Rocky Mountain Refuge

Rocky Mountain Refuge by Nicky James: Review by Lost in a Book

Rocky Mountain Refuge

Blurb:

Run! Hide! We are watching you, Huxley!

Huxley Dempsy suffers from a paranoid personality disorder. After a horrific tragedy five years ago, Huxley is convinced people are out to get him. Taking refuge in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, he is a prisoner to his own mind. If he can think it up, it must be true, and there is no convincing him otherwise.

Wildlife biologist, Aspen Taylor, is on his way north again to close up the final year of the Grizzly Bear Research Project. Studying wildlife in their natural habitat is what sings to his soul. However, who he finds in the mountains is almost as beastly as the bears he studies.

An underlying sense of familiarity draws Aspen to learn more about this Wildman, and a strong sense of attraction binds them together almost instantly. But can Aspen break through the barriers of Huxley’s mind and convince him to go home?

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4.75 Stars

YASSSS!!!

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I devoured this insanely fast. Rocky Mountain Refuge left me hungover and scouring lists and recommendations for rustic and/or wilderness M/M reads. Not gonna lie though, this book hurt. It’s hard to read Huxley’s POV and my face might have leaked a tiny bit. However, it’s balanced with a lightness that surrounds Aspen and that makes it hurt SO good.

Huxley has struggled with paranoia since childhood. Between therapy and the amazing support system of his mom and husband Nathaniel, he was able to function throughout his day to day life. That is, until he witnessed the murder of his husband and then his paranoia got the better of him and he now lives secluded in the wilderness for fear of being found by the men who committed the crime. From the beginning of the story, Huxley’s paranoia is suffocating. It’s debilitating, full of delusional thoughts, and complete rationalization of maintaining his current lifestyle cutoff from the outside world.

Aspen is a wildlife biologist that’s working on a grizzly bear project in the middle of nowhere with only his team around… and unbeknownst to him, Huxley. He has such a calm nature and is totally at ease in the wilderness. He stumbles upon Huxley and that encounter and many that follow have Aspen approaching Huxley as if he’s a wild animal. Aspen is intrigued by Huxley and can’t help himself from creeping around his cabin.

Their relationship begins as a way to release the pent up sexual frustration and loneliness. Huxley can only give Aspen one thing and that’s an orgasm. Their smexy times are hot AF. For real. Huxley is all growly and bossy and hot and strong and huge and…

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Anywhoo, Aspen is more than willing to keep coming back for those times and senses the need to go slow with a friendship and then hopefully more. The more time Aspen spends with Huxley, the clearer the paranoia becomes. Day by day, their relationship forms as they try to develop a new normal and hopefully get Huxley the help he needs while not scaring him away. Huxley’s mental illness isn’t sugar coated. It’s not swept under the rug and a magic penis doesn’t come to fix all his woes. Shit got real and their HEA is not easily earned but is definitely sweeter in the end.

Let’s talk about Nathaniel, the murdered husband. I know this book isn’t about their relationship and the story starts after the murder. BUT, the writing and portrayal of love between Nathaniel and Huxley is absolutely beautiful. Nothing is diminished and it really added more feels to the heartbreak of what Huxley survived. I’ve read many romances where the partner passes away and for some reason the living MC says “best I ever had” or “way better than before.” The author didn’t do that here and it was absolutely refreshing to know that two people shared an amazing love that tragically didn’t last and they move on. Instead of breaking down that prior relationship to prop up the current one, it’s kept on a loving pedestal and only adds to the foundation of the new one.

*hops off soapbox*

I really, really, really enjoyed this book and hope we see more from Huxley and Aspen in the future. Definitely recommended.

P.S. Just a note of warning, this book takes place in the wilderness and wilderness things take place such as skinning/killing animals for survival. Mental illness is also prevalent throughout.

 

September/October M/M Highlights

I’m baccccccckkk!! It was a hell of a few months but we made it and although I didn’t have a ton of reading time, I managed to knock a few back. I’m overwhelmed by the idea of trying to write back log reviews… so I’m not. Here are some of the M/M (I’ll be making another M/F post later) reads I (Lost in a Book) enjoyed during my moving craziness.

Glitterland (Glitterland, #1)

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

4.25 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Nicholas Boulton

Thoughts:

This was a pleasant surprise. I’ve had Glitterland on my TBR for a while but not my “real” TBR. You know… the ever expanding list that I may one day get to. It was my lucky day when I saw this on audio and wasn’t annoyed by the narrator. Actually, Nicholas Boulton kicked ass with the narration and kept me hooked on Ash and Darian’s story. His voice… highly enjoyable.

This is one of those books I wanted to highlight like crazy but couldn’t audio. It says a lot that I went and purchased the Kindle version.

I love that the MCs weren’t magically fixed just because they were together, especially Ash. Their journey has a realistic portrayal that not all days are good days and some days are really bad… but by being together, they can enjoy the good days and not be alone during the bad and worse.

Trigger Warnings: Depression, Bi Polar, Mentions of suicide attempts

Definitely recommended.

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Love Lessons (Love Lessons, #1)

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Iggy Toma

Thoughts:

Sugarrrrrr. I think I got a cavity. Snarky Walter and Disney movie loving Kelly are adorable. The lead up to the first Kiss… so damn good. It’s lead ups like this one that prove the first kiss can be WAY hotter than many sex scenes I’ve read.

There’s not much relational drama once they get past the initial hurtles and the characters have some issues to rally around that keep the plot moving.

The narration by Iggy Toma was enjoyable. His “voice” for Walter fit the snark that was always present.

Recommended.

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The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle, #3)

The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton

4 Stars

Format: Audio

Narrator: Michael Stellman

Thoughts:

Wow, I love Easton. The Mating of Michael has a much different feel than all the other books I’ve read from her. James and Michael are insanely sweet together even if James can be super moody. James has serious issues to overcome and although Michael doesn’t fix him, he shows him that there’s more to life than his limitations. He shows him that he matters, he is desirable, and lovable. They have a sweet HEA with some relational angst.

The narrator does a good job of bringing Michael to life. I appreciated his “voice” that gave the feel of sweet, patient, and understanding.

Recommended.

Urban Soul Series

Misfits (Urban Soul #1) & Strays (Urban Soul #2) by Garrett Leigh:
Incoherent gushing by Lost in a Book

Synopsis:

Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.

Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.

Synopsis:

Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.

Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.

Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.

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Review Rambling thoughts: I don’t typically post a book that doesn’t have a semi-decent review and/or description. However, I binged on the Urban Soul series this weekend and still haven’t been able to get the characters out of my mind. So, here is just some quick thoughts on both books available in the series.

Misfits (Urban Soul #1)

5 Stars

Holy Hell, I have a serious love obsession for Jake, Tom, and Cass now. I didn’t want this to end but I couldn’t slow down to savor because… Well, Jake, Tom, and Cass are worth the insane lack of sleep and lack of productivity over the last 24 hours. I’m sad AF they don’t have a million more stories about them because I would read the shit out of them.

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Garrett Leigh just got herself a Stage-10 Clinger after this read. *shrug* I will be moving on have already moved to the next book in this series just to help with my book hangover.

*kicks self in the ass for waiting so long to read this divine book*

Strays (Urban Soul #2)

4 Stars

Well, those two books went down fast and smooth as fine wine. I really enjoyed this book but it didn’t take up as much of my heart Misfits did. Nero and Lenny had to climb mountains and I was hooked each step of the way. We are also treated to multiple appearances by Cass, Tom, and Jake. *Happy face* Definitely recommended and can’t wait for more in this series.

This is my 3rd Garrett Leigh book in a couple weeks… which means it all hurts so good and now I need to dive into a big huge ball of fluff.