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.

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Snatch: Cerberus MC Book 5 by Marie James

Title: Snatch Word Count: 216 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Biker Gay Romance

Blurb:I’ve been Jaxon Donovan since the day I was born, obviously. My road name, Snatch, came years later due to my ability to literally snatch up any woman I set my sights on. I’ve always been a connoisseur of the opposite sex. Tall, short, thin, thick and juicy, my tastes knew no limitations.

I didn’t think there was a limitation to my sexuality, and I found out just how true that actually was the night my best friend took it upon himself to take me in his mouth. Sure, there’d been close calls before, the slip of a hand or misplaced lips. With our propensity to share women, it’s bound to happen. That fateful night, I was met with pure intention and an experience I never want to forget.

How do you explain to your friends, your brother’s in arms, that your extremely active sexuality has led you to your best friend’s doorstep? How do you admit, after twenty-six years of heterosexuality, that you’re into something else?

I’ll soon find out that what happens in the dark will always come to light.

My Review: Itchy and Snatch belong to the same motorcycle club. The club is comprised of all former Marines who risk their lives to save innocents. Itchy and Snatch are almost identical, they are best friends who like to share women. There is just one main difference between them, Itchy is more fluid with his sexuality and he is halfway in love with Snatch who is uber straight. Being bikers , they are never without female companionship.

The dynamics of their relationship change after they go on a mission and save a few high priced hookers . Darby catches their eye and they promise her a night filled with two of the hottest bikers. Darby is a beautiful woman blessed with a sinful body and certainly not afraid to use it. The passion surrounding these three is all consuming. It is in the heat of the moment where Itchy takes a leap of faith and take what he’s always wanted. He grabs the bull by the horns and shows Snatch where his true passions lie. Snatch is confused and definitely hesitant as he had no prior knowledge of Itchy’s sexual fluidity. Itchy reaching out to Snatch in a sexual way freaks him out for sure, but it was one of the most hottest experiences of his life. It puts a strain on their friendship, which is what Itchy was always afraid of.

Darby helps to bridge the gap , because she always wanted both men together. She facilitates a guilt free zone, where they can come together freely without any societal recriminations. Once the door is open, it is hard for Itchy and Snatch to turn back. Things go even further when they go on a mission out of country. The men are finally alone with no woman between them. The fire between these two burn hot and bright and turns into an explosion. This is what Itchy always wanted, but for Snatch he also discovers a yearning for his best friend like no other. However, he is still not ready to admit what they have going on.

It is Darby who brought them together, but in the end she pulls them all apart. Her nagging and expectations becomes too much for Snatch. Snatch refuses to indulge Darby’s notions of a love they all share. He shuts her down and rejects her thoughts of being a triad relationship. Snatch and Itchy argue over this and this brings a wedge to their already precarious situation. Darby is out of the picture and the once best friends have gone months without speaking. They each pull separate sex partners that are all left unconsummated and unfulfilled, just to make the other jealous.

This game that they are both playing finally comes to a head when Snatch corners Itchy in a hotel room alone. Snatch ravishes Itchy and shows him how much he missed him. Although they don’t talk about it, the love and longing between these two is palpable. They continue their charade for eighteen months hiding in secret and building their relationship. They definitely become stronger, but the secrecy is tearing Itchy apart, especially with so many profound moments happening around the clubhouse. Other members getting married and having babies, this leads Itchy to take stock of his own life and future. Itchy knows he wants more and he wants it all with Snatch. Some members are becoming suspicious. They start scrutinizing Itchy and Snatch more closely. Itchy is ready to spill the beans, but Snatch is too afraid of a negative reaction, he is just not ready to admit he is gay for his best friend.

One of the jilted club whores with the apt moniker Snapper decides to add fuel to fire. She has a private video of Itchy and Snatch in a compromising position and decides to blackmail Itchy. Itchy hates to play along with Snapper when she tells the club that they are getting married, but he would sacrifice anything to protect the man he loves. Snatch is jealous and extremely hurt that Itchy has slip through his fingers and will now bond with someone so undeserving. For him , the most hurtful part is that he was finally ready to shout it to the world how much he loves Snatch. Snapper holds the reigns so tight and intervenes anytime the men get close to each other.

Everything goes to hell in a hand- basket on their next mission. Itchy is shot and almost bleeds out. Snatch is right there holding on and professing his love for Itchy oblivious to the audience of their other team members. The team members help him to keep his sanity, but he is a total wreck over Itchy. Itchy pulls through and finally they can make plans to start their life as a couple. Fifteen years into the future shows Itchy and Snatch settled with their love going strong raising fraternal twins. I really enjoyed this author and am very happy for her foray in m/m romance. All her other novels are m/f romance. I can’t wait for her to take another walk on the wild side. I give this my ratings of 4-lose the underwear.

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.

Bryan & Jase ( Something About Him 1) by A.D. Ellis

Title:Bryan & Jase               Word Count:364 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Jase Rafferty grew up hiding his sexual curiosities—until he meets Bryan Keating. Bryan’s sexuality is no secret, and being deployed overseas together allows the two men to forge a solid friendship. The sexual attraction is undeniable, but after one lust-filled week, they must go their separate ways.

A year later, a chance meeting gives them one more weekend together, even though they know Jase can’t risk his military career or his family obligations to be with Bryan. 

Several years pass before Jase finally accepts the desperate longing in his heart and body. But when fear and hatred threaten to tear them apart, Jase must make a tough decision, one that he isn’t sure he and Bryan can overcome. Together, they must choose to weather the storm or say goodbye forever.

Bryan & Jase is a military, gay-for-you romance with a single daddy doing the best he can.

**This is a male/male romance meant for ages 18+ due to adult language and adult situations.**

My Review: Bryan Keating and Jase Rafferty first met during their stint in the army. Bryan always knew he was gay and had a little bit of a crush on Jase. There is only one problem, Jase is definitely straight and has a wife back home, albeit a skanky cheating one. He is certainly not happy and plans to get a divorce as soon as he gets back on American soil. During their final months, Bryan’s feelings grow deeper and deeper for Jase. Bryan is perplexed at his interactions with Jase, sometimes he is overtly flirtatious yet he maintains that he’s straight.

Drunken confessions lead to Bryan admitting to experimenting with other guys. Jase’ interest is piqued, but Bryan is still waffling with indecision. When they are almost discovered during a make-out session, Jase freaks out and pushes Bryan away. Jase’ s feelings are hurt and he decides to cut his losses and avoid the closet case. It isn’t until their last week in the army that Jase approaches Bryan to apologize. There is just something about Bryan that draws him in, he can no longer resist. The flames between them ignite and turns into a raging inferno. They have a beautiful blissful time together. It is with tearful goodbyes that they go their separate ways, knowing that It is unlikely that they will see each other again.

It isn’t until a year later that these star crossed lovers would meet again. They reconnect at the airport on their way to an army buddy’s wedding. Bryan is pleasantly surprised to see Jase, but slightly shocked to see him still with his wife and a 4 mth old son Gray in tow. Bryan immediately falls in love with the sweet little boy and the picture of fatherhood that Jase presents. It is clear to see Jase’s love for his son, but it is not lost on Bryan that Jase is still not happy with Sierra. They end up staying in the same hotel and the story unfolds. Jase tells Bryan about the hellish life he leads. Sierra is threatening to expose Jase’s secret since she somehow found out he is gay. She is devious and uses his son as a blackmail tool to get Jase’s money. Bryan consoles his lover and they are able to spend some precious moments with Gray. Jase starts to see a future with Bryan, he just doesn’t know how to make it happen. Jase is still in the army and he knows he won’t be able to cut off his son’s support system that he has with his family. Jase’s father is a career minded homophobic army man. For the time being they go their separate ways and continue their long distance relationship through phone calls and text. 

Everything comes to a halt and soon the text and phonecalls stop on Jase’s end. Once again Bryan decides to set him free and try to move on with his life without Jase. Bryan tries to date other men. He is a very successful investment banker now and decides he wants something more meaningful than one night stands. He meets a nice guy named Braeton and they hit it off. However, there is still something missing , he is just not Jase. Bryan tells Braeton about Jase and he totally understands. They are able to maintain their friendship.

Fast forward five years, at the gaming convention. A lot has happened in Jase’s life, he is now a single dad and ready to truly embrace life. His unfit ex-wife has signed away her maternal rights to run off with her sugar daddy. Jase decides to move to Bryan’s city to try to find him. This part seems a bit farfetched to me, but hey what’s romance without a bit of whimsy. Bryan has always talked about going to the biggest gaming convention and that’s where Jase is headed. It’s Gray who reunites these two men when he bumps into Bryan. They are both ecstatic to have found each other and right away Bryan offers up his home. They fall into each others’ life without too many problems.

Jase is ready to embrace being a gay man and allows things to happen naturally without confusing Gray. Gray has a few problems with bullies at school, but Bryan falls right into his role as step dad with some positive insights on how to deal with homophobic bullies. Jase and Bryan’s relationship flourishes and becomes stronger day by day. This is soon ripped asunder when Jase’s parents makes a surprise visit and discovers Jase’s secret. Jase’s homophobic dad threatens to take away Gray from him. Both men are torn apart and Jase’s fear of losing his son takes over. 

After seeking legal counsel Jase goes back home to Bryan where he belongs, ready to fight to keep his little family together. They had a lot of obstacles in their way but they finally prevailed. I give this my ratings of 3- it was ok give it a try.

Ruined by Evelyn Drake

Title: Ruined            Word Count: 241 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Hungry for a glimpse at the man who destroyed his marriage, Gus Fletcher follows Travis to watch him party and flirt without a care for what he’s done. The man who slept with Gus’s wife is gorgeous and willowy, a model, the utter opposite of Gus’s muscled body and plumbing career. But the man needs help, and something about him tugs at Gus’s heart and mind. What the hell is going on?

The hits keep coming for fashion model Travis Adius, who has to let the right people use him if he’s to stay in the industry… and then some. He only walked away from one man: his abusive ex, who won’t let go that easily. Life has him on his knees until he sees Gus. He wants Gus before he finds out he slept with Gus’s wife… and, somehow, he doesn’t stop wanting him. Gus has hands and nerves of steel, and a deep desire for revenge. Isn’t it wrong to be this turned on by him?

Gus can’t stop thinking about Travis. He should hate him, so why does he want to save him? Travis needs the comfort and safety of a man whose loyalty will stretch to the end of the earth. Is this all just a favor to be repaid? Once they meet, there’s no turning back.

Are Gus and Travis ruined for anyone else?

My Review: Gus would love nothing more than to inflict the same amount of pain on the man who ruined his life. Travis Adius is the man who seduced Gus’ wife into an affair, the man who ruined 15 yrs of marriage. Gus’ wife Scarlett is a career driven fashion designer and Travis is the most beautiful male model that Gus has ever seen. Gus wants so bad to hate Travis , but he understands the pull that Scarlett must have felt towards the youthful Travis. Gus is mesmerized by Travis’ androgynous look and his beauty. Gus has  hunted down Travis  in the hopes of seeking some form of revenge, but that all goes awry when he sees him.

It is while at a party that Travis notices the sexy body builder hulk look -alike staring at him. Travis decides to flirt a little with Gus from afar by seducing another man, hopefully appealing to his voyeuristic nature. Travis’ little experiment starts out really hot, especially when he sees mister sexy is indeed watching. This soon fizzles and he starts feeling embarrassed and horribly used when his hook -up starts calling him derogatory names. Travis has many issues but this is where his vulnerability peeks through. Travis feels like a throw away on most days, but especially after hooking up with someone and have them tell him they have to go home to their girlfriend.

Travis is so embarrassed and is feeling at an all time low , when he gets a picture text from Scarlett telling him that her husband knows about their affair. Travis feels like he has been hit by a ton of bricks,when he sees the face of Mr. Sexy. When he thinks of the hulk and reconciles that image to Gus, Travis starts running like a bat out of hell. He ends up running right into his abusive ex boyfriend Brandon. Travis is paralyzed with fear when he remembered how many times Brandon put him in the hospital. When Brandon advances, Travis tries to stand up for himself , but he only ends up cowering in a corner. It’s Gus who saves the day.

When Gus sees Travis about to be hurt, he steps in and pushes the big bully away. There is just something about Travis that brings out all of Gus’ protective instincts. Gus and Brandon are definitely evenly matched. If anything Gus is bigger than Brandon and he treats him like a rag doll every time he tries to attack Travis. When Brandon flees, Gus takes Travis to a diner to warm up and questions him. Travis is wary of the big guy but he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Little by little, Gus lets go of the hurt and pain he feels. He acknowledges the fact that the marriage between him and Scarlett was broken before this kid came along.Gus decides to fix this fragile somewhat beautiful creature as much as he can. He takes Travis home and changes his locks and decides to stay with him to protect him from Brandon if he comes back.Gus is man enough to admit to himself that he feels a smidge of attraction to Travis even though he doesn’t swing that way.

 Before things can heat up between them , Travis has to go away on an assignment. Travis comes home from his modelling gig, only to run into the unexpected. This is when Brandon escalates things even further, by breaking into Travis’ apartment and writing disparaging words on the wall and destroying the living room. Brandon hurts Travis really bad and he knows he is about to die. Once again,  it’s Gus us who finds him and tries to protect his sweet man. Gus knows that he cannot hide his feelings any longer. The two get closer while Travis recovers and Gus practically moves in to protect him. Things get heated between the two and the sexual chemistry is definitely combustible.

Travis is scared and hesitant to be with a real man like Gus , because Gus makes him yearn for things he always dreamed of. Although Gus has never been with a man, he goes with his feelings and treasures Travis in the most special way. Travis finally starts feeling his worth through Gus’ adoration. Scarlett puts a crimp in their plans when she announces that she is pregnant and she is not sure which one is the father. Travis sees his future coming to a halt with Gus and he knows that he is about to be the throwaway guy yet again. However, Gus proves him wrong and comes up with a solution that shows him how invested he is in their relationship.

Gus suggests that they could co-parent their child with some involvement from Scarlett. Travis and Gus are ecstatic that they can share this beautiful experience and it is great to see the amicable relationship between these three adults. I think Gus has the most forgiving heart that there is and he was rewarded with the greatest love. Travis the man who always saw himself as expendable has finally become someone’s everything. I really enjoyed this beautiful love story and I give this my ratings of 5-bring out the vibrators. This was a definite unique spin on a  gay for you romance and I look forward to reading more from this new author.

Zack’s Awakening by Jaclyn Osborn

Title : Zack’s Awakening       Word Count : 213 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Fear. Zack Greyson had never known the true meaning of the word until he suspected he might be gay—which wasn’t an option for the personal trainer and ex-football star. He’s tried to convince himself that his attraction to men is nothing more than just a mere curiosity, but when Jackson Parker walks into his life, that façade comes shattering down.

Jackson Parker is used to rejection because secrets never stay hidden forever. Left slightly broken and with no sense of belonging after his family’s rejection, he’s sought love in all the wrong places before. But meeting Zack, the hazel-eyed jock with killer dimples, Jackson steps out of his comfort zone and fights one last time for the happiness he knows he deserves.

Falling for a supposed straight guy was crazy, but for once, Jackson feels like his luck has changed, and he’s finally found someone who won’t throw him away. However, Zack struggles to discover who he is and who he wants to be. When his fear of coming out drives a wedge between him and Jackson, only one question remains: Which is stronger: love or fear?

My Review : Fear is an emotion that can often cause us to act irrationally. Zack understands this all too well. Zack has always been this all American popular jock that everyone loves and want to be around. Coming to terms with the fact that he is gay is very hard for him to do. He keeps on worrying about the perceptions of others. I found this very strange , since his own brother Gabriel is fabulously flamboyant in his gayness. Zack is very protective of his brother, and their father loves both of his sons unconditionally.
When we are first introduced to Jackson, I immediately feel the hurt that he feels from being rebuffed by Zack someone who he has become close to, but constantly pulls away when things get heavy. I guess what they say is true that no two ‘coming out’ experiences are alike. There were times when I felt like strangling Zack for being so concerned about others’ perceptions and hurting the people who mean the most to him. Jackson showed a lot of strength and patience and tried his best to give Zack the time that he needed to come to terms with being gay.
However, it took losing Jax and hurting his sweet brother Gabriel to finally get Zack’s head out of the sand. I really liked Zack in book 1, but I just found it hard to warm up to him as a main character in book 2. It was hard for me to reconcile the sweet caring brother to the very stubborn man who refused to step out of the closet proudly. Eventually , Zack and Jax got where they needed to be to forge a strong relationship. In my opinion, it took way too long for Zack to ‘man up’ and stop hurting sweet Jackson.
The main event for me was seeing the previous beloved characters Gabriel and Michael and watching how in love they still are. Gabriel is still as fabulous as ever and Michael is very much in love and pampering his princess. Their wedding was beautiful and caused me to get all weepy. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Straight Guys 1: Just a Bit Twisted by Alessandra Hazard

Title : Just a Bit Twisted       Word Count : 31,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Just a Bit Twisted (Straight Guys) by Alessandra Hazard – Romance>Contemporary

Professor Derek Rutledge is hated and feared by all of his students. Strict, reserved and ruthless, he doesn’t tolerate mistakes and has little patience for his students.

Shawn Wyatt is a twenty-year-old struggling to provide for his younger sisters after the death of their parents. On the verge of losing his scholarship, Shawn becomes desperate enough to go to Professor Rutledge.

Everyone says Rutledge doesn’t have a heart. Everyone says he’s a ruthless bastard. Shawn finds out that everyone is right. He strikes a deal with Rutledge, but unexpectedly, the deal turns into something so much more.

Something all-consuming and addictive. Something neither of them wants.

My Review : The “hot for teacher” trope has been so overdone and oftentimes in a very tawdry way without any substance. I have put this novel off for so long , because of those preconceived notions. To my surprise, this one was very different, it was definitely intriguing.  

Shawn is a student who has a lot of familial burdens on his shoulders.  He is taking care of his 4 yr old twin sisters, after they have all been left orphaned by his parents deaths. He is struggling and failing to meet the academic requirements of maintaining his scholarship. This is due to the fact that he is working two jobs and is still hardly able to make ends meet, pay the babysitter and put food in their bellies. Things are looking quite dismal and almost hopeless. Shawn is extremely shocked when his friend Christian tells him he can butter up one of the professors by flirting with him. Shawn dismisses the idea since he is totally straight.  However,  the tides start changing when he goes to talk to Professor Derek Rutledge. 

Professor Rutledge is young but he is seen as a very hard taskmaster.  He comes off as very austere and doesn’t suffer fools in his class. When Shawn approaches him about his grades, he is very uncompromising about changing them. Rutledge doesn’t believe that Shawn deserves a second chance. Shawn is desperate so he takes Christian’s advice and offers himself on a platter. However,  Shawn is definitely not a  sacrificial lamb, he comes off as cocky even though he is  not sure what to do as he has never been with a man. Although it goes against everything he believes in, Rutledge takes what is being offered because he is attracted to Shawn. Their first time together is unforgettable and this leaves Professor  Rutledge wanting more.

Their chemistry undoubtedly changes their relationship.  They are very antagonistic towards each other with undertones of lust seeping through. Rutledge offers Shawn $3000 to be at his disposal and although he is resistant Shawn has a hard time passing up an opportunity that will surely help his family. Shawn realizes that he is not totally averse to Rutledge advances, even though he is not willing to admit that outright. 

There is a turning point in their relationship when a family emergency forces Rutledge to go home to his estranged family after 15 years. He sweetens the deal further by adding another $3000 for having Shawn accompany him to his father’s estate.  Shawn agrees to go with him, only on the condition that his siblings will get to tag along. Shawn embraces the beauty of his little poor family, when compared to the atrocious way Rutledge is treated by his family. Shawn finds himself understanding why Rutledge is the way he is and decides to show a supportive front and comes to the defense of his ‘lover’. Their intimacy doesn’t last for long after Rutledge tries to pay Shawn after a night of passion leads him to taking his virginity.

Shawn is very disappointed that Rutledge views their night together so inconsequential and breaks off their arrangement  .Things go from bad to worse when they get back to their normal lives. Rutledge treats Shawn with veiled contempt and rumours are starting about their association.  Things come to a head, when Rutledge sees Shawn with his cousin Sage’s boyfriend. He mistakenly thinks that Xavier is Shawn’s new lover and gets incredibly jealous. These cracks in his normally inscrutable facade leads Shawn to giving him another chance. They fall into a pattern which could be deemed as combative rather than antagonistic.  It is fun to watch these two strong willed men navigate the quagmire of their undefined relationship. Rutledge becomes a  stable fixture in Shawn’s life and it soon becomes clear that Shawn is very much in love with his arrogant lover. Rutledge is certainly not immune to Shawn’s  charms and finally asked him to move in with him.I really enjoyed this installment of this series and I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. Rutledge’s tongue pressed forward, tracing around his hole before giving it a long lick, and Shawn moaned, his thighs spreading wider of their own volition. Christ, nothing should feel this good.  Soft, and slick, he felt Rutledge’s tongue licking him, lapping at his hole with abandon. Then Rutledge’s thumbs held him open to the assault.  Fuck. Rutledge’s tongue worked into him slowly, pointing and giving soft jabs at his center, parting the muscle, coaxing it to relax, sliding inside. Eating him out. So filthy, so wrong, but Shawn made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a sob, rutting against the mattress, his cock rock hard and throbbing.  “More,” he gasped, shifting his body until he was on his knees, legs spread and head hung low.  The stubble on Rutledge’s face scratched the soft flesh of his buttocks, intensifying the sensations and reminding him once again that it was a man licking his hole. It was his professor eating him out. ( This was so raw and so illicit. I loved it 😆. )