Another pitch perfect addition to the Out of Uniform series

37544729Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s a few authors who I know, when it comes to a military setting, that I’m going to get a book that not only gets that aspect right, but also perfectly pitches the romance that goes with it.

Annabeth Albert is one of those and in her latest Out of Uniform offering, she gives the reader something different. This book still has all the military elements down pat, even with the narrative including a rush job home at the end of a deep ops mission.

But it also has great depth, especially when it comes to dealing with, and processing, the emotional, financial and legal aspects of sudden death.

There is grief here, but also anger, there is mistrust and fear, but also hope and expectations things will just work out with enough effort.

And, ultimately, there is a gorgeous romance and a relationship which relies on more than just a sexual connection to build up the tensions in the plotting.

Now that’s not to say that this book isn’t without sex, as always Annabeth has a light touch which puts on paper some incredibly powerful and moving experiences between Unca Ike and Unca Mark.
Mark’s awareness of his demisexual, possibly grey ace, status is handled with sensitivity.

He doesn’t suddenly want sex just because Ike is his person, sometimes the act of kissing is even more sensual and a bigger turn on than a full on sex scene.

There is a lot of hurt/comfort in this, but also a lot of situations which become hurtful to one or the other character and it’s refreshing to see this handled through conversation and not just magic dick-ed away.

The kids are also believable, there’s a good set of secondary characters and we get a chance to catch up with some of the guys from the series. Now, can we get as HEA for Bacon next please 😉

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

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Point of Contact will leave you hurting but it’s worth the pain

37763495Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


So, so, so many times this book made me tear up but I never full on ugly cried like I have with previous Melanie Hansen books and I think, for me, the reason for that was Carl.

I felt for Carl. It felt like Carl was there only to be discarded so that the “real” romance between Trevor and Jesse could begin and I felt like Carl was really badly done to.

Irrational perhaps because, don’t get me wrong, the romance between Trevor and Jesse was absolutely perfect, but it felt like that should have been the only one and Carl could have just been a really good friend instead.

I know he needed to be there for plot reasons at the party so Jesse could behave as he did, but it just still took the edge of the rest of the romance for me personally.

But, as for the rest, this book will rip your heart out at the sorrow and pain the characters experience. War hurts, no matter whether the cause is “righteous” or not. People die, families are devastated, friends are left to deal with the survivor guilt.

This book, like all of Melanie’s I’ve read, has meticulously researched elements which make it feel absolutely real. But there was one hiccup in this which surprised me. At one point Riley is trying to persuade Jesse to join the Army’s Special Forces and – instead of using the Hooah battle cry, he yells Oorah instead.

It’s a small detail but that’s the cry of the Marines, an entirely separate branch of the Military and one usually affiliated with the Navy (while being independant), so it threw me out a bit. If they were going to join the Army’s Special Forces, it’d have been the Rangers, Delta Force or Special Forces Regiment (amongst others).
Now I’m not saying they couldn’t have switched branches to the Marines, but it just didn’t seem likely and I was surprised at the error.

That aside, the rest of this book is impeccable as it shows the impact of Private First Class Riley Estes’ death in combat on his friends and his father. There is lots of pain, but also lots of comfort in this book as Trevor comes to rely on Jesse firstly for the connection to his dead son, but then for Jesse himself.

There is a tender romance at the heart of this and the writing style – of using time jumps to highlight key areas of the narrative – worked really well for me. The Epilogue is wonderful, carries some real hope and is beautifully bookended with the Prologue which opens the book.

The cover is tasteful, as befits the subject matter, and works perfectly. A book I won’t forget for a while.

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

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Another fantastic menage from Sloane Kennedy

Unexpected (The Protectors, Book 10)Unexpected by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a bit late to this one as I had a backlog of ARCs to read and review first but I have to say it again, there’s very few authors who can pull off a menage as well as Sloane does imho.

This one’s a doozy featuring as it does one ex President, one Secret Service agent and one member of Ronan’s underground vigilante team.

There’s drama and angsting of the highest calibre but it never reaches too much and the relationship development is given time to breathe.

When they finally do get together well let’s just say I may never look at a couch arm in the same way again. It’s hard to write three men and get the balance right so it feels like they are all equals but this is definitely the case here.

Each man not only brings something different to the table (and gawd that was another epic sex scene), but receives the same from the other two.

Gage and Nash are outwardly strong men, physically capable of protecting Everett but they need him to anchor them together. Each needs the support of the other to accept that what they’re feeling isn’t wrong.

There’s the usual background criminal/villain element to the book too but in this it takes much more of a back burner to the simple growth of the relationship and the mending of broken bridges between Everett and his son Reese.

I loved the setting and the secondary characters, including the dogs and escaping chicken, and it was great getting a little glimpse back to one of my fave couples, Vincent and Nathan.

Now for Caleb’s story which I’m expecting to rip my heart out!

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Release Blitz: No Limits by Nora Phoenix

No Limit Tour Banner

No Limit

No Shame Series Book 2

Nora Phoenix

M/M Romance

November 26, 2017

No Limits cover

 Cover Design: Sloan Johnson/Sloan J Design



Josh is convinced he’ll never find someone who’ll love him the way he is. He’s not exactly a catch with his PTSD, which has transformed him into a homebody most of the times. Sweet, maybe, but also boring as hell. Plus, there’s that submissive tendency he recently discovered and is dying to explore. When Connor shows interest in him, he can’t believe the sexy cop would look at him twice, let alone make an effort to get to know him. When he does, Josh discovers theyb have more in common than he’d ever thought possible.

Connor had survived the ordeal that left his best friend and fellow Marine dead, but that survival came at a price. He’s a robot, going through the motions, but barely alive. Until fate intervenes when he meets Josh. The vulnerable man triggers all kinds of protective and dominant urges in Connor, but what would a cute guy like Josh want with an inexperienced, closed-off, bossy steamroller like him?

When Connor discovers his past endangers Indy, all hope for a future between him and Josh seems lost. After all, there’s no way Josh will ever choose Connor over Indy’s safety and Noah’s lifelong friendship. When a crisis hits, can Connor prove he’s strong enough to deal with everything that’s thrown his way?

No Limits is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the second book in the No Shame Series, and is not a standalone novel, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) first. It contains hot sex, a little BDSM kink for beginners, more hot sex, and a beautiful friendship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

No Limits Teaser 1


Connor needed to know. “But you are gay, though?”

“I am.”

“That’s good,” Connor said, then cleared his throat. So far for playing it cool. Oh, fuck it, that ship sailed long ago. You might as well go all in. “Look, before we continue this conversation, can you at least say something?”

Josh tilted his head to the side, his nose crumpling, making him look adorably cute. “About what?”

Connor threw his hands up in the air. “About whether or not you like me back. You still haven’t said a damn thing on how you feel about me, if you like me or not.”

This time, Josh’s answer came wicked fast. “You’re hot and damn sexy, but I don’t know you well enough yet to decide whether I like you or not.”

Connor’s mouth dropped open slightly. “You think I’m sexy?”

Josh rolled his eyes. “Dude, you’re built like a tank, you’re as masculine as they come, you have the whole uniform thing going with a healthy dose of dominant macho and ‘don’t fuck with me’ thrown in. You’re, like, the wet dream of every bottom, including me.”

This brutally honest confession was not what Connor had expected from sweet, shy Josh. To be fair, the guy seemed a little flustered once the words were out, as if he’d said more than he’d wanted to. But holy fuck, those words had lit a fire inside of Connor.

“I’ve never done this before,” Connor said. “I’ve never been in a relationship, haven’t even dated, so I have no idea what I’m doing here, or how to do this.”

Understanding dawned in Josh’s eyes, taking away his previous embarrassment, which was exactly what Connor had intended. He had this baffling urge to make Josh feel better. “You’re not out,” Josh said.


Nora Logo Gold

When she was a little tot, Nora’s mom got a library subscription for her. That, as they say, was that, and a lifelong love for books was born. Nora never stopped reading and doesn’t exaggerate when she says she devours books, rather than plain reads them. She started writing stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and wrote her first full book as a teen (on a typewriter!). It took her waaaay too long to follow her dream to become a romance author.

Nora writes M/M romance, because hello, sexy boys, and likes her men flawed, strong, and a tad broken. She appreciates a little kink, but insists on a happy ever after.


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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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Needs its own heat rating – seriously packs a sexy punch

Wheels Up (Out of Uniform, #4)Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book needs to come with a heat warning. And an ice pack, probably a fan and definitely should be enjoyed somewhere the reader can artfully swoon because it is – without any shadow of doubt – the sexiest and downright kinkiest of the series.

Ben and Maddox remain my favourite pair but Dustin and Wes are approaching the top quickly in their bid to win my affections as best Out of Uniform couple yet.

This book had everything, kinky scenes which bucked the stereotypes, steamy and emotional sex, actual angst caused by real conflict and situations not just for plot points, the detailed military elements I’ve come to expect from this series and, finally, an ending which leaves you sighing at the beauty of a loving relationship overcoming all obstacles.

Bravo Annabeth, this one is gorgeous – just like the scorching hot cover.

#ARC received from Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Hot as the cover with a great story inside

Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc., #2)Pounding Skin by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Absolutely as hot as the photo on the cover! Overall I enjoyed this one more than book one, even though I’ve given them the same rating.

There’s far less angst in this one, for most of the book the MCs are happily together just getting on with having some of that amazing sex LA Witt is so, so good at writing.

There’s little in the way of outside forces creating tensions, it all comes from the relationship development itself and even that isn’t particularly bad.

Jon needed his eyes opening to see what he was potentially throwing away and Matt needed to wake up and realise he wanted more and that he wouldn’t wait around. Thankfully some proverbial head knocking resulted in some top class grovelling and an epic HFN nudging into a HEA.

Nice to see Colin and Daniel from book one not only still together but thriving and I’m loving the book three pairing.

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

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