Tag Archives: OCD

Con Riley delivers a glorious romance in Saving Sean

41sj2Yd0++LSaving Sean by Con Riley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not sure what happened to my original reviews of Con’s books, only Must Like Spinach seems to have survived.

Anyways, Saving Sean is being re-released shortly with a new cover and a bit of a re-work but it’s not changed enough to take away from this glorious romance which is one of my favourites from Con.

Saving Sean is as much about Peter finding a new direction as it is about the titular character. But it’s so much more than just a romance. It’s about finding acceptance, it’s about learning how to move on, it’s about putting the past to bed and looking to the future.

It deals with the mental illness of a character who has died at the time the book starts and it examines how just one small thing can push someone over the edge (don’t worry there’s no trigger warnings necessary imho – it deals with OCD rather than suicidal impulses).

And, while this book takes place over a super short time period, it never feels it. To me, it’s like time stretches out across infinite days while Peter and Sean fall in love at the same time as they fix up Sean’s cabin and work out both of their complex feelings for their families’ past lives.

Peter and Sean connect on hundreds of levels, but I think one of the main ones is that they both understand how the other became disconnected and they’re both determined to move beyond and try to make a difference.

I loved how Con’s other interconnected couples get involved here as well, I’m a big fan of Joel and Ethan, although Aiden’s a bit of a pratt at first in this one. We do see the genus of his own story and his relationship with Marco begin in this book though and it’s lovely to know what’s coming next if, like me, you’ve already read Aiden’s Luck

If you read Saving Sean before, then I’ll just say Con’s tidied it up, made it more linear and with less jumping around, and it’s had another edit, but the same beautiful love story is still at its heart.

I had the privilege of proofing this new edition for Con. The review is my own honest and unbiased opinion.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Wedge gets his happy ending and my heart was bursting too

68340519_2437327196355521_4708214407677607936_oHometown Christmas by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been wanting Wedge’s story since he first appeared in Garrett’s stunningly brilliant books Between Ghosts and the Rented Heart series.

Once the joker of the pack, since his accident, he’s retreated into himself and moved back home.

And, once again, I’m tickled by Garrett setting another book in my birth place of Leeds. She gets all the nuisances which make it such a fascinating city right.

Another thing she nails is her military research. I’ve said it before, I’ve family who were Special Forces and they’re a unique breed who never speak other than in abstract about their service.

Garrett’s note at the end of the book is spot on.

Here, Gavin’s army experience and his relationships with Marc and Nat, (and through them also with Jamie and Connor) and their losses and traumas, are so perfectly expressed.

And Yani. I loved Yani. He’s so different from Jamie but he works for Gavin just like the younger man does for Marc. It’s no secret that their book Soul To Keep, is my absolute favourite of all Garrett’s books, but this one comes close.

It’s not your typical Christmas romance, it touches on the harsh realities of big cities and their problems with the homeless and the lack of facilities to care for them.

It looks at both living with OCD and with the aftermath of PTSD, but it’s none the less a tale of hope. Of finding the moments that bring joy and of letting your heart be filled with the spark of love.

A fabulous addition to the military romance shelf of works from Garrett.

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

View all my reviews

Release Blitz: Clean Break by Erin McLellan

Clean Break | Erin McLellan

Farm College Series #2

CleanBreak-ebook-final.jpg

Release Date: March 19, 2019

Buy Links:  

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PKMLRMM

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clean-Break-Farm-College-Book-ebook/dp/B07PKMLRMM

Blurb

A romantic story about two men with opposing life plans find a way back to each other.

Connor’s To-Do List:

  • Learn to accept my future on the family farm
  • Be social, to a degree
  • Make a secret bucket list
  • Have a real conversation with Travis Bradford

Travis’s To-Do List:

  • Get into my top law school
  • Get the hell out of Elkville, Oklahoma
  • Stay focused on my dreams and goals—no crushes, no distractions
  • Get spanked by hot and perfectly fussy farm boy, Connor Blume

Travis and Connor do not like each other, but after being paired together in Entomology 101, their mutual hostility explodes into secret after-class hookups and unexpected feelings.

With graduation looming near and their careers taking them in different directions, they’ll have to decide if a future together is worth adjusting their to-do lists and letting go of their carefully laid plans.

Warnings: Explicit sex including mild kink; explicit language; instances and /or discussion of racism, homophobia, and transphobia; depiction of anxiety and OCD; consumption of alcohol; character with a deceased parent; lots of insects.

For more info about these warnings: http://smarturl.it/cleanbreakcws

***Please note: To celebrate the upcoming release of Clean Break, the first book in the series, Controlled Burn, has been discounted to $0.99 (USD)!***

Pick up this sexy, angsty MM college romance now!

Excerpt

TRAVIS

I was frozen, arms and legs heavy with desire or shock. I wasn’t sure which. I wanted Connor to keep kissing me, and I wanted him to stop right fucking now.

He must have sensed my unease because he pulled back and stared at me. My vision had adjusted to the dim light, so I could make out the muddy hazel of his eyes and the way his jaw ticked. He had faint acne scars on his cheeks that I’d never noticed, giving his face a rugged quality that was almost offset by all his adorable freckles.

“I’m sorry. I should have asked you first,” he said.

“It’s fine,” I whispered. My voice was shot.

“Can I kiss you again?”

This was the weirdest day. First, I’d discovered I was going to get a pet cockroach, and now the guy who I’d lost an entire semester pining after was asking permission to kiss me in a closet. There was a metaphor in there somewhere, but I was not in the right mind to analyze it.

I was curious. And he was sexy as all fuck. Maybe because he was so repressed and stoic? I wanted to be the one to unravel him.

“I suppose,” I said.

This time he sucked on my bottom lip, and my knees immediately went weak. He didn’t kiss like other guys. He kissed like he wasn’t totally sure of himself, and maybe it made me a jerk, but I wasn’t helping him out at all. I stood stock-still, and let him explore.

He kissed slowly around my mouth, his lips slipping against mine, almost reverently, and my head spun.

This was not a breath-stealing kiss. His tongue wasn’t stuffed so far in my mouth I couldn’t think. In fact, he hadn’t used his tongue at all. He captured my top lip, suckled lightly, then nibbled on it.

I couldn’t help it. I groaned and pulled him closer so our bodies touched. He pressed me into the door with an intensity that scared and excited me all at once. The back of my head ground into one of those plastic glowing stars.

“Shhh,” he mumbled, his mouth not leaving mine.

“Don’t shush me,” I snapped before gripping his face in both hands and biting his lip hard.

He grabbed my hands, ripped them off his cheeks, and pinned them above my head against the closet door.

We stared at each other, both breathing hard.

“I liked that,” he said. His voice was wary, as if he didn’t want to give too much away.

I wanted him to give everything away.

About the Author

 Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows. Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska chapter.

 Social Media:

Website: https://www.erinmclellan.com

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16700859.Erin_McLellan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emclellanwrites

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorerinmclellan

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/244545999752447/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinmclellanwrites/

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/mclellannewsletter


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Clean Break, Erin McLellan is giving one lucky winner a choice of one of her backlist titles (reader’s choice!) plus $5 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Second time around and I loved this complex issues-focused romance

43527040Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Re-reading the revised and expanded edition due out soon from Dreamspinner.

***

4.5*

Well, second time around I’m not sure if I can tell what’s been changed from the first edition but I have to say, I vastly enjoyed this more than I obviously did the first time round when I only gave it 3* but didn’t review (for whatever reason I can’t remember now)

I’d forgotten how deliciously filthy – in the absolute best way – it is, with Denver and Adam’s BDSM taking them into some seriously sensual and highly erotic scenes which burst with not only sexual tensions and lust, but also with clearly developing emotions and the start of relationship connections which only strengthen with time.

It’s also a stunning examination of the outcomes living with OCD and clinical anxiety can do to a human’s mind and how it can twist beyond recognition the normalities of day to day life into nightmarish proportions.

But, that’s not to say that the exploration of BDSM brings with it a cure or that Denver has a magic dick with which to stop all of Adam’s issues. He doesn’t. What he provides is an outlet through which Adam learns to find managing techniques which help him process the tics and the panic attacks and the irrational fears.

There’s also a wonderful cast of helpful and supporting secondary characters. I’d forgotten just how much I loved Louisa, the trans woman Adam bumps into shortly after his dickhead ex has managed to drive him into an anxiety spike.

The new cover for this book also beautifully illustrates Denver’s strengths, the cowboy who has his own issues to deal with, who thinks he’s dumb but actually has what’s probably dyslexia or a similar learning processing disorder.

So, second time round and it’s a massive hit for me.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

Pre-order your copy here from Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dirty-laundry-by-heidi-cullinan-10335-b

View all my Goodreads reviews

Just took the spot as my favourite Garrett Leigh book

Soul to Keep (Rented Heart, #2)Soul to Keep by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this is my favourite Garrett Leigh book. I don’t know what, exactly, about the book makes me say that, but I just know that as I was reading it, my heart felt full and my head was quiet and calm as it absorbed the growing love between Jamie and Marc.

And oh did they need each other. As with any book from this supremely talented author, there is such a driving need for finding peace with what life has thrown at you. Both Jamie and Marc had such scars, not only the visible ones crossing their bodies, but the mental ones which are the hardest to come to terms with.

One of my friends has said she feels wrung out and sad after reading a Garrett Leigh book, but for me, I have the exact opposite result. Yes, the subject matter is always brutally real, but I am always left with an overwhelming sense of hope.

Her men are always left in a better place, even if they still have demons to live with, than they were at journey’s start. Her men always manage to find the one person in the world who understands them, who can bring them a sense of peace and of belonging. They learn how to live with their troubles, even knowing they will never be fixed or free of them.

You can’t cure an addict, no matter what they’re addicted to, but you can give them the tools to learn to live with it to their best ability and in Soul to Keep, we see Jamie slowly come to terms with the knowledge that he doesn’t have to spend his life as if spiders are crawling all over his skin all the time.

The relationship between Jamie and Marc is very much slow burn, and it has to be, both of them have pasts which have irrevocably changed them and trust is something which takes time to build but let me say, when they finally do break through the barriers of what’s going on in their heads, the resulting sex scene might be one of the most emotionally powerful (and volcanically hot) I’ve read in a book from Garrett.

I adored every single bit of this book and there’s a little piece of my heart that fervently hopes that Jamie and Marc really do exist in their little bit of Derbyshire and they’re happily getting along with their lives in Chesterfield General’s A&E department and the food project kitchen 🙂

Oh, secondary characters – yes, another wonderfully drawn collection, one of whom is utterly real even though he only ever is described off page and I seriously hope Garrett is going to give us Nat and Connor’s story even though they’re together in this one. I’d love to know how the SAS CO and the journalist got together.

And, a final thought, big props to Garrett for the research into the special forces which is hinted and obliquely referenced here. As someone with an uncle who was once based in Hereford, all aspects of that side of this story felt very real.

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

All the gushing and fangirling, as with all my favourite authors, is done completely off my own bat 😉

View all my reviews