Sunday, April 20, 2014

ARC Double Review: I survived Seattle by J.K. Hogan


I Survived Seattle (Coming About) - J.K. Hogan
Blurb:

As if being a deeply closeted gay man living in the South isn’t enough, Justice Crawford also suffers from a crippling anxiety disorder. Flying cross country to be the best man in his best friend’s wedding probably isn’t the best idea, right? Forced back into the closet after being rejected by his family, Justice has given up on the idea of finding acceptance and love. He has allowed his disorder and his troubled past to keep him from taking a chance, but love might just find him where he least expects it… in Seattle.

Sailor and charter boat captain Nic Valentine is still reeling from the unexpected death of his father, when the man of his dreams—literally—falls into his lap. He thinks he’ll never see the man again, but fate has other plans. Nic tries to resist the charms of adorably quirky, nervous Justice, because he has no desire to get tangled up with another closet case. But when life keeps throwing them together, will Nic decide that Justice might be a keeper after all?

Sandra's rating:





Super cute and adorable, funny and sweet. If it hadn't been for a couple of things missed during editing (unphased vs. unfazed, excepting vs accepting, among others), and some plot points that weren't fully addressed, the experience would have been even more enjoyable.

Loved both main characters, loved to hate on Rich (what the hell was his deal?), and loved how well the author described the inner workings of Justice's mind.

Nicely done, new to me author. Gimme another one, yeah? Perhaps the next one could be about Rich, and what's going on with Rory, m'kay?

Justice is a wee bit high strung, plagued by anxiety that's rooted in his coming out experience, which made him go right back into the closet. When he flies to Seattle to attend the wedding of his best friend Rory, he meets super hot guy on the plane.

Super hot guy turns out to be a boat captain Nic Valentine, who's out and proud. When Nic comes face to face with Justice again, the attraction can no longer be denied.

I adored both characters' personalities, and I loved that the author gave Justice time to grow, time to figure himself out and find strength he didn't know he had. I even liked the drama, the to and fro, as well as the climatic ending where Justice finally has something worth fighting for, worth forgetting his anxiety and worth embracing.

Blogtour: Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain




Wolf in Gucci Loafers 
(Tales of the Harker Pack #2)
by Tara Lain

Blurb:
Socialite Lindsey Vanessen wants someone to love who will love him back — an impossibility for a gay, half-human, half-werewolf. Too aggressive for humans, too gay for wolves, and needing to protect the pack from human discovery, Lindsey tries to content himself with life as a successful businessman. But when someone starts kidnapping members of wealthy families, Lindsey meets tough cop Seth Zakowsy—the hunky embodiment of everything Lindsey wants but can't have.

Seth has never been attracted to flamboyant men. What would the guys in the department think of Lindsey? But intrigue turns to lust when he discovers Lindsey’s biting, snarling passion more than matches his dominant side. It might mean a chance at love for a cop in black leather and a wolf in Gucci loafers.




Available for purchase at 


     


Excerpt

Saturday, April 19, 2014

ARC Review: Poster Boy (TAG #5) by Anne Tenino


Poster Boy - Anne Tenino
Blurb:

It's all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.

After being outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, Jock figures he’s due for something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby, the hot grad student he meets at a frat party, seems like a great place to start, and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.

Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?

Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, turning him into an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France would be a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.


Sandra's rating:





Okay, so let's get the negative stuff out of the way first - this book does not work as a stand-alone. If someone were to pick this up without having read the first three books, or at least book 3, they would be very lost. Lucky me has read all the previous books, so I didn't suffer from cluelessness about Jock's backstory, or Toby's either, nor the happenings at the frat house.

Now that we have that out of the way, this book was part shenanigans, part romance and part "let's knock his dumb ass over the head, OMG" for me. I giggled a lot at the fratboys' antics, especially around the Beer Terrorist subplot, but I also was exasperated with Jock's one step forward, two steps back for most of the book. His hang-ups about gay sex drove me up the fucking wall, and I felt so bad for Toby who got hurt again and again because Jock is a dumbass.

As with all her books, Anne Tenino made me giggle-snort a lot, and I just love the TAG brothers so much. It was nice to revisit with Brad and Sebastian whose relationship is only getting stronger, something that even Toby notices, and a quick glimpse of Collin and Eric is also to be had. Even Paul and Trevor have a guest appearance.

Which brings me back to the fact that this book relied heavily on the previous installments, especially during fratboy shenanigans. And the main couple in this one wasn't as lovable as the previous three. Don't get me wrong - I liked Toby, who becomes vulnerable and insecure in this book, but not to the point where he turns into some whiny thing I couldn't stand. Jock's character bothered me for a while, even though I could understand where he was coming from. Considering that he was also hiding a big secret for a while, I could empathize with him to a certain degree, though I still disliked him for treating Toby like that.

ARC Review: Poster Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #5) by Anne Tenino

Blurb:

It's all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.

After being outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, Jock figures he’s due for something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby, the hot grad student he meets at a frat party, seems like a great place to start, and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.

Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?

Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, turning him into an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France would be a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.

Dani's rating:


I have really enjoyed the Theta Alpha Gamma series. Tenino's books are always a nice blend of humor and steam. But this latest installment was a little clunky and awkward.

It didn't quite work as a standalone; there is too big a focus on other couples in the series, and most of the background information about Jock, one of the MCs, was presented in book 3 (Collin's story).

There were funny bits in this book, but chunks of it read like a scripted sitcom. The side plot involving "beer terrorism" and the subsequent drama in Provence, France (where the frat boys are studying abroad for the summer with Toby as their resident adviser) verged on nonsensical. I still have no idea what actually happened. There was a potential setup for the next book with a conflict/attraction between frat brothers Noah and Turbo, and a weird side plot involving Danny and his new French love interest. 

While I liked Toby in the other books, he was a little whiny and insecure here, and Jock was, at the beginning at least, irritating and immature. He had all these hangups, and he was a moody bastard. And the comments he made to Toby about bottoming? Seriously, Jock, just stop talking. 

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