Loki Renard-Taken Boy

So, you remember the last couple of Loki Renard books that I posted, Shamefully Broken and Broken Boy? Well, Taken Boy is another one in that world. It’s related to them, but you really don’t see Ellie or Aiden or any overlapping events, except for at the very beginning.

As a refresher, let’s go over what’s been happening. In SB, Ellie went to Mason, her brother Aiden’s best friend, and asked him to help out Aiden and get him out of trouble. Mason said that he would, as long as she agreed to be his. Well, after calling him a perv, she stomped away, but when Mason saved her life, she ended up going home with him and being his. Mason arranged for Aiden to be safe.

In BB, Aiden is being protected by two of Mason’s guys. They are both Dom-ly types, and Aiden, well, he likes it a lot. He gets protected by his Daddy and his Dom, and the bad guy, Bobby Cornoli can’t get at him.

In TB, we have Bobby’s story. Bobby is 22 and thinks that he’s on top of the world. He thinks that he’s all that and a bag of chips. The biggest problem is that he’s 22 and thinks he’s invulnerable and that he’s a bigger threat that he really is. Mason was really, really, really pissed that Bobby tried to touch Elliot. That was a major goof. And when Mason gets pissed, he gets even. In fact, he gets more than even. When it comes to his girl, he’ll go nuclear. And that’s exactly what he decided to do to Bobby.

Mason arranges for Angelo Vitalli, who really is in the Mob and who really is all that plus the giant bag of chips, to take Bobby. His job is to break Bobby, by whatever way possible, and leave him with absolutely nothing. When Angelo first sees Bobby, he gets ideas. Wicked, dirty, obscene ideas. Ideas that Bobby is going to find painful. In fact, in the first few minutes that Angelo has Bobby, he canes him but good. You would think that Bobby wouldn’t like that, but…

So, this is a pretty quick read. It’s also pretty filthy. But, filthy in such a good way. Angelo is hardcore. He’s pretty much a hardcore sadist, IMO. He likes to break men, and Bobby is actually perfect for him. Angelo is also very smart, and he puts that to work. This is a nice companion piece to the other books. It’s a standalone, so you don’t have to have read them to know what’s going on in this book. Its action is mostly isolated from the other two books, except for in the beginning.

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OK, I thought that Bobby was an asshole a good deal of the time, and he thought that he was a whole lot more than he was. I have a 22 year old son, and 22 year old young men are often assholes and think that they are more than they are. At 22, you’re still growing up. Even though Bobby has been working the streets for a while, the fact is that his brain hasn’t quite finished developing, which science says happens around age 25, so he doesn’t always make the best decisions. His whole reasoning behind going after Aiden just shows that.

There is one time when I feel really bad for Bobby. That’s after he makes a move that Angelo knew would happen. That time period made me feel sorry for him. Of course, I think that time was good for him, even if it was hard.

Ok, that’s all I have to say today. It’s only $2.99 right now on and is on KU on the Zon, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology

I have a real treat for my MM lovers out here today. And yes, I meant in any way you want to take it. Today I’m sharing a beautiful anthology from several really talented authors who write MM romance. Heart2Heart is more than just a bunch of great stories though. It’s also a charity anthology, which means that proceeds are going to the LGBTQ+ charities of the authors’ choice. Awesome, right? So, not only are you getting a bunch of really lovely stories, you are going to help out some great charities, but stop reading this right now and go buy it.

Anyway, this book has an interesting setup. A couple of months ago, several MM authors asked for interesting and unexpected couple combinations. You know, like a sommelier and a criminal, or a lawyer and a lobsterman. Then 9 of the combinations were chosen, and the anthology was born. The premise is that all of the guys either signed up or were signed up by well-meaning friends and family for a dating app called Heart2Heart. They were running a Valentine’s Day special that offered a free dinner. The matches were supposed to be guaranteed love matches. The algorithms and coding were supposed to match you with the person who would be perfect for you. Except… It would be boring if it happened that way, wouldn’t it? There’s a glitch in the coding and the matches went all wonky. But, as this is a Valentine’s Day offering, you know that they are all HEAs, so you know that something good is going to come out of all the wonkiness.

I’m not going to review each and every one, mostly because I want you to go out and buy this book. Plus, the stories are all pretty short. There are funny stories and there are more serious stories. The one thing they all have in common is that they are full of true love and hot sex. I do have a couple of favorite combos, and I mentioned them above. You don’t think that these guys would possibly fit together, but they do, and it’s awesome. So, go check it out.

No spoilers today, but here’s a bouquet of roses. I hope that you have great plans for V-Day, no matter what you are planning on doing. Me, I celebrate 1/2-price Chocolate Day Eve on 2/14.

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JD Chambers-Only See You

JD Chambers has written a beautiful book that I think is one of the best ones I’ve ever read. I hope that when I am done, you think so too.

Only See You is the second book in JD’s Only Colorado series. One of the main characters in this book is Mal. Mal is one of my favorite characters ever. I’d want them to be my book partner, but I don’t have the plumbing that they are interested in. So, maybe my book friend. Mal is a non-binary character. That means that they don’t identify as either male or female. He/she pronouns would be misgendering to them, the appropriate pronouns are they/them. Gender is what’s in your head and isn’t an either/or choice. There is a whole fluidity and spectrum when it comes to gender. It’s a whole tangled mess, and I’m definitely not going to be untangling it here. Suffice it to say that Mal knows who they are, what they want, and is happy that way.

We first met Mal in the first book. They are a friend of Craig. When Craig asks them to help he and Zach move, Mal agrees because they are hoping to see Zach’s hot roommate. But, roommate hottie wasn’t there. Mal figures it was a wasted trip, right until they see Parker, Zach’s hot cousin.

Parker has been staying Zach while he gets his life back under control. He is in the process of divorcing his bitch of a wife, whom he had finally had enough of. She was always an evil nasty person, but Parker just kind of went along with it. He didn’t agree with what she was saying, but he didn’t stop her from saying it. That is, right until she accused Zach and Craig of causing her miscarriage, after using Zach quite terribly.

Parker can’t get Mal out of his head. Parker knows he’s straight, he was married to a woman after all. But that doesn’t mean that he’s not attracted to Mal. They seem to have taken up permanent residence in his head. When Mal goes out on a date with Ben, roommate hottie, it doesn’t work out well. But Parker is there when they get back, and Mal and Parker get real up close and personal, which is when Parker really starts wondering about himself. Maybe he’s not as straight as he thinks he is. But what does that mean about who he is and his entire identity?

This book. Wow. It’s all about discovery and exploration. It’s about finding out your truth and living it. Parker learns that what his truth is at 8 doesn’t mean it’s the same at 18 or 28. Who you are changes over your lifetime as you mature and as you experience life. You aren’t an immovable and unchangeable stone. What’s important is that you figure out who you are, no matter how long it takes, and that you live your truth, no matter what it is. I also think that it’s great that we are seeing more queer representation in romance and that it’s becoming more mainstream. Representation is always important. Everyone wants to read books or watch movies that have someone like them in it. I applaud JD for the choice of Mal and for how well Mal is handled in the book. One of the things I like best is that Parker asks Mal if it’s OK to ask them questions for a better understanding, and then shows that he had done some research into the matter. Good on Parker.

OK, here’s my picture of what Mal looks like in my head, minus the facial hair. This person is just beautiful though. I love their eyes.

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I’m glad that the nasty ex gets hers, because damn. If I could’ve walked into that book and smacked the holy hell out of her, I so totally would’ve.

Mal is so good to Parker’s mom when they and Parker go visit. They really help Parker to come to grips with a difficult situation and one that could be heart-breaking too. They also helped Parker make up his mind about all his decisions. I think that the pair of them are perfect together and I hope that they are together forever.

I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Kate Hawthorne-His Kind of Love

Kate Hawthorne is a brand new to me author. She’s written an MM book. Remember, MM means two guys in the relationship. It’s very, very hot. His Kind of Love is an interesting book.

I have to admit that even after having read this book, it took me some time to figure out my feelings about it. I like it, I like Joel, but Gabriel… He’s a whole different story. I kind of like him sometimes, kind of hate him other times. I’ve read other books that have people doing things similar to Gabriel. K. Webster has a good one, Notice, but there is something different with this one, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe part of it is that HKoL is Kate’s first book, and it takes some time to come into your own, and K’s book isn’t her first one. Whatever it is, there is something there. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the story. I do. It just took me a little bit of time to unpack and process.

Joel is a 19 year old man. He’s been kicked out of the bosom of his family because he’s gay. He doesn’t date much, and he doesn’t have a lot of friends outside of his very best friend, Athena. Athena is a pretty awesome character in her own right, and I would love to see more of her in other books. She seemed pretty cool. Joel works at a second-hand bookstore, loves old books, old records, and haunting estate sales. He collects old family Bibles and is looking for someone who will treat him with precious care and cherish him.

Gabriel is much older. He is also estranged from his family. He’s a lawyer and is very successful at his job. He has one hobby, Joel. Everything he does, he does for Joel. Every.thing. When Joel runs into trouble, Gabriel has maneuvered himself so that he is right there to pick up Joel and save him.

OK, here’s where we part. This book has some dark themes to it. I’m pretty sure after reading the last paragraph, you can pretty much guess what they are. There is also a taboo line that Kate skates up to, but doesn’t quite go over the edge, at least, depending on how you look at it. Go check out the story. It’s on KU right now, or you can buy it for $0.99 and support a first-time author on her debut book.

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OK, I’m just going to come right out and say it, Gabriel is creepy. And he’s a kind of a dickbag sometimes. But, he does everything he’s doing out of a place of love for Joel. Joel can forgive him, but does that mean that he was justified? And, when Joel gets pissed af at Gabriel, I think he chooses the wrong thing to get pissed about, IMO. He needed to kick Gabriel’s arse a little harder over that part.

The taboo thing is kind of a popular trope in taboo romance, but does it really count if they had no kind of contact prior to the relationship they found themselves in? I don’t find that one to be all that much of a problem, overall.

I have no problems at all with the ending. I just kind of wish that Gabriel seemed a little more remorseful. I dunno, that may not be the word I want. And he does realize at some point that what he was doing was fucked up, and on the crazy side. But… Something, I dunno.

Overall, I like the story. I know that it may sound like I’m running it down but I’m really not. It just makes me analyze things, which is good. It’s a sign of a well-written book, IMO.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. There’s going to be another blog post later, so watch out for that. Meanwhile, happy reading!

May Archer-The Right Way

May Archer has bestowed the third book in her The Way Home series upon us. It is truly a gift. The romance is stressful and beautiful and oh so very real. I personally identified with The Right Way in a lot of ways, the biggest of which I’ll get into later.

So, Bas is Cam’s older brother, and an obsessive computer genius. He is a coder and will focus on code until he gets it to work the right way. He’s also a very logical person. He tries to logic his way out of everything, even the things where your head just won’t work the right way. He doesn’t quite get social situations, and he doesn’t quite get other people. There is one person in his life who he has always been able to count on and who has already been able to break through to him. That’s Drew.

Right now, Bas is obsessed with trying to figure out how to take down the Russians who killed his parents and who are trying to take down his company. He spends hours and days working on plans to get rid of them, and he gets seriously obsessed. However, this time Drew isn’t around to pull him out of himself, because they have stopped talking.

Drew and Bas have been best friends for 30 years. Bas was engaged to Drew’s sister, Drew dated Bas’s brother Cam. Drew has always been the person who helps Bas interact with the world and figure out what people are thinking and how he should handle it.  They spend time just hanging out, are always at one another’s houses and just are together most of the time. Drew has also always been madly in love with Bas for most of his life, even when his heart was breaking because Bas was going to marry his sister. Drew knows that nothing is going to happen because Bas is straight. But that doesn’t stop him from loving Bas. Everything ticks over mostly well, until a fateful Halloween night.

Bas tells Drew that he needs to cut loose so he takes him to a Halloween party with their old friends. Drew gets hammered, and when friends ask if Bas would rather kiss Drew or lose Drew forever, Bas says he’d rather kiss Drew and goes for it. In his drunken state, Drew lets a lot of things out of his personal vault, including how much he loves Bas. Bas freaks out, and they don’t talk for a month, and they are both miserable.

OK, here’s where I get up close and personal about why I identify so strongly with Bas. He talks to Cort, Cam’s lover, who is bisexual, about his feelings for Drew and how he doesn’t understand them because he’s straight. He likes having sex with women. Cort tells him that everyone’s truth is different, everyone’s likes are different, and we all grow and change and evolve in our lives. Sexuality isn’t an either/or choice. It’s a scale, and you can fall in various places on that scale. I am bi. I spent years pretending I wasn’t. I told everyone I was straight. I grew up in a religion where having same-sex attraction was bad, so therefore I had to be straight. As I grew up and started giving less of a fuck what other people thought about me, I was able to start facing my truth. For a long time, the only person who knew was my husband, although our son probably knew. A couple of years ago I came out to my mom and am slowly coming out to the world in general. Heh, outing myself more here, aren’t I? Anyway, why does this make me identify so strongly with Bas? It’s because I understand having those feelings and how having those feelings can change your whole view of yourself. It’s kind of like standing on teeter-totter, you have to maintain perfect balance or you are going to fall, but everything is wobbly underneath you, so trying to find that balance is nearly impossible.

OK, this is where we are going to split and go our different ways. This story is the very best one of the entire series. Drew and Bas are my favorite couple in the series and are in my top 10 book couples. The struggles they go through are so real and raw and that makes the story so much better for me, not that the story isn’t perfect anyway. I really want to see more of this world, and see how it is going to expand now that the 3 foundational couples are all paired off. I want to get Gary’s backstory, because I know it’s going to be fascinating.

Oh, and this picture isn’t spoiling anything, I just liked the guys. They are cute, right?

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OK, first of all, I want to know if Gary is Russian or of Russian descent and what his connection to Ilya Stornavich is. Ilya kept calling him by a nickname, and it’s obvious that Gary cares for Ilya’s nephew Dmitri. So, May, I can haz backstory, please? I would also love to see a story about Peter and his boyfriend.

I’m glad to see an end to the Russians and how that story arc finished. I don’t know where the next ones would pick up, but I would love to see it in some way, even if it is just novellas where we get peeks into the lives of Cam and Cort, Cain and Damon, and Drew and Bas. I love getting those little glimpses into a day in the life of…

I wouldn’t mind learning more about Ilya too. He might be some sort of twisted Russian Robin Hood, but there is a good story there, I know it. How did he get to Boston from Siberia and the gulags? That’s not your typical journey, and I would possibly sell my son to get that story. (Depends on how much he’s annoyed me at any given point in time)

OK, that’s all I have to say today, so I’m going to hit publish. This week has a lot of releases and lots of blog posts, so look forward to that. Meanwhile, happy reading!

May Archer-The Easy Way

May Archer is the nom de plume for Maisy Archer. She’s using May for when she writes her M/M romances. The Easy Way is the first of those books, and it is muy caliente. Maisy likes her boys, and it sure shows in this one. So, without any further ado, let’s get into Cort and Cam’s story.

Kendrick Cortland, just call me Cort, is an FBI agent. He’s been slightly rogue before, but now he’s going really off the reservation. He’s doing a personal investigation into Sebastian and Camden Seaver. Their parents died in a plane accident about a year ago, and the NTSB found the accident to be pilot error. There was a witness who said that he had been up drinking with the pilot the night before. The NTSB also said that the pilot was sloppy when it came to installing a part in the plane and that he didn’t pre-flight the plane correctly. Cort knows for a fact that the NTSB had to be wrong, because the pilot was his brother Damon, and he would never fly drunk or be sloppy. Now, Damon has come back from the dead and is sending Cort info that points to it being the Seavers who caused the plane crash.

Ever since Cam’s parents and his brother’s fiancee died in a plane crash, he’s had to take over the family company and all the responsibilities. His brother, Bas, has completely shut down, never answers the phone, never calls, and spends all his time looking into the crash. He doesn’t believe the NTSB’s findings and he wants someone to blame. Bas has taken to vilifying Damon in the press. Meanwhile, Cam is doing everything he can to deal with everything, but he has Drew, his ex and current head of legal, undercutting him and telling him that he’s weak. He’s just going through the motions and wants someone to love him for him. One fateful night, at a fundraiser for a charity his family started, he sees a Viking walk in the door.

Of course, you can all guess who the Viking is by now. Cort, who is currently suspended from the FBI, is there to try and use Cam so that Cam will take him to a party on a private island where Damon is going to be. That plan flies right out the window when Cort and Cam come face-to-face. Sparks fly and Cort discovers that he has a lot in common with Cam and Cam can’t be guilty of causing the plane to crash.

After talking, drinking, and running off Cam’s ex, Cam and Cort go up to the roof to get rid of some stress. They got rid of a lot of stress. Of course, they may have given me some.

This was a truly sweet love story. Cort is a bit of an asshole sometimes, but he at least knows that he screwed up and wanted to fix it. Cam has to work hard to deal with some of Cort’s actions, but when they are both able to get past those problems and get out of their own ways, they work so well together. Just so well together. If you like romances, this is a good one. You have been warned that it is two guys together, so no complaining on that. There is some (very steamy) sex scenes that are just so fantastic. If this sounds like something you are interested in, head over to ‘zon and pick it up. It’s only 0.99 right now, and it’s on KU.

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So yeah, remember how I said those sex scenes were hot? I don’t think hot is quite the right word. Sizzling, smoking, as hot as the fire of 1000 white hot suns? Yeah, that’s more like it. I don’t have the particular equipment to have sex like that in those scenes, but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying them in any way. The heat and the chemistry just radiated off the page.

I loved how Cort and Cam flirted, even when Cam really didn’t want to. Cort was persistent enough to get Cam to reply, but not so overbearing that it was all stalkery. That can be a really hard line to managed and Maisy did it really well.

And I cannot say how much I love the end. The HEA is so amazingly amazing. I really want more of these guys, which is always a good sign to me. I can’t wait for Maisy to come out with her next one. I know that it will be as great as this one.

Imagine my ARC disclaimer right here, K?