New Annabeth Albert Release & Giveaway

Check out Annabeth Albert’s latest release in her Out of Uniform series, Wheels Up. Keep on scrolling for excerpts, review, and to enter in her giveaway.

“Sexy, sweet and heartfelt, Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series is a fresh take on Navy SEALs that will delight and entertain romance readers.”
–Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whisky series.  

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Series: Out of Uniform  #4
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 6th, 2017
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Military Romance

Links: Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo

Book Blurb:

Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations…

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO—and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction—they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good. 

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

Short excerpt #1: Dustin wasn’t nervous. Just because Wes had put it out there that they could go back to his room didn’t mean they had to. Didn’t mean his pulse had to rev like a personnel carrier, all loud and roaring in his ears. Didn’t mean his fingers had to suddenly have nothing better to do than shred napkins. And it definitely didn’t mean he needed to keep up the idiotic rambling. Damn it, Strauss, remember who and what you are.

Excerpt #1:

“So?” Wes prompted after she’d left again. “You don’t want me to hook you up with someone, even hypothetically, but what would you like tonight? Burger and watch the game? Or…”

“Or?” Dustin sounded more curious than off-put, which was good.

“Or…and I’m just throwing this out there…I’ve got a hotel room close to here. We could go hang there after we eat. Just talk. And stuff.”

“Define stuff.” Dustin fiddled with his paper napkin, but he hadn’t said no. And he was cautious, which was a good thing, smart. Another trait all the marines Wes knew had—they were wary, always ready for the next threat.

“Talk. Like how we usually do on Saturday nights.” Wes raised his eyebrows and nodded, telegraphing that he knew perfectly well how those nights usually ended, both of them drenched in sweat and spunk, yawning goodnight into the phone.

Dustin hissed in a breath. “And you’d be good with that? Just our usual?”

“Oh trust me—” taking a risk, Wes leaned across the table, putting his lips against Dustin’s ear “—there’s nothing usual about what I want to do to you. And absolutely nothing boring about a live-action version of our regular game.”

He sat back down in time to watch Dustin’s eyes light up at the mention of game. Yeah, Wes knew how to get him going. And the equal measure of trepidation and anticipation in his eyes made Wes’s pulse speed up. He wanted this, far more than he was willing to let on.

“I…” Dustin glanced around again. “I’m not…”

“Shh. You don’t have to give me an answer yet. We can enjoy our food. And the game. Hopefully UVA loses spectacularly so I can gloat about that when I call home tomorrow, and my dad will be in a better mood.”

“Okay.” Dustin sighed, and Wes knew he wasn’t imagining the relief on his features. Darn it. “How’s your sister doing?”

Wes had told Dustin a little about Sam’s heart condition on a night a few months back when he was feeling particularly down. Dustin remembering how close he was to Sam made warmth spread through his chest. “She’s good. Always got to be on the lookout for infection though. Hopefully this year’s cold and flu season isn’t too rough. She made me a new playlist today. I’ll forward you the link.”

“More of that alternative-country?” Dustin made a face. They might share a taste in movies and TV, but in music they differed, almost comically so.

“Yup. Be glad you’re not riding back with me.” His insides gave a little twinge at the reminder that all he had with Dustin was this one night. And that’s why he needs to say yes. If all they had was tonight, then Wes was going to make it one they both remembered for a long, long time.

Author Bio:

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.  The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ  romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Connect with Annabeth: Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Rafflecopter prize and code: $10 amazon gift card + any back catalog e-book by Annabeth Albert

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0333/

Review by Lost in a Book

4 Stars

*Whew* This went from 0 to 60 within a chapter or two. There was chemistry, heat and a delicious helping of kink. I was rubbing my hands giddily together while channeling my inner Matthew McConaughey.

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Dustin and Wes are both SEALs stationed on different U.S. Coasts. They meet on a military inspired online chat app and develop a friendship that includes cyber sex benefits. Both men get to know each other but leave out the specific details of their branch of service, rank and city. Dustin has some events on the East coast and the two finally decide to meet while he is there. A very hesitant meeting turns into a night of friendship and some scorching live action.

Then shit got “real.” *sad face*

Wes gets transferred to the West coast and gets to meet his new SEAL team. And his commanding officer, Dustin.

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Dustin and Wes are now surrounded in red tape, fraternization rules, rank rules, etc., which puts a halt to their friendship and any communication other than duty information.

But, the pull is too strong and we get to follow Dustin and Wes as they fight their connection and then slowly give in message by message, look by look and then touch by touch. They were like two parts of a whole that needed to be together. There was a calming effect when they were together and their connection was evident throughout. Their chemistry was drool worthy. Big-beefy-commanding-officer, Dustin completely submitting to Wes. *slow blink* Dustin was in charge in all areas except the bedroom where he was finally able to let go.

And let go he did. Yowza!! Dustin craved submission, pain play, restraint, a little pet play, begging, nipple play, biting and orgasm denial. Wes got off on it all and more which soothes Dustin’s insecurities regarding his kink preferences. Even the kink through cyber was hot. It’s amazing that orgasm denial and pain play was well executed through a WiFi connection. It truly portrayed Dustin’s complete submission to Wes.

Outside of the kink and eventual stolen moments of friendship, the story was just alright. There wasn’t much going on which was sort of disappointing after how much I loved On Point. It started off fanfreakingtastic and once they were on the same SEAL team, it dragged a bit. It was a hard fought HEA and if you’ve been a fan of the series or a fan of hot military men, I’d recommend it.

This was an ARC so I was more lenient about mistakes. I do hope the POV transitions and time jumps are clear before release. There wasn’t a distinction made so the POVs and time lapses changed from sentence to sentence.

Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Picture Winter

Reviewed for BMBR

2 Hearts

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Sorry, I dozed off there for a minute… or 173 171 pages to be exact. I’ll warn you that this book wasn’t my cuppa. At all. There was zero angst, insta-love, not much going on in the plot department, and weak sauce “conflict” at the end that you can spot a mile away.

This was one of those reads that doesn’t necessarily drag but nothing really happens. I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t like it either. I need something to hold my attention. Anything. This read was predictable and apparently an ode to regular daily events/thoughts with an abundance of detail.

Aloof Elias meets city worker (aka garbage man)Ty while walking to work one day. Ty gets on to Elias for putting trash into the wrong recycling bin and Elias is kinda an ass in response. After this encounter, Elias decides to follow the advice of his horoscope and treat others with kindness. With coffee day 1. Hot chocolate day 2. Then an apple turnover/ coffee shop invite day 3, Elias apologizes to Ty. It also doesn’t hurt that Elias notices how hot Ty is. While at the coffee shop, Ty mentions that he is moving and Elias jumps at the chance to help him move.

The move set their relationship in motion and from then on they are inseparable. We follow them as they go about their day to day. Both men are satisfied with their jobs and have to decide if they are going to take a chance with potential career changes and all that entails.

Elias and Ty are completely different with Ty’s outgoing and bubbly demeanor. They were a good fit when Elias wasn’t making assumptions or letting judgmental viewpoints get in the way. They had an easily earned HEA with low conflict. Thankfully they had some chemistry. There was one scene that had me perking up a bit. The first kiss. Their first kiss had some heat. It was that I’m-saying-goodnight-without-kissing-and-came-back-because-I-couldn’t-leave-without-it kind of kiss. You know that one… right by the door and all passionate and grabby. There were other sexy times but they didn’t pull me out of the funk the rest of the story put me in.

We are treated to pages and pages of minutiae. It was as if every thought or observation they made in a day ended up on page. The circling of thoughts was downright frustrating. So much time was spent flip flopping points back and forth in their own heads.

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Brutal.

I wish I could have made this work but we just didn’t click. Not recommended for those that want a little meat on their story’s bones.

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https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Baal’s Heart Series

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5 + a million Stars

*Peeks out from Pirate Land*

Ahoy Matey!! I’ve been in Pirate Land for the week tearing through this Baal’s Heart series. I just finished the special holiday novella and now I’m left empty and giddy at the same time. The book hangover that’s already creeping up is going to be wicked. I haven’t felt like this about a series since KJ Charles and Joanna Chambers peddled their historical crack book series. I can’t even write a real review because I just want to gush over the epicness of this series.

Some of you may be turned off because M/M/M isn’t your thing. Some may be turned off because of the gruesome, dark nature that is present throughout. But, this was fucking amazing. The whole shebang. All 3 full length books and the holiday novella rocked my word. It had everything I look for in books and then some added on top.

Badass men
Suspense
Romance
Adventure
Top notch world building
Great secondary characters
Chemistry
Kink
Character growth
Etc…
Etc…
Etc…

I’ve said this before, when reading a menage book, I want the trio to work well AND them to work well in pairs. The series shows the development of their relationship as doubles and then a trio. Each man had his time to be vulnerable, jealous, be the glue that holds everything together, to submit, and to dominate. It was beautiful to “see” what each man brought to the table. Let’s be real, it was hot. I’m talking scorching sex. Their chemistry was practically another main character. I loved ALL three men. I don’t have a favorite. Sorry, I couldn’t keep up that lie. TOM. TOM IS MY FAVORITE. I can’t even explain the swoonworthy-badassery that is Tom.

Warning: This series isn’t for squeamish or those that are faint-hearted. It’s pirates. There is violence and piratey things going on. Book two is probably the darkest but all three books have dark themes and are laden with potential trigger warnings like death, rape, torture, etc…

I know this review is all incoherent ramblings… I apologize. That’s what happens when a hangover sets in. Nothing makes sense and you just wanna curl up in bed and take a hit of whatever got you hungover to begin with. So, I’m just gonna roll around in pages of this book over and over again until my hangover is gone. *sigh* Damn you Bey Deckard! I’m broken and the only thing that will fix me is more. *waits not so patiently*

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Tender Mercies

Reviewed for BMBR

4 Stars

I could totally get on board with the no electricity, horse and carriage lifestyle the Amish are rockin’ if it meant I’d get a Samuel.

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Well, minus the hate they’re peddling out to their own if they show any man on man interest. I just wanted still want to smother Samuel with hugs. The opening scene with Samuel tore my heart into pieces and I’m not sure I’ve recovered. The day dreams he has just to get through each day…

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Samuel is an 18 year old Amish man that worked on his parent’s farm until his father whips and shuns him for being gay. He is sent away with the clothes on his back from the only life he has ever known. Samuel is devastated with the loss and is even more heartsick over his father’s parting words. He is smart though and quickly secures a farm hand position at Meadow Lake Farm with Eddie as his boss. I absolutely LOVED Samuel. He was shy, sweet, hard working, lacked confidence, needed love, craved acceptance, and had a quiet strength about him that won me over within the first couple of sentences.

Eddie is a New York transplant that has big dreams of owning a farm animal sanctuary. With zero knowledge on how to run a farm but a huge heart for saving animals, Eddie hires Samuel to run the farm. Eddie was more standoffish due to his ex’s cut and run right before they moved to the farm. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders when there are others, especially Samuel that would love to share the burden.

Samuel and Eddie have a very slow start to their relationship. With Samuel being shy and so desperate for a job that he is afraid to make the wrong move and Eddie closed off and hiding behind his “boss” role, they take a while to get there. Once they finally form a friendship through card games and books, they have a hard time denying the attraction and all consuming need for each other. I appreciated the relationship development. With both of their backgrounds, the journey to each other was authentic and meant that much more when the walls came down.

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The farm was up and running with a minimal amount of animals. They were finally together and all was looking bright as the sun…until the dark clouds of needing money rolled in. A point of frustration for Samuel and myself was Eddie’s inability to ask for help until it was almost too late. It suited Eddie’s personality but it seemed to take forever for him to see Samuel as his equal and to share the status of the farm. After they get together, their relationship is no longer a focus on page due to the issues on the farm. I get it. It’s about a farm sanctuary. BUT… in my defense, the build up to them getting together was so sweet and sexy that I wanted more. I wanted a united front, a focus on their relationship, AND some detailed time in the sheets…or anywhere else, I’m not picky. But, I do wish the farm shared the spotlight in the second half instead of overtaking the story because some parts dragged a teeny tiny bit for my taste; Even if the animals were adorbs.

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For those that are curious, David and Christie from the first book have a short cameo in this one but this is a complete standalone. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and wouldn’t mind a possible love match with the cheeky Devin and Amish Matthew. What? Too much to ask? Gotta dream big and all that jazz. Definitely recommended.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Caged

ALLLLLL THE STARS!!!!

This is me after finishing this book:

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This is me knowing the second and third book are already out:

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This is me knowing I’m about to jump right into Tom book 2.

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I’m too eager to start book 2 so a full review isn’t coming. But Baby said it all in her review. Check it out.

This is future me (in about 2 minutes) cracking open the next one.

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P.S. The audio on this is AMAZING!!! Michael Ferraiuolo did a fabulous job bringing these characters to life.

(Un)Masked Tour & Giveaway

Welcome to the (Un)Masked Blog Tour with Anyta Sunday, Andy Gallo & A Novel Take PR. Check out the re-release of (Un)Masked, an intriguing paranormal romance and see below for excerpts, review, and more.  Also, scroll down to see how to enter in the giveaway for a chance to win 3 e-copies of any backlist book by either Anyta Sunday or Andy Gallo.

“What made the book for me? One word: Gristle.

Gristle, the straight boy, Jay’s best friend, his “bro,” is one of the best characters I’ve had the joy to read this year. His devotion to Jay is breathtaking, his snark so very snappy […]. Read this book if nothing for the character of Gristle. […] Spectacular.”

–T.J. Klune, Author of For Real, Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and Lightning-Struck Heart

Title: (Un)Masked

Publisher: Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo (Self-Published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 30, 2017

Subgenre: MM gay paranormal romance, magical realism, new adult

Book blurb:

Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press. This updated 2nd edition has some rewritten parts and has been line edited again.

Buy Links: http://www.anytasunday.com/#unmasked

Excerpt #1:

His music sailed over me, beautiful, seductive; the call of a siren—and I went willingly.

He stood on a concrete wall dividing the beach and pavement, cutting notes into a thousand beautiful fragments that the air caught and whipped around me.

His hips twisted and his fingers slid over the accordion keyboard as he commanded the bellows.  Like magic, the disappointment that had clung to me all morning dulled, and I sank against a pylon across and watched him. Watched, and wished the lip of the hoodie he wore would lift so I could see his face.

He swayed with the music, and I glimpsed blond hair and a scar splitting one brow.

Nearer and nearer, I inched, until I stood before him.

His song ended abruptly, and he stared down at me with haunted, tired eyes.

I opened my mouth to ask him to play again, to tell him he was truly talented, but he jumped onto the beach and fled.

My soul prickled, and I knew I would never be the same again.

One never was, when death lurked nearby.

 

Author Bios:

Heart-stopping slow burn.

Anyta Sunday is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of her favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French.

Member of Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Anyta: Website | Twitter | Facebook | To receive a free e-book, sign up for Anyta’s newsletter here!

***

Andy Gallo’s stories capture how he wished he’d spent his formative years, instead of how it really happened. Unfortunately for his characters, they find themselves infused with some of Andy’s less noble qualities.

A hopeless romantic, Andy writes seated next to a hundred year old Smith Brothers typewriter he inherited from his grandfather. He also dreams of superheroes and wizards and sees no reason why two men with superpowers can’t fall in love just like everyone else. Although not all of his stories have a paranormal bent, a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good read in his mind.

Married and living his happy ever after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days rubbing elbows with other parents as they raise their daughter. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.

Connect with Andy:  Website | Facebook

***

Giveaway: 3 e-copies of any backlist book by either Anyta Sunday or Andy Gallo:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0332/

Review by Lost in a Book

4.25 Stars

I get it. I totally get why there are mixed reviews on this book. Especially if you’re comparing them to some of the Anyta books we know and love. You know, those light hearted, quirky, with witty banter, slow burned to the brink of death, and a lightness that you just feel like you can float away on? Yep, those. If you’re an established Anyta fan girl/boy like I am, I had a hard time not comparing the feels in this to the ones I’ve read in the past. And when I really thought about it, not all of her previous writes had that light hearted feeling. One of my favorites is her novella Bird Meets Cage that isn’t at all like her other books. Or Rock. Once I checked my preconceived notions at the door, I enjoyed the hell out of this one with all of its sad, heartbreaking heaviness; Because on the outskirts of all that melancholy is hope and light and self-sacrifice

”Do you believe there are things in this world that can’t be explained?”

In (Un)Masked it’s possible. Lethe is the last living member of a cursed bloodline and the curse makes it almost impossible for him to let his guard down to live and love, until he meets Jay. Jay sees Lethe for who he is. Their journey is difficult and many times seems impossible. This book is completely unique and very little can be revealed without ruining the heartbreakingly beautiful story that Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo created. It has a mysterious feel and I was rooting desperately for them to beat all the odds stacked against them.

The love between Lethe and Jay was perfectly imperfect. They got their HEA that almost bordered on the HFN end of the spectrum. They had chemistry but there was very little sexy times and those that were on page weren’t explicit. Normally I’m all gimme the sex, but the quantity and heat level fit the bill for the obstacles the MCs faced.

Gristle. Oh Gristle. I loved you so hard. I was planning little Gristle/Jay babies. But alas, they were just friends soulmates. Gristle and Jay’s love ran so deep that I hurt for them. My face leaked at the sadness surrounding Gristle from the very beginning all the way through. He added so much life to this story that I considered him a third main character.

This book was really well written and I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what was going to happen which is my favorite type of read. Definitely recommended.

Buddy read with Vir. 🙂 

Copy provided for honest review.

 

Life on Pause

2 Stars

The day I learned this book was coming out and the day it became available on NetGalley had me all…

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I had SO much excite going on. I LOVED Erin McLellan’s debut novel, Controlled Burn which made this a MUST read for me. I didn’t care if this one was about underwater basket weaving, I had to have it. Then I saw it had nerds and I was a goner.

But then, I don’t know what happened. Maybe this is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” We didn’t click . At. All. The beginning was hard to get into with a slow start. But I was motivated. Determined. I kept chugging along waiting for my feelings to change, to start loving it. My enjoyment level slightly increased until I hit 50%. The drama at 50% could be spotted a mile away and the rest of the book went downhill and fast.

They were all…

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And tons of “tears in eyes”

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And then actual…

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I’m not a fan of drama for dramas sake. At one point I did a search on the frequency of the words cry and tears because that shit wouldn’t stop. I got 46 hits. (Well, minus two for the Trail of Tears). Add another 25 hits for the word sad and this equation doesn’t look like it’s gonna equal success for me.

*sigh*

Niles and Rusty had a “meet-cute” situation when Niles’ got a flat tire. (I say meet-cute because it’s noted a bunch in the book, too) They became friends and then their relationship grew from there. Slowly. I love slow burns but it wasn’t that. Niles was SO insecure and felt like Rusty was out of his league that he would rationalize every move, action, and look Rusty made as something else. Even when Rusty flat out said he was interested, Niles still found a way to justify his interest as something else and not really for him. For those that don’t like separation periods, you’ll be very disappointed as half the book is a separation. The 2nd half was full of back and forth whiplash that drove me fucking bonkers. They didn’t get their shit together until after 90ish%.

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Unfortunately, the plot was solely driven on their relational drama which left little else to prop the story up and keep it going.

I can’t recommend this based on my experience but I REALLY hope you love it.

On a positive note, I was a fan of Niles’ friend Victor. He was sassy and fierce and I’d be ok with trying out his story.

Copy provided from NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

Living Out Loud

Originally reviewed for BMBR on October 24, 2017.

4 Stars

I’m still shaking my bible-thumping traditional upbringing, and he’s as free and eclectic as this town.”

Ben and Xavier reconnect after over a decade of not seeing each other. They were childhood friends that sought solace together when the world around them was cruel and unforgiving. Xavier had found himself and Ben craved that freedom. He wanted to truly live.

Just a warning: I’m not going to give a detailed breakdown of the story because the synopsis is one of the longer and more detailed that I’ve seen.

*waits while you read the synopsis if you haven’t already*

After they connect on Facebook, Ben and Xavier meet up and fall right back into the easy friendship of their youth. Ben can’t help but notice Xavier’s confidence and unapologetic attitude towards who he is and also the casual sex he enjoys. They have very honest conversations about desires and the person Ben wants to become.

Ben decides Xavier is the perfect person to guide him in his new outlook on life. He is so tentative, insecure, and sexually repressed which is the exact opposite of Xavier.

“I want you to show me those things.”

Yep, those things.

They begin a no-strings attached sexual fling. Xavier hears Ben’s plea and graciously accepts to be his “teacher” and guide him with some helping hands, tongue, spanking, toys, and even some red licorice candy used creatively.

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“He’s such a mixture of hunger and nerves. Want and insecurity. I can’t wait to see him bloom—to see him shed the skin that was forced on him and fully embrace who he really is. It’s like he’s being reborn.”

I LOVED Xavier and Ben together. They complimented each other so well. Although they both had shitty childhoods, they fought to accept themselves without reservation. Xavier was Ben’s pierced, knight in tattooed armor. He slayed the demons in Ben’s head every time they crept up while breathing new life. Ben’s confidence grew with every look, word, touch and action that Xavier bathed him in. He was so selfless and understanding while not treating Ben like he was fragile.

As mentioned a wee bit above, they had some sexy times. Xavier was all about helping Ben with a variety of experiences. There was a lot of sex. It was steaming. This book needed a lot of sex due to the sexually repressed nature of Ben and his neurosis that paralleled it. There were some issues to work through that couldn’t have happened if sex wasn’t a big part of the book. I didn’t hate it. At all. The build-up to the first kiss and then when they FINALLY kiss…

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This was a pretty low angst book outside of what Ben has to work through. Which was enough considering the mind fuck his family and the “Pray the gay away” church camp put him through. Anything else heaped on for angst would have been unnecessary. The conflict at the end was predictable but essential. It was a beautifully earned HEA. Definitely recommend.

“I was born this way and I am not a disgrace.”

“I look him in the eye. “It feels incredible. I get to be me. And this me wants you.”

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Copy provided for honest review.