I have a new favourite couple in the Out of Uniform series!

Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform, #6)Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sorry Ben and Maddox but I’m afraid top spot in my favourite Out of Uniform couple’s contest has just been taken over by Bacon and Spencer.

Wes and Dustin had tried but you guys had beat them off until now because this story is perfection.

It has every thing in it that has become a hallmark of this military series; accuracy, honesty, two MCs who are each brilliantly drawn and brought to life, and a romance which digs deep into what makes us human – the power of love.

As a former journalist whose spent time on military training exercises, I have to commend Annabeth for the real sense of time and place.

I might not have been roaming round an island atoll with Navy SEALs but I’ve been out in the field waiting for something to happen with an adrenaline rush which is something else.

Both Bacon’s experiences as a sniper and Spencer’s commitment to his journalistic integrity were very real and expertly portrayed. The UST between them was palpable, it bounced off the page in their every conversation.

I loved how they talked too, it was more than just physical, this was the safe harbour in a storm, the warm fire on a snowy night, each man needed to both give support and take help from the other.

As ever, the setting and the secondary characters help bring everything to life. We get to catch up with Wizard and Isaiah, get a passing glimpse of Maddox, and see Wes and Dustin living their HEA in Washington DC.

Perhaps the thing which stuck with me the most in the whole book though – and I admit it’s personal because of my former career – are the words Spencer’s former editor and mentor Oscar leaves behind in his memoirs.

I won’t reveal them, they bring a particular poignancy to the narrative at the point where they arrive which I don’t want to spoil, but it served to reinforce for me the decision I made to leave the career after nearly 20 years was the right one.

Everything about this book just comes together at the right time and with the right words to make it a truly special read.

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

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More gorgeous romance from the pen of Lane Hayes

Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into, #6)Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another gorgeous addition to the Leaning Into series and my favourite after Nick & Wes’ romance.

Grant and Miles were perfection, the absolute best person for each other, capable of dealing with all the crazy and helping each other find peace.

This book is also seriously steamy, with some explosive sexual chemistry and lots of action as Grant and Miles navigated their way from distant friends to proper friendship to roommates with benefits and then into the perfect soul mates.

There’s very little angst in this one but there is a thin layer of sadness across the surface which marks the insecurities and traumas left from younger days for both characters.

There’s a great and expanded secondary cast outside of the previous couples in this series and I adored Grant’s cousin, who acts as his office manager and big sister alike. While the male friendships in this series have always been strong, it’s also lovely to have a sympathetic female character too and I loved her.

We also get to catch up with all the other guys and see them all still overwhelmingly in love and next up is the one I’ve been waiting for – Geordie is getting his HEA and I can’t wait.

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

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Fabulous start to this new series in which our boys find love online

ContourContour by Meg Harding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book! It’s a brilliantly crafted romance between two guys who meet on social media and it holds up a lovely mirror for anyone who’s ever fallen in love over the internet.

It felt special for me because I met my OH online, not through social media admittedly, but via Dark Age of Camelot, one of the first (and still the best imho) MMORPGs.

Both Jamie (who reminded me a lot of the fabulous Manny MUA, an online brand ambassador for Maybelline amongst others. His YouTube channel is full of great make up tutorials), and Tyler felt believable.

Their text conversations both cracked me up with the humour and also provided a neat way for time to move on without having loads of exposition.

There’s a wee bit of very hot sex, but the vast majority of this narrative is just the establishment of an emotionally connected young couple who both have to overcome fears to reach their HEA.

The epilogue, like the cover, is gorgeous.

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

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Everything I hoped it would be and then some

Someone to Call My Own (Road to Blissville, #2)Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been waiting for this one ever since Gabe got the shock of his life when he thought he saw Nate Turner – a man he’d once slept with and who had been murdered – and it turned out to be his twin Jonathan Silver.

I’d wanted Nate not to be dead, so this was the next best thing I thought but actually, that’s doing Silver a disservice as he turned out to be a wonderful character in his own right.

And his perfect man, the one he hadn’t seen coming, was Emory Jackson, broken by the death of his husband five years ago, something he blamed himself for, and haunted by psychic abilities which started after the crash which took River’s life.

Together they were dynamite but it took a long time to get there. Jon never gives up though, once he realises Emory is his happy ending, he waits for the other man to acknowledge they have something special.

It was interesting reading through a lot of the story from the insider’s perspective as we’d seen Emory and Jon’s first meeting through the eyes of Josh and Gabe in their books.

I loved everything about this one, including the side plots which I hope are going to result in stories for Jon’s two best friends Beau and Corbin.

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Anthology romance now released to kick off new series

Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into Stories, #1)Leaning Into Love by Lane Hayes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my absolute favourite in the It Was Always You anthology released late last year.

I loved Eric and Zane. I’d never read Lane Hayes before but have a few of her books on my to be read list and this was a perfect introduction to her work for me.

Eric and Zane were perfect together, the secondary characters helped flesh out what was in essence a very short story and I loved the whole relaxed San Francisco vibe which ran through the story. Hopefully it won’t be long before Lane releases more in this new series.

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