Tag Archives: author: daisy harris

Nothing But Smoke by Daisy Harris

Nothing But Smoke

Nothing But Smoke by Daisy Harris

Series: Fire and Rain, Book 3
Published by: Samhain Publishing on June 10, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Michael Larson has decided to steer clear of closeted men. He spent enough time in a relationship with one, and he’s not doing that again. When he spots a hot guy in a leather jacket while he’s on a run in Volunteer Park, Michael cruises him and gets him to follow. Michael senses the man’s unease–a clue that maybe he’s not out–but it’s just a random hookup, so what does it matter?

Nicky O’Brian isn’t gay. Right? He can’t be. He’s a firefighter from an Irish Catholic family who is focused on taking care of his terminally ill mother. But the videos he watches at night and his occasional forays into the park to cruise for guys say otherwise. And when he hooks up with an incredibly hot strawberry-blond guy who keeps showing up again and again, he can’t help wondering if maybe he wants more than just the occasional romp in the woods.

As Michael and Nicky spend more time together, both will need to confront their issues. Can Michael be with a guy who isn’t open about who he is? And can Nicky get past his hangups and accept himself?

I find myself continuing to enjoy this firefighter series set in Seattle by Daisy Harris. And one of the things I always love about her novels set in the city is that it almost becomes a character in the story itself. The descriptions of the places, the people, the streets–they’re all very real and authentic. And it helps the story come to life so much more easily in my head.

The story of these two is a bit different than the previous two books. While the dynamic puts them at odds, it didn’t have quite the same intensity that I was used to seeing. Part of this may because there are a few skips in time where we miss some of the relationship development that struck me as an odd choice. That said, it’s still fun and interesting to watch their journey from where they start to where they finish.

Twofer by Daisy Harris

Twofer

Book Info

Title: Twofer
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: December 22, 2015
Pages: 176
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

For Frankie, coming to college has been great! He seems to have no problem finding guys to hook up with, and he’s certainly not about to stop. His roommate, Jeremy, isn’t quite having the same experience, however. It’s not that he couldn’t–Jeremy is a very attractive young man. But he’s inexperienced and isn’t able to approach the game with the same ease as Frankie. So Frankie makes it his personal mission to help Jeremy get laid, even offering to show him a thing or two in the process. Jeremy seems most comfortable with Frankie, but they’re certainly not going to go there because it’s a bit difficult for two bottoms to make it work, isn’t it? So they set out to find a third, someone who can satisfy them both, offering up a “twofer” for a “lucky” top. But feelings and sex aren’t always in tune with each other, and once they get tangled up, it can be very difficult to unravel them…

I have to admit that I always enjoy the stories Daisy Harris writes that are set in college. There’s a quality she brings to her writing of the setting that lets you know the story is a bit fantastical but not really over the top (no pun intended). Frankie and Jeremy’s story is one that probably does play out in some similar ways every once in a while in reality, and I found myself shaking my head at them more than once or twice.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

After the Rain by Daisy Harris

18277992Title: After the Rain (Fire and Rain, Book 2)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: February 11, 2014
Pages: 161
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Henri’s latest boyfriend proved to be another asshole. He cheated on him and had the nerve to make Henri feel like the guilty one. Logan, on the other hand, hasn’t a previous boyfriend to speak of. He broke up with his girlfriend after moving to Seattle because he admitted to himself he was gay. But it’s one thing to say it and another thing to actually do something with another guy. When mutual friends invite the two of them on a camping trip and the campsite runs out of tents, forcing them to share, it provides an interesting opportunity for them both to explore something new.

These two guys…I just wanted to reach into the pages and shake them both on more than one occasion. Logan is so sweet and seemingly naive, but also incredibly forthright and strong-willed. Henri, on the other hand, is understandably defensive but has an incredible heart once he lets someone in. I thoroughly enjoyed this installment–this book is part of a series, but can certainly be read as a stand-alone as well–and look forward to the next one.

My Fair Dork by Daisy Harris

16031880Title: My Fair Dork (Men of Holsum College, Book 8)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: October 13, 2012
Pages: 134
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Harold Jacobs is embarrassed of the size of his penis and as a result feels compelled to shower in the middle of the night when no one will see him. But one night when Owen McKenzie sees him, all bets seem to be off. Owen becomes surprisingly fixated that particular part of Harold’s anatomy, so much so that he wonders if he might actually play for a different team. The two of them are as different as two people can be, but can they get past that, Owen’s sexuality, and Harold’s insecurities to find a place that might allow them to be together.

I adored this series, and while this is probably one of the weaker titles in it, I still think it’s worth a read in the context of the larger series. Can’t get enough of the Men of Holsum College.

Genius and the Jock by Daisy Harris

15989967Title: Genius and the Jock (Men of Holsum College, Book 7)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: September 15, 2012
Pages: 131
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

During freshman year, football jock Griff Parker did something completely unexpected–he had a sexual encounter with another guy. Although it was a momentary thing, he’s never been able to shake that experience in the locker room with Raj Mehir, even though he never really saw him again. Now that he’s working in the lab building and seeing Raj on a daily basis, it’s even more present in his mind (and elsewhere). But Raj wants absolutely nothing to do with him, still angry about what happened and not entirely willing to go down that road. Will proximity wear down his resolve?

I love the way in which Daisy Harris has seamlessly assembled this series. They can all be read as stand-alone books, but there is a wonderful added layer if you read them in order and start to recognize the various characters that make cameos–it definitely gives the sense of this all taking place at the same school. This one was frustrating, but mostly because of the characters, not the writing. But it was very interesting to see their development over the course of the book and to see where they ended up at the conclusion.

Pride and Politics by Daisy Harris

15771980Title: Pride and Politics (Men of Holsum College, Book 6)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: August 25, 2012
Pages: 145
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Hunter Ford has led what anyone from the outside would call a privileged life.  He’s from an affluent and influential family, and it looks like their prominence is only set to rise.  But for Hunter, the restrictions and chains that come with the ‘perks’ just don’t seem enough to make him happy–like being stuck on his uncle’s campaign for Vice President.  And to make him even less happy, his uncle has hired Steve, an image consultant, to make sure he doesn’t mess anything up.  Steve knows Hunter will be difficult and Hunter certainly doesn’t want him around–but will they be able to find some common ground since they’re stuck with each other?  And what might the tension between them give way to if it breaks?

This is definitely one of my favorite installments in this series.  We’ve had a glimpse of Hunter before, so it’s nice to get more of an understanding of his story and who (and why) he is.  The build and dynamic between Steve and Hunter is intriguing and it’s wonderful to see the character growth that occurs here.  It feels natural–not forced–and seems to fit in with their personalities (both as individuals and together).

Bossy and the Brat by Daisy Harris

15763030Title: Bossy and the Brat (Men of Holsum College, Book 5)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: July 28, 2012
Pages: 126
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Calvin’s life is set. He has a girlfriend, he knows what’s expected of him, and he’s going to be happy. Well, maybe not entirely happy since he sort of likes boys. Well, more than sort of… What’s worse, though, is that he’s quite attracted to Tyler, which is even more off-limits since Calvin is Tyler’s resident advisor. Until it’s summer and Tyler is no longer his resident. But how can Calvin reconcile his feelings for Tyler with everything else that’s expected of him?

I found this to be an interesting combination of angst and fluff. Calvin is certainly trying to sort through a number of issues, but there are a number of sweeter moments tucked away in here, too. I did think Calvin was a bit hard on himself, though he clearly is only using the ‘Tyler was my resident’ issue to avoid having to come to terms with what he finds to be a very difficult situation overall.

Another fun installment in the Men of Holsum College series.

From the Ashes by Daisy Harris

17560419Title: From the Ashes (Fire and Rain, Book 1)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: August 13, 2013
Pages: 259
Publisher: Daisy Harris
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

When Jesse’s apartment burns down, he’s at a loss.  As a busy college student working his way through school and a dog to care for, he has nowhere to turn.  But Tomas, one of the firemen who responded to the scene, offers him a place to stay.  Tomas is definitely one of those sexy firemen you might see in a calendar, but Jesse figures that doesn’t matter much since Tomas is clearly straight and only making the offer because he’s a decent guy.  But once Jesse moves in,with Tomas’s family literally in their backyard, he finds there might be more to Tomas than he saw at first–and he just might learn some things about himself, too.

This was such a ridiculously cute story, I don’t even know where to begin.  I know on its face the concept could come across a bit cliche, but it didn’t read that way at all to me as I was turning the pages (and honestly I did have a hard time putting this one down).  As a Seattle-ite, it was great to see the way Daisy Harris was able to capture the spirit of the city as the backdrop to this story which drew me even further into the world of Tomas and Jesse.

I can’t wait to pick up the next installment in this series!

2014 in Review: #8 & #7

ID-10088833Now that 2014 has drawn to a close and 2015 is here and upon us, I wanted to take some time this month to reflect on the best of what I read this past year. I read way more than I ever have in a single year (306 books!) and while a few of them were not ones I’d recommend, most books were compelling and engaging reads. While everything I’d recommend is either already here on the blog or still to come (I’ve some reviews already queued out into March), I’m going to highlight the 10 books I read in 2014 that I rated a whopping 5 stars.
Note: These are books I read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.

#8 – Townie & the Twink by Daisy Harris

The third installment in the Men of Holsum College series is one of the real highlights. And even though it is part of the series, all of the books work just as well as stand-alone reads. It’s one that I give my highest recommendation. See my full review of Townie and the Twink.

#7 – Snowcroft Lost by Christi Snow

18810166I love me a well-written mystery and this is definitely one of those. It’s a gripping story that will keep you guessing right up until the end. And it’s the first book in a series, so I’m hoping for more of the same going forward. See my full review of Snowcroft Lost.
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Player and the Prude by Daisy Harris

15732849

Title: Player and the Prude (Men of Holsum College, Book 4)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: July 7, 2012
Pages: 120
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
I continue to enjoy the Men of Holsum College series, though I don’t know that I feel this one was as enjoyable as the previous three. The story itself worked for me, but I was not a fan at all of Brooks in the beginning (though I suspect we’re not really supposed to be) and it impacted the way I read the rest of the book. Ultimately, I had a different opinion of him by the end, but it did stick with me for a large part of this. Still looking forward to seeing what more of these boys get up to in the next installment.