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review 2017-07-04 12:46
Scorching
Chief's Mess - L.A. Witt

This is book #3 in the Anchor Point series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding of the series, I recommend reading in order.

 

Anthony does not want to be here.  He promised his sister, and here he is.  On a break from the family drama, he meets Noah.  Very hot and very quickly they click.

 

Noah is more than happy to go home with a hot and willing guy.  How would he know this guy would change the direction of his future?  As long as they meet in the middle, the future looks bright.

 

This book was hot and intense right from the start.  I found the characters endearing, and I rooted for them right away.  Such a sexy series.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2017-06-30 00:38
ARC Review: Love And Other Hot Beverages by Laurie Loft
Love and Other Hot Beverages - Laurie Loft

2.5 stars

I wanted to like this, really, I did. I read the blurb and thought this was going to be a drama-filled romance, but it's not.

Oh, there's plenty of drama, alright, but not really the romance I expected. 

Todd Addison is working for a construction company after his last relationship ended with a bad and painful break-up. Having put many miles between himself and his former boyfriend, he's taken the construction job until he finds something better to do or until ex-boyfriend changes his mind. Oh, he's also now in the closet, because construction workers are generally homophobic, according to Todd. 

Sebastian (Sebby) Nye is out and proud and the office manager for the construction company. He is an outrageous flirt, and tries his charms on a very standoffish Todd, plying him with coffee and more. Eventually, Sebby gets what he wants. It's supposed to be healing Todd from heartbreak, and Sebby isn't planning to fall for the guy but he does anyway.

I really didn't like Todd. He exasperated me with his back and forth, and he hurt Sebby more than once. Their relationship is messy because Sebby isn't totally honest, and Todd is still pining for the cheating ex. 

I had a difficult time liking both characters, actually, and their actions and reactions were possibly a little to realistic for me. I don't mind realism in the books I read; I welcome it usually, but here it just got too much for me - I just didn't believe that these two men are going to make it, despite the HEA we get in the end. 

The writing is a bit stilted on occasion, and the dialogue felt off, especially when they were bantering. There are sexy times, but I wasn't super impressed with those either. 

Overall, it was just meh. 

 

 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-06-20 13:48
Bleeding
The Other Five Percent - Quinn Anderson

Logan has a running joke he tells everyone.  He is mostly straight.  Really.  He experimented in college.  Not long after, he lost his best friend.  When he runs into him again to say he is shocked is putting it mildly.  What he finds out about how the past rolled out shocks him even more.

 

Ellis is excited and scared to see Logan again.  He left him a broken man the last time he saw him.  Can he take a chance and trust what he tells him about his feelings?  He still seems so unsure.  Ellis is scared the past will repeat itself.

 

This simple and sweet story has some real truths inside.  While the characters clearly belong together, there is a lot of avoidance and a lot of scared.  I would have hoped to have more to the story, since it felt like a lot of trust issues were just getting going at the end, I was pleased to at least get my HEA.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for my honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2017-06-15 06:06
Trust
Faking It (Ringside Romance Book 2) - Christine d'Abo

This story is book #2, in the Ringside Romance series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and to better understand the series, I recommend reading this in order.

 

Grady has reasons for being far from home.  He is helped by a stranger one night, a night he barely remembers.  What does impress him, is how little the stranger cares about his celebrity status, money, or h is family.

 

Max has his focus on his club, his friends, and keeping Ringside open.  When he meets Grady, some of that focus is off.  He cannot help but be attracted and quickly smitten with someone who needs him so badly.

 

This couple is obviously meant to be.  It is a joy to read about men who can be both strong and sensitive.  This book is packed full of lots to enjoy.  There is heat, heart, and some hot sexy times.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-06-12 09:00
ARC Review: Back To You by Chris Scully
Back to You - Chris Scully

There's a melancholy undertone to this book, and it permeates everything that happens within. Set in a small town along the Canadian Highway of Tears, a stretch of road where women and young girl mysteriously disappeared over a period of about 40 years, there's a certain kind of dread that sits in the pit of your stomach from the get-go.

 

Alex/Alexander/Sandy Buchanan, a journalist, returns to the town where he grew up after leaving with his mother 20 years earlier upon his parents divorce. He returns, reluctantly, because his estranged father's drinking has finally caught up with him and the old man is expected to die soon. Alex has no expectations of a happy reunion as he still resents his father, but hopes to get a story out of his visit.

 

The story is told entirely from Alex's first-person POV, which naturally lets the reader see only what Alex chooses to see. We don't get a whole lot of insight to Ben or what makes him tick, except of what we're allowed to see through Alex somewhat self-absorbed eyes. There's a moment when Ben lays it all out, and Alex finally... well, you read this for yourself.

 

Alex's older sister Janet lives close by, having returned to be closer to their father some years ago, and their relationship is equally strained, with Janet blaming Alex for never even trying to have a relationship with his father after the divorce, and Alex resenting Janet for continuing to ask him to. Their relationship is complex, and it was clear from the start that Janet was troubled.

 

The only thing that Alex looks forward to as he drives up to the small town is seeing his childhood friend Ben/Benji Morning, who's now an artist. Back when they were in their early teens, Alex had strong feelings for Benji that confused and scared him, and when Alex and his mom moved away, he quickly forgot all about Benji. In the years since, he's never been able to recapture the feelings from their one innocent kiss, not in the one-night-stands, the failed relationships, or even his relatively short marriage.

 

Additionally, shortly before Alex's mother left with him and his sister, Benji's older sister Misty mysteriously vanished one day. Alex's father was the last one to talk to her, and Alex and Benji observed her car driving down the highway the day she disappeared. She's never been found, and her and Benji's mother has never stopped looking, obsessed with finding out what happened to her daughter. In all those years, she's never had any emotional energy left for Ben, and he basically had to raise himself after his sister's disappearance. Now living in a small studio above the garage, Benji has worked hard to find a bit of peace while still keeping an eye on his mother, a peace that is threatened by Alex showing up on his doorstep. He's teaching free art classes to special needs kids and others, and has carved out a quiet albeit lonely existence for himself. He longs to move on, but realizes that his mother will continue to stagnate in her quest for finding his sister.

 

Just about the time Alex arrives in town, Misty's car is found in a nearby lake on the outskirts of town, and the investigation is given a second wind.

 

The mystery about what happened to Misty is deeply intertwined with Alex's relationship with his father and sister, and basically drives the story. The romance and rekindled feelings between Alex and Ben take second place, really, and theirs is not an easy road.

The book is full of poignant moments, but it's more suspenseful mystery than romance. Alex learns that what he believes to be the truth might not be after all, and that the dying man in the hospital bed has perhaps similar trouble in expressing his feelings, and that Alex is his father's son after all.

 

The truth about Misty's disappearance does eventually come out, though it wasn't a huge surprise to me. There were hints along the way, in what people said, hints that Alex either didn't understand or was too busy avoiding. Truth is a double-edged sword, as Alex surely finds out.

 

This isn't an easy read, and with the focus not on the second-chance romance but the mystery and suspense, it's not a book that would appeal to readers who look for fluffy M/M romances. They'd miss out, of course, as this book showcases this author's exquisite ability to set the stage and draw images with her words, transporting the reader into the story and giving him or her a unique experience. The writing is exceptional in creating the perfect atmosphere and evoking just the right emotions while reading. As with Until September, the author also doesn't shy away from making statements about the social issues behind the Highway of Tears. 

 

I was fascinated from the start, and couldn't stop reading. A true page-turner, this book delivered on everything it promised and more.

 

 
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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