Review: Urgent Care (Hearts & Health, #3) by D.J. Jamison

Nursing student Xavier James is shocked to run into the first man to ever break his heart while at a gay club. His ex is sexier than ever, but Xavier is not going down that road again ... only, when they end up working together at an urgent-care clinic, his willpower will be tested.

Trent Cavendish made a huge mistake at age 18 when he walked away from his first love. Twelve years later, Trent is rattled when his friend suddenly dies. He takes a hard look at his life, realizing how empty it has become. Determined to re-evaluate his priorities and make amends, he returns to his hometown to win Xavier's forgiveness and maybe even his heart.

Times have changed. Instead of the sweet but tame boyfriend he left behind, he finds a smoking hot man dressed in bits of lace and silk. Trent's good intentions turn to lust, and love isn't far behind. But Xavier is wary. The villain of his memories is proving to be a decent guy, but has he really changed or is Xavier just a new goal to chase?




Standard disclaimer from the in-house MANTIES enthusiast: there were MANTIES and I maybe squealed some. <----total lie. I squealed like a pig. 

I will probably squeal some here too. And there could be a pic or two. Because, y'know, MANTIES!

Jamison is a new to me author but as soon as I saw the words "lace and silk" in the blurb my heart did a recognizing a kindred spirit pitterpat. I hit the request button faster than you can say sing thon-tha-tha-tha-thonggggg even though this is the third book in a series, but this book can be read as a standalone. There are secondary characters that I'm fairly certain were featured in the previous books but nothing happened that left me scratching my head. So go forth and get your MANTIES on, peeps!


Xavier and Trent were high school sweethearts. They planned to attend college together then go on to med school but life happened and Xavier didn't feel like he could leave his family at the time. This wound up hurting them both and caused a rift to form between them.

Twelve years later Trent finds himself at a crossroads and mired in a "mid-life crisis" of sorts subsequent to the suicide of his close friend. He realizes surgery has become the focal point of his life and maybe that's not such a good thing. So he decides to try to win back the heart of the love of his life and make some changes, mainly of getting out of the OR and interacting with patients who are actually conscious.

Xavier is working on becoming an RN when Trent returns and he puts Trent through his paces. It's clear that Trent's leaving was a pivotal moment in his life; it shattered his trust and everyone since has felt the brunt of that mistrust.

One of the things that makes this trope work for me is a slow burn rather than jumping right back in where things left off and not addressing the precipitating event. Jamison did a great job re-establishing their connection, showing their desire for one another and making me believe they belong together.

She also fleshed out both of these characters well showing their personality characteristics. They compliment each other personality wise and both are receptive and responsive to the other's perspective. Xavier also has close familial ties whereas Trent's parents are and have always been distant, so that is yet another way they're good for each other which always resonates with me.

What am I forgetting? Oh! The MANTIES!!!!!! 


They were GRRRRRRR-EAT! *growls*

Xavier is big and muscular from his landscaping day job but he likes a lil silk and lace to help him get in touch with his feminine side. He also likes to put on a bit of makeup from time to time. *stumbles* And then he pulls his dreads up in a man bun! *thud*

I wasn't mad at it. At all. Neither was Trent. I so SO like it when there is MANTIES acceptance and appreciation. Nothing worse than MANTIES shaming. Xavier is not shy about what he likes and neither is Trent and their sex was stellar. I particularly liked that scene when the MANTIES got destroyed. Oops. *slow grin*

There are two things I found odd the first being the D/s stuff. All of that was clunky and awkward. I'm not sure how or why Trent believed Xavier was submissive. Maybe because he always bottomed when they were together in high school? I'm not sure but I'm guessing Xavier's 9" cock had something to do with that deal which leads to the second thing I found odd. Xavier can recognize that he's changed over the last twelve years but the concept that Trent could too seems to elude him. His inability to recognize the growth of someone else when he's being smacked in the face with the evidence of that growth seemed incongruous with his intelligence and his character.

Those minor quibbles notwithstanding this is a must read for MANTIES enthusiasts! And the peeps who enjoy second chance romance. And MANTIES enthusiasts!

One to grow on.





A review copy was provided.


Review: Love Wanted by John Inman

When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.

Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.

Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.

When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.

Greed.

With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?


It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of John Inman’s words. His books always make me feel good regardless of their genre. Even his “horror” stories can give me warm feels and don’t get me started on the love pollen. His good guys are easy to root for, faults and all and in Love Wanted the author took that comfort I’ve come to love and presented it in a completely new and unique way.

When I first read the blurb I didn’t really know what to expect once I started reading. Honestly, this story could have gone in so many different directions and while the build-up was a little slow, actually I should say, it was “quiet”, the pace fit the story overall because I needed to read every angle and POV to appreciate all the characters fully. This story is told in a multitude of POV’s so you do have to pay attention but the story was more completely told because of the way it was written. I don’t think many authors can pull that off well, but John Inman can.

The story does not take the easy way out for an HEA for anyone and the conflict made the story much more realistic and the characters much more believable. The added option for a love interest for Larry gave a vehicle for the author to explore love and happiness from many more different angles elevating the story to much more than a love story between two MC’s and the whimsical dreams of an old man; it was a character study of love itself in its many forms.

Larry was my favorite from the get go even though he was more reserved than Bo. Then Jimmy shows up and Larry really started to blossom. While it was a love triangle per se, it wasn’t overly angsty, it was actually just more interesting. I’m not usually a fan of the triangle because I end up sad for someone, but this one really worked for me because the author dove deeply into the emotions beyond the actions.

All of my ramblings make this sound like a really serious tale, but there is a balance between the heavy ideas and the whimsical side of love and relationships. There are characters that provide the lighthearted side that the story needed mainly by way of Roger, Jeremy and Mrs. Price. I didn’t know what to make of Roger at first, I mean his ad that he placed for live in help could have been super pervy, but once you get to know the guy, you can’t help but like him and love his intentions. And his love story is just as good as Larry’s. Roger and Jeremy add the sass to the sauce and I loved it when I got to their page time.

Love Wanted is an incredibly well written and easy to read love story and it’s a perfect feel good tale that we all kind of need right now. Reading Love Wanted will remind you how amazing love can be.





**A copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Audiobook Release Blitz + Giveaway: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into Series #1) by Lane Hayes



Lane Hayes and IndiGo Marketing are promoting the Leaning Into Love Audiobook release blitz! See today's book info, listen to a sample and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Title:  Leaning Into Love
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #1
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrated By: Seth Clayton
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 16th
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Friends to lovers, surfer, white collar, San Francisco, bisexual

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Synopsis

Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

Listen to a Sample 

Excerpt

Zane refilled my glass and returned it to me with a naughty smirk. “You get kinda corny when you’re tipsy, Schuster. It’s cute.”

“Cute?”

“Yeah. You get goofy. Your ears turn red and it makes the freckles on your nose stand out. Then you do that thing with your hair where you swipe your hand through it so many times that it looks like you just rolled out of bed.”

“Uh…okay. That’s embarrassing.” I searched for a reflective surface as I attempted to pat my unruly brown hair into some semblance of order. “I was going for debonair and I got bar mitzvah kid chic,” I grumbled.

Zane leaned forward and gave me an intense look I didn’t understand.

“You don’t have to be anyone but yourself with me, Eric. I like you just the way you are.” He sat back again and cocked his head. “So let’s talk about this stupid engagement party. What’s the dress code?”

“Um… it’s probably dressy casual,” I replied with a furrowed brow. I wanted to back up a sentence or two and analyze his words and dissect the meaning of “I like you just the way you are”.

“The usual oxymoron,” he snarked. “You are going with me, right?”

“Sure. If you want.”

“I want. It’ll save us both the trouble of finding some poor unsuspecting sucker to drag to a fancy shindig.”

“True. Speaking of suckers, don’t you have a date tonight?”

Zane glanced at his watch and then stretched his legs out on the bench so his shoe nudged my thigh. “I’ve got time. Talk to me. What else have you been up to lately? I noticed there’s a new exhibit at the Modern Museum. Have you gone? I think it’s a midcentury retrospective with Motherwell and de Kooning. I know you like the scribbly art and…”

His conversation was easy. The gentrified version of his former surfer dude accent had a lilting quality I could have listened to for hours. I felt myself truly begin to relax and let go of the invisible hold I’d had on my emotions, like a swimmer grasping onto a ledge who finally realizes he can reach the bottom of the pool. Being with someone who knew quirky details about me and accepted them without judgment or reservation was a gift.

I treasured all of my friends, but Zane was special. Our friendship was rooted in geography and history and now time. He wasn’t making a romantic advance when he asked me to attend Nick’s engagement party with him. That was latent wishful thinking on my part. Zane was simply being who he always was. My oldest and best friend.

Available at Amazon 


Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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Review: Storm Season (Accidental Roots #1) by Elle Keaton

They say you can’t go home again, Adam Klay doesn’t intend to until the death of his father, a famous artist, forces his return to Skagit, Washington. Cleaning up his father’s chaotic life was never on Adam’s bucket list. Worse, Adam finds himself inexplicably drawn to the elusive, terminally-clumsy, gorgeous, Micah Ryan. No way is he getting involved with someone from his hometown; he’s always insisted the best view of Skagit was in his rearview mirror.

Micah Ryan has been coasting on auto-pilot since his family was killed in a car accident a decade earlier. He runs a web business and has an irritable cat. He hardly leaves his house, unless it is for his afternoon espresso. His world tips upside down when Adam Klay rolls into town. For the first time in years, he feels alive. Unfortunately, Micah’s return to the living has been noticed and is not appreciated.

Someone has a secret. Someone is exploiting the vulnerable youth population in Skagit. Teenagers are disappearing, young women turning up dead, the dirty secrets of Skagit are surfacing.



Oh yes. There's nothing like a new to me author with a book that I love, it's like finding a new great flavour of ice-cream. This book/author was one of those. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What started off as seemingly as a boy-returns-to-home-town-and-finds-love soon turned into much more. Yes, it did have those aspects. I loved Micah and Adam both. I was a tad concerned that Micah especially might turn into a bit od a stereotype, but the author managed his storyline well. Adam too was a great character to get to know. He was world-weary, maybe a tad grumpy... he wasn't perfect and I do like flawed characters. You know, ones with proper flaws, not the take-the-glasses-off-the-secretary-and-she's-suddenly-beautiful kind of flaws. D'ya know what I mean? Adam fitted that description and was the perfect opposite to Micah.What I really liked though was the mystery and the twists.

Books that have a bit of a twisty, turn-y, whodunnit-y feel to them are sometimes just what I crave. Especially when it sits alongside a romance. This was just that kind of story. I was hooked emotionally and mentally, I wanted Adam and Micah to have an HEA but I was also trying to figure out the mysteries in the plot. J'taime. <3. This worked well for me and I'm really looking forward to reading the next in the series and generally more by this author.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: From Ashes (Heathens Ink #3) by K.M. Neuhold


We're happy to host K.M. Neuhold and her From Ashes (Heathens Ink #3) blog tour! The author graced us with not only an excerpt of the contemporary romance but there is also a great giveaway! Three lucky winners will win an ecopy of From Ashes! Enter in rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


FROM ASHES
HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 3
K.M. NUEHOLD
M/M ROMANCE
RELEASE DATE: 08.22.17

From Ashes Cover

COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold
COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto
 
BLURB
“When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn't want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he'd taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?

I've been living a lie for 16 long years and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I'll never be able to turn him away.


“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox
I didn't have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?

**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone.

CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.
From Ashes Teaser 1

From Ashes Teaser 2

EXCERPT
The air in the room seems to shift as our laughter fades. I look over at Adam and find him looking back.

His eyes flick over my face like he’s searching for something and the crease between his brows makes me wonder what he’s thinking so hard about. I wonder for the millionth time how he kisses, what his lips taste like. I’ve never been this obsessed with kissing before but my brain is like a broken record lately.

Subconsciously, I feel myself leaning forward, and to my surprise, Adam is leaning forward too.

Our mutual approach is slow and measured, like we’re both afraid to scare the other off if we move too fast.

His breath smells like chocolate as it bathes my face and my hands start to tremble. I mentally send out a prayer to every deity I can think of not to let Adam come to his senses until after I get the chance to kiss him and know what it feels like for just a few seconds.

When his lips finally ghost against mine it’s like an electric jolt to every nerve ending. Then, he lets out a defeated sound and crushes his lips against mine and my heart nearly explodes out of my chest.

The kiss is sweet and exploratory as his tongue sweeps against my lips, seeking access. I open to him without hesitation, looping my arms around the back of his neck and pulling myself flush against him.

My skin feels like it’s the only thing keeping me from bursting into a million beams of light.

Adam’s hands gently roam my body. Not harsh and demanding like I’m used to, but reverently. Each breathy sound that falls from his lips between kisses burrows into my heart to make a permanent home.

Adam pulls his lips from mine and I whimper in protest. He presses his forehead against mine as we both attempt to catch our breath.

“I’m so sorry. God that was so inappropriate,”Adam laments in a pained tone.

“No.”I clutch desperately at the front of his shirt, unwilling to let him pull away. “Please, don’t tell me that the best moment of my life was a mistake.”

“You’re my employee, and you’re going through so much,”Adam argues weakly.

“I don’t care. Please, Adam, give it a chance. Give us a chance?”I don’t know what’s making me so bold, but now that I’ve had a taste of what it can feel like to have someone care about you, I can’t let it go, not without a fight.

“Okay,” Adam breathes after a second and I nearly cry in relief before scrambling into his lap and kissing him again.

More confident now, my tongue sweeps along the inside of Adam’s hot mouth. His hands grip my hips and then wander up my back, underneath my shirt. I shiver at the contact of his rough fingers against my skin.

As our kissing drags on with no attempt on Adam’s part to get my clothes off I start to feel out of my depth. I don’t think he’s been with a guy before so am I supposed to let him set the pace? Or, is he assuming I’ll lead? Then something else occurs to me...it’s only fair for me to tell Adam the full extent of my past before he makes the decision to be in a sexual relationship with me.

I force myself to end the kiss and lean back on his lap.

KM Neuhold Graphic
I'm an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.
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Audiobook Review: The Closet Boy (Iron Eagle #4) by Sean Michael

Way’ra Bernard is only twenty years old when his parents kick him out of the house. He has been brought up to believe being gay is wrong and he is going to go to hell for it. He tried very hard not to be gay but couldn’t change the way he felt. Now he’s living furtively in a closet on the third floor of the place he’s working as a janitor—the Iron Eagle Gym.

Neal McPherson is an unattached Dom in his midtwenties and a member of the gym. One evening after working out, he notices Way’ra on the stairs, and he’s immediately attracted and intrigued, so he asks Way’ra out. Unable to come up with a reason to refuse, and also interested in Neal, Way’ra accepts.

There are a lot of obstacles to the relationship they attempt to build after their date, not least of which is Way’ra’s upbringing and his lingering doubts about the kinky sex Neal enjoys. But with patience and persistence, Neal might convince Way’ra not only to accept himself, but to loosen his inhibitions enough to explore and find a happy ending together.

Narrated by: Jeff Gelder
Listening time: 7 hours and 18 minutes


Reviewer: Shee Reader

This is an interesting book, rich with classic Sean Michael insta-lust and soon insta-love, but I kind of liked that, in all honesty!

Way’ra is homeless so sleeps in a closet. Neal tries to coax Way out of his closet (pun intended) and is persistent in his wooing of the fragile young man. Way comes across as a lot younger than Neal, though the years are few, the experiences or lack thereof, makes a big difference. It could feel slightly predatory if not for Sean Michael’s unswerving pursuit of a happy ever after that always includes tonnes of sex!

I loved Way’s discovery that it’s ok to be gay and find happiness is charming, and that Neal wants to meet Way’s needs is cute. My favourite bit was the development of Way’s self esteem.
Jeff Gelder’s slightly breathy and bouncy delivery is unusual, but his voice is so lovely to listen to, that I got used to him in a few lines. The characterisation is super and the warmth is tangible. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve listened to it twice!

Highly Recommended.


I was given free copy of the audio book in exchange for an honest review.



Review: When Heaven Strikes by F.E. Feeley Jr.

Can love survive heaven’s wrath?

Artist Ted Armstrong lives a solitary and eccentric life. The survivor of child abuse disguised as religion, Ted has cut himself off from the world.

Then Ted meets Anderson Taylor, and it’s like being struck by lightning.

Anderson is a cardiac surgeon whose passion for his work has consumed him. He fears he’ll never find a partner—until he sets eyes on Ted. It’s happening fast, but both men know what they feel is right.

Confronted with an angry preacher, a scandal, and an act of God that threatens to destroy everything, their relationship will face its first true test.


This story is told in two parts. Part 1 is a dual POV between Anderson and Ted. Ted is an artist who is still healing the damage done to him by his fundamentalist Christian family. He is reclusive, and doesn’t want to put himself out there to be hurt by anyone. The most social he gets is when he does gallery showings to sell his art.

Anderson is a surgeon, and the story starts off with him as a child during a beach trip and his family’s reaction to him, while a storm blows through. It sets the tone of something dark and broody, and I was expecting something much more angsty than it actually was, based on that prologue.

Part 1 is the set up of Ted and Anderson’s meeting, and subsequent relationship. I enjoyed reading about how they met, and getting to know them. There is just enough collective backstory to understand why they are the way they are, and their reservations about connecting on an intimate level.

Part 2 introduces a fundamentalist preacher and his family. They appear briefly in the first part as door knockers, and this is about how their lives intertwine with Ted and Anderson at a later date.

This flip to entirely new character POV was somewhat confusing, but I wouldn’t call it bad. It set up the rest of the plot, and the overall message and resolution.

There were some things I found over the top. There is violence in this story, so reader beware. There is also a lot of homophobia from secondary characters. There is a tangled web to unravel and some mental illness thrown in for extra points. I’d say that the angst level turned up to the nth degree with a storm blowing in that mirrors the emotional storm that is plaguing the preacher and his wife and the lies they have lived with for most of their married life.

Being Atheist makes me view these types of stories a little differently than I imagine a Christian reader would see things. I appreciate faith based stories intellectually, but I don’t understand them the way I think I am meant to. I did enjoy the way this separated the fundamentalists from other Christian denominations, and that this was not a rejection of Christianity overall. God is very much present in this story, and it created an intellectual debate within my mind about what happens to create strictly fundamental cult like groups and how it is justified when hatred seems to be the driving force that fuels it. I thought that message came across strongly in this story.

Some minor editing errors that I was unable to overlook, but otherwise the writing was strong. This wasn’t hard to read, and only a small part dragged for me toward the end of the story.

I am certainly interested in this author’s other work and will be looking out for anything in the future.

Recommended for readers who enjoy religion in their stories, and those who are looking for something different in their MM romance.


I received a review copy from the author for an honest opinion

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Grounded by Aidan Wayne


Aidan Wayne and IndiGo Marketing visit the blog today with the Grounded blog tour! Find out more about this fluffy trans romance, read the exclusive excerpt and enter in the NineStar Press ebook giveaway!



Title: Grounded
Author: Aidan Wayne
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 21
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40000
Genre: Contemporary, chefs, children, contemporary, sports, gay, pansexual, trans

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35713199-grounded


Synopsis

Between raising his daughter Camille, his work as a full-time pastry chef, and his hobby of capoeira, Baz’s life is pretty full. He may be a little lonely, but he’s too busy to think about it all that much.

When his cousin Alaina introduces him to Terry, another capoeira student, Baz is instantly drawn to him. Though quiet and withdrawn, Terry ends up being a fun, interesting person who Baz can’t help but fall for. And when Baz does things, he doesn’t do them halfway.

Terry is a successful voice actor and a talented martial artist. But the fact that he’s shy, on top of being a trans man, has kept him from really dating. He likes Baz, he does—he just doesn’t want to mess up their friendship by failing at romance. Still, Baz is nothing if not stubborn, and Terry is willing to give things a try.

Exclusive Excerpt

Grounded
Aidan Wayne © 2017
All Rights Reserved



Baz called Alaina as soon as he got home, knowing she didn’t have class now. The only reason she hadn’t been in capoeira was because she was still working on her school project.
“Hello?”
“Hey, Alaina. How’s the schoolwork coming along?”
She let out a breath of air. “The video’s rendering now. Once it’s done, I’ll look it over to make sure it’s right, and then I can submit it. What’d I miss at capoeira?”
“We were practicing macaco em pé today, for the more advanced students.”
“Oh damn. I missed the last class where we did that. I’ve been wanting to learn it for weeks; I’m pretty good at my cartwheels, but I want to get those flips down.”
“Well, we’ve got a review week coming up. You can always learn it then. And I’m sure if you come to open time, Andre or Lydia wouldn’t mind teaching it to you.”
“Maybe. I can probably make it to open time tomorrow. Are you going?” Wednesdays were one of Baz’s days off.
“No. I don’t have to work on a routine for a while, so I figured me and Camille could take advantage of the evening and have a daddy-daughter night after we go to her kiddy-capoeira class.”
“Aw, nice. I bet she’ll love that.”
“I hope so.” He already had the dinner menu planned. “I can’t wait for July. It’ll be nice to be able to spend time with her on the regular, you know?”
“Yeah.” Her voice was soft. “I know.” Alaina understood best out of anybody how hard Baz worked.
“Speaking of spending time with people, I have a question for you about Terry?”
“Oh? Yeah?”
And abruptly, Baz realized he didn’t know what he wanted to ask. Or rather, he didn’t know how to ask without letting Alaina know he was interested, and he really didn’t want to be teased about it for the rest of his natural life. “He’s, uh, he’s kind of quiet, isn’t he?” Baz blurted out.
Alaina laughed. “I guess so? Quieter than we are. But he’s really nice. And I thought you had a good time with him on Thursday when you went to see that movie together.”
“I did. I was looking forward to seeing him today, but he wasn’t in class.”
“Aw. That’s a shame.”
“Yeah.”
“So what did you actually want to ask?” Trust Alaina to see right through him.
“Uh.” Damn it, Baz was an adult, he could come right out and say this. “He hasn’t, uh, has he ever mentioned a girlfriend or a boyfriend or anything?”
A short, sharp pause, then, “You like him!”
“I don’t know if I like him yet,” Baz said, mostly honestly, “But I figured I might as well find out if there was the possibility before I went ahead and decided that I did. Or didn’t.”
“Aw, I really wish I could help you. But he never has. He’s always been alone at capoeira, and even when we have meetups outside of class where we welcome plus-ones, he comes by himself, when he comes at all.”
“Oh.”
“I’m sorry. I wish I could help more.”
“No, it’s okay. I was just wondering. It’s fine.”
“You were not ‘just wondering’ because you’ve never done a thing halfway in your life. If you’re asking me at all, it means you’re interested.”
Baz sighed and shifted on the couch. “Okay, fine, maybe a little. He was really fun at the movies. And he’s cute.”
“I knew it. I knew you two would get along great.”
“Hey now,” Baz objected, “you only know about me. Neither of us knows about Terry yet.”
“Are you going to try to find out?”
“Well, yeah. ‘Try’ being the operative word though. I don’t want to just point-blank ask him and freak him out.” He was pretty sure it would be some sort of faux pas anyway, not that he’d had any recent experience. It’d be nice if he could though; Baz very much believed in meeting problems head-on.
“Yeah, no, I’ve no idea if that’d freak him out. He’s not the most…social person right off the bat. You have to get him to open up.”
“I’ll work on it,” Baz said. “I’d planned to text him today anyway. At least keep up the conversation. I was going to tell him about class.”
“Oh, good idea.”

“Thanks.”


Purchase Links

NineStar Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/grounded/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MFRVQB
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/740858
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grounded-aidan-wayne/1126944849
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/grounded-35


Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been a jeweler, paralegal, neurofeedback technician, and martial arts instructor. And that’s not even the whole list. They’ve been in constant motion since before they were born (pity Aidan’s mom!)—and being born didn’t change anything. When not moving, Aidan is usually writing, so things tend to balance out. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

Aidan has several plants: Viola and Baby V., the African violets; George, the ponytail palm; Antigone, the orchid; and an unidentified succulent, the-plant-that-has-not-yet-been-named-but-is-often-called-Steve. They live with their plants on the seventh floor of an apartment building. The building has an elevator, but Aidan refuses to acknowledge its existence.

Author Links

Website: http://aidanwayne.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justsayins

Tour Schedule

8/21 Hoards Jumble http://dtorini.wordpress.com
8/21 Urban Smoothie Read http://www.urbansmoothie.com
8/21 Boy Meets Boy Reviews https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com
8/21 Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter
8/22 The Novel Approach http://www.thenovelapproachreviews.com
8/23 Hearts On Fire Reviews www.heartsonfirereviews.com
8/23 A Book Lover's Dream Book Blog http://abookloversdreambookblog.com
8/24 Bayou Book Junkie http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com
8/24 Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews http://wickedreviews.blogspot.com
8/25 love bytes reviews www.lovebytesreviews.com
8/25 Stories That Make You Smile https://authoraddisonalbright.com
8/25 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com



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Review: Falling for Him by C.L. Mustafic

Doctor Gavin Addison’s marriage didn’t end on the friendliest of terms, and his estranged wife’s continual harassment has the local police visiting his home so often they’ve started calling him “the doc.” One of those cops, Officer Lex Turner, has a crush on the handsome doc, even though he knows there’s no chance the doc would ever consider dating a man.

A chance encounter on a crowded dance floor ends with both men in the same bed with the same woman—but with questionable results. When the doc wants to try that again, Lex becomes more involved than he’d dreamed possible as he helps his new friend navigate the kinkier side of sex. Knowing it’s just sex for Gavin, Lex finds it hard to keep his feelings hidden. But when Gavin finally figures out he has feelings for Lex that go beyond what a guy should feel for his buddy, will he let Lex convince him to take a chance with him—even if it turns both their lives upside down?





I know my updates prolly lead people to believe that I hated this book. I didn't. I have two main problems with it and a few quibbles which I will get to in a minute, but for a first book it's really not bad. The plot is straightforward slice of life friends to lovers, one of whom discovers he's bisexual. On paper it sounded like it was meant for me.

Gavin is in the midst of a divorce and his soon to be ex-wife is a crazy ex which is how he meets Officer Lex Turner. I'm not a fan of the crazy ex-girlfriend plot device in general and it went on far too long for my tastes.


Furthermore, it leaks like a sieve. Not to jump too far off the diving board but she's pretty much always been a bitch on wheels and Gavin just fooled himself into believing she's misunderstood or some such nonsense. But this level of unhinged? I didn't buy that she could stalk and harass him for months on end without him taking more drastic measures to protect himself, like hiring a private investigator to get her prosecuted sooner or installing a security system or maybe acquiring a guard dog. She's a menace and her antics escalate to ridiculous levels taking her from villainous to caricaturish quicker than you can say Ice Queen. Her motivations for harassing Gavin in the first place are thin and most of this struck me as added drama for added drama's sake which these two did not need, but I'll come back to that.

Now Gavin... there's a part of me that pities him and part of me that wanted to nut punch him. He's wishy washy, temperamental and milquetoastish, a trifecta I'm not crazy about. His character and the relationship altogether felt very m/f to me with the coquettishness, abundant giggling and the crying.


I'm pretty sympathetic to a wide range of human emotions and I know everyone needs a good cry once in awhile especially when there are hurt feels but MOTHER OF GOD! I know. I know. I sound hella bitchy when I say that but at some point I thought he'd realize it's not a productive use of time. Of course he didn't and reading about Gavin's mantears and hurt feels wore me out.

His relationship with Lex is fraught with hurdles. One too many hurdles if you ask me. Gavin wends up in a threesome with Lex and this is how their relationship begins. So be forewarned m/f sex occurs on page. Being a fan of the ménage I found these scenes possibly the hottest of them all. Through these interludes Gavin realizes he's attracted to Lex. Then the troubles began. Communication issues, misunderstandings, Lex is not out at work, the crazy ex again and again, Gavin's mother turns out to be a bigot which led to more dramatics that didn't add up for me which led to yet another big misunderstanding and so on and so forth. So many external dramatics that were unnecessary. They had enough to deal with within their relationship, so all the external kerfuffles were superfluous and skirted the soap opera line.


I could go into all the specifics of why some of these things seemed fabricated, but I think it can all be summed up by saying this book is trying too hard. I completely understand the desire to be thorough as someone who's quite verbose herself. I also appreciate the lure of dramatics to keep the pace uptempo but sometimes less is more. Many of the conversations became monotonous, didactic and even preachy at times. There are details upon details of every single minute of Gavin and Lex's lives that killed the pace. Making it tighter would've gone a long way towards making it a more successful read for me.

There are sweet and heartfelt moments between them and through the dual POVs it's clear they both care for the other and want to make it work. The author did a good job of fleshing out these characters as well as some of the secondary ones. The sexual chemistry is there, though I found some of the sex scenes somewhat awkward.

I have read, and quite liked, the short story by this author so I think much of this is firstbookitis. I would read something else by her and I would encourage anyone interested to go for it. If you like Gavin I think the read will be more successful for you than it was for me.



A review copy was provided.