Ruined by Evelyn Drake

Title: Ruined            Word Count: 241 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Hungry for a glimpse at the man who destroyed his marriage, Gus Fletcher follows Travis to watch him party and flirt without a care for what he’s done. The man who slept with Gus’s wife is gorgeous and willowy, a model, the utter opposite of Gus’s muscled body and plumbing career. But the man needs help, and something about him tugs at Gus’s heart and mind. What the hell is going on?

The hits keep coming for fashion model Travis Adius, who has to let the right people use him if he’s to stay in the industry… and then some. He only walked away from one man: his abusive ex, who won’t let go that easily. Life has him on his knees until he sees Gus. He wants Gus before he finds out he slept with Gus’s wife… and, somehow, he doesn’t stop wanting him. Gus has hands and nerves of steel, and a deep desire for revenge. Isn’t it wrong to be this turned on by him?

Gus can’t stop thinking about Travis. He should hate him, so why does he want to save him? Travis needs the comfort and safety of a man whose loyalty will stretch to the end of the earth. Is this all just a favor to be repaid? Once they meet, there’s no turning back.

Are Gus and Travis ruined for anyone else?

My Review: Gus would love nothing more than to inflict the same amount of pain on the man who ruined his life. Travis Adius is the man who seduced Gus’ wife into an affair, the man who ruined 15 yrs of marriage. Gus’ wife Scarlett is a career driven fashion designer and Travis is the most beautiful male model that Gus has ever seen. Gus wants so bad to hate Travis , but he understands the pull that Scarlett must have felt towards the youthful Travis. Gus is mesmerized by Travis’ androgynous look and his beauty. Gus has  hunted down Travis  in the hopes of seeking some form of revenge, but that all goes awry when he sees him.

It is while at a party that Travis notices the sexy body builder hulk look -alike staring at him. Travis decides to flirt a little with Gus from afar by seducing another man, hopefully appealing to his voyeuristic nature. Travis’ little experiment starts out really hot, especially when he sees mister sexy is indeed watching. This soon fizzles and he starts feeling embarrassed and horribly used when his hook -up starts calling him derogatory names. Travis has many issues but this is where his vulnerability peeks through. Travis feels like a throw away on most days, but especially after hooking up with someone and have them tell him they have to go home to their girlfriend.

Travis is so embarrassed and is feeling at an all time low , when he gets a picture text from Scarlett telling him that her husband knows about their affair. Travis feels like he has been hit by a ton of bricks,when he sees the face of Mr. Sexy. When he thinks of the hulk and reconciles that image to Gus, Travis starts running like a bat out of hell. He ends up running right into his abusive ex boyfriend Brandon. Travis is paralyzed with fear when he remembered how many times Brandon put him in the hospital. When Brandon advances, Travis tries to stand up for himself , but he only ends up cowering in a corner. It’s Gus who saves the day.

When Gus sees Travis about to be hurt, he steps in and pushes the big bully away. There is just something about Travis that brings out all of Gus’ protective instincts. Gus and Brandon are definitely evenly matched. If anything Gus is bigger than Brandon and he treats him like a rag doll every time he tries to attack Travis. When Brandon flees, Gus takes Travis to a diner to warm up and questions him. Travis is wary of the big guy but he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Little by little, Gus lets go of the hurt and pain he feels. He acknowledges the fact that the marriage between him and Scarlett was broken before this kid came along.Gus decides to fix this fragile somewhat beautiful creature as much as he can. He takes Travis home and changes his locks and decides to stay with him to protect him from Brandon if he comes back.Gus is man enough to admit to himself that he feels a smidge of attraction to Travis even though he doesn’t swing that way.

 Before things can heat up between them , Travis has to go away on an assignment. Travis comes home from his modelling gig, only to run into the unexpected. This is when Brandon escalates things even further, by breaking into Travis’ apartment and writing disparaging words on the wall and destroying the living room. Brandon hurts Travis really bad and he knows he is about to die. Once again,  it’s Gus us who finds him and tries to protect his sweet man. Gus knows that he cannot hide his feelings any longer. The two get closer while Travis recovers and Gus practically moves in to protect him. Things get heated between the two and the sexual chemistry is definitely combustible.

Travis is scared and hesitant to be with a real man like Gus , because Gus makes him yearn for things he always dreamed of. Although Gus has never been with a man, he goes with his feelings and treasures Travis in the most special way. Travis finally starts feeling his worth through Gus’ adoration. Scarlett puts a crimp in their plans when she announces that she is pregnant and she is not sure which one is the father. Travis sees his future coming to a halt with Gus and he knows that he is about to be the throwaway guy yet again. However, Gus proves him wrong and comes up with a solution that shows him how invested he is in their relationship.

Gus suggests that they could co-parent their child with some involvement from Scarlett. Travis and Gus are ecstatic that they can share this beautiful experience and it is great to see the amicable relationship between these three adults. I think Gus has the most forgiving heart that there is and he was rewarded with the greatest love. Travis the man who always saw himself as expendable has finally become someone’s everything. I really enjoyed this beautiful love story and I give this my ratings of 5-bring out the vibrators. This was a definite unique spin on a  gay for you romance and I look forward to reading more from this new author.

Someone to Hear Me by T. A . McKay

Title: Someone to Hear Me             Word Count:290pgs
Genre:Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Kohan has a simple life but he’s happy. The only thing that’s missing is that special someone to come home to at night. That is until he literally bumps into Ares, a man who sparks his interest, but he rushes off before Kohan can talk to him. When he sees the stranger again, Kohan is determined that he’s not going to let him escape this time.
What Kohan doesn’t know is he’s falling for a guy that has been through more than he could ever imagine, and when Ares’ dark past catches up with him, there might be a chance that neither man will walk away unhurt.

We all dream of finding that one true love, the person who completes you, and when you find them you should hold on tight to them. But what happens when that dream turns into a nightmare, one that you can’t escape from? Ares is running from a past that almost cost him his life, a past that changed everything.
When he meets Kohan he’s scared of letting someone in, scared that history will repeat itself, but finally he sees that not everyone is out to hurt him. He sees that maybe someone could love him without causing pain.
But when the thing Ares is hiding from appears again, it takes him right back into that dangerous past and he doesn’t know if he will survive it this time.

My name is Ares, and the man I married is the person who will probably kill me.
I want to leave.
I want to escape.
I don’t want to die.
My name is Ares and I want Someone To Hear Me.

Please Note this book contains scenes of domestic abuse that some people may find uncomfortable.

My Review: It is never easy when someone who swore to love and cherish you breaks your trust. Twenty five year old Ares learns this the hard way, after he wakes up in the hospital with his life irrevocably changed. After being beaten and terrorized numerous times by his husband Micah for the slightest infractions, his husband finally went to far. Micah has beaten Ares so badly that his face is left disfigured with a scar bisecting his forehead and he is now deaf. As many victims do , Ares blames himself for what Micah did. Even though Micah is imprisoned, Ares still lives in fear for his life.

Ares suffers from PTSD and he has panic attacks if he is surrounded by too many people. He flinches at every shadow , and he is virtually a hermit. He knows he has to do something to reclaim his life. Ares’ therapist suggests that he find a job and meet new people. Ares finds a job as a cleaner at a newspaper office and that’s where he meets Kohan. Kohan is a journalist and he is immediately intrigued by the quiet man who refuses to look at him and make eye contact.

There is just something about Kohan that makes Ares feels safe. Its the safest he’s felt in a long time with another man. The two men form a tentative friendship and Kohan soon realizes that he wants more, but he sees a dark fear hidden in Ares. Ares finds himself confessing the horrors of his past, at least some of it. Kohan is saddened to know that such a sweet man has been hurt by such a monster. Kohan is extremely patient and understanding with Ares and his issues.

Everyday Ares gets a little bit stronger mentally and continues on his quest to reclaim his life. He makes a concerted effort to open up more to Kohan even though it scares him. He doesn’t feel like its fair to take things any further with Kohan for fear that he won’t be able to follow through. Kohan notices every time Ares takes two steps forward he retreats a little. He refuses to let Ares push him away, because he knows he is the light that Ares needs to step out of the shadows.

Things heat up between the two after Ares attempts a night out with Kohan and his best friend Sophie.Ares feels almost normal after a few drinks, he definitely feels desire when Kohan rubs against him while they dance. He gives in to the pleasure and allow himself to feel again. Kohan realize that underneath that fear is a very passionate willing young man and he wants to stoke that flame. These moments are heartbreaking and oh so tender and just what Ares needs to move past his pain.

We see all the atrocities Micah perpetrated against Ares through his nightmares and flashbacks. One thing that comes through is how much Ares blames himself. He fears he will make the same mistake with another man because he feels like he can’t trust his own judgement. This is a continuous setback in his relationship with Kohan. Kohan’s strength and patience is constant, because he knows its what Ares needs whenever he catches a glimpse of his past pain.

Kohan soon realizes that the key to making their relationship work is to treat Ares as normal as possible and not like he is fragile glass. Ares is able to experience the beauty of a relationship and receiving pleasure without the repercussions of pain. It is exhilarating for Ares the freedom he is finally experiencing. Ares takes charge for the first time in his sexual encounters. Kohan relishes this new dominant side of Ares and he allows him this freedom of taking the role of top. He understands that this role empowers Ares and continues to strengthen his positive personality.

They make plans to go out to meet with Kohan’s brother Carey and his new beau Duncan. The whole night starts going downhill from the beginning when Duncan doesn’t turn up. Carey’s in a foul mood and this causes the brothers to argue. Kohan is upset that Carey isn’t even trying to get to know his boyfriend. Ares gives them a moment . He has a panic attack when he thinks he sees someone who looks like his ex Micah. Ares bolts from fear and leaves in a cab.

Once again Ares does not trust his instincts and this proves to be his downfall. It turns out that Duncan is actually Micah who is out of prison on a technicality. Micah attacks Ares and the horrible abuse starts right away. Ares tries to break up with Kohan through a text. Kohan goes straightaway to his house, but Ares is firm in pushing him away. Kohan respects Ares’ wishes and go on a three day drinking binge. It isn’t until a family crisis that his brothers pulls him out of his stupor.

By the time Kohan figures that something is wrong, Ares has been held hostage for more than a week with his despicable ex. The abuse he endures is horrendous and almost pulls Ares deep down in the dark abyss. It isn’t until Micah hurts Kohan that Ares gets the courage to defend the love of his life. Ares kills Micah and ends his cruel reign. Kohan just got a taste of the atrocities that Ares must have experienced, but it scarred him pretty good. Kohan has nightmares and flashbacks now, but it is Ares’ steadfast presence that keeps him sane . I really enjoyed this one. It had the right amount of angst. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Psycho ( Brawlers 2) by J.M.Dabney

Title: Psycho                               Word Count: 129 pgs

Genre: Biker Gay Romance
Blurb:Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

Life wasn’t easy when you were certifiable, Gerald “Psycho” Clemons lived on the fringes of society. Five years he hadn’t thought twice about riding with a group who saw most laws as flexible. When the leader of the group turned crazier than Psycho, he stepped in and made the man pay. He’d never been rewarded for his temper before, yet that’s what happened when he earned a permanent place and a job as a bouncer. Everyone walked a wide circle around him, and he liked it that way. One look from his cold black eyes and he had people backing up. Then he met a man who had to be crazier than him. 

Decadence Bakery was Ben Morin’s dream come true, and he loved it, but he grew tired of his lonely existence. Six months earlier he’d turned on the open sign and hopefully changed his life for the better. Ben loved his small cottage in the middle of nowhere even with the 3 a.m. rumbling of motorcycles and loud music at the farm next door. Although one thing he didn’t love, was his new hobby of watching one of the terrifying men next door. What could a little harmless peek now and then hurt?

Sweet and older wasn’t his type, but Psycho couldn’t deny the need to possess the beautiful baker. It was stronger than even the insanity he barely kept at bay, could he have a man who looked passed it or would Ben run like all the rest?

My Review: Psycho, his name says it all. Psycho is one of the Brawlers crew who is known to be psychotic and crazy as hell. He has had a rough upbringing and this has defined his life to a tee. Psycho’s life is inundated with violence and tenderness is a very foreign concept. Lately,he finds himself yearning for someone to call his own. He has scrutinized his bosses Scary and Tank’s triad relationship to their husband Elijah. Reason being that Scary and Tank are rough and tumble bikers like himself and Elijah is gentle and sweet. What he really craves is the love and gentleness that he sees flowing through this triad, he wishes that he knew how to make a relationship work like that. 

Psycho is confused about dating and everything that goes into a relationship. When he meets the older sexy baker Ben Morin, he wants to see where it could lead. They have a very awkward first meeting where Psycho takes care of Ben after he has been accidentally knocked down by his employee. Psycho is extremely gentle, taking care of Ben’s bleeding nose without even thinking about it.  However, he spoils this tenderness by demanding that Ben goes home with him. Ben is definitely not used to a persona like Psycho and he is confounded by his request. As tempted as he is by the big sexy biker, he doesn’t do casual hookups. Psycho feels rejected and doesn’t even wait for Ben to explain.

Psycho goes back to Brawlers feeling dejected and sulking. It is Scary who decides to help the confused man and give him a few dating tips. Psycho is still wary, but decides to give it another shot. His chance comes when Landon ,one of the Twirled crew tells Ben about the wedding that his crazy mishmash family is having. Ben decides to make a cake for the triad wedding, leaving Elijah ecstatic. Ben has definitely found new friends with most of the partners of the Twirled and Brawlers crew. Psycho suggests nicely that they chill and watch some movies. Ben is surprisingly comforted by Psycho’s stilted conversational skills.

Their relationship starts off slow when Psycho keeps on second guessing his every move with Ben. Ben sets him at ease by telling him to be himself. He continuously reassures Psycho that he enjoys his company, verbal diarrhea and all. Once Pyscho sees this for the truth, everything takes off at full speed. It soon becomes clear that Psycho likes his sex rough and tumble, just like how he lives his life. This certainly is nothing like the vanilla sex Ben is used to , but he finds it refreshing and sexually liberating. He gets a kick out of being Psycho’s ‘boy’ and loves  it when he is spanked. This certainly leads to some sexy man on man action.

Ben soon realizes what he has set himself up for being in a relationship with Psycho, when Psycho lands himself in jail beside his friend Joker. Ben is just mad that his man is kept for over two days, he is not mad at Psycho for getting caught beating the hell out of the man who put Harper,a transwoman in the hospital.  Ben understands that with Psycho he will have to take the good with the bad. His acceptance and his support of Psycho’s personality goes along way to forging the strong relationship that Pyscho has  dreamed of recently.

Ben is honoured to be a part of Psycho’s rough, crazy biker family. He even goes so far as to befriend Psycho’s ex wife Bernie and her  beautiful wife. Psycho is so much more relaxed and secure in his love for Ben. They are even talking about kids in their future. I really enjoyed this one. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.