This is the cutest video!
The Bottled Up series by Andrew Grey consists of 8 books which are centred around a group of friends who live in the same town.
- The Best Revenge (book #1)
- Bottled Up (book #2)
- Uncorked (book #3)
- An Unexpected Vintage (book #4)
- Legal Artistry (book #5)
- Artistic Appeal (book #6)
- Artistic Pursuits (book #7)
- Legal Tender (book #8)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Tyler O’Connor, a successful antiques dealer, meets aspiring artist Mark Burke when Mark’s mother decides to sell some of her antiques collection. Tyler is enchanted by the quiet, reserved artist and works up the courage to ask Mark to dinner. Despite the date’s success and their mutual attraction, Mark’s happiness takes a blow when his mother learns that he is gay and throws him out of the house. Unsure of where to go, Mark shows up on Tyler’s doorstep and finds shelter.
Tyler’s encouragement and support help kick-start Mark’s career, especially when Mark finds that Tyler inspires him in the bedroom as well as the studio. But they’re daunted when bad memories of the past, struggles in the present, and fear for the future strain Mark and Tyler’s budding relationship. As the old saying goes, the best revenge is living well—and in this case—loving well, and with that in mind, Mark and Tyler go in search of happily ever after.
So What did I think?
I decided to read this book because I wanted to read a book with nice characters and filled with gentle romance, knowing that Andrew Grey would deliver this.
This is a sweet story of Tyler, who runs an antiques shop, and Mark, an artist. This is the first book in the series and introduces a number of characters who are friends of Tyler and Mark but most of the story directly involves the couple themselves.
Tyler ‘rescues’ Mark when he is tossed out of home by his homophobic mother and brother. They pretty much fall instantly in love.
These men are very vocal with their feelings and the book is filled with declarations of love and romantic gestures. There is also an awful lot of sex between the two men. I love a good sex scene but found there was just a little too much for my liking in this book. Maybe because the scenes seemed a bit too repetitive.
The story follows the men as they come to terms with family rejection, harassment, and violence in terms of property damage, all while developing their relationship, building a home, growing the business and establishing Mark’s painting career.
There are some lovely scenes describing Mark’s artwork and how he manages to capture emotion. “In all my life I have never seen such a visual expression of love.” I would have loved to see what these portraits looked like!
My main negative feedback for this book is only a small thing. The dialogue often seemed too formal and I think would have benefited from use of more contractions.
I would highly recommend this book for lovers of sweet romance.
Check out the Book Trailer for The Best Revenge!
For more information on Andrew Grey and his books, check out his website.
The Bullriders series:
- A Wild Ride (book #1) – in this review
- A Daring Ride (book #2) – click here for review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dante Rivers just lost the rodeo by two one hundredths of a point: he’s frustrated as hell, needs to get laid, and he knows just where to go. That night he meets Ryan Abbott and catches his eye—Ryan watched the rodeo and is still riding high on the rush. The chemistry between them ignites, but Dante, unable to deal with complications, leaves while Ryan’s asleep.
Ryan figures he’ll never see Dante again, but they’re fatefully reunited when Dante’s grandfather, Hy, hires Ryan to help straighten out some old investments. The attraction between Ryan and Dante still sizzles. Sex slowly turns to more, but obstacles abound: Hy’s failing health, Dante’s homophobic sponsor, an attack on Ryan, and Dante’s own struggle with his identity. Any one thing would be enough to separate them permanently… unless they both decide to hang on for the wild ride.
What did I think?
I really enjoyed this story of Dante, a bull rider who is juggling so much in his life (nearing the end of his career, looking after his ill grandfather and hiding his sexual identity) and Ryan, who has been struggling with his own sexual leanings.
Ryan is openly gay but an event in his past means he has been leading a ‘vanilla’ sex life. He meets Dante in a bar and immediately knows that they each have something the other wants (I am not exactly sure what Ryan saw in Dante that made him think this way but anyway…) “He could see what Dante needed and he could give it to him. Dante needed it, he needed it too, and heaven help him, Ryan wanted it. He’d denied this part of himself for so long he simply couldn’t do it any longer.”
What I liked about the story was the light dominance/submission (nothing too heavy) which suited the book and seemed natural for these characters, the portrayal of strong family love and the inclusion of some drama. Things don’t go smoothly for Dante and Ryan – they need to overcome the impact of the reaction to Dante’s coming out which includes violence.
This is one of Andrew Grey’s books that I have enjoyed the most. Maybe the sweetness level was turned down to the right level for me in this book?
3.5 stars (rounded to 4)
For more information on author Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.