Hiya peeps, we have Allison Temple stopping by today with her new release Top Shelf, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
(A Seacroft Novel)
Martin is a ghost. Well, not really, but he might as well be. Job gone, home gone, self-respect gone, and no one even seems to notice. The only person who really sees him is Seb, the artist who lives above the used bookstore.
Seb haunts the edges of Seacroft in search of beauty. He knows how to excavate the hidden value in abandoned things—whether it’s in the pages of forgotten books or in Martin’s stuttering attempts to rebuild his life—and transform them into works of art.
Two lost souls, Seb and Martin discover the strength they need to face eccentric townies and their dysfunctional families together. But as friendship sparks toward something more, neither man wants to risk what they’ve only just found. It takes two to fall in love, but it will take the whole community to bring their beauty to life.
Top Shelf is an 81k slow burn friends-to-lovers MM romance. It features an anxious professor, a drama queen artist, a bookstore that might be haunted, and a full-blown heart-eyes HEA.
Hi guys! We have Neve Wilder popping in today with the tour for her new release Want Me, we have a great new excerpt and a brilliant $5 Amazon GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Two roommates. One calculus exam. A whole lot of extracurricular activity.
Living with four other guys, it’s bound to happen. Every guy’s been caught taking care of business at least once, right? It shouldn’t be a big deal.
But I don’t know Eric as well as my other roommates, and things are a little awkward now. He’s a loner. A mystery. Quietly confident. Smart. Sexy as hell.
I’ve been happily subsisting on the typical frat guy diet of booze and sorority girls. But the way Eric looked at me that night? There was something there. Something that’s got me curious. Something that’s stirring up feelings I thought I’d left behind for good.
Something that’s making me think I’m not as straight as I thought I was.
I can’t get him off of my mind. I don’t think I want to.
So when he offers to help me study for a midterm I’m convinced I’m going to fail, I take him up on it. It’s innocent. Probably. Maybe.
There’s no way I could’ve known what it’d start…
This is a super steamy standalone new adult/college mm romance with HEA that unfolds across six “episodes” following Nate and Eric. Now bundled up in one collection with a bonus episode for a seamless reading experience. 87,000 words.
Blurb: Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his week-ends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays who are girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme – including relationships that last beyond 15 minutes.
Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub. That’s where he meets Lee, cute from her cherry-red hair to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed – but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy – he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.
Review: Renae Kaye is a new author for me, which is surprising because I love to check out Australian MM authors, so no idea why it took me so long to get onto the band wagon. You Are the Reason is the first book in Kaye’s series, The Tav, a series that I’m interested in reading more of. This is a really awesome book where the MCs grow a lot as they become closer. The evolution of the characters was really the highlight of this book, although an Australian romance that isn’t based in Sydney (NSW), Melbourne (Vic) or on a farm (this one is based in Perth, Western Australia) is another highlight and refreshing.
The only issue I had was the narration. Dave Gillies, a new narrator for me, did a pretty damn good job and really providing the right tones for the characters throughout the book. My issue was the accent. I realise that narrators can’t always do a perfect accent and I know Australian accents are notoriously tricky (see how many times Hollywood manages to completely butcher the accent). However, there were times where the accent was just… not right. I think if you’re not Australian, the performance is all well and good, but for an Australian, I found it a little annoying at times.
Davo is your typical Aussie larrikan, right down to his name. He’s out and proud, has a good job, own’s his own home (a sure sign that this isn’t based in the eastern states! Haha!) and has some great family and friends. To add to the Aussie bloke persona, there are some lengthy discussions of Aussie Rules football. I think the explanations are easy enough to understand some of the rules, but I’ve gone read plenty of American football romances and ice hockey romances and I got no idea any of the rules of those games. Not that this is an important thing beyond the fact that Davo is a footy fan (I’m an Aussie that does not like AFL or NRL so it kinda makes me roll my eyes because not everyone is obsessed with football). Meeting Lee at a bar changes his entire world. Especially when he initially fears that he is a gay man attracted to a woman, when in fact Lee is a gay man who likes to occasionally dress in women’s clothing.
This is a really fascinating book. There is a brief discussion of trans people, especially when it’s clear that Davo really doesn’t understand the difference between transgender and transvestite (? I’m not sure if that’s the right wording and please do not be offended if I have got this wrong, I do not mean anything negative to anyone). It really digs a bit into the issues faced by the trans community from within the LGBTQI community. Another really important theme that makes up a majority of the book is the whole “Aussie bloke” and “don’t be fairy gay” and similar phrases that come up, particularly in Australia. I really enjoyed Davo’s storyline, finding out what made him think “it’s ok to be gay, as long as I don’t act like a girl” despite his supportive family and learning to overcome these thoughts as he grows closer to Lee. Lee is a refreshing character and totally wonderful, he has all the patience and love in the world and he is exactly what Davo needs!
Blurb: Raise your wine glasses high to toast the men of Dahlonia while they discover the secret to happiness – LOVE.
Shine was over people thinking because he had a southern accent, and made moonshine, that he was a hillbilly redneck with no education. Sure, he occasionally liked to fuck with them and spout out his grandpappy’s sayings, like every dog should have a few fleas, but that didn’t make him dumber than a box of rocks. So, when he met a man who made his heart race and his mouth go dry with the thought of licking every inch of his body, then instantly put him down because he was making moonshine instead of wine, Shine dared him to try and drink with the big boys.
Montague knew better than to take the challenge to drink the moonshine Shine was offering, but he refused to be insulted by some hick from this small, backwater town. The fire that ignited in his stomach and burned a path up his throat, making him want to cry for his mommy, told him just how stupid he could be. Fucking pride. If Shine didn’t get that smirk off his face at Montague’s reaction to the battery acid he called alcohol, Montague was going to punch him in the mouth. Or kiss him. It was a tough call to make.
There is a fine line between love and hate, especially when alcohol is involved. Then again, it might take a little liquid courage to drop their defenses enough to discover their passion for each other.
Review: Each book in the Uncorked collection features a different romantic couple. To enjoy the overall story arc and crossover characters, I would recommend reading the series in sequential order.
To me there is nothing better than a good romance between two sexy men. If those me just so happen to throw sparks off and have some humor going on, then the better. I came across this author some time ago and knew she was going to be one that I would follow. Her stories always have just a bit of conflict in them, lots of humor, hot sex and some good old fashion loving.
When people find out that Shine talks with a southern accent and deals with moonshine, they tend to throw him to the curb and call him a redneck hillbilly with no brains. That is what happens when he comes across Montague. The truth is, Shine is probably one of the smartest men around.
Montague has never really had a job, just a few part-time ones here and there. He has a job now as tour guide, but the creep he works for is asking for a bit more then our sexy man is willing to give. Now the first time Montague and Shine meet, it doesn’t go down so well. But he might be the only one willing to give Montague a full time job and help.
Sparks fly and so do the clothes when these two finally get it together. You mix that in with some powerful alcohol and we will see what happens with these two. Great story with likable characters. I always did get a kick out of this series, and definitely can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. But I will leave the drinking to those who can handle the crazy alcohol that Shine makes.
Blurb: A happy ending worthy of a TV fantasy… in real life?
Ashland Wells is an actor of sci-fi cult fame but with little direction for the future, when handsome grad student Remy Beaumont lands in his lap at a fan convention. Remy is everything Ash ever wanted and wished he could be—including out and proud. For twelve hours they’re the best of friends. But the convention ends, and saying goodbye to Remy might be the biggest mistake Ash has ever made.
A few months later, they’re reunited on a new production—Ash as an actor, Remy a writer—and though Ash doesn’t plan to let him go twice, being with Remy means going public about being gay. He’s not sure that’s a risk he—or his career—can handle, no matter how great the temptation.
If only they could write themselves the romantic happily ever after they both need.
Review: Love Conventions is a fun, sweet romance by Morgan James. Morgan James is a new author to me, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I loved the look of the whole pop culture side of things, so I was keen to read the book based on that.
The MCs are Ashland Wells, actor who has a sci-fi following from a cult hit which had been axed. Ash is out of a job for now and isn’t sure where his career is going but is more than happy to attend fan conventions and meet with the people that love the character he created on the small screen. Then there is Remy Beaumont, he is a fan of Ash (or rather the TV show), he’s a grad student who is so close to becoming a writer in his own regard when the two meet. Remy literally runs into Ash and the guys have a lot of fun at the convention until the day ends and they inevitably part ways. Ash liked a lot of what he saw in Remy and he regretfully leaves things at that, because he isn’t out. The two meet again a couple months later when Remy gets his first job as a writer and Ash takes this as a sign to embrace his true self. He has to show Remy that he isn’t afraid to show the world who he is and to nurture the budding romance between them.
The whole pop culture side of things was absolutely my thing. Remy was dressed as The Doctor, from Doctor Who and Ash was in a show that gave me some serious Fire Fly vibes. It was really cool for me. Remy and Ash had a great connection and I really liked their story. For whatever reason I didn’t feel total love and adoration for them and think perhaps this is because there was something a little lacking in the character development department. However, I wouldn’t mind reading more from Morgan James in the future.
I recommend this book for people that love a sweet romance and if you’re into fan conventions and comic conventions and want to see this reflected in romance.
Series: Dreamspun Desires 82 / Stars from Peril 02
Author: Kim Fielding
Length: Novel (220 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21 May 2019)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: Love never goes out of style.
Landry Bishop fled his tiny hometown and never looked back. Now his expertise in food, fashion, and décor has earned him all of Hollywood’s glittering perks. But with his husband deceased and his personal assistant retired, Landry has nobody to rely on—and no one to help him indulge his secret cravings.
Casual, plainspoken Jordan Stryker seems a dubious choice of a PA for someone as formal and self-controlled as Landry. Jordan’s questionable fashion sense and limited kitchen skills don’t exactly enhance his résumé. But as Landry soon realizes, Jordan has many attractive qualities too.
With a strong pull toward Jordan, new career opportunities on the horizon, and a persistent tug from family back home, Landry is in a quandary. He can advise others on how to make their lives special, but what should he do about his own?
Review: Redesigning Landry Bishop is the second book in Kim Fielding’s Stars of Peril series for Dreamspun Desires. In the past I’ve enjoyed a lot of Fielding’s stories, though while I can say that she is an author that I enjoy, I would be hard pressed to specifically name books, unfortunately. I have to admit that I had to go back and check which was the first book in this series and if I had read it – which I did (The Spy’s Love Song), one that I enjoyed well enough for the reading but I think I much preferred the audio (but that’s a review for another time).
You don’t need to have read the first book in the series, both books act as standalone books, about men from the small town of Peril who became famous in their respective industries. Except for brief mentions in both books about “the other famous guy from Peril” there are no other solid links between the two.
Landry Bishop fled the small town where he grew up for the glittering lights of LA, where he has eventually become a style, food and home décor guru catering to the rich and famous, as well as making appearances on day time TV. He is essentially Karamo, Bobby and Antoni from the new Queer Eye all rolled into one package. However, at the moment life is a little stale and part of that is because his husband had died a couple years earlier which is he hasn’t quite yet taken the final step in grieving, coming to grips and moving on. But hey, everyone mourns different. It was a complicated relationship but it was a happy one. But now Landry is losing his beloved PA and needs a new one. His PA chose her replacement in her sister’s brother in law (or something as complicated as that) and Landry is trying to avoid the new changes in his life at every turn.
Jordan Stryker needs a job and is given the opportunity of a lifetime, although he isn’t about the glitz and glamour of LA and is a really down to earth sort of guy. This makes him perfect as Landry’s PA, as soon as Landry gets used to that, but it also makes him perfect as Landry’s love interest because these are the qualities that Landry absolutely needs in his life. Jordan is also quite funny because he is so different to Landry, he can’t cook, he can’t choose an outfit to save his life and that keeps Landry on his toes. When things turn romantic a whole new world opens up for both guys as they adjust to the changes in their lives and learn how they can be together in this crazy world.
This is a super sweet romance, with a sprinkling of small town roots and a sprinkling of celebrity, it is the classic boss falls for assistant type book, and if that’s your thing, you will not be disappointed at all.
Hi peeps! We have Rick R. Reed popping in today with his new release Torn, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Rick R. Reed
Ever been torn between two lovers? That’s Ricky Comparetto’s problem.
It’s 1995, and Ricky is making his very first trip across the pond with his best friend. Ricky, hungry for love and looking for it in all the wrong places, finds it in the beach city of Brighton. His new love has the curious name of Walt Whitman and is also an American, which only serves to make him sexier and more intriguing. By the time Walt and Ricky part, promises are made for a reunion in Boston.
But the course of true love never runs smooth. In Chicago Ricky almost immediately falls in love again. Tom Green is a sexy blue-collar beast with the kindest heart Ricky has ever run across.
What’s he to do? With a visit to the East Coast on the horizon and a new love blossoming in Ricky’s home of Chicago, Ricky truly is torn.
Hi guys! We have Alex Beecroft popping in today with the tour for her new release Seeing Red, we have a great excerpt so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Bad boys don’t tame easy.
Victor is a bad man. Is there anything he won’t do for power and money?
Destroy a local business so he can buy it cheap? Kick out its owners and turn it into a cash cow? He relishes the chance.
Idris is a good man in possession of a renowned tea-house. He’s put his heart and soul into the place. It’s everything he has and wants…
Except for Victor.
He wants Victor too.
Can the love of a compassionate man soften a predator’s heart before it’s too late? Or is Idris doomed to lose his life’s work, and his heart with it?
A contemporary mm romance, Seeing Red is a long-awaited new installment of the critically acclaimed Trowchester Series. Each book in the series is a standalone, and can be read in any order. Feel free to start here and work back!
Blurb:Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love – not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid mus-cle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.
Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.
Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Res-toration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy – even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels – forever.
Review:Michael, Reinvented is the second book in Diana Copland’s Delta Restorations series. I accidently started listening to the audio of this book first, and then listened to the audio of the first book after, but that in no way took away from my enjoyment of the book. I love the characters, main and minor characters alike, and their depth, they are well developed without being outrageously complicated. On top of that, I love the chemistry between the main characters without being a case of insta-love or saturating the story with angst. Instead Michael and Gil’s story is a sweet romance between two strong men.
Michael and Gil appeared in book one, Gil’s interest in Michael was clear from the start. Michael is the best friend of David from book one, who is also his personal assistant at the job they worked at until the new restoration business takes off, which emphasises ties to the LBGTQI+ community and professionals. Gil is one of the workers, he’s a house painter with a hidden talent (at least to Michael) for creating beautiful works of art. Gil is a kind hearted man and is kindness and gentleness personified.
However, equally as clear was the fact that Michael is a soft-hearted romantic who firmly believes that love or a happily ever after is something that would never happen to him. Michael needs to get over his baggage and his reservations about relationships and when a sinister plot that leaves Gil severely injured emerges, Michael’s heart catches up to what his brain had already figured out.
Delta Restorations is a series that I sincerely hope that there are more stories (well, at least one other story because I would love to have a HEA for at least a couple of the guys on the restoration crew).
Blurb: Getting to know each other hasn’t been an easy journey for Scott Gregory and Robin “Red” Kennedy. Falling in love and exploring their kinkier sides revealed a perfect match, and Scott is a devoted sub to Red’s headstrong and often impulsive Dominant personality.
Scott, Robin, and their friend, Susie, open a new dental practice a short distance from the old office but miles away from Scott’s former boss and his Promise Keeper mentality. But the move doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. Robin’s mother is in a medical crisis. Scott’s grandfather makes an unexpected appearance. Ongoing interference from Jenna, Ron’s needy assistant, stirs up trouble. And Susie, having completed her training as a Dominatrix, is on a quest for the perfect male submissive.
Then there’s one more threat to their relationship: Robin’s desire for a public collaring, something the shy and formerly closeted Scott is having a really hard time accepting. Is a strong and binding love―albeit a kinky one―enough to keep Scott and Robin together?
Review: Bonds of Love is the second book in Mickie B Ashling’s Bay Area Professionals series. Being new to the author’s work, I feel that I am still exploring their writing style, although I really did enjoy the first book to the series. This novel is a direct continuation from Impacted! and so it is vital that you read the first book before moving onto this one.
The story picks up Robin and Scott’s lives as a D/s couple, but also as professionals as dental hygienist and dental surgeon, respectively. They are still dealing with much of the fall out that came with working the homophobe dentist that they used to work for – and surprisingly this has spread to encroach their personal lives/backgrounds. To be perfectly honest, although I liked the introduction of a new character (an elderly gent and all around nice fellow), I found this storyline dragging on a but of a turn off.
Scott and Robin continue to build their lives together. It’s tricky when they work with each other and are in love with each other. Then there is the whole exploration of the BDSM, which leads to Robin wanting to collar Scott in front of (mostly) his acquaintances at their preferred club. Also, on the topic of BDSM, we see Scott’s best friend, Susie, explore her needs as a dominatrix in her quest to find satisfaction and maybe even a sub of her own (again, another strangely complicated storyline).
While, over all, I found the story enjoyable and glad to see the guys are just as awesome together as they were in the first book, I was turned off a bit by the melodrama that seemed to pop around every corner.
I recommend this one for people that like BDSM romances and/or to those that love a good soap opera.
Hi guys! We have Ryan Loveless popping in today with her new release A Cordial Agreement, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
A Cordial Agreement
Can a wealthy but frustrated CEO and a guilt-ridden stripper find what they need in a consensual, nonsexual whipping boy arrangement?
Billionaire mogul Grant Jessup, fifty-three, buries his sexual tastes and the reasons behind them—the stresses of his business empire and family. In contrast, Jim Sieber understands the regret that makes him seek pain and penance. As an asexual averse to erotic touch, Jim sets strict boundaries. But as the relationship evolves, Grant struggles to respect them, and both men realize for their association to continue and perhaps grow into real feelings, they’ll have to explore new ways to satisfy each other.
Blurb: When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating…things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs – in more ways than one.
David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship end-ed. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.
Review: I was pleasantly surprised by just how awesome David, Renewed from Diana Copland’s Delta Restorations series. This is the first book in the series and the author is completely new to me, although I’ve seen the name pop up on Dreamspinner Press website.
Is it just me and I’m a complete weirdo, but sometimes I look at a book written by a new author (new to me anyway) and either the cover or authors name – which is in no way offensive – gives me warning vibes like I’ll probably not like the book? I know, I’m a strange sort of person. However, that was the vibe I got off this book, for no apparent reason because the blurb really appealed to me.
I will admit, I accidentally listened to this series out of order and by the time I realised it, I was too far in to bother. Doing so didn’t really ruin anything for me and it didn’t leave me confused when I listened to book 2 first. This was an awesome series. But specifically for this book, I loved the characters. Everyone, both MCs as well as the minor characters, were all brilliantly fleshed out and totally relatable. These are just ordinary guys living their own extraordinary life, living with their baggage and letting love happen. The chemistry between David and Jackson is both sweet and hot. Jackson is completely sexy and will definitely fulfil anyone’s need to read about sexy tradies.
The narration was also on point. Michael Pauley is not unknown to me as a narrator, his voice absolutely fitted the characters and he picked just the right tone for everyone involved. Really, it was something wonderful.
David has recently got out of a bad relationship and in his hurt and grief, he has impulsively brought a grand old home which he wants to bring back to its former glory. The only issue with that is, his buy was so impulsive he quickly finds out he needs to sink a lot more money into the project, which doesn’t help when his ex comes back trying to con money out of David. David is desperate for help and it is his mother that suggests a local handyman (construction worker?), who is the son of one of her friends, Jackson. David thinks Jackson is straight from the start but there is definite chemistry. The romance is slow to start between the men but once it ignites there is no stopping the fire caused by David and Jackson’s romance.
Jackson isn’t just a pretty face though. He had been forced to move back home when it became apparent that his mother, who has MS, needs someone close by but his brother and sister are too selfish to think of their mother. However, his mother is a sweetheart and when David and his mother get involved to help Jackson and his mother, the romance becomes something more and the mothers become this cute little cheer squad for the men.
In between all that is the issues surrounding Jackson and the contractors he uses to help restore David’s house – obviously they run against some homophobia. Which leads David, an interior designer, to come up with a mad cap idea which leads us directly into the next book.
For struggling film student Isamu Taylor, life’s refrain is about to change from boring documentary about a passionless delivery boy to a blazing and wildly erotic love story.
After spending weeks admiring handsome but older Manhattan executive Brian Gilles while delivering brioche to him in Bryant Park, the man of his lusty dreams has just expressed a desire to get to know Isamu better. A night on the town is just the beginning of a whirlwind romance that will span not only four seasons but countless years.
Amid the beauty and charm of Bryant Park, New York City, two men are about to discover that love knows no age or economic boundaries. This is a collection of four short stories starring these two amazing men, their one sublime love, and the park where it all started.
Review: Tales of Bryant is a very sweet collection of short stories by VL Locey. I really enjoy Locey’s stories, particularly her hockey romances, but honestly, I’m up for just about anything.
The story is quite simplistic. Due to the format there isn’t time for deep character or plot development, so it feels very much like an instalove type thing to me. Not that this is a bad thing, because it helps make this book a relaxing read.
It is about two men, Isamu Taylor and Brian Gillies, meeting in Bryant Park in NYC, where they fall in love. The four stories are just small captures in time of their lives, the reader looking in to find out more about the guys and find out what they are up to. They are very different men, Isamu is a film student struggling to make ends meet, while Brian is well-off executive. But a night on the town quickly becomes a lot more. One thing that I thought was funny that it was explained how to pronounce Gillies, which I was already familiar with, but Isamu wasn’t and I had to look up the pronunciation.
This is a no nonsense, very sweet and uncomplicated romance and if that is your type of read then you’ll enjoy this one. Although, if you’re not into instalove, I would steer clear.
There is another book coming out and I am looking forward to it.
Blurb: Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?
Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people who point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.
Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?
Review: Ryker has been a long awaited book for me. I adore the authors, VL Locey and RJ Scott, and I especially adore their hockey romances that they write together. I could go on for a long time about how much I love their style of writing and how their characters develop and grow, both outside of their book and within the book where those characters become MCs.
The MCs of this book is, obviously, the titular Ryker Madsen who comes from NHL royalty with his father and maternal grandfather and it turns out she is something of a hockey player himself. Moving to Owatonna University brings him into orbit with fellow hockey player and team mate, Jacob Benson. Jacob is Ryker’s opposite in many ways, but most especially because he comes from a farming family who work hard to keep their legacy going, as well as pushing Jacob to pursue his dreams.
Ryker is the first book is the author’s ice-hockey centred series Owatonna U Hockey, which is a spin off from their Harrisburg Railers series (which is completely awesome and once more I could go on all day about how much I love that series). That being said, I would recommend to either read Harrisburg Railers series before going here, or at least read book 1 (Changing Lines), which is the story of Ryker’s dad, Jared, and soon to be stepdad Tennant and where we first meet Ryker. The event involving Ten which has Ryker worried for both his father and Ten, happens in book 7 (Neutral Zone). So if you’ve not read the series, I would recommend reading at least books 1 and 7 – but for the sports romance fans you are missing out if you don’t read the entire Harrisburg Railers series…
Oops! I better get back to Owatonna U!
Ryker and Jacob’s story is really wonderful. This is about two young men that know what they want to do with their lives (ice hockey and ultimately NHL) but things change and they grow up, so while their ultimate goal doesn’t change these guys grow up. They also grow up and as they become adults they learn about love and being together and support and sacrifice. Ryker manages to piss Jacob off and this is where Ryker begins to shed his identity as Jared Madsen’s son and becomes his own man as he navigates his feelings towards Jacob.
This is a good base for a new series. The romance between Ryker and Jacob is nice, they are both strong characters but they also live with some very relatable insecurities relating to their schoolwork, their family and their sexuality. The book starts with the world of the Railers, which it has to because Ryker needs to break away from that persona we gained of him earlier and become his own man, which is how we end up with this wonderful little spin off detached from Railers. I’ve learnt a lot about hockey and NHL and now college hockey from these books! We are also introduced to a number of players (including Scott and Benoit, aka Ben) which has me looking forward to the next books in the series.
Blurb: Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed.
But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover.
To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay… even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most.
Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.
Review: Soft Place to Fall is a contemporary western romance by BA Tortuga, which means its just about everything that I expect from a Tortuga novel. BA Tortuga has very recently gone close to the top of my must read author list and I really, at the absolute minimum like, each and every one of them, especially the cowboy romances, because those are so freaking hot!
Soft Place to Fall is a story about second chance love, which I know will appeal to a lot of people, on top of the whole contemporary cowboy romance.
Stetson and Curtis were in love years ago and they were in a very serious relationship. However, their lives were not compatible and I suppose that they were too young to really compromise to fight for what they have together. And so for eight years they have been apart. All that changes when Stetson’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s and is in her last weeks of life, keeps asking to see Curtis. She loved Curtis and Stetson sometimes felt that his mother loved his boyfriend more than she did him. After all, Curtis is a free spirit and fierce rodeo rider like Stetson’s much beloved father had been, which is probably part of why she had approved of her son’s boyfriend back in the day. On the other hand, Stetson is a home body and prefers to pour his time and energy into the ranch, which is taking some hard hits as Stetson tries to pay for his mother’s medical treatment.
When Stetson calls and tells Curtis what has happened, he drops everything and runs to his ex and his mama. This is the first sign that these guys, although parting after a fight, had never lost their love for each other. Unfortunately, when they were younger, love wasn’t enough when their lives were taking them into two different directions.
I feel this is a story that shows that love and people mature and perhaps these guys had to wait before being at the right place, at the right time before they could be together with their HEA. I think that is the aspect of the book that I enjoyed the most, aside from the wonderful chemistry between Stetson and Curtis.
Hi guys, we have D.J. Jamison stopping by today with her new release Surprise Groom, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant $15 Amazon GC giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
(Marital Bliss 01)
Can two men fake their way to marital bliss?
Caleb Taylor is shocked to learn his family could lose Bliss Island Resort — their home and livelihood — unless he makes use of a clause to marry the child of investor Louis Chastain. Sofia Chastain is more like a sister than a love interest, and Caleb isn’t ready to sign over his future. But Sofia has a brother, and Caleb has a plan …
Julien Chastain was disowned at fifteen and has made a life as a go-go dancer in Miami, but he lives paycheck to paycheck. When his childhood friend proposes an outlandish marriage contract, he thinks he’s crazy. But it’s a chance at a future that’s tough to pass up.
Caleb and Julien must present themselves as an authentic couple for the legal loophole to work, but the lines between “fake” and “real” keep shifting as they navigate intimacy, public scrutiny, and sabotage.
Love isn’t part of the plan, but plans change. If they can outsmart Julien’s father and prove their love is worth more than a transaction, they just might find a true happily-ever-after.
Hi guys, we have V.L. Locey popping by today with the stunning cover for her upcoming release Nine Small Sips: A Tales of Bryant Wedding, we have a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Nine Small Sips
(A Tales of Bryant Wedding)
Life for Isamu Taylor is now a Cinderella story that includes a Manhattan loft, a new position in the hottest LGBT film production company in New York City, and an upcoming wedding in Bryant Park to his very own handsome prince.
He’s come a long way from that struggling film student with ratty sneakers and shaggy hair. Isamu is now living an urbanite’s fairy tale with that happily ever after just around a bustling city street corner.
But as all wedding planners know, even the best laid plans seem to go awry, and Isamu and Brian’s wedding is no exception. But love – both old and new – is in the air, so nothing can go too badly, right?
Blurb: Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.
Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now, one of Hollywood’s hot-test properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing – and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable – on and offscreen.
Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherish-es. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?
Review: His Leading Man by Ashlynn Kane is from the Dreamspun Desires line, so the blurb (and the story) was exactly what I expected, a really light, sweet romance. This is a fairytale Hollywood romance between one of the most popular, in demand actors, and the indie screenwriter/script doctor he cons into playing his leading man. I’m pretty sure I know the author, Ashlynn Kane, from Dreamspun Desire stories – I really don’t know – but the story was enough to draw me since I have read this before and enjoyed it. I was just super keen to hear the audio.
The narration is done by Kenneth Obi. I know his work mostly from listening to Dreamspun Desire and Dreamspun Beyond audios and I haven’t come across a performance that I didn’t like. Not so long ago Obi was a new narrator to me, but I have now come to look forward to listening to his work. He’s really good at injecting the necessary emotion, the highs and the lows and keep me engrossed. The story surrounds Drew Beaumont, a Hollywood superstar and Steve, a script doctor and script writer who wants to make his own way in the world without depending on the popularity of his family.
Drew Beaumont has been cast as all the usual hero and romantic roles before. He wants to get his teeth into something different, something that will challenge him as an actor. He finds that when he reads the script of an unknown screenwriter. It’s something of a buddy comedy that ends with a gay romance. Drew wants to star in this movie and make it happen at any cost. The only problem is that he can’t find an actor that fits the role of his best friend/love interest. And so that is when he manages to get his agent (and a good friend to Steve) to convince the writer, Steve Sopol, to add acting to his repertoire.
Steve isn’t an international man of mystery, or someone with stars in their eyes or a shady past. There are a couple of surprising revelations about Steve, but other than that, he is a nice, down to earth sort of guy. He does live with his mother, who is always flitting around, but that does not make him a mama’s boy in the least.
Steve and Drew have a wonderful instant chemistry but thankfully they foster it and don’t rush into romance or any I-love-yous. If you don’t like insta-love, this book will still appeal. They need to navigate their way through Hollywood to become that fairytale couple that it was obvious they would become. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Hollywood style romance.
Publisher: Gone Writing Publishing LLC (24 April 2019)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts
Blurb: Sullivan Haines knows exactly what he wants out of life. Fame as a Broadway dancer and to find the man of his dreams. Sadly, his love life is a dismal mess, his roommate is PMS personified, and working at a dingy dance studio teaching old people how to tango and foxtrot is not exactly the bright lights. Actually, life in the Big Apple is pretty rotten, until he and his dog run into tall, dark, and oh-so-handsome Duane Hart in the park. Their pooches hit it right off, but can the two men find romance along the park’s winding paths?
Duane Hart hasn’t had a lot go right in his life. His girlfriend recently broke up with him, taking everything that wasn’t nailed down or in his roommate’s name. Well, everything except the Yorkshire terrier that he didn’t want to get in the first place, and that she now refuses to take back. However, when he meets a handsome stranger and his pit bull in the dog park, will the blooming heat in his chest be able to convince him to start dating again? Or will fate prove love isn’t a walk in the park, after all?
Review: Love Is A Walk in the Park is a book authored by VL Locey and Stephanie Locey. I love many of VL Locey’s books and every book has become a must read for me. Stephanie Locey is Vicki’s daughter, and this is her book. I didn’t know what to expect but I was intrigued by the idea of a mother/daughter MM romance collaboration.
The story is quite short and very sweet. The two dogs, Princess Pizazz Periwinkle and Tiberius, are just added bonuses that added more sweetness and a bit of comedy to the story. The MCs are Duane and Sullivan.
Sullivan dreams of becoming a Broadway dancer/actor, but with so many dead-end auditions now he is stuck working for an arsehole, Julian, at his crappy dance studio where most of the customers are old people. And while his work life is dismal, his love life is flatlined and his personal life consists of a room mate (a very funny one) with mood swings that could give you whip lash. The one thing that is going right for him is his dog, Pizazz.
Duane isn’t faring much better. His girlfriend has recently broken up with him and left him with the dog that she wanted, Tiberius. His family don’t have a lot of money, so he hasn’t gone to college and as a result he doesn’t have any real career prospects yet. However, he does have one saving grace in his life and that is his funny and kind roommate.
Walking their dogs in the park, Sullivan and Duane meet. Duane is bisexual, he’s just not out, bur meeting Sullivan has signalled a turning point in his life. Sullivan’s epiphany isn’t quite so dramatic, but meeting Duane shows him that at least one of his dreams, to find his one true love, could be right in front of him.
This is a short, sweet and unbelievably cute story. While I can’t say that I loved this book to bits, I really did enjoy it a lot and to the point that I might read it again when the mood hits me or if I need to read something light hearted. If you want something that is funny and mostly uncomplicated (although there is a couple spikes of drama), then you might want to give this a go.
Blurb: Newspaper reporter, Granger Galloway, is in charge of the Valentine’s Bazaar, an annual fundraiser for the LGBTQ community of Salem, Massachusetts. This year, no one has volunteered to man the Bazaar’s hottest attraction: The Kissing Booth. After being turned down by every gay and straight man he knows, Granger does the unthinkable and hires the pros at Valentine’s Inc. to send him the perfect fake boyfriend to man the booth. The problem now is how to explain the gorgeous man kissing the mayor’s lips off is a Rent-A-Hunk!
Lennox MacArthur looks like a model straight off the cover of a Highland romance novel, kilt and all. When he’s hired by Granger to be his Valentine’s weekend boyfriend and man the kissing booth for charity, he figures it will be an easy gig. He never counted on losing his heart to the awkwardly adorable reporter. His conundrum is that he’s kissing every cop, fireman, witch, bored housewife, and granny in town except the one man who stole his heart on sight.
When Granger mistakes Lennox’s true feelings for part of their fake boyfriends act, will it ruin his one chance at true love or will Granger land the man of his dreams if he sets aside his pride and takes his turn in line at the kissing booth?
Review: Granger is in charge of setting up the kissing booth but has no one to man it. That’s when he decides to try his luck at Valentine’s Inc. to set up a boyfriend for the weekend. Only things go to perfect and he ends up getting Lennox, his dream fantasy come to life.
This is a funny, witty portrayal of how Granger manages to keep himself under control watching Lennox kissing man after man and wanting him to kiss him.
I loved the entire story. Granger and Lennox were great together once they acknoledged their feelings for one another. Sweet and cute.