Luke’s freaking screwed. He’s come out to his family, and his friends. Except there’s a certain someone who doesn’t know yet: his neighbor of 7 years. Who also happens to be his best friend. Who Luke needs to tell the truth, but he just . . . can’t . . . seem to . . .
Jeremy’s freaking over-the-moon. It’s the countdown to his 15th birthday, and his goal is simple. No matter what, he’s going to spend heaps of time with saucy Suzy. But first he needs to get his over-protective, no-girlfriend-'cause-you’ll-get-her-pregnant parents off his back. And what better way than pretending he’s gay?
Sam, Luke, and Jeremy. Three guys who have a lot of history together, and a lot of future too—
—well, if they can sort out their issues, that is.
Firstly a huge thank you to Heather K whose review convinced me to try this book. I did not regret one minute of it. I absolutely LOVED this book. My all time favourite trope in any book, ever, since I was old enough to read lurve stories has been best friends falling in love. I just love it. Heather said in her GR review that she loves GFY (gay for you) stories and quite often in M/M friends to lovers also translates as GFY, this is one of those books.
Okay, so where do I start with this love fest of a review - because quite honestly I adored it all. The characters - Sam, about to turn 30 and forced to grow up too fast. Having a child at the age of 15 is not ideal by anyone's standards, I loved how Anyta Sunday portrayed Sam's relationship with Jeremy though. He was a great father, he had an amazing relationship with his ex-partner even though they were ex's and had had a baby at such a young age. He needed to relive the 'lost' years of his youth and twenties - but he did it so responsibly. It was so damn cute and adorable. Also his growing attraction to Luke. Ungh. Eli Easton is in danger of losing the UST (unresolved sexual tension)crown to Anyta Sunday....
I love reading UST. *fans self*
Luke. Wow - I love Luke. UST. UST. UST.
So he came out....just not to the person he's in love with. His best friend. Uh oh.
Yep - I loved Luke.
And Luke and Sam.
And Sam and Luke. Get the idea?
And as a bonus we had some of Jeremy's storyline too. He pretends to be gay so his mum doesn't worry about him getting some girl pregnant (she knows allllll about that) that way he figures he can have all the alone time with his girl he needs - after all they're just friends, right?? Wiley lad. The thing is his best friend is gay....I so want his story next!!
All in all this is a book about friendship, family and love. My three favourite components to any story. Plus did I mention the UST?? Not so much a review as a love fest for how much I love this book. Read it y'all.
Great characters, great storyline and HOT lovin'. Anyta Sunday is a genius.
Thrace, as the alien calls himself, seems friendly enough. However, he has abilities that are far beyond human. And he comes with word that others of his race are already on Earth.
Joaquin's friendship with Thrace takes him into danger and chaos as he learns the terrible truth of why the aliens have come to Earth. He and his friends must find some way to help Thrace stop his people, or the human race will suffer the consequences.
The only thing that Joaquin now knows for certain is that our world will never be the same.
Okay so when the author of Hybrids: Arrival contacted BMBR he said;
It is not a romance. I want to put that out there up front because that may mean it's not the right fit for your site. There is a gay romantic subplot between the leads, but it is primarily an adventure story.
If it doesn't fit with your site, then that is perfectly fine. And if not, and you still want a free copy, I'll happily send you one.
So of course (being the greedy little reader I am) I said YES PLEASE with the vague notion at the back of my head that I probably wouldn't review it here - but you know what, I loved this book so much there is no way I'm not reviewing it. So what if it's YA (we're not exclusively adult) and so what if it's more sci fi than romance (the romance is still there), if I read a book I love I want the world to know about it. So here it is, my review.
Chris O'Guinn has an effortless writing style that makes reading so easy. From page 1 I fell in love with the characters and I cared so much about them I couldn't put the book down. Joaquin is a teenager in pain and in self-destruct mode. His dad, his hero, had died prior to the start of our story and he was doing everything to obliterate the pain of that. He wasn't a selfish kid though he was just hurting, when he witnessed the space craft crashing, he be-friended not only Thrace (the alien) but Arturo the UFO geek, and so along with the adventure started the healing process.
I loved the dynamics of the friendships in this book. Joaquin, Thrace, Arturo, along with Joaquin's best friend Sylvia, tried to save the human race. The book is very action based but also very emotion based - a lot of Joaquin's and Thrace's decisions are based on their emotions, particularly the grief of loss. This is so human and it made the writing feel so natural and it made me so attached to the characters.
Now sci-fi is not my favourite genre, that did NOT put me off this one bit. In fact to me love and betrayal are the key components in this story. In a world infiltrated by aliens these very human feelings led this story. Decisions were made based on gut instinct of right and wrong, of the need to protect and save friends. It really was just a lovely story.
Annnnd the romantic sub-plot - I LOVED how this flavoured the story and the choices the characters made. It was subtly hidden all the way through, just there, bubbling beneath the surface. I think sometimes love doesn't need to be blatant and love that forms from friendship is always the best. It was that perfect secondary story-line, the simmering love that's never quite mentioned and I WILL be reading the next book in the series to see how Thrace and Joaquin's relationship develops.
Chris O'Guinn is definitely going on my list of auto-buy authors from now on and I would recommend this book to everyone, especially lovers of YA.
A copy of this book was given to us by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The head of Global Pictures Studios, Vincent Franklin, promised Jack Stone that he would take care of Jack’s loyal driver, Juan. But for a dominant man like Vincent, Juan’s natural submissiveness causes him to long for much more from the shy young man.
Juan is devastated when his only friend, film star Jack Stone, leaves Hollywood for good. Lonely most of his life, the shy young man has dreamt of love, only to have his heart broken repeatedly. Before he left, Jack made certain that Juan would be taken care of by asking his ex-boss, studio chief Vincent Franklin, to hire him on.
Vincent Franklin is an incredibly controlled and meticulous man. Not given to emotional outbursts and unnecessary flights of fancy, his temperament is ideal for the stressful and demanding job as head of Global Pictures Studio. He leads a carefully concealed private life, his only social outlet being the S&M club to which he belongs. When Jack introduces him to his handsome chauffeur Juan, he is struck by how naturally submissive Juan is. He wonders…
Soon, Juan is falling for the elegant, older man that is his new boss. He’s also thrilled when Vincent asks him to be his personal valet. But there are things that Vincent demands of a lover that Juan knows nothing about. Things that could make him run away from the man that would do anything to protect and care for him.
I've so wanted Juan's story since book 3, so when I saw Studio Orders pop up in my FB feed I had to have it. *grabby, greedy hands*
We knew Juan had his own HEA in book 4, but now we have the sweet, loving and delicious deets. And it was delicious. *licks lips*
Poor Juan, that boy just falls in love too easily. He has this huge heart that he opens up to everyone he meets and then it gets crushed. After his latest love doesn't return the emotion, Jack sets Juan up with a job for the studio head, Vincent. And Vincent sees more in Juan then even Juan knows about himself.
"It was easy to tell that Mr. Franklin demanded perfection. Juan wanted to be the one to give it to him."Juan has this deep desire to please and he doesn't see it as being anything more than just wanting to do his job. But Vincent knows exactly what it means. Luckily enough, Vincent knows just what to do with a sweet boy who needs someone to please. *bites lip*
"At last Juan was able to give form and meaning to his desire to please. He wanted to belong to someone. It was so simple, yet had seemed to unattainable."I kind of loved how clueless and innocent Juan was about his own desires and what it meant. Juan and Vincent were nowhere near perfect and made plenty of mistakes along the way. Again, this is one of the things I like most about this series. All the realness.
Vincent and Juan made a wonderful couple. They balanced each other out perfectly and, holy damn, they were hot together. Juan was pretty innocent but that didn't mean he wasn't willing to try and experiment with all sorts of yummy toys. And the dialogue! *swoon*
"I love you, my very good boy"Not only were they hot, but they were more than loving and understanding together. There was opportunity for the Big Misunderstanding to occur (you know what I'm talking about) but, thank the lord, it was only a little misunderstanding and they moved on from it pretty quickly. They had this thing called communication going on. Now, they weren't open all the time, but enough to create angst without it being unnecessary.
Studio Orders was the perfect combination of sweet, steamy, BDSM and gritty realness. I was more than happy with Juan's very own HEA.
A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Just out of prison, Alex knows firsthand that the justice system doesn’t treat poor and rich equally, so he’ll have to go outside the law to avenge his brother’s death. When an innocent man lands in the middle of his plans, he doesn't know what to do… other than take him hostage. Unfortunately, he never planned on having to deal with Stunt or with the twisted logic that passes for reasonable in Stunt’s mountain home.
She's the type of writer that could probably write about a tree stump with a need to be dominated and a pine cone that likes to dominate falling for one another and I'd read it in a heartbeat. Some writers have a signature sign, or tell, that once you read a story, you know it's 100% them. This was definitely a Lyn Gala read with her sub that was tethered from time to time. I love reading about it. *grins* And the words are like a favorite treat that savor every time I read.
Set in the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee, Mountain Prey is a romance between a forestry technician (Stunt aka Stewart) who was at the wrong place at the right time and Alex, an ex-con criminal with a mission. They meet from chapter one and start a whirlwind affair that includes hill folk, mountain logic, drug dealers, a beautiful, vivid background, kink without being too heavy, light suspense and a fun time. Alex kidnaps Stunt and gets a lot more than he bargained for. What happens when a city boy and a hill boy that share a compatible D/s bond get together? One helluva story.
Stunt! Yes, his nickname is Stunt (It actually fits him) He is my brother from another mother based on his smart mouth alone.
"Wham, bam, thank you, man with the big cock, that's how Stunt tried to love his life."or
"I'm starting to wonder if you're having second thoughts with all the stupid that keeps falling out your mouth."I have tons of quotes especially Stunt's. When I can claim to have oodles of quotes from one book, you know it was a great story. Stunt was unapologetic for who he was and how he chose to live his life. The adrenaline junkie likes to be dominated, likes being tied up and is not ashamed of being gay despite the Southern mountain town he grew up in. I could hear him with his twang in my head. If you think he's just a characters for laughs or dumb, think again. He's intelligent and plucky to boot. His logic, based on mountain logic was a joy to read. I was surprised he was so free with who he was especially where he lived. It made for a better read in my opinion.
The story is told from Stunt's POV but we get a good sense of Alex. He's damaged, has a chip on his shoulder and also not a stereotype just because he's an ex-con. Plus being a caretaker Dom doesn't hurt. I liked his scenes lots. And the geeky twist made him dreamier.
"Sometimes it scares the snot out of me that I can't understand you. How am I supposed to make sure I'm not doing something monumentally dangerous when I'm in the middle of some backward land where good is bad and suicide is a choice and killing someone you've known since they were born makes sense?"
The two have to include a local moonshiner, Elijah in their plans which totally changes the entire scheme. We get a glimpse into Appalachian life without of cheapening its people. A little suspense is added to the mix, nothing ulcer inducing, but it was a nice touch.
Stunt has a special...gift or talent, if you will. Those scenes between Dom and sub were extra special. I totally bought their connection.Was it a little insta-lovey? In terms of the shotgun wedding...yes. But it totally fit their dynamic. This is one story I am not going to gripe about their speediness. Hello, there's a frigging shotgun wedding! Literally!
The secondary character, Elijah! I thought he was going play into the hillbilly stereotype, moonshine making, bible thumping, shotgun toting anti-government promoting...wait he does these things, come to think of it. BUT he's more progressive than I originally thought he would be. And I fell for the curmudgeon. Many favorite quotes from him:
"Wait", Alex said, "you don't mind that we're gay?"
Elijah shrugged. "I figure you'll go to hell, seeing as how the Bible calls that one of those abominations. But until you get yourself dead, it ain't none of my business. Actually, it ain't my business even after you're dead, seeing as how I don't intend to be down in hell with all the fornicators and such."
"Barefoot and pregnant. After the ruckus last night, I suppose I wouldn't be all that shocked if you managed it," Elijah muttered as Stunt passed him.The old man made me want to call him my Peepaw. Definitely a memorable secondary character.
Stunt was officially in hell. It was like getting caught by his parents having sex. Worse...kinky sex.
The BDSM was not extreme. (Some bondage and spanking fun, yum!) I had to stretch reality for a smidge to even consider a shotgun wedding in Tennessee between men possible. (And after reading, I kinda wish it was a possible thing) For someone who has never been to this part of the country, it read authentic and I felt like I visited through the words alone. I learned about forestry technicians and Appalachian mountain life. The ending was great. I do love a solid HEA. I can actually picture this couple many years together, imagine their bond becoming even closer in the future.
A perfect quote to end my review. Very fitting after reading and appreciating this tale.
"Mountain logic has a lot more logic than people think."This read is highly recommended.
Thanks to Lyn Gala for being our March Author of the Month!
Ever since Troy inherited the family roller skating rink, he's been struggling to keep it successful, both for his own sake and in memory of his parents. But on the eve of a loan that will allow him to revitalize the aging rink, his relationship with his boyfriend, Zane, is struggling. It's time for him to prove to Zane once and for all that he's The Best Thing on Eight Wheels, and their relationship comes first. Then, Ish, an archaeologist, and Kabal, a cop, live in different times and on different worlds, but a couple of times a year they can steal some small measure of time together, and their love only continues to grow despite the long silences. So it's with eager joy Ish journeys to meet his lover for A Time Traveler's Valentine, at least until Kabal announces that the nature of their relationship is about to change, forever. Nolan isn't expecting more than a normal date, so when his boyfriend, Sean, goes all out with an open bar and mysterious plans, he's intrigued. Turns out it's Tattoo Day—the anniversary of Sean's tattoo in honor of their relationship—and Sean has big plans to make the day forever memorable.
Jeremy and Bobby have a relationship that is stressed to the max. Working opposite schedules, the two barely have a chance to kiss hello and goodbye as they drop off to sleep or rush out to work. When their days off finally sync up, the two long-time lovers will spend Nights Burned Up in Flame as they reignite their romance and rediscover each others' hot spots. Thomas has the hots for fellow dog owner, Anton, but he's Dogged by insecurity, and outing himself to acknowledge his feelings seems like too big a risk. At least until Anton invites him out for coffee, where their bond has a chance to grow. As their dogs Biscuit and Muffin play, Thomas is ready to put himself on the line in the hopes that his friendship with Anton could be so much more. Finally, Phillip, CEO of the company BookTrader, may be openly gay, but he's also not above donating himself to a bachelor auction in the name of a good cause. But when he puts himself on the auction block, the person who seizes the moment is the last one Phillip expects. When the gavel drops, Phillip is Sold! in more ways than one.
The Best Thing on Eight Wheels by D.K. Jernigan and K. Piet 3.5 ♥s
Well, that was darn cute.
This was set at a roller rink, so that title? Ugh. So cute.
I always enjoy stories about established couples and this was really no exception. Even though we didn't get to see the beginnings of Zane and Troy's relationship, I still felt all the feels between them. This was all about Troy's set up and proposal to his boyfriend so it was adorable, sweet and just romantic.
A Time Traveler's Valentine by Blaine D. Arden 3 ♥s
Hm. I'm still trying to figure out what actually happened in this short story. I know there was a cop and an archeologist. I also know that there was time travel involved and they could only see each other every once in a while. On scheduled days? I'm not completely clear.
Even so, I still liked the relationship that Ish and Kabal shared and the pure joy they shared when they were together.
Tattoo Day by Raven de Hart 3.5 ♥s
D'awwww! Another cute one to add to this little anthology. Nolan is instructed by his boyfriend to meet him at a bar, which is only the first of his 'instructions'. Basically, Sean has some shenanigans planned for Nolan that just get cuter and cuter by the second.
Nights Burned Up in Flames by Emily Moreton 1.5 ♥s
I didn't get the point of this story.
Jeremy and Bobby are overworked and stressed and they barely get time to see each other. They finally find the time one night and (I guess) they have a little BDSM action together. Which is fine, more than fine, great even! I love BDSM! But it was weird. Bobby had some different reactions than what I would have suspected and I just didn't understand why. Why did he react that way to his boyfriend? I have no idea.
Then it was over. *shrugs*
Dogged by D.K. Jernigan 3.5 ♥s
This was a bunch of fluffy, sticky sweetness.
Thomas and Anton have been meeting on Friday nights to walk their dogs together. Never mind that their dogs are named Muffin and Biscuit. It only added to the cuteness. Anyway, Thomas always looks forward to their Friday meets because he's got the hots for the cute pet owner. One thing leads to another and they end up having a very sweet Valentine's Day together.
Sold! by Erik Moore 3.5 ♥s
Auctions and secret admirers made for a fun short story.
Although predictable, I enjoyed the way the auction played out and how Philip got a man he didn't even know he wanted. This was definitely the hottest story in the bunch and, yeah, is probably why it was my favorite.
As with any anthology, some were better than others. All were cute and romantic and perfect for Valentine's Day.
A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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A Texas Piney Woods Story
Rural East Texas, 1931. Preacher’s son Emory Joe Logan and a fiddler from Shreveport, Glory Lands, meet and form a tender bond. When they are caught and arrested for homosexual acts by Sheriff Elihu Bishop, the lawman’s sanctimonious bigotry threatens to rip the young men from their families.
Emory Joe’s father, Pastor Charles Logan, is brought to his knees in terror, confusion, and anger. He still regrets not standing up against Bishop when the lawman murdered a youth in cold blood nine years ago.
Now there’s no longer a choice for the preacher to stand up to the lawman. Cold-blooded justice, bigotry-disguised-as-religion, and hatred take on a whole new meaning when they’re standing on his doorstep, ready to take the son he loves.
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
“Softly and Tenderly”—Will L. Thompson
This book..... I truly don't know where to begin. There have been lots of 5 star books for me. I'm a star slut, what can I say. There have been many of those 5 star books that I have said "that book will stay with me for a long time". Some of those books are still with me and some are not. This book, I will never forget. It will be the story I tell in the nursing home long after dementia has robbed me of my faculties. Everyone will think it's nonsense but I'll recount the details of this story as though I witnessed them firsthand. That is the power these words had on me. I have heard people say that a book changed them. I may have said similar words myself without realizing, until now, just how much a book can change a person.
This was not an easy book to read. In fact the first few pages are downright brutal. Then you get to witness a love so pure and beautiful it brings you to tears. Lots of tears. Of course those happy tears are nothing compared to the tears of agony that just about destroyed me toward the end of this book. I sobbed and wept without control. I finally had to put the book down and take a walk outside to calm down because I could no longer see the words for the tears. I know this all sounds very melodramatic but I kid you not, these words, this story.....just absolutely amazing!
The hopeful note this book ends on is the only thing keeping me together right now. The strength of these characters and the knowledge that their love for one another got them trough the events described in this book will inspire me for the rest of my days.
Everyone enjoys different types of books. This one may not affect you the way it did me but I challenge you to read it and not cry for Emory Joe and Glory Lands.
**This review has been posted on Goodreads. This is for you, Lori! <3 font="">
College hockey player Austin Puett is in trouble. Unless he starts treating his flamboyantly gay roommate with respect, he’ll lose his room and his job at Rear Entrance Video. But Austin’s got a not-so-straight secret of his own: nothing turns him on more than insults implying he’s gay—even though he’s definitely not!—and all his old coping methods have stopped working.
Pure desperation drives him to rent a Mischievous Pictures porn flick about straight men tricked into servicing Puck, a male dominant. Instead of letting off steam, though, it just leaves him craving more, more, more, and suddenly, Austin finds himself at Mischievous Pictures Studios for an audition. After all, you can be Gay For Pay and still be straight . . . right?
But meeting Liam Williams, the real person behind Puck, confuses Austin even more. Liam really seems to like him as a person, and Austin likes him back. And while Gay For Pay’s okay, what does it make Austin if he still wants Liam when the cameras aren’t rolling?
|This was the story I've waited for!|
That shit was tight!
Austin is a college hockey athlete that sees the world in black and white. He never considered the gray. Austin is a jock, so that means he's straight in his mind. There's just that boner problem he gets when a teammate or another guy calls him a derogatory name. He loves being humiliated. He's had this predilection for years. And his boner situation continues to get worse. Could it be from working a gay porn store? Or maybe having gay roommates? The thoughts can't seem to get out of his head, his internal struggle is major, Dude. He goes to some extreme measures to punish himself for his feelings. For Austin, he can't be gay, he's a jock. But the thought of being made to suck another man off, being made to submit...he can't deny it. He's repressed, in major denial and can be downright offensive. He might come off as prick especially to his roommates (okay, some of the stereotypes he spouted made me want to kick his ass) but there's something about Austin. There's a bit of naivete and vulnerability when you look under his prickly, foolish ways.
Austin tries a new therapy, watching gay porn. He watches STRAIGHT SUB SETUP (Yes the title is exactly as it sounds) and falls in lust with Master Puck, the big dick porn star that seems to handle straight guys into submissiveness with ease. Austin can't help but fantasize about him. And when he actually gets to meet Master Puck aka Liam Williams at Rear Entrance Video, it seems that Austin's perfect solution for getting rid of his urges has appeared. Austin can be the next straight sub to submit to Master Puck. It won't make him gay, right Bro?
From the first meeting, reading Liam and Austin brought a smile to my face. Liam/ Master Puck opens Austin's eyes, handles Austin with ease. Austin worries about labels, his sexuality and himself. It was great to see Austin grow. The story was not heavy with angst or drama. Also, for a book about a porn store worker and a porn star, it was not all about sex. (Don't worry, there's sex and it's smutastic.) There's plot, Dude! (The dirty talk was amazing...*bites lips*)
Liam. *breathy sigh*
He's the type of main character that lingers on the brain. He's such a great Dom. He's not the omnipotent, alpha-hole type of Dom that I've read in stories that do it wrong. He's attentive, caring and just down right sexy. (And the penis piercing is a bonus, Bro!) He's not perfect, his dick doesn't solve the world's problems nor does he use his dick as his brain. The story was based from Austin's POV, so we don't get to explore Liam's POV. All that is shown about Liam, I really enjoyed.
Bro, Dude, the story is mostly about Austin's self acceptance. Identifying as gay or straight was not as important. His lines are blurred, he learned to see the gray. The ending is HEA in my book. It works for Austin and Liam's type of relationship.
Do you need to read the series in order or the previous books before reading Straight Shooter? Nope. This book can be read as a standalone. But dude, you're totally missing out on a rocking series.
BDSM Heavy? Not really. The humiliation kink was a nice touch. But you don't have to clutch your pearls if you're not into the heavier side of the spectrum. I'd say maybe a 5 from a scale from 1-10, where 10 is hella heavy, Dude!
Recommended? Fuck yeah, Bro! I gobbled this shit up in a day! Definitely one of my favorite books of the year, Bro! *chest bump*
P.S. Austin was in major denial and word vomited how straight he was to all. So much so that I developed my own straight-boy-in-the-closet situation. I've named him Hank. All the Bro's and Dude's in this review are totally his. Hank's hella straight, Bro! Fucking A, Bro! (Ignore him not the book, Bro!) *fist bump*