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

 

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.

gogo.jpg

*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

A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat

Reviewed for @BMBR

4.5 Stars

EEeEeeppp!!!

hurt.gif

It took DAYS for me to suck it up and read this. I was in this weird place of come on, it’s Roe Horvat and oh my, this is gonna hurt. I was weak and finally grabbed my blankey and prepared for the big dose of angst I knew was coming. I survived. Barely.

ty.gif

In all seriousness, I have a thing for angst. I may get all whiney before and need fluff after but I just love when it hurts so good. Just like this one. A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat was like having the wind knocked out of you and not catching your breath for a while. Whatevs, I’m all bring on the pain, angst, and the melancholy it was riddled with. Luckily, mingled in with all the heaviness is fire, passion, connection, and love.

Just a quick note before we dig in… we won’t be digging in too deeply. I liked the discovery in this book and having to really feel for Simon and Matěj as they navigate their pain so I won’t be giving too much away.

The book starts off in 2012 and goes back and forth to various times throughout a five year period that ends in 2017. Matěj is in his last semester of medical school in Prague. Right away, we get his snarky yet brilliant personality as he tries to get a reaction out of the unflappable Dr. Simon Mráz AKA The Cruel Doctor Frost. Matěj is a predator with sights locked on his prey and ready to pounce. Simon is a structured yet mercurial doctor that’s an expert at controlling the emotion he conveys to others. His self control and willpower is on point until he loses himself, his sanity and succumbs to the relentless hauntings of memories.

We get windows into Simon and Matěj’s dysfunctional lives and see the sweet relief for each man when they come together as secret lovers and friends. Matěj soothed Simon’s need for control, order and the habit of being locked in his head while Simon became Matěj’s safe haven. There was just so much want and need between them. They were on fire together and all the noise in their lives went away.

This books drags you through a myriad of emotions as a reader while *seeing* the utter passion, desolation, and then hope the characters go though. There’s so much pain and melancholy that it becomes a tangible thing. I loved the secondary characters and the energy they brought to the story. My one niggle with this angsty AF read was the ending. Yeah, they figured shit out and get their HFN. Maybe it’s the tiny cynic in me but I needed a lengthier resolution where explanations were provided. I believed their connection, love, passion, etc., but was the heartbreak necessary? I think so but I’m not sure. *shrug*

I love professor/student romances. I was enthralled with the story, the feels, the desperation and helplessness. I’m glad I sucked it up even though I’m diving into fluff land for a bit. Definitely recommended.

Trigger warning- Suicide and abuse take place off page with minor character but the details of the suicide are described. 

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Gemini Rules Capricorn

4 Stars because this is a super shorty but still ridiciously sexy and entertaining.

This short little read is a charity release by Anyta Sunday. It’s only about 22 pages but it packs a deliciously sexy punch. Anyta’s writing style is my go to comfort when I’ve been in angst-land for a bit.

cookie.gif

Yep, just like that.

Yummmmmyyy! Warm chocolate chip cookies are my ultimate comfort food and with the sexiness going on for Lloyd and Wes, it was like I was eating a warm, gooey cookie with crispy edges. Works. Every. Time. But the problem with these things is I can’t eat just one… so, I’ll be waiting not so patiently once *again* for the next in this series.

Rebel (415 Ink) #1

Reviewed for @BMBR

4.5 Stars

My oh My this was an angsty read.

hug.gif

On face value it has many of my favorite elements. Rough upbringing? Check. Tattoos? Mmmhmm, Yep. Tortured and broody MC(s)? Oh yes. Then, when I actually started reading it, so many more of my hot spots were being hit. Slow burn, patch-work family, overcoming crippling obstacles, etc… All were a big yes, please. Hell, I was even all about the second chance aspects of this romance when it isn’t something I actively seek.

Three years have gone by since Rey walked away from Gus. Both men have scars from their childhood but Gus’ are much deeper than Rey’s. When he walked away, it reminded Gus of every social worker, judge, foster family, parent, and random person who decided he wasn’t good enough. In the beginning I just thought Gus had a gypsy soul and kept on moving. It isn’t until the surfacing of his kid from a one night stand that he comes back home and we really get to see a different side of him and the effects of his heartbreaking past on his present circumstances.

Rey is a firefighter and best friends/roommates with Gus’ brother, Mason. We learn very early on that Mason pulled Rey out of a fire when they were younger. This solidified their bond as well as Rey’s bond with all of Gus’ brothers. Rey had his reasons for walking away when they were younger but their love for each other hasn’t dimmed over the three years. When Gus moves back to town, they have plenty of encounters and even more time to evaluate their choices.

As I mentioned, this is a slow burn. Both men have baggage and past hurts to work through. It was amazing to *see* how each man held stubbornly to their anger and as time went on, they were able to understand the other’s perspective. I also loved how they had to really work to get to a healthy place without the arrival of the magical peen to help make all the woes go away. Don’t get me wrong, they had chemistry and were H.O.T. together. But, their reconciliation was ugly, beautiful, and real. Their character arc was so transformative and I absolutely enjoyed each step of the way and where they settled.

Let’s talk about the baby mama. I LOVEEEEEEE that this wasn’t written as a bitter ex/one night stand scenario. I was thrilled that all parties acted like adults and Jules wasn’t written to be a she-bitch. Actually, all of the characters acted like adults (minus brotherly shenanigans) and it was refreshing.

It takes the entire book to fully appreciate the complexities of the characters and the role each plays. It reminded me of a kaleidoscope where the patterns can be distorted or crisp with only minor manipulation. The secondary characters of all the brothers added another dimension of angst, confusion, and clarity. Gus and Rey earned their HEA but I think that we’ll understand them even more as each brothers’ story is told. I’m down for that, especially Luke. AND Ivo with his “fuck me heels.” Oh and Bear with him being all big, growly, and soft-hearted. Actually, I just want them all.

grabby.gif

I really really enjoyed this book. There are still holes of information needed but I think the key to understanding each brother individually is to understand them all. Definitely recommended.

“Loving someone doesn’t mean needing them to be what you want them to be or swaddling them in bubble wrap so they can’t move. It means them knowing, deep down inside of their heart, you’re going to be there to hold them when they fall and celebrate when they fly.”

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

The Solstice Prince

Reviewed for @BMBR

4 Stars

hotc.jpg

*takes sip*

Ahhh, yes. This book went down like hot chocolate on a cold winter day with tons of marshmallowly fluffy goodness. I’m all warm and fuzzy thinking about the absolute sweetness that was The Solstice Prince.

I’ll provide full disclosure and admit that I chose to read this because the cover reminded me of a M/M Harry Potter. Not. Even. Lying. *shrug* I’m weak when it comes to that series. While it wasn’t similar to HP, it held its own special place in my heart with its loving kingdom, drama free plot, gifted healer, and a fierce but kind prince.

We are introduced to a broken down Jaime who had been taken from his home after the death of his father, sold into slavery to pay debt, and rescued by Pyrderi guards and brought to the palace. He doesn’t know where he is or the rules of the land so he keeps his head down and works the kitchens. Jaime’s very skittish from abuse and hides that he’s a healer until he heals the Captain of the Guard. This revelation leads to a whirlwind life change where he becomes properly acquainted with the dashing Prince Maxim.

Prince Maxim is the youngest of his siblings and absolutely smitten with the man he saw rescued from the slave ship. He makes his intentions known towards Jaime quickly and begins to court the shy healer. Prince Maxim is large, a hunter, and the best swordsman in all the land. But, he approaches Jaime like he would a skittish animal until he can coax him out of hiding. He shows Jaime that he is worthy, kind, gifted, and desirable. *swoon*

Guys!!! This book is drama free. It’s sugary sweet and Prince Maxim with Jaime is absolutely adorable. There aren’t any relational issues so the men are able to organically grow together in friendship and affections without the lack of communication blah blah blah hurdles. Although this book has a lighthearted fluffy feel, it’s not without minor angst and strong feels. Jaime’s prior circumstances and Prince Maxim’s impending heartbreak provide obstacles and instead of acting as a deterrent, it brings the men together. The palace has clouds of sorrow hanging over it and Jaime provides rays of sunlight to all.

I loved the Pyrderi people and its royalty. It’s an accepting land that shows love instead of scorn. The inhabitants of the castle from the King to servants were friendly, loving, and understanding of a man that was utterly broken and needed a place to feel safe and find himself again. They all celebrated the young Prince and his love to the blushing Jaime.

The Solstice Prince is a feel good HEA read that provided the warmth I was looking for. Could there have been more relationship development on page? Yep, but I just didn’t care. Sweet story. Lovable secondary characters. Swoontastic MCs. Fabulous cover. Definitely recommended.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Deal Maker

Reviewed for @BMBR

Buddy read review with Cupcake

4.5 Stars

Well Ladies and Gents, it’s official- Lily Morton has been added to my automatic author list. If she writes it, I’ll read it.

I really enjoyed this story with Jude and Asa along with the frequent appearances from the fabulous Dylan and Gabe.

I loved almost everything about Jude. He’s sassy, loyal, loving, funny, and intelligent. When his ceiling caves in from water damage, he’s directed to visit Asa for possible boarding in exchange for being his assistant. And man did Jude assist his ass off for Asa.

Asa. *swoon* He has this warm, friendly, intelligent, larger than life temperament that compliments Jude’s so well. He’s a gentle giant that can also be snarky and give as good as he gets. Unfortunately for Jude, Asa despises models and thinks they are all pretty much a waste of space that lack brain cells. Unfortunately for Asa, he doesn’t hide his opinion and makes it clear to Jude on their first meet exactly what he thinks of models.

games.gif

Hilarity ensues as Jude wins Oscars daily by acting the part of brainless model. I laughed my ass off at his antics and giggled as Asa begins to pick up on them as well. Both men have a ton of baggage due to family issues and burns from past relationships. They’re quick to judge and very slow to knock down the walls. Their intimate relationship progressed slowly but their emotional connection grew organically as their relationship evolved from boss/employee to friends and then finally to lovers. Their chemistry from the beginning was delicious but once the sexy times kicked in, Yowzaaaaaa. I loved (seems I keep on gushing) how nothing was rushed and I believed each stage of their relationship.

Another star of the show was Billy, Asa’s son. Billy is a cheeky little thing and connects with Jude right away. It was sweet to see that side of Jude and Asa with Billy. Being a parent of a little one that rocks the terrible twos daily, I usually stay away from books with young kids because mental breaks from real life are needed to save my sanity. However, I really enjoyed the sweetness and humor that he brought to the story.

So with all this gushing why not 5 stars? Gabe and Dylan still hold the number one spot for my heart within this series. Jude drove me a tad bit crazy at times with his inner monologue of want a relationship but I can’t. I understood his reasoning but wished that thought train wasn’t so frequent. I still love him though.

Asa and Jude got their HEA and we were given an epic sugary sweet high. Ahhh the epilogue….pure sugar, not the knock off low calorie crap but the real shit we use in the country for our sweet teas. So Good.

Just in case it isn’t clear, Loved it. Loved Asa and Jude. Loved the secondary characters (especially Peggy). Love Lily Morton. Love this series. Definitely recommended.

“Love is simple. Humans are complicated.”

P.S. I love Henry too…*hint* *hint* Henry is also a GINGERRRRR *twirls* I’ll wait not so patiently for his story. *stalks Lily again*

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Spotlight on Relay by Layla Reyne

“Layla Reyne is one of the most exciting new voices in queer romance, and her newest book does not disappoint. RELAY is everything you’d want in an enemies-to-lovers tale and a sports romance. While reading, I had the same heart racing excitement as I do when watching the Olympics and could not put it down.”
-RITA nominated author Santino Hassell

About the Book:

Series: Changing Lanes #1

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date (Print & Ebook): January 8th, 2018

Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Sports Romance

Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/relay

Book Blurb: Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

Teaser Excerpt:

“How’s it going in there?”

Dane opened the stall door, eyes downcast as he tried to straighten out his shirt. “There are a lot of snaps.”

Alex inhaled sharply, and before Dane could wrap his head around that sound, around the blush streaking those high cheekbones, Alex had already moved on. To standing right in front of him. “You’re supposed to leave the shirt open.”

Dane lifted his hands, and Alex batted them away. He grabbed the uneven shirttails and ripped the buttons apart, the staccato snaps mirroring Dane’s stuttering heartbeat. Alex’s grip on the chambray lingered, as did his presence in Dane’s space, and with each heaving breath, each whiff of cologne tinged with chlorine, a pore-deep scent no swimmer could shake, Dane’s paper-thin resolved shredded.

About the author:

Layla Reyne Photo.jpg

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

 

Connect with Layla: Author Site | Twitter | FB | FB Group | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Relay, Layla Reyne is giving away two paperback copies of Relay. Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Nachos & Hash

Reviewed for @BMBR

Format: Audio & Kindle edition

3 Stars

Goodness Gracious.

I started out listening to the audio on this book and had to call time of death at 40%. I literally listened to the first 10% and then had to stop, go back and read it because the voices were driving me crazy which ruined my focus. *smh* Along with the errors of repetition and lack of connection with the overall narration, I couldn’t go on. I didn’t feel it would be fair to judge the book based on the audio version so I bought the ebook and sallied forth to give it a fair shot. It was just okay. Maybe I should have gone back and reread the whole thing in print. *shrug* Ain’t nobody got time for that. So here it is, a 40% audio and 47% print review (40 + 47= 87% so color me confused when the book just ends as I turn the page at 87% thinking there has to be more).

Darwin is a 24 year old cancer researcher living in Denver on a grant. He’s a serial dater and ready to call it quits until he sets eyes on Cody, his waiter at Hamburger Mary’s.

Cody, like Darwin is from a small midwest town and came to Denver to be around people like him. He had never knowingly met a gay person until he left home. His father is an abusive alcoholic and his parents would never accept him as he is. Cody struggles with low confidence, self-worth, and is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Cody has this mentality that good things don’t happen to him and if they do, they won’t last.

Darwin and Cody have a SUPER fast connection. Cody hasn’t been shown tenderness in his life or his hook-ups and doesn’t know how to expect anything different. Darwin is patient, understanding, and calls Cody on his self-hate talk. He shows Cody what it looks like to be treated with respect. They had a balance of patient and affirming Darwin for insecure and skeptical Cody.

This book was sweet. Really freaking sweet and that isn’t typically my cuppa. I’m just not a fan of insta-loveish relationships or cheesy professions of feelings when its been a couple of weeks(unless it’s a mates situation). Another thing that drove me bonkers was how insecure Cody is. Darwin is constantly having to restate his feelings alllllllll the way to the end. I know having a rough upbringing can wear a person down but Cody is an immature 21 year old. Their relationship angst was weaksauce and probably could have been skipped over since there was other drama/serious situations coming along.

Clearly it wasn’t a love match between me and this book. It started off on the wrong foot with the audio and never quite recovered. I’m not sure my opinion would have fully changed had I read it outright from the beginning, but I tried. Oh well, Cody and Darwin got their happily ever after and I’ve learned once again to LISTEN TO THE AUDIO SAMPLE BEFORE REQUESTING. *deep breath*

P.S. There needs to be a trigger warning for attempted suicide.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Charity Release- Signs of Love

Spotlight on a Special Signs of Love Charity Release from Anyta Sunday

 

Gemini Rules Capricorn (Signs of Love #3.5)

Release Date: January 1, 2018

Book blurb:

Rules. Lloyd loves to make them. Wesley loves to break them.

What happens when their roles are reversed?

Find out in this rule-bending romp!

* ~ * ~ *

Gemini Rules Capricorn is a 4000 word sexy short story.

* ~ * ~ *

A Special message from Anyta Sunday: Thank you for all your love and support. To give back, I’m donating all net proceeds from “Gemini Rules Capricorn” between January 1st and January 31st 2018 to Human Rights Campaign. And I’ll match those proceeds up to $500!

From February 1st, “Gemini Rules Capricorn” will be available as a free download from my website.

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2C8Fl94


Teaser

“What did we say about breaking my back?”

“That the sex would be worth it.”


About Anyta Sunday

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!