Vow of Protection by Brittany Cournoyer

42266597

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.

Get Your Copy Here

Heroes for Ghosts by Jackie North

40531011

4.5 out of 5 stars!

The Summary: Soulmates across time. A sacrifice that could keep them apart forever.

In present day, near the village of Ornes, France, Devon works on his master’s thesis in history as he fantasizes about meeting a WWI American Doughboy.

In 1916, during the Battle of Ornes, Stanley is a young soldier facing the horrors of the battlefield.

Mourning the death of his friends from enemy fire, Stanley volunteers to bring the message for retreat so he can save everyone else in his battalion. While on his mission, mustard gas surrounds Stanley and though he thinks he is dying, he finds himself in a peaceful green meadow where he literally trips over Devon.

Devon doesn’t believe Stanley is who he says he is, a soldier from WWI. But a powerful attraction grows between them, and if Stanley is truly a visitor from the past, then he is Devon’s dream come true. The problem is, Stanley’s soul wants to finish his mission, and time keeps yanking him back to relive his fateful last morning over and over, even as his heart and body long to stay with Devon.

Will Stanley have to choose between Devon and saving his battalion? Will time betray their love, leaving each alone?

The Review

So you know how I told you guys that I was going to go back and read book one in the Love Across Time series by Jackie North? Well I did and oh my gosh, ya’ll. I’m a huge war history buff. I ended up taking a lot of classes in university and my ultimate goal after I get my Masters in Public History is to get a spot at the WWII Museum in New Orleans. I need you guys to know that research went into this novel. The weapons, the uniform, the locations, the trench warfare was all research and that made my historian heart all giddy with excitement. That tells me how much Jackie North cares about what she writes. She didn’t just fancy it up and hope for the best.

To the main review and away from my rambling …

It’s 1916 during World War I when we meet Stanley. He’s just lost his best friends to and he’s taken on a suicide mission in order to get the full retreat orders. Stanley doesn’t come close to getting the other half of the orders. Instead of dying, he wakes up in the present day location. The battlefield he had just been choking on mustard gas at was now a cemetery/memorial site.

Devon is writing his thesis on the effect that weather had on the 44th Battalion. He’s staying in the cottage at the cemetery/memorial site. He’s been living a pretty lonely life since he started working on his thesis. People don’t understand his excitement or find him boring. It broke my heart, because a lot of grad students go through this exact thing.

Devon was out walking the trenches when Stanley literal trips over him. Devon can’t believe that Stanley traveled through time. Both men feel an immediate attraction to each other, but in Stanley’s time, this was acceptable. Devon shies away from coming on too strong and settled for taking care of Stanley, and being there for him whenever needed.

We learn that Stanley has many regrets from the day he died. If he would have done certain things, people could have made it out.

I was shocked when he went back in time to the war. I knew it was going to happen (because I read book 2 before book 1). I just wasn’t prepared for how much it broke my heart. It hurt knowing that Stanley was going back to those conditions and he wasn’t going to make it out. Then I hurt for Devon, because he lost the one person who seemed to get him as a person.

There are things Stanley has to fix though and he’s not giving up saving his battalion, no matter how much his heart wants to stay in the present with Devon. I swear this was going to end differently and I was going to throw my iPad across the room in despair.

The way they were with each other, gosh, it was just beautifully written. It made me want that sweetness in my life. It made me believe that there is that possibility in the world. It was a gentle, drawn out romance that left me feeling hopeful and happy when I was finished reading.

This is definitely a book I will keep on my bookshelf and go back to time and time again. This was beautifully written and I’m so glad that I found this series. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

Get your copy here!

The Heights by Amy Aislin

The Heights (Lakeshore #1)

Three Stars out of Five

The Summary: Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie

The Review

Quinn has moved to Lakeshore to kick off his life and his career. He opens up a dance studio on the main street of the two, where he meets Nat, who was eyeing the same space but lost out on it to Quinn. There’s more to Quinn though. He was adopted and he’s still searching for his biological family.

There’s something familiar about Lakeshore to Quinn though. Turns out, Quinn might have been the twin that had been taken right from his front yard.

There were times I wondered what this story was actually about and what they were trying to accomplish. It didn’t mesh well for me.

I was expecting much more romance and interaction between Quinn and Nat. That was something I definitely didn’t get. In the beginning they were pitted against each other as feuding business owners. Then all of a sudden that changed with a snap of the fingers. I felt like there wasn’t a balance between Nat’s conflict and Quinn’s.

I do think this could have worked out really well. The premise was one I was very interested in. I wanted the mystery and the excitement of finding out what truly happened and why it happened. There wasn’t much explanation.

Saying that, this is a series and we may eventually get all those answers. I was slightly disappointed though. Will I read the next one in the series? Probably not. I have read other Amy Aislin books and have thoroughly enjoyed them. This was just a miss for me.

Purchase Here

Riding the Track by Kara Ripley

40104495

Three out of Five Stars

The Summary: Herding cattle and drinking Australian beer aren’t pastimes that particularly appeal to an ‘indoor girl’ like Clara, but she’d be damned if she’d let her cheating ex-boyfriend have the vacation they were meant to share. So, to salvage some piece of her self-respect after a bad break-up, she finds herself riding a horse along the Oodnadatta Track for five days.

When Clara arrives, she can’t help but feel an intense attraction to Evelyn, the drover who guides their group through the immensely unique landscape between Coober Pedy and the Anna Creek Station. Clara’s never been one for a no-strings-attached fling, but cowgirl Evie becomes increasingly difficult to resist.

In combination with the exquisite outback, soulful horses, and overly cheerful tourists, Evie may just be exactly what Clara needs to escape her own pessimism.

 

The Review

 

After being cheated on by her boyfriend, Clara decides to take the vacation that had originally been booked as a couples’ vacation in Australia. She goes entirely out of comfort zone for a cattle drive, outback adventure. She’s a bit bitter upon first arriving to the area. She isn’t the biggest fan of the overly positive couple she’s in a group with, but the attraction to their group leader, Evie, is instantaneous.

I was excited to find out that Kara Ripley is a pen name for Sci-Fi author Rebecca Langham. I really enjoyed the length and detail she put in to her characters and settings. This is her first foray into contemporary romance. It was a good starting point for her.

I loved how sarcastic Clara was.  She wasn’t just okay with her boyfriend cheating on her. And she wasn’t magically okay with being interested in a woman after so many years, and knowing that she’d be leaving so soon. But sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to get your groove back.

Clara and Evie do have a lot chemistry when they’re near each other. Then when they finally do give in to their attraction, it’s delicious. It drove me a little nuts that it shifted into a fade to black scene but those scenes are extremely difficult to right and takes a lot of practice writing them to feel comfortable putting it out into the world (I’ve got some personal/professional experience with writing those scenes). So I feel and understand the struggle. What was written was excellent done.

This was a quick and easy escape from my day. I was looking for more when I was finished though. There was build-up but it wasn’t enough towards the end. Don’t get me wrong, I liked reading this.  It just felt like there should have been more.

All in all, this was a good start to jump into contemporary romance. I do look forward to future books put out under both names, Ripley and Langham.

Give it a Read Here

Dead Reckoning by Pandora Pine

37915172

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: When the spirit of a young male prostitute comes to psychic Tennyson Grimm asking him to find the john who brutally murdered him, Tennyson can’t say no. Only able to communicate through the use of images, rather than words, getting any information out of the young man is frustrating and slow going.

Cold Case Detective Ronan O’Mara has been on a roll solving cases since he and Tennyson last teamed up to solve the Michael Frye case. Unfortunately, the red-hot romance that had blossomed between them during that investigation is now off in a ditch, thanks to Ronan’s self-confessed pigheadedness.

Agreeing to work together despite the rift in their relationship, Tennyson and Ronan discover they are in for more than they bargained for when more victims start to reveal themselves to Tennyson.

Realizing they might have a serial killer on their hands, the two men work tirelessly to stop this madman from killing again, but when the killer targets the son of a prominent member of the Boston Police Department, can Ronan and Tennyson save him before it’s too late?

The Review

Detective Ronan O’Mara and psychic Tennyson Grimm are back and things aren’t all rainbows, kittens and butterflies for the couple. Since the conclusion of their last case they’ve spent their time apart and angry with each other. Tennyson gave Ronan the ultimatum, get help from a therapist or they’re done. It takes a case to bring the two back together and a level of understanding between the two of them.

There’s a serial killer out there torturing and murdering teenage boys who have taken to the street to survive. They’ve resorted to this life style because they came out and were not accepted by their families. As Ronan and Tennyson work their way through this case, they find each other and a family that they didn’t know they had in their friends.

All the men in this series are emotional, be it angry, happy, sad, loving. The entire range of emotions is explored over all the characters. One of the reasons this didn’t get a full five stars was how overly masculine Ronan is and how dramatic Tennyson can get. I get that it’s their personalities. That’s how it was in the first book. But it’s gotten more intense, if that makes any sense?

Then I figured out who the killer was really early on. I was still invested though.  I needed Ronan and Tennyson to be okay, to care for each other and be part of each other’s lives.  Then the Captain and Greeley? OMG, my heart broke into a million pieces and then slowly rebuilt. I love the Cap. He’s one of the secondary characters the jumps out at you and is like, ‘helloooo, I’m here and important’. He is important and wonderful and I want someone like him in my life.

I enjoyed this, even though I nitpick about little things (like the overuse of the word cock). Am I going to pick up the next one to read, review and feature on here? Yep. I just hope we get a little more flirty, seductive moments between Ronan and Tennyson. Perhaps a little more complexity?

 

Get your copy here!

A Ferry of Bones & Gold by Hailey Turner

41398745

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary:  When the gods come calling, you don’t get to say no.

Patrick Collins is three years into a career as a special agent for the Supernatural Operations Agency when the gods come calling to collect a soul debt he owes them. An immortal has gone missing in New York City and bodies are showing up in the wake of demon-led ritual killings that Patrick recognizes all too easily from his nightmares.

Unable to walk away, Patrick finds himself once again facing off against mercenary magic users belonging to the Dominion Sect. Standing his ground alone has never been a winning option in Patrick’s experience, but it’s been years since he’s had a partner he could trust.

Looking for allies in all the wrong places, Patrick discovers the Dominion Sect’s next target is the same werewolf the Fates themselves have thrown into his path. Patrick has been inexplicably attracted to the man from their first meeting, but desire has no place in war. That doesn’t stop Patrick from wanting what he shouldn’t have. Jonothon de Vere is gorgeous, dangerous, and nothing but trouble—to the case, to the fight against every hell, and ultimately, to Patrick’s heart and soul.

In the end, all debts must be paid, and Patrick can only do what he does best—cheat death.

The Review

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Hailey Turner. Obviously, I have been missing out because I need more! Especially, in concern to Patrick and Jono. Jeez, those two fellas, I just fell in love with them.  I was enchanted with the entire world. There were Gods, mages, sorcerers, werewolves, werecreatures, seers, vampires, demons, and more.

Patrick is a red-headed, stressed out and annoyed mage who has been through hell and back. He gets sent to New York to help investigate a series of extremely violent crimes, where supernatural forces have been involved.

Jono is a werewolf from London, who bartends at a local supernatural bar. But there’s a bit more to him than everyone knows.  He is one hell of a guy. He’s very protective, strong and smart.

Both Patrick and Jono’s lives are influenced by the Gods. Patrick has a debt to pay and Jono, I have a feeling we’ll be learning more about how the Gods influence him in future books. They worked together, not just the police but the supernatural community to stop any catastrophic disaster from hitting New York City from Ethan Greene who will do whatever it takes to become a God.

I’ve been on a paranormal, procedural, romance kick. This book spoiled me rotten. Not only was there a case that needed to be solved but it all played into something much bigger than those cases.  The action of the scenes were vivid, fast paced, and had my heart pumping. I had to know what was going on with Patrick and Jono and the rest of the crew. I NEEDED TO KNOW.

The romance between Patrick and Jono wasn’t the main focus. There were a couple of intense scenes and you could feel the buzz of attraction throughout the novel.  I feel like I’m about to keyboard smash from how much I enjoyed these two men. They were both strong, honest, and willing to fight for each other. Like I said, I loved them and all the other characters.

So the question is, should you read this? OMG YES. I’m actually going to check out the other books Hailey Turner has penned. Because damn, this book was good.

 

Purchase Here

Dead Speak by Pandora Pine

36536722

Four out of Five Stars

Audio Book Review

The Summary: Demoted to the cold case squad after shooting a suspect in the line of duty, Detective Ronan O’Mara knows that his career with the Boston Police Department is hanging by a thread. His first assignment is the case of Michael Frye, a five-year-old boy who has been missing for seven years. With no new leads or witnesses to interview, Ronan has to start from scratch to solve this mystery. When he sees a handsome local psychic on television, Ronan figures he’s got nothing to lose in enlisting the man’s help to find Michael.

Psychic Tennyson Grimm is riding high after helping South Shore cops find a missing child. He’s even being courted by the Reality Show Network about a program showcasing his abilities. He has no idea that his midday appointment with a customer, who instead turns out to be a police detective, is going to change the course of his life and his career.

With the blessing of the BPD, which badly needs an image make-over, Ronan is allowed to bring Tennyson in to assist with the Frye case. Being thrown together in front of cameras is never easy, but add in an emotional missing person’s investigation, a tight-lipped spirit, and a cop who’s a skeptic, and it definitely puts a strain on both men and their working relationship.

When the child’s body is found, the work to identify his killer begins. As Ronan and Tennyson get closer to solving the case, the initial attraction they feel for one another explodes into a passion neither man can contain.

Will working together to bring Michael’s killer to justice seal their fledgling bond, or will unexpected revelations in the case tear them apart forever?

The Review

Dead Speak by Pandora Pine was narrated by Michael Pauley. I’ve heard only the best about his narrations so when I got the opportunity to listen to his work, I jumped at it. He is very distinct and brings more personality to each character. Ronan was alpha male one hundred percent and it came through. There was a roughness to his chapters that fit so well. Tennyson was more delicate. His part, it was one I wasn’t the biggest fan of because he sounded overly feminine and I didn’t picture him that way. The secondary characters all have their own tones, textures and distinct Boston accents.  It brought me further into the world and over all I will look forward to listening to more of Michael Pauley’s work.

Paranormal/Mystery romances are some of my favorites. I grew up on stealing mystery novels off of my mom’s bookshelf (Entirely inappropriate for my age at the time lol). It’s been hard for me to find a M/M mystery novel or series that was able to suck me into that universe entirely. Usually there isn’t enough mystery to satisfy me.

This was an entirely different case. I was still trying to figure it out nearly all the way to the end of the book. I did get an inkling towards the end and I was right, but it took nearly the entire story for me to get there.

It was a heartbreaking case and the details weren’t glossed over. Michael Frye was a five year old boy who disappeared from his front yard. Ronan is assigned to work cold cases and he’s at a loss as to what could have happened to Michael. So he goes to Tennyson Grimm, psychic, with the hopes that maybe he’ll get some clue.

Ronan is extremely skeptical of Tennyson’s gift. He thinks it’s a crock of shit and he isn’t afraid of telling Tennyson that to his face. There were a few times I just wanted to pop Ronan over the back of the head for being such a dick. Then there were times I was all heart eyes at how he and Tennyson were together. They were just sweet. And hot. Very, very hot.

Their romance scenes, definitely not something you would want to be caught listening to while you were at work. Which is exactly where I listened to this (Because I’m that person, you all know someone like me, don’t deny it). I also drove around longer than necessary because I didn’t want to get out of my car and go into the house. I did not want to stop listening.

Give this a read if you like cop procedural and some white hot romance and drama with it.

Get your copy here!

Fake Out by Eden Finley

39298105

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: 

Maddox 
The reason I rarely go home is three simple words: I’m a liar.
When the pressure to marry my childhood sweetheart became too much, I told her I was gay and then fled to New York like my ass was on fire.
Now, five years later and after a drunken encounter, I find myself invited to her wedding. And I have to bring my boyfriend—the boyfriend who doesn’t exist because I’m straight.
At least, I think I am. Meeting the guy I’m bribing to be my boyfriend for the weekend makes me question everything about myself.

Damon 
When my sister asks me to pretend to be some straight guy’s boyfriend, my automatic response is to say no. It’s because of guys like him people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m gay.
But Maddox has something I need.
After an injury that cost me my baseball career, I’m trying to leave my playing days behind and focus on being the best sports agent I can be. Forty-eight hours with my sister’s best friend in exchange for a meeting with a possible client. I can do this.
I just wish he wasn’t so hot. Or that he didn’t kiss like he means it.
Wait … why is the straight guy kissing me?

 

The Review

There is a special place in my heart for any fake boyfriend storyline. I absolutely LOVE the fake boyfriend trope. So that’s what initially drew me in but what piqued my interest massively was the fact that Maddox told his girlfriend he was gay so he wouldn’t have to stay in relationship with her. THEN the entire town learns about it and Maddox just rolls with it.

Damon is a lot more than he expected in his fake boyfriend for the weekend.  He is easy to get along with, sarcastically funny, and he’s extremely attractive. The chemistry between the two of them steadily grows but once they kiss, *fans self* their chemistry explodes in all the best ways.

What was different about this fake boyfriend storyline was the fact that Damon, who was an openly gay athlete, is the one who hesitated. He didn’t want to be another straight guy’s experiment. Ya’ll, my heart broke a little bit for him. Then when Eric and that storyline showed up? I wanted to shake him. That’s how angry he made me.

The way Damon and Maddox interacted and communicated with each other, it was more than romantic. It was what any successful relationship needs in order to succeed. They worked with each other and genuinely cared for each other. Damon was patient with Maddox, even when Maddox may have been in a little bit of a rush.

I really enjoyed my first book by Eden Finley. I’ve already got Fake Boyfriend #2 on my Kindle and I’m ready to read it.

 

Get your Copy!!

The Shape of You by Georgia Beers

38927846

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: Personal trainer Rebecca McCall is furious when her coworker is sidelined and she’s forced to teach the “Be Your Best Bride” class. As if being a size two for your wedding photos is all exercise is good for. Could the whole thing get more vain and sexist? The class is full of preening, giggling Bridezillas, but one woman stands out. The one who confesses she’s only there because her fiancée signed her up. Who does that to someone they care about? And why can’t Rebecca take her eyes off her?

Spencer Thompson is a second-guesser. After making the worst mistake of her life, she’s happy to abdicate responsibility and let other people make her decisions for her. She’s always felt a little bit too soft, a little bit too curvy in all the wrong places. Her fiancée apparently agrees because she signed Spencer up for a class at the gym. Terrified by the online profile of the instructor, the epitome of Zero Body Fat, Spencer is relieved to find someone new, and realistic looking, leading the class. Except the instructor seems to hate her and Spencer has no idea why.

When a perfectly innocent post workout smoothie leads to an earth shattering kiss, Rebecca wonders if she’s been wrong all along, and Spencer is challenged to make another decision that could change her life forever.

The Review

Georgia Beers has definitely become one of my favorite F/F authors. Any time I get the opportunity to read any of her books, I jump at it.

I was just as excited about the “Be Your Best Bride” as Spencer and Rebecca were. It just sounded like the easy set up for mean girl, queen bee situation. But Rebecca was the most surprising character. As a trainer I thought she was going to be hardcore, angry fitness instructor. Instead, she was much different. She looked at fitness as, feeling your best and not only worth doing to become a skinny model type.

Spencer, well I could relate to a little too well. I do have to say I have a little more bite than Spencer did. If my wife to be signed me up for a twelve week fitness class, I would have been livid.  Then we would have had a talk and probably would have no longer been wives to be. Because if you don’t like the way I look now? Twelve weeks in a fitness class isn’t going to change it. Instead, Spencer was very passive and just took things. I have a feeling she felt like she didn’t deserve the happiness she was chasing. She just settled.

The main issue of this book, which I knew of from the get-go was the fact that there would probably be infidelity at some point. Spencer is engaged while she’s attracted to her class instructor. Spencer and Rebecca’s chemistry was intense. They were a bit antagonistic towards each other before they figured out what was really going on between them. I think the fact that Spencer was so not in love with Marti and Marti was such a workaholic jerk, that I was rooting for Spencer and Rebecca to get together. They had the passion that soon a to be married couple should have. They communicated with each other, they worked together and then had explosive sex. If you aren’t excited by your partner, or can’t remember the last time you were intimate with them, you may need to stop, think and have a sit down with them.

Rebecca brought Spencer out of her shell and challenged her to be the person she had once been. Then Spencer brought gentleness out of Rebecca that kind of made my heart melt. Just a little.

I like how there is always a healthy dose of reality in this. Spencer’s friends and family weren’t all happy about what she had done, but they did encourage her to think her wants/needs through in order to decide what she truly wanted. Then Spencer and Rebecca didn’t immediately get together. Time passed. Spencer had to figure out who she was.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was excited to see how everything turned out.

Get your copy here

Brave for You by Crystal Lacy

40865114

Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: Less than a year after moving to Hawaii, construction foreman Nate Ellison’s wife leaves him and their infant son for another man. Months into single-fatherhood, Nate meets Andrew “An” Hoang and is slowly drawn into An’s life. Through An’s friendship, he finds himself finally enjoying his new home in paradise.

An Hoang hasn’t had a real relationship in years. With his pediatrics practice and a niece to care for on his days off, he doesn’t have the headspace for more than a simple roll in the sack. But when he meets Nate—who just happens to be the gorgeous construction worker he encountered in the lobby of his apartment building—something about Nate makes it impossible for him not to care. When Nate needs An’s help with his son, An doesn’t refuse.

What happens when Nate’s past and An’s old-fashioned parents interfere just as the two men begin to fall for each other? Will they find the means to be brave and give their love a chance to flourish?

A sweet and steamy slow burn M/M romance set in Hawaii.

The Review

Brave for You is a story about discovering yourself, finding love and family. I started it and I actually didn’t put it down until I was finished. That’s how much I enjoyed this. I stayed in bed reading all afternoon.  The backdrop of Hawaii only served to enhance the romance between An and Nate.

Nate is a newly minted father whose wife disappeared and he never expects her to come back. An is a pediatrician who loves his niece Diah and lives three doors down from Nate. It’s a chance encounter on a rainy morning the starts to push these two men together. What really solidifies their friendship is Nate calling on An when his son is ill. They bond they form is intense and only strengthens with every weekend trip they take with each other. An and Diah are slowly showing Nate more of the island and their favorite places to go.

It is a slow burn between the two, but it’s such a good burn.

Their relationship doesn’t develop without issues though. An’s parents aren’t accepting of his homosexuality and it makes for quite a few awkward moments. It made me feel for An because he lived his entire life around what they might think about him. He never had a long term relationship, never brought anyone home to be introduced to his family.

Then Nate is still married, even though you forget about it for a while. I’m not a fan of Nate having a wife but, like I said it wasn’t something I lingered on. I kept my fingers crossed for the result that I really hoped for.

The romance scenes, Nate is learning what he likes in bed and what he enjoys giving to his partner. I liked these scenes because it wasn’t like everything just clicked and they were magical together. It was real. They communicated; they worked together and found what worked for them. It was a bit steamy in parts, which I’m all for.

I didn’t want to put this down once I started reading it, and that’s been a hard task for me lately. So the fact that Crystal Lacy held my attention and kept me wanting to flip pages, that’s a sign of an excellent book.

Get your copy here