Monday, January 29, 2018

Romantic Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.

Romantic Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z
Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Detective Andreas Ruffner is no fool—he’s found a man who loves him, puts up with him, and has stuck with him through hell and back, and it’s time to put a ring on it. Darren Corliss is the love of his life, and he wants the whole world to know it.
Now the fun part—the wedding!

Well, after the not-so-fun part of planning the wedding in between dealing with overbearing and impossible-to-please family members. With future mothers-in-law driving them both up a wall, the guest list growing out of control, and the wedding getting ever more complicated, Darren and Andreas have to wonder if they’re in over their heads.

But they’re going to make it to the altar if it kills them . . . and at this rate, it just might.
Review: It’s wedding time! Okay, that might be a bit of a spoiler, but it’s kind of a spoiler for most people reading the series, so hopefully you don’t mind. Romantic Behavior is shorter than the other books and it’s very character focused since there is no mystery or case the guys have to solve. Instead, this is very much about the guys, their family, and finding their happily-ever-after. Plus, if you like the physical romance, you get some of that in this one…it’s sporadic in the other books! I loved this book too, and I think it’s the final one in the series…but I’d happily read more about Darren and Andreas if I could!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Reckless Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.

Reckless Behavior by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): After too many years of putting his job first, Detective Andreas Ruffner is getting his priorities straight. He’s ready to spend some quality time with his adult kids, not to mention come clean about some things he should’ve told them a long time ago. And introduce them to his partner and boyfriend, Darren Corliss.

But in a heartbeat, a family dinner turns into Andreas’s worst nightmare. When the dust settles, one of his kids is hurt, and the other three have been abducted.

Andreas is going to find his kids, and nothing, not even a broken ankle, is going to stop him. Thank God for his sharp, level-headed partner . . . who has a crisis of his own pulling him away when Andreas needs him the most. As both men try to support—and lean on—each other, they get no closer to finding the kids. And the longer the children are missing, the less likely it is they’ll ever be found.

Review: Reckless Behavior is the third book in the Bad Behavior series. You can probably read them out of order, but I suggest starting with the first because all the books deal with Darren and Andreas and along with a new mystery each book, you get a nice progression of their relationship. For those that don’t know the series, Darren and Andreas are both detectives (partners in both senses of the word) and there is an age gap as well. Andreas hasn’t really been around for his kids, so he wants to start changing that, but then most of them end up kidnapped and both guys will do anything to get them back. Of course, Darren is also dealing with an ailing brother, so there is a lot going on around them. I love this series – and this was another great addition!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Obsession by Theophilia St. Claire

Obsession by Theophilia St. Claire

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Nick has a hard life. Not only is he working at an East Harlem bar to make ends meet and pay for his sister’s medical expenses, he’s also on the run from a shady past that’s surely catching up to him.

Most people think Claude has it easy due to the money and luxury surrounding him. But they would be wrong. Firmly trapped beneath his stern father’s thumb, Claude’s pre-determined life took a nosedive when his lover, Christian, left him a year ago.

When the two meet, sparks do not instantly fly between them. Claude thinks Nick is his ex-lover returned to him. Nick thinks Claude is crazy.

However, circumstances bring these two men together. And despite Claude’s jealousy and possessive nature, Nick is falling for him. Sick of being mistaken for Claude’s ex, Nick is willing to find out what happened to him—the real Christian. He’ll have to if he wants a stable relationship with Claude. How Claude takes the truth, however, is the only thing that scares him.

Review: Obsession is a dark read, so it’s definitely not for everyone. Nick falls for a man named Claude, but Claude only see his ex when he looks at Nick. It’s a dysfunctional, abusive relationship, but I think the author did a good job showing why Nick stayed. The book also offers up some sympathy for Claude, though obviously not so much where what he does to Nick can be overlooked or forgiven. I thought the book was a relatively intriguing, quick read, but I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. Most of it ends well, except for one aspect. I’d be curious to see what other people who read the book think of this moment, but I don’t want to give it away for fear of any spoilers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Etsy Pride: Albus Dumbledore

I'm actually celebrating all things Harry Potter on my other blog next month. It's going to be FebruHARRY so I'd love to have all of you join in if you like HP or are curious about checking out the books and/or movies.

If you want to share on social media, please use the #FebruHARRY2018 so we can all find your posts! In honor of FebruHARRY fast approaching, I thought I'd share an Etsy pride including items that relate to Dumbledore (who is gay, if you weren't aware).

Isn't this wall art beautiful? You get to choose the background color and the foil lettering, so this is just an example of what it could look like. It's also an iconic quote of Dumbledore that I just love.

Harry Potter Wall Art - starts at $21. 95

The shop is AKA Foils, based in California.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching - I think this I A-Dumbledore You mug would be such a fun gift for the Harry Potter fan in your life.

Dumbledore Mug costs $13.00

The shop is The Sassy Housewife, based in California

What a fun little gift for all those Albus Dumbledore fans! I really like the color.

The shop is Story Scentsations, based in Nevada. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur

Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Mack Garrett loves the rolling hills surrounding his Northern California dude ranch. Leading vacationers on horse trails with his two best friends is enough – romance is definitely not in the cards. When a sexy tourist shows up at Clean Slate, he’s as far from Mack’s type as can be. So why is the handsome city slicker so far under his skin in less than a day?

Roughing it in the middle of nowhere isn’t anywhere near Wes Bentley’s idea of fun. Then he lays eyes on the gruffest, hottest papa bear he’s ever seen. But Mack is as hard to pin down as he looks – distant, sharp-tongued, and in desperate need of a shave. Until a campout gone wrong strands both men in the mountains with nothing to do but get to know each other.

Mack intends to keep his closely guarded heart out of Wes’ very talented hands. But for a seven-day cowboy, Wes is packing some long-term possibility. The cold country air can do wonders for bringing bodies together – but it will take more than that to bridge the distance between two men whose lives are worlds apart.

Review: A.M. Arthur is one of my favorite authors so I was excited to check out Wild Trail, which is the first in her new Clean Slate Ranch series. I’m not usually someone to gravitate toward “cowboy romance” but I think Arthur has persuaded me to read more of them. Mack and Wes have both been burned by romance in the past, so while Wes is willing to engage in some vacation romance, Mack isn’t sure he wants to get involved with someone who will only be visiting for a little while. I loved all the details about the ranch Mack lived and worked on, and it really showed his love and passion for the place. It wasn’t his first choice of a career – you learn more about this in the book – but it’s become a safe haven for him. Wes, of course, threatens to upset that a bit. However, the two eventually get to know each other and create a relationship that both of them would love to keep going after Wes leaves, if only they could figure out how to make it work. There isn’t too much drama in the book (between Wes and Mack), and there is even a little bit of a mystery in Wild Trail! I definitely recommend, and I can’t wait to see who the next book focuses on.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Hand by L.A. Witt

New Hand by L.A. Witt
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Months after his husband’s death, Garrett Blaine desperately needs a fresh start. He sells his house in Seattle, leaves his accounting job, and starts bartending in Bluewater Bay. There he meets a man who wakes up his nearly forgotten libido.
Jesse Connelly’s friend with benefits bolted after Jesse disclosed his HIV status. Stood up and stinging, Jesse tries to drown his sorrows . . . and finds an unexpected connection with a lonely bartender.
Jesse and Garrett quickly bond over a shared love of comics and card games, and they can’t get enough of each other between the sheets. Not even a bumpy start and a fifteen-year age gap can derail them as they go from strangers to lovers, then friends, then much more.
But as Garrett’s feelings for Jesse deepen, so does his grief for the man he lost—especially as he sees hints of his late husband in his new boyfriend. Now Garrett has to figure out if Jesse is his second chance at true love, or if Jesse’s just filling in for the man he’s never fully grieved. And he needs to figure it out soon, because Jesse’s starting to wonder the same thing.

Review: New Hand is the 23rd and final book in the Bluewater Bay series. While these can all be read on their own, if you want to read things a bit in order, I suggest Outside the Lines and then New Hand as you meet Jesse in OTL. Otherwise, you can easily read New Hand on its own. This book is about Jesse, who works at the comic book shop with Simon and Lydia Derry (from Outside the Lines) and who finds it difficult to maintain a relationship with anyone as he’s been HIV positive for years. However, when he’s stood up one night, he meets new bartender Garrett, who has recently lost his husband. Garrett doesn’t think he’ll fall for anyone so soon, but he can’t deny the feelings he’s getting for Jesse. I really liked how Witt handled both Garrett’s loss and Jesse’s status. These are two very big things in the characters’ lives and I thought they were portrayed accurately and with respect, which is important. This is also an age-difference romance, which I find I’ve come to really enjoy lately!