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review 2018-02-05 15:08
Family...can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, so, what's a guy to do...
La Famiglia - Deanna Wadsworth

Life as a deaf person isn’t easy and for Kyle Benson it’s been more than a little challenging as he’s not only dealt with being deaf but he’s faced losing his family…the grandmother that his mother and he lived with since his father’s death and finally his mother. Moving to Gilead was supposed to be another step in living the life he’s dreamed about. He’s got his dream job practicing law, he’s found his dream home in Gilead an adorable little bungalow with a yard that gives him the room he needs to indulge his passion for flowers and he’s got his sweet little dog Jasper. There’s just one more thing on his list that he needs to truly be happy…a family, more than anything Kyle wants a family to call his own. He’s been alone in the world long enough and he’s more than ready to share his life.


Appearances would seem that Forrester Giordano has a lot going for him. He’s living his dream now that he’s opened up his own bookstore/café with his best friend Holly by his side as the manager. He’s got a large, noisy and nosy Italian family that he knows he’s loved by…even if they do keep calling him Frankie because it sounds more Italian and he gets to see his favorite customer Kyle Benson several times a week.


Ssssooooo….what could possibly be wrong…well for beginners he’d really like for Kyle to be more than a customer but that’s both a challenge and a complication that Forester’s not really sure how to deal with but one that he knows he wants. Forrester’s gay and while his family doesn’t know that doesn’t mean he’s so deeply entrenched in the closet that there’s no coming out…it’s more like he’s standing with the door open just waiting for the right reason, the courage and the right time to step across the threshold and maybe just maybe Kyle’s that reason.


Kyle’s been going into Forrester’s shop, A Novel Idea, for awhile now he loves to read but books aren’t the only thing he’s been looking at in Gilead’s bookstore. Ironically, it’s Forrester’s first book signing that truly brings these two men together when S.D. Howe…that’s right everyone that book signing that was first discussed between Scott and Kyle when they met in ‘The Rhubarb Patch’, the first book in this series, is finally about to occur and Phin’s there too, so we get a peek at Scott and Phin as they’re living their HEA!


I really liked both Forrester and Kyle, but I have to admit, for me, Forrester was the character that I related to the most. Like Forester I grew up in a large family…seriously I even had Forrester beat…7! That’s right there were 7 children in my Famiglia! and we weren’t Italian. However, when you got us all together we were loud totally overwhelming at times and my father came from a family of 9 so add in aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and I absolutely understand Forrester’s need for piece, quiet and a place that’s far from the madding crowd in order to preserve his sanity. I even shared Forrester’s dream of owning a bookstore…so like I said for me Forrester was a very relatable character.


Even though I didn’t really have a lot in common with Kyle other than we both love to read and have small dogs…different breeds, but both small in size and both belonging to the terrier group. I still really liked Kyle. There was a lot of good stuff about this character. I loved reading a story with a character who even though he was born deaf was so wonderfully independent and in charge of his life. Kyle was a very strong and self-sufficient character. He’s dealt with more than his share of challenges and I’m not just speaking about the loss of his parents and grandparents either. When it comes to Kyle and Forrester the relationship that develops between them is balanced and there’s no sense of Kyle being less of a partner than Forrester is and this was a big win for me. I’ve known more than a few people with challenges and the strength that they display in their day to day lives is both humbling and amazing so reading a book with a strong character like Kyle in it was simply delightful and while it’s not the only book to portray a character that’s physically and/or psychologically challenged in a favorable light it was one of my favorite parts of this book as well as just simply something worth mentioning.


The story struck me as more of a case of insta-lust than insta-love but I have to admit it did shift from lust to love a little faster than I would have liked. However, that wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story and all of the craziness that comes with a large family that has it’s own ‘Spaghetti Hotline’…see I told you they were nosy and yes, I do love that term…‘Spaghetti Hotline’ lol!!! I’m totally hoping that the author won’t mind if I borrow this sometime in the future.


Together Forrester and Kyle face the challenges of a getting to know each other as they nurture their fledgling relationship, dealing with the issue of Forrester only being a little bit out of the closet and more than a bit of family drama, thankfully without a lot of unnecessary angst. All this along with Kyle’s struggles to overcome events of his past so that he can have the future he wants with the man who’s determined to show them both that they can have their happily ever after as long as they work at it together. 


‘The Rhubarb Patch’ was cute and I liked it and it left me thinking that I should probably see what and who was going to happen next in the town of Gilead and then I checked out ‘Welcome Home Soldier’ even though it’s not listed as a part of this series, it’s about the mayor of Gilead so really how can it not belong in here somewhere and while it can definitely be read as a standalone story I decided to sneak it into my Gilead reading adventure. It turned out that I actually liked it a tiny bit more than ‘The Rhubarb Patch’ but I still wasn’t 100% sold on whether or not I’d be sticking with this one but after reading ‘La Famiglia’ I’m convinced I definitely need to see what and who’s going to happen next in the quaint little town of Gilead.




A copy of ‘La Famiglia’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-02-04 00:08
Another visit to the quaint little town of Gilead...
Welcome Home, Soldier - Deanna Wadsworth

and it's Christmas. 


I have to admit I honestly didn't realize this was a Christmas story which kind of shows how observant I am these days given that this was part of Dreamspinner Press's 2017 Advent Calendar Collection, Stocking Stuffers...obviously not one of the ones that I read...color me slightly embarrassed, but really it matters not because I love Christmas stories and this one was no exception.


'Welcome Home Soldier' is set in the quaint little town of Gilead which is the reason that I came to be reading it. I've read 'The Rhubarb Patch' and I knew I'd be reading 'La Famiglia' so when I stumbled across 'Welcome Home Soldier' even though it's not listed as a part of 'The Men of Gilead' series one of the MCs is the mayor of Gilead...so how could I possibly ignore it? Obviously I couldn't especially when you take into account that it's got on of my favorite things in it...older MCs.


Clay and Daniel met 25 years ago when they were both enlisted men and during the days of DADT after three years together things ended on Christmas eve and on a less than amicable tone.


Twenty-five years later thanks to modern technology they reconnect on Facebook. When Clay discovers that Daniel's going to be home alone for Christmas he throws caution to the wind, grabs his overnight bag and heads for Gilead and what he hopes will be a joyful reunion with the love he walked away from and has never been able to forget.


When Clay's car crashes because of a blizzard Clay begins to think that maybe reuniting with Daniel was not meant to be until a mysterious stranger stops and offers help delivering him to Daniel's front door.


As Clay and Daniel finally find themselves face to face and begin to reconnect it becomes clear to both men that while 25 years has taken them down very different roads

it's really done very little to dull the flare of attraction that they shared back when they first met.


This one had a lot going for it as far as I was concerned first there was the 'older MCs' in case I forgot to mention this, plus it's a sweet second chance story and while I would have loved more reunion time what was there I thoroughly enjoyed...making and decorating cookies on Christmas eve so you can have them later with milk...come on how sweet is that? and best of all two men who are willing to take a chance and reclaim what they walked away from 25 years ago...and there's prezzies!!! No, I'm not talking about the smex...well, there was a little of that too but mostly this one was about reconnecting and coming home...you'll have to read the story to learn about the prezzies!!!


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review 2018-02-01 23:02
Let's talk about rhubarb...
The Rhubarb Patch - Deanna Wadsworth

Yeah, let's start with rhubarb because that's where this story really begins. I'm a country girl so needless to say I'm familiar with rhubarb and country life in general. Which was part of the appeal this book held for me.


When Scott Howe inherits a house in the country from his estranged grandmother, he's not really sure what to expect but he takes this as his opportunity for time and chance to allow him to make the changes in himself that he needs to make if he's ever going to be truly happy. Scott's tends to want to make others happen even when it's at the expense of his own personal happiness and his identity and while he recognizes this, he also knows that it's not the road he needs to take it he's ever going to be truly happy and content with himself. So Scott packs up and heads for his new home in the country just outside of Gilead and declares it to be 'the year of no men' or no men until a tightie white, orange rubber boot wearing, rifle carring Phineas Robertson confronts him in...come on you know where it is...take a guess...that's right...in the rhubarb patch.


While Phin and Scott may each like what they see when they first meet and granted Scott definitely gets to see more than Phin, lol!!! This is not a love at first sight story...not even close. Phin and Scott start out as neighbors and from there they progress to friends and then lovers. They take their time getting to know each other and Scott tentatively tries to hang on to his 'year of no men' vow but Phin's kind and gentle nature and his patience are more than Scott can resist not to mention his big, bear of a body...yep, Phin's not a GQ model or straight out off the cover of Sports Illustrated. He's a real man with a few extra pounds and initially he's a bit self conscious about it but as his relationship progresses with Scott he comes to realize that Scott likes what he sees and he's not interested in Phin being any different...which is one of the things that I liked about Scott.


There's a lot going on in this story besides Scott and Phin's growing relationship. Scott's got some definite family dynamics to deal with there's a cousin who's oars aren't in the water and he's 'out to get Scott for stealing his inheritance', there's issues between Scott and his mother that are coming to the forefront of their relationship because of his inheriting his grandmother's farm as well as mom's relationship with her latest 'loser' boyfriend...seriously woman, if you think this joker treats you well than we need to talk...he's so much excess baggage but you know love is blind...deaf and sometimes downright dumb.


So simply put this is a bit of a romance/mystery/thriller type story and Scott's not alone in having things to work out because Phin's got his own baggage from his past to deal with but at least none of his is coming after him or anyone else it all about putting his memories in the past where they belong so he can move on.


My biggest hang-up with this story was the details...I mean the abundance of details. Don't get me wrong I like detail in my story but it's a matter of finding the right balance and in this case I found that the amount of detail tended to be too much, to often. Sorry I re-lived more than I needed to when it came to gardening, canning and country life in general and that could very well be on me because...country girl here, done it, seen it...ate the rhubarb.


I enjoyed the parts where Scott went exploring his new surroundings that worked for me and I liked seeing the little town of Gilead through his eyes as he discovered his new surroundings. I was good with any time that Scott and Phin spent together unfortunately for some reason I just never became a big fan of Scott and Phin together...as a couple. They never quite seemed to work and maybe that was due in part to the fact that while I liked Scott and as a person he really did mature from where he was at the beginning of the book, I just never quite connected with him and to be honest I also had a teeny, tiny issue with Phin as well...


Scott and Phin were supposedly working on a total honesty concept and at one point Phin seemed to be priding himself on his total honesty but it was all while having a loaded handgun in his night table. A gun that he had promised Scott wasn't there...so yeah, I had a tiny issue with this because total honesty...not so much.


I think one of my favorite parts of this story was 'Nancy', Scott's grandmother...yes, I'm talking about the deceased grandmother who left Scott her house. Throughout this story we are painted a picture of one person viewed through the eyes of her grandsons...Scott and Mike, the grandson who felt should have inherited things, Scott's mother, who while I have to admit is probably one of my least favorite mothers...ever had her own less than unbiased view of who Nancy was and we are given a look at her through the eyes of the community she lived in and lastly we are painted yet another picture of 'Nancy' as she was to her best friend and neighbor...Phin.


For me Nancy was representative of almost any of us because I'm betting if you asked 6 people you know to write down their impression of you what you would find would be 6 impressions that differed to varying degrees. This for me made Nancy seem real. I don't think any of us act exactly the same with each person we know and unless it's done intentionally or with malice intended I think subtle changes in a persons behavior happen as part of an instinctual response to a persons environment and even though she was technically dead Nancy seemed to be the driving force behind a lot of what was happening in this story.


Overall 'The Rhubarb Patch' was a sweet, second chance, starting over, finding true love kind of story and while it wasn't as good for me as I had hoped it would be there was still more that I enjoyed than I didn't and I'm looking forward to seeing not only what but who comes next in 'The Men of Gilead'. 

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review 2017-02-27 00:55
A Cupid's Wager (A Valentine Rainbow) - Deanna Wadsworth

Again a story I read when I wasn't activ here.


The things I remember:


- It left me with a lot of questions. 

- I would love to read more of that world.

- It was H.O.T.!!!!!

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review 2016-06-18 00:00
Too Good to be True (1Night Stand)
Too Good to be True (1Night Stand) - Deanna Wadsworth Book – Too Good To Be True (1NightStand)
Author – Deanna Wadsworth
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 118

Cover – Very moody!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes!

Genre – LGBT, Gay, Crime, Adventure, Romance


Reading a Deanna Wadsworth story is a little like coming home. The writing style is perfect, the dual POV suits me to a T and the characters are always somehow familiar, but vastly individual and new. Every time I open a new book by Deanna, I know I'm going to smile and laugh and come away feeling better.

Once again, she didn't disappoint.

Tim is that typical Gaybie – scared, unsure, nervous, questioning every point of contact and every thought. Yet, he's also trying so hard to be more open and accepting of himself.
Elliot on the other hand, is that out and proud, loveable guy, who is expressive and tender.
Together, they're this bundle of adorable, cuteness. Tim with his insecurities and his desperate need to finally find a fulfilling relationship; Elliot with his own issues over his epilepsy and his terrible dating track record. They need each other in ways that can't really be described. Unless you read the book.

I was so happy to see Nick, Paul and Josef again. And that little slip of adding in Travis, John, Marty and Garret in at the end was just amazing!

The way Deanna dealt with the foot fetish was excellent. No shame, not making a joke out of it, but proving that it can be sexy for both men involved. The whole night together, with the foot massage and “special” ;) was so hot! In a similar way, the very serious topics – epilepsy, dementia, drug use, drug dealing and homophobia (especially in the police/FBI) – were all dealt with sensitively and with passion.

Once again, Madame Eve worked her magic and this pair of loved up, beautiful, heartwarming men were able to find their HEA thanks to her thoughtful connections.

This is one series – and one author – I will never tire of reading.


Favourite Quotes

““I'm going to put it in my foyer,” he said with a sinister laugh.
Hedging, Mr. Strait looked uncertain. “The bedroom is a more appropriate place for this, don't you think?”
Huh. I didn't imagine the sixty-nine, then.
The man's answering bark of laughter drew the attention of several people nearby. “Are you kidding me? When Tristan's homophobic Southern Baptist mother shows up for Christmas, I want her to see it every morning. The old bitch will be so uncomfortable and have absolutely no idea why. She'll probably leave before New Year's.”

“You say one more word and I'll break your neck and get rid of your body. Google won't even be able to find you.”
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