The Farther He Runs by Lynda Aicher

the-farther-he-runsRating: 4 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publication day:
 December 6, 2016
Length: 
224 pages  
Publisher:
Loveswept

After years away from home, Tanner Dorsey is back and sorting through feelings that have him in a stranglehold. The hardened Marine will do anything for a fallen comrade, so when an accident leaves Finn Kelley fighting for his life, Tanner’s eager to be there for him. In fact, Tanner’s ready and willing to do anything Finn asks—especially if it means finally acting on the sexual tension that’s always kept him craving more.

Finn senses it too—when he brushes against Tanner’s stubbled jaw, when he inhales the scent of the T-shirt that clings to Tanner’s body like a second skin. Now that he’s more vulnerable than ever, Finn knows the time is right to take control, even if it means risking the heart and soul of their friendship. The bond they share goes beyond desire; it’s a bond of brotherhood, forged under conditions few could imagine. But once they cross that line, there will be no more secrets. No more boundaries. And no turning back.

My View: The Farther He Runs brings friends-to-lovers and brothers-in-arms to a different level. The connection between Finn, Chris, and Tanner formed during their time in the military. There are many references to military terms and their time in service. One thing they didn’t share was an “in-love” relationship.

I didn’t read book #1 in the series, but I don’t think is necessary to understand when the brotherhood between Finn and Tanner turned into something more. Many of the main characters’ thoughts revolved around this concern. They both wanted more but didn’t want to lose their friendship.

As soon as Finn and Tanner met again, their worlds turned into rights. I love the scene when Tanner arrives and the one when all the men paid their respects. Their time in the cabin was interesting and very creative. The BDSM elements weren’t that convincing but didn’t detract from the story.

We also get to see the characters from the previous books and learned more about their current plans and their futures. Overall, this is a good addition to the series.

What I liked the most: How the military and its brotherhood is portrayed.

I wanted more/less: Less inner dialogue.

Who should read it: Fans of the series.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox

blank-spacesRating: 4 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publication day:
 November 14, 2016
Length: 
330 pages  
Publisher: 
Riptide Publishing

Absence is as crucial as presence.

The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery and insurance investigator Jonah Sondern shows up, Vaughn finds himself struggling with that decision.

Jonah wants his men like his coffee: hot, intense, and daily. But Vaughn seems to be the one gay guy in Toronto who doesn’t do hookups, which is all Jonah can offer. No way can Jonah give Vaughn what he really wants, not when Jonah barely understands what love is.

When another painting goes missing, tension ramps up both on and off the clock. Vaughn and Jonah find themselves grappling not just with stolen art, but with their own differences. Because a guy who wants nothing but romance and a guy who wants nothing but sex will never work—right? Not unless they find a way to fill in the spaces between them.

My View: I have read several books with asexual characters and I think this one does the best establishing a loving relationship in which one of the partners is asexual. But the best part is how the author shows the character self-discovery and how it changes him.

Vaughn is perfect. He has all he needs at the moment and meeting Jonah just opens the door for him to fulfill a piece of his life he didn’t know was missing. Not because someone’s expectations, but because it makes sense to him.

Jonah is young and a contradiction. He loves the life he has, but is working hard to do better. His constant hook ups work for him and give him the release he needs to focus in his work. He uses sex as a coping mechanism but he’s not jaded about it.

I love Vaughn’s and Jonah’s friendship. It’s fun, interesting, and refreshing; just like the main characters. They are the book and we see them grow as we discover more about their lives.

Only the last part felt out of place for me. I understand how they work as a couple, but the easy talk about it, in public, seems out of place for such a lovely moment they were enjoying as a couple.

The mystery element is interesting, and keeps bringing the main characters together. The rest of the cast complemented the main story and set some strings for future stories.

What I liked the most: How well the asexuality topic is weaved in the story.

I wanted more/less: More time with Vaughn and Jonah as a couple, out with their friends; everyday activities like waking up together, catching up breakfast, etc.

Who should read it: Fans of a diverse cast of characters.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

[Cover Reveal] Regeneration by Louise Lyons

regeneration-book-cover-revision-400-x-600

Release date: January 15, 2017

Genre: Gay fiction, science fiction, MM romance

Length: 75,000 words

Cover design: Simon Searle

BLURB

In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.

Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim’s failing confidence, and Christian’s inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other’s life, their feelings begin to change.

Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords


MEET THE AUTHOR

louise-lyons-logo

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Murder Once Seen by J.T. Hall

murder-once-seenRating: 4.75 stars
Genre: 
Urban Fantasy; BDSM
Publication day:
 December 12, 2016
Length: 
352 pages  
Publisher: 
Riptide Publishing

In the city of Nis, things often aren’t what they seem.

Derwin is a bounty hunter gifted with the Oddity of superhuman strength and agility—perfect for hunting down fugitives and demons who roam the streets. One killed his boyfriend two years ago, and Derwin won’t stop until he finds out who. Police suspect it was someone he sent to prison, but he can’t shake the idea that they’re missing something.

Elliot is a rentboy who’s been living on the streets since his parents disowned him. He mistrusts everyone and, given his uncontrolled ability to Read Objects and a client list that includes a major gang boss, despairs of ever having a normal life.

Derwin and Elliot meet in a storm of lust. Derwin’s Oddity is fed by the pain of others, but he only wants what’s freely given. Elliot loves pain, but needs safety and a way off the streets before he can allow it. They may be able to solve each other’s problems . . . if they can survive long enough to work together.

My View: I’m not an urban fantasy/dystopian fan, but this story won me over; it was really hard to put down. I wanted to slow down to enjoy the story, but at the same time, I wanted to read faster to know what would happen next. The author did an excellent job making sure all the plot arcs were interesting and well-fleshed.

The world built worked with the story and all foreign concepts and fantasy terms were easy to understand throughout the book. It is a nice setup to start the series and introduces many human-liked oddities that are fresh and interesting. The way Derwin’s and Elliot’s oddities worked together is another example of how good this story is.

Even when the main arc of the story is the mystery, the romance, and BDSM elements are balanced. We get enough of an answer for every aspect, and what’s not resolved completely is explained sufficiently until the next book in the series arrives. Hopefully, pretty soon.

Overall, Murder Once Seen has a satisfying HFN in a world different from ours, but with enough similarities to be easily navigated. It has enough smexy times, as well as, gritty moments. The main characters love isn’t pretty, but it’s filled with the hopes for a brighter future.

What I liked the most: The way Derwin feds from Elliot.

I wanted more/less: Probably a more defined DS relationship between Derwin and Elliot.

Who should read it: Fans of mysteries and BDSM stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Just Drive by L.A. Witt

just-driveRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary; Military
Publication day:
 November 21, 2016
Length: 
300 pages  
Publisher: 
Riptide Publishing

For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

My View: Just Drive is a classic L.A. Witt military story. It’s the type of book I’d have rated five stars a couple of years ago. It has a simple plot arc, nice characters, basic military references, and lots of in page sex scenes. If you are in the mood for a low angst, steamy book this is it.

I do love Paul and Sean individually. They were perfect for the story and it was easy to see how good they became as a couple. Even with the age gap, Paul treated Sean as an equal and didn’t try to play games with him. It was good to see a balanced relationship with a mature young adult.

The military details were right on point, down to the aggressive seagulls all bases seem to have. As a military spouse, I appreciate the accurate rendition of life in the service, not only for the sailor but for the dependants.

I wasn’t too fond of the ending, and the HEA perfect wrap-up, but it did work for the story. I’m glad Travis gets his chance in the next book, and I’m looking forward to more from this series.

What I liked the most: The little everyday military details.

I wanted more/less: I wanted more of Paul as CO.

Who should read it: Fans of L.A. Witt’s military stories.

ARC provided by Riptide Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.