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A Courageous Ride by Andrew Grey

The Bullriders series:

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 A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders, #3)A Courageous Ride by Andrew Grey My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars The blurb… Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. Marshall’s friend, Terry, recommends a change of scenery and points Marshall in the direction of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana. Marshall is understandably skeptical, but his friend is convincing, and Marshall needs a break, so he agrees to go. Indigo captures Marshall’s attention but leaves him confused. Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and he’s not the most accommodating host. After all, the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt. Marshall’s attraction doesn’t go unanswered, which leaves him with a huge dilemma. He’s torn between the possibility of love, something he’s searched for all his life, and the career he’s worked toward for as long as he can remember, which is miles away. From his side of the fence, Indigo doesn’t see how the ranch could ever be enough. So what did I think? I spent the weekend in the country and what a great choice of book for the wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. While I might have been spending the weekend watching the gorgeous Australian countryside, I was really spending my weekend on a ranch in Texas! 🙂 This is a story of chasing dreams – Indigo’s bull riding dream is over due to injury and Marshall hasn’t yet achieved his goal of obtaining a job as a symphony conductor. But it is also a story of finding out what is really important in life. These men are opposites in many ways, at least in terms of where they live, their financial situation and careers, but so similar in the ways that really count. They are good and caring men and the story is focused on them weighing up the consequences and taking a risk for happiness. It’s a feel-good story, with good people, romantic moments, a nice amount of sex and a happy ending. Yes, its sentimental with lots of sweetness but as I always say, that’s why I read Andrew Grey!

“I don’t know what the future holds for you, or for Indigo. I can’t say whether the two of you belong together or not. But I can tell you that if it’s meant to be, you’ll find your way back to one another.” Ryan paused. “But when that happens, you have to have the courage to hold on and recognize it.”

I also loved the sweet dedication at the beginning of the book…..”To Dominic, for being courageous enough to take the ride through life with me.”….so romantic.

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To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website. Buy A Courageous Ride from Amazon. Buy A Courageous Ride from Dreamspinner Press.

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★★★★ Love Comes Home by Andrew Grey ★★★★

The Senses series:

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Love Comes Home (Senses, #3)Love Comes Home by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When architect Gregory Hampton’s son, Davey, starts having trouble in Little League, Greg takes him to an eye doctor. The diagnosis hits them hard. Davey’s sight is degenerating rapidly, and eventually he’ll go blind.

Tom Spangler is used to getting what he wants. When Greg captures his attention, he asks Greg for a date. They have a good time until Greg gets a call from the friends watching his son, telling him Davey has fallen. Greg and Tom return to find the worst has happened—Davey can no longer see.

With so much going on in his life, Greg doubts he’ll see Tom again. But Tom has researched beep baseball, where balls and bases make sounds to enable the visually impaired to participate in Little League. Tom spearheads an effort to form a team so Davey can continue to play the game he loves. But when Greg’s ex-wife shows up with her doctor boyfriend, offering a possible cure through a radical procedure, Greg must decide how far he’ll go to give Davey a chance at getting his sight back.

So what did I think?

I’m the first to admit that I have a BIG soft spot for Andrew Grey. This is my 32nd story from Andrew so that definitely says something. He’s my go-to author when I want to read something sweet with emotional pull, a little bit of sexiness and a nice happy ending.

Love Comes Home didn’t disappoint. Perhaps not as good as the first book in the series , Love Comes Silently,  but great just the same.

In Love Comes Home, Davey is a little boy who is going blind. His father, Greg, is doing his best to cope. He has a supportive network of friends (little glimpses of the guys from the past books in the series) but it is new friend, Tom, who really helps both him and Davey.

“It’s the funny thing about hearts. The more people you love, the bigger they get.”

There is some romance but this story primarily sends a message about dealing with the challenges life faces you. It is about how a father copes with the stresses of watching his child deal with something as traumatic as blindness. It is about looking for new alternatives rather than giving up on life. The whole concept of Beep Baseball was fascinating.

Here’s a link to a YouTube clip about Beep Baseball. It’s pretty amazing!

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To find out more about Andrew Grey visit his website.

Buy Love Comes Home from Amazon.

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Inside Out by Andrew Grey

Inside OutInside Out by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Former mercenary Bull Krebbs now heads up security at his nightclub in Harrisburg, PA. Working the door night after night, he’s seen it all. Though tough on the outside, he’s a little hurt that people find him unapproachable. Then he pulls a cute twink out of line to perform a random search, and he’s surprised when the guy giggles and squirms.

Zach Spencer, graphic artist, twink, and seriously ticklish, isn’t intimidated by Bull. He’s in awe, and when Bull saves Zach from being trampled on the dance floor, Zach finds his inspiration for the superhero in his graphic novel.

Soon Zach wants more and makes his move by asking Bull on a date. Though small, he has a backbone of steel. He’ll need it—their happily ever after is thwarted at every turn, including by Bull’s interloping mother showing up unannounced and enemies from Bull’s past threatening to pull him to the other side of the world.

So What Did I Think?

I really enjoyed this story which had an interesting plot and great characters. I was actually the characters which made it a stand-out.

Bull, he may be growly but he really is such a good guy. Big, strong and a bouncer at a club, his inside is very different to his outward appearance. “He’s like, hard as rock on the outside, but like melty chocolate on the inside.” Bull has had his heart broken and has a hidden past.

Zach, he is young but goes for what he wants and he isn’t afraid of Bull’s intimidating exterior. Zach brings out the best in Bull with his passionate outlook on life. “I love how you throw yourself into whatever you like. Whether it’s dancing, your drawings, your food, you immerse yourself in what you do. That’s attractive.” Zach is also dealing with the pain of losing his parents and being rejected from his community for being gay.

I loved the relationship development between the two men and seeing Bull fall for Zach but found some of the other elements of the story slightly distracting. Dare I say, but maybe some of the plot complexities weren’t really needed. There was enough drama with Zach’s uncle coming back. I found Bull’s past life as a mercenary, coming back to haunt him, and the broken relationship with the Sheik’s son, a bit over the top. However I love the opportunity this gave Zach to play hero so it’s still a winner in my book!

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Make sure to visit Andrew Grey’s website to see an interview with Jesse Jackman where he talks about being the cover model. Click here for the post.

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To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

Buy Inside Out from Amazon.

Buy Inside Out from DSP.

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A Daring Ride by Andrew Grey

The Bullriders series:

A Daring Ride  (The Bullriders, #2)A Daring Ride by Andrew Grey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Simon “Frizz” Frizzell sneaks away to the rodeo on weekends, and it’s not until after he wins a buckle that he tells his parents about his bull-riding. He knows they won’t approve of his choice of sport, but his parents own a Christian bookstore, and he couldn’t possibly tell them the whole truth: he’s gay. And so are some of his rodeo friends, like Dante and Ryan, and Jacky—a young man he wishes could have been more than a one-night stand. When Simon sets his sights on his dreams, he finds work with Dante and Ryan, and bumps into Jacky on the job.

Jacky Douglas is a rodeo fanatic, plain and simple. He loves the ride, and he loves the cowboys. He fell hard for Frizz when they met, and theirs was a one-night stand made in heaven. When they meet again, Jacky thinks it’s a stroke of luck. Frizz takes some convincing, but once he’s on board, they begin a relationship. The fledgling romance faces a challenge when news of it travels all the way to the one place Frizz doesn’t want it to go: his parents’ bookstore.

So what did I think?

This was a nice follow on story from A Wild Ride, introducing Simon (Frizz) and his relationship with Jacky, but also providing a glimpse into the life of Dante and Ryan.

The plot is fairly simple as Jacky, rodeo fan-boy, has a one-night stand with Frizz who has secretly entered the rodeo. Of course the one night becomes more as they meet up again when Frizz takes a job with Dante and Ryan. Together they face Simon’s coming out and acceptance of his own sexuality.

Frizz’s parents are not accepting of his desire to ride in the rodeo and it takes a lot of convincing for them to agree to him completing and moving away to train under Dante. As the owner’s of a large Christian bookstore they are even less accepting of his sexuality.

The story mixes rodeo action with the developing relationship between Frizz and Jacky. As a couple they are very sweet and supportive with lots of feelings being expressed. There’s lots of sex/’making love’ with quite a romantic and poetic quality to it.“They made love to the rhythm of the storm….”… “Nature seemed to be echoing their passion, and as Jacky reached his peak, thunder cracked and rolled, carrying their cries of passion towards the heavens.”

I liked the sweet and mushy stuff (I’m usually in the mood for this when I pick up an Andrew Grey) and I enjoyed the happy ending. I was a bit over Simon agonizing about his situation and was glad when Simon himself realised he needed to get on with this life. “I know everyone must be getting tired of me running on about this all the time.” Simon turned to Jacky. “Frankly, I’m tired of it too….” Thank goodness!

The only other feedback is in relation to the use of Simon/Frizz’s name. Frizz is Simon’s nickname and his rodeo persona. At the beginning of the story (chapters 1 and 2) he is referred to as Simon although the nickname Frizz is used sometimes in conversation. In chapter 3, Simon isn’t used at all and he is only referred to as Frizz in both narration and conversation. In chapter four, he’d gone back to being referred to as Simon, chapter five back to Frizz. I found it a bit confusing, even when he finally asked Jacky to call him “Simon”, not using his Frizz bull-rider name. Anyway, maybe it was just me but I found this to-and-froing quite noticeable.

All-in-all, this story was exactly as I expected and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon!

To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

Buy A Daring Ride from Amazon.

Buy A Daring Ride from Dreamspinner Press.

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★★★★ Love Comes in Darkness by Andrew Grey ★★★★

The Senses series:

  • Love Comes Silently (book #1) – click here for review
  • Love Comes in Darkness (book #2) – in this review

Love Comes in DarknessLove Comes in Darkness by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Howard Justinian has always had to fight for his freedom. Because he was born blind, everyone is always trying to shelter him, but he’s determined to live his life on his own terms.

When an argument with his boyfriend over that hard-won self-reliance leaves Howard stranded by the side of the road, assistance arrives in the form of Gordy Jarrett. Gordy is a missionary’s son, so helping others is second nature—and he does it in such an unassuming manner that Howard can’t say no.

Life is barely back on track when Howard receives shocking news: his sister died, leaving him her daughter to care for. Howard now faces his greatest challenge yet: for Sophia’s safety, he’ll need to accept help, but will he learn to accept it from Gordy, the one man who will not curb his independence?

So what did I think?

Andrew Grey has done it again, providing another beautiful story about facing the challenges in life and finding happiness.

Howard was born blind and his independence is extremely important to him. Early in the book he is thrown into a terrifying situation, being abandoned on the side of a highway by a boyfriend with a point to prove. By abandoning him, Cedric is trying to show Howard how much he needs help. Howard manages to contact his friends (Ken and Patrick from book 1, Love Comes Silently) but before they arrive, Gordy arrives on the scene and stays with Howard until his friends arrive. This is the start of a relationship between Howard and Gordy.

I liked the way Gordy was so accepting of a Howard’s situation, giving him support and freedom at the same time. He trusted that Howard was capable of taking care of himself while acknowledging the practicalities of not having sight.

While still establishing their relationship, things are thrown into chaos when Howard’s sister dies. Howard needs to deal with her death and arrange the funeral, but most importantly make some life changing decisions regarding his niece. Howard also reacts badly to Gordy’s actions when all Gordy is doing is providing the love and support as any boyfriend would do when a partner is going through a family trauma.

Love, heartache, friendship and a lovely happy ending!

“….Living with a blind person isn’t easy, and one with a child, no less. I hope you know that.”
Gordy held him tighter and then rolled them on the bed. “I know exactly what I am getting myself in for: a lifetime of love. That’s all I need; the rest isn’t important.”

4 Stars

To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

Buy Love Comes In Darkness from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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★★★★★ Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey ★★★★★

The Senses series:

  • Love Comes Silently (book #1) – in this review
  • Love Comes in Darkness (book #2) – really enjoyed this book too! Review pending later this week.

Love Comes SilentlyLove Comes Silently by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4.5  of 5 stars

The blurb…

Caring for a loved one with cancer is tough. Doing it alone is overwhelming—especially when that loved one is a child. But ever since Ken Brighton’s partner left him, Ken has spent his days at the hospital with his daughter, Hanna, hoping for a miracle. Maybe the mysterious care packages that appear for Hanna don’t qualify, but they bring a spark of hope into his and Hanna’s tired life—and so does Ken’s neighbor, former singer Patrick Flaherty.

For two years Patrick hasn’t been able to focus on anything but the life he should have had. An injury robbed him of his voice, and the idea of introducing himself to new people intimidates him. But over the past months, he’s watched as his neighbor nursed his sick child, and once he meets Ken, Patrick starts to crave a life with him—a life he isn’t sure he can have.

Ken doesn’t realize he’s fallen in love until the doctors send Hanna home, saying there’s nothing more they can do: Hanna will either recover or succumb. Ken’s heart is set on a new beginning—with both Patrick and Hanna. But Patrick’s silence leaves Ken wondering what Patrick wants.

So what did I think?

This is a really sweet romance with fabulous characters and an interesting story line. What makes this story special is it’s “realness”. The love story and drama are not over-the-top, rather it is real men, facing real issues and real heartbreak and coming out the end in one piece. It is not easy, as the story has elements of tragedy, illness, heartbreak and sadness. But it is how Ken and Patrick face the world that is inspirational (little Hanna should also get a mention here!)

Ken is facing the toughest period of his life as he and his daughter face the threat of cancer. Ken’s partner has left him and he is dealing with Hanna’s illness all alone. I have been fortunate enough to never have experienced such an illness in a child but the author really seemed to capture the emotion of both father and child perfectly. I could feel the fear and the pain and the worry and the myriad of other emotions they were going through.

Patrick has had is own fair share of tragedy, losing his voice in traumatic circumstances. His pain was obvious particularly in how he saw himself. “Oh, he could grunt and make sounds like an animal, but not the sounds of a human being, not like he used to.” Just the thought of anyone, let alone an opera singer, losing such a precious gift as voice is heartbreaking. I had so much sympathy for Patrick and how isolated he felt in his life.

Both men are presented as wonderful and caring men, putting others before themselves which made them such a fabulous couple. Patrick observes Ken selflessly caring for his daughter and Patrick silently provides so much support without seeking any type of gratitude.

I loved the way the story unfolded and the love between Patrick and Ken. I loved the sensitive way the childhood cancer was managed. I shed a few tears and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

One last thing….I have had this book on the Kindle for a while and started reading without re-reading the blurb. I therefore made an assumption that this story was about deafness. Finding out it was about loss of the ability to communicate verbally was a surprise and it was nice to see a bit of a unique story line. I thought Andrew Grey did a wonderful job of making the relationship and love development between Patrick and Ken seem real, given the situation of limited dialogue. At first I wondered how Ken could fall in love with Patrick given they couldn’t have much conversation – how was he to get to know Patrick? But this wasn’t an issue at all. Ken falling for Patrick was totally believable!

4.5 stars

To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

Buy Love Comes Silently from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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❤ Comfort reads: Andrew Grey’s Farm Series (Love Means….)

If you’re needing a comfort read, wanting something sweet and romantic, you can’t go past Andrew Grey and the Farm series fits the bill perfectly!

One final recommendation…don’t read this series of books back-to-back. Best to take a little break between each installment so that they seem fresher.

  • Love means….Courage (book #0.5)
  • Love means….No Shame (book #1)
  • Simple Gifts (book #1.5)
  • Love means….No Boundaries (book #2)
  • Love means….Freedom (book #3)
  • Love means….No Fear (book #4)
  • Love means….Healing (book #4.5)
  • Love means….Family (book #7)
  • Love means….Renewal (book #5.5)
  • Love means….No Limits (book #6)

1 Courage2 No Shame3 No Boundaries4 Freedom5 No Fear6 Healing7 Family8 Renewal9 No Limits

❤ Love Means….Courage (book 0.5) ❤

This was a nice gentle love story of two men who build a life together. After his wife dies, Cliff struggles to run his farm and raise his two year old son. Len, his wife’s best friend, comes to work for Cliff. Len is a truly caring man and works beyond the job he is employed for and helps Cliff turn things around.

Len is openly gay but Cliff has always denied this side of himself.  Although he did love his wife, eventually he realises he has strong feelings for Len.

I particularly like the way this book dealt with toddler Geoff.

4 stars

Check out the Love Means Courage Book Trailer

Love Means…. No Shame (book #1) ❤

This is the story of Geoff and Eli. Geoff has been living in the city and living it wild but he is dissatisfied with his life. When his father dies, this is the trigger for Geoff to return to the farm and start living a different way. Eli is a young Amish man, spending a year away from his community, who comes to work on the farm.

Geoff is attracted to Eli’s innocence and the way he experiences life “He loved Eli’s innocence, the look on his face when he saw something new, but it scared him too.” but he fears giving his heart because Eli’s time with him may be limited. There is a strong theme in this book about true love and making the most of every minute.“If he goes back, will you regret the time you had or will you cherish it?” Geoff knew the answer in a heartbeat. “Cherish it.”

At first I found the character of Eli very childlike although I assume he was written this way to represent an inexperienced Amish man. This made it difficult to picture Eli and Geoff together early in the book. I thought that Geoff, asking Eli to specifically state what he wanted out of their relationship was a wonderful way of ensuring Eli was in control of all decisions and not being taken advantage of. “I’m telling you that you need to be sure. I know what I want. I really do, but I need to make sure you know what you want, because you are the one with the most to lose.” Communication between the two men was important as well as honesty (Geoff was very open about his past).

This was a gentle story with a little bit of drama and focus on tolerance and acceptance and love. A lovely happy ending.

4 stars

Check out the Love Means No Shame Book Trailer!

❤ Love means….No Boundaries (book #2) ❤

This book shares some similar themes with other books in the series including making the most of your time with those you love: “There’s truth to the old saying that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Our hearts decide who we get to love, but only God decides how long we have them to love. You have to make the most of the time you have, be it seven days, seven months, or seven years.”

There are also messages about the importance of what’s inside the heart rather than outward appearances and not allowing life’s challenges to limit you. Joey is dealing with physical scars and people’s reactions to them. He doesn’t feel worthy of love. Robbie, although a strong and independent man when initially at the farm, allows his blindness and his parent’s reaction to it, limit his options.

Together, Robbie and Joey learn to put this behind them and make the most of every day. “Standing in Joey’s arms, the last of those self-imposed boundaries fell away. He knew that with Joey behind him, he could do anything.”

Lovely messages, wonderful characters and a sweet, happy ending.

3.5 stars

❤ Love means….Freedom (book #3) ❤

Once again a sweet love story, this time featuring a young, somewhat arrogant man, falling for a younger man who has had an abusive past.

Preston was injured in an accident and comes to the farm for some riding therapy. He is from a wealthy family and has only experienced shallow relationships not based on love. He gives his heart to Stone (unusual name!) and his love helps Stone move on from the trauma of abuse.

This story follows the same formula as the rest of the series. The farm is full of supportive friends who help each other through troubled times and help to smooth the road to true love. In this story, Preston comes to realise that he only needs Stone to be happy. “He loves me, Mom, and that means I’ll have everything.”

3.5 stars

❤ Love means….No Fear (book #4) ❤

This is another nice story about men trying to sort their lives out, determining what they really want and making decisions about their future. This time the story is about Raine (Geoff’s friend who works in finance and lives in the city) and Jonah (Eli’s brother, who arrives straight from the Amish community).

The formula is the same as the other books. The men both have issues to sort out, they are very different to each other and in Raine’s case, Eli is very different to the types of men he has dated in the past. They feel immediate attraction which turns to love, they have big decisions to make, they separate, they come back together and live happily ever after.

The other guys on the farm make appearances, being supportive and offering advice and words of wisdom.

Although not overly original in plot, this is a series of books which is good to read when you are looking for a story where people have problems that are sorted out with the help of good friends and true love wins in the end.

The main issue I had with this book was how Jonah was portrayed. He is meant to be innocent and not used to the world outside the Amish community but at times he appeared too childlike. For example, some situations where he ‘giggled’ just seemed too childish. This was a concern I also had with how Eli was originally portrayed.

There is also a story line that had the potential to have some drama and excitement but seemed to fizzle out.

3.5 stars

 Love means….Healing (book #4.5) ❤

This story, as the title suggests, is about healing. It deals with the subject of grief, telling the story of Len and new love Chris. Len is getting over losing Cliff after 20 years together and worries that he is moving on too quickly. It is a special story as it focuses on love the second time around and love between older couples, with Len and Chris being near 50.

The only thing I found strange was the riding lesson that Len was giving Chris. He instructs him to mount the horse from the left hand side as you’re facing the horse.“Put your right foot in the stirrup, and swing you left leg over his back”. I might not be a country girl but have ridden before and always mounted from the horse’s left side, placing left foot in th stirrup first. Maybe we just do things differently in Australia?

3 stars

❤ Love means….Family (book #7) ❤

The Farm Series books are sweet stories of men finding love and having to make decisions for their future. This is another gentle story as Robbie’s friend Arie comes to stay for a few weeks on the farm. His love interest is Duane, the local Deputy.

The story deals with grief as Arie and his parents deal with the death of his sister and her family. Common with other books in the series, making the most of time with loved ones, is a strong theme. In this book it relates to making the most of relationships because you never know when someone might be taken away from you and also putting your heart on the line, even if love may not be permanent.“There’s one thing I’ve learned being a police officer: you have to take each day as it comes………….I’ve learned to make the most of each and every day, and you crossing my path is the answer to my dreams. Yes, I know you’ll eventually leave, but if I only get a few weeks with you, I’ll take that over nothing at all.”

Not my favourite in the series as I was waiting for the ‘big moment’ which didn’t really seem to come. It was just a gentle acceptance by Arie that he wants to move to the farm permanently.

3.5 stars

One thing I found a bit strange in this book was the dog’s name. He was called Buster which was The same name as Stone’s horse in Love means..Freedom. Not sure why but this kept niggling at me.

❤ Love means….Renewal (book #5.5) ❤

I intentionally chose to read this book. I had a craving for a sweet story following a known formula. However this book did not focus on a new couple, rather was about how busy and overworked Eli and Geoff were. Eli gets sick and this forces them to realise they need to take more time to themselves.

Yes it was sweet but it was also a bit boring. With the other books in the series, although following the same formula (men from different backgrounds meet, they are trying to sort out their own issues, they are attracted and get together, they have a misunderstanding or reason to part, the friends on the farm offer support and words of wisdom, they get back together….), there was a bit of story progression, some drama and character development. This story, although showing the strength of Eli and Geoff’s relationship after 9 years, just seemed a bit  flat.

3 stars

❤ Love means….No Limits (book #6) ❤

Finally made it to the end of the series! After 9 books, I must say the original appeal of the series had started to wane.

All the books are very sweet, with a cast of supportive characters who help each other through some tough moments in life. Of course, it’s finding true love that wins out in the end.

As per my reviews of earlier books in the series, each story follows pretty much the same formula – two men with issues/problems, meet and are attracted, trouble arises, they break up or something comes between them, the guys on the farm all chip in to solve the problem, they overcome their obstacles and get back together…..happy ending!

In this case, the characters are Tyrone and Bart/Spider. Tyrone is black and not out to his family who are very anti-gay. He also has two loser brothers who are into drugs and don’t share his passion for bettering his situation.

Bart (nicknamed Spider) is a drug addict running from his family and old life, who gets into trouble when he arrives in town. I had trouble sympathising with Bart’s situation. Yes, he had some parental problems but to drive him to drugs? Anyway, apart from the fact I thought he needed to take some more personal responsibility for his situation, he was still a nice guy.

Most of the characters from previous books make a quick appearance around the dinner table, with Duane, Eli and Geoff, taking more of a role.

3 stars

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So in summary, this series is sweet and comfortable reading, following a known and predicable formula which adds to the comfort. You just know you are guaranteed to read about wonderful characters who strongly support each other and aren’t afraid to show love. They won’t be perfect, they will have issues and things will go wrong. But love will win in the end with romantic, happy endings! Enjoy!

For more information about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

I’ve also reviewed quite a few books by Andrew Grey so don’t forget to check out those reviews on this blog.

Buy the series from Amazon

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Legal Artistry (Bottled Up #5) by Andrew Grey

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. Each time I choose to pick up a new book in the series and start reading, it is like going to visit old friends – safe and warm and comfortable.

Make sure to check out the Book Trailer below!

Reading Order

  • The Best Revenge (book #1)
  • Bottled Up (book #2)
  • Uncorked (book #3)
  • An Unexpected Vintage (book #4)
  • Legal Artistry (book #5) – in this review
  • Artistic Appeal (book #6)
  • Artistic Pursuits (book #7)
  • Legal Tender (book #8)

Legal Artistry (Bottled Up, #5)Legal Artistry by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Years ago, Dieter Krumpf’s grandmother died and left him everything, including a photo album containing pictures of the art collection she left behind when her family fled the Nazis. Now, Dieter is calling on the services of a lawyer, Gerald Young, to determine whether his family’s legacy might be returned to him.

Gerald doesn’t hold out much hope that the paintings will be returned, but Dieter’s earnestness speaks to him and he agrees to help. At first he concludes that while Dieter has a case, suing in Austria isn’t practical. But Gerald is a good lawyer, and as his feelings for Dieter develop, so does his determination to win the case. Together, Gerald and Dieter navigate research, hearings, and a dysfunctional family in the pursuit of fine art—and discover the art of love along the way.

So what did I think?

I go into the books in this series with eyes wide open, hoping and knowing that I am going to get a sweet story with warm and loving characters and a totally happy ending. Admittedly I need to be in the mood but when I need a comfort read, I can turn to Andrew Grey with confidence.

Apart from a brief bit of confusion in the first chapter or so, when I realised the story had jumped ahead 3 years, this book delivered exactly what I expected and was a nice, gentle read.

The story centres around Dieter, a young man who was raised by his grandmother but who is now all alone in the world. He is a quiet, gentle man with a passion for dancing but is very inexperienced with relationships.

When Dieter finds out that paintings belonging to his family were confiscated by the Nazis and now reside in a museum, he engages a law firm to assist in getting them back. Gerald is assigned to the case and the two men hit is off immediately.

The story weaves the romance together with the details of the legal processes being undertaken to bring back the artworks, including the two men traveling to Austria. All the background information about the war, the family and the artist plus the legal intricacies could have bogged the story down but I actually found it quite interesting. I assume the author did an awful lot of research to provide the facts here, but even if he didn’t, it felt really believable and fact based.

The romance between Dieter and Gerald is interesting. Dieter is innocent and adorable in Gerald’s eyes, not his usual type but he is immediately drawn to him. The sex scenes are interesting as Dieter is shy and blushing, reluctant to say what he wants but he wants it all – there is quite a bit of passion! The only issue I had with the sex was the pillow talk afterwards which kept returning to the court case – it was too business-like and a bit strange given that it was usually instigated by Dieter who was also concerned that “he was just a case to Gerald.”

Gerald has his own issues with his family and finds himself facing up against his older brother. This case becomes an opportunity for him to make a name for himself and show his brother and father what he is made of.

The tension in the story is provided by outside influences, with Dieter and Gerald largely getting on, apart from some minor worries from Dieter. And of course there is the happy ending that I always knew was coming!

4 Stars

For more information on Andrew Grey and his books, check out his website.

I have also reviewed some of his more recent books: A Wild Ride and Organic Chemistry and In Search of A Story.

Buy the Bottled up series from Amazon

View all my reviews

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★★★★ In Search Of A Story by Andrew Grey ★★★★

In Search of a StoryIn Search of a Story by Andrew Grey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

He’s searching for a story but finds so much more.

Brad Torrence is next on the chopping block at the newspaper where he works. Hungry for any source he can find, he runs across an ad in the classifieds: For Sale: Nursery Items, Never Used. It’s the lead he’s been looking for. Thinking a piece about the loss of a child will give him the edge he needs to keep his job, Brad follows up. He doesn’t expect a single man to answer.

Rather than being offended, Cory Wolfe finds sharing the story of his grief and pain liberating. He’s even surprised by the spark that strikes, and one story leads to another.

Brad digs into his stories and Cory’s life, eager to know everything about the man who’s caught his attention. But when a lead points him to the hospital where Cory works, he unearths a mystery that might have been safer left buried. Brad’s search for a story could prove deadly…

So what did I think?

I think this is one of my favourite Andrew Grey stories so far! This was a sensitive subject handled very well and it was nice to see a romance novel bringing light to the emotional issue of loss of a child, no matter who is losing or when the child is lost.

Brad meets Cory when he interviews him in relation to a classified ad he has placed, selling a pile of unused baby goods. Brad is expecting a story based on a grieving mother and father but finds something completely different, although no less painful and sorrowful.

As Cory shares his story, he finds that he is able to start moving forward with his life and Brad becomes part of the future he sees for himself.

Cory is a hardworking, family oriented man although grieving so his life is on hold. His large and caring family are trying to get him to move on. Brad is so understanding and supportive, offering the right amount of comfort and sympathy. It is wonderful to see Brad helping Cory but just as equally, Cory brings the joy of family to Brad who is an only child. The mother’s of both men were a lovely addition to the story, reinforcing the strong family theme.

There is some drama thrown in as one of Brad’s stories results in him placing himself in danger as he reveals the illegal activity involved in the building of the hospital.

I really enjoyed the story in terms of the sweetness level but also found the dialogue particularly realistic. There was a perfect blend of sharing of emotions, romance and sex, without being to saccharine (ok, so maybe the epilogue was totally sweet and gave the perfect ending but I wanted it that way!)

“So you’re saying things happen for a reason,” Cory whispered, and Brad heard the sadness in it.
“No. Because I believe things happen, period. There isn’t a reason behind everything that happens, no matter how much we might wish there was. Good things happen, sad things happen, and we make the most of all of them. All I’m saying is that we have the change to bring things full circle…..”

4 Stars

For more information on Andrew Grey and his book visit his website.

Buy In Search Of A Story at Amazon.

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Books 3 & 4 in the Bottled Up series: Uncorked & An Unexpected Vintage by Andrew Grey

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.

Reading Order

  • 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)

Uncorked (Bottled Up, #3)Uncorked by Andrew Grey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Bobby Bielecki is heading home from art school to help run the family wine store so his adopted father and partner can take a vacation. While filling in, Bobby will have to deal with his once-best friend and lost love, Kenny, who pushed him away from their burgeoning relationship, encouraging him follow his dreams and realize his artistic talents. Despite the tension between them, Bobby and Kenny decide to put their differences aside and work together to figure out what happened to a case of expensive wine. Their investigation leads them to a young runaway and people from Bobby’s past, and dealing with them reminds Bobby and Kenny of how close they once were. But despite their growing feelings, Bobby is afraid Kenny will do what he’s done before and push Bobby away for his own good.

So what did I think?

This is the story of Bobby and Kenny, two young college men who have always been best friends.

Bobby is the adopted son of Sean and Sam, having been rescued from the streets when he was fifteen. Book #2 Bottled Up tells this story. Kenny was also taken in by Sean and Sam after his father is killed.

The boys have been best friends and are almost seen as brothers but the way they truly feel about each other is not brotherly and is certainly more than friends! Bobby is studying art at college and Kenny attends school elsewhere, planning to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a cop. The boys have not been close for a couple of years since Bobby tried to tell Kenny how he felt. When Sean and Sam ask the boys to spend a week looking after Sean’s business, Sommelier Wines they are forced to confront their situation.

This story is told in typical Andrew Grey style and slots nicely into the series. The conflicting emotions of the young men are handled well as they face the feelings they have for each other but also the larger decisions that go along with their stage in life. Bobby is looking for inspiration for his final college project and Kenny is doubting his original career choice.

Like all the main characters in this series, the men are kind and caring and there is a ‘rescue’ where they help a young boy who runs away due to his parents arguing. There is also a small drama caused by the return of Bobby’s father which leads to Bobby being able to have some closure.

The boys are running away from their feelings for each other, at times afraid to say what they really want. Kenny is worried because he loses everyone he loves and doesn’t think he is good enough for Bobby. Luckily Bobby makes him see sense as they reconcile after yet another separation caused by running away. “You say I have a great gift, and maybe I do, but Kenny, you have the key to that gift, because you have the key to my heart.”

I was expecting a sweet story with a happy ending and that is what I got. I only have two small issues with this one. Firstly, the plan set up by Sean to get the boys together just seemed ridiculous and unnecessary – they were working together in the shop anyway. Secondly, Kenny magically finding mink gloves under the bed seemed unlikely but also didn’t fit the character in my mind and once again seemed unnecessary.

3.5 stars

4 Stars

An Unexpected Vintage (Bottled Up, #4)An Unexpected Vintage by Andrew Grey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Gary Keller is enjoying a cruise with new friends when he meets Scott Haworth, and unexpected attraction flares between them. But Scott has a past he’s trying to leave behind; nine months earlier he was released from prison after almost a decade. The Innocence Project and DNA evidence exonerated of the crime, but the victim’s brother still holds him responsible.

Gary finds himself drawn to Scott for many reasons, not least of which is that the big, physically strong exterior hides a vulnerable, unsure man trying to restart his life. But it’s only a seven-day cruise, and when it ends, they both have to go back to their lives in different parts of the country. Is a week long enough to build a relationship that will stand the strain of separation? Or will the cruise just fade to a happy vacation memory?

So what did I think?

Gary “Unlucky and unremarkable, that was him.” meets Tyler (his story is in book 1 The Best Revenge of the series) as part of his new job in town. He is a sales rep for a fabric company that supplies the fabric Tyler uses in his antique shop for reupholstering his furniture. Gary has had it tough, going through a number of jobs and has a fairly low self esteem.

Tyler befriends him and introduces Gary to the other friends in his group. While attending a party at Tyler and Mark’s home, he learns of a cruise where someone has backed out and is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join the group on a cruise, which is just the thing he needs after a hard couple of years.

This story was a little different to others in the series, taking a place primarily on the cruise ship. The setting was interesting, even if some of the descriptions of places and activities seemed a little bit like a travel brochure.

The other difference for me was that Gary actually had a brief sexual relationship with someone else before meeting Scott on the cruise boat, rather than the story just being focused on the one relationship.

The style of this series is interesting for me, in that people have traumatic pasts or dramatic events occur, but I don’t get a real sense of angst. I feel a little like a story is being told to me but I am not getting pulled into it emotionally. In this case, Scott is the one with the traumatic past and things come back to haunt him on the boat.

The plot has all the guys together (apart from Bobby and Kenny) and they all rally around to help Gary and Scott. Gary has only known the group of friends for a month so is amazed at the strength of support. Time is of little consequence to Gary when it comes to his relationship with Scott – in one week he knows he is in love.

Sweet story, interesting setting, lots of good people doing nice things for each other, some sex and a happy ending.

3 Stars

For more information on Andrew Grey and his books, check out his website.

I have also reviewed some of his more recent books: A Wild Ride and Organic Chemistry.

Buy the Bottled up series from Amazon

View all my reviews