Love sometimes really is all you need

going-off-gridGoing Off Grid by S.J.D. Peterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by SJD Peterson and I have to say, I really liked their style of writing and the whole narrative of this book.

It’s part of Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love series, each book set in an American state and with characteristics unique to that geographical location. This one is in the deep heart of rural North Dakota.

There’s not, actually, a lot to the story, it’s two men who’ve worked hard long hours, hardly seeing each other for more than a snatched day or so having a dream to go off grid and live out their early retirement in a cabin in the woods.

And that’s it, but it’s also more than that, it’s a story about romance, about love, about compromise and hard work, about making sacrifices for the ones you love, about finding true peace and about working with nature to create your own perfect piece of paradise.

It’s relatively low on steam but there’s a couple of scenes which burn the pages for a short time and there is so much love between the two that the sex really is just a bonus. I loved Clay and Elliott and I like to picture them out on their porch, Little Man the obnoxious cat out chasing leaves, sipping their coffee and enjoying the life.

Grab your copy from Dreamspinner here

#ARC kindly provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

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Simply beautiful, love in its purest colours

Dear Mona Lisa...Dear Mona Lisa… by Claire Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, a disclaimer. I live nine miles away from the setting of this book. Friends who’ve reviewed it have waxed lyrical about the beauty of the setting and how it has a real sense of place.

I had to take a moment as beautiful isn’t a word normally associated with this stark Northern Victorian industrial heritage town. But then, the more I read this book, the more I realised they were right.

Bradford isn’t ever going to be picture postcard but there’s an honesty to this city, built like Rome on a number of hills, and it’s surrounded by the austere bleakness which inspired the Brontes, by the philanthropic benevolence of Sir Titus Salt, by the legacy of the mill owners in Cartwright Hall and Lister Park.

This book made me see this city again, one I’ve so often turned my nose up at (apart from The Alhambra which I’ve always loved), and see it through the eyes of a man finding the courage to reveal his deepest truth.

The colours of dawn, promises of a new day and a fresh start, run throughout this story. Warm oranges, clear blues, an occasional grey – it rains a lot “Up Norf” – passionate reds, delicate peach and deeper purples, also bring to life the animals who act as guides to Tom and Loz’s journey.

I loved it and yes I know I’ve not really gone into the narrative of the book but that’s deliberate as I do firmly believe this short story should be read blind, with no hints of what is to come.

Just be heartened that all ends as it should and Mona Lisa definitely smiled.

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Cute romance with an adorable dog

Crushed (Foster Puppies Book 1)Crushed by A.R. Steele

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5* There’s a lot of good things in this book. It’s fairly low angst, it has a cute dog and her litter of puppies, it has a tinge of sadness to stop it being overly sweet and it has a lovely epilogue.

I liked Harley, he was simple in his ways, no manipulation or falseness in his character, he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to let it out. Tynan on the other hand, took some warming to. He was repressed and closed off and not particularly nice for a while.

Eventually though, he found the inner strength to be himself and do what made him happy. They made a sweet pair and I did find the relationship development believable.

Steam factor is on the low side, a lot happens off page or fades to black but there are also times when they come together and it felt organic and emotionally connected.

But there’s loads of gay stereotyping goes on in this book which made me roll my eyes a lot. Also there’s no actual story narrative, not a lot happens other than an act of dramady which felt out of place.

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A Tease indeed as Ella Frank kicks off part two of Logan & Tate

Tease (Temptation Series Book 4)Tease by Ella Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Ella Frank released Logan and Tate to the world back in Try she created two of MMs most instantly recognisable characters. The hot alpha lawyer and his equally passionate bartender sprang to life in three wonderful novels and hit their HEA following some trials and tribulations.

Now, almost four years later, they’re back and we get to see what’s been happening since they rode off into the proverbial sunset not only with our key pairing but with the characters who surround them.

Let’s be honest here, not much happens in this book, it’s a catch up, a chance to reconnect with these brilliantly beautiful men. It’s an invitation to once again live through some of the hottest, most passionate, downright dirty and emotional sex put down on paper (or e-reading device) for the reader’s enjoyment.

Roll on book two as Logan stops being afraid that loving just one man will result in him becoming boring and normal and instead realises it might just be the most exciting thing he’s ever done.

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