Hearts in Ireland by J.C. Long

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….

Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.

The Review

 

Ronan has lost his mother and is finding it hard to move forward with his life without her by his side. His mother was born and raised in Ireland before marrying Ronan’s father and moving to Atlanta, Georgia. She’s always dazzled him with stories of Ireland and the life she lived while there. He goes to see what his mother loved and perhaps to be close to what he has left of his mother’s memories.

His family in Ireland were welcoming, caring and supportive. They encourage him to explore Ireland, to see the places and people that were important to his mother. At his Aunt’s bookshop, Ronan meets Fergal. He and Fergal end up seeing a lot of each other and they find companionship with each other.

Fergal shows him the heart of Ireland and I loved being able to go on that journey with Ronan. Their attraction was slow, sweet and had me wondering, will they? It wasn’t all roses for Ronan and Fergal. Ronan doesn’t know how long he’ll be in Ireland and because of that he pushes Fergal away. I loved the resolution of this. When I finished listening to this, it was like a happy little sigh. It made me want to save up to go to Ireland and find my own romance that might keep me there.

This is a fade to black romance. Which for this story, it was perfect. I didn’t need anything erotic because it wasn’t needed here. This was Ronan finding himself, happiness and his family once again. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need and it was the perfect escape while I sat at a standstill on the interstate trying to get home.

I’ve listened to a couple of books narrated by John Steinkamp and he’s got a voice that you may have to get used to. At first it distracted me but after the first few chapters, his voice fit the story. It was clear, concise and helped the story along.

Buy it here!

Take A Chance by D. Jackson Leigh

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3.5 Stars out of 5

The Summary:   A Pine Cone Romance

Veterinarian Trip Beaumont likes being a big fish in a small pond. There’s hardly an animal she can’t heal or a woman she can’t charm within fifty miles of Pine Cone, Georgia—except for the irritating and elusive new cop who keeps leaving parking tickets on her truck.

Officer Jamie Grant has never liked rule breakers, but she’s especially incensed when she discovers Trip owns the truck that is constantly parked illegally. She’s searched carefully for a quiet, eclectic community to settle down with her drug-sniffing—albeit gastric-challenged—canine partner, Petunia. Instead, she finds herself on a collision course with the woman who stole her college girlfriend and broke her heart after an ill-conceived threesome.

The Review

Interesting fact about the Pine Cone Romance series, each book is written by a different author.  I didn’t know that coming into reading this and now I kind of want to go back and read the first installment to see what I missed. Saying that, these are stand-alone books so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book in the series. You won’t be lost.

Trip Beaumont definitely has the golden touch when it comes to charming the ladies of Georgia.  She’s managed to charm everyone but the new cop in town who keeps writing tickets every time she parks illegally. She’s pretty much funding the police department with home many fines she’s going to have to pay. Little does Trip know that the cop causing her so much trouble is former college friend, Jamie Grant. Jamie has changed a lot sing Trip last saw her. She joined the army after the attacks on 9/11, ended up getting a job in law enforcement and has a trained drug dog with quite a heart breaking medical history.

At first, Jamie doesn’t want to have anything to do with Trip. Having her heart broken in college and then run the risk of it happening again? No thank you. But slowly they’re drawn together.  Trip is an amazing veterinarian with access to treatment options for Petunia.

Their romance was well paced. They didn’t immediately jump into bed together. If they would have after the backstory we got, I would have been more than a little annoyed. They spent time together and started to understand each other as adults.

There were bits that bothered me. Like how is a town that small full of that many LGBT people? I’d love to find a place like that in real life, especially in the deep south. So please, tell me this secret! There were a lot of clichés and I felt that it added to the bleh factor.  That’s kind of why the rating dropped from a four star to a three-point-five star rating.

It was an easy, quick and decent escape from what my week has been. I’d give it a try if I were you. I’m definitely going back to read the first book in the series to see if it lives up to everyone’s reviews.

Get Your Copy Here!

Spark by Posey Roberts

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Hugo Thorson fell in love when he was sixteen. He’s maybe been in love since, but probably not. He’s been too busy directing plays to devote much time to men who can’t accept all of him. No one ever made him feel like his first love did.

Kevin Magnus married a woman and has two children, but the marriage wasn’t happy. In the shadow of divorce, he’s striving to be a better father, but he’s still a work in progress.

When Hugo and Kevin bump into each other at the lake, memories of their last kiss incite a new first kiss. Visions of the life they always wanted are vivid, but so much stands in the way of their dreams. Hugo is out and proud but no one knows Kevin’s bisexual. If Kevin comes out, he risks losing custody of his kids. If he doesn’t walk hand in hand with Hugo, he risks losing the love of his life.

The curtain may never rise on their second act.

The Review

 

This is the first novel I’ve read by Posey Roberts and it’s won’t be the last.

Hugo Thornson and Kevin Magnus had their first taste of true love when they were teenagers. They fell rapidly and completely. So much so that those feeling still linger even seventeen years down the line. It’s a chance in encounter that brings them back together. It was supposed to be a weekend for Hugo’s best friend Summer to get away and start to get over a recent break up. Instead, Hugo sees Kevin and his heart stops. Everything that happened when they were kids came rushing back and he still felt just as strongly for Kevin.

What I particularly liked was the style this story was written in. You got the story of their youth and their current story. I don’t want to say there were flashbacks because both storylines were rooted very much in the present. I liked going back and forth between the two timelines. You got to see how their feelings evolved, the trouble they experienced as teenagers and how that carried over to their adult lives.

As the two had gotten to know each other more, Kevin introduces Hugo to his children. I really liked being able see how nervous Hugo was about this. It’s a huge step in any relationship and to see how seriously both men took this was important. Kevin’s kids were adorable and of course they’re more perceptive than adults realize.

The chemistry between them didn’t lessen over time.  It seemed to remain and finally grow stronger once they gave in to each other.

There was some unnecessary drama with Miss Cherry Pop! But there are two more books in this series and I fully expect more of that part of Hugo to make another appearance.  I do understand Hugo’s trepidation and why he didn’t want Kevin to find out before he had the chance to tell him. Not many people are accepting to their loved ones in Drag.

Now, what I really liked about this book? The imagery. I could see the lake, the docks and their homes. It played like a movie in my head and I love books that do that. I feel like I’m able to get immersed in the that world and escape from my own while reading.

 

Buy your copy here

Nobody Else’s by Nell Iris

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Five out of Five Stars

The summary: Mars enters Pisces, giving Beckett Cooper the opportunity to assert himself when it comes to a secret infatuation; his best friend’s younger brother Levi. But can Beckett trust what’s in front of him and be brave enough to take what he wants?

With Venus in Virgo, people usually become more reserved, but Levi Byrne always takes the opposite road of what’s expected of him. So, instead of pulling back, he reaches out for a man he’s been interested in for years; Beckett Cooper.

Is it the celestial bodies aligning to bring together two people destined for each other? Or is it a simple tale of boy meets boy, boy likes boy, and boy wants to kiss boy? Do Beckett and Levi even care, or are they too busy getting to know each other … and falling in love?

The Review

I really enjoyed Nobody Else’s! There’s no other way of putting it.

Beckett Cooper has secretly been attracted to his best friend’s little brother, Levi. Beckett’s self-confidence isn’t good, so when he starts seeing signs that Levi may be interested in him, it’s hard for him to want to act. The fear of rejection and of causing a rift between his best friend is enough to put him on edge. But once Levi opens up more, Beckett can’t resist what he’s being offered. A chance of happiness.

I thoroughly enjoyed the horoscopes at the beginning of each chapter. You will too. I was cracking up laughing at some of them and was so glad they were included. Don’t shy away from this if you’re worried you’ll be immersed in astrology, you won’t. But it is a great addition to each chapter and very fitting to the story line.

Beckett is in no way perfect and I found myself relating to him, very much so. He doesn’t have abs, or large muscles, Beckett is your normal guy who is also Harry Potter geek. (I secretly fist pumped with that because I was like there is hope out there for weirdos like me!) He doesn’t expect people to be attracted to him and puts up with his friends inappropriate comments about LGBT people.

I think what made this shine was how Beckett reacted to Levi and Levi’s interest in him. It felt real and honest. Like I would have had the same worries that Beckett had. How could Levi be attracted to someone like him? Well Levi made it very clear that he loved Beckett exactly the way he was. That is what made me love this so much. How they were with each other, reassuring and honest, but always willing to communicate about their uncertainties.

So, the question is, should you read this? It’s about 20K of awesome and I read it in a quick 45 minutes but it left me feeling happy. So yes. Read it. If you need a quick escape, or a book to keep loaded on your kindle to reread, this is one that I’d recommend for that.

Buy it Here!

A Dance for Two by Colette Davison

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Adam and Luc used to be close. At least they were before Luc distanced himself from Adam at fourteen, then eventually left home. Adam never got over the sting of betrayal, or the loss of his one-time best friend.

When Luc is invited back home to help get his parents’ failing dance school back on track, Adam isn’t sure he can cope with having his stepbrother back in his life. Especially when he discovers Luc’s decade old secret.

Luc left home because he was sure no one would understand that he had fallen in love with his stepbrother.

Convinced that the years of distance he has put between them will have erased his desire, Luc doesn’t hesitate to return home to help the business that means everything to his parents. Confronted by Adam once more, Luc’s past feelings re-awaken. But will revealing his true feelings to Adam heal the rift between them, or drive them even further apart?

The Review

So if you’ve been following my reviews from the beginning, you know that I will read pretty much anything. That includes step-brothers loving step-brothers. So if that’s not your jam, you should probably back away now or keep reading and let me convince you to read A Dance for Two.

Luc has been in love with his step-brother since they were teenagers. He’s always done the one thing he could think of to keep the boundary of step-brothers between he and Adam. He pushed Adam away, fought his attraction tooth and nail and in the process he lost any kind of relationship he once had with Adam.

When he learns that his parent’s business is in jeopardy and he has the marketing skill that may make a difference, he can’t stay away. Even if Adam is going to be there. They’re antagonistic towards each other. You can see how hurt Adam is by the fact Luc basically left him in the dust but he’s so confused too.

Luc had mastered hiding his feelings for Adam but being this close, with the both of them as adults, it’s hard to stop himself from looking. It’s even worse trying to stop himself from admitting why he caused such a rift between them as teenagers and even now.

I could see the men that Luc and Adam had grown into. Luc business minded and Adam the dancer and instructor. Whenever Adam danced, I could see it in my mind. I loved that it was like watching a movie. Everything in this story was fluid, well paced and offered an escape from the real world for me.

There were moments I could feel the emotions they were going through. It was a rush from discovery, understanding, curiosity and the white hot attraction between them. And their chemistry once they allowed themselves to move past the boundary of step-brothers, it was breathtaking.

The reactions to their relationship, their feelings for each other, made sense. It wasn’t all roses and perfect. They had to want this relationship one hundred percent because of the consequences they were going to be facing.

The relationship between Luc and Adam was a very much a dance for two.

Would I recommend this book to others? Most definitely. How does the author measure up? Well, pay day was Friday so I may have bought a couple of her other books.

Go buy it Here!

 

 

Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: In college, an “are you sure you’re gay?” experiment with his (female) best friend left Sterling Harper married with a baby on the way. Eleven years later, his life is flipped upside-down—his wife has died, his “little boy” is transitioning to her new life as a girl, Alexa, and his embittered in-laws have proven too transphobic to babysit for the summer like they’d planned. They’re fighting for custody of Alexa, though, so Sterling can’t afford to give them more ammunition. If only there were a nice, conservative, trans-preteen-friendly nanny available on short notice . . .

Jericho Johnston doesn’t do “conservative,” but Alexa takes to him immediately. He’s got a teaching job lined up for the fall, a killer smile, and loads of charisma . . . but he is not going back in the proverbial closet. It doesn’t take long for the two men to go from comrades-in-arms against their rarified community to two men in love. This kicks off the looming custody battle with Sterling’s bigoted in-laws, though, and the idea of two gay men raising a trans daughter isn’t going over well with anyone. Now, with so much to lose, Sterling and Jericho must fight harder than ever—for themselves, for Alexa, and for their future.

The Review

Sterling Harper is in a bit of bind when he decides his transphobic in-laws could no longer watch his daughter Alexa for the summer while he works. Jericho Johnston needs a job and a place to stay before going back to substitute teach for the new school year. Jericho supports Alexa one hundred percent and does whatever he can in order to make sure she’s happy and comfortable in his care.

Sterling finds himself more and more attracted to Jericho as the days go on. It’s not that he’s only physically attractive but the way he thinks and what he offers pulls Sterling in even deeper.

Sterling is inexperienced when it comes to any sexual act between two men. He never got the chance to explore that part of himself. Now, most people would be thinking, how is this possible? He’s got a ten year old daughter, his wife had passed years ago and he’s been living a celibate life for a long time. But I understood that and why he never initiated a relationship with another man once his wife had passed. Sterling made sense to me in a way that he won’t to others. But that’s why I enjoyed this book as much I as I did.

Throughout the entire story, Sterling is finding himself. He’s finding his confidence in being Alexa’s father, in his sexuality, and in becoming someone’s partner. It’s not easy and he messes up but you see his evolution. I liked being on the journey with him.

The chemistry between the two, *fans self*, boy howdy it was something spectacular. There was a little awkwardness in the first scenes, but if there wasn’t any of the awkwardness it would have been off putting. That’s who Sterling was. He wasn’t a monk, so he did some self-care but what he hadn’t any experience in Jericho helped guide him through things.

There were a few things that led me to the four star rating but it wasn’t a deal breaker as you can see. There were times I was shaking my reader saying, “Just kiss him!” and then there were times I just wanted to yell, “Stop being an idiot and just talk!” but that’s were personal grievances.

Their partnership was probably what I enjoyed most about this story. They worked together for Alexa and for each other. I’m a sucker for stories like this. I definitely have a new author to follow and read.

Pre-Order Here

Catch a Falling Star by Matt Burlingame

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: A therapist once told Martin Stevens that being gay was the only thing that saved him from being the most boring man alive. He spends his daytime working a dead-end job and his nights still pining after the ex-fiance who left him five years ago. When his older brother, Daniel, takes him to see a touring musical, a mishap sends superstar performer Alec Jameson flying off the stage right into Martin’s lap. It’s love at first sight. But can that love withstand the scrutiny of the press, a shock-jock radio personality bent on causing trouble, and the return of Martin’s overbearing ex-fiance?

 

The Review

This is my first M/M audio book experience and I’m glad that it was. I enjoyed listening to the narrator, John Steinkamp. He had a voice that I didn’t mind listening to, and he kept me interested in the story. (I listened to a horrible narration of a Steven King novel and it kind of turned me off of audio books for a while.) There were only a few things that weren’t my favorite, like the way his voice lilted for certain characters. It felt very stereotypical. But over all, four out of five stars for the narration. It was excellent and I’ll probably seek out more books narrated by John Steinkamp.

Now to the fun part, the actual story.

I felt a kinship to Martin. Nothing exciting happens in his life and he’s just going through the motions. He doesn’t try for more. At least he hasn’t since his fiance left him years ago. He wakes up, goes to work, comes home to his fish and repeats it all the next day. Martin doesn’t know how to put himself out there, how to see his own worth and it surprises him that someone like Alec Jameson could actually be attracted to him.

There was a lot of repetition in the beginning about how boring Martin’s life was. His brother poked and prodded at him, which I find annoying but that’s family for you. I’m sure one of my sisters are dying to do exactly what Daniel did for Martin. Take me out of my birthday and let the love of my life fall into my lap. Please. I’ll be okay with the wardrobe make over as well.

It was interesting to see Martin slowly blossom into who he was meant to be. He is attractive, funny, and a great partner to have.

The romance was light and fluffy. I smiled throughout the book and wished I had someone to cuddle up to while listening to it. That would have made the experience better.  Instead I was at work, handling bankruptcy accounts and thinking about going home to my cats. (I told you, me and Martin are bros)

I liked that there weren’t hardcore, graphic sex scenes or make out sessions. Those scenes wouldn’t have fit in this book. It was short and sweet and in the end you got to see Martin’s backbone and it left me cheering for him.

If you’re looking for a quick escape, this is definitely one you should check out. I’m adding Matt Burlingame to my list of author’s to keep an eye on and you should too.

Purchase the audio book: Here

Purchase the book: Here

Blend by Georgia Beers

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Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: When the widowed owner of the wine bar Vineyard decides she wants to take some time off and travel abroad, she leaves her business in the very capable hands of the two women she trusts most: her daughter Piper and Vineyard’s general manager, Lindsay.
For Lindsay Kent, Vineyard is her dream job. She’s thrilled when her boss leaves her in charge (well, half charge) and tells her to feel free to make changes. Lindsay has tons of ideas that she’s been dying to put into action, and this is her big chance to increase the success of the business and prove she’s more than ready to run things solo. But getting the boss’s daughter on board is harder than expected. The uptight and annoyingly attractive Piper is blocking her every move.

For Piper Bradshaw, Vineyard is not her job. She already has one. She’s VP at a large tech company, and she’s damn good at it. Who cares if people say she’s a workaholic and an icy bitch? She didn’t get to the top by being prone to whims and experiments. She’s not happy when her mother suddenly decides to gallivant all over the country and furious that the family business has been left in the hands of the happy-go-lucky, born-a-generation-too-late hippie who manages it. Good thing Lindsay can’t make any changes unless they both agree, because Piper doesn’t intend to.

 

The Review

Blend by Georgia Beers takes you right into Vineyard a wine bar that has been left in the capable hands of Lindsay Kent and the owner’s daughter, Piper Bradshaw. If you enjoy wine with your romance this is definitely a book you need to read. I’m not a wine person but with the way Beers writes, I could taste the different blends and traditional wines on the back of my tongue. I could even smell it as I was reading. It’s easy to say that once you start reading this, you’re going to be immersed into the world of Vineyard and surrounding land. I loved that it put me into the setting not only visually but all my senses were teased throughout.

Both Lindsay and Piper felt real. They had their own strengths and weaknesses but pushed each other to be their best. The chemistry between the two of them is explosive. At first it’s all dislike between the two. Lindsay is more of a free spirit and Piper is a shark in the business world. I loved how as Lindsay got to know Piper more, I started to enjoy her character more. I liked the journey the two women took, how it wasn’t all roses and sometimes a little forgiveness and understanding can go a long way.

The romance scenes between the two were honest and charged with emotion. There was enough detail to make your breath catch but not so much I skimmed over it. I felt like those scenes fit perfectly with the tone of the book. These scenes only added to Lindsay and Piper’s attraction to each other.

I would definitely recommend reading this book. I’ve already added Georgia Beers to my to-read list because of how much I enjoyed reading this book.

 

Pre-order Here! 
Will release April 17, 2018

Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich

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Three stars out of five stars

Summary: What would you do if you could go back in time and change your past?
For Eva Caldwell that question is a no-brainer. After her parents were murdered while she was away at summer camp, Eva was placed into the custody of her abusive uncle and bullied in school. She’d gladly go back and change it all. When her uncle passes, Eva discovers he created a time machine. The problem with the once-hypothetical question becomes clear: changing the course of her past would mean giving up Casey McClellan, her best friend and the girl her heart has belonged to since she was twelve years old.
Will Eva choose to save her parents’ lives or take a chance on the love of a lifetime?

The Review

I want to preface this review by saying, I kind of liked this book, but the summary is extremely misleading. When I first started reading Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich I thought I was reading a completely different book and a mistake had been made in NetGalley’s system. No mistake made.  Time travel is not the focus of this book. It’s in there, briefly, but don’t expect it.

Now on to what I liked.

I loved Eva and Casey’s relationship. We got to see it in the early stages during high school and how electric that attraction continued to be once they became adults. I’ve always wanted to read a book that showed that kind of evolution in a relationship. The intensity they fell into such an intimate relationship bothered me. How can Casey, who was so heart broken, forgiven Eva that easily? There was so much time spent in their teenage years, I feel as though their adult relationship deserved that attention as well.

While it was difficult to justify how ‘in love’ the two were to jump into sex, the scenes were written very well. I’ll give M. Ullrich points for that. A lot of previous F/F pieces I’ve read used really disgusting terminology when it wasn’t needed. Ullrich wrote hot scenes without the use of swearing or raunchy descriptions. So A+ there.

There were jumps in time, moments where I felt like there could have been more information so the storyline didn’t give you whiplash. The ending was a bit rushed. There was no explanation of how Eva came to her decision to time jump. If there were maybe forty more pages of story, it would have been perfect.

As is, it’s not my favorite. I’m not jumping to go read more of Ullrich’s work.

Estimated on sale date:  December 1, 2017 – no purchase links as of 11/21/2017

 

Falling Into Her by Erin Zak

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Five out of Five stars

Summary: If you had the chance to grab on to happiness and not let go, would you?

Kathryn Hawthorne, local Chicago celebrity, thinks everything in her life is just fine. She has friends, money, a job—everything she needs to survive. Except, of course, love, which, after getting her heart broken, she avoids like the plague. Pam Phillips, on the other hand, just buried the love of her life—her husband of twenty-one years. The last thing she wants is a new friend, let alone a new love interest. When the two women meet and swap witty banter, things start to change. Kathryn can feel that familiar tug of desire in her chest as she suggests—in a smooth as silk way—that they meet up again someday. In a moment of pure insanity—or desperation—Pam decides to take a chance. What happens next changes Pam’s life forever.

 

The Review

Falling into Her by Erin Zak is a story about two women who fight their attraction for one another and eventually fall for each other. Kathryn Hawthorne is 32 years old and has given up on love after having her heart broken too many times. Pam Philips is 40 years old, and has buried her husband recently when she meets Kathryn in the local boutique she works at. The attraction is immediate for Kathryn and is a slow, curious burn for Pam. On a whim Kathryn leaves her phone number for Pam and to her surprise, Pam texts.

They go through a series of coffee dates, and the entire time Kathryn is focused on just remaining friends despite her growing attraction and the cues Pam is giving that she is interested as well. Throughout their time as friends, they have a lot of personal, confessional type conversations. Which I liked. You could see how much their relationship was steadily growing.

Once their romance blossomed into something more, there were moments I had to stop and take a breath. These love scenes aren’t the overly done, raunchy scenes you see in a lot of books. It felt real. Pam’s anticipation, anxiety about being with a woman, her pleasure, you could feel it all.

I read this book in one sitting, that’s how much I liked it. It’s rare for me to find a book that I will stay up way past my bedtime to keep reading. I usually find a chapter break and quite. Falling Into her made that impossible.  I liked the way the text messages appeared. The conflict of meeting each other’s parents and how important that was to the both of them.

Would I recommend this book? Oh yes. I want to read more by Erin Zak ASAP.

Release Date: December 12, 2017

Purchase Here