Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Release Review: The Shepherd and the Solici

Title: The Shepherd and the Solicitor

Author: Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee

Publisher/GR Link: Samhain, GR

Genre: MM Historical

Vice: Historical, trauma

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lock this book up: 3 keys.  The sex is hot, steamy, and totally supports the story

Length:  161 pages

Satisfaction:  HEA

Cover Impressions: I love this whole collection, and the covers are classic.

Best Line: “Now all I think of is you.”

Synopsis: When a storm is brewing, taking shelter could be the most dangerous move of all.

One careless, public sign of affection cost Daniel Pierce’s lover his life at the hands of a hate-filled mob. Grief-stricken, Daniel retreated from society to a sheep farm in the wilds of the north. Years later, Gregory Tobin erupts into his solitary life.
Sent to confirm the existence—or the death—of the Pierce family’s lost heir, Tobin isn’t sure he’s found the right man. The gruff, shaggy hermit calling himself Jacob Bennet bears little resemblance to photographs of the younger Pierce. Tobin needs more time to study his quarry.
With lambing season in full swing, Daniel grudgingly admits he could use an extra hand. Through a long, exhausting night, they parry back and forth as Tobin probes closer and closer to the truth. And something beyond casual attraction simmers between them.
They come together in a crash of desire, but ultimately Daniel must overcome the terrors of the past to reconcile the man he was with the man he’s becoming—a man capable of loving again.

Impressions: These authors are on my auto-buy list, and this book is a perfect example of why.  In no time at all, I was swept into the world of Yorkshire, in the 1880’s, as I watched one man learn to love again, and another realize that he has just settled for too long. 

Daniel/Bennet has had a terrible trauma and in his past, and I can’t help but be impressed by his ability to reinvent his life.  I found it very believable that he would try to distance himself from all love and intimacy. 

Gregory is a ray of light in Daniel’s cold world.  It was impossible not to fall a little in love with Gregory!  He is so earnest, enthusiastic, and optimistic.  He is also intelligent and loyal, and though he may not totally realize his own worth, he knows that he can give Daniel something that they both need.

Both men grow and evolve, and I felt engaged and connected through out the whole story.  This is a great collection of books which can be read in any order, and you won’t want to miss this addition!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Signs of Life, by Melanie Hansen

Title: Signs of Life

Author: Melanie Hansen

Publisher/GR Link: Dreamspinner (preorder, out on 9/28), GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Trauma/Loss, teachers

Rating: 5+

Lock this book up: 4 keys.  This is SMOKING hot.

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Gorgeous, and suits the series

Best Line: “He did have the strength to light more candles…”

Synopsis: Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

Impressions:  This read was simply stunning.  I was looking forward to it (and eager to see more of Jase and Carey- I was not let down!) and so I had high expectations.  These were blown out of the water, because not only is this an amazing read that kept me up until midnight, I couldn’t go to sleep until I had shared that information with the world.

When the book opens, I was brought to tears by Jeremy’s story.  Honestly, I wondered how something that emotionally hard to read could ever leave me with room to imagine him finding love.  What Hansen did so expertly was to mirror Jeremy’s realization that he could love again with the reader’s acceptance and then eagerness to see him do just that.  Kai is a dynamic character, and it takes someone as special as him to convince us, and Jeremy, that the pain he suffered can be the story of his past and not the determinate of his future.

I really felt immediately connected to these characters, and to the others that we meet (and revisit) in this story.  I felt for Jeremy as he struggled to grow and evolve, and I admired Kai’s strength and commitment to loving them both.

I don’t want to give too much of this away, because I didn’t know much about the story line before I started and I loved each and every aspect of the plot as I uncovered it.  This is a heart wrenching and yet uplifting story and you need to lose yourself in it to really experience the raw emotions.

I do have to note two things.  1.  This book is HOT.  Steam my glasses and hope not one is peeking over my shoulder hot.  2.  I have taught in an urban school with populations very much like Kai’s and I have never encountered a story that so accurately reflects the highs and lows of my job.  Kai’s job doesn’t end at 3, and he worries about his kids all of the time.  I loved that Jeremy understood that, and I applaud Ms. Hansen for her accurate and touching portrayal of a job that is truly a calling.

Don’t wait to settle in with this book.  You will want to tune out the world to read it, but you’ll do anything to keep from putting it down!

Highly recommended. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

New Author Review: Just Say Yes, by Pandora Pine

Title: Just Say Yes

Author: Pandora Pine

Publisher/GR LinkGRAmazon

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Doctors, Construction workers, finding love

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Lock this book up: 3 keys out of 5.  The sex supports the storyline. 

Length: Novella

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Cute- Clean and sweet. 

Best Line"You're worth the wait." "Well, I think the wait is over."

SynopsisER doctor Wyatt Jacobs moves to San Francisco to escape the pain of his mother’s death. He doesn’t think he’ll ever feel at home in California, twenty-five hundred miles from his beloved Georgia, but he hasn’t met his handsome but cocky neighbor yet. 

Contractor Caleb Gregson is all about one-night stands and keeping his perfect record of satisfied lovers intact. He isn’t prepared for Wyatt, whose resistance to his charms makes him rethink everything he thought he knew about his life. 

Caleb starts wooing his reluctant neighbor in hopes of getting Wyatt to sleep with him and restore his perfect record. As time goes on, however, he wants Wyatt to Just Say Yes to an entirely different question. 

Impressions:  This is a really cute and romantic story.  I read it today at the beach, and it was the perfect setting for a great read with two really likable main characters and a sweet love story. 

Caleb is sure that no one can resist his charm, and when Wyatt rebuffs him, he decides that he is up for the challenge of winning him over.  Wyatt isn't falling for Caleb's attempts at falling into bed- he is looking for something more. As Caleb decides to woo Wyatt, he learns to think about others first- and he gets in touch with his romantic side.  With each new romantic endeavor, Caleb begs Wyatt to "just say yes..."  Eventually, Caleb realizes that he wants Wyatt to agree to a lot more than just a roll a in the hay.  What is really cute is watching Caleb change into someone who realizes that there is more to life than his next conquest.

This story was really cute, and Caleb and Wyatt were very likable and endearing.   They navigate love and life together, and I guarantee those who are looking for a sweet and sexy romance will end the story with a smile on their face.  There isn't a lot of angst or dramatic plot devices, but thats not what this story is about. 

Give Wyatt and Caleb a try, and check out Ms. Pine's work.  She is a welcome addition to the MM genre.