Hearts and Flour

Reviewed for @BMBR

2.5 Stars

I think it’s important to note that when reading the blurb I somehow missed the word orgiastic. If I had paid better attention, I probably wouldn’t have chosen a story with that being important enough to mention in the synopsis. But, I did choose it and in turn gave my best shot at enjoying it.

As the blurb mentioned, Micah is obsessed with health and eating raw. He’s extremely uptight and wants everyone else to be just as passionate about their health and consumption of shakes that smell like “fresh cut grass.” When Micah catches wind of some sugar and flour creations in the hands of his loyal customers, he nearly loses his mind.

“She looked up at him with big brown eyes. Her cheeks bulged hamster-like and the huge godforsaken cupcake she held poised in front of her face sported a large missing piece. Frosting clung to her lips like cocaine on an addict’s nose. “Mmmpfff.”

Quentin is new to town and opened a Cupcakery that’s become extremely popular. He’s kind, laid back, takes care of his grandma, and still locked in the closet along with all the dresses, wigs, and manties he adores wearing.

After breaking up with his cheater boyfriend, Micah gets invited to the orgiastic party.

“A night of meaningless sex in the name of anti-Valentine’s Day, right? Screw Cupid and all manufactured holidays.”

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At this “party,” Micah meets Queen (Quentin) in all “her” red dress, blonde wig, and thong wearing glory. Obviously this is a fuckfest party so Queen and Micah waste zero time getting down to business.

“Queen’s lips came up by Micah’s ear and one hand grasped Micah’s dick. “I want you to stain me and muss me. Ride me and put me up wet, darlin’.”

Before departing, Micah gets Queen’s number so they can actually get to know each other beyond a quickie in the bathroom.

*sigh*

The rest of the book didn’t increase my enjoyment either. Miscommunication, irrational reactions, a crazy ex, and a focus on sex which wasn’t compelling enough to keep my interest left me disappointed. Quentin is from the south and for some reason has this completely affected speaking vocabulary. I’m from the south, have lived in many southern states and it felt *very* fake. Also, he’s 24 and says dear. A lot.

“Let’s not waste that lovely erection on mere masturbation, dear.”

Their conversations were awkward, and interactions cheesy. I’m talking a straight up cheesefest.

“You turn me on like a Ferrari ignition.”

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Anywhoo, it wasn’t all negative. I liked Quentin’s sassy grandma. I also liked the way Micah was so uptight about the cupcakes at first. His reactions to them made me smile and I was looking forward to the epic moment when someone loosened the strings on his control. Another positive was manties… because manties!

This book didn’t work for me. There were many elements that held promise but nothing became fully realized. It wound up being ball of fluff covered in jizz from the orgiastic party while lacking anything I could sink my teeth into- besides the epic cupcakes that I’m now craving. Not recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

 

The Fortune Hunter

Reviewed for @BMBR

3.75 Stars

Ever have one of those magical lazy days? Where it goes by so peacefully slow and the only requirement is pajamas? Yeah, me neither. But I can imagine they would be a lot like most of this book with its slow pacing, lazy country days, simmering attractions, and budding friendships.

I recommend reading the synopsis because it does a great job of setting the stage. As the book starts, Hal is meeting Margaret’s (his fiancé) family at their country estate. Clearly, Margaret didn’t fully prepare her family and all were surprised-especially Julian, her cousin. He is taken right away with Julian’s looks but must keep his eyes on the prize. Hal was an orphan and has always craved security in a life that lacked control, funds, food, love, and shelter. He truly cares for Margaret in the way you would a dear friend. Unfortunately, Hal didn’t account for Julian.

Julian is a self righteous arse that falls in line with the high society gentleman in London. He swoops in on his high horse and stays there for the first part of the book. He sees past Hal’s gentleman appearance and distrusts him immediately. Rightfully so, but it seems he’s most angry about his attraction to someone he can’t have. Margaret decides they need to extend their stay due to family obligations and Julian is all too eager to stay as well and find the truth about Hal.

But… on those lazy country days and against Julian’s better judgement, the men form a connection. Each know they are hiding something and find it impossible to resist the strolls, talks, and discussions on books and history. Their chaste interactions become thick with desire. The desperation they felt in a simple holding of hands made my heart ache. They were so different yet the same in their wish to be understood and loved in a world where their “proclivity” wasn’t tolerated. Although Julian and Hal unknowingly gave their hearts, the dark cloud of deception wasn’t ever far from sight. Julian has to reconcile the Hal he grew to know with the actual Hal. Or are they one in the same?

Hal is painted in negative light from the beginning and yet I understood and maybe even accepted his reasons. While his intent was deception, it wasn’t malicious. He wants a family to visit at Holiday, a place to hang his hat, children, and a companion.

The beginning of this book dragged a bit for me. Not much happened beyond talks, strolls, and riding. I did enjoy the progression of Julian and Hal’s relationship and the challenges they faced to get their HEA. The pacing picked up around 45% and it wasn’t long before I became fully invested in the characters, Margaret included. The way Hal and Margaret’s engagement/relationship was handled the second half was refreshing.

The second half of this historical drew me in and I was able to overlook *most* of my feelings about the sleepy start. I fell for the characters and even embraced the deception with heart eyes for Hal. Recommended for fans of historical romance.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

 

To Seek and To Find

2.5 Stars

Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

Kyle is a Sub looking for a long term Dom. He has his sights set on a Dom that is new to the club. Taking the initiative, Kyle creates Project: Notice Me where he sets up scenes with other Doms in hopes of catching Aiden’s attention. He does. They decide on a trial period before a full commitment, contact, and eventual collar come into play.

The positives:

~I really liked the premise of a Sub getting creative to catch a Dom’s attention. Project: Notice Me had me requesting this story and looking forward to how it would play out.

~The characters. I liked the potential they had for a “relationship” together. Kyle was desperately wanting to find the one– a long term Dom and partner to share his life with in and out of scenes.

What didn’t work for me:

~The writing style. *smh* The third person/present tense made me want to bang my head at times. It took a good long while to get in a groove and get past it. Another thing that drove me crazy was the pronoun/proper noun usage. Sometimes they were used well and others, I was BEGGING for an editor.

Example:

”Kyle stares up at Richard and lets him see the flush in Kyle’s cheeks”

WHYYYYyyyYYyyy? Kyle, Kyle, Kyle!!!  NO MORE KYLE!!!! *deep breath*

~Minutiae: The fat needs to be cut from this story. A lot of unnecessary information was included that didn’t serve a purpose. Instead of character development, I read a lot about folding clothes, washing dishes, how many pieces of tomatoes or avocados were cut and saved for later, folding his clothes again, etc…

~If I pretend that this isn’t a romance, how everything played out would make more sense: IMO this doesn’t read like a romance. It reads like a Sub wanting to find a Dom. 99% of their “relationship” took place in scenes. I know their kink preferences, how they role play, the aftercare steps, and their expectations for D/s. What I don’t know is much about them. With barely any backstory or personal information beyond sex, I wasn’t able to connect with either character. Kyle’s relationship with Aiden wasn’t any different than the ones he had with other Doms he did demonstrations with. There was heat and chemistry in the scenes but nothing substantial that made me think they would go beyond the D/s scenes that he wanted. It read like clinical negotiations which is what it was with the HFN.

Warning: This next isn’t a positive or negative. Kyle is bisexual and although this is shelved as a M/M romance, there are *explicit* M/F scenes with Kyle and a female Domme. Kyle being a switch Sub worked in the context of the story but I thought it was worth noting for those that are interested in a switch or those that want only M/M.

If you can get past the writing style, the content reads like BDSM 101. It’s very explanatory and could be an ok starting point for those that wanna dip their toe into the D/s kink pool. I liked the premise but the execution was a little lacking.

Copy provided by publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Audio Release by Lauren Blakely

Available exclusively in audio TODAY and for the first six weeks – narrated by Richard Armitage and Grace Grant – comes a breathtaking new romance from #1 New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely that will sweep you away! Get an exclusive interview with Lauren with your Audible purchase! Grab your copy of this swoony and romantic Audible Original today!

ABOUT WANDERLUST:

They say Paris is always a good idea…

You know what I say? Paris would be a much better idea if I spoke the dang language. I can’t even board the metro to visit the Louvre without ending up at the Moulin Rouge, and let’s not even mention how I’ll ever make it through a day at my new office.

Fortunately my company hooks me up with my own personal translator. Ooh la la. Or should I say bloody hell? Because he’s charming, witty, and British, and he brings the city to life for me. Soon, I can order a croque monsieur hold the ham, discuss perfume with my co-workers, and barter at the outdoor market. I can also tell the sexy Brit by my side how much I want him to kiss me under the streetlamps.

Except there’s a catch – Paris might be all we have.

***

One more assignment before I can take off on my big adventure…

And it’s a good farewell gig too since my newest client is a fetching American who loves to explore the cafes and cobbled streets while I teach her the language of love. We fall into a fast and flirty friendship, but Paris has a way of making lovers out of friends, and soon we’re spending our nights together too – très risqué. The trouble is, my wanderlust is calling to me, and soon I’ll be traveling the globe to fulfill a promise I made long ago.

What could possibly go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nothing…unless one of you is leaving.

*Includes a special bonus interview with the author!*

GRAB YOUR AUDIBLE COPY HERE!

✦Audible ➜http://adbl.co/Wanderlust

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PRE-ORDER YOUR EBOOK AND PRINT COPIES HERE!

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✦Kindle Preorder alert (via Lauren’s newsletter)http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter/

 Don’t miss this message from Richard Armitage about Wanderlust!

 

 

 

 

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!

 

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 85 times, and in March she’ll release WANDERLUST, a breathtaking new romance that will sweep you away. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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K.A. Merikan New Release & Giveaway

 

Universal Buy Link: books2read.com/JustHereForThePain
Length: 90,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
The Underdogs Series
Book #1 – Manic Pixie Dream Boy – books2read.com/ManicPixieDreamBoy

Blurb
—. Whips and chains – not optional .—

Sid. Drummer for The Underdogs. Secretly yearning for pain and submission.

Asher. AKA Stan. Stalker. More than meets the eye.
It’s hard to find good hookups while on tour. Sid wants pain, humiliation, and the kind of sex that isn’t easy to get from one-night stands. So for now, he’s given up, settled for an online Dom to get his rocks off, and focused on his band instead. The Underdogs are getting increasingly popular, but there is one fan who has followed Sid since before he even joined the band, and he’s driving Sid mad! Rich, spoiled hipster brat looking for the bad boy experience. If he knew what Sid was really into, he would run for the hills.

Asher is convinced that Sid is The One, his One True Love, his endgame. Years ago, Asher lost his virginity to Sid, and from that moment on, he knew it was meant to be. They had a spark, that honest connection that couldn’t be faked. The members of Sid’s band call him a stalker, but all he wants is to offer Sid his love. When Sid finally chokes out what he wants, Asher is more than ready to unleash it on him.

But the last time Sid was out as gay and submissive, he got badly burnt when his former band kicked him out, and the doors to many opportunities slammed in his face.

Asher wants the whole world to know that he’s dating Sid. Problem is, Sid would much rather keep the relationship as pain-with-benefits.

 

 

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.



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Brooklynaire

 

Reviewed by Cupcake

4 So, Cat tacos Stars!

O Fluff Queen! My Fluff Queen!

I’ve been waiting for this story since Rookie Move where Nate and Becca leapt off the page. Through the first three books their story has evolved but always maddeningly in the background. Until now.

“Everything worthwhile is complicated.”

If you’ve not read the first three, no worries! You’re probably better off than the rest of us, because much of this I already knew thus I found myself getting impatient for them to just be together already! Were there another 10-20 chapters after they got together, I would’ve been happy as a clam. I know they’ll show up in the rest of the series, but if there were to be another Nate and Becca book I would not be mad about that. At all.

Brooklynaire is a bit Cinderella with a dollop of opposites attract and a recurring fairy tale vibe.

Billionaire tech genius Nate Kattenberger has been pining for his office manager Rebecca Rowley for years! YEARS! She’s seemed oblivious and uninterested. Turns out she’s been sublimating her attraction. A head injury sets the wheels in motion triggering all of Nate’s protective instincts. Once he opens his heart and house to her in an effort to help her recover, he can’t seem to stuff everything back inside the box he’d put all his feelings.

I love love LOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEE Nate!! A geek who has a tendency to get lost in his own head, loves Sherlock and palindromes, he’s levelheaded, scary intelligent and generous. He’s a billionaire who hasn’t lost sight of what really matters, cares about his employees, is forthright and hasn’t lost the ability to identify with people far removed from his tax bracket. Is he too perfect?

Just look at that cover! Would you look at that cover? Don’t we all want that dude to be perfect? I admit it. I swooned. Sorry. Nope. Not sorry.

Rebecca, on the other hand, confused me. Through all three of the books she’s been sassy and fierce, but here she’s suddenly insecure and self-conscious about her body and her reputation within the company? Every woman I know struggles to some degree with body image issues so that felt authentic. However, she’s worked for Nate in some capacity for seven years. Seven years of proving herself invaluable, competent and reliable, so when she started freaking out about everyone assuming she’d slept her way to the top not only was a squinting but it just didn’t jive with the Becca I thought I knew. I still love her, her bubbliness and her ability to make everyone feel at ease. Ultimately she finds a way to make peace with her feelings and her reputation so it was a moot point.

Brooklynaire is sexy. My Fluff Queen is in a class by herself when it comes to bossy tops, so I should’ve anticipated it but I was still caught a little off-guard when the words started coming out of Nate’s mouth. He seemed so… sedate. Always the quiet ones, I tell ya.

There’s still a good bit of hockey happening since Brooklynaire overlaps Pipe Dreams. We learn how the playoffs actually went between Brooklyn and Dallas. The twist at the end kicked things up a notch and has me wondering if that’s going to crop up again in the future.

The secondary characters are fantastic, as always. I can’t even decide who I’d like to read about next. Castro? Heidi Jo? Silas? Stew?

Nate and Becca’s relationship is fluff magic and the last chapter plus epilogue were incandescent leaving me with a bad case of the feels and wanting more.

If you need some fluffy, swoony goodness in your life, look no further.

An ARC was provided by the publisher.

Strait Laced

Reviewed for @BMBR 

Tag Team with Cupcake. Check out her review here.

3.5 Stars

This book was difficult to rate because while it wasn’t necessarily my cuppa, I can see the appeal and the overall enjoyment some might get out of the low angst read that features a couple navigating every day life and finding a way to do it together. So, for those of you who don’t want to be on the edge of your seat and take a break from angst in books and/or real life- this may be your cuppa.

Phillip is on a business trip to Manchester and heads to a club in The Village he frequents while in town. Hanging in the shadows, Phillip watches men having the experiences he wants but could never would never partake in. He’s uptight and constantly worries about what everyone in his life thinks about him and his choices. It cripples his ability to just live, get out of his head and stop judging. Luckily, a sexy go-go dancer likes what he sees and “buys” Phillip a drink.

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*Googles nearest club with go-go dancers… for a friend*

Ben is a sexy, tattooed, pierced, and scantily glad go-go dancer that breaks Phillip slowly out of his shell. He remains an enigma for some of the book and I needed his story. I just knew something had to be missing from his outward carefree persona. As the pieces are put in place, my feels for Ben increased.

As I mentioned above, this story is really low angst. There were some situations thrown in here and there but overall, just an easy relational read with natural growing pains present in any relationship. It’s two opposite men meeting, enjoying each other, and seeing how they fit together. I like how rational Ben is when it comes to Phillip. Phillip is a worry wart and Ben can sooth him while getting him to let go and finally live for himself.

“Ben unravelled me, stripped me apart, put me back together, and had me humming like a well-oiled engine.”

The first 30% moved super slow IMO and I was relieved when it began picking up a tiny bit. One thing that served as a pick me up were the smexy times. Ben is a pro at getting Phillip to take the stick out of his ass and replace it with objects that are much more promising. The days of Phillip’s sex being quieter than a church mouse were over. Ben worked him and they had some great chemistry.

“Nobody had ever set me alight this way. No man had made me shake and tremble, claw at him and cry out shamelessly because I couldn’t get enough.”

“I wanted to be rubbed raw, bruised and bitten, fucked hard and long until I couldn’t stand it anymore and my orgasm was dragged out of me kicking and screaming.”

I liked the MCs together and the growth they made as individuals. Thank goodness because Phillip was driving me crazy with being all Judgy McJudgerson.  The relationship pacing was authentic without the presence of insta-love and the magic peen. They moved through each phase of the getting to know each other, liking, and then loving and we were there through it all… which isn’t a complete positive. I could have done without such an in-depth seminar on the ins and outs of the London/Manchester night life and *every* aspect of domesticated bliss. Still, it was enjoyable and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for low key read with lots of domestication and some heat.

“I don’t mind fighting for you, Philip. Even if the only person I’m fighting is you.”

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

DJ Dangerfield

4 Stars

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Okay, so I know that gif is kinda sorta creepy- but this short was like getting a book hug. The feelzzzzzz this left me with… *swoon*

For being such a short story, this had me reading with a dopey grin from its fleshed out and oh so likable characters, unique story, and their self discovery. The angst is pretty low but DJ Dangerfield and Justin have some complications to sift through.

Imagine you listen to the same radio station and call in to talk/banter/disagree with the DJ every night for a over a year. Then think about the connection and feelings that develop for someone you’ve never met and the trepidation on possibly ruining the magic by finally meeting? That’s this story.

It was SO. FREAKIN’. ADORABLE.

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Sex plays a very minor part in this short which was perfect. I didn’t need sex to feel the chemistry and connection these characters were working with. Once again, Anyta can make me fall in love with the worlds she builds and the amazing characters that navigate them. *dreamy sigh*

Fence Installments 1-3

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This installment series  by C.S. Pacat is such an interesting concept that I couldn’t stay away. A M/M comic series? Yes, please!!! I dove in head first and was finished in less than 30 minutes. Each installment is super short as we follow Nicholas and Seiji on their fencing journey.

Installment 1 (4 Stars): This is where Nicholas and Seiji first meet. I was giddy after reading this just dreaming about the potential.

Installment 2 (4 Stars): This had some great build-up as Nicholas and Seiji are forced to live together and compete against each other for the remaining spots on the team. The tension was great and again, held promise. Of course I raced on to Installment 3.

*Insert dramatic music*

Installment 3 (3 Stars): This is where it fell apart for me. It had the vibe of just being a filler installment. It read like a fencing handbook with very little plot advancement and relational development.

I know, I know… put your pitchforks away. It isn’t the most popular opinion but if each teeny tiny installment (minus the 1st @ $1.99) is $3.99, I need more than proper fencing mechanics. I’m interested in their story but may need to wait until it’s complete to determine whether I’ll continue on the journey.

I will add that the illustrations were beautifully done and added so much to the text. Here’s a sample.

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The Martian

 

4.5 Stars

I don’t think my brain capacity and IQ are at the proper levels to review this book and do it justice. I’m a NASA nerd. I’ve been a NASA nerd for many years and missed my calling to become an astronaut. *sigh* This was entertaining, captivating, filled with ingenuity, and so well researched that I loved every minute. I’m just gonna assume that everything was accurate because the amount of detail that went into every aspect of Mars survival made my head spin. If it isn’t real? Whatever, I’m still drinking the Kool-aid.

My ONLY disappointment was the closure. Not enough information was provided once he made it to that point. I need more. I want more. Even if it’s just an Earth epilogue. A CAPCOM printout detailing mission success/failure. ANYTHING.

I still loved it and definitely recommend.

I listed to the audio of this and R.C. Bray was the narrator. He did a fantastic job and I was entertained and/or on the edge of my seat throughout.