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Monday, February 29, 2016

Dante and Griff have been best friends forever. They have had each other's back and go through thick and thin. What Dante doesn't know: Griff has also been in love with  him for a long time so he struggles with all the insecurities and painful moments that come with unrequited love.
One day, Dante is in a tight spot and asks Griff for help. He needs money, a lot of it, otherwise the bank will take the house he loves so much.  Dante's idea? To act in videos for a gay porn website. Griff is a great friend so after a little bit of hesitation he agrees, not without a couple selfish thoughts.

I loved the journey of these two from friends to lovers. Dante was such a beautiful character, both funny and wild yet thoughtful and considerate when it came to his best friend. And Griff, what a perfect human being. I felt his pain and love for Dante at all times. The way these two were together was nothing short of amazing.

“Dante climbed back on top of him, sitting on Griff's round butt to knead his shoulders. "I just wanna try. It'll be fine. No big deal. Maybe a massage first? Two dudes. That'd be okay right?"
What was he asking?
"And then, I want you" -Dante leaned forward, pressing his chest against Griff's muscular back, lips against his ear -"to fucking turn yourself loose on me.”

The problems of gay people having to deal with their environment and the repercussions of them coming out is a recurring theme and it always makes me cringe to know that there are still people out there who think that gay-hate is OK. It is not and in my book never will be. We live in a time in which everyone should have realized now that it's as normal as being hetero.

“Because people should not be punished for loving and hoping and holding their hearts open.”

I had two niggles: one - this story would have profited profoundly from a dual point of view. I felt it lacked depth and could have been a five star read if I had heard Dante's voice as well.
Two - the author used repeating words three times as a means of style a couple of times where I thought it didn't work. Generally spoken, he used it too often.

The voice of a male author feels rougher than a female voice in the MM genre. He cuts to the chase of the matter which was refreshing and new.

I fell in love with these two friends and I'm looking forward to reading more of this author.

“Nah. Everyone knows I was born defective. They didn’t install you until later.” - Dante

4-Broken-in - Stars

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sawyer Bennett's stories are comfortable like a pair of broken-in jeans or well worn shoes: You know what you will get, the stories follow a certain pattern and are predictable most of the times. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

Hawke Therrien is the newest addition to the Cold Fury hockey team and he is thrilled and excited about it. Until he sees his love of another lifetime during a team meeting and realizes that he will have to work with Vale for the time being. Vale and Hawke were tight and so in love with each other, so absorbed in each other they couldn't imagine to be apart. Their future was laid out before them, youth not withstanding. One night everything changed and Vale, party girl extraordinaire, breaks up with Hawke out of the blue.

Vale was a wild child and she loved her boyfriend with all her heart. She loved to party hard and there was nothing she wouldn't try. Hawke's farewell party before he wanted to leave his hometown to join a team in Pittsburgh didn't go as planned for her. She left early, not feeling so well. Since it was Hawke's last evening with his friends he stayed and went on partying. A choice they didn't know would define their future.

Hawke, now with the Cold Fury, feels a lot of resentment towards his ex-girlfriend. His anger bubbles up again the moment he sees her. When he learns that Vale has to deal with the health issues of her father - a man he respects deeply - he reigns in his emotions and gives her support. I

I guessed the secret that drove those two apart pretty much while reading the prologue, so not much that came after surprised me. Like I said - well worn shoes. As the story unfolds we are being fed small details and puzzle pieces to give us the bigger picture. And with all Sawyer Bennett books we get a really short fallout and a resolution soon after. There is no unnecessary drama drawn out until you want to stab your eye sockets. It's simple and lovely. I loved how good of a guy Hawke was, how nice and gentle. And he added the naughty to his nice.
You could see a distinct difference between the Vale of the old days and the new serious woman she has become. She is a strong heroine with who made bad choices and had to deal with the consequences. Again it's the male MC in this story who has the TSTL moment (I revel a bit in that one since it's so rare). The side characters, some old, some new were lovely as always.

I am left with a warm feeling in my chest and look forward to getting Max' book. I wonder who his match will be and I kind of have an inkling that it might be a side character from this book.

4 I-Hate-Cliffies - Stars

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trigger warning: rape 

Holy crap. I'm so mad right now. I can't even.

Why oh why does this have to end of a cliffhanger?

Sela was raped when she was 16. That's also when she lost her virginity so it is safe to say that her attitude towards sex isn't healthy. She has never had a deep fulfilling relationship. Sometimes she has a friend with benefits, the benefit being that they make her feel normal despite knowing that nothing is normal about the way she feels about men and sex. She's broken in a way I think only women can understand. And she is set to get revenge for what was done to her.

Beck is an IT wizard and part-owner of The Sugar Bowl, a dating website with the purpose of Sugar Daddies finding Sugar Babies. He is gorgeous (of course) and doesn't do relationships. He has a Sugar Bowl of women if he needs a quick fuck. His partner Jonathon Townsend - JT - is one of the guys who raped Sela - Beck knows that something is off with his longtime friend but he doesn't even begin to understand how evil, depraved and vicious his "friend" is.

When Sela and Beck meet there is instant chemistry - Beck, ever the charmer, woos her into his bed making it clear that this would be only a one night stand. Sela has an ulterior motive though. She wants to sink her nails into Beck in order to get intel on JT. During their first night together Beck sees something in Sela that doesn't fit the confident woman he thinks she is and he is intrigued. The next day he shows up at her appartment with an agreement to enter a "sugarship" (what a terrible name...). Sela moves in with him sensing her chance to get information on Jonathon. As time passes, spent with Beck, she falls for him and realizes that, maybe, she shouldn't screw up her growing relationship with her man.

Beck and Sela's chemistry was off the charts and there is a lot of sexy times. Sawyer Bennett knows how to write lovable characters and except for that one moment I loved Beck hard. I expect that there will be LOTS of groveling on his part in the next book. I adored how he made Sela feel after all that pain in her life.

Sela was such a beautifully broken woman, I rooted for her all the way. The cliffhanger left me brokenhearted. I also have an inkling what's going to happen. Highlight to see spoiler:

Beck's sister Caroline has a daughter with brown eyes. He mentions that the father isn't in the picture and that Caroline doesn't even know him. Could it be that JT also raped Beck's sister?

Jonathon was such a snake. He is so despicable I wanted to have him in front of me to kick his shins hard. The scene in the limo with Sela and him left me panting in anger.

This is not the usual Sawyer Bennett story, it's much darker yet I loved the hell out of it. She really is my go-to author if I'm hungover from another book...although this time, I'm slightly hungover from this one.

ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via Netgally

All The Stars! Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

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Thursday, February 18, 2016
I present to you
one of my new top three favorites 
of all times


Yes, you read that right.


Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend...and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.


I have a new favorite. Or rather, I have two new favorites, Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley. This book is staying on my Kindle because I'll make sure to re-read it very soon.

"Science has proven."
Jamie's and Wes's friendship has been steady and solid for years. They met at a hockey training camp and have spent every summer ever since.

“My life has been chaotic for as long as I can remember, and I always dealt with it alone. My parents’ criticism, my confusion over my sexuality. But for six weeks every summer, I didn’t have to be alone. I had Jamie, my best friend, my rock.”

When they spend another six weeks at the camp, they are both eighteen now, something happens that makes Wes give up on them and walk away. Jamie is left in the dark about the reasons for Wes's disappearing act.

After four years, they both play for their respective college hockey team, they meet again. Wes hopes for a chance to make things right with his former best friend and after Wes confesses what made him disappear all those years ago they fall back into their funny and comfortable friendship. Wes is surprised at how easily Jamie comes to terms with Wes being gay. Jamie, as straight as they come, however, doesn't know that Wes has been in love with him since their first summer together.

“Want you,” I whisper. Lately those two words define me.
“Have me,” he says.

Wes is a snarky, cocky guy, the best lines in this story come from him - I laughed hard, sometimes to the point that tears were running down my face. And sometimes the tears came from a burning place in my heart.

“Next year in Toronto you’ll probably have a personal assistant to carry your stick around for you.” It feels superstitious to talk about my NHL contract before the Frozen Four. So I change the subject. “That’s awesome, dude. I love it when another guy holds my stick."

There is something about the friendship between two guys the majority of us women will never have or completely understand. That relaxed relationship, the banter without inhibitions, the straight-forward companionship. I think this is what appeals so much to me about the MM-genre. I envy guys for that. What I'm starting to become aware of now after starting to read MM and I have to admit, I never really thought about it more deeply (possibly because I'm tolerant and open-minded and never questioned it): It is hard to be gay. The realization, that you are more attracted (or exclusively so) to your own gender, the acceptance of it and then coming out of the closet is mostly a painful process. I love how Jamie doesn't shy away from his feelings, he struggles, yes but unlike Wes he doesn't run. 

I am so incredibly happy I have made the step into the MM world. Not only does it open up many more possibilities, I also learn a lot about myself. 

“Loved you every summer since I was thirteen years old. Love you even more now.”

“You really do love me, huh?”“Always have. Always will.”

5 Swoonworthy Stars

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Short and sweet!

This. Holy moly. If you have read Louder than Love (and if you haven't you better get on it) then you should definitely read this. It makes your heart full and evokes the whole range of emotions. Adrian is a man you can only hope to have in your life. He is wise in so many regards yet so vulnerable when it comes to Kat. And Kat, so strong. And their love for each other! Swoon-worthy.

"Adrian Graves, did you go and write me a heavy metal love song?""Well now, maybe I did."
"I thought if love was going to appear in your music, it had to be doomed, damned, or deadly."
"I've learned since that love runs much deeper than that. Deeper than dreams. And if I've made even one of your dreams come true tonight, then I am a better man for it."

This is the epilogue you don't find in Louder Than Love, and then some. I hope we get to see lots more of this couple.

4.5 Jingle Stars

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

This is a love story. If you expect smut, look elsewhere. You won't find it in this book. That said, it isn't without its share of sparkles and steam.

Katrina is a librarian and widowed mother of a four year old. Her husband was taken from her in a freak train accident. The pain of losing her best friend and lover was excruciating so she left her beloved New York City to move back and find peace in her hometown. Katrina isn't bitter and she doens't do self pity, she also has a good and tight network of friends catching her whenever she stumbles.

“I guess I'm not a very spiritual person. I don't think things always 'happen for a reason,' everything must be 'God's way,' or (and this is one of Karen's favorites) 'He only gives you what you can handle.' I simply believe, and I'm sorry to sound crude about it, that shit happens. Period."

Kat's daughter Abbey loves a cartoon character and the title song to go with it. Katrina has bought a box of CDs with tunes by the writer and performer of the jingle, Adrian Graves, so one day she goes about finding this artist and making him perform for kids at the local library. Research is her area of expertise so when she finds him he agrees to play for the children. 

This story is a slow burn so don't expect a whirlwind romance and insta-love. It's almost poetic, the words beautiful. It's about love and loss, a former rockstar who has had his share of sex, drugs and rock'n roll. They get to know each other at their own pace. Adrian says it best:

"Do you believe in love at first sight?""Hmmm, no. I don't. I believe love involves the commitment of many senses, as well as your head and your heart, so I wouldn't just rely on my eyesight."

As they get closer they discover that either of them is battling their own demons.

I loved how Katrina's relationship with Pete wasn't belittled and the one with Adrian made better. This made the experience of the story so much more relatable and realistic. The love for her late husband was always there, yet the way she fell for Adrian was plausible.

I had one WTH moment early on in the book, a mother might understand it better than I did. (highlight to see spoiler):

When Katrina found out who Adrian really was she went ballistic, ready to walk away. I thought that was an highly inappropriate reaction to somebody who hasn't touched drugs in years and didn't give her any indication to be anything but stable. 

Adrian is a super-sweet guy who has had his own tragedy in life. 

“You are the best thing to happen to me, bar none. You, Abbey...all of this. You both walked into my life and...I never knew what I wanted until you did.”

I loved his relationship with Katrina's daughter Abbey. He treated her like a little person, not a child. And anyway, the way he treated his two girls and put them on a pedestal to cherish and spoil them was enchanting...for once I was happy not to have an alpha-hole in my book. 

3 Caring Stars

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Gah. I wanted to love this. Damn you, Olivia.

I love Sawyer Bennett. She is my go-to author after a book hangover - her relatively angst-free stories usually make me snap out of it. This time not so much. I will forgo a retelling of the plot and jump into what made me rate this only 3 stars when SB is usually at least a 4 star read for me.

Garrett is a man whore. He loves women and sex. The more the merrier. He doesn't even consider a serious relationship in his life so when he meets Olivia he isn't prepared for all the feelings she awakens in him but for some reason he still embraces them without so much as a blink.

Olivia. I still don't have a good read on her personality and I'm finished with the book. I was told she is, I don't know, funny and witty? But I didn't see any of that. The only thing I can say about her is that she handled her disease with grace and courage - in the beginning - later on she lost all of that with one poor choice. She was one-dimensional and flat to me.

There were some situations and reactions by the MCs I didn't completely understand. Like, why the heck was Garrett so pissed off for being called out being the man whore he was? Also, why was he pissed off that neither Alex nor Sutton told him about Olivia's cancer? Excuse me? He'd just known Olivia for 10 days, at that time he usually had forgotten about his newest conquest...additionally it wasn't anybody else's secret to tell except Olivia's ESPECIALLY since Olivia asked Alex and Sutton not to tell Garrett. Did I miss a memo which says that it's nowadays OK to tell somebody else's secrets? And what does Olivia do? No she doesn't say "get a freaking grip, Garrett". She lets poor Sutton handle the situation and watches as her friend repeatedly apologizes to him. SO WEIRD.

Olivia made some very poor decisions and the drama in the end was completely unnecessary.

I still gave this 3 stars because I loved Garrett. He was fun and the way he cared about and for Olivia endeared him to me. Also, man whore. Yum.

I hope I'll love the next Sawyer Bennett book again.

5 Cherry Popping Stars

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Monday, February 08, 2016

So this happened. My M/M cherry has been popped.

I can't even begin to say how much I enjoyed this. This is my first book by Cambria Hebert and I'm pretty sure it won't be my last - especially since the author hints at events happening in an earlier series called #hashtag.

Trent is a mild mannered, protective, good natured guy who loves his family, his best friend and his car. Drew is said best friend - they love to hang out, especially at underground races where Drew is an independent driver. He loves the adrenaline rush coursing through his veins when he is in his car on a track. Drew is the more complicated of the two and their personalities complement one another.

One night Trent gets totally smashed and Drew takes care of his best friend. He takes him home and lets him sleep off the booze in Trent's blood. Alcohol makes you overcome inhibitions - you say things you would never say in a sober state. Trent admits to being attracted to Drew. The next day he pretends to have forgotten the things he said.

"I didn't want to talk to anyone right now. Especially Drew.
I wasn't gay.
Except...maybe I was."

Their relationship and closeness is a slow burn, coming to terms with the fact that they might be gay isn't exactly a walk in the park. The care they have for each other is always tangible and once they admit that there is more than friendship between the two of them it's a sensual explosion. The biggest problem they are facing though is how will their environment react to their new relationship?

The way Drew and Trent grew into their love I grew too. I loved how sweet they were with each other, how devoted and thoughtful. This was my first M/M read and I can only recommend it to everyone who is interested in this genre. I was being eased into the relationship of two guys and at no time I felt uncomfortable or that it was out of my comfortzone.

"You are my person", he concluded after a moment of silence, "My exclusive person"


This book ends on a cliffy, and I HATE those. I avoid them like the plague but I wasn't aware and since the next one in the series is supposed to be released very soon I'll let this slide. ;)

4 Delicious Stars

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Sawyer Bennett always manages to make me fell all warm and fuzzy inside. So why only a 4 star rating? This could have easily been a 5 star if it wasn't...but let me start at the beginning.

Alex and Sutton both are what I love in main characters. Sutton - a kind, funny, sensual, mellow woman. Alex - a hot, broody, alpha-hole with a heart, who can be quite funny too. These two would have made up a perfect romance in my opinion.

Alex is a hockey player who hates his job. The reason why he hates being the superstar of a top league team lies in his past. He goes to work, does his job and goes home. Or sates his need for sex with random women. The team's management is unhappy with his reputation. In order to remedy that he has to join a good cause, being a spokesperson for a drug addict project.

Sutton is a counselor at the institution Alex is supposed to work with. Her lenience with him comes from experience and she knows that there is a reason why Alex has built seemingly insurmountable walls. As they get to know each other they feel a strong pull towards each other. It's sweet how Alex gets all giddy when he knows he will see Sutton later on.

The first part of the story is about Sutton and Alex getting to know each other and building a relationship. He knows that he will hurt her, not being able to reign in his asshole-side, but he is too selfish to let her go for her own sake. At around 60%  I was waiting for Alex' past to catch up with him. And it didn't. And didn't for another 20%. This stretch is the reason why it's only a four star. When the drama finally starts Alex has a quick TSTL moment. The last chapter and the epilogue where so sweet and adorable that Sawyer Bennett pulled me back into the boat. One of my favorite ends to a book.