Sunday, January 20, 2019

ARC Review: Secretly Dating The Lionman by Sue Brown


Can a man burdened with family drama find his way into the arms of a happy-go-lucky stripper called Lionman?

Cris likes a drink at the Cowboys and Angels bar after his shift at the strip club—until one night when a trashed young guy named Mikey tries to kiss him. He’s not Cris’s type, but Cris is good enough to see the kid home safely. There he meets Mikey’s handsome older brother, Bennett, and there’s an immediate spark between them.
But Bennett might not be in a position to start a relationship, let alone with the carefree Cris. He’s trying desperately to hold his family together, with a younger brother who’s running off the rails and hostile parents who will never accept not just one, but two gay sons.

When Cris is unexpectedly fired and Bennett’s family drama escalates, they turn to each other for support. But can a shoulder to lean on develop into something much closer, something they both deserve?

My rating:

I was really looking forward to this book, and I enjoyed the story as such - Cris, the Lionman, was a side character in the first book, and I was hoping he'd get his own story. Bennett, the other MC, is the brother of Mikey (resident lush at Cowboys and Angels bar) and so deep in the closet he's almost in Narnia.

I won't rehash the blurb here, but suffice it to say that Mikey is confused as hell, and Bennett is trying to prevent his little brother from making a huge mistake - though what exactly that mistake is probably isn't clear to Bennett.

Mikey laying a wet one on Cris at the bar while drunk as a skunk, and Cris taking him home to be a good Samaritan apparently doesn't endear Cris to Bennett, and I disliked Bennett intensely for that bullshit.

But of course the flames of lust burn brightly, and we are treated to a mutual handjob in which Cris' name is transposed with Bennett's in the middle of the climax, which ripped me right out of the story.

Then a bit later one, again in the middle of a self-love scene, there's talk about a "pear-shaped slit". I'm sorry, what? Pear-shaped? I've seen a few slits in my life, and not a single one of them could be described as pear-shaped. Is that a thing?

ARC Review: The CEO's Christmas Manny by Angela McCallister


Anything but business as usual.

Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish... and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.

Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?

My rating:

In this installment of the Dreamspun Desires series, we're introduced to Sasha Lindsey, who used to be a teacher, but is after a bad break-up currently without a job and home and in desperate need of both, and Nic Price, uber-rich CEO of his family's company, single, and struggling to meet the expectations of his father who can't to ever seem happy with anything Nic does.

Sasha is used to grin and bear it, realizing from an early age that people love him if he smiles and is fun, because his parents' didn't know how to deal with problems and left most of their issues to Sasha to fix. This instilled in Sasha a desire to please people, to agree to do things that he may not want to do, as well as the belief that he's only worthy of love as long as he doesn't rock the boat or comes across as needy.

Nic is caring for his sister's children, after she and her husband died four years ago, but he's doing it badly. Never having been given time to grieve, overworked and under way too much pressure, he's not been able to form a real bond with the two kids that live in his home. And due to that, the kids are, while not physically neglected, struggling emotionally, which manifests itself in skipping school, and driving every nanny they've had away.

When Sasha is hired as the live-in manny, it doesn't take him long to see right through Lucy (16) and Ben (12) - both kids are in desperate need of love and real attention, and that their antics are just a cry for help. As he begins working with them, showering them with attention, including them in meal prep and other things, the two grieving kids slowly start to live again.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Book Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton

Boy Shattered
You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.
I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?
Will you kiss me?
When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.

Jewel's rating:

Ok, that was intense. I was visibly shaking by the end of part one and only just able to hold back tears. Boy Shattered is a work of fiction based on very a factual reality that we, in the US, endure way too often. A reality where active shooter drills are held in our schools and too many kids die or witness the horrors of watching their friends die because guns are a way of life here. How did we get to a place where so much death is more acceptable than gun control? How?

Boy Shattered is told from the POV of two survivors of such a shooting. Brian who was shot and very nearly bled out and Landon who saved his life. Two young men, among many, who should have been making college plans and deciding whom to take to prom are instead facing the aftermath of a tragedy that should not happen. They're the lucky ones. They survived.

Audio Review: The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley

From The Blurb:
In hiding who he was, Payton found himself...and the man he would grow to love. 
After his brother is kidnapped, Prince Payton Townsend masquerades as an Admiral’s assistant in order to track the culprits through the tangled mysteries of the planet Englor. He finds way more than he bargained for in the form of Marine Colonel Simon Hollister. 
Simon is no ordinary soldier. He’s heir to Englor and his life is mapped out for him: throne, bride, and eventually an heir. He never expected a dalliance with Payton to blossom into love, or that the organization that taught him to lead would threaten that love—and their lives. 
Danger and intrigue abound as they learn more about their shared enemy, and about each other. What they learn could help them rise above to an enduring love—or pull them apart.

Karen's rating:

It's been a really, really long time since I've read this series. J.L. Langley was an early days author for me when it comes to m/m and I strongly remember how much I enjoyed these stories.

Sci-fi is another one of those genres that I rarely venture into. So while I'll be the first to admit I'm not expert in the world of sci-fi I am an pretty knowledgeable about what I like and I liked this series...probably even more on audio than I did the e-books.

We first met Prince Payton Townsend in 'My Fair Captain' the first book in this Sci-Regency series, he's the brother of Aiden one of the MCs in that story and in this book we see him traveling to the earth colony of Englor with his brother Aiden's husband, Nate Hawkins. It's on the planet Englor that Payton meets Colonel Simon Hollister and all this would have been simpler if Simon wasn't more than just an ordinary colonel...nope, Simon's the heir to the throne of Englor. But of course life is never simple for the royal family.

This one's got spies, intrigue, espionage, undercover escapades and ultimately a wedding to protect someone's honor...and oh how I loved this but I'm not telling the details about the who's and whys of it because for me this was just all too precious.

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