September readings | Classics, Space Operas, Magic & Erotica

Title: Dune
Series: Dune #1
Author: Frank Herbert
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy, Space Opera, Adventure
Page count: 688 pages
Published: First published June 1965

My review | Book | Audiobook

Title: The End Zone
Series: Atlanta Lightening #2
Author: Riley Hart
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports, Romance, MM
Page count: 306 pages
Published: 16 July 2021

My review (soon) | Book | Audiobook

Title: Black Moon
Series: Wolf Moon Rising #1
Author: Sam Burn
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Werewolves
Page count: 330 pages
Published: 22 April 2021

My review (soon) | Book | Audiobook

Title: A Veilled & Hallowed Eve
Series: Soulbound VII
Author: Hailey Turner
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, MM
Page count: 485 pages
Published: 01 October 2021

My review | Book | Audiobook

Title: Homecoming
Author: Keegan Kennedy
Genre(s): Erotica, MM, Contemporary, BDSM
Page count: 188 pages
Published: 12 April 2013

My review (soon) | Book

Title: Foundation
Series: Foundation #1
Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre(s): Science-Fiction, Space Opera, Fantasy, Classics
Page count: 255 pages
Published: August 1951

My review | Book | Audiobook

Title: Ashfall Legacy
Author: Pittacus Lore
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Fantasy
Page count: 432 pages
Published: 17 August 2021

My review | Book | Audiobook

Title: Ink & Sigil
Series: Ink & Sigil #1
Author: Kevin Hearne
Genre(s):
Page count:
Published:

My review (soon) | Book | Audiobook

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These books are also available on The Book Depository, or you can get them from the links above at no extra cost to you

First Impressions | Jay Hogan

First Impressions (Auckland Med. 1) by Jay Hogan published 15 December 2019
Michael:
Two years ago I made a mistake, a big one. Then I added a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life, but I survived. Now, I have the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in New Zealand. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to rebuild my life. But I’m taking my new set of rules with me.
I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.
And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.

Josh:
One thing for certain, Dr. Michael Oliver is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I barely survived the last one of those. He might be gorgeous, but my daughter takes number one priority. I won’t risk her being hurt, again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop and a son to pain-in-the-ass parents.
I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances.
I don’t have time for more complications in my life.
And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is. 

Buy links:

How was it?

I wanted to read this book for a while, a friend of mine even gifted it to me since she saw it on my wish lis, but I didn’t have time to sit and read it. Instead I turned to the audiobook when I saw that Gary Furlong was narrating it because I’ve only experienced his work on the Soulbound series so I was curious, and he totally delivers.

As for the story, there’s a gentle mix of genres that works. There’s a mystery crime element in it, which I liked, that could have been the main theme / focus of the book. But Michael being who is he, meaning that he does all that he can to help then kind of lets it go, and Josh’s lack of direct involvement with the investigation makes the mystery crime thriller aspects of the story more of a set-up for their relationship and characterization than the focus.
We also really get to know the characters through their actions more than anything else. Going back to the way Michael handles the crime and investigation that follows says a lot about about him. It’s that very attitude that is how he got himself in a tight spot in the past. Not being able to cope with the feeling of not having done everything that he could have with the information available to him. The story is field with little acts like this that gives you a clear idea of who these men are.

Speaking of the main characters, I love Josh and Michael’s rich history. They’ve both been through some though things and it makes them more interesting to me in particular when we see how they’re dealing with their past. There’s also an emphasis on each them as individuals that I appreciate, because too often in books when there’s a romantic pairing they kind of become one, or defined by each other and have little to no individuality. The fact that they start of as friends with benefits, which is so hot in this book, helps. The strong secondary characters do that as well, painting a good picture of what Josh and Michael’s individual lives are like apart from each other.

There’s a bit of angst in this story, enough to flirt with my threshold but it didn’t get to a point that it annoyed me too much. Giving how serious most of the events Josh and Michael went through the author does a great job at not rushing things for the most part, asking real questions about a viability of their relationship.

The Auckland Med series starts off strong, the characters are great, the story feels real and not looked at through rose-tinted glasses. I’m hungry for grittier, down to earth mm romance novels and this book delivers.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First Impressions is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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June reads | Sizzling Short Stories, Paranormal Romances, Mercenaries and Hockey

Title: Just Friends
Series: Never Just Friends #1
Author: Saxon James
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, MM
Page count: 259 pages (ebook)
Published: 27 August 2020

My review (Soon) | Book | Audiobook

Title: Cruising
Editor: Shane Allison
Genre(s): Short Stories, Erotica, LGBT
Page count: 232 pages
Published: 17 April 2012

My review | Book

Title: Familiar Beginnings
Series: Demon Magic
Author: Alice Winters
Genre(s): Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Page count: 214 pages
Published: 26 March 2020

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Title: How to Save a Human
Series: VRC: Vampire Related Crimes #4
Author: Alice Winters
Genre(s): Humor, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Page count: 332 pages
Published: 6 November 2020

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Title: Waking Bel
Series: Lords of Discord #3
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Genre(s): Menage, Paranormal, Fantasy
Page count: 378 pages
Published: 29 May 2020

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Title: Pledges
Author: Shane Allison
Genre(s): Short Stories, Anthologies, Romance
Page count: 232 pages
Published: 16 April 2013

My review | Book

Title: The Gray Man
Series: Gray Man #1
Author: Mark Greaney
Genre(s): Thriller, Action, Adventure, Spy, Fiction, Mystery
Page count: 456 pages
Published: 29 September 2009

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Title: Line Mates & Study Dates
Series: CU Hockey #4
Author: Eden Finley, Saxon James
Genre(s): Hockey, College, Romance, LGBT
Page count: 306 pages
Published: 23 June 2021

My review | Book

These books are also available on The Book Depository, or you can get them from the links above at no extra cost to you

May readings | A Lot of Mystery with Some Sport and Magic

Title: Love is a Stranger
Series: More Heat Than The Sun #1
Author: John Wiltshire
Genre(s): Romance, Military Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, LGBT
Page count: 505 pages (ebook)
Published: 8 January 2021

My review | Book | Audiobook

Title: Rueberry Orchard
Series: Beyond the Realm: Remember #1
Author: Michele Notaro
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, MM Romance, Action
Page count: 343 pages (ebook)
Published: 6 October 2020

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Title: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Page count: 455 pages
Published: 2 January 2018

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Title: Truckers
Author: Various authors
Editor: Johnny Hansen
Genre(s): Gay Erotica
Page count: 192 pages (paperback)
Published: 17 July 2006

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Title: The Endgame
Author: Riley Hart
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports Romance, MM
Page count: 336 pages (ebook)
Published: 20 April 2021

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Title: Bell, Book and Scandal
Series: Bedknobs and Broomsticks #3
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, MM
Page count: 204 pages (ebook)
Published: 30 March 2021

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Title: The Fantastic Fluke
Series: The Fantastic Fluke #1
Author: Sam Burns
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Mystery, MM
Page count: 288 pages (ebook)
Published: 6 August 2020

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Title: Jon’s Boom Shaka Laka Problem
Series: Jon’s Mysteries #4
Author: A.J. Sherwood
Genre(s): Mystery, Urban Fantasy, MM
Page count: 238 pages (ebook)
Published: 7 February 2021

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Title: Following the Rules
Series: The Script Club
Author: Lane Hayes
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Page count: 200 pages
Published: 7 May 2021

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Title: Goal Lines & First Times
Series: CU Hockey #3
Author: Eden Finley, Saxon James
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Page count: 294 pages (ebook)
Published: 10 February 2021

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Title: Other Half
Series: Psycop 12
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre(s): Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Page count: 200 pages
Published: 7 January 2021

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These books are also available on The Book Depository, or you can get them from the links above at no extra cost to you

Summertime Butt Slut | Malcolm Van

Summertime Butt Slut: Fully Loaded Creampie Adventures #1 by Malcolm Van published 10 July 2019

It’s going to be a rough, raunchy ride for Decker when his dorm mates Simon and Molokai suggest he sell his body at the beach to any and every man willing to pay. The goal is to raise money for girls, sex, and drugs to entertain his dorm mates over summer, but the real fun is all reserved for Decker, who must prepare himself to become an open and willing bottom for all of the beach’s sexy, slutty men! To help him along, Decker’s roommates give him an assignment – to have sex with as many men as possible in order to loosen him up enough for what he’ll receive on the beach. Through this assignment, Decker meets Jorge at the gym – a guy from his class who offers to spot him on the weight bench as well as in the shower! There, he also meets two burly bears who take over the fun with a split-roast to remember. Follow along with Decker as he further prepares himself by claiming the virginity of a comic book geek and nabbing some bbc on the basketball court, all in anticipation of his upcoming adventure on the beach! But, when the big day comes, will all go according to plan, or will Decker’s hardcore efforts be for nothing? For Adult’s Only.

How was it?

I didn’t read the blurb, I don’t know what I expected this to be with a title like that – maybe a comedic novella? 🤷‍♂️ – but I started it with an open mind and boy I was surprised.

The smut is searing hot, it’s an onslaught of sex scenes – that have a nice thread to them if you suspend your disbelief a bit – and there’s something for everybody.

I’ve read one or two MM smutty novellas that I’ve liked enough – meh – but this one sets itself apart because I wouldn’t be afraid to recommend it to a close friend. Or for it to be found on my devices.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Other books by the authors:

The Bentley Twins | R**ped by Santa

Rebound | L.A. Witt

Rebound (Pucks & Rainbows #1) by L.A. Witt published 27 March 2019

Officer Geoff Logan has his plate full. His cop’s salary and Marine retirement aren’t enough to make ends meet. He’s got war wounds and demons that are in it for the long haul. His teenagers are, well, teenagers, plus they’re pissed that he left the boyfriend they loved. Can’t a guy catch a break?
Seattle Snowhawks center Asher Crowe has it all. A seven figure salary. A literal house on a hill. A stable, loving relationship with an amazing boyfriend. At least, that’s what the world sees. Behind closed doors, he’s been living in a private hell, and when he finally works up the courage to end things, his boyfriend refuses to go quietly.
One call to the cops, and suddenly Geoff and Asher’s paths cross. But is the connection between them simple chemistry? Kindred spirits? Or just a pair of lonely hearts looking for a hot distraction?
And even if it’s more than physical, is there really a future for two men from such vastly different worlds? Especially when the past comes knocking?

How was it? I recently tried to revisit this story because the third one is coming out this month, and for some reason I could not remember the particulars of the story. I just knew that I liked the book and was very much interested in the sequel – that I’m about to read.

The first few lines had all the memories floating back to me and I now have an idea why this book struck a cord. That’s not right, I know now why I couldn’t remember the details of this book. Because it touched me in a deeper way than I’d thought. This is what I wrote about it after reading it :

Rebound is a bit of a slow burn, it’s grounded, not rushed, and very refreshing. As much in the subject matter abuse and the way the sexual aspect of the relationship was approached and described.

This is all I wrote at the time and did not published my thoughts then. What’s interesting to me now, is that I can agree with most of it just with the few memories and feelings about the book that came up after those first few lines. I’m not sure what I meant about the last bit about sex but I can hazard a guess.

I’m saying without really saying that this book has struck close enough to home that I don’t plan and re-reading this book, and yet I’m still happy that I did. I don’t remember being triggered reading it but it will be a one and done for me, much like I have no intention to revive a relationship with that ex who made this book feel familiar to me. It’s not what I’ve been through but close enough. But I am going to recommend this book because it’s worth reading and I am going to dive into the next one.

I’m curious, does anyone have the same kind of feelings I do about this book? Not triggered, liked it, interested in the series but not keen on re-reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Outing the Quarterback | Tara Lain

Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.
In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.
When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.

How was it? The premise is very interesting and both Will and Noah are compelling characters but the execution is disappointing. The book read like a debut novel of a fledgling, slightly lazy, writer.

The dialogues are weird at times and eye roll worthy. The sex scenes are not even a little bit titillating, they come of as mechanical. The worse might be the nicknames, for Will and his piece 🤨.

I was very surprised by Outing the Quarterback, I managed to finish the book because the author scored some goodwill on another book, and like I said before the premise is interesting, enough to keep me reading.

Rating: 2 out of 5.