No Limits ( No Shame 2) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Limits                         Word Count: 309 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: This is NOT a stand alone novel. See end of this description for details) Josh is convinced he’ll never find someone who’ll love him the way he is. He’s not exactly a catch with his PTSD, which has transformed him into a homebody most of the times. Sweet, maybe, but also boring as hell. Plus, there’s that submissive tendency he recently discovered and is dying to explore. His complicated relationship with Noah and Indy doesn’t make it easy, either. When Connor shows interest in him, he can’t believe the sexy cop would look at him twice, let alone make an effort to get to know him. When he does, Josh discovers they have more in common than he’d ever thought possible.

Connor had survived the ordeal that left his best friend and fellow Marine dead, but that survival came at a price. He’s a robot, going through the motions, but barely alive. Until fate intervenes when he meets Josh. The vulnerable man triggers all kinds of protective and dominant urges in Connor, but what would a cute guy like Josh want with an inexperienced, closed-off, bossy steamroller like Connor?

When Connor discovers his past endangers Indy, all hope for a future between him and Josh seems lost. After all, there’s no way Josh will ever choose Connor over Indy’s safety and Noah’s lifelong friendship. When a crisis hits, can Connor prove he’s strong enough to deal with everything that’s thrown his way?

No Limits is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the second book in the No Shame Series, and IS NOT A STAND ALONE NOVEL, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) first. It contains hot sex, a little BDSM kink for beginners, more hot sex, and a beautiful friendship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse and sexual violence, including rape.

My Review: Joshua doesn’t think that he will ever lead a normal life. Between his severe PTSD and the sexual trauma he experienced while in the army, he has constant flashbacks. His best friend/ fuck buddy Noah keeps him grounded. Watching Noah in his newfound relationship with his boyfriend Indy causes Josh to yearn for something more. He is not exactly sure what that is, but he knows he feels attracted to the sexy as sin cop O’ Connor.

Connor is confused at the relationship between Noah and Josh. However, it is Noah who has given him the green light to pursue Josh. Connor is in the closet, but he knows he’s never felt the way he does about Josh. When Josh finds out that Connor is interested he is elated, but definitely shocked that such a dominant macho man could be his. Connor has a few sexual hang-ups about his size that has held him back from being with a guy. Josh is only too happy to show him that there is nothing called ‘too big’. Josh likes a little pain with his pleasure, he thrives on rough sex. He is certainly coming to terms and willing to explore his submissive tendencies with the right person.

Things become explosive when they come together for the first time. Josh feels like he has truly found someone he can belong to. He feels safe in the comfort of Connor’s arms. Connor is still a bit perturbed about the dynamics amongst this trio involving Josh, Noah and Indy. When certain secrets are revealed, he admits to feeling left out and a bit jealous that Josh stands with Noah and Indy. Even though their relationship is new , he wonders if he will ever be a number one priority with Josh. Josh needs both Noah and Connor to learn how to be comfortable around each other, because he can’t live without one man or the other.

Josh schedules a fun filled day of paintball for all of them. Noah and Connor set aside their alpha posturing to work together and it pulls them all a bit closer. Their time together is soon ripped asunder when Noah has to be rushed to the hospital for an infection in his stump. Indy panics and vanishes. He can’t face losing Noah, it is clearly a dick move on his part, but understandable given his past. Josh is devastated, but he tries to keep it together since he has the medical power of attorney over Noah. The doctors decide to operate and cut off more of his stump to save Noah’s life.

Connor knows that he has to step up and take care of his man before Josh loses his mind. He takes Josh home and they delve further into the BDSM lifestyle. Connor gives him a spanking which sends Josh into subspace, one of the best releases he has ever had. They profess their love for each other shortly after. Connor makes the decision to get educated in being the proper Dom to his sub Josh. Josh has made up his mind that he already belongs to Connor and he is only too happy to engage in lessons. It is an exhilarating experience watching these men solidify their D/s relationship and learn their limits.

Indy finally shows up and explains to Noah that he needs to sort things out in his head before he could come back. When Noah is released from the hospital, he is happy to see that the dynamics have changed. He sees Connor taking control and realize that for the first time Josh’s needs are being met. Connor proves his love for Josh by providing a solution for their living situation that will work for all of them. They decide to buy a bigger ranch style home where each couple can have privacy while still maintaining their closeness. Finally , Indy comes back after taking care of some issues that would hurt his little family. I really enjoyed watching these two couples come into their own. The unhealthy sexually codependent relationship between Josh and Noah is broken. Now their respective relationships will have a fair chance of flourishing with some mutual exhibitionism and voyeurism on both couples part. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators.

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No Filter ( No Shame 1) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Filter               Word Count: 290 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Indy will do anything to prevent his mobster ex from finding him. Their last encounter left Indy recovering for months in the hospital, and ever since he’s become an expert at hiding in plain sight. Determined to stay under the radar, he takes on a new identity and moves from place to place. His life has no room for friendships, let alone love, so he keeps his heart firmly closed. After all, he has nothing to offer but a damaged body and a broken soul. Plus, he’s so done with men. Until he meets the man who breaks through all his defenses.

Former Army Medic Noah came back damaged from his last tour—in more than one way. Between supporting his best friend-with-benefits Josh who’s struggling with PTSD, dealing with his own issues, and the stress of his job as a physician assistant, rebuilding his life seems impossible. There’s little time for what Noah needs, let alone for what he wants. When he meets Indy, Noah discovers what he wants more than anything: for Indy to stay. But how will a relationship with Indy work when Noah needs Josh as well?

Indy never expected the strong, confident Noah to be as damaged and broken as himself. But what will happen if he starts letting Noah in? Indy knows he should run to protect Noah and Josh. 

Noah needs Indy to stay more than anything. But will what little he has to offer be enough to make Indy trust him and stay? 

No Filter is a steamy M/M romance featuring an open relationship (no cheating!) that ends with a HFN, but with the promise of a HEA. It’s the first book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand-alone novel. It contains hot sex, a hint of a ménage, lots of talk about hot sex, flashbacks of said hot sex, and…Oh well, you get the idea. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

My Review: If anyone would have told Indy that being subjected to a convenient store robbery would have been a turning point in his life, he wouldn’t have believed it. This is how he met Josh, the young army veteran who suffers from severe PTSD. Josh has a flashback the moment he saw the robber’s gun. It is Indy’s quick thinking that saves his life. Indy tackles Josh to the ground with his superior jiu jitsu moves to snap him out of his flashback. It sucks for Indy who already has a broken arm in a cast. Indy is trying to breath through the pain and stay in character since he is on the run and pretending to be a southern belle. Not wanting to blow his cover and desperate to get Josh out of his flashback, Indy decides to ground him by kissing him. It finally works and Josh slowly comes out of his spell.

By the time the cops show up, Indy is in severe pain and in need of medical attention. This is where Noah comes in, he is Josh’s best friend who is a former army medic. He works in the ER now and when Josh calls him frantic telling him he needs to protect Indy’s female persona, he steps in to help. Noah doesn’t know what to think when he meets Indy, but there is an instant spark between the two. However, it is clear to see that Indy is very afraid and hiding something. Warning bells go off in Noah’s head when he feels scars on Indy’s body. He also sees signs of trauma in Indy’s reactions to being restrained.

When Noah and Josh offers Indy a place to stay and recover, he takes a leap of faith and puts his trust in these two men. Indy feels an attraction to Noah, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time. When Indy realizes that Josh and Noah shares a bedroom, he feels like a fool for lusting after somebody’s boyfriend. Noah explains that Josh and him have a very complexed relationship that may defy certain norms.

Watching these three men come together was exhilarating, sensual and a little bit confusing at times. It was the pure trust and honesty in their connections that pulls it all together for me. Here we have three broken men trying to piece together their wounded hearts and souls. We have Josh who suffers from PTSD and is very codependent on his best friend Noah. He is openly gay and navigating his sexually submissive side while also working through issues from his past. Then there is Noah who facilitates Josh’s codependency as a way of healing them both. Noah has lost his leg in the war and has some residual feelings of insecurity. He is only recently identifying and accepting himself as a gay man. Indy is the only other man that Noah has been attracted to sexually. Indy is on the run for his life. He feels like he is damaged goods and it is clear that he has suffered severe sexual trauma. Noah and Josh are the first two men he has been attracted to in awhile. It is Noah who makes him want to trust again. He feels unworthy and undeserving to be in a relationship with a strong man like Noah, because of his past. Indy is afraid to become too attached and wants to protect them from the dangers of his past.

The sexual tension in their house is combustible. They all paired up sexually with each other at different times without any resentment or hurt feelings amongst each other. Noah and Josh had sex all the time as a way of finding release and it helped Josh to understand his sexually submissive side. When Noah let Josh top him, it helped him accept himself as a gay man. Josh and Indy getting together was about healing each other from their past sexual trauma. Josh gave back Indy some of the power he lost when he offers to bottom for him. Indy regains a part of himself he thought was lost forever. After their fun filled activity they fall asleep blissfully.

When Noah comes home after a sixteen hour shift in pain from standing all day, he becomes jealous when he sees them cuddled up together. Tempers flare when he believes that Indy has given Josh something that he couldn’t get. Josh sets him straight and diffuses the situation by offering up himself to relieve some of the stress and pain that Noah feels. Noah goes at Josh hard with Indy watching the whole time. When Noah finds release a dam finally breaks and all the pain and sorrow for all he’s lost comes pouring out. 

This is cathartic for all of them. It is Josh’s way of saying goodbye and bringing Indy fully into Noah’s life. Indy makes the decision the next day to tell Noah his sordid past of being sold into sexual slavery by his mom at sixteen. The man she sold him to, Duncan Fitzpatrick belongs to the mob and treated him deplorably. Indy lived in hell for four years. He finally snapped when Duncan passed him off to his sadistic cousin who raped Indy. When he was done Indy stabbed him and waited for him to die before he called the cops , so he could claim self defense. Duncan found Indy and tortured him before he could testify. Indy knows he will always be a hunted man.

Indy finally sees that what he has found in Noah is worth fighting for. He gives himself freely to Noah without fear. He gets a taste of what a loving sexual relationship should be like. Noah is happy that Indy has finally let him in and is allowing him to love him. Josh will always be a part of their lives and they have a different kind of love for him. Noah is willing to protect Indy with all that he is . He will never allow Indy to be hurt again. This is only the beginning, but it is clear to see how deep their love runs for each other. Looking forward to Josh’s story and the continuation of Indy and Noah. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.