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review 2017-11-21 23:56
ARC Review: All Of The Above by Quinn Anderson
All Of The Above - Quinn Anderson

I quite liked this book once I pushed past the first 30% or so. Brendon, one of our MCs, works what's basically dead-end job as a salesperson for hair straighteners and other beauty products in a local mall, while also going to school to become a hair stylist/make-up artist. He's friends with a married couple running the sales stand next to his.

Brendon also comes across as a bit lonely, though he's described as someone who doesn't usually finish what he starts, a bit flaky, a bit effeminate. He's gay and there's no hiding it. His hair frequently changes color. He can't seem to hold on to a boyfriend, looking for perfect and never finding it. He felt real enough to me, and definitely likable, and I hoped he would find what he was looking for.

Then he comes across a quiz in a local magazine asking "Who's Your Perfect Man?" And it appears as if the author of the quiz, one Matthew Kingston, is just perfect for Brendon.

The meet-cute is fake, obviously, as Brendon sort of stalks Matthew online, finds his pictures and his usual hangouts, realizes that what he sees he definitely likes, and begins hanging out at those places, hoping to run into Matthew.

Which he does, after a while.

They have an awesome first date, and they seem to have a lot in common, considering how much Brendon knows about Matthew's preferences, which he uses to his advantage. And then Brendon realizes he has to come clean, knowing Matthew abhors liars, and what might have been turns into heartache.

I didn't actually like Matthew all that much for most of the book, to be honest. He came across as a bit of a judgmental dickhead. Even after he supposedly forgives Brendon for the initial deception, and they're on their 2nd date, something Matthew apparently spent some time setting up, he keeps making snarky remarks about Brendon's lie, until Brendon, suddenly finding his backbone, calls him on that shit real quick. I cheered in my head when that happened, because I was getting quite irritated with Matthew at that point. His behavior was, while certainly understandable, not something someone with forgiveness in his heart would likely do.

I did warm up to him eventually, when he makes an about-face and the two of them really talk things through. I really liked that Brendon who, despite feeling guilty about his earlier deception, held Matthew's feet to the fire when his words of forgiveness didn't match his actions.

The feelings between them grow quickly, but believably, and I had no issues with the time frame here. I do believe that Brendon and Matthew were well-matched, and thus the rapidity with which they developed into a full-blown relationship was perfectly fine with me. 

This is the kind of easy, happy reading that I need every so often. It's a bit quirky, on the sweet and fluffy side for sure, and definitely worth your time.


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

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review 2017-11-18 23:37
Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia Book 1) Anne Tenino 4.5 Stars Review
Too Stupid to Live: Romancelandia, Book 1 - Riptide Publishing,Tobias Silversmith,Anne Tenino

t isn't true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now — possibly — ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong...can they?

 

Review

This isn't a perfect book but its delightful and if you are a romance novel nerd like I am it is a must read for the meta commentary on the genre, the love of the gerne, and the playfulness Plus, it is a sexy romantic love story.

 

Same and Ian. I love that Ian isn't attracted to Sam at first because he is shallow but really more because he isn't attuned to himself yet. A great deal of this book his Ian's journey to become emotionally connect to himself and others after having lived a closeted life and believed the cultural lies told by hyper masculinity.

 

His journey is moving as his is falling deeper and deeper in love and lust with Sam. I am so happy Ian is already seeking therapy and continues to do so as the plot develops. I love his relationship with his cousin and the developing relationships with the people at his new job.

 

He tries and grows and does great romantic gestures and emotionial bravery and this makes him a wonderful deserving hero for Sam even when he struggles.

 

Sam is everything I love. A nerd, socially awkward bookworm with great friendships and a loving heart. He is super smart and his thinking of the world through romantic novels themes is at once funny, charming, and wise. He is brave and takes risk as Ian learns. Sexy as hell.

 

This is a well plotted book with great charters and love you can believe in. I liked the second book in the series much better after reading this one and can't wait for a third book.

 

The flaws are slight really. A weird lack of setting in an extra place. Western US not California. We never get to see Same as a grad student, writer, and teacher...just as a reader, friend, and waiter. This leaves some depth out of the novel that matters.

 

This will be a long time comfort read for sure. I am resisting the urge to reread right now!

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review 2017-11-16 03:40
Fixing
Citywide (Five Boroughs) (Volume 6) - Santino Hassell

This short story collection is set in the series Five Boroughs.  These can probably be read as standalone novellas, but would better read in order with the series.  There are three books included, but for the review purposes we will look at the first story, Rerouted.

 

Chris is trying to move on with his life.  He is trying not to think about his past encounters with both Jace and Aiden.  The couple have a kind of open relationship that leaves room for someone like Chris.

 

Aiden & Jace have been trying to come up with a way to talk Chris into coming back and being with them more.  He has been distant lately, and this is a cause for some concern.  Is  there something wrong?

 

This was such a nice quick read.  Lovely characters I was excited to see again.  Also many visitors from the previous books in the series are present.  I like the fast pace of these books.  I also adore the banter and real world situations that feel like you are right there.  I am always feeling like I am home with this series.  I give this collection a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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review 2017-11-16 03:33
Complicated
All Of The Above - Quinn Anderson

Brendon wants to meet Colin AKA "Matt" so bad he can taste it.  So he makes his own destiny, and lies in wait.  When he gets the chance to be face to face with fate, will it all work out?

 

Matt has no idea that Brendon has a secret.  He thought them meeting was a normal thing.  Well, as normal as it could have been.  Can he trust someone new after being hurt in the past?

 

This story was blissfully simple.  Just a love story with real feelings, by genuine characters who are fun to read.  The story flows pretty well.  Not my favorite from this author, though.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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review 2017-10-17 05:42
Tricky
Off the Ice (Hat Trick) - Avon Gale

Tristan is a hockey player who knows he cannot play the sport forever.  He makes plans for the future.  Going back to school is the best solution.  Being attracted to his teacher, is just not an option.

 

Sebastian does not want to be attracted to his student.  He needs to stop dreaming and thinking of the one man he cannot have.  But, it seems like it might be mutual....

 

These characters were just such a joy to read.  I am not a fan of the teacher or forbidden trope.  In this story, it just works.  I will not spoil it for you - but I really am looking forward to reading more in this Hat Trick series.  These authors never disappoint.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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