Beautiful broken Beck stole my heart

Victim of LoveVictim of Love by Darien Cox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Beck, beautifully broken Beck, how much did I love you? This book made me hurt so much because I’ve been where Olsen was but I didn’t get the HEA.

My Beck, (not his actual name obvs), walked out the door just after Christmas 1996 and he took my heart with him. It took an awfully long time for me to take control of it again. Even now, when I’m very happily settled into a 12 year relationship, with a 9-year-old son together, I’m honestly not sure how I’d react if my Beck walked back into my life.

I’d like to say I’d be able to sit down and shoot the breeze, catch up on those two decades, but if I’m brutally honest, I’m not sure I wouldn’t just want to fall right back into his arms, in spite of how much pain it would cause.

I can understand why people found Beck frustrating. But I got him, he’d suffered an intensely traumatic experience, he had lingering guilt over it, he felt he had to push away everything that had made him Beck before the incident happened. He put a mask on to protect himself from the pain.
When he met Olsen, he didn’t know what to do. Here was someone with the potential power to heal some of that pain, but also capable of crippling Beck beyond recovery.
I understood Olsen, I’ve been Olsen, waiting for just a glimpse of something that, if given the chance to bloom and grow, could develop into something truly beautiful.

You live with the expectation that today might be the day when your Beck admits that you are their one, the one they’re willing to fight for, to open up everything and you wait. You wait until eventually the realisation slips in that they’re not – in the words of Arnie – going to “be back” and you shut your heart down.

I was hoping and praying throughout this book that Beck and Olsen got their Happy Ever After together because for me, it never came. My Beck was the one that got away, that was too damaged to let go

The setting, the secondary characters, the world building, all are superb, these people feel real, you could bump into them on the street. The sex was sensual, passionate, powerful, heart-breaking, emotional, painful, healing and caring.

This book broke me.

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It looks a lot like love to me

What It Looks LikeWhat It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I decided to read this book based on Judith’s review:… and I am so incredibly glad I did. I had to wait a day before I wrote this review, I wanted to be at my keyboard not using my Kindle so I could properly articulate what I wanted to say without having to mess about with a touchscreen!

Wow, just wow. This is book is quite simply staggeringly good. It looks at so many different aspects of a relationship and parses them all into a coherent story of two imperfect perfect people, Eli and Rob, and the multitude of others that surround them.

It’s set in my beloved Yorkshire for a lot of the book, that’s also something you don’t often find in an MM romance.

Eli is not your typical male “hero”, he’s the son of a Police Chief Inspector and a forensic scientist and his boyfriend Rob is a man with a criminal past who has spent time in prison. Eli is slender and yet he’s the one who holds the power in the dynamic and Rob has been more supportive of Eli than any of his own family were.

The power exchanges between the two are fascinating to read, they’re hot as hell too, and seriously kinky, the BDSM is well done here, it’s an integral part of how the two men communicate but it’s also harsh at times and sometimes it’s brutal. But it’s also powerfully beautiful, emotionally supportive, loving and affectionate.

This isn’t a conventional romance, but it absolutely is a romance. The two men support each other and provide the encouragement for each to improve their lives, Rob wants Eli to go back to art college, something his family have dismissed as a waste of time as it wouldn’t lead to a proper career, Eli helps Rob stop with his petty criminal activities (it’s selling weed and a bit of distribution of stolen goods).

The language is also harsh, it may be difficult to understand for none native English speakers (and some English speakers!) as it has a lot of Yorkshire dialect usage, but it’s incredibly realistic and Metzger should be commended (speaking as a Yorkshire girl ­čÖé ) for how accurate he portrays life in both Sheffield and the surrounding area.

Don’t expect hearts and flowers, you won’t get them here as such, but you will get a lot of unexpected love and an ending which is surprising but also honest.

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Brilliantly concludes the PresLocke series

Wedlocked (Preslocke, #3)Wedlocked by Ella Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the love in these books. I love how passionately Ace and Dylan love each other. I love the love Ziggy and Sunshine have for their family and I love the love the extended cast of motley characters have for each other.

The epilogue is fabulous and takes the reader into a future you know will be glorious and filled with a real and true Happy Ever After, although I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to read another peek into the Locke-Prescotts a few more years down the line (not so subtle hint there ladies).

Sex, yes there’s plenty and it’s laced with the same depth of emotion it always has been, both these beautiful men wear their hearts on their sleeves and aren’t afraid of letting the other know how important they are.

We get a coming together of all the characters from this ingenious crossover as Ace and Dylan prepare for their wedding and with them all comes the usual humour and chaos which has played a big part in these books.

Oh and yet another staggeringly beautiful cover helps to mirror the wonderful story inside the pages.

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Bitty, no real story narrative and a few editing mistakes

The WarehouseThe Warehouse by Jason Collins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This wasn’t good, it read for a long time like some 15 year-old girl’s romantic idea of what an instant attraction should be like.

There were duplicated paragraphs almost word for word in the opening two chapters and the book contradicted itself early on too. Sloppy editing mistakes didn’t help with the flow of the story and I’m afraid the whole thing was just a bit outlandish.

I’m not sure there are public go go dance clubs where the patrons are allowed to suck off the dancers, or where the dancers get it on with each other on stage, I though that thing was restricted to private members only places licensed for sex work. So it made the narrative unbelievable for a lot of the plot.

Throw in a random stalker plot, plus the ‘straight’ guy’s girlfriend being an artificial roadblock because she was the boss’s daughter, and this book was a whole heap of mess.

Sorry, I don’t like to be critical just for the sake of it, but with a bit of thought and some better polishing, this would have been a much more coherent read.

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All the stars, every single one of them

Who We AreWho We Are by Nicola Haken

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nicola Haken does it again with this perfectly crafted story of two men whose lives randomly collide and who then go on to build a future together.

On the way there are trials, and please read this without spoilering yourselves because it truly does need to he discovered piece by piece.

Oliver and Seb are wonderfully expressed characters, so different from each other but with an abiding sense of rightness as a pair. Life hasn’t been easy for either of them but in the fairly low level way of how things can just sometimes be tough.

Their romance is gentle, it creeps slowly with an overwhelming feeling of love and support and it’s needed and tested to a degree most people thankfully will never have to endure.

The setting is fabulously British, Manchester’s Canal Street is somewhere I know quite well and the language is Northern English vernacular, hilarious and harsh, bred from an industrial heritage and a sense of pride of place.

The research, as always with this author, is impeccable, and it’s hard to read at times but oh so very worth it. This is a book about flirting, about family, about love, hope and joy, but also about fear and pain, hopelessness and worry.
Ultimately though, it’s about life and all the unique experiences it brings if people are willing to open their eyes and their hearts.

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Absolutely blown away by this debut novel

In the Wreckage (Metahuman Files, #1)In the Wreckage by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s not often I find myself shocked into a lack of words over anything but this debut novel just did that to me.

Set in the difficult to write field of sci-fi, the world building is utterly superb, think Marvel Agents of SHIELD levels of military complexity, coupled with all the Men from UNCLE (original TV series please!) slash you might ever have dreamed of, with a healthy dose of erotic porn with plot on top and you might come close to how I felt reading this book.

It’s an absolute triumph from the initial set up through to the explosive meeting of the two MCs, to the Tom Clancy level of espionage twists which drive the narrative forward, to the camaraderie of the Alpha Team at the amusingly named MDF (sorry peeps but that just reminds me of home design programmes here in the UK) Government agency and all points in between.

I never felt bogged down in jargon and each team member’s special ability which explained well without a lot of exposition and there was enough outside the main spy/sci-fi story to keep me enthralled.

Rounding it out are some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read outside of a full on erotica or porn site, this is explosive levels as Jamie’s super strength and durability is out to excellent use in wringing Kyle out into utter bliss.

You name it, there’s probably some of it here, edging, dildos, orgasm denial, window sex, cock rings (and how often do you read about those, even in dedicated BDSM stories?!), breath play, it runs the gamut but it’s never done gratuitously or just to thrill. Each time these two men come together there is passion and emotion and a deep connection.

I cannot wait to read more in this setting and I believe it’s Alexei’s story next so that’ll be a cracker I’m sure. Bonus points for awesome cover too.

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Not for me sadly

The Fourteenth LetterThe Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I have rated this as it was okay because the quality of the writing is absolutely fine, the piece evokes Victorian era London well but unfortunately, the subject matter is simply not for me.
I’ve got seven chapters in and nothing really cohesive has happened within the book, it’s like a series of vignettes about different people and, while I’m sure it’ll eventually come together, the subject matter isn’t interesting enough to me to want to continue reading it.

*An ARC of this was provided by the publishers through NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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