Geeked by Declan Rhodes

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Three out of Five Stars

The Summary:

From the outside, self-described computer programming geek Blake Moss is a straight, happy-go-lucky partner in the rising gay matchmaking company, Match Made. On the inside, the facade he’s built since a traumatic breakup nearly a decade ago is starting to crack.

Hunter Schultz, former football jock, is still licking his wounds only months after walking out on his incompatible boyfriend, Robert. Devotion to his job as head of the city’s LGBTQ+ youth center helps him make it through the rough patches.

The CinderFella charity auction sponsored by Match Made and benefiting the youth center brings Blake and Hunter together in an unexpected way. After a last-minute confession from Blake, his boss, Daniel, buys him a date with Hunter.

Blake is terrified, and Hunter is intrigued by the quirky man who’s fascinated by old dance music and science fiction TV. Against all expectations, the future looks like it might be bright until Robert’s jealousy intervenes, and Blake’s anxiety flares.

The Review

I found the concept of Geeked to be pretty enticing. A match-maker with trouble finding his match and a charity auction raffling off dates? Who could resist that? Not me. (And I had an issue with the cover, it just made it look like either Blake or Hunter were going to be slimy – THEY WEREN’T!)

Blake does all the coding behind Match Made. He can see all the success stories, figure out what everyone else’s perfect match is, but he can’t seem to get his own success story. His boss bids on a fella that caught Blake’s eye and wins Hunter. The chemistry was instantaneous.

What I liked about Geeked was how well I could relate to Blake. A terrible break up resulted in a lack of self-esteem and fear of being out. It caused a lot of anxiety for him, which made my heart break. Hunter was beyond sweet, but at times I was left staring at my Kindle, scratching my head saying, “Really?” Even though he was finished with his ex, Robert kept showing up.

This was a quick and easy read like most of Rhodes’s books, but it didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt like I should have. I didn’t really connect with Hunter and without that connection there was a bit of an empty feeling after I finished reading the story. I was left wanting more. Give it a try though, you might find you liked it better than I did!

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The Bachelorettes by Maria Jackson

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Three out of Five Stars

Summary:

Stuck in a cabin alone for three months, Claudia and Miriam compete to win a cash prize. The reality show only has one rule: they can’t fall in love. Claudia can barely stand the arrogant supermodel, and Miriam only wants to seduce the annoying bookworm. Will these bachelorettes hate each other by the end of the filming? Or will they end up breaking all the rules?

The Review

Claudia and Miriam are both in a competition for the money but along they way they find more than they ever expected. This was a quick, easy, and light read. I think I was expecting more than what was written. The competition or challenges that they faced, weren’t all that challenging. They were tasked with games that you could see at kid parties or outdoor company picnics. It didn’t force them into close proximity like you would have thought if the challenge was not to fall in love.

I will admit that I did have a difficult time connecting with both Claudia and Miriam. Claudia felt too perfect and Miriam was too flawed. The chemistry that I hoped they would have, I didn’t feel it until the very end.

The title and cover was misleading. It’s very pretty and eye catching, but not what the book is about.

If this would have been longer and there would have been a bit more character development I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more. That being said, I did like this book. I just wanted and expected more. It may be your cup of tea though, give it a try if you want.

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Wild Pitch by Sloan Johnson

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Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: There’s never been any question in Sean Tucker’s mind that he’d do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

Sean showed rookie short stop Mason Atley the ropes, both on the field and off. The two forged a friendship which continued as both of them moved through the ranks of the farm system and into the majors. Unfortunately, there’s always been one secret Mason never felt he could share with Sean. Until now.

For seven years, Sean lived with the fact that he loved a man who would never reciprocate. When Mason admits that he’s always known he’s bisexual but has never allowed himself to pursue a relationship with a man, will Sean be able to put aside his reservations about starting a relationship with the friend he’d always assumed was straight? And more importantly, will they be able to find a way to stay together when their careers keep them apart more than they can be together?

The Review

I started reading this in the waiting room at a doctor’s appointment, and then I promptly went home and finished it in the same day. There are a lot of polar opposite reviews on this book but I loved it. Normally I have a difficult time reading books that are written in first person. There’s something about them that I just don’t like. BUT this go around it didn’t matter. It actually pulled me into Sean and Mason’s story. I also have a weakness from friends to lovers and this had a delicious friends to lovers burn.

Sean and Mason are best friends and have been through all the ups and downs of life with each other. Sean has always been attracted to Mason but he’s always been off limits. Mason is supposed to be straight, in love with his wife and enjoying life. Turns out, he’s not all that straight and he’s been on his way to a divorce for a little while now.

It’s not all easy for the two of them. Sean is terrified that after one night together, that’s all he will get, that Mason will realize that this was a mistake. But it’s not. The heat between the two men is palpable *fans self* They play on separate teams and have to navigate not being able to see each other as often as they may want to. They have to figure out how to handle their relationship, how they hide it and who they hide it from.

I enjoyed reading this from start to ending and I promptly went and got the next book in this series and then picked up the first in another one of Johnson’s books. I think I found a new author I’ll be binge reading.

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Vow of Protection by Brittany Cournoyer

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3.5 Stars out of Five Stars

The Summary: Walker ~

Living a life of privilege isn’t always what it seems to be. While Walker has never wanted for anything material-wise, the two things he doesn’t have are his parents’ love and support. Walker tries his hardest to be the perfect son by allowing his father, the Governor, to dictate his life for him. All that changes when an awful day leads to a brutal night, causing Walker to fear for his safety and hire the only person he knows can protect him.

Beckett ~

Peace and an easy way of living, that’s all Beckett wants after serving twelve years in the army. Working for his Uncle Rusty’s bar as a doorman and occasional bouncer, the last thing the tattooed man with the take-no-crap attitude needs is to have to save the obnoxious kid who gives him attitude at the door. After ensuring that he’ll survive, and having a not so pleasant run-in with the guy’s parents, he leaves the hospital never expecting to see him again.

Walker and Beckett come from two different worlds. Where Beckett fought for his country and now enjoys the simple life, Walker works as his father’s campaign manager and lives a life of luxury. But when Walker’s safety is threatened, and he offers Beckett a job as his body guard, their lives became entwined and the two men begin to find that maybe they aren’t so different after all. Soon bickering and fighting turns to friendship and something…more. The only problem is, Walker’s straight… isn’t he? And can Beckett figure out who is behind the attacks in time to save Walker?

The Review

Walker has lived a life of privilege. His father is influential in the community and wealthy. Walker does what his father expects of him, not what he wishes to do in life. He ends up with a degree in political science, working his father’s campaign, and trying to not be a disappointment that his father seems to believe him to be. After a misfortunate night at a biker bar, Walker gets the tar beaten out of him and the bouncer, Beckett, has to save and get him to the hospital.

Beckett is nothing like Walker. He’s served time in the military, suffers from PTSD, and doesn’t have to have the finer things in life. For example, his car. It gets him where he needs to go and it’s reliable. It may not be the prettiest car on the lot but he doesn’t need anything fancy.

Walker has had several threats to his safety and decides to hire Beckett to be his bodyguard. As more threats come to life, Walker and Beckett start to enjoy each other’s company, even through all the pet peeves and button pushing that they both seemed fond of doing.

The threatening behavior started with slashed tires and grew into arson, and other life threatening actions. There were times that I felt like Beckett and Carter were ten steps behind and we not the greatest body guards. There were some basic safety measures that were not enforced. I didn’t particularly enjoy the resolution of this one either. I feel like it got rushed in the last thirty pages or so when the reveal could have been handled differently. It felt anticlimactic and that there needed to be more to explain the motivations.

I will fully admit to the fact that the romance between Walker and Beckett was exquisite. That first anger filled kiss *fans self* that was something else. I was waiting for the kiss and was not let down. At all. They went slow for Walker as he discovered what he liked and wanted while he was with Beckett.

All in all, this was a decent read. I may give other books by Cournoyer a chance later on to see if I might like her other series. I’m not the biggest fan of First Person POV story-telling and I think that may have influenced a lot of my opinion the slightest bit.

*TRIGGER WARNINGS* – Past drug use, rape and war time flashbacks are mentioned in this book.

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