The Omega Nanny – Penelope Peters

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“And yet… Thomas couldn’t look at Kieran without thinking of the way Kieran glanced at him curious and shy, and not want to talk to him. Want to hear his voice, want to get to know him.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. If Omegaverse is not at all your thing you’re better off just skipping this one because, while it’s a good read, it’s not anything special. I really did enjoy reading this. Thomas, Kieran, Connie, Jessie, and their family and friends are very easily likeable and inoffensive. The romance between Thomas and Kieran went pretty quick, but it was fairly painless and low-drama. The thing I found more interesting was the world building. This story takes place in an alternate universe from our own; with biology dictating people’s actions and relationships far more than they would in real life. I’m not new to Omegaverse, but I thought that the story conveyed the basics of it fairly well for people who would be, and in a way that flowed along with the story being told. It also managed to establish this universe’s unique quirks in natural ways. There is some social commentary and gender politics going on in the background, but they weren’t what the story was about, so things didn’t get too deep. Though there were some aspects of the characters and their situations that I wished had been fleshed out more, all in all I have no real complaints. The characters were likeable, the romance was sweet, and the ending was happy.

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca]

 

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Finding Family – Connie Bailey

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“If he’d had any doubt about his feelings for Charles, this had put them to rest. Whatever the outcome, he was in love with Charles Macquarrie.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. Overall I just couldn’t make myself like this one. I know the Dreamspun Desires series is supposed to be, like, gay Harlequin romance and that I’m not supposed to take anything about it too seriously, but this one was a bit much. Not in that the happenings were unbelievable, just in the way that everything happened too neatly and conveniently for my tastes. Though, having said that, I wouldn’t have had such an issue with that if the writing were good, but I have problems with the writing as well. The point of view switches constantly and without warning (it’s third person, but still), the dialogue just grates for the most part, there is a lot of ‘tell, no show’ and summarizing, and the chemistry between the two romantic leads isn’t really there (to me, anyway). Charles and Jon are both, in turns, charming and aggravating; the kids are decent, but a bit too well-behaved; and the side characters were mostly hit and miss. The situations the characters find themselves in were a bit over the top, but I was expecting that, the way things played out bothered me, though. Also, the real ‘exciting’ parts of the plot happen about halfway through the book, but up until then it’s boring day-to-day stuff in a land of rich people with two men, who we’re supposed to believe find each other irresistible, with no real chemistry. Or interactions. When the plot actually picks up it’s actually pretty entertaining, and it’s a quick read. If you enjoy soap opera type shenanigans you’ll most likely enjoy this. I can’t speak for the romance part there, I didn’t find there was much to it.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Book Depository, Chapters, All Romance E-Books, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Stained – Chris T. Kat

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“No way was I slowly falling out of lust with my boss. Equally, no way was I falling in love with Jack.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing. I really wanted to like this one. The summary got me hooked and I was a bit excited, but even in the first paragraph I realized that I probably wasn’t gonna like this one much. First-person point of view is often very hit and miss for me, and this one was a definite miss. There were some things that I liked about the book, but they were mostly outweighed by all the things I didn’t like. One of the biggest issues I had was that I didn’t like the writing, and that really impacted the way I felt about the story overall because I just couldn’t get away from the writing style. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t really get into the characters. Jack is fine enough, but Blair is way too whiny and needlessly self-deprecating for my tastes. Another thing that irked me is that I didn’t feel like the story I ended up reading was the story I was promised in the book’s summary. We don’t even get anything from Jack’s point of view, and the subplot with Travis got very dramatic very quickly. All in all, this book isn’t awful by any means, and it’s a quick read if you’re looking for something dramatic and soap opera-ish, but I can’t say I liked it all that much.

 

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

 

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A Christmas Boyfriend – Trina Solet

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“Hey, Mr Kenney. I need to know where to get a man for Daddy for Christmas.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This one is kinda like a Lifetime Christmas movie: fluffy, sappy, and heartwarming (only with sex you wouldn’t find in a Lifetime Christmas movie), though I kinda expected that. What I wasn’t expecting was how funny it was. Seriously, without Maya this story would just be run of the mill Christmas fluff. Maya makes things a lot more entertaining. The romance kinda fell into the insta-love territory, so I wasn’t really a big fan of that, though Ben and Jason’s interactions before they were officially together were pretty good. It’s really Maya’s character that’s the main draw for me, though. If you aren’t a fan of child characters, even when they aren’t being overly precious and annoying, then you probably won’t like most of A Christmas Boyfriend. It’s a feel-good romance story with very, very minimal angst and no conflict and lots of laughs. Our two leads are pretty standard, but they’re cute together and their no-obstacles relationship makes for a relaxing read. Also it’s a short book so it also makes for a quick read.

 

[available for purchase at All Romance E-Books, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

 

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Trial By Fire – BA Tortuga

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“Shit, is there a gay cowboy that doesn’t start a relationship under extreme stress?”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of this when I read it for the first time, but after reading it again I found that I actually liked it. The story is a bit ridiculous, and there are some plot holes, but if you’re willing to overlook this and just enjoy the story for what it is you’ll have a good time reading it. The writing took me a bit to get used to, which might be one of the biggest problems I had with the book on my first read through. I think the books in the Dreamspun Desires line are meant to be like Harlequin Romance, only with gay romance, so they’re all probably gonna be a bit ridiculous and out there and dramatic. Trial By Fire is definitely all of these things, but it’s also pretty fun and has some pretty entertaining characters to drive a fairly entertaining story.  There’s gay cowboys, Australians, biscuits and gravy, kidnapping, horses, and a guy named Crazy MacPhail. Really, what more can you ask for?

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

 

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Love Me Tomorrow – Ethan Day

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“A guy that sped all over the city trying to save people’s lives, couldn’t possibly be a complete monster.”

 

In a word: Don’t read the thing. Just… don’t. I cannot stand this book, and that might just be a ‘me’ thing though, because it got a lot of good reviews on Goodreads. I didn’t like it when I read it the first time, but when I tried to reread it I pretty much had to force myself, and then I gave up after a few pages. I hate the characters, I’m not completely in love with the writing, and the story itself sounds like something I’d probably like if it were written differently than it was here. What makes me dislike it even more is the fact that this book had potential, there were some parts that I enjoyed and there were some parts that I was genuinely invested in. But in the end I just didn’t like it and could not make myself read it again.

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

 

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Fin & Matt – Charlie Winters

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“Honestly, I think I’ve loved you since the day we met.”

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing? I dunno. It’s harmless enough. The writing isn’t very good, and the plot is pretty bare-bones. There were a few parts that I enjoyed, but overall I wasn’t a fan. When I first read it (back in February) I liked it well-enough, but reading it again was a chore. I’m still not sure how this even got so many 4 and 5 star reviews on Goodreads. If insta-love is your thing, no matter how bad the writing is, you might enjoy this. It’s worth at least reading once for the entertainment value. There’s a lot of this that could work if only the writing was better.

[available for purchase at Book Depository and Amazon.ca]

 

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