An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.

Travis Miller has a pretty solid life in the small California beach town he calls home. He’s working his way up in the district attorney’s office, he owns a home with an ocean view, and he has close ties with his family. Life is good. If only he could find a sweet boy to call his own, life would be… perfect.

Adam Nichols’ life has never been easy. Growing up in foster care taught him to be strong, so finding himself in a violent relationship was a shock. Now that he’s finally free of it, he faces new problems. He’s jobless, homeless, and terrified of starting from scratch.

With a little help from an old friend, Adam discovers a whole new world. He goes from rock bottom to renting a room from a hot assistant DA and working at Daddy’s Lap, a kink club that opens his vanilla eyes to things he’d never imagined. His new roommate is a balm to Adam’s damaged soul. The tender way Travis cares for him is almost like the Daddy kink community he’s seen at the club. But Travis isn’t a Daddy… right? If he were, surely he’d have said so.

What happens when a lie by omission threatens to bring their budding relationship tumbling down around them? Will Travis ever be able to earn Adam’s trust again?

This book took me a bit to get into, I’m not sure why but it did but once Travis and Adam got into their groove I was fully invested.  I’m still not sure why Travis ever went on a date with Davey but it helps connect him with Adam.  Adam hasn’t had the worst luck lately and the support Travis, Davey and the whole crew at Daddy’s Lap give him the push and help he needs.

Travis is a natural Daddy just as much as Adam is a natural submissive but they need to be open to each other about their needs.  Adam is a little extra skittish after his last relationship but everything about Travis feels comfortable and safe.

I really liked both of these characters and getting a dose of Davey, who is a hoot was great too.  Travis is such a caretaker, we can see that he’s doing it for Adam before he even realizes it.  Adam is intrigued by the Daddy/Boy relationships he sees at work and begins to long for that connection, he has had to work so hard just to stay afloat and keep up since he was a kid the idea of letting go is so welcome to him.  This story was adorably sweet with Travis and Adam and I look forward to other books in the series and to see what other Daddy/Boy dynamics the author shows with the MCs.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is great and I love the visuals of Adam.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages

Published: July 14, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Davey’s Rules #1

Check Out the Blog Tour for Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke (excerpt)

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Rules to Follow

Davey’s Rules Series, Book 1

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance – Daddy/boy

Release Date: 07.14.19

Rules to Follow ebook

Blurb

Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.

Travis Miller has a pretty solid life in the small California beach town he calls home. He’s working his way up in the district attorney’s office, he owns a home with an ocean view, and he has close ties with his family. Life is good. If only he could find a sweet boy to call his own, life would be… perfect.

Adam Nichols’ life has never been easy. Growing up in foster care taught him to be strong, so finding himself in a violent relationship was a shock. Now that he’s finally free of it, he faces new problems. He’s jobless, homeless, and terrified of starting from scratch.

With a little help from an old friend, Adam discovers a whole new world. He goes from rock bottom to renting a room from a hot assistant DA and working at Daddy’s Lap, a kink club that opens his vanilla eyes to things he’d never imagined. His new roommate is a balm to Adam’s damaged soul. The tender way Travis cares for him is almost like the Daddy kink community he’s seen at the club. But Travis isn’t a Daddy… right? If he were, surely he’d have said so.

What happens when a lie by omission threatens to bring their budding relationship tumbling down around them? Will Travis ever be able to earn Adam’s trust again?

This is the first book in a new series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for references to domestic violence.

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Excerpt

After the movie, we finally took our groceries home. Travis insisted on putting everything away himself. “While I do this, how about you order us a pizza? After that scare fest you talked me into watching, I’m in the mood for something lighter. While we eat, maybe we can watch that Adam Sandler movie we never finished.”

“That sounds like an excellent plan. Same order as last time?” I was already on my phone, loading the website to order online.

“Yes, but no onions or extra garlic on this one.” He sounded so certain, I couldn’t help but look up curiously. He was bent into the refrigerator, so I couldn’t see his face. Not that I minded the view I did have, though. In fact, I was so busy checking out his butt that it took me a second for his next comment to register. “Unless you promise to eat the same thing. If we end up kissing again, I refuse to have bad breath unless it’s mutual.”

This was the first time he’d acknowledged the kiss. And he was hinting at another? My mouth went dry as I adjusted my pants that had suddenly gotten a little too tight in certain areas. “I-I, umm…” I gave my head a shake and started again when I couldn’t get the words out the first time. “I vote for onions and garlic on the whole thing. Mutual bad breath for the win. Besides, there’s garlic in the sauce anyway.”

When he stood and looked over at me, I focused on my screen. I could feel my stupid cheeks blushing. I knew he’d noticed it when I heard a quiet chuckle. Deciding this was a good time to excuse myself and get a little bit under control, I headed out of the room.

“I’ll be right back; I’m just going to change. If we’re going to be in relaxation mode, these stiff jeans need to go.” Just the mention of the word stiff had me blushing all over again, because my pants weren’t the only stiff thing on my body.

By the time I cleaned up and changed into pj pants, Travis was waiting in the living room with our pizza and a couple glasses of wine. My eyes widened when I took in the dimly lit room with the movie paused and waiting on the TV. Gulping, I glanced at Travis. “Wow, I didn’t mean to take that long.”

He shook his head and patted the couch beside him as he turned and stretched a leg out like he had last time. “You didn’t take too long, they were just really fast with the delivery this time. Come sit with me. I was thinking maybe we could cuddle. Unless you think that’s too much, too soon?”

“No, that sounds… ah… nice.” My heart pounded as I scurried over and got settled between his legs with my back to his chest. Travis pulled the coffee table closer and opened the pizza box.

“I brought napkins, if you need one. But I figure we can forgo plates tonight and keep it casual. Does that work for you?” His voice was like velvet as it caressed my ear.

I felt my blush return as I awkwardly nodded. “Y-Yes. That sounds good.” I waited while he started the movie then reached into the pizza box. I figured I would grab my slice after he’d taken first pick.

Instead of biting into the piece he’d chosen, he held it to my mouth instead. “Take a bite, sweet boy. You always tease me about wanting to feed you. Tonight I’d like to live up to my reputation.” He chuckled and waited for me to bite into the pizza.

It was weirdly nice to be fed. He patiently waited, lowering the slice while I chewed each mouthful. It wasn’t until I’d finished three slices and groaned that I couldn’t handle another bite that he finally ate his own. I slouched back against his shoulder, watching the movie while he had his turn at dinner. I didn’t even bother with the wine; I was buzzed enough on Travis.

If anybody had walked up right then and asked me about the movie, I doubted I could have told them anything more than who starred in it. I was too aware of Travis and how good it felt to snuggle against his hard body.

Was I falling for him? It sure felt like it. The way I kept blushing, the way my palms got damp, the way my heart raced when he was near… the signs were definitely there. I thought back over everything I’d seen of this man, poking my memories for a sign of anything wrong with him.

Something had to be, because I did not have a good track record where men were concerned. The more I considered it, though, I couldn’t find a single thing that would put up a red flag. If anything, he made me feel protected and special.

 

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

Susan Hawke Logo

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly

IG: https://www.instagram.com/authorsusanhawke

FB: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susan-hawke

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Website: http://www.susihawke.com
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An Alisa Review: How to Heal by Susan Hawke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Take one former bully, unable to forgive himself for the sins of his past…

Clark Danvers is a wild twenty-one year old who’s trying to prove he’s an adult. With a two-year degree in hand, he manages the family car dealership and seemingly parties by night. Given the amount of times he’s been pulled over for speeding by Deputy Rick Matthews, public opinion seems to be right. But what people don’t see are the scars he carries both inside and out. Scars from a past he can’t run away from and will never be able to atone for, no matter how many times he beats himself over it.

Add one no-nonsense cop who longs to be a Daddy for the right boy…

Jericho “Rick” Matthews never expects the bratty kid who gets on his last nerve to pull at his heartstrings. When he finds Clark battered and fighting for his life in a motel room, Rick’s Daddy mode is instantly engaged. Before he can think of anything else, he must first comfort this hurting boy.

To equal a pair of men who might just be what the other needs.

The two men who thought they couldn’t stand each other are drawn together after a date gone wrong. While Rick tenderly cares for Clark, he decides what this brat needs is a Daddy… someone to help him break free from the past and embrace the promise of many happy tomorrows.

Note: Possible trigger warning for mentions of self-harm and a scene involving a man who’s consented to having himself tied up. What he didn’t agree to was being left that way for an entire weekend. This highly emotional scene is the catalyst to evoke “Daddy’s” protective mode in a tale filled with themes of hurt and comfort and the struggle of overcoming a difficult past.

This was a good story and I was so glad for Clark to find something good.  When I saw what he was going through as a teen that cause his actions when he was younger I felt for him but to see that years later he is punishing himself and even others are still holding it against him broke my heart.  I liked Rick previously, even if he was a little overbearing but I was glad he was able to admit he had been wrong in his initial assessment of Clark.

Though Clark gets support from his mother it really take the support and friendship of Rick and his family to help Clark feel like he is worthy and should have some happiness.

I could feel these character’s emotions and while things pretty much went right once they started a relationship I enjoyed it.  Most of the book showed how Rick was able to read Clark and support him to become the man he should be and not be hiding from the world anymore.

The cover art is nice, following the style of the series and gives a great visual of Clark.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 277 pages

Publication: April 14, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Lovestrong #5

A Stella Review: How to Heal (Lovestrong #5) by Susan Hawke

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RATING 3 out of 5 stars

Take one former bully, unable to forgive himself for the sins of his past…
Clark Danvers is a wild twenty-one year old who’s trying to prove he’s an adult. With a two-year degree in hand, he manages the family car dealership and seemingly parties by night. Given the amount of times he’s been pulled over for speeding by Deputy Rick Matthews, public opinion seems to be right. But what people don’t see are the scars he carries both inside and out. Scars from a past he can’t run away from and will never be able to atone for, no matter how many times he beats himself over it.

Add one no-nonsense cop who longs to be a Daddy for the right boy…
Jericho “Rick” Matthews never expects the bratty kid who gets on his last nerve to pull at his heartstrings. When he finds Clark battered and fighting for his life in a motel room, Rick’s Daddy mode is instantly engaged. Before he can think of anything else, he must first comfort this hurting boy.

To equal a pair of men who might just be what the other needs.
The two men who thought they couldn’t stand each other are drawn together after a date gone wrong. While Rick tenderly cares for Clark, he decides what this brat needs is a Daddy… someone to help him break free from the past and embrace the promise of many happy tomorrows.


This is the fifth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the sweet feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

Note: Possible trigger warning for mentions of self-harm and a scene involving a man who’s consented to having himself tied up. What he didn’t agree to was being left that way for an entire weekend. This highly emotional scene is the catalyst to evoke “Daddy’s” protective mode in a tale filled with themes of hurt and comfort and the struggle of overcoming a difficult past.

I wasn’t sure how to rate How To Heal, at the end I settled with a 3 stars. First I have to say, please read the note at the end of the blurb, that scene was so hard for me to read, it broke my heart. Be aware of the trigger too.

Although a couple of things didn’t work with me, this new installment in the Lovestrong series was very well done, I enjoyed till the last chapter. Both Rick and Clark were men with a past, Clark’s one was a little heavier to accept and the young man so far didn’t make a good job at trying to forgive himself and the mistakes he made when he was fifteen years old. If you read the series and in particular How Not To Blend, you know what I’m talking about. Rick seemed to be the right person to be able to help Clark and build a future together. They were characters well defined, loveable, good at the heart.

That said, let’s talk about what didn’t work for me. Since this is part of a series, as often happens, I already met these characters, I ached for Clark because I saw how much he was abused too. I knew there was going to be some kind of redemption for him and I was happy to see some happy times were coming. I already met Rick too and then when I found him here in this new novel, I had trouble to recognise him, I felt him so different from what I already saw of him, it was almost like reading about a stranger-to-me character. Moreover, although I can understand the dynamic the author wanted to create, I think it was too much, too forced and to me it wasn’t ok at all. Clark was too childish, Rick too overbearing.

Still, I hope there will be more coming soon from Susan Hawke.

The cover art by Ana J Phoenix is simple, I can easily see Clark in the model, I like it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 277 pages

Published April 14th 2019

ASIN B07QRQFHSQ

Edition Language English

Series Lovestrong #5

An Alisa Review:How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret…

 

Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s eighteen-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right… would it?

 

Plus the younger guy who he’s tried to forget…

 

It’s been ten years. Ten long years. Does Shaw Michaelson feel bad about having seduced his dad’s best friend? Umm, maybe? Although he could’ve done things differently, Shaw can’t find it within himself to be sorry for the hottest night of his life with the one man he’s never been able to forget. The man he’s patterned every subsequent relationship after… yeah, Shaw totally has a type.

 

Equals a pair of men who deserve a second chance at a first time.

 

The two men are living in an uneasy peace within the same small town and circle of friends, being careful not to let the other get close enough to open old wounds. All their walls fall when a stalker begins terrorizing Shaw, sending him running to the one man he knows will keep him safe.

Note: Possible trigger warning for the mention of an animal being harmed off-page and the psychological trauma of being stalked.

I have been waiting for this one since the teaser book earlier knowing the one night Shaw and Nick spent together couldn’t be the end of their story.  Shaw has been trying to live his life how he wants but can’t seem to get over his feelings for Nick.  Nick has been beating himself up over their night together ten years ago and it take Shaw seriously being in danger and the advice of a friend for him to finally make himself get out from under that guilt and see what is right in front of him.

We get to see some classic Nick and Shaw head butting that we saw in the last book but once Nick finally gets over himself I was glad to see that they were perfect for each other.

Shaw was going through a nightmare with his stalker but was lucky to have his friends at his back to help.  I loved watching Nick let go of that guilt he had been holding onto and if his dreams are anything to go by they will have a wonderful and long life together.  Shaw needed someone to support him much more than take care of him and it was great that Nick was able to give him that.  I really look forward to seeing Rick find the boy he is looking for now that he isn’t pining after Shaw anymore.

The cover art is nice, following the style of the series I just wish that the model for Nick would have had some gray in his hair and beard as that was a big part of his looks for Shaw.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 239 pages

Publication: March 9, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Lovestrong #3

Check Out the Release Blitz for How to Heal (Lovestrong #4) by Susan Hawke (excerpt and giveaway)

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How to Heal

LOVESTRONG Series, Book 4

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 04.14.19

HealEbookCover

Blurb

Take one former bully, unable to forgive himself for the sins of his past…

Clark Danvers is a wild twenty-one year old who’s trying to prove he’s an adult. With a two-year degree in hand, he manages the family car dealership and seemingly parties by night. Given the amount of times he’s been pulled over for speeding by Deputy Rick Matthews, public opinion seems to be right. But what people don’t see are the scars he carries both inside and out. Scars from a past he can’t run away from and will never be able to atone for, no matter how many times he beats himself over it.

Add one no-nonsense cop who longs to be a Daddy for the right boy…

Jericho “Rick” Matthews never expects the bratty kid who gets on his last nerve to pull at his heartstrings. When he finds Clark battered and fighting for his life in a motel room, Rick’s Daddy mode is instantly engaged. Before he can think of anything else, he must first comfort this hurting boy.

To equal a pair of men who might just be what the other needs.

The two men who thought they couldn’t stand each other are drawn together after a date gone wrong. While Rick tenderly cares for Clark, he decides what this brat needs is a Daddy… someone to help him break free from the past and embrace the promise of many happy tomorrows.

This is the fifth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the sweet feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

Note: Possible trigger warning for mentions of self-harm and a scene involving a man who’s consented to having himself tied up. What he didn’t agree to was being left that way for an entire weekend. This highly emotional scene is the catalyst to evoke “Daddy’s” protective mode in a tale filled with themes of hurt and comfort and the struggle of overcoming a difficult past.

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Heal-5

Heal-4-2

Heal-3-2

Excerpt

Jared helped me get Clark rolled over. I knelt and held Clark’s filthy body against my chest while Jared carefully cut the ropes around his wrists. “Do you know the kid, Rick? This seems like it might be personal for you.”

Without thinking about it, I pushed to my feet and took a seat at the head of the bed—right on top of what looked like a puddle of dried puke—and let Clark’s body loll against my shoulder. I held him carefully upright as I brushed the hair back from his face. “Hazards of life in a small town. You get to know everybody. Let’s just say that this guy here has had more than one run-in with me over the years. But no matter how much he’s irritated me, I never would’ve wanted to see him like this.”

I wanted to sob at the sight of the welts and bruises where the ropes had held his hands together. I wanted to lean him forward and get a better look at the infected areas on his back. Had somebody whipped him? Obviously, someone had done a number on him. The person I held was a mere husk of the healthy young man I’d seen Friday night with Marcus.

Marcus.

I looked up as Jared came around the corner from the bathroom. When did he step out of the room? Dammit, I needed to keep my head on straight. Focus, Matthews. Do the job. “Hey, that camera on the dresser might be the key to this one. With any luck, it recorded whatever went down in here. Don’t touch it though, we’ll need take a shit-ton of photos of the scene first.” I shook my head as he walked forward with something white in his hand. “Sorry, what am I thinking? You’ve obviously been well trained. You’ve done everything right so far.”

Maybe I finally had a link that would tie that jerk Marcus to Shaw’s case. Not that any of that was important in this moment. No, right now the only thing that mattered was getting Clark the help he needed. Fuck. I needed to keep my head straight. I glanced back at Jared when he began to speak.

“No worries. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that even a rookie like me knows you’re probably contaminating the scene by sitting on that bed. But fuck it. I think he needs you more than we need a clean scene. I also don’t think it’s going to hurt anything if we wipe the crust from his eyes so he can try to open them. Here, you wanna do the honors?” He passed me the warm, damp washcloth he’d been holding. Ah, so that’s what he’d been doing in the bathroom.

“Thanks, that’s good thinking. He’s our number one priority at the moment.” I thanked Jared for his consideration, but focused on the task at hand. Clark made anguished whimpers in his throat as I carefully cleaned the dried crusties from his eyelashes. After I pulled the washcloth away, he blinked a couple times then gazed blankly at me as if it was too much work to focus.

I carefully dabbed at the dried blood on his lips with a clean area of the cloth. “Don’t worry, kid. We’ve got you. Can you talk to me, Clark? I need to know who did this to you. We need to find him; can you give me a name?” Holding this weak, damaged boy in my arms was bringing all my protective instincts to the surface. I just wanted to make all his hurts go away.

If he were my boy…

I quickly tried to push that train of thought away. Clark Danvers was the last person I would choose to Daddy. He was rude, defiant, and sassy on his best day. Clark was not exactly the most submissive type, either. I set the washcloth aside after a moment and simply held him. I needed him to know that he wasn’t alone and that somebody cared.

Shit. Maybe he did need me.

When he started to whimper, I made a shushing noise as I brushed his hair back. His lips parted as the faintest sound came out. “Waaaa.”

Jared immediately turned back toward the bathroom. “Shit, he’s asking for water. Aren’t we a couple of dumb-asses? He hasn’t had a thing to drink in days and we’re busy cleaning his face.”

Susan Hawke Logo

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke/

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A Stella Review: How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret… Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s eighteen-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right… would it? Plus the younger guy who he’s tried to forget… It’s been ten years. Ten long years. Does Shaw Michaelson feel bad about having seduced his dad’s best friend? Umm, maybe? Although he could’ve done things differently, Shaw can’t find it within himself to be sorry for the hottest night of his life with the one man he’s never been able to forget. The man he’s patterned every subsequent relationship after… yeah, Shaw totally has a type. Equals a pair of men who deserve a second chance at a first time. The two men are living in an uneasy peace within the same small town and circle of friends, being careful not to let the other get close enough to open old wounds. All their walls fall when a stalker begins terrorizing Shaw, sending him running to the one man he knows will keep him safe. This is the fourth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book. Note: Possible trigger warning for the mention of an animal being harmed off-page and the psychological trauma of being stalked.

I was waiting for Nick’s book since I met him in the first title in the Lovestrong series. Although I have to say I was enthusiastic about this new release just because it’s about Seth and Nick, otherwise I would have stopped with the series, the second title was really not for me. I tried to give the series another chance and I’m glad I did.

How Not To Break was very well written, easy and quick to read, so much better than the previous one. I am a huge fan of stories where the MCs have a wide age difference and here I found the relationship between Nick and Seth finally deserved. I could understand how Nick felt uncomfortable with his feelings for his best friends’ son. But the time has at the end come for them to be real and true to their hearts. Sure, Nick took his time to be open with the young man, but then when they were together, it was for the real thing. I liked both of them dearly.

I also liked the plot, well created to give the MCs an excuse to be in the same house and start to create a future. Maybe at the end the resolve of the mystery was too easy but that way the story didn’t become too heavy to take. I appreciated it. Being not so keen on mysteries, it was ok, but I can see how it couldn’t be perfect for a more demanding reader.

One more thing I liked were their friends, all the faces I already met in the previous books and fell in love with. It was a pleasure too see them after they got their HEAs.

I don’t know if there will be more installment in the Lovestrong series by Susan Hawke, I’m curious for more.

The cover art by Ana J Phoenix is cute but I don’t like the blue so dark in the background.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 239 pages

Published March 9th 2019

ASIN B07PBR884T

Language English

Lovestrong Series:

How Not To Wait (0.5)

How Not to Blend

How Not to Tuck

How Not to Sin

How Not to Break

An Alisa Review How Not to Sin (Lovestrong #2) by Susan Hawke

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher…

 

Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly.

 

Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy…

 

Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift?

 

Equals a pair of men who click from the start.

 

The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.

 

I am enjoying this series.  Gabe is such a great guy and wants to protect his congregation from the hate he is getting from certain elders.  Seth is very open and will do anything for those he cares about and won’t let some bigots keep him down.

 

I liked both of these characters and getting to see their points of view helps to understand them.  I couldn’t help but feel that the book was focused on the anti-gay issue more than anything else and felt that it took a bit away from the story of Gabe and Seth as they just kinda clicked together and that was it.  I loved their love and openness to others and how they are willing to help all that would need it.  But the way everything was forgotten after the one really homophobic guy was gone rubbed me the wrong way because I don’t think that thinking among the other members would have just disappeared.

 

The cover art by Ana J Phoenix is nice and the is a nice visual of Seth.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages

Publication: February 19, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Lovestrong #2

A Stella Review: How Not to Sin (Lovestrong #2) by Susan Hawke

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

 

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher… Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly. Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy… Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift? Equals a pair of men who click from the start. The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.

 

Let’s be honest, How Not To Sin wasn’t a success as the first title in the Lovestrong series. Although I liked the plot and all the characters I met, something obviously didn’t work out since it was a huge struggle for me to finish the novel. I loved Gabe and Seth, I followed their lives and saw how great they were, with their families, with their works. I felt the good in them and I was gone for them. And later when they were together, it was pretty clear how they were attracted to each other and that things were going to be serious.

That said, my problem with this new release stayed in the dialogues and banters, it was really too much. The way the MCs talked was a mix of too sweet, too corny and too simple. It got on my nerves and I wasn’t able to enjoy the reading anymore, I lost the magic I felt with the story. It was almost like I was reading a book written by a different author.

Still, I am surely going to read the next installment in the series, hoping it will be better.

I don’t like the cover art by Ana J Phoenix, I would have preferred something else for these characters.

Sales Link: Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 228 pages

Published February 19th 2019

ASIN B07P46QJWL

Edition Language English

Release Blitz for How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke (excerpt)

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How Not to Break

A LOVESTRONG NOVEL

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 03.09.19

getbook.at/HNTBreak

Blurb:

 

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret…

 

Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s eighteen-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right… would it?

 

Plus the younger guy who he’s tried to forget…

 

It’s been ten years. Ten long years. Does Shaw Michaelson feel bad about having seduced his dad’s best friend? Umm, maybe? Although he could’ve done things differently, Shaw can’t find it within himself to be sorry for the hottest night of his life with the one man he’s never been able to forget. The man he’s patterned every subsequent relationship after… yeah, Shaw totally has a type.

 

Equals a pair of men who deserve a second chance at a first time.

 

The two men are living in an uneasy peace within the same small town and circle of friends, being careful not to let the other get close enough to open old wounds. All their walls fall when a stalker begins terrorizing Shaw, sending him running to the one man he knows will keep him safe.

 

This is the fourth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

 

Note: Possible trigger warning for the mention of an animal being harmed off-page and the psychological trauma of being stalked.

 

Excerpt

 

Rising from my chair, I got right up in his space and glared up at him. “I know it’s hard for you to wrap your brain around this, but I’m a man. A grown-ass man. I don’t need a keeper, a savior, a knight in shining armor, or a master. Get it through your skull, and pass the memo along to any and all interested parties.”

I was so angry at this point that I was shaking. And he wasn’t the only one I was pissed at. I turned and pointed at Rick. “And as for you… you can wipe that smug shit off your face, because that goes for you too. If you want to help me, then go find whoever’s behind all this crap. I’m leaving, Rick. If you follow me, I swear to God I will kick you in the nuts. Seth, give me a five-minute head start, okay? Make sure Rick doesn’t try to follow me, because I don’t want to get arrested for assaulting an officer.”

Seth was laughing his ass off as I stormed out of the bar. I hadn’t made it even half a step over the threshold before Nick came rushing up after me.

“Goddammit, Shaw. Walk off in a huff on your own time, not when you have a stalker. Seriously, you can’t be an idiot when you have someone stalking you. At least let me walk you to your car if you won’t let me do anything else for you.”

Instead of commenting, I merely pulled my key fob out of my pocket and clicked the button to unlock my car. Headlights flashed from where it was parked two spaces from the door. I waited for him to notice that before I spoke. “See? Not an idiot. I actually thought ahead and parked by the door. Go me!”

Nick groaned, rubbing a hand over the top of his head as if I frustrated him so much that he couldn’t even deal. Good. That made two of us because I couldn’t deal with him right now either. “I don’t think you’re an idiot. I think you’re vulnerable—there’s a difference. You’re a small guy, Shaw. You could be easily overpowered.”

I was almost to my driver’s door when Nick decided to prove his point. He pulled a slick move that had me bent backward over my hood and gaping into his face where it hovered just above mine. I was beyond pissed… and more than a little bit turned on.

The fucker had the nerve to wink. “See how easy it was to overpower you? Tell me, Shaw—do you have any idea how to turn the tables and get free of my hold? Sure, this is me right now, but if it was someone else? This is why you need protection.”

Without stopping to think it through, I acted on impulse. Grabbing his head, I pulled him forward as I leaned in to close the distance and kissed him hard. My cock came to full attention when the kiss got away from me. Frustration turned to passion somewhere along the way and I forgot what I was doing for a few. While our tongues danced against each other, Nick eased up on his hold to run a hand lightly along my side. Despite my racing heart and aching cock, the moment I felt the touch of his hand, I remembered my half-assed idea that had gotten me here.

Gotcha.

Breaking the kiss, I quickly ducked under his arm and whipped open my driver’s door, slipping into the car while he stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. I started the car, then cracked the window just enough to slip my hand out to flip him off.

I followed the gesture with a little taunting. “Tell me, Nick. Was that distraction a good enough tool to get free? Piss off. I’m neither your charity case nor your ward to protect. I’m a man, Nick. A man who can take care of his own shit. Have a good evening!”

I glanced into the rearview mirror and grinned when I saw that he stood gaping after me as I drove off. I would call the points Shaw: one, Nick: zero—except for the fact that I was driving away with tingling lips and a throbbing cock. Talk about a plan backfiring.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

 

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

 

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke/