Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) – Avon Gale

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“You just… I don’t know, Ethan. Something about you makes me take chances that I don’t ever take.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I am falling in love with this series more and more with every book. This is the second book in the Scoring Chances series and takes place not long after the first book, Breakaway. Breakaway was about Lane Courtnall and Jared Shore falling in love and moving along in their hockey careers. In this book it’s Lane’s friend (and former goalie) Riley Hunter’s turn. Calm and quiet Riley and loud and boisterous Ethan Kennedy seem like an odd pairing, but they end up as roommates for the new hockey season and are quick to become friendly with each other. Then, even though neither of them have really shown any significant interest in men before, their friendship soon turns sexual, and then turns into romance. I was actually surprised at how quickly Riley and Ethan got together, though it wasn’t necessarily romantic at first, I suppose, so there was still a lot more development to be had. Like the other books in the series, this book focuses more on the main couple’s relationship development than it does about hockey (though hockey is still a very big and important part of the characters’ lives). I really enjoyed Riley and Ethan’s dynamic, and the writing was very funny and very emotional in turns. There were also appearances from characters we first met in the first book (like Lane, Jared, Zoe, and Ryan) and we got to see how they were doing and developing, which was awesome. And the new characters that were introduced were quickly endearing and entertaining (I love Ethan’s family). This was a quick, enjoyable read and I’m very excited to start the next book.

 

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

 

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Can’t Live Without You – Andrew Grey

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“As much as Justin could try to deny it, George had entered his soul when he was eighteen, and he’d never left.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I did like the story and the characters, but I never really got into it in a big way. I still recommend it because it’s very emotional and I really did enjoy those parts. Justin and George were young and in love when Justin got disowned by his parents and then suddenly left town. They remained separated for seven years, until Justin returns for his father’s funeral. Once they’re together again the two of them realize that they’ve really never stopped loving each other while they were apart, and they don’t want to be separated again. The problem there is that Justin is a popular actor out in LA, and George has a life he can’t just uproot back in their small Pennsylvanian hometown. If they can’t figure out a way to make things work for them it looks like they’re doomed to be forever apart. The really emotional parts, where Justin and George are sad and mopey about being apart, were the parts I liked the best. Their struggle felt really real to me and all I wanted was for them to find a way to be together. A lot of the dialogue is pretty annoying in how expository and unnatural it is, but other than that I thought it was good and it really pulled at my heart-strings at times.

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

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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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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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