Review: Almost Strangers by M.A. Innes and R. Phoenix

 

Almost Strangers

 

College was supposed to be about figuring out careers and goals, not what turned you on in the bedroom.

When a class project pushes a confused Adrian in an interesting new direction, he’s not sure what to do. His focus in college has always been on grades, but he doesn’t know if he’s ready to do what it takes to get an A in his Human Sexuality course.

Watching Adrian stumble into the world of puppy play and kink shouldn’t interest Owen as much as it does. The fact that they don’t really know each other doesn’t matter, not when they’re technically too close to even think about one another that way. But something won’t let Owen walk away from a floundering Adrian.

When an embarrassing situation meets a sarcastic remark, sparks fly in the most unusual way.

62k Words

Story Contains: Puppy play, and M/M sexual content of a taboo nature that some readers may find objectionable. Please read the sample or check out the authors’ websites for a larger excerpt.

 

REVIEW

 

This was so good. I was very skeptical about reading this book because if there’s something that is out of my comfort zone, that’s puppy play and this book have plenty of it. I still decide to give it a try and it end up being a good decision since I really liked it.

I still don’t like puppy play, that hasn’t change one bit, but there were the other things about the book that made me enjoy it so much. I loved the Adrian’s study subject because his trying to understand things, made me want to try and do the same, try to understand the reasons. It might not have end up the same way for me as it did for him, but I still had a good time.

What I liked the most about it were the characters, both of them were so nice. Adrian was so sweet and shy, he was easy to like. I did have few issues with him, I found him a little bit annoying at times, maybe he was a bit too shy for my taste, but in general he was really nice. I also liked Owen a lot, he seem to be more self-confident, but it was great to see what was under that rough exterior. The way they start their relationship, as a couple, it was very interesting. I loved the way they started to connect, to know each other a little better. The sweet moments between them were the ones I enjoy the most, sure it had some really hot scenes, but it was the more subtle things like smiles, caresses and kisses that I loved the most.

Overall it was a really nice and sweet book. I was expecting something more in the darker side, considering the subjects addressed, but I was pleasantly surprise by its sweetness.

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Review: Not So Vanilla by Morgan Noel

 

Image may contain: food

 

Bartholomew’s life is perfect. He’s got a job he loves, he’s in a committed relationship with his loving boyfriend who appreciates his neurotic tendencies, social anxiety, and general awkwardness. It’s not ‘white-picket-fence-and-Golden-Retriever’-perfect, but their nice little apartment in the city and the cat they rescued from the shelter come pretty close.
The domestic bliss gets disturbed when Kyle brings a very hot friend from high school into their sanctuary, making both of them wonder if perhaps ‘perfect’ is as relative as good sex.

This book is a sticky and delicious MMM romance that is sweet and dirty enough to potentially ruin your appetite.

 

REVIEW

 

I had such a great time reading this book. It was so fun. It’s been a while since a book had me laughing so much and then bringing all that steam… It was amazing.

I loved the characters, all of them. I was particularly fond on Mew, maybe because we got to see his point of view. He did had some features that generally would keep me away from loving a character, I tend to avoid characters that are much alike me, and he was too much alike me to feel comfortable, but I still loved him so much. He was so awkward and so self-conscious that is easy to see that most readers will fall in love with him or maybe relate to him, also he is the one who bring all the fun to the story. Kyle was the perfect boyfriend, so caring and understanding, they were such a great fit. And Adam, he was fantastic. I loved his cocky attitude, there were times when I wanted to hate him but no, he is as likable as the other two. Great characters all of them.

I loved Kyle and Mew’s relationship. It seem so solid and the interactions between them were so lovely. The little displays of affection were the sweetest part of the book. But there were also some really hot scenes that contrast perfectly with the humorous tone of it. I wasn’t really expecting that level of steam and it was fantastic.

I have a few issues with the ending, but it might be something more personal so I don’t think other readers would find the same problem I had. Overall it was such an entertaining book. I wouldn’t hesitate on recommend it to any reader who likes to read M/M books.

Review: Seeing Red: Scorched by T.C. Orton

Seeing Red: Scorched

 

Down the twists and turns of the London alleyways, where Chinatown meets the high-streets, lies a small venue where unknown rock bands often play to crowds of less than one-hundred.

Isaac is nineteen, living on the sofa of his best friend’s brother – Eric – after his bible-loving parents tossed him aside because of his sexuality. After two years of struggling to make sense of his life, Eric and Charlotte convince Isaac to attend Red’s gig; an up and coming rock band with a small cult following.

All hell breaks loose and Isaac is left injured, with the whereabouts of his friends unknown and his body crippled on the ground. It’s then that the four members – Troy, Nicolai, Kyle and Moss – aid Isaac by infecting him with a ‘magical’ virus that grants immortality in exchange for consuming blood.

The ‘Paranorm’ world is exposed to Isaac. Vampires, werewolves and warlocks lurk in the depths of the city he has lived in his entire life, but he won’t become one with the night until he completes his nine-month transition, leaving him in the hands of the band and at the mercy of vampire politics.

 

REVIEW

 

It was a nice and entertaining book to read. I’m not really big fan of vampires, although I do enjoy them if the story is right. This time, it was one of the times I did like them. The blurb doesn’t really tell much of the story, maybe just how it all start, but there was a lot more than it said there. On that matter it was a good thing for me because it was hard to know what to expect, especially on terms of romance, and I like that. Everything was unexpected and that was fine with me.

The plot is good, although I think there were a lot of unfinished conflicts, and I expect that means a sequel is being consider or else it would be a little disappointing. I still enjoy a lot what I’d read. It had a steady and enjoyable pace.

The main characters were something that really got my attention, especially because of the emotions they made me feel. It is one of the few times where I was able to like a book even when I didn’t liked the main character. It wasn’t that I dislike Isaac that much, I guess he was nice, but I just didn’t feel much sympathy towards him and it bother me a little. It was different with the other characters. I found them so much more interesting and I wanted to know more about them. Maybe that’s what makes me think about a sequel, because they were so great. I was particularly fond on Kyle, who was so sweet. I hope he could take a more leading role. I know there’s a book 1.5, but I truly think that will still be too little on this characters.

Overall it was a nice book, sweeter than I would like but I guess it might be a good thing for other readers. I’ll keep checking for possible sequels tough and start reading Interlude (book 1.5) as soon as possible.

Review: Riven by Roan Parrish

Riven

 

Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes—it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn’t hate is the music. Feeling an audience’s energy as they lose themselves in Riven’s music is a rush unlike anything else . . . until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They’re all he can think about. But Caleb’s no groupie—and one night with him won’t be enough.

Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside-down. Theo’s sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That’s how he knows Theo’s trouble. Caleb can’t even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he’d lost forever.

 

REVIEW

 

The author’s writing had some poetic quality that make reading RIVEN a sublime experience. It contains some magnificent characters and a connection with music that was mesmerizing.

Theo loves music, but that’s about everything he loves about the music world. He hates the tours, the paparazzi but most of all, being famous. Caleb is trying to stay strong. Being alone has given him the peace he’d been looking for. He’s still fighting his own demons when the sound of music connects their paths, making the need for each other start growing stronger and changing their lives as they knew them.

This was a beautiful experience. I loved the author’s writing. It felt a little complex at the beginning and, for a moment, I thought I would have trouble with translation because of the frequent use of words that were unknown to me, but after a while it was easier to get myself into the story, even though there were a few times when I felt the need to seek a word’s meaning. I still enjoy the writing a lot. It was beautiful to see how the phrases flow in a very artistic way that seem in sync with the overall emotion of the book. It is a little slow-paced but it fits perfectly the romantic feeling of the story.

The relationship between Theo and Caleb was fantastic. I tend to prefer a more slow burn development but they had an amazing chemistry from the start and it was perfect. They were perfect for each other. There was nothing about them that I didn’t like. The sex scenes had a perfect match of sensuality and sweetness that I love to read in such intimate moments. They were such a perfect match. I loved them as a couple and I loved them as individuals. Theo’s struggle to fit was endearing. His awkwardness outside the stage and the different persona on it remind me of stories I heard from beloved rock stars and it fit him perfectly. Caleb’s owns struggles were also interesting to see and felt so realistic that there were moments when it was painful to see him willing to make so much sacrifices to keep his life in order.

Overall RIVEN was a stunning book, the few issues I had with it were minor inconveniences for the things I loved about it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a MM Romance, but especially for people who enjoy music. I think they might appreciate the constant presence and importance of it in the book.

 

The Romance Review

Review: Guns n’ Boys: He Is Mine (Guns n’ Boys #2) by K.A. Merikan

Guns n' Boys: He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2)

Guns n’ Boys needs to be read in order.

— Home sweet hell. —

A wedding should be a joyful affair, but it is far from that for Seth Villani. Thrust into an arranged marriage, back under the same roof with serpents and wolves who are his family, Seth has to watch his back if he is to survive until the despised event. Though with his love affair with Domenico Acerbi slipping out of his grasp, and his father forcing blood on his hands, sometimes Seth wishes the dark waves of the sea nearby could swallow him whole.
Coming back home to Italy is full of bitterness and regret for Domenico. He knows he will have to see Seth, the first man who’s found a way to his heart in years, walk down the aisle and marry. Seth belongs with Domenico, and having him ripped out of his arms is an offense he cannot bear. Yet despite the tension between them, and the growing resentment, Domenico still needs to watch Seth’s back, because there’s a target on it, and no matter how much Domenico doesn’t want Seth to marry, he will not have him dead.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion

Length: ~90,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

REVIEW

I have ambiguous feelings towards this book. I liked a lot of it and it had some great moments but I also felt like I expected too much of it and didn’t quite delivered everything I thought it would.

What I liked about it was the Dom and Seth’s moments as a couple, whenever they weren’t fighting, just the sweet moments they shared, but also the fights because it made their relationship more realistic. I loved the fights and even though I was trying to take Dom’s side all the time, he wasn’t always right, and I loved how flaw they both were.

Dom is an amazing character. I can’t wait to keep getting myself into the series and discover al the layers behind the man. Seth…I guess Seth is an acquired taste and I’m not there yet. I can see the appeal but he isn’t doing much for me right now.

The things that I didn’t like about it. First, I felt like the plot was hard to understand, I really couldn’t keep track of what was the general idea of it until I was near the end of the book. At first it seem like random scenes put together without them being too cohesive. I was nearly 80% in the book when I really got the track of everything and from that moment on, it was impossible to put it down.

It is really intriguing and the character are great. I’m really feeling more interested on the series and I will keep reading the next instalments.

Review: Once Upon A Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) by Rhys Ford

Once Upon A Wolf (Wayward Wolves, #1)

 

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

 

REVIEW

 

There was something so beautiful about this book that it got my full attention from the start. I was really surprised when I realized I haven’t read any of the author’s book yet, since I’m interested in a lot of them. This was an amazing first impression that pushed me to read the ones I’ve been interested in.

Gibson is a wolf shifter, who’s not too fond on the term werewolf. He has dedicated the last few years of his life to take care of his brother, Ellis, who was trapped in wolf shape. When a run for his life chase makes Zach meet Gibson and his brother, life takes an unexpected turn. Love starts to makes its way through the heart of Gibson and Zach but their path to a happily ever after is not free of obstacles and they will have to decide if what they feel for each other is worth fighting for.

The title makes me feel this was going to be a little more fairytale-like story than it actually was. I wouldn’t mind if the romance would take a bigger part of the story than it did, but I was really pleased with the way the story went. One of the things that I loved the most about it was the strong bond between the brothers. There were a few humorous moments between them that were so delightful. I enjoyed them so much and even though I liked the interactions between Gibson and Zach, it was the brothers who truly got my heart.

The plot was very interesting. There were some expected events but most of the time it was pretty unpredictable. I liked the author’s writing, it was easy to be caught in the story and feel empathetic towards the main characters.

One of the few issues I had with it was that there wasn’t too much romance. I understand it was due to how the story went that there wasn’t a lot of romance, but maybe if the story were a bit longer, there could’ve been a few more romantic scenes. Still, whatever romantic moments shared by Gibson and Zach were very beautiful and they felt realistic.

Overall, ONCE UPON A WOLF was a great book. Really recommend it to any readers who liked shifters stories with MM pairing. It was very enjoyable.

The Romance Review

Review: Clara by Hans M. Hirschi

Clara

 

This is a short story about Clara—best be described as “a Clara”—who one day discovers a tall, elegantly dressed, and thus completely misplaced mystery woman in the local cemetery, standing over a grave that is never visited by anyone. Clara knows because the son of the couple buried there was Clara’s best and only friend in childhood.

Will curiosity get the better of Clara that day?

(Part of Never Too Late – a collection of nine stories featuring LGBTQIA characters over the age of fifty)

 

REVIEW

 

That was such a bittersweet story, exactly the kind I love to read. I liked it so much. It was written in a way I generally wouldn’t like, a lot of narration and few dialogs. But Clara was such an exceptional character that was very hard to stop reading. It was really interesting to see where things would go. I’ll admit I didn’t read the blurb before reading it. It was a part of a collection so unique that I decided to read all the story regardless what they were about, and so far, it hadn’t disappoint. Neither does Clara. It was great and saying more about what it was would risk to give some spoilers away, so I only have to say to anyone thinking about read it, do it.