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DSP Daily Dose MENDED Anthology – Part 1

These books are part of the DSP Daily Dose Mended Anthology which is a themed story released every day in June.

Mended

This year it is all about…..”Each story Life comes with a bit of hurt, but luckily for these men, it also comes with the right amount of comfort to mend their breaks, both of the body and the heart. From facing deranged exes to economic trials, the men in these tales have faced trial by fire–or in some cases water–for the right to love and live. Step into their shoes as they rebuild their family after a gutting betrayal or traverse the stars with an unexpected partner. The Mended Daily Dose package delivers stories about all kinds of second chances built on love.”

❤❤❤❤❤

Cleary Palit

Cleary Palit

by Zahra Owens

The blurb…

Edward “Ted” Cleary and Cazimir Palit have shared everything for eight years. Well, almost everything. They own a successful business together, share a house in West Hollywood, and never travel anywhere without each other, but they’ve never slept in the same bed.

There’s one more thing Ted hasn’t shared with Caz. Ted has a mother, sister, and brother in Atlanta Caz has never met. With good reason. They threw Ted out when he wouldn’t “change his ways,” and he’s never looked back. When Ted is rejected all over again, Caz steps up and proves he isn’t the superficial man Ted always took him for, and Ted’s long-hidden feelings might finally be returned.

So what did I think?

Cleary Palit is the first story of the package and made a nice start to the collection. I enjoyed the story of long-time business partners Ted and Caz. The men have worked and lived together for years and Ted has pinned for the unattainable Caz. He doesn’t think he’s in Caz’s league or Caz’s type. It takes a family situation where Ted needs support for both men to finally start facing their feelings.

This story provided a bitch of a sister (award winning on the bitch-stakes really), lots of family confrontation and an all-the-way happy ending. It was an interesting romance– not hugely hearts-and-flowers– it’s more about showing feeling with actions. Our hero Ted isn’t totally gorgeous, his body isn’t fabulous, he’s a nerd and can’t see a thing without his glasses. I wanted to shake him to stand up for himself at the beginning of the story but he’d endeared himself by the end.

3.5 stars

The Way Things Turn Out

The Way Things Turn Out

by MA Ford

The blurb…

After a serious crash during testing, sports car driver Alan accompanies his injured teammate, Nathan, to the hospital, promising his boss he’ll stay until Nathan’s next of kin can be reached.

Former F1 test driver Nathan was a recent addition to the team, and he and Alan were not on the best of terms. Waiting for Nathan to regain consciousness gives Alan time to think back over the recent races and the ups and downs of their relationship.

Even when Nathan wakes up, Alan remains by his side at the hospital. Nathan is still keeping secrets and needs help more than he’s willing to admit. If they can trust each other, it might open the door to an attraction both assumed was one-sided.

So what did I think?

I’ve got a real soft spot for the books by this author. I think I must be a closet motor sports fan!

It took a little while to settle into reading this comfortably– getting into the flow of the first person present narration, the flashbacks and Alan providing his back story– but once things got going, I really liked it.

It is not surprising that the author has a background in the racing scene due to the level of detail provided. She provides a sense of the lifestyle and does provide information on how the sport works, mentions various tracks and famous drivers but this serves to give the book a realistic setting.

This is a coming-out combined with sort-to-enemies-to-lovers theme – there’s nothing like an accident to bring true feelings to the surface.

3.5 stars

Branded

Branded

by Bru Baker

The Blurb…

When a would-be assassin sneaks into the citadel disguised as a servant, the king requires that all servants who work in the castle be branded with the royal crest for easy identification. Prince Coren is powerless to fight the edict, but he refuses to allow his personal advisor and secret lover Brannir to suffer alone. Coren shows his devotion by wielding the brand to mark Brannir himself, even though he fears it will change their relationship. He’s prepared for resentment, hurt, and anger–every outcome but the one he receives: unconditional love.

So what did I think?

This is the third story in the DSP Daily Dose Mended anthology. It was short but surprisingly enjoyable. I say ‘surprisingly’ because I’m not usually a big fan of fantasy/historical worlds but this one really worked for me.

The story takes place over one night as Corin needs to brand his servant/lover. I could feel Corin’s pain at having to perform the task and admired Bran’s courage due to his love for the other man. I also liked Finnick, the guard, who was so understanding of their situation and amusing.

4 stars

Deep Water

Deep Water

by Coral Moore

The blurb…

Mario Guzman is trying out for the swim team, his ticket to paying his way through college. When he meets Jordan Lewis, an outspoken writer for the school’s paper, he considers coming out even though he’s been very private about his sexuality all his life.

Violence intended for Jordan takes Mario out of consideration for the team and threatens his best hope for an education. He lashes out when Jordan tries to help him in his time of need. Eventually Mario regrets driving Jordan away, and his need to apologize takes him to the scene of the attack, where he confronts his pain and terror. This time Jordan is there to help him face the biggest obstacle in his path.

So what did I think?

I liked this story despite not being entirely sold on the attraction between Mario and Jordan which result pretty much in insta-love. But it was still a nice short and sweet story.

3 stars

Total Immersion

Total Immersion

by Ellis Carrington

The blurb…

Evan Stanton is in over his head. Injured from a fall on campus, he’s let his boyfriend talk him into a senior year total immersion trip—two weeks abroad—only his boyfriend ends up dumping him shortly before takeoff. Evan gets on the plane anyway, but he’s lost his hope and added to his pain.

Chris Bale decided to spend his senior year of college clearing his head after breaking up with the girl he’s dated since high school. He finds himself on a flight to Istanbul next to a surly kid with piercings and guyliner who couldn’t be more his opposite. They strike up a friendship anyway, and as they make their way across a foreign land, Bale realizes he’s too immersed in Evan to let go.

So what did I think?

This short story was lots of fun. I think it might be the first romance I’ve read set in Istanbul so a plus there for originality!

This is the story of poor Evan who starts a tour to Turkey feeling pretty down. He’s just been dumped by his boyfriend plus he has chronic pain from an injury months before. Enter, Bale, the perfect guy to befriend him and become is room-mate. Bale has broken up with is girlfriend and takes Evan under his wing.

It was a sweet story with moments of humour and some little surprises from straight-boy Bale who’s not afraid to jump into a sexual relationship with Evan.

3.5 stars

❤❤❤❤❤

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