Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

A quieter romance for Charlie and it works beautifully

3-Cover_BestLaidPlansBest Laid Plans by Roan Parrish

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This second entry in Roan’s Garnet Run series gives us Charlie’s story and oh, how my heart hurt for him so many times.

Unlike his brother Jack, who we got to see fall in love with Simon in Better Than People, Charlie hasn’t really ever had a chance at relationships, other than a brief encounter shortly before their parents were killed just before his 18th birthday.

So, seeing how he struggles when he finds himself attracted to Rye and not knowing what to do about it was both heart-breaking and uplifting at the same time.

Thankfully Rye, for all his prickly nature, is actually a truly kind-hearted soul who is dealing with his own demons and his own stumbling steps into a relationship are just what Charlie needs.

There is a little tension here, many of the beats in the story come from Charlie’s growing self-awareness and awakening that he can put himself first and take things for his own pleasure.

There’s a bit of angst, as a whole it’s lowish steam, and it makes perfect sense within the narrative, although there are lots of heated kisses and cuddles which lead to emotionally charged conversations.

But there is also a seriously sexy spanking scene which went in a direction I wasn’t expecting and I loved it all the more for it. Overall, it’s a quiet romance, not a lust-packed one, although the attraction between the two men is still clear to see.

The relationship development feels organic and has few of the irritating misunderstandings or lack of communication issues which are often thrown in just to cause tension.

I liked both characters, but felt this one perhaps lacked a bit of the otherworldly or magical feel which made Better Than People a more engaging read.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this, because I did and I read it all in one go, but I didn’t have that same sense of excitement at the first book, which felt far more significant given the difficulties Simon faced in his daily life.

However, it also stars two fabulous cats, which as a lover of that most magnificent of animals, really made me happy and the usual feel-good, if somewhat in your face, meddling of a small town local community who seek to embrace the newcomer Rye.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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According to Liam this jaunt to Europe is full of adventure and love

The World According to Liam__ jpgThe World According To Liam by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth ‘According to’ is an absolute delight filled with all the elements which made the first three so enjoyable.

The pair end up with Liam coming on their jaunt through parts of Europe on the way to visit Bryn’s folks in Germany.

Liam is simply the cutest child on the planet, and Mike and Bryn are still in love and insanely hot and happy.

It’s super sweet to catch up with Bryn’s family and friends and I loved the warmth of their relationship.

At least, that’s how it starts but, as with any good plot, there needs to be some tension and this comes from internal fears Bryn has about his groin injury recovery and his ability to look after his family.

It’s well paced and Bryn’s worries are enough to stop everything getting too sugary.

I’m really looking forward to the next book and seeing how things progress with some of the changes which happen in this one.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Con’s beautiful romance examines the intimacy of a personal journey

55975346._SY475_His Compass by Con Riley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I alpha read for Con for this one, however all the amazing words are hers alone.

***

This is a beautifully written book which looks at the intimacy of not only a physical journey helming a yacht with only a single crew member, but also the personal one Tom goes on the nearer he reaches home.

Saucepot, aka Nicky, is one of my favourite characters ever. He’s a contradiction, with his outwardly distracting attitude of irresponsibility actually acting as camouflage.

He’s really full of bravery, living each day with the inner struggles he’s never been allowed to forget, and a constant sense that people’s lack of faith in him must be true.

I absolutely adored his dawning awareness that the responsibilities Tom gave him were more than his Captain just being a grumpy arse.

Their relationship grows as strong as the currents which carry them back to Blighty.

And I guarantee that when you find out the truth of Nicky’s background, your heart will fully ache with love for him.

There’s a bit of social commentary in this book which feels totally organic in the narrative. It’s not preachy, just an accurate reflection of some of the less pleasant incidents at sea which are sadly all too common at the present time.

It is, however, totally in keeping with the plot itself, it acts as a catalyst to one of the major changes in the development of Tom’s feelings for Nick, and highlights the growing intimacy between them.

There were times when I almost broke my Kindle in rage at Tom and his inability to see what was under his nose because of his determined stubbornness.

At other points, I was almost weeping, which is so rare for me that any book which gets me to that state goes into a special place in my heart.

And ultimately, it made me smile so much at all the different ways love is expressed and experienced throughout.

It’s as turbulent as the waters they sail, as calming as the harbour which shelters them and as steadying as the compass which guides them to each other, and to home.

With guest appearances from my favourite mardy chef Jude and his fabulous boyfriend Rob – see His Horizon – and a hint of who might be appearing in book three, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t adore about this story.

Also, how gorgeous is this cover from Natasha Snow! The absolutely perfect Tom 💕

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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