Take A Chance ( Second Chances Bk.1) by Megs Pritchard

Title: Take a Chance Word Count: 225 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Can a chance encounter change your life?

Tom Carter
Kicked out at fifteen for being gay, Tom survived by selling his body on the streets. Four years later, Tom, now nineteen, doesn’t know how long he can continue living this life.
One night while out working, Tom sees a face from his past, one he had long forgotten. One he had used to fantasise about.
Seb Banks
Afraid of the reaction he will receive, Tom runs away hoping never to see him again. But Seb had other ideas.

Sebastian Banks
At twenty-five, Seb’s life is going exactly the way he had wanted. Having worked hard at University, Seb has been offered a permanent contract at a local solicitor.
While driving to a friend’s house to celebrate, Seb is shocked to find Tom, someone he hasn’t seen in years, on the streets, selling himself.
Feeling an overwhelming need to help Tom, Seb tracks him down and offers him a way out.
Is Tom willing to take a chance on Seb and accept his offer, or will his distrust of everyone from his past cause him to push Seb away?
Includes a sneak peek of book two, New Beginnings, Ben and Geoff’s story.

My Review: Tom has been existing and trying to survive on the streets of Manchester since he was 15 and his parents kicked him out. Like so many gay teenagers, he has been tossed out like yesterday’s trash by the people who were supposed to love and protect him. It’s been 4 long hard years, but through his wits and strong will Tom keeps on surviving.Tom has developed a system that gives him and his friends a modicum of security. They go out in pairs and one always looks for details of the cars that the other works.

It is on a night out that Tom recognizes someone from his past. Seb is the older brother of Tom’s former best friend. Tom is embarrassed and runs off. Seb is perplexed to see Tom and It is obvious that he is a prostitute now. Seb is out celebrating his full time position he has just secured. However, It is hard for him to enjoy his achievements, due to his worry for Tom. He can’t let it go and he goes out looking for Tom on another night. When he catches up with Tom, Seb questions him about his lifestyle choices. Tom laughs with derision telling Seb of how his parents threw him out for being gay. He also tells of how Seb’s own parents looked at him with contempt and disgust before slamming their door when he asked for their help.

When Seb confirms Tom’s story with his parents, he is dumbfounded by the vitriol and hate that they are spewing. He is sickened by their views on homosexuality and he knows he made the right decision in not owning up to his bisexuality. He finds Tom once again and tries to apologize. Tom is scared to open up past connections as he is afraid to reopen the wounds left on his soul by his past family and friends. Tom puts on a cloak of impudence that he knows will repel all of Seb’s offers of friendship.Seb is saddened by Tom’s reaction to his benevolence, but he has no choice but to let him walk away.

Seb is very persistent and he doesn’t want to leave Tom to pursue this dangerous path he is on. Tom is at an all time low and now that he’s seen Seb again, all the memories of the past and unfulfilled future dreams comes pouring in. Seb convinces Tom to come home with him for a warm bed and something to eat. It is hard for Tom to trust, but he gives in just this once. He rests peacefully that night, but as day lights he knows he can’t allow himself to get too comfortable. This is not his life. Tom leaves while Seb pleads with him not to go.

His first night back on the streets shows Tom how dangerous is the life he leads. He tries to walk away from a john who won’t take no for an answer.He is beaten, bruised and almost raped. He shows up at Seb’s who unquestionably helps to patch him up. Tom does the unthinkable by stealing from Seb’s wallet the next morning. From the moment he does it he feels physically ill, but he knows he needs to help the others get some food. Seb is disappointed, but moreover he is wrecked that Tom didn’t trust him and couldn’t be trusted himself.

Tom is waiting for Seb on his doorstep a few days later. Seb is furious, but he almost admires the strength it took to come back and apologize. Tom decides to trust in Seb’s offer to help. They have an idyllic few days where they get to know each other and Seb takes Tom shopping for some clothes amid protests.By the end of the day Tom feels almost normal, Seb makes him feel worthy. Things move from being platonic when Seb confesses that he is bisexual and Tom was his first crush.Seb goes slowly, not wanting Tom to be wary of his intentions. Tom feels precious and for the first time he receives pleasure just for himself.

As fun as it’s been Tom knows he needs to check on his housemates. He returns ,only to here that one has been missing for days. He is worried and asks for Seb’s help in searching some of the further places. He finds his friend Adam beaten and stabbed to death. He pulls away from Seb blaming himself for not being there for Adam. When his other housemate Ben points the finger and blames Tom as well, Tom regresses. What Seb finds is a drunken Tom who tries to use his body as a shield. He tries to seduce Seb treating him like a john and belittling his concerns.

Seb is upset and pushes him away. Their relationship seem to be a cycle of hurt/comfort. Tom continuously hurts Seb emotionally and Seb continues to forgive and comfort Tom. Tom shows up at Seb’s house to apologize. The dam breaks and he lets it all out. Tom rants about being soiled goods and allows himself to feel all the pain and humiliation he’s carried over the years. He cries for his friend but most of all for his fifteen year old self that never had a chance. Seb reassures Tom that he’s is not tainted or stained by his past. Seb sees him, not as a whore or a victim, but rather as a survivor. When they come together their passion ignites and it’s incendiary. Seb gives him back the power by handing over control of their pleasure to Tom. Seb opens up a new world for Tom where he is on the receiving end of pleasure for the first time.

Seb asks Tom to move in and tells him how much he loves him. To prove how serious he is , Seb calls his parents and tell them about Tom being in his life. They disown him right away, but Seb knows that Tom is definitely worth it. Before they can start settling in , Tom finds out that another friend Ben has gone missing. He goes to Seb’s work and Seb infers that Ben might have gone to the place where they found Adam’s body. Seb’s boss Geoff is very compassionate and decides to help. After they find Ben and take him to the hospital, Geoff suggests that Ben stay with him. In the meantime, Seb has asked the other two friends Matt and Luke to move in with them.They are all very skeptical, but they know this is a chance they can’t pass up.

It has been a long hard road for all these young men, but with the love of a strong man gateways are now opening up for them. Tom decides to open his heart to the one man who cared enough to pursue him , even when he didn’t want the help or believed in happily ever afters . Seb was the only one who ever looked at him without judgement. Tom gives himself over to the pleasure that Seb can provide. He experiences so many emotions, but the ones in the forefront are love and forgiveness. Love for Seb and forgiveness for himself, for all the things he believes has tainted his soul. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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Little ( Trenton Security 2) by J.M. Dabney

Title: Little Word Count:188 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Insanity was in the eye of the beholder.

Harmon Little was a surveillance expert. He lived in the shadows, and he liked it there. There wasn’t a place he couldn’t get in and out of without detection. As usual with his mischievous nature, his current assignment went south, and he ran. He thought he was free and clear until he knocked someone over in a grocery store aisle.

Sanity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Solomon “Solo” Poe was counting calories. Working out until he fell into bed hungry and exhausted. He was plain and pudgy, plus he couldn’t remember when he’d last gone on a date. He wanted more than the occasional, lights out, one-night stand. So, he was going to lose the weight and find himself a man. At least that was the plan, then a big man with a huge smile tried to kill him in a store aisle. There was one thing he was sure of, Harmon was his.

My Review: Harmon Little has been coined the ‘crazy one’ of the Trenton crew. His closest friend and the one who understands him the most is Lily, Lucky and Linus’ mom and one of the overseeing matriarch of all the Crews combined: Twirled, Brawlers, Executioners and now the Trenton security team. Like most of the big scary men in these crews, Little has had a rough childhood. He yearns for someone to love him like he’s never been loved before. He is impulsive and his lack of control gets him in trouble most of the times. When he meets Solomon Poe for the first time , he feels like a kid in a candy store. He wants the little man wearing the cute bowtie, so he takes him home right out of the grocery store. Imagine Poe’s surprise when one moment he’s reading nutritional labels in the diet aisle , only to be whisked away by this sexy albeit crazy stranger who’s just kidnapped him.

This is definitely a weird scenario for Poe, but for some reason when he looks at Little he doesn’t feel fear. Little has an air of vulnerability surrounding him. He’s seems remorseful and a bit lost, but most of all Poe sees Little’s insecurities shining through. Harmon Little apologizes and sends Poe home with his friend Livingston. Little knows he’s crazy and way too impulsive, but he can’t seem to get the chunky bowtie wearing cutie out of his mind. He is certainly surprised when Poe calls him wanting to hang out.

An unlikely friendship forms between these two. Although he feels the burn of attraction for Poe, Little tries to take it slow, sex has always left him feeling alone and discarded in the aftermath. Poe doesn’t think he stands a chance with this sexy man. One thing he realizes that Harmon needs is intimacy -hugs, cuddles and touches here and there. This is definitely not a hardship for Poe and he is pleased to see Harmon blossoming like a rare flower under his innocent caresses.

Poe discerns from Harmon’s shyness that if he wants a physical relationship, he will have to take charge. This will be a first for Poe , stepping into the role of dominant in a sexual relationship. Him being smaller, makes him nervous about Harmon’s reactions. Poe is rewarded for his efforts, when he has Harmon quivering within seconds. It soon becomes clear how much he craves Poe’s touch. Poe is empowered by the feelings that engulfs them. Harmon opens up to Poe. He talks about his secret shame of his time spent on the streets from he was thirteen. Poe shows him that he is not stained by his past. He accepts all of Harmon and that means the world to him.

When Little is given an undercover assignment , he doesn’t feel the same exuberance as he once did. He needs to figure out why some homeless people are going missing after they visit an upscale institution purported to be the cure. Harmon decides to spend some quality time with Poe. They go on a romantic dinner at Vincent’s where all the partners are taken on special occasions. Poe also uses this opportunity to introduce Harmon as his boyfriend to his parents. Harmon is nervous but he is pleasantly surprised at how down to earth they end up being.

Poe starts feeling Harmon’s uneasiness about his mission on the morning before he leaves. Poe loves on his man and reassures him that he will be there when he gets back. It only takes 2 days of radio silence to drive Poe to the Trenton security office. He is introduced to the rest of the crew and meets Peaches,the other matriarch of this well loved ‘pieced together family’. The mission has gone horribly wrong and the crew needs to figure out a way to extract Little from this institution.

Little is stuck in the horrors of his past memories after being injected with an experimental drug. He is being drowned in his insecurities and his feelings of being unwanted and unloved. It takes all members of the crew plus a few outsiders to get Little out, not totally unscathed though. He is mentally bruised, but Poe is right there to love him back to health. It takes a few weeks for Harmon to get back to his ‘normal’ of craziness.

Once again Poe gives him exactly what he needs. Poe throws Harmon into the reverse role of dominant and this is definitely what he needs to be in control of his life again. It also helps when Lily officially adopts Harmon to the Trenton family. He finally gets what he has always wanted, a family who loves him unconditionally and his ‘person’ who loves him flaws and all. As usual, in their unconventional way another partner is welcomed into wedded bliss. Harmon is complete with his Poe. I give this my ratings of 3- it was ok. I still love the crews though and look forward to reading the next installment.