Review Round Up – Why series from Colette Davison

Why I Left YouWhy I Left You by Colette Davison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to start with this one. It’s a powerful exploration of the pain of depression in a young man and it’s also a romance between two young men who’ve been in love since they were teenagers and who were separated by one desperate act and the consequences of it.

I don’t think I “enjoyed” it in the way I would usually enjoy a young adult romance, there’s too much pain and suffering I think to truly let go of the aspects of dealing with a mental illness.

There’s also, for me anyway, a definite feeling of realism over how neither man wants to deal with the serious conversations they’re owed from each other over what happened four years earlier.

And, also, the incident which caused Jamie’s initial breakdown – while perfectly possible and believable in its own right – didn’t work for me and I don’t have a logical explanation for why. I just read it and felt it was a bit “plot pointy” as there’d been nothing even remotely clued in throughout the rest of the narrative

Still, the writing is exemplary and care is taken to never diminish the effects of depression and how it alters people’s perceptions of themselves and others.

Why I Need YouWhy I Need You by Colette Davison

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I preferred this one over book one because, while it still dealt with serious issues and there was still a ginormous lack of communication, these two didn’t mask over things with sex.

Both Noah and Fin are dealing with grief and both have huge hang ups over what they think the other person is feeling or likely to do if they reveal the truth.

Their fears were completely believable and quite realistic, but I just got a bit fed up by the push/pull over each of them opening up about what was going on inside their heads.

The ending, with characters of just 24 and 21, also felt a little unlikely but then again, when you know you’ve met The One, why wait.

Why I Trust YouWhy I Trust You by Colette Davison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely my favourites in the series and the one with the least amount of angst and most focus on just the development of a loving relationship.

I liked that these guys talked to each other, there was no miscommunication or misunderstanding between Ryan and Martin. Their obstacles were practical and legal ones and it worked well.

Ryan’s fears over having to rely on someone else were perfectly understandable, as were Martin’s over people being with him for his money.

Together they were seriously sweet and a lot of fun to read, as well as being crazy sexy. Overall I’ve enjoyed this series from an author New to me and – as a Leeds born girl – it’s always great to see stories set in and around my part of the world.

#ARCs 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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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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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 😉

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Latest Herc’s Mercs nearly made me cry!

No Pain No Gain (Herc's Mercs, #7)No Pain No Gain by Ari McKay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one near made me cry, definitely my favourite one of the series and the one which had the most depth to the romance.

This isn’t a bodyguard falls for the client or mercs on a job getting it together, this deals with the very real trauma of PTSD. It’s done respectfully and with careful consideration.

It’s also the hottest of all the series for me, Hunter and Payne burn up the pages when they let go outside of a therapy session. I thought the idea of using BDSM to help Hunter process his trauma worked well and it never felt like it was just being given lip service.

Great story and romance and a more emotionally connected addition to the series. I hope there’s more to come.

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

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Stunning debut novel from Robert Winter

September (Pride and Joy #1)September by Robert Winter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes I know, I’m late to the party!) but I have the ARC of Book Two so…

I don’t know quite where to start with this one. The fact I stayed up until 2.30am to finish reading it all in one go or the clever way the Prologue and Epilogue felt like the theatre directions for a play about to unfold, or the simply beautiful writing.

Each one on their own would have been a delight to find in a debut novel but to get all three really was a pleasure.

This book also has one of my favourite tropes – a May to December romance – or, as David’s friends put it, more of a May to September one. The 22 year age gap didn’t bother me in the slightest, I loved the connection that David and Brandon had.

There’s drama and there’s angst, but it never sways into what I like to call dramady, where it feels like something which happens as a plot tick box only rather than a natural progression of the narrative.

There’s so many parts of this book I want to rave about but I think it works best when uncovered during reading. I’m glad I wasn’t spoiled for the unexpected incident which occurs, the fall out from which is handled beautifully in the writing.

And also big props for not making David’s dead lover into some mythical perfect being. The scenes where David is “talking” to Kyle in his head were some of my favourites.

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Much more than just a ménage – Robbie brings many layers

Confessions ROBBIE AMAZON SBPRobbie by Ella Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full review tomorrow when my Kindle isn’t in danger of exploding from the heat!

When Robbie Bianchi appeared in Ella Frank Temptations series he was one of those side characters who caught my attention and when Joel Priestley, aka Priest came onto the scene a few books later, the sparks were electric.

The UST in this book is palpable, it oozes off each page as Robbie aka the Princess, Priest and his husband Julien aka The Prick, dance around each other and deal with the obvious elephant in the room – their attraction to each other and the desire the married couple have to invite Robbie into their bed.

That the first full blown sexual encounter (there’s other equally explosive minor incidents 😉 before it) doesn’t occur until nearly 70% into the book demonstrates perfectly how much Ella has put into developing the emotional connections between these three men as well as the lust-driven ones.

I’m not going to reveal any spoilers, this book needs to be read blind to fully appreciate the level at which each man needs something from the other. It’s not just a hot menage with three sexy blokes getting their rocks off, there is deep, painful traumas at the heart of the actions of two of them.

Robbie is glorious, Julien switches between French joie de vivre but also deep depressions but Priest is the one who has my heart, he holds so many secrets close inside that his control is kept so tight he vibrates with it.

When things finally let go, the emotional outpourings made my heart pound and the sex, well, let’s just say that did it for me too *insert hot flush gif of your choice here* as the temperature rocketed.

The cover is stunning and I can’t wait now to see what delights are on the front of Confessions: Julien when it releases in May and discover just what drives this talented and tortured Frenchman.

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