Testing the Waters by Skylar M. Cates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a gorgeous romance from Skylar set in her Shelby Beach world and it just made me happy.
There’s two imperfect people, each with their own hang-ups and fears, seeking to move into a healthier and better place and finding their support in the other .
I loved both Jordan, a wonderful depiction of a non-binary MC who suffers with a perfectly understandable fear of the open water, and Zane, who on the outside looks like he’s fit and healthy but who is still in remission from cancer and hasn’t really mentally adjusted.
Together they slowly move from instant physical attraction into friendship and to love without there being any unnecessary dramady or angst for plot’s sake.
I loved all the secondary characters and there’s quite a bit of Leo and Julian from The Christmas Lights Battle. Now I’m hoping we’re going to get Oliver’s story next and possibly Tristan’s but I’d love to visit Shelby Beach again soon.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review
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Arctic Heat by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very definitely my favourite of the three in this Alaskan set series from Annabeth.
This is a story about second chances, not only at life but at finding your place and the things which are important to you no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
I felt so bad for Quill, who has had a life which challenged his very sense of self to the point which he locked it away and decided he’d be married to his job as a ranger.
That was until wonderful Owen crashed full tilt into his steady world and thoroughly shook it up.
I loved how Annabeth made this a quiet story, it’s focused on and around the day to day activities of the ranger station and its tiny staff quarters where the two men oh so slowly fall in love.
They are delicious together and quite unexpected in their sexual preferences, nothing more hotter than Quill starting to let go and explore how freeing sex can be when it’s with the right partner.
The tension points felt earned and completely within the drive of the narrative and I was holding my breath even with the Carina Press guarantee of a HEA!
As with the other two, Alaska is as much a character as the humans and wildlife and I’m still totally jealous of my friend Dani who got to read this book on location!
The ending is awesome and I was sad to say goodbye to Quill and Owen as they settled into their Alaskan sunset forever.
#ARC kindly received from the publisher Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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