Trouble ( Twirled World Ink 2) by J. M. Dabney

Title: Trouble                        Word Count: 127 pgs

Genre: Gay Biker Romance

Blurb: Welcome to Twirled World Ink where the crazies run the asylum.

Model perfect Jimmy “Trouble” Carver had never heard the word no. Tattooed, sexy and the quintessential bad boy Trouble had men falling over themselves to get to him. What people didn’t know about him was he was self-conscious even if life was easy for him. He’d started out as an apprentice at Twirled World Ink after college and never looked back. Trouble was exactly where he wanted to be, although there was one speed bump, his crush refused to go out on a date.

Brody Vaughn worked in a dead-end job, barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. He didn’t have much time for anyone other than his five-year-old daughter Mina and besides he’d never quite found a place in this world he fit. Chunky and average, that’s how he felt, except for when Trouble came into the grocery store where he worked. The flirty, gorgeous man asked him out every week with a sexy smile, but Brody had to refuse. It wasn’t as if he wanted to say no, it was just how could he date a man Brody knew he had no business trying to keep.

The Crazies of Twirled World Ink excel at one thing, matchmaking, and they are determined their resident bad boy would get his man. They just had to make sure that neither Trouble or Brody screwed up their plan.

Author’s Note: Although this is part of a series each book is a stand alone and every book deals with a separate couple.
My Review: Jimmy ‘Trouble’ Carver is the playboy of the Twirled crew , or so it would seem because of his good looks. However, for months he has been pining for the short, cute chunky grocery store clerk Brody. For some reason Brody keeps turning down the sexy tattoo artist, even though he can’t always keep his eyes off. Yet again , Trouble leaves the store feeling dejected after another invitation gets turned down. There is just something about Brody he can’t get out of his mind, even though he is not his usual type.

Brody finds Trouble very handsome, but he knows he can’t act on his desires.He has other responsibilities in his life, namely Mina his daughter. Brody is a single dad barely making ends meet and he knows he has to put Mina first and forget about his little crush. When Brody takes Mina out to a diner and is met with a full house, he is disappointed. He is surprised to hear   Trouble calling out to him. Brody and Mina get to meet the whole crew when Trouble suggests that they join their table. Mina latches on to the biggest biker of them all Scary. Brody is very intimidated by Scary , but Trouble sets him at ease and seeing how gentle Scary is with Mina is definitely endearing.

Trouble certainly wants to push his advantage and calls to invite Brody and Mina to watch a kid friendly movie and see the tattoo shop. This unconventional night goes off without a hitch and has quite  few chaperones, including all the Twirled World crew and  Brody’s brother mayor Elijah Vaughn. Mina is ecstatic about all the attention she receives from all of Trouble’s family and she has each of them wrapped around her little finger. Mina has now been dubbed ‘Princess’ by all her honorary  biker uncles.

This is new territory for Brody but he likes having friends. The relationship takes on a life of its own , because Trouble knows he definitely wants Brody and Princess in his life. Brody knows he wants to keep this man, when he sees the vulnerability hidden behind Trouble’s eyes after a run- in with his uptight family. It seems that Trouble is from a well to do family who likes to take every opportunity to criticize and put him down for his lifestyle. Brody cuddles his man and this leads them slowly out of the friend zone.

Trouble decides that they need a one on one date even though Brody is not ready for sex yet. A lot of their insecurities are revealed as  they start talking, but they both try to sooth the tension from each other . Trouble lets Brody know that he sees permanence in their future. Trouble wants to infiltrate Brody’s life and do all the couply sort of things. As much as Brody resisted at first, he is coming to realize that he loves Trouble and wants him as Princess’ other dad.

All of Twirled crew, the Brawlers and Brody show Trouble the true meaning of family when they pull together and rally around him when his stuck up family tries to cause problems. Brody’s brother Elijah sets a plan in place to humiliate the Carvers and try to ruin their social standing since that’s all they care about. This definitely pulls Brody and Trouble together. He has never had anyone stand up for him like Brody. He sees how strong and protective his sexy little man is of his family.Now, Trouble believes in Brody’s love and sees a beautiful future for all of them. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Closet Case ( Sexy Nerd Boys 4) by K .M. Neuhold

Title: Closet Case                        Word Count: 168 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Jax

That awkward moment when you accidentally fool around with a closet case. I have a strict policy against dating closeted guys. Confused straight guys? Absolutely. Guys who don’t mind being out and proud? Duh. But closet cases are a hard pass. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt with a giant picture of a broken heart on it. It would be a lot easier to stick to my dating rule if Matthew Hart could be slightly less irresistible. 

Matthew

Being a closeted gay college football player is not all it’s cracked up to be. After I broke my high school boyfriend’s heart by refusing to come out of the closet, I swore off serious dating. I don’t want to hurt anyone like that again, and I’ll admit I’m protecting my own heart in the process, too. It was a lot easier to stick to my no dating rule before I laid eyes on Jax Greene. He’s exactly my type in every possible way. If there’s even the slightest chance that history won’t repeat itself, I want to see where things might lead. Convincing Jax to give me a chance though might be the toughest play I’ve ever made. 

**This book is the first M/M installment of the Sexy Nerd Boys series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Recommended for 18+ due to language and all kinds of hot sex.

My Review: Jackson is very ‘out and proud’ and that’s the way he likes it. His former boyfriend Beck was a closet case and he has decided never to make the same mistake twice. Jax has hookups but nothing meaningful. When he meets the sexy straight looking quarterback Matthew in his anthropology class, he decides to flirt a little. Matthew sees Jax and knows that he’s definitely his type. He can’t seem to get Jax out of his head.

When he goes to hangout with his friend Hadley and her boyfriend, he is surprised to see that Jax is a mutual friend. Jax re-evaluates his little flirting game when he realizes that Matty is not straight, but rather gay and firmly in the closet. Jax has certain rules in place to protect his heart from another relationship filled with secrets and lies. Even though they are both lonely, they decide to stay in the friend zone, especially when they are paired up for their anthropology project.

It doesn’t take long for Jax to realize that he can’t just be friends with the sexy stud muffin that is Matty Hart. Things get hot and heavy between them after they go to a gay club with their friends. Jax watches another guy who is his look-alike hit on Matty and that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Jealousy rears its ugly head for Jax and Matty knows he needs to take his man home and prove that Jax will be his. 

They settle in a mutually beneficial sexual arrangement that works for them for awhile. Jax knows that he has fallen into the same trap he has avoided since his last breakup, but he can’t resist Matty. He genuinely likes him and it helps that he is a cuddle bug. They have quite a few meaningful nights canoodling while watching Marvel movies and making out. Matty loves all the quirky little things about Jax and wishes that his NFL aspirations didn’t conflict with a future as a gay man.

This bone of contention soon comes to a head when both halves of Matthew’s lives clash at a frat party. Jax is surprised to see Matty at the party and approaches him in front of his football buddies. He is harshly rebuffed and this hurts more than he can say. Matty feels horrible about how he treats Jax, but his fear of being outed is a powerful thing. Jax lets him know that he can’t continue living a lie and walks out of his life. 

Matty is broken by the turn of events and turns into a zombie. His friend Hadley tries to drag him out of his slump, but it’s his mom who finally pulls him out and tells him to stop hiding. A big part of Matthew’s self image and his view on ‘coming out’ is steeped into the vitriolic standards of how a ‘real man’ should be according to his father. When his father was alive he would verbally abuse him and call him a sissy. Matthew acknowledges to himself that he needs to stop caring what other people think, because he can’t see a future without Jax. Matty knows he needs to make a grand gesture to win Jax’s heart and that comes in the form of their anthropology project. They chose the topic on homosexuality and how it’s viewed in different cultures. When Matty starts talking about sports culture and how homosexuality is tied into ideas of masculinity,  one of his teammates shout out that there are no gays in football. Matty doesn’t even think, he just shuts his teammate down and outs himself in front of the whole class. A statement that was once panic inducing, has now liberated him. Jax is in shock, but he supports his man and is very proud that Matty has finally found himself. They celebrate by consummating  the new parameters of their relationship expressing their love with lots of sweet kisses.

This is certainly a happily ever after and we get a glimpse eight years in their future where we see them  settled and getting ready to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. It was just the right amount of angst, sweetness and sexual chemistry between Jax and  Matty. Loved it!!!