Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

Beth saves the best for last as Ren meets his match in Seth

58943707._SY475_Ride or Die by Beth Bolden

This is my absolute favourite book (sorry Ross & Shaw – Bk 5 but you’ve been usurped) in this quite excellent series from Beth.

There’s very few tropes I like better than “the player” falling for someone, this is almost that trope but with a twist because Ren isn’t a player as such, he just doesn’t think love is for him.

He hasn’t got a tragic backstory or any great lost love to make him that way, he just likes the relatively hassle free journey of being a one and done kinda guy.

So when Seth turns him down twice, not only does his ego take a bashing, but so does his determination to ignore the one guy who’s caught his attention and won’t let it go.

I love Ren, he’s such a wonderful study in contrasts, he’s supremely confident, determined that he’s right to not bother about falling in love, even as he’s seen all his fellow Food Truck Warriors couple up. He’s not too proud to admit love is great for other people, but not for him.

Then he starts chatting to a guy on an app – and here I also have to say, I love the narrative choice Beth makes here which I won’t spoiler but which plays out beautifully.

Without going into too much detail, what comes next is a glorious exploration of how your one defining hill to die on might not actually be the thing you want to fight for when the right person comes along and blows up all your walls.

Ren and Seth totally own my heart, each of them brings a unique vulnerability with them as they stumble into a friendship and then more.

The Epilogue is all ends up brilliant and leaves a few little story threads open for perhaps a new series or an adjacent spin-off while nicely wrapping up this one.

As ever, I beta read this for Beth.

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

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Garrett delivers a powerhouse of an opener in this MMM romance

Devils Dance coverDevil’s Dance by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not sure I have adequate enough words to describe how much I loved this book.

It’s 3am and I just finished reading it having picked it up earlier. I simply couldn’t put it down.

I’m off to bed now to try and see if that helps me find words ðŸĪŠ

***

Right, a week later I’m back! What can I say about Devil’s Dance other than it is spectacularly good?

It has men who stretch the boundaries of acceptable behaviour – and push them right over – and I was totally here for it.

As a trio, I don’t think there could be a more perfect match than Cameron, Alexei and Saint. Each of them is such a compelling character in their own right, but put them together and they light up the pages like a firework display.

Cameron is a man with a conscience, he’s trying to follow in his dad’s footsteps as President of the Rebel Kings and move the motorcycle club away from dodgy deeds and into legitimate business. But, there’s resistance and there’s agreements made before he was Pres that he’s having to find a way out of.

This means life is lived on a knife edge, there’s danger every time someone steps out of the club and then there’s Alexei. He starts off as a random encounter in a grotty pub but for both he and Cam, it rapidly turns into something else, something more.

Seeing these two together is like pouring oil on water, they ooze and flow around the surface but it’s what’s happening underneath that’s vital, because they mix like the perfect spice blend into something which is hot enough to burn but sweet enough to soothe all the pain.

But, for all they want each other, both know something’s missing and when Alexei first encounters Cam’s Sergeant-at-Arms Saint, he realises that he’s it.

The pacing throughout this book was perfection. It fluctuates between moments of calmness, a peaceful break before all Hell literally ensues.

While most of this book focuses on intimacy between Cam and Alexei, Saint is not the “third wheel” by any stretch. He holds a permanent place in both Cam’s head and heart and soon Alexei is beginning to bond with him over their need to keep Cam alive.

Without spoiling anything, this book is everything I never knew I wanted in an MC romance. It has elements of such softness and kindness, married with such ruthlessness and dedication to both power and protection that it makes you wince.

I loved all the damaged, broken and beautifully conflicted bits of it!

Also this cover, one of Garrett’s absolute best imho!

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

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This collaboration is scorching hot and full of emotional warmth

Final-High-Rez-eBook-PSD-the-bestmenThe Best Men by Sarina Bowen & Lauren Blakely

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And that goes straight onto the Favourites Shelf!

You know sometimes you just want to read a book that entertains you without it being full of angsty drama or unnecessary complications just to drive up the “shock horror” point?

Well, this is that book. It’s just fun. From the ridiculous drunken text messages Mark leaves in the group chat for his sister’s wedding, to Asher’s irrepressible nature, it’s just joyous.

There is some tension, of course there is otherwise it’d be a one-note emotional experience, but they’re all valid and come up as part of the narrative in an organic fashion which makes sense based on all we’ve seen of the two men.

Mark appears like he’s a boring banker (although he’ll be quick to point out he’s a trader, a man who takes risks every day!) but he’s anything but. There’s a fire in him that’s been waiting for free reign after he’d ended up stuck in a marriage that occured because his college girlfriend got pregnant.

Asher comes across as all surface only, he’s a rich, successful former footballer (the right version with the round ball âš― 😉) and now has a career as a sought-after sports and leisure photographer. And even here things were “easy”.

Unlike the real world, Asher had no problem being a gay man playing in the Premier League.

I have to say, I’m not sure how much either author really knows about British or European Football as they seemed to mix up the two as being the same thing – Premier League = England’s top clubs – not playing in Europe unless it’s a cup competition so if Asher was playing at Barcelona at any time, he wasn’t playing for an English club outside of a tournament 😁

Still, it doesn’t detract from the overall story and it’s more of a thing thrown in in passing for his background. He’s not played for a while when the book begins.

So, as I said, he seems like he’s a bit of a flyaway but he’s hiding a lot of hurt. His last boyfriend basically left him the day he was going to ask him to move in and really damaged Asher’s sense of worth.

From their less-than ideal first meeting – which is available free in the prequel Super Hot Wingman – through to the start of their HEA, both men grow closer and gain strength from the other.

The book is as equally swoony and warm-hearted as it is scorching hot, with insane intimacy and chemistry that bounces off the page. The sex scenes in this one are on fire when Mark finally lets go and Asher gets to bathe in all his nerdy focus.

With a strong setting and some great secondary characters, this book delivers on all fronts.

#ARC kindly received from the authors via Candy KANE PR in return for an honest and unbiased review

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