Tag Archives: published: 2013-06

Second Chances by Kimberly Hunter

Second Chances

Second Chances by Kimberly Hunter

Published by: Kimberly Hunter on June 27, 2013 (re-release)
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

After being kidnapped by an abusive former lover, Noah Richards has found it challenging to trust another person. But he is committed to putting that behind him, determined to still live his life to the fullest extent possible. Marcus Stewart was left behind by the man he thought was the love of his life, leaving him heartbroken and uncertain if he ever wants to give someone that part of him again. But when Noah and Marcus meet, the connection is difficult to deny. And so they both need to find a way to look forward if they want to act on that spark and see where it leads. But the past, for both of them, may not be as far behind them as they believe it to be…

“I grew up in the Mid-West where being gay is as bad as being a Democrat.”

I can relate to that! And overall, this is an interesting read. The way the author tells the two histories of these gentlemen makes for an engaging story that builds to some unwelcome surprises as the plot trucks along. I will say that there are some descriptions of violence that may be uncomfortable for people who have a hard time reading that, but it is nothing too graphic and is only in a small part of the story. Worth a read.

Texas Winter by R.J. Scott

Texas Winter

Texas Winter by R.J. Scott

Series: Texas, Book 2
Published by: Love Lane Books on June 5, 2013 (2nd edition)
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Riley hoped that he was free from any further harm his family could cause him when his brother died. But the FBI isn’t so willing to ignore the things that Riley’s brother did…things that could put the family business and name on the line. But thankfully for Riley, he has Jack and Jack’s supportive family to help him get through it all. Past unethical behavior by his brother isn’t all Riley has to worry about–it turns out he has an eight-year-old daughter who has just showed up on his doorstep. The start of a marriage for any couple can be challenging, but with all of these added complications, can Jack and Riley find a way to make it work?

This is an interesting glimpse into how Riley and Jack work to find their way forward after the incredibly unorthodox way they came together in the first place. You don’t need to have read the first book to follow this story, but it is my impression that it would help considerably in just having context of some of the references to previous events. It is entertaining, engaging, and at few points even suspenseful. I do find myself looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book, which is currently loaded on my Kindle and ready to go.

Choices by Jamie Mayfield

Choices

Choices by Jamie Mayfield

Series: Waiting for Forever, Book 1
Published by: Harmony Ink Press on June 6, 2013
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Brian McAllister knows that he’s unlikely to find acceptance for his sexuality living in a small community in Alabama. He’s heard the comments people make at school. He’s sat through the sermons in church. So he’s never told anyone–the last thing he would need would be to lose his best friend or to have his foster parents send him away. So when his best friend, Jamie Mayfield, confronts him when he’s acting strange and said confrontation ends in a kiss, Brian thinks it’s all over. To his surprise, however, Jamie lets Brian know he feels the same way. The two embark on a clandestine relationship, but in a small town secrets can only stay hidden for so long. And once they’re found out, it’s hard to make them ever go away.

For being one of those “growing up gay in a conservative town of bigot stories,” this one was actually on the easy end of the reading scale. The angst level isn’t through the roof, and the supportive characters are written in a believable and understanding way. I tackled this one fairly quickly because it kept my attention and I never ended up putting it down until I was done.

Catch My Breath by M.J. O’Shea

Catch My Breath

Catch My Breath by M.J. O’Shea

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on June 20, 2013
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Danny Bright dreams of a career as a singer. And he sees the open auditions at Blue Horizon Records as his ticket to the big time. He knows if they see what he can bring, he stands a good chance of being signed. He’s surprised at the decision to keep four of the guys and try to sell them as a group, but a recording contract is a recording contract. Provided the producers can find them a fifth member.

Elliot Price never even considered the idea of becoming an entertainer. He plans to finish high school and head off to college. But when a last-minute decision to perform at a talent search night puts him on the radar of a big-time record producer, he might just have to change his plans. It turns out Elliot could be the fifth member and round out a new singing group.

Once they’re all assembled, there’s no denying the boys of Static have a star quality. And they have no trouble lining up the fans. They also bond quickly, becoming closer than they might have imagined. And for Danny and Elliot, that closeness means something else entirely. They’re drawn to each other in unexpected ways. Which could mean trouble for the group, especially when it comes to marketing them to their teenage girl fanbase. They know they’ll have to make some decisions, and those decision may not be easy…

I enjoy a book that shows the development of a relationship in an authentic way. To see these two go from strangers, to friends, to realizing there might be something more, to… Yes. Very good. And it helps when the characters are so relatable and developed. We, as readers, get to see them deal with all of the realizations, the excitement, and the fear that comes along with it.

I also have to say there were parts of this book that frustrated me. It had nothing to do with the writing–well, to be more accurate, it’s the fact that the writing is so good that I was frustrated. The studio executives who take an incredibly narrow view of what fans look for is certainly infuriating. And the idea that making money is more important that the happiness of your artists? Not an attractive quality at all. But such is show business?

There are a few parts that do move a little more quickly than I would have liked. But the overall pacing and story are well done. And this is an enjoyable read.

Chasing the King of the Mountains by T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes


Chasing the King of the Mountains

Chasing the King of the Mountains by T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes

Series: International Men of Sports, Book 2
Published by: Total-E-Bound on June 7, 2013
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Pascal Durant’s dream has been to win the polka dot jersey for best performance in the mountains in the Tour de France. And he’s on track to finally win it. Until a car accident knocks him of course and takes him out of the running. But he has one more race in him, and he plans to give it one more chance before he retires.

Laurent Desrochers is a successful reporter and Pascal’s longtime friend. He’s disheartened along with Pascal about his loss, but is ready to support him on his last run. In fact, he even has a green light from his station to cover Pascal’s race from start to finish.

The two have been good friends, but there’s always been a bit of a distance between them. They’ve led separate lives with Pascal focused on his sport and Laurent traveling for work and shacked up with his fiancé, Jan. But after Jan and Laurent experience a rift, and Laurent and Pascal start spending more time together for the race, it occurs to them that maybe they each have exactly what the other is looking for.

Do they dare risk their friendship on possibly finding something more?

This was an enjoyable and entertaining read. The story progression was somewhat predictable, but that didn’t make it boring. The authors really do know how to tell a story. And it’s one that I think would appeal to readers even they don’t normally enjoy sports-themed plots. It’s an element of the story, but the real plot centers around these two ridiculous men.

Friends or Lovers? by Sara York

Young businessmanTitle: Friends or Lovers? (Friends or Lovers, Book 1)
Author: Sara York
Published: June 9, 2013
Pages: 22
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Shane has been stood up at the altar by his boyfriend. Nick is Shane’s best friend and has been in love with Shane for a while now. And someone needs to use that honeymoon that’s already been purchased. So off they go, expecting a friendly getaway. But when Shane wakes up in bed with Nick after a night out, suddenly there are even more questions than answers.

This is a short and engaging read that I certainly enjoyed. There are some interesting dynamics here among the characters, especially when Shane’s ex-boyfriend, Mark, reappears in the picture. It is, unfortunately, too short and I wish it gave a more complete story for readers. There is apparently a follow up that tells more of the story, but one can easily feel like you’re left hanging at the end of this one.

Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper

18003646Title: Nor Iron Bars a Cage
Author: Kaje Harper
Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 279
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
I will admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for a good fantasy story with magic and royalty and impending doom. You add in an element of m/m content and I’m definitely there. And this story had those things that I enjoy and generally, the story was told very well.

But there were a few things that ended up detracting from my overall opinion of the book. For one, Lyon seems to get over his PTSD really suddenly and inconsistently. Second, there are parts where the book really, really drags – discussions that likely don’t need to be relayed because they have no bearing on the overall plot and are secondary to the main characters and story. Third, Lyon’s reluctance to relocate permanently – something he’s been adamant about – just seems glossed over at the end.

That said, Lyon and Tobin are interesting characters and seem to be great together and I enjoyed this one.

Worthy by Lia Black

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Title: Worthy
Author: Lia Black
Published: June 15, 2013
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Pages: 144

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:
I never thought I’d be too keen on slave stories (by which I don’t mean the master-slave/BDSM sort, but the actual ‘owned person’ sort), but I’ve read two in the past month and have been pleasantly surprised. The fact that this one is set in a dystopian fantasy world certainly plays even more into my interests.

The characters here are wonderful – they’re dynamic, easy to connect with, and are very much a part of their world. Sev and Demetrie are great and the way they interact with others contributes not only to the reader’s understanding of them, but also of the world in which they live.

I highly recommend this one.

Lost in the Echo by Jack L. Pyke

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Title: Lost in the Echo
Author: Jack L. Pyke
Published: June 6, 2013
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Pages: 68

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
This one really confused me. There wasn’t nearly enough exposition to really understand what was going on when William was kidnapped – even so much that the names thrown out in the beginning had me still going ‘wait, who is who and how are they connected?’. By the end I’d sorted that all out, but I still feel like this could have been a bit more powerful if it wasn’t so disjointed. Content warning: non-consensual scenes.

BTW I Love You by Nico Jaye

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Title: BTW I Love You
Author: Nico Jaye
Published: June 3, 2013
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Pages: 51

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
Another sweet and wonderful read from Nico Jaye. The idea of meeting and forming relationships online is such a reality for so many people, and I enjoyed seeing a story that really puts that idea front-and-center. Taking that first chance, allowing yourself to connect with someone through a screen, and finally meeting in person for the first time: it’s all here and it’s authentic. This is a bit of a fluff story, so those who shy away from that may not enjoy it as much as I did, but I’d still encourage giving it a chance.