The Doctor’s Secret

The Doctor’s Secret (Copper Point Medical #1) by Heidi Cullinan: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

The Doctor's Secret (Copper Point Medical #1)

Blurb:

The brilliant but brooding new doctor encounters Copper Point’s sunny nurse-next-door… and nothing can stand in the way of this romance.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu has come to Copper Point, Wisconsin, after the pressures of a high-powered residency burned him out of his career before he started. Ashamed of letting his family down after all they’ve done for him, he plans to live a quiet life as a simple surgeon in this tiny northern town. His plans, however, don’t include his outgoing, kind, and attractive surgical nurse, Simon Lane.

Simon wasn’t ready for the new surgeon to be a handsome charmer who keeps asking him for help getting settled and who woos him with amazing Taiwanese dishes. There’s no question—Dr. Wu is flirting with him, and Simon is flirting back. The problem is, St. Ann’s has a strict no-dating policy between staff, which means their romance is off the table… unless they bend the rules.

But a romance that keeps them—literally—in the closet can’t lead to happy ever after. Simon doesn’t want to stay a secret, and Hong-Wei doesn’t want to keep himself removed from life, not anymore. To secure their happiness, they’ll have to change the administration’s mind. But what other secrets will they uncover along the way, about Copper Point… and about each other?

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Tag Team with Adam

2.5 Stars

Ermm… *checks author name*

Heidi Cullinan wrote this?

I was all ready to play doctor when I cracked this open but the sugary fluff was wafting off the page very early on.

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My past reads with Cullinan have raked my emotions over the coals while chasing it down with tissues and a bottle of wine. This wasn’t that experience at all. I’m all about branching out but The Doctor’s Secret left me wanting more substance while trying to come down from a sugar high.

Dr. Hong-Wei Wu moves to Copper Point to live a slower paced lifestyle and just be a general surgeon. He ran away from Texas to a small town and is greeted at the airport by his new surgical nurse, Simon.

Simon is a very positive and competent surgical nurse that has lived in Copper Point all his life. He’s very involved in the community and has a thing for K-Pop, Asian TV, and apparently hot AF Taiwanese doctors. Unfortunately for both of them, the hospital policy prohibits getting together with other employees.

I didn’t get Simon and Dr. Wu together. They had insta-love with no real depth. They wen’t from we can’t date to I love you way too fast. Dr. Wu remains closed off throughout (which might be more his culture than poor character development) and the way his “secret” was hyped, I was ready for something huge. Like it has to be a BFD. *sigh*

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Everything seems so fantastical and the lack of strong characters was off putting. I hate to say this but I was bored reading the story.

I did enjoy the town, the endearing secondary characters, and the antics of Simon’s surgeon friends- My favorite parts didn’t involve the MCs.  I’m still a big fan of Heidi’s other works but this just wan’t for me. Not recommended but YMMV.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

Jude (Lucky #3)

Jude (Lucky #3) by Garrett Leigh: Review by Lost in a Book

Jude (Lucky #3)

Blurb:

Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.

Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he’s a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.

For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.

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4 Stars

Jude is an enjoyable addition to the Lucky series. This book can be a stand-alone, but just know that I’ve read the previous books and felt like I needed a character map for the initial introductions (which is more my fault for not remembering everyone).

Jude is all about man meets man on hook up app, they have crazy hot sex, each man goes their separate ways, and then they have a coincidental meet-up at Jude’s reptile shop when Isha comes looking for a birthday venue.

From the initial meet and coming together Isha and Jude have a connection. They don’t do much talking at first but they have awesome chemistry and Isha can give it how Jude likes it. Vice versa. Both men are surprised to run into each other at the reptile shop but they make it work and plan a birthday party for Isha’s son. Through the planning process, Isha and Jude get to know each other in and out of the bedroom. Isha has a really hard time with the growing relationship because he’s a closeted bi-sexual and terrified of others finding out. Being closeted and miscommunication causes much strife until Isha gets with the program. It takes a good long while for them to get their shit together outside of fucking and determining there is *more*.

Isha is far from winning a dad of the year award and would more likely be in the running for most Absent Dad of the Year. His kids are a big part of Jude and
I was pleasantly surprised that they aren’t annoying, act their age, and they matter. They are important to Jude and Isha really wants to improve his relationship with them. I enjoyed the secondary characters and the cameos from the previous MCs in the series. I totally appreciate that Isha’s ex-wife is portrayed as a badass and still a large part of his life not only as a friend but valued voice and mother of his children.

I’m totally digging this series and will continue on the journey. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

The Stud

The Stud (It’s Just Us Here #5) by Christopher X. Sullivan: Review by Lost in a Book

The Stud (It's Just Us Here #5)

Blurb:

An asexual man is now in a sexual relationship with a male model… and is in over his head.

Chris and Mark’s relationship evolves. Both men learn to depend on the other during trying times. Chris is in the closet with his family, but Mark doesn’t add pressure and remains a solid support. Meanwhile, Mark is struggling to reconnect with his parents and older sisters and Chris is the catalyst that enables the vain male model to return home.

All good things must come to an end, and if you’ve read this far in the series, you should know that the last few chapters of this book contain the long-foreshadowed Big Fight. This self-portrait was written as a romance… but not every story gets a happy ending.

[The Stud is Book Five in a ten book series. You can read this as the mid-point of a four book arc. You should probably read the friends-to-lovers story (contained in the first three books) to understand the fullness of the characters, but this isn’t strictly necessary. Book One, Book Four and Book Eight all serve as ‘jumping in’ points for the series.

It’s Just Us Here: The Stud is a 118,000 word journey of two men connecting in a deep, spiritual way as they navigate a sexual relationship while juggling careers, friends and family.]

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5 Stars

The Stud is definitely my favorite so far on the journey of Chris and Mark in It’s just Us Here. Apparently I’m a masochist because this one hurt and I loved it. Not the pain they went through, but that it makes you feel throughout the entire book.

For most of this book, there’s a surface level feeling of happiness between the MCs. They seem to be on the same page, in love, and increasing their sexual exploration. But, lurking under the surface is pain and heartbreak evident from the very beginning. I could *feel* the decline of their relationship in the little moments; the moments that seem insignificant but have huge implications for the future.

“We had our differences and they were plain to see… and it wouldn’t be easy to work around my limitations… but it was so easy to be with Mark”

Mark and Chris are trying to please the other person at a detriment to themselves and it’s impossible to keep up without breaking. The closet scene with Mark was soooooooo sad to me. The lengths Mark is willing to go to keep Chris close when it goes against his very nature just ripped my heart out. There are so many red flags along the way that made me want to stop and scream, “WOULD YOU JUST ACTUALLY TALK TO EACH OTHER.” I don’t want lack of communication to be confused with using a misunderstanding or miscommunication trope in a romance novel. This is real life and it’s as if Chris and Mark are trying so hard to be together, be everything the other person could ever want or need, that they lose themselves in the process. They stop speaking up on the big and little things that might not always be of major importance but to them, it’s another crack in the crumbling foundation.

So sadness be damned, I loved this book. Not to worry though, there are many reminders that the overall “story” ends with a HEA. They just have to find a way to repair all these cracks or demolish the building and start over. Remember that this is a REAL story. About real men, dealing with real emotions and real life events. Definitely recommended.

Trigger- addiction, depression

Copy provided for honest review.

Adam Only

Adam Only by Roe Horvat: Review by Lost in a Book

Adam Only (Those Other Books #2)

Blurb:

On stage, Adam lets his passion drive him. All his secret desires, everything nasty, dirty, and beautiful flows freely through him, for once in harmony. His soul thrives when his body moves, but only on stage. Adam’s passionate nature makes him a great dancer…and a failure at life. He’s a lonely, emotional mess. Going home with a man far out of his reach is the last thing Adam should do. Christoffer represents everything Adam isn’t: strong, independent, educated, and rich. His kind eyes, at odds with his brutish form, make Adam’s knees and restraint buckle.

Once Christoffer sees Adam dancing, he’s lost. The young man is mesmerizing, otherworldly, and unpredictable. Whatever might happen between them, it will be transient, and Christoffer will most likely get hurt. The temptation is too great, however, and the sex explosive. He might as well enjoy every moment he’s given, even if it’s just one day, maybe two. If Christoffer treads carefully, Adam might stay until Monday.

Warning: Adam Only is a gay erotic love story. It contains explicit language and sexual scenes between two consenting men. For adult readers only.

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4 Stars

Ummm….. *rubs eyes* Holy one-handed read Batman!

Just a warning, if sex in books isn’t your thing, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Adam Only is loaded with sex and very much falls into the erotic category. The sex to conversation ratio was no where near equal with sex taking the lead 9:1.

Actual footage of readers (myself included) reading Adam Only

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Christoffer sees Adam dancing at a party and is immediately captivated by his beauty and the way he moves. He stalks Adam for most of the night until he locates him and the rest is history. Let the orgasm train (unless it’s delayed for play) commence.

There’s a story along with all the sex that is woven throughout with tales of struggle, confidence, station in life, independence, fear, need, want, and understanding. Christoffer never falters in his interest of Adam and their connection is tangible. Adam is afraid to lose himself in Christoffer due to past experiences but can’t help what happens when they’re together- he can’t help letting go.

“He wanted to be owned without being shackled. He craved to be used without being punished. He needed a master, but he needed to feel free. He would lie down at his man’s feet if he could be sure he wouldn’t get stepped on.”

I really like Christoffer and Adam together. I am especially pleased that although Adam feels the immense pull to be with Christoffer and let go, he stays true to himself and his limits, wishes, and goals.

Adam Only may have been on the higher end of my sex tolerance scale… which I didn’t think I had. The sex wasn’t gratuitous and definitely had purpose in the character’s transformations. I like a little more story along with all the sex (which if this was longer that might have naturally occurred) but I still very much enjoyed Christoffer and Adam’s journey. I’m a huge fan of Roe and will continue to devour everything he writes. Recommended.

P.S. It took me a bit to put the pieces together on Adam and Christoffer but they are the couple in The Other Book that Tyler had the threesome with. These are out of sequence with Adam and Christoffer having already been in a committed relationship for a long while in that book. Adam Only tells the story of how they got to that place.

P.P.S. It’s highly suggested that this be consumed in private. Prepping an ice bath in advance will go a long way as well. You’re welcome.

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Copy provided for honest review.

 

Family Camp

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest #1) by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Family Camp (Daddy Dearest, #1)

Blurb:

When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

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4 Stars

Where can I sign up for Family Camp? The premise sounds fun, the activities are right up my alley, and the scenery seems top notch with the hot AF professional baseball player… nature.

Geo signs up for camp to spend more time with his new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy and everything seems to be going wrong. The kids aren’t bonding how Geo dreamed they would and his car runs out of gas on the way to camp. He’s saved by a tall drink of water (Travis) that has the ability to be as warm as hot chocolate or as cold as ice.

Travis is on his way to his family’s camp and stops to help Geo out with a tank of gas. Travis connects with the kids right away and of course, it helps that he has an adorable dog. He’s a professional baseball player that looks forward to camp week every year and this year has the added frustration/bonus (depending on the minute) of Geo and his adorable kids.

Travis and Geo hit it off right away with a flirtatious vibe until Travis ices Geo. Once they get to camp, feelings move pretty quickly. It wasn’t insta-love but there were heart eyes and some china patterns being picked out in their head.

”Only Geo wasn’t sure it wasn’t already too late, that Travis hadn’t already claimed a piece of his bleeding heart.”

That’s after three days but I just shrugged it off because for once, I wasn’t annoyed by the not insta-love but insta-clinger scenario. It’s maybe a *tad* too sugary sweet but I like Travis and Geo together and they didn’t drive me up the wall with OTT-cheesiness. They have some chemistry and heat but there isn’t a sexfest at a *family* camp. Their hearts are in the right place and Travis sees Jayden and Lucy as the treasures they are. Travis and Geo have an itty bitty misunderstanding but after that it’s smooth sailing during camp week if you don’t count the being firmly locked in the closet bit.

Jayden and Lucy add depth to the story as they are foster kids with heartbreaking backgrounds. They give Geo a run for his money but we get to see the walls come down and the relationships built between Travis, Geo, and the kids left me all gooey inside.

Family Camp is a super sweet, low angst read where men come together, families bond, and new families are created with love, humor, and acceptance. It’s packed with feels that leave you warm and fuzzy. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Made for You

Made For You (Love & Family #2) by Anyta Sunday: Review by Lost in a Book

Made for You (Love & Family #2)

Blurb:

Ben wants to find a new home.

Twenty-four-year-old Ben McCormick is the primary caregiver for his brother Milo after their parents’ death. A year into the job, he’s totally got the hang of it. Mostly. Sort of. Not at all?

Defeated and thoroughly chastised for his lack in parenting skills at teacher-parent night, Ben slumps away with the resolve to finally get his life sorted: be a better role model, and sell their parents’ house for a fresh start.

But first, he needs to spruce up his house to hit the market. He’s no DIY king, but Milo’s hot-as-hell woodwork teacher is…

Jack wants an old home to fix.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jack Pecker is waiting for the home of his dreams to come on the market in the summer. What better way to wait the interim months than working on a small renovation gig?

Only trouble is, the gig is for the McCormick brothers. And working in close quarters to red-haired Ben McCormick won’t be easy. Not with the attraction that simmers between them. Attraction Ben makes no effort to hide.

But Jack’s professional. Dating a parent is highly discouraged at Kresley Intermediate, and he’d never cross the lines…

Ben and Jack. Two guys searching for a home – 
– a home that might just be where their hearts lead them.

~ – ~ – ~

Set in New Zealand, Made For You (Love & Family #2) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys at very different places in their lives – but both finding out they are looking for the same thing.
Can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn, age gap, found family
Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

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5 Stars

You Guys!!!!! I know I’ve made no secret about my love for Anyta Sunday books (still have a few more to go in her back log until I’ve read them all) but OMG with stories like this, how can I not? Made For You is everything I look for in romance (M/F or M/M) with cheeky characters, connection, heartfelt moments, angst, feelable feels (don’t just tell me they like/love, I want to experience them for myself), slow burn, and this has the added bonus of an age gap. Hell Yes! It even has a kid in it (which I usually stay away from) but Milo added so much to the story that I was smiling, laughing, and crying right along with him.

Ben is the caretaker for his younger brother, Milo after the death of their parents. He pretty much puts his life on hold to ensure Milo gets the care he needs. Poor Ben isn’t used to parenting and while he tries his best, they’re still majorly hot messes. Ben hasn’t mastered how to get Milo to do anything and it’s impacting his school performance. On a parent-teacher night, Ben slips into the sights of Jack, AKA Mr. Woodpecker, AKA Milo’s wood working teacher. Literally.

“Milo’s teacher. Milo’s gay teacher. Milo’s ruggedly hot, gay teacher. I pre-emptively confess my sins. I’m taking the image of his steady gaze, curved lips, and work-toughened hands to bed tonight.”

Jack is spending his days teaching while completing home renovations at night and on the weekends. He’s saving to buy and renovate his ultimate dream house and just has to wait it out. Jack decides to take a job renovating Ben and Milo’s house which will give him a place to live until his house becomes available.

Ben and Jack together is absolute perfection. Ben is soooooooooo cheeky with quick wit and a larger than life personality. He uses humor and sarcasm to cover the shit storm that’s currently his life. He has immense love for Milo and it’s evident in all of their interactions. These brothers love each other and my face leaked a little during their happy times and/or their times of incredible sadness.

Jack and Ben’s attraction is pretty instant and Ben makes no apologies about his blatant interest. He’s flirty, suggestive, and can turn anything into innuendo. Jack tries to put a stop to it (even though he feels it too)… and fails. Made For You heats up much faster than Anyta’s other books with Ben’s lack of filter but it’s Anyta, so it still qualifies as an epic slow burn. With Jack and Ben not denying their attraction, we are treated to these little *fully* charged moments- tasty morsels when we just want to devour the entire fucking cake. Definitely worked on building my appetite for these two to get together.

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Let me tell ya, I wasn’t dying for a fuck fest. I was dying for a kiss, a hand hold, a hug, anything and everything. Their relationship journey happened organically and holy hell, I felt every step they took towards something so much bigger. The Ben is the best moments were so swoon worthy and endearing that I felt like I was wrapped up in a cozy blanket on a cold day. This wasn’t all angst and UST, there are many LOL moments. All three of these guys together were so freaking funny that I was highly entertained.

If you can’t tell by now, I loved this story HARD. Please Please Anyta, can you make this an audio with a kick ass narrator? I would revisit it on the regular. 100% recommended.

“It’s a kiss of seconds, but they are the best kissing seconds of my life.”

Copy provided for honest review.

Audio Highlights

It’s highlight time again. I’ve been consuming way more looks lately than I have time to review (I’m sure there are lots of amens regarding that situation) but I’ve listened/read some really awesome books that should still get their time in the sun.

Highlights by Lost in a Book:

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Narrator(s): Deacon Lee & Kyle Mason
Review/Thoughts:

Autoboyography is everything I love about YA & Coming of Age romance. The self discovery, teen angst where all of the feels are magnified and I just can’t help being on edge and feeling everything with them. First loves, first heartbreaks, etc., it’s a universal language because no matter how young or old, most of the population has been there at some point. The feels of an LDS character accepting himself for who he is and not the hate his “church” spews added so many gut clenching moments that I wanted to curl up. I’m really thankful for the HEA and wouldn’t complain about having some updates about the MCs.

The audio was great and I really enjoyed the voice used for Tanner . The POV change for Sebastian at the end was a bit off but overall the narration really worked with the story.

Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely:

Wanderlust

Rating: 4 Stars (Take this rating with a grain of salt… it should probably be higher but I was suffering from an epic book hangover)

Narrator(s): Richard Armitage, Grace Grant
Review/Thoughts:

I listened to Wanderlust after the Strange the Dreamer series which was probably a mistake. While I really enjoyed this book, I was still hungover from the series I had been engrossed in. Joy and Griffin are very compatible characters (and hot af together). I love that Joy is this smart ass (and super smart) Texan who is independent and makes the most of each moment. Joy and Griffin complement each other and neither person needs the other to *fix* them, just time to find themselves in the loveliness that is Paris. I wanted to roll around in all that is Paris while listening to this book. Between the setting so meticulously detailed and the narration…*day dreams*

The narrators are amazing and I could listen to Richard tell me stories all day every day. That accent…

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Falling Down

Falling Down by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book

Falling Down

Blurb:

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts

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3 Stars

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Mark- 24yo, in the closet, former Vet, lives in a New Hampshire cabin for many reasons including trauma witnessed in Afghanistan, lives away from family that do not know he’s gay, and a handyman working odd jobs in a new city.

Josh- 18yo, homeless, ran away from his stepdad after he found out he was gay, mother’s passing and being homeless sent him spiraling into severe depression which led to suicidal thoughts and planning of his own passing.

Josh has the perfect place in mind to end it all, to peacefully slip away into a blanket of snow in New Hampshire. He finds the idyllic bridge and pond that he day dreamed about with his mother and makes his way there. Mark finds him sleeping under this bridge and coaxes Josh to eat and help him paint a large house while he’s in town. Josh reluctantly agrees but he has time since the leaves haven’t fully turned colors and there’s no snow to help him follow through with his plan… yet.

Josh seemingly comes back to life as he brings the old Victorian house back to life with each stoke of the paint brush (or sprayer). Mark offers Josh a place to stay while he’s working on the house. Both men grow closer each day and become intimate while in close quarters as they claw their way to an HEA with many bumps along the road.

I liked Mark and Josh… I think? Mark more than Josh. I didn’t fully believe their chemistry when they first get together. To me, it seems more like convenience and Josh finally being fed, warm, and well rested that led to these supposedly intense feelings. The lead up to the *big moment* and the actual event seems to be just a means to an end.

Josh needs help and although this isn’t the case of magic peen to the rescue, I wish Josh got a little more help than a “couple/few months.” I mean, he was suicidal, came up with a plan, started executing his plan… *shrug*

I listened to the audio for Falling Down and Michael Stellman did a pretty good job conveying Josh’s voice. The other voices were hard to distinguish at times. There were also random noises throughout like something clanking on the recording desk or movement in the studio. The first I noticed began in chapter four and then here and there throughout. The transitions between the end of the chapter and then saying the next chapter (ex. Chapter 6) is way too fast with zero breath making it seem like a run on sentence. On the opposite end, the transitions between POV in the same chapter were way too long and interrupted flow.

I adored Ms. Fisher because everyone needs a fully accepting grandmotherly figure in their lives and she fit the bill. I liked this story but it surely wasn’t love. Trigger Warning for suicidal thoughts. Recommended to fans of Eli Easton.

Copy provided for honest review.

 

Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts, #1)

Arctic sun (frozen Hearts, #1) by Annabeth Albert: Review by Lost in a Book

Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts, #1)

Blurb:

Everything’s bigger in Alaska, especially the HEAs. Annabeth Albert kicks off the brand-new Frozen Hearts series with Arctic Sun, an opposites-attract romance between a rugged outdoorsman and a smoking hot former male model.

He’s built a quiet life for himself in Alaska. But it doesn’t stand a chance against the unrelenting pull of a man who’s everything he shouldn’t want.

Ex-military mountain man Griffin Barrett likes his solitude. It keeps him from falling back into old habits. Bad habits. He’s fought too hard for his sobriety to lose control now. However, his gig as a wildlife guide presents a new kind of temptation in superhot supermodel River Vale. Nothing the Alaskan wilderness has to offer has ever called to Griffin so badly. And that can only lead to trouble…

River has his own methods for coping. Chasing adventure means always moving forward. Nobody’s ever made him want to stand still—until Griffin. The rugged bush pilot is the very best kind of distraction, but the emotions he stirs up in River feel anything but casual, and he’s in no position to stay put.

With temptation lurking in close quarters, keeping even a shred of distance is a challenge neither’s willing to meet. And the closer Griffin gets to River, the easier it is to ignore every last reason he should run.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Publisher’s Note: Arctic Sun deals with topics some readers may find difficult, including sobriety and eating disorders.

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2 Stars

I chose this book because I love stories with wilderness settings. Some of my favorites take place in the Alaskan Wild and therefore I was all in. Arctic Sun is less about living in the wild and more about sight seeing. Throw in a “romance” with the sightseeing and that’s the book.

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Griffin is a recovering addict living in Alaska. He flies bush planes for his family’s tourism company and isolates himself to avoid temptation of anything else. Griffin has to step up and take a tourism group out for a couple weeks and that’s how he meets supermodel, River Vale.

River wants to be more than a model. He also has an eating disorder that he works really hard to overcome. River’s at peace in nature and wants to experience everything there is to see while writing a book about his travels. When he arrives in Alaska for his tour, he sets his sights on the burly Griffin. That’s pretty much it.

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The rest of the book is about them traveling together and road blocks popping up at every turn as they drag along their insane amount of baggage. Loads of it. Arctic Sun just didn’t work for me. It was boring. *shrugs* The MCs lack chemistry, the pacing was cold molasses slow, and the men had so many issues thrown into the ring that they couldn’t be adequately addressed/fleshed out in one story… or five.

Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me but as always, YMMV.

Copy provided for honest review.

Milo (Finding Home #2)

Milo (Finding Home #2) by Lily Morton: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Milo (Finding Home #2)

Blurb:

Once upon a time a brave knight rescued a young man. Unfortunately, he then spent the next few years bossing the young man around and treating him like a child.

Milo has been burying himself at Chi an Mor, hiding from the wreckage of his once promising career and running from a bad relationship that destroyed what little confidence he had. Niall, his big brother’s best friend, has been there for him that entire time. An arrogant and funny man, Niall couldn’t be any more different from the shy and occasionally stuttering Milo, which has never stopped Milo from crushing wildly on the man who saved him.

However, just as Milo makes the decision to move on from his hopeless crush, he and Niall are thrown into close contact, and for the first time ever Niall seems to be returning his interest. But it can never work. How can it when Milo always needs rescuing?

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series comes a story about a man who needs to write his own happily ever after.

This is the second book in the Finding Home series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Content warning: There are descriptions of domestic abuse in this book.

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3.5 Stars

Chi an Mor

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In Milo, we are back at Chi an Mor where Oz and Silas fell in love (In the book #1, Oz) and at the end of that book I was impatiently waiting for Milo’s story so I could dwell in the land of witty banter between Milo and Niall forever and ever. And I did, at least for the first half.

Milo starts out with a big trigger warning for domestic abuse. Milo is at such a low point during the opening scene and is thankfully saved by Niall who goes all beast mode on the fucker of an ex while wrapping Milo in a blanket of protection. Milo is carried off to Chi an Mor, an estate in the wilds of Cornwall to heal, find his inner strength again, and realize the sassy spitfire he used to be is still there.

Niall, the frustratingly arrogant yet kind soul that he is, slowly brings Milo back to life. He doesn’t fix him but gently forces Milo to realize his own self worth along the way and is always Milo’s biggest supporter. Niall has been in Milo’s life since they were teenagers and Niall was best friends with Milo’s brother. They have a sweet friendship because of the long history and there’s also a sassy wit and/or low grade exasperation between them that begins to serve as foreplay. They are soooooo sweet together but not in the everything is so perfect and lovey dovey boring without snark kind of way. I’m talking the good kind where each man is supportive, brings their own personalities and quirks to the relationship, and can still have fantastically entertaining exchanges as each make their points.

“Well, Milo,” he says mock seriously. “My milkshake might bring all the boys to my yard, but I’m afraid you’re not getting a drink yet because I value my body too much to give it away for free.”

Milo starts out very strong and entertaining. However, IMO, as the story unfolds, too much is added in. It seems like the overall plot gets lost about midway through and it never quite gets back on track as drama continues to randomly pop up. Some of it seems like filler and another element becomes *really* off-putting. I understand that Milo’s brother is going to end up playing a part in this story, but the direction it goes would have been fine if there weren’t constant references to the part he played.

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Still, I LOVE Niall and Milo separately and together. They are hot during their smexy times and are really lovely to experience as their own story. I have also maintained my giant crush on Oz and Silas and I’m *so* happy they have an active part in this story. Recommended.

“A real man? Can you hear that? What is a real man, Milo? I’ll tell you what a real man is. He’s someone kind and generous and loving. Someone who has had his spirit crushed yet gets back up and carries on making ugly things beautiful.”

Copy provided for honest review.