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Search tags: Opposites-Attract
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review 2018-07-25 03:04
The Ruin of a Rake (The Turner Series #3)
The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian

This one started off kind of slow and I wasn't sure I would be able to like Julien or Courtenay much. Their brief appearances in The Lawrence Browne Affair were too small to really get a fix on Julien, and Courtenay came off a little slimy. 

 

He starts this book in not much of a better light. His reputation has been tarnished, much by his own means, and he's finding himself a social leper after a salacious book written by an unknown author comes out with him cast as the main villain. Courtenay does everything he can to live down to everyone's bad opinions of him. Julien, on the other hand, designs his outward person to ingratiate himself into high society, despite being the son of a merchant and being "cursed" with having to earn a living. He's so preoccupied with appearing proper and perfect at all times that doing anything even remotely scandalous is unthinkable. So what happens when these two buffoons get together?

 

At first, a lot of frustration. Julien's wrangled into helping Courtenay repair his reputation and Courtenay does not cooperate. Of course, they're both secretly lusting for each other and so of course have to act like they hate each other. The hijinks they get into early on just had be eye rolling because I don't consider that kind of behavior remotely appealing or sexy. I really was worried I wouldn't like this one.

 

And then the characters got over themselves and started opening up, and secrets started being revealed that explained their motivations, and the story and relationship got a lot better. There's even an interesting subplot involving Julien's sister and her estranged husband that was very well done and didn't feel shoe-horned in. The second half really helped pull the rating back up. I also really appreciated that this ended with Julien and Courtenay in a much more realistic point of their relationship giving the times and their social standings.

 

Once again, Gary Furlong does a fantastic job narrating. If it wasn't for him, I'm not sure I would've finished this. He's become a favorite over the course of this series.

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review 2018-07-12 04:06
The Soldier's Scoundrel (The Turner Series #1) (Audiobook)
The Soldier's Scoundrel - Cat Sebastian

Story: 3.5 stars

Narration: 5 stars

Overall rating: 4.25 stars, rounded down

 

That cover looks like it belongs in a gay Halloween magazine, and it's the main reason I avoided this book for so long, despite everyone telling me that the story hiding beneath that hideously cheesy cover is actually good. And now I can join their number and say that the story is actually really quite good. Brilliant even, and if it were for a couple of my pet peeves that appear here, it would have gotten a higher rating.

 

So let's get the pet peeves out of the way first:

 

~Smexy times after an injury. *sigh* I just went through this with the last book. At least it was more realistic here, being "just" a flesh wound. 

~Gay-okay history. Like many an M/M historical romance, they want all the modern conventions like HEAs but don't want to put up with things like taboos. There is some consideration given to the fact that sodomy was a crime in these days, but that sure didn't stop Jack and Oliver from being reckless at times. But more than that, I would expect more of the side characters to have a more negative reaction to their relationship than they do. Look, people have a hard enough time finding that kind of positive reception in today's world, much less the 1800s. Is it too much to ask for more realistic reactions, even if they would be depressing as hell?

~The term "dating" wasn't coined until 1898 in America. Pretty sure a noblewoman of the early 1800s in London wouldn't be using the term. She would say courting. That one little word really threw me out of the book.

 

Those matters aside, I really enjoyed how Sherlockian this was. Nearly 99% of the mysteries out there involve murder from the get-go - even all those Sherlock knockoffs. But there are just way more mysteries to solve out there than that, and this story has a classic case of stolen letters kept by a married lady from her one-time suitor. 

Why would she have her own letters though? If she mentioned why or how she got them back from her former suitor at some point in the story, I missed it.

(spoiler show)

 

Jack Turner is a rogue, street tough and no-nonsense. He helps women who have no one else to help them (so long as they can afford to pay), and he'll do so by any means necessary, though he does have his limits. He has no time for stuffy aristocrats. Oliver Riverton is the youngest son of an earl just returned from war and desperate for the ordered life of society after the chaos and destruction he witnessed during the war. When he finds out his sister had paid Jack for a job, he's determined to make sure his sister hadn't been taken in by a charlatan. Instead, he gets entangled in Jack's world, in more ways than one.

 

Jack and Oliver are perfectly matched and I enjoyed watching them circle each other as they got to know one another. Lust was pretty immediate, but they don't fall into each other's arms right away. Trust needs to be built, and they need to start seeing each other as people instead of just assumptions based on class, or lack thereof. Jack's determination to keep the upper hand and constantly failing to do so was amusing, and Oliver is just naive enough to be charming but savvy enough to not be annoying, which is not an easy combination to achieve. They've grown up in different worlds that have different laws that govern them, and they actually learn from each other how to see the world in different ways.

 

Gary Furlong, who does the narration, did a fabulous job. He managed to convey the POV switches with ease and kept the MCs voices distinct from each other. I could visualize the story just as easily listening to him as I could have if I'd read it myself. He even managed to make some of the sex scenes fun - though I still thought there were a few too many of those. 

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review 2018-03-03 21:44
Between Sinners and Saints (Audiobook)
Between Sinners and Saints - Marie Sexton

Why did I wait so long to read this?

 

Well, because I found out there was a Mormon character and I always worry about that being done wrong. And while Levi's family isn't a carbon copy of my own or other Mormon families I know, I can still see this family dynamic existing in real life. It's almost too easy to see it. Even the church presidents spews the "love the sinner but not the sin" nonsense that Levi's family does here. Sadly, the Church isn't contend with just that. The book really gives a fully detailed and nuanced view of the various Binders and how they feel about Levi being gay. It's never questioned that they love Levi, some of them just don't know how to love him unconditionally like the Church also teaches us to do. His family runs the full spectrum of strictly following Church doctrine to believing it's high time the Church get off their high horse and catch up with the times.

 

Still, I can see how some readers not familiar with Mormonism or Mormons might hate Levi's family, and that's okay too.

 

Ok, onto the good stuff. Levi starts out a selfish windbag who's only concern is where to stick his dick. Working for a gay night club in Miami gives him plenty of hookups but little else. He doesn't realize how hollow his life is until he meets Jamie. Jamie is a massage therapist who Levi goes to for help with his surfer's hip and Levi, in true douche bag fashion, tries to seduce Jamie. Jamie though has a lot of trauma in his past and he quickly throws Levi out on his keister where Levi belongs. When Levi finally realizes what an asshole he's been, he has a turn around and he and Jamie become friends.

 

This is a nice slow burn, as Jamie and Levi get to know each other, and Jamie learns that he can in fact trust Levi. Levi in turns learns how to put someone else's needs above his own. It's the start of the change to a better life for both of them.

 

The romance takes it's time and doesn't rush things, and I didn't feel like Jamie's sexual awakening in the latter half of the book was too easy. It's anything but easy for him, and it's Levi's patience and understanding that goes a long way to helping Jamie become comfortable with his own body and letting himself be vulnerable.

 

The narrator, John Solo, does a fantastic job with the story and characters. He really brings the story to life, and his voices for the various characters are all well done and feel perfect for each one.

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review 2017-10-12 02:06
Totally His by Erin Nicholas
Totally His (Opposites Attract) - Erin Nicholas
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

With a father that made a living scamming women, Sophie has learned to depend on herself and guard her heart. When her theater ends up with some fire damage, she suddenly finds a hot cop invading her life.
The hot woman in pink lingerie caught Finn's attention right away but her guarded heart is giving him quite the challenge. 
Sophie and Finn are about to be hit with a hurricane of past hurts, family drama, and sexual chemistry.
 
Maybe she'd give him a chance. The thought flashed through his mind. Maybe he'd like theater. Or maybe this was an opposites-attract thing. That seemed more likely. Or hell, maybe they could just date for the sex. 
 
Third in the Opposites Attract series, we have our guarded heroine Sophie and open hearted hero Finn. Sophie's two girlfriends were the heroines of the two previous books but I had no problem starting here in the series. If you like Jill Shalvis, you'll enjoy this couple’s similar in tone playful encounters. The first half of this book was incredibly delightful with Finn and Sophie meeting and acting out some great fun and hot chemistry. 
 
How he wanted to say sweet things like how gorgeous she was and how lucky he felt that she'd let him close like this. Close was hard for her. This was not sex-only dating, and he knew she knew that. 
 
A fire gives our couple their meet-cute but Sophie actually ends up being the great theater friend Finn's mother had been raving about. Finn is the oldest and every since his father died, he's taken on the role of leader and taking care of everyone. I liked his calm, cool, and take care of business attitude that was also accompanied with a sense of humor and sexy demeanor. He was a great companion to Sophie's kickboxing, I don't want any part of a family, and feisty self. The first half was them meeting, feeling each other out, and sparking off each other and I enjoyed it immensely. After that, it seemed their relationship was a bit rushed with their second meeting kind of snowballing into a pretty invasive personal talk and not a ton of long interactions. The story started getting a bit repetitive with Sophie fearing getting close to Finn and his family, being hot and heavy with him, and then proclaiming she must stay away. 
 
And he wanted to eat ice cream in bed with her. He wanted to read out loud to her. In bed. And he wanted to talk dirty to her. In bed. In the shower. In the kitchen. In his truck. There were so many dirty things he wanted to say to her, do to her, hear from her. 
 
After our leads sweet, lively, and down and dirty beginning, I was little disappointed in the second half not providing some more depth to their relationship. A vast majority of the scenes take place in the theater, Sophie doesn't spend any time with her friends, and not a ton of scenes of Finn and Sophie interacting with the large amount of secondary characters. For the big role Finn's mom plays in the story she actually stayed a bit too much to the sidelines along with Finn's brother and partner. Having Sophie and Finn's friends and family stay to the side too much gives the story a lack of depth that small town (this actually takes place in Boston but there is clearly a community of people that the author is focusing on to provide a small town feeling) contemporary romance is known and loved for. 
 
Sophie's father provided a good antagonist to keep our leads from an easy happily ever after but for the most part this story was pretty heavy angst free. This was a sweet story that wasn't afraid to also get down and dirty. I greatly enjoyed visiting the Kelly family starring Finn and will look forward to his firefighter brother Colin hopefully getting top billing next time.
 
 

 

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text 2017-10-09 04:23
50%
Totally His (Opposites Attract) - Erin Nicholas

He’s the type of guy to keep a dachshund so she won’t be traumatized by another move. He’s the type of guy to get involved in the theater for his mom. He’s the rock of his crazy family. He’s a cop. He’s a good guy.

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