Troubled Waters (Pine Cove 2) by H.J.Welch

Title: Troubled Waters         Word Count:284 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Scout Duffy doesn’t know what’s worse. The fact that his scorching one-night-stand is his bratty new client, or the fact that he doesn’t even remember Scout. But beneath all the bravado, Scout can see Emery is terrified, and he’ll do anything to protect him from his attacker. If only he would lower his walls and let Scout into his heart as easily as he lets him dominate in the bedroom.

Being out and proud his whole life means Emery Klein has never been safe. But now his charity work and social media fame has put a target on his back from bigots, and his friends force him to hire a private bodyguard. Emery doesn’t need to be judged by some straight former-boxer , but his attraction to the gorgeous hunk is insatiable. When Emery finally recognizes Scout, they can’t keep their damn hands off one another, if only for as long as Scout’s in town.

There’s a reason Emery never looks too closely at the men he sleeps with, just like there’s a reason Scout lives out of a suitcase in motel rooms. Will two men hiding from hurt realize the love that could heal them both is right in front of them? Or will Emery’s attacker take everything before they have the chance?

Book Two of Pine Cove. Troubled Waters is a steamy, standalone MM romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.

My Review: Emery Klein is no stranger to having bathroom hookups at the gay hotspot ‘Aquarium’ in Pine Cove. His hometown may be small, but it’s very well rounded and has quite a few LGBTQ friendly establishments. Aquarium just happens to be one of his favourite places to blow off steam. He has his target locked and loaded once he spies the butch sexy looking marine type on the dance floor. Emery sashays his fabulous twinky Asian ass over and offers his proposition. ‘No means yes and yes means harder’ ,  when Scout Duffy hears these words from the magnificent cutie in front of him, he’s flabbergasted yet intrigued. Emery sees the spark of interest in the man’s eyes and pushes his game. He encourages Mr. Sexy to take him to the bathroom and have his kinky way with him. Before they get down and dirty, Emery gives him the safeword ‘guppy’ in case either of them want to stop their kinky fun. 

Scout realizes that they haven’t even exchanged names, but the little firecracker has him so hot and bothered he can’t think straight. Being an ex-boxer turned bodyguard is  a very demanding job for Scout. He decides to enjoy this gift that the beautiful sexy little twink has offered. They both come together in a fiery passion. For Scout , it’s his first time experiencing this exhilarating and fun side to sex. It is certainly a memorable moment for him. Emery is surprised that he’s found this specimen that exudes such dominance, but also handles his body with such care. Although this hookup proves to be orgasmic and all that he’s ever dreamed, Emery tries not to focus too much on the man or take in any details. He stares at the lone wolf tattooed on his partner’s arm , but that’s all he would possibly remember. As soon as their passion culminates, Emery gives his partner a kiss as a thank you and walks away. Scout is in orgasmic bliss and stupefied at their kinky encounter that he misses his chance to go after Emery.

After leaving the club, Emery goes home alone to find his door ajar. Emery is scared shitless and is ready to run, until he thinks of his poor defenseless little hedgehog being left behind. Emery is able to free the hedgehog, but he is left with a mild concussion when the stalker in his house gives chase. He ends up on his best friend’s Ava’s couch where she informs him she has hired him a bodyguard. Emery is left feeling vulnerable after his attack. There are rips in the armour that has always protected him. He is certainly not enthused to meet his bodyguard and refuses to curtail his lifestyle, no matter how many hate mail he receives.

Scout is ecstatic to be reunited with Emery, when he realized its the guy he can’t stop thinking about. All his protection instincts come to the fore when he thinks how scared Emery must be. This soon turns to devastation when Scout sees there is not even a flicker of recognition in Emery’s eyes. Scout is definitely hurt, but he knows it’s for the best since he needs to maintain a professional distance. Emery is such a brat, he takes out all his frustrations of the upheaval in his life on Scout. A man who Emery believes has lived an all American lifestyle and is the quintessential picture of machismo. He unfairly judges Scout on stereotypes and preconceived notions that he’s drawn based on his outward appearance. Scout sucks it all up until Emery pushes too far in his game of trying to seduce ‘the straight guy’.Scout has had enough and uses the safeword that Emery gave to him when they hooked up the first time. Emery is stunned silent as the pieces of random memories start to fall in place.

Emery has been primed by life to always enshroud himself in armour. His flamboyant ways proclaim him as loud and proud, but he uses it as a way to keep people at a distance. When he finds Scout, their encounter is not only passionate but meaningful.For the first time Emery is open and honest and letting someone in. He explains his insecurities that he’s always been plagued with concerning him being Asian and ‘fem’. He explains why he challenges gender binaries through non conforming. He embraces his ‘fem’ side and it sets his beautiful soul free.

There are unexplored depths to Scout, Emery soon finds out. When Scout talks about his father’s physical abuse against him as a child. How he was forced to become unnecessarily aggressive through boxing as a means to protect himself and his mother. He was never seen to be ‘manly’ enough for his father. Not ever really knowing his own self worth. This is one of the reasons he enjoys when Emery praises him as a Dom. Finally, he knows he’s doing a great job and it pleases him to know he’s taking care of Emery.

Emery and Scout have a fun loving, playful relationship with Emery usually being a brat. Scout loves this side of Emery and he truly embraces it wholeheartedly. They are a match made in heaven, turns out they are two halfs of a whole. Emery finally gets his fairytale ending with Scout spoiling his ‘princess’ with his bling bling. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Pixie ( Ballsy Boys 5) by K M Neuhold & Nora Phoenix

Title: Pixie Word Count: 264 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Everybody loves Pixie.
Everybody wants Pixie.
But Pixie needs a Daddy, and his heart is set on me.

I’m determined to resist him, for more reasons than I can count.

He’s too young for me. He’s my employee. And he’s everything I’ve been avoiding for half my life.

He’s vibrant. He’s sweet. He’s absolutely perfect, no matter how much I don’t want him to be.

I want nothing more than to take care of him, to protect him and pamper him…but how can I start something with him when I know I’ll eventually break his heart? Can I really be the Daddy Pixie needs?

**Pixie is the fifth and last book in the Ballsy Boys Production series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s more fun reading the series in order.

My Review: Pixie and Bear have been playing this cat and mouse game for far too long, things are about to get real interesting. Pixie is the lovable twinky imp that everybody wants to bubble wrap and protect. He is definitely a fan favorite of the Ballsy Boys. He portrays this innocence on camera that irregardless of him being a porn star comes through as genuine. Pixie just sparkles, he makes everyone think of stardust and unicorns. He is always happy and definitely has an eye for fashion. Pixie also has a hair- trigger when it comes to shopping. He loves the finer things in life and he wishes he had a daddy to take care of him. Pixie knows what he wants and he is certainly suited to a daddy/boy dynamic. From the moment he laid eyes on his boss, his heart is set on Bear being the perfect daddy for him.

From the first moment Bear laid eyes on the sweetest little imp, he knew he was in trouble. He knew that Pixie would be the perfect addition to the Ballsy Boys family. He resists the attraction that he feels for Pixie and stomps down on the wave of protective instincts that pull at him. He has a problem with their 20 year age gap and uses it as a shield to build up the walls around his heart. This doesn’t stop him from getting extremely turned on when he watches scenes that Pixie films. To him , this borders on being unprofessional, but Pixie is his secret obsession. For all that he is worth, he resists his attraction vociferously, but that all comes crashing down when they end up rooming together for a night when they go on a work trip. It was inevitable, Bear could no longer resist the forbidden feelings. Finally, being with his boy just gave him a taste of the happiness that he could have. It was such a memorable night that imprinted on both their brains.

Pixie is even more sure that Bear is the perfect daddy, but for Bear it is a mistake. One he knew , he could never allow to happen again without irrevocably damaging his heart. He rejects Pixie hard and the sweet young man endures a secret pain that he can’t share with anyone. Pixie spirals out of control with his spending habits , racking up credit card debt, basically shopping his feelings away. Soon, he becomes overwhelmed with living in LA.After having more than one late rent payment, he gets evicted. The only person he can think to turn to is Rebel. Rebel calls in the troupe to help Pixie out, the Ballsy Boys family is just what Pixie needs to soothe his sorrow for a bit. However, he begs them not to tell Bear. It isn’t long before Bear suspects that something is terribly wrong . He knows the boys are hiding something, Rebel cracks under the pressure and reveals Pixie’s problems.

Bear steps in and takes charge, informing Pixie that he will move in with him. Pixie is happy , but Bear makes it known that nothing has changed between them. He is just helping the boy get back on his feet. Being in such close quarters with Bear allows Pixie a look into the life of the man he wants more than anything. Like most people, Bear has certainly been shaped by his past. He is a former porn star who has managed to create the successful studio for Ballsy Boys. Bear has been around for a long time and he’s had his fair amount of trials and tribulations. He has been devastated and has lost quite a few loved ones during the AIDS epidemic. He’s seen first hand the persecution that gay men faced back in those days. It has made him stronger and smarter, especially with regards to how he runs his condom only porn sets. Safe sex practices is imperative for him. Bear lost the love of his life to AIDS and made the dying declaration to always help other gay men living with AIDS. Due to this promise, he has closed himself off to love and intimate entanglements.

Bear has volunteered at an AIDS shelter for most of his life. This is his way to give back to the community and keep his promise alive. This is where he meets Travis who is dying from AIDS. An unshakeable bond and an unlikely friendship forms between the two men. In a way, both have experienced unrequited love. Travis has been in love with his straight best friend for years, while Bear quietly pines for Pixie. Their conversations is a soothing balm on both their souls. Bear is devastated when the inevitable happens and Travis dies.Travis’ letter comes when his will is settled. He gets straight to the point, letting Bear know how grateful he was for his friendship. He finagles a dying wish from Bear as well, that he will live life to the fullest with his sweet boy Pixie by his side. The letter is very emotional for Bear causing him to fall apart in Pixie’s sweet loving arms. This is just what he needs, after so many years of bottling up his feelings, it is cathartic. It certainly puts things in perspective for Bear.

Once again another Ballsy Boy video breaks the internet. Bear has a business venture with a friend who plans on opening a porn studio that features all types of daddy kink. For their debut , they decide that a video with Bear and Pixie would showcase the daddy/ boy kink to perfection. Hot damn, their set is perfect. Pixie looks at his daddy with stars in his eyes and gets so hot when his daddy gives him an almost orgasmic spanking. Daddy Bear gives Pixie the full attention that his boy craves. Their scene is open and trusting for the whole world to see just how precious the daddy/boy dynamic can be.

This series ends perfectly with Campy and Jackson’s beautiful wedding. All the Ballsy Boys secrets are finally revealed. Troy has proposed to Rebel, he’s certainly gotten over his fear of commitment. Tank and Brewer quietly tied the knot in Vegas.Love shines sweet and clear with the triad that unites Heart, Mason and Lucky. Not to be outdone, Bear drops to one knee and bestows the most beautiful diamond ring befitting the sparkly imp Pixie. Cheers all around, I loved this series. I give this my ratings of 4 -lose the underwear.

Only See You ( Only Colorado 2) by JD Chambers

Title: Only See You Word Count: 246 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:“I might not be every gay man’s wet dream, but I always get a second look.”

Mal Copol knows who they are: Nonbinary. Awesome. Exhausted. They won’t change for anyone, but just once, they’d like to be the one with relationship potential, not the hookup. Also, not having to fight employers on who they are and how they present themselves would be nice. And while they’re at it, add not getting raised eyebrows at their high heels and tasteful makeup while discussing their latest rock-climbing trip to the wish list. Is that really too much to ask?

“Here I am at twenty-seven, embarking on life, version 2.0.”

Parker McWilliams is breaking free from the constraints of his former life and wife. He’s recapturing his zest to try new things and experience everything to the fullest, instead of the complacency he had fallen into over the past nine years. If one of those “new experiences” happens to be with a certain beautiful and intriguing nonbinary person, well, Parker’s just going to roll with it. Anything contrary to his past life is a good thing.

Mal and Parker keep surprising each other every time they meet. Despite their differences, neither has any interest in fighting their attraction. But when circumstances threaten to keep them apart, the couple must decide if that attraction is enough to overcome the obstacles they face.

My Review: Parker McWilliams has been trying to pick up the pieces of his life since he ended his marriage to his horrible Stepford wife Shelby. He packed everything and moved clear across to Colorado to move in with his gay cousin Zach. They have not always been the closest or seen eye to eye, but they both realize it was Shelby who was the problem all along. For the first time since he was 19, he is no longer under the shroud of Shelby’s control and influence. Parker has been meeting new friends and he has been reforming his self image all on his own. He is on his way to finding his true self.

On the day his cousin Zach moves out to live with his boyfriend Craig, Parker meets yet another new face. Mal Copol is one of Craig’s friends who is helping out. Mal identifies as non binary and uses ‘them, they’ pronouns. Parker is a bit confused at first and unknowingly offends Mal. Mal sets him ‘straight’ as they see that Parker is not trying to be offensive, he just doesn’t understand. Mal is intrigued by the sexy straight guy, but he knows it’s not meant to be so he sets his sights on Ben, Zach’s best friend and Craig’s current roommate.

When Mal and Ben’s date take a disastrous turn, Mal ends up taking home a drunken Ben. Mal is disappointed and a little bit upset that Ben would get so drunk. They call on Parker to help get Ben up the stairs. Parker willingly helps, but he is also upset on Mal’s behalf. He feels bad that his roommate made this sweet guy feel so crappy. Parker offers Mal coffee and one thing leads to another and before he knows it , he is pleasuring Mal. This is the most selfless and spontaneous that he’s ever been and it’s a great feeling. He is surprised at himself , since he has only ever been with one woman. Mal is blown away, they can’t belief that this sexy straight guy turns out to be slightly bent. They have never been with someone who treats them with so much care. However, they chalk it up as a one off experiment.

It isn’t until a dinner party a few weeks later when Mal sees Parker again. Mal is at an all time low after just losing yet another job due to his gender identity. Just being around Parker puts a spark in him. By the end of the night, they are getting hot and heavy in the backseat of Parker’s Volvo. For both of them, hottest sex ever…. until they are interrupted by a cop who gives them a warning. Parker feels like he’s living his teen years again in the best way, with all the fun ,spontaneity and frivolity that it brings.

Mal and Parker become even closer when they take a road trip for Parker’s father 60th birthday. Mal is on the journey as a distraction from Parker’s divorce. When they get there , Parker’s mother insistence on asking about Shelby drives him up the wall. However, it soon becomes clear that something is seriously wrong with her confused, muddled state. It hits Parker like a ton of bricks when his father explains that his mother has early onset Alzheimer’s. When they get back to their hotel room, Mal takes care of Parker helping him to relieve his tension. Their lovemaking is exquisite and something that is so so erotic and enlightening for Parker. There is laughter and playfulness, something they’ve both never experienced before. There is a definite connection between these two.

Their relationship progress nicely while they both realize they have a lot in common. They do lots of fun, outdoorsy activities and of course Mal takes lots of selfies. It is one of these pictures that would prove to be their downfall. Shelby sees one of the tags with Mal kissing Parker on the cheek and goes ballistic at one of their settlement meetings. Parker’s lawyer lets him know that she needs to check out Mal’s background so they can be on the offence. Mal is extremely upset about this as it doesn’t seem like Parker plans to fight for them. To top it off, Parker has been thinking to move back to help out with his mother’s illness. Mal is devastated, but he decides to let Parker be free to make his choices unencumbered.

Things are left unresolved between them and they both go their separate ways. Parker is trying to settle into a routine with his mom. In her lucid moments , they talk and she encourages him not to give up his life and go after Mal. It’s when Parker gets a chance to talk to her doctor who tells him that his mother could live for another 20 yrs while her condition slowly deteriorated. Parker realizes how selfish his father has been in manipulating and guilting him into becoming her permanent caregiver. When Mal has an accident while ice climbing, Parker rushes to their side.

Mal is ecstatic that Parker has come to be with them, but they’re not sure what it means. When Mal sees the vulnerability that shines through when Parker tells them that they mean the world, their heart leaps. Mal is overwhelmed with emotion that someone finally sees the true them. Parker accepts all of them and he is no longer afraid. He is ready to embrace his new identity and shout it to the world. Parker decides that for the new version of his life , he wants to live with Mal, loving him and exploring all the outdoorsy adventures they can find. With his mother’s blessing he gets her a living caregiver and move back to Colorado to his new loft with the love of his life, Mal. His divorce to the Stepford witch is final and he can embrace his freedom as Mal’s partner. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

The Quarterback by MacKenzie Blair

Title: The Quarterback                      Word Count:304 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him. 

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ever after for both of them.

My Review: It is a real eye opener for star Quarterback Matt Lancaster when his closest friends take him to a ‘happy endings’ spa. He is certainly shocked beyond words when the guy he has been crushing on since freshman year walks in. Trevor works three jobs to pay his way through college. Seeing  Matt Lancaster laying on his table is a temptation he can’t resist. For the first time ever, Trevor is excited to offer the deluxe  package which includes a prostate massage.

Being the star Quarterback of a school in the south Matt knows he has to stay in the closet or risk losing his scholarship. Matt is scared of what will pop up with him having a male masseuse. He is enjoying the feeling of having Trevor’s hands roam all over his body. It is definitely a treat , but he freaks out when Trevor goes where no man has gone before. Trevor is certainly delighted to be touching a godlike man like Matt. However, he soon despair when he ventures too far and Matt flees the scene.

Matt feels overwhelmed and he feels like he has been setup by his friends. His closest friend Connor tells him its time to be truthful and admit he is gay. Matt tries to deny , but when he sees the lack of judgement on his friends faces, he knows he can finally reveal a part of himself he’s always kept hidden. It takes him about a week to go back to the spa and truly enjoy Trevor’s services. Trevor is surprised to see Matt again but he is oh so willing to be the one to touch this hunk of a jock. It is very exhilarating to be with Matt, but he is soon brought back to reality with how tawdry their session really is, when he leaves the room without his happy ending.

Matt is hooked, but when he goes back for another visit he finds out that Trevor has quit. He hunts him down on campus after Trevor’s boss reveals that he is the reason why she lost her best masseuse. Another shocker for Trevor comes when Matt approaches him in his dorm and request tutoring in sex lessons. Trevor is a bit wary of a ‘closet case’, but he just can’t resist the sexy jock. They start hanging out two nights a week and soon they’re both craving their explorations. They find out that they really like each other and they commiserate on their shitty family issues.

Trevor introduces Matt to a whole new world of gay sex with some dominance kink thrown in. Matt is a malleable student and he relishes his new endeavors with Trevor. It doesn’t take them long to define their relationship as boyfriends, but  only in private. It kills Trevor to see the public face  that Matt has to express to the world being the Quarterback. When Matt is tricked into claiming one of the sorority girls as his girlfriend in front of cameras, Trevor is hurt deeply. All his fears of dating a closet case is coming true. Things get smoothed out when Matt introduces Trevor to his core group of friends. This goes a long way in soothing Trevor’s acceptance of their closeted relationship.Both these men realize they have a relationship to cherish.

More obstacles are thrown in their path when one of  Matt’s homophobic teammates suspects their relationship. Matt wants to cool it for a bit, but Trevor lets his hurt feelings push him to ultimately end their relationship. Matt goes off to his Thanksgiving holiday feeling extremely dejected. This is made worse by being in close proximity with his opportunistic swindler of a father. Things get heated between them when Matt doesn’t conform to his dad’s idealistic plans for his future playing football. Matt’s dad become violent and Matt ends up in the hospital.

Things aren’t going too well for Trevor either when he tries to reach out to his family. Once again he is rejected by his mom for being gay. He feels so utterly alone. When he gets a call from Matt’s sister saying he has been hurt, he rushes to his side. Matt feels a sense of relief at having Trevor back in his life. He takes the plunge and introduces Trevor as his boyfriend to his uncle and aunt who are very welcoming. Matt is more ready now to embrace his feelings and become more open about his boyfriend to certain people.

When they go back to campus Matt embraces his newfound relationship. It is definitely not an easy road especially with him being the star Quarterback, but he knows that he can handle anything with Trevor by his side. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Broken – Nail Diva by Stormy Glenn

Title : Broken – Nail  Diva            Word Count : 35,151

Genre : Paranormal Gay Romance

Blurb : Harper Brooks refuses to be anybody except who he is, and who he is shocks most people. When he meets a gorgeous man at a sidewalk café, he has no problem telling him exactly what he wants—in vivid detail. When Memphis rejects him, Harper hides his hurt behind flippant words and a flash of indignation, but forgetting the man might prove impossible.

Memphis doesn’t know what to think when he’s propositioned by an imp with dreamy blue eyes and an ass to die for. He doesn’t do relationships—ever—and one night spent in the gorgeous man’s bed isn’t enough. Memphis wants more. He just knows he can’t have it. Nights of passion could lead to the sexy little diva dying at the hands of Memphis’s beast.

When Harper gets kidnapped by a madman, Memphis runs to the rescue, and in doing so reveals his darkest secret. But there is a lot more going on than either of them know, especially when the bond between them creates more than either of them expected.

My Review :  Harper has a serious crisis, he has broken a nail and he can’t find his damn nail file  in his man  purse. He has his sights set on the little cafe table when a gorgeous mountain of a man sits down. Harper decides to ignore the man and file his nail to perfection anyways . Once his crisis is averted, he checks out the eye candy. Memphis is shocked by the flamboyant man’s brazen attitude, when Harper tells him in great detail what he could do if he had a man like him in his bed. Memphis shuts down the little human, because he knows he can’t get attached. However, this doesn’t stop him from thinking about the sexy little diva. Little does he know that Harper has the same problem forgetting him. Memphis becomes the main attraction in Harper’s fantasies once he gets home.

Memphis can’t get the sexy little man out of his thoughts and follows Harper’s  scent to an apartment  building. He sneaks into the room after running over in wolf form. Harper’s fantasies become a reality when Memphis makes passionate love to Harper and bites him. Harper wakes up believing he has dreamt about his wild night with Memphis. He starts noticing changes in his body and starts having wild wacky food cravings. Unbeknownst to them   Memphis being a werewolf has impregnated Harper. 

It takes Harper being kidnapped by one of Memphis’ stalker for them to be reunited. They are very happy to see each other and their bond developed  very quickly.  Memphis realizes that he has to protect  his sexy little diva from all harm.

There is much to learn about this werewolf business and Memphis is shocked to learn that he can get another male pregnant. He learns a lot about himself with the help of Harper’s  knowledge of research methods. Harper becomes an asset to Memphis and his werewolf brothers,  not only as a pregnant mate , but also as a source of information on being werewolves. This was a lighthearted fun read.  Can’t wait to see if this will be a series.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. Memphis leaned forward again and licked the drop of pre-cum gathering on the head of Harper’s cock. He groaned at just how sweet the taste really was. He suckled at the head and savored the man’s flavor before he took the cock all the way down. Harper shouted and writhed as Memphis gripped the man’s hips to still him. His lover thrashed his head back and forth as Memphis lavished Harper’s cock with his tongue.

He could hear Harper above him crying out every time he swallowed the man down his throat. It spurred him on to do more. Memphis moved his hand between Harper’s legs. He pushed against the man’s knee with his shoulder, encouraging Harper to spread his legs wider. It worked. Harper spread his legs enough for Memphis to reach between them and find his hole.

He sucked Harper’s cock into his mouth then let it slide from his mouth as he began kissing his way down to the sweet puckered hole waiting for him. He pushed his finger into Harper’s tight ass. Harper cried out above him. Memphis began a slow rhythm of moving his finger in and out of Harper at the same time he stuck his tongue out and lavished the tight ring of muscles. His saliva would act as a lube, easing his way.  ( The best sex scenes are the ones where you feel you are right there with them. I was right there with them , every lick and every touch, ooh la la.)