I absolutely adored Lando and Dawson’s second chance romance

40529470Play it by Ear by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know there’s only two out so far but this one is absolutely my favourite one yet! It has way less of the angst than the first book but it still has enough tensions to stop it from being a one-dimensional read.

Lando has been pining for a guy he met over a heady weekend in Miami nearly a decade ago.

After the events of book one (this could be read as a standalone however as there is enough catch up as to the situation) he decides to head back to Florida and the same beachfront house he rented to see if it will help his writer’s block.

Fate, of course, lands his lost love back in his lap but there’s been a big change and Dawson is now deaf and has no memory of the weekend he spent with Lando, a horrific car accident at the end of that weekend while on his way home has robbed him of both his hearing and parts of his life.

As these two vulnerable men get to know each other all over again, the narrative is carefully woven through present and past scenes to give the reader the glimpse into the long-lost weekend which changed both their lives so dramatically.

While on the surface it may seem like Dawson is the more vulnerable of the two men, his deafness and fears he may have more memory lapses are a strong presence in the plot, Lando is actually the one who is on the edge as he’s terrified of losing the man he’s never stopped loving.

The pacing of this book is very good, it never dips or drops off but tootles along in a gently comforting fashion as Dawson begins to see himself and his missing memories through Lando’s lense of love.

I adored both these characters and, as this book is happening concurrently with the others in the series, we get to see more glimpses into what the other members of Downward Spiral are up to including back to Lincoln’s traumas in book one.

I’m seriously stoked for what’s going to happen in Jude’s story and I’m still intrigued as to where Benji’s is going to go and I loved the little drop in of tattoo artist Royal from this author’s Heathen’s Ink series 🙂

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

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Review Tour: Second Chance by Jay Northcote

 Second Chance | Jay Northcote

RBBanner

Length: 67,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 Blurb
 

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack–his best friend from school and unrequited crush–his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate–or Nat as Jack once knew him–is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

 Excerpt

A hint of cigarette smoke carried on the wind caught Nate’s attention, and he realised he wasn’t alone. A hunched figure sat on a bench by the church. Wearing a heavy coat with the hood up, their head hung low staring at the grass between their feet rather than at the landscape stretched out before them.

A cigarette hung from bony fingers that protruded from black fingerless gloves. As Nate watched, the man—because Nate could see his face now—raised his head to take a long drag before stubbing the cigarette out on the bench.
A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.

Jack.

Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.

How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly.

Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.

Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.

“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”

Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”

“I do.”

Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.

As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.

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Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

www.jaynorthcote.com

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Release Day Blitz: Second Chance by Jay Northcote

 Second Chance | Jay Northcote

RBBanner

Length: 67,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 Blurb
 

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Nate and his teenage daughter need a fresh start, so they move back to the village where he grew up. Nate’s transgender, and not used to disclosing his history, so it’s hard living where people knew him before. When Nate reconnects with Jack–his best friend from school and unrequited crush–his feelings return as strong as ever.

Jack’s returned home to get his life in order after an addiction to alcohol caused him to lose everything: his job, his driver’s licence, and nearly his life. He’s living with his parents, which is less than ideal, but rekindling his friendship with Nate–or Nat as Jack once knew him–is an unexpected benefit of being back home. Jack is amazed by Nate’s transformation, and can’t deny his attraction. Trying for more than friendship might ruin what they already have, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.

Doubting his feelings are reciprocated, Nate fears he’s risking heartbreak. Jack’s reluctance to tell his parents about their relationship only reinforces Nate’s misgivings. With both their hearts on the line and their happiness at stake, Jack needs to make things right, and Nate has to be prepared to give him a second chance.

 Excerpt

A hint of cigarette smoke carried on the wind caught Nate’s attention, and he realised he wasn’t alone. A hunched figure sat on a bench by the church. Wearing a heavy coat with the hood up, their head hung low staring at the grass between their feet rather than at the landscape stretched out before them.

A cigarette hung from bony fingers that protruded from black fingerless gloves. As Nate watched, the man—because Nate could see his face now—raised his head to take a long drag before stubbing the cigarette out on the bench.
A shock of recognition made Nate’s heart jump, thudding erratically.

Jack.

Torn between conflicting urges to approach and flee, Nate stared at him, powerless to move.

How many years had it been since Nate had seen him? At forty-five Nate found each year passed faster than the one before. It must have been twenty years at least since he’d seen Jack, maybe more, and longer still since they’d spoken properly.

Their last meeting had been nothing more than an awkward exchange of greetings when they ran into each other in the village pub one Christmas. The distance between them had cut Nate like a knife, so different to their teenage years when they’d been best friends, and almost inseparable.

Jack slumped forward again, letting the cigarette butt fall from his fingers. He put his hands over his face and Nate recognised despair and hopelessness, because they’d been his companions in the past. Acting on instinct, he approached.

“Sorry to intrude,” he said, pausing in front of Jack. “But are you okay? Is there anything I can do?”

Jack jerked his head up in surprise. His pale cheeks flushed as he shook his head. “Not really. Just having a bad day. You know how it is… or maybe you don’t.”

“I do.”

Nate studied him. The years had changed Jack, of course, but the essence of him was still the same. Sharp features, the strong nose Jack had always hated, even more defined with age, but more balanced now with dark stubble and the lines that the years were beginning to carve around his eyes and mouth.

As Jack stared back, Nate realised there was no recognition dawning on Jack’s face. To Jack, Nate was a stranger. Five years on testosterone had changed Nate to a point where Jack couldn’t see the person Nate had been before. Normally this was something Nate was glad about, but now he felt a pang of regret.

 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

www.jaynorthcote.com

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Facebook Author Page

Newsletter

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The ending made up for the journey in this romance

Accepting the FallAccepting the Fall by Meg Harding

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The epilogue went a long way in making up for my general state of “it’s okay” which existed for the vast majority of this novella.

On paper it had everything which should have made it a winner for me – second chance lovers, former childhood friends, hurt comfort, animals and a cute kid – but it just never seemed to mix together into the right ingredients.

Cole annoyed me for a lot of the book as he had a boyfriend and, while there absolutely wasn’t any cheating in this, his attitude towards Patrick before Zander was even on the scene was a bit lacking.
Once Zander did arrive, it became clear poor Patrick would be getting the heave ho and I felt sorry for him.

There’s also supposed to be this driving attraction and passion left over from when they were 16/17 which had never gone away or been beaten by other lovers but I just never felt it until almost the very end of the story.

Still, it’s not a bad story by any stretch of the imagination and the epilogue is really sweet and jumps forward a reasonable amount to peek into life once Savannah grows up.

ETA: One thing which I’ve just been reminded off via another excellent review for this novella by Nile Princess: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2000280061

There is a beautiful man on the cover and while I don’t expect great detail to be gone into about the ethnicity of the characters, I do expect, if one of them is a POC and has been used on the cover of a book (which itself is pretty rare sadly), that at some point within the narrative it would be obvious WHICH character it is.

This doesn’t happen until almost the end of the book. And it irritated me. And yes Zander’s (you’re welcome) ethnicity isn’t a driving force in his behaviour but throughout the whole book I had a niggling “which one is the guy on the cover” thought going on which was distracting.

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

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Emotionally demanding and beautiful second chance love story

His Truth CoverHis Truth by Riley Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh lordy this book. I think it’s possibly the most emotionally demanding second chance romance I’ve read. It takes your heart and squeezes it so tight you think you’ll never feel a beat again.

The trauma Roman locked away so he could move on with his life while just a teenager is as heavy as a load of bricks landing on your shoulders. That he managed to move beyond his father and brother’s actions and be a successful businessman is testament to his inner strength.

I fell for Roman so hard, but there wouldn’t have been a Roman to love so much if there hadn’t first been a Leo. Someone that could just be the rock standing strong against the wind, the safe harbour against the tide, the shelter Roman needed to break through the walls of his bubble.

My heart broke for the 16 year-olds, but it rejoiced for their 28 year-old selves when they reconnected and found a way past the poison which had infected their earlier love.

This is a gorgeous narrative, it’s sexy too, emotional and driven with passion and a need for the story to reach its happy ending, and it’s treated with respect. There’s no magic dick cure here, Roman doesn’t admit he’s gay without any cost to his psyche.

But Leo is there to walk beside him and its as gorgeous as the image on the cover.

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

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Short, sweet, second chance romance

38715664Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes all you want is a quick read with a bit of angst, a lot of humour and a Happy Ever After. This novella delivers all three.

I love second chance romances and this one’s a peach, focusing on Jude and Vincent’s relationship two years after the later left his fiancé with a curt message about ambitions.

These two were just lovely together. Vincent’s realisation that he’d screwed up and Jude’s acceptance that he’d never got over it, were well played and their love bounced off the page even with the heartbreak.

Now I’d like to get Benji’s story and find out more about his three dads please!

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

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Review Tour: Poke Check by RJ Scott and V.L. Locey

 Length: 50,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Harrisburg Railers Series
Book #1 – Changing Lines
Book #2 – First Season
Book #3 – Deep Edge
 Blurb
 

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.

Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.

He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.

Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.

Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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