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★★★★★ Ten in the Bin by N.R. Walker

The best $0.99 I spent this week! 

Ten in the BinTen in the Bin by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Heartbroken, Dean Cartwright leaves Sydney and heads home, to the coastal town of Newcastle. In a bid to make new friends, he signs up for a local rugby league team where he meets a man known as Macca.

Dean and Macca are both front row forwards, meaning they’re the biggest guys on the team. Over six feet tall and over a hundred kilos each, they’re a force to be reckoned with on the field.

But when Dean gets knocked out, Macca gets even by punching the other guy, and both Dean and Macca end up on the sideline.

Dean soon realizes that being knocked unconscious is the best thing to ever happen to him.

Story is set in Australia, and uses Australian English

So what did I think?

Absolutely loved this short story!

Dean “Deano” has returned to the town where he grew up. He has a good job and nice home. He joins the rugby team at the urging of his mum, who thinks he ‘needs to get out there’. Macca “Darren” is a country boy and fellow team member who takes Dean home after a nasty knock to the head during a game.

It is sweet to watch the two men respond to each other and start to open up. This is not typical blokes bonding over pizza and beer while watching the game! “My heart was hammering in my chest and my mouth was suddenly dry. F**king hell. I think we just had ourselves a moment.”

For a short story there is an emotional depth to the characters and it is easy to imagine these two falling for each other. Macca is a wonderful person but undervalues himself and all Dean wants is honesty and love.

I particularly liked the name change as both men started calling each other my their christian name, rather than nickname. This corresponds with the change in relationship as they start to get more personal and find out more about each other.

It is the really well told tale of two rugby league players: big, strong, athletic men who find each other.

5 Stars

To find out more about N.R. Walker and her books, visit her website. Also make sure you check out the Blind Faith series – it’s fabulous. Plus she has some fabulous freebie stories!

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Forever in One Second by Finn Marlowe

Forever in One SecondForever in One Second by Finn Marlowe

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Cheating death is easy—the hard part is knowing when not to.

From the moment an anonymous rescuer pulled him back from the brink of death, Dane Harper has vowed to live every second of his life to the fullest. Nothing would please him more than to share those stolen moments with the man who, literally, held his life in his hands. First, though, he has to find him. Then convince him it’s safe to come out of his self-imposed shadows. Even if it means playing dirty.

Court has no regrets about manipulating that one second of fate to save Dane’s life, but having this accursed power to cheat death isn’t the only thing darkening his lonely existence. The last thing he needs is an eternal optimist shining a cheery light on the dark, tortured corners of his past. Except now that Dane has found him, there’s no shaking him…and the longer Court basks in Dane’s relentless warmth, the more he begins to believe that maybe, just maybe, happiness can at last be his.

Distracted by the devilish sparkle in Dane’s eyes, Court begins to forget that there are those who would kill to control his stunning power. And that Dane is the perfect bait…

Warning: Beware—features a man with absolutely no scruples about resorting to seduction and cheap tricks to get what he wants. Plus a skittish, supernaturally gifted paramedic who’s about to discover that it’s okay to go along for the ride.

So what did I think?

Reading this book with it’s ‘fix you’ them – Court fixing Dane physically and Dane ‘fixing’ Court – so I thought I would include the video in case you want to listen while you read! 🙂

A near death experience changes Dane’s life – he gets a new outlook and decides to go after what he wants and what he wants is Court. “Well, I’m not gonna sit around and wait for that second to come around and get me. I want to live now. Might have just got lucky that day, I don’t know, but I’m not gonna push it. I want all my seconds right down to the very last one. I’m greedy.”

Court is the man who saved him, using his ability as ‘a fixer’ so pull Dane back from the brink of death. Court is facing his own demons, running from his past and the people who want him for his special skills.

The book starts in a rush of drama as Dane is caught by a tornado. What follows is mystery, with a story that keeps you guessing. There is a relatively complex back story involving Court and lots of characters. It is filled with action and drama – bad guys, kidnappings, shootings, foot chases, supernatural abilities…at times I did find it a little too much and wanted the drama resolved so the story could focus more on Dane and Court.

Dane persistently chases Court, determined to get his man, while Court tries to push him away, his internal voice whispering “Let him go…you don’t deserve him…he’s not for an unnatural thing like you. Let him go!”. The men have strong bond and emotional tie and there is some sizzling sex.

And finally there is a happy ending. Court may be the one who is able to ‘fix’ people physically but Dane has his own ‘fixing’ ability. He is able to ‘fix’ Court, providing him with family, love and a way forward.

This had the potential to be a really fabulous book but somehow it just didn’t come together fully for me. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed it, but considering the ingredients of the story, I would have expected to absolutely adore it. 3.5 stars.

4 Stars

 

 

 

To find out more about Finn Marlowe and her books visit her website.

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★★★★ The Distance Between Us by L.A. Witt

The Distance Between Us series

  • The Distance Between Us (book #1) – in this review
  • The Closer You Get (book #2)
  • Meet Me In The Middle (book #3) – Expected: 20 August 2013 by Samhain Publishing

The Distance Between Us (Distance Between Us, #1)The Distance Between Us by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

From money pit to windfall…or is it a pitfall?

After ten years together, Ethan Mallory and Rhett Solomon are calling it quits. They’re more than ready to dump their heavy emotional baggage. The only thing they can’t seem to unload is the house. They’re stuck living as roommates with a hefty mortgage hanging over their heads…at least until they can bring in some extra money to pay it down. Solution: rent out a room.

Enter Kieran Frost. Suddenly, the only thing Ethan and Rhett both want more than getting away from each other is getting close to their single, young, hot roommate. Complicating things is the fact that Kieran doesn’t mind the attention from both, and he certainly doesn’t mind sharing.

Their combined chemistry ignites something else that Ethan and Rhett had thought was long dead—the mutual attraction that drew them together in the first place. Except bitter jealousy over Kieran could only push them even farther apart…

So what did I think?

Rhett and Ethan have grown apart over the last ten years are separating. Unfortunately circumstances mean they must continue to share the house they own and take in a roommate to speed up the house repayments. The sooner they can gain more equity in the house, the sooner they can sell and get on with their lives.

Despite Ethan’s declaration that he couldn’t stand the sight of Ethan, and both of them agreeing that the sooner they were able to get out of each’s way the better, it is obvious there is something unresolved.

An interesting scenario develops with new housemate Keiran. Both Ethan and Rhett become involved with the man, first separately but then together. And through this, Ethan and Rhett discover new found passion for each other. But although he can’t deny the attraction to Ethan and how well they work together in bed (and the sex IS hot and passionate!), Rhett realises that ‘ex-sex’ may not be the answer….
“That brief taste of something good made the cold colder, the quiet quieter, and the bitterness bitterer. And I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to end this arrangement with Ethan. No matter how hot it was, it couldn’t go on because I couldn’t stand the cold.”

In many ways Keiran becomes the trigger that leads the men to finally starting to communicate. They start to understand why their relationship started to fail and exposed their true feelings towards one another.
[“I never stopped loving you.”
I smiled and kissed him again, then whispered, “I never stopped loving you, either.” I thought I had. there were times I thought I hated him.
Never in my life had I been so glad to be wrong.”

(hide spoiler)]

Some of the story puzzled me. There was emotional fall-out from one of the sexual encounters between the three men (“It was a mistake because it happened for all the wrong reasons”). Kieran seemed to be the one getting the raw deal. I couldn’t fully understand why Kieran would be receptive to the offer to participate again or why Rhett and Ethan would want to continue involving Kieran. “This is probably one of the most unorthodox solutions to one of the most unorthodox situations I’ve ever heard of.”

What I really wanted was for Kieran to also find happiness and not be the outsider. So this is what I am hoping for in book 2, The Closer You Get.

4 Stars

To find out more about L.A. Witt and her books visit her website or check out my other reviews.

Buy The Distance Between Us from Amazon.

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