Everything I’d hoped it would be and then some

Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1)Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, when I tell you that The West Wing is my favourite TV series of all time and that when Marc Harmon’s Special Agent Simon Donovan was murdered during a store robbery gone wrong just after kissing White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg, I cried for about an hour, you can hazard a guess at how much I was pinning on this book.

Well, Tal Bauer gave me everything I wanted and then some. This book is explosive, it’s thrilling, it’s emotional, it’s heart breaking, it’s tense, it’s passionate, it’s sexy, it’s about two men in their 40s falling in love unexpectedly with the glare of the world upon them.

Jack and Ethan were beautifully crafted, for all he’s a Republican President (and that was a bit weird), Jack is just the kind of guy you’d want in the White House top job and Ethan, oh how much do I want my own Ethan?! Strong, reliable, dedicated, determined, unassailable, loyal.

I actually did guess fairly early on who the mole, the bad guy on the inside, was going to be but it didn’t stop me from hoping throughout that I’d be wrong and the President wouldn’t be betrayed.

The action and attention to detail is superb, the spy and thriller elements worthy of a book on their own without the added bonus of the experience of an openly gay secret service agent falling for a man who’d always considered himself straight. I loved that Jack was clear he was in love with the person and the fact Ethan was a man didn’t really register for him. They were friends first.

There’s also a whole host of brilliantly drawn side characters and I can’t be the only one wanting to know more about the relationship between the mysterious Marine and the Saudi intelligence head?

Never boring, this book kept me up until 3am reading it. It just is that good.

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Seriously sexy menage from Witt

Out of FocusOut of Focus by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s not many authors I’ve read who have as deft a hand when it comes to not only making a menage work but adding elements of BDSM into the mix as LA Witt.

This one is deliciously sensual and smoking hot but with a powerful emotional connection too which helps to ground all the sexy times into a real relationship.

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My favourite one yet in this great series

Owning It (Metropolis Book 3)Owning It by Riley Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve loved both the other two in this series but this was the one I’ve been waiting for – we finally get Derek’s story and its a delight.

While this one is as ridiculously hot and sexy as the first two, there’s a lot off heart to this one which comes from the fact Derek’s lover is an older man, Jackson.

And oh my, how much did I love Jackson. There aren’t enough words for me to describe just how lovely, and seriously sexy, Jackson was. He’s the guy you’d wish your kids to find for their true love, that’s if you couldn’t steal a Jackson for yourself.

He’s kind, loyal, thoughtful, closed off, scared of coming out of his comfort zone, excited to get back in the dating world and a whole host of other contrasting character traits. But most of all, he’s perfect for Derek.

Derek, the brash, outspoken, loud and carefree power bottom we first bumped into in Gary and Travis’ story, doesn’t believe love is for him. He hides a real hurt but also a huge secret – his heart is damaged by his experiences and by what’s happening in the corner of his life he keeps hidden from his friends.

There’s a real slow burn for these two which makes it all the more special, and incendiary level explosive, when they finally come together – deliberate pun intended.

The development of their relationship is handled beautifully by these two authors and it carries you along with it with only a couple of hiccups, and believable ones at that, along the way.

Now Frankie and Evan next please and then the other guy whose name we’re all avoiding mentioning so we don’t spoil anything 🙂

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Hot, hot, hot like the Spanish setting

Summer HeatSummer Heat by Jay Northcote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like the Spanish setting, this delightful summer read from Jay is full of dry heat and steamy encounters.

It’s light, a perfect beach read with a friends to lovers romance that just sits on the right side of sweet without being cloying.

Adam and Finn somehow never got it together when they first met as students and instead slipped into best friend status. When Adam finally splits from his older boyfriend after five fairly uninspiring years together he asks Finn to come with him on the holiday he’d had booked as a surprise for his ex.

And, under the red hot sun, things take a different turn as a holiday fling threesome stirs up feelings both men have kept hidden away.

While things happen in a relatively short time, I believed in their romance completely. The ground work was laid down well for their slide first into hooking up and then, following a specific incident, to move into love.

With a deft hand, Jay has crafted a lovely summer romance and Garrett Leigh’s beautiful cover fully reflects the gorgeous-ness to be found inside.

#ARC provided by the author in return for an unbiased and fair review.

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Trouble in paradise? Don’t worry the boys come through

Interborough (Five Boroughs #4)Interborough by Santino Hassell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure with this one, did I want to read more of David and Raymond when they’d been left pretty happy at the end of Sunset Park? For a lot of this book there was angst, oh lord was there angst.

But, it was all the good kind, the kind that leads people to have to talk, either to each other or to a trusted friend, and both David and Ray did this in spades during this book. Their troubles were totally believable, this was a slice of real relationship life and it was written so well that, at one point, my heart was in my mouth thinking Santino was going to leave them apart!

I should have known better, he would never do that to his devoted Five Boroughs fans right? And sure enough, with incredible skill and fabulous writing he slowly drew all the loose threads back together again to give us a pairing I have no doubt will be sharing that Viagra tablet aged 80 in their nursing home twin beds!

Now onto the mysterious A-Town!

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Five beautiful fat Quinn and Miles stars

Tied to You (Wild Side, #2)Tied to You by Riley Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love relationships where there is just as much talking and laughing as there is time spent on the smexy encounters and this book is a starring example.

You can tell, and Riley admits it in the acknowledgements, that these two men were written with love. They jump off the page in all their wonderful glory, Quinn with his smart mouth, Miles with his unfailing honesty.

I loved every bit of this story, as I did book one in the series (and the prologue before that) because they feel real, the friendship between the four men at the heart of the setting, those who surround them, and the world they inhabit, could be just round the corner at that bar table.
It reminded me very much of St Elmo’s Fire, one of the best films of the 80s and also of my own bunch of school mates who’ve now been taking the mickey out of each other for almost 40 years.

Beautiful cover too. I loved that this was a romance focused on an inter racial relationship with a man of colour at the centre. I wish there were even more novels which focused away from the typical white guy heroes.

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