M/M Monday – Squared Away Review

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4.5 Charms!

This isn’t your typical romance story and was different from the previous books in the series but in a wonderful way. This is a character driven book about two very different men who slowly find each other in the mist of tragedy. There isn’t much sex in this book but there are a lot of tender, intimate moments that I loved. I really loved Mark’s sexual journey and thought it was wonderfully written (although I freely admit I don’t know much about Ace/Demi). Mark was a character with faults and issues but he was also a guy with good intentions and I loved his character growth throughout the book. Both Mark and Isaiah are dealing with grief/loss although I thought the book focused more on Mark’s grief then Isaiah (and I do wish that Mark would have acknowledged Isaiah’s loss). The relationship between the two was a slow, sweet burn and it felt realistic. I also thought that the relationship between Isaiah and his father and the progress they made was realistic. No sudden bonding/understanding but a slow change to a better place for both of them. IMO kids in romance books can be tricky but the kids in this book were used in a perfect way. Enough that they had their own personalities and weren’t just a convenient plot point but not too much to take away from Mark and Isaiah. Of course it was great to have a few interactions with some of the characters from the previous books and I loved Bacon so hopefully his book will be next.

If you want a book with a fantastic emotional connection between the two MC’s, some beautifully intimate moments, and great character growth then this is the perfect book and it can easily be read as a stand alone.

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M/M Monday Murder Takes the High Road Review

37644893This book was a fun mystery with a group of people that don’t know each other so lots of suspects, an interesting setting with wonderful descriptions, and a good mystery. However, I never really fell in love with the MC’s (especially John). I also thought Trevor’s character was a bit over the top with no redeeming characteristics. There were a few cliches thrown in at the end. Everyone on a private island where a murder takes place in a big storm so there is no way to communicate with authorities or get help. It reminded me a bit of an old style murder mystery like Murder on the Orient Express. I think a lot of people will love this book but I just wanted a bit more romance or connection to the characters. If you are looking for a cozy mystery, an old school mystery and a well written book with beautifully written descriptions of the setting and a few twists and turns then I recommend this book.

 

M/M Monday – Undone By You Review

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Undone by You is the 3rd book in the Chicago Rebels series and the first M/M in that series. Although you could read this as a stand alone some of the plot is a carry over from the first two books so I think you’d get more enjoyment if you read the first two.

I really liked the earlier books in this series but I LOVED this one! Dante is the general manager of the Chicago Rebels hockey team and he is openly gay. He has worked very hard to be respected as a gay man in professional sports and he’s concentrating on his career. He’s had his heart broken before and he’s not looking to get involved but he is attracted to Cade, one of the hockey players on his team and when Cade propositions him he’s shocked (since he and everyone else believes Cade to be straight) but he’s also tempted.

Cade hasn’t come out but he knows what he wants and he wants Dante. Cade is sexy, and funny and normally an easy going guy but he’s determined to be with Dante. Dante isn’t sure he wants to be with Cade, not only is he in the closet but it’s also frowned on for him to be in a relationship with one of his players. Cade isn’t going to take no for an answer though and the two begin a wonderful push/pull attraction with lots of humor and great banter.

I really loved both Cade and Dante. Cade was easy going but he also never stepped back from pursuing Dante. While Dante was a bit more hesitant I still really loved him. Both are Alpha males but very different and they really balanced each other as well. I enjoyed everything about this book but especially Cade’s coming out and the way the rest of his team handled it.

Dante and Cade had a very hot, slow burn relationship with a great connection and witty banter. I highly recommend this book!

M/M Monday – Two Feet Under Review

36577380Once again this book revolves around a case and the romance is very much in the background of this book. In this book Robin is a newly promoted Chief Inspector and he’s moving in with Adam who is now a Deputy Headteacher. Adam is of course trying to stay out of his cases as he’s been in the middle of the last two but unfortunately Robin’s first big case takes place close to Adam’s new school and involves one of his student’s parents.

This case was a bit confusing and there were so many characters to keep straight that I found it a bit difficult. The majority of the book takes place during the questioning of witnesses and suspects and a lot of brain storming sessions while Robin tries to make sense of the clues. There are a lot of red herrings and that along with the mistaken identities and impersonations made this one a bit difficult to figure out what was going on. Sergeant Anderson plays an interesting role in this book and I can’t say whether I liked it or not but I found it a little surprising as I had liked him more in the previous books.

Overall, since so much of this book depends on the mystery and I found it just a bit frustrating this is a series that just might not be for me.  I like more romance in my M/M books.

 

 

M/M Monday – Romantic Behavior Review

36291125.jpgThis book really can’t be read as a stand alone IMO but it’s a great series so start at the beginning if you haven’t already.

The first three books the action was non-stop and Andreas and Darren faced one crisis after another. In this book we finally get to a point where the two guys can just be together and plan their wedding. The pace is slower in this book and there is no big case running through it but it’s a wonderful HEA and although there is not a lot of sex in this book there is one very hot scene between the two of them. Of course, not everything can be simple and there are some family issues along the way as well as some wedding stress but as with everything else Andreas and Darren face it all together. This has been a really great series and I really enjoyed reading about Andreas and Darren (I’m just a bit sad for it to end).

M/M Monday – Reckless Behavior Review

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4.5 Charms! This book isn’t a stand a lone and you should definitely read books 1 & 2 first. The third book takes off right after the second book with Andreas still dealing with his ankle and of course Darren is still dealing with his brother’s health issues.

This book is incredibly fast paced and the characters are in crises mode for 95% or more of the book. This means no sex in the book but honestly with the situation they are dealing with it’s understandable. Now normally I want more heat and romance in my book but it would have felt out of place with the plot of this book. There may not have been any sex or big romantic moments but there was a lot of love, loyalty and devotion in this book. Andreas and Darren were 100% there for each other and they leaned on each other to get through. I loved this and I’m so glad that the relationship didn’t falter under all the strain of the situation.

The suspense is edge of your seat as the characters try to figure out who is behind the kidnapping and of course find Andreas kids. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end and then I could finally take a breath and relax.

Reckless Behavior is a high octane, suspenseful book that tests the limits of both our MC’s and shows us that they can get through anything as long as they have each other. I enjoyed every minute of it and I’m really looking forward to the last book which should have some of the heat/romance this one didn’t. A series I highly recommend – lots of suspense, action, likable characters, great family moments and two men you can’t help but root for.

M/M Monday – Only You Review

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Only You had some potential and actually started off really good for me and then it completely derailed and was a bit of a mess IMO.

I love a irritable, but sexy sheriff so I was looking forward to this book. I actually didn’t feel like Rawley’s PTSD played a big role in the book and expected it to have a bit more impact but the fact that it didn’t was fine and didn’t effect my enjoyment of the book. As mentioned the book started off promising. I felt the chemistry between the sheriff and Case(y) and loved the scene where Rawley pins Case to a wall during a town BBQ and then drags a very willing Case to his truck and then to his house where some pretty hot sex takes place.

Unfortunately Rawley kind of turns into an immature, jealous man when Case gets a text from one of his ex-boyfriends. Case is also a pretty immature character who is basically a big ol’ slut who is sleeping with six men back home until he wakes up and figures out that they are just using him for sex and money. Although he’s basically using them right back for sex. He decides to change his life although not really seeing that as he starts having sex with Rawley within a week of meeting and the first time Rawley shows an interest. There’s quite a bit of cheesy dialogue (especially when Rawley answers Case’s phone the morning after their first night of sex when he sees it’s his aunt). BTW – didn’t really see why the previously closeted sheriff would answer the phone knowing that Case’s aunt would know they spent the night together and the fact that she’s a big gossip. Although I could understand Rawley’s jealousy a little bit when he sees the text he continues to throw jealous fits and demand that he be the only guy in Case’s life (after just being together the one time).

Case is an idiot at times. The author continually brings up the fact that he has six boyfriends back home and was having sex with all of them (sometimes more than one at a time) for the past few years. So Case breaks up with all the men via text (apparently he isn’t mature enough to do it in person) and then one of them comes to visit him. Instead of insisting that he means it and they are broken up he pays for a hotel room for his ex for a couple of weeks so he can stay near by. I never understood this and it’s never really explained except that it adds a little drama to the story by having Case’s ex hanging around.

Rawley is also still dealing with the loss of his partner (both romantic and professional) when he was killed a year ago. In the span of days Rawley gets over this and figures out he wasn’t to blame for the shooting. (Which reading the flashbacks seemed really strange and although I’m no expert on police procedure I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t happen like that).

Case and Rawley fall in love instantly. This was a huge case of instant love and it didn’t work for me at all. Rawley is a jealous jerk who leaves town for a week and doesn’t tell Case that he’s leaving or why until he gets back. Case tells Rawley he doesn’t want to jump right into a relationship but wants to date but as soon as Rawley gets back from his week away he’s admitting his love.

Finally, this book ends at a very bizarre point. There’s no real feeling that the book is over until you turn the page and realize that it is. Definitely could have used an epilogue or at least a bit of a wrap up at the end.

So after a promising beginning the immaturity of the MC’s and the instant love had me rolling my eyes and I this one just didn’t really work for me.

M/M Monday – Junkyard Heart Review

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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.

M/M Monday – Citywide Review

35495782 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.

 

M/M Monday – Off the Ice Review

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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!