Posted in *****4.5 Stars*****, ARCs Reviews, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Coming Soon, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, M/M Series, Promotions, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Pre-Release Review~Unbreakable Stories: Rowe (Unbreakable Bonds #3.5) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott~

 

34865867Title: Unbreakable Stories: Rowe
Authors: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Series: (Unbreakable Bonds #3.5)
Page Count: 64 pages
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

~Synopsis~

Unbreakable Stories: Rowe is a collection of short stories following the romantic adventures and misadventures of former Army Rangers turned security experts Rowe Ward and Noah Keegan following the events of Torch, book 3 of the Unbreakable Bonds series. This collection is more than 30,000 words long and contains stories such as: 

Piece of Pie
Mistletoe
Haunted
Gotcha
And many more…


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******4.5 Stars*****

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“There is nothing in this world more powerful than the connection a person feels for another.”

Do you know that feeling when you open a book in a series and it is instantly like coming home? 

When you can’t help getting so absorbed in the story that you are sitting curled up on your couch with a dopey grin on your face because you missed everyone so much and it just feels right being back again? I’m pretty sure you do, but in case you don’t, I suggest you read this series!

I loved every single book so far and the short stories are always the icing on the cake. 

The same holds true for Unbreakable Stories: Rowe. As short as they are, you still get the whole package of fun, sweet and sexy times combined with some heart-eyes but also pensive moments. A few pages in and I already had to run off grabbing some tissues, but leave it to the authors to make me laugh through my tears only a second later.

Seeing how Rowe after going through a rough patch due to Mel’s death finds happiness again with Noah was aside from Devour my most anticipated story in this series. What I especially loved about Unbreakable Stories: Rowe was the way Noah finds his place in Rowe’s life by creating memories of their own, by making every day special, without forgetting about Mel and to see Rowe opening up to Noah. He picks up his life again and feels completely at ease with his feelings for him.


So, get ready for some good but also bittersweet memories…

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“With each passing day, Rowe seemed a little more relaxed, a little more willing to laugh, and a little more playful, as if he were pulling his soul out from the shadow of his wife’s death to embrace living again. Mel was still an intricate part of their lives, but her memory more frequently brought smiles than tears.”

Some pranks only men can come up with…

The saying “In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanted to play” proved never to be truer!

Some hot man-on-man action…that makes you want to run off and take an ice bath. 😀

And some much-needed vacation…


…With the whole gang except for Ian and Hollis, with lots of fun inside and outside the bed and psst…you even get to see a Lucas being all easy-going and relaxed and that’s a sight to see or read in this case. Promise!

“They might be all crazy, but it was a good family to be a part of.”

Admittedly, I missed Ian and Hollis, but all of these short stories except for the first one take place after Devour, so they authors decided to be a bit careful about it. And of course, we will get their own short stories soon.

I never wished so hard it would already be summer! Highly recommended!imageedit_44_8150275859

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~Release Day Review~Spring Break (Accidental Roots #3) by Elle Keaton~

 

35096685Title: Spring Break
Author: Elle Keaton
Series: Accidental Roots #3
Publisher: Dirty Dog Publishing
Release Date: June 9, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

~Synopsis~

Sometimes a guy needs a break. Carroll Weir got one–but it wasn’t what he expected.

All he dreams of is escaping dreary, damp Skagit, WA, for a warmer climate. Instead, Federal Investigator Carroll Weir is assigned to a cross-agency case involving geoduck smugglers and a very dead Fish and Wildlife Detective.
Sterling Bailey, the regular bartender at the Loft, likes to think of his customers and employees as family since he doesn’t have one of his own. Exhausted and tense, Carroll Weir wanders in one night and one thing leads to another. All in a night’s work, right?
Who murdered Fish and Wildlife Detective Peter Krystad? Does the killer have Weir in his sights? Things begin to heat up between them but Sterling and Weir will have to move past their personal history in order to change the course of their future.
The spark burning between them is hot enough to scald, unless they’re careful somebody’s going to get burned.

Though part of the Accidental Roots Series this book can be read as a standalone.
*HEA No cliffhanger
*Intended for a mature audience, 18+


imageedit_4_2007460609simoneb****4 Stars****4gdg

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How the hell do you end up from blowing an FBI-Agent in the backroom of a bar…

…to being his babysitter and then lover within a few weeks???

And, what is more, when you did not even deign him a second glance so far, much less like him particularly? Well, it happens faster than you think…

Sterling Bailey, outwardly gruff, but at the bottom of his heart caring bartender at The Loft in Skagit, WA, has his own problems, even without help from the outside to make it worse.

The police are on a manhunt for a fourteen-year-old boy. They say he's injured, but dangerous, and issue a warning for everyone to be on the lookout. Your character stumbles upon the boy in an alleyway on a late night.

Turned adrift by his own parents at a very young age due to his sexual orientation and being forced to do everything to survive on the streets, he had landed on his feet again. But this betrayal of confidence comes at a price. Trusting someone is not easy for him and why doing the whole commitment thing when you can just do hookups with no strings attached?

When a blowjob at his bar leads to another one -which is dead against his own life philosophy- and he suddenly seems to be the only person under the sun who is able to take care of said hookup when he is severely injured, his resolve gets rattled with each day he spends with the man and slow but steady he develops feelings he never wanted to feel.

FBI-Agent Carroll Weir -yes, there are a million jokes about his name out there and believe me, he has heard them all- is so done with this rainy dump called Skagit and cannot wait to get the hell out of dodge after the case he worked on for months is mostly wrapped up. His bags are packed, his flight to SoCal almost booked and he already sees himself on a surfboard again and basking in the sun.


A phone call from his boss shatters his daydream and he never would have thought that the murder of a Fish and Wildlife Detective and the possible poaching of a cock-shaped clam would fall under his duties, but so much for his luck. Oh, Weir likes cock, but the real deal, not such nightmare-inducing, the running-him-into-the-ground thing that ends up in a case without any lead.

A hookup at a bar seems to be just the right cure, but what was supposed to be a stress relief makes for an experience he cannot get out of his head, or rather he cannot get the guy out of his head. Sterling Bailey with his goth appearance and his judgmental behavior is a guy who is so not on his bucket list, but a hell of a surprise when it comes down to it. 

“His first impression that Sterling judged and found the rest of the world lacking had been replaced by the understanding that Sterling held his true self-aloof out of self-preservation. Sterling was most comfortable feeling separate from the crowd; it had become his safe place.”

But Weir does not do relationships. He has built up a protective barrier around his heart due to his own past so he would not get hurt again. A tragedy in form of the disappearance of his sister ripped his family apart when he was a kid and instead of holding onto the child who was still there, both parents blamed him and abandoned him one way or the other, which left Weir with a feeling of never being good enough.

When the case or rather the murderer comes too close for comfort to Weir and nearly costs him his life, both men are forced to spend more time together than they prefer, and they discover gradually that they are more alike than they think.

“Leaving Skagit, Sterling hoped, had been a self-protective measure. If Weir didn’t allow himself to get attached, then he wouldn’t get hurt. And, yeah, Sterling knew that because it was one of his own classic moves.”

Their somewhat love-hate relationship turns into deeper feelings neither of them can ignore until the disappearance of Sterling’s sister reopens old sores for Weir and threatens to destroy their tentative chance for love. 


Slowly but surely I feel at home in this town, despite the sordid details that come to light bit by bit.

The atmosphere is so vivid, I can virtually visualize the scenery and feel like I would know each resident inside out. Elle Keaton once again managed that I fell in love with both main characters right from the start. Granted, I already liked Weir in the previous books, but now that I came to know more about his past, I loved him even more.

After the second book, I already shipped him with another character, namely Buck’s friend Miguel, but the author did a great job in making me believe that due to their past Weir and Sterling are a match made in heaven. The relationship development once again left nothing to be desired and what I love in particular is that it was a different approach in each book so far, from insta-love in the first one to friends to lovers in the second and now this love-hate relationship in the third story.

The mystery part was a bit too muddled and also a tad OTT for me this time. Don’t get me wrong, the author de-muddled it perfectly in the end and it was interesting to get to know more about “conversion” therapy. It is still hard for me to believe that some people revert to such drastic measures, although it is proven that they fail spectacularly.

I just wish the solving of the case, or rather of both cases, would have been not so overly dramatic and did not exude the feeling of watching a B-movie sometimes.

But overall the romance was once again in the focus of the story and that is all that matters to me. imageedit_78_3543283961
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Posted in ****4 Stars****, ARCs Reviews, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, M/M Series, New Released, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Release Day Review~Mature Content (Cyberlove #4) by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell~

 

34934798Title: Mature Content
Authors: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove #4
Publisher: Megtino Press
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance,
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

~Blurb~

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.

Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.

But we still hate each other. I think.


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Mature Content (Cyberlove #4)

by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

****4 Stars****ima4

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Holy kink, this was hot!!!

First things first: DO NOT READ THIS IN PUBLIC if you don’t want to get caught hyperventilating and with a beet-red face without wanting to explain why. Boy, was I glad that I had time off from work, so I could read the book at home and believe me when I say that my urge to take one cold shower after another was never stronger. These authors sure know how to write sex scenes and if you like the whole package of dirty talk, bondage, kink and sex toys while getting down and dirty you will be in book heaven. Promise!

Two men who like it rough, one on the receiving and the other on the performing end, should be the perfect match, right? Umm, wrong. Okay, one challenge and a hot and kinky night together prove that they are if it weren’t for the teensy-weensy fact that they hate each other. With a passion.

“He ran his gaze down my body, heating my skin inch by inch on the way down, and freezing it on the way up until he met my eyes with a glare.”

TrashyZane and Beau Starr are both…. 

…celebrities… but their images are as different as day and night.

Zane is as real as it gets. He rebels against being pigeonholed and his bias for fishnet stockings is part of that. His channel is more like a diary about his everyday life and his snappy mouth has absolutely no filter. He is not ashamed to tell his subscribers about his preferences in bed, right down to the last detail, and to post the messy visuals to prove it.

Coming from a hypocrite parental home, he learned to stand on his own two feet early on and made it his purpose to fight against hypocrisy and his pet peeve slut-shaming, only with the support of his loving, caring and absolutely awesome grandmother.

Beau Starr is more illusion than reality. His image is that of the nice boy next door, always with a smile on his face and a perfect outward appearance.

Messy

That is nothing but a facade, though. Beau comes with baggage. Baggage in form of his ex-boyfriend who preyed on him and betrayed his confidence insomuch, that Beau had a hard time to leave it all behind and gain control over his life again. Then there are his parents, who love him, but also love to interfere in his life and make it difficult for him to live up to their standard.

“After years of carefully cultivating my image, I could turn on the charm with ease. Beau Starr was me, but a better version of me, the one who didn’t let anything bother him, who always had a snappy comeback, and who certainly didn’t have a messy past.”

It’s hard for him to trust and let somebody in his life again, especially not someone who seems to be a mess.

“I grabbed the hair at the base of his neck, yanked it down, and crashed my lips onto his. He tasted like alcohol, pop rocks, and bad decisions.”

One passionate and oh so kinky night of sex in a hotel room between Zane and Beau turns their world upside down and reveals that there might be more to the other than meets the eye, even if they are above unwilling to admit it. What seems to be just based on a mutual desire at first, turns gradually into respect and deeper feelings for each other, until one kneejerk reaction on Beau’s part could destroy everything.


First of all, I have to admit that this book was not my favorite in this series. Maybe it was once again a case of too high expectation since I could not wait to get Zane and Beau’s story after reading Hard Wired, but aside from the hot sex scenes the first half of the story fell a bit flat for me. It took me three days to read the first half and only one to read the second. That alone should be indication enough, that the second half made more than up for the first, though. 😉

Personally (and that is really just me), I think that these books should come with an index. Just like Hard Wired, I had some issues with the -admittedly, this time, not gamer, but rather- YouTuber speech… Maybe it is the fact that the guys in this book are not my generation or that English is not my mother tongue, but I had to google quite a lot of words again and the shortcuts they used gave me a feeling that I should play more Scrabble.

But did I already mention the melting-the-paint-of-your-wall hot sex? No? I thought I did.

Well, maybeI should rather show you and let the gif speak for itself…

But of course, this book is more than just about sex…

The story is a great addition to the series and has everything I love about it.Authentic characters. Lots of snark. A bit of angst and drama. A more than believable HEA.

Furthermore, the authors were once again able to give me an understanding of how the cyberworld works (silly me did not even know that YouTubers have agents!) and I always get shiny eyes when it comes to the text messages between the characters. Their banter was friggin hilarious and ohhh, did I love Zane’s humor…

“Most people watch multiple YouTubers. It’s not like Hunger Games where you grab whatever you can get and run for the forest-“

… and his smart mouth…

“Beau is about as appealing as a colonoscopy after Thanksgiving dinner.”


This book proved once again why ‘enemies to lovers’ is one of my favorite tropes and leave it to the authors to pull it off in typical Megtino fashion. Now it is this time of year again where I have to wait for the next book in this series, but I have a suspicion…who will be the next couple…

…Or maybe I should call it hope?… I can not wait to see if I am right… 😀

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, ARCs Reviews, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, M/M Series, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~ Release Day Review~In the Ruins (Metahuman Files #2) by Hailey Turner~

 

35212210Title: In the Ruins
Author: Hailey Turner
Series: Metahuman Files #2
Publisher: Self Published
Page Count: 461 pages
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Romance, Sci-Fi/Military, Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

~Blurb~

Truth and lies.
Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.
Dirty little secret.
Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.
Play the game to win.
Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

In the Ruins is a 105k word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is a sequel to In the Wreckage and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.


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In the Ruins (Metahuman Files #2) by Hailey Turner

*****5 Stars*****imageedit_104_7293237175

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Entertainment at its best!!!

Alpha Team was the bullet, even if someone else was pulling the trigger, and they couldn’t ever escape that.

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Jamie Callahan’s team of Metahumans with enhanced abilities – well, it spoils nothing to say that they have certain superpowers – has to keep that in mind when their new mission sends them undercover right in the public eye, so as to nose out a Russian terrorist group intent on preying on wealthy citizens with shady morals. Especially Jamie has to play both sides of the fence and gambles for high stakes since it is not only his reputation on the line but also the one of those who is close to him. He is forced to walk a tightrope and has to rely on his team, other organizations and friends more than once to wriggle out of precarious situations in order not to compromise his family and still get the job done.

The only thing that helps him stay in control is the fact that Kyle Brannigan, his secret lover, is also part of the cover and for once they don’t have to hide their relationship in public, if only for show. When more players enter the game, there is more at stake than just his high renown and the whole team has to refer to all their resources and powers to hold the upper hand.


Wow, just wow! Hailey Turner did it again!!!

After only the second installment to In the Wreckage, this series went straight onto my top-ten list of favorites and she proved to me that the first book was not just some kind of one-hit wonder. Not that I ever had any doubts about it, but still I’m glad to see that I was right.

This book and the whole series is so right up my alley and I don’t even know where to start to explain why, so let’s just say that the world building is so unique and well-conceived that I once again got totally engrossed in the story right from the beginning. On the one hand, I could not put my Kindle down and on the other hand, I had to read slowly in order not to miss anything important because of the complex storyline, right down to the last detail.

Another aspect that made me enjoy this book so much is the dynamics between each and every team member.

No, scratch that, they are not only a team, they are family. The snark and banter made me laugh out loud, but when it comes down to it they stand up for each other no matter what and everyone has a role to play. An important role. In this story the team got a new addition in form of former CIA Agent Sean Delaney and boy, do I want to see more of him in the future!!! I daresay that he and a certain moody Russian team member – yes. Alexei, it is you I’m talking about – might become more than just colleagues, all animosity aside, and for me, some kind of enemies to lovers trope would spice up the story even more.

What I loved the most, though, was the development of Jamie and Kyle’s love for each other. Their feelings are getting stronger and stronger by the minute and even if their mission reveals more and more the difference in their social background and raises some kind of self-doubt and misgivings about the continuation of their relationship, Jamie is determined to make it happen against all odds – against the non-fraternization policy of the organization they both are working for and against the outbreak of hostilities from the part of his family – and he always finds the right words to alleviate Kyle’s qualms.

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“I love you and I will always fight for you,” Jamie told him, meaning it more than he’d ever meant anything in his life.


When I started to read the book I was prepared for all eventualities, meaning I stocked up on chocolate and coffee, committed my cat to cuddle duties (of course, he was over the hills and far away when I needed him) and had my notepad with the names and functions of all team members I wrote down while reading the first book at the ready, but I completely forgot about one thing: to retrieve the fan out of the basement. I should have known better! Damn, those sex scenes…

The terms “hot and kinky” do not come anywhere close to describe them.

This is everything

The ending felt more like a HFN for Jamie and Kyle, but thank goodness, the next book is already in the works. I would love nothing better than to beg the author to hurry up because I so cannot wait to get back to this universe and see where the story goes from here since the case is equally anything but solved.

Highly recommended!imageedit_44_8150275859

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Posted in *****4.5 Stars*****, ARCs Reviews, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Copy, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, M/M Series, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~No Pressure (Accidental Roots #2) by Elle Keaton~

 

34613037Title: No Pressure
Author: Elle Keaton
Series: Accidental Roots #2
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Page Count: 224 pages
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

~Blurb~

Joey James has given up on his ‘Prince Charming’. There is no such thing, he needs to be realistic about his chances of finding a lasting relationship. A chance encounter with a former school mate at the local grocery store changes everything-maybe.
Before Joey can decide what to do about it, he is swept into a terrifying scheme. Forced into helping a dangerous stranger in exchange for his family’s safety, Joey begins a perilous journey into the criminal underbelly of Skagit. He will do whatever is needed to protect his family.

Buck Swanfeldt had a secret crush on Joey James in high school. Buck’s social anxiety and two-year age difference made it impossible for him to approach Joey then. Life since high school has been challenging, and lonely. Eight years later, fate brings them together and Buck decides to act. He utterly fails. He would have left it at that, except fate seems to be intent on pushing Joey in his direction, and clearly, Joey needs someone at his back.

Dark, sordid secrets hiding in Skagit are bubbling to the surface, danger lurks in unexpected places. Buck has never been anyone’s hero but something about Joey has him throwing caution to the wind. Together the two men take on a dangerous force greater than themselves. But sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves.

*warning may need a tissue!

This book is a work of fiction intended for mature audiences only.


imageedit_4_2007460609simonebNo Pressure (Accidental Roots #2) by Elle Keaton

*****4.5 Stars*****4.5stdtd

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Everyone has secrets. Secrets that should never be brought into the light of day.

Secrets that are lurking under the surface of a small town and threaten to unravel its countryside idyll and ideal world.Secrets two men involuntarily participate in, which not only causes quite a stir but will change their life forever.

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For Joey James, the nurse we already met in the previous book Storm Season, two things almost happen at once: a random encounter at a grocery store with a former schoolmate who never even was on his radar, but whom he suddenly cannot get out of his head and an alarming picture on the windshield of his car meant to blackmail him into helping out a criminal individual or otherwise his family would come to harm. Both are things Joey is in over his head, but it soon becomes apparent that the former will – and is even bound and determined to- help him coping with the latter.

Hazel Eyes

Joey, the nestling of a big family, is a caring person by nature. That is the reason why he will be exploited over and over again by his much older siblings to take care of his parents. That is the reason why he takes in a stray, although there a no dogs allowed in his apartment. That is also the reason why he loves his job at the hospital, which causes him lately more trouble than he prefers.

“He’d been thinking with his heart, with the part of him that hated pain and suffering, with the part of him that fiercely protected those he loved. It wasn’t stupid to care. That’s how he was built: he cared, often too much and too soon.”

But Joey is lonely. The prospects to find someone who wants to share your life as a gay young man in a small town are pretty rare. When he meets a shy and socially awkward man who apparently knows him from yore and who immediately takes flight after a moment of embarrassment, he is curious about the conundrum that is Buck Swanfeldt, owner of the local garage. Fate seems to be intent on bringing both men together and after bumping into each other repeatedly, Buck slowly but surely becomes a safe haven for Joey.


As much as I loved Joey, it was Buck I loved more.

Maybe because I could totally relate to him, being more on the shy side and socially awkward myself. I know how it would feel to screw up one’s courage to address someone you had a crush on for years. I could virtually feel his embarrassment, but I admired him for doing something that would have been a milestone in his life, but I could also understand his need to bolt when sliding into an awkward situation.

Buck always felt a bit like an outcast. He learned early on in his life that appearance is everything. His parents always pretended outwardly to be a loving family, while a look behind the curtain would have revealed a father who liked to bully his son at every chance he got and a mother who stood idly by.

“Buck learned early to be seen and not heard, to listen for the undercurrents, to be very careful how he presented to his family and to Skagit. He figured they would never accept him for who he was, only who they wanted him to be.”


I loved Buck for his fortitude to make something of his life, despite the low self-esteem his parents conveyed at him at every turn. He is the gentle giant you tend to underestimate and who never recognizes himself how gorgeous he really is.

Travis Fimmel...just drag me off to the cave.

And it was far from easy. Buck also lived constantly in fear of ending up like his father, but his inner strength helps him to acknowledge that he needs professional helps to overcome his social anxiety and to get a chance at a love-filled life. Oh, and I loved him for grabbing the chance at love when it presented itself…

It was great to be back in Skagit. Elle Keaton creates an atmosphere that makes you not only just read the story, but feel like being part of it, like being there. Well, I could have done without all the rain and snow, but that just conveyed a feeling of reality. 😉 And the great characters did one more thing to make it authentic. I loved the humor in the story and the tentative pace the author brought the relationship between Joey and Buck forward. This might have happened a bit at the expense of steam, but it did not bother me one bit.

Joey and Buck’s relationship was just sweet and both are the perfect match.


The mystery part that forged a bridge between the first two books in this series was wrapped up nicely, but it took a bit of a backseat regarding the romance and all in all it was the perfect combination of both.

There are also a lot of interesting side characters I would love to read more about.

Some of them I already shipped so hard, I can hardly wait to see if I am right and I wonder if -no,…

…I hope– all of them will get their own book…

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Posted in ****4 Stars****, ARCs Reviews, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, New Released, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Release Day Review~Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter~

 

34809705Title: Every Breath You Take
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Page Count: 221 pages
Genre: M/M Romance, Thriller/Suspense
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

~Blurb~

When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar, he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.

Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.

But young gay men in Washington, DC are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.


imageedit_4_2007460609simonebEvery Breath You Take by Robert Winter

****4 Stars****4ghj

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Stalker = a person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention (Def. according to Oxford Dictionaries)

Every Breath You Take conveys a sense of how creepy, nerve-wracking and life-altering such an obsession can be for the person in the center of this attention…

“Evil comes into our lives for many reasons and in many different ways, but it’s madness to imagine we have control or that we can single-handedly stop it. All we can do is face it and fight.”

…But it also reminds the reader that in most cases there is a reason for such a behavior.


Thomas Scarborough experienced this kind of fixation firsthand years ago when a casual hookup ends up with him being in the crosshairs of someone who traces his every move. Although the stalker dropped off the radar by reported suicide, the whole incident almost destroyed Thomas’s life and resulted in him taking serious precautions regarding his love life. He always led the life of a playboy, with his extremely good looks and wealthy background, but now his sole coping and defense mechanism consist of one big rule in his life: no hookup gets a repeat and no one stays the night.

His rule unravels when he meets Zachary Hall in a gay bar, a young man who escaped his small hometown to avoid coming out to his parents and to explore his sexuality without the fear of being exposed. Both men feel attracted to each other from the very beginning, but they also sense that this attraction could go deeper…

“You already know how handsome you are to me—don’t you dare smirk—but I think you’re even more beautiful inside.” ~Zach~

…Deeper than especially Thomas feels comfortable with. He tries his hardest to stick to his own rule, up to the point that Zach decides to move on and messes around with another man, but something in Zach makes it hard to keep Thomas’s resolve up and he begins to care for Zach in a way that is completely new to him. Due to the gruesome death of young gay men in his social environment, Thomas’s fear of being targeted yet again by someone whose obsession seems to escalate comes to life again and this time it is entirely possible that he is gunning for Zach…


At the beginning of the book I found it a bit hard to connect with the characters, but soon it became apparent that there is more to both men than meets the eye. Thomas hides his vulnerable side well by behaving a bit like a slut, but I loved that he uses his power and money to help people in need. He is the burnt child that dreads the fire and allows only a few select people to come near him, but he is utterly loyal to those who belong to his inner circle. Zach, who seems to me to be a bit naive at the beginning, proves to be a smart and witty guy who impresses with his amiable personality and his charm.

Admittedly, the writing style was sometimes a tad cheesy for my taste, especially near the ending in a situation when things were about to be resolved and it evoked more than one eye-roll from me. And the terms of endearment did sometimes sound a bit… strange. Seriously? Who the hell says to his lover “What do you need, sweet man?”???

What also niggled me was that the ‘L’ word came once again far too soon, especially since both men acknowledge the fact that they barely know each other. For me, love needs to be developed and established over time and both men definitely had not enough on-screen time together to accomplish that. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised, though, that they took their time to deal with the aftermath of everything that happened and did not dive headfirst into a relationship.


Boy, everything in between, though? Compelling! The story captivated me and I could hardly put my Kindle down. The stalker seriously gave me the creeps right from the start and his escalation has been portrayed in a very believable fashion.

What amazed me the most, though, was the sex. Holy hotness…

THRILLING. SIZZLING. HOT.

Thomas and Zach definitely had chemistry and -damn- did Zach explore his sexuality… He helped Thomas discover a new side to himself buried so deep he never even knew he possessed. Believe me, when I say, you will love a bossy Zach and his dirty talk. 😀

Contributing to this engaging story were also some great side characters. Joe was such a sweetheart and Randy definitely made me want to read his story.

I hope there will be a chance to get his book someday. Recommended!

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Posted in ****3.5 Stars****, ARCs Reviews, By Rating, Copy, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, Promotions, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~Storm Season (Accidental Roots #1) by Elle Keaton~

 

34521493Title: Storm Season
Author: Elle Keaton
Series: Accidental Roots #1
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Page Count: 308 pages
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Reviewer: ~Simone~
Rating: 3,5 Stars out of 5

~Blurb~

They say you can’t go home again, Adam Klay doesn’t intend to until the death of his father, a famous artist, forces his return to Skagit, Washington. Cleaning up his father’s chaotic life was never on Adam’s bucket list. Worse, Adam finds himself inexplicably drawn to the elusive, terminally-clumsy, gorgeous, Micah Ryan. No way is he getting involved with someone from his hometown; he’s always insisted the best view of Skagit was in his rearview mirror.

Micah Ryan has been coasting on auto-pilot since his family was killed in a car accident a decade earlier. He runs a web business and has an irritable cat. He hardly leaves his house, unless it is for his afternoon espresso. His world tips upside down when Adam Klay rolls into town. For the first time in years, he feels alive. Unfortunately, Micah’s return to the living has been noticed and is not appreciated.

Someone has a secret. Someone is exploiting the vulnerable youth population in Skagit. Teenagers are disappearing, young women turning up dead, the dirty secrets of Skagit are surfacing.


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Storm Season (Accidental Roots #1) by Elle Keaton

****3.5 Stars****3,5ghj

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An auspicious start to a new series…

@n3fariovs

… is part of his job, but he is also confronted with it where he expected it least of all…

Dedicated to his job, but worn out FBI Agent Adam Klay is called from the middle of a crime scene to return to his small hometown in order to settle the assets of his deceased estranged father. To say being back generates mixed feelings in him would be quite an understatement and he clutches at every straw to shuffle out of the situation of dealing with the estate and facing up to his past.

One of these distractions is Micah Ryan…

A totally adorbs, clumsy as hell man with an aura of sadness, who stirs up feelings in Adam he was not prepared for. No, he did not expect to find murder in this hick town of his youth, but he expected to find love even less.

Matthew Gray Gubler - From criminal minds. Niccccce :)

Micah is also completely taken by surprise when he discovers that he cannot get the stranger with the piercing expression out of his head, who evokes such intense emotions in him he never experienced before. Even after a stretch of ten years he is not really able to get over the death of his family due to a car crash and lives more or less the life of a recluse. Normally, opening up to someone is not easy for him, but there is something about Adam that makes him throw caution to the wind and want to trust this guy.

When bodies are piling up, when it seems like there would be more to this sleepy town than meets the eye and Micah is put in the crosshairs of somebody who attempts on his life, Adam is forced to give his all to keep him safe, especially when it becomes clear that all events seem to be connected somehow.


I had my ups and downs with Storm Season, but overall it was an enjoyable read and a promising debut from a new author. 

I particularly loved her dry sense of humor and the snark made me laugh out loud quite often. This book is rather long, but it did not feel this way. The chapters are short with alternating POVs of Adam and Micah and this contributes to giving this story a fast-paced aspect. There happens quite a lot in this book and as for me, it was sometimes a bit too much telling and not enough showing, but the embroilments and the mystery part are still nicely done.

What dimmed my enjoyment a bit was one of my favorite pet peeves…

Guess what! Yes, insta-love.

Since authors use it quite often, I slowly but surely have the impression that it is just poor me who never experienced this kind of phenomenon and therefore cannot relate to it in any sort. This kind of obsession with each other after bumping into one another two or three times and two nights together is simply not realistic for me. I get insta-attraction, yes, but insta-love? Not so much…

To be fair, though, I have to admit that Adam and Micah are good -not to say perfect- for each other to get over their past. Adam helps Micah coming out of his shell and on the other hand, Micah helps Adam finding back to his true self. He helps him appreciating himself and his past and even this dump of a hometown he tried to escape from ages ago. Accomplishing that in another –slower– way would have made it just more plausible for me.

With the case not really solved yet and a killer still on the loose, I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

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Posted in *****4.5 Stars*****, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M Series, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~Single Malt by Layla Reyne~

 

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Single Malt (Agents Irish and Whiskey #1) by Layla Reyne

*****4.5 Stars*****4,5ghj

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He rotated and folded his arms on the tub’s edge. “What would you do,” he said, voice rough and rumbling, “if you’d already lost the love of your life, only to find a second chance at something – maybe love, you’re not sure yet – and before you can even wrap your head around the idea, that second chance is almost snatched away? Not once but twice.”

Beautiful photos of gay couples:

My initial thoughts? Here we go again! Insta-lust.

Definitely one of my pet peeves, but…

For the first time, an author bothers to explain in a believable and realistic fashion to me why both men feel this way and I was able to relate, not to say be completely fine with it.


FBI-Agent Aidan Talley (“Irish”) is still grieving.

Eight months ago he lost his husband and his work partner in a car crash which slowly but surely proves to be not so accidental as it seemed. First day back at his job and he have to deal with a new case and a new partner. A new partner who stirs feelings in him he could not – should not – have. Despite his grief he is lonely, and his new partner, computer specialist Jameson Walker (“Whiskey”), meets exactly his type, but an irrational sense of guilt towards his dead husband makes him shy away from acting on his attraction.

As a former basketball star turned FBI-Agent, the burnt child, in this case, Jamie Walker…

…dreads the fire after the media frenzy surrounding his person, when it comes to the attention of any kind and hides in the cyber division of the FBI until he is partnered with Aidan. A man he already lusted after for three years, but who was definitely off-limits because of his marriage. He knows that life is too short to waste time when it comes to grabbing the chance and take what and who he wants, but he also knows what being in the spotlight can cost him.


Both men are more than reluctant to pursue their growing attraction…

…not just because of Aidan’s survivor’s guilt and Jamie’s fear of exposure, but due to the fraternization policy of the FBI. This proves to be the least of their worries, though, when they find themselves tangled in a web of terrorism, corruption, and betrayal that is their new case and there could be more at stake than just displeasing their employer, namely losing the life of your partner, the man who could be your second chance for love in your life.

 

He had no idea where they went from here. But for tonight, he wasn’t empty; he was holding life in his arms. Walker dropped a kiss in his hair and Aidan took a deep, contented breath of ocean and sex, of them, memorized it, and tucked it away so no matter what happened, he’d always have tonight.

I just love these two men.

Jamie is such a sweetheart and I just wanted to wrap Aidan in a bubble so he cannot be hurt again. I’m not really a big fan of age-gap, but these guys are just perfect for each other. There are swoon-worthy scenes that just melted my heart, but there is also lots of banter between them that made me howl with laughter.


At times it was a bit difficult to read, though, especially at the beginning, and that is exactly the reason why I don’t give this story solid 5 stars. It might be the fact that English is not my mother tongue, but there were a lot of technical terms I never heard of.  It was a bit arduous to look them up and all the shortcuts like CDC, GNL, BLS, MIT, UT and whatever, left my head spinning sometimes. To add insult to injury, I’m not a computer person. I consider myself lucky to install a new program on my laptop without breaking something and random pop-up windows will bring me occasionally on the verge of a panic attack…

 hack GIF

No, no, it is not that bad, but all the technobabble.

Um, sorry, Jamie, the hacker lingo – left me feeling like I should have read a manual first or taken the crash course ‘How to hack into a computer in five easy steps’ beforehand. After a while, I did not even try to pretend I understood every word they said and just went with the flow, just like at work when our technician tries to explain the engineering marvels to me. But it worked – just like at the office 😉 – and I got the gist of what was going on.


This is a great start to an amazing new series …

…and the ending left me more than anxious for the next book.

It is not a cliffhanger in the classical sense, but a hint that this is just the calm before the storm and secrets threaten to put a strain on Aidan and Jamie’s tentative relationship…

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, Books in / & Series Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M Series, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~Consent (Power Exchange #3) by A.J. Rose~

 

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Consent (Power Exchange #3) by A.J. Rose

*****5 Stars*****

5ggh

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This story will test your boundaries…

… and not only yours, but those of Ben and Gavin, too. And I don’t mean the boundaries of their relationship. I was more than grateful that their steadfast love is the one constant in this book that kept me from ending up as a total mess.

“I love you,” I said, mouthing the edge of his jaw. “You’re my anchor. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“I love you, too. And you don’t have to find out. Because I’ve got your back, Gavin. Always.”

 :


Their love is solid as a rock and they find their strength in each other,

…despite every curveball life throws their way. And this time it is challenging, dark and brutal, even more so than in the previous books.

AJ Rose, bestows deeper insight on us, about what a human being is capable of to inflict pain on another person without any remorse and just for the own profit. There is a trigger warning from the author at the beginning of this book and you should take it very seriously.

This book is definitely not for everyone.

For me, the most challenging part reading about everything that happened here was that the events this story deals with are not just fiction, but to some extent brutal reality. At the same time, though, the knowledge that this book deals with such a tender subject was exactly what kept me reading.


Believe me when I say that the author does not sugarcoat anything…

She does not go easy on anyone. Not on Myah and the other victims. Not on Ben and Gavin. And not on the reader. There is no slow buildup, no lulling into a false sense of security at the beginning of the book. With one phone call in the middle of the night, right on the first page, I was thrown head first into the course of events that kept me on edge most of the time.

“It’s Myah. She’s missing.”

What ensues this call is the desperate search for Gavin’s ex-partner and sister-in-law, as well as the hunt for the perps, with Ben, Gavin and Gavin’s brother Cole left on their own and very little to go on.

While time is running out, evidence rather non-existent and most clues leading to a dead end, the nerves of Ben, Gavin and Cole are stretched too thin and all of them are pushed to their limits of how far they would go to save a life.

. . .:

“You are not a monster,” he said, voice low and trembling. “You are a hero.” I kissed the end of his nose. “So are you.”


For me, Myah just rocks. I liked her from her first appearance and of course, I had to know that she will be okay. No, this was by far not an easy read. We also get Myah’s POV in this book and a few times I was pushed against the walls of my comfort zone due to the graphic descriptions, but to be honest this was not even the worst. It was the mind fuck. The implications. To know what happened and to read about the effects it had on everyone involved.

There is no whitewash about the fact that life sometimes is not fair. And it was the fate of the boys, especially of Marshall, the boy we met in Safeword who already went through so much,…

that nearly broke me and I was a sobbing mess.

So much so that I had to put my Kindle away and needed some time to calm down.

Despite the fact that the search for Myah takes on an important role in this story, the main focus was still laid on Ben and Gavin and I loved how far they had come in their love and trust in each other.


There is still some exploring of limits and new territories, though, and even if I normally love my couples being exclusive, there was one scene that made my hormones perform an excited lap dance.

The threesome in this book was one of the hottest ever!

Lust:

The intimacy about it just felt… right. To be honest, I really don’t know if I should be relieved or disappointed that this will remain most certainly a one-time thing. I would love to read more about a certain someone in the future because for me he was more than an interesting side character.


As hard as it was sometimes to keep reading, towards the end I could not put my Kindle down and…

…the epilogue was just the icing on the cake.

I’m more than curious about where the author will take us with Restraint, the next book in this series.

I admire the courage of AJ Rose to pick up such a sensitive topic and deal with it in a quite relentless way -although she was probably aware of the controversies that will be provoked- while at the same time, she always kept sight of the basics…the romance between Ben and Gavin.

…the romance between Ben and Gavin.

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Posted in ****4 Stars****, ARCs Reviews, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, New Released, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Release Day Review~ Leap of Faith by Jackie Keswick~

 

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Title: Leap of Faith
Author: Jackie Keswick
Series: FireWorks Security #1
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 5, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 125 pages
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh
Reviewer: ~Simone~

~Blurb~
Close friends and partners at FireWorks Security, Joel Weston and Kieran Ross know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They have each other’s backs, make a formidable team, and carefully ignore their volatile chemistry.When Kieran struggles with the aftermath of an assignment gone wrong, Joel is there to help.
When Joel is caught in an explosion, Kieran jumps into a burning marina to rescue the man who means so much to him. But they never discuss what’s closest to their hearts, not prepared to risk their friendship for the mere possibility of something more.
Faced with bombs, assassins and old ghosts, Joel and Kieran must find out why they’re targets, who is after them and—most of all—how each would feel if he lost the other. Can they continue as best friends, or is it time to take a leap of faith?



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Leap of Faith by Jackie Keswick

****4 Stars****4ssdf


Bless my heart! This story did not only keep the main characters in suspense…

…but kept on me, too…

When I was offered the ARC for Leap of Faith I was all shining eyes and toothy grin, just because of the blurb alone. This is so my kind of book: friends to lovers romance wrapped in a mystery/suspense plot with a whole load of action. For the most part, the story kept its promise, so much so that my eyes were glued to my Kindle and I read it in one go.


Joel Weston and Kieran Ross are partners at FireWorks Security.

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They are also best friends since the day Kieran began to work for the organization of Joel’s father which is specializing in kidnappings, extortion and hostage situations.

They rely on each other.

They keep an eye on each other.

They complement each other in every possible way.

Two sides of the same coin.

Both men just clicked from the moment they met and teamed up to such an extent that neither one dares to admit to himself -much less to the other- that there are deeper feelings in play. They refuse to pursue their chemistry from fear of risking their friendship or their teamwork.

“Joel had no idea how to phrase what he meant to say. “We’re good as a team. We’re good as friends. We both worked hard to get this far. Going any further could ruin everything.”

When a hostage situation hits too close to home and subsequently someone tries to kill them at every turn, both men have to deal with their feelings for each other eventually, but also with ghosts of the past, both to overcome their fear and to get to the bottom of things.


I instantly connected with the characters, albeit a bit more with Kieran. That did not surprise me at all because it is a fact that I have a penchant for tortured heroes and Kieran matched this paradigm to a T with his PTSD and his compassion which leads to letting the fate of every victim of a crime get to him.

#ManCandy:

Compared to Kieran, Joel remained a bit pale for me, but since this is the first in a new series, I’m pretty sure that will change with the books to come. What I loved about him is his dedication to keep Kieran safe at all costs and to make Kieran feel safe no matter what. He has a somewhat bossy attitude while doing his job, but likes to let it all go when it comes to Kieran dominating him in bed.

Janis Ostojic:


Normally, I am the one who complains about not enough depth in a novella, not enough time to form a basis for a story, but this is not the case here. Like I said, this is the beginning of a series and the author manages to introduce the setting right down to the last detail, be it the location or the structure and tasks of the organization.

On the one hand, it did not feel like a short story. There is so much happening in this book and the roughly 12o pages are filled with adrenaline-level-boosting action scenes, which made me breathless while ensconcing myself in my comfy armchair.  Some people might complain that the romance took a bit of a backseat, but you are dealing with an ultimate slow-burn lover here, so the gradual progress of the relationship just sealed the deal for me to enjoy it. I felt the connection between Joel and Kieren everytime they were together and this kind of relationship needs development, which obviously cannot be established within a few pages.


On the other hand, I still wish the story would have been longer.

My main niggle about it is that there was sometimes too much telling and not enough showing, be it regarding sex scenes – the first real sex scene was off-page, goddammit! – or conversations I would have liked to read about and not just being told afterward that they took place. The sex scenes that were there made up for the lack of those non-explicit, though. Kieran’s kinks are mirrors and –holy moly– that was really hot

sinfullymmblog: “SINFULLY GAY ROMANCE BOOK REVIEWS ”

The story ends on -um, no… no worries, not on a cliffhanger, at least not regarding the relationship, which can be considered as an HFN – but on a not solved case which will keep the main characters -and I’m pretty sure the reader as well- busy in the next installment.

This was the first book for me from this author, but definitely not the last.

I like her writing and she was able to make me curious about both, the further course of events in this story and also about her other works.

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, Books Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M Highly Rec., Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~Safeword by A.J. Rose~

 

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Safeword (Power Exchange #2) by A.J. Rose

*****5 Stars*****

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“I tilted my head, baring my neck, my control to him, hoping he’d take it and make it his, make it safe to be vulnerable again. Make me feel his control over me so I could finally let go and just be.”

kiss:

Two questions are whirling around in my head since I finished this book last night.

What it is about this series that I love it so much? And what the hell took me so long to start with this sequel?

Honest to God, I don’t have an answer, so maybe reviewing it might help me to find one.


First of all, I don’t mind kinky sex. At. All. BDSM, though, is so not my thing.

Okay, I might have mentioned it already, once or twice, and I’m sorry you just heard it a third time, but I have to explain it a bit. It is not even the dominance part or the giving up of control, in fact, I can understand it to some extent.

It is rather the whole concept, the accomplishment, that bothers me. I just don’t get why someone likes to get spanked (not me, when I was a child and got a smack on my backside for getting up to nonsense, that’s for sure!) or likes to wear a collar like a watchdog. Somehow, in this series, this concept works for me, though.

Maybe it is just the context, with the thrilling aspects of another murder case or the perfectness of Ben and Gavin being together, all wrapped up in a gripping writing that made me experience the full range of emotions and kept me completely engrossed in the story.

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It’s been almost four years since I’ve read Power Exchange and at first, I was hesitant to start with Safeword without re-reading the first book. I should have known better! Power Exchange left such a deep impression, I even remembered the names of side characters and that is something that astonishes me the most. Normally, I write my reviews after finishing a book because after reading something in between, it is entirely possible that I can’t seem to remember shit, so you get what I’m saying. A very deep impression.

Ben and Gavin have been through so much in the first book and now they have to deal with the aftereffects on their daily life, be it in their relationship with the relearning of trust, or in (mostly) Gavin’s job as a detective dealing with another serial killer, or facing the incomprehension and sometimes even homophobia of the outer world.

What I loved the most about this book was the fact that Ben and Gavin’s love never wavered, not for one second.

Both men are even willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the happiness of the other…

… and the two scenes when both men were safewording to each other almost broke my heart.


But I promised you the full range of emotions and this book not only made me cry, it also made me laugh because of Gavin’s lovely douchebag of a brother, it made me feel overwhelmed because of the cohesion in Gavin’s family, it made me bite my nails while searching for a killer, but it also made me feel compassion for him due to what he went through and it made me hate the man who sent him on a downward spiral and made him a killer.

So, scratch the “maybe” in the paragraph with the context. It is the whole package that made me love this story so much and I definitely won’t wait another four years to read the next book.

Highly recommended!

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Posted in *****5 Stars*****, ARCs Reviews, Books Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, M/M Highly Rec., New Released, Promotions, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Release Day Review~Enemy Within by Tal Bauer~

 

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Title: Enemy Within
Series: The Executive Office, Book 3
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: 3/28/2017
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense

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~Synopsis~

The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.

When everything falls apart, who do you trust?

President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.

Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.

Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.

As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.

Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?

~Purchase Links~

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Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3)

by Tal Bauer

*****5 Completely-Blown-Away Stars*****

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Umm, no worries, this gif is not a spoiler!

Enemy Within picks up right where Enemy of my Enemy ended and Jack, Ethan, Sergey, Sasha, Adam and Faisal and all the others try to stop former General Madigan and his henchmen from pursuing his idea of “a new dawn rising”, from creating a new world order by destroying everything known to mankind at any sacrifice, which would not only affect America, but the world in its entirety. To make things worse, each step to achieve their goal is endangered by Madigan’s followers who already infiltrated them on the inside. With just a few men against an army, outmanned and outgunned, the odds are against them and their time is running out.

By scattering our heroes all over the northern hemisphere, Tal Bauer sends us on one hell of a ride…that will make you clutch at any straw for a moment to breathe…


I will keep this review as spoiler-free as possible so I won’t go into detail about the storyline.

I just promise you that you will be sitting most of the time on the edge of your seat. Well, umm, at least that is what I did. I could not sit still and I fidgeting the whole time. I am even pretty sure that I discovered the one or other gray hair when I looked in the mirror today, that what is left of tearing it out I mean. There are lots of jaw-dropping situations where I wondered if one of the characters I came to love so much during all the books would make it and…I am more than happy that Ethan kept Jack in good shape, beforehand…

…so he was able to keep up with the other guys.


Of course, there are also scenes that made me laugh out loud due to a certain adorkable Secret Service Agent and others that made me cry -sob even- when it was questionable if Jack and Ethan, Sergey and Sasha or Adam and Faisal would see the love of their lives, respectively each other again.

But most of all, each and every swoon-worthy moment was the one thing that conjured a goofy grin on my face and made each situation when my heart leaped into my throat that much more bearable.These moments kept the balance in this book. These moments helped the characters…

…to have some time for themselves, some time to recover…

…and not only them but me too. 😀


Obviously, suspending your disbelief seems to be once again mandatory, but for one thing, the story takes place in the near future and who knows what will be feasible by then and for another thing,…

…thinking about the current political situation, this

Our leaders must be accessible. They must be trustworthy. If our leadership is not accessible, honest, and accountable, we run the risk of our nation sliding into a degradation of democracy and a despairing illusion of freedom.

… leaves some doubts about the story being that far-fetched.


Tal Bauer did once again a great job with his research, be it regarding locations, religion or events that actually took place at some point and which he included perfectly into the story. If you are interested in more details, make sure to read the author’s notes at the end of the book.

The circle story is complete, everything is wrapped up, but the author left the door open to continue with the series at some point down the line. Well, it is pretty rare for me that I love each and every character in a book -at least the good guys-, and yes, okay, Adam and Faisal are still my favorites, but this being the case…

…I so wouldn’t mind a sequel. I WANT MORE!!!

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Posted in ****4 Stars****, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~ Under Pressure by Kara Greenan

 

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Under Pressure (No Pressure, No Diamonds #1) by Kara Greenan

****4 Stars****

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To Catch A Thief…

… starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid.

I loved this film. Maybe that is the reason why everything revolving around a heist fascinates me, be it a movie or a book. Hence I could not resist when Under Pressure popped up on the site of a publisher and of course had to click the download button. And what can I say? I don’t regret it.


London is a thief and good at his job.

The best, as a matter of fact. A legend, despite his young age.

..:

Nobody knows any details about him and that is exactly the way he wants it. The less attachment, the better. So you won’t get hurt when people abandon you, right? He learned that lesson at a very young age, when his mother submitted him into foster care, but kept his siblings. That is why it hits him hard when he thought he had found someone special in Sebastian, a colleague during a planned heist in Venice. He thought he had found someone he could love, someone he could trust, only to be dumped after a few nights of passion, hot sex and something London thought, would be more. Deeper.


One year later. A new heist. A new team. A team, London calls his friends, his almost only friends. When the heist proves not to go to plan, not to be as smooth as they hoped it would be….

Sebastian comes in.

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Sebastian is a grifter. The son of an Earl, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and because of the wealth of his family and his good looks used to get what he wants.He is able to charm his way into the coldest of hearts and everybody is happy to please him. My initial thoughts were “spoiled brat” and that is true to some degree, but there is more to him than meets the eye. The only problem? When you are used to telling lies left, right and center, nobody will believe you when you tell the truth. Especially not London, who is set hard on revenge, when Sebastian joins the team. Getting it without endangering the heist proves to be difficult.

 And resisting Sebastian’s charm and the chemistry between them which is still there, even more so…

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Obviously, the heist plays an important role in this book…

… but the main focus lies on the relationship between London and Sebastian and their dance around each other.

The story, told in British English, is very interesting, albeit a bit slow, and with the setting in three of the most beautiful metropolises in the world, London, Venice and Paris, it is absolutely refreshing. Add great characters to the mix and consider me hooked.


You might ask yourself now, why only four stars and not five, then?

For one, Under Pressure contains two of my pet peeves: present tense narration and flashbacks. It is virtually two stories in one, the present day when London and Sebastian meet again and one year ago when they met in the first place. Where I adapted to the present tense pretty soon this time – which surprised me the most, because that is something I normally don’t like at all -, the flashbacks yanked me out of the story sometimes, even if I understand that they are necessary to comprehend everything, especially Sebastian’s motives for dumping London a year ago. On the positive side, because of the flashbacks, it did not really feel like the insta-lust/~love that it actually was. We get to know the story bit by bit and that was something I have not experienced before.


Probably it is just me, but sometimes I found it hard to keep track of in which head I was in because for me the perspective changed at the whiplash-inducing speed at times. I had to read some sentences twice to know whose thoughts I was reading about.

And then there was the first sex scene, or rather the nonexistent first sex scene… Well, to say I like sex scenes would be an understatement, but I even survived a whole series without real sex scenes. But then there was no sex! The first sex in this book was off-page and clueless me did not even get it at first. A few pages later (after another flashback) London claimed that he and Sebastian had sex and me: “Huh? When?”. I actually had to turn back and yes, there it was. The clue. Don’t get me wrong, the following sex scenes were absolutely hot and they so made up for the lack of the first one (just to give you a hint, not to say an appetizer: rimming over a balcony rail. Do I have to say more???), but it was a bit disappointing at that moment, although I know where the author is coming from.


All in all, though, this was a very enjoyable read…

…which I can only recommend and of course. I cannot wait to read more about London and Sebastian and the team planning a new heist.

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Posted in *****4.5 Stars*****, Books Highly Rec., By Rating, Home, M/M Highly Rec., Reviews by ~Simone~

~Review~ In The Wreckage by Hailey Turner~

 

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In The Wreckage (Metahuman Files #1) by Hailey Turner

*****4.5 Stars*****

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 What an amazing debut novel!!!

This book pushed all my buttons!!! 


The blurb is conclusive enough so I won’t go into further detail. You will get the idea what is going on when you read it. I will just say something about the great job the author did with this book.

As for the worldbuilding… One word: excellent! 


Everything is described with a passion for detail and you just feel the excitement and the dedication of the author to introduce us to the world she created. So, if you are looking for a fantastic, action-packed sci-fi story with lots of emphasis on paranormal elements, burning-the-sheets hot sex, and great characters, don’t look any further. You will get it all in this book.

From the very beginning, you will be thrown right into the action and it felt like being part of the team. Admittedly, I had to write down the names, functions, special abilities and code names of the team members, because they were introduced in quick succession and my old brain could not memorize them, not for the life of me. A few glances at my notepad helped, though and after a short while I had a feeling I would know each member for ages. The story is a well-made combination of thrilling, hot and personal moments and I think it is safe to say that this book will satisfy the needs of everyone.


What was just meant to be a random hook-up for Jamie Callahan

No kidding:

and Kyle Brannigan

:

…in search of some stress-relief on both sides,…

…turns into something both men feel instantly, but are intent on not pursuing any further. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about insta-love here (and believe me, I was thanking all my lucky stars for that!), but a connection Jamie and Kyle cannot deny for long when they – albeit involuntarily – meet again as part of the same team. Despite their own principles and the non-fraternization policy of their employer, both men cannot take their hands off each other and what follows is some hot sex and a slow but steady development of deeper feelings.


Jamie has a very complex personality.

I loved his caring-at-the-job, but bossy-in-bed attitude. Kyle found in him the Alpha to his Omega, so to speak, with him being more on the submissive side in bed, but a bad-ass in his job, nonetheless.

Speaking of bed… Boy, can this author write sex scenes!!!

Long, kinky and hot as hell.

Did I mention they were long? As in thirty pages long?

Yes, umm, I counted the pages. And that was just the first one. Thirty pages of hot and kinky sex… I was in book heaven! I said to a friend that this was one of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read and I stick by my word. And that was just one of them…

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The story itself was exceptionally well written

…but the editing could have been a tad better. Umm, I am really not an expert in regards to English grammar and everyone who reads my reviews probably recognizes that in an instant, but I had to read some sentences twice because they just seem to be strung together without the use of any commas, so it was hard for me to understand them immediately. Some words were missing too, but overall, that did not keep me from enjoying this book immensely.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! Highly recommended!

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Posted in ****3.5 Stars****, ARCs Reviews, By Rating, Home, LGBT Books, M/M ARC, Promotions, Release Blitz, Release Day Reviews, Reviews by ~Simone~

~Release Blitz~Review & Giveaway~Momo: My Everything by Posy Roberts~

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~Release Blitz ~ Review & Giveaway~

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Title: Momo: My Everything
Author: Posy Roberts
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre(s): M/M, Contemporary Romance
Length: 27,000 words
Cover Image: Igor Madjinca
Photo Editing: Posy Roberts
Cover Typography: Natasha Snow 
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William Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?

*Extensively reworked from the short story, The Measure of a Man.*
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Momo: My Everything by Posy Roberts

****3.5 Stars****35sdr


“Does anyone ever really get another person?” Nate asked. “Everything they get is still filtered through their own lenses.”

I’ll second that! And it is not always the first impression that counts… Sometimes you have to take a closer – not to say a very close – look at somebody to see what makes him tick, to see through his facade. Regardless of the fact whether he is wearing an actual disguise or not.


William Harris and Nate Kelly meet during a company event at a Japanese teahouse…

…where Nate works dressed up as a Geisha named Momo.

ۣ•ᎧƦᎥᏋƝᎢƛ꒒•ᗪƦᏋƛᗰς•~✿ڿڰۣ:

William is the first of his colleagues who recognizes the man behind the drag …

…and although Nate normally is so not his type, both men feel an instant attraction for each other, which they pursue over several dates until it turns into something deeper despite their differences.


How is the saying? Opposites attract and this also proves to be true in this nice short story.

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William leads some kind of double life.

During the day at work, he is an uptight, reserved man who cherishes his privacy and who rather keeps to himself.At night he is someone who likes clubbing, doing hook-ups in back rooms or taking them home. No relationship, nothing permanent, no strings attached. He himself is completely amazed when he feels attracted to Nate/Momo and even more surprised at himself when he makes a spur-of-the-moment decision and takes him up on his offer for a date.


Nate is out and proud. Flamboyant, comfortable in his own skin and his surroundings.

,:

He has no problem with being in the center of attention…

…and that is exactly the crux of the matter… Wherever Nate shows up, there will be attention and William, accustomed to hiding his true self, has to come to terms with accepting himself, with being in the limelight as well, if there ever will be a real chance for both of them.


I don’t know the – much shorter – previous version of this book The Measured Man, so I cannot assess to which extent the story has been altered or extended. Momo: My Everything is nicely done, even if a bit clichéd regarding William’s sexist, unlikeable boss, acting like a jerk. I have to admit that it was maybe a bit too sweet for me, though, and I would have liked there to be more drama. It is told solely from William’s POV and for me, it would have been more enjoyable to get to know more about Nate’s thoughts and feelings. 


What I loved about it, though, was the fact that despite there was – for a short story seemingly mandatory – insta-love or in this case ~attraction, both men did not jump into bed with each other on their first date, not even on their second. There was a lot of getting to know each other, before they act on their attraction more thoroughly, so to speak ;-), and that was really refreshing for a change.


I will leave it to the author herself to have the final word, to describe this book perfectly.

This is a story about falling head over heals in love. It’s a story about transformation. It’s a story about shattering boxes people try to place us in. But more than that, it’s a story about learning to love yourself.

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An ARC of Momo: My Everything was kindly provided to DirtyBooksObsession in exchange for an honest review.imageedit_87_4983558021


~About Author~

 Posy Roberts

imageedit_80_8909769091 Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author, and cinematographer helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.imageedit_80_8909769091

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