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EXCERPT AND REVIEW! Kage Unmasked by Maris Black

KAGE-UNMASKED-EBOOK-COVER-72-1200

 

BLURB:

The final installation in the KAGE TRILOGY.

Kage and Jamie have finally come to terms with their feelings for each other, but there is still plenty of drama to work through. Friends and family don’t want to let them be, and now that Kage has his UFC contract, his uncle is worried that the public will find out about his nephew’s boyfriend. Will the drama be too much to handle? Will the stakes be to high?

Discover just how far Kage and Jamie will go for love

 

EXCERPT:

Trey started laughing. “Jeez, Jamie. Make up your mind. Do you want all of the eggs, or none?”
I looked down and discovered that I’d scraped every bit of egg back into the serving bowl. “Oh, forget it.” I slammed my empty plate down on the table and folded my arms across my chest. “Y’all just eat. I’m not hungry anymore.”
“You don’t need bacon anyway,” Kage pointed out. “And definitely not those biscuits. You still need to watch what you eat, even when I can’t be around to help.”
“Yes, daddy,” I said, bitterness making my voice tight. “Do you know how ridiculous you look trying to be all bossy while wearing my clothes that are too small for you? That shirt is practically a cutoff.”
“Yeah?” Suddenly the edge was gone from his demeanor, and his tone was playful. “You don’t think I look authoritative enough in your shirt? How about this?” He pulled it up over his head, balled it up, and threw it at me. I caught it without thinking, because all I was conscious of was his bare chest and abdomen, and the fact that we were standing in the kitchen with my friends looking on. I wanted to cover him with a dish towel or something.
He stalked toward me with a cocky swagger that had my knees melting, backing me into a corner formed by the edge of the refrigerator and the wall. “Can I be your daddy now?” he asked, resting his hand on the wall behind my head and leaning in.
I stared at him, swallowing around the dry piece of wood that was my tongue, feeling it catch in my throat. His dick was within inches of mine, and I could smell the soap on his skin and feel his breath against my cheek. I tried not to make eye contact with him, but I couldn’t ignore the proximity of his body. He knew it, too; the lecherous grin on his face was proof of that. He was purposely goading me, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. My head was a swirl of confusion, and my cock was hard. I was within seconds of saying fuck it and wrapping my legs around his waist. I wanted to feel his steely length pressing against me through the fabric of those dangerously revealing sweat pants.

REVIEW:  3.5 stars.

I absolutely loved the first two books in the series so I had high hopes for the final instalment. The first two were full of angst and blow-your-socks-off smexy times. If you’re like me and love a good angsty read then this series is for you.

However, the third instalment let me down some. Jamie’s internal dialogue was overwhelming. For every spoken line, there was about an entire page of him thinking about it. It dragged for me and took me away from the story. Kage’s uncle was a miss as well. We knew he wasn’t a nice guy but I didn’t buy into him. It was too OTT. The pantry sex had me eye-rolling and not in a good way. The ending finished way too fast and everything seemed to be wrapped up just that bit too well.

All that being said, I still enjoyed it. Kage and Jamie were good characters but Jamie’s internal thoughts were too much for me.

Hey, It’s Nic here. I thought I’d jump in and add my thoughts on this series. I LOVED IT! I enjoyed it from beginning to end, but was particularly taken with book 1 which totally sucked me into the series. I didn’t have the same issues as RJ in regards to Jamie’s internal dialogue in this one, so I’d give Kage Unmasked 4 stars. Overall the Kage Trilogy is a definite 4-5 star read. Highly recommended.

Buy link:

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★★★★ Blue Collar by Sean Michael ★★★★

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Blue Collar

by

Sean Michael

Publisher: Amber Quill Presss

 

The blurb

Kendall Webber is deep in the closet. Between working as a mechanic in a garage, having served in the army during the era of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and being raised by a fundamentalist-preacher stepfather who sent him to summer camps to make him straight, he’s learned to hide his sexuality from absolutely everyone.

Still, when a tall, dark, and handsome stud named Barton Willis III roars into the garage in his vintage Mustang, Kendall can’t help but look admiringly and longingly at the man, just a little. And when the flirtatious Barton not only looks back but eagerly invites him to explore his hidden desires, Kendall’s whole world is turned upside-down.

Now, the question remains…can Barton help Kendall let go of the past and the attitudes he’s had, literally, beaten into him?

Our thoughts

 

Blue Collar is quite typical of Sean Michael’s usual style, i.e. – hot, hot and hotter. Kendall comes from a very conservative uptight family that, as Kendall says, think they can pray the gay away. This has really messed him up which is how he finds himself unkissed, untouched and a virgin when Barton comes walking into the auto shop where Kendall works. Barton is Kendall’s opposite in just about every way but one, they’re both gay. Barton is well off and very sure of himself. He’s also sure of the potential for a lot of heat between him and Kendall as well as a little submission.

Blue Collar has lots of nice innuendo peppered throughout the story. The story advances quickly at the start, slows a bit towards the middle but picks back up and ends on a high note. Kendall and Barton are so hot together and could use a sequel.

Jessica x 

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Between Love and Honor + The Courage to Love

This review is of two books which follow the story of David Harrison. The first, Between Love and Honor, is a short story and is part of the Dreamspinner Press Bittersweet Dreams series.

Bittersweet Dreams, stories of M/M romance with nontraditional endings. It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

The second story, The Courage to Love, picks up David’s tale as he meets Bernard and needs to overcome his fear if they are to find happiness together.

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Between Love and Honor

Between Love and Honor

by E.E. Montgomery

 

The Blurb...

It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doing his duty while David is applauded for serving his country at home. Public condemnation turns violent, and Carl and David are torn between love and honor.

So what did I think?

This story had a true sense of time and place, capturing the era and the attitudes beautifully . The time is 1914 and David & Carl are dealing with their growing love for one another in a time when their love was definitely not understood, and also dealing with the impact of the war.

I knew this story was bittersweet going into it and almost read it reluctantly, knowing I was setting myself up for heartache. It is only a short story but managed to really draw me in, leaving me with a feeling of sadness and most definitely wanting to keep following David’s story.

Somehow I think it makes it easier to read these Bittersweet series stories when you know there is another book on the horizon. In this case it is The Courage To Love which follows David’s story as he returns from the war.

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The Courage to Love
The Courage to Love

by E.E. Montgomery

 

The blurb…

Warning: This blurb is slightly spoilerish if you haven’t read the first book yet so skip to the review section if you don’t want to find out what happened!

In 1915, after his beloved Carl died from a vicious beating, David Harrison enlisted in the Army and went to war. He returns home to find a world seemingly unchanged, while he will never be the same. At Mrs. Gill’s boarding house, he meets Bernard Donnelly, a young man suffering the aftereffects of his own war experiences. David finds himself increasingly attracted to Bernard, but that terrifies him. He blames himself for Carl’s horrific death and fears he isn’t strong enough to lose another love to violence.

Bernard needs David to help him face each day and find a way they can be together without stigma—and without putting them in legal and physical danger—but David clings to his idea that the only way to keep a lover safe is not to have one. His fears threaten to destroy everything, unless he learns that sometimes the risk is worth it and finds the courage to love.

4 stars

So what did I think?

David’s story started in Between Love and Honor, where David met and fell in love with Carl but they were not destined to have a future together. David is devastated at the loss of his lover and holds himself responsible. The Courage To Love picks up his story once he returns from the horrors of the war.

As with the first story, this book had a wonderful sense of time and place and appeared to reflect what it was like to live in Brisbane in the period after the war– the attitudes, the way of life, the hardship, the illness…

This is a story of fear of loving. And David’s fear is understandable due to what he’d been through– the death of his lover, his guilt, the war experience, his own mother’s attitude. The result is that his love for Bernard meant he kept him at arm’s length, afraid to get too close.

It was a moving story with wonderful characters– I loved Mrs Gill– but I do admit to wanting just a touch more of a physical relationship between David and Bernard. I know that their level and amount of intimacy was appropriate for the story but I couldn’t help but hope.

And after the tears of book 1, thank goodness David got his happy ending!

4 stars

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

Buy Between Love and Honor from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy The Courage to Love from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy The Courage to Love from Amazon.

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☊☊☊☊☊ Audiobook: After Ben by Con Riley ☊☊☊☊☊

After Ben

Written by: Con Riley
Narrated by: JP Handler
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins 

The Blurb…

A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he’s looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans.

While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it’s his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge… until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.

Theo’s late partner was significantly older—enough to strain Theo’s relationship with his family—and the potential of another relationship being cut short leaves him gunshy. Theo needs to lay Ben’s memory to rest, reconcile with his family, and rekindle neglected friendships if he’s to start afresh with a new lover. But Theo isn’t the only one with a past.

His biggest challenge, in living after Ben, might not be his to face.

So what did I think?

I read this book back in 2012 and loved it – 5 stars and straight onto my Favourites shelf! So when I found out the audio version was available there was no doubt that it was time for a re-read (well, really it was a first-time listen).

Because I had read and loved this story so much I was looking forward to listening to the audio version. I was nervous though, worried that the narration would not do justice to the story. I needn’t have worried, JP Handler, did a great job of bringing Theo’s story to life.

This is a wonderful story of someone’s grieving and reawakening process as Theo mourns the loss of the love of his life but then finds he can finally open his heart to love again. It is a story about love and friends and families. It also has a strong message about abuse and people in need, with a number of characters being involved with a shelter.

The book starts about 12 months after Ben’s death. It is jam packed full of flashbacks – flashbacks of Theo’s time with Ben and flashbacks of Theo’s past 12 months.

Theo has closed himself off from most people, apart from his assistant Maggie, but it is the arrival of some new people in his life that sets him on the road to recovery – his interns, his new friend Peter and his online forum friend Morgan.

I’m not going to say much about the story itself, accept to say that it is engaging and emotional and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also very impressed with the narration, particularly the gorgeous Italian accents of Ben and his brother Marco, which were so sexy.

This audio book comes highly recommended. It is not a fast story, at times, at least in the audio version, it can be a little slow, but it is heartbreaking and heartwarming and so worth the journey. This still stays a 5 star read for me.

At the time of writing this review, the audio book is only $1.99 from Audible so go check it out!

The Seattle Stories

  • After Ben (book #1)
  • Saving Sean (book #2)
  • Aiden’s Luck (book #3)

To find out more about Con Riley and her books visit her website.

Buy After Ben from Amazon

Buy After Ben from Audible

Dreamspinner Press

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Saving Liam by D.P. Denman

Saving LiamSaving Liam by D.P. Denman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

You do what you have to do to survive. For eighteen-year-old Liam Newman that means living the life of a gay porn star, a job he loathes. He isn’t a star. He’s a prisoner and his warden is the man who saved him from the cold Vancouver streets. 

Justin has been Liam’s next-door neighbor for two years and has had a crush on him for just as long. Oblivious to Liam’s porn career, he ‘s content to mind his own business about Liam’s turbulent relationship until the truth stumbles drunk into his apartment one night and he realizes something must be done.

When Liam’s boyfriend turned producer decides rent boys make more money than porn stars Liam’s nightmare takes a horrible turn. Justin must find a way to rescue him before it’s too late.

So what did I think?

“He was just a guy living a recurring horror who refused to think about the collection of loyal internet viewers that were intimately familiar with his body. It was better to pretend it was all for Cord’s amusement because the truth was too ugly to face.”

The story starts with a hard introduction to Liam’s life. It’s a world where he is forced into porn by Cord, the man who supposedly rescued him from the streets, a man Liam unfortunately thinks he loves. Liam’s world is harsh and ugly and painful.

When things reach the ultimate of lows, Justin, Liam’s neighbour, steps in and provides him with a safe haven.

This isn’t a traditional romance. Justin has just become involved with someone else, a man with his own set of issues resulting from a troubled relationship in the past. As he helps Liam, Justin is also building his new relationship with Rich. This relationship needed to run its course before Justin could be with Liam which left me wishing for the end to come quickly!

While I enjoyed the story overall, I found it a rather slow evolution for Justin and Liam to get together. However, at the same time, I appreciated the slow and thoughtful way the author presented the transition from friends to more. It acknowledged the sexual past that Liam was having to come to terms with and proved that Justin was just the right man for Liam.

They got their HFN ending, leaving me hoping they can overcome the traumas of Liam’s past and build a future together.

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

To find out more about D.P Denman and her books visit her website.

Buy Saving Liam from Amazon.

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Pre-Release Review: No Such Thing by A.M. Arthur

Pre-release review. This book will be released on 17th February.

No Such ThingNo Such Thing by A.M. Arthur

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The blurb..

Twenty-two-year-old Alessandro Silva knows that returning to tiny Perch Creek to help his foster mother was the right thing to do. With no degree and a delinquent’s reputation, he’s lucky to have landed a job waiting tables. But not everyone is happy he’s back, and the only thing keeping his move home from being a total bust is his boss’s hot brother.

Jaime Winters spent most of his life watching the world go by, first from a series of hospitals and then from behind big stacks of textbooks. Studying is easier than facing the fact that years of heart failure means he’s still a virgin at twenty-three. Until the new waiter in his sister’s diner awakens desires he’d long ago given up on.

The last thing Alessandro wants is to fall for someone as fragile as Jaime. And Jaime may have a new heart, but he’s scared of what giving it to another person would mean. Their no-strings-attached, instructional approach to sex keeps emotion safely at bay, until a secret from Alessandro’s past forces them to confront their feelings in the present…

So what did I think?

This is a story of the choices you make in life and following the right path.

Alessandro has had a difficult life with his early years spent in trouble and his reputation still haunts him when he moved back to his small town to take care of his recently widowed foster mother and her current foster kids. There is not a sign of Alessandro’s past in the man he is now. He is honourable and trust worthy and places his family first.

Jaime has also had a hard life, losing his mother to the same heart disease that resulted in his own health problems. He missed the last years of high school as he waited a heart transplant. In the following years he has been afraid to catch up on the things he missed out on – dating and sex are frightening to a young inexperienced gay man.

Fate intervenes and brings Alessandro to the bakery owned by Jaime’s sister and a beautiful relationship follows. What initially starts as a journey of sexual awakening for Jaime and a ‘no promises’ relationship for Alessandro obviously turns into something more although both men are slow to acknowledge it.

This is a story with lots of drama – violence and mystery as Alessandro’s past which comes back to haunt him and Jaime. It is also a story of intolerance as small minded people ensure their opinions on being gay are noted in a major way. Family plays a key role and I adored Jaime’s relationship with his sister Shannon. I do hope she finds a boyfriend soon! I loved Eunice, Alessandro’s foster mother – such a strong and accepting woman.

I loved Jaime and Alessandro and the tender way they treated each other. There are some sizzling sex scenes and lots of sexual energy and tension, particularly when they hit the gay bar and meet some of Alessandro’s friends! Great mix of hot and passionate and slow and loving throughout this book.

I am very much looking forward to book 2 when it is released.

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

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about A.M. Arthur and her books visit her website.

Buy No Such Thing from Amazon

With Or Without Him Image

★★★★★ With or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg ★★★★★

With or Without HimWith or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

“The most dangerous refuge could be his lover’s arms. ”

Everyone has at least one deep-seated fear. For Tyler, it’s being in debt. He’s so desperate to get out and stay out of it, he’ll do almost anything-including selling his body at Saturday night sex parties.

But he refuses to open his mind to anyone, especially the men paying to use him however they want. The only time he’s truly happy is during the week at college, when he can escape into his music.

The moment Haris sees Tyler playing piano at a concert, he falls hard, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make the guy his. Even if it means-for the first time in his life-opening his wallet as wide and desperate as his heart.

20,000 to live with a good-looking guy for four months? How can Tyler resist the chance to ditch the sex party scene for good? But neither man realizes how much they’re risking. And when outside forces close in, ready to destroy them, the trickiest part about the next four months could be just surviving.

Warning: Contains a “for hire” bad boy with a filthy mouth, an awkward guy with a penchant for BDSM, a hypochondriac butler who won’t shut up, a dog called Alcide, and a lot of hot and dirty M/M sex.

So what did I think?

LOVE the cover!

Wonderfully brilliant! I totally fell in love with both Haris and Tyler, and was spellbound by their story.

So different, and yet so similar, both men have painful pasts that have left them emotionally scarred. This is a story of learning to trust and opening hearts but is also so much more. The story line is complex as the pasts of both Haris and Tyler challenge their relationship.

Tyler is twenty-one. A music student with a huge fear of owing money. This fear drives him to sell his body to pay his school fees. He is a talented musician and a passionate young man but he is haunted by events from his childhood.

Haris is an exotic businessman with his own secrets. He has been through events that no man should have to suffer and is unable to trust. However he finds Tyler irresistible and offers him a deal that Tyler is unable to turn away from.

The heat and passion between Tyler and Haris is magnificent and slowly, their hearts come to feel what their bodies already know – they are made for each other, body and soul.

However the road to happiness is paved with challenges as Tyler’s previous ’employer’ refuses to let him go and Haris’ past finally catches up with him. Both men face evil and danger.

I found this book to be totally compelling read, a true page turner that was hard to put down. Luckily I didn’t have any other pressing things to do during the early hours of the morning!

I can’t end this review without a word about the fabulous Wilson, Haris’ chauffeur/butler. He is a character to adore – loyal and cheeky, with his witty one-liners had me chuckling quietly.

Combining lots of emotional turmoil, huge amounts of drama, passionate sexual encounters and true romanticism this is a highly recommended read.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Barbara Elsborg and her books visit her website.

Buy With Or Without Him from Amazon.

Buy With Or Without Him from Samhain.

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★★★★★ It Should Have Been You by Michael Murphy ★★★★★

It Should Have Been YouIt Should Have Been You by Michael Murphy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After a hit-and-run driver kills David McCleary, his mother, Frieda McCleary, tells her younger son, Patrick, “It should have been you.” While the McCleary family limps along for a while, it clearly died with David. In an effort to deal with her son’s death, Frieda joins a fundamentalist church while her family watches her become a stranger. When she discovers Patrick is gay, she is convinced he is the reason David was taken from her. Patrick’s father runs interference, but when he leaves town for work, she throws Patrick out onto the streets.

As a blond-haired, blue-eyed sixteen-year-old kid from the suburbs, Patrick has lived a sheltered life and doesn’t have a clue how to survive on his own. He’s struggling until he meets a local priest running a homeless shelter who introduces Patrick to Juan, a street-savvy Latino youth wise beyond his years, and they strike up an instant rapport.

It’s not pretty, but they’re making it together, until one night Juan goes off with a stranger to earn a few bucks… and doesn’t come back. Patrick is determined to find him, regardless the danger and cost.

So what did I think?

“Patrick felt as if someone had kicked him in the middle of his soul. He wanted to double over in pain, pain more intense than what he would have felt if someone wearing combat boots had just kicked him hard in the stomach.
How was it possible that just a few words could hurt so much? How? Simple. They were hateful words from one of the two people who were supposed to love him more than anyone else in the world.”

Patrick’s story was such compelling reading, a story that I read with a sense of disbelief. I mean, how could a mother turn her back on her child? I know it happens, I know there are many, many boys like Patrick, denied their homes and families, but this really brought it home. I just wanted to open my arms and my home to Patrick and give him a safe place to grieve and to live.

Patrick’s journey isn’t easy but his attitude was outstanding. He may have been homeless and without a place to lay safely, unable to bathe and no food to eat but he is resilient! I was quietly cheering as he stood up to the ridiculous authority figures at school, who said they were unable, but more like they were unwilling, to help. Who turns their back on a child!

Luckily for Patrick he does find people with kind hearts and souls who help him and his friend Juan. They experience the ultimate challenges life throws at them and resort to doing things no boys should have to do, but they are courageous and strong and together, find a happier path in life.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Michael Murphy and his books visit his website.

Buy It Should Have Been You from Amazon.

Buy It Should Have Been You from DSP.

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★★★★★ Personal Changes by K.C. Wells ★★★★★

The Personal Series

  • Making It Personal (book #1) – click here for review
  • More Than Personal (book#1.5)
  • Personal Changes (book #2) – in this review

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Personal ChangesPersonal Changes by K.C. Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The sequel to Making it Personal…

Rick Wentworth has had enough of one night stands and quickies in clubs. It takes a night of uncharacteristic hedonism to make Rick admit what he really wants – someone to love him. But for that to happen, he needs to make some changes. Rick can do that. After all, what’s the alternative? And when he meets a guy who ticks all his boxes, he can’t believe his luck. His boss Blake Davis, and Blake’s fiancé Will Parkinson, however, aren’t convinced. They want to know more about Mr. Perfect, and their instincts are keener than Rick’s. Both men want to protect him. As it turns out, they needn’t have worried. Rick has a guardian angel…

When Angelo Tarallo sees Rick for the first time, it’s a match made in Heaven, as far as he’s concerned. And when he rescues Rick from danger, it gives him the opportunity to get to know the man who has captivated him. Before long, it’s plain to both men that this could lead somewhere. But when Angelo’s traditional Sicilian family finally discover what he’s been hiding from them for so long, an ultimatum spells heartache for the lovers – and worse.

So what did I think?

You know when you read a book and you really, really like it, so when a sequel is released, your expectations are really high? And you hope and hope that the sequel is just as good? Well, this sequel is even better!

This story has all the elements that make it a true page-turner. From Rick’s desire to find true love, his regret at his casual sexual exploits, attempted rape, good friends, finding love, intolerant families, loving families, ultimatums, violence, love and lots of hot sex.

The story starts with a bang (menage and dp!) and from these early scenes, it’s clear that Rick has a very low opinion of himself. He is vulnerable as he searches for love and this vulnerability allows him to be taken advantage of. Luckily he has good friends Will and Blake to look out for him and bolster his spirits.

Angelo is from a traditional Italian family with traditional beliefs that don’t include them having a gay son. He experiences his own heartache when he needs to make some very important decisions but he receives some very wise advice. “You decide for yourself who you are going to gift your heart to, and see that love returned.”

I really enjoyed the journey as Rick learns that he is worthy of love and Angelo makes life changing decisions to follow his heart. There are scenes of smoking hot sex and moments of beautiful tenderness and a fabulous romantic happy ending!

A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for my honest review. Thanks K.C.!

5 Stars

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To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

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❄ What Can Be by Mary Calmes ❄

What Can BeWhat Can Be by Mary Calmes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Thirteen years ago, Eli went on a summer trip with his mother and never came back. Now, existing in a new life as Jacob Somerville, he’s again running from fear and memories, only to end up where he started. As Jacob struggles to reconnect with his father and brothers, he realizes that his lover, Craig Zhao, was the only thing filling his empty heart and standing between him and ghosts of the past. It will take the power of love—from his family, from Craig, and from himself—for Jacob to see that his life truly is filled with the promise of what can be.

So what did I think?

This is definitely not your standard Christmas fare! It’s a story with mystery and intrigue as Eli returns to his family after 13 years. As I read the first chapters I was full of questions – why can’t he stay? Why has he not seen his family for so long? Why has he changed his name?

This story is very much about Eli reconnecting with his family and gradually his story is unveiled. We don’t see much of Eli’s boyfriend at the beginning of the story, just being introduced to him by a phone call but he feels very much part of the story all the same. Watching him interact with Eli at the end of the book, providing loving support, is heartwarming.

It was a wonderful combination of romance (of course Eli/Jake) gets his man at the end!) but with a lovely strong focus on facing past tragedies and moving on with life. It was so lovely to see Eli get his man, Craig find his own happiness and the whole family welcome Eli back!

And today’s Christmas carol is I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Michael Buble.