Although Junkyard Heart is the 7th book int he Porthkennack series it can be read as a stand alone easily (I did).
The books I’ve read by Garrett Leigh tend to be very angsty but this one although it did have angst was the perfect level for me. Not too much but plenty to keep you hooked and hoping for the best. Both Jas and Kim are very realistic characters with real problems and baggage. Jas is coming out of a relationship where he found out his boyfriend had been married with children and Kim is facing his demons of addiction.
The two men are instantly attracted to each other and start a sexual relationship right away but the rest of their relationship grows over time. They build a solid friendship as they get to know each other and begin to fall for one another. I thought the author did a fantastic job dealing with a character with an addiction and the difficulties of facing both past decisions and the one day at a time struggle. Jas and Kim worked together and the way they came together and grew together felt realistic. Although there were some struggles along the way, a bit of miscommunication and some drama there was also an overall thread of hope throughout the book.
The secondary characters were interesting although the relationship between Kim and Lena was a bit confusing to me at first (and this probably stems from not reading the previous book). I really loved Brix and Calum and will definitely go back and read their book.
I loved the way the author concluded the book and I believed the HFN. Overall, a very good book that I can recommend.
Okay so only one of the stories in this book is M/M and it’s actually M/M/M but since it is by far my favorite of the stories I’m going to use it for my M/M Monday review. Well this book has a little bit of everything – M/M/M story, F/F story and and a M/F Story. I also believe that reading the series will make this book A LOT more enjoyable since the characters are all introduced within the series.
4.5 Charms to Rerouted. I really loved the story between Aiden, Jace and Chris. It was smoking hot and yet I genuinely liked the characters. Triads are hit and miss with me. I can sometimes have a hard time finding them believable. I actually didn’t have that problem with this one although I do think the relationship was a bit Chris centered. Maybe that was because it was in his POV but I would have loved a couple of scenes between just Aiden and Jace even if it was discussions about how Chris fit in with them and what they wanted as a couple since they were the married couple. However, even with that I really thought the author did a great job of showing how Chris fit both Aiden and Jace. With Aiden and Jace being a lot a like and having grown up together Chris was able to be the peacemaker and help when one or the other was frustrated. I liked that in between some really intense and hot sex scenes there were some emotional conversations taking place. Overall, I really loved this one and would like to read more of them.
4 Charms to Gridlocked. I gave this story 4 charms even though for me it was probably more of a 3 charm but that’s just because I’m not a fan of F/F stories and I skimmed the sex scenes. However, if I went by just the writing alone it was a well done story with fully dimensional characters. I liked both Mere and Tonya and thought there story was well done.
2 charms to Derailed.
I almost gave up a couple of times throughout this story because I really didn’t like Stephanie and although I know the author tried to explain her issue with commitment I never found it believable. Angel was a wonderful and sweet guy who was also a great friend but Steph treated him like crap and I wanted to him to let go of her and move on and find someone who would treat him better. I’m all for women who can stand on their own and don’t need a man but that doesn’t give her the excuse to play with Angel’s feelings and that’s what I felt like she was doing. She wouldn’t be with him but didn’t want anyone else to have him so she’d give him just enough to give him hope but never more until the very end of this story. I felt it was far too late by then and I had lost all respect for Steph.
I love a really well written sports romance and this one was really well done! We have all kinds of wonderful things in this book – two great characters, opposites attracting, some hockey, student/teacher, dirty talk and some mild kink as well! We also get a relationship that builds – instant lust but thankfully no instant love. We also get two characters who have some hard decisions to make but take the time to think it through and all the ramifications of those decisions.
This book centers around Tristan Holt who is a 23 year old NHL hockey player who is in the closet to his family, his team and the world at large. He knows that hockey won’t be his life forever and he wants a back-up plan so he decides to finish his degree. His first class is a sociology class where he meets his professor Sebastian Cruz. Sebastian is only teaching summer classes in hopes that it helps him get tenure. He is broody and gruff and although he is teaching about bias he makes one of his own about Tristan. Thankfully, he own up to it quickly and the two get to know each other a little better. They are both very attracted to each other but they also know that because of the student/teacher relationship they can’t act on it. That doesn’t mean they can’t fantasize about each other though and once the grades are in all bets are off.
Sebastian is quite a bit older than Tristan and a dominant personality. I loved that he was the dominant one in the bedroom but out of it they were equals. The sex between them was super hot and I liked that they didn’t rush into the I love yous. There was a bit of humiliation play which I don’t really like but it wasn’t so much that it made me uncomfortable. In fact, I thought the author did a great job of having Sebastian give Tristan exactly what he needed and wanted.
The angst was derived from the fact that Sebastian was out and proud and didn’t want to go back in the closet and Tristan wasn’t ready to come out. I thought this book did a great job of slowly letting Tristan make some decisions about coming out. <spoiler>I really liked that it was his family first, then later his team and that he didn’t decide to come out to the world which I wouldn’t have found believable given his reticence.</spoiler>
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found it had everything I’m looking for in a sports romance including some excellent secondary characters that I’m really looking forward to reading about. I highly recommend this book and hope to get Ryu’s story next!
The Quarterback is the debut book by Mackenzie Blair and although there were a few things that I didn’t like overall I really enjoyed this book and the good far out weighed the bad.
This book centers around Matt and Trevor who are students at a small Christian college in Alabama. Neither Matt nor Trevor were the stereotypical role of dumb, arrogant jock or Asian math nerd. Matt is the star quarterback and he’s popular, smart and gorgeous. On the surface Matt’s life is close to perfect but it’s a lot more complicated than everyone else thinks. Matt’s gay but not only his father homophobic he’s a scam artist that controls Matt’s life through his twin sisters. Matt toes the line in order to try to keep his sister’s safe from his father’s issues. He’s counting down the days until his sister’s go off to college and he’s finally free but what he doesn’t count on is meeting Trevor. Trevor is a edgy Korean-American boy with long hair and tattoos who works three jobs to put him through school since his family disowned him when he told them he was gay.
Matt meets Trevor when his friends take him to a happily ever after massage parlor and request a male for him. This was bizarre to me and I didn’t really buy into the whole his friends not talking to him about the fact that they figured out he was gay before they dropped this on him. Matt flips out and Trevor is embarrassed but even though Matt runs out he can’t stop thinking about Trevor.
I really loved the friends with benefits relationship these two developed. It’s starts out all about sex but quickly develops into a true friendship between the two. Both guys are a bit complicated at times and Matt does some truly stupid things but MOST of the time he is trying really hard and is quick to make up for it. Trevor pushes Matt a bit too hard and he can be a little insecure (although justified) and defensive.
However, there were a few things I didn’t like in this book. Some of the dialogue was just a bit too stereotypical and had me rolling my eyes thinking really he/she said that? I also thought Danielle and Matt’s sisters responses when they first meet Trevor or find out Matt is gay were ridiculous. I think it was supposed to be precocious but they were too old to pull that off and I found it silly and rude. I also HATED that Matt threw Trevor’s massage parlor past in his face during their big fight. It was a horrible thing to do and it shocked me because it just didn’t fit Matt’s character. I also think Trevor forgave him for that just a tad too easily.
However, for me the good outweighed these issues and I really enjoyed the characters and the story. I adored Drew, Trevor’s roommate and I liked Matt’s football buddies as well. It had some really humorous moments, some sweet moments and the sex was pretty steamy.
So a really good debut novel for me and I hope she writes Drew’s story next – I’d love to read it.
Suspicious Behavior is book #2 in the Bad Behavior series and I HIGHLY recommend reading the first book before jumping into this one. This book is 80% police procedural and 20% romance so for those who love a great suspense/mystery with a bit of romance this is perfect. I admit I usually like a more even split but it worked in this book and maybe because I know there will be another book with the two MCs I wasn’t disappointed in the small amount of romance in this book. Although there were only a few romantic scenes it was obvious throughout the book that these two men were in a solid and loving relationship.
This book takes off almost right after the end of the first book and both men are being thrown into another case but this time it’s a serial killer. They don’t have much too work with and they certainly don’t have much support from fellow cops or leadership. I think that was the one thing that really bothered me was the portrayal of almost all the other cops. I can see that Darren and Andreas might not be the most liked and that they may even get a cold shoulder but some of the lengths the other cops went to was just a bit much for me. I understand cops are human but with an exception or two I like my cops to be good guys.
I really enjoyed the suspense in this book and the twists and turns that the case took. I also felt so bad for Darren and all the family issues that he is going through right now. I loved that Andreas was there to support him even if he didn’t always know the right way to do that. I enjoyed the secondary characters especially Andreas’ daughter and Paula.
I’m really looking forward to how the family stuff with Andreas plays out and of course Darren and his brother (although I think that is going to break my heart even more).
A fabulous debut book that has me looking forward to more from Erin McLellan!
This book centers around Joel who is a young college student who has never moved past the loss of his high school boyfriend who was killed while reading a sext from him. He wallows in his guilt and has built an emotional wall to keep everyone out. When he meets Paulie who is a funny and sweet guy who is very open with his affection and his sexuality. I loved that two started off as friends and it took awhile before they jumped into bed. It made the first sex scene between them extremely hot and emotional and the payoff was wonderful. Joel takes a long time to start to open up to Paulie and unfortunately makes some big mistakes along the way during a time when Paulie is already in a bad state with family issues. There was a lot of angst towards the end of this book but I also thought it had one of the best groveling scenes EVER!
“I want you, in every way. I want to hear your laughter and see your smiling face every morning. I want to hold your hand when life sucks. I want to be your boyfriend, and i want to be your friend. But… I will be whatever you need, whatever it is you want. If you don’t want me at all anymore, that’s okay. I understand. But please say that I don’t have to face another day with you hating me.”
I also absolutely adored Joel’s roommate Travis. He is such an amazing friend and I really want him to get his own book! Joel and Paulie have a HFN ending so hopefully we will see more of them in a book about Travis.
I really liked this book. It had an emotional impact, really hot sex with lots of dirty talk and two boys who grew into men. I believe we will see a lot of really great books from this new author!
3.5 Charms – rounded up to 4. Dirty Deeds is the first book in the Dirty series and a spinoff from the Tough Love series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. This book centers around Alec who is a billionaire who runs a company that does something with food (honestly I’m not exactly sure what but in the big scheme of things that didn’t matter all that much). He is the ex-boyfriend of one of the characters from the Tough Love series. Seth who is also a character from that book is in this one but he is kind of a jerk and we never really find out if he has decent motives or not. I really didn’t like that he wasn’t such a jerk in this book since I had liked him in the previous book.
So in this book, Gaige who is a computer genius is being blackmailed by Seth into working/spying on Alec and helping him discover some anomalies with a top secret vault that stores seeds in case of an emergency/doomsday scenario (the leak is supposedly from Alec’s company). The part I really didn’t understand was why Seth was blackmailing Gaige and wouldn’t give either Gaige or Alec much information and why he wanted Gaige to spy on Alec in addition to working with him. In fact, he brings the two men together by having Gaige break into Alec’s business. Obviously, this means that there is a lot of distrust between Gaige and Alec. Because of the distrust Alec decides he needs to keep Gaige next to him at all times and basically makes him live with him when they aren’t at work. (I found this very contrived and wish the scenario was a bit more believable).
So if I put aside the reason these two men are forced together I really enjoyed it. There is an immediate attraction between the two men and it isn’t long before they are acting on it. The sex between the two was hot and I liked them together. I found Gaige a really interesting character and I liked that although he was kind of a geek he was also really sexy and saved Alec’s life more than once. The second half of this book was intense and fast paced and honestly I didn’t see the villain coming.
So while there were some plot issues I really liked the characters, the writing, the sex scenes, and the action-packed second half of the book.
Pounding Skin is the second book in the Skin Deep Inc Series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. This book centers around Matt who works at Skin Deep and has just realized that he might be bisexual do to an “off screen” threesome he had with his best friend and her boyfriend. The second main character is Jon, a fighter pilot in the Navy who has no interest in relationships and is a bit of a man whore. When the two meet they are instantly attracted to each other and agree to a purely sexual relationship. They quickly become friends and from there the relationship grows to a very sweet and romantic yet sexy pairing.
I liked the progression of Matt’s realization of his bisexuality and why he’d been hiding it even if I didn’t completely believe his complete dismissal of his sexual preference considering EVERYONE else knew about it. While Jon took a bit more time to warm up to he was a very believable character and his lack of desire to be in a relationship fit the fighter pilot mentality.
I thought the sex scenes between Matt and Jon were intense and very hot! I did love that Matt was completely on-board with exploring his bisexuality and didn’t second guess himself. What I really loved was the way that Matt and Jon’s relationship progressed even though neither of them would admit/realize it. I found it very sweet. Although the final resolution was a bit quick and I would have liked to see it stretched out a bit more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I have to admit I absolutely can’t wait for Nate’s book as he stole my heart in this book. I give this a solid 4 charms!
Spun is the 4th book in The Shamwell Tales and can be read as a stand alone – I did and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the English dialect, humor and characters and although I can’t vouch for the authenticity it felt realistic to me.
This is a very character driven and humorous book with a slow burn M/M romance that just worked. There is a big age difference between Davy (who is 24) and Rory (41) who is a divorced, father of two and previously straight character. Davy is flamboyant and fun. He has a teddy bear he dresses up and makes no apologies for who he is. He’s been fired from his last job and so he arrives in Shamwell (A small village) hoping his old boss/friend Mark can provide him with a job and a place to live. Mark provides him with the job and then introduces him to Rory who could use the money and has an extra room.
Rory is a very down to earth, sweet man who loves his job and loves his kids. Life has been hard on him recently and he’s lonely. He only has custody of his kids every other weekend and he just got dumped by his latest girlfriend. Enter Davy who brings fun, laughter and a brightness into Rory’s life. His kids love Davy and isn’t long before the two have a fabulous friendship. At first blush these two don’t strike you as two men who would fall for each other but they bond over their lack of culinary skills, love of Doctor Who and Agent Carter and respect for each other. It isn’t too long before Rory is starting to question his sexuality and feelings for Davy.
I loved both Rory and Davy and I loved them together. It seems that no one in their lives believe that these two could work (including themselves sometimes) but they do and the slow burn romance is fantastic! You can’t help but root for these two and laugh along with them as they work their way to a happy ending. 4 Charms for this witty, fun and character driven book.
I really, really struggled to finish this book and almost DNF several times. Honestly, I did end up skimming in some parts of the book.
Todd basically ran away after his last break-up and is working in construction and is back in the closet. He’s basically waiting for his ex-boyfriend to change his mind and want him back. He’s decided to hide the fact that he’s gay because he assumes the other construction workers are homophobic. Sebastian (Sebby) is the office manager for the construction company and he’s out of the closet and a total flirt. He is constantly flirting with Todd who is basically very rude to him at first. Sebby knows that Todd isn’t over his ex-boyfriend but decides to help him heal. Although he doesn’t plan to fall for Todd he does.
Both Todd and Sebby were almost totally different characters when they were at work and when they were home. Actually Todd kept changing his personality so many times I got whiplash. Sebby is hiding past secrets from Todd and of course Todd is hung up on his ex through most of the book. Once Sebby and Todd are in a relationship and having sex, Sebby decides that Todd really needs to have sex with two of his friends (Sebby isn’t even there for that) just sends him off. Then he gets scared and has sex with someone else because Todd wasn’t there. I really struggled with this and REALLY wanted to DNF at this point because Todd really didn’t want to do this and Sebby really pushed him into it. The whole thing was just off-putting for me.
I never really felt a connection between these two. Between the “cheating” and one of them being completely hung up on an ex there just wasn’t much romance. Both of these men had some serious issues and the author basically chose to tie everything up in a neat bow at the end that I found completely unbelievable.
I never really liked either character and the dialogue was just bizarre at times. The banter felt stilted and the sex scenes were just okay.
Overall I just can’t recommend this one. One Charm from me.