Jocelyn Drake knocks the festive romance out of the park again

Ice, Snow, & MistletoeIce, Snow, & Mistletoe by Jocelynn Drake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as in last year’s Walking on Thin Ice, this visit to Cincinnati and to Spenser’s best friend John is an absolute joy.

Unlike Spenser though, John hasn’t found his Happy Ever After and his family dramas have made Christmas a painful event for many years.

When he bumps into the guy who pretty much broke his heart five years earlier, he’s ready to walk away, just like Oz did to him, when he realises the probable reason that happened.

Watching these two navigate their way through all the trials of discovering neither had truly moved on was a lesson in how to create tension without ever overwhelming the story.

John and Oz are perfect together, if only Oz can learn that his happiness is just as important as his family life, and if John can persuade him to let him fully into his world.

I also liked that the ex-girlfriend didn’t provide the usual obstacle but that she too learnt to stand o her own two feet. I also liked. That she was encouraging about John and Oz once she found out and she made Oz open his eyes a bit.

It was also fab to bump into Spenser and Evan again and see the continuation of their HEA with a New Year wedding.

I hope Jocelynn comes back to this setting again.

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Superbly crafted daddy kink from Riley Hart

Jared's Evolution (Jared & Kieran #1)Jared’s Evolution by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daddy kink isn’t my thing at all but I can appreciate a superbly crafted piece of writing and that is exactly what Jared’s Evolution is.

At heart I’m afraid I’m too bloody minded and strong willed to ever be submissive so I have nothing but admiration for those of similar character who can go that extra mile and put their trust beyond the every day level of a loving relationship and take it somewhere empowering.

This isn’t necessarily a romance, or not yet at least, but it is a story about trust and connections with another person and being willing to give up your own well-being to the care of another.

Jared and Kieran’s relationship development is beautifully developed through distrust, anger, shame, fear, longing, wanting, accepting and trusting until it becomes love on Jared’s side.

Whether Kieran will follow remains to be seen but I will be waiting to find out even though this isnt my kink and that is the mark of a truly gifted writer in my view.

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Low angst festive re-release from Chris Ethan

Jingle SpellJingle Spell by Chris Ethan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5*

This is an okay Christmas read for those who like low angst and most sex happening off page.

There’s a few mistakes in the editing which threw me out of the story a bit but not enough to ruin it. One more run through from a proof reader should catch these though.

It’s also got a new cover on the latest edition and it works well at capturing the age gap.

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

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Loved this intro to a new series from Alison Hendricks

Final Stretch (Glen Springs, #1)Final Stretch by Alison Hendricks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Low angst, moderate steam, ranch setting, hot NFL player, ex jockey, what more could you ask for?!

For me, not much as I just like Alison Hendricks’ style of writing. This one centres around Travis, mired in a scandal and with a broken heart after the guy he was going to propose to leaks a sex tape.

I loved Travis, he was strong in character but with a vulnerability which came from never knowing anything but football. His relationship with his older brother was strained but you could sense within him the desire to make changes.

Shane also was flawed and his experiences had changed him in a different way, he was cautious and held back a bit but he held such passion inside.

Together they were just beautifully sweet and I’m looking forward to more in this setting.

Oh and the big gesture Shane makes – awesome.

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Give me all the ice hockey men! Love these stories

Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers, #1)Changing Lines by R.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The sign of a good book for me is when the ending comes upon you without you realising you’ve got through the whole narrative without wondering how long it is.

This book did just that for me. I’m a fan of RJ Scott anyway, this was the first I’ve read of VL Locey (although I have her Point Shot series on my Kindle waiting to be read) and together they put down a very good ice hockey romance.

I loved the fact there actually was ice hockey in this book! Games happened on the ice, training happened, it wasn’t all off the ice with the relationship being the only story. I liked the complexities of the two main characters’ families.

The age gap element was well done, never felt like a big deal and – while everything goes swimmingly with very little angst and is perhaps a touch unrealistic – you know what, I didn’t care. I don’t want to read about the horrors of a sportsman or woman coming out because that shit already happens in Real Life and it makes me incandescently angry.

That Mads and Ten could just be themselves with only a few hiccups made me happy. As this is book one in an interconnected series, it may be that some of that side of the story still has to come and I’m happy with that too.

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All or Nothing an all-new, steamy MM romance by Felice Stevens is LIVE!

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All or Nothing
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

A past he couldn’t forget

Adam Barton is living his dream of working as a firefighter in his small Texas town, but a tragedy from his youth continues to haunt him. He decides New York City is the perfect place to start a new life and joins the FDNY, living and loving his own way—no strings and nothing personal. Until he catches sight of Rico Estevez, the sexy chef with the mysterious smile who rocks his world. After one explosive night together, Adam craves another….And then another. The more he and Rico are together, the more Adam wants him.

A future he never imagined

Rico Estevez is living a lie. For years he’s hidden his sexuality, afraid to hurt the career of his politically ambitious father. He’s the perfect American―the best schools, top of his class and most importantly, to his father, a successful businessman. Who needs a boyfriend when sex is so easy to find? Starting a torrid love affair with Adam Barton isn’t a problem; neither one is looking toward forever. But Rico’s father is about to get the chance of a lifetime and Rico feels forced to play by his rules.

Rules are made to be broken

Adam proves more unforgettable than Rico ever imagines, but he gives in to family pressures above personal desire. When a fire reunites them, both men discover their passion for each other hasn’t died; rather it’s stronger than ever. Want turns to need and something more dangerous to their hearts—love. Adam and Rico know if they want to have it all, they can let no one and nothing stand in their way of a life together.

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Read Today!

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Start the Series of Standalones Today!

Learning to Love

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The Way to His Heart

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About Felice:

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Best in the series for me and a passionate romance

Cover Up (Skin Deep Inc., #3)Cover Up by L.A. Witt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is, in my opinion anyway, easily the best in the series with two characters who felt relatable and believable.

Nate has been on the periphery of the other two books in this series, he’s Jon’s best friend, his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer), his wingman, the guy who’s always had his back. At the end of book two, the reader was left with Nate’s discovery of his husband Caleb’s cheating and his 10-year marriage crashing around him.

Lucas was the new guy at Skin Deep, an expert at covering up other tattoos and, at 28, already divorced twice from impulsive relationships both as a teenager and at college. He’s struggling running two other jobs and his confidence has been knocked by a mistake he made freehanding a tattoo and not looking for anything when his and Nate’s worlds collide.

Now, a disclaimer here, I think LA Witt is one of the finest proponents of emotionally driven characters and her talent for writing sex scenes which bounce off the page with their chemistry isn’t matched by many, so this book was just my cup of tea.

The instant attraction between the two is palpable, you can feel it like a lightning strike and it’s a no brainer for them to fall into some hot sex. But, as the weeks go on, the hook-ups start to feel a bit more like friends-with-benefits and then the months lengthen out and everything slides a bit more into a relationship.

For both men there are unforeseen consequences. Lucas realises, as Nate’s tiger tattoo – the one his ex-husband also has – remains uncovered, that he’s become the crutch Nate’s using to avoid dealing with his pain and grief from the divorce and Caleb’s cheating.

Nate hurts Lucas, unintentionally, but it’s something which needed to happen because he realises he hasn’t dealt at all with the the end of his marriage and covering up his tattoo isn’t going to help at all. There some real conversation between Nate and his ex which allows him to realise that what he has with Lucas is even more precious to him and leaves him wondering how he’s going to fix things.

The ending is a sweet conclusion to what has been a slow and steady falling in love of two people who never set out with the intention of doing that. There is an honest expression of emotion and hopes for the future and we also see Colin and Daniel from book one concluding their HEA with a truly sweet proposal and wedding and expectations that both Jon and Matt, and Nate and Lucas, will be following them down their own HEA aisles in the not too distant future.

I don’t know if there are any other books planned in this series, there’s no obvious other characters to pick up the narrative, but I’ve enjoyed each one for different reasons.

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

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