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.

slow clap.gif

“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…

ovaries.gif

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.”

feels.gif

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.

Rule Breaker

4.5 Stars

Alright, let’s be real… anyone else think they were getting the typical light hearted, funny, hot for your boss office romance? *Raises hand* That’s what I thought when I decided to give it a go. I was all geared up to be smiling like a cheeseball and getting my fill of hot office sex with the window door desk getting notable mention(s).

wrong.gif

This had a Fifty Shades feel to it but less Red Room of Pain and more hot and rich mercurial bastard that knows how to wield a Fleshlight. Gabe. *wipes drool* I wanted to throttle him for most of the book. But when he was brought to his knees by the very thing he spent his whole life avoiding…Puddle. Of. Goo.

I’m a big fan of the boss-employee office romance. There is just something about them that hooks me every time. In my professional world, 99% of my bosses were women and 99% of the staff under me were women. Clearly, I’m a fan of the peen and since my offices seemed to be releasing testosterone repellent through the air ducts, I never got to have the hot male boss experience. *sad face*

Very early on we are treated to an extremely snarky relationship between Gabe(boss) and Dylan(assistant). They communicated with dry wit, sarcasm and a side of crude which was also funny AF. As the blurb says, they have a platonic relationship until they don’t. I wasn’t prepared for how Gabe was written and the incident that brought their attraction out in the open. I don’t want to give the incident away but I will say that Gabe lives his bachelor life to the fullest and I had a completely different mental image of him until that scene. Both MCs were so oblivious as to how the other felt for much of the book but yet were so electric together. My heart hurt at their cluelessness and the situations, actions, and words they spoke as they tried to keep on going with the status quo.

hurt.gif

Gabe’s past isn’t for the faint-hearted and it fills in the holes as to why he is the way he is. Although their “relationship” started off as casual, it quickly grew and felt like more. Dylan did his best to hold on and try to keep his heart from completely shattering. Gabe’s hot but I loved Dylan and his backbone of steel. He loved Gabe and was partially blinded by sex. However, when the other shoe dropped and shit hit the fan, Dylan was done (warning: separation period). Not gonna lie, there were some WTF moments that you just have push through. I also appreciated the journey they took after everything went wrong. Heartbreak is never easy and many times in romance, MCs are quick to forgive. This was a hard-fought HEA-war filled with many ugly battles that had to be won before they could taste the sweet victory of togetherness.

I really enjoyed this book. The depth of the characters and the circumstances they had to work through set this apart from many other office romances. It kept my attention and for about half the book, I truly couldn’t fathom how they would finally get together. It had steamy sex and the chemistry was off the charts. Seriously. Hot AF.

fire.gif

If you like office romances, characters with depth, and detailed epilogues, you’ll be a happy camper. Definitely recommended.