Monday, February 19, 2018

Losing It by Christine D'Abo

Title: Losing It
Author: Christine D'Abo
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Ringside Romance #4
Main Characters: Finn and Justin
Release Date: February 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fundraiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

My Review:
I really liked this book. Both these guys are emotionally stunted, but in different ways. For Finn, he's simply socially awkward and shy/reserved. He doesn't know how to talk to most people, although that's never an issue with Justin. Justin has never been in a situation where he could truly get attached to someone else. The one time he did, it came back and bit him on the butt...with Grady, who came to hate him, although they have a pseudo friendship now. But in the aftermath of that with Grady, Justin has pretty much lost everything. 

He's looking for a new place to be, to belong, but he doesn't expect to find Finn. Finn definitely doesn't expect Justin, either...mainly because Finn is totally engrossed with trying to catch another man's eye. And that's where these two find common ground. Justin is a people person. He sees Finn's social issues and offers to coach him through his awkwardness and a friendship develops.

I like stories where a friendship comes first...friends to lovers. There's just something about that kind of connection that works so much more than just a normal romance. And this book was no exception. I loved reading it. I especially loved watching Justin's depth develop more and more. He's the one who sacrifices his happiness and knowing where he came from mentally made that sacrifice so much more. This is a guy who's never had a real relationship...but he's willing to sacrifice for Finn's happiness. *happy sigh*

I truly just enjoyed everything about this story. It was a great one and definitely pushed all my happy romance buttons. I recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wedlocked by Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine (audiobook)

Title:  Wedlocked
Author: Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine
My Rating: A
Narrator: Charlie David

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Preslocke #3
Main Characters: Ace and Dylan
Release Date: May 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher:
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Listening Length: 7 hours and 25 minutes

Because you have believed in them,
Celebrated with them,
Loved and encouraged them,

Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine
Invite you to join

Ace Samuel Locke

and

Dylan Prescott

Saturday, the twenty-fourth of May
at six-o’clock in the evening

The Grand Floridian Hotel
4406 Palm Way
Orlando, Florida

For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Ace and Dylan’s story concludes in Book Three of the Bestselling PresLocke Series.

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.25
Story: 4.5

The final installment to what has been a great, enjoyable, entertaining series. I've truly loved every book in this series and this final book was just as good as the other two. I'm not going to say too much about the specifics, because you just need to know that you need to read this entire series...and then reading this book will be a given. 

I loved everything about the conclusion...the bachelor trip, the planning, the clueless grooms, the final place of where they ended up both personally and professionally. I've fallen in love with these two guys and watching them fall in love with one another brought me so many hours of happy reading. This book had me both laughing and crying.

Simply put...I loved it! And you need to read the whole series if you haven't. It's wonderful!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bobby Green by Amy Lane

Title: Bobby Green 
Author: Amy Lane
My Rating: A-

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
Series: Johnnies #5
Main Characters: Bobby and Reg
Release Date: February 2018
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Vern Roberts couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and get the hell out of Dogpatch, California. But city living is expensive, and he’s damned desperate when Dex from Johnnies spots him bussing tables. 

As “Bobby,” he's a natural at gay porn. Soon he’s surrounded by hot guys and sex for the taking, but it’s not just his girlfriend back in Dogpatch—or her blackmailing brother—that keeps him from taking it. It's the sweet guy who held the lights for his first solo scene, who showed him decency, kindness, and a smile.

Reg Williams likes to think he's too stupid to realize what a shitty hand life dealt him, but Bobby knows better. What Reg lacks in family, opportunity, education, and money, he makes up for in heart. One fumbling step at a time, they connect, not just in their hearts but in their bodies, where sex that’s not on camera, casual, or meaningless, becomes the most important thing in the world.

But Reg is hampered by an inescapable family burden, and he and Bobby will never fly unless he can find a way to manage it. Can he break the painful link to his unrealized childhood and grow into the love Bobby wants to give?

My Review:

This series has been a favorite, so I was really excited to see a new installment to the series. It's interesting because all the books in this series overlap the same period of time. I think that would be phenomenal to read them all back to back because you could see all the ties. But for me, it's been a few years and several thousand books read since I read the others so it made it much more difficult to keep track of everyone...and with 5 books out, there are a lot of main characters to keep track of. But regardless of all that, this book was about Reg and Bobby...omg, in true Amy Lane fashion...they are so beautifully broken and fragile...so in need of love which made this book a fabulous, angst-filled read.

So, this book...Reg has been working for Johnnies for ten years. Most the porn stars do a bit of work and make their money and move on. That is not Reg. Reg isn't the smartest guy and he's very aware of that. He knows that he won't be able to get another job that pays as well or offers such good benefits (which he desperately needs to take care of his psychotic sister). And overall, he's good with Johnnies. The guys love him and take care of him, and he figures that sex is the one thing that he is reliable about...he's made for sex on demand. But that's before he meets Bobby.

Bobby is from a small town where he couldn't accept his homosexuality. Johnnies opens that up for him...something this 19 yo is trying to get used to...especially since he still has a girlfriend at home. 

There's a lot happening in this book. There is all the trauma for all the Johnnies guys which happens through the other books. But Reg and Bobby have their own very real drama...which takes some drastic turns. 

Overall I loved this book. It wasn't quite as good as I found some of the others in the series (I think Black John will always be my favorite), but it was still really, really good. This book made me fall in love with Dex even more. He's just such an amazing guy trying desperately to hold all his guys together, both serving as parent and the adult figure they all can turn to and count on. 

There were laugh out loud moments and moments where I choked up. I just really liked it. I most definitely recommend the entire series. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sacked by Jen Frederick

Title: Sacked
Author: Jen Frederick
My Rating: A

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: Gridiron #1
Main Characters: Knox and Ellie
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
What he wants he gets... 

Knox Masters is a quarterback's worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And...virgin. Knox knows what he wants--and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he's set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she's the sister of his fellow teammate, but that's not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one. 

...but he's never met her before. 

But Ellie isn't as sure. She's trying to start a new life and she's not interested in a relationship...with anyone. Beside it's not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother's teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing. 

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.
My Review:

I started reading this book in an audiobook version, but by 75% I couldn't wait to when I could listen to it, so I opened it up on my kindle app and began devouring the story. It was equally good in both audiobook and reading it straight from my kindle. I really enjoyed this story. 

This is a sports romance set in college...so New Adult. Ellie's situation broke my heart and it just got worse and worse throughout the story, but I adored her relationship with her brother, Jack. On the flip side, I also really loved Knox's relationship with his twin brother, Ty. As twins, their special test for girls was awesome. I can't imagine anything more damaging than not being able to know their guy...and yes, I have twin brothers who look identical, so I also know how difficult differentiating between the two can be at times. 

And then there's the fact that Knox is a virgin. O.M.G. Do you know how sexy that was and their 'first' sexual experience together (no, not the sex) was indescribably sexy. I adored that scene!!

I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought the conflict was done really well and I liked the way that the whole story unfolded. And again I have to point out...virgin hero...yes, this book fulfilled ALL that I hoped it would. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. Now I need to look ahead and see who all gets books because I want them all...Matty, Ace, Ty, but I have a feeling that at least one or two of those guys don't get a book.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson

Title: Cam Boy
Author: Quinn Anderson
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Murmur, Inc #3
Main Characters: Josh and Mike
Release Date: February 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
After years of making minimum wage, college dropout Josh Clemmons may have found his salvation. Murmur Inc., a local adult entertainment company, is hosting auditions for new performers, and Josh has been invited to try out. If he can make it as a porn star, he can kiss his money troubles goodbye.

Mike Harwood is a loud-and-proud professional adult entertainer. In the past three years, he’s starred in dozens of films, and he’s very good at what he does. But as focused as he’s been on work, he’s neglected everything else, including his love life. He’s so used to faking attraction, he can no longer tell when something real is staring him in the face.

Josh gets the job, but when porn fails to live up to the fantasy, he quits to do cam work instead. But he can’t stop thinking about the one scene he filmed, and the captivating man he filmed it with. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Mike knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Then again, with true love on the line, this unorthodox office romance may need a second take.

My Review:
This was an enjoyable book, but I'll admit that I do really love m/m stories set within the adult entertainment industry. For this one, Josh is trying to get into porn, but he does everything wrong in his application process and the woman in charge of hiring isn't giving him much of a break. 

Mike is the pro in the story. He's been doing porn for three years and has made good money and still seems to enjoy the job overall. Getting paired up with Josh as a mentor at Josh's tryouts, though, turns Mike's whole world as he knows it upside down. 

Josh is so lost. There were a lot of things that I liked about this book, but that was my favorite...it was good to see him mature throughout the book. I also liked his relationship with both his bosses and how the way they treated him evolved. 

Mike's character was awesome in this book. I really liked how realistic he felt. He's very straightforward and honest about his life in porn...both with himself and with others. But he's also very aware of how other people can react to the fact...but never in a judgmental way. I liked how careful he was to never push Josh into something he might regret later and is so careful of him...since he knows that Josh isn't 100% in. He's the perfect mentor...even when Josh doesn't realize he's being mentored.

Everything about this story was written perfectly to give the guys a chance. I really enjoyed it and was thoroughly entertained by every minute of reading the book. I definitely recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Locked by Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine (audiobook)

Title:  Locked 
Author: Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine
My Rating: A
Narrator: Charlie David

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Preslocke #2
Main Characters: Ace and Dylan
Release Date: January 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
“ACE LOCKE JETS OFF TO SIN CITY WITH MYSTERY MAN”

Sorry, ladies—and fellas—Hollywood’s hottest action star, Ace Locke, is officially off the market!

The man on Locke’s arm has been identified as Dylan Prescott, the sexy new “it” model currently featured in the latest Calvin Klein ads. Sources tell TNZ the men met on the set of Locke’s upcoming action film Insurrection 2, and that “they only have eyes for each other.” 
This is the first public gay relationship for Locke, who came out a year ago, and there has been much speculation on who would finally be the one to catch his eye.

According to multiple eyewitnesses, Locke whisked Prescott away on his private jet for a romantic weekend at Syn, the most exclusive hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. After pictures recently surfaced of the new couple, affectionately named PresLocke, it appears from the possessive way Locke keeps his new beau close that things are heating up.

The world is watching #PresLocke, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on this budding relationship!

Ace and Dylan’s story continues in Book Two of the Bestselling PresLocke Series.

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.25
Story: 4.5

This book picks up exactly where the first book left off, so if you haven't read that book, stop reading this review right now because there will be spoilers from the first story. 

So, in this book, Ace and Dylan are still dealing with the backlash from the expose about their relationship. Ace is losing jobs right and left, but the notoriety has actually done some great things for Dylan's modeling. On top of all the mental strife that is causing, now they are also having to deal with the crazy intrusive paparazzi every time they turn around. Things are a little stressful which is hard on any relationship, much less one as new as theirs is. 

The one thing that I truly loved about all the places that this story went (and it did go all over the place...including those awful scenes with Dylan's mother)...I loved that Ace never ONCE faltered in his commitment to Dylan. That makes him an incredible hero...because this relationship is ruining everything for him, but he still refuses to even consider giving Dylan up. I LOVED THAT SO, SO MUCH!

That's what makes these stories so good...truly Dylan and Ace are perfect together (that and the omg, hotter than hot visuals the authors paint of the two guys...happy sigh). 

I just love this series and am already listening to the third and final book in the series.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

Title: Survive the Night 
Author: Katie Ruggle
My Rating: B-

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Rocky Mountain K9 #3
Main Characters: Otto and Sarah
Release Date: February 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
He's always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he'll do more than heal her battered spirit―he'll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe's very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path―but for all his big heart, he's never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton's haunted eyes. Until he realizes he'll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there's no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth...but he'd never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah's finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It's time to take a stand.
 

My Review:
I'll admit it right up front, for some reason I just did not connect with this book. There were moments I loved, and then moments where I skimmed and I can't even tell you why. I simply didn't connect for some reason...but looking at the reviews, that is not the norm. 

But  you should also know that there were great moments in this story that managed to keep me engaged, especially for the last 25-30% of the book. 

Overall, I've enjoyed this series a lot. While this particular story didn't do it for me, I'm super curious about that ending. There is definitely a lot more intrigue to come to this poor, poor little town that just can't catch a break. I'm not sure the town is going to survive Katie Ruggle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.