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.

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Trained by N.M. Pratt

Title : Trained                      Word Count:158 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Brendon is too young to be letting himself go. Overweight and desperate for a change, he goes where everyone goes for advice these days, the Internet. That’s where he finds Jared. Jared has an offer too good for Brendon to pass up; a free training program to help him build his clientele. What starts out as workout routines, and meal plans, slowly turns into friendship, all before they ever meet in person. Jared may be straight but will Brendon be able to resist his sexy trainer and friend when they finally meet and spend a night out under The Bay Lights in San Francisco? Or maybe a better question is, will a confused Jared be able to resist Brendon?

My Review: When Brendon wakes up one day and realizes that he has gained way more than the standard freshman fifteen after college, he decides to make some changes. Like most of us, he heads to an internet chat room to do some research. He is approached by Jared who tells Brendon he will train him for free. With killer meal prepping and vigorous workouts, they decide to give it a try. Even though they are not in the same city, Brendon soon starts seeing changes.

There is just something about Jared, he is easy to talk to and motivates Bren like no other. It is clear that they have formed a bond that moves beyond trainer/ client. Bren looks forward to Jared’s numerous daily texts which always leaves him smiling. Bren knows this is a slippery slope, as Jared is very much straight and has a model girlfriend. When Bren’s grandmother passed away, Jared initiates a phone conversation. He is very sincere and is there for his friend. Bren feels extremely close to Jared in that moment and he is encouraged to let lose and cry.

Things progress with them watching movies and exercising together while they talk on the phone. Their relationship is very sturdy for two people who have never met in person. This adds to the mystique however. This soon changes when Jared lets Bren know he will be going to his city for a photo shoot. They are both excited to meet each other. Nothing could prepare Brendon for the sex god that walks into the cafe where they are meeting. Jared is gorgeous and oh so sexy. He is everything that Bren would like in a man. The day is surreal but the emotions between the two men is very tangible. Under the beautiful lights of SanFrancisco, it is Jared who makes the first move and kisses Brendon. It is over before they know it and awkwardness seeps in. Jared begs and chalks it up as a stupid mistake, Bren is heartbroken at his apology.

Jared goes home and the shift in their relationship is obvious. Gone is the fun filled, flirty , easy going banter. Their texts only deals with the business at hand, workouts and food log. It takes them weeks to get over the hump and not until Jared apologizes for freaking out a bit for kissing a man. As the distance recedes , they become even closer than before. Jared starts owning his attraction to Bren. Their phone calls turn sexier as the flirting ramps up. When Jared starts inquiring about gay sex, Bren knows he is in trouble. He explains what turns him on knowing that he is revealing some of his secret desires for Jared. The unknown lures Jared in and he becomes bold with his sexy pics knowing that he is turning Bren on. Their late night calls become uninhibited and phone sex operators have nothing on them. They are wild in their explorations and all that’s missing is their physical bodies. Jared soon makes the decision to take another trip.

Their weekend together is intensely good and bad. Their connection is truly out of this world, but in public Jared rejects some of the most innocent touches from Bren. Bren is hurt,but holds it all in. They have a big powwow before Jared goes home , where all the niggling doubts come forth. Jared tells Bren that he can’t turn gay for him and that’s the end of that. Jared leaves as Bren’s world implodes all around him. The silence stretches on for months and Bren is a shell of his former self.

Jared finally comes to his senses and acknowledges that he can’t live his life worrying about others’ opinions. Jared was missing a vital part of himself, his other half, his best friend. He is ready to accept his love for Bren and he doesn’t care that he is a man. Bren is afraid to accept that it is real however, but he knows he can’t live without his soul mate Jared. When they come together, it is explosive and there are no doubts about whether they were meant to be together. Ten years into the future finds them married with two children who they adore. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

P.S. For all the unconventional lovers who have found a deeper connection, before they even met in person. This one is for you. I am happy to be among the lucky few. I love my husband to pieces, but I would be scared to try the whole internet dating nowadays with some of the horror stories about online dating that you hear. I applaud everyone who has made it work. Here is to LOVE.

Trouble ( Twirled World Ink 2) by J. M. Dabney

Title: Trouble                        Word Count: 127 pgs

Genre: Gay Biker Romance

Blurb: Welcome to Twirled World Ink where the crazies run the asylum.

Model perfect Jimmy “Trouble” Carver had never heard the word no. Tattooed, sexy and the quintessential bad boy Trouble had men falling over themselves to get to him. What people didn’t know about him was he was self-conscious even if life was easy for him. He’d started out as an apprentice at Twirled World Ink after college and never looked back. Trouble was exactly where he wanted to be, although there was one speed bump, his crush refused to go out on a date.

Brody Vaughn worked in a dead-end job, barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. He didn’t have much time for anyone other than his five-year-old daughter Mina and besides he’d never quite found a place in this world he fit. Chunky and average, that’s how he felt, except for when Trouble came into the grocery store where he worked. The flirty, gorgeous man asked him out every week with a sexy smile, but Brody had to refuse. It wasn’t as if he wanted to say no, it was just how could he date a man Brody knew he had no business trying to keep.

The Crazies of Twirled World Ink excel at one thing, matchmaking, and they are determined their resident bad boy would get his man. They just had to make sure that neither Trouble or Brody screwed up their plan.

Author’s Note: Although this is part of a series each book is a stand alone and every book deals with a separate couple.
My Review: Jimmy ‘Trouble’ Carver is the playboy of the Twirled crew , or so it would seem because of his good looks. However, for months he has been pining for the short, cute chunky grocery store clerk Brody. For some reason Brody keeps turning down the sexy tattoo artist, even though he can’t always keep his eyes off. Yet again , Trouble leaves the store feeling dejected after another invitation gets turned down. There is just something about Brody he can’t get out of his mind, even though he is not his usual type.

Brody finds Trouble very handsome, but he knows he can’t act on his desires.He has other responsibilities in his life, namely Mina his daughter. Brody is a single dad barely making ends meet and he knows he has to put Mina first and forget about his little crush. When Brody takes Mina out to a diner and is met with a full house, he is disappointed. He is surprised to hear   Trouble calling out to him. Brody and Mina get to meet the whole crew when Trouble suggests that they join their table. Mina latches on to the biggest biker of them all Scary. Brody is very intimidated by Scary , but Trouble sets him at ease and seeing how gentle Scary is with Mina is definitely endearing.

Trouble certainly wants to push his advantage and calls to invite Brody and Mina to watch a kid friendly movie and see the tattoo shop. This unconventional night goes off without a hitch and has quite  few chaperones, including all the Twirled World crew and  Brody’s brother mayor Elijah Vaughn. Mina is ecstatic about all the attention she receives from all of Trouble’s family and she has each of them wrapped around her little finger. Mina has now been dubbed ‘Princess’ by all her honorary  biker uncles.

This is new territory for Brody but he likes having friends. The relationship takes on a life of its own , because Trouble knows he definitely wants Brody and Princess in his life. Brody knows he wants to keep this man, when he sees the vulnerability hidden behind Trouble’s eyes after a run- in with his uptight family. It seems that Trouble is from a well to do family who likes to take every opportunity to criticize and put him down for his lifestyle. Brody cuddles his man and this leads them slowly out of the friend zone.

Trouble decides that they need a one on one date even though Brody is not ready for sex yet. A lot of their insecurities are revealed as  they start talking, but they both try to sooth the tension from each other . Trouble lets Brody know that he sees permanence in their future. Trouble wants to infiltrate Brody’s life and do all the couply sort of things. As much as Brody resisted at first, he is coming to realize that he loves Trouble and wants him as Princess’ other dad.

All of Twirled crew, the Brawlers and Brody show Trouble the true meaning of family when they pull together and rally around him when his stuck up family tries to cause problems. Brody’s brother Elijah sets a plan in place to humiliate the Carvers and try to ruin their social standing since that’s all they care about. This definitely pulls Brody and Trouble together. He has never had anyone stand up for him like Brody. He sees how strong and protective his sexy little man is of his family.Now, Trouble believes in Brody’s love and sees a beautiful future for all of them. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.