sure who he is or what he’s searching for, he only knows that he hasn’t found it yet. 

As a veterinarian, Rafe Hazelton loves each animal that crosses his path; they don’t care if he stutters a bit or that prefers men. Their love is unconditional, but his life is still empty; they can only give him so much. New friendships convince him it’s time to break the wall of loneliness he’s hidden behind since childhood and discover what he's been missing. 

Alex and Rafe forge a friendship that turns physical, and they both swear that the relationship will last only as long as the fun does. But when old heartaches come to light and secrets hidden for years are revealed, Alex and Rafe discover if they accept what’s in their hearts and take it one step further, the greatest reward is waiting for them in the end.

Impressions:  This was everything I wanted in a romance, and more.  Alex and Rafe were both so hurt, strong, and complex that I couldn't help but love them both.

The emotions between them grew at just the right pace, and so as the reader, I had the pleasure of falling in love with them as they fell in love with each other.  

Rae's past is so devoid of love, that it is totally understandable that he surrounds himself with animals to nurture and heal.  Alex, not he other hand, seems so carefree and happy, but in reality he had the love of a family that he then lost, and so though both men are so alone, they are also so different in their experiences and their ability to connect with others.

This was a wonderful read, and it was so full of love and growth.  I've read and enjoyed other works by Felice Stevens, but this one will have me revising some older reads and adding this author to the top of my auto-buy list.

Highly recommended.   

Book Review: Michael's Awakening

Title: Michael's Awakening

Author:  Jaclyn Osborn

Publisher/GR Link: Encompass Ink, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Scars, Gender Fluid MCs

Rating: 5 stars

Lock this book up: 4 keys.  The sex is hot and supported by the story.

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: It works well. 

SynopsisOne moment…that’s all it takes for life as you once knew it to change irrevocably. For Michael Kingston, that moment was when he first laid eyes on Gabriel. In his life, Michael had only known darkness, leaving behind a broken shell of a man. Unspeakable memories of his childhood constantly plagued him, causing him to disconnect emotionally from the world. No one had ever shown him love; therefore, he believed that he was unworthy of it. And then everything changed. 

Gabriel Greyson had always been different. Growing up in a small Bible thumping town, his preferences for men, make-up, and fashion made him an outcast. But, with the support and love of his family, he overcame obstacles that were thrown his way and rose above the intolerance. He danced to the beat of his own glammed out drum and refused to believe that he was anything other than ultra-fabulous. Working as a beautician, he had a job he adored and felt that everything was perfect in his life. Everything except for true love.

When these two unlikely men meet, sparks fly. For the first time in Michael’s life, he feels like he can overcome the darkness inside of him. Gabriel gives him hope and slowly brings him out of the shadows, showing him that even the darkest of souls can be redeemed. But there are secrets that Michael keeps locked away. Will Gabriel see past the torments of Michael’s past, or will he turn away from him when he discovers the truth? After all….who could ever love a beast?

Impressions:  I bought this one on a whim, and I moved it to the top of my TBR pile because I wanted something different.  I was so taken back by it, and I simply fell in love with it.  

I loved Gabe's unabashed self expression, and coupled with Michael's self consciousness.  I really believed in Michael's transformation, and I liked that Gabe was a three dimensional character, and not a parody of brashness.  

I can't say that this wasn't somewhat cliched, or that it was a story that has never been done before, but I truly lost myself in it, and I couldn't wait to get back to these two and their world.  It has that je ne said quoi quality that just swept me away, and it was such a huge surprise for me from an author that was new to me.

I highly recommend this one when you are looking for a good, sweep you off your feet romance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cover Reveal: Reparied

Are you guys ready for this??

The newly revealed cover for Melissa Collins' newest release, Repaired:


Pre-Order it Now!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Series Review: A Gay Amish Romance by Keira Andrews

 Title: A Forbidden Rumspringa, A Clean Break, Way Home

Author: Keira Andrews

Publisher/GR LinkGR

Genre: MM Contemporary, Amish

Vice: OFY, Amish (is that a vice?!)
Rating: 5 out of 5 for each book, and for this great series

Lock this book up: 4 sturdy keys...These former Amish boys figure things our very quickly!

Length: Trilogy of novels

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: They are truly gorgeous.  

Synopsis:  Book 1: In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all? 

Book 2: David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart. 

Book 3: Isaac and David never thought they'd go back to the Amish world. But when Isaac’s younger brother is stricken with cancer, they don’t hesitate to return. Their relationship is on the rocks after insecurity and fear drove a wedge between them in San Francisco, and David is determined to make things right. Yet if they thought navigating “English” life was confusing, being back in Zebulon is even more complicated.

Their families are desperate to bring them back into the fold, and pressure from the community builds. Isaac and David yearn for a future together, but each day it becomes harder to hide the truth about who they really are. They're caught between two worlds, and if they’re not careful it could tear them further apart.

Can Isaac and David make their way back to each other—and find a place to call home?

Impressions:  I had heard great things about the series, and I was waiting until I had a few days to lose myself in a  new trilogy.  Andrew's series was like my emergency chocolate chip cookies I hide from my family...ready to savor when I needed a good treat.  Little did I know, this was more like a brownie sundae WITH hot fudge.  It was sweet, indulgent, and SUCH a perfect reward.

From the start of book 1, I was hooked.  I loved Isaac and David, and I was so interested to learn about their culture.  How does someone come to terms with an identity that, for all intents and purposes, they were completely shielded from?  Isaac and David are an amazing couple, and I could not get enough of them, individually or together,

Andrews developed amazing characters who set the backdrop for the struggle these boys face.  Despite their upbringing, there was a sense of genuine, if sometimes very misguided, love from their families and friends, and it was powerful ow watch them reconcile their fears about homosexuality with the knowledge they have about the young men that they know and love.  

Watching the Amish interact with the "English" world was also fascinating.  In some ways, I can see how this taste of English life can be such  powerful lure, while simultaneously being a fearful experience.  

I truly cannot recommend this series more.  Each book was a strong, engaging addition to the series, and I fell in love with each supportive character that David and Isaac encounter.  Trust me, don't download this one a book a time...get the whole set first and get ready to surround yourself in a wonderful story that is full of love, sex and all the feels!

Highly recommended as a whole series.  Like a chip, you can't have just one!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wild Pitch: Homeruns #1

Title: Wild Pitch, (Homeruns #1)

Author: Sloan Johnson

Publisher/GR LinkGR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Athletes, OFY

Rating: 4.5/5

Lock this book up: 4 out of 5 keys.  This one is hot!  Turn on the AC 

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Those eyes?  Love it.

Best Line: "I want you...I need to be yours."..."You already are."

SynopsisThere’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together?

Impressions:  I've loved Johnson's previous books, and I love a good sports romance, so I was excited to read this one!  It was great.  I loved that Sean and Mason know that they are meant to be together, and the conflict is more about how this can happen given their careers and their lives, but I never doubted their love or desire for each other.  I really enjoyed that this book focused on their lives and their hopes for their futures, and was not a cry inducing read.  That's not to say it didn't have its "oh crap!" moments, but they just made me turn the pages faster!

I loved getting to know the other members of Sean's team, and I am excited to read their stories too.  I am hoping we get to revisit Sean and Mason a little too.  Their lives seem to be moving in a great direction, and I am excited to see their developments too!

Lastly, I couldn't end this review without saying that this book is H-O-T!  Make sure your AC is cranked up and enjoy!  The sex was great, and totally supported by, and supported, the plot line and character development.

This was a great read that I did not want to put down.  Johnson just made your weekend by releasing this a few days early, so treat your self and download this one today!