|Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.
Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the Harbor Patrol Unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.
Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.
Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the Harbor Patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.
As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.
This was another nice story in this series. Dalton is struggling to keep his feelings for his best friend hidden but when he is injured Chris steps up to help him. Chris has kept his preferences to himself for so long but when the very real possibility of losing Dalton comes up he jumps in with both feet.
I really liked both of these guys and how easily they took to a relationship, but that is what can happen when you have been best friends for so long. I could see their frustration and worry with how the accident was being handled and how the chief was treating Dalton. I felt for Dalton when he was feeling down about his feelings for Chris and then his frustration when he had trouble getting back to normal after the accident. I loved Chris’s endless support for Dalton and how all he wants is for him to be happy and alive.
It was so nice to listen to Nick Russo narrating this story as it’s been quite a while since I have had one of his stories and he did a wonderful job. He continues to portray the characters’ emotions and it makes it easy to connect with them. The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.
I like the cover art by LC Chase and it continues follow the pattern for the series.
Audiobook, 7 hrs 30 min
Series: Anchor Point #5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.
High School Principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sherriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.
But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.
Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart? (
I fell deeply in love with these character in Bonfire, the first story in this series. Amy Lane made it so easy because, as it’s often the way with her contemporary romances, it’s an ensemble piece. We don’t just have a couple to focus on, but, just as in life, Amy Lane gives us growing and grown children on both sides to deal with, separate households, pets, jobs, and even coming out to mesh and deal with. Life is messy. Amy Lane gets it and writes the hell out of it. Same goes for the complexities of family dynamics, let alone two. Then throw in kids you end of taking in and making a part of a sort of paramecium ever growing family, extending little arms out into a community that needs it so badly.
Talk about a book I wasn’t ready to let go of.
Now comes Crocus. And it’s everything I could have wanted and hoped for. More even.
Our families are back, still adjusting to each other and all the events of Bonfires. As with all families, there’s no downtime, no respite. And the first upset to deal with is a pregnant, and clinically depressed daughter returning to the households. This whole element, from baby daddy (which has some wonderfully humorous and serious elements ala Amy Lane) is folded beautifully into the story, never overwhelming the many other themes here, including the foundation love story of Larx and Aaron, who center and ground each other as well as their expanding family. Boy, are there other serious story threads! Child abuse, PTSD, gang violence, substance living, just to name some of the issues the author deals with here. Yet all work together in one tapestry of a novel, weaving together so many threads that combine to become an incredible story.
There are new dramas and emergencies as you might expect with Larx’s job as Principal and Aaron’s in the Sheriff’s office. New members are slowly melded into the combined Larkin/George family outfit and seamlessly into your heart. Jaime, who I fell in love with immediately, his broken brother Berto, Elton (not the name you will remember him by)…all welcomed and loved, all understood and embraced. Each and everyone not characters but people that stick with you, get under your skin, and remain in your memory of those that you care about and love.
That crocus poking its head up out of the snow, offering up its promise of new life and growth? Of hope? Perfect for this family and story. How I love it and them so.
I read Bonfires but listened to Crocus. Narrator Nick J. Russo did an amazing job with such a huge cast of characters. He switched effortlessly between ages, teenagers to men in the middle ages, genders, and accents even held no issues for him. It felt like a number of people narrating this story instead of one, the flow was so even and the acting so excellent that I lost myself instantly in the story and forgot about everything else. I highly recommend him as a narrator, not just here but in other audiobooks.
If you haven’t already read this series, start with Bonfires and then come to Crocus. This is a beautifully written series, with fully realized characters…a true ensemble cast that’s unforgettable in every way. I loved listening to the audiobook version. It makes me want to experience Bonfires in the same format. And yes I highly recommend them both.
Cover art: Reese Dante. I adore this cover. The artwork combined with the title and imagery within the storyline is shear perfection.
Listening Length: 8 hours and 32 minutes
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Book Title: The Eagle and the Fox (A Snowy Range Mystery)
Author: Nya Rawlyns
Publisher: Jade Horse Publishing
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Cover Artist: Dreams2Media
Genre/s: Contemporary western, M/M romance, romantic suspense
Length: 8 hours and 39 mins/274 pages/93300 words
It is a standalone story.
Josiah Foxglove is given a second chance when he takes over his family’s spread in the shadow of the Snowy Range. A veteran of the Gulf War, he came back broken in body and spirit.
Marcus Colton buried his long-time lover and best friend three years ago. Lonely and still grieving, Marcus finds solace in protecting Petilune, a pretty girl with learning difficulties, who will surely become a victim of abuse and neglect without his help. But that doesn’t help him get through the long, dark nights.
When violence wracks the small community of Centurion, WY, it’s easy to place blame on Petilune’s mysterious new boyfriend, Ojibwe teen Kit Golden Eagle. It looks open and shut, but for Josiah and Marcus the facts simply don’t add up.
Something’s rotten in Centurion, something that smacks of a hate crime…
About the Author
Nya Rawlyns writes a variety of genres – suspense/mystery, contemporary western, romance, romantic comedy, women’s fiction, literary fiction and contemporary young adult fantasy.
A lifelong equestrienne, she has competed in dressage and distance riding. She lives in rural Pennsylvania with her daughter, horses, cats, and the hens from hell. She has a family of friends and supporters who provide not just inspiration but absolute belief in her characters and stories.
Social Media Links
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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
We first met Gael Peterson in the earlier books in this series. Gael is the enhanced team member whose face is scarred. In this installment, it’s his turn to get a human law enforcement team member. But Gael and Jake rub each other the wrong way, or at least, Gael takes Jake’s actions the wrong way, so Gael ends up with Drew as his partner, at least temporarily, and Jake is assigned to Vance whose new partner is on an undercover assignment and not yet available to the team.
It’s actually good that Gael and Jake aren’t partnered because they develop a friendship on their own that leads to a more romantic involvement—until Gael perceives Jake has turned against him. The intrigue and action that takes place in the main plot and in secondary scenarios is something one must pay close attention to in this audiobook. It’s not so easy to turn a few pages back to reread when one is listening, so I’m glad I was glued to my device from beginning to end, and I had already learned from past experience with these books that it’s important to listen carefully. The excitement and intrigue swept me away. Add to that the fact that I really wanted Gael to have a life partner and Jake was perfect for him. Then, there was the subplot surrounding Ethan, the young enhanced boy who only communicated with Gael, and when it looked like he was being transferred to a psych unit, it broke my heart. So as I said, I was fascinated with this story, totally wrapped up, and was by turns either heartbroken or rooting for the enhanced team like a crazed cheerleader.
The only thing I didn’t like in the story was one particular character, but his coworkers didn’t like him either so I’m in good company. And maybe the voice Nick J. Russo gave that guy had a little to do with it. Just sayin’—great narration.
And what an ending we got! There was not only a Gael and Jake HEA, but there was a perfect segue into Vance’s story, which I’m sure will be next in the series. Between the excellence of the writing and the awesome narration, this is one book, and series, I can highly recommend to friends who like an action adventure with a light paranormal twist.
The cover by Brooke Albrecht depicts a scarred face in the upper right pane, all done in shades of red, likely indicating the fire that caused the scars. And in the lower pane, a man with a machine gun is poised to take a shot. With the swirling bright colors, the cover is attractive and is tied in by those colors with the other books in the series. Very cleverly done.
7 hours and 16 minutes.
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published January 16th 2018)
Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.
Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and leaninto the look.
Published June 18th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published March 21st 2018)
Original TitleLeaning Into the Look
SeriesLeaning Into #6
Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.
Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.
When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.
But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.
Published March 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 25th 2017)
Original TitleRank & File (Anchor Point, #4)
SeriesAnchor Point #4
Josh Sheehan is unlucky in love and now… newly unemployed. He’s not sure what to do next, but he’s sure he should give up on romance. Especially after last time. His friends warned him that falling for the hunky Irishman was a bad idea. Josh can’t help feeling torn even though he knows it’s best to move on. But when an unexpected dose of family drama blindsides him, Josh finds himself leaning on the one man he’s supposed to forget.
Finn Gallagher is driven by success. He makes no secret that building a name for his tech company is his number one goal. Finn left home a decade ago with a ton of regret, a heavy heart, and a vow to never repeat the same mistake twice. However, there is something undeniably appealing about the self-deprecating man with the silly sense of humor that makes it difficult for Finn to remember why falling for Josh is a bad idea. It soon becomes clear they’re both in deeper than they intended. There is no way to remain untouched. And there is so much to gain, if they’re brave enough to lean in.
Published April 16th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published October 4th 2017)
Original TitleLeaning Into Touch
SeriesLeaning Into #4
Title: Leaning Into the Fall
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #2
Author: Lane Hayes
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Bisexual, humor, San Francisco, May to December romance
Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.
Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.
Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible
Meet the Author
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.
Meet the Narrator
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.
But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.
I enjoyed this story just as much as I have the others in this series. Anthony is stressed and visiting his sister’s ex-husband is not helping. Noah has never had a lasting relationship and as they connect more and more Anthony is beginning to see why that may be.
At first I wasn’t sure about Anthony, mostly because I loved Clint from the last book and didn’t like his attitude towards him. I know he was still angry about his sister being hurt but that didn’t make me feel better. It was heartbreaking to see him hurting when he had to push Noah away but the support he got from Clint was the biggest surprise. Noah always seems to have a drink in his hand when not at work and it’s his break from reality. I hated seeing him not own up to his problem but as unfortunately is the case, it took hitting the ultimate low for him to make changes in his life and even Anthony can see that.
Nick Russo once again did a wonderful job narrating this story. He always portrays the characters’ emotions makes it easy to connect with them. The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.
I like the cover art by LC Chase and it continues follow the pattern for the series.
Audiobook, 7 hrs 45 min
Published: January 30, 2018 (ebook first published June 19, 2017) by Riptide
Edition Language: English
Series: Anchor Point #3
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.
I love, love, loved it. Carter has been slaving away at his job doing his best to have regular human contact but until he Is suddenly given his little ball of fur he realizes just how wrong his priorities were. Sandy just adores animals and wants to help Carter see that taking care of a dog is something he can do.
We get to see both characters’ points of view which allows us to see the story through their eyes and connect with them more. I loved how Sandy could see through Carter’s uptight appearance and to the man underneath and his and Alexis’s unwavering support for Carter to make some significant changes in his life. Carter has never really had anyone care for his wants before and he is amazed when it happens with Sandy.
Nick J Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story. I could just feel the characters’ emotions happy and sad while listening. The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on.
I love the cover art by LC Chase and it is adorable and I love the visual of Freckles.
Audiobook, 4 hrs 10 min
Published: December 4, 2017 (ebook first published November 14, 2016) by Riptide
Edition Language: English