Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dirty Games by HelenKay Dimon

Title: Dirty Games
Author: HelenKay Dimon
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Dirty #2
Main Characters: Justin and Finn
Release Date: March 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Sometimes, to get what you want in business or in love, you have to get your hands dirty. Luckily for Finn and Justin, dirty comes naturally.

Finn Drummond is the baby in a family of sharks—which means he’s worked twice as hard to make a name for himself. After learning the tricks of the trade from his brothers, Finn’s just as ruthless and dominant. Out in the field, his appetites are legendary: for success, for money, for women and men. But when supplies from Drummond Charities go missing, Finn has to partner up with the smoldering ex–Army grunt who’s always challenging his authority—or giving him mixed signals.

Justin Miller wanted his attraction to Finn to be mutual, but the cocky brat always had a girlfriend. Who could blame Justin for trying to move on? Despite their history, they’ve got to work together to figure out who’s been derailing their humanitarian work. But after Justin and Finn are thrown together against gunrunners and kidnappers, their simmering chemistry turns explosive. Turns out, Finn knows how to handle himself in a crisis—and in the sack. Justin only hopes that hot sex is enough to persuade this spoiled pretty boy to do the right thing.
My Review:
It's no secret that I love HelenKay Dimon's romantic suspense m/m books and this one did not disappoint in the least. 

Justin has been fighting his attraction to Finn for years...to the point that he slept with Finn's brother to try to get over Finn, the straight one. What Justin has never realized though is that Finn isn't straight. He's bisexual. And though he's younger, I think Finn is much more mature in a relationship than Justin is ever capable of being...LOL. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Justin is a loner. He is not a relationship guy which works for him since he's chosen to serve his career in Morocco, where it's illegal to be gay. But the one major thing that Justin has going for him is that he's completely committed to helping the areas refugees escape their circumstances. He has spent his life doing this job and loves it...for the most part. 

He does not having his control usurped by Finn and his brothers, though...just because they happen to fund the charity. So, that's one area of contention for Justin. The other is that he is simply pushing Finn away because he thinks he can't have him. As a result, Justin is rough and gruff and rude and a total jerk to Finn most the time. Something that Finn truly just let roll off his back most the time... another reason (out of MANY) to love him. 

But you know, in the end, I kind of fell for Justin, too. He's trying so hard to be emotionally hard to Finn and not care because he simply can't be that vulnerable. But it happens anyway and it's a beautiful thing. 

I love wounded heroes, and Finn is perfect in the roll in this book. I really just thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. Although I had a pretty good idea who the bad guy was early on, it didn't affect how much I enjoyed all the unveiling of the details and clues. 

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

The BackUp Plan by Jen McLaughlin

Title: The Backup Plan
Author: Jen McLaughlin
My Rating: B+

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: Back in the Game #1
Main Characters: Chase and Taylor
Release Date: March 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
I’m beyond help...

I threw a football before I could walk. Everything in my life revolved around football–and I loved every second. I was a star. Until, suddenly...I wasn’t. Now everyone thinks I’m the monster who killed his best friend. I’m an outcast on campus, silent and alone. Then Taylor Selmer walks back into my life. When will she learn–I’m beyond saving.

I need to save him...

Chase and I used to be friends. But after the accident, nothing was the same. We used to have something special–until we didn’t. But he doesn’t smile anymore. Doesn’t talk. Doesn’t play. It hurts me to see him this way, and I will do everything I can to get him back in the game. Whether he likes it or not.
My Review:
Taylor absolutely made this book. I love how she tells Chase everything and doesn't hide most the details although it would make easier to hide why she's at Villanova...because she was hired by Chase's dad to get him back on track. 

Chase is in a really bad place. He is consumed by guilt that he wasn't able to save his friend. He survived when his friend didn't, although his friend was the one who was driving drunk. Honestly, if I were to guess, he's just days away from ending it all when Taylor shows up. 

Taylor and Chase were best friends growing up...until they hit adolescence and Chase's father chased her away because her family were the 'hired help' and not up to the standard that Chase needed on his arm. Chase never knew why Taylor disappeared from her life, but he's truly never fallen out of love with her.

Taylor is stuck in a mess. Unfortunately, not only is she working for Chase's father, but both her parents work for him and live on their estate, and he's threatening them. If she screws this up, her parents are out on their butts. 

It was a really good book. It was a cross between a friends to lovers trope and second chance at love trope, which just happen to be my 2 favorite tropes. The combination of them was awesome. 

I really, really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author. 

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen (audiobook)

Title: Goodbye Paradise
Author: Sarina Bowen
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Teddy Hamilton and Dake Bliss

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Hello Goodbye #1
Main Characters: Josh and Caleb
Release Date: May 2017 (audiobook)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home. 

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world. 

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves. 

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires. 

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels? 

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

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

Ooh, I loved this book and I loved how it tied into the True North series...easter eggs...LOVE them. 

Josh and Caleb grew up in the cult, Paradise. The problem with a cult built on polygamy...there are too many boys so when they grow up, they're systematically kicked out for "crimes". This was what was happening to Josh. Luckily Caleb saw it coming and had made plans for the two of them. He ran when Josh was kicked out. 

What Josh never realized was that Caleb was gay, too, and just as in love with Josh as Josh was with him. But with their upbringing, they were always taught that homosexuality is an awful sin. 

This whole book is all about how these two guys figure out how to live in the real world...which they've never done. In fact, Josh has never been exposed to the real world at all. It all seems so impossible, but that made it such a good book. In the middle of all that, they are also trying to navigate a homosexual relationship...something that Josh especially has problems with. 

There was so much good about this book. I loved how Josh found his place in this small family and the bond that developed between him and the baby. 

Overall, this book was just excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. And I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that there's a second book in the series.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox (audiobook)

Title: Felix and the Prince
Author: Lucy Lennox
My Rating: A-
Narrator: Michael Pauley

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Forever Wilde #2
Main Characters: Felix and Lio
Release Date: January 2018 (audiobook)
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Listening Length: 9 hours and 7 minutes

Things I expect to find at Gadleigh Castle:
- Rare stained glass, the subject of my dissertation.
- Peace and quiet, to finish said dissertation.
- An escape from the paparazzi swarming around my starlet mother’s latest blockbuster release.

Things I don’t expect to find:
- A hidden door leading to a secret room.
- The most gorgeous man I’ve ever set eyes on.
- Love.

Things I know are expected of me in life:
- That I will one day soon become the King of Liorland.
- I will marry a nice woman who will become queen.
- I will provide heirs to my family’s monarchy.

Reasons that might be difficult
- I’m gay.
- I’m falling in love with Felix Wilde.
- He has no idea I’m royal.

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

Aww, who would have guessed...a royal relationship for one of the Wildes. Although an unexpected pairing, I did really enjoy this story. I never considered before what being gay might do to a monarchy. It makes you wonder how many royals have been gay in the past and simply hidden it or buried those inclinations.

But between that whole issue and the absolutely gorgeous visuals of the Gadleigh glass...and I just loved this story. I could picture everything about this windswept castle so well and really want to visit there...if only it were real. 

Like all the Lucy Lennox stories, this is just pure entertainment. There isn't a ton of angst, but there is emotion and wonderfully developed characters. I liked the conflict on this one...both with Lio and the issue with being a gay king, but also Felix's aversion to press, which is something that is definitely a constant in Lio's life. But I also loved that they had time for their relationship to develop before those conflicts truly became an issue in the story. 

Overall, this was another GREAT Lucy Lennox audiobook. I know that when I grab one of hers that I'm going to be totally enchanted and not want to walk away from the audiobook. I'm ready for more in this series!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

On His Knees by Laura Kaye

Title: On His Knees 
Author: Laura Kaye
My Rating: A-

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
Series: Blasphemy #4
Main Characters: Alex and Jamie
Release Date: February 2018
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Getting on his knees makes him question everything…and want even more…

Another failed relationship has lawyer Jamie Fielding confronting the truth—he’ll never be satisfied with any woman until he admits what he needs…to submit and to be used—hard. When a friend invites him to the exclusive Blasphemy club, Jamie is stunned to find everything he ever wanted—in the fierce, ruthless hands of a man.

Psychiatrist Alex McGarry will play with anyone who craves his rough brand of domination, but what he really wants is to settle down. Which makes the submissive male he meets at his club a bad idea—the man might be hot as hell but he’s also new to everything Alex has to offer. Except that doesn’t keep them from coming together again and again, sating every one of their darkest desires.

Master Alex sets Jamie’s whole world on fire and makes him question everything—and that’s good. Because Alex won’t tolerate hiding what they have for long and he wants much more than just having Jamie on his knees...

My Review:

Wow, this was one sexy little read. I thoroughly LOVED it! Jamie is new to all of this. Right before his thirtieth birthday, he's getting a tattoo after yet another girlfriend has dumped him. His tattoo artist says something about Jamie being a masochist and suddenly Jamie's world opens up wide. 

He's never understood why he doesn't seem to connect like other people. His revelation...he's a bisexual masochist...something that he never even considered or knew before. So, needless to say when he goes to Blasphemy, a whole new world opens up to him and his guide, Master Alex, is everything he's ever wanted, but never realized he needed. 

There are lots of new experiences for Jamie...layered with the pain that he needs and seriously, this book is really very sexy. I loved it. I loved the dynamic between the two guys. 

My only serious complaint was that there was a lot of possible depth to this story. It could have been at least twice as long and had a HUGE emotional impact for the reader. Not that it was bad, because it totally was not. It just wasn't phenomenal...and with a bit more development, it could have been. 

But as is, I loved it and highly recommend it. I haven't been reading this series. I think I may have to go back and fix that now.

Cover Whore Confession: I totally bought this book because of that sexy as hell cover.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Zercy by Kora Knight

Title: Zercy  
Author: Kora Knight 
My Rating: A-

Genre: SciFi Romance (m/m)
Series: The Nira Chronicles #2
Main Characters: Zercy and Alec
Release Date: December 2017
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Emergency landing. Uncharted planet. Erotic captivity of epic proportions. Right when Captain Alec Hamlin thinks it can’t get any crazier, his team is sold to their captors’ mighty sovereign. King Zercy of the Kríe. Ruler of the planet’s most formidable species. Man, is he imposing. So regal and larger than life. And way too savagely handsome for Alec’s liking. From the first moment he laid eyes on him, he knew the Kríe was trouble, knew he needed to steer clear of him at all costs. But when Zercy chooses Alec to be his personal pet, all plans to dodge the male fall by the wayside. Alec is forced to spend each evening in the alluring king’s company, each night bound to the seductive king’s bed. Wholly at his mercy. Utterly defenseless, in his own mind and most especially his restless body. His struggle is real. Because the more Alec gets to know Zercy, the more he realizes two things. The Kríe king is damaged—unstable, not right, making him unpredictable and highly dangerous. But he is also innately kind beneath the raging storm that torments him. Kind and genuine, with a sad but beautiful soul. Something Alec fights with all he is, not to acknowledge. He can’t fall for Zercy. Zercy is the enemy. The captor of both Alec and his team. Which means Alec needs to get them out of there, before it’s too late. Before emotions overthrow logic and take control of the wheel. If only his body didn’t crave Zercy so fiercely, and his heart didn’t want him just as badly. 

With Search and Rescue due any day, and Alec’s team getting antsy, Alec is forced to make a decision. He can’t have it both ways. Is he the captain of his men, bound to obligation, or is he a man in love with a Kríe? 

Warning: Contains explicitly scorching gay sex with exotic and shamelessly kinky males of otherworldly descent.
My Review:

Wow...this is a book...a really big and incredibly detailed book. Hats off to this author, because her imagination is incredible. She has thought through every detail of this world and it comes through this story in a beautiful, incredible way. The visuals she creates for the reader are detailed and beautiful. The characters are too. This is an extremely well-done fantasy story and I enjoyed every single moment of reading it. 

But be warned, this book is LONG. Like 3-4 times as long as a normal book, so you are going to be immersed in this world for a long time. Not that I think most people will complain because these Krie are pretty dang sexy. And there is a lot of sexy times to be had. But there's also a story happening here in the middle of all the really hot sex and it's really interesting. 

Like the first book in the series, I'm pretty sure this book left me with more questions than answers and I'm dying to know what's going to happen to all these guys...please, I want Bailey and the merman's tale next because the glimpses of what that story is going to be were so intriguing. 

Kora Knight is the queen of writing other worlds...I've just declared her as such. This book is so creative, so well thought out, so completely inventive. I'm in awe and drumming my fingers because I'm ready to be immersed in this sexy world again. 

Did I mention how hot these stories are? No...well, you need to know...they are. SO HOT!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Regret by Christina Lee

Title: Regret
Author: Christina Lee
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Under My Skin #1
Main Characters: Brin and Nick
Release Date: June 2017
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet. 

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on. 

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out. 

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.
My Review:
There is a complex history between Nick and Brin. The thing is...Brin doesn't even know the full story about it, which makes things so awkward when Brin finds himself as Nick's roommate. As far as Brin is concerned, there is no forgiveness for what Nick did in high school.

But Nick does have an excuse...and it VERY, VERY slowly unfolds throughout the story. That's the best thing about how this book is written. There's this mystery of why exactly Nick reacted the way he did back then and the reader is guessing about it through most of the story. I loved that aspect of it, and while I pretty much knew what happened, the details were still shocking and heartbreaking. 

I really and truly enjoyed this book. I loved getting to see the two mc's relationship evolve and develop. It's a gorgeous story about connections and chemistry and that special, magic, "something" that just ties two people together...no matter what. Brin fully wants to hate Nick, but with their chemistry, he can't hang onto that anger. Especially when over and over again, Nick allowed Brin to see his vulnerability. That was the sexiest thing about this story. Nick knows he screwed up and he opens himself up to be hurt in the hopes of fixing that mistake. It's a gorgeous sacrifice and made me fall in love with him. 

I really, really liked the story. I'm so happy that I own it in paperback, so I can reread it again later.