Lights! Camera! Cupid!: Nascha (Bluewater Bay #6.2) – Amy Lane

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“It was his heart, his soul, bonded with two people who loved him as he loved them.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. Oh, this one hurt. This one basically came in, beat the shit out of my emotions, and then left. It’s probably good that this was so short because I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to get through it had it been a full-length novel (it’s only about 30 pages long). Lights! Camera! Cupid! is meant to be an anthology of Valentine’s Day stories, and this one doesn’t mention the holiday at all. Though it is about love, which is probably the main point. This story has quite a bit going on for being so short, and on top of that it takes place both in the present day and in flashbacks. The main character is Nascha, who we learn is elderly and suffers from Alzheimer’s. He’s currently living with his two great-nephews, and has been for years, but the situation is becoming desperate and something needs to change if everyone is to make it out in one piece. This all comes to a head on one particular day while Nascha is taking after his sick great-nephew Cal. The present story takes place over the course of a few hours while Nascha is watching over a sleeping Cal, but the main bulk of the story – and where all the actual feels are – are told through Nascha’s flashbacks. Nascha is alone now, but when he was younger he was in a relationship with Rawlins and Kitty, who were basically the loves of his life. Their love for each other was a beautiful thing, but things happened that got in the way of everything and eventually there was a spectacular breakdown. There’s a hopeful note for Nascha at the end, but the road to get there was full of both happiness and sadness and good and awful things. Nascha’s story is a very emotional one, and very much worth the read. We don’t find out how Nascha plans to save himself and his family at the end, but we might find out later because Cal is actually one of the leads of the eighth book in the series (The Deep of the Sound, by the same author) and that means that there’s a chance for both him and Nascha to get their happy endings.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

In L.A. Witt’s Just Another Day, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans, while in Z.A. Maxfield’s I’ll Be There, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.

Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s Helping Hand, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage. In S.E. Jakes’s No Easy Way, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set. And in Amy Lane’s Nascha, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.

Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.

 

[available for purchase at Riptide PublishingAmazon.caBook DepositoryChapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Will & Patrick’s Endless Honeymoon (Wake Up Married #7) – Leta Blake

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“’You already know how I feel.’ Patrick huffs. ‘I married you, didn’t I? Twice. Just to prove I meant it the first time.’”

 

In a word: Read the thing! I loved this! It was pretty much everything I’d hoped it would be when I first found out about it. The Wake Up Married series was a six-part completed story the first time I read it. This seventh part was a lovely unexpected bonus written by one of the series’ two authors. It continues the story of Will and Patrick and their marriage with all the humour and heart of the original series. Taking place two years after the end of Part 6 (Will & Patrick’s Happy Ending) we’re reintroduced to – still happily married – Will and Patrick and the colourful residents of Healing, South Dakota. Though we don’t stay in Healing long since Will and Patrick spend most of the book on their long put-off honeymoon. Seriously, this book is great, a really great surprise addition to a series I already really loved. Will and Patrick are in a great place with themselves and their marriage (just a note that any conflict in the story does not come from Will and Patrick fighting with each other, which was great) and still just as in love with each other and as entertaining. Will’s family is still completely insane, but Will is learning to deal with it all. Jenny and Jax get a minor subplot, and we even get some closure – although it’s not really pleasant – for Ryan and Hartley’s situation. The story doesn’t really further much character or relationship development, it’s more a timestamp for the series, which I didn’t mind at all because I loved this look into everyone’s lives. I was so happy to read about these characters again. This was written with the same love and heart and emotion and humour from Parts 1-6 and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Genius brain surgeon Patrick McCloud never thought he’d fall in love, let alone get married. He and Will Patterson are two years overdue for their honeymoon, and although romance doesn’t come naturally to Patrick, he’s determined to make it perfect.

Will works himself to the bone helping others and dealing with his family, who bring the drama nonstop. A tropical getaway without the usual shenanigans is just what the doctor ordered. But can Will’s family leave them in peace? Knowing the Patterson-Molinaro clan, it’s not likely…

Will and Patrick’s Endless Honeymoon by Leta Blake continues the soapy, sexy fun of the original six part Wake Up Married serial. In Healing, South Dakota, marriage is never boring!

 

[available for purchase from Amazon.ca]

 

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Boy Banned – RJ Scott

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“He liked this: being close, touching, breathing in unison with this beautiful man.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This one was a bit different, with the whole thing taking place during a singing competition, the fictional Sing UK (which I’m assuming is something like American Idol). Our two romantic leads, Corey and Angel, start off competing against each other but then end up competing with each other (along with three other men). The story doesn’t really go into too much detail about the show and how it all works, even the details of living a celebrity lifestyle are brushed over for the most part, and is more about the relationship between Corey and Angel and the other relationships they form along the way. The story had some light-ish angst, but it was pretty sweet for the most part. An extra bonus, along with the love story, was also seeing five strangers coming together as friends and watching those relationships develop. Also, one of the romantic leads is on the autism spectrum, and that’s not something we see enough of.

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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What No One Else Can Hear – Brynn Stein

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“Hard not to fall in love with the little imp, isn’t it?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This one was pretty fun, and weird. Also it’s less about the romance (although there is some of that in here) and more about the relationship between our narrator and main character, Jesse, and the little boy he can communicate with in his dreams, Stevie. The story is one part slice-of-life about the kids and staff of a residential clinic for autistic children, and one part courtroom thriller. Personally, my favourite parts were about life in the center (I was a TA in a past life), but the drama surrounding the court case and everything that followed had me hooked. There’s also a magical element with Jesse and Stevie’s mental connection (it’s not telepathy), which was explained just enough to have things make sense. The writing isn’t the best, but it’s not a disaster or anything, and it doesn’t really affect the story itself (although the plot probably tends to drag a bit if slice-of-life isn’t your thing). I enjoyed reading this, and there was enough cuteness and drama to keep me interested.

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Book Depository, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

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Will & Patrick’s Happy Ending (Wake Up Married #6) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“Most things in life are and we just muddle on through. Don’t let go of something just because it didn’t come in the package you expected.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! This is the heartbreaking and then heartwarming conclusion to the Wake Up Married series. Will and Patrick have come a long way since the night they got drunk married in Vegas. They’ve both changed as people and basically had their whole worldviews changed. Most of the series has been about these two men trying to figure out their feelings for one another. They’ve both figured it out by now, but that doesn’t mean things are any easier. Patrick is completely sure that Will is the only one for him, there’s no question in his mind. Will isn’t so sure; he knows he loves Patrick now, but are his feelings genuine, or a product of their situation? Unfortunately, to find that out he must do something that causes them both pain, because sometimes it has to hurt before it can get better. Emotions are running high and it seems that everyone has something to say. This series may have started out silly as all hell, but it’s become completely serious now. (Mostly.)

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca, also available in bundles]

 

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Will & Patrick Meet the Mob (Wake Up Married #5) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“He wonders if placing doughnuts on their bed at the Tallgrass, laying them out in the shape of a heart, is a romantic idea or a stupid one.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! The pining continues in this part, with Patrick desperate to be with Will but still terrified to reveal his true feelings. However, he can’t devote all his attention to this because Will’s mobster father has arrived in town to make waves and scare the shit out of people (mostly Patrick). Now we get to learn just how big a threat the Molinaro family really is; and explore a bit of Will’s relationship with his father. How will Patrick’s feelings be affected now that he’s met the infamous Tony Molinaro and realizes just how big a mess he’s gotten himself into? (While this part has a few revelations for Will concerning his feelings for Patrick and the clusterfuck that is his family, I felt that it was Patrick and his feelings who got most of the focus.)

[available for purchase on Amazon.ca, also available in bundles]

 

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Will & Patrick Fight Their Feelings (Wake Up Married #4) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“We’re having sex, not committing a crime. Of course it’s okay. Why make it into something it’s not?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. OMG SO MUCH PINING!! This part is all about the pining (and kink). Patrick’s feelings for Will continue to grow more and more as time goes on and he’s fairly horrified to find that he’s completely fallen head over heels for his husband. Will’s slowly getting there, but he has his own issues to work through concerning sex and relationships and how to love himself. The two men are definitely getting closer though. Maybe so close that they aren’t all that concerned with trying to get a speedy divorce (hoho)? Included in all of this is the beginning of some drama concerning one of Patrick’s patients, Will’s mother being called out on her shitty parenting (:D), and an unexpected family reunion.

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca, also available in bundles]

 

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