Tag Archives: anxiety issues

I struggled with one of the MCs but loved the quality of the writing

Top Shelf (Seacroft, #1)Top Shelf by Allison Temple

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I struggled for quite a bit of this book. Not with the quality of the writing, that is excellent, but with the characters.

While I could find sympathy for Martin, for the vast majority of the narrative I thought Seb was an utter arse and didn’t feel any connection to him as a character I wanted to root for.

This is very clever writing on the part of the author, it bucks the trend in romance to have the reader fighting for the couple over everything else.

But, I wasn’t sure really whether I actually wanted them to be together. Even finding out why Seb behaved as he did wasn’t enough justification for me. For most of the book he just comes across as a whiny and entitled drama queen (sorry!)

Strangely though, I loved Seb when he talked about his art, when he encouraged his young friend Cassandra with her artwork, when he oozed charm to help the efforts of the fund-raising Blues Festival, I wish I’d seen more of that Seb.

Even when he and Martin get together, he still behaves like an arse and, for me anyway, I just couldn’t believe he was justified in it and that took the edge of what could have been a really great slow burn romance.

So, great writing, a good solid narrative, but a character who proved just a bit too unsympathetic to win me over made me drop down a star for my rating. I will definitely be checking out the second book in the series about Seb’s brother Oliver though.

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

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: Clean Break by Erin McLellan

Clean Break | Erin McLellan

Farm College Series #2

CleanBreak-ebook-final.jpg

Release Date: March 19, 2019

Buy Links:  

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PKMLRMM

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clean-Break-Farm-College-Book-ebook/dp/B07PKMLRMM

Blurb

A romantic story about two men with opposing life plans find a way back to each other.

Connor’s To-Do List:

  • Learn to accept my future on the family farm
  • Be social, to a degree
  • Make a secret bucket list
  • Have a real conversation with Travis Bradford

Travis’s To-Do List:

  • Get into my top law school
  • Get the hell out of Elkville, Oklahoma
  • Stay focused on my dreams and goals—no crushes, no distractions
  • Get spanked by hot and perfectly fussy farm boy, Connor Blume

Travis and Connor do not like each other, but after being paired together in Entomology 101, their mutual hostility explodes into secret after-class hookups and unexpected feelings.

With graduation looming near and their careers taking them in different directions, they’ll have to decide if a future together is worth adjusting their to-do lists and letting go of their carefully laid plans.

Warnings: Explicit sex including mild kink; explicit language; instances and /or discussion of racism, homophobia, and transphobia; depiction of anxiety and OCD; consumption of alcohol; character with a deceased parent; lots of insects.

For more info about these warnings: http://smarturl.it/cleanbreakcws

***Please note: To celebrate the upcoming release of Clean Break, the first book in the series, Controlled Burn, has been discounted to $0.99 (USD)!***

Pick up this sexy, angsty MM college romance now!

Excerpt

TRAVIS

I was frozen, arms and legs heavy with desire or shock. I wasn’t sure which. I wanted Connor to keep kissing me, and I wanted him to stop right fucking now.

He must have sensed my unease because he pulled back and stared at me. My vision had adjusted to the dim light, so I could make out the muddy hazel of his eyes and the way his jaw ticked. He had faint acne scars on his cheeks that I’d never noticed, giving his face a rugged quality that was almost offset by all his adorable freckles.

“I’m sorry. I should have asked you first,” he said.

“It’s fine,” I whispered. My voice was shot.

“Can I kiss you again?”

This was the weirdest day. First, I’d discovered I was going to get a pet cockroach, and now the guy who I’d lost an entire semester pining after was asking permission to kiss me in a closet. There was a metaphor in there somewhere, but I was not in the right mind to analyze it.

I was curious. And he was sexy as all fuck. Maybe because he was so repressed and stoic? I wanted to be the one to unravel him.

“I suppose,” I said.

This time he sucked on my bottom lip, and my knees immediately went weak. He didn’t kiss like other guys. He kissed like he wasn’t totally sure of himself, and maybe it made me a jerk, but I wasn’t helping him out at all. I stood stock-still, and let him explore.

He kissed slowly around my mouth, his lips slipping against mine, almost reverently, and my head spun.

This was not a breath-stealing kiss. His tongue wasn’t stuffed so far in my mouth I couldn’t think. In fact, he hadn’t used his tongue at all. He captured my top lip, suckled lightly, then nibbled on it.

I couldn’t help it. I groaned and pulled him closer so our bodies touched. He pressed me into the door with an intensity that scared and excited me all at once. The back of my head ground into one of those plastic glowing stars.

“Shhh,” he mumbled, his mouth not leaving mine.

“Don’t shush me,” I snapped before gripping his face in both hands and biting his lip hard.

He grabbed my hands, ripped them off his cheeks, and pinned them above my head against the closet door.

We stared at each other, both breathing hard.

“I liked that,” he said. His voice was wary, as if he didn’t want to give too much away.

I wanted him to give everything away.

About the Author

 Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows. Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska chapter.

 Social Media:

Website: https://www.erinmclellan.com

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16700859.Erin_McLellan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emclellanwrites

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorerinmclellan

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/244545999752447/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinmclellanwrites/

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/mclellannewsletter


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Clean Break, Erin McLellan is giving one lucky winner a choice of one of her backlist titles (reader’s choice!) plus $5 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Second time around and I loved this complex issues-focused romance

43527040Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Re-reading the revised and expanded edition due out soon from Dreamspinner.

***

4.5*

Well, second time around I’m not sure if I can tell what’s been changed from the first edition but I have to say, I vastly enjoyed this more than I obviously did the first time round when I only gave it 3* but didn’t review (for whatever reason I can’t remember now)

I’d forgotten how deliciously filthy – in the absolute best way – it is, with Denver and Adam’s BDSM taking them into some seriously sensual and highly erotic scenes which burst with not only sexual tensions and lust, but also with clearly developing emotions and the start of relationship connections which only strengthen with time.

It’s also a stunning examination of the outcomes living with OCD and clinical anxiety can do to a human’s mind and how it can twist beyond recognition the normalities of day to day life into nightmarish proportions.

But, that’s not to say that the exploration of BDSM brings with it a cure or that Denver has a magic dick with which to stop all of Adam’s issues. He doesn’t. What he provides is an outlet through which Adam learns to find managing techniques which help him process the tics and the panic attacks and the irrational fears.

There’s also a wonderful cast of helpful and supporting secondary characters. I’d forgotten just how much I loved Louisa, the trans woman Adam bumps into shortly after his dickhead ex has managed to drive him into an anxiety spike.

The new cover for this book also beautifully illustrates Denver’s strengths, the cowboy who has his own issues to deal with, who thinks he’s dumb but actually has what’s probably dyslexia or a similar learning processing disorder.

So, second time round and it’s a massive hit for me.

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

Pre-order your copy here from Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dirty-laundry-by-heidi-cullinan-10335-b

View all my Goodreads reviews

« Older Entries