Boy Banned – RJ Scott

28665436

“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]

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

  Continue reading

Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) – Avon Gale

27384973

“Jared was going to take him to bed. It was a terrible idea, and he didn’t care.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I loved this book. I started the Scoring Chances series with the fourth (and latest, at the time) book, which I also loved, and was very excited to start the series at the beginning. I wasn’t disappointed. The characters in this book had little to no connection with the characters in Empty Net, but I loved them anyway. Lane and Jared are two minor league pro hockey players in two completely different places in their careers. Lane is a rookie, just beginning his pro career, while Jared is a hockey veteran at 31 years old and pretty close to retirement. They both play on rival teams, so it makes sense that their relationship would start with a fight on the ice. It all works out though because, as weird as the two of them really are, they’re really good together. Lane is awkward as all hell and somewhat insecure, and Jared had long ago sworn off relationships after getting badly burned in the past, but being with each other gives them both the love and support they need to better themselves and reach for what they really want in life and love. And also they play hockey. Aside from Lane and Jared, who are more than enough to carry the story on their own, there is a cast of side characters to add even more fun to the story. These characters include, but aren’t limited to, Lane’s first ever best friend Zoe (who is awesome), and one of the protagonists for the next book, Riley Hunter.

 

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

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

  Continue reading

Finding Family – Connie Bailey

29990320

“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]

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

  Continue reading

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) – Avon Gale

empty-net

I like you. Laurent didn’t say it, but he didn’t need to. It was probably written all over his face.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I didn’t really know much about this book going in. All I knew was that it was about hockey players and that one of the leads was asexual. I really liked this book. Like, a lot. I’m not really a big hockey fan, but I didn’t really need to be since the story was more about the characters and less about the game, so that worked for me. This is book four in the Scoring Chances series so a lot of the characters that I read about for the first time were actually already introduced in previous books. This didn’t turn out to be too much of a problem because the book gave me enough information about past major events so that I wasn’t too out of the loop, but I feel like I did miss a lot of character development in some places (this isn’t the book’s fault). Regardless, it didn’t take me long to get attached to the characters. There’s our two leads, of course, Isaac and Laurent, but there’s also their friends and coaches and a wacky landlady I enjoyed reading about as well. Although this story is definitely a romance, it’s also kind of Laurent’s journey to find himself and become the man he was truly meant to be outside of his father’s shadow. Also sometimes hockey happens. This book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming in parts, and also surprisingly funny. I don’t know if this series is still ongoing, but if it is I hope we get to see more of Isaac and Laurent (and their teammates) in the future.

 

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

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

  Continue reading

Running With the Pack – A. M. Burns & Caitlin Ricci

31344835

“It didn’t feel strange for the three of them to be like that together. It seemed normal.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. This is a sweet one. Also it’s the first YA book I’ve ever read that featured a poly relationship, and an asexual character. I don’t really know much about poly relationships or how they work, but the one in this book seems accurate enough. This is a story about Finn, Ivan, and Adrian, three high school seniors who discover that it’s okay to be in love with more than one person at a time (so long as everyone is onboard). The three boys are adorable and so open in their affection and love for each other, which you don’t really see much of in YA books (I find). Even before they decide to start dating each other they are really close (especially Ivan and Adrian, who’ve known each other longer). Their relationship is really easy to get invested in; which is a good thing because it’s really the main focus of the story. Also the book kinda gives off the impression that there is a supernatural element of some sort going on. There is none of that. The story features wolves heavily but they are just normal wolves, no shifters. This is a simple story of teenagers falling in love, with a little twist. There’s some drama, some laughs, some fluff, and even some danger. It’s a nice story and a quick read. I really wish that it was a bit longer because I really would have loved to read more about Finn, Ivan, and Adrian and how they and their relationships grow and develop.

 

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

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

Continue reading

Adulting 101 – Lisa Henry

30244714

“’I like pizza,’ Nick says slowly, unable to tear his gaze away from Jai’s abs. Wild horses couldn’t even. Nick will stab them if they try.”

 

In a word: Read the thing! This book is a delight! The writing is hilarious and easy to read, the characters are entertaining and engaging, and the romance is sweet and dirty and funny. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a book in a while. Nick and Jai as the main couple are great together (between the sweeter moments, the awkward sex, and the dialogue there’s always something to smile about), and the side characters bring even more fun and drama. Also Nick and Devon (his best friend) have the most unique relationship I think I’ve ever read and I would absolutely read a book about them (as long as their significant others are also there to roll their eyes at all their shenanigans). There is nothing about this book that I don’t like. There is some light angst that all comes to a head near the end, but most of the story is hilarity, awkwardness, and fluff. It’s also a bit of a coming-of-age story for people like Nick who are just starting their journey to adulthood and have no idea what they’re doing. If you’re looking for a funny, light read, this is it.

[available for purchase at Riptide Publishing, Book Depository, Amazon.ca, and Chapters]

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

  Continue reading

Screwups – Jamie Fessenden

20744130

“He’d found his true home, among people he’d always been told were “weirdos”.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. I didn’t like this one as much as I did Violated (by the same author), but I still really did like this one. It’s a very different story from Violated, though it also has some really heavy and dark themes that happen. This one was more sweet and had a lot more humour. Also a lot of nudity and RPGs (though not at the same time) (mostly) (there may have been a kilt involved at one point). The main focus of the story is the relationship between the main couple and the obstacles they have to overcome (so much pining); but there is a lot of other stuff going on too. It’s also a story of self-acceptance and finding a place where you feel comfortable being yourself. There’s an importance on friendship, since one half of the main couple not only gets a boyfriend but friends as well. There is also a lot of focus on RPGs, which doesn’t exactly drag the story, but if it’s something you have no interest in you’ll probably be bored reading those parts. So definitely read this if you get the chance, just remember that for as sweet and fun as it is, it can also get pretty dark.

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

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

Continue reading