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review 2017-06-25 03:19
Book Review: Shadows On My Soul by Leigh Jarrett
Shadows On My Soul - Leigh Jarrett

First off, trigger warning - there's is on-page male on male rape in this book. Be aware. The blurb hints, but doesn't spell it out. It's thankfully not drawn out, and done with sensitivity toward the subject matter.

This was my first book by this author. I liked the complexity of the characters in this book, but they exasperated me as well.

Supposedly best friends as well as business partners, Justin has kept a huge secret from Derek, and Derek has a secret of his own. Neither of them has the emotional maturity to discuss things honestly and openly, and their relationship was highly dysfunctional. Even at the end, which is supposedly a HFN/HEA, I didn't believe they will make it. There was a ton of unnecessary drama that could have been avoided if Derek wasn't so emotionally stunted and hadn't make such stupid assumptions, and if Justin hadn't lied for so long. Both of them needed therapy after the trauma (Justin for being violated, and Derek for having seen the violation first hand) to help them cope, but neither got that.

Their inability to read each other's facial expressions and emotions also threw a big wrench into their relationship, so much so that it made no sense considering that they had been best friends since their high school days. They just didn't really seem to know each other at all.

In addition to this, the two of them are also apparently completely oblivious to how their friends perceive them - Justin pretends to be straight and not in love with Derek, and Derek has one-night-stands to distract himself from being in love with his supposedly straight, supposedly best friend, but to everyone around them, they appear to be a couple.

The writing itself was perfectly fine, but the characterizations and the constant back and forth drama between the two main characters who have lied to each other, by omission or directly, for years, in a story that was billed as a romance, didn't work for me.

YMMV.


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

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review 2017-05-30 15:43
Switched
Switched - N.R. Walker

Sooo…I have had this one for what seems like forever.  I mean…it is a Walker book and typically I jump on these but timing wise it just hasn’t worked.  And I hate that!  Geez…this was so fantastic and just quintessential Walker. 

 

 

I adored this.

 

Now, I must confess…and this is not a spoiler at all…because if I had actually read the blurb completely I would totally know this.  The story is about our main character, Israel, learning that he was switched at birth. And guess what??? This story is not about those two switched boys…

 

 

 

Yep…I totally went there in my head. 

 

Not sure why or how or whatever but I am kinda embarrassed by the whole thing honestly.  But, there are many times, especially with authors I love, that I start without reading reviews, or apparently entire blurbs.

 

 

 

Yeah…I am nuts.

 

So what an unbelievable surprise this was to learn that this was a “friends to lovers” story.  And to realize that our beloved Sam would be “the one”.  I fell in love with this character from the moment he entered the page.  How Israel’s family dynamics and gut wrenching experiences impacted their friendship and the strength that Sam gave to Israel was just beautifully portrayed.  There was nothing these two had not shared.  No tears left unshed between them or walls left standing when these two were through. 

 

On top of all that...this has absolutely one of the best first kisses…ever. 

 

 

And then throw in some possessive behavior and I am a freaking mess.

 

I cornered him against the wall. “No one touches you but me.” His pupils were blown out, and his breath was shallow. He was definitely turned on. I put my hand to his jaw and slid my thumb over his bottom lip. “No one kisses you but me.” Then I slid my other hand down his stomach, over the bulge in the front of his jeans. “No one fucks you but me.”

 

Seriously?? 

 

 

There is nothing better than possession and claiming someone as yours.  Phew.

 

This is a must read and one I will be revisiting time and time again!  

 

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review 2017-05-23 01:58
Book Review: Lace by K.C. Wells
Lace - K.C. Wells,Meredith Russell

I'm of two minds about this book.

On one hand, this was perfect, kinky erotica, and I love how much emotion this author always puts into the sexy times. Also, manties. Yum!!

On the other hand, Dave is a jerk for outing Shawn's personal kink to someone else, and both of them suffer from "can't-talk-about-shit-itis". So frustrating.

Why four stars, then, you ask? Because it's K.C. Wells and I just adore her particular brand of magic. There's definitely a connection between the two men - best mates for ages - that turns to more when one of them finds out the other is not so straight after all, and the other finds some lacy knickers in a dresser drawer that prompts a WTF and a BJ.

Except, they just. Can't. Seem. To. TALK to each other. One makes a bloody stupid assumption, and the other makes a bloody stupid assumption, and they get all tangled into knots about each other and what the other might be feeling.

Jeez, guys, communicate, eh? It's not that difficult, right? OMG, they frustrated me to no end. I'm sure the author intended that, so - success!!

I liked both of them, except for that shit Dave pulls when he tells another guy about Shawn's proclivity for silky/lacy drawers, which is so uncool. Super uncool. I'm shocked that Shawn didn't seem to care all that much about Dave outing his little secret, especially considering that Shawn goes to the same gym, and seriously? *snarls*

But, my God, when they burn up the sheets, and then when they finally get it together? Yeah - that's where this book shines, and I was feeling all happy and gooey inside after the ending.

So, I'm of two minds, but the enjoyment side won out. It's a quick read, though I wouldn't recommend reading it during lunch time unless you work from home, and in that case, what are you waiting for? Read it!!



** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost Promotions. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-04-18 23:38
Painting the Cowboy: A friends-to-lovers romance - Riley Knight

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm afraid I had too many issues to rate it higher than a 2.
I love a damaged cowboy story which is why I jumped straight on this. I also love a book that focuses on the development of a relationship and that is what this book should have been. The relationship is the focus but we are shown very little development. Events that happen to the characters develop the relationship but in this book nothing really happens, the relationship almost exists in a vacuum. The only thing that propelled the relationship forward was intense extended periods of navel gazing, but nothing happened to cause them.
There were other issues that I had problems with that a good beta reader/editor should have picked up on.
Excessive use of 'the older/younger man'. That is bad enough in itself but at no point did the author tell us how old either man was or the age difference between them.
Karl's constant over protectiveness towards his 5 yr old son. Yet at one point he sent him out on his own 'to play in the front yard' (of a ranch?) and when they went camping the 5 yr old had his own tent while the two guys slept together in another tent. No. Just wouldn't happen. And every night the men 'messed about' in the tent.
On the subject of the son, he sounded like no 5 year old I've ever had the pleasure to meet.
Oh, and then a decision was made about not using condoms without any consultation with the other party. And don't even get me started on the use of the word 'clean'.

 

I really wanted to enjoy this book but unfortunately it simply had too many problems for me.

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review 2017-03-30 06:30
Expect pure friends to lovers cowboy fluff and laughs with Two Cowboys and a Baby
Two Cowboys and a Baby (Dreamspun Desires Book 30) - BA Tortuga
Tag Team review with Sara

3.5 Hearts
--

"Wings?"
"Only if they don't make you poot. Buffalo sauce poots make the baby Jesus cry."
"Well sure, nothing rules out ass-fucking like buffalo poots. 'Cept maybe Taco Bell."

Expect pure friends to lovers cowboy fluff and laughs with Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga.

With a baby on the doorstep trope thrown on top!



No babies were harmed. Promise.


Set in Texas, this book features a little bull rider/cowboy with the nickname of Hoss (his real name is Wyatt Earp!) and his childhood best bud/digger/cowboy, Bradley. See Hoss is out of the closet and is painfully in love with straight best friend, even after his friend stopped talking to him after coming out to Bradley. After that year in high school, the two continued to go back to the way things were: being best friends.

Thing is all the time Hoss has pined for Bradley, if he looked a little closer, he might have noticed the same looks from Bradley.

Unrequited love fans out there? It's all fluffed out in the latest addition in the Dreamspun Desires line.



Giddy up the fluff!


The unrequited love with my straight best friend angle gets help from the unwanted baby plot. While the two cowboys share like feelings, they're two clueless to do anything about it. Thankfully, the little blonde baby girl on Hoss' doorstep helps bring them together.

The girl's mother just leaves her and Joanie, the adorable pet of Hoss, alerts her owner of the little bundle. Reading Hoss come to grips with his life changing as he knows it once the little girl arrives is hilarious. Hoss is a simple man whose only contact with babies are with baby farm animals.

So not the same.

But too funny.

Bradley, Hoss's #1, comes to the rescue as the two try to hunt down the little baby's birth mother. With the the help of the small town's Sheriff Pooter (I kid you not), Doc and Hoss's Momma and a whole slew of hilarious side characters. The country twang just oozes through this book's pores. I found myself charmed with it.




The romance doesn't happen immediately. And I definitely got the sense of the cowboys shared lives prior to the baby.

They sat together, arm to arm, not looking at each other. Then B reached out, twining their fingers together, holding on like they'd done this a thousand times.

Reading them slowly become a unit with the baby who Hoss didn't originally want, but now needs, is the magic for this title.

"Is this the way it normally happens with two guys, Hoss?"
"I'm usually the handjob in the barn type of guy, B. I've never been the type to be on love,so I don't know."
"I've been in love with you since high school. I don't know how the handjob in the barn even works."

It's not a smooth sailing; there is a big misunderstanding that provides a solid speed bump on their path to love. But the baby is the glue to making Hoss and Bradley stick.

And then there is the mega plot twist that took into into OTT-ville. Seriously, couldn't believe half of that happening in real life.

Thank goodness it's fiction, huh?

The crazy that gets twisted in, made for a fun read. Plus, it's why the Dreamspun line works for me. It's a good time that doesn't take itself too seriously while delivery cracky sweet romance.

The story isn't without minor issues but overall, the good outweighed the bad. It wasn't a life changing read, just something you can unplug your brain with.



Obligatory yeehaw!



A copy provided for an honest review.
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