Closet Case ( Sexy Nerd Boys 4) by K .M. Neuhold

Title: Closet Case                        Word Count: 168 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Jax

That awkward moment when you accidentally fool around with a closet case. I have a strict policy against dating closeted guys. Confused straight guys? Absolutely. Guys who don’t mind being out and proud? Duh. But closet cases are a hard pass. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt with a giant picture of a broken heart on it. It would be a lot easier to stick to my dating rule if Matthew Hart could be slightly less irresistible. 

Matthew

Being a closeted gay college football player is not all it’s cracked up to be. After I broke my high school boyfriend’s heart by refusing to come out of the closet, I swore off serious dating. I don’t want to hurt anyone like that again, and I’ll admit I’m protecting my own heart in the process, too. It was a lot easier to stick to my no dating rule before I laid eyes on Jax Greene. He’s exactly my type in every possible way. If there’s even the slightest chance that history won’t repeat itself, I want to see where things might lead. Convincing Jax to give me a chance though might be the toughest play I’ve ever made. 

**This book is the first M/M installment of the Sexy Nerd Boys series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Recommended for 18+ due to language and all kinds of hot sex.

My Review: Jackson is very ‘out and proud’ and that’s the way he likes it. His former boyfriend Beck was a closet case and he has decided never to make the same mistake twice. Jax has hookups but nothing meaningful. When he meets the sexy straight looking quarterback Matthew in his anthropology class, he decides to flirt a little. Matthew sees Jax and knows that he’s definitely his type. He can’t seem to get Jax out of his head.

When he goes to hangout with his friend Hadley and her boyfriend, he is surprised to see that Jax is a mutual friend. Jax re-evaluates his little flirting game when he realizes that Matty is not straight, but rather gay and firmly in the closet. Jax has certain rules in place to protect his heart from another relationship filled with secrets and lies. Even though they are both lonely, they decide to stay in the friend zone, especially when they are paired up for their anthropology project.

It doesn’t take long for Jax to realize that he can’t just be friends with the sexy stud muffin that is Matty Hart. Things get hot and heavy between them after they go to a gay club with their friends. Jax watches another guy who is his look-alike hit on Matty and that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Jealousy rears its ugly head for Jax and Matty knows he needs to take his man home and prove that Jax will be his. 

They settle in a mutually beneficial sexual arrangement that works for them for awhile. Jax knows that he has fallen into the same trap he has avoided since his last breakup, but he can’t resist Matty. He genuinely likes him and it helps that he is a cuddle bug. They have quite a few meaningful nights canoodling while watching Marvel movies and making out. Matty loves all the quirky little things about Jax and wishes that his NFL aspirations didn’t conflict with a future as a gay man.

This bone of contention soon comes to a head when both halves of Matthew’s lives clash at a frat party. Jax is surprised to see Matty at the party and approaches him in front of his football buddies. He is harshly rebuffed and this hurts more than he can say. Matty feels horrible about how he treats Jax, but his fear of being outed is a powerful thing. Jax lets him know that he can’t continue living a lie and walks out of his life. 

Matty is broken by the turn of events and turns into a zombie. His friend Hadley tries to drag him out of his slump, but it’s his mom who finally pulls him out and tells him to stop hiding. A big part of Matthew’s self image and his view on ‘coming out’ is steeped into the vitriolic standards of how a ‘real man’ should be according to his father. When his father was alive he would verbally abuse him and call him a sissy. Matthew acknowledges to himself that he needs to stop caring what other people think, because he can’t see a future without Jax. Matty knows he needs to make a grand gesture to win Jax’s heart and that comes in the form of their anthropology project. They chose the topic on homosexuality and how it’s viewed in different cultures. When Matty starts talking about sports culture and how homosexuality is tied into ideas of masculinity,  one of his teammates shout out that there are no gays in football. Matty doesn’t even think, he just shuts his teammate down and outs himself in front of the whole class. A statement that was once panic inducing, has now liberated him. Jax is in shock, but he supports his man and is very proud that Matty has finally found himself. They celebrate by consummating  the new parameters of their relationship expressing their love with lots of sweet kisses.

This is certainly a happily ever after and we get a glimpse eight years in their future where we see them  settled and getting ready to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. It was just the right amount of angst, sweetness and sexual chemistry between Jax and  Matty. Loved it!!!

Finn: A Bully Novella 2 by Morgan Campbell

Title: Finn: A Bully Novella             Word Count: 157pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:It all started with a doll…

All I wanted was to be a kid,

to have fun with my friends and make mistakes.

But little did I know that my father had other plans.

A daily life lesson constantly spat in my face.
Every day, for years, I’ve been told that I’m wrong.

That I’m a mistake.

That I’m a sinner.

That no matter what, I’m an abomination.

A reminder that’s been drilled into my head;

beaten into my body and soul;

like a punch to the gut;

shoved in my face,

that what I am is a betrayal to my family.

Simply for being me. Simply for being gay.
Now, all I want is to be free from this nightmare that I’m trapped in.

To find the one that got away.

The one with the hazel eyes…

All I want is to find him

so he can save me from myself.

**This is not a standalone and is book two of the Bully Series. This book may contain certain triggers**
My Review: Here we have the other side of the story. We get to see the same journey of the characters through Finn’s eyes. For me, I wouldn’t say it was total redemption for Finn. The truth of the matter is that Finn is definitely a flawed character and you just have to accept him despite his shortcomings and foibles. Finn’s journey starts when he is a five year old boy, hero 

 worshipping his father. He is soon disillusioned with his perfect family life,when his father beats the hell out of him for asking for a doll for his birthday. 

The horrors of his childhood continued everyday until he was 15. Finn and his mother was beaten on numerous occasions especially when his father believed that he wasn’t being manly enough and showing gay tendencies. Finn obliterated his true self to the point where he was so deep in the closet and constantly lived in fear of being exposed. He hurt and bullied his high school crush Grayson so deeply that he pushed him to self harm. When Grayson disappeared from school, Finn feels guilty but pushes him to the back of his mind and continued on with his selfish teenage life.

Finn’s armour cracks a little bit when he gets to college and meets his confident gay roommate. He finds a bit of acceptance with Gunnar who reveals to him the joys of exploration through sex toys. Finn feels very liberated when he tries an anal plug and dildo Gunnar gifted him for the first time. Finn becomes more self aware and gains a new understanding of his sexuality. He relishes the idea of being a ‘bottom’ and wants to embrace it fully. These explorations go no further when Gunnar graduates and leaves him alone. Finn falls back into the destructive cycle of lying and pretending. He hooks up with Allison who soon turns into his wife, because of an unplanned pregnancy. He tries to suppress that part of himself still undeveloped and unexplored, but this facade can’t be sustained for very long under the pressures of real life.

Finn becomes very unhappy in his marriage and starts cheating on his wife with a man. For the first time in his life , he feels free to be who he was meant to be.After his first time with Gary, he makes a vow to stay away but he is reeled in by the forbidden feelings he was taught was wrong. He gets carried away by the newfound feelings he has for his beau. Finn is soon caught red handed with his pants down. There are some tears, but Allison has reconciled that her marriage is over. However, she cautions Finn to be totally honest the next time around and stop hiding. So far , Finn is definitely not painted in a great light. His resume consists of bullying, cheating and an all around self centered bastard.

The next chapter of his life begins with him finally  standing up and accepting who he is , a gay man. He is reunited with Grayson, his high school crush. It is a rough rocky road and they both have to find the strength to forgive each other for all the bad blood between  them. Finn especially will have to find the strength to forgive himself for all the pain he’s inflicted on his loved ones. He knows that even though Gray has forgiven him and proposed, he needs to get Gray’s families’ blessings.Finn bares his soul to them and at the end they have no doubt of his love and devotion for Grayson. There is definitely a fairytale ending with them getting married and two years down  the road still blissfully happy and welcoming their  baby girl. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, it was nice to gain a different perspective of their journey together.

Grayson( A Bully Novel 1) by Morgan Campbell

​Title: Grayson( A Bully Novel 1)                 Word Count:315pgs    Genre:Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Ten years ago…

-Grayson- 

A month and a half ago, I made a choice.

A choice that nearly cost me everything:

my friends, my family, my life.

Who knew that choice would nearly cost me my future?

-Finn- 

A month and a half ago, I made a choice.

I chose to turn my hell into someone else’s.

I nearly ruined someone’s life because I couldn’t handle my own.

Who knew that choice would threaten my future?

Ten Years Later…

Grayson Michaels made that fateful decision as a teenager, he’s determined to not let the past define him. Control him. Bind him. Vulnerability is not an option. When his demons surface in the form of Finn Abbott, Grayson learns that everything isn’t as it seems.

Finn Abbott is trying to put his life back together. Divorce, house arrest, and a slew of lovers have only caused his life to spiral out of control. But a job offer comes along and everything seems to be back on track. That is until the ghost of a scorned boy returns in the form of a vengeful man.

Fate is a fickle friend. Questions need answered and debts need repaid. What happens when past and present collide? Can two people destined to be enemies find love instead? As they say, there’s a fine line between love and hate.

My Review: It is a well known fact that bullying is on the rise in the 21st century. It is made even more prominent with cyber bullying becoming increasingly popular. For every case that we here about and all the young lives that have been lost because of discrimination, small- mindedness and vitriolic attacks which ultimately leads to self-hatred for these poor victims, my heart goes out to them. 

Grayson’s story touches me to the core. Sixteen year old Grayson knows he is gay, he is proud but doesn’t flaunt it. He has a family who loves him to pieces, he has two best friends who care . Grayson has just entered into a budding romance with his boyfriend Logan that has the potential of blossoming into something beautiful. Grayson is a true artist who sees an underlying beauty in most things. Herein lies the problem,  he does a painting for his school art project where he highlights one of the popular jocks Finn as his idol. The jocks take offense to this and start targeting Grayson every chance they get. It soon becomes clear that the homophobic Finn has something to hide, he has secret desires that he cannot allow his friends to see. After he beats Grayson up, he kisses him in an unwarranted moment of passion. It is sad to see how Grayson withers under the pressure of the attacks and become a shell of his former self. At first he tries to hide it from his family and friends, but they soon become involved when the jocks start cyber bullying him through his Facebook account. Grayson is tormented and his self worth is being depleted from the physical and emotional abuse that he is enduring. Only his boyfriend Logan knows that Grayson has started self -harming by cutting. He urges him to stop and for awhile Grayson tries to do better for his family. However, the pain becomes too overwhelming when he sees how worried everyone is about his situation. Grayson decides to take himself out of the equation and makes the decision to commit suicide.

Fast forward ten years,we are reintroduced to Finn who has led a very messy life. He has just signed his divorce papers after being caught cheating with a man. All those hidden desires culminated into many different affairs with many different men over the years. Although we could say he is a sleaze ball, he has a backstory that sheds some light on the situation during his teenage years . Finn grew up with a homophobic father who started beating him from the age of 5 when he asked for Barbie dolls. It took him awhile , but he learned to repress his true self and in turn took out all his rage and pain on poor Grayson who had put a spotlight on him and almost expose to the world that forbidden self. It certainly sheds some light on why Finn is the way he is. However, he is trying put his life back together. He has just landed a job to do the advertising for a tech firm. It is clear to see that he is very talented and soon he becomes an office favorite. The manager quickly signs him up to go to a tech convention with the boss for two weeks.

 It is very surprising for everyone when the boss who turns out to be none other than Grayson flips out on Finn. Finn is definitely ashamed when he sees the boy who he tormented so many years ago. He is also elated to see that Grayson is alive and well even though the man in question is pulsating with anger. Grayson is almost to the point of having a meltdown so he calls reinforcements in the form of his family and friends. His support team is very strong, his two best friends who are now married to each other, his ex Logan who is still a close friend , his mother and his uncle. It is obvious that he has flourished since his failed suicide attempt.

It is great to see how confident Grayson has become and in the next few weeks he gets his revenge on Finn by making him his errand / whipping boy. This doesn’t really make him feel good about himself though. He quickly realizes that He still has an unrequited crush on Finn and this mortified him. He just can’t believe he would feel anything besides hatred for Finn. It also causes the reader to feel empathy for poor Finn who is also a victim of his own horrific childhood.

Things come to a head when they head out on their trip. They get caught in a snowstorm where they meet in an accident. They end up taking refuge from the storm in a cabin. It is there that Finn purges his soul and unburdens himself to Grayson. As much as Grayson would like to remain rigid, it is obvious that Finn has paid in his own way for his sins. He sees the scared little boy within Finn. Grayson decides to give the feelings that are peaking through between them a chance to grow. Their relationship is challenging especially when they get back to the real world where Grayson’s family is afraid of him getting hurt again. They realize that they have to set aside outside views and opinions and focus on what they feel towards each other. This was enlightening and shows the true spirit of forgiveness. I give this my ratings of 4- because we all have redeeming qualities no matter the mistakes we make in our past. There is nothing too big for true love to overcome.

Sex & Mayhem 1: Road of no Return by K.A. Merikan

Title : Road of no Return                      Word Count :100,000

Genre : Contemporary Homoerotic Dark Romance

Blurb :— Don’t talk to strangers. —

Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.

Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.

On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.

Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn’t know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.

As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.

WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing

Genre: contemporary homoerotic dark romance

Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger.)

My Review : Stitch is a straight up bad boy and he wears it well. He is crude, obnoxious and very rough around the edges. He is one of the top players in a biker gang where homosexuality is not an option. Stitch is fresh out of a divorce and decides to get drunk at the bar . This is where he meets Zak , sexy as sin tattoo artist who is new in town and not ashamed of is homosexuality, but he doesn’t advertise for all to see. Coming together was explosive for them in more ways than one. The sex was hot and gratifying,  but as soon as they were done Stitch threatens Zak to keep his ‘cocksucking’ mouth shut. Zak is deeply hurt and decides to show Stitch that he is definitely not his bitch. He pulled a knife on Stitch and boy was that a bad move. Stitch leaves him alone but not before spouting off some more threats that led to Zak having a sleepless night. That’s when he heard it, someone was in his house at 3 am. As much as he is scared,  he decides to tackle the threat head on. He gets out of bed to see Stitch being attacked by his late aunt’s poodle.

 As much as he hates wanting to be with another man, Stitch can’t stay away from Zak. He realizes that he is addicted to the pleasure that he got from being with Zak and he is not sure how to live without it anymore. Stitch is deeply closeted and his mindset and notions about sex are extremely skewed, almost bordering on homophobic.  Zak gives Stitch another chance even though he thinks he’s making the biggest mistake of his life. Zak looks at Stitch as a fuck buddy, but Stitch expects fidelity even though he has no plans of being open about their relationship. They have their first serious fight when Stitch catches Zak having sex with a cop who is always out to get Stitch. 

Their relationship is highly toxic and hazardous and Stitch has a violent streak that is revealed more than once to Zak. The cop, Cox  warns Zak about is association with Stitch and his friends and how this lifestyle  can be misjudged and could be dangerous for him. Stitch has a lot of ties to the criminal underworld. He is definitely not on the up and up with Zak  which fuels a lot of their disagreements. Their relationship is unstable but they have a great bond that they can’t find with anyone else. When they are together, they have a very fun , easy relationship. Stitch finds ways of including Zak in his Motorcycle Club lifestyle since this is an endemic part of who he is as a person. They find it hard to keep their hands off each other and this leads to a few quickies at the club. This was exceptionally hot but I found this behavior really stupid because of how extremely closeted Stitch was and being found out could have life threatening circumstances. They were just begging for trouble.

When there is a drive-by at the motorcycle club leaving three people dead, Stitch’s best friend walks in on them while they were in post-orgasmic bliss and still naked. This definitely doesn’t go well and leads them into a whole heap of trouble. Captain is furious that his brother in arms could be a fag. He threatens to expose Stitch for what he is if he doesn’t break off the relationship.  He also goes after Zak and beats him up. In the end Captain being the homophobic asshole that he is,  outed Stitch and almost kills him.

 It is sad that it had to take all of these horrendous acts for Stitch to stand up and be the man that he needed to be. This book is definitely not for the feint of heart and it is not your typical lovey dovey gay romance. The sex is visceral, primal and their relationship on a whole is captivating.  How far would you go for love? Would you perhaps help with the disposal of a dead body 😕? The book works and captures a specific target audience who dares to be different. I dare you to read this 😉!!! I give this my ratings of 5 – bring out the vibrators. It is definitely gritty, but extremely sexy.

Favorite Quotes : 1. “No, please, be close to me,” Stitch whispered, feeling the wetness under his eyelids. He lived in a culture where being tough was the only currency. He didn’t even cry when he was alone. Being able to let it out made him just as relieved as having the amazing hot body on top of him. Made him remember he was still human, not a man whose muscles were made out of violence and bones out of fury. ( This is one of the moments that truly showed Stitch’s vulnerability and it really helped me to forgive him for some of his misdeeds.)