A change of pace with Mark’s sweet romance

38910362Guns n’ Boys: A Breath of Innocence by K.A. Merikan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, where to begin. I’m going to start with the end and the post credits scene and just say – wtf ladies! I don’t like the look of that and it seems like things are going to be heating up again soon.

Now, back to this actual story and oh my, I don’t think Mark and Griffin could have been any cuter if they tried. This really is a breath of innocence in the ever more murky world of Dom & Seth and the Mark we get here is almost like a new man.

He’s followed Charlotte back to the UK but finds something else way more important and real when he meets her brother. I loved the dynamics between these two.

Mark’s background and upbringing – and his experiences in the last book – have left him scarred but not bowed and he’s determined to make a fresh start with an honest job after his studies.

Griff’s 17 at the start, but his birthday follows quickly after the two meet, and he’s young and naive and sees the world through the veneer of a rich but somewhat lonely upbringing.

There’s the usual shocks galore but this one is missing the violence which is usually a hallmark of the series. That’s not to say there isn’t hurt aplenty and I wanted to hug them both many times (and punch Charlotte in the face a lot too!)

It was a different pace to the usual Guns n’ Boys but no less enjoyable an experience and I was rooting for them both as much as I do for Dom & Seth. And how beautiful is the cover?!

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

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Release Blitz: Diego’s Secret by Bryan T. Clark

Diego’s Secret | Bryan T. Clark

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Cover Design: Krista Lynn Design
Length: 80,921 words

Blurb

 

Can love conquer our deepest secrets and fears?

Are the challenges worth the struggle?

Eight years ago, at the age of seventeen, Diego Castillo came to the United States illegally from Mexico. Working long hours in the family landscaping business, he now shares a tiny apartment with his two machismo brothers in Southern California. Diego has worked hard to keep his desires for other men a secret from his brothers. He’s worked just as hard to keep his undocumented status a secret from the world he now lives in.

Thirty-two-year-old Winston Makena is beautiful, intelligent, and intimidating. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but no amount of money can relieve the enormous grief he is suffering from his husband’s sudden death. He is one of Diego’s best accounts and lives a life in stark contrast to his gardener’s. Winston’s wealthy upbringing has influenced his ideas, leading him to certain biases.

Winston believes he could never love again. Diego believes that his family’s lives depend on him keeping his secrets. What neither of them know is that the heart knows no such boundaries. Will social divisions, ideology, and secrets destroy both their chances for happiness?

Can love really conquer all?

 Copy of Bryan 200dpi

Author Bio

Bryan Thomas Clark is a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBTQ community. After twenty-seven years in law enforcement, Bryan retired in 2015 to focus on his writing full time.

Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes Romance with real emotions that represent the moral dilemma that his characters face in their pursuit of love.

He brilliantly weaves real life situations filled with difficult challenges, where his vibrant characters experience personal growth, and of course, what we all desire, lasting love.

Author’s website: www.btclark.com

Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2

Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com

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

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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A Love To Remember is a sweet romance

A Love to RememberA Love to Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is a super sweet romance novella about a guy who has closed himself off to any chance of love because he fears – like so many in his family, including his dad – that he will end up diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

Graham hooks up one night with a guy who just pushes all his buttons but, because of his fears, he runs away when he realises that the guy’s trying to get his number to get together for a proper date.

Sam, the hook up, turns up on Graham’s doorstep at the lake cabin where he’s moved to take care of his father as he’s the home help nurse arranged to help with the care of Graham’s dad Thurston, and this is where the romance begins.

I wanted to thump Graham a lot. Not because I didn’t understand his fears, they were righteous and honest, but because he was willing to live a life of sadness and loneliness rather than take any risks.

Fortunately Sam wasn’t willing to stand for that and, not quite stalker behaviour but just sheer stubbornness, he slowly breaks down all Graham’s walls through his kindness and his kind heart and devoted willingness to care for Thurston.

It’s a delightfully sweet and slow burn romance with a realistic and happy ending and I liked it a lot.

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

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One of my favourites in the Hearts & Health series

Orderly Affair (Hearts and Health #6)Orderly Affair by D.J. Jamison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is definitely one of my favourites in the Hearts & Health series although it took me a wee while to warm up fully to Callum.

That wasn’t because I didn’t like his character, in actuality I thought he was super sweet and geeky in all the best ways. It was more to do with how reserved he was with Ian.

I could understand it, there wasn’t anything irrational in why he was cautious, but I felt like Ian was open from the start about his situation and the processing he would need to get through and maybe Callum could have accepted it a bit easier.

Ian’s every action spoke about how he felt about Callum and where he wanted things to go and I was glad there was no bi erasure in this one. Ian is emphatically bisexual even while being totally in love with his Calico.

I also liked that Ian’s sexuality wasn’t an issue for Cal either, more his fears about letting himself be looked after by someone else. The tensions and conflicts were handled well and realistically and we get to catch up with some of the guys from the previous books.

All in all another great addition to the series.

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

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Wonderfully surprised by this new to me author’s hockey romance

On the Ice (Stick Side, #1)On the Ice by Amy Aislin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well this was an utter surprise and a very pleasant one. I’ve never read Amy Aislin before but I shall definitely be keeping an eye out for more of this series.

I absolutely adored it. This is slow burn but with a difference because NHL defensive lineman Alex is demisexual and he needs to be emotionally connected to someone before he even thinks about having feelings of sexual attraction.

Mitch, on the other hand, is younger and, on the face of it, way more confident. He’s bold and brash but hiding a lot of hurt and loss underneath his veneer of self-assurance. He’s been putting a brave face on for so long, he’s lost the ability to be himself. But, if he wants Alex, that’s what he’s got to be.

The slow, slow burn in this is beautifully written. Alex is repulsed at first by Mitch’s open come ons and he doesn’t want to get involved. But once he sees that the visible Mitch isn’t the real one, he’s intrigued and, as he begins to tutor him for a class he can’t afford to fail while out on an injury leave, Alex starts to to get that emotional connection.

I have to say, the only aspect of this one that didn’t quite work for me was the background to why Mitch was on his own and struggling so much and, while it was thoroughly explained and was a perfectly reasonable reason, I think I needed maybe a tiny bit more interaction with his mother for it to be sold perfectly. Especially the bits with his brother.

There’s a great bunch of secondary characters in this one and a very visual setting which was well described and I’m hoping there’s going to be more involving the guys from Mitch’s college team and some of Alex’s Tampa teammates.

I loved that there was a long time period over which this story was told as well, running from 2008 through to 2015 and the final chapter/epilogue was so ridiculously sweet it had me tearing up – which doesn’t happen often!

Sports romances are one of my favourite tropes because they provide me with hope that, eventually, the toxic masculinity present in so many of the “big name” games will fade away and it won’t matter about someone’s sexuality – just how well they can play.

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

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Rick gets his redemption arc in the latest Perspectives romance

hisfaithHis Faith As He Finds It by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Why does there always have to be so much angst?!

Okay, this one isn’t actually that bad and a lot of it we already know about from Jon and Isaac’s book, but there is still quite a bit in the back stories of both MCs.

However, having said that, Rick is perfectly redeemed from his role as Jon’s unintentionally abusive boyfriend and becomes a truly interesting and complicated character in this book.

Vinson was a bit harder to warm up to, on paper he was caring, kind, open and sweet, but he also had his demons and a habit of being judgemental and forming opinions from only half a tale.

Together, though, they absolutely brought out the best in each other and helped each other move on from some serious dramady and past angsting.

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

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Release Day Blitz: Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

When a SEAL medic inherits three young children, he must battle to keep the family together and keep his long-held feelings for the man challenging him for custody at bay.

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Squared Away by Annabeth Albert

Series: Out of Uniform #5

Publisher: Carina Press 

Release Date (Print & Ebook): April 16. Print, ebook, and audio all available.

 Length (Print & Ebook): 80,000 words

 Subgenre: m/m military romance

Includes: military romance, insta-family, hurt/comfort, angst, interracial, heroes-with-kids, gay romance, demisexual/gray ace hero, first time, loss, reunion, forced proximity

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ptQhFHPaperback: http://amzn.to/2ptc00A

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Squared-Away-Audiobook/B07BGJ3FRF

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/squared-away/id1326105516?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/squared-away-1

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/squared-away-annabeth-albert/1127659238?ean=9781335980809

Carina Press: https://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781335980809_squared-away.html

Synopsis:

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

What Annabeth Albert has to say about this book in her Out of Uniform series:

“I wanted to write a book about the nature of family and how loss and tragedy can shape family, mold it into something stronger, force growth and change. I’m enormously proud of SQUARED AWAY as a result because how I fell in love with this little family.”

“When Wizard first appeared in ON POINT as a secondary character, I was intrigued by him, but it wasn’t until I let myself get into his head that I really saw how complicated he was. I feel honored and privileged to have been able to tell his story.”

“No book gets written in a vacuum and this one is no different. I owe a huge debt on this book to my sensitivity readers who really encouraged me to dig deep.”

Praise for the series:

“Mark and Isaiah’s budding relationship happens with sensitivity and steamy moments…” RT Book Reviews on SQUARED AWAY

“Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series is a unique look at SEALs’ lives, showing us the insides of their hearts and homes and the love that drives them.” ~Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whisky series.   

Excerpt:

To his surprise, Mark didn’t laugh. Instead, he looked thoughtful. “What if I asked you to?” he said softly.

“To put out?” Isaiah’s throat had never seemed drier.

“We’re sitting here. Talking. Like adults. Just a couple of guys. And I can’t quit thinking about your lips, and I don’t know why.” Mark’s voice had a sleepy, dreamlike quality to it, and Isaiah was fully prepared to wake up any second because he’d been dreaming about Mark saying shit like this for years.

“I do.” Moving slowly as to not bang heads or—more likely—spook Mark, Isaiah moved so that their faces were level, inches apart. “You want to kiss me.”

Annabeth Albert

About Annabeth Albert:

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.  The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ  romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

Connect with Annabeth:

Twitter | Facebook  | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

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