...Bookfanatic

 

Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming...

Love Happens Anyway - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sean Crisden

I first read this story last year and found it to be a delightful holiday story about pretend boyfriends who fall in love. I was going to attempt write an entirely new review for this one but when I revisited my original review I found that much of what is there still very accurately reflects my thoughts about this sweet story so I'm just going to borrow some of what I wrote before and add my thoughts on the audio component of this story...

Derek feels like his life is spinning out of control. He’s feeling like the job he has is neither the job he was supposed to get or the one he wanted, he’s at odds with his parents and feels like they’re constantly trying to marry him off. If he could just catch a break, put a little distance between him and the rest of the world.

 

Derek finds his buffer in the form of Luke…a former fireman who’s in need of twenty thousand dollars to finish paying or the renovations to on Halligans, his family’s bar in NY’s Financial District. So, when Luke’s friend asks him for a favor…a favor that will bring in Luke’s much needed money. Luke finds himself reluctantly agreeing to be Derek’s pretend boyfriend for the holidays…4 dates that’s all he needs to get through and then he’ll have the money he needs…what could possibly go wrong with just 4 dates?

 

What neither Derek or Luke is prepared for is that things would go right…so much righter than either man is prepared for as they find that not only is there a definite attraction between them but as they get to know each other they’re also finding that they like each other.

 

I admit I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy this one before I even opened the book…the author’s R.J. Scott and for me that pretty well makes it a done deal. For me Luke was the perfect person for Derek. He saw past Derek’s exterior with his pretense of confidence in an effort to cover his insecurities. Luke saw a talented man that he knew he could both like and respect. For Derek, Luke was his dream man come to life.

 

One of the things about this story that really capture my attention was the relationship dynamics between Derek and his parents. So often in stories the relationship between adult children and their parents are portrayed as either being good or not good but for Derek and his parents that’s not the case. Derek loves his parents and they love him and are supportive of him, but Derek doesn’t see it this way and that’s largely due to a communication issue or more accurately a case of miscommunication. Which for Derek is a more common event in his life than it needs to be because of the defensive barrier he’s built around himself.

 

Luke’s efforts to get past Derek and his façade of confidence has a trickle-down effect on Derek’s life allowing him to re-evaluate his interactions not just with Luke but a lot of the other people in his life…colleagues, friends and his parents.

For me the fake-boyfriend to boyfriend premise of this story was well done. It was sweet, and not only did we get to see the relationship develop between these two, but we got to find out a bit more about each of them, their past, their present and what they wanted for their future.

Sean Crisden was the narrator for this story, so along with revisiting a story I liked by an author I really like. I get to listen to one of my favorite narrators read said story. Sean Crisden is one of those narrators whose voice has this laid back tone to it that just draws me into a story allowing me to relax and just enjoy what I'm listening to. For me the whole choice of what audio narrators a person likes is such a personal and subjective issue because it's not just a matter of the narrator it's also about the right narrator for the right book and when it came to this book, I'm not saying that another narrator couldn't have also done a good job but I am saying that for me...Sean Crisden did an excellent job in capturing the characters and the spirit of the holiday season contained within the pages of this story.

 

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An audio book of 'Love Happens Anyway' was graciously provided by Signal Boost Promo in exchange for an honest review.

If you like hockey and holidays than you need this one on your Christmas list...

Hockey Holidays - RJ Scott, Kat Mizera, Susan Scott Shelley, Melody Heck Gatto, Jennifer Lazaris, Jaymee Jacobs, Jean Joachim, Melanie Ting, Toni Aleo, Stephanie Kay, Lily Harlem, Kate Willoughby, Lisa B. Kamps, Jami Davenport, Stephanie Julian, Shannon Stacey

What can I say besides 'I am Canadian' so when a book about hockey and my favorite holiday came on my radar I could say nothing more than 'please and thank you'.

 

I'd love to say that I read the entire anthology but that was not the case at this time...will I go back and read some if not all of the rest...hopefully at some point I'll find the time to do so but for now lets start with the stories that I read. In all there were 3.  Most of the stories in this anthology are m/f, however, there were 3 that are m/m and two of them are written by a V.L. Locey and R.J. Scott the authors of 'The Harrisburg Railers' a series that I have absolutely loved and the third story is by Susan Scott Shelley author of the 'Buffalo Bedlam' series. So my rating for this anthology is based strictly on these three stories and I will also include a brief review and an individual rating for each of these stories...

 

4 stars for 'A Star-Crossed Christmas' by V.L. Locey

This one is 'A Cayuga Cougars Holiday' short story and while I haven't read that series I really enjoyed this short holiday story and even though I haven't read this series I had no problem following this story as the characters from this story don't seem to have been central to any of the previous Cougar stories. 

 

Mitch was the  back-up goalie for the Cougars after August Miles gets called up to the pros and when he returns home for the holidays he sees the opportunity to re-connect with his best friend Shaun. Someone he shared a kiss with two years early...a kiss that left Mitch in emotional turmoil as he realized that he wasn't as straight as he thought himself to be and maybe it's time he and Shaun found out if a kiss was just a kiss.

 

This one is the quintessential friends to lovers story and was simply delightful. A feel good story filled with the magic of the holiday season and a grandmother with a quilt fabric store...I want Shaun's grandmother to adopt me...I won't even try to be subtle about that one. There's not a complicated or convoluted plot here and for anyone wanting to just read a sweet, feel-good holiday story about two friends finding love together this one's a good choice...definitely recommended.

 

4 stars for 'Dallas Christmas' by RJ Scott

Logan plays hockey for the Burlington Dragons...how can you not like that team name? I mean really, is that the best or what? Anyways back to Logan. It's been about a year since things ended between Logan and Archie brother of the Dragon's Team Captain because you know...you can't play hockey and be gay...a sad but true reality of our world and one that will hopefully disappear from the world of sports sooner rather than later.

 

It's a year later and Morgan finds himself spending the holidays in a rental house with 3 of his teammates when his past walks in looking every bit as hot as Morgan remembers him being. Archie's feelings for Morgan haven't changed. As Christmas approaches and the men do their dance around each other and everything that's between them. Morgan finds himself faced with feelings he doesn't know how to handle and decisions that he doesn't want to deal with but time waits for no man and Morgan has to figure out what he needs and what he can live without now and not when it's convenient for him.

 

Morgan for me was every young gay man who ever laced on a pair of skates wanting to make it in the NHL, wanting that symbol of success for themselves and knowing that to have one dream they needed to deny another...the dream of having that one person in your life who makes your world right and is there for you no matter what. 

 

Archie loves Morgan and he's willing to stand beside him, fight for what they can have if only Morgan will say those 3 precious little words that would let Archie know it's all going to be worth it.

 

I really liked these two and would thoroughly enjoy a longer story about them. One that gives us more of them as a couple dealing with living life on their own terms and not anyone else's...maybe Morgan could go to the Railers...it's just an idea ;)

 

3 stars for Susan Scott Shelley's 'Holding On Tight' a short story from 'The Buffalo Bedlam' series.

 

Ok first off I'm going to say I think a good portion of this is on me. 'Holding On Tight' is about Vince Forsberg and his boyfriend Joseph Parelli as they share their first Christmas together as partners.

 

This one was sweet and had some adorable moments and some holiday moments that I'm sure we can all relate to. Those disasters that try as we might seem to be unavoidable. Again I liked this pairing but I didn't share feel the same connection to them that I did with the couples in the first two stories and I think that's a little bit due to the fact that this is a new to me author...so, I wasn't as comfortable with their writing style as the other two authors...that's not me saying good or bad just not familiar but more importantly Vince and Joseph are the MCs from 'Skating On Chance' the 4th  book in 'The Buffalo Bedlam' series and I think had I read that book at least I would have found a stronger connection with these two MCs. So we're going to wrap this one up at 3 stars with strong potential to have been more. 

 

If you're looking for some short sexy holiday stories to read and especially if you're a fan of hockey, holidays and read both m/f and m/m this one's going to give you a lot of bang for your buck. While 2 of the 3 stories that I read were about characters from existing series they are written to work as standalone stories and while I may have wanted to read the previous story in one case the Christmas story worked on it's own and I had no confusion about characters or events in the Christmas story.

 

In summary based on the stories that I read if you're a fan of hockey and want some short, sexy reads that offer a chance to revisit some favorite authors and check out some new ones...this one might be just the give to give yourself and enjoy on a cold winter's night or two...maybe 3 because it comes in at 755 pages according to Amazon and 930 according to my e-reader...either way it's a lot of reading pleasure! Happy Holidays!

 

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A copy of 'Hockey Holidays' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes loosing everything isn't the end of your life...

Patchwork Paradise - Indra Vaughn, Craig Beck

It's just the beginning of a new one.

 

Oliver and Samuel have it all. Their's is a fairytale existence...until it isn't. It can take a lifetime to find love and a moment to loose it. No one knows this better than Oliver. 

 

'Patchwork Paradise' is the story of one man's struggle to survive the tragedy of loosing the man he loves and rebuilding his life only to discover that while he's lost one love there's another one waiting for him...not to replace what's gone because nothing could ever do that. This love is there waiting to fill it's own place in his heart.

 

I've had this one in my audio library for a while now and when I came across it the other day I decided that it was time so I grabbed my handy box of tissues and hit the play button and barely 30 minutes into the story tissue in hand dabbing at the tears in my eyes...I questioned my sanity and kept right on listening because this isn't a story about loss it's a story about surviving it, about moving forward and about paying tribute to the person you've lost by going on and making a new life for yourself. One that's filled with love, laughter and hope.

 

That's what Ollie (Oliver) did of course he mourned the loss of Sam and rightfully so. Sam was his forever love but unfortunately as we all know life's not fair and nothing ever last forever...but, Sam was the person who taught Ollie how to love so a part of him will live forever. Every step that Ollie takes towards rebuilding his life, every time he puts his heart out there it's because Sam's love showed him that he was worth it, he deserved it and in his heart Ollie knew that the last thing Sam wanted was for his life to end with Sam's.

 

I seriously thought Sam was awesome even though we didn't get a lot of time with him. I think the magnitude of what a wonderful man he was came through because of Ollie. It was his memory of Ollie and how much Sam loved him that gave Ollie the strength to keep trying...to remember even after they're gone how much someone loves us is a pretty powerful indicator of what we meant to them and to be able to open your heart up to the possibility of finding love again shows just how positive that love was.

 

There were some surprising things that happened in this story that for me made it all the more interesting and even though I'm pretty late to the party on this one I'm not going to delve into them to deeply because I'm just guessing that maybe I'm not the only one who hasn't read/listened to this book yet.

 

While Sam and Oliver started out as the MCs in the story there was also a core group of friends who were integral to the story and certain events in particular. Within the boundaries of Sam and Ollie's group of friends we have Ollie's best friend (Cloe), Cloe's boyfriend (Imre) and Thomas (Ollie's friend from work and the man who's quietly loved him for years). There's also Sam''s parents and that'll be enough about them and then there's Ollie's mother (most adorable grandma so far this year). 

 

 

While this was only my second time with a book by the author Indra Vaughn. It's the my fourth time around with the narrator Craig Beck and once again this narrator has done an exceptional job of giving this story added depth and breathing life and emotion into the characters leaving me confident that when I see his name listed as the narrator I'm not going to be disappointed with what I hear.

 

"Patchwork Paradise' is a story of pain, lose, friends, family, comfort, healing, second chances, starting over, strength & courage, finding love, having hope...it's about life...the one we have, the one's we lose and all the things in between that touch them.

Sometimes it's not about who did it, it's about why...

Criminal Intentions:  Changing Faces - Cole McCade

Ok, I'm going to try and share something new and fresh here but I have to be honest this is book #4 Criminal Intentions Changing Faces, for this series and 'other than "ohmyfreakin'godthisis hella,hellaGOOD" I'm starting to feel like a stuck record but I'll give it a go anyways ok.

 

'Criminal Investigations' is a series with a slightly different form to it. The author's plan is to write this  with a format that more strongly resembles a television show than a book series. As most of us know book series can vary in terms of when and how often they're released.  I've read series where the books have been released almost all at once as was the case with Brent Weeks 'Night Angel' trilogy these books were originally released within weeks of each other (and no that wasn't an intentional play on words) other series may have months between each book or sometimes even years (let's think G.R.R. Martin here and still others have totally erratic release dates). Whereas with a television show we know that basically we're getting 13 episodes per viewing season (it use to be 22 but these days 13 seems to be the average). So the plan for this series as I understand is a possible 5 seasons with 13 episodes per season. So if you're planning on seeing this through to the end, as I and some other souls are want to do it's going to be like making a commitment to G.R.R. Martin himself the endgame is not for those in need of immediate gratification. 

 

In order not to spoil this for anyone with a potential interest in following this series let me just say that...I'm not going to write spoilerish things in my reviews anything that I use that directly pertains to the events in an episode will also be found in the blurb.

 

Ok, so what am I going to talk about well the obvious of course why I'm reading this series. I love a good crime drama story, especially if it has a personal connection to it. With each episode of CI (yep, we're going to save me some typing and refer to this as CI for Criminal Intentions) anyways, with each episode there's a different crime being resolved and by different I don't mean same crime different faces I mean different crime with different faces and here in CI #4 what we were given was a case of domestic violence and while the who and why of who done it was apparent fairly early in the story. I was ok with that because while this was a part of the story it wasn't the focus this time around the focus was more about the impact that the case has on Seong-Jae one of the MCs in this series as he works to resolve the circumstances surrounding the victims murder... because we don't always live in a world of clear absolutes and sometimes upholding the law doesn't always mean adhering to the letter of the law and as an officer of the law Seong-Jae not only has to resolve this murder but he finds he needs to come to terms with that resolution...it's good stuff folks seriously thought provoking stuff because if you've read this and heard any news stories over the past few years I'm sure you'll agree with me that much of this story could have easily come from the pages of any newspaper.

 

And this leads to the next thing that I really like about this series and that's the strong undertone of realism that runs through these stories. This is not a light and fluffy series with sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. These stories deal with the dark side of human nature sometimes the lines between right and wrong become pretty fuzzy...just like in the real world.

 

So now onto my favorite thing about this series or I guess I should say things...Seong-Jae and Malcolm...these two men...sweet baby jebus!!! Let me just say this will test the patience of even the staunchest slow burn fan but it's going to be worth it...of this I feel certain.

 

These two men...I don't even know how to explain the dynamics between them other than to use a very cliche phrase and say 'It's complicated'. Seriously we're 4 books in and we'v basically gotten a couple of kisses that's it but..DAMN!!! I've read full on sex scenes that didn't radiate the heat that these two just begin in the same room...or even on a telephone together.

 

With every story we're given a crime drama that's resolved from start to finish but with each story we're also given a little more about Seong-Jae and Malcolm's past as they continue to dance around each other and there's an overlying storyline that's building and it's the one that keeps me coming back because in spite of the crime that's resolved the author leaves us with just enough answers to pique our interest while also adding just enough questions to tease the readers curiosity.

 

While this was probably the weakest of the stories in terms of the crime that was committed and resolved for me it was in fact one of the better stories from the perspective of personal relationships. It also seems to be a pivotal point as things seem to be changing both for and between Soeng-Jae and Malcolm.

 

I'm not sure what comes next for this series but I do know I'm on board to find out...episode 5 everyone 'It's Witchcraft' and it's happening tomorrow (November 10) and I'm so there! This series...very highly recommended! and definitely best read in order.

 

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A copy of 'Criminal Intentions: Changing Faces' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Let's talk about magic...

Alpha Heat - Leta Blake, Michael Ferraiuolo

I'm just going to explain myself a little bit here because otherwise I probably won't be making a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of people and I want to talk about magic for a couple of reasons...

 

One because we're living in troubled times right now and I think we need to find the good and the magic that's in this world where and when we can and because I found some magic right here in a book called 'Alpha Heat' so here's where I get to tell my story of how I came to find some magic...

 

A few years ago my husband and I took our son and his partner out to dinner because it was our son's birthday and it's a thing that we do in our family where the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant that they want to have dinner at thankfully the birthday dinners at McDonald's are long gone. This restaurant is quite well known locally and even on a bit of a national level as well...ok, so you get my point here right...it's a really nice restaurant. Anyways, we all enjoyed an incredible meal and at the end of it I said to our son, "how was your dinner?" and he looked at us and said  "James must be magic because he took everything that I never thought I liked and turned it into the most amazing meal." so having shared this little slice of my life I now feel compelled to say...

 

"Leta Blake must be magic because she took everything that I thought I never wanted to read and turned it into the most amazing story that I loved...and maybe Michael Ferraiuolo helped a bit as well but I'll talk about that a bit more later.

 

So here I am back in a world that includes MPREG, knotting, fisting and more, but I read 'Slow Heat' and I didn't even bat an eye once I got into it,I was all in and I enjoyed the hell out of that story. I also admit that i got it because I was asked if I wanted to review the second book, 'Alpha Heat' on audio and I saw that the narrator was once again Michael Ferraiuolo so I said 'hell yeah' and once again I was all in I mean it's not like this was going to be my first MPREG story right? What I didn't expect was the fact that while it wasn't the first one for me...it was by far the better of the two. Not that 'Slow Heat' wasn't good...I gave it 4 stars so I think we can put that idea to rest but in my mind 'Alpha Heat' totally kicked it up a notch because...

 

While we've still got MPREG, knotting, fisting (off page thank you very much Ms. Blake) we've also got two MCs that honestly when I met them in the first story I wasn't feeling any warm fuzzies.  You know the old saying take them or leave them...well if you'd asked me before I listened to 'Alpha Heat' I would have said ok, leave them. But having made the commitment to give this a fair and honest review I'd essentially taken that option off of the table for myself. 

 

So now  that I've had that lovely little ramble let's talk about the story and why I wasn't suppose to want to read this, much less enjoy it...first off there's Urho and Xan. We met both of these characters in 'Slow Heat' if you read that then you can probably jump ahead a little bit here but if not than just know that Urho is a doctor and trust me when I say for the purposes of this story that's a very good thing and while he's friends with both Jason and Vale (read 'Slow Heat) he originated as Vale's friend, while Xan was Jason's best friend and roommate at college and continues in this story as Jason's best friend.

 

Throughout the course of 'Slow Heat' I just never warmed up to either of these men and that was fine with me they were secondary characters but all that has changed here, because in this story they're the main characters...well them and Caleb...Xan's asexual and aromantic Omega and here's where I'm going to reinforce what the author has already said 'there is no cheating in this story.' 

 

So what else wasn't I suppose to enjoy in this one well...one of the characters has a bit of a kink for rough sex and humiliation and all I can say is holy crap this is SO NOT MY THING! more so than anything else but I was determined to see this one through and in spite of this I was really getting into this story plus I was starting to really, really like Urho and Xan and then we met Caleb and damn, Caleb fascinates me. I'll be the first to admit for a lot of the story I ran hot and cold on whether or not I liked him but I was always fascinated by him so continuing became a non-issue I was in it for the long haul.

 

Now what else didn't I like...well, there was Xan's father and let me just say if you've read or listened to the audio book, I can't imagine that I'm alone on that one. Next we have Xan's cousin, Janice and while I can't exactly say that I didn't like Janice, I can very truthfully say that I didn't like his behavior and I think this is as good a time as any the segue into what I did like about this story...

 

So let's carry on with Janice because like Caleb I think there's so much more to Janice than meets the eye.  Honestly I'm hoping that Janice will find himself some redemption in another story and Caleb I honestly can't imagine that there isn't just so much more to Caleb than what we've seen here.

 

In general there are so few stories with characters who are asexual/aromantic that I'm fairly comfortable saying that this is maybe the second or possibly third book that I've read with an asexual/aromantic character who has a fairly important role in the story and for myself I liked the way that the author handled this. I never felt that Caleb was being ignored or that his importance to Xan was ever diminished but at the same time the author didn't take things too far the other way making it feel like Xan was being patronizing or condescending when it came to Caleb. To say that I found Caleb to be a unique and fascinating character is probably understating things a little but we'll go with that.

 

It's also been a while since I've read a book that left me wanting more about as many secondary characters as this one has...there's Janice, Caleb, Wren (or Ren, I'm not sure how that was spelt) and Xan's brother Ray. While I wasn't exactly a smitten kitten when it came to Xan's father his brother Ray was an entirely different story. I feel like I'm leaving someone out in all of this but I think you get my point which is that the author has created a number of characters that have depth and dimension creating characters that compelled me to want to know more about them. 

 

There were a couple of births that happened during this story and once again Ms. Blake's balancing act of giving just the right amount of detail was spot on for me and I wasn't even a little bit squicked out about them.

 

Ok at this point I'm going to talk about the narrator because damn, this reviews getting long...I mean seriously I'm cutting into your reading time here and that's just sad and wrong so I'm going to just say a couple more things and then I'll shut up, I promise...

 

First about the narrator...Michael Ferraiuolo...I mean really do I need to say more? The man is a consummate professional when it comes to audio books he not only gets the job done but he does it with flare bringing life and depth to the characters and the story.

 

and last but not least in a time when we need all the magic moments we can get thank you, Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo for giving me over 15 hours of magic. 

 

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An audio book of 'Alpha Heat' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This demon hunter doesn't hate vampires...

Quenched In Blood - Ari McKay

or at least not all of them.

 

'Quenched In Blood is the third and concluding part of Ari McKay's Asheville Arcana series. In each of these stories we've met a different couple first it was Arden and Eli. In the second story we say Whimsy as he found his mate in the werewolf Harlan and throughout we've seen glimpses of Arden and Whimsy's friend and erstwhile lover the vampire Julian...

 

As the battle between Arden, Whimsy, Julian and the Werewolf Packs against the demons continues Arden and Julian find themselves at Micah's farm. As afar as they knew Micah was the last of the Demon Hunters but what they believe turns out to be wrong when they discover that Micah's wasn't the last Demon Hunter...no that honor falls to Thomas, Micah's grandson.

 

When Thomas learns that his grandfather has kept his legacy from him, he puts his anger aside to learn what's needed so that he can help save his new found friends and their world as they band together to find the cauldron of rebirth...the key to finally defeating the demons.

 

Julian agrees to take in Thomas giving him protection and training him to be a Demon Hunter and as his training progresses Thomas and Julian realize that they share an attraction to each other but Julian's filled with the guilt of the past and it's going to take all of Thomas's sweetness and determination to get past his barriers and convince Julian that they can be together and have a future.

 

While Julian's been a present in all of these books. He's always kept himself at a cool, aloof distance and for me the Julian that we met in this story didn't quite mesh with the Julian that we've had until now. I'm ok with the fact that his attraction brought him out a bit more making him a more approachable...a bit warmer in his personality but there were moments that Julian just felt a bit too aloof. So maybe this parts on me that Julian just wasn't what I thought he should be. 

 

Thomas actually got off easy with me because while we knew of him until this story he's really only been an abstract idea and one that I didn't have any preconceived ideas about so he just got to be who he was and I was good with him. Thomas was young and had an extremely sheltered life with his grandfather keeping him on the farm and never allowing him to experience the world.

 

Overall I liked this story in theory it was good and a lot of it worked but Julian and Thomas as a couple just didn't quite happen for me. I think if things had developed at a little slower pace between these two I would have felt myself more invested in their story...in them as a couple. The rest of this story worked fairly well for me especially the ending so while this book wasn't quite as successful for me as the first two. It was still a fitting ending for this story giving a magical but all things considered rather realistic solution to things.

 

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An ARC of 'Quenched in Blood' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Well all I can say is never say never...

Slow Heat - Leta Blake, Michael Ferraiuolo

Before I get into my actual review for this book I really need to explain a thing or three...I am so not a fan of MPREG ore even knotting for that matter...it's just a no thanks, never going there for me and yet somehow here we are. I'm also not a fan of fisting and thankfully while that's mentioned in this book it's not an on page thing...thank the wolf gods.

 

For as much as these things are on my 'no thank you' list when it comes to a good story my resistance has it's limits and when the opportunity to review the audio book for 'Alpha Heat' crossed my path I read the blurb and then I looked at the blurb for 'Slow Heat' and then I went and dug out my big girl panties, my grabby hands and said 'bring it on' and that's how I came to be here. Listening to a story on audio that I've repeatedly said 'No thanks' to and to be honest I don't regret it in the slightest because in spite of all the things I don't like about this there was so much more that I ultimately made me want to give this a chance.

 

First of all is the fact that this is one hella', hella' good story. I was gobsmacked by how much I enjoyed this one. Seriously folks I did not see this one coming. I figured it'd be different and at the very least I'd enjoy it and I definitely did.

 

I'm not sure I can really explain this story without turning this into a very, very long review. So I'm just going to try and touch on what really stood out for me and first off it was the world that Leta Blake has created with this first story in her 'Heat of Love' series. 

 

Let's start with the fact that this is not a shifter story...oh, there are alphas, betas and omegas but what there isn't are shifters. But in their place we're given a society that reflects the hierarchy of the social order of wolves as well as being reflective of gender to a degree. 

 

Leta Blake has managed to create a very different world than what I've come to expect when the words 'Alpha, Beta and Omega' are involved and really to go into the details of some of the things that I really liked about this story would require some pretty wordy explanations to allow me to make some kind of sense so I'm going to try and talk more n generalities of the story rather than specifics.

 

At not even 20 years old Jason Sabel is just coming into his own and learning what it means to be an alpha. So finding his erosagape (destined mates) may be what he thinks he's ready for on a physical level but when his mate turns out to be Vale Aman, someone whose approximately 15 years his senior and seems t have a past the real question becomes 'is he mentally and emotionally ready?'

 

Jason and Vale have a lot of strikes against them and in spite of the fact that they're 'destined mates' it really doesn't mean love at first sight. There's definitely a slow burn going on here as well as that unwilling attraction that comes with being 'destined mates' you know that purely biological attraction that happens when genetics are involved. 

 

Jason may be young but he's determined to be the alpha that Vale needs and to make Vale see that they belong together, while Vale wants to do what's best for Jason...his Alpha and Vale's sure that he's not what's best for his alpha.

 

I loved the interaction between Jason and Vale as they got to truly know each other and developed a relationship that was based on more than biological attraction.

 

'Slow Heat' is on the surface a simply romance set in an alternate reality but when you look beyond that what becomes clear is that there is nothing simple about this story...sure there's romance, there's also a complex society with it's own rules but it's  society that like the one we live in is slowly changing. .It's judgments and values are being questioned by the people they seem to be restricting and even by some of the people who seem to benefit the most from them. It's also as about family the ones we're given and the ones we make. Jason has is father and his patter (equivalent to a mother). While Vale's family is gone and he's been left to cobble together a family of a different kind but no less of a family. Both of these men have lives that will be drastically affected by their union.

 

While I only gave 'Slow Heat' 4 stars, for someone who had 'MPREG' firmly planted in the 'no go' zone this one was a total success for me. Am I off to search out more MPREG stories...no, they're still not something that interest me...in fact I'm actually off to finish listening to 'Alpha Heat'. So probably not more MPREG but always more really awesome stories and speaking of really awesome have I mentioned that Michael Ferraiuolo is the narrator for this book and as narrators go I'm not really sure they get any better. Without a doubt he knocked it out of the ballpark on this one. His voices were unique, superb, consistent and gave the story the depth and emotion it so richly deserved. There are more than a few awesome narrators out there and for me Michael Ferraiuolo is absolutely one of my top 5 and nope I'm not even trying to rank them anymore because there are five of them and they're all #1 to my ears. 

As with most things this re-release has come full circle...

Circle - Garrett Leigh

While Ash and Pete have weathered the storms of the past and neither man has lost sight of how much they love each other, with the beginning of ‘Circle’ there’s a distance between them that leaves both men feeling like it’s a distance that they’re not sure they can breach and it’s going to take the wisdom of some new friends and a trip away from home for Ash and Pete to find their way back home and to each other.

 

Pete’s not happy and Ash knows it as clearly as he knows that the love they share is still alive and strong but what he can’t see is the cause of Pete’s unhappiness. Pete’s keeping secrets…not because he wants to but because he loves Ash and the last thing he wants to do is to add his darkness to what his lover already carries. But that’s not how Ash feels, he wants the man he loves above all else to be happy…

 

“Because it haunts me, and you don’t need any more fucking ghosts.”

“You carry mine as much as I carry yours. We’re wasting our time, otherwise."

 

It’s going to take stepping outside of both their comfort zones for these men to find a way back to each other and recapture that magic that they share.

 

Pete knows that there’s a wall between him and Ash. After all he’s the one who’s erected it but what he’s not prepared for is the fact that Ash is determined to fight for what they have and when push comes to shove Ash is not only willing to step outside of his comfort zone to set them both back on the same path but he’s going to take Pete right along with him.

 

If I loved the first two books in this series I’m still looking for a word to explain how much I treasured this last step of their journey.  ‘Circle’ not only sees Pete and Ash working to find a way back to each other but to themselves as well…especially Pete. He’s been through so much and now it’s time for him to come to terms not just with what’s happened but with some of the things he’s done as a result and it’s time for him to trust that Ash is every bit as strong as Pete has claimed he believes him to be.

 

While I’m not prepared to go into the details of things that have happened because I’d like to keep this a spoiler free review. I will say that after all that Ash and Pete have been through (and I’m going back to the very beginning of this series with this statement) ‘Circle’ is the ending that they both deserve and have both worked so hard for but it’s one that they’re also going to have to continue to work hard to get. Pete’s secrets were done and kept out of love for those who mattered in his life so truly I loved that Ash saw this just as Pete saw that Ash’s actions were about finding a way to bring them back together.

 

I loved, loved, loved this series and being able to read it without any breaks in the stories was for me the best way to enjoy it and one that I recommend. Seeing the growth and change that each of these men went through was to say the least an emotional journey and seeing them get the happily ever after that they both needed and deserved was simply the icing on the cake.

 

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A copy of ‘Circle’ was graciously provided by ‘Signal Boost Promotions’ in exchange for an honest review.

And the re-release continues...

Rare - Garrett Leigh

‘Rare’ is the continuation of Ash and Pete’s story and with this installment we not only get to see how much Ash has come back from the events of ‘Slide’ but this time around it’s Ash’s turn to step up when Pete is the one in need of the extra love and support and for Ash it’s going to mean more than just being there for Pete. Once again Ash’s past comes knocking on his door only this time Ash’s priority is Pete and dealing with his past needs to take a back seat to what he feels Pete needs from him. So, while his past is still demanding his attention and there’s closure to be had for Ash it’s going to take a backseat to what’s happening in the present.

 

I know a lot of my friends found this one to be really emotional and it was, but I also felt that there was a positive undertone. Ash and Pete may have their struggles in the face of adversity but ultimately, they hold firm to their love and faith in each other.

 

Like so may people Ash is his own worst critic and this can be a way to challenge themselves to always do their best and try harder for some people because of his past at times Ash’s lack of self esteem can be debilitating but when Pete needs him the most is when we are shown how truly strong Ash can be.

 

I loved this role reversal. Seeing not only that Ash has the strength that Pete has always seen in him but that when it comes to the man he loves Ash is truly an equal partner. While there are challenges and conflicts at the end of them all neither man ever looses sight of what they have and how much it means to each of them.

 

I also loved that while Ash stepped up to be the man he needed to be it never felt easy. He had to dig down deep to find the strength not only to be there for Pete but to deal with the part of his past that came knocking on his door wanting into his life. This was such an integral part of the story and how Ash dealt with things was not only going to impact his life but that of Pete and their friends.  While I loved the whole story, this part was, for me, so well handled. There wasn’t a magic solution at hand but a solution that was basically a work in progress throughout the story.

 

I was frequently left with that feeling of one step forward and two steps back that we all experience when we’re dealing with the bigger issues that can come up in our lives giving this story a very solid feeling of being grounded in reality despite some of the coincidences that at times were a bit much.

 

Finally, as much as I enjoy Ash and Pete, as a couple, having them interact with their friends and family simply added to their depth as characters and helped to keep that grounded in reality feeling that it had while reading this series.

 

There’s a lot of change happening throughout this story…things are constantly changing for Ash and Pete as both as a couple and as individuals while they work through life’s challenges, but as with any relationship change will happen. So really, it’s not surprising that Ash and Pete aren’t the only ones experiencing change…the changes happening are with and between Ash, Pete, their friends, family and careers.

 

‘Rare’ isn’t the end of the journey for these two men and can’t wait to find out what comes next in the third and final installment of Ash and Pete’s story. I have no doubt that it will involve change.

 

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A copy of ‘Rare’ was graciously provided by ‘Signal Boost Promotions’ in exchange for an honest review.

Re-release or original this one's worth reading...

Slide - Garrett Leigh

‘Slide’ is by no means my first Garrett Leigh book and as with previous reads this one has captured my attention from start to finish and I have loved every word of it and since this is a re-release I’ve also loved that I’ve been able to jump into the next book as soon as I was finished with this one and then directly into the last book…right after that but we’ll talk about those books when I get to their review for now lets talk about ‘Slide’.

 

Ash Fagin is an incredibly talented artist with an incredibly troubled past. Years of neglect and abuse in the foster care system and on the streets have resulted in a history of drug abuse have taken their toll leaving him more than a little troubled but when he looks at Chicago Paramedic Pete, Ash sees everything he’s never known or realized that he wanted and together they begin to build a life that offers both of them love and happiness.

 

Things seem to be working out for Ash and Pete until the nightmares of Ash’s past meet up with their present and events at work have Pete so distracted that he fails to see what’s happening to the man he loves until circumstances are dire and Pete realizes that even if he can save Ash…he may still be too late to save them.

It’s hard sometimes to explain exactly why one author has a stronger, more deeply felt impact on me than another one who may be just as good but for whatever reason doesn’t seem to make that same connection but without fail Garrett Leigh’s stories carry that connection for me.

 

I loved Pete and he proved to be exactly what Ash needed, but Ash won my heart in a totally different way. He brought out the momma-bear in me. I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and feed him milk and cookies, tell him what an amazing, talented and wonderful person he was. For me Ash represents every child that the foster care system and society in general has ever failed…yep, insert tears here.

 

‘Slide’ isn’t a story that starts at the beginning but more in the middle and as the story progresses things flow backwards and forwards in time and while it seems that this would possibly make for a confusing story what happens is that the reader gets pieces as they become relevant giving clarity to circumstances happening in the present.

I loved that we are given events from both Pete and Ash’s perspective allowing the reader a chance to know both men and see their world through both of their eyes and adding balance to events.

 

In ‘Slide’ we get to see Ash and Pete go from strangers to roommates to friends to lovers. We see them struggle to keep a fragile new relationship growing and then watch as it grows and becomes stronger withstanding the nightmares that haunt Ash as his past catches up to him.

 

While I very much enjoyed this story, I can’t say that I liked everything that was said or done by any one character but that’s pretty much how life goes in the real world. None of us say or do things that everyone likes all the time, none of us are the person that everyone likes all the time and maybe that’s part of why I connected so well with this story. This isn’t a story about perfect people doing perfect things all the time. They’re flawed people and sometimes they don’t try to be the best person they can be…sometimes, they’re just trying to get by and survive and maybe that’s not how it should be but like the rest of us these characters aren’t perfect people living in a perfect world. They’re just people trying to get by and survive.

 

 for “Marked” and “Air”. “Marked” is a short story that was previously released by the author as a freebie and has now been included in the re-release of this book. I enjoyed this little slice of life with Ash and Pete as they get up close and personal following a tattoo session that’s mentioned in ‘Slide’ where Ash fixes a tattoo that Pete’s had done years earlier. While reading or not reading ‘Marked’ isn’t going to affect the readers’ enjoyment of the series it is still a nice sexy slice of life that I quite enjoyed and definitely recommend for fans of Ash and Pete.

 

‘Air’ is another slice of life in the ‘Roads’ series as seen from Joe’s perspective. We get to see hear Joe’s perception of Ash and how he feels about his friend as he has a defining moment that helps him to understand how he feels about his friend with a greater clarity.

 

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A copy of ‘Slide’ was graciously provided by ‘Signal Boost Promotions’ in exchange for an honest review.

You made me a home out of nothing. Out of a place where one should not exist...

The Bones Beneath My Skin - T.J. Klune

 

I have absolutely zero doubt that if someone asked me what book this year had the strongest impact on me...left me in emotional turmoil and wondering what's out there...what the future of humanity looks like...it would be this book. 

 

I told my buddy read friends that I'd write a review for this one when I could find the words because I think this one of all the books I've ever read and I promise there are a few, but this is the one that defies explanation.

 

This is not a romance story but it's a story that's filled with love so much love and fear and arrogance...so much arrogance. It's the arrogance of humanity and to be honest it's what scares me the most and probably the reason that I find SciFi to be one of the most disturbing genre's to read, but I'll babble about this a little more later.

 

'The Bones Beneath My Skin' is the story of Nate Cartwright a man who finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Alex a man standing at his own crossroads and with a mission that he's determined to see through no matter what the cost and Artemis Darth Vader, a little girl whose future is bigger than anyone could ever imagine. But all of this is smoke an mirrors for what lies at the heart of this book because at the heart of it is humanity and that's what threads throughout this story is a story about man/womankind and while it's ultimately a story that gives hope it balances on a knife's edge and shows a world that can go either way...a world that can hold hope and love or one that's fueled by fear and arrogance...the choice is ours.

 

One of the things that I've come to realize about TJ is that he's not an author who sticks to any one specific genre and each time he steps outside of a box he gives his unique touch to a story and while it may not be the signature TJ Klune that we got in previous stories it still bears his signature in it's own way and each story offers it's own emotional roller coaster ride and often leaves me with things to ponder and in this case what I was left pondering was the question of how mankind/womankind/humanity whatever term you want to use got to be so arrogant. How did we ever come to the conclusion that we're the only life form in this galaxy or any other that's viable and intelligent, capable of emotion, able to form civilizations, cultures, to care for each other, capable of technological advancements and so many other things...where did this arrogance come from and when will we realize that it's a very strong and realistic thought that we're not alone in all the expanse of planets in this universe and those beyond the possible lifeforms could be unlimited...it's a scary thought because some may be good, some may not but if we shoot first and ask questions later we'll never know.

 

I'm not sure what I was expecting going into this book...other than a story that I would enjoy and be engaged with, a story that would make me think, question my values and beliefs and as always with this book by this author I got all that. I was entertained, there were characters that I really related to and I'm still thinking and weighing my values and beliefs...savoring the subtle, small moments that helped to make this story so strong and memorable.

 

when it comes to buddy reads for me, I think this might have been the buddy read that sets the benchmark for all that follow...It was a 5 stars read with 5 star buddies. Big thank  yous to Josy and Simone who took this adventure with me as always it was all kinds of epic and awesome!!!

 

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It's a bit of Murder and Mayham...

Cops and Comix - Rhys Ford

 'Cops and Comix' is a short story taken from Rhys Ford's world of 'Murder and Mayham' but what it's not about is Rook and Dante. This is a story about Rook's cousin Alex Martin and how he and homicide officer James Castillo came to be a couple and can I just say 'I love Rook and Dante' but these two have popped up in both of the 'Murder and Mayham' books...especially in the 'Tramps and Thieves' and I knew for sure that I wanted to know more about this pairing...they're adorable.

 

It seems that as well as being cousins...well being cousins and apparently a weakness for men in uniform, Rook and Alex have something else in common and it's a bit more lethal because it's murder...that's right both of these seem to attract murder and that's how Alex ends up on James's radar.

 

James knows as soon as he sees Alex that he wants to know him better...on a more personal level but there's a murder that needs to be solved first and once that's done...look out Alex because James is a man who knows what he wants.

 

There was only one thing about this story that bothered me and that was the fact that the more I read the more I liked and for me it just all ended too soon and I really would love more Alex and James. I think these two are every bit as adorable as Rook and Dante but in a very different way and if there's a book in the offing for them I want it...yes, I'm making grabby hands just in case. 

 

Unsurprisingly the one thing I can say for sure is that if Rhys Ford writes it...I want to read it.

 

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An ARC of 'Cops and Comix' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It's a bundle of cuteness...

Love You So Madly - Tara Lain, Christopher Forest

"Love You Madly' is the second book in Tara Lain's 'Love You So' series and while I enjoyed the first one and liked that the MCs from that story made a bit of an appearance in this story but their role was't such that you'd need to read it before reading this one but it is a sweet story that makes for a light, pleasant read, however, I definitely enjoyed this one more and really it's not about one being better than the other...it's really just a case of this one appealed to me and I connected with it more.

 

Ben Shane has it all...not because he was born to wealth and privilege...which he wasn't nor was he born to poverty. Ben's parents have worked hard to have a comfortable life and in the process given Ben role model's that he wants to emulate. He's grown up in a home with parents who love him and each other, who have worked hard to earn the successes they've had and always wanted better and more for him so when he becomes engaged to Alan whose family are regulars on the society pages. On the surface it's everything that Ben's parents have ever wanted for him.

 

At 23 years old Dusty seems a bit unusual to the rest of the world...he doesn't drink or drive and he's way more diet conscious than the average 23 year old. Dusty also the sweetest young man you could imagine meeting but trust me this in no way makes him a pushover...oh no there's so much more to this young man than meets the eye. To say that I like Dusty is a bit of an understatement.  Dusty is a young man who in spite of the challenges that he's faced in his life has turned into a kind, sweet,  young man but also someone who can be strong and confident when needed.

 

Ben and Dusty made for an adorable couple and I loved that neither of them was trying to change they other but just wanted to spend time with and get to know each other for who they were.

 

My biggest issue and the problem that took away from this story for me was the length of time that Ben's ex was involved in the story because seriously this dude was annoying as nails on a chalkboard and I have to say that Ry Forest who was the narrator for this audio book captured not only 'Alan's annoying personality perfectly...nails on a chalkboard perfectly along with some of the other characters like Ben and Dusty but also the lovely Anastasia who was definitely a larger than life character and who without fail made me smile...I wasn't really fond of her laugh but that's life right, I mean really do any of us always like the sound of someone's laugh? No, I think not. I can honestly think of a couple of people I know who's laugh is worse  than Anastasia's so it is what it is.

 

'Love You so Madly' is my third time around listening to this narrator and so far definitely so good. I'm looking forward to future stories narrated by Ry Forest. I've enjoyed his narrations and while he hits all the basic check marks on my list of 'what I want in an audio narrator' I also find that as a narrator he imparts a feeling for depth to the characters making an enjoyable story even better.

 

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An audio book of 'Love You so Madly' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lights, Cameras...Action!

Action - Quinn Anderson, Nick J. Russo

'Action' is the second book in Quinn Anderson's series 'Murmur Inc.' and while 'Hotline' dealt with the phone sex side of Murmur Inc. there's more to this company than a few ringing phones...there're lights, cameras and more than a little action that takes place on film.

 

Pete Griflow is quiet and gawky. At times he's more than a little awkward when it comes to talking to men...so not happening at least not until he steps in front of a camera and becomes power-bottom...Jaden Prime.

 

Pete got into porn as a way to help pay for his education and help his mom. He's a college student, a porn star and a coffee barista...Pete's a busy guy so when he's offered the chance at a regular role in a new project...a chance for some extra money...he's tempted but when he gets a look at his possible co-star, Pete finds that he's tempted by more than a chance to earn some extra money...he's tempted by a man that's sex on legs and not only pushes all his buttons...but sets off all his bells and whistle like a 5 alarm fire. 

 

Kyle's the very opposite of everything that Pete is. He's confident, daring, sexy and the sex industry is where he want's to make his home...professionally speaking. Kyle has no problem with being a porn star and when he makes his move to acting in 'gay porn' turns out he's one hot commodity that's making Pete weak in the knees.

 

I liked Pete and Kyle together their personalities played well off of each other and while Pete was by far the less confident of the pair he had fleeting moments of confidence and adversely we got to see Kyle struggle with moments of insecurity.

 

While I'd have to say there was probably a bit more sex in this story than was maybe necessary, I'd also have to say that given what the MCs did for a living I would have found it to be rather unusual if there'd been little to no sex in this story as well.

 

Regardless of the 'too much sex' this story was really saved for me by Pete and Kyle I liked them and as a couple I found them to be really sweet as a couple in spite of what they both did for a living I loved that for each of them sex wasn't just sex when they were the parties engaged it meant something because it was more than the physical there were feelings and their hearts were involved.

 

'Hotline' was a good start to this story but for me 'Action' was just a tiny bit better and gave me the push I needed to keep this one on my radar...of course I'll be waiting for the next book when it's released on audio and without a doubt I'll have my fingers crossed that the narrator's the same because really...Nick J. Russo...need I say more? maybe not but I'm going to...

 

Once again Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and once again 3.5 stars became a little more...a little better so at the end of it all 3.5 stars becomes 4.

 

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An audio book of 'Action' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome to...the sex trade...

Hotline - Quinn Anderson, Nick J. Russo

Zack is a PSO (Phone Sex Operator) for Murmur Inc. It's not a permanent thing just a temporary stop to pay some bills until he gets himself back on track. But somehow he's been around longer than he'd planed he's fallen into a bit of a rut or at least he was until the day that 'John' calls. 

 

What starts out as a simple phone sex call...just another day on the job for Zack begins to evolve into something more as the calls continues and with each call...each new role play that the men begin, each one of them begins to slip bits of the real them into the story.

 

For Zack life is getting better...at least on the work front it is. Zack's landed a whale and he's finally good earning money and he's doing it talking to a man who seems to push all the right buttons for him. Needless to say for the first time since who knows when Zack doesn't find work to be a hardship.

 

John's educated, cultured, lead a life of privilege. In Zack's eyes he's everything that Zack's not or at least that's how he sounds and that's ok because it's just phone sex and they're never going to meet...or at least they're not suppose to but Destiny...she'd be Karma's sister and sometimes she's also a biotch...anyways, Destiny has other plans for Zack and John and when Zack finds himself face to face with John he does what any sane young PSO would do...he runs.

 

It's going to take more than a few phone calls for these two men to work things out. I have to say these two have a rather unusual path to follow if they're going to get things sorted out. Zack may make a living talking dirty and John may plan on becoming a lawyer but these two mean are going to need to learn how to have some pretty open and honest conversations if they're going to take things from the phone to the same room.

 

Surprisingly while the sex was good when it happened for me the phone sex was the smoking hot stuff and maybe that was because of the fact that these men didn't know each other and it was obvious from that start that they were going to so there was definitely a layer of anticipation involved that wasn't there when they finally met.

 

'Hotline' was definitely unique in the overall premise of the story. It's the first story that I've ever read where one of the MCs is a PSO.  'Hotline' was a light fun read, laced ironically a bit of miscommunication and a touch of humor...all of which combines to make an enjoyable little romance story.

 

Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and as always his narration made what would have probably only been a 3 star read for me into something just a little bit better. I could go on about this narrator and expand on all the reasons that I enjoy listening to audio books that Mr. Russo has narrated but I think the simplest thing I can say is in the world of audio book narrators Nick Russo is on my auto buy list. 

 

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If you haven't read 'The Blueprint'...

A Deeper Blue - S.E. Harmon

It's probably best to do that before jumping into this one. Could you read 'A Deeper Blue' without reading 'The Blueprint' possibly but I don't think it would be as enjoyable and possibly you'd read it feeling like you missed something...so lets go with no...you need to read 'The Blueprint' first.

 

Ironically for me one of the things that bothered me the most about 'The Blueprint' is actually dealt with here in 'A Deeper Blue' and that was the ending, as I said in my review for 'The Blueprint'...

Without going into a lot of details there was one thing that totally kept this from being a 5 star read for me and that was the ending. I just didn't understand some of the choices that were made...especially by Kelly and while I would have at least liked a Happy For Now with a strong promise of a happily ever after what I feel like I got was more like a 'this'll probably all be good'. It just felt like after every thing that Blue and Kelly went through and put each other through things should have been more solid.

and mainly it turns out that was because where we were left in 'The Blueprint' wasn't the end...it was more of a pause in the story.

 

So here's the thing in 'A Deeper Blue' we basically pick up where 'The Blueprint' leaves off and Kelly and Blue are solidly planted in their relationship...no it's not happily ever after time and things aren't perfect but for both of these men...'this is it.'

 

Other than to say that at times I found things to be moving a little slower than I would have liked there were a lot of things that worked well for me in this one. First off lets talk about the relationship...

 

The thing that made the strongest connection for me with these two men was their focus in the relationship. For Kelly it wasn't that being with Blue meant being in the closet it was Blue's safety. He got it. He got the fact that Blue having the career he did couldn't just be out and proud. Not that he liked it or was complacent with it but he understood and for Kelly the priority was Blue being safe and he already stressed about the potential injuries that Blue faced ever time he stepped out onto the field without adding the increased potential of being a gay and out football player and the increase risk that it would mean to him...homophobia in sports...sadly, it's still a thing. In Kelly's eyes the risk to Blue outweighed the benefits of him being out about their relationship. It's what you do when you love someone...you put their well being and happiness above the things you want...which leads to Blue...

 

Blue was probably every bit as miserable as Kelly maybe even more so about keeping their relationship in the closet. But in his heart it wasn't what he wanted. All he wanted was Kelly...yes, he still loves football and wants to play but for Blue his priorities are changing and he's starting to realize that footballs not all he wants and maybe it's not the most important thing that he wants. 

 

The road to happily ever after is neither easy or clear for Kelly or Blue. Both men are going to find that in order to get what they want it's going to take faith, trust, compromise, patience and a lot of determination.

 

There were some surprises with some of the secondary characters that I liked...like Blue's agent, it turned out he was one of the good guys and then there was Blue's brother. Ian may not have been the perfect supportive brother but his response to finding out about Blue was real and for him it wasn't about understanding or approval but it was about the fact that Blue was his brother...his family and you don't turn your back on family.

 

Then there was Blue's father...yep, he's still a-bag-o-dicks, sorry but for me this man did not deserve the sons he'd been given and add in a blast from the past that was heading Blue's way and it's only with Kelly's love and support that he's able to man-up and deal with things and as always with these two men there's laughter and smiles.

 

'A Deeper Blue' was the ending that I needed and was looking for in the first book and that's ok because anything worth having, is worth waiting for.

 

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An ARC of 'A Deeper Blue' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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