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The Locker Room by Amy Lane

January 20, 2014

10821000Summary:

Xander Karcek has only wanted two things in his life: Christian Edwards and basketball—the man he loves and the game that let him escape a childhood he’d rather forget. His two obsessions have served him well. He and Chris beat the odds and stayed together through high school, college, and right on to the NBA.

But life under fame’s microscope isn’t easy, especially when two men are pretending to be frat-buddies so the world doesn’t know they’re the next best thing to married. Their relationship survives the sacrifices they make and the lies they tell to stay together, but when their secret is exposed, the fallout might destroy them when nothing else could.

Chris and basketball are the two things holding Xander together. Now the world is asking Xander to make a choice. Is there an option that includes a future with the man he loves?

My Review:

So I thought when I was finished with this that I would write this great review but I realize that I can’t. I am still numb. Amy Lane fucking kills me, I have said this many times.

I know I have a thing for boys in the closet but this hurt. This was more than being in the closet, this was..good lord. This hurt.

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Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2) by T.J. Klune

January 18, 2014

13579947Summary:

Sequel to Bear, Otter, and the Kid Bear, Otter, and the Kid survived last summer with their hearts and souls intact. They’ve moved into the Green Monstrosity, and Bear is finally able to admit his love for the man who saved him from himself. But that’s not the end of their story. How could it be? The boys find that life doesn’t stop just because they got their happily ever after. There’s still the custody battle for the Kid. The return of Otter’s parents. A first trip to a gay bar. The Kid goes to therapy, and Mrs. Paquinn decides that Bigfoot is real. Anna and Creed do… well, whatever it is Anna and Creed do. There are newfound jealousies, the return of old enemies, bad poetry, and misanthropic seagulls. And through it all, Bear struggles to understand his mother’s abandonment of him and his brother, only to delve deeper into their shared past. What he finds there will alter their lives forever and help him realize what it’ll take to become who they’re supposed to be. Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole-those who make us who we are.

My Review:

Where the Kid inspires me to write this before I write an actual review:

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*Blog Tour, Giveaway & Explicit Excerpt* Someone to Keep Me by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

January 17, 2014

19453849Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Scott Keating knows a whole world exists beyond his parents’ strict control, but until he gains access to the World Wide Web, he really has no idea what’s out there. In a chat room, Scott meets “JeffUK.” Jeff loves and understands him, and when he offers to bring Scott to the UK, Scott seizes his chance to escape his humdrum life and see the world. But when his plane touches down and Jeff isn’t there, panic sets in.
 
Collars & Cuffs favorite barman and Dom-in-training, Ben Winters, drops his sister off at the airport and finds a lost, anxious Scott. Hearing Scott’s story sets off alarm bells, along with his protective instincts. Taking pity on the naïve boy, Ben offers him a place to crash and invites him to Collars & Cuffs, hoping his bosses will know how to help. Scott dreams of belonging to someone, heart and soul. Ben longs for a sub of his own. And neither man sees what’s right under his nose.

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The Tin Box by Kim Fielding

January 15, 2014

18377353Summary: 

William Lyon’s past forced him to become someone he isn’t. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby’s offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.

William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.

My Review: 

I know what books like this will do to me. I know it and I still read them. I am going to promise myself though that I will not do extensive Googling about the treatment of homosexuality circa 1930/40 in insane asylums like I did after reading Hidden Away and spending hours learning and crying over the Pink Triangle Men that led to horrible nightmares for weeks. Hi, I am Sara. Did I mention I have OCD? Ugh.

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One Night Ever After by Tere Michaels, Elle Brownlee & Elizah J. Davis

January 12, 2014

18457513Summary:

Just a Drive by Tere Michaels

After weeks of flirting, “One Night” Wyatt Walsh spends a fabulous night with his shy coworker, Benji Trammell. As Wyatt tries to sneak out the next morning, he receives a call from his frantic, very pregnant best friend Raven—she needs him immediately. With no other way to get from New York City to the Pennsylvania town where Raven and her husband live, Wyatt accepts Benji’s offer to drive him there. Wary and unsure of each other, they start the trip at odds, but as time goes on, the barriers that usually keep people at a distance fail. And what started out as “just a drive” becomes a step toward romance.

Just a Stranger by Elle Brownlee

The excitement of meeting a stranger in a club can’t be beat. Loud bass sets the rhythm to Michael Wiercinski’s primal urges as he flirts with Andrew, a cute guy offering the promise of a hot night with no strings, no complications. Still, when their night is done, Michael admits there was something about Andrew that left him wanting more. Months go by with no sign of Andrew until Michael moves back home to help after his father’s heart attack. Once there, Michael is completely amazed to find Andrew Lucas living in his hometown. Despite surprising “complications” in Andrew’s life, Michael vows to take advantage of this second chance to make Andrew more than just a stranger.

Just a Weekend by Elizah J. Davis

James is a homebody in a predictable, if not altogether comfortable, rut. He’d rather stay in with a book than brave the Seattle bar scene. One night, after allowing his friend Kara to coax him out for drinks, he meets Devin—charming, gorgeous, and way out of his league. With a little bit of help from Kara, James leaves with Devin to indulge in a night together, which is as much time as he’s bound to get with a guy as hot as Devin. He doesn’t expect the easy rapport that quickly develops between them, and when the weather conspires to keep them together, James wonders if this could be more than just a weekend fling.

My Review:

Just a Drive by Tere Michaels
4.5stars

So, I found out it’s not too hard to forget that a snarky MC shares your youngest sons name; not when it’s Wyatt Walsh. Wyatt, he just wants to get into the pants of young shy Benji Tramell and he finally gets his chance. But fate throws a wrench is Wyatt’s plans as he tries to do the morning after sneak out and gets an emergency call from his BFF needing help. Without a car, license or anyway to get to her, shy Benji offers to drive Wyatt to Raven; a six hour drive with the boy who is SO not who he seemed at fist fuck, er um, glance.

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Regularly Scheduled Life (Ohio Books #1) by K.A. Mitchell

January 11, 2014

5820384Summary:

It’s a long way back to happily ever after.

Sean and Kyle have enjoyed six perfect years of what their friends called a “disgustingly happy” relationship. But what happens one sunny Tuesday morning in October might be more than even the most loving couple can survive.

When the bell rings that morning in chemistry teacher Sean Farnham’s first-period class, a terrifying sound fills the halls–gunshots. Without considering the consequences, Sean runs to tackle the shooter, sustaining a bullet wound to his leg. Despite his actions, he is unable to save the lives of the principal and two students.

Architect Kyle DeRusso hears about the shooting on the radio, and in the flash of an instant finds his life irrevocably altered. Everything–especially his heart–hangs suspended in a nightmare until he finds out Sean is alive. It doesn’t matter that Sean will be left with a permanent limp. Kyle’s just relieved the worst is over.

Or is it? Putting that day behind them isn’t as simple as it sounds. As Sean struggles to make something positive out of the tragedy, Kyle fights to save their relationship from the dangers of publicity–and Sean’s unwillingness to face how the crisis has changed him.

My Review:

With romance the standard is to have the meet cute, the falling in love, the big misunderstanding and then the reconciliation/happily ever after. It’s rare that you get a book where the couple has already found each other, are living their happily ever after only to have it taken from them. You get that with Regularly Scheduled Life and it is amazing.

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The Island by Lisa Henry

January 4, 2014

13409189Summary:

Shaw is in Fiji to sell a stolen painting to the crime boss, Vornis. It will be the deal of a lifetime, if Shaw can pull it off. But then Vornis parades his latest toy around in front of him—a captured DEA agent whose time is running out. It’s none of Shaw’s business, and it doesn’t matter that under any other circumstances Lee would be exactly Shaw’s type: he’s young, he’s hot, and he might even have a personality if they hadn’t beaten it out of him. Too bad there’s no way Lee is getting off the island. Too bad there’s nothing Shaw can do for him. And too bad there are some lines that even Shaw won’t cross.

Keeping his hands off Lee proves harder than he thinks, but Shaw’s not stupid enough to fall for the tortured captive of a dangerous crime boss, is he? If he did, it wouldn’t be just his job he would be risking—it would be his life.

Publisher’s Warning: Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find elements of this story disturbing.

My Review:

My hands are shaking as I type this. Not from fear but from adrenaline that is still flowing through my body 8hrs after finishing this book. I am still on edge. I am still back on that island in Fiji wondering just what is going to happen. Wondering when Shaw will bend, when Lee will be okay and just flat out being mindfucked in the most thorough way possible.

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Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft

January 3, 2014

16153886Summary:

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

Note: This is a revised, stand-alone edition of the story originally published in the Hidden Conflict anthology in 2009.

My Review:

It seems that my first love is my true love and I am head over heels for historical m/m romance. This, this was no exception but it may have set the bar for future books to come. How can a story told in journal form by the two MC’s filled with ships, sails, storms, stow away secret longing, sacrifice and no sex on the page be as wonderful as it was? It just was, Alex Bancroft gave me a wonderful and unique love story like no other.

No man is an island, entire of himself, says John Donne, but two may be together, needing nothing else.

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Pre-Release Review: Payoff (Market Garden #6) by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

January 3, 2014

19292809Summary:

Tristan and Jared have got it made. When they aren’t raking in the cash together at Market Garden, they’re burning up their own sheets and getting closer by the day. But something isn’t right. Tristan’s on edge, and Jared doesn’t understand why.

Before they can hash things out, their services are requested by none other than Rolex. And Rolex doesn’t just want to be a bystander this time. He wants Jared while Tristan watches, and he’s more than willing to pay for it.

But Tristan’s reached a breaking point, and even that huge wad of cash might not be enough to keep tonight’s arrangement from crashing and burning.

My Review:

Oh! These boys! Jared and Tristan were my first official m/m romance with Quid Pro Quo. Yeah, I don’t do anything slow, I jump right in with both feet and total determination. I was not disappointed in what I got. Far from it. In just the few pages I got from Jared’s POV as he finally had the opportunity to be with Tristan, even if it was paid for by the john we only know as “Rolex,” it was worth it. These two were my first, they…for lack of a better term, popped my m/m romance cherry and they will always hold that coveted title.  No, I don’t think highly of myself to say that, I think highly of them to say it.

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Gaudete by Amy Rae Durreson

December 31, 2013

19180938Summary:

Every Christmas, child chorister Jonah Lennox used to meet Callum Noakes at Aylminster cathedral when Callum’s mother came to sell roasted chestnuts at the market. After years of friendship, an argument separates them, apparently forever. Putting away the memories of his lost friend, Jonah left the cathedral and moved on with his life.

When Jonah returns to the cathedral after ten years away, the market in the cathedral brings back memories—and Callum, who has made a life for himself as a woodturner. Upon meeting again, attraction pulls them together, and the holiday may inspire their old friendship to mature into new romance
 
 

My Review:

Tempus ad est gratiae,/It is now the time of grace,
Hoc quod optabamus;/That we have desired;
Carmina laetitiae,/Let us sing songs of joy,
Devote redamus/Let us give devotion.

Oh. I have no idea where to begin with this. What an utterly gorgeous story. I loved the voices of both Callum and Jonah. What a unique way to tell the story from past to present and the switch that accompanies it.

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