Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

Garrett Leigh weaves another beautiful and emotional romance

Edge of the World Cover.jpgThe Edge of the World by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Garrett Leigh understands the human psyche and I’m so glad she went ahead and published this book independently after the whole Dreamspinner debacle (Google it, it’s too complicated to summarise here).

In The Edge of the World we get two protagonists who each have complications in their lives which mean it’s not an everyday boy meets boy, boy falls for boy, boys stroll off into the sunset together narrative (although don’t worry, there’s definitely a HEA but this is set mostly in England, it rains a lot 😉

What we get is a fascinating mix of a free-spirited Shay finding out more about his past through Ollie’s genealogy research while also having to deal with life on the road as a touring band and a medical condition which affects his daily life.

I loved the dynamic between the two characters, it’s a slow burn romance, but there’s a spark which kicks off the moment they meet and which just grows more steadily as the tour bus winds its way through the British Isles (geographic location not country!).

Ollie has his own demons and they’re powerfully motivating ones, I felt so badly for him and his struggle to shut off his attraction to Shay because of what it might ultimately lead to. The exploration of his feelings about this, which I won’t spoil, were superbly handled and I never felt like Shay had performed some miraculous cure which made everything alright.

The story winds its way into your heart as easily as the tour bus traverses the length and breadth of the country and there’s a few shout outs to Garrett’s Heated Beat Bundle series as well as ties to the excellent What Matters which were a surprise.

I love how interconnected, albeit loosely, Garrett’s various series’ are, it really gives a sense of place to the settings.

She is a great teller of stories and by that I mean, the feelings you get when listening to elderly relatives talking about their younger days, or the emotional connections which form between people who love the same music.

It’s an examination of the folk music scene, a look at the diaspora of cultures, a tribute to the love that can come from outside of a blood family and, ultimately, it’s about taking a chance and joining in with living, rather than just existing on the edges.

As a PS, being a massive folk music nerd, I spotted what instrument Ollie gives Shay straight away, and it really tickled me to see one in a book 😁 they make the most incredible sounds.

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

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Absolutely hilarious in the best British farce tradition

48838954._SY475_.jpgThe Captain & the Squire by Catherine CurzonEleanor Harkstead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolute brilliance, this book is about as English as they come, utterly hilarious and with a nod to the beat Sheridan farce.

In the Captain and the Squire, the authors have gone full on gentry eccentricity, with dodgy clauses in wills, dastardly villains and villagers who know everyone’s business.

I was howling with laughter throughout most of this.

It also has a surprisingly sweet kinky side which I’ll leave to be revealed for other readers as it really does work brilliantly well.

This series of novellas and slightly linger books have all been fabulous, each one’s brought something different to the table but I think Captain Guy is going to have to relinquish his title as my fave to this glorious pair and their pig.

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

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Expertly crafted angsty romance

Someday, SomedaySomeday, Someday by Emma Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full review tomorrow when I’m at the laptop.

***

I’ve never read Emma Scott before so I had no clue going into this one what I’d be getting. What I did get was an expertly crafted angsty romance which never veered into the overly-dramatic but instead wound a careful tale about finding your own self-worth.

Both characters were fascinating drawn, Max being much easier to like from the off because of his determination to reclaim his life from hitting rock bottom. Silas was, deliberately I suspect, harder to like, while easy to sympathise with.

Ultimately though, their connection was a beautifully detailed emotionally satisfying read, dealing with some quite horrific traumas – and please do pay attention to the subject matter warnings, this book isn’t an easy read.

My main reason for it not being a five star entry is that I was missing just that small spark to draw me totally into the narrative. I think it was because – rightly so, the author did a wonderful job with both research and representation – it was perhaps a little bit slow in getting to the happier parts.

I will say, Silas’ older brother Eddie was himself a bright light, his Asperger’s treated with care and consideration and never made me feel like I was reading a character put there just to provide comedic relief because of the way he behaved.

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

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Vic’s back and things are all up in the air

Rebound 600Rebound by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure, when Vicki said she’d be going back to this series, what I thought about it.

After all, last time we left the foul-mouthed obnoxious Pole Victor Kalinski, he was happily getting on with life as a married man and dad to his unexpected son Jack. Did I want to read their HEA being disturbed?

And, I have to be honest and say some of my fears were realised, as this is not an easy ride for Vic, Dan and their families.

But, it’s also a wonderfully written exploration of just how much Vic has changed from his earliest days and how much work he’s willing to put into making his husband happy and in trying to be his best self.

He’s still obnoxious, he wouldn’t be Vic if he wasn’t, and I was howling with laughter at some of his antics. He’s also still a broken child in many ways, and this book was at times also a hard read, with memories of painful times, Vic himself going through the ringer and him and Dan being apart from each other for a bit of it.

For lovers of this pair though, it’s a “must read” because, lets face it, who doesn’t want to catch up with two of the best written ice hockey heroes in the genre? (It’s rhetorical right, you all should 😁)

I love Vic, all of his grumpy, his attitude, his devotion, his failings, his triumphs and I ultimately really enjoyed this book. I’ve not given it 5* only because, for me, I think I was missing a bit more of the uplifting elements and it seemed to end a bit abruptly.

Having said all of the above, I cannot wait for the next book, which will be from Dan’s PoV and sounds like it’s having a time jump into the future and which looks absolutely fascinating.

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

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A fitting end to what has been a quite outstanding series from Sam

Copy of wrencoverWren and Oak by Sam Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full review tomorrow when I’m at the laptop.

***

This book finished off what has been a truly outstanding series of urban fantasy novels which has featured three interlinked trilogies working with an overall narrative.

In this it’s Fletcher’s turn under the spotlight once again and his has perhaps been the hardest journey of all those involved in the fight to protect Rowan Harbor.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure where Sam was going to take this one. There were times when I thought I’d got a handle on the plot, then it would take an unexpected turn.

When it came down to it though, it made perfect sense. Fletcher’s battle has always been with his own sense of worth and his usefulness.

In this final book, we get to see him not quite accepting his strengths, but coming to realise that his own fears and his empathy for everyone else is what makes him powerful.

Also so many times this book had me on the verge of sobbing but the very ending is just glorious.

As it should be, the circle of life continues and new growth springs from the roots of the old.

It’s so difficult to actually describe what this series has been about, but for me, it’s about the feeling of safety and the rightness of home.

I’m very sad to say goodbye to Rowan Harbor, but I’m absolutely convinced Devon, Wade, Jesse and Sean, Fletcher and Conner, and the rest of the town are really hidden away behind Isla’s magic wards having drinks in Cassidy’s bar and putting the world to rights over supper.

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

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A wonderful festive catch-up with Ryker and Jacob

Christmas Lights 600 (1)Christmas Lights, An Owatonna U Christmas Novella by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I I got all teary with this one.

RJ and VL certainly know how to pile on the festive cheer with this gorgeously sweet novella which sees Ryker and Jacob having to face up to some harsh realities before all becomes well in the end.

I loved every bit of this, the humour is there with all their fellow ice hockey players and their partners, there’s some lovely family interludes and the ending just put a huge big smile on my face.

Can’t wait for Henry’s book to come out.

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

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This one is smoking hot and a great send off for this series

48725770._SY475_Lust Hate Love by Ella FrankBrooke Blaine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full review tomorrow but that was a hell of a send off for Fallen Angel.

***

I’ve always been fascinated by Killian, the cool as a cucumber, sexy as all out bass player (and just what IS it about bass players, they’re usually ultra sexy imho) and now Ella and Brooke give the reader his happy ending.

And what an ending, a fight from start to finish to prove to manager Levi that there was more to them than just insane chemistry.

I loved every bit of this spicy book with surprisingly loads of feels, although Halo and Viper right got on my wick in this one with their arsey ways 😁

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

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