Pages

Friday, August 10, 2018

ARC REVIEW : Cort – Unbreakable (Man Up #4) by Felice Stevens





Title : Cort - Unbreakable
Author : Felice Stevens
Part of series : Man Up series book 4
Publication Date : July 10th 2018
My Rating(s) : 5/5 Stars
Purchase links : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU





Cort

I spent years waiting for someone who never put me first. He took my love, took me for granted.
Took my heart.
Now I’m on my own.
Living life my way.
The crowd only sees my smile.
Never my loneliness and pain.
I need someone to need me.
When I meet another lost soul my friends try to warn me.
He’s a liar.
A user.
Homeless.
Heartbroken.
He’s all that and more.
He’s everything I’ve ever wanted.

Harlan

I’m king of my world.
Untouchable.
Then it all comes crashing down.
My secrets are exposed.
I’m cut off from my family.
Unrecognizable from the man I used to be.
Barely surviving, living day-to-day and out of control.
Nothing to hold on to.
I let go and fall so far there’s no way up.
Until a cowboy reaches into my darkness and brings me back to the light.
With him I can breathe.
I can be who I am.
Who he needs.
He gives me hope To find myself.
To find love.




I owed him the thump of the heart I heard in my chest. I owed him the breath I took every day. I owed him the morning sun in my eyes. I owed him my life. And how do you repay someone when they save your life? You give them your heart. – Harlan. 


🐎🐎🐎


You maybe think this is funny, but still I need to say it. When I read One Call Away, I hate one of Oren’s homophobic colleagues for what he did to Oren. I even swear and hope that one day he’ll be get his own karma.

When I read a hint about Cort and his homeless guy named Harlan. I get this déjà vu feeling with the name but I must admit that I’m completely clueless about this Harlan guy. At least not until I finally read Cort’s story.

When I started Cort’s story and slowly know a bit more about this Harlan guy then suddenly the realization hit me and I realized that THIS Harlan is actually THAT Harlan!!!

And the next thing I did, I laugh hysterically for not recognized him before!!! Well, karma does exist, right?

Now back to Cort. This sexy cowboy with tender heart had stole my curiosity since the very beginning and I’ve been waiting for his story since Austin’s book, and curiously want to know what actually happen to him back then when he’s still in Texas, because I can sense the hurt and the loneliness he hide behind his smile. Behind his caring and softie act to both Austin and Frankie I believe there’s something deep and sad about his past.

Cort need someone who need him, who will let him help and took care of and keep him safe. And when he saw Harlan for the first time, he just knew that the homeless guy NEED him.
His need to take care Harlan when others keep warning him about the good looking homeless guy real intentions had melt my heart.

I don’t know what magic power Felice’s has but she could turned my hatred toward the asshole Harlan into completely sympathy. No matter how hard I want to hate him, I ended with love him even more!

I believe in karma and second chance, and through Harlan’s I can see it happen in both heartbreaking and heartwarming way. No one can write redemption story better than Felice! *hands down*

And now I'm ready for James and Mal's story...because like what Frankie said,

“Watch out, James. You might be the next one caught by the love bug.”

...and perhaps Tristan will have his own story too (yes, pretty please 😊✌🏻)


Highly recommended!






I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

If you join my newsletter: LINK HERE you'll get exclusive content, sneak peeks at new books and contests. I feature favorite authors, recipes and free short stories!






Wednesday, August 8, 2018

REVIEW : Daddy, Daddy, and Me By Sean Michael





Title : Daddy, Daddy and Me By Sean Michael
Genre(s) : contemporary gay romance
Publication Date : February 23rd 2018 (2nd Edition)
My rating(s) : 3/5 Stars




When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three-year-old motherless. Beth’s loss has totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn’t anywhere near childproof, and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with Jeff’s time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to work with kids, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn’t count on the prejudice he’d face as not only a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job-hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff's door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks maybe he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff's children might be a dream come true for Danny and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either of them ready to really be a family?



Well, daddy, manny and kids are usually my comfort read when I need something light, fun and heartwarming to read. And that’s the reason I choose this book after some ‘heavy’ read that exhaust me.
Then cute cover had caught my eyes and the lovely blurb seems promising enough. I swear, I even can hear children voices shouting “Pick me! Pick me! Read me! Read me!” – in my head when I first saw and read the blurb!

So? Following my heart, I pick the book and start reading it with the excitement and huge expectations.

But soon my excitement turned into disappointments. Because the book was ended far from what I expected. I mean the story isn’t that bad, well actually it’s promising enough to melt my softie heart – I mean with the three years old cute and smart toddler and a baby? How can it’s not melt your heart, right?

As a matter of fact the children are the huge ‘savior’ that keep the star from falling more low because I felt the adults here on the contrary kinda ruined the story for lack of chemistry and failed me to feel connected to their feelings. Like I always said in some of my review before, the feels and connection that grow between the two main characters was supposed to be feels not to tell or describe. In this case, the author was trying so hard to ‘tell’ us – the readers – about what the MCs feel but the funny thing is…I didn’t feel it at all. I mean its okay for two people to feel instant feeling and connection that growing so fast through some kind of situations they have like what happen in this story when Jeff steady life soon turned upside down because of the death of his best friend, Beth and made him become a legal guardian to her two children. As if not enough, Jeff boyfriend then decided to leave him because he can’t stand with the sudden appearance of children in their live that changed everything. In the middle of balancing his new life and responsibility as a father and his work as a chef, Jeff need a nanny for his children.

Come this Donny guy who desperately need a job after graduating. The instant connection that happen between the new nanny and the children had touch Jeff's heart (and mine too!). And they can’t denied that they start to depending on each other. When everything seems to fall way too perfect, then come the ex-boyfriend which with a very ridiculous reason trying to ruin their happiness. Will their new bond can survive the chaos made by the crazy ex?

Overall, the story actually have good premise to be good, but the lack of connection I felt during the reading had ruined the joy a bit.
The stars mostly dedicated to the children that successfully stole my heart right from the beginning.



Thursday, August 2, 2018

REVIEW : Passing Stranger by Louisa Keller





Title : Passing Stranger by Louisa Keller
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, May/December, enemies to lovers
Publication Date : June 3rd 2018
My Rating(s) : 3/5 Stars




“These bags aren’t going to unpack themselves.” 

Bryce: Working at an upscale hotel isn’t my first choice, but putting up with my skeezy boss, crazy hours, and demanding guests means I can pay my bills. When Riker Cavanaugh—cruel, demanding, and filthy rich—checks in, it’s easy to write him off as just another obnoxious guest. And even though he never seems happy with my performance, he keeps specifically requesting me. What’s with that?

But as I spend more time with this breathtakingly beautiful man, I’m finding Riker is much more than his gruff exterior and his expensive taste. Over late-night lobster and impromptu frozen yogurt, I begin to see a man who is deeply wounded and fiercely loyal. I’ve spent my whole life dreaming of a Prince Charming to come sweep me off my feet, but what life could a billionaire and a concierge really build together?

“I want to get to know you. If you’ll let me.” 

Riker: As the CEO of an international investment business, I have no interest in playing nice with the lowest level staff at the hotel I’m staying at as I close the most important business deal of my career. I didn’t get this rich by playing nice. Between my long hours and my failed marriage, romance is about as appealing to me as flying economy. And sure, Bryce Harrison is gorgeous, funny, and unbelievably compassionate, but that doesn’t mean I care about him.

Something about Bryce gets under my skin, and for the first time in my life, someone sees right past all those walls I’ve carefully built. Bright-eyed, virginal, and nearly two decades younger than me, he is the worst possible match for a grumpy, work-addicted billionaire…but I can’t deny that, when I’m around him, I feel more alive than I have in years. My past still haunts me, but Bryce makes me believe that someone as jaded as me can find happiness. We come from two different worlds, though—will one of us have to give everything up?

Passing Stranger is a contemporary billionaire romance with enemies-to-lovers, first time, May/December, and hurt/comfort themes, plus a very happy ending!



But Bryce was quickly bringing about feelings that were unfamiliar and terrifying. I wanted to protect him. I wanted to make him feel cherished. I wanted him to know that I would move mountains to keep him safe and happy and healthy.

Their first met definitely didn’t went well. Riker arrogance leave a very bad impression to Bryce. Especially when Riker seems to make Bryce jobs become more and more difficult each day. But Riker is a VIP guest and it’s Bryce job to provide and help the guest needs even if they asked for unbelievable things at very strange hours.

But as their interaction become very intense, along with that they start to know each other quite well, the relationship that was start as enemies become more and more friendly.

The comfort feels Ryker gave him when they spent their time together brought the protective side in Riker and he want to keep Bryce safe and happy even there’s  consequences he must face to be always at Bryce’s side.

Will Riker sacrifices everything just to be with this ordinary guy who had slowly stolen his heart each day?

I must admit that the story a bit ‘not-logic' at some part, and there's some problems that feels 'huge' at the beginning seems to be left unsolved just like that, like Riker problem with his father who ended with no specific explanation. BUT since I’m in my best ‘cheesy mood' I found that this story is cute and lovely enough to enjoy.

Like any other typical Cinderfella story, Passing Stranger offer the very same formula about a very wealthy man who falllin for an ordinary and poor man from a lower class and after through some unfriendly scenes and misunderstanding, they finally found their happily ever after. Sounds cliché, right? But it fun enough to read.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ARC REVIEW : The Line of Succession by Harry F. Rey





Title : The Line of Succession by Harry F. Rey
Genre(s) : gay romance
Publication Date : July 24th 2018
My Rating : 3/5 Stars

Warning : multiple POV, sex without protection and cliffy ending



Families are built on secrets, but when it's the royal family, the stakes-and the secrets-can be deadly.

Fifteen years ago, Prince James's father, Prince Richard, was killed in a mysterious helicopter crash, along with his secret Irish lover. The young James became heir to the British throne over his twin sister, Princess Alexandra.

With Queen Victoria II turning ninety, James's personal life, now that he's thirty, has come more into the public spotlight as he's expected to marry and produce an heir. Known for his playboy lifestyle, he'd gladly accept that reputation to hide the truth that he's gay and in a secret long-term relationship with his best friend and press secretary, Andrew.

His twin sister knows his secret, and plans to use it to create a scandal that will help her take the crown for herself, but her plans rely on trust, and she will soon learn her allies are not as trustworthy as she thought. Will James win his throne, while keeping the love of his life? Or will the monarchy topple in the face of naked ambition and public scandal?

The Line of Succession is a 38,000 word erotic romantic drama. If you love TV's The Crown or The Royals, then you'll love this deliciously sly royal drama filled with sex, secrets, and lies.

Buy The Line of Succession now and dive into a royal family of secret gay lovers, ambitious lusts for power, passions for revenge and hidden secrets that will shake the monarchy to its very core. This isn't your real-life fairy-tale wedding; this is a royal family at war.


I have mixed feelings about this book. It certainly wasn't what I expected. The cover and blurb had caught me and made me curious since the first time I saw it. But I think I expected a bit too much on this.

I must admit that the story a bit confusing at the beginning with the back and forth between the past and present day, then added multiple POV with rapid change from a lot of different characters to the situations. Then BHAM! You got the headache almost the entire reading! I must admit that it kinda turned down the mood a bit. There’s a moment when I need to go back to previous page several times just to checking who’s who and find some ‘missing hints’ before finally understand what actually just happened.

For the book this short, I feel that it’s way too much problems to dump as a starter. It feel so crowded and choked at the same time. But I must admit that ALL the conspiracies and intrigues had successfully caught me deeper into the story.

Well, I ended this book with some notes here and there for the story, but overall this book is interesting enough to follow and very consuming. And the cliffy ending made me want to scream for more!!! Because I'm curious how this story gonna end.

I need the next book ASAP!



Friday, July 27, 2018

ARC REVIEW : Over and Over Again by Cole McCade





Title : Over and Over Again
Author : Cole McCade
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, May-December, age gap
Publication Date : July 23rd 2018
My Rating : 4/5 Stars
Buy links : Amazon



A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.

And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.

When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.

The problem?

Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.

And Luca’s father’s best friend.

Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it.

Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross.

But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?




“Immie?” 
“What is it, angyalka?” 
“I’m going to marry you one day...” 

The book come with a lots of warning from the author, yet it intriguing me even more. And with all those warning, I thought the story will be a bit dark, angsty and heartbreaking, but I was completely wrong! Because the story surprisingly feels very sweet and so touching.

The pace was maddening slow and with almost 8000 loc on Kindle? I must admit that it’s kinda frightened me at the beginning. But as soon as I start it, the story consume me so deep and it hard for me to put it down.

I have this constant ache in my heart for both Imre and Luca almost the entire reading. I know…I completely understand on what and why also the ‘situations’ that they must faced. With almost twenty six years gap there’s also a lot of issues that come between them. There’s no easy way to deal with all of that obstacles without trying to understand each other needs and feelings before they can finally ease away what their afraid of.

Luca with his young and rebel heart trying to find what he actually want in his life. His constant conflicts with his dad had made him become spiteful young man and a bit bratty. His dad then decided to send him to spent the winter at Imre's farm and stay away from troubles. And when Luca see Imre for the first time after ten years, he realized that years of separation doesn’t change his feeling to him. Imre still stole his breath away like he used to feels years ago. And being with Imre made Luca feels like home

Imre just trying to be logic and act like an adult in this whole awkward situation. He’s trying to understand Luca and help him finding his way to what he really want in life. There’s a lot of change in Luca that broke his heart, there’s no smile he used to see brightening Luca’s face. His angel has completely changed. Time and life had took away the cheerfulness from his face and Imre really miss Luca’s laugh like he used to hear back then.

What’s Imre wants is to protect his angel from being hurt by trying to put the line between them mostly because his past relation with Luca’s father. And Imre stubbornness had put both of them in misery, and hurt Luca’s heart deeply in the process...

I got several teary eyes while I’m reading this story. It sad seeing they must hold each other feels due too the situation. Each time Imre said ‘don’t’ or ‘I can’t' or when Luca said ‘I understand’ its squeeze my heart and really really hurts…

The 20 years plus age gap and the fact that Luca’s father and Imre are best friend and Luca actually had ‘declare’ his feeling since he was five years old had made the story become a bit creepy also interesting at the same time, but the author already gave the warning at the beginning, so again I completely understand and try to see things through Luca and Imre's eyes. And I can see things differently and clearly how their love growing and consume each other to the level ‘I couldn’t breathe’…and that’s what make the story feels so beautiful in it’s own way.

I must admit that the author has the talent to toying with readers feeling through his writing. The ups and down also the push and pull between them had squeeze my heart and all written in beautiful and poetic words. The author made us feels all the love through each word he use and drown the reader deeply to the story.

This is my second book from this author, but I’m completely sure that it’s won’t be the last book that I read from him. Cole McCade definitely had become my new favorite author now.

Recommended!


Thursday, July 26, 2018

REVIEW : Blank Canvas (Paint #2) by Emma Jaye





Title : Blank Canvas by Emma Jaye
Part of series : Paint book 2
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance with angst, age gap
Publication Date : October 1st 2016
My Rating(s) : 4/5 Stars



Chris Bacon is dead. Long live Chrisander Baccioni?

Unable to walk or talk coherently after a hit and run attack, Chris finds himself on the other side of the world with Jase firmly in babysitting mode. Pity and betrayal, even if it was for ‘his own good’ wasn’t something Chris tolerated from anyone, least of all from an ex-lover who was hanging around only out of a misguided sense of duty.

The barely breathing battered boy was all Kathleen had to wipe away her daughter’s shame and continue the Baccioni dynasty. Despite Chrisander’s unfortunate childhood, her grandson was young enough to mould into a god-fearing family man. Surely only an idiot would reject a life of respect and luxury with a beautiful, intelligent woman by his side, for a grubby little flat and a dirt poor, ex-army sergeant.



The story start right after the incident that happen at the end of book one when Chris suffering from serious physical injuries from the mysterious hit and run that almost cost his life.

Things then get a bit more complicated when at the same time Chris’s rich grandmother from US came and want to take her only grandchild back to US with her.

What will happen then with Jase and Chris relationship when his bigot grandma who come from strict Catholic family seems won’t approved their relationship?

Will Chris leave Jase after he taste the luxuries his grandma trying to offer him?

I love how the author pulled us – the readers to the complexity of the story. I didn’t expected this second book to be as intense as the first one. From a homeless guy to a heir of the rich Italian family from US? Man! I really didn’t see it coming!

At this second book, both Jase and Chris still have to deal with almost the same struggles that happen on the previous story, like Chris’s trust issues. But what made the reading become so frustrating is….the overgrown miscommunication between Chris and Jase that nearly touch the annoying level and almost cost their already fragile relationship. But strangely…I can still understand why all those things happened between them even still….that not stop me from rolling my eyes so many times!

For those who have issues with cheating, considered I’ve warned you that there IS cheating here mainly caused by misunderstanding and also tricked by super manipulative antagonist characters in this book.

Like what I said on the previous book, the warning still continues, you still NEED a lot of patience to enjoying this book, because Chris Beacon still a hard and difficult character to understand, but that’s what makes the story very intriguing to follow.

One thing that kinda disappointed me a bit is how the author ‘executed’ Chris problem with his grandmother. I mean after all those tensions that build from the very beginning? I didn’t expect they ‘solved’ it just like that!

But overall, this second book still a bit dark and very intriguing just like the previous book.

And now, I really can’t wait for Nate and Alex's story because this Nate guy had stole my curiosity since the first time he appeared as a paramedic who took care Chris’s drugs withdrawal. His strong, passionate and mysterious appearance had grew curiosity in me.

Maybe if we’re lucky enough, we can get Russell and Adam's story in the future too eh? The bulky club owner and the blind dancer? Interesting....


Friday, July 13, 2018

Review : As I Am by Melissa Collins





Title : As I Am by Melissa Collins
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, LGBTQ+
Publication Date : April 23rd 2018
My Rating(s) : 3/5 Stars



Chase Hansen. Broke. College drop out. Male stripper.

My life wasn't at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been finishing up college, interning with a well-respected business, partying with my friends. But instead, I was raising my seventeen year old brother, struggling to make ends meet. Love wasn't even on my radar. Besides, what did I have to offer? A few crumpled singles pulled from my G-string? Defeated and exhausted, I knew I had zero chance of finding someone to love me just as I am.

Noah Carpenter. Angry. Betrayed. Doctor.

Just when I thought my life was going exactly as it should, everything turned upside down. With my final rotation in medical school complete, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. What I never expected was to catch the man of my dreams in our bed with the man of his. Beyond infuriated, I struggled to piece together the remnants of my life. Just when I'd decided to give up on love altogether, I found a man who loved me just as I am.




Well, here's another example for not trusting the Five Stars review. Even when I wrote a five stars review I never asked people to believe it too. Only trust your feeling before choosing a new book to read and never put the expectations too high if you don't wanna ended with huge disappointed.

The blurb gave me the strong impression that the story will gonna be something, add the gorgeous cover to it and I decided to devour this book right away.
I've seen another author promoting this book massively and that made me itch to read some review that almost all give the book good praise with 5 glistening stars.

But my eyes then stumbled to the 1 and 2 stars review that caught my curiosity. Hmm, interesting…

FYI, I’m not that typical reader who read reviews before starting a new book, I mostly choose a book first – by its cover and then the blurb. And if that two makes me curious enough, I usually read it and not even care about what others said in their review. And if I’m in the mood read the review, I will automatically search and interested in what the lowest rating reviewers said about the book, because they usually not biased and said the truth.

Well, according to the blurb, this book actually come with an interesting premise. A male striper and a doctor ? My brain automatically scream with full anticipation and I was so excited to read it. I must admit that I do like some part of this book. I can feel the chemistry between the two MC very well, the plot was quite good and the writing was fine. There are some scenes that almost brought tears to my eyes and I have sympathy for what had happened to both Chase and Noah and their struggles to move on from the tragedy that happened in their life. All that happened between the MCs and the ups and downs in their relationship has huge potential to grabbed my soft heart IF it not constantly ‘interrupted’ by immature behavior from both MC that sometimes made me rolling my eyes so many times. I need to convinced myself over and over again that both MC ages was mature enough for their age. But at some points, I finally can’t stand anymore because it’s far too annoying for me.

I feel kinda disappointed that this story has to ended far from what I’ve expected. Even the sweet things Noah did to Chase’s brother, Benny was not enough to lift up my mood...

So I think 3 stars is fair enough for me, because even it ended not as what I expected but still there’s some part that I love from this book.