A BJ Audiobook Review: Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell and Michael Ferraiulo (Narrator)

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Rating:    4.5 stars out of 5

sunset-park audioRaymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

Raymond is my favorite character so far in this series, and while I like the narrator’s accent and voice for David, at first his portrayal of Ray didn’t work for me. I wanted him back the way he had been in book one, the way I’d been used to hearing him. However, as the story went on, I grew used to the new Raymond and once I’d accepted it, the narration worked for me. He definitely created emotion and uniquely discernable character voices, and it ended up being a fun listen.

This one didn’t have the negativity and angst and deaths like the first one. I wouldn’t call it light, but it was more positive. Raymond took the bull by the horns and went for what he wanted when it came to his sex/love life. That was awesomely refreshing. He had a bit to work through on the vocation side of his life, but it was fun to watch him work through what he wanted and how to get there. Raymond comes across as a simple, down-to-earth, honest guy. I was all over him from book one.

David took a bit of warming up for me as I had not much cared for him in book one due to his cheating, and although I came to see that he was good for Raymond, he’s still not a fav for me. I feel like he used Caleb and then strung him along for a long time, and it seemed as if Caleb really did love him, so that was sad.

Despite that, the chemistry between Raymond and David was smoking hot, making it the second book in a row where I needed to have a personal fan handy while listening. Whether they were bickering, outright fighting, or going at it, these guys were off the charts together. Add in excellent writing and characterization, and great pacing with no slow parts and this was a very enjoyable read. I would have preferred if there was just a bit more as the ending rather hit me unawares, but then again, it did leave me eager for the next book to revisit and see how their relationship progressed after that declaration. Plus I’m very eager because I saw that it’s Caleb’s story, and I’m feeling bad for him right now. He needs his HEA.

Another lovely, simple black and white cover by Paul Richmond that sets a tone for this story. My only quibble is that I wish it had shown Raymond with his long hair since he had that up until nearly the end.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 9 pages, 8 hrs 7 mins
Published May 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC (first published December 11th 2015)
Original TitleSunset Park
ASINB01G29SY8C
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFive Boroughs #2 settingNew York (United States)


An Alisa Review: Damaged by Noah Willoughby

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

DamagedNobody is invincible…

On a seemingly ordinary night, Tom Otso’s life changes forever when he is ambushed, attacked and left for dead. Though he survives the ordeal, Tom finds out at the hospital that the gravity of his injuries has left him permanently disabled.

Eric Kontio is a physical therapist who is assigned to Tom’s case to help rehabilitate and adapt Tom to his new way of living. In helping people for over 20 years, Eric has never met anyone with such an incredible spirit and positive attitude as Tom. Eric becomes infatuated with him and marvels at his incredible progress.

Being together every day, the two men grow closer as friends, but things become complicated by Tom’s jealous and moody boyfriend, Adrian, and Eric’s professionalism being doubted by his superior. When the true feelings of both men come to the surface, so do their painful pasts which could make or break their relationship.

 

This is the first book I have read by Noah and I was pleasantly surprised.  Even though this is a shorter story a lot happens in a short amount of time.  There are a lot of emotions going on throughout this story.

 

Tom is attacked and hospitalized for weeks before he wakes up and has to go through healing and therapy to learn to live on his own again.  Tom did his best to stay positive while in the hospital and therapy without any real support from his boyfriend.  While Eric is willing to support him from the sidelines even if they aren’t in a relationship.

 

I could feel Tom’s upbeat attitude that everything would work out and his embarrassment in how Adrian would treat him and the situation while Eric was hurting inside seeing Tom being treated badly.  They meet back up again and begin to lean on each other however you can see Tom holding himself back because he doesn’t feel he deserves any happiness.  My only real gripe with the story is Tom was in the hospital for 4 weeks after he was attacked and there was a news story put out, but his boyfriend never tried to find him, even if they didn’t have a great relationship you would think that he would at least be wondering what happened.

 

Cover art is nice, but doesn’t really catch my eye at first glance.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 81 pages

Published: June 27, 2016

Edition Language: English

A BJ Review: Femme by Marshall Thornton

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Rating:    3.75 stars out of 5

FemmeQueeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.

I remember reading a blog post some time back where Marshall Thornton said he didn’t write romance novels. And I had to concede that as truth, as much as I love the Boystown series, there is a lot of sex and there is some love, but not a lot of romance or sexual tension. When I saw that he’d written a book that actually had the word “romance” right up there in the blurb, I had to read it.

As usual, the writing and characterization is superb. There were a few editing errors, but since I don’t remember noting any of those in his other books, I tend to think that is just because the copy I received was an advance copy.

I enjoy reading about flamboyant characters, so I was not surprised that I adored Lionel. Witty, sharp-tongued, ballsy, but with a sweet vulnerability—he had me from the beginning. Can’t really say the same for Dog, well, I take that back. I did like him at the start but after he totally bailed on Lionel in public not once, but twice, I found myself cringing for Lionel and wanting to kick Dog in the nuts.

However, I must admit that he was acting in character… he had a good heart, like Lionel, but Dog didn’t come across as the brightest bulb. And sometimes he didn’t deal with things so well. He did have some terrific insights though when he really sat down and thought about stuff. And so genuinely cared for his family. So, like Lionel, I forgave him. Especially when he came up with the idea for the shoe scene. What a picture. That was great.

While the story begins with the MCs in bed after a drunken one night stand, there isn’t actually that much sex. There is some, although not a lot, sexual tension along the way. In the end, I decided it was just right. There’s a twist near the end that I didn’t see that coming. And I LOVED it.

Lionel loves old black and white movies, and some of this story actually reminded me of the tone set in some of those, which I found pretty cool. The author paints some vivid images, and for the most part the story flowed along well. My biggest complaint was that I’d have preferred more time with Dog and Lionel together and less of Dog interacting with his family. Those bits took up so much page time that a few times I found myself wanting to skim.

Overall, this was a fun and delightfully different M/M read. The cover is simple but it fits the story well.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2016 by Kenmore Books
ASINB01FT7CVKU
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Recap Tour & Giveaway – Anna Butler’s Taking Shield Series

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Series Recap Tour & Giveaway – Anna Butler – Taking Shield Series

Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield #1)
 
Earthís last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesnít need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his fatheróor with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesnít expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

 

Heart Scarab (Taking Shield #2)
 
Telnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennetís job is to get out as many civilians as he canóa task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.
  Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden. And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-brokenÖno. Flynn is just broken.
Makepeace (Taking Shield #3)
 
Returning to duty following his long recovery from the injuries he sustained during the events recounted in Heart Scarab, Shield Captain Bennet accepts a tour of duty in Fleet as flight captain on a dreadnought. The one saving grace is that it isnít his fatherís shipóbad enough that he canít yet return to the Shield Regiment, at least he doesnít have the added stress of commanding former lover Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, knowing the fraternisation regulations will keep them apart.
  Working on the material he collected himself on T18 three years before, Bennet decodes enough Maess data to send him behind the lines to Makepeace, once a human colony but under Maess control for more than a century. The mission goes belly up, costing Albion one of her precious, irreplaceable dreadnoughts and bringing political upheaval, acrimony and the threat of public unrest in its wake. But for Bennet, the real nightmare is discovering what the Maess have in store for humanity.
Itís not good. Itís not good at all.
Author Bio:
Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

 

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Sirius Wolves Have Returned with ‘The Beginning’ by Victoria Sue (Release Day Blitz and Giveaway)

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Release Blitz – Victoria Sue – The Beginning – Sirius Wolves #6

 
Author: Victoria Sue
 
Release Date: July 28
 
Length: 173 pages
 
Buy Links
Blurb
 
The Winter Circle is on the rise and the most desperate hour for humankind is at hand. Working from the shadows, the dark god Anubis, jealous enemy of the goddess Sirius, is setting years’ long plans in motion, a master scheme that will strike home in the heart of Jefferson Pack.
 
Nate is a survivor.  He survived rejection by his father and his pack when he was a child. He survived being alone, kidnapped, starved, and tortured. But the more he recovers, the more he realizes he seems to be developing abilities that surpass those of the Supreme Alphas.
 
More than that, though, he can’t move past the scar of knowing he was responsible for killing Darric, even though the Alpha was resurrected by Orion and Nate was forgiven; he can’t let go of his fear that there is something terrible hiding in the many holes in the memories of his childhood.
 
The Winter Circle strikes, and there is a traitor within the pack, one who means to see the end of all hybrids, including Nate and Kellan’s pups.
 
But as all hell breaks loose Nate’s greatest fear is not the danger that surrounds him, it’s the danger that hides within him. When Nate’s finds out his true purpose, and terrible secrets are revealed, will love triumph over evil? Or will the secret that Nate carries just be the death of them all?
 
Author Bio
 
Victoria Sue has loved books for as long as she can remember. Books were always what pocket money went on and what usually Father Christmas brought. When she ran out of her kid’s adventure stories, she would go raid her mom’s. By the age of eight she was devouring classics like Little Women, and fell in love with love stories.
She’s still in love with them. Any size, any shape, any creature – love is love, no matter what it says on the box.
In fact if they don’t fit very neatly into any box she loves them even more! She has a very patient husband and three wonderful children. In 2010 in search of adventure they all moved from the UK to the US and are happily settled in Florida. Finally, after reading love stories for so long, she decided to write her own.
@vickysuewrites
https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha