An Ashlez Review: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker

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Rating : 4 stars out of 5
There are moments in your life that become part of you. They become so ingrained in your memory that you can’t let them go, no matter how hard you try. Some may seem small and insignificant when they happen. Others are so big and important that you know, even while you’re in the moment, that your life will be forever changed. For me, almost all those moments—both the small and insignificant as well as the big and important—were moments I shared with Chance Wyrick.

If I were in a support group for hopelessly pathetic gays, I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Andy Michaelson and I can’t stop myself from thinking about Chance Wyrick.”
From the time we met, when we were only six years old, and for the next twelve years, he was my best friend. I fell in love with him along the way. I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, only that it happened.

Words of advice:

Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.
But most of all…

Never, I repeat never, fall in love with your best friend if he’s straight. Nothing good can come of it. Trust me.

Our friendship was over before we finished our last year of high school. My best friend became my ex-best friend. I hoped to forget about him when I went off to college. But Chance followed me there. So did all the memories.

I tried to forget him. I did. But he was more beautiful than ever. He was the starting quarterback for Gilcrest University. He was larger than life. He was impossible to ignore. We hadn’t spoken in years, but the memories still hit me out of nowhere, and they still hurt.

By the time I started my third year at Gilcrest, I was beginning to think I’d never be over him.

As it turns out, I was right…

Chasing Chance is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. Chasing Chance is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, Catching Chance, to come out next month!
You know what, I’m super excited about these Gilcrest boys!  Dying to see what comes from all of his friends, I love books like this that set up the next story in the series so well that you just can’t seem to wait for it.
At first this story started off a bit sad, honestly, I kind of thought the formatting was a bit off, I get that you need flashbacks for this story 100% but I prefer the flashbacks to be their own chapters for some reason, I know it was in different formatting but I get distracted when I’m reading one portion then it jumps to another within the same chapter – but that’s personal preference.
Andy was adorable and knew what he wanted from day 1 – there was a bit of drama and unneeded tension between the mains/friends but alas, it’s a book right .. every book needs a little drama!
Where Chance came in was a bit more of a time – he has a hard time throughout the whole book – but the end more than makes up for his behaviour – you honestly can’t help but feel for both of these guys.

Overall well written, good storyline, good plot, and a good read!  I need more of the Gilcrest boys… I really do.

Cover – football, apt, I don’t think it’s super central to the story – I’d have liked a treehouse!

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 175 pages
Published March 17th 2019
ASIN B07PQ97GR6
Series Gilcrest University Guys #1

An Ashez Release Day Review: Strays and Lovers by John Inman

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Rating : 4 stars out of 5

Forty-six-year-old Eddie Hightower has a problem. He’s all alone. The only thing that saves him from facing that stark reality is the fact that he isn’t really alone at all. He has a house full of pets and a refuge full of stray unwanted animals he spends every waking hour trying to place in homes. While he loves what he does with all the joy in his heart, that same poor aging heart is still missing something. And Eddie knows exactly what it is. Romance.

But wait. Cue the music. Suddenly, beyond all hope, it happens. In the small desert town of Spangle, California, where Eddie lives, comes a sad young stranger with piercing gray eyes. They are the palest, most stunningly beautiful eyes Eddie has ever seen. Poor Eddie Hightower is swallowed up in their silver depths and disappears without a gurgle. The stranger’s name is Gray Grissom. Gray, like his eyes. Without hesitation Eddie opens his doors—and his heart—to the lost young man. After all, that’s what Eddie does. He finds homes for strays. But this is one stray Eddie intends to keep for himself.

I love books involving animals, and, I mean, these are some well written animals!  I can’t believe how much the animals play an integral part in the storyline, and how adorable and well described they were.  From their actions to their playing aspects and how they looked – it was unreal.

I didn’t mind Gray or Eddie – Eddie acted his age (mostly, aside from the occasional awkward giggle) and Gray (also an awkward giggler) and his past were a truly interesting integration as well into the story.

I need myself a Louie – you know what, I’ll take every single one of the pets in the book I was seriously in love with them before the story was over.

Slow burn, sweet, funny, cute definitely a must if you love a good animal included story.  I thought the “romance” portions of the book fell a little flat but overall it was a fun read.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas – 100% fitting, and adorable
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 152 pages
Expected publication: November 30th 2018
ISBN 139781640808720
Edition Language English

An Ashlez Review: Kinky Pride Collection by Shannon West, TS McKinney, Sara York, Susan E Scott

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Rating:4 stars out of 5
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time for Pride! Okay, scratch that—it’s time for another round of parades, parties, and good times. And nothing spices up a party like a little kink. Surely belligerent parents, jealous ex-lovers and whips, spanking posts and ropes will keep it classy. Add a lot of alcoholic beverages, and what could possibly go wrong? Four sexy novellas, four brand new stories, each one by a bestselling author, puts a spin on Pride and celebrates gay romance in all its glory. Each novella is about finding love and maybe a little—or a lot—of kink just to keep it interesting.
Whiskey Dreams – 4/5
Mac – very strong alpha male, totally loved his character and his actions from the very beginning.  Perhaps a bit of a grudge holder but I love how it transferred into something else.
Evan – he seems very entertaining and fun, hell I’d love to go out dancing with him – and his outfit choices were pretty epic.
The interaction between Evan and Mac from the beginning was quite hostile, which honestly built the suspense – and Mac’s dom qualities put Evan firmly in sub mode – I havent read a Dom/sub book in ages and I absolutely adored it.
I like their “coming to a head” moment, and realizations, it was sweet
Fireballed – 4/5
Oh I loved the nickname Fireball it fit so well, especially given the way Jer acts and the way that Ten collects whiskey – it’s pretty fitting.  The pets in this I think were my favourite – Princess is written to be an actual princess and that was adorable.
Slow yet fast moving – it felt like nothing happened then everything happened.  Working through their issues and Jers past was just icing on a cake I think.  Overall it was a great story.
Tequila Sunrise – it’s at this moment I realize all the books have been named after alcohol ……………… 2/5
I think this is a case of “Finding someone that was there all along” after a space of some time, I love stories that start out this way, friends
Rafe – he seems a bit confused and unsure of himself – though I think his job would have many a perk
Linc – self assured and with it, I like him.
I had an issue with this one, I hate when someone isn’t quite sure of themselves, I like a bit of suspense but when most of the story goes into their “are they, are they not” .. “do I feel like that, do I not” .. this just really wasn’t the story for me
Skyy’s Bailey – 5/5
I love a good good BDSM story – this one had heartache in the background and some goodness in the end, this was an awesome story to read – save the best for last?  does this ring true.. 100%.
Bailey was a hardass man but yet a softie, I found his backstory compelling and just wanted things to work out for him.
Sky was something else, I feel bad for his past/having to come back up from having what he did, what heartbreak.
I’m so happy about this story.  So happy.
Cover art – meant not a whole lot, there’s only so much you can do with an anthology – it was intriguing though
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book  Details:
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published October 10th 2018 by Painted Hearts Publishing
ASIN B07JB4BG1K
Edition Language English

An Ashlez Review: Murderous Twins by Edward Kendrick

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Rating – 4.5 out of 5

Blaine Ayers and Lloyd Thomas are identical twins — separated at birth, reunited by accident, and serial killers by choice. Two men, posing as one.

Steve Cooke is a private investigator married to Gary Drake-Cooke, an interior decorator.

The four men’s paths cross when Blaine and Lloyd move into a house across the street from Steve and Gary. What happens next has the potential to change their lives forever — for better or for worse.

Warning: This story contains scenes of graphic violence.

 
You know,  what, as short as this book is I think it was great – I think it had more potential if it were a bit longer and more in depth on the past of each of Blaine and Lloyd, I would have liked to see a bit more in that aspect.
 
It’s typical reasons serial killers exist – anyone who has seen criminal minds will understand.  I liked the neighbor detective and his want to find out what’s going on – I enjoyed reading about his husband.
 
If you want a hot and heavy romance this is definitely not the book for you – there’s none of that in this book and honestly I was OK with that – it fits more with the story than if it had a steamy romance.
 
Once you get to about halfway things really start to get interesting, and I really couldn’t put it down.  Not going to go into much detail due to the nature of the book – hello thriller – but I enjoyed it immensely it was exciting and kept me engaged.  I do think it reads like an episode of criminal minds which, of course, who would hate.Nature vs Nurture.
 
Cover Art:  Other than the cover being twins it really doesn’t lead to the story – not mad at it though, perhaps a bloody item would make it more dynamic!

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published August 11th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07FP6G9DV
Edition Language English