Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert into a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
Graham Swann is no longer the picked on gay kid from high school. He’s a high-powered lawyer who appears to be nothing less than cool calm and in control until he meets his old crush.
This book opens with Graham and Dan, two old high school acquaintances meeting for the first time years later, but Dan doesn’t recognize Graham. That doesn’t stop that old longing for Dan from flaring in Graham. The guys almost hook-up, but a call stops the heat cold. Graham seems to be pretty upset but glad. At this point I don’t get the any feeling that Graham wanted revenge or anything on Dan. I think he liked him still as much as before and wanted that one time. Little does Graham know, Dan is a new hire for the company Graham co-owns and the sparks fly despite Graham’s cool treatment of Dan. Swann’s Revenge is a bit of a slow burner.—The romance takes its time developing despite the fact both men wanted to get involved with each other. I think given their past it was appropriate. Plus Dan had gotten married and adopted a kid which I fell for as hard as Graham. As much as I enjoyed the energy and byplay between Graham and Dan, I thought Graham was a little too stuck in the past. Instead of just telling Dan who he was. He backed down from every opportunity. I didn’t understand the logic behind that especially as they got closer and it was obvious Dan had feelings for him. Naturally, it takes a crisis to bring the past careening into the present, forcing both men to deal. The scene was filled with emotion. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters and I was glad that he realized he had to let go of the past.
I recommend this book to everyone who loves slow burning romances, cute kids and second chances.
Jackie is a big rodeo fan and Simon is an up and coming bull rider. When the two meet its an instant attraction. Simon is from a family with strong Christian values and this affects his outlook on gay romance. However, out of the controlling view of his parents, Simon gives in to temptation and begins an affair with Jackie.
Simon does struggle with his feelings due to his upbringing and at times the angst is a little annoying which is the reason for the three stars. Simon’s character is a little too innocent where relationships or interactions between gay men is concerned. At one point he says he didn’t know gay men could have a life together or be happy together. The innocence is cute but taken a little too far for my liking.
Still, Jackie and Simon’s relationship is a sweet romance with some hot moments. Jackie has his own fears of losing Simon and when Simon is outed to his parents, losing Simon becomes a very real possibility. Simon shows a little growth by standing up to his parents and risking their rejection which I thought is a good thing.
This book gives a little bit of a look at what goes on on the rodeo circuit, so if you like books on rodeo romance, this book is for you. If you like to see your characters grow some this book is for you and it’s one of the reasons I’d recommend it. Also if you read the first book and loved like I did, I'd recommend reading this one too just to catch up with Ryan and Dante. I love seeing them again.
Charlie and Alex have been friends since third grade so it’s only natural when they fall in love. But tragedy strikes turning Charlie and Alex’s world upside down.
I thought Time Will Tell might be an interesting read since it is about time travel so I dove in expectantly. The story is in the first person which isn’t a problem but what is a problem is that the author takes us through Charlie and Alex’s lives from third grade to college. I found this to be a little bit of the long way around the romance even though it doesn't take long. I just don't feel I got a chance to really know them that much. It is when the boys were in college that Charlie loses his grandmother and then his father. He and Alex move into Charlie’s family home that the status quo changes. Charlie is sorting through his father’s things which includes antiques and slowly he becomes erratic. He changes, stops caring about himself. Alex who’s in love with him confronts him and they get into a fight over a watch which Charlie’s father left Charlie when he died. As they fight over the watch, the watch throws them back in time where they are separated. Charlie realizes that he’s throwing away his life and he doesn’t want a life without Alex in it. So, he searches for him. Now, I am expecting a courtship from the blurb of the book and I really don't get that. Charlie finds Alex who is engaged to be married to a woman and more or less seduces him. He doesn’t make him fall in love with him, he just stirs feelings that are already there. The boys get back after some trouble which lands Charlie in jail. Charlie has decided to live his life in the present rather than being caught up in the time traveling which we only actually see that one instance. I am disappointed.
As the book goes on I’m expecting more time travel, or something to come from the past and wreck their happily ever after. I am even thinking one of two of the characters the boys meet as they’re planning their wedding while they’re planning to donate the antiques to a museum to be a problem. But nothing. The story that follows their return is sweet as Charlie and Alex’s love, caring and concern for each other is shown. They both do little things to make each other happy, for instance Charlie is planning the wedding with Alex’s mom and choose colors he knows Charlie likes. Alex learns to dance for Charlie. This is all sweet but not the story the blurb told me I am getting.
I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second but I can recommend Time Will Tell to anyone likes sweet romance with some hot scenes. But if you like a little more conflict this isn’t your story.
What happens when two co-workers are attracted to each other? Scott and Brent don’t know because they’re each hesitant about making a move on the other until a near fatal accident brings things into perspective.
The book opener puts the reader almost right in the thick of the situation. Not much time is wasted on the build-up of unrequited love. Brent is watching and longing for a relationship with Scott and Brent and Scott’s boss tell Brent to go for it. Brent thinks he’s too old for Scott because Brent is about ten years older not only that Brent has some self-esteem issues which don’t really allow him to let anyone get close. That same day Scott is in an accident that leaves him deaf. Now we have a little mystery and a romance brewing. I think Mr. Grey did a good job of handling the deaf issue. He didn’t gloss it over. Scott’s reaction to being deaf was authentic enough but after a while it just seemed a bit whiny to me. Brent was patient with him and tried to help him work through his issues with being deaf. Again this is handled well and the two men spend lots of time together as Brent takes a chance and reveals that he’s interested in Scott. The only problem I have with this romance is there isn't enough true chemistry or rather I couldn’t feel what is there. Still, I enjoyed the way things developed and then the addition of Scott’s old friends added a layer of interest. I am curious about where it would lead. A couple of these old friends are gay too as it turns out and they are in the closet unlike Scott. So, there is a little animosity there. Though the conflict is a good addition to the plot it isn't as strong as I’d have liked it to be. Still, Heart Unheard is a good read and I enjoyed the sensitivity Brent shows in helping Scott get through his accident and dealing with being deaf as he struggles to put his life back together. Brent is patient, always has a pad handy and is attuned to Scott’s feelings. Those moments are sweet. I would have thought helping Scott in that way would have helped Brent get over his self-esteem issues, but it took an attack on Scott to begin Brent’s healing. There is no cliff-hanger.
I recommend this book to everyone who loves gay romance. A note of caution, this is the second book in a series, but I’ve never read the first though I will be reading it. This book can be read independently of that first book without any issues of being lost or feeling as if something is missing.
Mishel is looking for adventure when he tags along with his uncle to Ireland but he finds is a paranormal mystery, darkness and an interesting twist.
This is the fourth book in a series and I didn’t realize that when I picked it up. Once I checked it out closely and learned that it was, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I am surprised. This story of paranormal drew me in almost from the start. I was eager to delve into the mystery woven by Mishel’s uncle Arnie concerning Cairnnon Castle in Ireland and the demon he meets during his paranormal hunter early days. I liked Mishel’s closeness with his uncle and his eagerness to find out more about Cairnnon Castle and why it has not only his parents captivated and in a way repulsed. When the two men arrive in Ireland so Arnie and commemorate the twenty-fifty anniversary of the collapse of Cairnnon Castle they find the castle is being rebuilt. Arnie thinks it has to be the work of evil. They can’t get in to snoop around so Mishel applies to work on the construction. He’s more than attracted to the guy who hires him. Joel, is an interesting character but we don’t learn anything about him which I would have loved to have done. All we know there is a supernatural vibe about him. There are some hot scenes in this short story, but it’s the paranormal angle of a possessed castle that I found the most interesting. The gave clues enough of a demon lurking around and created sufficient doubt about whether the workers are human.
I’d recommend this story to anyone who loves paranormal ghost hunter, paranormal, or fantasy stories with heat. The story should be read with the others, but I had no trouble diving into this one without having read either of the first three stories.
A dolphin shifter is given charged with taking a selkie family from Australia to Ireland but he doesn’t expect to find love along the way.
This story has an interesting premise which captured my interest early on but the story itself did begin to slow just a little for me. Galadir is an agent of an organization called The Shallows. They seem to be all about protecting the environment and shifters. Galadir is charged with taking a Selkie family from Australia to Ireland but rather than going by boat they are swimming there. Galadir is uneasy about this job because one of the Selkies is a baby, a rare white pup. Along the way, the pup becomes ill and Galadir has to go ashore for help. He’s pretty much a one trick guy. He knows how to protect from threats but he doesn’t know how to heal or anything like that, so he needs to get help. This is where the story takes a slow turn for me. All the different things he goes through to get the help took me a little out of the story. I would have liked more information on Greg and the Depths and what Greg and those other sharks are doing out in the ocean.
This is an enjoyable story, but it left me wanting more, hence my rating of three. Still, I recommend it to those who enjoy shifter stories because this is a good addition to genre.
Dante is an in the closet bull rider seeking comfort in a bar after a bitter loss and falls into the arms of Ryan, a financial adviser, for a night neither of them will ever forget. Dante and Ryan meet again a few weeks later when Dante’s grandfather seeks some help with financial planning. Dante’s grandfather is dying, but he turns out to be the bridge between Ryan and Dante that brings them closer.
I’d never read anything by Andrew Grey and I found myself well entertained with A Wild Ride. I am drawn into the story right off and curious as to what will happen when Dante and Ryan meet at that bar. Dante is clearly looking to blow off steam while Ryan, well, he seems to want something besides sex though he isn't opposed to a wild night. Both men get more than they bargain for, leaving them both thinking about each other long after the break of day. As Ryan works with Dante’s grandfather, Ryan and Dante get closer and the vulnerabilities of each man is revealed. Dante is determined to stay in the closet, keeping his affair with Ryan secret, but somehow word gets out. I wonder how people made that leap? The author never alludes to how the rumors possibly get started or with whom. Gossip in a small town? Maybe but I would like to have seen a little more. A few homophobic characters adds a bit of realism to the contemporary story. I like how Dante’s grandfather talks to Dante and helps him realize he has to hang on to Ryan if he wants him. He also helps Ryan see the same thing when Ryan is attacked by a jerk with a bat bent on beating up Dante for being a gay bull rider. I really like how Ryan supports Dante when it becomes clear that Dante might lose his sponsorship. Ryan has all of his friends come out to the event by Dante’s sponsor in hopes of Dante will be able to maintain that sponsor for another year.
A Wild Ride has just the right amount angst and romance for me. I recommend this to anyone who loves cowboys as well as hot and sweet romances.
Title: The Officer and the Vampire Chef
Author: Charlie Richards
Length: 94 pages
Genres: vampire, contemporary romance,
TBR Reviewer: Erica
Rating: 3 Stars - A good read!
Heat: 3/5 -—blush worthy
A vampire chef is happily going about his life when he crashes into a robbery that leads to sparks with a human cop.
This was my first book by Charlie Richards, and I was looking forward to it. I wasn’t sure what to expect but let me start off by saying, the writing is excellent and the story is a fun short read. The story doesn’t have a good deal of the fantasy vampire world in it. The characters all carry on like humans other than mentions of blood donors. The vampire chef, Patrick, is a fun character with his blue toe nails and his very human way of disarming a robber by throwing eggs at him. Patrick also likes to dance and has a thing for fashion it seems. He’s also a good cook obviously which you rarely see in vampire romances. I like seeing it here because it adds a human dimension to vampires—it’s a wink and a nudge to the humans they once were. When Patrick stops a robbery and officer Allen Robinson comes to the scene the two don’t automatically hit it off, but it’s clear to Patrick that Allen is his beloved—soul mate. Patrick and Allen have one meal together and some hot making out but Allen is a virgin who’s so deep in the closet he steers clear of Patrick after that. So, with the help of friends, Patrick resorts to a little old-fashion game playing with a plot to run into Allen at a policeman’s dance.
I thought the story was fun but short. I would love to have seen more interaction between Patrick and Allen before Allen just accepts that Patrick is a vampire and gets involved with him. However, Allen’s reticence to come out of the closet even after the two men start dating is realistic.
I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a quick read with a hint of the supernatural, some good sex, and good writing.
Title: The Russos Episode 3
Author: D.J. Manly
Length: 56 pages
Genres: contemporary romance,
TBR Reviewer: Erica
Rating: 3 Stars -A Good Read!
Heat: 1/5 - Tame
Temptations and confessions abound as a family attempts to wade through the murky waters of the aftermath of a near fatal shooting. The Russos is a series of shorts that center around its stars Johnny and Drake Russo who are rock stars.
I’m not a fan of stories of this nature where the story is told in short bites and I haven't read the first two shorts. That said, the episode is easy to follow as it centers around an event from Episode 2 where Johnny Russo has been shot in a tussle for a gun with his brother. This is a story of taboo love and the family that surrounds Drake and Johnny the two brothers who are in love. Drake grapples with his feelings and his fears that his brother might not survive the injury. Drake also has to deal with the fact that his lawyer, a woman, is attracted to him and he can’t or might not ever be able to return her feelings since he’s in love with his brother.
I think the incestuous relationship is being handled with some sensitivity though some of Drake’s family seem to be ignoring it while others accept the closeness with a bit of bitterness. Also, an illegitimate son is introduced and he wades into the family’s muddy waters unaware that love and relationships aren’t exactly as they seem on the surface in the Russo family, well not all of them.
If you like family drama this one is for you.
Summer Ride is the story of high school friends Toby and Jimmy who meet five years later after going their separate ways after high school. Each has become a man that neither knows and is struggling with moral dilemmas they are on the run from. Only a summer on the road can help them work things out and fall in love along the way. Summer Ride begins right at the point where Toby and Jimmy ex-best-friends are reunited after being apart five years. Toby at first doesn’t recognize Jimmy and it seems as if he doesn’t want to. Then, Jimmy offers Toby a ride and they learn that neither of them has a destination in mind. As they travel we learn each is gay and has been hiding it. Both have had troubled childhoods with fathers who weren’t as understanding. Being gay is the least of their troubles though. Toby was sexually harassed and is struggling with whether to let it go as he was urged or to report it. Jimmy is a law student interning for a firm that is cheating its clients and he’s taken a bribe. He’s torn between letting it go and reporting it.
This story has great potential,—a road trip, emotional drama and moral dilemmas, but it never quite fulfilled the promise. Susan Laine’s writing isn’t the weakness, it’s very good. The story just lacks sufficient exploration of the moral dilemmas which are at the heart of the road trip. I would like to have seen more action. As it is, Toby and Jimmy connect emotionally fairly quickly. The two men talk a great deal, bringing the reader into their lives allowing us to explore their emotional and moral issues with them. I did like how Toby and Jimmy confront their issues but the way in which they reach the decision to return to Boston to face those issues isn't based on any real epiphany. Toby merely decide after a few sexual encounters with Jimmy he needs to go back. I would like to have been let in on why he makes that decision. It is clear that Jimmy makes his decision based on what he fears Toby will think of him. Jimmy’s fears about dealing with his problems are a little more obvious and real than Toby’s.
I will recommend this story to anyone who enjoys emotional journeys, stories of the heart that involve moral dilemmas.