Sure Shot by Sarina Bowen coming soon!
Goodreads Giveaway going live on April 2: https://geni.us/GoodreadsGiveawaySS
Coming March 30!
Missing In Action is a beautiful M/M romance by one of my favourite authors. It’s the love-story of Wes and Tom who are both part of the fabulous Walsh universe Kate Canterbary has created. This book isn’t technically a part of the Walsh family series, but to fully appreciate Missing In Action you absolutely need the full backstory that the previous books provide.
The main characters are two very different men. There’s Wes, a hunky, broody, undercover agent with an affinity to meat-cleavers who also happens to be closeted. At least to his parents. Then there’s Tom. A health obsessed, fashion conscious perfectionist with slight OCD who has fought hard to overcome the bigotry and abuse he was subjected to in his youth. When these guys meet, Wes is recovering from several serious injuries and just waiting to get back in the field while Tom has promised himself to never settle for being someone’s casual fling ever again. So, even though they don’t appear to be an obvious fit, appearances can be deceiving.
But just so you know. I’m not an impartial reader at all. Not in the least.
I’ve been waiting for this book for years. Years! I couldn’t quite believe it when I heard Canterbary would finally release Wes’ story. I got all giddy. And when I realized that Tom would be the other half of that couple, I was pretty close to swooning. Basically, I pretty much loved this read way before I even started in on it. And I was not disappointed.
Neither Wes nor Tom was what I expected. They’ve been peripheral characters in several of the Walsh-books and I’d already formed a picture in my mind about their personalities and traits. Boy was I wrong and I couldn’t have been happier. Wes is an extremely grumpy piece of man-meat with the softest of centers. That softness and the ease and comfort he had with showing affection made him utterly endearing. Tom on the other hand was way more assertive than I’d imagined him to be. Strong but in other aspects really frail. He was perfect. And they were perfect together.
It was also a real treat to get some sneak peeks of so many of the Walshes and the Halsteads. I looove sequels and overlapping stories allowing me to reacquaint myself with favourite characters. And Canterbary’s characters are the best, so of course I have many favourites.
So yes. I loved Missing In Action. This is feel-good fiction at its best. Sure, there’s some drama, but all great love-stories need that and sure, maybe I cried a bit too. But I’d still call it a low-angst story that’ll leave you feeling all warm and happy. There were a couple of less than likely events happening, and the conclusion of the story was a bit too quick and easy for my taste. But hey, this is romance, and it didn’t distract from the warm fuzzies, so it’s all good.
I did miss the epilogue though. There was no epilogue! I live for those bonus, happily-ever-after scenes – and not just because they usually include one last naughty romp. I can only hope and pray that Canterbary will release a Tom-Wes epilogue in the near future. Hopefully one including a dog.
Coming April 8
This was a very hard review for me to write. Not because I didn’t love this story, because I did. Eden Finley is one of my absolute favourite romance writers and I devour everything she publishes. But Popstar had me realizing something about myself that I would have liked not to acknowledge. So basically, this review might get a bit more personal than your average book-review.
But first, the story-line.
The main characters are Harley – ex boyband-member come ( 😉 ) solo-artist, and Brix – Harley’s newly appointed, and very hunky, bodyguard who’s not particularly enthusiastic to babysit a spoiled celebrity.
However, Harley isn’t at all the spoiled diva Brix expected. And Harley, who was forced to up security after the break-in by a stalker fan, is intensely attracted to his new employee. However, there’s more between the two guys than sizzling chemistry. Brix makes Harley see beyond the restrictions set up by his record label, and Harley is the incentive Brix needs to take a leap of faith and let somebody in. But the stalker won’t let up threatening not only Brix’s and Harley’s budding relationship, but also Harley’s life.
Popstar is fluff at its very best. It’s low-angst romance with just enough serious undertones to make it interesting. And then there’s the smut on top of that to appease the appetites of us M/M-story lovers. And this kind of positive, feel-good romance is exactly what the world needs right now with the major pandemic going on.
Now to the reason I had trouble with this read.
So. I’m a hetero woman who loves to read about men. Men are great. Men are sexy. And most of all. Men have dicks. So I like reading M/M stories. I mean – double the dick! Also, one of my favourite tropes are forbidden love and, let’s get real, this day in age it’s difficult to find convincing, forbidden F/M romances. We do simply not live in a time of rivaling families anymore. Therefore, to me, M/M is the best genre because it combines D with the stigma of being gay.
I consider myself to be very open-minded. Two consenting adults should be able to love each other without being attacked, ostracized or persecuted. But reading Popstar, I realized I’m very much stuck in my hetero bubble. Because I couldn’t quite appreciate the smutty parts where (excuse my graphic language and also: Minor spoiler alert!!) the big, muscle-y bodyguard is the one getting f*cked by the smaller, less alpha-male, popstar. And how sad is that!?! As usual, Finley’s nudy-scene writing is top notch, but I kept thinking how much hotter it would be if it was Brix doing the f*cking. Admitting to myself that I’m stuck in the mindset that the physically bigger partner should be the one doing the sticking was not pleasant. Discovering I’m way less open-minded than I thought was almost painful.
So you see, this read was an eye-opener for me. And even if the fact that I personally couldn’t really enjoy some of the naked shenanigans happening, which in itself should bring down my rating of Popstar to 4 stars, I still give it 5 stars because of the insight it brought me.
In conclusion, sorry for the personal twist to this review. But Popstar really had me challenging my own perception of things and I just had to share that. Putting that aside though, this is an awesome romance and a great start of the new Famous series. I’m yet undecided if Finley can top her previous Fake boyfriend series, but I’m determined to find out!
Wolfsong by T.J. Klune is an oldie for sure, but after hearing som many good things about it, reading it and being completely awestruck, I just need to share my thoughts on it.
Because this story is utterly overwhelming, there’s just so much to process and appreciate. It’s bloody fabulous is what it is.
Objectively, Wolfsong is an M/M shifter romance. But it’s so much more than that. I wouldn’t want this amazing novel to be limited by such a restrictive description. Yes, it’s a love story and yes, one of the guys is a wolf shifter. But this story is about so much more. It’s about growing up, about family and trust. It’s about anger and loss. And love. Above all, it’s about love and not only the romantic kind.
So, the blurb. I can’t possibly describe the story-line of this book in an adequate way, but I’ll try.
The main character is a guy named Ox. It’s about him growing up in a small mountain town, in a poor, broken home, in the middle of the woods. It’s about how his life changes when meeting the large, close-knit family – the Bennetts – that moves in next door. And about his intense friendship with Joe, the youngest boy of the family. Ox is embraced by his new neighbours who are protective of him in the extreme. But he knows they’re keeping secrets from him. When he discovers what they are, it also means that he becomes the target of other beings that wish to destroy the Bennetts. And his awakening feelings for Joe will have to be put on hold until their enemies are defeated.
I admit, for the first few pages I was a bit put off by the writing style. At a first glance, it appeared too crude and simple. Too abrupt. Almost child-like in the telling. But pretty quickly, I realized how wrong I was. The writing is nothing but brilliant. Apart from the fact that the short and concise style is the perfect fit for Ox’s personality and self image, and the fact that it’s a genius way to convey the world from Ox’s point of view, it also makes for some truly hilarious conversations. I high-lighted so many exchanges between Ox, Joe and his brothers just so I could go back and laugh some more. Simply brilliant.
This story is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if paranormal isn’t your preferred genre, it doesn’t matter if you’re skeptical to read about a love-story between two men. This read is a definite must-read. So emotional. So lovely. So raw. It’s a true slow-burn romance – and I mean sloooooow burn – it takes ages before they even kiss. But it’s magnificent. Personally, I would have liked some more hot man-on-man action, I mean who wouldn’t? But Wolfsong is pretty tame with the physical stuff and not very explicit. Basically the contrary to what I usually like, but it’s still one of the best books I’ve ever read. And I’ve found a new favourite writer.
I can only quote ten year-old Joe when rating this book. It’s “candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome”. Yup that’s what it is.
Coming April 8!
What happens when the most successful boy band on the planet breaks up?
How about twenty thousand fans screaming my name.
But the price of fame comes with an increased risk to my safety.
I’ve been avoiding the dreaded B word for as long as I can, but after a close call with a rambunctious fan, I can’t do it anymore.
It’s time to give in.
I need to hire a full-time bodyguard.
And when he shows up, he not only screams badass, he’s another B word I try to stay away from: boyfriend material.
Protecting people is not what my company usually does, but the boss knows I need money, and the pop star is offering an insane amount to live with him and make sure no more crazy fans break into his house.
I’m doing it for the money and nothing else.
He may be the prettiest man I’ve ever seen, and I may feel sorry for the celebrity life he’s been forced into since he was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean anything.
Just because he fascinates me, that doesn’t mean I like him.
Professionalism. I’m gonna live it. Breathe it. Enforce it … Mostly.
Coming March 27
A Collar For His Brat is M/M BDSM erotica and a bit (a lot) more hard-core than I’m used to. Debug is the 4th part in a serial and the first of ‘season two’.
Debug continues the story of Ewan’s and Nate’s relationship. Which is quite complicated. They’re not quite Dom and Sub, but they’re more than Top and Bottom. And Ewan is most definitely a brat. They’re trying to find a balance between being both boss-employee and Dom-brat, but keeping the two parts of their lifes separate is hard. Especially since Nate is new to the whole relationship deal and Ewan won’t allow himself to fully trust another Dom again.
But first. Full disclosure. I haven’t actually read season one of A Collar For His Brat. I am currently reading His Boy Next Door though – another of Moray’s serials – which is a parallel story featuring another couple who are friends with the Brat-couple. So in other words, I’m familiar with the characters and Moray’s BDSM universe, even if reading about Ewan and Nate from their own viewpoints is new to me.
The fact that Nate is a full-fledged sadist and Ewan’s a masochist in its truest sense did make this read less appealing to me. Simply because I don’t enjoy reading about pain and degradation – nevermind that there’s consent. But, that being said, I still think Debug is an awesome story. Moray is a scarily talented writer and knows exactly how to suck readers into her world. The dynamics between Ewan and Nate, Ewan’s struggles to accept himself and his own desires, Nate’s efforts to understand Ewan and gain his trust. It’s absolutely mesmerizing. And to think that I couldn’t even appreciate the X-rated sections of this story and I still enjoyed it immensely! That’s saying something about Moray’s writing!
In all honesty, I’m actually astonished that I liked this story so much considering the roughness of the guys’ sessions. But the way Ewan and Nate were portrayed, their insecurities and doubts, it was simply beautifully done. Also, it was awesome to get a sneak peek at Channon and Jack from His Boy Next Door through the eyes of Ewan and Nate. I just love those kind of overlapping stories.
So in conclusion I can’t really say that I’ll continue to read the Brat-serial. It’s just too rough for my tastes. But I will keep reading anything else Moray writes. She’s just that great an author and absolutely knows her way around high-quality M/M smut.
15. March 2020 by swedishgirl
Categories: Dark, Delicious smut, M/M | Tags: #acollarforhisbrat, #debug, #hisboynextdoor, #rjmoray, #rjmorayauthor, #robinmoray, #robinmorayauthor | Comments Off on Debug (A Collar for His Brat #4) by R.J. Moray
Cross-Checking is the debut novel of Evie Graham and the first book in the Lilac Harbor series. It’s a sweet, second chance romance and – as you may guess from the title – it has a bit of a hockey theme.
The story’s about hockey player Camden Locke and his College sweetheart Coraline, Cora for short. The book kicks off with Camden deciding to go back home for the summer to win back the girl he left behind ten years earlier. But Cora isn’t at all prepared to face Camden again. She still has feelings for him but she also holds on to a tragic secret that she’s convinced Camden will never forgive.
This is a pretty great debut. But as love stories go, it was a bit too much on the sweet side for me. However, it still had me crying a fair amount, and readers should be aware that the story contains triggers for some.
Camden’s character was utterly sweet. An absolute dream boyfriend and instantly likable. Cora though…. I had trouble with her. I’m sorry to say that I just couldn’t bring myself to like her. Maybe I’m being harsh, but I perceived her as pretty mean and selfish. There was also an imbalance between the two main characters in that Camden was always the one putting his heart out there and Cora just took without giving anything back.
Also, there are a few telltale signs that this is Graham’s first book. For one, there’s way too little dialogue. Instead most of the story is told through the narrative of either Camden or Cora which makes their interactions appear a bit impersonal. And as a reader I’m not entirely convinced that they’ve actually gotten to know the older, more mature, versions of one another. It’s more like they both hang on to the memory of their teenage love and then ten years later decides to pick up where they left off.
Another thing testifying to Graham’s inexperience is the fact that there’s a bit of a redundancy in the storytelling. And the recollections, the sections telling about events ten years prior aren’t really adding something, aren’t always bringing the story forward. Instead, those parts more often than not just provides an elaborate background to a thought or statement from either of the MCs.
So, obviously, this wasn’t a story meant for me. I prefer less sugar, more conflict and more character development. But Cross-Checking is still a great debut, and I will definitely keep an eye out for Evie Graham’s future writing.
The Wright Brother by K.A. Linde isn’t really new but it’s a great romance with just the right amount of drama to keep you thoroughly entertained to the very end. I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe not because it’s an award-winning book (it isn’t) or that it stands out that much from other romance novels (it doesn’t), but because Linde manages to blend and balance all those necessary components of a great romance with absolute perfection.
The story-line combines several classic tropes in a delicious mix. It’s about PhD-student Emery that, after discovering her boyfriend is a cheating douchebag, up-ends her life and moves back to her old hometown. Swearing off men, she’s intent on starting over and just spend time with family and friends. But when her best friend drags her to the wedding of one of the Wright sisters, she ends up having a hot and heavy makeout session with Jensen Wright – the older brother of her high-school boyfriend, Landon. It’s not supposed to lead to anything, but when Emery and Jensen keep running in to each other, their sizzling chemistry only grows stronger. But Jensen only does hook-ups and keeps too many secrets. Scorching hot sex just won’t be enough.
Right so. The Wright Brother has everything going for it. A rich, influential family with three, hot brothers, check. Grumpy, sexy, male MC who’s lost his faith in women. A billionaire CEO. A female MC who’s been cheated on, goes back home and discovers she’s really hot for a man she despise. Check, check and check.
This was one hundred percent entertainment one hundred percent of the read. There are so many interesting side characters, which of course is a win. There are several plot-twists which is awesome AF! If there aren’t any surprises it’s just plain boring and The Wright Brother is the opposite of boring. And then there’s some sexy nooky to spice things up. Nooky’s truly a crucial ingredient in love stories. Smut quality and quantity is key. Linde manages pretty well on the quality-side of things. The quantity though was a bit on the cheap side. But then I usually always want more of the good stuff. 🙂
The only thing I didn’t like (and I can’t imagine Linde’s thought process when writing this) was how Jensen – in the very first sentence in the first chapter written from his POV – called his little sister a whore. There are so many things wrong with that I don’t even know where to begin. Because really, whore is not a word that can be used lovingly by a brother about his sister. So either Linde wanted her readers to instantly dislike Jensen or I’m getting too old to keep up with contemporary English. And since I refuse to believe the latter, I’ll go with the former.
But in conclusion, if you can live with the whore-thing, The Wright Brother is more or less the perfect romance novel.
Wrong Way Home by Kat and Agnes Merikan is a dark M/M romance. It’s a pretty twisted tale of murder, attraction, anger and trust. It’s about a man falling for his captor and about difficult choices. It’s also – despite the wrongness of the plot-line – so very, very captivating.
When reading so called dark romances, I’m usually vacillating between some kind of strange fascination and slight nausea, with quick stops at all kinds of emotions in between. But Wrong Way Home definitely kept me securely at the fascinated end of the spectrum. It even turned quite sweet and romantic now and again, so obviously it’s a vanilla dark romance, which suits me just fine.
This is the story about Colin, a young pre-med student, who decides to take a detour on his way home from class. On a remote forest road he becomes the accidental witness of a murder and ends up being taken captive by the murderer. Taron, the big, broody beefcake of a killer, is prepared for anything – or so he thinks. Content to keep to himself at his remote homestead, he never planned on sharing his space with anyone, least of all a captive. But owning the sexy Colin is definitely something he can get used to.
Yeah. This was a sizzling hot read. It’s all very twisted, I know. But despite the fact that Colin is held prisoner by Taron, every physical encounter is entirely consensual. Which without a doubt contributes a lot in relieving the heavy.
Well sure, the read starts with Taron chopping a mans face off with an axe. It’s gross. But it’s not only Colin who is persuaded to look past that, the Merikans manages to make the reader look past that too. That’s pretty talented.
I was entirely sucked into this story. The changes in perception of circumstances and the general view of the world that Colin goes through is utterly fascinating. It’s also quite thought provoking. And even though the story is pretty extreme, I can absolutely see the allure of the simpler, less stressful, life that Colin and Taron chooses in the end.
I won’t lie, the sexy-times in Wrong Way Home contributed quite a lot in making this an awesome story. Simply put, it’s top notch smut. And I love me some great smut. But in the context of this story, the shagging is so much more than just hot dick-action. The dynamics between captive and captor, Colin’s contradictory feelings, it all adds to the complexity and depth of the story. In other words, it’s truly a great read.
29. February 2020 by swedishgirl
Categories: Delicious smut, Great, M/M, Romance | Tags: #criminaldelights, #kamerikan, #kamerikanauthor, #katandagnesmerikan, #wrongwayhome | Comments Off on Wrong Way Home by K.A. Merikan
Rough Sketch by Kate Canterbary was a bit of a surprise. Mostly because I hadn’t realized it was only a novella. It’s a very intense and raunchy story taking place in Canterbary’s Talbot’s Cove universe. It’s very high on the smut-scale (love it!) but it also has a surprisingly serious and contemplative undertone.
The story describes the first few days of Neera’s and Gus’ passionate relationship. Neera was first introduced in Fresh Catch while Gus is new to the series. Gus is an artist, a free spirit and a wanderer. Neera – an ambitious and highly disciplined executive – is Gus’ opposite in every way. They irritate and frustrate each other to no end, but they’re also intensely attracted to one another. And when they give in to their desires, it’s quite frankly incendiary.
I would say that Rough Sketch differs quite a lot from Canterbary’s previous work. It’s a love story sure, but there’s a whole different feel to the writing than her usual full length romances.
First, the story progresses very fast to some very naughty, semi-public, naked acrobatics. Which is awesome, naturally. It may be that I’m a bit of an inexperienced short-story reader, because I was a bit taken aback by the pace and how they jumped right in.
Then, there’s the tone of the writing. The story is told through dual POVs and mainly through the inner monologue of either Neera or Gus. It’s introspective in the extreme. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but it also makes the story way more earnest and less of light, fluffy entertainment. It’s actually so very full of weighty and significant contemplation that I feel that I should have read Rough Sketch way, waaaaay slower than I did to really savor the wording and reflect upon the content.
In other words. Not what I expected from Canterbary. But that being said, it’s still so, so good! As short stories goes, this is da bomb! Yes, there is more food for thought but if you can get behind that, you’ll love Rough Sketch.
The thing I miss though, the thing that I’ve always seen as Canterbary’s trademark, is her humour. Her books are usually hilarious. And sure, the splooge sock was priceless, but apart from that Rough Sketch isn’t that kind of story. But it’s still a great read well worth your time.
26. February 2020 by swedishgirl
Categories: Delicious smut, Great, Romance | Tags: #freshcatch, #katecanterbaryauthor, #roughsketch, #talbotscove, katecanterbary | Comments Off on Rough Sketch by Kate Canterbary