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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

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

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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How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg

How I Met Your FatherHow I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The blurb…

The man of your dreams could be sitting right next to you. 

Former boy band member Justin Hayes isn’t looking for a man. He just wants a quiet, scandal-free Christmas at home in Chicago, out of the public eye. But his best friend and bandmate is subjecting everyone to his destination wedding, and Justin can’t dodge the “best man” bullet. All he has to do is get to the island on time, survive the reunion, and get Chuck to the altar with as little drama as possible. What could possibly go wrong?

Jack Bassinger’s own plans for a quiet Christmas have been dashed by the summons to his daughter’s hasty wedding with a man Jack has hardly met. On the bumpy flight to the island, he finds himself comforting a nervous—and extremely attractive—young man. One hasty sexual encounter in an airport bathroom later, they both feel much better. No one ever has to know, after all.

Now Justin and Jack must find a way to explore their attraction, despite the distractions of disapproving family members, unexpected announcements, an impromptu concert, and an island paradise that proves there’s no place like home.

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 http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

So what did I think?

This was a fun short story that made for a nice quick read – a bit of escapism with humour, a hot airport encounter, sweet romance and lots of secondary characters to keep things moving along at a rapid pace.

“Heat blistered my cheeks. Mandy could never find out I’d had sex with her father. Notever. Those were five words I wouldn’t string together in this lifetime.: Sorry I had your dad.”

Justin is heading to the wedding of his best friend and fellow band member, when the plane experiences turbulence. His seat partner provides a comforting focal point. Once they are off the plane, Jack follows him to the men’s room for a hot and sexy encounter…
“Adrenaline. Anonymity. Age. You didn’t know me. I didn’t know you. And you loved it.”
I swallowed.
“I knew you would. I knew it the second I saw you….”

Jack and Justin (a doctor) work really well together in this story which includes wedding antics, being caught by family and friends, coming out to the rest of the wedding guests, rock stars and overcoming age obstacles.

And this is book will definitely hit the spot if you are a fan of super duper romantic endings….

3.5 romantic stars.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about L.B. Gregg and her books visit her website.

Buy How I Met Your Father from Amazon.

Buy How I Met Your Father from Riptide Publishing.

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★★★★★ Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes ★★★★★

The Hell or High Water series

  • Catch a Ghost (book #1) – click here for review
  • Long Time Gone (book #2) – in this review
  • Dirty Deeds (book 1 in the Dirty Deeds spin-off series) – due for release Jan 2014 but available now for pre-order from Riptide

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water, #2)Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

When a tornado meets a volcano, nothing is safe.

Soldier of fortune Prophet Drews always worked alone—until Tom Boudreaux became his partner. But when Tom walked away three months ago, ostensibly to keep Prophet safe, Prophet learned the true meaning of being alone. Everyone knows that Prophet, a Navy SEAL turned CIA spook turned mercenary, can look after himself. Which means he must’ve driven his lover away.

Even with half a world between them, Prophet can’t get the man out of his head. Maybe that’s why he’s in New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane, protecting Tom’s aunt. But the only looter around is Tom, bursting back into Prophet’s life. It turns out that Prophet’s been stuck in Tom’s head—and heart—too.

Their explosive reunion gets even hotter when Tom is arrested for murder. As they fight to clear his name, they delve deep into his past, finding enemies among everyone they meet. Staying alive in such a dangerous world is hard enough, but they soon discover that fighting to stay together is the most difficult thing they’ve ever done.

So what did I think?

Let me start by saying that I love this series! It hits all the right buttons and races along with masses of action, lots of mystery and a good amount of mad, hot and passionate sex!

We first met Prophet and Tom in Catch A Ghost which ends with them parting and Tom heading off with his new partner to Eritrea. But the impact they made on each other draws them back together as they both arrive at Tom’s aunt’s place on the bayou to help her survive a hurricane. Wow – the reunion sex is stunning!

“This was past and present slamming together. And his future was the man who was holding him, which hit Tom as hard as it must be hitting Prophet. But their reunion on the grass and the kitchen wall and floor and in his bedroom…that told the tale.”

The pace is fast with lots of action as Tom finds himself caught up in a situation arising from an event in his childhood. The sheriff has it in for him and he winds up implicated in a series of murders. This book gives insight into Tom’s past, his father, his mother, his ex….It is also wonderful to see Prophet’s further coming to terms with his feelings for Tommy.

My only minor gripe with this series is the sheer complexity of the characters and their histories. I’m not sure if it’s just me but at times I get a little confused with the secondary characters, the back stories and trying to understand how they all fit together. But on the other hand I like the mystery and secrets. So is it just me missing something or am I supposed to be confused?

Dirty Deeds, the first book in a spin off series will follow. It is Mal and Cillian’s story! Can’t wait! It’s due for release in January 2014 but available now for pre-order from Riptide.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

 To find out more about S.E. Jakes and her books visit her website.

Buy Long Time Gone from Amazon.

Buy Long Time Gone from Riptide.

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★★★★★ Catch A Ghost by S.E. Jakes ★★★★★

The Hell or High Water series:

  • Catch a Ghost (book #1) – in this review
  • Long Time Gone (book #2)

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Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water, #1)Catch a Ghost by S.E. Jakes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Everyone knows that Prophet—former Navy SEAL, former CIA spook, full-time pain in the ass—works alone and thinks only about the trouble he can cause. But his boss, Phil Butler of Extreme Escapes, LTD., has just assigned Proph not only a new partner but also a case haunted by ghosts from Proph’s past. Suddenly, he’s got to confront them both head on.

Tom Boudreaux—failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full time believer in bad luck—is wondering why the head of a private contracting firm has hunted him down to offer him a job. Still he’s determined to succeed this time, despite being partnered with Prophet, EE, LTD’s most successful, lethal, and annoying operative, and even though the case is also resurrecting his own painful past.

Together, Prophet and Tom must find a way to take down killers in the dangerous world of underground cage matches, while fighting their own dangerous attraction. And when they find themselves caught in the crossfire, these two loners are forced to trust each other and work together to escape their ghosts . . . or pay the price.

So what did I think?

If the purpose of the first book in a series is to hook the reader right, to leave you panting for more, desperate to read the next book, then Catch A Ghost succeeds! From the smoking hot main characters, to the mystery and the action, I hung on every word.

The plot – new partners on a mission for the private agency they work for – violence, shooting, kidnapping, torture…These are tough men.

The characters – a bit damaged, a bit broken and a lot HOT – strong, hard and sexy (and Tom’s tatts and piercings!)

Prophet and Tom are both men with complex pasts. They have physical and emotional scars and there are many secrets that stay hidden. Their relationship is not an easy one and this story does not bring them together neatly. It keeps you thinking and wondering and when you finally reach the end, eagerly waiting the sequel so that you can follow Prophet and Tommy’s story!

5 stars all the way!

Here’s the song that Prophet hums throughout the book…….Flogging Molly  “If I Ever Leave This World Alive’.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about S.E. Jakes and her books visit her website.

Buy Catch A Ghost from Amazon.

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★★★★★ Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

The Sidewinder series:

  • Shock & Awe (book #1)
  • Bait & Switch (included with book #1)

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Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1)Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address.

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

So what did I think?

“We know each other better already than we could ever hope to know anyone else. Our pasts, our hopes and fears, all our secrets. We’ve already shared all of that. We know we’re compatible…”

Why should you read this book?

1. It has Nick

2. It has Kelly

3. It has Nick AND Kelly – together!

4. The sex is sizzling – “Come for me,” Nick whispered. “Scream my fucking name.”

5. We get a little glimpse of Ty & Zane and Ty’s mission

The downside? It’s too short! Book #2 now please Abi!

Note: The eBook copy I read contains Shock & Awe plus the short story, Bait & Switch which kicks in around the 75% mark.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Abigail Roux and her books visit her website.

Buy Shock & Awe from Riptide Publishing.

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After the Fall by L.A. Witt

This is book 6 in the Tucker Springs Series (but can be read stand alone).

  • Where Nerves End (book #1) by L.A. Witt
  • Second Hand (book #2) by Marie Sexton
  • Dirty Laundry (book #3) by Heidi Cullinan
  • Covet Thy Neighbor (book #4) by L.A. Witt – click here for review
  • Never A Hero (book #5) by Marie Sexton – click here for review
  • After the Fall by L.A. Witt (book #6) – in this review

After the Fall (Tucker Springs, #6)After the Fall by L.A. Witt

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After years of saving every penny, Nathan has finally managed to buy the horse of his dreams. He’s looking forward to a summer of exploring the Colorado mountain trails above Tucker Springs with Tsarina. But on their very first ride, a motorcyclist makes a wrong turn, scaring Tsarina into bolting and leaving Nathan with a broken leg, a broken hand, and a ruined summer.

Ryan is a loner and a nomad, content with working odd jobs before moving on to the next town. Feeling guilty for causing the accident that leaves Nathan in two casts, Ryan offers to keep Tsarina exercised until Nathan heals.

Despite their bad start, Nathan and Ryan soon become friends . . . and then much more. But with a couple of nasty breakups in his past, Nathan doesn’t want feelings getting involved—especially knowing that Ryan will never settle down. But since when do feelings ever listen to reason?

So what did I think?

Once again it was nice to return to Tucker Springs, the town that has seen the start of some wonderful relationships. After The Fall is the story of Nathan and Ryan who meet after Ryan rides his motorbike into the path of Nathan’s horse, causing Nathan to fall and be injured. Instead of Nathan spending his summer riding the horse he has dreamed about and saved for, he finds himself falling for the man of his dreams – literally!

Ryan is the ultimate nice guy. From their first meeting, in less than perfect circumstances, his actions demonstrate to Nathan just what type of man he is and he gradually earns Nathan’s trust. The slow and steady build from friendship to more was very well done and it was a sweet journey.

In my Goodreads review I did have a comment here about a certain scene between Nathan and Ryan but as I have yet to master how to use spoilers on this blog, I have cut it out. If you are really keen, you can check out Goodreads! 🙂

The story is told from Nathan’s POV and it is interesting to see him deal with needing to depend on someone for his physical needs but also his fear of loving someone again. Ryan’s nomadic ways give Nathan a false sense of security that their relationship will be temporary so it comes somewhat as a shock to him when he discovers that love has crept up on him after all.

Combining some drama, a gorgeous horse, and two men who are both very likable, this story was a lovely addition to the Tucker Springs series.

3.5 stars

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

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

Buy After the Fall from Amazon.

Buy After The Fall from Riptide.

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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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★★★★★ An Inch at A Time by Heidi Belleau & Amelia C. Gormley ★★★★★

This was short but like it’s predecessor, so very hot!

The Professor’s Rule series

 

An Inch at a Time (The Professor's Rule #2)An Inch at a Time by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

James Sheridan is failing history. Luckily, his professor is a rumored pervert, and James isn’t too proud to pay for a better grade with his body. Professor Carson lives up to his reputation, but he’s not unethical enough to take sexual bribes. What he can offer is some highly unconventional tutoring . . . creative use of a ruler included.

The deal? Studying, followed by a “quiz.” Wrong answer? Spanking. Right answer? Reward. Ace the final, earn some mindblowing sex. It’s harder work than sexual bribery, but it beats the volunteer tutors at the student center.

After a few study sessions, James realizes he wants way more than a grade from Professor Carson, even if he’s not sure what that is. Carson’s a silver fox, all right, but James isn’t “bent” the way Carson is, and for him, the spankings are only supposed to be a means to an end. But the better he gets at history, the more he realizes he likes getting answers wrong just as much as getting them right.

So what did I think?

Like its predecessor, Giving an Inch, this is a seriously hot little story!

All the action in the first book took place in a department store change room – one very scorching scene as Carson, who we only meet as the man on the end of the phone, directs James to do some wicked things. James hadn’t had contact with Carson in over two years, not trusting his ability to stop himself from going too far under Carson’s dominance – he would do anything for the man.

This book takes us back to when Carson and James first met and this time the story extends over a couple of months. From James first nervous attempt at propositioning his professor, to receiving his final grade.

There is the potential for the student/professor relationship to seem inappropriate but I didn’t get this sense at all. Carson’s ‘methods’ may not be standard but he definitely provides James with the incentive he needs.“But what I will never do is alter your test scores just because you refused to submit to me, James. Nor will I improve them just because you did submit. If you earn the grade, you’ll have earned it by virtue of your own hard work and dedication. The method by which you do so will always be up to you. All I do is teach. And all this merely serves as…incentive.”

It is wonderful to see how beautifully James responds to Carson and there is a huge sexual tension that extends throughout the story.

There is also more insight given into James and his personality. Just a hint of his addiction and the things he had done to support it and perhaps why he craves what Carson gives him.

So now I am left wanting to see a number of things in book 3 – picking up immediately from this book with the continuation of James and Carson’s relationship in the lead up to their separation or a continuation of the story from book 1 Giving an Inch where Carson and James meet up again after the change room incident. Or maybe a story from James’ past or a more detailed look at Carson? But I’ll take whatever I can get……

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Heidi Belleau and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Amelia C. Gormley and her books visit her website

Buy An Inch at a Time directly from Riptide.

Buy An Inch at a Time from Amazon.

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★★★★★ Giving an Inch by Heidi Belleau & Amelia C. Gormley ★★★★★

This was short but oh, so hot!

The Professor’s Rule series

  • Giving an Inch (book #1) – in this review
  • An Inch at a Time (book #2) – expected release 16th Sept 2013

Giving an Inch (The Professor's Rule #1)Giving an Inch by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

School is back in session.

History grad James Sheridan thinks his biggest problem in life is trying to find a suitable outfit for his upcoming Ph.D. candidacy exam. That is, until he accidentally texts a changing-room selfie meant for his fashionable sister to his ex, the domineering Professor Carson.

James and Carson haven’t seen each since James fled their power games two years ago. Back in his undergrad days, Carson was his Professor, and not just in the academic sense: a man of unusual tastes and extreme sexual demands, James had been happy to sate Carson’s savage appetites. Too happy, in fact. He never could trust himself not to let Carson push too far.

Now James is older and wiser, and sharing some seriously flirtatious vibes with a cute menswear rep. When Carson replies to James’s errant text, ready to pick up where they left off, James can’t help being drawn back into Carson’s control. It’s only when Carson suggests involving the salesman that James has to ask himself how far is too far, and whether he’s willing to go there with Carson again.

So what did I think?

All the action takes place in a department store change room as James ventures out for some clothes shopping. A mis-dial sees him messaging a photo to Carson, someone he had cut himself off from two years before, because “He couldn’t trust himself not to jump off a cliff at Carson’s say-so, maybe even jump off a cliff without Carson’s say-so, but just because that was what James thought Carson wanted.”

We only meet Carson on the phone as he directs James’ actions, James being unable to resist the lure of submitting to him – the things that James will do for Carson! Things get down and dirty in that change room!

James struggles with his feelings and the urges he has, revealing elements of his past with Carson but never fully revealing all the details of their relationship. Things don’t quite end up as expected, which led me to my assumption about book 2 , An Inch At A Time. I expected the next story to continue from the point of James leaving the department story for his rendezvous with Carson. But guess what? An Inch At A Time is actually the story for the start of their relationship. I can hardly wait for it to be released!

The story may be short and all take place in one relatively quick scene but a lot is packed in, both in terms of characters and the sexual domination/submission. This is definitely a great start to the series.

5 Stars

To find out more about Heidi Belleau and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Amelia C. Gormley and her books visit her website

Buy Giving an Inch from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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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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