A Wounded Promise (Sam’s Café Romances #2) – Ashavan Doyon

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Will Russ be mad at me? Which wasn’t nearly as bad as the other thought. Am I allowed to be mad at Russ?

 

In a word: Maybe read the thing? I had a few problems with this one, and I’m not sure which problems are down to bad writing and which are due to the fact that I didn’t read the book that came before this one. Russ and Justin got together in the previous book (The King’s Mate) and this book continues their story. While I was reading this book it felt a lot like the author was banking on me already having read the first book. It kinda felt like being dumped into a story already in progress, with minimal character introductions and people making references to events in ways that make it seem like I should already know about them. Sam and Russ in particular are always talking about past events and the text doesn’t explain anything about them, but I don’t know if that’s bad writing and we will be learning about those events eventually, or if it was already explained in the first book and I’m missing out because I didn’t read it. Although I also had problems with the writing in other ways, mostly with the dialogue and the (many) sex scenes. Also I never felt that I connected with any of the characters, I felt for them and their problems, but I didn’t really care about them. Speaking of problems, this story is also really bleak. The main focus of it is about Russ and Justin confiding in each other about issues they have about their past and how they are trying to work through them and learning to work through them together. It’s mostly a downer and pretty heavy. Also I don’t think I was ever really sold on Russ and Justin as a couple; I never really got invested in them.

 

[available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo]

 

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Normal Enough (Wrench Wars #2) – Marie Sexton

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“Being inside cars like this one did something to him – something that wasn’t normal, by most people’s standards.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I didn’t like this one as much as I did the first one, but that was mostly due to my personal preferences. It’s a good story about a man learning to be comfortable with himself and overcome his insecurities about his sex and social lives. It’s not even really a romance story, not completely. The main arc of the story seems to be mostly about Kasey, the main character, learning to be comfortable in his own skin. It just so happens that it’s a potential for a romantic connection that kicks it off. Rich, sexy lawyer Brandon seems like insecure Kasey’s complete opposite, but that doesn’t do anything to stifle their attraction to each other. I thought that they moved a bit quick, considering Kasey’s anxieties, but at least they didn’t exchange ‘I love you’s at any point. Their relationship, at this point, seems more about sex and companionship than love, but the two of them are good together. There is also some good development on Kasey’s part in regards to his relationships with his co-worker at the garage and his estranged brother, which is where I felt the heart of the story really was and would have liked to see fleshed out more.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble]

 

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Falling Away – Lisa Henry

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“Nobody had ever known every inch of Jason’s body the way that Ben did.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I absolutely hate that this is so short. This is definitely something that could easily be part of a much larger story. It’s a glimpse into the lives of Jason and Ben at a time where they’ve reached a turning point in their relationship. These two men have been fuckbuddies for the past five months and now Jason is struggling with the fact that he wants more. This story is emotionally intense, and quite angsty, as we follow Jason as he struggles with his wants and desires and whether or not he should tell Ben about them. You really come to feel for Jason as you read his internal anguish and about how ashamed he feels that he’s fallen so hard for someone who might not reciprocate those feelings. I was actually pretty worried about how this one was gonna turn out because we don’t see anything from Ben’s point of view, so he’s a bit of a wildcard, we don’t know for sure how he really feels about Jason. The emotions and suspense are high in this one, not really any humour this time, but this is definitely another great read from Lisa Henry.

 

[available for free at M/M Romance Group and Lisa Henry Online]

 

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The Boy Who Belonged (The Boy #2) – Lisa Henry & J. A. Rock

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“He had Derek, and Derek loved him, and Lane believed that.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This book picks up a few months after where The Good Boy left off, continuing Lane and Derek’s relationship and adding in even more drama with Lane’s family situation. Lane seems to be in a much better place now, but that’s not saying too much since he was in such an awful place for most of the last book. Lane has quite a few issues, and those issues aren’t going to go away just because Lane now has someone to love who loves him back. Lane is still on the road to recovery and, even with his mother interfering and throwing in roadblocks, he’s slowly getting to a place where he can feel comfortable with who he is as a person, and that it’s okay to just be Lane. Derek can’t do this for him, but he is a great help. A lot of this book deals with heavy subject matter, as Lane and Derek’s relationship definitely isn’t an easy one. Luckily, all the heavy angst is broken up by humorous scenes featuring a colourful cast of side characters to lighten things a bit. A colourful cast which includes everyone’s (but Derek) favourite foul-mouth macaw Mr. Zimmerman.

 

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

 

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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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