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Search tags: contemporary-romance-na
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review 2018-06-23 03:06
Player by Sean Ashcroft Review
Player - Sean Ashcroft

Tennis player Isaac Hudson isn’t gay, but when a photograph of him kissing another man makes its way to social media, he doesn’t have the heart to correct the speculation and disappoint all the people it means so much to. Still recovering from a shoulder injury, he decides to play the part and enlists the help of his childhood best friend to be his temporary boyfriend.

Julian has been in love with Isaac since they were kids. Knowing his friend was off-limits helped him keep his feelings hidden, but now that he’s supposed to pretend to date him…

Well, things are getting a little tricky in the feelings department. 

After a few surprisingly intimate dates, it becomes obvious that Isaac is less interested in faking it and more interested in trying it.

Throw in a few steamy moments, and soon enough, Isaac finds himself falling into bed with his best friend.

But can Isaac figure out his feelings in time to see what’s right in front of him? Or will his player past come back to haunt him and take away his best chance at happiness?

 

Review

As a sucker for both friends to lover and pretend dating, I picked this right up.

And its a nice quick read. Julian is wonderful and Isaac...well he isn't very self reflective. 

He is also a kind of crap friend but he does evolve and come to understandings about himself and what matters.

Julian is too good for him though but Isaac is what he wants so I am happy for him.

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review 2018-06-22 02:16
The Little Things by Jay Northcote Review
The Little Things - Jay Northcote

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you appreciate what you have.

There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

 

Review

 

This is lovely book in so many ways especially how it address how hard parenting really is especially by yourself. 

For me, the book started in the wrong place or it needed to keep going. We get Dan and the shared custody for a long time. And then when things change, we get a middle section and then Liam coming in but we don't get enough time in the romance. 

So, not my favorite of Northcote's but a tender tale.

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review 2018-06-19 19:02
Hard For My Boss by Daryl Banner 4 Stars!
Hard For My Boss - Daryl Banner

Trevor, the young summer intern, is totally SCREWED.
Working at Gage Communications is an opportunity of a lifetime.
But will Trevor be able to handle it? Or will he succumb to the tension?
The tension is in his pants, by the way.
Between a heavy workload and a hunky, controlling boss, Trevor's summer just got a lot hotter and harder than he bargained for.

 

Review

 

Turns out I am a huge Daryl Banner fan, I love the wit, rom com, and character driven romances between great heroes. Oh and sexy times that while pretty frequent are always written out the personalities of the couple and the nature of the relationship and therefore never feel rote.

I tend to dislike his titles a lot and what more exact settings. This is true for Hard for My Boss which is a porn written in a day tile. And really doesn't give this gem of a love story the launch it deserves. 

This is another great romance with an age difference and a class difference. It has the oh dang you are my boss conflict as well. Ben and Trevor are lust dazed and while it is a bit over the top we can really see that they adore each other and that is what makes this book so special. 

There is a lot of rich suitor fantasy in this book but it is balanced with Trevor who just doesn't take any crap and is so charming and Ben who, well, worships and values Trevor. 

We have a great best friend for Trevor (the jabs between them are so funny!) and easy to sneer at "villain."

This book is a very very good time! Pick it up! 
 
 

 

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review 2018-06-18 06:53
Deadly Intent by Pamela Clare
Deadly Intent - Pamela Clare

Joaquin Ramirez, I-Team's resident photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner, arrives at a supposed-homicide-with-body-disappearance scene, only to be met with anger by a bystander. Turns out, the woman knows the victim and is the last one to have seen the man alive.
Mia Starr dislikes photojournalists. She's seen first hand, what an unscrupulous photo bug can do to get a story, but Joaquin seems to be different, and quickly turns out to be different, since he puts her first instead of the story.

Someone is killing former soldiers and trying to pin it to Mia, and Joaquin is there to help her out. And when the killer with the grudge turns on her, it's Joaquin to stand there, between her and a bullet.


A month after the hostage situation at a Christmas party, the I-Team is back in the thick of it. This time it's Joaquin's turn to shine, and to save the day.

I never really thought about Joaquin as a main protagonist. He had sidekick and friend written all over him in the other books. I'm glad, though, I got to see this other side of him. Looks like I underestimated him, and let's face it, side by side with Julian, Marc or Zach, he didn't stand a chance.
But in his story, the hero side of him came out, alongside the salsa-dancing, and yeah, I could understand Mia perfectly. ;) He was tender and gentle when he needed to be, determinedly protective, and definitely heroic there toward the end of the book. A truly wonderful hero.
His heroine, Mia, was an acquired taste, with her idiosyncrasies and all her contradictions and insecurities. It took a special kind of man to show her just who and what she truly was.
I didn't really buy their rushed romance, but I'm glad they found each other in the end.

The villain also had much to be desired, although the big reveal as to his identity came as a surprise (I certainly didn't see it coming); his motive left me scratching my head&mdas;why go after all those people, instead of just focusing on Mia?
But the suspense was gripping and served as a nice little catalyst for the two protagonists to meet and for the "romance" to bloom.

The characters were great as always (I loved all the "cameos", and it's always a pleasure seeing Julian and Marc in action, complete with marital spats and bickering), the pacing spot-on, the writing superb...This one is definitely one of my favorite series.

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review 2018-06-17 11:12
The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren
The One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away) - Roni Loren

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Rebecca Lindt, Long Acre survivor, and Wesley Garrett, former chef and recovering alcoholic after his nasty divorce, meet (again) in a stressful situation. She's about to get mugged and panicking, having flashbacks, as he runs to her rescue. The attraction is instantaneous, but there's just one little problem—she's the divorce attorney who helped his ex ruin him...Plus, there are both their issues, her demons, his addictive personality...So what should the two do? Give it a shot, of course.


Like its predecessor, this one was a straight-up romance. There were no dead bodies, no villains (well, maybe her dad for a second toward the end), and no mysteries or investigations. Just two regular people, albeit with loads and loads of problems, issues, and inner demons, experiencing regular human drama and emotions.
And I liked it. I liked that I didn't have to "think" much during the story. It was straightforward, poignant, realistic and normal.

The characters were wonderful, well-developed, and nicely layered, the plot itself had some pretty heavy pondering moments, the romance might've felt a bit rushed, but it somehow worked giving both characters, and the conflicts were (thankfully) pretty quickly and easily resolved.
Though I found the heroine somewhat annoying in her rather self-centered guilt and her nobody-loves-me-and-those-who-might-don't-really-know-me-so-I-better-push-them-away-just-to-be-safe mentality. It started to really get old as the story progressed, but lucky for her (and the reader) there was her hero, Wes, to set her straight and make her see reason.

The pacing wasn't perfect, yet the story flew nicely, the writing was great, and the humor provided that needed levity.

This was a story of regular people going through normal human stuff and emotions, a story of (self)forgiveness, (self)discovery and growth, showing us everything clicks into place when the time is right and (if) you let it.

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