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review 2018-01-19 21:03
This is quickly becoming the most challenging review...EVAH!!!
Covet - Yolande Kleinn

Truthfully this is the third time I've tried to start this review and in my brain it's probably the twentieth. My goal here isn't to tell you what the stories about but to share with you why I was so gobsmacked by this one and truthfully to get you the reader to at least take a peek at it or maybe even decide to read the story. 

 

'Covet' at first glance appears to be a menage book that involves twincest...nope, sorry wrong. Truthfully I don't even think I would call it a 'menage' story in the true sense of the word and as for the twincest...not here. By definition 'twincest' is an incestuous sexual relationship  between twins or siblings who look very similar and that doesn't happen here. Peter and Jack are twins but there is 'no' sexual attraction between Jack and Peter. What there is...is a bit of a problem since both men are attracted to Colin. 

 

Colin is a professor at the local university where Jack also works.  While Peter is a lawyer. Peter and Jack have a close relationship and while Jack's attraction to Colin is there from the start, initially Peter's only interest is curiosity about the man who seems to be garnering more interest than his brother has given to anyone in the past and from there they become friends for Peter and Coliin the sexual interest is more of a slow burn. 

 

For Colin and Jack their progression to an intimate relationship while quicker still takes ore time since Colin has just gotten out of a 5 year relationship and he's not looking for anything new, but Jack's determined and he knows how to play the game. So with a little patience, determination and willingness to take things slower than he'd like Jack moves his relationship from friends to friends with benefits.

 

The relationship between Jack and Peter is definitely put to the test when Jack learns that Peter's interest in Colin has gone beyond the platonic. The relationship between these three men is...well...not to sound cliche but...yeah, it's complicated and then some. It's also handled incredibly well by the author.  This is my second book by Yolande Kleinn and while I enjoyed 'Running Hot' I'd be remiss if I didn't also say that 'Yolande Kleinn has impressed the hell out of me with the story that she's created this time around'. 

 

Aannnddd having said all that I did have one disappointment with this story which was the ending specifically the epilogue. Unfortunately that's about all I'm going to say about that because otherwise I'll be  sharing more in terms of details than I want to share...now, now don't get into a panic it's not that there wasn't any happy at the end you can breath comfortable about that the happy is there and admittedly it may well be that that I'm if not the only one, I'm one of a very few readers who are bothered by the epilogue, but I was so that's the reason there's not 5 stars here.

 

That this is one of the most challenging reviews I've ever had to write doesn't surprise me since this book contains some of the most challenging relationships I've encountered in a book in a very, very long time and yes, I do mean relationships because 'Covet' isn't just about the relationship between Jack, Peter and Colin...no it goes well beyond that. The author has given us time with Jack and Colin, Peter and Jack, Peter and Colin and we even got some time with Peter and Maureen...before things ended between them. I only mention this because while things didn't work out between Peter and Maureen, I really like the character of Maureen.

 

So, I'm just going to have a little babble about Maureen here. Maureen was initially Peter's girlfriend and what I really loved about this character was that she was a successful, confident professional (lawyer), she wasn't clingy or needy and when things ended with Peter she didn't turn into a raging bitch!!! Seriously I loved Maureen...please can we have more women like her in books. It was awesome to see a woman portrayed in such a positive light. Maureen didn't have a lot of page time but that's ok because what she had as appropriate to her role in the story. Maureen is one of a very few  female characters that I've encountered in a book in a long time that I truly enjoyed and thus ends my little babbling tribute to the character of Maureen.

 

'Covet' is a very relationship driven story and truthfully none of those relationships are easy or simple but in many ways they are very solid and real. Just like in real life relationships aren't always what they seem to be sometimes they are more or less than what the world sees but always they are unique to the people in them.

 

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A copy of 'Covet' was graciously provide by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-09 16:55
Christmas and puppies...it's like a box of happiness...
Freckles - Amy Lane

I first read this story when it was released in e-book format last year and needless to say it was adorable. I'm not going to re-invent the wheel, so I'll just borrow from my original review...

Carter Embree is a lawyer stuck in a dead-end job that he hates...well, he doesn't actually hate the job, just who he works for. Carter's a lawyer with a conscience and with each day he's becoming more and more unhappy with what he sees. 

Sandy Corrigan's a vet tech who wants to a vet so at 33 years old he's working full time and going to school. 

These two men's lives collide when Carter ends up the unexpected owner of a puppy that he's told is a Chow/Samoyed mix so imagine his surprise when he find out that his Chow/Samoyed dog is in fact a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix...little bit of a size discrepancy there...lol!

I liked Carter with all his insecurities and quiet demeanor. Carter was also a reflection of the adage 'money can't buy you happiness'. He'd been raised in a home where money wasn't a issue, the best schools, successful parents. But what Carter really wanted was someone to share his life with someone whom he could believe in and who believed in him. 

Sandy was in many ways Carter's opposite. He'd grown up with a sister and a single mom. Things like money for college and nice homes weren't a possibility in Sandy's world. But Sandy wasn't one to let things like this get him down. He was confident and upbeat. He knew what he wanted and when he saw it he went for it. So when Sandy decided that there was more to Mr. Crazypants than meets the eye it was only a matter of time.

'Freckles' was a fun, sweet story of a romance that started because one man gave his heart to a cute, little puppy. I loved the slow build between Carter and Sandy and watching Carter figure out where his life was going both personally and professionally. This was a feel good story with little to no angst and lots of feelz to make you smile and a happily ever after that will keep you smiling.

So here we are basically a year later and 'Freckles' once again comes across my radar only this time it's the audio book version and it's narrated by Nick J. Russo...ya' all know I'm a fan, right?  Yep, sign me up.  It's a book by one of my favorite authors and it's being narrated by one of my favorite narrators and I'mma gonna have me a few hours of happy time because when it comes to audio books Mr. Russo is as close to a surefire deal as one can get.

 

If you're like me and find that while you love to read books, it's also nice to have someone read you a story...'Freckles' is a fun grown-up version of having a bedtime story read to you...it's Christmas time, there's an adorable little puppy and two hot men who find the gift of love in each other...what's not to enjoy? Happy Listening & Happy Holidays! 

 

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An audio book of 'Freckles' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-09 02:39
Sometimes a visit to the doctor can fix a broken heart....
Healing - Stevie Woods

Audin and Tener haven't seen each other since college and their last encounter really didn't end well...they parted ways less than amicably. Neither man thought they would ever see each other again. 

 

So needless to say when Audin walks into Tener's office looking for a healer both men are more than a little surprised. Audin quickly realizes that this is an opportunity that he never thought he'd have...a chance to make things right and maybe even have Tener back in his life again. Audin's not alone in how he feels and both men soon agree that they want to fix things, they care about each other and neither is willing to pass up a chance to be back in the other's life.

 

While their reunion was purely happenstance it's also very fortuitous for a government resistance group that Tener belongs too and that Audin sympathizes with. 

 

While I enjoyed the reunion between Audin and Tener for me it was the part of the story that unfolded alongside of this that really fascinated me and how the part that Audin and Tener held in events that unfolded was definitely what held my interest. 

 

I have to admit I was honestly disappointed that this story wasn't longer I seriously wanted so much more story than what I was given. Admittedly, the story essentially felt complete and I didn't feel like there was anything missing but I also still felt like I wanted more...more background, more world building, more personal time between the MCs, more background on some of the secondary characters. 

 

I've often found myself saying that 'Less is more...well, in the case of this story I'm going to have to say that 'more would have been better'. 

 

This is a re-release of a previously published story.

 

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A copy of 'Healing' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-28 18:03
Everything happens for a reason...
Desperately Seeking Santa - Eli Easton

When Gabe Martin's friend Jordan finally convinces him to go to a college wrestling match with him to cheer for their team but more importantly Jordan's boyfriend Owen, whom those who have read Ms. Easton's book 'Superheroes' will recognize Jordan and Owen as the MCs from that story but if like me you haven't read 'Superheroes' yet you  can read this story without worry. 

 

Now back to Gabe accompanying his friend Jordan to a wrestling match where they cheer not only for Owen but where Gabe first lays eyes on the 6' 10", 285 lb. Mack McDonall star of the wrestling team and for Gabe the stuff of his fantasies...very, very steamy fantasies. Add to this the fact that journalism student...Gabe gets his first assignment from the local newspaper that he interns with...two events that seem totally unrelated but are anything but.

 

I enjoyed...wait scratch that I loved! everything about this story both of the MCs were absolutely adorable...Gabe with his outgoing nature and offbeat sense of humor...both what came out of his mouth and his internal monologues, his open and friendly demeanor and then there's Mack...quiet, intelligent, solid, dependable, stoic Mack who cautiously guarded his heart as carefully as his past but once you got past his barriers...you were held there safe, secure and loved.

 

As well as some wonderful secondary characters such as Gabe's mother and Gabe and Mack's friends Owen and Jordan we get to meet Mack's father, Jim and their friend George. Along with this we are given representations of both the child welfare system and prison system that serve as reminders that while things may not always work the way they should nor do they always fail. There are a lot of good people out there trying to help make this world a better place and sometimes it takes a story like this to remind us.

 

'Desperately Seeking Santa' was a sweet, fun holiday story filled with love, family and just enough drama to make things interesting and topped off with an epilogue that delivers a solid HEA for a sexy and adorable couple.  

 

Eli Easton has once again given us a holiday story that reminds us that often the best presents...the ones that we really want and need aren't found under the Christmas tree. Definitely recommended for the holidays!

 

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An ARC of 'Desperately Seeking Santa' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-20 17:08
Well this was one hella' good ride...
Return of the Chauffeur's Son - Tara Lain,Greg Tremblay

'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was totally a case of 'right church, wrong pew'. While Tara Lain isn't a new to me author I've read several books by her and for the most part I've enjoyed them but this is only my second time listening to one of Ms Lain's books on audio and while the first one was ok at best. I seriously enjoyed this one from start to finish. I loved the story and with Greg Tremblay as the narrator well...of course I loved the it as an audio book.

 

Now about the story, Luca McGrath is the chauffeur's son and he's been away from his home in Napa Valley for quite a while about 8 years. He left to study culinary arts in Paris and then went on to make a name for himself in New York but it was also to put some distance between himself and James Armstrong...best friend and unrequited love...you see James is straight, so other than platonic...a relationship was never going to be between these two men. Having stayed away for eight long years Luca is finally lured home by the offer of what will become his dream job...and this is where things become fun.

 

Luca comes home to find that James isn't acting as straight as he always seemed but this is all complicated by the fact that Luca's finding that while he thinks he still loves James there's someone else who keeps drawing his attention...Dylan, Jame's older brother...yep, we've got an age gap here and for me it's all good because it's only about 10 years and I've never really had a problem with age gaps between 10 - 15 years. But even more importantly I loved Dylan and when Dylan and Luca finally get page time together both in and out of the bedroom...this becomes one hella' good story. The interaction between these two is beyond entertaining more often than not I found myself laughing and just giggling with delight at their banter.

 

I can't honestly say that I would have enjoyed this story as much had I just read the e-book. I'm sure it would have been close but I have to admit the addition of Greg Tremblay's voice narrating worked wonderfully for me and I was delightfully entertained. This one's more of a slow burn than anything and admittedly it's fairly light on the sexy times there's was really only one full on sex scene and it's well past the 50% mark so...slow burn and well worth the wait. It was sexy and fun. I'm assuming that the author was going for sexy and fun with these two men rather than the more common intense, passion filled first time sex scene and for me it was simply delightful. I'm not talking 'oh-my-god-this-is-ridiculous' here I'm talking two men who loved each other and were comfortable with each other and while simply being together made them happy, sharing the intimacy of love was for them pure joy. It worked, ok I really don't know how else to explain it but it worked and for me their happiness was palpable and came through so clearly in the narrator's voice.

 

'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was a light, enjoyable feel good romance with a bit of restaurant intrigue thrown offering several hours of listening fun and leaving me with a happy smile at the end of it all.

 

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A copy of the audio book 'Return of the Chauffeur's Son' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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