Lydia Reviews: Wild by Adrienne Wilder

TITLE:  Wild

Author: Adrienne Wilder

Publisher: Self Published through Amazon

Pages: 326

Characters: August Vallory and Keegan Brooks

POV:  3rd POV

Sub-Genre:  Contemporary, Mystery

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

August Vallory had it all. A modeling career, a man he loved, and the extended family he’d acquired in the business. Then the world he knew was torn away when the plane he was on crashed en route to a photo shoot.

Lost in the Alaskan wilderness, August doesn’t stand a chance.

No sane man would choose to live in the Alaskan bush unless he had something to hide. And Keegan Brooks has secrets darker than night, more dangerous than wolves, more brutal than an Alaskan winter.
Every day was a fight for his life until he stumbled upon a downed plane with a lone survivor. Now it’s no longer just Keegan’s life teetering on the edge of survival.

Review:

Wild is only the second book of Ms. Wilders I have read and it is a lot different from the last one.  From the start I was pulled into Wild.  The book begins with a plane crash and is nonstop from there.  The way the author introduces the main characters to each other was over the top and I must say a time or two I wondered if Keegan was one of those creepy mountain men that show up in scary movies.

August is a model, it is not what he started out wanting to do, but loves the life style it provides.  He’s in love with his boyfriend and ready to take things to the next level.  Unfortunately, things do not work out the way he had planned, in fact everything ends up going to hell.  After the plane he is on goes down, killing all on board, August wonders if he will be following them.  When he is rescued, he wondered if things had just gotten worse.

Keegan is hiding from his past just trying to survive day to day.  When a plane goes down he is surprised to see that someone has survived.  But Keegan knows that August has just made his life harder.  What Keegan is running from is intense and some of the scenes in his backflashes are a little graphic.  While reading what he has done, it makes liking him a little hard in the beginning, it is only as you learn more that you will begin to understand and he becomes more likeable.

The relationship between these two does not travel the usual path as they have many obstacles to overcome.  Not only is August’s injuries life threatening, the men must find shelter as it is no longer possible for Keegan to get August back to civilization.  Life in the wilds of Alaska is not what August is used to, and he has much to learn.  For Keegan, he must learn how to live with another person as he has spent so much time alone.  He no longer knows how to behave around others.

This is not a story that takes place in a matter of days.  The men are together for some time and during that time learn more about each other.  As their feelings grow their relationship changes.  But nothing lasts forever and when they become exposed to outside forces Keegan realizes that it is time for August to go home.

Knowing that these two were going to separate had me in tears.  I wondered how the author was going to bring these two the HEA they deserved.  When August makes it back to the lower 49 things seem even more complex.  I think readers will be even more surprised by how things play out.   After reading Wild I have become a big fan of this author and will be looking for more from her.

Reviewed By: Lydia

Click HERE to purchase Wild by Adrienne Wilder

Anne Reviews: Would it Okay to Love You? by Amy Tasukada

Title:  Would It Be Okay To Love You?

Author: Amy Tasukada

Publisher:  Self-published

Pages: 130

Characters: Sato/Aoi

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 5

Blurb:

A robot fanboy. An erotic voice actor. When love comes calling, will they shed their armor?

Sato’s only long-term relationship is the one he shares with his Gundam collectibles. He dreams about the kind of unconditional love his parents enjoy. If only he could break out of his shell, he might find his special someone…

Outgoing playboy Aoi has sworn off relationships. He knows they only distract him from his budding voice acting career. He’s earned a few loyal fans, and if he keeps at it, he may even earn enough to never worry about being evicted again…

When Sato meets Aoi at the local anime store, there’s definitely a spark. But even as they tread carefully, their commitment issues and Aoi’s troubled past soon muck things up before they can start. In order for Sato and Aoi to have their happily-ever-after, they’ll both have to take a leap of faith… and hope to be caught.

Would It Be Okay to Love You? is the first book in a gay romance series set in Japan. If you like original characters, nerd culture, and simmering chemistry, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s charming multicultural love story.

Review:

I’m a long time Gundam and anime fan so when I read the blurb for Would It Be Okay To Love You? I had to read the book!  I loved it.  Sato and Aoi are a very sweet couple, and I liked the way I which the author made their struggles very real.  This is story of opposites attract, although both men are lonely and feeling isolated.  Sato is only out to his sister, is a total Gundam nerd, and is very naïve and innocent.  Aoi is out, but is surviving on a succession of little more than one night stands. I liked Aoi’s friend Jin, and how supportive he was of Aoi.  Sato’s sister is a well rounded character too and her sibling relationship with Sato felt very real.

The manga and anime references made me smile, and took me back to my days of anime fandom.  I enjoy reading about characters from other cultures, and I liked the way in which the author set the story firmly in Japan, yet didn’t let the cultural references overwhelm the story and the growing relationship between Aoi and Sato.  I thought Aoi’s financial struggle as a voice actor came across very realistically and I really felt for him.  The ending was perfect, and I immediately signed up for Amy’s newsletter so I could receive monthly stories about Aoi and Sato.

I’d recommend Would It Be Okay To Love You? to readers who enjoy a sweet romance about opposites attracting, and stories about characters from other cultures.

Reviewed By: Anne

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Would-Be-Okay-Love-You-ebook/dp/B075CBSJ4V/

Lydia Reviews: Epic by Adrienne Wilder

Title: Epic

Author: Adrienne Wilder

Publisher: Self-published through Amazon

Pages: 319

Characters: Andrew Atler and Matt Grim

POV: 3rd POV

Sub-Genre:  Contemporary

Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Andrew Atler has learned the hard way, fiction is far better than real life. In his romance novels the world is safe, predictable, and there is always a happy ending. Best of all, he can safely fall in love and the person will never know. There he can weave a tale of perfect passion plus pay the bills.

Matt Grim flies the colors of Hell’s Legion. When he’s not riding his chopper, he’s working as a bouncer for the Six. Matt’s life consists of drinking, playing in a band, and burning the midnight oil in the dungeon. He lives hard, plays hard, and rides even harder.

Two people who would never be a part of the same EPIC love story.
But sometimes those fairy tale clichés have a way of working magic.
And sometimes…sometimes those happy endings do come true.

Review:

It was Epic’s blurb, and the fact that one of the M/C’s belonged to a motorcycle gang, that I chose this story.  From the start, the characters intrigued me.  Matt was kicked out by his parents after he is caught with another man.  Finding himself on the streets, Matt ends up becoming a biker, causing more problems in the family.  Because of his new “family”, Matt ends up crossing the line a time or two but nothing to serious.  Now Matt is starting to want something more, but it is not until he meets Andrew that he decides to make the changes.  It would be easy not to like Matt due to the way the story starts but I could not help liking him from the beginning.  He’s rough around the edges and there are secrets he is hiding that could keep him away from Andrew.

Andrew is a writer and due to the way was treated by a former boyfriend, he is extremely shy.  Although Andrew has seen Matt several times at a local coffee shop, and the big bad biker hits all his buttons, he never thought the man would go home with him.  When their first meeting results in an intense sexual encounter, Andrew is shocked that Matt may just be the man he as always looked for.

These men really pulled me into their world from the beginning.  They are total opposites yet each man completes the other.  Granted the way they first meet and get together is under unusual circumstances, but that does not mean they are not a perfect fit for each other.  there are problems that keep the men after finding their happily ever after right away though as Andrew has a lot and insecurities that he needs to overcome, as well as a rotten apple that turns up.  and Matt has issues with both of his “families” that he needs to clear up before he is free to hold on to Andrew forever.

Epic will take the reader on a journey that they will not believe.  It is hot and intense with a few moments thrown in that will leave you wondering how everything will turn out.  Epic has made me a fan of this author and I will be keeping a look out for more of her stories.

Reviewed By: Lydia

BUY LINK

Gabbi Reviews: Chilling with Max by Bonnie Dee

Title: Love Off Leash, Book 3: Chilling with Max

Author:  Bonnie Dee

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 85

Characters: Grant Edgerton, Max Thompson

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

High tension meets laid back in a collision of opposites.

Grant Edgerton hasn’t had free day in years. From overachieving student to workaholic real estate developer in a high-pressure firm, he’s striven for success to the point of developing a stomach ulcer. When he literally crashes into a dog walker and his charges, it’s time to let loose the hounds of change. After failing to land a very important client, Grant takes an afternoon to play.

Max Thompson rolls through life’s curves with easy grace. Dog walking supplements his gigs as a musician, and he’s content with his easy come, easy go existence. He’s fluid to the point of not standing firm for anything, until an eye-opening encounter with an uptight businessman shakes his cool.

As lust stirs, then love grows, Grant begins to reevaluate what it really means to be successful in life. And as Max teaches Grant to chill, he learns some things are worth making an effort to hold on to.

Review:

As many of you know probably know by now, it is no secret that I’m a fan of Bonnie Dee. There is something special about her stories. They are always well-written, romantic and sexy as hell.

I was anxious to read Chilling with Max. I’m a sucker for a good opposite attract story and throw in a dog or a cat and I’m all in! I’m pleased to say that this story has everything I love when it comes to reading a heartfelt romance and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it.

Grant and Max are polar opposites. Grant is an overachiever who needs to relax and Max is a free-spirit who needs to take some things a little more seriously. What I liked about these two is how they seemed to fit together. They seemed to bring out the best in each other and I was totally on board with them from the first moment they met until the end.

The story itself is a fast paced one. Their relationship moves at a quick and steady pace without a lot of drama and over the top angst, in which this reader did appreciate. My only tiny niggle was the ending…I wish it had been a little more fleshed out, it felt a little rushed, BUT it is a very satisfying one that left me with a smile on my face.

Chilling with Max is a quick and satisfying sexy and sweet read which is easy to recommend. Fans of Ms. Dee will surely love these men as much as I do and highly enjoy their story.

Chilling with Max is a stand-alone book in the Love Off Leash series.

The Love off Leash books are:

Caring for Riggs by Bonnie Dee

Hot Under the Collar by Summer Devon

Chilling with Max by Bonnie Dee

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Chilling with Max by Bonnie Dee

We have a Release Day Blitz for Love by Number by DJ Jamison!

Title:  Love By Number

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: DJ Jamison

Release Date: October 12, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 31,000 words

Genre: Romance, LGBT, m/m contemporary romance

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Synopsis

Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the number of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a lifelong journey together.

Excerpt

Aidan clutched at his hair, heart hammering in his chest. The front driver’s side of his black Saab was crumpled. The wheel well took a direct hit, the force of the collision pressing it into the tire. He could tell from just looking that the axle must be bent, if not broken, by the way the tire tilted at the wrong angle.

It’s not drivable, he thought, and his heart hammered harder. He felt his hands trembling, and not as an aftershock of the accident. Well, not from experiencing the accident, at least. He was shaking because his plans had just been thrown in the blender.

“Hey, you okay?”

He looked up, gazing blankly at the figure approaching him. A man, but his features were lost in the shadows. Not that Aidan could focus on something like facial features right now. That wasn’t easy on a good day, much less in a moment like this.

“It’s not that big a deal,” he muttered to himself, as he’d learned from his therapist years ago. “It’s not. It’s not. But …” He groaned and clutched at his hair some more. “How am I going to get to the World Series now? I have to get there!”

He’d wrapped up so many hopes in getting to that series, in watching the Royals perform in high-stakes games. It was the perfect time to prove out his math. It might not be rocket science, but Aidan still wanted to watch his math come to life on the baseball field, in the most important series of the season. In person.

A hand touched his shoulder, and he flinched away.

“I’m sorry. Are you hurt?” a voice asked. A nice, mellow voice. He liked the raspy quality of it and the cadence of the man’s words. His tone calmed Aidan.

He managed to drag his gaze from the damage to the man’s face. “I’m …”

Sexy Artist Guy.

He faltered when he recognized the dark hair tinted with maroon highlights, dark eyes and sculpted lips — all coming together in a perfect symmetry. A perfect representation of geometry in nature, really. And the freckles splashed over his nose, highlighted now by the security lights overhead? They somehow added to his sex appeal instead of detracting from it.

Aidan had seen an open sketchbook on this man’s lap more than once when passing by on a bathroom break. He mostly drew portraits, from the look of it, but Aidan had only caught a glimpse. It made sense he was an artist since his entire appearance was like a work of art to Aidan’s eyes. He couldn’t imagine being so creative with his hair or his wardrobe or his skin, where Sexy Artist Guy had embraced both tattooing (his right bicep) and piercing (both ears and right eyebrow).

“I’m so sorry,” Sexy Artist Guy said again. “I saw an opening and went for it. I didn’t see you coming, but my grandfather was distracting me—”

“Blame it on the old man, why don’t ya?” a hoarse voice boomed loudly enough to make Aidan jump.

“Gramps, not now, huh? The guy is freaking out.”

“I’m not freaking out,” Aidan said sharply. The fascination with the stranger’s face faded as he remembered why he was in this situation. He gestured to the damage. “There’s no way I can drive that.”

“We can give you a lift,” the old man said, at the same time the handsome stranger said, “We’ll call you a tow truck.”

“But look at my car!” he said, not sure they understood the direness of the situation.

Artist Guy frowned, then glanced behind Aidan. Following his look, he realized they were blocking traffic. A line of cars snaked through the parking lot, headlights shining on Aidan’s personal disaster.

“I should move my car.” He glanced back at the bent wheel well, frowning. He hoped he could move the car.

“Jesse,” the old man spoke, “you help him push. I’ll get in and put it in neutral.”

They all took their positions, and with some work managed to push the car into an empty space next to the Lincoln Towncar that had so cruelly crunched the Saab. Aidan cringed at the scraping metal sound as his car rolled out of the lane of traffic.

Once off to the side, Jesse pulled out his wallet. He handed his license to Aidan, who stared at it. He took in all the details: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, born one year after Aidan, making him twenty-six.

Jesse cleared his throat, and Aidan glanced up.

“Aren’t you going to take a picture?”

Damn. He’d been staring. The old saying popped into his mind: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

He flushed. “Sorry.”

He started to hand the license back, but Jesse looked at him as if he had a screw loose. Then it clicked. Take a picture. For insurance. Right.

He dug out his phone and clicked the pic of the license, and then of the insurance card that Jesse handed over. He was still rattled by the accident, thrumming with bottled-up anxiety.

“You okay? You’re pretty twitchy,” Jesse said. “I’m sure the insurance will cover the damage.”

“Yeah, but it’s my car.”

“Yeah?”

Aidan waved to his car, unsure how to make Jesse understand.

“It was reliable.”

“Um, won’t it still be reliable when it’s fixed?”

“The World Series is in two days.”

“So …”

“Jesse, stop being thick,” the old man interrupted. “Obviously, he was going to drive up to St. Louis, and a Saab is a foreign car. He won’t be able to get the parts locally. Maybe not even the mechanic. They don’t make those cars anymore. He can’t get it fixed in time.”

“Oh.”

“I have to go to that game. I go to all the away games within driving distance. I always do. And this is the World Series. I’m going to have to take a bus, and, oh God, I can’t stand to ride the bus—”

“Jesse will drive you.”

Aidan looked at the older man. He had a bushy head of white hair and enough wrinkles to give a Shar-Pei a run for its money, but his tone was confident, the kind of confident that brooked no nonsense. He’d heard that tone from his own mother too many times to count.

“He will?”

“I will?” Jesse echoed. “Gramps, I’m sure Aidan doesn’t want—”

“That would be great!”

Normally, Aidan wouldn’t want to ride long distance with a stranger, but when contrasted with a bus full of strangers, he jumped at the opportunity. Besides, Jesse and his grandfather had been at every home game. If Jesse were some kind of predator or bully, he’d have shown it by now. Right?

He’d only had one other interaction with Jesse. He’d walked up to Aidan once, when he was trying to quickly record the stats from the latest play and compare them against what he’d predicted for that player’s performance. Aidan had been too distracted to make conversation, especially small talk with a stranger. But he couldn’t help noticing his great smile. Jesse was one of those people who smiled with his whole being, not just his mouth. His eyes brightened, his cheeks dimpled and his body even seemed to vibrate with happy energy.

Aidan liked that because it was easy to see Jesse’s happiness. It wasn’t subtle, which would be lost on him, or confusing — like when people’s mouths smiled but their eyes stayed cold. He didn’t understand that. Was he supposed to respond to their mouth or their eyes? And then there were some people who just smiled all the time, even when they said mean things. What did that mean? Smiles could be confusing, but Jesse’s wasn’t.

“I have tickets to the games,” Gramps was saying now. “I was going to ask you to go, as a favor to me.”

“What? But you said in the car—”

“Hush,” Gramps said, a gleam in his eye. “I’m not up for that kind of travel. I want you to go in my place, so you can tell me all about it. You take this nice young man. It’s the least we can do. Watch the games for me, and tell me all about it when you come home.”

Aidan pulled out his phone to call the tow truck, watching the two men in a staring stand-off. He made arrangements for the tow and disconnected in time to see Jesse sigh and nod.

“Okay, Gramps. For you.”

“Good boy,” Gramps said, clapping him on the shoulder.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

 

DJ Jamison grew up in the Midwest and worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which came in handy when she began writing stories centered on a series of love connections between small-town Kansas newspaper staffers, their sources and their readers. It was the perfect entrance into the world of fiction, and she has since branched out into ERs, health clinics and other settings to tell the stories of characters who are flawed but loveable. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ is married with two sons and two glow-in-the-dark fish that are miraculously still alive.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | DJ and Company | DJ’s Newsletter

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Gabbi Reviews: Love by Number by DJ Jamison

Title: Love by Number

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 71

Characters: Aidan, Jesse

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the number of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a journey of a lifetime.

Review:

Love by Number is the first book I’ve read by DJ Jamison and it won’t be my last. I thought the author did a good job at writing interesting characters with a fast-paced storyline that I truly enjoyed.

Both Adian and Jesse are complex in their own way. Aidan is a twenty-something man whose love for numbers and calculating the stats for the Royals baseball games. Adian is determined to show that his calculations can predict future plays, runs, and wins. Aidan gets wrapped up into his own world. As a man on the edge of the autistic spectrum, he has difficulty understanding other peoples’ body language and doesn’t relate well to others.

Jesse can’t seem to settle down and make up his mind about what he wants to do with his future. He loves art but doesn’t pursue being an artist. He can be a restless spirit going from job to job, but one thing Jesse does love is his Grandpa.

Jesse is a good man with a devilish sense of humor that I found myself appreciating. It is through this determination and humor that he is able to reach through Aiden’s barriers and become friends with him. I liked the banter these two men came to have and I thought though they were pretty different, they fit well together.

Love by Number is the story of the beginning of Jesse and Aiden’s relationship together. I really enjoyed watching them get to know and even try and fit each other into each other’s lives. Love by Number is a quick and satisfying read that left this reader wishing for more. I liked these two men and know their life together will be a solid and interesting one.

Love by Number is an easy book to recommend. If you are looking for a fast-paced romance with two unique heroes then this is definitely the book for you.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Love by Number by DJ Jamison

Gabbi Reviews: Patrick’s Savior by Nic Starr

Title: Heroes, Book 3: Patrick’s Savior

Author: Nic Starr

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 169

Characters: Patrick Edwards, Simon Dawson

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

How do you find love when someone doesn’t want you to be happy?

Patrick Edwards is dealing with a double whammy. Unwanted attention from his housemate’s boyfriend is making him feel uncomfortable in his own home, and he’s facing uncertainty with his employment as an administrative assistant at the local elementary school. He finally breathes a sigh of relief when a friend puts him in contact with Simon, who has a vacant room.

Simon Dawson is a paramedic who doesn’t hesitate to help Patrick. After all, no one should live in a house where they don’t feel safe. Simon develops feelings for Patrick, but doesn’t act on them—Patrick’s moved from a bad situation and doesn’t need his new housemate hitting on him. However, a weekend away changes everything when Simon realizes Patrick returns his feelings.

But someone doesn’t want Patrick and Simon to be happy. A series of strange letters arrive at the house, and things will get a lot worse before the two men get their happily ever after.

Review:

I have this belief that nice guys DO finish first. Sure, I like that bad boy alpha, but I confess that I prefer to read stories about realistically written men who are genuinely nice guys. In my opinion, there are a few authors who excel at writing thoughtful, intelligent heroes who are kind and caring men and Nic Starr is one of them. I’ve read several books by this author and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. There is something special about the way the relationship develops between her two men and I always find myself quickly enthralled with the story they have to tell.

Both Simon and Patrick are amazing men. Patrick has a knack for being a tad bit clumsy but though he often finds himself in interesting situations, has a warmth and sweetness about him that I couldn’t help but love. On the other hand, Simon is a hero that was well worthy of Patrick. His thoughtfulness and drive to keep Patrick safe and to make him happy really resonated with me as a reader. It was so easy to fall in love with Simon and I totally understood why Patrick was so enamored with him as well.

The relationship between Simon and Patrick is the reason why I loved this story. They fit together so smoothly and the chemistry between them was so strong, it was clear to see that they belong together and I love that when it comes to reading romance.

There is also a mystery/suspenseful plot to the story. Though I figured out who the villain was pretty early on, I still enjoyed the twists and turns Ms. Starr gave me throughout the story. I thought Patrick was blind at times and his instinct to protect Simon was to push him away wasn’t his best move, but in many ways, it was a realistic one. How many of us don’t want to face what’s in front of us and because of it, turn a blind eye to the obvious?

If you are looking for a well-written, thoughtful romance than Patrick’s Savior is the book for you. Although it is the third book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone story. I DO recommend reading all of the Heroes books because once you meet these guys, you too will love them as much as I do.

Highly Recommended!

The Heroes books are:

Charlie’s Hero

Andrew’s Promise

Patrick’s Savior

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Patrick’s Savior by Nic Starr