Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

Lemon gets his HEA with a gentle giant former SEAL

Atlas EbookAtlas by Eden Finley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not what I was expecting but still an enjoyable read all the same.

Be aware of the trigger warnings for domestic abuse. It’s not graphically described on page, more a case of seeing the aftermath of assault.

Atlas took a while to warm up to, he was judgemental, condescending and a bit of an arse at first, but Lemon soon shoved the prejudiced blinkers off his eyes and made him look again at his attitude towards not only sex workers but sex in general.

I couldn’t quite tell whether Atlas was supposed to be demi-sexual, but I think he was more along the lines of an aromantic, he didn’t want cheap hook-ups but was looking for something special and permanent.

He wasn’t expecting to find that future in a sassy erotic dancer with a heart of gold and a sideline of rescuing troubled men who found themselves embroiled in sex work or stripping when they didn’t really want to be there.

Although Lemon first appeared in Eden’s Thorned Heart this works as a standalone because there’s not really much overlap with the previous two books in this series, other than the guys from Mike Bravo turn up now and then.

Once Atlas looses his judgemental attitude and actually starts to pay attention, he realises that Lemon, aka Andrew, is actually a pretty wonderful guy, who acts as the mother hen for the rest of the young men working at the club.

Lemon’s got strong opinions and won’t be looked down on because he dances for a living in a strip club and sparks fly between them from the moment Atlas rescues Lemon from an overly handsy customer (played by MB’s boss Travis).

Things finally get steamy the closer to the dramatic ending we get and Atlas and Lemon definitely make it worth the weight as they turn up the heat to scorching hot. I loved them as a pairing, they just work together, each providing a caring support for the other in different ways.

Lemon learns to trust someone will always have his back, while Atlas learns to relax and trust in himself and his need for commitment.

The suspense element here is a bit weaker than the first two, for me anyway but there’s intrigue and misdirection aplenty, the pacing keeps going smoothly and there’s a very definite build-up in tension as it becomes clear there’s more going on than just the club’s profits being scalped.

I liked the twist over who was involved in the thefts from the club and the longer term reveal of the mole – although I wasn’t as happy that we were left dangling without a definite conclusion to that plot thread.

Overall this was a great addition to the Mike Bravo series and I was very happy to see Lemon finally get his own Happy Ending, he deserved it.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Foreward PR, I am voluntarily leaving a review. 

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Smoking hot teammates romance from Charlie

Pole-Position-jpg-400x600Pole Position by Charlie Novak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is epic!

I absolutely loved it, especially how Charlie uses the same trope as RJ’s opener – teammates in a relationship – but turns it into something completely different.

Here, Dean and Teo have been together almost three years, hiding their relationship from nearly everyone, with only a select few in Formula 1 having any idea.

When Dean picks up the second seat at Cadigan Racing, home to Mateo, things get a whole load more complicated.

I think Charlie shows the conflicts and difficulties with both men racing for the same team with some consummate skill.

We can feel their discomfort, the repressed frustrations and unwanted jealousies as things head up out on the track, the tension as pressure mounts race by race.

But we also see the dedication each man has to each other, this is 100% a deep, abiding, lifetime love that they’re both willing to do everything they can to keep.

It’s also smoking hot, oh boy does Charlie lay down the heat for this pair, they’re burning up the sheets as well as the motor home, their holiday villa and all points in between!

As with the first two books, we get to see the happenings of those events from a different perspective and I think it’s a really clever way to anchor this series of multiple authors together.

Here we don’t get as much about Augusto’s almost fatal crash, more the feelings of fear both Dean and Mateo have over it happening to either of them and no-one knowing they were together.

Charlie kept the pacing tight here, there’s a growing sense of dread building up as the racing season goes on and you begin to wonder just what might happen, can something external pull these two men apart in spite of their love for each other?

I would have been biting my nails if I had that habit, but have no fear, there’s a truly spectacular event which takes place that had me smiling like the Cheshire Cat and the Epilogue, set nine-and-a-half years in the future, is the very definition of epic!

Loved this book and would happily have read another 500 pages more of them.

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

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Can I keep Talis forever please Annabelle?!

Guarding Axel coverGuarding Axel by Annabelle Jacobs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mine to keep forever

I’ve been waiting for Axel and Talis’ story since book one and Annabelle does not disappoint with this fabulous entry in her Dark Forest Pack series.

We already know there’s a history between them from Rys and Gabriel’s book, we’ve seen how Talis almost killed Rys’s paranormal police officer cousin Max trying to protect Axel after he’d been poisoned by the bad guy and was out of his mind.

We’ve seen how Axel has a magic which he, understandably, has such fear about people finding out how it works because of what’s already happened to him, made doubly worse by the betrayal being at the hands of the fae he was in love with.

But we’ve also seen the sparks and the almost naked want which flows between them every time they’re in the same space.

With Axel’s betrayer on the loose, tensions are understandably high as this story carries on from the events of Dathal and Nick’s story and brings more danger to the world of the pack when Lady Sarhin arrives with news of a hidden magic cache that includes witch potions.

And OMG the pining in this book is delicious. There’s a rawness about the pain which you can see Talis is hiding, there’s an ache to the hurt which Axel knows he’s caused the man he has feelings for which he’s desperately trying to repress.

As the narrative unfolds, the two men’s relationship hits the lowest of lows and the future looks bleak for all involved in both the pack and the fae world. With only Max and Jake’s story to come, the pacing steps up another gear here as the hunt for Axel’s former lover uncovers further complications.

Then, just when the reader thinks all has been resolved, after Axel and Talis finally have a heart to heart which reveals just what went down all those months before, we get hit by the equivalent of a bomb explosion.

Danger surrounds Axel and Talis from an unexpected source, and with Lady Sarhin also in the line of fire, it becomes a race against time for everyone else.

You’ll get no spoilers here, but let’s just say I was on the edge of my seat as I got closer and closer to the end of the book and the adrenaline was flowing high!

Now, we wait for Max and Jake and the discovery of what’s been causing the misery and tension we keep getting glimpses of between them and their pack.

I’m in no doubts it will be just as spectacular as the rest of this series!

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

As with the rest of the series, I beta read this book for Annabelle.

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