Kimberly Reviews: Train to Somewhere by Susan Laine

Title: Train to Somewhere

Author: Susan Laine

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 75

Characters: Charlie, Will

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary / New Adult

Kisses: 4 

Blurb:

At a party one night, Charlie Dean’s childhood friend Will Tucker accepts a dare and dresses up as a girl: clothes, hair, makeup. Seeing Will that way incites a riot of confused emotions in Charlie—and he responds by lashing out. He never meant to hurt Will, and now he must do some serious damage control.

During a school trip by train, Charlie and Will share a sleeper cabin. Charlie intends to mend fences, while Will figures it’s as good a time as any to broach the subjects of attraction and sexuality. They want to get their relationship back on track. But after the secrets they both reveal, their friendship can never be the same.

Review:

I tend to wander between adult, new adult, and young adult LGBT novels when I read. The different audiences means that the approaches to topics will vary, but when they’re handled with care and consideration, it makes for a wonderful book. This is the case with Train to Somewhere, which takes on the sexuality of two best friends and allows them to work through what labels might best define them.

The main focus of the book is on Charlie and his best friend Will. The moment that triggers the plot is a party that takes place near the beginning, where Will has to complete a dare chosen by their female friends. The dare turns out to be wearing feminine attire, complete with make-up, and the sight of Will all dolled up like this causes a very primal and angry reaction in Charlie. And while apologies and acceptances are passed around in the aftermath, there is still a lingering sense of unfinished business, and that’s what leads us to the main plot a week later.

Most of the rest of the book takes place on a train, where Charlie and Will and their classmates are headed out on a forty-hour train ride in order to go to a ski lodge for a class trip. And while their classmates are stuck in bunk-beds, Charlie has sprung for a private room for Will and himself. Good thing, too, because they have a lot to talk about and figure out.

Over the course of the journey, the two of them talk about labels, Will does some more visual experiments with feminine presentation, and they discuss what Charlie’s reaction might have meant in terms of attraction. It really was a thoughtful and caring story-line that showed two friends learning about each other and themselves.

And the book managed to detour from what I see most often, where the two best friends fall in love and are together forever afterward. For Charlie and Will, it takes time for them to grow up and find their own identifies before they can focus on the one who brings them the most happiness. I liked that they were able to do this, because in the end they could be sure of who they were and what they wanted in their lives.

Train to Somewhere is the third book in the Before…and After series:

  • After the Romance Novel
  • Kissing Lessons
  • Train to Somewhere

While I haven’t read the prior two, based on the amount of joy Train to Somewhere gave me, I might have to go back and read the prior installments. And I look forward to what Susan Laine has for us next! 

Reviewed By: Kimberly

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Gabbi Reviews: A Wolfe and His Bunny by Susan Laine


Title: Pariah Pack, Book 1: A Wolfe and His Bunny
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Pages: 108
Characters: Max Wolfe, Peter Bennett
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Shifter, Series
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Wolfe has a century under his belt as an Alpha werewolf for a small outcast pack. He loves taking care of those who have been rejected by their birth packs or lost them in accidents or wars. But Wolfe is lonely, as he hasn’t yet found his mate to share his burdens of leadership or his passions in bed. One night he catches an alluring scent and gives chase to a cute but surprisingly reluctant guy named Peter. Though smart, funny and headstrong, Peter is a rabbit shifter. And wolves and bunnies don’t mix, do they? Their first encounter certainly suggests so. They seem to have nothing in common. Wolfe is a bounty hunter living on a knife-edge of danger while Peter shelters discarded and wounded animals, believing in peace and mercy. For these two vastly different men learning to trust one another for a working relationship is a lesson in love.

Review:

Life isn’t easy and when times get hard for me, I find myself craving a smoothly written romantic read that will give me a few hours of sheer fun and guilty pleasure. When I started A Wolfe and His Bunny by Susan Laine, I had a feeling I was in for a treat. Not only is Ms. Laine a favorite author of mine the story-line itself looked like the sheer guilty-pleasure that I was in the mood for.

I simply adored this couple. It was easy for me to be easily intrigued by a badass Alpha wolf shifter who is mated to a sweet and very sexy bunny shifter. I found myself quickly fascinated by their relationship and before I knew it, I had finished reading their story and was eager for more!

What I really enjoyed about this book is the straightforward and creative world that Ms. Laine created. I enjoyed the dynamics of Wolfe’s pack, as well as, Peter’s own relationship with his family and friends. It was interesting to see how these two very different men intertwine their lives together and work hard at building a strong and loving relationship between them.

Another thing I loved about this book was the laugh out loud moments I had from the witty banter they shared between them. They have a teasing-sweetness they share between them that I found myself really enjoying. As a reader, I appreciated the genuine like and respect they feel for each other and I thought there were a true naturalness to their relationship that I highly enjoyed.

If you are looking for a complicated story full of angst, this is not the book for you. Instead, A Wolfe and His Bunny is a fun and sexy read that would be a perfect lighthearted and steamy summer read. It is an easy book to recommend and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Highly Recommended!

A Wolfe and His Bunny is the first book in the Pariah Pack series. The other stories in book order are:

Lone Wolf and His Cool Cat
Warrior Wolf and his Little Lamb
Open Omega and his Bitter Bear
Wise Wolf and his Colorful Coywolf

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Sentimental Sunday – Sounds of Love by Susan Laine

I’m a big fan of Susan Laine. I’ve read most of her books and to be honest, I’ve loved most of them. She has a true knack of getting to the heart and soul of her characters and I truly enjoy the journey she takes me on in each and every one of her books.

Out of all of the books she’s written, Sounds of Love is my favorite. I’ve read it several times and I know I’ll continue to revisit these characters again in the future.

This book speaks to me because of the way these two men connected together. They have to work at making their relationship work. I also love how they truly seem to LIKE and LOVE one another and even though one of the heroes is deaf, they communicate beautifully together. I also love the secondary characters and there is perfect balance of sweetness, romance and angst that always keep my attention every time I read it.

I love this book and always will.

Blurb:

What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?

Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.

Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?

Yellowbelly Hero by Susan Laine


Title: Yellowbelly Hero
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 83
Characters: Yancy Bell, Curt Donovan
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Heroes at Heart: Book One

Yancy Bell was bullied in high school for being a yellowbelly, not because of any cowardice, but because of his nervous bladder condition. It’s Yancy’s first year in college, and he’s hoping to make a fresh start.

Three days before Christmas, the campus is empty. Having to pee on a midwinter night leads Yancy to meet Curt Donovan huddled in a dark shower stall. Curt’s a troubled jock whose coming out went badly, so he plans to end it all.

But Yancy adamantly refuses to let Curt go through with his irrevocable plan. With just one dark night to talk Curt around, Yancy has to win the trust of a stranger who only sees one way out.

Review:

Anyone who has followed my reviews knows that I really love Susan Laine’s stories. Her heroes are always unique and sexy and I love the world that she creates for them.

Yancy is definitely a sweet and sexy hero. He is a self-proclaimed geek in the first year of college. Yancy is also very smart and has a heart as big as the ocean. I loved his compassionate, loving side and I was immediately wrapped up into the story he had to tell.

Although Yancy is a cutie pie, he does suffer from having a nervous bladder. This has caused him to be quite bashful and anxious at times. He’s been teased throughout the years because of it and although in many ways he’s come out of the bullying experience a stronger person for it, he still has a lot of anxiety when it comes to how people will react to his condition.

When he unexpectedly meets Curt, he is compelled to help him despite his worry of being around people who truly do not know and understand him. It is because Yancy has been through so much himself, he is able to immediately see that Curt is hurting and needs help. It is because of Yancy’s compassion and persistence that Curt is able to open up to him so quickly and see Yancy as the sweet and cute man he is.

I really liked this couple. This book is in the beginning stages of their meeting and possible relationship. It is easy to see how well they could fit together and hope they are able to do so. Curt still has MANY things to work out and even Yancy has issues of his own too, but I can see already see that this series will be an addictive one to read.

The ending is quite abrupt and I hated that the book was over just when it was getting good, but you can bet I’ll be reading the next installment, Yellow Streak as soon as it is out. Susan Laine fans will definitely love this book and this couple and I know they will be as anxious to read the next book in the series too!

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Haunted Heart by Susan Laine


Title: Haunted Heart
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 153
Characters: Duncan Kerr and Ruben Winterbottom
Sub-Genre: Romance
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

Duncan Kerr is the art director of Enamored Press, an erotic romance publisher based in Seattle. An open submissions call for new artists yields an imaginative book cover with rich details and bold colors that catches his interest. After a few more samples of work and some e-mails, Duncan is determined to hire the talented young artist on a permanent basis.
But Ruben Winterbottom isn’t an average freelance artist. His agoraphobia leaves him terrified to set foot outside his secluded house in the woods by the Olympic National Park. Living alone, fear is Ruben’s sole companion.

When the two men meet, Ruben has a panic attack and hides away. Although confused, Duncan sees past Ruben’s anxiety to his artistic gifts and beautiful soul. So he sets out to coax the young man out of his shy shell.
Falling in love with a broken boy, however, might be the first draft of heartbreak

Review:

The words sweet and endearing sum up the story for Haunted Heart by Susan Laine. It has a wonderful storyline with fantastic characters and it’s very easy to lose yourself within the story of this book.

Duncan Kerr is tn art director for a publishing house and part of his job is to look for new talent for cover art. When he places as add for new artists he has no idea what he will find.

Ruben Winterbottom is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left his house in years; since the horrible night he was beaten and raped by a man he thought he could trust. He is a true shut in. There are no family visits nor friends that come see him, even his grocery’s are delivered to his door. When he puts in for an art contest, he is amazed that he is selected and that the company wants to hire him. Now what is he going to do?

I really liked this book! It was a truly wonderful story

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Jerry

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Stars and Stripes: A Bedtime Story by Susan Laine


Title: Stars and Stripes: A Bedtime Story
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Pages: 116
Characters: Lincoln Redding, Ned Dove
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Western, Historical, Erotic Romance
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Sheriff Jesse Brown tells his restless cowboy lover, Clayton Jennings, a bedtime story… Snow Lake, 1883.

Sheriff Lincoln “Linc” Redding is tracking an escaped prisoner through the wilderness of Wyoming. The young man, Edwin “Ned” Dove, is accused of theft, his victim a military officer staying at Bernadette’s Boarding House. Dove was being transported to Fort Laramie to stand trial when he somehow managed to flee.

As Lincoln follows the trail and finally catches up with Dove, he learns things aren’t quite so black and white. Lincoln is forced to accept that a tin star on his chest doesn’t mean he has all the answers, or that just because a man wears a striped prison uniform doesn’t mean he’s guilty. It seems illicit conspiracies exist in the seedy underbelly of his town.

Lincoln’s loyalties are divided between doing his duty and falling for a man he shouldn’t.

Review:

Give me a book written by Susan Laine and I am one happy reader! One the the things I love about Ms. Laine’s books is the way her characters really seem to connect on both an emotional and physical level. There is a true bond that forms between them, and it’s because of this that keeps this reader reading her stories from start to finish in one setting.

What I really loved about this book was how well rounded and fast-paced the storyline is. Not only does it have a very strong romance between the two men, there is plenty of character growth, adventure and nail-biting action that kept this reader on the edge of her seat. The two heroes were easy to love and so much fun to get to know. I loved their chemistry and the way they came together as a team to defeat the bad guys, so they can have a happy future together.

Stars and Stripes: A Bedtime Story is the 6th book in the Cowboys of Snow Lake series. Although it’s always best to read a series in book order, Stars and Stripes: A Bedtime Story can definitely be read as a stand-alone in the series.

The Cowboys of Snow Lake series in book order are:

Rivers of Wind
Rivers of Passion
Mending Fences
Cowboy’s Challenge
Hard and Raw
Stars and Strips: A Bedtime Story

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Sensible Commitments by Susan Laine


Title: A Senses and Sensations Story: Sensible Commitments
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 112
Characters: Jordan Waters, Sebastian Sumner
POV: 1st and 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

After their troubled pasts and their rocky road to “happily ever after,” the time has come for Jordan Waters and Sebastian Sumner to officially declare their love for each other. With the wedding two days before Christmas, the happy couple can’t put off addressing their tenuous relationships with their birth families. Between supportive friends like Jack Waters, Kevin Thompson, Bro Sumner, and Lacey Adair, they’ve had a taste of what a happy home means, regardless of blood ties. As the wedding approaches, all three couples must make peace with their pasts as they prepare to celebrate friendship, brotherhood, and true love.

Review:

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Susan Laine. I’ve read all of her books and I’ve loved just about all of them. One of the reasons why I like her books so much is how she really seems to know her characters and her own obvious affection for them always shines through in her writing. Between a strong plot and loveable characters, Ms. Laine continuously writes novels that easily become favorites of mine.

I’ve been waiting for this book. Out of all of the books in the series, Sounds of Love is one of my all-time favorites. Sure, they are ALL great and I’ve enjoyed all of the characters she has created in this series, but Sebastian and Jordan won this reader’s heart and never let go. Sounds of Love is a book I reach for when I need a pick-me-up or if I’m in the mood for a beautifully told romantic tale, and now Sensible Commitments will be another book I’ll reach for time and time again as well.

Sensible Commitments isn’t just about Sebastian and Jordan. We also have scenes with the other amazing characters in her other ‘Senses’ books as well. Each hero is really going through their own issues they must face before Sebastian and Jordan’s wedding. Once again, Ms. Laine handled this beautifully and I was truly thrilled how the book turned out.

If you are looking for a well-told series with amazing characters, this is definitely the series for you. You’ll fall in love with these delightful men and rejoice in each character’s growth and achievements. Love, Love, Love this series and this book and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Although this probably could be read as a stand-alone in the series, I do not recommend reading it without the other books in the series first.

The Senses and Sensations books are:

Sounds of Love
Love in Plain Sight
A Luminous Touch
The Sweetest Scent
Sensible Commitments

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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