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review 2017-11-14 00:06
Nachos & Hash (Mary's Boys, #1) by Brandon Witt Review
Nachos & Hash - Brandon Witt

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

 

Reviews

 adore Darwin and I adore Cody. The yearning in each of them is tender. 

Darwin wants to find an man to love and Cody doesn't think he can ask for more than what he has. 

The courtship of this book is great as is the circle of friends.

We are moving through a sweet and sexy romance when the plot takes a dark turn with some internal struggles for one of the heroes. 

And while this turn is realistic and the issue (not to give spoilers) one that deserves attention especially in a series that look critically at issues within the gay community, the turn is sharp and a more developed understanding of the character would have enrich the book.

The aftermath is better handled and we end in a very loving place.

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review 2017-11-06 23:54
Vodka and Handcuffs by Brandon Witt Review
Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary's Boys Book 2) - Brandon Witt

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

 

Review 

Ultimately, the plot of this book pulled in to many direction so that I couldn't settle in and enjoy the story.

 

I like this circle of friends and Mary's and was happy to to see the cast but the heroes spent a great deal of time a part and the drama and angst meter was sky high from minute one.

 

I have some issues with consent with the drunk sex, then the subplot with the evil partner really runs the show. I like some scenes a great deal but I never get the love story I am hoping for with this two very compelling heroes.

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review 2017-10-26 15:47
A little meh.
Cover Up: A Skin Deep, Inc Novel (Skin Deep Inc.) - L.A. Witt

This is the third one about the boys in the tattoo parlour and the military guys the hook up with.

 

And it feels very repetitive. The same scheme of "we're just having fun, nothing serious" and then it evolves into a real relationship and both are surprised, but one has a bit of a crisis, little drama, easily resolved, all good.

 

And it had too much sex - it took just too much space up in the story.

 

It was an ok read, but in combination especially with Jon's story, it felt like a cheap copy of the same mold...

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review 2017-10-08 18:15
So things got a little hot at my house for a while because...
Cover Up: A Skin Deep, Inc Novel (Skin Deep Inc.) - L.A. Witt

I've been reading L. A. Witt again...specifically 'Cover Up'  which is Nate'and Lucas's story. We first met Nate and Lucas in 'Pounding Skin' book #2 in Ms Witts' 'Skin Deep Inc.' series.

 

Nate and Lucas meet for the first time when Nate goes to Skin Deep at the urging of his friend Jon because he wants to cover the tiger tattoo on his arm that matches the one his now ex-husband has. According to Jon if you need a tattoo covered Lucas is the artist to see. What neither man anticipated was the intense reaction that Nate would have to the incredibly sexy but nearly 10 years younger tattoo artist.

 

Things heat up fairly quickly between these two men but hey, it's just a friends with benefits thing...sex for fun...no strings attached. Nate's still working on getting out of a marriage that ended badly, Lucas has ridden that merry-go-round twice already and has no interest in taking another ride, so nothing serious right?...well, it isn't until it is.

 

I've been looking forward to this one every since I was introduced to Nate in 'Pounding Skin' when he walked in and found his husband in their bed with another man...because damn, he seemed like such a nice guy and no one deserves that...no one, so I really, really wanted to see Nate get a better ending to his story. I was more than a little happy to learn that his story was next and while I did enjoy it. It turned out that I was also a little disappointed as well. This could have been so much more than it was.

 

Nate's story wasn't just about finding love it was about dealing with losing it as well. Learning to let go and move on. Saying good-bye to the future you thought you were going to have an finding something new...something better and while it was about those things there were times that the potential of this got lost in the sex...sure, I admit it was pretty steamy stuff. Ms Witt writes some hella' hot sex when you get right down to it, but for me this was a case of sometimes less is more. I would have loved just a little less when it came to the sex and a little more when it came to the character and relationship development especially towards the end. 

 

Nate and Lucas made for an incredibly likable and sexy pairing when it came time to address their issues...because let's face it every could has a point where there are things that need to be worked out and Nate and Lucas are no exception to this. That moment for me felt to rushed to quickly and readily resolved. I wasn't looking for a big dramatic filled with angst event but it just seemed like their issues and in particular Nate's weren't something that could be resolved in less than a day. 

 

Overall though this was still an enjoyable read with some really good moments in it and as always I loved getting a peek at what was going on with Matt and Jon from 'Pounding Skin' and I really enjoyed seeing more of Colin and Daniel from 'Back Piece'.  Although each of these books have the ability to be read as a stand alone story for myself I found it to be a far more enjoyable reading experience for having read the previous stories but I admit I'm a bit of a dork when it comes to knowing the full background of secondary characters who turn up to add a bit of color to a story.

 

I have to wonder though if this isn't the end of the road for this series since we've been introduced to at least one of the MCs for each book in the previous one. In the first book 'Back Piece' we got Colin and Daniel's story and were introduced to Matt. Then in 'Pounding Skin' we met Nate as Jon's best friend and Lucas as the newest employee of 'Skin Deep Inc' but in 'Cover Up' we've been given no likely candidates for another story but rest assured if there is one I'll be watching for them and if not well then one can only wonder what this author has planned for us next and if you're also wondering what happened to Nate's tattoo...well, you'll just have to read the book to find out.

 

*************************

An ARC of 'Cover Up' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-10-03 23:31
ARC Review: Deeds & Confetti (Mary's Boys #4) by Brandon Witt
Deeds & Confetti (Mary's Boys Book 4) - Brandon Witt

This is the final book in the Mary's Boys series, and it rounded out the series quite nicely. 

Steven Conley, in his 40s, is the owner of the Hamburger Mary's restaurant where three couples so far have found love, but he's been mostly in the background, having created a safe place for lost souls and built a strong chosen family for his employees and friends. Before purchasing the Mary's franchise, Steven had a successful corporate career, but left it, much to his father's dismay. When we first meet Steven in this book, he's in the hospital at his father's deathbed, with his sister Pat. Cruel words from his father send Steven reeling and questioning the choices he's made.

Ryan Fuller is 27 and also made choices, leaving behind success as a painter to own a small party planning business, while working part-time at a funeral home to make a bit of extra income. His relationship with his family is strained as his parents don't understand why he would choose to leave wealth and success behind. 

The two meet at the funeral home after Steven's father dies. Yeah, I know that sounds weird and sort of eww, but hear me out - first you have to understand the headspace Steven is in at the time. For which you need to read this book, obviously. Secondly, you need to know that Ryan knows Steven even before they meet at the mortuary. 

Grief makes one do seemingly strange things. So does desire.

For most of the book, Steven grapples with the choices he's made. He's adrift and doesn't know which way to move forward. He also thinks that Ryan, being so much younger, doesn't really see the real him, but some ideal he's built up in his mind, and thus Ryan's feelings cannot be trusted.

This is a heavy story, and not one you can read quickly. There's a ton of emotional upheaval inside, and it would behoove the reader to proceed carefully through each chapter so as not to miss the poignant writing within. 

I'm partly sad that this is the last book, and partly happy with how the author has chosen to end this series. It's not that everything is wrapped up in neat little bows, and the way to Steven and Ryan's HEA is tumultuous and winded, but it ends on a really positive note, with all our previous couples still going strong, and Steven and Ryan embarking on their forever journey. 

It's a really good book. And while it could theoretically be read as a standalone, you don't want to miss the books that came before it. Read the whole series - it's worth your time.


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

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