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.

Wow! Finished the Hot and Steamy Take (Temptation #2)

OMG, 5 Hearts! I strongly advise reading Try and Take from the Ella Frank’s Temptation series keeping a fan nearby. I have read a few M/M stories, and this is by far my favorite. Be forewarned that it is steamy and descriptive and difficult to put down. This is a series about Logan Mitchell and Tate Morrison. Logan is a hotshot lawyer and playboy; he came off of a bad relationship determined to never get attached again and plays both sides. Tate is the new bartender at the nightclub that Logan frequents. There is an instant attraction on the part of both men. Only Tate is currently going through divorce proceedings from his wife.

In Try (Temptation #1), we see Logan’s gradual seduction of Tate. Tate tries to understand his attraction to this particular man while struggling with family values and a Catholic upbringing.

In Take (Temptation #2), we see Logan and Tate come to accept their need for each other. Their relationship deepens emotionally and intensifies sexually (if that’s possible! – just look at the awesome cover!). For me, Take was perfect. I loved the banter between Logan and Tate similar to Beautiful Bastard. I got teary eyed as they struggled to identify where and how  they were comfortable being a couple in public and among friends. I was as surprised at the reaction of Tate’s family as Tate himself was. Somehow I expected an easier transition than Logan experienced.

There is obviously a third book coming for this series. While I will be very happy to see the story continue because I find this couple entertaining, I sort of expected a cliffhanger that didn’t happen with Logan’s ex. I feel like there is more to tell there, and maybe there will be.

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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.

Book Review – Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4) by R.K. Lilley

18631103R.K. Lilley is one of my favorite authors and I had the pleasure of meeting her (and I think her husband?) at a writers’ event this year. She was the most personable and gracious author that I met that day and was generous with her time.

I adore the “Up in the Air” series and I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mr. Beautiful!  I was looking forward to hearing his side of events and it was worth the wait. What a fabulous cover! I love the camaraderie between James and Tristan. I love the passion and love between James and Bianca. This conclusion has me loving him more.

And then there is Stephan. I wish I had such a loyal and true person in my life. The relationship between Stephan and Bianca is endearing and goes straight to my heart. I could read an entire story just about them, and I appreciate that we got to see more of their past in this story. This was an unexpected surprise for me. I also find Stephan and Javier a believable and touching m/m pairing, written eloquently.

This is part of a series, which should be read in order. Otherwise, you will not have the proper context for the characters and storyline. This is sort of a collection of random thoughts from different characters at different points of the series.

5 Stars

Book Review – The Tied Man – Tabitha McGowan

OMG, where to begin? This is an intense and absorbing read, so my recommendation is not to begin reading it if you have somewhere you need to be soon.

Lilith Bresson is an accomplished artist that basically gets forced by her father to accept a commission. The buyer is the madame of an exclusive resort. This is where we meet Finn Strachan, her “companion”. Every captive at the resort has a different role to play and each has a different threat hanging over them keeping them there. This is a very dark and disturbing story, on the same scale as The Dark Duet trilogy by C. J. Roberts. There are graphic sexual scenes and violence, as well as drugs. If you find this type of story upsetting, please do not put this on your reading list as it can keep you up at night. In fact, I actually stayed up all night engrossed in the story.

Having said that, I have the ability to look past the ugly of the story and see the good of the characters. I find Finn endearing. What he goes through is indescribable and inhumane. As he says, “But at the end of the day, everything I do costs me. The only question is how much.” Whichever words or actions he chooses, he is guaranteed to be punished; it’s just a tossup to what degree and type of punishment that he receives. Somehow, he continues to find love and light through simple pleasures and through Lilith. His pride and affection prevail. He so wants to be seen beyond what he is forced to do. “I want to keep hold of just one or two poxy secrets in the car crash otherwise known as my life in the vain hope that once or twice a year I can pretend to have some bloody dignity.”

I love the main heroine, Lilith. She matures and comes into her own during the story. We see her emotional maturity and her determination. She accepts the situation that Finn finds himself in without passing judgment or excuses. Instead, she works towards a solution. She works toward bringing Finn any small amount of happiness she can, sacrificing herself.

Do not go into this looking for a heavy and erotic read. There are mostly disturbing scenes in the story than there are romantic, and yet I appreciate the relationship between them and could feel the connection.

This was an incredibly well-written story. It is a great use of the language. I look very forward to the sequel.

5 Stars

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