My Review of Absolution

Absolution
Absolution

I found Absolution by Amanda Dick to be emotional and intense. This is a story about pain, guilt, moving forward, and seeking absolution. I connected with the characters. It was told well, and I appreciated seeing each character grow in emotional maturity. Ally, the heroine of the story, becomes disabled, and I FEEL her struggles and her ability to overcome them.

At times the action moved slow for me, but I never considered abandoning it. I loved the plot and I was drawn into the story. There was a sufficient amount of angst and suspense for my liking.

This is not a romance to me; the romance is really a small part. I kept waiting for the passion and heat to start, and it didn’t. I also found the characters drinking an excessive amount of coffee; there was always a pot brewing!

Overall, this was an inspirational story with strong characters. 4 Hearts

My Review of the Blackcreek Series by Riley Hart

The Blackcreek Series by Riley Hart is very heartwarming. It consists of a series of standalone stories, each one about a different gay couple. What I appreciate is that the different couples make an appearance in each book so that we continue to get a glimpse of what is happening in their lives.

18773407Collide, which is the first book, is my favorite. Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided mid-air when they dove for the same football as pre-teens.  Life circumstances separate them for several years when Noah and his family move away with no notice. Some years later, Noah returns, and he and Cooper literally collide into each other in a humorous fashion. Only Noah admits to being gay and returning to Blackcreek after a broken relationship. Cooper, who has only had heterosexual relations, learns that he is undeniably attracted to Noah. I enjoyed their developing relationship and found it so sweet. 4 Hearts

18776706Stay is the second book in the series. Wes Jensen just lost the sister and gained custody of his niece. He is fully committed to his responsibility and has no capacity for developing a relationship with his one-night stand from Collide, Braden Roth. Braden wedges himself into their lives by becoming a regular babysitter. Braden is loyal, funny, and a constant. I enjoyed the story. Unfortunately I found the story a little too nice and uneventful. I kept waiting for some major event that never happened. 3 Hearts

I was disappointed with the lack of editing in both books. It was incredibly distracting from the story. Also, the use of “he” made it extremely difficult to which male was talking and whose point of view was being expressed. Right now, I don’t know if I feel motivated to continue the series. Maybe someday.

18697821Katy Evans did it again! Ripped (Real #5) was released this month. I always feel a bit embarrassed at my age to admit that I enjoy this new adult series, but it is just sooo good (although maybe too erotic for YA…?). Honestly, I find the whole Real series entertaining. I love this click of girlfriends and their men.

While being part of a series, Ripped can be read as a standalone. If you want the full context of the characters and their friends, I would recommend reading the stories in order but it is not necessary.

Ripped is a second chance romance between Pandora and her rockstar boyfriend MacKenna. Pandora is Brooke’s gothic friend who was introduced in the first three books. We know nothing about MacKenna before this except that he broke Pandora’s heart. Circumstances bring them together six years later under a scenario I found humorous. It certainty helps to remember what being young felt like and acting impulsively. It also befitted Pandora would be in love with a rockstar that wears colored Mohawks in concert. They make a perfect couple and I could feel their connection.

This had several elements that I enjoy in a book. It made me laugh and cry. I love a sassy heroine. Any amount of angst works for me, and the ending made me CRY! 4 Hearts

I am lite22474626rally swooning! This next installment of the Hacker series, Hard Limit, by Meredith Wild was released this month and worth the wait. Seriously, could we be any more in love with BBF Blake Landon?!

The Hacker series has been ranked right up there with FSOG. My first love is still Christian. However, there is no denying the pull of this series. Given that I also work in IT as part of my real life, I can relate more to the characters and angst.

This installment does feel like a filler in this series, in line with Captivated by You. This is focused more on the romance than the suspense. However, the relationship between Erica and Blake is that much more solidified and enthralling. There continues to be external threats to their relationship. I might have expected a little more than what we received, e.g. Erica’s relationship with her father and Sophia posing a larger threat than she turned out to be –  although who knows what will happen in the next book!

The writing is fantastic, as we have come to expect from Meredith Wild. The connections between characters are solid. It has a swoon worthy conclusion. I anxiously await the next book! 4 Hearts

Some more man love (blush) – Touch Me: An Erotic Romance by Chris Scully

I have no recollection of how this book came to be on my TBR list. Touch Me: An Erotic Romance by Chris Scully is rather steamy as the 23171277genre implies. I loved the concept and wished it was longer! Massage therapist Erik Morgan offers a very special after-hours service to a handful of select clients. Because of the length of the novel, we only meet two of his clients, and I craved more. Erik helps his clients work through intimacy concerns. The story of stroke victim Allen is heart wrenching and real. The sessions are graphic but the intent behind them got to me, especially the fact that Erik’s compassion is derived from his personal situation with his partner who has ALS. I want to give this 5 Hearts and I can’t because I selfishly would have liked one more client, and I don’t think Erik should have kissed clients on the mouth to keep sessions professional. I give this 4 Hearts.

Tried Some Man Love – More than Make Believe

Happy Day After Thanksgiving! The company has been CRAZY and I had to escape the food and madness with a book. Reading does burn calories, right?

After reading several reviews for The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton, I had to put it on my TBR list. If you are not familiar with the writings of Tymber Dalton, I should advise that she writes a lot of alternative romance material. While I choose to read her books, these do not reflect my personal preferences. What amazes me is her ability to write an entertaining story with characters the reader comes to really care about. Characters that come from an alternative romantic scenario that might normally have me saying,  “What???” Their stories are sentimental. Having spent a significant portion growing up vacationing in Florida, I love how this is the setting for her stories. Needless to say, I have read several of her books (blush).

I recently tried reading one of her man love books, More than Make Believe. I’m not sure what turned me on to this initially because it seemed borderline too risqué for me. Travis Collins is a straight college student who finds himself in a financial bind. He’ll opts for going gay for pay and spending a weekend with experienced gay porn star Marston Cougar, who has been scorned off love. Once again, Tymber wrote a touching (and scorching) alternative romance. Both men were in financial crisis. Neither man admitted a proclivity for being gay. It was about two men forming an attachment for each other. I loved how their emotions ran together. I give this 4 Hearts.

The waiting is over… or is it? Finished reading Captivated by You!

So in case you were curious, I chickened out of taking a full day off work. BUT, around noon I did develop a “stomach ache”  that required a comfy chair, a cup of tea, a blanket, and my copy of Sylvia Days’s Captivated by You. And it hurts! There is so much waiting between the continuing saga of Eva and Gideon. Then the moment finally arrives, we get all caught up in the drama, only to have it end too soon again!

This is on51zFdfbe1KL._SL160_e of my top top top most favorite stories/series and my favorite book couple. I highly recommend the series, which must be read in order. I love the characters. The writing is sophisticated and eloquent. The relationship between Eva and Gideon captives me. I love the story with them as a married couple and it is told well. I don’t even care that the series is turning out longer than originally planned, because I love it that much.

I do have to be fair in my assessment though. While I truly enjoyed this leg of the story, I cannot give it 5 stars and this hurts me. There was love and heat, but there was so much missing. This felt like sort of a filler. We are no closer to the resolution of the Cary/Trey/Tatiana/baby drama. Cary is cutting again and that got like three sentences. I expected more reaction to that from Eva even if this isn’t a story about Eva and Cary. I expected a bigger blowout between Gideon and his mom. I anticipated Gideon’s father being connected to the Russian mafia. I expected a pregnancy drama. There was none of this! Even the ending felt like a stolen scene from my favorite movie, As Good As It Gets! it feels like the last book has much ground to cover for wrapping up the story and leaving fans happy and loyal. Still, I give this installment 4 Hearts. 

I will be eagerly checking Sylvia Day‘s site for an update on the series conclusion.