Tag Archives: student

Brooke and Ella at their absolute best.

59353203._SY475_Secrets & Lies by Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved everything about this book, from the moment that Ash and Ryder met, to the awesome Epilogue set six years later.

It’s taboo, pay attention if that’s the kind of thing that squicks you out. For me, I wasn’t particularly bothered given the circumstances of how the pair met.

It’s seriously hot, but it’s also much more than just sex. While there’s an instant lustful attraction between the two men, there’s also a meeting of minds, of similar passions and interests.

The age gap between Ash and Ryder never really feels like a bit deal, Ryder is an old soul, he’s had to mature growing up with his military single dad, so he’s used to looking after himself.

The forbidden aspect of their situation is dealt with both realistically and appropriately imho, I liked how Brooke and Ella took that part of the story.

The “Third Act” crisis point isn’t drama created for the sake of it, it fit perfectly into the narrative and I felt it was handled well. The Epilogue is absolutely fabulous and I firmly believed that this pair would see out their lives together.

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

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A lovely romance about a widower falling in love again

10_V&V_Hawthorne_ebook_FINALDaybreak by Kate Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is super sweet, surprisingly angst free and quietly a bit kinky.

Although things happen over a very short space of time, it really doesn’t feel like instalove.

Instead, the reader can see the journey Jasper goes on when he begins to awaken from the self-imposed isolation he’s been living in since the death of his husband.

One thing I’ll mention here, and it’s probably a more “me thing” than any kind of issue, but I’d have liked to know more about Michael, the dead husband.

He’s clearly a huge part of Jasper’s life, from school through marriage at a really young age, to losing him.

But he remains only a kind of shadow in the narrative.

That may have been a deliberate choice, but for me, the lack of “why” Jasper falling for Liam was such a big thing (i.e. because of his devotion and devastation at Michael’s death), meant it didn’t have as big an impact as it could have done.

It’s the only thing that I wished was different though, as the rest of the book is just absolutely lovely.

Liam is a sweetheart, with his own issues he’s having trouble facing, but as he slowly falls in love with both Jasper and Vermont, you can see him realising something had to change.

The final chapters are glorious and very much the start of a wonderful HEA. There’s also a bonus Epilogue via a newsletter sign up.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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This charmed me into loving its young pairing

6_V&V_Birk_ebook_FINALBooklover by J.E. Birk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I started reading this one, I wasn’t sure it was going to be one I would find myself enjoying as much as I did.

I don’t often read books with protagonists as young as these two because often I end up losing patience with the lack of maturity which comes with life experiences.

However, Briar has a past which has given him a more cynical and weary approach to life, and it makes him feel older. Jamie, although he’s 20, has had responsibility thrust on his shoulders because of his family farm.

Their happy ending felt earned and more than just a stepping stone for other relationships somewhere down the line.

The use of funny chapter headings and the creation of an author and her series of MM romances, which our two heroes identified with, is a clever idea that works well for the narrative.

There’s humour here to break up the sometimes more serious elements of the book, and I genuinely felt for Briar when it seemed his past was going to once again impinge in his new life.

A new author to me and one I’d happily read more from.

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Hearts Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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