Review: Love Me Tenor (Perfect Harmony #2) by Annabeth Albert

There’s no way he’ll shake this off…

Trevor Daniels is feeling aimless. A recent college grad, he’s not sure what to do with his useless degree, and his family all but abandoned him after he revealed the truth about himself. But a friend’s suggestion that he take his chances on a reality show aimed at finding the next big boy band strikes a chord with him—until the show’s producers convince him to act like he’s in a relationship with a guy who’s not at all his type. It isn’t exactly love at first sight for Jalen Smith either—but lust just might push them in an unexpected direction. If only their secrets weren’t even more twisted than their sheets, threatening to cost them the win—and each other…



DNF

This one went over my head. I admit I had doubts about this one from the very beginning, despite the great reviews. It’s one thing to suspect it, and another thing altogether is to experience it in person.

My main and only problem with this book is this simple fact: it’s extremely boring. Apart from a detail or two I got a little upset about, this is the only objection I have.

The writing style doesn’t agree with me. I struggled with each passing chapter hoping for a ray of sunlight to appear, to no use. There were a few hints of potential and I thought finally this story would take off... However, I was let down again and again.

And again.

I felt like I was sitting on the tarmac, waiting for some signal for my trip to begin.

There I was expecting to fly and instead was left on the ground.


At first, "Love Me Tenor" was (a generous) 2 Hearts. But seeing that it was not improving for me, I had to DNF. There are better things to invest my time in especially one that was becoming like homework for me. And that is not fun.

43%--It took that long for me to realize it wouldn’t start up.

At first, I got the impression Jalen was a Latino, but when they said he was “brown” the questions began. This is what happens when authors are ambiguous in their descriptions. I NEVER get it right. I just want authors to be fair and not beat around the bush, because feeling stupid upsets me endlessly.

At least, it wasn’t like that time when I found out the MC was black when they chose to display a black model on the SECOND book cover in the series or when the author says AT THE END of the book that the guy was born in Nigeria. It’s like “Hey, now that you got to 95% of the book, I forgot to mention I’m black, before you get to the 100%, you know? That’s all I wanted to say, goodbye!”. My look on my face after those two examples was priceless.

Why is it so difficult to mention a character’s ethnicity?

I don't really care what color his skin is. If the author says nothing about the appearance of the characters, I'm okay with that. But if you are going to describe them, do it properly, please. Above all, when authors show aspects related to ethnicity like marginalization and racism., there is a tendency in using euphemisms and I believe it’s counter-productive.

To sum it up: just don't bring up a vague reference to skin color and then never explain anything. Yes, I know, I’m a little…



Please, don’t get me wrong. All of this was to simply show that I want to know where my characters come from, not only in a geographic sense, but culturally speaking and the like, because that shapes someone and makes him grow into what he currently is. I want to understand them better. I want to get to know them. And, above all, I want to have a proper and faithful image of them in my head. It’s not a criminal request, right?

And authors tiptoeing around it is not the best way to do that, in my humble opinion. I value when someone says it naturally in a book. But I didn’t get that impression here, unfortunately.

Apart from that, the media stuff and music show bullshit was getting on my nerves. I felt I was watching some kind of Big Brother and it was unbearable. I realize the author did a good job portraying the falseness and stupidity of this kind of reality television competition but it didn’t make it less painful to read.

Definitely, not for me.



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Review: Coke's Clown (Roughstock #4) by BA Tortuga

How does Dillon take care of Coke when Coke’s destroying himself?

Bullfighter Coke is having a rough time in the Roughstock universe.

When his dear friend Sam Bell is injured at the finals of the bull riding season, he takes that and his injuries pretty hard. His very own clown, Dillon, is determined to take care of Coke, which is tough when Coke is usually the one to care for everyone.

Coke has a huge secret from his past, though, and, when Dillon digs to discover what it is, the skeletons in Coke’s closet threaten to destroy both men.

Publisher's Note: This book has been previously released elsewhere. It have been revised, re-edited and significantly expanded for re-release with Pride Publishing.


Coke and Dillon are learning to live together, and heading out to Dillon’s ranch in Ohio after the Rodeo tour season is over for a few months. Dillon wants to spend some alone time getting to know Coke a little more, and just being together. But Coke is the cornerstone of their Rodeo family, and everyone constantly wants a piece of him. Nevertheless he loves spending time with his clown, and is thankful for the blessings he has, and the time off to just be.

I haven’t read “And a Smile” which is the story where these two get together, so I’ve come into this a little bit blind, and I definitely felt it. There was a lot of back story that I needed to get a complete picture of Dillon and Coke’s dynamics, as well as Coke’s dynamics with the wider group of characters. I had to fill in the gaps by assumption at this stage, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this story. For those who haven’t started this series, I’d probably recommend you go to Roughstock - Blind Side and work your way up from there.

This was a great story. I enjoyed the established relationship, but it still being new enough for Dillon to be learning, which helped me as a reader learn more about them both. Dillon is a Rodeo clown, and has the personality to fit. He is happy, bubbly, and bounces around a lot. This helps keep Coke in a state of happiness too, but a little more mellowed out than Dillon. As a bullfighter he gets injured a lot, and his body is starting to wear down. From what I gather he has a recent neck and back injury, but not the first one, so he needs the rest to get stronger.

There isn’t much in the way of Rodeo in this story, because it’s the end of the season and focuses on this couple during the holidays. It was nice to see how they got along, and all the behaviours each of them displayed while being with each other, instead of the crowd.

As the story progresses Coke is the go to man for everyone in their circle of friends, and Dillon struggles to balance being supportive and pushing Coke to say no more often. Coke doesn’t seem to mind at all, and this is a pretty low angst relationship, with a lot of fun and hot sex.

Coke has some pretty heavy demons that he doesn’t like to dwell on, but is forced to revisit it because Dillon is inquisitive and asks some invasive questions. Coke tries to dodge most of them, but little bits filter in which make Dillon even more curious, and he starts to poke around with friends. This causes some minor angst as the secrets are revealed but they were handled well, without a great deal of emphasis on the drama, and more on the resolution.

I was definitely intrigued by this story, and I will be going back to the beginning to work my way through this series. I really enjoy the writing style, although some terms are foreign to me, being an Australian. There is a roughness to the writing that is endearing, and enjoyable to work through.

The erotic scenes were smoking hot, and the chemistry between Coke and Dillon was strong. There was a particularly sexy dance scene that gave a kick.

The plot points worked well, and showed how Coke and Dillon fit into the broader cast of characters. I was a little lost, but only because I haven’t read from the beginning. I’m sure once I go back it will make more sense to me. If you’ve read through the previous books, this gives a bit more insight into Coke and Dillon as a couple and how they are fitting with each other as an exclusive couple living together.

Recommended for those who enjoy western erotic-romance between men, and some pretty adorable puppies.



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Review: GhosTV (PsyCop, #6) by Jordan Castillo Price, narrated by Gomez Pugh

For the past dozen years, Victor Bayne has solved numerous murders by interrogating witnesses only he can see—dead witnesses. But when his best friend Lisa goes missing from the sunny California campus of PsyTrain, the last thing he wants to find there is her spirit.

Disappearing without a trace in a school full of psychics? That’s some trick. But somehow both Lisa and her roommate have vanished into thin air. A group of fanatics called Five Faith has been sniffing around, and Lisa’s email is compromised.

Time is running out, and with no ghosts to cross-examine, Vic can’t afford to turn down any offers of help. An old enemy can provide an innovative way to track Vic’s missing friend, and he enters into an uneasy alliance—even though its ultimate cost will ensnare him in a debt he may never manage to settle.

Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Listening Length: 12 hrs 6 mins


Audiobooks - they have their pros and their cons as far as I'm concerned. They're in that strange middle ground between reading books and watching TV. I have to admit, an avid reader, I was slow to see the plus sides to audio stories. My children are HUGE audiobook fans but it was Stephen Fry and his wonderful narration of the Harry Potter stories that convinced me sometimes an author and narrator just go beautifully together. 

For this to happen (particularly if I've already read the book) - and it's a damn tricky line - the narrator needs to match the images I have already created in my head of the characters. Not an easy task, because I am infinitely certain that no two readers perceive characters and their nuances in the same way, in the same vein I imagine each reader reads each character differently from the author's own vision. For a narrator to capture the character I hear/see/read is a marvelous thing, and like Stephen fry, Gomez Pugh does it perfectly. To me his voice is Vic's, and that made listening to this fabulous story a wonderful experience.

This series is one of my favourites. I am especially drawn to Vic, he is so...normal. Well, for someone who sees ghosts. He has this strange mix of confidence and self deprecation that just wins me over. He's not pretentious, he's not a big buff *insert hero stereotype here*, he is just Vic. A man made up of his experiences, completely fallible, stupidly brave at times and - well just wonderful. I have  a huge not-so-secret crush on him.

In GhosTV, we see this strangely mixed up, yet utterly normal, bag of character traits at its finest.  Although I love his relationship with Jake, it is his interactions with the secondary characters that perhaps interest me the most. Crash is another favourite, and though he doesn't feature for the main of this story, the way he and Vic interact is so different from the dynamics of Vic and Jake (because Vic has Jake on a bit of a pedestal) that it helps fully round out Vic. Gives him more depth and dimension and let's us, the reader/listener, see more of him.

One character who is in this book a lot, who truly gives Vic another edge, is Dreyfus. I, like Vic, do not know whether to trust him or not. Vic blatantly doesn't - yet there is something there. The man spies on Vic, for his greater good. It creeps me out as much as it does Vic... yet his reasoning does make sense. UGH. Dreyfus just adds another layer to the whole psycop story, and his importance in this book is significant. Jordan Castillo Price knows how to write characters and a  great storyline and Gomez Pugh delivers it seemingly effortlessly.

I have to mention, hopefully without spoiling the storyline, a particular scene at the airport. I won't go into details, but I absolutely felt for Vic. His fear. his panic. I felt it when I read the story, when I listened to it though, Gomez Pugh made it even more real, I could feel my heart beating faster and Vic's fear lodged in my throat. THAT'S how you narrate a story.

I can't believe there are many people out there who've not tried this series; it is firmly one of my favourites and one I would highly recommend. I can say without hesitation as well, that this audio version is well worth listening too. Price and Pugh are like peanut butter and chocolate spread, they go amazingly well together. (Okay, I know over the pond the classic is peanut butter and jam jelly, but really I can't even stomach the thought of that combination. Sorry. PB with chocolate spread though... it's like melted Peanut Butter Cups on toast or in a sarnie. Heavenly.) 

Completely and utterly recommended.

For more information see Goodreads.

Review: A Night at the Ariston Baths by Michael Murphy

In rural Pennsylvania, Theodore McCall lives on his family’s farm and works as a clerk at the local general store. While his best friend, Martin Fuller, thrives in New York City, Theodore trudges through life. But on New Year’s Eve, 1902, Theodore’s world is turned upside down, and big changes call for bold action.

Theodore, who has never ventured more than eight miles from home, undertakes the daunting journey to New York City to join Martin. But the Martin he finds in New York is a stranger, a different man, doing things Theodore finds shocking. After just two months in the City, Theodore’s world is upended again as he and Martin are swept up in the events at the Ariston Baths.

Haunted by his experiences in New York, Theodore returns home, wondering whether he’ll ever find happiness in life. When he meets Jasper Webb, Theodore must boldly risk everything for the love he so longs for.




At first, I had no idea what I was getting into. But as events unfolded in such detail and focus, I got the impression I was witnessing something of utter importance, so I made a quick research and found out this episode in the Ariston Baths not only happened in real life, but it was also the first recorded raid of a gay establishment in American History, so to speak.



The story revolves around Theodore, a young man who has lived in a little town all his life, and has known nothing different. One day, his friend Martin visits from New York. Theodore misses Martin, for whom he feels more than friendship, but is afraid of making the move and leaving all he was ever known behind. But after some problems in the shop he works in, he sees it as the perfect opportunity to make the big step and move to the big city.

New York opens the door to countless experiences he never imagined he would ever have the chance to live. Life in a cosmopolitan place is nothing as he had ever thought it would be. Nobody greets you or stops to help you if you ever need it. It’s expensive, it’s demanding, it’s challenging, it’s frightening and it’s exciting, all at the same time.

And Martin loves having affairs at every chance he gets. A fact that hurts Theodore, as he had always believed they would end up together.

One night Martin takes him to the Ariston Baths, some Turkish and Russian baths where “inverted men like them” liked to spend the time and interact in sexual ways, in public display of attention for everyone to see if you chose to.

But something happens and nothing will all ever be the same. For Theodore, for Martin, for all homosexual men in the country.


This book was nothing I expected, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. For starters, the other MC appears exactly at 75%. I thought it was appropriate to give fair warning but I don’t want to dishearten you, because this book is really worthy of reading. It’s surprisingly easy to read, a real page-turner, in fact. I have to congratulate the author for catching my attention from the very beginning of the story and, despite the absence of love story for most of the book, maintaining it until the very end.

And that last 25% is very charming, to be honest. I really loved Jasper and would have liked to see more of them together. But what we glimpse of them is beautiful and solid. The development is love at first sight but with a slow burn due to Theodore’s understandable caution in not to be caught after the disastrous experience in the Ariston Baths.


I love historical love stories when they are well done. This one is really well done. It took me no effort to immerse in the beginning of the 20th century. The setting was very well achieved. The MCs have to hide their relationship from the world and the way to do so is bittersweet but also the best resolution considering the circumstances. They get to live under the same roof, together, which is more than many gay people in this era could ask for.

The homophobia is fearsome, and if the Ariston Baths incident is not enough, we also have the consequences of this event taking a toll on the characters, it being directly or not. Sometimes I could feel all the frustration and the fear and the impotence due to the unfair situations that take place. It was despairing but the adorable romance and the lovely characters in the town and that end added a sweet note of color in a book that mostly would be considered a tragedy.

And when Theodore dances that June 28, 1969, I wanted to dance, too.

I got the impression this was written as a tribute to all the victims of bigotry and homophobia during those years, and the years before, and the years after. I liked how it’s done in such a simple and elegant way. It can’t be considered the typical love story because it doesn’t fit the schemes. However, I must say the romance was cute and satisfying. So, no complaint from that department.

*****

Second part of the review:

It goes without saying the author made a great research. As you can see at the end of the book, with the bibliography. I appreciate it when authors do that.

But then I ran into this:

“The man. The sex. What did you think of the guy?

“He was… very muscular,” Theodore answered.

“And you left before you got to see his biggest muscle.”

“What… Oh good Lord.” Theodore felt himself blush.

“I was thanking the good Lord for blessing him so amply and teaching that man how to use that muscle.”

Theodore blushed some more, but finally simply had to ask, “So what… what are we… talking about?”

“In the muscle department?” Martin asked, knowing that was exactly what Theodore meant.

Theodore nodded.

Did you actually say it three times?

I don’t consider myself a clever person or anything, but I’m very observant. I have eyes. And you know what have I observed during my years in the gym? That, shockingly, no man seems interested in hypertrophying that muscle. Believe me, I would have noticed if that was the case. So far, no such luck. Fortunately. Or not.

I’m afraid for breaking bad news, but I think this is the perfect time to inform you the penis is not a muscle. Yes, I know this may come as a surprise to you, seeing that you have had it between your legs your whole life and I have none of the sort. But I must tell you something important about your basic anatomy, because you need assistance in this.

The penis is formed by three erectile bodies: two corpora cavernosum and one corpus spongiosum.




(Pictures kindly provided by taken from Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy)

See? No muscle. Unless you count the Dartos fascia, which is a tissue that covers the genitalia and has some muscle fibers, which contract the scrotum in order to protect the testicles against the cold. It also works in conjunction with the cremasteric muscle, which is the one that contracts involuntarily in an action called the “cremasteric reflex” in order to protect the testicles from a trauma. It means, when you are in fight or flight response, your maleness “react”. You can reproduce the reflex by stroking the superior and inner part of the thigh or the lowest part of the pelvis. In fact, this reflex is important in the physical exploration in certain pathologies to evaluate if there is actual damage to the organ or to the nerves at that level.

But apart from that, no muscle to be seen. And much less a muscle you can “control” as easily as, let’s say, the biceps.

It can’t lift weights.


I don’t know about you, but it would creep me out if it could. There are some pics on Google and I’m scared. I do not recommend it, but if it tickles your fancy...


Anyway, you can shout, kick, cry, moan about your wounded pride… but it’s not a muscle.

How does this organ work? When a man is aroused, the corpora cavernosum are filled with blood and that’s what makes it lengthen and thicken. Meaning: it gets hard. The reverse process, the return of said blood to the main system, is by far less efficient. That’s why it’s so easy to have an erection but very hard to make it disappear, it takes a while driving all the blood stored in the corpus cavernosum out of the organ.

Another curious fact. Have you ever wondered the human glans is mushroom-shaped? One theory says it’s because it works as a suction cup. It would theorically suction the semen the previous man had left in the vagina. It’s sort of a means of survival: the consecution of your lineage is at risk, so this would make sure you “erase” the genetic material other males have left, and you put your own in their place.


Isn’t it amazing? Funny how everything has an explanation and nothing is left to chance.

Except the wisdom teeth. And the appendix. And the ear muscles. And… well, I should shut up for once.

Whatever, to sum it up:

If cocks were a muscle, gyms would look totally different.

For obvious reasons.

You are most welcome.

Read it.


An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press!

Audiobook Review: Something Like Lightning (Something Like #5) by Jay Bell

Never stop running. No matter how often life trips you up, or how many times your enemies knock you down, just get up and keep on moving until you find where you belong.

Kelly Phillips has been out of the closet since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he has never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he wasn’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome guy at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings. And then there’s the one who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.

Something Like Lighting is a new beginning in the Something Like… saga, shifting the focus to a fresh set of characters while also revisiting a familiar face or two.



Once again, I am amazed at Kevin R. Free's ability to bring this series to life. With a book that's already so emotional, it was almost hard to listen to because the narration was so raw and real.

Since this was my second time with Kelly's story, I wasn't worried like I was the first time through. I knew, regardless of his actions in the previous book, that I adored Kelly. If you're going into this worried that you won't like Kelly because of Jason... don't be. This is Jay Bell, after all. He doesn't give his readers a choice but to love his characters.

That being said, Kelly is a fighter. He can be irritating and insufferable and I wanted to smack him upside the head on more than one occasion. But he's young and life has thrown him some curve balls that nobody can prepare for, especially not a teenager. He's going through life, the best he can, and Kelly's not going to let anyone bring him down. What I love about this series is the journey we take with each character. Kelly's was particularly heartbreaking since one of the most important things in his life was taken from him in an instant. Reading it was hard. Listening to Kevin R. Free's narration? Devastating! There was way too much realness going on and I had to press pause a few times.

While I felt for Kelly and empathized with him, he still managed to be annoyingly snotty and selfish. And, oddly enough, I LOVED that about him. It took some time, but he continued to fight. His circumstances changed, but he didn't let them change him.

The love story... perfect. I wish there was more couple time, since they didn't meet until very late in the book. But who needs 300 pages to make a love story? Not Kelly and Nathanial! They were it for each other and it was obvious from the start. But their story is far from over at the end of Something Like Lightning and things were left on shaky ground.

I am a romance reader and live for a good HEA. I didn't quite get that here. Regardless, I loved every second of Kelly's journey. Because that's life. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it's beautiful. This was Kelly's story, from angsty teenager fighting his feelings for his best friend, to a young adult fighting for love while dealing with overwhelming hardships, to a man fighting for the future he knows he and Nathanial can have together.

I'll be moving right along to Something Like Thunder for Nathanial's story and the HEA these guys deserve.


A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads.

Review: Will & Patrick Fight their Feelings (Wake Up Married #4) by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

Follow Will & Patrick in this fourth installment of the romantic-comedy serial, Wake Up Married, by best-selling author Leta Blake and newcomer Alice Griffiths!

Will and Patrick have embraced adding hot sexy-times to their fake marriage, but as their emotions deepen, they confront whether or not they want to be more than friends-with-benefits. Freshly free of a restrictive relationship, Will’s not ready for more than exploratory fun. And no matter how Patrick feels about Will, his own difficult past has left him wary of love.

The heat is high (and occasionally kinky) in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial, but Will and Patrick struggle to accept their mutual affection, much less confess it. How long will they fight their feelings?

Episode 4 of 6 in the Wake Up Married serial.


“Your mouth is where my dick wants to go to die.”
First things first, could I love Patrick anymore than I do? Probably not. But I didn't think I could last episode either, and then he gets all mushy and says romantic things like that.

This installment is all about Will and Patrick and their growing feelings. The title says is all here. They're fighting it. Fighting hard. Oddly enough, it's Will who can't pull his head out of his ass.

Again, there's so much depth to these guys and things only go deeper. Deeper into their feelings, deeper into their past and their fears, and what they see in their future. For both of them, they still don't see their marriage in their future. Both looking towards, but dreading, their inevitable divorce.

Despite their obliviousness, I certainly felt all the feels. OMGGGGGGG. I want to squish them and then bang their heads together. How can they not see what's in front of their face. How perfect and wonderful they are together. How they bring the best out in each other without even trying. They adore each other and I adore them for it. 

While they're still holding back their feelings, things continue to go forward in the bedroom. Whew. Who knew sweet, lovable Will could be so damn kinky. And Patrick is more than happy to oblige. Sadly enough Will was made to feel like his desires in bed were wrong in his previous relationship. Patrick made sure Will knew his desires were not only OK, but sexy as fuck. They were sexy as fuck together. Hollllllyyyyy shiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttt.

This serial is only getting better and better as it goes on. Getting to know Will and Patrick's relationship right along side them couldn't be more fun. 


A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads.
 

Review: Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote

Imperfect harmony can still be beautiful…

John Fletcher, a former musician, is stuck in limbo after losing his long-term partner two years ago. He’s shut himself off from everything that reminds him of what he’s lost. When his neighbour persuades him to join the local community choir, John rediscovers his love of music and finds a reason to start living again.

Rhys Callington, the talented and charismatic choir leader, captures John’s attention from the first moment they meet. He appears to be the polar opposite of John: young, vibrant, and full of life. But Rhys has darkness in his own past that is holding him back from following his dreams.

Despite the nineteen-year age gap, the two men grow close and a fragile relationship blossoms. Ghosts of the past and insecurities about the future threaten their newfound happiness. If they’re going to harmonise in life and love as they do in their music, they’ll need to start following the same score.



After the death of his partner, John Fletcher became a recluse, shutting himself off from the world of music that he had loved so much. It isn’t until he happens to be helping an elderly neighbour to a local choir that he tries to reconnect with a part of his and his partners’ old life. Rhys Callington was a rising star in the London music scene, until a night gone horribly wrong convinced him to go back home. Now he fulfills his love of music by running a small local choir. When John and Rhys meet, they connect over their shared grief and love of music. Slowly, the two begin to heal each other.

I read Jay Northcote when I’m in the mood for something quiet and easy. Even her angstier reads, like Imperfect Harmony, don’t require too much effort to just sit back and enjoy. What makes it even better is when her romances are set in the English countryside. I’ve got a thing for small-town romances, and this author delivers with her stories of ordinary men and the tight-knit communities they live in.

description

I really liked how the MC’s love of music was interwoven throughout the story, and throughout their healing process. Both John and Rhys use music to confront their grief and their regrets. This is especially true for John, who couldn’t bear to continue singing and playing his fiddle after his partner’s death. I’m not very artistically inclined, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the music aspect as much as I did.

This book is as much about Rhys and John coming to terms with the deaths of their lovers, as it is about the two falling in love.

The pace of the romance was sweet and slow. While John and Rhys are attracted to each other from early on, they recognize that the other has certain hang-ups. So the two take things slowly. I enjoyed watching the two MCs come together to create some music, and in the process fall for each other. There are some doubts along the way, but John and Rhys talk these problems out and find solutions that work for them.

description

It felt very real, and true to how two bereaved men might come together. Likewise, when they get to the physical part of their relationship, their rediscovery of what they like and enjoy was realistic.

And yet there was something that just didn’t let me enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped to - John’s martyr complex. The nineteen year age gap between Rhys and John is a big sticking point for John. He finds various ways to stress over how the age gap might affect their relationship. I’d say until very near the end of the book, it was Rhys pulling the weight and trying to make their relationship work. And I understood John’s fears, to a point, but the repetitive monologues and self-recrimination got old pretty fast.

That being said, Imperfect Harmony is still a very good read. If you’re looking for a simple romance between two men who rediscover love and joy, this is the book for you.

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Purchase links:

US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E18FZP6
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01E18FZP6
Global Amazon link: http://mybook.to/ImperfectHarmony

NB: Imperfect Harmony will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. After that it will be available at all retailers.


Interested in knowing more?
Check out an excerpt of Imperfect Harmony below:

Luckily there were still some parking spaces outside the church hall where Maggie’s choir met. John made sure they arrived a little early so Maggie wouldn’t have to walk too far. She was managing well on one crutch, but she still tired easily. After he parked, he got out and hurried around to help her out of the passenger door.
“Thanks, love,” she said, patting him on the arm. “I can manage now.”
A vicious gust of wind whipped a strand of hair into her face. It was dark, still sleeting, and probably slippery underfoot. There was no way John was going to leave until she was safely indoors. “I’ll just see you inside. Let me take your bag.”
Maggie let him have it without argument, and he popped it over his arm. He hovered close to Maggie as she made her way slowly to the double doors. He held one open for her and was hit by a blast of warm air. Then he accompanied her inside as she crutched along the corridor towards an open door. Yellow light flooded out, and the sound of a tenor voice singing “I Can See Clearly Now” raised the hairs on the back of John’s neck with its pure, clear beauty.
“I thought you said the emphasis was on fun rather than perfection?” he said quietly. “He’s got quite a voice.”
“That’ll be Rhys, our choir leader,” Maggie said with a smile. “Come and meet him, even if you’re not staying.”
Maggie paused when she reached the doorway and put a finger to her lips. They listened and waited for Rhys to finish singing. John peered over Maggie’s shoulder, hoping for a glimpse of the man the voice belonged to. Rhys, John presumed, was alone in the room. With his back to the door, he stood at a table pushed to the edge of the room, shuffling through some papers as he sang. All John could see of him was that he was small and slight, and quite young, based on the cut of his clothes. A hood covered his hair.
When he finished, Maggie started clapping.
Rhys wheeled around. “Oh my God! You made me jump.” He pushed his hood down and his face lit up as he beamed. “Maggie. How are you?”
John’s eyes widened as he took in Rhys’s front view as he approached Maggie and gave her a careful hug. His hair, which was shaved at the back and sides, was long on top and dyed peacock blue. His eyebrow was pierced, his arms were covered with tattoos, and the front of his T-shirt was emblazoned with a glittery equals sign in rainbow colours. All in all, he was at least twenty years younger than John had expected and completely unlike how John would have imagined a choir leader to look. In this dingy church hall in their small market town, Rhys looked like a bird of paradise that had accidentally ended up in a cage full of sparrows.

*****

Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay’s books

Giveaway & Book Blitz: Make Me Trust (Hard to Love #2) by T.A. McKay

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Make me Trust

by
T.A. McKay
Hard to Love Book #2
April 20, 2016



synopsis

When the spotlight shines, sometimes it brings you something you don’t expect.

Trey Colby has spent his life falling in love only to lose his heart to people who don’t deserve it. Time after time he's been left broken when his boyfriends have thrown him aside for someone else.

But no more….

This time he is determined to harden his heart. If he doesn’t allow himself to trust then nobody can hurt him. This is the easiest way, the only way, to live. And it works…

Until he meets the man who would test every limit he has.

Dancing has always been one of Roman Knox’s biggest loves, although he never imagined it would be on a pole in front of a club full of men; men who see his body, but not him. He spends his days being overlooked, and that’s the way he likes it. He has no desire to be noticed… until one fateful night.

Now he has the one man he's always fantasized about, the one man he shouldn’t want, watching him as he dances, and first the first time he craves to be seen.

When two worlds collide can secrets be kept? When the truth comes out can you convince the one person who refuses to trust, that you are there for them? Roman just wants to show Trey that he belongs to him, that he can give him everything he needs…

But when tragedy strikes can Trey depend on him for the support he needs? Can he give up the control he’s barely managing to hold on to? Can he keep the past from destroying his future?

All Trey needs in his life is that one person to who he can finally say…



Cover designer: https://www.facebook.com/Karimarchdesigns/?fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27419013-make-me-trust



teaser



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Trey walk away

MMT Trey







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Worth the Fight ~ Hard To Love #1

Blurb:

The ring is his home. It’s the place he feels in control.
Zeke ‘The Storm’ Raine has his life all planned out.
Fight it.
Win it.
Own it.
The plan was working, it’s almost his time to shine, to be the ultimate.
One moment was all it took to bring it all crashing down around him. One punch, one moment of distraction, one mistake by another and his dream could be a faint memory.
Bryce Tanner, one time fighter and now the coach Zeke doesn’t think he needs. Moving to a new country to take this job, and he's determined that he will succeed. Now that he's met Zeke, Bryce must make his own plans, rules that he is going to have to work hard to stick to.
Be strong.
Be professional.
Be his coach.
He just doesn’t know if he will be able to resist.

Passions run high, making their professional relationship difficult. Can they keep the outward fa├žade while becoming more?
Now Zeke needs to decide, is he willing to walk away from what he loves?

Will he be able to win the most important fight of his life?

Contains both m/m and m/f scenes. Not suitable for younger readers due to sexual content

Amazon







meet_the_author

T.a. McKay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamckayauthor/

Email: tamckayauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @tamckayauthor

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/hmtss4t



Author bio:

After being married for over ten years and raising three beautiful kids, I decided it was time to do something for myself. My passion for reading bled over with a need to tell the story that was repeating in my head and that was the birth of my first book. The rest they say is history.

I love the creative release that writing gives me, being able to take someone away to a different world feels amazing. As a reader I know how important that escape is, and as a writer I love to be able to give people that.

My other loves include music and reading (in case I haven't mentioned that before) and then when I have time a little more reading. I think if I could read for a living I would, but since I can't I will continue on the writing side of things.



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Review: Wyatt's Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars by Clancy Nacht and Thursday Euclid

Wyatt Parker has a good life—he owns his own construction company, his own house, and he eats home-cooked meals every day. But cooking for one while watching the foodie network is more than lonely. When he learns about an upcoming reality show centered on becoming the personal chef for his favorite rock star, Wyatt leaps at the chance to audition.

Tully Randolph is the drummer for the band Unusual Potatoes. With a chef for a mom, love of good food runs in the family. When he’s asked to host a cooking competition, he’s all in—especially after he meets Wyatt, who is just the kind of big, hairy guy who gets Tully’s juices flowing. With a heart as big as he is, Wyatt wows Tully with his skills in the kitchen… and in the bedroom.

But if their relationship is found out, Wyatt could be drummed out of the competition—and out of Tully’s life. All the ingredients for a happy future are in front of them, and they just need to figure out how to bring everything together.


A couple of things are going to happen to you when you read Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars and you need to be prepped. You will get hungry. Definitely. I’m a Food Network junky so I loved that part of the story. If you love food competition shows, you’ll be loving this. Secondly, you will get all kinds of heated up. More on that in a mo, you’re just going to have to trust me for now.

Wyatt is a bear of a construction worker who auditions for a cooking show and the winner gets to be the personal chef, for one year, to Tully Randolph, the drummer for Wyatt’s all-time favorite band. Wyatt has a crush and a half on Tully and I could totally relate. I’ve always been a sucker for the drummer and was convinced, in my teenage years, that I would be Mrs. Larry Mullen Jr. at some point in my life. Not giving up Larry, just sayin’. The competition is held at Tully’s house and the contestants are rooming under Tully’s roof. From the beginning there is an attraction between Tully and Wyatt. Wyatt knew that was coming from his perspective when he entered the competition and he’s surprised, flattered and overwhelmed to feel heat coming back to him from Tully.

Being that it’s a tough competition, there are a couple of token assholes to hate. I do love when I can focus my vitriol in a concentrated direction, so I had Pierre there to glare at while I read. Wyatt is a shy guy, he’s humble and a complete sweetheart. He’s also not a toned gym bunny. He’s a big guy and his quiet demeanor may make him seem soft, but that’s deceiving on many levels because he’s strong where it counts. I struggled a bit here. I was reminded multiple times of Wyatt’s size and lack of gym bod and it irritated me. I had to stop and think why that was. Wyatt was disrespected and called out repeatedly for being too big with snide remarks and shitty attitudes. I expected it from Pierre, again, it was a competition, but I didn’t like hearing it from other characters. And I know why, I married a Bear and the author got the description of a guy like that who works in construction spot on. Mine is a foreman and it amazes me how incredibly strong and agile he is. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but he can shimmy up rafters like a monkey and lift a house over his head (ok, maybe a little exaggeration, but you get me). That’s Wyatt and I was feeling incredibly protective of him so I got pissed at anyone who didn’t bother to see him. Which, is why I liked Tully so very much. Wyatt is just his type and he takes the time to really look at and listen to Wyatt. It was so damn sweet, really.
The look Wyatt gave him simultaneously promised endless debaucheries and the best damn cuddles of Tully’s life.
Tully is not your stereotypical rock star. He’s humble and appreciates his roots. Tully and Wyatt come together with a shared love of food and they can commiserate with one another over the losses in their lives. It was only a matter of time until the proverbial shit hit the fan, shenanigans happened and the show went into chaos mode. It is reality TV after all, it made sense.

Remember how I mentioned the heat earlier, let’s get down to that. So these guys are ridiculously attracted to one another and the flirting is sweet and hot, but when it came time for these two to get together, DAMN. If you never read another rimming scene in your life, well, I’m sorry, but make this be the last one and you’ll be set. It’s teasy and tense and detailed and, just, DAMN. If Tully wasn’t already falling for Wyatt at this point, this scene should put a ring on that finger.

I did have a couple of issues that nagged at me though. I mentioned how Wyatt’s size was referred to repeatedly. That was a little overdone. He was described well and I think a little less of that would actually have made more impact. The other was some of Wyatt’s speech patterns. In one sentence he would read like a bit of a bumpkin with no use of pronouns and a ‘reckon’ thrown in there and then he’d throw down with a sentence like, “How are you handling the mass invasion of your private sanctum?” It just read as a little incongruous at points and while it wasn’t overwhelming, I noticed. 

The ending was a little rushed and convenient with the epilogue, but they got their HEA so all good. I appreciated the strength and confidence of Wyatt when it came out and would have loved just a little more balance with that and the digs he got, but overall I loved Wyatt and Tully together.


Get your copy of Wyatt's Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars over at Dreamspinner Press.



**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**