* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was one of those books that I had such a hard time rating. I really enjoyed some aspects of Takeover, but others not so much.
Michael meets Sam in an island in Curacao. As soon as his eyes land on Sam he knows he's going to have him that night. Their attraction to one another is instant and they can't deny the obvious sparks flying between the two. After that hot and steamy night, they don't see each other again until the company Michael works for welcomes the new CEO who happens to be Sam. They both thought that what they had was a one-night hook up with a stranger, but now that they have to work so close together, will they be able to keep their hands away from each other?
I really liked the beginning of this book. The sexual tension was great and the steamy scene was hot, but as the story progressed I started to lose interest. But then something exciting would occur and I would get sucked in once again. This roller coaster continued on throughout the book. Another problem I had with this book was that it started to become repetitive and at times boring. The business talk had me skimming parts and just not enjoying it as much as I wanted it to. Even the sex scenes between Sam and Michael started to lose some hotness points. The BDSM aspect of the story was good, but since I have read so many books featuring BDSM, it just felt like it was lacking something.
While Michael was out and proud, Sam was still in the closet. I liked the drama that those details brought to the story and I loved seeing how much Sam's character changed throughout the book and started to not care what people thought about him. These two characters have been burned because of past relationships, so it was great to see them move past that and grow as a couple.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Individuals that haven't read much BDSM or M/M will really like it and find it refreshing.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Rockstar Jeremy Jameson is passionate about one thing only. Music. He loathes what comes with his stauts-women that crave fame, the paparazzi, and the fact that everyone tells him what to do and how to live his life on a daily basis. Bartender Reggie Moore leads a small town life. While very educated and employed, he decided to leave that life to lead a much simpler life. Reggie knows what makes him happy and he intends on living his life like that. One night when the two cross paths, their lives are forever changed.
“I feel real when I’m with you.
Reggie and Jeremy are on total opposite spectrums in their lives. While one leads the life he wants, the other is told how to live. Jeremy is over that life and decides to take control. He invites Reggie on tour with him for several moths. The catch? To be his pretend boyfriend. Easy right? Free room and board and Reggie gets everything that he wants which includes traveling all over the world. Not so easy.
Reggie is attracted to men. He knows it. He is out. Jeremy? His body reacts one way and his brain cannot catch up. He has always had relations with women. Why is Reggie bringing out these feelings and desires? He was drawn to Reggie the moment they met. Reggie is one of those characters with a beautiful soul. He looks at life for everything it has to offer. Rather than dwell on the negatives, he counts his blessings. He takes every opportunity to live his life no matter what. Jeremy sees this. And wants it for himself. But the pressure of his fame does not allow him to live the life he was truly meant to live. Until Reggie.
“Will you help me keep you?”
Jeremy slowly gives into his desire. It’s both uplifting and wonderful to watch. You feel his inner struggle. You see a man’s soul awaken. Reggie brings out a side of him that he never knew about himself in the 30 years he’s graced the earth. And I am not talking about his sexuality. This deep emotional story is SO much more than someone realizing they are attracted to their same sex. And I love that about this story. It doesn’t dwell on whether Jeremy is gay or not. It is about finding love where you least expected, but when it was most needed. That love doesn’t see sex, or life style. Love sees the individual. Jeremy’s soul craved Reggie’s. Watching the two men fall hopelessly and irrevocably in love was just beyond words. Every emotion was beautiful captured with this story. The feelings of love, hope, yearning, desire, and want.
While slower paced, than I usually read, I enjoyed the story. It allows the reader to truly get to know Jeremy and Reggie and see how they connect on such a deep level. Perfect Imperfections is a genuine story of two men finding their way to each other. The love shared between Jeremy and Reggie is intense and passionate. It reminds us that love goes where it belongs. It knows no obstacle or hardship. Love always wins. If you are looking for a sweet, yet genuine M/M story then I highly recommend this author.
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."
Facebook: Cardeno C. Author
Facebook Author Page: Cardeno C.
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I have been desperate to read this book ever since Nyrae Dawn announced she was writing it. I have started reading more m/m romances but I had yet to find the kind of book I was looking for. Most of the books I read and enjoyed were mostly of older men, comfortable in their sexuality and having less pressure on them to fit a certain mould. I am a huge fan of Nyrae Dawn's New Adult books so having her write a romance between two young male characters was a perfect fit and I am so glad I wasn't disappointed. Rush was everything I hoped it would be and everything I knew it could be.
I liked the way in which the story began, Alec and Brandon already had a history, and this was recalled in the prologue and done in such a way that I didn't feel I missed any of their back-story. For the past four summers Alec and Brandon have had a back and forth relationship, but always ending when Brandon had to go back home. During their last summer together, Brandon makes a decision he soon regrets. He ends it once and for all with Alec. Being a gay football player is too much pressure Brandon isn't ready for and with a heavy heart he calls things off. However, with feelings so strong for each other, it's only a matter of time before Alec and Brandon are in each other's lives again.
I knew Rush would be an emotional story, and I expected tender moments between Alec and Brandon, what surprised me was how hot it was! I loved the way Alec and Brandon were both discovering each other for the first time, the physical side of their relationship was portrayed realistically. There was the right balance between sexual tension, suspense and intimate scenes. Nyrae gave just enough at the right times and pulled back at others. I thought it was very well written.
I liked both Alec and Brandon's characters individually and together. They had their own strengths and supported each other when they needed it. Brandon struggled with his football career and the attitude of his team mates, whilst Alec feared the reaction of his bigoted father. Both boys were very relatable and I liked many of the supporting characters like Nate, Charlie and Brandon's parents. Now I need to read Charlie and Nate's story in Four Summers.
I don't want to give too much away as it's best to read it for yourself, what I will say is Alec and Brandon's journey was real, their reactions, thoughts and feelings were natural and believable, even the actions and attitudes of those around them were real too. Yes, there were times when I wanted to shake a few people and shout at them for saying things or acting a certain way but sadly, that's reality and we don't live in a world of true acceptance and it saddens me to think we never will. All I can be sure of is my own attitude and by reading this story I value the close relationship I have with my own gay bffs and it makes me appreciate the life they are able to live, surrounded by loved ones who are accepting of them and supportive no matter what.
The storyline wasn't as angst filled as I thought it would be, I was getting myself worked up as the book was approaching the elusive 80% mark, if anything was going to happen that would be the time for it. The story could have taken many drama-filled paths and wild theories were running through my head, I felt so protective of Brandon and Alec; I didn't want anything bad to happen to them. The drama was on the low side due to the story being character driven and this worked perfectly, Brandon and Alec's journey was real and one many young teenagers/new adults can relate to.
I read Rush in a matter of hours and I was determined not to stop until I had finished, it's been a while since a book has had that affect on me. I've been searching for a story like this for a long time. One that takes us to the heart of the struggle, a real depiction of struggling with whom you want to be and who you feel you should be. I hope this book falls into the lap of anyone that is fighting this battle daily, of anyone who wants to speak out but doesn't have the strength or support to do so yet. By reading this book, it may not change their life today but it will certainly give them something to work towards for the future. It will give them hope.
Nyrae Dawn was the best person to tell this story, Alec and Brandon's fate was in safe hands and Nyrae done them justice. I'm glad this book will soon be out in the mainstream and I cross my fingers that it hits every chart imaginable as it is well and truly deserved.
My heart will always love Colt, Adrian and Maddox that little bit more, they were the reason I fell in love with Nyrae Dawn and her writing but Alec and Brandon are not far behind at all. There is so much heart, passion and emotion packed into this story. It has truly cemented my love for Nyrae and the reason she is one of my top five authors. Not only were Alec and Brandon putting their lives and hearts on the line but also so was Nyrae as she put out this story. I'm forever thankful that she had the courage to do so. Rush was a great book and it will be a story I encourage my son to read when he grows up, no matter his orientation. This book is for anyone, the message is clear; it's perfectly okay to be who you are but only you can make that decision to live the you deserve.
Coming of Age has never had a better definition than the one captured within the pages of Rush. I can't recommend this book enough, it had everything I was looking for and more. My highlighter was going crazy, there are so many beautiful words, phrases and messages of encouragement in this story and I really hope it touches many people like it did me.
If you are a fan of New Adult and even if m/m romance isn't usually a genre you read, I urge you to try Rush today, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
"I'm not strong enough to be with him, but can't handle walking away either."
"I don't even know who I am," "It doesn't matter. We know who we are together."
"No matter what anyone thinks, it doesn't feel wrong. It feels better. He makes me better."
"It's the same rush that sweeps through me every time I touch him, my nerve endings like live wires, sparking with electricity. Everything inside me screams that this is right. He's right. How can anyone not understand this? How can I fight us?"
"Alec hisses and I wrap my palm around him, hot and hard. My body's screaming at mee, finally, finally, I'm being true to what I want."
"It's like the words are locked inside me and even I don't know how to find the key. I don't know how to be gay and play ball."
"It might not be this month or next month but one day you'll be ready. I know it. I couldn't love you like I do if I didn't believe that."
"We can make this work and one day it'll all be okay. We'll find a way to make it okay. One step at a time."
"Gay? I don't understand, Brandon" Mom's eyes are already getting glassy. Dad's are directly on me. "I think it's pretty self-explanatory honey."
"Loving Alec helped me decide who I want to be. That's all I ever had to do, was decide who that was. It's always been my choice."
A song for Alec and Brandon . . .
I adore Jessie J and when I was reading Rush, this song popped into my head and it wouldn't leave. The words are perfect for Alec and Brandon.
"Just be true to who you are."
"It's okay not to be okay."
"I nearly left the real me on the shelf."
"Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars."
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Even when she was too busy chasing kids or working, writing stories was never far from her mind.
She feels a special pull to characters in their teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she adores exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. Luckily for her, he doesn’t either.
Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feelssomething, but is able to laugh, too. She’s also a proud romantic at heart who has a soft spot for flawed characters. She loves people who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes but also have a big heart.
Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.
When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.
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“He was gay. He’d said it and he’d just had the most fucking fantastic kiss with a man and there wasn’t an ounce of guilt or shame simmering within him.”
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
The storyline of Bonds of Denial caught my attention. Rock was a soldier hiding who he really was. He lived in a time of don’t ask don’t tell and furthermore his family’s disapproval of his sexual orientation. He created a world of denial for himself and he buried his feelings and desires so deep that it would truly take someone special to set him free.
Carter Montgomery was a male escort, this part really intrigued me and I wondered how his character would be portrayed. Carter made a great living but it was one he was ready to retire from. He had spent so many years being intimate for a price that he had all but forgotten what true desire and love felt like. Unbeknownst to him, it would take silent, brooding Rock to change all that.
I found both Rock and Carter interesting characters, the both had to accept themselves in very different ways. Rock had to hide a huge part of himself from the world and his family, as they wouldn't accept his choices and Carter claimed he was at peace with his career choice but on closer inspection he had to make peace with what he did and had to learn how to not let his career choice define him.
“He had a show to get to and a man waiting for him. It was beyond time he jumped into his future instead of hiding in the past.”
I really felt for both of these men. Rock was this strong, muscular soldier with a fragile heart. He put it on the line to be with Carter and his bravery was applaudable. I loved the photography element and the way in which Rock decided to unveil his true self.
“I may be a soldier, but Carter Montgomery is the one who showed me what strength really is.”
“Even if nothing worked out between them, Carter had given Rock a piece of himself that was past time he acknowledged.”
Carter was confident and cocky on the outside but deep down he was vulnerable and insecure. My heart broke during the scenes where he was punishing not only himself but Rock too. Even though it was sad to read, it was the catalyst both men needed in order for them to evaluate their life and make those all-important decisions.
“Are you ready to face the world now?” Carter nodded, his head rubbing against Rock’s. “Yeah. With you I am.”
This was my very first book by Lynda Aicher so it can very much be read as a standalone, at no point did I feel like I missed out on anything or not felt privy to an inside joke. What it did do however, was make me want to read the other books in the series. Some of the previous characters popped up and I wanted to discover their story too!
The writing flowed well, I fell for both Rock and Carter and wanted them to work through their demons and get that HEA. I didn’t plan on reading this book so soon as I had a long list in front but I opened it to take one sneak peek and before I knew it, hours later I still hadn’t come up for air and didn’t until I swiped the very last page.
Bonds of Denial was an endearing, passionate read and one that you should check out today.
I love to read. It's a simple fact that has been true since I discovered the worlds of Judy Blume at the age of ten. After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, I ended my nomadic lifestyle to raise my two children. Now, my imagination is my only limitation on where I can go and my writing lets me escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, cleaner, and mediator.
If writing wasn't a priority, it would never get done.
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