Here & Now – Lisa Marie Davis

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“He silently cursed Cyrus Carson for that – for walking in and creating waves where Jaxon simply didn’t want them.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I was initially interested in reading this one because it was the first romance I’d ever come across where one of the leads was living with HIV (and it wasn’t a tragedy). I will say that I don’t think this story lived up to my expectations, but it still wasn’t a bad story. We don’t really get much detail of Jaxon’s struggles with HIV (outside of his fear of potentially passing it on to a partner), but it’s not glossed over and it’s a definite real part of Jaxon’s life. It was nice to read a romance involving an HIV-positive lead where no one died. There was a nice, if a bit predictable, little plot and the writing was okay. One of my biggest problems was with Cyrus, Jaxon’s love interest. His behavior when he first showed up made me dislike him and when he suddenly changed his tune it never really felt genuine to me and I never warmed up to him. I liked Jaxon and Cyrus’ relationship after Cyrus’ personality change, but it almost felt as if Cyrus became a different person after he finally got close to Jaxon. I mostly put that down to poor transitioning. Cyrus annoyed me less when he wasn’t acting like a smug prick and insisting on running the show, and I did get invested in his and Jaxon’s relationship eventually.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble. Also available in the Lisa Marie Davis’s Greatest Hits bundle x x x]

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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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Will & Patrick Do the Holidays (Wake Up Married #3) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“Will swallows and looks at Patrick with such a soft expression that it makes Patrick’s insides ache. ‘You really care about me.'”

 

In a word: Read the thing! Will and Patrick celebrate their first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years as newlyweds and it’s about as awkward as you’d expect. Also funny, and heartwarming, and then heartbreaking, because pining. Both Will and Patrick can feel their relationship with each other changing, though they aren’t really sure what to do about it. We finally meet Will’s three younger siblings, though they don’t get much screen time they are a lot of fun (and the oldest takes absolutely no shit from their mother, it’s great). Ryan shows up and continues to be infuriating, but it seems like Will is finally ready to get over him. This part definitely marks a turning point in the boys’ relationship and it introduces more seriousness than it does laughs, but I assure you that Patrick is still a delight to read.

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

 

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Will & Patrick Meet the Family (Wake Up Married #2) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“There’s probably nothing quite like the sweaty, nervous feeling of bringing home a stranger you had a lot of filthy sex with and introducing him to your mother as your brand-new husband.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! The second part of the Wake Up Married series continues the story of Will and Patrick and the insane situation they’ve found themselves in and I continue to love every second of it. This part introduces us to some more Patterson family members, though they sadly aren’t as cool (or likeable) as Nonna. This part also furthers the relationship between Will and Patrick as they are finding that they are actually fond of each other and that they might actually genuinely like each other (even though Patrick is an asshole and Will’s family is terrifying). Also the sexual tension shoots through the roof and these two idiots spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves that they absolutely Do Not want to jump straight into bed with each other. It’s cute watching the boys interact and Patrick is as rude and hilarious as ever. However, this part isn’t as funny as the first one because we get hints of dark backstories for both our leads, and we get just about every character (except for maybe Patrick and Nonna) just completely shitting all over Will and it’s basically tearing at his self-esteem and sense of self-worth and completely breaking my heart. We also get more of Ryan, which is never a good thing, frankly (I will never like him).

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

 

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Will & Patrick Wake Up Married (Wake Up Married #1) – Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“Seems I went and married a stranger and I could lose everything important in my life.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! Absolutely read the thing! This is part one of a six part series, and this part is free so if you end up not liking it all you’ve wasted was your time. One thing you have to understand about this one is that the premise is ridiculous. It’s about Will and Patrick (obviously) and how they accidentally get drunk-married and can’t get divorced because it’ll piss off Will’s mob family and he’ll lose the money that he inherited from them. So now these two have to pretend to be completely in love so that the mob doesn’t get suspicious and come after them. For as silly and outlandish as the whole thing sounds, it’s actually pretty good. Also funny, there is a lot of humour here, as well as some heavier themes and hints of dark things to come. These two strangers have to somehow convince an entire small town, including family and friends and the mob, that they are head over heels in love with each other while at the same time trying to deny that they are actually falling for each other. It’s very well written and the jokes work, as does the minor angst that comes up about Will’s relationship with his ex-boyfriend. It’s very easy to become attached to the main couple enough that you want to keep reading to know what happens with them and if they will get their happily ever after (with each other, of course, because we all know where this is going).

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

 

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