BOOK REVIEW: The Billionaire’s Boyfriend by Geoffrey Knight

35265027[1]Release Date: July 18, 2017

Length: Novella (163 pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Cover Art: ????

Links: Amazon   Goodreads

Blurb:  Matthew Darcy is a romance writer in a rut. He’s been stuck on Chapter One of his new book for as long as he can remember, and so has his love life. But when his on-the-side job as a flower delivery guy puts him in the right place at the right time to save the life of billionaire banker Calvin Croft, Matt’s life takes an unexpected detour toward romance.

With billions to his name, Cal Croft has everything… except someone to love. But is Cal’s paparazzi-pursued life something that Matt is willing to take a chance on? Can a struggling romance writer who delivers flowers have anything in common with a handsome billionaire with his own Lear jet? And could the secret that Cal’s keeping tear these two lovers apart—just when their romance begins to blossom?

Review:4-Hearts

The Billionaire Boyfriend is a familiar story that doesn’t stray from the trope. This could conceivably be a bad thing, but it isn’t here. Romantic comedies are at their best when they stay in their lane– uncomplicated, over-the-top, and funny. And that’s all true for this book.

I liked Matt and his makeshift family a lot. The banter between them made me think of the BBC show Coupling. The story is only told from Matt’s POV which means you get to know him a lot better than Calvin. In fact, you never find out much about Calvin other than he’s a billionaire… and well when the shit hit the fan he was an asshole.

I’m trying to avoid spoilers but when the Big Misunderstanding happens, Calvin goes off on Matt and abandons him in another COUNTRY without even having a conversation. Matt didn’t do anything wrong. He overheard one side of a conversation–ok fine… while he was hiding under a desk–but he was perfectly within his rights to ask his boyfriend about what he heard. Cal losing his shit and storming off when questioned wasn’t suspicious at all. %eye roll% But what bothered me was the fact that Matt charged halfway around the world and all over NYC to apologize for asking about the guy Cal said ‘I love you’ to on the phone. It should have been Cal groveling for not trusting Matt and overreacting to the situation. Matt did nothing wrong, Cal did, yet Matt is the one with the burden of “fixing” it. Not cool.

The writing was good. It had a nice effortless feel that’s hard to pull off. The quick-pitch banter was funny if a bit farcical. I thought it was a little short for what the author was trying to accomplish, and the ending was a bit all over the place. It could easily have been smoothed over with maybe five hundred more words and wrapped up in a big red bow which would have left me more satisfied. Like I said, this story never tries to be more than it is… which is a fun, easy romantic comedy. 3.5 Hearts rounded up ’cause I like witty banter and Rome. Everyone loves Rome.

The cover is pretty good for a self-published book. It has a nice rom-com feel. What I don’t like is the messy hair on the model’s forehead. It takes away from the put-together billionaire thing. I wish there was credit for the cover artist in the front matter, especially for a self-pubbed book. FWIW, promoting your cover designer is easy, doesn’t cost you anything, and is the nice thing to do.

BOOK REVIEW: Less by Andrew Sean Greer

31933085[1]Release Date: July 18, 2017

Length: Novel (272 pages)

Genre: Contemporary Gay Fiction

Cover Art: Julianna Lee

Links: Amazon   Goodreads

Blurb: Who says you can’t run away from your problems?

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, LESS is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” “ingenious,” as well as “too sappy by half,” LESS shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

Review:4-Hearts

This is not M/M romance. Don’t get me wrong, this book is absolutely a love story in many permutations, but it is not a romance. In fact, the romantic leads aren’t in the same room, in the present at least, until the last page. My greatest compliment and criticism of the book is its writerly-ness. The language is poetic and literary enough that the story periodically groaned under the weight of the metaphors. But even so, the wordsmithing carried me along on this wonderful journey.

Arthur Less is a middle-aged gay man facing the milestone of his 50th birthday looking back at his stalled career and the two great loves of his life. All lost by his own hand. As Less wrestles with his current state of his life, he also on a round-the-world adventure where he manages to bumble his way into some of the most absurd situations imaginable. In many ways, Less has lived his life as a leaf in the wind going wherever the breezes blow without consciously choosing his path. The dichotomy between Less and the narrator, who isn’t Less, brilliantly gives the reader a glimpse into the things that Less can’t quite see while preserving Less’s naivete and sometimes willful blindness to the realities of who he is and the choices he’s made.

As melancholy as the story is, it’s also funny, poignant and romantic, in the grandest sense of the word. As much as Less would dispute it, I agree with Freddy… Arthur Less is the bravest person I know.

Es ist eine Geisteskrankheit fahrt.

Cover Love STICKER

The cover is awesome! It perfectly reflects Less and his feelings about his life as he moves into the second half right down to his bright blue suit with the fuchsia lining. Simple, clean and Lessian Blue

BOOK REVIEW: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5)

33961477[1]Release Date: June 26, 2017

Length: Novel (200pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Links: Dreamspinner Amazon Goodreads

Blurb: It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.

Review:4-Hearts

3.5 hearts rounded up. I LOVE this series, but I only really liked Coach’s Challenge. Bossy hockey coach and a snarky veteran player start an illicit affair and manage to forecheck their way into love.

As always, Avon Gale’s writing is terrific and so are both heroes. Troy is bossy and irreverent with a dirty, dirty mouth. Shane, on the other hand, is a little more open, but just as brash and brooding Troy. The sexual chemistry between these two is off the charts, but the emotional connection wasn’t nearly as strong. There just weren’t enough moments where we got to see some vulnerability between them until the big ILY scene at the end. It limited the payoff. This is a low-angst, fun, funny read that’s definitely worth your time.

The secondary characters were mostly great tho Alani and Shane seemed to be a repeat of  Lane and Zoe from Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1). I greatly look forward to seeing more of River, Ben, and the Umbrella Center. Speaking of earlier books, I would strongly recommend reading Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) and Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) before reading this one. While Coach’s Challenge can be read as a stand-alone, it will be helpful to understand the events from the previous books.

And, for the love of GOD, can Xavier get his happy ending soon… I spent the whole book wanting to scoop him up and pat him like a sad bunny.

The cover is okay. I’m not a big fan of the series cover theme and this one falls in line with the others. I can’t even tell you what’s wrong with them, it just doesn’t speak to me.

BOOK REVIEW: Take a Chance on Me by Max Hudson

35870676[1]Release Date: July 29, 2017

Length: Novella (118 pages)

Genre:  Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: Unknown

Links:  Amazon   Goodreads

Blurb:  David Moussa, pen name David Boone, loves writing. It’s what he was born to do, and he’s known that since high school. With a flourishing writing career, he’s happy with his life. He’s doing very well professionally, for a fairly new writer. All he needs now is someone to share his life with, a dream he’s had since his first hard crush in college. But that won’t ever happen, unless Dave can get past the understandable fear that his coming out as bi will lose him the few friends he has, estrange him from his family, and hurt his career. He can’t afford to mess up, now that he’s on the brink of recognition on the New York Times Bestseller list. He’s lived this long without love. He will learn to survive. Enter Jacob Pratt, Army veteran, scarred both physically and emotionally. Jake is out and proud and has little patience for anyone who lets fear stand in the way. He’s had to endure great trauma in his life, and battles daily to conquer his demons. The last thing he wants is to have anything to do with a man who is hobbled by fear. He let one man’s fear stop him before, and he is still paying the price. He will never again trust anything but his gut, neither in business nor in love. But when he meets David Moussa, his head and heart collide. The younger man is scared to own his desire for Jake, but Jake can’t seem to stay away from him. His head says Dave is trouble with a capital T. His heart says Dave is the man he could finally love. How will he protect himself from another broken heart if he trusts a man who’s afraid to acknowledge him publicly?

Please Note: This book contains Adult Language & Steamy Adult Activities, it is intended for 18+ Adults Only. Novella, approx. 30,000 words in length. HEA (happy ever after ending). Does not end with a “cliffhanger.”

Review:

3-Hearts

So, right off the bat, that’s a lot of blurb for a novella. It promises a lot of conflict and drama that it just can’t deliver in 30,000 words. There wasn’t enough time, in the timeline of the story or in word count to cover anywhere near that much ground.

A heretofore straight, successful author falls for an injured ex-soldier turned artist. Mostly it’s a pretty run of the mill Gay/Bi-For-You tale. The men go from lust-at-first-sight to love way too fast to be true to the characters as written, especially when the author wasn’t able to show the characters connecting on any level other than sexual. The book is perfectly readable and the writing is decent, even with some head-hopping I found distracting. I will be the first to say that the sex is good. Angry sex is always hot. Overall, my biggest problem was the overpromising in the blurb and underdelivering in the story.

The cover is a good one. I like the yellow. I like the photos. I like the typography. It’s one of the nicest self-pub covers I’ve seen in a while. I know it’s not the most creative or artistic cover out there, but it gets the job done and it has a nice “romance-y” feel to it. I wish the author had given credit to the cover artist.

BOOK REVIEW: One Last Try by Kari Gregg

34347898[1]Release Date: February 19, 2017

Length: Novel (154 pages)

Genre:  Paranormal M/M romance

Cover Art: Lou Harper

Links: PayHip Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb: When Nox was fourteen, his brother Joth murdered their older brother, their mother, and a human girl. Nox survived, but the attack wrecked his womb. Shattered, Nox rejected the pack who fumbled helping a barren, grief-stricken omega cope. He built a new purpose for himself as a master craftsman. Mating? No thanks. He’s better off alone.

Humans studied Joth in prison until his father’s death ended the weekly visits. Joth demands Nox in their father’s stead in exchange for resuming therapy and tests… thereby risking the destruction of Nox’s carefully ordered world. Again.

The pack drafts alpha fixer Dio to untangle the mess. One sniff of the wary omega convinces him Nox is his mate. New medical treatments offer a slim possibility Nox could bear children, but if the past years taught shifters anything, it is an omega’s value is greater than his fertility. Reconciling Nox with his pack is more important. Laying to rest the ghosts haunting Nox is too. Learning to trust? Vital.

Dio just needs to coax Nox into one last try.

Content Warning: Omega mpreg and fertility themes, dubious consent, shifter knotting, an omega who rejects labels, and a bewildered alpha who wouldn’t have it any other way

Review:

4-Hearts

 

A broken Omega wolf shifter finds some measure of peace and falls for his Alpha mate. Sounds pretty typical, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Kari Gregg has a way of twisting what readers expect from a shifter book and delivering something that feels new and fresh every time. And that’s certainly true here. This is in no way a fluffy, insta-love, shifter romance. The tone and themes are a lot darker but are ultimately hopeful.

This book will put you off balance. It’s meant to. Readers have to infer and assemble the world-building on their own. Nothing is spoon fed or neatly packaged, you just have to figure things out as you go. It perfectly mimics how Nox feels as the story unfolds. He’s perpetually confused and anxious even in his own little world, which is not surprising considering the trauma he’s survived. But over the course of the story, his understanding of himself and the world around him continues to grow.

Because the book is only told from Nox’s view, Dio starts out as something of an enigma. And again I think readers are meant to feel the way Nox does. He doesn’t get Dio either at first but as the story moves forward more and more pieces of the puzzle fall into place until Dio becomes more three dimensional. Both of these heroes are flawed and make mistakes, but they work hard to get better at the relationship thing. Shifters in couples therapy talking about their problems and learning better coping strategies was great to see. Love wasn’t a magical panacea and they were both works-in-progress to the end.

My major criticism of the book is the lack of actual romance. Readers never see enough moments of connection and understanding that make a romance satisfying, except during sex. We’re told about a few after the fact, but we don’t witness them first-hand and that’s a shame. In that respect, it kept me from connecting to these characters as much as I wanted.

Please note that the Mpreg in this book is theoretical, tho it does deal with infertility, sort of, in the context of the effects of Joth’s attack.

The cover is quite good with just the right balance between beauty and creepy. Yes, there’s probably a little too much going on, but I like it even so.

FWIW – After I write a review, I take a minute to scan through the existing Goodreads reviews to make sure I haven’t missed something important. To the folks asking for a Joth book… No. Just no. Joth isn’t a misunderstood kid rebelling against the constraints of shifter society. He is a true psychopath with no empathy or conscience. He murdered his mother, brother and a human girl then maimed Nox when he was THIRTEEN. There’s no happy ending for someone like him, there can’t be. Some characters and some people are beyond redemption.

BOOK REVIEW: Michael, Reinvented (Delta Restorations #2) by Diana Copland

34892099[1]Release Date: May 19, 2017

Length: Novel (220 pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: Ann Cain

Links: Dreamspinners Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb:  Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.

Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.

Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.

Review:

4-Hearts

 

A hipster, interior designer falls for a painter of both the house and art varieties and eventually gives in to having a relationship. In terms of tropes, it’s a friends-to-lovers leaning toward enemies-to-lovers, at least on Michael’s side.

I loved the first book in the Delta Renovations series so I was excited to read this one, but while I liked this book a lot, it wasn’t quite as good as the first.  I loved Gilbert, the painter, in David, Renewed and absolutely adored him here. Michael, the interior designer, went the opposite way. I loved him in the previous book, but came to like him less in this story. What felt like fun, snarkiness in the first book seemed more like cold, bitchiness in the second.

Michael held on to a decade old hurt that should have softened over time. College romances fail in spectacular ways every day, that’s sort of the nature of the animal. Very few walk away emotionally crippled for life. He also seems to intentionally hurt Gil repeatedly and it took him a LONG time to muster up the self-awareness needed to stop.

The writing is very good. I enjoy Diana Copland’s wordsmithing a lot. But, I did have some issues… While the unresolved romantic tension was good at first, but it became repetitive and went on too long. Gilbert and Michael didn’t really get together until very late in the story and it finally took a traumatic event for Michael to get his shit together. The mystery stalker storyline begun in the first book continues through this one as well, again without a clear resolution. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it kept the story from being as satisfying as I’d hoped. The ending was pretty abrupt which didn’t help. We never get to see the “new normal” for Michael and Gil which was disappointing.

Overall, this is a good read. It felt good to see how far David and Jackson have come in a short time and I can’t wait to see what happens with Manny and Vern. Also, Pixie and Scooter were worth the price of admission alone.

Cover Love STICKER

The cover is beautiful as Ann Cain covers usually are. They alway fit the story, reflect the characters well and are seamlessly put together. While I guess it is technically another floating men in the sky cover, it’s more creative and artistic than the usual. Maybe it’s because everyone still has their clothes on.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Betas – Rene (Werewolves of Manhattan #9) by A.C. Katt

35647794[1]Release Date: July 21, 2017

Length: Novel (203 pages)

Genre: Paranormal M/M romance

Cover Art: Jared Rackler

Links: MLR Press  Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb: Frankie Ferone moves from the mob to an even more secretive group, the loup garou.

When attending a wedding, Frank Ferone is introduced to Rene DuBois, a violet eyed stranger. Rene has a secret to hide but can’t overlook that he’s met his mate. Rene starts to romance Frankie and soon Frankie falls in love. But how is he going to react when Rene tells Frankie he is loup garou. Werewolves? Really?

Review:

4-Hearts

In case you haven’t heard, author A.C. Katt passed away in June. This is her final book. As much as this is a review of this particular title, it’s an homage to an author whose work has been a guilty pleasure since I started reading M/M.

3-Hearts rounded up to reflect the author’s entire body of work.

For me, books are like food… some are sumptuous banquets that become treasured memories, some are just sustenance that you won’t remember the next day, others are pure junk food–completely devoid of nutritional value, but occasionally just as necessary as sustenance. These are the books you turn to when you need to escape from life for a few hours and don’t want to read anything that challenges your world view, taxes your intellect, or digs too deep in the feels. I wouldn’t even call them “comfort reads”, they’re too ephemeral for that. A.C. Katt’s books fall squarely into the Junk Food category.

Her stories are over-the-top melodrama served with a heaping helping of humor, and that’s true of this book as well. I will admit this isn’t my favorite of the Werewolves of Manhattan series. There are too many extraneous characters, too many names to remember, and too much pointless distraction from the romance. Some of this was to set-up the Betas series and world-building the differences between Alphas and Betas. If you haven’t read the other eight books in the Werewolves of Manhattan series, you will be a bit lost occasionally. But, it doesn’t really matter because what A.C. Katt always got right was the emotional connection and between her heroes, no matter what craziness she created around them.

Rest in peace, A.C. Katt. You will be remembered fondly by your legion of readers and sorely missed. Maybe now you can make a dent in your to-be-read pile… Her obituary can be found on her website here: https://goo.gl/2JBm1w

BOOK REVIEW: Take the Leap (New Halliday #3) by Kris Ripper

Take the Leap (New Halliday 3) by Kris Ripper reviewed by Love is Love Book ReviewsRelease Date: February 16, 2016

Length: Novel (222 pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: AngstyG

Links: Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb:  Neil Bierker is a bit famous in New Halliday: he’s the kid who jumped off the bypass when he was sixteen. At twenty-seven he’s a third grade teacher who manages his depression through running, boxing, and one night a week with Clem Robbins.

He can keep everything else in his life together, as long as for a few hours every week it all falls away.

Clem wants more than one night a week. The way he sees it, if one night’s good, wouldn’t more be better? But he’s had three years of good sex with a man twenty years younger than him and he’s not about to blow it by asking for more, even if he thinks it’s what both of them want.

When Neil’s life begins to unravel, the last thing he wants to do is rely on Clem to keep him upright. Sometimes it takes a crisis to realize just how many people are on your side…and just what you’re willing to do to keep them there.

Review:

4-Hearts

If someone forced me to squeeze this book into a trope, I’d say it’s mostly a May/December romance with a generous side of hurt/comfort. A fifty-year-old restaurant owner and a twenty-seven-year-old school teacher find their way through a maze of their own insecurities/issues only to discover that they already had everything they needed to be happy, mostly anyway.

This is the third book in the New Halliday series and probably my least favorite of the three. But it’s still a really good book. Each book in the series features a character with some variety of mental illness and I love how the author deals with those challenges. The characters aren’t ever expected to be cured or symptom-free and their partners give them the space to manage their conditions as they need to without any judgment or unnecessary interference. It was refreshing and realistic. Love doesn’t cure mental illnesses.

As an aside, I hate the term “mental illness”. Neither word adequately describes the reality… Mental sounds like it’s all in your head and you can think your way out of it and illness implies that it can be cured. I like the idea of  “brain challenge” because mental illnesses like anxiety and depression can’t be rationalized away or cured. They are, by and large, life-long challenges that will always need to be accommodated and managed.

I had a few issues that kept me from loving this story. While I liked Clem and Neil separately, I never quite understood what drew them together. In the end, I think the book starts in the wrong place. I needed it to begin when Clem and Neil first got together and leapfrog through the events of the other two books to where this book picks up the story. The book also ends too soon. As it stands, I’d come close to calling it a happy-for-now rather than a happily-ever-after. I wanted one or two more scenes of Clem and Neil’s new normal to make it satisfying. Overall, the plot is also a little scattered without a through thread to hold everything together. This left characters often just reacting to the things other people did/said rather than any choices/actions of their own.

The sex was well-done overall even if I thought there was a bit too much. Your mileage may vary as I have to admit that breath play isn’t my thing, so some of the sex scenes were lost on me.

Please note, this book has a hard time standing on its own if you haven’t read the others in the series. The author assumes the reader knows why Nova is ostracized by his classmates or who Ralph was etc. Luckily I read the three books in order over a couple weeks, but readers who don’t are going to be confused in places.

All that said this book and this series are definitely worth your time and attentions. In fact, I wish there were another book in the series just because I’m not quite ready to let go of New Halliday and I need to know that Alex, Nova, Zinia and Xan are going to be okay.

The cover is just meh for me. I don’t get the deco theme for these books. It might have worked if it related to the town or stories somehow, but it doesn’t seem to be connected at all.

 

 

REVIEW: In Southern Deep by Marissa Holt

35618886[1]Release Date: July 11, 2017

Length: Novel (284 pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: Unknown

Links: Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb:  What do you do when one man could give everything you need in the world…but the whole world is against you having him?

Unexpected reunions…

Jeremy Lyles can’t believe his eyes. Sean Sax — his onetime best friend, who disappeared from his life seven years ago — is working as a bouncer at an Atlanta nightclub. Muscular, tattooed, and very much the bad boy, Sean is irresistible…even though Jeremy considers himself straight.

Impossible dilemmas…

Sean knows he should stay far away from Jeremy. His troubled background and rough ways will never be welcome in Jeremy’s world. More, Sean doesn’t want his kind of trouble to intrude on his friend’s life. But sensitive, adorable Jeremy is exactly what he wants, and Sean finds himself unable to say no.

Fateful choices…

Afraid of his father’s disapproval, Jeremy tries to hide his relationship with Sean even as the heat between them intensifies. But constant meddling from both families strain things to the breaking point, especially when Sean learns that Jeremy’s keeping secrets. When Sean’s past returns with a vengeance, Jeremy must risk everything to save the man he loves.

Review:

4-Hearts

I’ve struggled with how to rate this book. After some debate, I settled on 3.5 Hearts, rounded up. This book is friends-to-lovers meets Richie Rich and the redeemed bad-boy. The reason I rounded up instead of down was that the book grew on me as I read it. For the first 20-30% of the story, I had trouble connecting with our heroes but by the time I reached the middle I was hooked. For the early part of the book, Jeremy came across as passive and a little wimpy, but once he and Sean start having sex, I saw him more as submissive which changed the way I related to him. For Sean, I think it just took time to get the insecurity underneath all of his bad-boy dominance.

The plot is pretty straight forward. Both men have their issues both of their own making and not. I thought Jeremy’s relatively angst free slide from straight to gay was a little too quick without enough backstory. And the ex-girlfriend subplot was wasted. It would have served the story better for Stacey to be an evil minion for Jeremy’s father rather than just a distraction.

The sex in this book is filthy in the best possible way. Sean’s aggressive dominance plays nicely with Jeremy’s natural submission without it bleeding over into the rest of their relationship. Some people are going to be put off by Sean’s super-toppy toppiness and his insistence on Jeremy becoming a power bottom without ever having the opportunity to explore the other side. I noticed it, but it didn’t bother me.

The writing was mostly good. There were a few typos and editing missteps but not enough to aggravate me. My biggest problem with the wordsmithing was the uneven pace. Ms. Holt was a little too heavy on the gas and the break for the tempo to feel natural. Overall I ended up enjoying it more than I thought at the beginning. I like it when a book ends up surprising me in a positive way, hence the rounding up.

I don’t have much to say about the cover. It’s fine for yet another generic floating torsos in the sky design which is so prevalent in the genre. I know they exist largely because of the limited number of M/M stock images out there, but it’s still overdone.

All-Star Week Wrap-up

All-Star Week Wrap-up by Love is Love Book Reviews

So, it’s over. My first special event is in the books and seems to have been well received. Seven reviews in seven days was a challenge but workable. I think I’ll plan on doing at least a couple more in the foreseeable future. The next will probably be Ghost Week at the end of October, but that’s still just a guess. I’m also thinking about reviewing F/F Historicals for a week in March during Women’s History Month. If you have ideas for special events you want to see, let me know. I can’t promise it will happen right away, but I really want you folks to keep me on the path here.

In case you missed any, here’s the lineup…

It’s a good group and pretty representative of baseball romances in general. I  wish I could have included another F/F romance, but I still haven’t found another that merited review.

When I started searching for LGBT baseball books, I had a couple favorites I knew I wanted to include and a couple others that had been languishing on my Kindle for a while. Part of the fun for me was poking around Goodreads looking for baseball books that weren’t on my radar. I even had a mental list of books I was hoping to find…

  • A dark, angsty, minor league romance to balance out all the low-angst, fluffy stuff. Nope
  • An F/F baseball/softball book based on an LGBT or Rec league team. Nope
  • A baseball shifter book. Found a few, reviewed one.
  • An umpire book. There is actually an out umpire in the MLB so I figured I’d find one, but nope.

So, if there are any authors reading this… Couldja please get on this list before I decide to do another baseball week? I’d appreciate it.

I also appreciate you all sticking with me and enduring my obsession with our national pastime this week. It was fun, but I gotta go, there’s a Red Sox game on…

sports-1367690_1280.jpg