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❄ Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane ❄

★★★★★ I found it – my 5 star Christmas story! ★★★★★

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit the website.

★★★★★

Christmas KitschChristmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb...

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

So what did I think?

It was perfect! A wonderful emotional story that shows what love is really about.

Rusty comes from a well-to-do family. He has good looks and is in with the ‘right’ crowd. He may not be the brightest kid but he seems to have it all. That is until he meets Oliver and things take on a different perspective. “It’s kind of sad when I think about it now. At the time, I thought I hung out with a bunch of okay kids. I figured we were spoiled and sheltered, but that wasn’t our fault, really. I mean, I was proud because we sat down with someone new and different, and didn’t beat him into the ground, Pathetic, really – that’s what I had to be proud of, right? that my peer group didn’t bully people too badly?”

Oliver is the new kid, with an ethnic background and a quick wit. He is also gay and from the moment they meet and Rusty defends Oliver, they are destined to be friends.

It’s a gorgeous story as Rusty and Oliver build a deep bond. Told from Rusty’s POV, he shares his thoughts on his family and his future, his worries and his doubts and his hopes. Rusty may not be overly smart but he is so focused and dedicated and with a heart of gold, should be the son that any parent would be only too proud to have.

Rusty’s parents have his future mapped out. That future doesn’t include Rusty working as a contractor and most definitely doesn’t include him being gay. Not that Rusty thinks he’s gay – he’s ‘undeclared’. Being parted from Oliver, after a single kiss, and now hours away at college, Rusty finds it really hard. He’s adjusting to life at college, struggling with classes, trying to cope with his sexually active room mate.

It was so wonderful to see Oliver looking out for Rusty from afar but it is once Rusty returns home for Thanksgiving that his love really shines. Oliver and his family – father, aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole lot! – are totally wonderful, taking Rusty in when his own parent’s reject him. They may not have a lot of money or material possessions but they open their homes and their hearts.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a real journey for Rusty as he learns what’s really important and takes a stand for what he wants. And what he wants is to make Oliver proud, to give him the home he deserves. He appreciated the love of his sister, the acceptance from his old housekeeper, the assistance of his new surrogate family, the support of his college friend and the unfailing love of Oliver.

There was heartache and emotion and sadness but there was also love and hope and happiness. The story is wonderfully written with great depth to the characters and a lovely injection of humour. And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a happy ending! “He was my family. He was my home. But you could never have too much home. It was good to live in a world where we were loved.”

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

 And today’s Christmas song….All I Want For Christmas by The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

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To find out more about Amy Lane and her books visit her website.

Buy the Home For The Holidays books from Riptide.

  • How I Met Your Father (L.B. Gregg) – click here for review
  • Long the Mile (Ally Blue)
  • Lost and Found (Z.A. Maxfield)
  • Christmas Kitsch (Amy Lane) – in this review
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❄ Blame It One The Mistletoe by Eli Easton ❄

This is a totally wonderful and highly recommended Christmas novella!

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Blame It On The MistletoeBlame It On The Mistletoe by Eli Easton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

So what did I think?

Blame It On The Mistletoe was a totally wonderful story! This is one of those stories where the characters are just so gorgeous you want nothing more than for them to get together. In this case it is Mick and his roommate Fielding who are jut meant to be together.

Mick has given up football and endless meaningless sex with girls who don’t mean anything to him, to focus on his study and this has meant moving from the dorm with all it’s distractions.

Fielding is his flatmate. Fielding is a genius with a sheltered upbringing, dorky but cute and very naive. But it is Fielding and his strange request “I’m not asking you to kiss me because you want to. I’m talking about a simple transference of skills. The way you taught me running.” that ignites feelings in Mick that he has never felt before.

Mick tries to resist, he’s not gay after all, but can’t get the thought of kissing Fielding out of his mind. And oh, what a kiss! I loved the description of Mick and Fielding together – it just seems so right! Of course, kissing Fielding doesn’t allow Mick to now put it out of his mind. Once h’s had a taste he just wants more.

Mick struggles with his feelings for Fielding and I adored his friend Samantha’s response and advice.
“But, Sam, I don’t want to be gay. I mean, obviously I must be bisexual, but that doesn’t mean I have to choose to be with a guy. Seriously, think about it. If you had a choice would you choose to love your life as a gay person and put up with a bunch of bullshit from people?”
“If I loved someone, and that made me gay, then yes!”

Sweet characters, gorgeous gay-for-you, hot first kisses, public displays of affection, coming out….it all adds up to a great story!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Eli Easton and her books visit her website.

Buy Blame It On The Mistletoe from Amazon.

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Today’s Christmas Song…..Meet Me Under The Mistletoe!

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❄ Christmas Delights continued…. and don’t forget it’s a freebie! ❄

Today’s Christmas reviews are for some more of the short stories in the Christmas Delights anthology. It’s a wonderful collection of stories and is available for free from Love Lane Books (Love Lane Books Christmas Anthology 2013).

Christmas Delights

As promised, I’ve accompanied each review with a matching carol. The stories in this review are:

  • Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon
  • A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci
  • Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

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Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon

Accompanied by: I’m Yours Under the Mistletoe Mash up

 

The Blurb: After exams finish for Matt and Aiden, there isn’t a lot left to do but watch Christmas YouTube videos and find new ways to kiss under the mistletoe.

So what did I think?  This was a cute light read. Just one quick scene. Very with the times as two college guys, Matt and Aiden, watch a YouTube clip of kissing under the mistletoe. Wanting to experience a kiss of their own, and with a bit of creativity involving the laptop and climbing under an IKEA desk, they manage to do so. 3 cute stars.

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A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci

Accompanied by: Jingle Cats (sorry, not Jaguars!)

The Blurb: Jackson doesn’t really understand why everyone is so excited about Christmas. The holiday hasn’t meant anything but loneliness to him for years. But when a new model comes in for a photo shoot, will it be the chance he needs to break out of his old routine and try something different?

So what did I think? This was  a really interesting premise but to be honest, the shifter element seemed pretty irrelevant to the story. It didn’t feel very Christmassy but it was  a nice story about a guy who finds a bit of happiness. It felt a little like the start of something so I wanted to read more to see where the story would take Peter and Jackson. 3 stars

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Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

Accompanied by: I’ll be Home For Christmas (Rascal Flatts)

 

The Blurb: Eric hasn’t looked forward to Christmas so much in a long time. After living away from his family for several years, he was excited to be moving back home in time to spend the holidays with them. A surprise from his past turns an already amazing Christmas into one that he’ll never forget.

So what did I think? I love a story of first love, separated in youth and then meeting up again later in life. Eric loved his friend Dillon. Dillon had been his best friend and was so accepting when Eric came out. But they only shared one very brief kiss on the day Dillon’s family moved away. And then life got in the way of their friendship  and their long distance correspondence stopped. Eric had spent years away from his family, first studying and now working, and is finally returning home to his family. The main problem with this story was that it was too short! I was really getting into it when it ended quite abruptly. I liked the style and I loved Eric’s wonderful family. I think it demands a sequel! 3.5 stars

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✯✯✯✯ My Hero by Max Vos ✯✯✯✯

My HeroMy Hero by Max Vos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When he was sixteen years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means ‘bear’. The shy jock remembers his savior, and the two men become friends.

Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there…

Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the Worlds are just around the corner, his father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive…. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.

So what did I think?

Max Vos is my hero – I was craving a sweet story with sexy athletes at it’s heart and he delivered!

This is a college story. Rich is a champion diver and Johnny is a star football layer, a few years younger than Rich. An incident in their past, where Rich saved Johnny’s life, provides a bond that starts their friendship when they meet again years later.

This story packs a lot in, from Rich being bullied (and Johnny of course standing up for him!), Rich’s issues with his father, Johnny’s awakening sexuality and some really dumb (and totally annoying) stuff done by Johnny. Yes, Johnny did something really stupid!

There is obviously a deep emotional connection between Rich and Johnny, well before they acknowledge it to each other. And the sex…let’s just say that for two sweet characters, the sex can get downright dirty!

I adored cousin Anita – every family needs someone who pulls no punches and gets straight to the point – honest, funny and accepting! And Mr and Mrs Milloway Johnny’s parents, were wonderful as well. They seemed to know more about Johnny than he knew himself.

This book has it’s sweet moments and it’s intense sex and a lovely emotional happy ending. It might be a bit over the top in places for some but I was totally in the mood for the emotional romantic bits! “He propelled himself off the tower over the shimmering water into a swan dive, his body, mind and spirit free. Free to love and be loved. And he flew higher than he had ever flown before, with love uplifting him, keeping him in flight. Free.”

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Max Vos and his books visit his blog.

Buy My Hero from Amazon

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Freshman Orientation by Brandon Reed

Freshman Orientation (Pauer Bautam University #1)Freshman Orientation by Brandon Reed

The blurb…

Welcome to Pauer Bautam University… where gays… young and old… come to play.

Hunky college senior Ryan Kelly hasn’t gotten any in weeks… but that’s about to change. A new wave of freshmen are swarming the college campus, and he’s got his eyes set on a young hottie named Sean. Will Ryan’s dry spell finally come to an end?

So what did I think?

This was a short, somewhat amusing story about Ryan, a senior setting his sights on the incoming freshman. His focus is sex not love and it is not smooth sailing.

Ryan meets the twink of his dreams who happens to share a class with him. Sean is surprisingly open to his advances and what follows are a series of encounters where things (raccoon’s included!) seem to prevent Ryan from reaching his ultimate ending.

In the end he gets more than he hoped for – fabulous sex with Sean and a mad case of reciprocal insta-love!

The story is fairly simple, there’s a big focus on the sex (where the use of the word ‘penis’ was overused in my opinion!) and I’m still undecided about whether or not to continue the series.

2.5/3 stars – I think it would get more stars if the story continued beyond the current end point with a focus on the relationship development. There are 5 installments to the story which are all available in Ryan & Sean: The Complete Saga

My favourite part of the book was the Warning…….Explicit Gay Sex Ahead. But I’m guessing that’s partly why you bought this ebook, isn’t it? J – very cute!

A copy of this book was provided by the author via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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To find out more about Brandon Reed and his books visit his Goodreads Profile.

Buy Freshmen Orientation from Amazon.

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Good Boy by Anne Tenino

The Theta Alpha Gamma series:

  • Frat Boy and Toppy (book #1) – 4 stars
  • Love Hyperthetically (book #2) – 3 stars
  • Sweet Young Thang (book #3) – 3.5 stars – click here for review
  • Good Boy (book #4) – in this review

Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #4)Good Boy by Anne Tenino

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Brad “Frat Boy” Feller and Sebastian “Toppy” DeWitt have been together for nine months, and their relationship is as hot as ever. The only cloud Brad sees on their horizon is Sebastian’s stress over his thesis. And their uncertain future together after graduation. And how Sebastian sometimes takes Brad for granted. And Sebastian’s unwillingness to introduce Brad to his father.

Other than that, everything’s awesome.

All of Sebastian’s energy is currently devoted to his thesis, and getting into a top-notch PhD program. Fortunately, his boyfriend takes care of all the domestic stuff and Sebastian’s needs. Any minor strain between them will disappear and they’ll return to the status quo after Sebastian graduates. As long as nothing upsets their delicate balance in the meantime.

Then a friend Brad once had a small fling with is forced to take refuge with them, and Frat Boy and Toppy’s delicate balance topples like an elephant on a waterski. Now Sebastian has to face some truths about how he’s been treating Brad, what he wants for their future, and what he has to do to get it.

So what did I think?

I enjoy a book that allows us to revisit a couple we grew to love in earlier books in a series and that’s exactly what happens here with a quick look at Brad and Sebastian’s (Frat Boy and Toppy) relationship 9 months down the road.

It’s an interesting look at the dynamics between Brad, with his submissive nature, and Sebastian who has been largely focused on his thesis until a surge of jealousy hits.

I liked that the relationship had hit a rocky patch and they were forced to confront each other, admitting what they wanted, setting clear expectations and confirming what they meant to each other. “Maybe it was because Brad trusted him so completely or because Sebastian knew he could push things further now, but he thought it was more likely to be those words they’d said to each other. They’d said vows, regardless of whether anyone had heard them or they’d had a ceremony to aggrandize them.” Should I admit I actually had to look up ‘aggrandize’ to find out what it meant? 🙂

This is only a short book but packs in quite a bit however I still felt slightly let down. Things were resolved between Brad and Sebastian but I still felt something was missing. I’m not even sure what it was but somehow there was a lingering sense of incompleteness. But I guess wanting more is a good thing?!

To find out more about Anne Tenino and her books visit her website.

Buy Good Boy from Riptide.

 

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The Men of Holsum College: Bossy and the Brat (book #5) by Daisy Harris

From the author: Holsum College is your average liberal arts school nestled in the scenic hills of Vermont. Well—except that it has more than it’s fair share of gay and gay-curious students. Handsome and horny, Holsum College boys get into all kinds of hijinks as they text, party, make out, pretend to study, and basically act like your average university students.If you remember the days when every conversation eventually turned to sex, the walls were thin enough to hear your neighbor breath, “massage” was code for “hook-up” and every Friday night meant a new party, then Holsum College is the series for you!

Check out the Book Trailer for the series!

Bossy and the Brat (Men of Holsum College #5)Bossy and the Brat by Daisy Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Calvin Beaumont is supposed to marry Nicole. He’s a biology major, lab tech, and resident advisor—everything everyone expects him to be. There’s only one problem. He likes boys. In particular, a flirty dance major who was a freshman on his hall.

It’s sizzling summer at Holsum College, and Tyler Burk isn’t a freshman anymore. When he notices his hardworking resident advisor has same-sex feelings, he goads, teases, and tempts Mr. Bossy into dating on the sly. Cal may not be out, but he’s domineeringly hot, and Tyler doesn’t mind keeping things quiet…for a while.

But Calvin has wanted Tyler all year, and their sexting and secret rendezvous soon blossom into something neither one of them can control. Can Cal control his secret, as well as his sexy little brat? Or will he be man enough to admit he’s not the man everyone thought he was?

So what did I think?

This is the fifth book in the series and follows the Player and the Prude  which was the darkest book in the series yet. With this story, the series reverts back to the somewhat lighter side of romance as Tyler and Cal start to connect.

At the start of the book, Cal has a girlfriend who moved to college with him from their small town. They haven’t had sex, and Cal has used the small-town-values-sex-before-marriage thing as a excuse. But he really knows that he is not really attracted to her. She knows it too and they part ways but this all seemed a bit too easy and I would have expected more tension in the situation.

It’s Cal’s obvious obsession with Tyler, the guy in the room across the hall, that makes his true desires evident. But Cal is reluctant to start anything mainly because he was the RA and Tyler was a freshman. Tyler is a flirt and is looking for love and a boyfriend in all the wrong places. I never totally warmed to Tyler, perhaps because he seemed quite immature. It was also a bit of a struggle to truly believe in the relationship because I never got a real sense that the men knew what was in the heart and soul of the other, the relationship seemed a bit superficial.

There’s lots of teasing between Cal and Tyler and it doesn’t take much to get either of them going. Cal’s virgin status has him focused on sex pretty much all the time! A bit of sexting takes place as Tyler sends some nude photos to Cal and there is scene where they get off while texting back and forth – phone sex seems so much easier than text sex – surely it’s difficult to coordinate the texting with the other activity that’s going on? 🙂 Given Cal’s lack of experience I was also a bit worried for Tyler with the shoelace thing!

So all in all, I enjoyed reading this book, although perhaps not as much as the earlier books in the series.

3 Stars

Find out more about Daisy Harris and her books at her website.

Buy The Men of Holsum College series at Amazon

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★★★★★ Superhero by Eli Easton ★★★★★

Such a beautiful coming of age story with a perfect blend of emotional and sexual awakening. Happy, sad, warm, funny, special…

SuperheroSuperhero by Eli Easton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

It’s not easy for a young gay artist like Jordan Carson to grow up in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where all anyone seems to care about in middle school and high school are the sports teams. But Jordan was lucky. He met Owen Nelson in the second grade, and they’ve been BFFs ever since. Owen is a big, beautiful blond and their school’s champion wrestler. No one messes with Owen, or with anyone close to him, and he bucks popular opinion by keeping Jordan as his wingman even after Jordan comes out at school.

Their friendship survives, but Jordan’s worst enemy may be himself: he can’t seem to help the fact that he is head-over-heels in love with a hopeless case—his straight friend, Owen. Owen won’t let anything take Jordan’s friendship away, but he never counted on Jordan running off to find a life of his own. Owen will have to face the nature of their relationship if he’s to win Jordan back.

So what did I think?

Such a beautiful coming of age story with a perfect blend of emotional and sexual awakening. Happy, sad, warm, funny, special…

What makes this book perfect are the characters, both of whom I just adored. It was wonderful to see the friendship grow between Jordan and Owen from the time they bond in the playground, starting a life-long friendship and this friendship develop into love.

Told in alternating POVs, we get insight into both boys/young men and a real sense of their thoughts and feelings. For Jordan it is very much about his love for Owen and the heartache he faces knowing friendship is all they will have. For Owen it is about his confused feelings and struggle to be the son his parents want.

I liked the way the story was told, with Owen always knowing that Jordan is gay and standing by his friend. He doesn’t let Jordan’s sexuality stand in the way of or change their friendship. This continues from the time of Jordan’s first admission to him (after a wrestle/kiss in the pool at age twelve) to Jordan’s final coming out at school when Owen’s sporting buddies pressure him about his friendship with a gay guy.

Sex plays a role, particularly as Jordan lusts after Owen, deeply attracted but knowing (well, thinking really) that Owen is straight. An “accidental” fumble in the pool when they are young, is still something Jordan thinks about years later… “I’d spun that one kiss in the pool into so many variations I could probably claim a Guinness World Record for Most Exhausted Fantasy.”. But it is one encounter much later that really sets the ball rolling for changing their lives.

The story is an emotional roller coaster from hilarious one minute,“Holy sexual paradise, Batman, I was so fucking glad I was gay!” to weepy, within the space of a paragraph or two! “The reality sunk in. I would never had Owen like that again. An intense, burning pain spread through my chest. It was so strong it took my breath away.
“It hurts,” I whispered.
“I’m sorry, Jordan.” He hugged me tighter. I could feel his tears on my cheek, but I had none of my own to give.”

I loved the strength of Owen, whether it was his support of anti-bullying at school or his strength in making the right decisions about his future with Jordan. His maturity when considering his options and making the choice to follow his heart gives faith that their future is secure.

I loved the pure love that Jordan had for Owen and I loved the way they both want the other’s dreams to come true – Jordan wants Owen to have a successful wrestling career and Owen wants Jordan to fulfill his artistic talent.

I loved the ending and the way the story was resolved. By the time I read the last chapter I had happy tears and was smiling stupidly at my Kindle!

5 Stars

For more information about Eli Easton and her books visit her website.

Buy Superhero from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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The Men of Holsum College: Player and the Prude (book #4) by Daisy Harris

From the author: Holsum College is your average liberal arts school nestled in the scenic hills of Vermont. Well—except that it has more than it’s fair share of gay and gay-curious students. Handsome and horny, Holsum College boys get into all kinds of hijinks as they text, party, make out, pretend to study, and basically act like your average university students.If you remember the days when every conversation eventually turned to sex, the walls were thin enough to hear your neighbor breath, “massage” was code for “hook-up” and every Friday night meant a new party, then Holsum College is the series for you!

Check out the Book Trailer for the series!

  • College Boys (Book #1) – see links at bottom for this review
  • Diva and the Frat Boy (Book #2)  – see links at bottom for this review
  • Townie and the Twink (Book #3)  – see links at bottom for this review
  • Player and the Prude (Book #4) – in this review
  • Bossy and the Brat (Book #5)
  • Pride and Politics (Book #6)
  • Genius and the Jock (Book #7)
  • My Fair Dork (Book #8)

Player and the Prude (Men of Holsum College, #4)Player and the Prude by Daisy Harris

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The blurb…

Brooks Price loves a challenge. So when a frenemy dares him to sleep with a dorky, over-tall film major, Brooks amps up his considerable charm.

Matt Porter can’t guess why Brooks is flirting with him. Raised religious, Matt doesn’t believe in sex before relationships. Unfortunately, Brooks is all about sex, and Matt doubts Brooks is interested in anything else.

Slowly, Brooks chips away at Matt’s armor—taking him on dates, asking for kisses, holding hands—baby steps, none of which Matt can resist or refuse. However, when Brooks pushes too far, Matt freaks out.

Despite his stoic exterior, Matt’s painfully conflicted over his sexuality—scared of his darker desires, worried about hurting Brooks. The pair explores boundaries, but when things turn rough and Matt unleashes his inner wants, he doesn’t know if he can overcome his shame about sex in order to be with the man he’s growing to love.

So what did I think?

This book was really unexpected with it’s darker side. This wasn’t focused on happy-go-lucky college students, it dealt with deeper issues.

As the title suggests, the main characters are opposites to each other in terms of their views towards sex and experiences.

Brooks is very much out for a good time. He has no qualms with the casual hook up. A bet results in him trying his charms on Matt.

Matt has had a religious upbringing and feels tremendous guilt over his sexuality, “He could hear his mother’s voice in his mind, telling him he was sick and perverted, his father’s voice telling him he was disgusting and going to hell.” and compounded by his darker desires “He heard their laughter and happy whispers through the door at night. He knew neither one of them ever harbored the type of dark thoughts he did. Or had been wracked by sick obsessions.” (when overhearing his roommates).

Brooks takes things really slow with Matt in his quest to get him into bed but in doing so, comes to know the man. It is wonderful to watch him change into a man who not only loves Matt, but stands up for him. Matt, with Brooks gentle touch and acceptance, does come out of his shell – it’s almost like they meet in the middle with Brooks curbing his casual hook up and committing to one man and Matt accepting that sex outside of marriage is okay.

However, and it’s a big ‘however’, I don’t think Matt’s sexual desires were fully resolved. Was the sexual aggression and violence as portrayed in the book, as far as Matt would go? Did he really know his own limits?

Of course the big, romantic, happy ending was perfect – I just parked my concerns about the rough play and assumed they would live happily ever after!

3.5 stars (rounded to 4 GR stars)

View all my reviews

Find out more about Daisy Harris and her books at her website.

Buy The Men of Holsum College series at Amazon

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Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma #3) by Anne Tenino

The third book in the series, Sweet Young Thang lives up to it’s name! Collin is young and sweet. Eric is wonderful. The age difference is fabulous!  Add some mystery and drama to the romance and it all adds up to a great story!

The Theta Alpha Gamma series

  • Frat Boy and Toppy (Book #1)
  • Love,  Hypothetically(Book #2)
  • Sweet Young Thang (Book #3) – in this review

Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma, #3)Sweet Young Thang by Anne Tenino

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Thanks to Collin Montes, Theta Alpha Gamma now welcomes gay and bisexual students. Persuading his Uncle Monty, president of the TAG Alumni Association, that the open approach won’t adversely affect TAG’s reputation is Collin’s own first step toward coming out. As long as there are no repercussions, he’ll escape the closet by graduation.

Enter repercussions, stage left: someone rigs the TAG House water heater to launch through the ceiling, then plants a bomb—thankfully unsuccessful—in the fraternity’s basement. Now Collin has his hands full not only trying to convince his uncle that this might not be the work of homophobes, but also dealing with a fratful of brothers worried about their kegger fridge.

Paramedic Eric Dixon can’t stop thinking about the kid he met during a call at his former college fraternity house. The age gap between them is trumped by sexy eyes, so when Eric sees Collin again at the bomb scene, he pursues him. Soon, Eric is dreaming of being a househusband, fighting to keep Collin safe from whoever’s trying to destroy the fraternity, and helping his sweet young thang realize that repercussions sometimes have silver linings.

So what did I think?

I was looking forward to revisiting Theta Alpha Gamma and spending some time with the boys. I was so pleased to discover a story involving a relationship with an age difference.

Eric is immediately attracted to Collin but doubts his own reaction. “Besides, he was thirty-six and he had no business jonesing after a twenty-year-old kid who may or may not even be gay. Lecherous old fart.”. What I did find interesting was a repeated mention of the age difference as the relationship was announced to various friends, colleagues and family but no really obvious concern or fall out. There was just acceptance, including from Collin himself. The age difference also didn’t appear that obvious in how the men behaved – perhaps this was because Collin seemed quite mature (particularly compared to some of the other TAG boys) and he was confident in how he related to Eric.

I loved the way Eric was described, prematurely greying and losing his abs, and not just as a totally buff paramedic. Don’t get me wrong, he was obviously hot and sexy, particularly to Collin, but there was a sense of realism and also a relationship built on emotional attraction as well.

What didn’t work for me so well was the speed of the relationship and how quickly love developed between Eric and Collin, but that aside, they work so well together and I even liked the endearments.

Collin is still in the closet to his family and friends. He has an interesting relationship with his Uncle Monty who has huge influence on his life right down to his college subject choices and future career in the family olive oil business. Monty is also president of the TAG Alumni Association with a large influence on funds for Theta Alpha Gamma.

The story revolves around solving the mystery of who is trying to destroy Theta Alpha Gamma. Eric and Collin meet when Eric attends the scene of an explosion at the frat house. So while their relationship is growing, Collin is also facing frat house issues and dealing with his uncle who is exerting pressure for the fraternity to change their policy of publicly accepting gay and bi members, blaming this for the arson.

I didn’t really get into the frat house politics and thought maybe there could have been a bit less of this in the book and more of the relationship. Plus I must have missed why Eric’s knowing Monty from when they were at school was really relevant but all in all, the plot moved at a pretty steady pace, with enough action and drama to keep things interesting.

I did have some favourite funny scenes in the book. It was amusing to see the results of the Sensitivity Training the frat members had undergone – so many hearts in the right place but no idea how to execute! And Collin’s ‘coming out’ to his frat brothers was brilliant.“I’m sorry, dude, but I’m not really prepared to handle outing a guy to himself. Fuck, I hope I didn’t , like, traumatize you or anything.” Plus Eric’s mothers reaction to the age difference “Oh, a younger man.”….”So, can he just fuck forever? And my education is now complete because I know about the Awkward Turtle!

I love a happy ending and this book didn’t disappoint.
[“Ten years down the road, he wanted a househusband named Eric with completely gray hair and no abdominal muscles. An if he had to choose between those things? He’d give up the company and take the kids and the husband and the beer gut.”
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3.5 stars

4 Stars

For more information on Anne Tenino and her books visit her website.

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