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Wishing for a Home by T.A. Chase

This is the third book in the series and continues to build on the themes established in the previous books. Most of the setting is on a ranch in Wyoming and the characters from previous books make small appearances. I got a laugh from Derek’s line “Is everyone around here either gay or fucked up?” Luckily they are or the series would be very short!

  • No Going Home (book 1)
  • Home of His Own (book 2)
  • Wishing for a Home (book 3)
  • Leaving Home (book 4)
  • Home Sweet Home (book 5)

Wishing for a Home (Home, #3)

Wishing for a Home by T.A. Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb:

Derek St. Martin is Nashville’s hottest country singer. For eight years, fame and fortune have come his way, but he’s not happy. In fact, he’s on the edge of a nervous breakdown or checking into a drug rehab center. Hiding his sexual preferences is driving him to resort to numbing the pain. When his step-brother suggests he should go on vacation, Derek jumps at the chance to relax and get his head on straight.

Max Furlo isn’t happy. His bosses were leaving him in charge of some singer while he had other more important things to take care of. Seeing Derek St. Martin for the first time hits Max hard and, suddenly, he’s considering a summer fling.

Both men know that a relationship can never be for them. Derek’s career wouldn’t handle the news and Max can’t live a lie. Yet when a summer fling becomes love, who will be willing to risk it all for a chance at forever?

So what did I think?

Derek St Martin is a country music singer at the top of his career but burning out. Hiding his sexuality, resorting to pills and booze, he is on the verge of a breakdown. His step-brother arranges for him to spend three months on a ranch in Wyoming. The ranch belongs to gay couple Tony Romanos and Brody MacCafferty (from Home of His Own) who are away in Europe. Therefore Derek is left in the hands of the ranch foreman Max.

Max has his own issues. He doesn’t have any family left and has been terribly hurt in the past by relationships not in the open. He doesn’t hide his own sexuality and won’t be anyone’s hidden secret. However, while Derek is on the ranch he is prepared to risk some heartbreak. “It might hurt in the end when Derek returned to Nashville, but Max was willing to take what he could get and regret it later, instead of regretting never taking a chance at all.”

The three months on the ranch and the time with Max, do wonderful things for Derek, both in terms of his mental and physical recovery but he is also impacted by their relationship “Derek feared the breaking would go both ways. His heart wasn’t getting out the relationship without a few scars.”

I enjoyed the gradual build of the relationship between Derek and Max. They took their time with the physical side of the relationship. As with other books in this series, focus is on the emotional needs of the men and there are clear messages of acceptance and of family – you can surround yourself with people who accept, love and support you and make your own family.

I must admit to being a little bit confused by some of the events once Max and Derek parted ways. Max’s reasons for not following Derek were very clear and made sense, however I couldn’t understand the delay on Derek’s part. At least they got their HEA eventually!

On a small note, there were a couple of minor points that also stood out to me, perhaps because I am Australian. When Max was talking about his past and his mother, “Mom” was used in most instances apart from once where “Mum” was used. I always think it is great attention to detail if “Mum” is used consistently in the speech of Australians and British characters. Also Max said he was raised in Sydney for 22 years but then said he spent time with his mum “We’d wander the Outback, hiking….”. Sydneysiders do not typically ‘wander the outback’. For one thing it is not a simple ‘hike’ and secondly it’s too far away. For most people, visiting the outback would be a ‘once in a life-time’ type adventure. Sorry to be so picky! 🙂

4 Stars

My review of Leaving Home.

For more information on T.A. Chase and her books, visit the website.

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A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood by T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes

International Men of Sports series

Come with us around the world as the men who compete in their country’s most popular sports find that, although it’s not always easy to win in the game of love, it’s the only victory worth having.

  • A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood (book #1)
  • Chasing the King of the Mountains (book #2)
  • At First Touch (book #3) – due for release in August 2013

A Sticky Wicket in BollywoodA Sticky Wicket in Bollywood by T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb:

A handsome Bollywood actor must choose between his career and a rugged cricket player from his past, who he’s fallen in love with…again.

Rajan Malik has the world of Bollywood in the palm of his hand–a beautiful girlfriend, starring roles, adoring fans… He should be happy, but behind the facade lies a man conflicted and exhausted by the pressure placed on him by his ill mother, his agent and society. His life is not his own, and all he wants to do is escape.

Indian Premier League cricketer Ajay Singh can’t believe how bad his university roommate Rajan looks when he spots his picture in the paper. They had parted on bad terms. Still, he’s moved to offer Rajan his support by renewing their friendship.

But friendship was not all they shared back then. Though Ajay is out,Rajan isn’t willing to give up his carefully cultivated Bollywood image to be with him publicly. And with very little privacy, it won’t take long for someone to find out they are more than friends.

Their renewed secret affair is fraught with difficulties as they deal with the death of Rajan’s mother, the secret of Rajan’s till-now absent father, a jealous friend, intrusive social media, and threatening notes from someone who seems to know all about their private lives…

It’s a bit of a sticky wicket they find themselves in. Will it be too late when both men finally realise that they’ll need to compromise, or they stand to lose everything?

So what did I think?

Firstly, big points for the Indian setting and characters, Bollywood and cricket – very refreshing!

This is the story of “The handsome Bollywood actor and the rugged cricket superstar” and is the first of the International Men of Sports series. Because of the series name, I expected the main focus to be on the cricketer and the actions set within the cricket arena. However this was not exactly how the plot played out.

Yes, Ajay is a cricketer but most of the focus seems to be on Raj, the actor. Actually the first line of the blurb seems to place more emphasis on Raj. “A handsome Bollywood actor must choose between his career and a rugged cricket player from his past, who he’s fallen in love with…again.”

Regardless of the amount of cricket or cricket settings in the book, it is still an enjoyable story. Slightly predictable but still entertaining. It was also very good value at only $0.99 from Amazon.

4 Stars

For more information on Devon Rhodes and her books, visit her website. For information on T.A. Chase and her books, visit her website.

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The Superior Jewel by Hurri Cosmo

The Superior JewelThe Superior Jewel by Hurri Cosmo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Ryan only dated girls before he met Jansen. He would like to say he’s simply confused except that’s just not the case. But how does he “get the guy” when his former girlfriend is out for the same prize?

Ryan’s former girlfriend, Cheyenne, is used to getting what she wants. Right now, she wants Jansen Branwyth. The only problem is so does Ryan. For the first time in his life he’s strongly attracted to a man. Okay, maybe it’s not the first time but that first time didn’t count because it was two months ago, and yeah, it was the same man. But with the very beautiful Cheyenne going after Jansen and thinking she will have no problem getting him, Ryan thinks he has absolutely no chance with the man. But Jansen doesn’t care one bit what either one of them think. He knows exactly who he wants and knows precisely how he will go about getting his man.

So what did I think?

This gay-for-you story sees Ryan madly attracted to Jansen, the man who saves him from being attacked in the men’s room. After obsessing about him for 2 months, he finds himself on a dinner cruise with the man. The complication is that Ryan is on the cruise with his ex-girlfriend.

Apart from a brief chapter covering the initial meeting of Jansen and Ryan, the whole story takes place over a couple of hours. Ryan has broken up with his girlfriend Cheyenne but she convinces him to take her on a dinner cruise. She is underhanded and selfish with her goal being to seduce Jansen for her own purposes. Obviously it’s Ryan who eventually gets the man!

“His life had just taken the wickedest turn he had ever had the pleasure of living through.”

The main downside of the story for me was the time spent with Cheyenne. I wanted Ryan and Jansen to spend more time together alone.

This was a pleasant way to spend an hour (the book is fairly short) but I do think it had the potential for a novel length story with opportunity to explore how Ryan and Jansen’s relationship progresses after their initial night together.

As a minor point, this story uses some terminology that I don’t much like, specifically “member” and “love hole”, but thankfully these words aren’t overused.”

3 Stars

For more information on Hurri Cosmo, visit the website.

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Covet Thy Neighbor by L.A. Witt

This is book 4 in the Tucker Springs Series.

  • Where Nerves End (book #1) by L.A. Witt
  • Second Hand (book #2) by Marie Sexton
  • Dirty Laundry (book #3) by Heidi Cullinan
  • Covet Thy Neighbor (book #4) by L.A. Witt
  • Never A Hero (book #5) by Marie Sexton

Covet Thy Neighbor (Tucker Springs, #4)Covet Thy Neighbor by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb:

Tattoo artist Seth Wheeler thinks he’s struck gold when Darren Romero rents the apartment across the hall. The new guy is gorgeous, witty, and single, plus he’s just the right blend of bold and flirtatious. Perfect.

Except then Darren reveals that he moved to Tucker Springs to take a job as the youth pastor at the New Light Church. Seth is not only an atheist, but was thrown out by his ultra-religious family when he came out. He tends to avoid believers, not out of judgment but out of self-preservation.

But Darren doesn’t give up easily, and he steadily chips away at Seth’s defenses. Darren is everything Seth wants in a man . . . except for that one massive detail he just can’t overlook. Is Darren’s religion the real problem, or is it just a convenient smokescreen to keep him from facing deeper fears? It’s either see the light, or risk pushing Darren away forever.

So what did I think?

If this hadn’t been part of the Tucker Springs series, I don’t think I would have read Covet Thy Neighbor. Although religious beliefs have a huge impact on people and how they live their lives, I usually find religion a topic I choose to avoid in my reading. Particularly if it forms a significant part of the story which I expected in this case due to one of the lead characters being a minister.

However I was pleasantly surprised!

The religious discussions and opinions were handled beautifully. Darren, the minister, was well portrayed and a very likable character with a great sense of humour. “I’m from Oklahoma. I get a bloody nose stepping onto a curb.”. With his forwardness towards Seth and his roof-top activities, he was not the stereotypical minister by any means!

It was great to see the immediate attraction between the characters of Seth and Daniel and the level of hotness! They related beautifully together and made a great couple. Both men had such wonderful and caring hearts.

It was interesting to see Seth’s confusion played out as he struggled with his feelings. “I just wanted to be in the same room with him. And I also wanted to be on the opposite side of the planet from him. I wanted Monday to get here so I could go hiking, and I hoped to hell a meteor landed in Tucker Springs on Sunday night so I wouldn’t have to face a trial and a full day alone with him.”

I thought Seth’s automatic dismissal of anyone Christian was a bit overdone or perhaps I just didn’t absorb the level of impact his family’s actions had on him. I also didn’t think that Seth’s admission of the treatment he had experienced at his old church was needed for the story. But neither of these things detracted from my overall enjoyment.

4 Stars

 

For my review of Never A Hero.

For more information on L.A. Witt and her books, visit her website.

Buy Covet Thy Neighbor at Amazon

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Silver/Steel by Belinda McBride

Silver/Steel is book 2 in the Arcada Series. It follows Blacque/Bleu.

Silver/Steel (Arcada #4)Silver/Steel by Belinda McBride

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he’s the assassin’s ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn’t plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.

Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis’s fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he’d been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.

From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love

So what did I think?

This was quite a complex story involving Travis, a wolf shifter who lives in the enchanted town of Arcada, and Dylan who is Fae. Dylan has sworn an oath which keeps him slave to the evil Ulric and must enter Arcada to complete his last mission or forever remain enslaved.

I found the first 30% or so of the book a little confusing as I struggled to understand the different types of folk living in Arcada and understand the complex dream world that Dylan was able to enter. This was probably just a personal thing for me as I enjoy the occasional PNR but am not a huge fan of fantasy worlds so probably don’t have the patience to immerse myself in the world created.

The plot is not a simple one, also focusing on internal pack politics and an attack by a rogue wolf pack, their evil Alpha trying to gain control of the town.

With so much going on, I found myself just wishing for a simple focus on the romance between the two men. I enjoyed the elements of dominance/submission which occurred early in Dylan and Travis’ relationship (the blurb has a BDSM warning but it is very light) . I also enjoyed the theme of not trying to define people in categories of black and white.

I think lovers of PNR will really enjoy this story because the main characters are very likable and the world well crafted.

3 Stars

For more information on Belinda McBride and her books, visit her website.

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