Tag Archives: published: 2013-12

Not As Easy As It Looks by Jaime Samms

Not As Easy As It Looks

Not As Easy As It Looks by Jaime Samms

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on November 1, 2013
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Don Jenkins has been in what most people would see as an unconventional relationship since his early teens. In fact, it’s so unconventional that those around him seemed to identify it even before Don did. Don’s best friend, Griffith McAllister, has been there for him since they first met. And Howard Campbell provided Don with his first sexual experience. But can a relationship really work with three people? It’s one or the other, right? People have to choose, don’t they? Or, when the heart wants what the heart wants, is there a way to make it all work?

Oh. My. Angst. Seriously, this is one of the most angst-filled books I’ve read in a long time. But it’s that good kind of angst that gently rumbles in the pit of your stomach just to make sure you don’t forget it is there. And there’s a lot here about trust. Not just trusting another person, but trusting yourself and trusting your heart. Basically don’t get in your own way when love presents itself, even if it doesn’t look like love in the way society has told you love should be…

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

18591068Title: Christmas Kitsch
Author: Amy Lane
Published: December 9, 2013
Pages: 256
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Rusty Baker has led what many would think is a charmed life. Coming from an affluent family and being an integral part of the football team in high school, he never really wanted for anything. But when he becomes friends with Oliver Campbell, he quickly learns there is a lot in life that he may have been missing–including knowledge about who he is. With Oliver’s help, Rusty tries his hardest to continue down the path his family has set for him, but he struggles knowing it’s not really who he wants to be…and that what he truly wants out of life might just be to spend it with Oliver.

Another charming story from Amy Lane. I absolutely adored Oliver and he was a bit of a saint putting up with Rusty and being patient with him while he sorted everything out. As is the tendency with Ms. Lane’s novels, I felt like this ran a bit long and could have been paced a bit more quickly, but it’s still definitely worth a read.

Pinned by Maris Black

20342983Title: Pinned (SSU Boys, Book 1)
Author: Maris Black
Published: December 27, 2013
Pages: 241
Publisher: Maris Black Books
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Jeremy is a college freshman ready to put his past behind him and make full use of a fresh start. Beck is a junior for whom wrestling has become everything and he’s focused on everywhere it can take him. Their paths cross on the wrestling team and quickly realize there’s more to each other–and a specific more they share. But it’s not easy for two athletes to share what they do, especially with Beck’s goals and Jeremy’s past.

It took me a bit to get into this one. When I read it, I just happened to be on a string of college stories, so something really had to stand out to truly pull in my attention. But once this grabbed me, I couldn’t put it down. There’s an ease to the storytelling and both a realistic and refreshing tone to the story that it really resonated in the end. Maris Black is a new author for me, but I fully anticipate finishing this series and keeping an eye out for future titles as well…

Title: Interlude with Tattoos
Author: K.J. Charles
Publication Date: December 10, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Having read the two books in this series, I’m very much a fan of Stephen and Lucien. It was interesting to go back and read this (which takes place between the two books) after having read the second book – it isn’t really plot-essential but is a nice little set of moments between the two of them. I ate it all up and am so looking forward to the third book coming out in January.

Title: The Family We’re Born With
Author: Kaje Harper
Publication Date: December 14, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
When Jesse’s mom tells him she doesn’t want his boyfriend Devin to be a part of the family dinner where they’re going to meet her son that she gave up for adoption for the first time, he’s not sure what to say. He is not one to lie about himself or who he is and always thought they considered Devin a part of their family, too. Though they’re all pleasantly surprised when Jesse’s half-brother shows up and has a much different reaction that Jesse’s mother ever could have expected.

A wonderfully sweet story all about family and and what it means to be family. I really felt like this story resonated with me as someone who has always felt like family isn’t always your blood relatives but the friends and others with whom you surround yourself, as well.

The Adversary by Erin M. Evans

Title: The Adversary
Author: Erin M. Evans
Publication Date: December 3, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review: The Sundering has turned out to be an excellent way to jump back into the world of Forgotten Realms. The series is serving as a quick update of what’s going on with some of the major characters of the world and is setting up a bigger event that I’m guessing will spawn some new and unique adventures like nothing in the setting’s history.

The Adversary is the third installment and primarily follows the Tiefling Farideh and the twists and turns she faces as she continues to navigate the pact she made with a devil, Lorcan, and begins to learn more about her family history. The book is well-written and is up there with The Companions, which opened the series. One thing that did make me struggle a bit is that the beginning seems to move very quickly compared to the rest of the book, so it felt a bit jarring, but once things smooth out a bit, it really flows nicely. I’m definitely looking forward to the 4th installment.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)