No Shame( No Shame 4) by Nora Phoenix

Title:No Shame Word Count: 333pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:(This is NOT a stand alone novel. See end of this description for details) Brad feels nothing but shame about himself. Shame about his sexual needs, about his reputation, about his medical problem no one knows about. No one, except his best friend Charlie, but no matter what feelings Brad may have for him, he’s not going there. Charlie deserves so much better, and Brad desperately needs something not even Charlie can provide.

Charlie has loved Brad forever, but he’s never acted on his feelings, unsure of where he stood. Plus, there was the complication of his boyfriend. But when his boyfriend’s abuse gets too much for Charlie, it’s Brad who helps him escape and recover.

Miles ends up severely wounded in the line of duty as an FBI agent. He’s floored when the man he was protecting, Indy, opens his home to him so he can recover. Indy also sets him up with Brad, who turns out to be a perfect solution for Miles’ sexual issues…until Miles wants more than sex from him, and a developing friendship between Miles and Charlie complicates things even more.

Bit by bit Charlie and Miles break through Brad’s defenses, until they come crumbling down. Miles will have to prove he can provide what Brad needs, and Charlie’s sweet love will be put to the test. But when Brad finally finds the courage to break free of his shame, will the fragile love that has blossomed between the three of them survive?

No Shame is a steamy M/M/M romance that ends with a happy ever after for all characters, including those from the previous books in the series. It’s the fourth book in the No Shame Series, and is NOT a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first three books first (No Filter, No Limits, and No Fear). It contains hot sex, a ménage, a little daddy kink, more hot sex, and a poly-amorous relationship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and rape.

My Review: Three different men, with three vastly different personalities. They all come with baggage, but they mesh seemlessly. We’ve been introduced to all three before, we have Miles the FBI agent who was a part of Indy’s protective detail. Indy saved his life when he got shot, he also offered him a place to recover since he has no family. We have Brad, Blake’s younger brother, a mild mannered math teacher who comes off a little bit abrasive in social situations. The only person who brings out Brad’s gentler side is Charlie, his best friend. Charlie is also recovering after his cop boyfriend Zack beat the living daylights out of him. Indy, Josh, Connor and Noah has opened up a section of their ranch style home to these three.

Miles has a tiny little problem, he has an overly hyper sex drive which leaves him tenting his trousers throughout most of the day. So far he hasn’t met anyone who can handle him. That is, until he meets Brad; Brad has a nasty reputation around town of being a ‘cum slut’ , he craves being used. Indy requests Brad’s help with Mile’s little problem which can become quite painful if tensions aren’t released. Brad is only too happy to help. Miles is still in the hospital the first time he experiences Brad’s oral prowess. He is very impressed and looks forward to Brad’s visits. Miles is curious to know more about his mystery man when he finds out they are cohabiting the same house . When he tries to spark up a conversation with Brad, he is immediately shot down. Brad lays down the law, letting Miles know it is just sex, nothing more. Miles is very disappointed as he feels a connection with Brad.

Miles come to realize that there are underlying problems that causes Brad to be so prickly. It is his slow friendship with Charlie that allows him to see things more clearly. Right away , he recognizes how in love Charlie and Brad are , but they can’t see it for themselves. Even though they have been friends for awhile, Brad dares not cross the line of friendship. He fears he is not good enough to be with Charlie. Brad has issues with psychological erectile dysfunction after a former bout of testicular cancer. This holds him back and he is very insecure about being worthy. Brad also suffers from abandonment issues when it comes to having a family. He believes that everyone he loves will leave him or trade him in.

It is a long road for Brad and the struggle is real as he continues to fight his identity. It is Miles who pinpoints what he really needs. He implements a Daddy/boy dynamic when he factors in all the issues Brad’s endured in the past. Miles is spot on and ‘Daddy’ lures his ‘boy’ in. Brad feels a sense of peace the first time he gives up control to his ‘Daddy’. There are two aspects to their kink however, Charlie realizes that Brad also craves being his little slut. It is Charlie who pulls this element of kink out of Brad through his dirty talk and bossiness. Brad lives to service his men and this is where he thrives. The status quo is definitely thrown out with these three. The strong macho Marine Miles loves to bottom for the ‘twinky cross-dressing’ Charlie who is more a defined top. Then we have Brad who has always been in control and takes care of everyone, he yearns and relishes being a ‘boy’ to his daddy.It is amazing watching the dynamics between these three unfold. Although, Charlie and Miles develop more slowly, it is no less intense.

When Connor gets some devastating news, it is wonderful to see how this makeshift family rallied around taking care of each other. Noah goes with Connor to be his strength. It was gut wrenching watching this strong man crumbling, but Noah was there to pick up the pieces. Miles was left as the ‘Dom’ in charge and between him and Indy, they were able to get Josh into ‘subspace’. The house and family have definitely expanded as Indy, Josh, Noah and Connor has offered this new trio a place in their lives , hearts and family. This kinky lot have all been blessed with the greatest treasure of all, LOVE. A wonderful end to a series that embraces all types of kink. It closes out with Indy and Josh proposing to Noah and Connor respectively. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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No Fear (No Shame 3)by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Fear Word Count:325 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Aaron is drowning. After coming out as gay, he lost his parents’ approval, his job, and his sense of identity. He feels like a freak who doesn’t fit in anywhere. His last hope was his brother Josh, but Josh can’t seem to forgive him for how Aaron treated him when they were teens. Not that Aaron can blame him, because he did treat Josh like crap.

All Aaron wants is for someone to accept him, guide him, because he doesn’t have a clue. When sexy jiujitsu teacher Blake takes him in and starts mentoring him, Aaron has hope for the first time, even though he can’t understand what Blake sees in him.

Blake doesn’t do relationships. At all. He’s more than willing to help Aaron find solid ground under his feet, but that’s it. Until insecure, vulnerable, and surprisingly sexy Aaron gets under his skin, triggering all kinds of protective instincts that make Blake long for more. He wants to take care of Aaron, give him what he needs, but how can he convince Aaron of that?

When Josh’s friend-with-benefits Indy’s past finally catches up with him, it endangers them all—and leads to heartbreaking decisions for everyone involved.

No Fear is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN for Aaron and Blake, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the third book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) and the second book (No Limits) first. It contains hot sex, a little kink, more hot sex, very mild puppy play, and a beautiful friendship-with-benefits that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

My Review: We were introduced to Aaron Gordon in the previous installment of this series. We met him as Josh’s younger brother who turned his back on him when he came out. First impressions of him were that he was a spoiled brat who comes from an uber religious family. He comes off as being a self entitled kid who got everything handed to him. Now that he has come out himself, his parents kicked him out. Aaron is no longer the golden boy and he is rudely awakened to some of the horrors faced by many gay men around the world. On his first foray out to a club, he is beaten badly and gets a few bruised ribs for his troubles. Aaron shows up on Josh’s doorstep and even though they are not close, Josh lets him stay for a bit. Things are very tense for awhile and it soon becomes clear it’s not gonna work. Aaron is perceived to be very lazy and expects to be taken care of. He doesn’t have the wherewithal to clean up his own mess. It is Josh’s boyfriend Connor who steps in and gives him an ultimatum: pay his own way or he has to stay somewhere else. Josh finds him a safe space to stay with Indy’s juijitsu professor Blake Kent.

Blake seems to be a very rigid man , but he has a very kind heart and he looks out for others and champions the weak. He opens his home as a safe space to people who have been abused. Blake is empathetic to Aaron’s situation, but he soon loses patience with his slovenly ways. Blake takes Aaron to task, letting the arrogant young man know he needs to pull his own weight. After Aaron cleans the studio without complaining, Blake heart softens when he realizes that Aaron is trying. After a very candid conversation, Blake understands that what he saw as arrogance is actually Aaron’s vulnerable insecurities coming through. Aaron is a lost puppy, who has lost all his sense of self and identity.

Blake gives Aaron carte blanche to ask any question he wants. This leads to some sexual explorations when he finds out that Aaron is still a virgin. Blake decides to pay it forward and lead this innocent young man into a gay new world. First order of business is to get Aaron some sexy underwear and a new wardrobe. After careful scrutiny, Blake deduces that any form of sexual identity that Aaron might have formed while living with his parents would have been eradicated. Blake sees through the fear of rejection and perceives that Aaron may possibly want to identify with a more gentler, feminine side of himself. He knows he is spot on when he sees the joy on Aaron’s face when he tries on a more feminine wardrobe. This also brings out Aaron’s sexy side. Aaron is feeling a new sense of self and decides to have the sexy dominant Blake relieve him of his virginity. Blake decides to give him a taste of the gay nightlife first to see other options before he takes on the much coveted job of v-card defiler.

Aaron knows from the moment he steps in the club that there is no other man for him. He sways sensually to the music and Blake knows right away that he is willing to break all his rules for this sexy Aaron. Blake knows that there is definitely something building between them that defies his no relationship rule. He is certainly intrigued by this sweet cuddle puppy who has turned into a terrier. When they start getting too frisky for the dance floor, Blake makes the decision to take sexy Aaron home. He is on his way home when he noticed something weird at his studio. Someone’s trying to break in, he stealthily creeps in and overheard them talking about finding Indy. Blake knows he has to warn Indy.

It is the middle of the night and its clear to see that Blake has woken up my favorite quartet. Blake is a little bit shocked to see the openness and sexual familiarity displayed by these four men. It makes him curious about their relationship. When he explains what’s happening,it is Josh who comforts Indy by kissing him. Looking at Noah, it is obvious that he isn’t upset at Josh kissing his boyfriend Indy. The same goes for Connor when he walks in. The easy camaraderie amongst these four is clear. They use sexual banter and nuance to comfort each other. What Blake is envious of is the love he feels radiating from all of them. However, it is very tense between the two brothers Josh and Aaron. The pot finally boils over when Josh lashes out at Aaron for not standing up for him when they were younger. Aaron is brought to tears and he apologizes for hurting Josh. It is Indy who appeals to Josh, showing him that Aaron was only a scared 15 yr old boy then. Blake cuddles his ‘puppy’, letting him know he is no longer alone. Blake sees deep inside his boy, knowing the pain he carries inside is keeping him from embracing his true sense of self.

Blake knows that with all the pain Aaron has endured, he just needs someone to take care of him. Blake takes Aaron on a date and he loves the connection that he feels with this needy young man. Something in Aaron calls to Blake and he explains the BDSM lifestyle, especially the daddy/boy dynamics. It doesn’t quite fit though;when Blake explains about puppy play, all the pieces snap into place for Aaron. Puppy play definitely resonates with Aaron and accounts for all the weird, clingy, needy feelings he is prone to feeling.Blake decides to step up to the plate and fulfill this need in his boy, which surprisingly calls out to the dominant nature within himself. Before they can go home to explore the new dynamics in their relationship, Aaron asks to stop by to check in with Indy and his men.

They aren’t there for too long before chaos ensues. The men who are hunting Indy show up. Blake jumps into the fray and disarmed two of them, but gets shot in the process. Connor kills 3 of the men. Indy knows he can no longer put his men in danger. He decides to go into witness protection. Blake is seriously hurt and flatlines twice. Luckily, Noah is there to pull him back. They are all in their own world of hurt. Aaron is constant and just like the ‘puppy’ he is, he never leaves Blake’s side. Everyone starts noticing how ‘clingy’ he is. Blake’s brothers Burke and Brad make derogatory remarks about Aaron. This brings up all of Aaron’s insecurities causing him to flee from the only home he has ever known. Blake is furious and takes his brothers to task for their judgement. Blake expresses his love for Aaron and continues to text his ‘puppy’. Aaron is so far gone in his loneliness, he drives quite a few states away and find a job at a motel.

Everybody’s world seems to be imploding.Connor comes up with a plan for him and Josh to free Indy, but it involves being separated. Connor has quit his job and gone back to the criminal elements of his past life in Boston.Indy has gone into witness protection and is in an unknown location fending for himself. Noah feels like he is losing himself, especially when he finds out that Josh has to be booked in a psychiatric ward for his PTSD. Blake is recovering slowly and missing his ‘puppy’, but he diligently sends text messages on an hourly basis letting him know how much he is missed.

It only takes Aaron a month to figure out what the sentiment behind Blake’s messages mean. Even though Blake hasn’t said it outright, Aaron knows he is loved. As soon as Blake opens the door, Aaron knows he is home. A sense of peace flows over him as soon as he is back in Blake’s arms. Blake presents him with a gift of a perfect pink collar and matching leash to welcome home his puppy. Aaron is at peace with himself and his unique needs and he is definitely ready to embrace his true identity. The sexual energy between these two is very palpable and showcases the full extent of their trust and love for each other. I really enjoyed how naturally the puppy play aspect was introduced by the author. It was not overly salacious, just two men being in love and freely expressing that love ,as it should be.

Indy once again proves to be a superhero trapped in his little ‘twinkie’ body when he ends up saving himself as well as a federal agent Miles who will star in the next upcoming book of this series. The plan Connor has set in place is perfectly executed without any of the key players falling under suspicion. At last, Indy is free, all the men of the Fitzpatrick clan who has hurt and hunted him are dead. I can’t wait to see the fabulous quartet that is made up of Indy , Noah, Josh and Connor reclaim their lives. Another amazing addition, the next one will be a threesome, can’t wait. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

One Man’s Trash (The Heretic Dom’s Club bk 1) by Marie Sexton

Title: One Man’s Trash              Word Count: 343 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:After four tours in Afghanistan, Warren Groves couldn’t settle into civilian life. For the last twelve years, he’s survived by working odd and often illegal jobs for some of Denver’s less fortunate. His personal life is equally unsatisfactory. He can barely remember the last time he had sex, let alone the last time he got to use somebody hard and rough, the way he likes. Fate intervenes when a favor for a friend leads him to a pretty young rentboy named Taylor Reynolds.

Taylor’s spent the last few years on his own, working as a hustler, going home with anybody who’ll give him a warm meal and a place to sleep. He enjoys having a bit of force used against him, and he makes Warren an offer he can’t refuse — all the sex he wants, as rough and dirty as he likes, in exchange for room and board.

At first, Warren thinks he’s struck gold. Taylor’s the perfect roommate — he cooks, he cleans, and he’s dynamite in the sack. But Taylor has some dark demons in his head and some even darker cravings. Falling for somebody as volatile as Taylor is dangerous enough, but when Taylor’s urges turn truly self-destructive, it’ll be up to Warren to decide just how far to let things go.

My Review: Nobody knows more than Taylor how messed up his life is. Taylor lives each day bouncing from guy to guy, trading his body for his next meal and a roof over his head. Taylor engages in a lot of self destructive behaviors. When Warren, ex army vet finds him at his friend’s Phil request Taylor he is standing at a glory hole servicing a bunch of guys at the same time. He seems to be in utter bliss. When Taylor gets a good look at Warren , he offers him the same deal he had with Phil before – sex on demand for room and board.

 Warren is not traditionally handsome, he has a few scars and he has a rough look about him. In short, he is big and scary, but that’s certainly a part of the appeal for Taylor. Taylor loves rough sex, it’s usually the only way he can find sexual gratification. Warren hesitates their first time together, but he can’t deny the fact that he’s very attracted to the sexy little twink. Warren is very dominant and Taylor is definitely not afraid to be submissive. He is instantly aroused when Warren ties him down and get a bit rough with him. They embark on a very tumultuous journey, where they live as roommates with Taylor keeping house while Warren gets to slake his lust after a hard days work. Warren’s job is a bit unconventional, but he feels useful working security for a few hookers. He is usually very worked up after listening to them have sex all night. Taylor has the benefit of being the one he comes home to.

They have a great few weeks where they each know what they are both getting out of their deal. However, Taylor has a dark side and when he gets bored that dark side seeps in until it takes over. Taylor becomes uncontrollable and the only thing that seems to fill that void is copious amounts of hardcore sex with faceless strangers. He becomes quite violent and breaks Warren’s tv during his first episode. Warren is shocked to see the state Taylor is in , he is begging for Warren to hurt him. It is intense, but Warren refuses to give him exactly what he needs. Warren punishes him with a flogger and ties him down and penetrates him roughly. It puts Warren in an uneasy state but he can see that it eases Taylor’s tension a bit. Taylor is blissed out and he feels guilty for his behaviour. 

Taylor confesses some of his deep dark secrets to Warren about the incestuous relationship that he had with his older brother. Warren sees how troubled Taylor’s life has been. He sees the ‘relationship’ for the abuse that it really was, but Taylor associates it with love and safety. Taylor talks about some of the taboo acts that his brother James did to him, which he thought was done out of love. It is clear to see the act of sex and love is twisted and definitely tainted in Taylor’s mind.  

Things continue normal for awhile and the two confess their growing feelings for each other. Warren lets Taylor know how much he loves him, flaws and all. Charlie another one of Warren ‘s friends ask him to help take care of a drug addict called Riley who is ready to kick the habit. This takes up a lot of Warren’s time and Taylor soon becomes bored. Taylor wants to help and demand Warren take him along. Taylor proves to be more of a help than Charlie and Warren, because he actually holds Riley’s hands and helps him emotionally. Taylor tells Riley about his past activities of selling himself for a roof over his head . This draws them closer and they bond over their ‘flawed selves’. They become friends and Riley seems to be getting better. Warren warns Taylor that Riley might relapse, but Taylor chooses to believe in Riley and have faith.

Taylor soon realizes that the easy camaraderie and friendship that they have is akin to what real brothers must be like. His subconscious can’t seem to handle this and the blackness overwhelms him again. The episode he has this time is much worse than the one before. This one leads him back to the place it all began. Warren finds him back at the glory hole servicing quite a number of men. The blackness causes Taylor to crave anonymous sex. He relishes pain and shame, it is the only thing that seems to fill that void for Taylor. Warren is shocked but he loves Taylor enough to give him what he needs.

Warren takes Taylor home and calls a few Doms and their friends over. He gives Taylor what he needs , albeit in a safe environment. Warren ensures that all the men wear condoms while he stands aside and watch. Taylor is insatiable and it doesn’t seem to be enough. It takes all the men having their turn to make Taylor feel almost at peace. In the end it is Warren who fills the void when he professes his love and gives Taylor his secret forbidden desire of a golden bath. Watersports is not Warren’s scene but he remembered when Taylor exposed his deep dark secrets he mentioned how loved he felt when one of the men peed in his anus while they had sex. 

Warren feels wreaked after this experience. He knows that the next time the blackness overwhelms Taylor he won’t be able to provide this. When Riley overdoses, Warren knows he needs to express his love to Taylor in a way that will fill that void inside of him. He claims Taylor’s body through his love, he allows him to see it as the temple that it is. Warren lets Taylor know that he will never give anybody the chance to abuse him ever again. This was enlightening, it was certainly dark and depraved in certain parts, but overall I really enjoyed this and surprisingly felt connected to both of these men. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Sin & Saint ( Executioners 4) by J.M.Dabney

Title: Sin & Saint                           Word Count: 176 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Eric and Ellison Gant, better known as Sin and Saint, were opposite sides of the same coin. They epitomized the nicknames given to them by their friends in the band Executioners. One thing Sin and Saint did well was fight, and being inseparable meant they had a lot of disagreements, but one thing they agreed on was that Sheriff Camden Pelter was theirs. The older, stoic man didn’t agree, yet they were determined to change his mind.

Camden Pelter had the daunting job of turning the Powers Sheriff Department around. The residents of the Georgia town didn’t have much faith or respect in the deputies serving them. That’s where he came in, and he was determined to do his job. That was easier said than done with two annoying brothers, Sin and Saint, who dogged his every step. No way in hell was he getting mixed up in the chaos that was the Gant Twins. Now if only he could get them to listen and realize they didn’t have a chance of changing his mind.

My Review: From the very first moment that Sheriff Camden Pelter laid eyes on the twin temptations of the Executioners band he has been leery. Cam has been running away from Eric commonly known as Sin and Ellison otherwise know as Saint for three long years. The twins bring out Cam’s protective instincts, but what he is even more scared of is his dominance that rears its head every time Sin & Saint are around. Cam also can’t get over the fact that they are way too young for him. Sin & Saint are more than 20 years his junior.

Sin is definitely the more outgoing flirty one of the two. It is Saint’s shy vulnerability that draws Cam in. It is a known fact that you can’t have one without the other. Cam knows how threesomes work, he has seen perfect examples of Scary’s relationship with Tank and Elijah. Scary is Cam’s cousin and he has never seen him happier than when he’s with his husbands.

It is certainly not surprising when Cam ends up in Scary’s office looking for advice on how to deal with his beautiful twin twinks. It doesn’t take long for the Twirled, Brawlers and Trenton Crews to place bets on what’s going down. Linus barges in and give Cam some advice as well. It all comes down to honesty, honesty is the key to making any relationship work. Cam listens intently to Scary and Linus, because both have not just one but two husbands. Linus is very happy in his triad relationship with his partners Wren and Hunter. It was great catching a glimpse of my favorite triads of all time.

Cam invites the twins over for dinner. They are both ecstatic, but Sin loves watching his shy twin with their man. Cam notices for the first time how Sin uses his brazen personality as a shield to protect both Saint and himself. Cam finds every opportunity to give them each one on one time. Their time together is very erotic and Cam ensures that all their kinks are taken care of. It comes natural for both his boys to call him ‘daddy’. Cam gets a thrill hearing his boys calling out his name. They all take care of each other and it’s clear that Cam is proud to call them his own. Soon , they are talking marriage and kids after meeting the twins’ mom . Cam proposes to his boys after professing his love. The boys are excited to getting started on moving their stuff to Cam’s home. All their plans are put on hold when the Trenton crew let’s them know that Cam is in danger.

It’s all hands on deck for this daring rescue mission. Saint pilots the chopper while Sin rappels out with a few of the Trenton crew to save their man. Cam is hurt but he will live. He wakes up fuming, hearing that his boys have put themselves in danger for him. When he thinks about all the possibilities he goes a bit crazy and shuts them out. It takes two weeks for him to come to his senses. All the crews are mad at him, It is Bull the patriarch of the Brawlers who talks to him, showing him the error of his ways and letting him see how short life is.

There is no hesitation as Sin & Saint welcomes Cam with open arms. They forgive their man effortlessly as soon as he promises to take them home. Their Christmas wedding goes off without a hitch with all the crews in attendance. Nine months after, Lou , the only surrogate for the crews gives them another beautiful addition baby Elisabeth. A truly enjoyable end to the Executioners series, I give this my ratings of 4-lose the underwear.

Can’t Fight It( The Blueridge Junction Boys 2) by A.D.Ellis

Title: Can’t Fight It                                  Word Count: 334 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:For small-town tattoo artist Levi Wells his few forays into love have only brought him trouble. When trouble with a capital T came sashaying into town two years ago in the form of flamboyant young dancer Jay Owens, Levi becomes more determined than ever to stay away from anything remotely resembling a relationship. Especially one with someone so young and different than him.

Two years. That’s how long Jay has been trying to wear Levi down. But, Levi only sees Jay as a thorn in his side and balks at their differences every chance he gets. Luckily for them both, Jay isn’t going to let a little thing like Levi’s reluctance stand in the way of getting what he wants.

Levi is as stubborn as Jay is tenacious and they find themselves at an impasse. When Jay inadvertently gets himself into an unnerving situation, Levi’s protective nature surges forth even as he berates his heart for getting involved. Will Levi stay focused on their differences and keep fighting his true feelings? Or will Jay finally burrow through Levi’s self-imposed walls? One thing is for sure, you can’t fight love.

*Can’t Fight It is a male/male romance meant for ages 18+ due to language, themes, and adult scenes.*
My Review: Jay Owens is certainly a force to be reckoned with, every inch of his glorious twinky self. He’s had his heart set on a certain Tattoo God, Levi Wells ever since he’s moved to Blueridge Junction 2 years before. They have a great group of friends surrounding them and it is obvious how close they are when its Jay’s birthday. Jay is always fabulously flamboyant in his everyday life and it is increasingly apparent when he has a ‘pretty in pink’ party theme.

Jay is always flirty, sassy and overtly sexual whenever he is around Levi. His behavior makes Levi want to run for the hills. Levi doesn’t feel like Jay is his type especially given their 10 yr age gap. Jay heckles Levi and calls him ‘daddy’.Levi is constantly rebuffing Jay’s advances, but his walls are slowly tumbling down when he starts having sexy dreams about the sexy little twink. When Jay makes a thank you toast to his friends at his party, he opens up a little about his younger self and what drove him to Blueridge Junction. Jay’s home life was less than perfect with a drug addicted mother, he was left hungry and alone for the most part. Seeing Jay in this vulnerable light makes Levi want to wrap him up in his arms and take care of him. 

Levi comes to the decision, albeit kicking and screaming that it’s time to move forward in their relationship slowly. He can’t fight his feelings anymore and he acknowledges that Jay might be the perfect type of guy who can give him his happily ever after.Jay is ecstatic that all his dreams are finally coming through, but he soon understands it won’t be easy. Jay has a very independent spirit and he butts heads with Levi’s ‘take control’ attitude. Levi is left soothing ruffled feathers more than once.

Their first argument stems from a lack of communication and high-handed ways. Jay is extremely pissed when he finds out that Levi has gone behind his back and requested his boss give him time off. To Levi’s credit , he was just being protective of Jay since he has a stalker who keeps calling him. Jay works as an exotic dancer and Levi believes the two things are connected. Their friends provide insight when they explain that both Jay and Levi will definitely have to open the lines of communication for the longevity of their newfound relationship.

Jay and Levi talk things through and make plans for what their roles will be in their relationship. Jay realizes that his past has caused insecurities and he should just accept help when its given. He sees that Levi is more protective rather than controlling. When Jay gets another threat, Levi suggests that he move in with him. Levi has Jay’s best interest at heart and he just wants to love him and protect him now that they’ve ventured on this journey. I really enjoyed watching the sparks fly between these two, their sexual chemistry was amazing. They are opposites who complement each other in every way.

Before they can get their happily ever after, Jay gets a letter saying that his mother died. Levi goes with him to sort things out. This gives Jay closure and a bit of peace on his neglected childhood. It is bittersweet when he finds out that all the money he ever sent his mother was saved for him. She wrote an apology letter saying how much she loved him. For once , she actually did right by Jay. It doesn’t erase all the loneliness and hurt he felt as a child, but it has mended a small part of his heart and given him insight as to what he would like to do as a future career.

They have a couple of blissful days touring the city before they head home. Their friend Kennedy, the cop dealing with the stalker case tells them that the stalker has revealed himself. Jay decides to not press charges as he just wants to move on. Jay has plans to open up a dance studio with the nest egg that his mother saved for him. It will be a place where he can give youths a safe place to be who they want to be. Finally, Jay and Levi’s future is on the right track. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

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.

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.