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review 2018-01-06 21:50
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss Book 2) (Volume 2) - Nalini Singh

Re-read in January 2018

Charlotte Baird is the best friend of Molly Webster, the heroine from Rock Addiction. This book takes place simultaneously and portrays Charlotte's relationship with her overbearing new boss who she refers to as T-Rex. I was intrigued by this side plot in the first Rock Kiss book so I was super happy that it met all of my expectations.

I loved the portrayal of Charlotte and her journey to self-confidence after a horrific incident with an ex-boyfriend. Readers get hints about what happened, but I was not prepared for the details which made me admire Charlotte even more. She is intelligent and shy though she also has a spine of steel when pushed too far. There are many moments where she could have retreated back into her enclosed world, but she kept going and showed how strong she really was.

The aforementioned T-Rex whose real name is Gabriel Bishop is a former professional rugby player who is now known for bring businesses back from the brink of disaster. His first few days at his new company results in staff overhauls and plenty of tears, but he showed a keen sense of business smarts and a good heart. I liked that, while most of this book focused on Charlotte's development, it also deals with Gabriel's own difficult childhood and how it effects his current outlook on life.

Rock Hard has many elements that I adore in Nalini Singh's paranormal books like fully developed characters, romance that sweeps the reader off their feet, and well-written worlds. Even though this book is a contemporary romance, I can see Singh's skills at worldbuilding with her depiction of the company that Charlotte and Gabriel work for, the relationships between the workers, and especially the crazy Bishop family. I am hoping Gabriel's brother, Danny, will get his own story someday.

All in all, a truly entertaining read that is both sweet and sexy. This author is showing how skilled she is at writing romance whether it is contemporary or paranormal. Rock Hard is my favorite of the series so far.

I received a free e-ARC of this book from TKA Distribution via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-26 00:33
Even with romance thrown in, fishing just doesn't do it for me...
Breaking the Ice (States of Love) - Tali Spencer
Tag Team Review with Sara!

--Ice Fishing.

I knew of it, but this book is definitely an ode to the sport.

Let me tell you something. I'm the least sports appreciating person you might meet. And sadly, I'm surrounded by the sports people. My BFF is a fisherwoman. Like she takes joy in sitting around with live bait and catching fish any free time she can. Do I join her? Fuck no! I tune out the moment she mentions bait. So I took my fishing non-love to this book, it seems.

This book is a lot about the appreciation and dedication of the sport in a icy tundra of a Wisconsin town. That's the major selling point of this book.

Matt Wasko is small, college educated, out and proud, grandson of a revered family in his small town and works an office job in a factory. His co-workers and Matt bowl together and against each other on two teams. And other the other team is Matt's love interest, John Lutz. Lutz's team has a bunch of homophobic jerks and Lutz does nothing to shut those guys up. He joins in the lame jokes or laughs.

Matt can't stand them especially that good looking Lutz. Thankfully, he had a two week vacation away from the job and with his beloved frozen lake Winnebago. When Lutz shows up to his icy piece of heaven, it seems like Matt can't catch a break.

At the core of things, Matt is a good guy. And he can't be an asshole to anyone... even his nemesis. The thing is John isn't a bad guy, he makes poor choices and follows the crowd, so no one knows how deep he's in the closet.

The two make nice on the ice and discover shared geeky interests. But they also are attracted to each other. The romance part was cute. I thought the epilogue was a bit soon just because we don't get to spend as much time with the couple as we did with Matt. There is some hotness dropped in there. *coughs*intercrural *coughs*rimming *coughs*

The guys were cute. Lutz pulls his head out of his ass. Wasko was adorably snarky. I liked them (okay, I liked Wasko a little more) But the klutzy wooing was cute. Thank goodness, we get dual POV.

Overall, the love story is the love of Wisconsin. Never been to the state, but it read authentic.

And who doesn't love unicorn name dropping?

Recommended to readers who enjoy the ice fishing sport (or want to learn as this is chock full of info).

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-09 00:00
Please, Boss: A Bad Boy Office Romance
Please, Boss: A Bad Boy Office Romance -... Please, Boss: A Bad Boy Office Romance - Juliana Conners Hot office romance
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review 2017-02-08 05:56
Jizzmas approved! ;D
The Fortune Cookie (2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug) - Matt Burlingame
It's the spookiest time of the year...CHRISTMAS JIZZMAS time!!

A lot of readers are going to smother themselves in Christmas Jizz. Whelp at BMBR, we're reviewing Dreamspinner's Bah Humbug anthology - Grumps vs. Jizz Lovers (1 guess what team I'm on)

Here's my 2 cents:

4.25 Hearts--I feel!

Possibly the Jizzmas spirit? *squints*

This Santa jizz Grumpcorn was tickled by this adorably snarky story. I swallowed this load easily.

I think this year's anthology theme of Scrooges reigning supreme is great. (You can't tell me that the Scrooges don't reign) It's the only reason why I even looked at this year's Dreamspinner anthology. I felt one with this story's Scrooge, Laurence. He's 33, single and not a big fan of the Christmas commercialism. And if he shreds unwanted Christmas decorations from his office cubicle, so what? They shouldn't be invading his space. I feel he is misunderstood. He stood up to the Christmas cheery and their Christmas sugar, fought the good fight...maybe he might have been a little stern.

But he got his point across. *shrug*

Maybe too well, since he's been at it for years and this year an office mishap lands him in an office holiday planning committee. Mandatory or else. *gasp* And to make matters worse, the committee is being led by a Christmas loving ginger giant by the name of Nick Kringall. Nick tries to complete the impossible with Laurence on his team--throw a big party in a limited amount of time. The two men are forced to work together. During this short period of time Laurence thaws out, Nick seems a little otherworldly, is it a Jizzmas miracle?


Where this story wins is not the Jizzmas cheer, it's watching Laurence realize his flaws, grow as a person and open to let someone in. Also, Matt Burlingame, the author of this story has a fine hand at letting the story unfurl without letting it get lost to Christmas fluff and cheer. There was a speck of feels as there are mentions of past abuse - Trigger warning. There were also moments of cheese--hm, like Cheddar cubes--but it worked to make a well rounded story. And the romance was sweet not sticky. The laughs had a snarky tinge. Thoroughly enjoyed and will be looking for more MM romance from this author (it's his first time!)

On second thought, I don't think it's Jizzmas spirit I feel. I think it was a little indigestion. *burp* ;P

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-06 07:25
Refreshing New Adult MM romance...
Andre in Flight - Laura Lascarso


'I've watched you sleep a thousand times.'

New-to-me Laura Lascarso is fairly new in the MM romance department. And she made an impression after reading novella, Andre in Flight.

I'm not sure how exactly to categorize it, probably contemporary new adult with a twist. The twist is everything that makes this story move. I'll try my hardest not give it away.

Set in Miami, twenty-something artist Martin works as a waiter in a Cuban fusion restaurant. His circle of friends is small, his love life is nonexistent. Other than a closeted co-worker who takes out his frustration on Martin since Martin refused him, he has no action. One day, he sees the new dishwasher, eighteen year old Andre who is full of youth and beauty. Martin's muse is captures. and there is something about the boy that captivates him. Is it his muse only? Or is it more?

The story is told in Martin's 1st POV but the reader definitely gets an equal sense of both main characters. Andre is essentially homeless, living in the worst neighborhood by exchanging sexual favors. Triggers: Past abuse, mentions of homophobic bashing. Martin takes the teen in his studio apartment...as a friend. It trips both of them out.

This is a period that I enjoy in reading budding romances, that getting to know the other person period. Hell I enjoy it in real life. Andre is a character and embodies eighteen. He's legally an adult, but sadly he's been through some rough things in his life. Sometimes he acted older than his years and then in the next page, he does something so damn eighteen!

Reading Andre and Martin move from roommates to more was great. I enjoyed the author's tone a lot. And even with the serious topics introduced, the story didn't read angst heavy. It was closer to realistic...for the most part.

Things I enjoyed:

Main Characters : both were men of color, Andre - African American and Martin - Cuban-American. And both men described a view of their world with a sense of their self. Andre, more so than Martin, he was young, black and gay in small town Alabama, where homophobia drove him away from home. Both men were characters and not caricatures with pretty skin tone.

The Twist : was not expecting it in the least though there were hints in the blurb. There's a point when it comes to ahead and I was shocked. That doesn't happen too often.

Things that weren't as strong for me:

Melissa : I'm unsure what side of the coin she's supposed to fall on. She's too ambiguous for me. (also, if Martin and Andre are subjects in this...game(?) What exactly is her story? How? I can see the why, though I think it could've went deeper.

Last 20-25% : The story gets the job done. It slowly unfurls with giving enough crumbs to move the pace along. But the last 20-25%, seemed like it could have been pushed further. Finding out the motive behind the story's villain(?) Why the main players? Will it happen again? Is there some mission? Ulterior motive? And the way one character just went away for a few weeks with no contact when they really seemed to be the puppet mater, just struck me as a  little odd. I think I quibble because I wish this story was slightly longer.

Overall, the story is certainly different. It sort of has paranormal elements but ...not quite. Is there sex? Yes, but it's overly detailed and doesn't need to be. It's more about Andre and Martin's connections. There are miscommunication issues, so if you're a reader who gets easily frustrated with that plot device, it doesn't overtake the entire book. Keep in mind it's New Adult, so expect the characters to act as such.

I think Andre in Flight read like a current snapshot of working class new adults who become friends into something more. It felt as close to real life as it could get.

Recommended? Yes. A sort of sweet, low angst glimpse at relationship that seems to stand the test of time. It has a HFN ending, which I think works for this age range.

But it's up for interpretation, sort of like Martin's artwork.

I'll be keeping my eye open for more MM from Ms. Lascarso in the future. I want to read what other ideas she has brewing.

P.S. This cover? Nom nom nom!

A copy provided for an honest review.

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