Gemini Keeps Capricorn

4.5 Stars

How the hell does Anyta do it every time with these books? I’m obsessed with this series. Absolutely obsessed. The quirky banter, the slow burn, the endearingly frustrating characters, and EVERYTHING else that makes this series so freakin’ addicting was present in Gemini Keeps Capricorn.

“I’m Capricorn, remember? Try me.”

“I’m Gemini. I’ll break you.”

That pretty much encompasses the fabulous dynamic between Wesley Hidaka and Lloyd Reynolds.

Lloyd- RA for dorms, solver of problems, holder of infinite patience, and perpetual rule enforcer.

Wesley- Junior, student of law, chronic rule challenger and perpetual rule breaker.

Wesley and Lloyd have known each other for years. They live on the same floor and Wesley has the resident status to Lloyds RA status. Being an RA means that the residents are off limits for anything more than friendship and what a “friendship” these men have. Wes will do anything to get a rise out of Lloyd. Whether it’s frustration, humor, lust, etc., he just wants a reaction and Lloyd is his favorite law man to incite. Lloyd is a master at self-control and not showing just how much Wesley affected him. Wesley was completely over the top, cheeky and a serial flirt with Lloyd.

I LOVE Wesley and Lloyd together. They balance each other out perfectly. Although they had to remain “friends,” they were never just that. There was friendship, feelings, connection, and a deep desire to just be in the presence of the other. They had that best friend/smokin’ chemistry thing going on that you just knew would be amazeballs once they finally gave a big fat middle finger to the rules.

But…

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It took FOREVER to give in. Am I surprised? Nope, it’s Anyta. Did it bother me? Hell to the no. Not once during the super-duper long slow burn wait did I ever feel like I was bored, missing out, or frustrated. There was enough going on with Wesley’s brother and mother to keep things going. But even better than that were the fantastically entertaining MCs. I was enjoying their snarky banter so much that I could have gone another 100 pages without any sex. (No, that isn’t a challenge to draw it out even longer in the next book.) They had an intimacy that was so much more than physical.

This book had more of the same feels that book one had. Wesley reminded me of Theo and Lloyd reminded me of Jamie. I just love the exasperated fondness and cluelessness that is present within these couples. Jamie is Lloyd’s professor in this book so we get some Jamie/Theo sightings as well.

There was something confusing about Wesley and Lloyd’s relationship in the beginning. It took a tiny bit to understand their dynamic but once I did, I was ALL. IN. I laughed and had a cheesy smile on my face throughout their adventure to HEA-land. *swoon* This story has medium angst with the relationship between the MCs as well as the family dynamics at play.

Gemini Keeps Capricorn is no different than the previous two in the series; Anyta exquisitely tortures us with a slow burn but gives the perfect blend of personality, chemistry and connection between the main characters to make the torture and payoff that much sweeter. I loved the hell out of this book. 100% Recommended.

Oh, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to say…
I’M AN AQUARIUS Anyta… *hint* *hint*

Copy provided for honest review.

At First Sight Books 1 & 2

I read the first book in this series back in August and just finished up book two today. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t always write a full review on each book I read and this is certainly the case for this series. Too many books to read and review… not enough time and all that jazz.

*Read in August*

4 Stars
Soooooooo… I seriously died laughing so many times while reading this book. Full on laughs. I really enjoyed it for the most part. I had to skip through some of Paul’s inner and verbal monologues because holy hell can homeboy ramble with this best of them. I’m really looking forward to Sandy’s story because (s)he is hella fierce and divalicious. Enough said.

4.5ish Stars

You guys!!! This book should come with a warning. Seriously. Maybe something that warns against all liquids, food, and operating heavy machinery while reading/listening to this book. I don’t think I’ve *ever* laughed as hard while listening/reading a book like I did for this one. I was driving along the interstate, listening to this audio, happily sipping my Starbucks while driving my daughter to the zoo and holyyyyy-shit, the opening scene almost caused me to drive off the road while simultaneously spitting coffee all over my car and a tad up my nose. *burn* I’m not even being dramatic, it was that funny and that dangerous. That’s pretty much what all my notes are about too.

So funny

Funny AF

Straight up tears from laughing so hard

See?

Let’s talk audio. The narration by Michael Lesley was AMAZING. I didn’t partake for the first *smh* but I LOVE the life he breathed into the main and secondary characters. It was the first time I wanted to turn on the audio to hear a scene I had just read. (I do a hybrid of kindle & audio) So. Good.

All my fan-girling aside, I had heart eyes for Helena/Sandy & Darren. I was dying a slow death just waiting for them to finally make a freaking move’. That’s where the “ish” in my rating comes in. It could swing to 5 stars or head down to 4.25 stars depending on what I focus on. I really like slow burn but I felt like I had blue balls (figuratively speaking, of course) for 90% of the story. Seriously 90% because they didn’t really kiss until right about then. It was cruel and unusual punishment to have that much scorching chemistry between characters and then nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. A sexless, kissless, touchless desert for much of the book. *pouting* Don’t worry, the “blue balls” were eventually rectified by Sandy and Darren but goodnessssss, patience isn’t my virtue.

The humor is OTT and might not be for everyone. But I hope you give it a try and get ready for some laughs. Definitely recommend this series.

 

Riptide

4 Stars

Wow!! I really enjoyed this book. It’s the latest book in The Boys of Bellamy series and my favorite by this author. The other books in this series have been pretty hit or miss for me and I was absolutely surprised by this one. It had a different feel to it than the pervious three. We got the college experience in the first half while also getting a maturity and depth as they left college, started adulting and reconnected at a wedding. Side note: I wouldn’t consider this a standalone. It’s loaded with characters and situations from the previous books.

Andy and Drew were secondary characters in the other books. Especially book one because they were roommates with Max and Finn. I was curious about their story and really glad that they got a chance to have it told. Drew and Andy are best friends, college roommates and lovers without the label. What started as a silly first kiss led to many firsts between Drew and straight Andy. But, feelings start to grow and Andy realizes that maybe he isn’t quite as straight as he once believed. Do they talk about their feelings? Nope.

“It was easier to exist in this uncomfortable limbo, left wondering and hoping and waiting, rather than risk losing someone who’d become Andy’s entire world.”

This lack of communication leads to the classic misunderstanding about where they stand in the non-relationship and it isn’t until graduation that they realize both men had felt the same. Unfortunately, they are out of time. Drew heads to Chicago for a job and Andy stays at Bellamy for his MBA.

Fast forward two years and they are at a wedding. Without dates. Their reconnection is sweet, sexy, and emotional as they pour two years worth of longing into seeing each other again. Buuuuut, they both still live in different cities. The night of the wedding sets the stage for them to become friends again and step by step they find their way back. The journey has emotional highs and lows. I was cheering them on with every step, all the way to their HEA.

Drew is a classic introvert which made me automatically connect with him. I could see myself in him as he struggled with conversations, being the center of attention, etc… He had a core group of friends with Andy being the best of them all. Andy was the exact opposite and was able to pull Drew out of himself with his contagious personality. He also had a childish streak which annoyed me on occasion. He felt everything so deeply whether it was the highest of highs or lowest of lows. Andy had a darker side and Drew was the calm in his storms. They also had great chemistry and their connection deepened with each “hook-up.”

I appreciated being able to connect with the characters in both stages of life. There was a definite progression of maturity and confidence, individually and between them as a couple. The secondary characters took a piece of my heart too. Noel and Drew’s dad each had a quirkiness to them that I loved. They weren’t cookie cutter characters and I totally adored them and gained greater understanding of each MC through these men.

Definitely recommended to fans that have read the other books in this series.

Copy provided for honest review.

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Improper Fraction

3 Stars

Reviewed for BMBR

This book hooked me with the geeky title and its nerd/baseball player MCs. Everything else was supposed to be icing on the cake. And it sorta was for about half of the book. But just like when you eat too much cake, the deliciousness of the first few bites just can’t hold up throughout the whole thing. That’s what happened with Improper Fraction. The first half was everything I love about romance and the second half…cake.png

O’Malley (Mal) Ramsey and Garrison Rook grew up together. They were inseparable until a kiss between them after high school graduation led to vows made for a future that would soon be denied. Since the moment Mal realized he was gay, he has been out and proud. Garrison has internally struggled with his attraction to men and never acted on it until the kiss with Mal. That kiss scared him and Garrison cut off all communication with Mal until 4 years later, after college graduation. Mal is working at a math and science camp for the summer and Garrison’s little sister is attending. Garrison tags along too, under the guise of providing athletic opportunities to all campers.

When Mal and Garrison see each other for the first time in four years, it’s very strained. Garrison has some groveling to do and I love that Mal makes him. Even with the years of separation between them, there’s still so much love, friendship and chemistry. I loved “seeing” them come back together and the stolen moments of heat when the campers were sleeping.

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After camp ends, Garrison still has to contend with coming out to his family and his minor league baseball team. Mal is there to support him but it’s a very stressful time for Garrison as he worries about parental expectations and being the first openly gay minor league player.

The scene is set for future angst as Garrison finds peace in who he is and decides when/how he will come out. I was on the edge of my seat while reading, wondering how this would pan out. I couldn’t put it down. Until, mid-way through when a wrench was thrown in the plot and high school bullies turned adult “Bigot Brigade” were introduced and became the focus of the second half.

Color me confused.

From then on, the ground work laid in the first half, the major focus on sexual identity and its implications on family and career were brushed under the rug and glossed over. Literally, the coming out scene with his parents was a few pages and the coming out with his team? One. Sentence.

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Obviously my enjoyment declined drastically after this shift. I was bummed. Big time. The first 45-50% I was all in. I was giddy about this nerdy, estranged best friends to lovers romance. The building up to reconciliation and a little after had me hooked. I really like Mal and Garrison together. The scene Garrison acts out from Mal’s favorite movie… *swoon* The second half dragged while everything surrounding the bullies, the reactions to them and the subsequent climax of that situation was unrealistic, OTT and unnecessary IMO. The bullies read like an afterthought thrown in that detracted from what was otherwise a very enjoyable read.

The writing style was smooth and the pacing kept the story moving along during the first half. I’m hoping that by release, this will have gone through another round of edits. The cover doesn’t really represent the book or the MCs. I would have rated the first half at least a 4 but unfortunately I have to account for the second half. With all that said, I’d recommend it for the first half alone because I really like Mal and Garrison and that they got their HEA… even if I was shaking my head and rolling my eyes at the huge second half shift and the ridiculousness of the last 10%.

“Garrison and I aren’t right anymore. We’re like an improper fraction.”

“Of all people, O’Malley, you should know that there are ways to convert an improper fraction to a mixed fraction.”

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

New Santino Hassell Release & Giveaway

“I was more than willing to trade a moment of that heaven for a future broken heart.”

–Santino Hassell, Citywide

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Citywide (Five Boroughs #6
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Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 13, 2017

Length (Print & Ebook): 100k words/367 pages

Subgenre: Contemporary

Order: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/citywide

Book Blurb:

A record-breaking heat wave engulfs the Five Boroughs, and emotions run as hot as the temperatures.

In Rerouted, Chris Mendez is trying to live a drama-free life. That doesn’t include another threesome with Jace and Aiden Fairbairn. But then a citywide blackout leaves them trapped together, and Chris is forced to re-examine everything he thought he knew about relationships and his own heart.

In Gridlocked, former Marine Tonya Maldonado is keeping real estate heiress Meredith Stone on permanent ignore. Mere isn’t Tonya’s type. Not even close. Who cares if she kisses like a dream and has the filthiest mouth this side of the East River? But then a security detail at a summer party ends with her saving Mere’s life and discovering they have more chemistry than she’d ever imagined.

In Derailed, Stephanie Quinones escapes the heat and her complicated love life by going on a company retreat. Trouble is, it’s a couples’ retreat, and she lied about having a boyfriend. Unfortunately, the only person willing to play pretend is her on-again/off-again fling, Angel León. They’re currently “off again,” but after a week in the woods, Stephanie realizes she wouldn’t mind them being permanently on.

Teaser quotes from the book:

Being that close to two other people at the same time is like being in the best sandwich ever.”

“We were just three dudes filling all the empty spaces left behind when there had only been two.”

“I was more than willing to trade a moment of that heaven for a future broken heart.”

“Sometimes you just needed to feel alive even if it killed you later.”

She tasted like cigarettes, which should have had me recoiling but didn’t. I was almost glad there wasn’t any sugar or rosé on that naughty tongue of hers. Just Marlboros and trouble.”

“If I was going to trust anyone to not sell us out to a magazine, it’d be someone repping the rainbow flag. Maybe she just thought we were a cute couple.

We kinda were.”

Excerpt #1:

Without thinking about it, I grabbed her chin and made her meet my eyes. She was gnawing on her lower lip now, squirming in her tight little dress. I stepped closer.

“I go by either. Or you can call me Sergeant if you want to be cute about it.”

“I’m always cute,” she snapped.

I rolled my eyes. “This is why I fucking ignore you. You’re always doing the most and dying for attention. Making a big show of ice grilling me, so everyone in the vicinity is all up in my business, asking what I did to you. You have no chill, and it makes me tired.”

She cringed, shoulders hunching forward. “Fine. Sorry. I’ll never look in your direction again.”

It was the perfect opportunity to say, Cool, glad to hear it, and walk the fuck out, but I didn’t. Her flip-flopping between sassy immaturity, and bashful insecurity was starting to tug at my interest. I wondered how much of her attitude was an act. Or a shield she threw up when she was feeling unsure of herself.

“Why does it matter if I address you?” I asked, lowering my voice so it hopefully sounded less irritated. It was hard. I’d been born with my bastard father’s harsh tones, and I had to work to not sound aggressive. “We fucked once. Almost a year ago.”

She sucked her lower lip into her mouth and said nothing. I took another step forward until there was barely any space between us, and I didn’t miss her sharp inhale. Or the way her eyes briefly closed when I put a hand on her waist.

“Talk.” I dragged my thumb over the sheer part of her dress, feeling her smooth skin beneath. “Last opportunity.”

Mere shivered but wrenched her gaze up to my own. There was no challenge in her eyes this time. Just agonized desire. “I want another chance.”

“To do what?”

“To convince you to not walk away.” She lifted her hands, letting them hover on either side of my shoulders, before she slowly touched me. “To show you that I can ruin you just as badly as you ruined me.”

About Santino Hassell:

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Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

Giveaway: win 2 backlist e-copies of any Santino Hassell book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0336/

Lace-Covered Compromise

4 Stars

Let’s take a moment to oogle that cover. Yowza. All that muscle packed in satin and lace.

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If manties aren’t your thing, you may wanna stop reading this review. It would be a bummer to miss out on Nate rocking his manties while topping like a growly, dominant boss. But hey, I get it… whatever floats your boat. Or doesn’t in this case.

Nate and Adam work for Adam’s father at Kingston Corp. They’re both in charge of their departments and have been at each others throats for years. Both men have their own ideas on the perfect vision for Kingston Corp and are unable to put their differences aside. After the passing of Adam’s father, Nate and Adam are now co-owners and have to find a way to propel the company out of the red. Except, they hate each other.

Man oh man, there’s a fine line between hate and off the charts, smokin’ hot chemistry. These two toe that line finely and at times when the hate tip toes over the chemistry line to provide hot AF sex, everyone ends up a winner.

“No talking. No moving either. Hold the counter and do nothing.”

“While he divested me of my shirt, I toyed with his panties, running my hands over the lace. The novelty of them on a hard male body was so fucking erotic. ‘I don’t suppose you can fuck me with these on?’”

Seriously, hot. as. f*&k. Nate is unapologetic with his desire to wear manties and sometimes lipstick. Adam is transparent in his desire for Nate’s manties and lipstick. Win-Win.

It’s not all hot sex and manties though. There are legitimate issues that Nate and Adam must work through. They have to find common ground to save the company and have to work through their relational issues. Adam is a rich, entitled ass that struggles with anxiety. He is also a closeted bi-sexual that worries about his image. Nate is kind and the perfect balance of laid back (outside of the bedroom) to have patience with Adam. We are in Adam’s head for the story and get to see how much he struggles with his anxiety, feelings, and kindness from others. He has a mercurial temperament that makes him flip from hot to cold frequently. Luckily, both men are stubborn and willing to fight for the company and each other. They get their happy ending (yes, that kind too *wink*) and it left me feeling all gooey and hot at the same time.

Definitely recommended.

Like a Gentleman

4 Stars

Actual footage of me when I stumble across a new m/m historical romance:

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What? I can totally pull of the greedy unicorn look!!

So much excite!! Seriously.

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Luckily, this one didn’t disappoint and I knocked it back faster than a bottle of fine wine. Like a Gentleman is a short book at 69 pages but it’s a fully realized story that packed in everything I love about the genre.

James is a gentleman and brother to an Earl. He is typically laid back and doesn’t act in a manner befit of his station. Well, until he realizes that his manuscript has been stolen and published under another name. The anger he has at being plagiarized provides enough motivation to start acting like an uptight gentleman with all the bells and whistles of an OTT dandy. With his fop armor in place, James meets with the only person that could be responsible for such thievery; L. Wells, his editor.

L. Wells (aka Leo) has been obsessed with James for years. Their correspondence, typically snarky and witty in nature, has served as foreplay over the years and only stoked the fire on his feelings for the gorgeous James and his mischievous smile. They’ve never met until James storms into his office full of arrogance.

I won’t provide too many details on the plot but will say the events that follow are full of snark, humor, humiliation, passion, and repentance. There were times when my heart felt heavy for Leo and James; each at different moments. There were other times where I was smiling like a goof because of the antics taking place and the sexy cat and mouse game they were playing. Then, there were times where my kindle was gonna explode from the chemistry. They had it in spades. Oh, did I mention hate sex? *drool* It was all angry, growly, and pinning to the wall… and then there was that shift where the hate eased into an all consuming need.

”Anger warred with tenderness. He wanted to make James beg; he wanted to give him everything.”

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I loved Leo and wanted to hug him while at the same time, climb him like the perverted monkey I am. James could be an ass but it didn’t make me like him any less either. *shrug* I really enjoyed this book. Was it perfect? No, the ending could have been a tad slower paced from the anger transition to all is well. I consider it a win that I wanted it to be longer. The cover while appropriate, doesn’t give me cover-lust. This book was well written and engaging. I hope another story will be coming my way starring James’ friend, Turner. *hint hint* *nudge nudge* Definitely recommended for fans of historical romance.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

A Bolt of Blue

Reviewed for BMBR
3 Stars

This book was difficult to rate. I’ve gone back and forth and all that thinking made my brain hurt. There were parts that really worked for me and then parts that just didn’t. Parts that I wanted to slow down and parts I had to hold myself back from skipping. When I read a book that has a party of three, I always look to see if they’re all treated as equals and that their love/connection works in pairs as well as the trio. It didn’t IMO and I hope I’m able to adequately explain what didn’t work for me.

Mitch and Ian have been best friends for most of their life. They’ve always had a platonic relationship but Ian has been completely in love with Mitch for years. They have a very close relationship that borders on more than friends but Mitch has been too blind to notice and Ian has been too reluctant to tell Mitch how he feels. They are both busy with school, Ian working as a CNA and Mitch playing college baseball. Finally, Ian can’t take it any more and HAS to tell Mitch how he feels. They meet up at a bar and Ian is totally terrified but ready to spill… that is, until Mitch’s secret, Greek god, bartender boyfriend comes up to their table and gives Mitch a kiss.

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Mitch and Dusty met at Angel’s bar, where Dusty is a bartender. What was supposed to be a one night stand turned out to be a relationship that Mitch kept under wraps. By time Ian finds out about the relationship, they have been together almost 7 weeks and are in love. It’s a very tough pill for Ian to swallow but he does for the sake of Mitch’s happiness. However, when Mitch and Ian hang out, there are these “moments” that are opening Mitch’s eyes to his feelings for Ian even though he still loves Dusty.

Ian and Dusty have also been spending time together while Mitch is off taking care of his sister’s issues or playing baseball. It’s during these times with Ian and Dusty that they start to develop feelings for each other until one drunken night, they kiss. This sets off a domino effect of issues for all of them to work through. While they do get their HEA, Mitch has to work through the “betrayal” and all the feelings between Ian and Dusty and Mitch’s with both men.

I had a hard time with Mitch. He grated on me with his overly dramatic personality, judgy statements, and everything surrounding his sister, April. I didn’t understand the need for April’s storyline outside of creating potential drama for Dusty and Mitch which detracted from the story IMO. The introduction of April and her issues wasn’t smooth and as it was first happening, my thoughts were along the lines of, “Oh gosh, here we go.” I also didn’t believe the relationship between Mitch and Dusty. Outside of sex, they didn’t have depth. Don’t get me wrong, sex is always a plus but, I needed more and they didn’t have it. They never shared anything meaningful but when Ian came along, Dusty was spilling his soul to him. That didn’t work because Mitch and Dusty were supposedly in love and they had found the one but couldn’t share anything beyond orgasms and food.

Now, Ian and Dusty is where it’s at.

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They worked. They had a great connection and the depth in their relationship was so evident that it highlighted the shortfalls with Mitch. They had awesome chemistry and my kindle started smoking just from their kisses. I wouldn’t have complained if this was a M/M starring them. They were a team whether it was in the kitchen cooking, cuddling on the couch, or getting it on. I was a huge fan of them.

Mitch and Ian never really found their stride. They didn’t seem to be equals in the trio even though they were life long friends. It remained awkward and they never quite got to the point together to even come close to how Ian was with Dusty.

The POVs changing with each chapter was a little hard to get into at the beginning. I’m sure by now you can all guess that I would have preferred Mitch’s POV to disappear. *shrug* Another addition to the story that had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head was Trevor. He was a guy that Ian went out with twice to try and get over Mitch. There was enough going on with the three MCs coming together, the implications of said relationship on family/friends, and the bar drama to make the book work. Trevor was as pointless to my reading enjoyment as the April storyline and yet both brought so much drama.

There should be a trigger warning for mentions of sexual assault. The facts in the story are contradictory from the actual event to when it was mentioned at the end. However, it’s worth noting. There is also cheating by way of kissing prior to the three of them getting together.

This was a decent read. I don’t expect each MC to share the exact same likes, desires, bond and relationship with both the other men but I do want them to all feel equal and share some depth. While it didn’t fully work for me, I could see this being an okay starting point for those new to menage books.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

 

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.  

Title: Wheels Up       9781335906946.jpg
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

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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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