Carpenter Image

The Carpenter and the Actor by R.J. Scott

The Ellery Mountain Series

  • The Fireman and the Cop (book 1)
  • The Teacher and the Soldier (book 2)
  • The Carpenter and the Actor (book 3) – in this review
  • The Doctor and the Bad Boy (book 4 ) – click here for review
  • The Paramedic and the Writer – click here for review
  • The Barman and the SEAL
  • The Agent and the Model – due for release 1 November 2013

The Carpenter and the ActorThe Carpenter and the Actor by R.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Jason McInnery, hounded by the paparazzi after his brother’s death, runs to the one place where he hopes people will not sell him out. The place where he was born.

Hiding in the tourist cabins at Ellery Mountain Resort out of season he thinks he finally has room to breathe.

If only Kieran Dexter, a man ten years his junior, would stop fixing stuff and generally causing ripples in Jason’s calm space.

So what did I think?

There is something a little bit special about this series! Each book focuses on a new couple but couples from previous books still make an appearance as all the guys get together for their weekly beers and all help each other – one happy family!

In this story, Kieran (the carpenter) and Jason (the actor), start a 2 week relationship while Jason is staying in Ellery. Jason is a Hollywood actor (cutely nicknamed “Hollywood” by the guys) but suffered the loss of his brother the year before. He is dealing with his guilt about his brother’s death. Kieran is absolutely gorgeous – kind, caring, supportive and very much a part of Ellery.

Together they make a great couple, although at first it is difficult to see what they have in common. Their lives are so very different but really it comes down to what is in the heart, not where you live or what you do for a living. I loved the way that Jason was able to give Kieran what he needed sexually.

This is a lovely story that deals with overcoming loss and moving forward – for Jason this means dealing with this grief and Kieran’s Dad also finds love again after the loss of his wife. The boys also get the centre for dealing with PTSD complete.

There are no huge dramatic moments such as the fires, car crashes and lunatics that appeared in previous books. So a bit less excitement but this doesn’t make Kieran and Jason’s story any less special.

4 Stars

To find out more about R.J. Scott and her books, visit the website.

Buy the book from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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Morning Report Series by Sue Brown

The Morning Report Series

  • Morning Report (Book 1)
  • Complete Faith (Book 2)
  • Papa’s Boy (Book 3)
  • Luke’s Present (Book 3.5)

Make sure to check out the Book Trailers at the end of the review!

Morning ReportMorning Report by Sue Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

A decade on from their first kiss, Luke Murray is more in love with Simon every day. Running the Lost Cow ranch for Luke’s parents, they keep their heads down and get along with the locals, even if Luke is known for being a hothead. Then one day they discover the local store owners refuse to serve them. They’re bewildered until Luke’s mom tells them the new pastor has targeted the couple in his sermons. Suddenly Luke and Simon find themselves alienated from people they called friends, and their ranch comes under a series of attacks. As the town’s hatred and homophobia turns on them, Luke and Simon will face a critical choice: give in to the town’s demands and disappear, or stand and fight for themselves and their love.

So what did I think?

Luke and Simon have been together for 10 years and have a happy life. They work together running Luke’s father’s ranch and are surrounded by people who support them as a couple. They are welcome at church and are part of the town community.

A new pastor comes to town and starts spreading a very different message, encouraging the townfolk to reject Luke and Simon. Suddenly they find they are no longer welcome at various places in town and some people stop doing business with them. Things progressively get worse with attacks on their property and stock.

I actually found the alienation and the actions the townfolk resorted to unbelievable in the context of this story. I do understand that people behave this way, particularly if they have been brought up with different beliefs or do not understand people. However, in this case, the people knew Luke and Simon and their family and had been accepting for 10 years. They had also had a previous pastor who preached a message of tolerance. I don’t think the story adequately showed how such a radical change could have occurred in two months, why people would throw out all the teaching of their previous pastor and suddenly listen to the new pastor. Particularly as they were resorting to extraordinarily unchristian-like behavior.

Luke and Simon made a good couple. Luke takes charge of the running of the ranch but Simon usually takes charge in the bedroom. The sex scenes? I love a good sex scene and they were well written but the story could have benefited from leaving a few out. These guys seemed to have sex at the drop of a hat and even had a daily “morning report” scheduled. It’s nice to see that a couple who had been together for 10 years were still going strong but we didn’t need to experience it with them each time.

The story focuses on the strain placed on the relationship between the two men, the first time they have had to work through tough times together. They need to agree on the best way to make decisions that impact both of them (Luke hates people making decisions for him) and decide whether they stay at the ranch.

The plot was slightly formulaic but having an established couple in the story was a refreshing change.

4 Stars

Complete Faith Complete Faith by Sue Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

For Tommy Bradley, a hand working on the Lost Cow Ranch in rural Texas, admitting his sexuality is impossible, even if his bosses, Luke and Simon, are gay—Tommy has spent his entire life hiding the truth from his homophobic parents. Then Tommy meets pastor Noah Taylor in Luke’s father’s hospital room, and his difficult secret becomes that much harder to keep.

Noah is unlike any man of God—or any man—Tommy’s ever met. For one thing, his congregation is made up primarily of GLBT individuals and their families. For another, he isn’t afraid of the attraction he feels toward Tommy, and he makes his intentions very clear. But Noah won’t hide his sexuality or his love from the world, and he won’t start a relationship with Tommy while Tommy hides his, either. Faced with the choice of losing Noah or coming out to his parents, Tommy takes his first steps out of the closet.

But Tommy isn’t the only one facing challenges. Thanks to an outpouring of hatred from Pastor Jackson and a group of ranch owners, Noah must cope with the possible loss of his church and his livelihood.

So what did I think?

This is the story of Tommy, a young man with no sexual experience, who is terribly fearful of his parent’s reaction if he came out. He develops strong feelings for Noah, the pastor who is also gay.

There is a strong theme of acceptance – both acceptance by family and acceptance by the community. Tommy needs to decide whether having a relationship with Noah is worth risking coming out and the fact that Noah won’t progress their relationship until he does, spurs things on.

Noah shares his coming out experience – it isn’t easy, no matter who you are.
“But you’re a pastor, a good man,” Tommy protested. “I wasn’t then, I was just a kid needing support.”

As in the first book of the series (which I enjoyed more), the story also focuses on the townsfolk and their homophobia. The men need to deal with threat and violence.
“Tommy, I’m a black, gay pastor running a gay church in the middle of the Bible Belt. We get threats all the time. Kinda goes with the territory.”

The story was quite enjoyable. I was worried that it may delve too deeply into religion, given one of the main characters was a pastor but the story never took on a ‘preachy’ quality which was good.
3 Stars

Papa's Boy (Morning Report, #3)Papa’s Boy by Sue Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When Ray Sloane tires of the men in his usual club, he finds himself in the Pink Palm, an inauspiciously named spit-and-sawdust dive, not the sort of place an elementary school teacher and pastor’s assistant should be seen in. On the other hand, Ray needs a fresh face. But what he gets is a closeted, desperately unhappy divorcee named Zeke.

Losing his teaching job and his kids has left Zeke bitter and in denial about his sexuality, but Ray is determined to get under his skin. Just as Zeke starts to relax, life interferes with Ray’s plans: Lee, the teenage organist from St. Mark’s, tells his parents that he was abused as a teeanger by a prominent congregation member from his old church, and Ray becomes the target of bullies at school and has to worry about his own job. With the specter of what happened to Zeke hanging over him, Ray must protect Lee and his own reputation, all while trying to convince Zeke that he doesn’t need to run away when their relationship grows more intense.

So what did I think?

I enjoyed this third book in the series. As with the previous book, I was worried that the religious element had the potential to drag the story down a bit but once again the author managed to share the message without detracting from the story.

In this book, Ray meets Zeke at a bar and recognises someone who needs help (of course he is also madly attracted to the man!). “It was ironic that in a room full of gay men, Ray was attracted to the one man so deep in the closet he was choking on the mothballs.”

Ray is the assistant to Pastor Noah. The storyline continues from previous books where Pastor Noah and his congregation are being harassed by the new Pastor who is strongly anti-gay. They have moved the church to Simon and Luke’s ranch but are still dealing with many issues. Ray is trying to help his new friend Zeke while also helping other members of the congregation.

Zeke’s situation is extremely complicated and the story focuses on him escaping his past and falling in love with Ray. I liked both the characters of Ray and Zeke but some of Zeke’s actions seemed stupid given he was in his forties, a qualified teacher with teenage children. Why he didn’t just speak with his ex-wife, at least once, was beyond me. I also didn’t like the element of infidelity.  Regardless, it was still nice to see him finally get his happy ending!

3 Stars

Luke's Present (Morning Report, #3.5)Luke’s Present by Sue Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Lost Cow Ranch foreman Simon Bryan is worried about Luke, his boss and possessive partner of twelve years. Reeling from the flood that took his horse, Luke has postponed surgery on his knee, and his nightmares have been escalating. Worse, he is pulling away from Simon emotionally. Desperate to help his lover cope, Simon plans a special Christmas gift, but it is Luke’s present that changes their relationship forever.

So what did I think?

This short story focuses again on Luke and Simon and serves to show just how strong and lasting their love is.

“I’ve loved you since the first moment you kissed me to shut me up. Nasty tactic, as I can’t object when I’ve got a mouthful of your tongue. There has only ever been you since that moment. And there will only ever be you, Simon Bryan. You are mine, only mine, and if anyone ever looks at you again, I will string them up by the balls and kill them, slowly and painfully.” Luke to Simon

“I’ve loved you since the first moment I say you. Little did I realise what a possessive pain in the ass you were going to be. If I’d known… I’d still be here now, even if you are a high maintenance asshole.” He brushed his thumb over Luke’s cheek, laughing softly at Luke’s look of outrage. “I will always love you. You fill my head and my heart. There will never be anyone else in my life, Luke Murray. Just you.” Simon to Luke.

No great drama in this story, just a nice acknowledgment of love. 3.5 stars.

4 Stars

For more information about Sue Brown and her books visit her website.

 

Buy the series from Amazon.

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Leather+Lace by A.B. Gayle

The Opposites Attract Series

  • Red+Blue (book 1)
  • Leather+Lace (book 2)

 

Leather+Lace (Opposites Attract, #2)Leather+Lace by A.B. Gayle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Swathed in chiffon and lace, Steven Stanhope owns the stage as Stevie Tricks, lip-synching the songs of the famous gypsy queen. But after he escapes an abusive Master/slave relationship, the only collar he’ll allow around his neck is black velvet.

After a four-year absence, Steve is ready to reclaim his life and the property he left behind. But is it safe? Definitely not if his ex is still into leather. To find out, Steve appears at a charity night for the local BDSM community, using the anonymity of his stage persona to mask his identity.

Instead of his ex-Master, Julius, Steve finds a tangled mess centered around another Master of Leather, Donato Rossi. In order to unravel their ties to the past, Steve and Don must find common ground and work together. In the process, they learn that when it comes to love, sometimes you have to make your own rules.

So what did I think?

This book was a very pleasant surprise! Most definitely not the standard story that I was expecting. The story was a unique view of the world of master/slave and had a lot of things going for it.

Steve – I will admit that I am not overly fond of main characters in drag but Stevie had something special about him. I loved him from the get go! Such a mix of strength and vulnerability.

Don – Very shallow of me as I am judging on the physical description but his moustache sounded terrible! However his personality was wonderful. He was such a contrast to Julius with his totally different view of the nature of submission.

The sex – the early scenes in the book were all about the unemotional, purely physical aspects as Stevie does his fundraising BJ duties. But the sex between Don and Steve, once they leave the pub has a lovely emotional quality.

The location – so nice to see a book set in Australia!

As I started the book I was a little worried that it may attempt to take on too much of an education role ie. trying to educate me, the reader, in the world of BDSM. This particularly worried due to the character of Gabriel who wanted Don to mentor him but also the discussion being held between Don and Stevie as they debated the concepts. However it was actually very well done, sharing information and opinion without turning in to a textbook. The focus was able to remain on the characters and the relationship development.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and need to back-track and read Caught as the characters from this book make a small appearance in Leather+Lace.

Big plus also for the books cover and the title!

4 Stars

 

For more information on A.B. Gayle and her books visit her website

See by review for Red+Blue

Buy the series on Amazon

View all my reviews

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Holiday time!

I’m off on holidays tomorrow! I will be staying at the Cable Beach Report in Broome, Western Australia. I’m looking forward to riding a camel on Cable Beach, seeing the Staircase To The Moon and checking out the pearls!

Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia.

Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I won’t be spending much time online or writing reviews but my holiday reading list is quite long! Expect a whole pile of reviews when I get back in a week! 🙂

I plan to finish the following series that I am part the way through:

  • Men of Smithfield by L.B. Gregg
  • Morning Report by Sue Brown

The following books are also on the list for the week:

  • Cold by Brandon Shire
  • Racing For The Sun by Amy Lane
  • Paid Leave by Hayley B James
  • Moments by R.J. Scott
  • Woke Up In A Strange Place by Eric Arvin
  • I Can See For Miles by Lisa Worrall
  • One Night by R.J. Scott
  • A Beautiful Lie by Tyler Robbins
  • Pup by S.J.D. Peterson
  • Good Boy and Naughty Boy by Lisa Henry

Have a great week!

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Men of Smithfield: Seth and David by L.B. Gregg

I ‘read’ this book via the audio book from Audible (narrated by Shannon Gunn)….

Men of Smithfield Series

  • Mark and Tony (or Gobsmacked) – book 1
  • Seth and David (or Happy Ending ) – book 2
  • Max and Finn (or Cover Me) – book 3
  • Adam and Holden (or In and Out) – book 4

 

Men of Smithfield: Seth and David (Men of Smithfield #2)Men of Smithfield: Seth and David by L.B. Gregg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

He’s everything I’ve never wanted – too young, too weird, too wild.

I wasn’t impressed that I had to get my weekly massage from a guy with a toe ring. But when I discovered David Cooke’s skills as a masseur were literally orgasmic, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and his amazing hands, day and night. Especially at night.

He’s full of surprises. And despite my bad behavior, David’s just as eager to explore this chemistry between us. Turns out, there’s a lot more to him than hemp pants and tattoos. If he’s so wrong for me, why does being with him feel so right?

So what did I think?

I enjoyed this second book in the Men of Smithfield series. I enjoyed the descriptive style and the wonderful humour throughout the book. It was full of witty comments and interesting internal dialogue. The characters were great including the children.

David was a wonderful contrast to Seth and they complimented each other very well. The pace was fast and the plot had some mystery/intrigue.

I actually listened to this story via the Audible version. While I loved the narrator and the voice he provided for each character, I still prefer to actually read a book rather than listen.

I set the narration speed at 1.25 as the default speed was too slow for my liking. As it is, audio books take a lot longer to get through as my own reading speed is faster.

Reading would be my first choice, and I think I will only revert to audio books if there is a particular situation that prevents me from reading. In this case, I listened while driving and ironing!

I have now listened to the first two books in the series via Audible so will read the next book which should make an interesting comparison and give a different perspective on the series as I think listening rather than reading does change the opinion of the story – you are influenced by the narrators accents and inflections. In this case, I quite liked the voice the narrator used for the main characters and even the children plus I enjoyed how his dialogue matched what was happening in the story eg. breathless voice when needed, but I didn’t like the way Seth’s ex-boyfriend was voiced. I found him totally annoying, which was probably ok given his character, but I felt the accent determined my feelings and not his actual words or actions.

3.5 stars

4 Stars

For more information about L.B. Gregg or her books visit the website

Buy the series from Amazon

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Red+Blue by A.B. Gayle

This is the first book in the Opposites Attract Series:

  • Red+Blue (book #1)
  • Leather+Lace (book #2)

Red+Blue (Opposites Attract, #1)Red+Blue by A.B. Gayle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Fresh from backwoods Minnesota, actuarial student Ben Dutoit is ecstatic to land a job with Sydney Sutherland Family Insurance, one of the few companies that offers life insurance to people in the high-risk category. The fact that he gets to work in Gay Central, aka San Francisco, is just the icing on the rainbow-colored cake. Ben sets himself just three goals: be out and proud enough to participate in the Pride parade; seek out the company of like-minded souls in the clubs; and maybe, if he’s lucky, fall in love. But the men Ben meets are everything he’s not: suave, confident, sophisticated, and sexy. Unlike redneck Ben, they’re blue bloods from blue states, born with status, wealth, and the responsibility that comes with the package. Ben’s still wondering if red and blue can mix when he discovers what risk really means. The global economy tanks. The job he looked forward to is in jeopardy, and every dream Ben ever had is threatened, especially love, the biggest dream of all.

So what did I think?

This is the kind of story that delivers exactly what I like in an m/m romance – complex main characters, lots of emotional soul searching, a journey fraught with obstacles, some hot sex and a happy ending.

The story is first told from Ben’s point of view, introducing a young man out to make his mark on the world. Moving from Minnesota to San Francisco, he is out, living a good life, with a good job. Ben respects his boss Adrian and they slowly develop a friendship which eventually leads to Ben having feelings for his ‘straight’ boss. “There was a connection between them. It wasn’t merely a boss-employee relationship thing. There was more than that. Deep down, Ben knew there was more, wanted there to be more.”

The next section of the story is told from Adrian’s point of view. Adrian is very much in the closet. He has strong ideals and has been forced to lead a life, not of his own choosing. He denies his feelings for Ben for many complicated reasons. Adrian is so different from Ben, afraid to risk so many things.

The men finally confront their feelings when they spend a week together canoeing in the wilderness. But this very special time is also the catalyst for heartache to follow.

I really enjoyed the section of the book as the men travel through the lakes. There were some beautiful descriptions of the landscape, the weather and the journey. There were some wonderful descriptions blending the sexual experience with the location, very poetic… “Colors swirled and danced. The blue of Ben’s eyes merged with the indigo lake and clear azure sky in the background.”

There were also some wonderful analogies in the story, exploring the themes of risk and choices. As Ben and Adrian, head through the lakes to their drop off point, they need to reassess the direction they are taking and risk another path. Adrian needs to rely on Ben’s experience and knowledge and trust they will reach their destination. “If only he had Ben’s confidence to know which was the right path to take as far as his life went.”

The ending worked well for me with separation and heartache, followed by life-changing decisions and the ultimate reconciliation.

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end!

5 Stars

For more information on A.B. Gayle and her books visit her website.

See my review of Leather+Lace.

Buy the book or series from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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Six Ways From Sunday by Mercy Celeste

Six Ways from SundaySix Ways from Sunday by Mercy Celeste

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Take one NFL tight end, and one Marine, add one week and watch the sparks fly.

Bowen Murphy craved two things, football and Dylan. After high school he had football but he lost Dylan.

Dylan Sunday walked a different path, one laid down before him by his father and his grandfather. Losing Bo one day after discovering they shared more than football wasn’t part of the bargain.

Six years of missed connections and finally Dylan is able to come home to the man he left behind. The spectacle of the biggest game in the NFL is only the beginning of one sizzling week. After that time and fate would decide if Bo and Dylan would walk the same path, or if one of them would make the ultimate sacrifice.

Warning: bittersweet tale of two hot men, making up for six years of separation. May not be suitable for sensitive readers. Contains scenes of male/male sexual practices.

So what did I think?

This book was a wonderful emotional journey. I found it difficult to put down as I was so invested in the story.

The story starts with Dylan and Bowen finally admitting their feelings for one another, forced to admit the truth when the time comes to part. Bo has a scholarship and a promising NFL career and thinks that he and Dylan will be together. But Dylan shocks him with the announcement that he has joined the Marines.

“Bo and Dylan. Dylan and Bo. They were a team. A unit. When one went, the other wasn’t far behind.
Except now, Dylan had to stand on his own.”

What follows is six long years of separation before they finally unite for one week before Dylan has to return to his post. Each man has successes in his career but the week together reinforces the strength of their love and the bond they share. Their future looks bright, they just need to get through the next 18 months before Dylan can return home permanently.

Bo and Dylan’s story had me smiling and it had me crying. Not little tears but great big sobbing tears! Be prepared for heartache and happiness.

I am putting this on my favourites shelf!

5 Stars

For more information on Mercy Celeste and her books visit her website.

Buy from Amazon

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Doctor, Doctor by H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce

This is a short story.

Doctor, DoctorDoctor, Doctor by H.L. Holston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Daniel Stewart, Chief Petty Officer and dedicated Corpsmen, works at the Naval Hospital in Naples, Italy where he carries around two big secrets: one, he’s gay; and two, he’s in love with a very sexy Navy doctor, Ryker Kincaid, who he’s been having an affair with for a year. Yes, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may be gone, but military rules that prevent officers and enlisted from dating are still in place. Ryker and Daniel have to keep their relationship hush-hush or face discharge.

When Ryker elects to leave the Navy after his current tour is up, all of Daniel’s future plans for their careers are blown to bits and causes Daniel to spiral out of control. Will Daniel’s rash decision cost them everything or push their relationship to the next level?

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Emergency Servicing anthology by Total-E-Bound

So what did I think?

This was a short story that had so much unrealized potential! I liked both the main characters, the best friend and the plot. Big points for combining military and medical!

I enjoyed the story, but there was opportunity to make this into a full length novel which would have provided a greater depth to the characters. I would have enjoyed to read more about the relationship between Daniel and Ryker, to understand more of their background and families and to definitely see how their relationship progressed after the events in the book.

I bought the Kindle version from Amazon ($3.81) and didn’t realise it was only 47 pages. I was a bit disappointed in the length of the book and value for money which was compounded by the fact that the story actually ended at 82%. From 82% it is an excerpt of another book. Although it might have been 46 pages up to that point, I am never aware of the page numbers when I start reading so use the percentage to see how far through a book I am.

I also noticed one small editing problem in the book – at one point Daniel was called Dylan. Only a small thing which didn’t detract from the story.

3 Stars

Buy the book  Amazon. See my Short Stories sections.
View all my reviews

Time for a coffee and a quick read?

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Need something quick to read? Below are a couple of short stories, that can be read in under 30 minutes or so. And they cost less than your cup of coffee! I hope you enjoy!

Pascal's BoysPascal’s Boys by Fabian Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Pascal Janssen is terminally ill and tries to help ‘his boys’ Tom and Adam prepare for his death. He hopes that Tom and Adam will come together as a couple, but Adam’s love for Tom seems to have cooled. Will he be able to make a commitment? Beautiful, inspirational, heartrending, but ultimately optimistic Pascal’s Boys is a story about love.

What did I think?

Although dealing with death, this was a heartwarming short story. It was not a romance as such, although Pascal’s boys do love each other. Rather it tells of the feelings of the various characters as they come to terms with Pascal’s impending death.

We learn a bit of the history of how Adam and Tom came to live with Pascal and his wife Eleanor “She believed God denied us babies of our own for a reason, so we’d be ready to open our arms to children who needed not only love, but acceptance and understanding.”

We learn that Pascal had lost his wife and their friend Ian lost his partner Marcus when they were both in an accident. However they found a way to go on. “I try to rejoice in the good years I had with Marcus rather than mourn the years lived without him.”

Yes, it is a sad story but it also tells of the good in the world.

4 Stars

Someone Like YouSomeone Like You by L.M. Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Todd Hunter knows Deacon Jones is the one for him, and despite pressure from his family he’s determined they’ll spend the Christmas holidays together. Can he convince Deacon that their different backgrounds shouldn’t keep them apart?

When Todd Hunter went to university, he left behind his boyfriend, Deacon Jones. Todd knows Deacon is the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with, but for some reason Deacon has stopped returning his calls and is ignoring all his letters.

Now Todd is home for the holidays, and he wants to spend them with Deacon. It might not be so easy though. Neither Todd’s family nor Deacon’s are happy about their relationship; and while Todd knows if they stand together they can make it work, convincing Deacon may be the greatest challenge of all.

So what did I think?

Todd is at university and his parents have high hopes for his future. They accept that he is gay but are not keen on his relationship with Deacon. “Making your mark in the world will be hard enough for you as it is, without someone like him holding you back.”

Deacon is working in a garage, learning to be a mechanic. His background includes a drunken father who definitely doesn’t accept his sexuality.

The story starts with Todd preparing to head home for Christmas, very worried because he hadn’t heard from his boyfriend for 3 months (this did seem a bit odd to me and I couldn’t quite grasp why Deacon didn’t at least call Todd or why Todd didn’t try to find him harder during that period).

Todd wants Deacon back, Todd’s family want to keep them apart, Deacon doesn’t feel good enough. Thank goodness for other friends who give good advice. “Deacon, when are you going to get it through that thick skull of yours the most important thing in this life is holding onto love when you find it?”

I found this story pleasant but it was missing any real spark but it’s only a quick story so a nice way to spend half an hour. 2.5 stars

3 Stars

Learn more about L.M. Brown and her books as her website.

Buy from Amazon. See my Short Stories category.

View all my reviews

photo credit: javaturtle via photopin cc

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Nothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown

Nothing Ever HappensNothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Andrew’s life is a cliché: he’s a gay man trapped in a loveless marriage, thanks to his religious, overbearing mother. Then a new couple moves in down the street, and Andrew finds himself falling for Nathan in a big way. Nathan is straight, married, and just about to be a father, but after one fateful night out together at a club, Nathan has to face the fact that his feelings for Andrew go way beyond that of a friend and neighbor.

When Andrew’s wife asks for a divorce, both men’s lives are thrown into disarray. Arguments about their responsibilities to their wives and children, doubting themselves and each other, and some harrowing lies pull them apart… but they never leave each other’s thoughts.

So what did I think?

Warning: the end of the review contains a quote which might be considered slightly spoilerish!

My expectation was that I wouldn’t enjoy the story and wouldn’t like the characters due to the infidelity – actually that sounds a bit silly given that I bought the book to read! 🙂 However, I really, really liked this book.

I loved both Andrew and Nathan. I didn’t necessarily like all their actions or agree with their decisions, but I found myself quite passionately wanting them to get together.

The books was interesting to read. The journey was not necessarily a happy one. There was lots of heartache and Andrew and Nathan weren’t together most of the time. There were a couple of moments where the story looked to take one path but diverted to another, keeping me turning the pages to find out want happens next.

The secondary characters were varied and interesting – children, wives, ex-wives, in-laws, best friends, neighbours, lovers. Everyone seemed to have an opinion on the relationship.

Although I found it hard to understand why Nathan didn’t just bite the bullet and leave his wife, his confusion and indecision was clear. He was worried about his very young children (Daniel and Jess) and his career but the person he seemed to be hurting the most was himself. “For too long now, Nathan had only felt alive when he was bathed in the warmth of Daniel and Jess or in the blazing light that was Andrew.”

It was also easy to feel sympathetic towards Andrew whose overbearing parents had forced the direction his life had taken. He had spent his life trying to do the right thing by his wife and son. At the beginning of the book he is living with his wife and son and supporting them, but it was a marriage in name only. He was honest with his wife.

The love and passion between the two men was obvious and their journey a very hard one but with the outcome I was hoping for.

“This will be difficult, and I’m not going to say it’ll be unicorns and rainbows. I’ve just got my head about being bi and I’m having a f*cking hard time coping with that, but I am in love with you. Living away from my kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but you’re not asking me to do it. I’m finally making that decision for myself. I love you, and we’ve waited too damn long to be together.”
“Then we’ll find the unicorns and rainbows.” Andrew pulled Nathan into his arms again, kissing his lips, his wet eyes, the tear-tracks down his cheeks.”

4 Stars

For more information on Sue Brown and her books, visit her website.

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