Lots of feels in this gorgeous romance

Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, #1)Locked in Silence by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sloane Kennedy sure knows how to write stories that creep up on you and wrap sneaky little arms around you waiting for the moment you need them to hand you a tissue.

She’s also brilliant at creating characters who have been bowed but never completely broken and then pairing them with a partner who is perfect at shoring up all those vulnerabilities and giving them a HEA which is both true to their narrative and believable.

This is book one in a new series which is still angsty but doesn’t have the darker side that her Protectors series does and I loved it. Both Dallas and Nolan had been hurt by life but not enough to truly give up and this almost made it a second chance romance as each had had a crush on the other at school.

The small town claustrophobia was also well depicted, as was Nolan’s fractured relationship with his mother, and the way they began to reconnect was believable.

There was less smexy times in this too, surprising for an author who excels at them, but it worked within this romance. Bring on the rest of Pelican Bay. I can’t decide who I want to read about t next, blue haired Isaac, Sawyer the vet or both of them with Dallas’ brother Maddox!

And, as always, a truly beautiful cover.

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Quirky sports romance with a mathematical twist

Improper FractionImproper Fraction by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this little quirky not quite a straight up sports romance with its little mathematical twist.

I know nothing about math, so some of the references went a little over my head (okay disclaimer I failed my maths O Level so badly I ended up with a CSE Grade 4 – that’s like a drop of about five levels into failure!) but it didn’t affect my enjoyment.

There’s friends to lovers, there’s a falling out, there’s second chances, there’s a bit of enemies to lovers there’s a lot of humour and a fairly realistic examination of the conflicts both internal and external that LGBTQ+ people go through when living with their sexuality.

O’Malley (yes I was thinking of the cartoon cat too every time I saw it written) and Garrison (of troops, yes that was in my head as well) were a perfect pair though, humorous names aside.

I loved how Mal was brave enough to let Garrison back in again and I adored how sure the baseball guy was that he absolutely was in love with his childhood best friend.

This is a new adult book but written with a believable start to a HEA that I truly could see lasting a lifetime.

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

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Review Tour: We Met In Death by K A Merikan

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 90,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

“This is not the night you die.”

After years of working for a loan shark, Robert is done with blood and violence. All he has to show for it is a bag of money and a lifetime of regrets. There’s no other way out of his line of work than in a body bag.

So Robert decides to die.

But on the night he chooses to seal his own fate, destiny offers him a chance at redemption. When Robert saves a handsome young escort from a terrible death, he has no idea he is setting in motion much more than one last attempt at proving that inside the hardened shell, he is a decent human being.

Charming, quick-witted, and full of smiles, Nathan is all Robert could dream of. He’s also ready to fall into the arms of his gruff protector. Robert, on the other hand, has never been with a man and will first need to fight his own demons if he is to accept that his whole being wants to make Nathan his.

With his former boss hunting them both, time is ticking, and Robert might just not get the chance to decide before it’s too late. More importantly though, Robert will stop at nothing to protect the man who’s made him feel alive again, the man who is the only thing between him and the abyss.

“I never had to think much about death before, but I did yesterday. I thought I would die. In a hole. Covered with dirt. Suffocate underground. But then you saved me.”

 

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, torture, mentions of suicide, offensive language, morally ambiguous characters, homophobia and homophobic language

October 10 – BooksLaidBareBoys, Mikku-chan, Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings

October 12 – Urban Smoothie Read

October 14 – My Fiction Nook, OptimuMM

October 16 – Bonkers About Books, MM Book Escape

October 18 – The Librarian’s Corner

October 20 – Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Cheekypee Reads & Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sanaa’s Book Blog, Love Bites & Silk Ties

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity.

Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS.

Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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Utterly brilliant dark ride through an unconventional romance

We Met in DeathWe Met in Death by K.A. Merikan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is no one who writes this type of tortured and twisted romance quite like Kat and Agnes Merikan and this book is an utterly brilliant dark ride.

From the opening scene of a cemetery at night to a farmhouse shootout, this book delivers on the spooky, creepy and thrilling plot points with a side order of violence wholly in keeping with the narrative.

The Merikan guys are not heroes in the conventional sense, but they have their own code of honour which teeters on the brink of being one step above unforgivable until they meet their true loves. Then all bets are off.

Robert and Nathan are an explosive combination, screwed up, brooding, on the run and with so much baggage they should have an airport trolley to carry it.

But when Robert finally gets his head out of his backside and deals with his fears, he turns into a truly considerate and loving partner, while still worrying about his ex mobster boss and his mum finding out he’s gay.

With a deft hand, the authors bring it all together for an explosive tension packed last 25% which you can’t put down. Don’t be put off by the cover, it perfectly sums up the film noir feel to the narrative.

#ARC kindly provided by the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Return to form for the Marian boys

Delivering Dante (Made Marian, #6)Delivering Dante by Lucy Lennox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this one, it had all the things I’ve come to expect from Lucy Lennox and this series – two well definitely MCs, a lot of humour, low angst and lots of hot sex.

There’s a couple of funny side plots involving the crazy Marian senior members, the President’s politician father and a possible Vegas wedding, some sex toys and an order of homophobic preachers to keep things ticking along.

Another gorgeous cover to add to the rest of the almost rainbow. I’m hoping we get Simone’s story too and round out the Marian siblings, plus perhaps a step back in time to Pete and Ginger’s courtship. I love this family and I want more of their stories please.

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Lots of feels with this new series

Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc., #1)Back Piece by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book gave me many feels, some of them very good, a couple not as good, but overall it weighed out on the side of being a great read.

I loved both Colin and Daniel, I liked how each of their special hang ups were dealt with and I absolutely loved that there was no magic dick cure just because they fell in love.

I also liked that Daniel’s family weren’t portrayed as one dimensional homophobic religious bigots but as complete and complex people and how Daniel could love them at the same time as hate them for their views.
Throughout their visit I could feel the weight of the pressure on my shoulders, something LA Witt is excellent at writing.

Something else she’s great at writing are sex scenes, and the steam level is high in this one with some stupendous virgin sex.

The angst levels were moderate. I’d guessed what Colin’s background was going to be before it was revealed and, while it was a big part of his mental illness, it was never treated lightly but was explained and explored in the context of his continual eating issues.

World building was great and, as this is book one in a new series, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming next.
Oh, and that cover, yeah that could have stars all on its own, so hot.

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers through NetGalley in return for an unbiased and honest review.

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What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be

Given the CircumstancesGiven the Circumstances by Brad Vance

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve never read this author so I had no preconceived ideas about what I’d be reading and so it was a very pleasant surprise to get a well written exploration of the pressures of fame in the sporting world for two gay men.

I loved Roger, strong reliable steadfast and true, secure in his talent and the support of his father. But Brian, oh how I wanted to hug Brian and tell him it would get better if he could just believe in himself.

I loved the world setting, I loved that there wasn’t an overt focus on the institutionalised homophobia found in big sports like American Football and baseball. I loved Jacob, Roger’s dad, who was the perfect role model and I loved Joe, who gave Brian the other father figure he’d been missing.

This book is written like a series of vignettes, peeking into bits of Roger and Brian’s lives and it worked really well. It never felt disjointed and watching their sexual and loving relationship develop over time was a clever way of drawing out the narrative.

The sex was hot, hot, hot, Roger loving how Brian just took control and made him fly. But the scenes during Brian’s worst times, when they would just hold each other were also beautifully told.

The ending felt earned, a true payoff for both men.

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