Building Arcadia (Blueprints Not Included) by Ryan Loveless
Published by: Ryan Loveless on March 22, 2011
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Connor Adams and Sam Henning are best friends and fellow musicians who find themselves often mistaken for a couple. They usually just let it go–Connor is married and Sam has a boyfriend–but when they find themselves cornered by three intimidating men spouting homophobic taunts, that might not be an option. They come out on the other side with Sam shot and unconscious and one of their attackers dead while Connor has no memory of what happened. With all signs pointing to Connor shooting the perpetrator, while he was walking away, and no evidence to contradict that narrative, Connor soon finds himself facing criminal charges and serious prison time. As traumatic as that one night turned out to be, it’s just the beginning in the trials that Connor, Sam, and Connor’s wife, Kelly, will only be able to get through if they can do it together.
I had a visceral (not necessarily negative) reaction to much of the early part of this book. Imagine being cornered into a life-or-death situation only to come out on the other side alive but with no memory of what happened and facing the reality that you’re still in danger of losing your life in a completely different way. And the system is not good to Connor. Not at all. I found that the second half the book seemed to drag, though, in comparison since it did not possess the intensity that the early book carried with it. Overall, though, this is a thought-provoking read that goes off the beaten path in a number of interesting ways. And it’s worth the read.
Title: A Troubled Range (Stories from the Range, Book 2)
Author: Andrew Grey
Published: March 25, 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Dakota Holden’s neighbor, Kent Jessup, has had a bone to pick with his father for…well, as long as Dakota can remember. The two have never gotten along. But when Dakota helps Kent’s son, Haven, during a storm and ensures he makes it home safely, the two seem clear that the rivalry isn’t something that is going to continue to their generation. And when Haven meets Dakota’s friend Phillip, it appears he may have more in common with Dakota than he thought…and more reason to visit Dakota’s ranch. But Phillip is only visiting temporarily, and Haven knows his father wouldn’t take too well if he ever found out his secret…
A great follow-up to A Shared Range. I really liked Phillip in the last book, so I was glad to see him return in this installment and embark on his own journey to find what makes him happy. There’s also something so endearing about Haven that I found truly drawing me in and keeping me for the duration. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this series continues from here…
Title: The Cranberry Hush
Author: Ben Monopoli
Published: March 6, 2011
Publisher: Ben Monopoli
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
On a random snow day, Vince’s college roommate, Griff, to whom he hasn’t spoken in years, shows up on his doorstep looking for a place to crash. Vince’s quiet life is quickly turned upside down as Griff takes him on a mini-adventure and he is forced to confront the circumstances that led to him walking out of Griff’s life all those years ago.
If I had to describe this in a word? Wonderful. It’s one of those stories that gets you yelling at the characters in your head: “Wise up already!” And though it’s not really a mystery, it was a couple unexpected twists that just seem to take everything to the right place for everyone involved. Definitely high up on my list of m/m romance recommendations.
Title: The Dragon’s Tamer
Author: Megan Derr
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review: Fantasy. Royalty. Dragons. Betrayal. Romance. A combination that I usually cannot turn down and this is no exception. Megan Derr’s fantasy m/m romances are some of my favorite to read. Even though this one isn’t very long, I got a sense of this rich world that Derr has created for these characters. And the characters of Alaith and Rythe themselves are so fun (and frustrating) that it’s really easy to get into this story. I found myself wanting to know what happens next for these guys…