Briefs: Collection

Briefs: Collection by Anyta Sunday: Review by Lost in a Book

Synopsis:

Slow burn romance that quickens the heart. From sweet & light-hearted to raw and emotional – this collection contains eight contemporary gay romance novellas previously published individually between 2013 and 2016.

Sweet & Light-Hearted:

“Noticed Me Yet?”
Who is this Mr. X that Jacob keeps writing to? And how can he be falling for him?

“DJ Dangerfield”
Who is this DJ Dangerfield in Real Life? And will Justin like him in the flesh as much as on the air?

“Get It”
Why does unrequited love leave you blind as a bat to other things?

“500 Kisses”
Are 500 kisses all it takes to steal a heart?

“The Douglas Fir”
Can Jason find that magic gift to win his neighbor’s heart?

“It Could Be You”
What is worst – having won 15 million quid but not being able to find the bloody ticket, or the unrequited love you have for your roommate?

Raw & Emotional:

“Hearts”
Is it possible two dead hearts can see life again?

“Bird Meets Cage”
He was everything I wasn’t. He was the first man I ever loved, and he left without me ever telling him that the way he looked at me broke my heart.

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Overall Rating: 4 Stars

There was a time a couple years ago where I wouldn’t read anything shorter than 200 pages because I was a size queen. For some crazy reason, I never thought a full story could be fully encompassed in fewer pages. My oh My, I was wrong. This collection is made up of novellas that have an array of feels which help balance the fluffy stories with emotional ones. Anyta can write. Seriously. I never have to worry about her books being formulaic because each has a unique story with beautiful writing. Some of these shorts I have previously read and wrote very little about- but still very much enjoyed.

Noticed Me Yet?- 4 Stars

This was absolutely adorable. I was hooked and love the quirky little exchanges between Jacob & Mr. X. So sweet and freeeeeeeeee.

DJ Dangerfield- 4 Stars

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Okay, so I know that gif is kinda sorta creepy- but this short was like getting a book hug. The feelzzzzzz this left me with… *swoon*

For being such a short story, this had me reading with a dopey grin from its fleshed out and oh so likable characters, unique story, and their self discovery. The angst is pretty low but DJ Dangerfield and Justin have some complications to sift through.

Imagine you listen to the same radio station and call in to talk/banter/disagree with the DJ every night for a over a year. Then think about the connection and feelings that develop for someone you’ve never met and the trepidation on possibly ruining the magic by finally meeting? That’s this story.

It was SO. FREAKIN’. ADORABLE.

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Sex plays a very minor part in this short which was perfect. I didn’t need sex to feel the chemistry and connection these characters were working with. Once again, Anyta can make me fall in love with the worlds she builds and the amazing characters that navigate them. *dreamy sigh*

Get It- 3.25 Stars

This packed a UST punch with endearing MCs and some feels over the unrequited love that was so evident in all their interactions. Adorable.

500 Kisses- 4 stars

Another super sweet read and this short story was created from a prompt and picture. It’s amazing what authors can create from just those two things. I’ll forever be in awe of their creativity.

The Douglas Fir- 4 Stars

I totally loved this one. I’ll be honest, I skipped to the end of this story because I HAD to know what happened. But once I knew, I HAD to go back to where I left off and savor every word leading up to it. I wish it were longer, even a chapter more would have made all the difference. There’s a whole lot of pining going on and the resolution is at the very end which didn’t leave much time for us to see them together. Still, really really enjoyable.

It Could Be You- 3.5 Stars

This was 19 pages of goodness. Pretty much an extended scene that had me cheesy grinning the whole way through.

Hearts- 4.5 Stars

OMG sooooo unique with tons of feels. I wish it were longer but it really doesn’t need to be. Each word has purpose and goodness, I adored this short with Toby and Daniel. *swoon*

Bird Meets Cage- 5 Stars

*hangs head in shame*

I can’t believe I didn’t read this book because of its size. It’s Anyta Sunday for goodness sake. Anyta. Sunday. *smh* I just want to put her in my pocket and have her tell me stories all day long.

Loved. It.

Back in the Game

Back in the Game by Meghan Quinn: Review by Cupcake

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Blurb:

Single dad and hockey star, Calder Weiss has put his love life on the back burner for the past five years, raising his daughter and keeping up with the demands of his profession.
But all that changes the minute Rachel Perry runs into him in the most unlikely of places, right outside the men’s bathroom. Vibrant and enchanting, she captures his attention, making it impossible for him to walk away without scoring her number.
Their connection is immediate, their attraction palpable, and their relationship undeniable. But Rachel isn’t the only girl in Calder’s life which scares him, because Calder’s daughter already lost her mother. He doesn’t want Shea to lose someone close to her again, making Rachel’s task of breaking through Calder’s wall that much more difficult.

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 3 Stars

Low angst cuteness

Sports romance is difficult for me to resist so when this came up for review I snapped it right up. I’m glad I did because this was a fun little read.

Calder and Rachel have a meet cute outside a restaurant bathroom where Calder’s fairy wings almost take out Rachel. He’s having a Daddy/daughter day and he’s committed to it!

Instant attraction quickly evolves into instalove. They hit it off and have a super cute first date during which Calder books the second date, so he’s into her. Then begins a flurry of texts since Calder is a professional hockey player and on the road pretty often.

Some of the dialogue can veer into Cheeseville but mostly I found their banter to be cute. Rachel is sassy, quick witted and confident. Calder is kind of a hot mess without the backstory to match it, but overall I thought this was a sweet, sexy diversion.

If you’re looking for a low angst, feel good sports romance that’s light on sports this story could be just the thing.

An ARC was provided.

 

 

Love on a Battlefield

Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Synopsis:

Not every compass points north.

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

***
This is a story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

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 4 Stars

 

ERMAHGERRRRD!!

I devoured this book. The synopsis drew me in and then I saw the cover and just had to read it. The Civil War reenactment is unique by itself but the letters… *happy sigh* Letters. Actual hand written letters to each other. Over many years.

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Andrew and Shep meet while at a Civil War reenactment with their dads. They’re on opposite sides of the North/South line. The two meet at a water pump and later are drawn to each other during the actual battle. Right away their connection is evident as they both feign being “shot” to lay down right next to each other until the battle is over. So much is conveyed as they silently stare into the others’s eyes and quietly make plans to meet up later.

And meet up they did. Andrew and Shep share a passionate night fulfilling their desires until the morning light. Later that day, Shep passes his address to Andrew and requests that he write.

From there, they correspond mostly through written letters as they try to chase their dreams. While Shep is off doing what he loves, Andrew realizes that sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan. His life veers way off track but his feelings for Shep remain.

“Shep was the one I dreamed about at night, the one I wanted to lie beneath, the one I saw myself spending the rest of my life with. He was the only person I’d felt drawn to. And even after five years, that pull hadn’t diminished one bit.”

This story is written from Andrew’s perspective with the insight of Shep’s letters as he read them. The snippets we are treated to show the longing, closeness, and connection they have forged through the years. It takes a while but they realize it’s ok to have new dreams and that home isn’t necessarily a place- it’s can be a person.

I appreciate the natural angst that was present in their relationship with a cautious warrior and a brighter than life Shep. They have an overwhelming sweetness to their interactions that left me swooning and an openness that was refreshing. The letters provided this slow burn feel as the men bare their souls, love from afar, and crave each other without explicitly writing it.

I loved this story hard until about 85%ish when it seemed that there was a race to the finish line. The odd drama at the end came across as a page filler when the focus could have been on Shep, Andrew, and navigating their relationship. More focus on the letters would have hit me in my happy place, too. I also wouldn’t have complained for a tiny bit from Shep’s POV. Did I mention he’s a ginger? *growl* With blue eyes? *slow blink*

Love on a Battlefield is an enjoyable story that was well executed. The unique premise caught my attention and the cover drew me in with its simplicity. Definitely recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

On and Off

On and Off by Jenna Kendrick: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Synopsis:
On
For almost a year, Doc1984 and Wallflower have been battling it out online. There’s no subject they can’t disagree over, no end to their aggravation with each other.

Off
Mitchell Abend and Jackson Wallach are in perfect sync from the moment they’re introduced. Mitchell’s never quite gotten over being publicly humiliated by a former lover, but Jackson’s quiet strength encourages him to trust once again. Jackson’s isolated himself after a devastating accident, but Mitchell makes him want to live again.

On and Off
Wallflower and Doc’s online battles take an unexpected turn from adversaries to friends. But when one of them discovers his online friend and offline lover are one and the same, revealing the dual connection may cost him both a friendship and a chance at love.

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 2.5 Stars

So…

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I’ll start off by saying that for the longest time I wouldn’t read novellas because I didn’t think they could pack a full story in so few words/pages. I admit that was extremely naive and have since found some AMAZING novellas by very talented authors. However, this novella didn’t follow in the same vein. It was rushed, full of insta-love, and weaksauce “angst” to finish it off.

Doc1984 (Jackson) and Wallflower (Mitchell) have been chatting online for about a year. By chatting, I mean disagreeing and debating everything (totally foreplay). On a chance encounter, they meet at a club and hit it off. Neither man knows that they are sitting and dancing with their online crush. Things progress on and offline for these men. Mitchell has trust issues and Jackson has insecurities after an accident.

All fine right? I’m a fan of the meeting-online-and-in-person-but-not-knowing-it trope. I’m also a fan of novellas. What I’m not keen on is skipping the character and/or relationship development due to the length. Prior to the club, Mitchell makes a huge deal about how it isn’t his scene, no hook-ups, etc… Yet, literally minutes after meeting Jackson we get this gem-

“C’mon, sexy. Let’s go dance before I change my mind and lead you to the nearest bathroom stall, instead.”

The rest of the book is consistent with rushing, insta-love, lack of character development, and predictable/OTT angst. I refuse to blame the length for these issues and wish more depth was present. Neat trope and premise, missed the mark in execution.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

63 Days Later: A Holiday Tail

4.5 Stars

Finally! If you read my review for the first book in this series (check it out here), you know that I was SO bummed about the epilogue. That book was a roller coaster of death, potential death, and danger and I feel like I walked away with one of those T-shirts that said I survived and all I got was this t-shirt. Obviously we also got the enjoyment of reading the first story but I was rockin’ a sad face for a few days from not getting more closure.

But this…

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I forgive you Adrienne Wilder and have promptly placed you back on my figurative Christmas card list. This short novella gave me everything I wanted and more because PUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPIES!!

Anywhoooo, thank you for writing this bit of holiday goodness. AND thank you for some super sweet, steamy closure on August and Keegan.