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review 2018-02-16 22:33
Manic Pixie Dream Boy (The Underdogs #1) by K.A. Merikan Review
Manic Pixie Dream Boy (gay rockstar romance) (The Underdogs Book 1) - K.A. Merikan

Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.

All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.

So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny

Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.

All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying. 

Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

 

 

 

Review

 

I love the idea of Lolly/Abe. I adore the happy themed tattoos et all. But the actual development of the character is uneven and too late in the book to work well.

 

Dusk's character has many of the same issues. They don't talk even after several moments of saying TALK. I don't think Dusk even asks Lolly's real name until near end of the book 

 

Then, we get into a pretend relationship trope which is awkward and an even more awkward climax and break up.

 

Hmmmm. I will likely read Dawn's story because interested but I hope the emotionial depth of the writing gets better.

 

 

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review 2018-02-10 16:37
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful, #1) by Stella Starling Review
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series) (Volume 1) - Stella Starling

Jake Hansen has been crushing on Gabe Byrne for half his life, but since Gabe is a straight, self-proclaimed commitment-phobe who moved away years ago to join the Marines, that crush is strictly a fantasy-best-enjoyed-in-private. And even when Gabe starts to flirt with him like crazy, Jake still knows better than to think it means anything.

Because falling in love with your straight bestie? Not just a cliche, but a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

…right?

Growing up, Gabe never saw “Little Jakey” as anything more than the kid who always liked to tag along after him and his brothers, but somehow, being friends with Jake has become the best part of his day. And after a seven-month deployment? Seeing Jake is the one thing he’s looking forward to the most.

He just didn’t expect that hanging out in person again would be so confusing… or keep blurring the lines about how straight he is… or keep making him want things that he never thought he would.

Things that seem a lot like forever.

 

Review

I liked this book despite myself. 

I adored Jake. I loved his self awareness and fun. 

Gabe is a commitment phobe and a reactor so not my favorite character type. He also is in the I have never felt desire for any other man but you type and not a demisexual so also not my favorite. He does a lot of not self aware stuff. 

And yet it is a sweet romance and I liked Jake enough and he liked Gabe enough that I enjoyed myself. 

A nice circle of friends and family. I have already started the next book in the series which is way sweeter and I like it much more.

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review 2018-02-09 20:37
Taking a Knee by Sean Ashcroft 4 Star Review!
Taking a Knee - Sean Ashcroft

Noah’s otherwise average life has just hit a wall. As an out-and-proud roller derby player, his team is right in the middle of qualifying for next year’s national competition when he suddenly loses his job--and therefore the work visa that was keeping him in the country. 

Unexpected help comes in the form of Jace, his straight best friend and ‘derby husband,’ the guy who always looks out for him on the track. The solution to all of Noah’s problems? Get fake married to Jace, get his green card, and play out the rest of the season after all. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Jace has two loves in his life: his career as a pediatric nurse, and his roller derby team. When he finds out that their star player is on the verge of being deported, he’s willing to do anything to stop it--including marrying the guy. It’s only for three years, and it’s not as though anyone's going to get hurt.

Things get messy when Jace begins to realise he may not be as straight as he’s always thought he was. Since when did Noah have such pretty eyes? And why the hell is he thinking about him all the time? 

Between a jealous rival, Noah’s ex-boyfriend, and the mother-in-law from hell, Jace comes to realise that he wants more out of this marriage than the chance to head to the national championships.

All he has to do now is summon the courage to tell Noah that. And win the rest of the games in the season. And deal with his new mother-in-law. Easy.

 

Review

This romance has a ton of catnip for me which made me really like it and forgiven some of the lighter brush stokes of plot, character, and family.

 

It is a great friends to lovers, marriage of connivence, green card marriage plot.

 

Both heroes were great and while there is a discovered sexuality theme, the angst level is low. There is a lot of love here.

 

And then the awesomeness of Roller Derby. Which is awesome.

 

A great deal of fun to be had here!

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review 2018-02-04 20:24
Ex-Boyfriend Material by Sean Ashcroft Review
Ex-Boyfriend Material - Sean Ashcroft

Alex is smart, charming, and attractive. Good at approaching people and getting them to sleep with him, his talents fall down when it comes to maintaining a relationship. His last boyfriend left him with a broken heart and without half the rent, so now he needs a new roommate. This time, he wants someone mature, sensible, and not even a little bit attractive to him.

What he gets is Liam--funny, gorgeous, and surprisingly put-together for a man who doesn’t own a single shirt without a stain on it and has an incurable oral fixation. 

After months of feeling as though he can never move on while he lives in London, America is Liam’s fresh start. His breakup with his girlfriend left him heartbroken, and home only reminds him of everything he’s lost. With a twelve-month contract on offer, the chance to take a break is too good to pass up. All he needs now is a roommate, since his company-organised apartment has fallen through.

He runs across Alex’s Craigslist posting and thinks the other man seems perfect--little does he know that his new roommate is also nursing a broken heart, and coping with it by sleeping his way through the entire population of New York.


Both of them know the dangers of getting into a relationship with their roommates. Alex spent months stuck in a relationship that made him increasingly unhappy, Liam had to move away from his home to give himself a chance to heal.

They seem to soften each other’s rough edges, fill the gaps in each other’s lives. But love is risky, and their hearts are fragile--can they learn to trust one another and take the chance to have a home in each other’s arms? Or will their pasts and their fears get in the way of their happiness?

 

Review

 

This is a slow burn romance with one demisexual hero and one introvert hero with self esteem issues.

It is slow going and there is a nice exploration of demisexuality as well as bisexuality. 

The heroes become roommates, then friends and then finally lovers. 

I would have liked to spend more time with them as lovers and see them bloom a little more but it was an enjoyable read.

 

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review 2018-02-04 01:23
Slam! by J.L. Merrow
Slam! - J.L. Merrow

Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes


Amateur poet Jude is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe. His little dog, Bubbles, is the only man in the Anglo-Japanese graduate’s life—but Jude yearns from afar for “Karate Crumpet”, a man who runs past the cafe window every Saturday night leading a martial arts class. Jude’s swept off his feet when he’s rescued from muggers by the object of his affections—and when Jude finds out the calm, competent, hunk of muscle is also gay, he’s in seventh heaven. 


Trouble is, the universe seems to be conspiring to stop them getting together. While Jude’s ready to jump straight into bed with his saviour, David’s still got one foot in the closet and wants to take things slowly. Then there’s Jude’s best friend, who has a dangerous secret, and his mother, who’s desperately trying to keep her own love life on track by lying about her age—meaning Jude has to pretend to be a schoolboy!


With a maze of different stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather to keep happy, and ex boyfriends who keep turning up on dates, Jude’s getting increasingly confused. Poetry in motion, it’s not!

 

Review

 

This romance is a lot of madcap fun. With dog and really bad poetry and all kinds of other hijinks.

This is trademark Merrow with the Small Village feel. However, we get a lot more couple time than usual and that makes for an even better read.

This is an engaging love story between two very different heroes.

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