Ghost ( Executioners 1) by J.M.Dabney

Title: Ghost                                     Word Count:157 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Biker Gay Romance

Blurb:Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

Author Note: This book contains scenes of violence and descriptions of self-harm.

My Review: We have been introduced to Harper through the Twirled and Brawlers Crew. They have all tried to take her into the fold, because she is one of the sweetest, most kindest people they know. There is just one problem, Harper doesn’t see her own self worth. Harper is transgender and from a very early age there has always been a miscommunication between her sense of self and who she wants to be. Harper has a very low self-esteem and she has only ever found release from her depression through self harm. After her last suicide attempt her best friend Kyle inviegled her promise not to ever self harm again.

Harper has found another way to feel pain, his name is Bill. Bill is a homophobic bully who likes to take out his anger on Harper and uses her in despicable ways. He is not above using and abusing her body and pysche. Harper wants to get out , but there is a tiny little part of her that wants to die. She bears many scars on her body and soul from Bill. When Harper meets Gideon otherwise known as ‘Ghost’ by the Executioners and Brawlers Crew, she feels a tingle and yearns to be normal.

Ghost thinks Harper is one of the most beautiful women he’s ever met. He tries to get Joker, Harper’s self professed protector to open up about her. Ghost is warned and definitely chastised about hurting Harper. Ghost gets to know Harper slowly. For Harper, this is a new and scary experience as her relationships with men usually equate to pain. It is Twitch, the well loved twink of the Brawlers Crew that encourages her to take a chance on Ghost.

Inadvertently, that chance comes when Bill hurts Harper so badly she ends up in the hospital with bruises and knife wounds. Ghost goes into protective mode and takes her to his farm. Harper spends weeks with Ghost healing and slowly getting acclimated to what a healthy relationship could look like. Ghost pampers her as much as she allows and he sees a new spunky side of Harper unfolding when he coddles her too much. Watching the banter between these two is fun. Their sexual heat slowly simmers but is well worth the wait. Under that gentlemanly exterior lives a passionate Ghost. He gently unleashes his passion on Harper who combusts at the slightest touch.

For the first time, a man’s touch allows Harper to feel beautiful and embrace her true self and identity. It is through Gideon’s passion that Harper truly embraces her transgender body in all its glory. Gideon knows the time for subtlety has passed the morning after their glorious night together. He expresses his true feelings to Harper and she is still in awe that a man like Gideon would want a relationship with her. Before she can allow her newfound feelings to settle in , Bill attacks again. He uses a rifle this time and Joker gets hurt. Luckily, its just a flesh wound and Joker will be on the mend soon. Once again , Bill is in the wind.

Harper’s life starts crumbling and she feels guilty for bringing Gideon into her mess of a life. The Brawlers Crew let her know how much she means to them by opening their home to her for a respite. Gideon continues to shower her with love and it overwhelms her a little, but it is just what she needs to feel secure. His unwavering support in the face of danger gives her the strength to carry on. Harper does all the ‘couply’ things with Gideon.

After the Executioners finish their band practice one night, Bill strikes again. It is Gideon who gets hurt this time. Joker tousles with Bill for his gun and Bill will definitely not be coming back this time. The bane of Harper’s existence is finally dead. However, this act of violence has put Joker in a catatonic state and forces him to flee his ‘brothers’. They are all worried about Joker, but they know that in time he will recover.

Harper and Gideon are able to proceed with their relationship without a cloud hanging over their head. Harper relishes her newfound self confidence and enjoys the love that continues to blossom fruitfully with her sexy ‘bear’. At long last, Harper gets her happily ever after when Ghost proposes. I really enjoyed the first in the Executioners series, I can’t wait to read about Joker. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

 

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For a Reason ( Sizzling Miami  Series 2)  by Jessie G.

​Title: For a Reason ( Sizzling Miami  Series 2)      Word Count:366 pgs           Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Former Marine and full time big brother, Bull Connor spends his days helping those in need of a second chance and his nights fighting the inner demons that won’t let go. During a routine tow he comes face to face with the only person who refuses to need him and the one man he wishes would.

As a throw away, Ian Jones is used to being alternately overlooked or ridiculed but hasn’t given up on the idea that with just one chance he could turn it all around. Rescued by the one person who neither overlooks nor ridicules him, he longs to be seen as more than just a man in need.

Ian isn’t pining for the family he’s never known but when they descend, unwanted and uninvited, Bull must prove that he’s the man who will protect Ian’s long neglected heart by sharing the demons that torment his wounded soul.

My Review: In all his 25yrs, Ian always had a rough life. He was left in a dumpster by his crack addicted mother on the day that he was born.  Ian always felt as if his life was pointless since nobody ever wanted him and he bounced around from foster homes. Regardless of all of this, he has strived to pull himself out of the gutters by going to college to get a computer science degree.  Ian is on his way to a job interview when his car sputters and dies in the Miami heat.

From the moment, the tow truck driver Bull lays eyes on Ian, he wants to protect him . Ian has always been wary of macho men who wear their strength like an armour. However , he soon realizes that Bull is trying to help him when he gives him a cheaper rate for the tow. This puts Ian on edge,because he knows that nothing in life is free. Bull tries to get Ian who he has dubbed ‘Red’ to open up to him. There is something about Red that touches him to his very core. When he sees the fleabag motel where Red lives, he  just knows he can’t leave him there. Bull is just in time to see the manager harassing Red for his overdue rent.  Bull gives him no choice , he forces Red to pack his bags and move in with him.

Red is overwhelmed by Bull’s overbearing ways. After thinking for awhile , he realizes that Bull has given him a chance for a fresh start. Ian is wary, but he thinks he would love to get the chance to know this kind-hearted sexy bear of a man. Bull makes it very clear that he is attracted to Red, but Red is so scared of his feelings. Red has never been in a relationship. He has a low self-worth caused by the people in his past  and doesn’t understand what Bull sees in him.

As the time goes by, Red sees how altruistic Bull is in the way he takes care of all the needs of his family and friends. Red decides to take the plunge and give their relationship a go. Red wants to ensure that he is the man who takes care of Bull’s needs. Bull takes care of his’boy’ and shows him the beauty of love between two men. Red explores his newfound sexuality and they dabble in a bit of light BDSM. Bull is the greatest teacher he could have ever imagined. He loves the many facets of his man, the aggressor, the nurtured and the sweet caring giver.

Not only does Red endear himself to Bull, but also to the rough and tumble crew of ex-cons that work at  Bull’s garage. They see a confidante in Red, someone they can show their true selves to without judgement. This trust and openness is what gives Red the strength to expose all his deep dark secrets to Bull. Red opens up and tells Bull his whole life story about the many times he tried to kill himself starting at the age of five, he tells of all the abuse physical , mental and sexual that he has endured throughout his lifetime. At first he is scared that Bull will see him as tainted, but seeing Bull’s tears has washed his soul clean and gone a far way to healing him. 

Their bond becomes stronger and they both learn to trust in each other. Their trust in each other is definitely needed when Ian’s family appears out of the blue. This sets everything in a tailspin. Ian is overwhelmed , definitely unsure and insecure as he doesn’t know what to think about having a brother and now a father. Things are very unsettled for him, but Bull is there for him through it all.

It is very painful for Ian to learn about his family, but he really wants to get to know his brother. It is harder for Ian to give his father a chance , because he doesn’t believe he is upset enough. It isn’t until Bull points out that his father is also a victim to his mother’s addiction and lies, that Ian relented a bit. Ian’s familial ties will definitely be slow going, but his love for Bull is surely on the fast track especially when Bull proposes. This was a beautiful love story and I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear. 

Rainbow Connection  by Alexa Milne

​Title : Rainbow Connection                   Word Count:39,000

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Two men, one with a past, and one determined to give them a future, together.

Mick Flanagan has kept himself hidden since his only lover died three years ago. He works at night, keeps to his routine, has impressive facial hair, and avoids contact with other people. Enter Ceri Llewellyn, with his constantly changing rainbow-coloured hair, who seems determined to talk to him. Gradually, Mick tells his story and begins to trust Ceri, but Mick has a past that contains more than just a dead lover. Can Ceri show him that he deserves to be loved and, above all else, help him find his true self?
My Review: When we are first introduced to Mick Flanagan, a picture is painted of a lonely, desolate man. Mick is a man who has experienced the loss of his partner Alfie and has totally shut down. It is clear to see that he has OCD issues and he follows strict routines as a coping mechanism. He has allowed his grief to block him off from humanity. He lives in an almost silent world with very few friends, his books and his dvds. He works as a security guard  where he observes everything on the complex. That’s where he first sees the delivery guy with the rainbow coloured hair.

 When Ceri Llewellyn first meets Mick  he  is very intrigued by the quiet man and invites him out. Ceri is very attracted to Mick who looks like a mini ‘bear’ with his beard and his hairy arms. Ceri is very outspoken and he is determined to coax Mick out of his shell. He finally gains a toe hold with Mick when he finds out he is passionate about the Doctor Who series. A connection is sparked and Ceri uses this to his advantage.  He invites Mick to go away with him so that they can go to a museum of sorts filled with Doctor Who memorabilia.  

There is just something about Ceri that gets Mick to open up and finally be himself. Mick gains new insights about himself,  things he couldn’t pursue while he was with Alfie. Ceri exposes Mick’s dominant possessive alpha side and  for the first time Mick really wants to explore and embrace this new part of himself. They get along great the few days they are away and their sexual chemistry is super hot and something neither has ever experienced with anyone else.

Their budding relationship comes to a screeching halt when Ceri pushes Mick to put away some of Alfie’s things and inject pieces of himself in his own home. Ceri is definitely not wrong, because he is on the outside looking in and sees that Mick’s house is almost a shrine to his dead lover Alfie.Mick tosses Ceri out of his home and possibly his life. It is when he meets up with his old friend Sally that she gives him the same perspective as Ceri. Mick knows he overreacted and he knows he needs some help to come to terms with his grief and his OCD tendencies.

Mick and Ceri make up and their lovemaking is as hot as ever.  Even though they are taking things slowly , they decide to be committed to each other  and get married eventually . They become the rock they both need and encourage each other in all aspects of their lives. Their love is relatively new,  but  it is clear to see that it will be longstanding.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

The Grizzly List 1: Bear Wanted by Julia Talbot

Title : Bear Wanted             Word Count : 20,147

Genre : Paranormal Gay Romance

Blurb : He always wanted a bear to keep him warm at night…

Lane knows what he wants in a lover, but hasn’t been able to find the perfect bear of a man in his small Colorado hometown. So he turns to the Grizzly List, a regional personal ad service for bears and their lovers. He’s not sure what to expect when he meets Fin, but what he gets might be his perfect man.

Bear shifter Fin has been looking for someone with whom to spend his days, nights, and winter hibernation. He’s a happy guy, but needs someone who wants a big, burly, slightly dominant mate. When he meets Lane, Fin knows he’s found what he needs, but will he be able to convince Lane that they’re made for one another, in human form and bear?

My Review :  This was a sweet short read and I loved every moment of it. Lane puts up an ad on Grizzly List for a bear of a man. Fin cautiously replies and after emailing back and forth,  they decide to meet at a coffee shop. They hit it off nicely and Lane is so happy with the burly,  hairy bear that is Fin. Fin sees right away the potential of a  mate in the sexy little twink called Lane. Lane doesn’t know it yet , but he has caught a real life were – bear who is looking for a mate.

Both Fin and Lane are so compatible to each other. Fin starts to see slight changes in Lane and realized that he has awakened the hibernating bear within Lane. Lane is confused about the changes in his body, and the only thing that helps is having his sweet gentle Bear around.

Fin dominates  Lane and takes him to new heights, giving him what his body needs before he can even ask. Fin finds his perfect match in the sexy little cub. It takes some getting used to,  but Lane comes around to the idea of them both being bears and mates. They have great fun with their explorations and they both have each other to snuggle with during their hibernation. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. “I think you’re the best thing ever.” Fin prodded at his hole, opening him up, those fingers unavoidable.    Lane pushed up on his knees, offering Fin everything.    “Sweet cub.” Fin pulled free, then lifted him even more before lowering him over that stiff, wide cock. The head spread him, split him and he stretched, a soft growl escaping him.    Not giving him any time to adjust, Fin slid inside him, huge and hot. He gasped, hips rolling forward, cock sliding along Fin’s belly.    “Love that. Love it,” Fin said.    “Need.” Their lips clung as he rode, arching, his ass stinging where Fin grabbed him to hold him close. Instead of pulling away, though, Lane pushed closer. He felt stuffed full, desperate.    Wanton.    Best of all he felt like Fin could take it. Fin was so strong, so in control.    His Bear. ( I love Fin, so domineering,  yet so gentle. My ideal perfect man.)

Indiscreet 1: A Matter of Trust by A.C. Katt

Title : A Matter of Trust                Word Count :70,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Donald K. Drummond is the Master of all he surveys; a legend in commercial real estate in New Jersey by day and by night a Master Dom at the gay BDSM club, Indiscrete. What he couldn’t find was a boy to call his own. That all changed when a nerd with taped glasses and worn Dockers barged into his office spilling his bottle of 1985 Bourdeau over his priceless Persian carpet. Brian Murphy came with a host of troubles, the least of which was his grasping Aunt, his invalid mother and his rather tenious position in Donald’s mail room.Can a Dom with issues of his own come to train and trust a needy boy from his own mailroom. It’s all A Matter of Trust.

My Review : Donald ‘Bear’ Drummond has a very dominant complex personality and he doesn’t trust very well. He’s a self made man who became rich through his hard work, dedication and perseverance.  He is used to men trying to use him for his money and he tries his best to weed them out. Bear is looking for an ideal sub , one who can fulfill all his needs and be the perfect boy for him. The first time he meets Brian,  he knows this is the boy for him. Brian works in the mail room of his company and was set the task of delivering a package to him. It so happens that Brian trips and that’s how Bear finds him.Brian is clumsily sopping up the Bordeaux wine out of the expensive Persian rug after overturning it. Bear could care less about all these things. He is so focused on the sexy little submissive and he can’t wait to finally get this dream boy into his home. Bear plans to woo his sub properly, but his plans get derailed after Brian goes home.

Brian lives in a shitty little crack building and has a very horrible homophobic landlady. After seeing an invitation come for Brian from the prestigious gay BDSM  club, she gets her goons to beat Brian to an inch of his life. Bear is just in time to take his beautiful sub to the hospital with the help of his friends Jim and Reed. It is from this point of the story, where the book gets a little lackluster for me. I liked the whole premise of the story, but the relationship between these two seemed very forced and rushed even though there is more than enough pages in the book to facilitate the development of the characters and a proper follow through. I don’t  think the chemistry was there between these two. I think that the dialogue was a little too stilted and it didn’t really flow how I thought it should. I really was dissapointed when I didn’t feel that gut wrenching reaction and that genuineness.

It is unveiled that Brian has been abused repeatedly by his mother when he was a child. It is heartbreaking that throughout it all,  poor Brian beggars himself to pay for her medical bills.  Bear moves Brian into his home and takes the liberties of taking over all his financial burdens. Both men know that they are in love with each other, however trust is another realm for both of them . Brian is an experienced sub but he is known in their circles as the unbreakable sub. No one has been granted the privelege of relieving him of his virginity.  Bear also has trust issues and he hopes that in time he can trust Brian as much as he loves him. Bear makes it very clear that they will not engage in penetration  until he has collared Brian publicly. Nevertheless,  their sex life is super hot regardless. 

Bear gives Brian numerous tests in the service element to ensure that they are a proper fit. Bear wants a forward thinking sub who will think for himself, but who will also serve obediently and show him the proper respect which  is due to his stature as a master Dom. Brian performs flawlessly both at home and at the club. Bear is extremely proud and finds himself loving and trusting his lover, friend and most importantly his sub.

I had a bit of a love hate relationship with this book. For his part,  I think Bear was a great Dom  in the respect that he was far more giving and took care of his boys sexual needs in the bedroom. On the other hand, in public he was very rigid in terms of his  boy’s posture and the obedience that he expected from Brian, some of which I thought was unrealistic. Overall I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try. If you like insta-love it’s definitely for you. I will definitely try the second book in this series.  

Safe in his Arms by Renae Kaye

Title : Safe in his Arms                 Word Count :70,149

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

My Review : Certain lights just can’t be dimmed no matter what unspeakable horrors has been done. Casey is that special someone who carries that kind of light, even though he has been victimized sexually by his own father at the age of fourteen. He is scared , he has nightmares that is cause for sleepless nights and he still suffers through panic attacks.  Irrespective of all of this, he is fun and carefree and trying hard to have agency over his own life and his sexuality. Casey understands that what has been done to him is no fault of his own and is separate and apart from him identifying as a gay man. 

Lon the big and hairy guy -who Casey met in the bathrooms at the trailer park where they both live- has been the only one who makes him feel safe and protected. Casey finds himself sleeping for hours safe and sound in Lon’s bed and he trusts him enough to blurt out his deep dark secret of his childhood abuse after a few days of being with him. Casey has been violated in the worst possible way for months on end, with photographic evidence and videos all over the internet for all to see. He is fragile, a little bit broken but ultimately one of the strongest,  bravest , most loving person that Lon has ever met. Lon is insanely attracted to Casey , but he is not sure how far to push him sexually. Casey and Lon are coasting easily in a sweet, fun, lighthearted relationship that they have not labeled.

When Casey’s grandmother realizes that Lon is the guy that he has been spending all his time with, she gets really upset. She thinks that Lon is way too old being 13 yrs Casey’s senior. She says horrible things to Casey accusing him of not knowing his own mind and accuses Lon of being a pedophile, making the assumption that because he’s a big bear he’s abusing Casey.  Lon is torn up about this, because while he knew that Casey was young , he had no idea that he was only 19 yrs old. He is upset at Casey for lying about his age and he is devastated that he might have lost the best thing that has happened to him in forever.

After talking it over, they realize that they both need each other , because what started out as a bathroom hookup has turned into so much more. Casey has brought back the joy and love into Lon’s life and Lon offers Casey a safe haven within his arms. Lon has to go back to his job at the mines for a few weeks and he asks Casey to stay in his trailer and make himself comfortable. 

Lon comes home on Christmas eve and his heart is warmed when he sees that Casey has gotten him a gift that is propped up beside  a potted fern (read Christmas tree ☺). Lon is overjoyed to be wrapped around Casey again, and Casey is ecstatic having his big bear home. There are lots of hills , valleys  and peaks in their relationship. There are a few therapy sessions for Casey to deal with his past. He also finds out Lon has a past almost as tragic as his.They have some hot man on man action once Lon is assured that he won’t cause flashbacks inadvertently when he penetrates Casey anally. They have toe curling sex. They find out quite a bit about each other, but throughout it all their love grows steadfast and strong. Their love is something that they can believe in, it is almost tangible, but most of all its a safe place for them both. Renae Kaye is definitely one of my favorite authors.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.