Saturday, July 24, 2021

Force Play by Elle Brownlee

I gave this book more than a fair chance but honestly, I just don't care about baseball (or know anything about it..) which means a HUGE portion of this book was totally lost on me. I was here for the character development and romance and I didn't get enough of it to keep me going. I mean, Harmon was going through stuff for sure, but it wasn't enough to keep me invested. 

Professional baseball player Harmon "Hawk" Kiel made a mess of things. First for being drafted to a prestige team and being unable to deliver. Then he was outed when he had too much fun and was too drunk to take his regular precautions. Being transferred to the worst team possible - Loggerheads - was a deserving punishment but since he has nothing without baseball he accepts. 

It took time for Harmon to say it "out loud" but in this stage in life he doesn't even like baseball and the fact he can't play as well as he "should" makes it even harder for him, not to mention his new team has another role for him to play so naturally he isn't good at it, and though he might be starting to get better, his lack of connections in town, in his team or just ANY friends makes his life miserable. His only real light is Caleb Jackson who is a part of the Loggerheads organization. He doesn't play, he sort of helps the team on practice though it's obvious he USED to play but where I stopped we still don't get any explanation to what happened. It was truly sad being in Harmon's head. Not because of what he was saying more so of what he wasn't or didn't have - including family (since he was outed). 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Emergency Contact by Elle Brownlee

This one was rather cute. I liked the interaction between the characters though there were A LOT of things unsaid and quite a lot of Liam getting lost inside his own head. In a way it's what made this story thought provoking. I mean, there were times I wanted to smack both him and Garrett on the head but other times I could see how Liam's insecurities together with Garrett's inexperience (and sometimes indecision) made it difficult to communicate in order to solve their issues. That being said I LOVED how they meshed together. There was something simply beautiful in the way they could just BE together or just beside each other and feel totally satisfied. 

Liam Wright is a mathematician which means to him everything is logical and (should) work in a perfect pattern. He had a rather "easy" life coming from money, having his own place, not needing a lot of people in his circle. Life and his routine suits him. Then his friend Carl appears out of the blue asking for a favor. Calculating what this favor is going to "cost" him, he accepts. All he has to do is help out Carl's cousin with a few tips about New York City life and if needed be his "Emergency Contact" (since Carl would be out of town).

Garrett Honeycutt is ten years younger than (33 years old) Liam. He has lived a rather sheltered life in a small town in Iowa. He came to New York City to model. It's not something he aspired to be/do, it just worked out this way and since he needs money for college he is rather content in making the big money it offers. He isn't ashamed of the job but he is also not that thrilled about it. Coming to Liam's apartment to introduce himself with a home cooked meal feels like the polite and right thing to do. Yet seeing Liam before his mandatory cup(s) of coffee might not be the best idea..

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) [Karl & Dan] by Elle Brownlee

I stumbled upon Elle a while back through two Anthologies and I REALLY wanted to try more by her. Maybe starting with Dreamspun Desires wasn't the best idea as these tend to be less "sophisticated".  I liked the idea behind this one, and I think, as a series, it holds promise but all in all it was quite disappointing. The romance was flat, with no real issues / difficulties, taking place in a rather short period of time. The mystery was the best part, though I'm not sure what I feel about the way it was resolved. 

Karl Radin was born and raised in Alaska and he loves his job on the Coast Guard Rescue teams. He knows his job and feel capable but after losing his partner he is a bit weary of getting another "fresh" one. Dan looks like a promising prospect but he behaves a bit strange which makes it a difficult for Karl to trust him fully (which he needs considering the high risk in their job). 

Dan Farnsworth came to Alaska and the Coase Guard Rescue team for one and only reason - to find out what happened to his brother - Axe Neal. A strong swimmer, better than him, he can't believe he simply drowned. His first prospect is ex-partner (and now his own partner) - Karl, but after seeing him in action it's obvious to Dan he couldn't be behind anything nefarious. All the other girls and gals at the station are pretty nice an accepting which makes it easy to build a connection, but it doesn't make his "job" of finding the truth easier. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Waylaid (True North, #8) [Daphne & Rickie] by Sarina Bowen

OMG this book!!!! I feel like this could almost be categorized as Romantic Suspense. The elements to Richie's past put me on edge, and I just couldn't stand not knowing what happened. In a way I think that's why HE couldn't remember. I loved EVERYTHING about this book besides the fact it needed to end and I CLEARLY needed more. It somehow felt different than Sarina's books. I don't remember something as dark and suspenseful. I hope it's something she explores more and if I can suggest - PAUL! But I'm getting ahead of myself as this is Daphne and Richie's story. These two.. ~sigh~

Have you met the Shipleys? If the answer is no WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? or rather what have you been doing with your life since 2016? I'll be the first to admit me and Griffin had our issues way back then but I'm a Sarina's fan through and though so I'm long passed it. Also now we have the True North World with so many authors and sub-genres all taking place in the same area. I'm saying there's A LOT to read but don't be overly intimidated, the series is seriously AWESOME and I truly think it would be better getting to know the other members of the family before delving into this one (though it's not an absolute must). But if you can't commit to 7 books I'd say at least read the previous one "Heartland" of Dylan (Daphne's twin brother) where Rickie is introduced as well. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sleight of Hand (The Kings: Wild Cards #3) [Joker & Gio] by Charlie Cochet

This book is the perfect comfort read. It's sweet and endearing, with a bit of action and sass (mostly from a certain dog..). Joker and Gio have been circling around each other for a WHILE now so getting to see them finally find their HEA was fun. They know each other in a way and they sure know OF each other especially once Gio finally returns to Florida from his endless travels. Being Laz's older brother means he spends a lot of time with the Kings so it's impossible to really avoid each other, well, there's only one doing the avoiding - Joker - with Gio doing his best to lure him in.

Giovanni "Gio" Galanos knows what he wants. He wants Joker (or Sacha as he insists on calling him). There is simply something about him that appeals to Gio in a deeper level. His desire towards him has a few layers. There's the confident Gio seeing exactly the kind of guy he carves and the more vulnerable Gio looking for safe and comfort he believe he can only find in Sacha's arms. He might put up a front of the rich and capable guy, but underneath it, there is someone who is still struggling with what happened to him a year ago in a far away continent. 

Sacha “Joker” Wilder doesn't know how to keep away from Gio. Whenever he is around he just feels like he should be putting a distance though truthfully his feelings get VERY confusing when he starts to spend more time with the guy. It also doesn't help that Gio is Chip's favorite human. Chip being Joker's Belgian Malinios or not so silent partner at Four Kings Security. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

I REALLY enjoyed this book. There is something so special, even magical, about slow burn and Mariana does it SO WELL. What she also does well - WOMEN. Real women, the kind I can relate to and feel like I would absolutely want to be best friends with. Aurora wasn't perfect, she wasn't always "on top" of things. She cried, she failed, she felt embarrassed by her failures, she struggled - oh, how much she struggled! But she also endured, worked hard, put a smile (or just hiking boots) on and did what she felt she needed to do. She is kind and companionate but she also knows how to stand up for herself. This is part of the reason I don't really bother with Mariana's synopsis of her books. It truly doesn't matter. I know the girl - the one I can absolutely relate to - is going to get the huge silent type - the kind I usually secretly hope for myself. I can trust Mariana to bring me a journey. A long, beautiful, heartfelt journey that would give me all I need (even a bit more). 

Aurora De La Torre gave too many years to her ex but she is DONE with that. Leaving everything (and everyone) behind she goes back to her earliest memories growing up in the small town of Pagosa Springs with her mother, hiking in nature and enjoying the simple things in life. She booked a small garage and she intends to somehow make it work. Hike, remember and honor her mother and maybe even find the happiness she so wishes for in this place - not really familiar but also no so foreign. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Bennet, Pride Before the Fall (Love, Austen #3) [Bennet & Darcy] by Anyta Sunday

I have no words to describe just HOW MUCH I loved this one. I read it in one sitting and was SO sorry to say goodbye to these two which is exactly how I felt after I finished the previous ones. I don't even know where to start so let's first put is out there that this is a modern take on "Pride and Prejudice" (by Jane Austen). As I haven't actually read the novel, I don't really know how or to what to compare it exactly but for me what matters is how much I connected to the story and the characters which I firstly attribute to Anyta and her wonderful style of writing. We only get Bennet's POV (similar to the other installments) which is enough yet I REALLY wanted to be in Darcy's head and heart understand his struggles and he had many - not only concerning Bennet but so much more. 

We haven't met Bennet Keene before. He returned to the small village of Cubworthy to care for his 15 year old brother Lyon after their parents death. Right now it's his main goal in life. After years of being apart from his brother (and parents) he wants to make it right, to make him feel comfortable and welcome - being gay like him (especially after his parent's rejection) - in their now family of two as well as the small community. He would also LOVE to find the right guy for himself but with his very specific list of requests it won't be easy. It sounds basic - be proud - of himself as well as Bennet. But Bennet can be judgmental and  principled - not the easiest to get along with.  

Darcy Tilney.. yep, we've met HIM before alright and he didn't make a big or rather positive impression.. Darcy is Henry and Georgie's father from the previous installment. If you haven't read the previous one - first it's a shame as it's simply SUPERB but also, I think considering the progression of the previous book as well as the abrupt way it ended (regarding the father and son) it's better you read it first. Anything I'll say next about Darcy is going to spoiler anyone who hasn't read "Cameron Wants to Be a Hero" - be advised. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Moon Flower by Christina Lee

Beautiful, heartfelt and sexy. I'm not sure what I expected this one to be.. Especially with how Christina described it. It's mostly Historical Romance though it does have a little dab of Paranormal - a bit of "magic" sprinkled in. Galen and Azriel haven't been very fortunate growing up, also being gay in the times they were born is dangerous. They might have found a way of earning a living, at least for now, but it's not a real future. Seeing each other, feeling the attraction, the pull towards one another, makes them wish for something more. 

Galen had to leave the small town he grew up in after he was caught stealing. Ashamed of himself, and not wanting to cause any problems to his aunt who raised him he moves to the next town, earning a living (barely) by selling his body. He has a certain gift that helps his make a better decision when guys approach him, but he made a mistake which almost cost him his life. 

When the twins (Wren and Sparrow) came to his rescue he is unsure of the whole situation. They look like two angels. When he arrives at their home he is grateful for sure, but he also doesn't want what the lady of the house - Madam Langley - is offering anyone who stays there. He will pay his debt and go. What he didn't expect is Azriel.

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