Review of On Point by Annabeth Albert

On Point (Out of Uniform #3)On Point by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Had you asked me a while back, if I liked military men in romances I would have said: not really. I rarely seek them out, and yet, here I am reading and loving the third book in Annabeth Alberts Out of Uniform series and eagerly awaiting the fourth one.

On Point is a best-friends-to-lovers story. A theme I greatly enjoy when it’s done right and boy, does Ms Albert do it right! So much buildup and tension between the two, so much awkwardness and angst everywhere else but the bedroom. Because Ben and Maddox are dynamite in the bedroom, even if they find it hard to find the balance outside of it.

The start of the book is Ben and Maddox on a mission, which goes wrong, interspersed with flashbacks from the last couple of months, where their decade long friendship has taken a turn for the weird. Even though I am not normally the biggest fan of the “I almost died, so I need to take a chance on this”-trope, it worked really well here. The intensity of the experience and the aftermath of it made sense and was engaging.

This is very much a relationship driven story, with angst, hurt and comfort, which will leave you turning the pages and sighing happily at the epilogue – I even got a bit teary, I was so happy for them!

All of these books can be read as standalones, but they are all great, so don’t cheat yourself out of some great books. Happily awaiting the next in the series.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Review of Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

Starting from Scratch (Housemates, #5)Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC of this book from the author, for my reading pleasure. This has in no way affected my review.

I love the Housemates series. Fun, lighthearted, hot and thoughtful NA series, and they just keep getting better, book by book. This story is Ben and Sid’s story. We met both of them briefly in book 4, but you do not need to read any of the others in the series to enjoy this book – although why would cheat yourself out of that treat?

I read romance for the sake of romance. I am not too concerned with the gender pairing or how many participants are in the romance, as long as it is a good story with a happy ending, I’ll read it!
However, I have been following Jay’s own personal journey, and have a person in my own circle who is also transitioning, so transgender characters in romances do hold a bit of special interest to me. This is by far the best romance with a transgender MC, I have read so far! So much more focus on the mental issues of transitioning, and not just the physical ones.

Ben has a great supportive network in his family, thank god, and when he finds the courage to come out to his friends, he luckily finds nothing but support there as well.
We get to see things from Sid’s point of view too, which I thought was great. Because yes, you would have thoughts and questions in your mind, if the person you were interested in turned out to be transgender, it’s human nature.

Due to its subject matter – and maybe the importance of the subject to the author – this is not as lighthearted a read as many of the others in the series, but it is still a great NA story, with a super sweet and steamy love story between its pages. Warmly recommended.

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Review of Pansies by Alexis Hall

Pansies (Spires Universe)Pansies by Alexis Hall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewing an Alexis Hall book is always difficult. Mainly because the man’s writing is so poetically beautiful that you hardly feel worthy of writing anything after having read it. The prose is flowery and beautiful and probably not for everyone, but it speaks to me. And so does the stories behind the words. Pansies is no exception.

Alfie Bell is a small town Northern boy, who have moved up in the world. He is working as a banker in London, living in a penthouse in Canary Wharf, driving a sports car, visiting the newest and hippest clubs and bars with his friends and earning loads of money. He apparently has it all.
Unfortunately Alfie is in no way comfortable in his life or in his own skin. He is finally out, after a lifetime in denial.

A trip home to South Shields for his best friends wedding ends in a chance encounter and hook up with a man Alfie doesn’t recognise until after the deed. Fen was the slight effeminate boy whom Alfie used to bully mercilessly growing up and now he is suddenly everything Alfie wants.

This slow moving romance is beautiful and the characters are complex real people with all their flaws, insecurities and cowardice. This is mainly Alfie’s story. Alfie who has to find out who he really is, now that he is Alfie Bell, gay. And not Alfie Bell, one of the lads.

I read this is one sitting, so even if it is slow moving and quite long, it still kept me engaged all the way through. In pacing it probably feels more like ‘Waiting for the flood’ than the other Spires stories, there is not a lot of action per se, but there is loads of character growth and relationship growth. And once again Alexis Hall explores the cultural diversity in modern Britain, dialects and all, which I always find fascinating.

To summarise: this is another achingly beautiful romance from Alexis Hall, which I believe will once again be a love it or hate it type of book. I loved it!

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Review of Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry

Adulting 101Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Nick is 18, gay, has just graduated high school and is college bound after the summer. He spends his days bored in his summer office job for a construction company, stapling things together and writing bad poetry about one of the construction workers beautiful backside.

Jai is 25, bi and has restless feet. He spends every summer working in his small hometown and then the rest of the year travelling the world. He is aware of the geeky temp with a major crush on him, but nothing else, until said geeky temp blows him in a porta-potty and ends up getting them both fired.

Nick is adorable and hilarious in his scatterbrained own way. He goes off on one tangent after another, angsting over the future in the way only a teenager can. Jai’s more mature with his 25 years, but not so much that you don’t believe the relationship between the two.

And lastly I must give a special shout out to Devon, Nicks best friend and the very best bro anyone could have ever asked for. Everyone should have a Devon. I would read his story, whether it is with Ebony or another girl.

To summarise: I loved this! The characters were great, even the secondary ones. I would recommend it to everyone who has ever been a teenager, so basically… everyone. It’s brilliant, adorable, hilarious and so freaking cute you want to hug it. I already know it will be a favourite re-read, and should I be so lucky that it will be released on audio, I will be first in line to buy it.

Adulating 101 will be released on August 15th 2016.

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Review of Home Again by Cardeno C.

Home Again (Home Collection)Home Again by Cardeno C.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5-4 stars

I received a free copy of this audiobook from WLK Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

I read this series a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, even if Cardeno C’s tendency to instalove / soulmates is hard for me to stomach sometimes. But that’s just me. I don’t believe in love at first sight and have a hard time with the concept, regardless of how romantic it may be.

Home Again is the first in the Home series, but all of the titles can be read as stand alones and the series work in any order you wish to read it.

Home Again is about Noah and Clarke. Who meet when they are teenagers. Their story is told through a series of flash backs as the story actually starts in present time, when Noah is in hospital after a serious accident with a lot of trauma to his body and a brain which has wiped off the last three years of his life.

I liked Noah and Clarke both, even if I found Noah a bit too possessive for comfort (I wouldn’t be able to live with that level of possessiveness in my life) and I really felt that he got off a bit too easy for what he had done. Why was Clarke the one who seemed to apologise the most for the incident? That didn’t sit quite right with me.

The bonus chapter was a sweet edition, but does include a spoiler for a later book, however, the timeline in general in this book means that we also get to see another couple, who gets together in a later book in the series.

I wasn’t too keen on the narrator to begin with, but he grew on me, and hot damn… that man could read a sex scene *fanning myself*…

This story is not my favourite of the series, but I do enjoy all of them and with Cardeno C you always know that you will get something well written and engaging with a sure fire happy ending.

I will be looking for the next book in the series on audio too. Even though I have already read all of them in bookform.

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Review of The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote

The Law of AttractionThe Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was one of the lucky winners in a giveaway for this audiobook. Thank you, Jay Northcote. It was a great listen and I think it must be one of the steamiest books Jay has ever written.

Alec is a workaholic, a lawyer on the cusp of making partner and deep in the closet. His love life consists of one night stands once in a while when the urge takes him.

Alec’s neatly compartmentalised life come crashing down one monday morning when his weekends’ one night stand, Ed, suddenly shows up in the office as the new temp on his team. Ed is everything Alec is not. He is out and proud, honest and out going with good friends and a loving family.

The tension between Alec and Ed is great and the ‘my hook up is my new boss’ scenario is an absolute favourite of mine. Such a deliciously awkward situation to be in.
And hot illicit office sex after hours? Need I say more… *fanning myself*

Alec and Ed struggle along, fighting their attraction, working together and slowly getting to know and like one another. The relationship develops organically and you understand each character’s decision about their life, even if you may not agree with why they did what they did.

Ed is a strong character and refuse to be anyone’s dirty little secret, but Alec is so deeply closeted, that he even has a long term ‘girlfriend’, who has been introduced both at work and to his family. As his feelings for Ed deepens he realises that he may not be able to find a way out of his own tangled web of lies, even if he dared to.

This is a great story, highly recommended. I did have a few niggles with the narration though, as I didn’t feel Matthew Lloyd Davies did Alec justice in his narration of him. It just felt a bit off now and then. I would still recommend the audiobook though as the story is great and the narrator has a very pleasant reading voice, would have just enjoyed a bit more ‘acting’ in the voices.

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Review of Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan

Winter Wonderland (Minnesota Christmas, #3)Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third of the Minnesota Christmas series, but each book works as a stand alone.  This one is a super cute addition to the series and very recommendable. In fact the whole series is recommendable to sappy souls who believe in Christmas miracles.

This is the story of how Paul finally gets his happy ending and of snow penises.

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