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Review: Him (Us #1) by Sarina Bowen

Monday, February 13
My rating:
4 Stars…

Turns out, straight man + gay man romance is my thing.

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Synopsis:

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend... and a big one to learn about himself.

****

What I loved:

Quote…And I'm going to prove it to him. Show him how much I fucking love him, because I sure as shit can't tell him.


If you're not really into YA / College age romances, don't let these characters ages put you off - there was none of the teenybopper angst I've come to detest. These were mature, developed characters with words and feelings and proper shit happening in their lives. I adored all the people.

- Jamie with all his bright eyed, open amazingness. He was raised in a fun, chaotic, open family and he has so much to offer. No wonder Ryan was so in love with him forever. I'm in love with him, and I only knew him for 300 pages.

- Ryan and his damned near obsessive love for his best friend. He didn't always handle it as well as he should, but his devotion to his friend was sweet in so many ways.

- The raunch factor is gloriously strong in this one.

- And it's a really funny book. Quirky funny.

Quote…Like we're close even when he's twenty yards away. I wear a consciousness of him like a second skin.

Okay, that sounds a little creepy. A little too Silence of the Lambs. Sunshine and sexual confusion have gone to my head.


- And fuck-buddy Holly! What an amazing girl she was. I actually find myself hoping Holly gets a story, but I'm gonna go ahead and assume I'm barking up the wrong tree there. Still, she was awesome.

What I didn’t love:

- A few times I thought Ryan was too closed off to deserve Jamie. Like, Jamie is the one taking all the risks both publicly and privately, and Ryan takes none. Ever. Ryan was already gay - he doesn't have to come out all over again. It's not his family that have to learn all this new stuff about their son. Luckily, Ryan redeems himself a little bit in the end, but even then I didn't feel like he truly put himself out there to the extent that Jamie did.

Overall…

Quote…I'm telling you right now. Just in case we can ever get more than a summer. I love you, and I wish things were different."

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Review: Hot Head by Damon Suede

Wednesday, February 8

My rating:
5 Stars…

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My first ever M/M romance novel, and OMG. Everything about this was gorgeous!

Quote…"In love, I mean. With you. For so long."

Synopsis:

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire...

Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?

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What I loved:

- First off, the basics: editing was excellent, writing was amazing, the story unfolded in a beautiful, slow burn, tension building way that made me fall in love with everything about our couple and their peoples.

- Dante. I go all in for a cocky, arrogant, swaggering ladies' man like this. Everything about him was fuckable sprinkles.

Quote…"Because I don't have a good time. I am a good time. Why the fuck else would I be here?"

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- The hothead.com premise. Awesome! And so cunning.

- The banter. I love when I story feels organic, and like you can actually imagine this stuff happening to someone. I want to be friends with these guys. Ha, that's a lie - I want to be between these guys for a day. And their family! Loved all the Anastagios.

Quote…Dinners were always a tug-of-war between the requirement that everyone eat more than possible, and their duty to take home huge shopping bags filled with enough food for a week.

^^^ That's my house!!

- And my #1 reason for keeping this story forever in my heart: Griff. Holy shit, he is possibly the most amazing hero I've ever met, and I can't even make him my book boyfriend because I lack key pieces of equipment. Fuck it all.

Griff was so sweet, and so deep, and so loving, and heroic, and generous, and loyal. Also, of course he was a hot man-mountain so, yeah.

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Quote…Please let someone come down and stop him while I can still say no.

Please don't let anyone come down here until I say yes.

Honestly, so many lines in this story squeezed my heart.

- And Beth! Not a main character, but she was a funny little fucker.
Quote…"And if you touch my shit again, I'm gonna kick your insides out and wear you as a party dress."

What I didn’t love:

Just gonna put a gif here that I like, because I don't have anything else for this space.

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Overall…
Quote…"Awww, G..."

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Review: Touch of Trouble (Touch #4) by Cara Dee

Tuesday, February 7

My rating:
2 Stars…

Kind of an unnecessary follow up.

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Synopsis:

Kayla & Nicholas from Look But Don't Touch take a holiday, then go see her family, then talk about redesigning his clubs. Also they have some sex. I gained no insight into anything.

What I loved:

I can't say I loved anything, really. I liked seeing Mr Cooper with his 2 subbies, but they have their own books so, again - not a lot to be gained by reading this one.

What I didn’t love:

I didn't dislike anything, but this is just such an unnecessary buy. I feel like Nicholas and Kayla hit their absolute peak in Look But Don't Touch (which, FYI, is my favourite erotic novella) and we don't need to know anything else about them.Being a collection of novellas, there isn't enough character development to have me interested in anything they do, unless it's dirty.

Also, there is more focus on Kayla here, and let's face facts - baby girl hasn't got a lot going on in her head. She's a bit of a rainbow-poop-for-brains.
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Review: Touch To Surrender (Touch #3) by Cara Dee

Monday, February 6

My rating:
5 Stars…

Well then. Hello, newly discovered genre of smut.


Synopsis:

Brayden Zeagler, of Twice The Touch fame, ends up alone with Master Cooper while his girlfriend goes shopping. Will he be able to shut out his father's narrow-minded voiceover long enough to take what he wants? Who am I kidding - of course he will, and we get to go along for the ride!

What I loved:

Cara Dee, you wonderful, filthy minded genius, you. I didn't even know M/M was something I'd get down with, but I totally did. This was an excellent first foray into the genre - it was dirty, and entertaining, and well written, and I really loved it.

Quote…"Come, baby." It's the same whisper: intimate, soft, raspy and it's my undoing. "Fill Evangeline's mouth."


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Overall…

I enjoyed this so much that I'm going to have a crack at full length MM romances. Puns included free of charge.

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Review: Twice the Touch (Touch #2) by Cara Dee

Sunday, February 5

My rating:
4 Stars…

And here's what started me on the M/M path.

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Synopsis:

Cute couple decide to take a walk on the wild side, and go to a BDSM club to fool around. This is a dumb idea when you have no experience, and nobody to guide you. And also, neither of you are the dominating type. As luck would have it there's this crazy hot bartender slash big bad dom who can hook them up with some edumacation. Filthy shenanigans ensue.

What I loved:

I read this last Friday, and it's the first MMF book I've ever read. At first, I thought I was going to be uncomfortable about dude on dude side action (oh, don't you sit there judging me with your judgey eyes! I clearly prefer my smut of the daddy dom or bad boy biker variety.)

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So imagine my surprise when I found myself cheering lewdly. Loudly. Cheering loudly is what I did.
Quote…Fucking splendid. "You're going to make this hard for me, pup."


Mark Cooper was hot, I liked the openness of the whole scene, and I actually learned quite a few things. Ms Dee would make an excellent sex ed teacher, je suspect. Incidentally, we had a crap sex ed teacher. Most of my classmates had been treated for an STD or been pregnant at least once by graduation. Shout out to Mr. Logan.

What I didn’t love:

No, I really enjoyed all of it.

Except this one thing. I loved Look But Don't Touch. It's my jam. But I am getting more and more annoyed with Kayla's character as time goes on. She's kind of a douche.

Overall…

Review is now longer than the book, so I'll try and scrimp on words here. I have a sneaking suspicion that MM might be my new thing - which is unfortunate, since I am missing the bits required to make man on man sex an option.

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