The Music of the Spheres by Chase Potter

Title : The Music of the Spheres              Word Count : 216 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :An athlete and introvert from a family touched by loss, Ryan Mattson splits his life between reading and spending time with his dad and precocious younger sister. With the wounds of Ryan’s past almost healed, high school is simple, and so is everything else.

But that changes when he’s paired with Adam for a class project. Adam, the guy with birthmarks like flecks of mud and compost-brown eyes that hide behind dorky glasses. Grudgingly, the two young men work together, and as they do, an unlikely friendship is formed.

With the passing college years, their bond deepens and grows. Even Ryan’s sister and dad take a liking to Adam, and the family – always missing a voice – seems to gain another. But just as Ryan is forced to confront what Adam really means to him, his family is dragged toward crisis. And beneath the silent snows and starlit sky of a Minnesota winter, their friendship will be tested more than ever before.

My Review : Here we have the journey of two high school students, Ryan the Jock and Adam the geek. They are two polar opposites who are thrown together because of a high school project and form an unlikely friendship. Ryan is rich and has a familial bond that is beyond compare, whereas Adam is a foster kid after being taken away from his meth- addicted parents.
Over the years their friendship blossoms into something that is not quite defined, but Adam is definitely accepted as one of the family by Ryan’s dad and his sister. They spend most holidays together and after getting drunk and playing truth or dare, things get a little awkward between the two friends. They enjoy a circle jerk between friends and this changes their friendship subtly , especially when Adam admits that he is bisexual. After a few months of tension, they get back on track with a family trip to Adam’s university. This deepens their connection after a very earnest conversation between Ryan and Adam, where they admit to each other that their feelings might be more than platonic. Before that can even get off the ground tragedy strikes.
Ryan’s little sister who has such a prosperous future as an artist finds out she has leukemia. This is devastating for the family, but they all pull together and they fight it into remission. Things are beginning to look bright again when after a few months the cancer is back. They do a bone marrow transplant with Ryan being the donor, only to find out that it’s too late. The transplant is successful, but now the cancer has spread all through her body and is at a stage 4 category. It is not long before she dies. Ryan is destroyed into a million little pieces and Adam is right there to pick them all. This was very emotional and I cried buckets. Adam gives the eulogy and it shows the true testament of family, friendship and overall love. It shows that sometimes, very rarely our family is comprised of the people we choose and it is somehow better than the ones we were given.
Even from the grave , it is Ryan’s sister who finally brings them together. Their love is immemoralized through the pictures she has taken over the years. Looking at these photos shows their love with such clarity that Ryan calls Adam and ask if he can move in with him. Without hesitation Adam agrees. When they culminate their love , it is explosive, steadfast and comforting. It was something that was always meant to be, a fulfilling prophecy . It is not long before Adam proposes and Ryan accepts.  This was a slow build and I really enjoyed it  . I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

The Firsts & Forever 7: Against the Wall by Alexa Land

Title : Against the Wall            Word Count : 448 pgs

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Don’t start something you can’t finish.

It’s a cliché, but 22-year-old graffiti artist Christian lives by those words. He’s going away when he graduates from art school in just six short months. With so little time left, getting involved with gorgeous Shea Nolan has to be a mistake. If only he could make himself stay away from the sweet, sexy police officer.

Christian has a decision to make. Are a few months of happiness worth the inevitable heartbreak when it’s time to walk away?

My Review : From the very first moment we meet Christian,  the graffiti artist and Skye’s best friend, there has always been an air of mystique surrounding him. All the areas of Christian’s life is cloaked in secrecy that not even Skye is privy to. He comes off as a playboy who doesn’t really care about much but his craft.We’ve always known that he is hugely talented as a graffiti artist and is making a stamp on the world through his spray paint. He seems to be this thrill junkie who loves living life on the edge and always being chased by cops from building to building. It is after one of these escapades that he meets Chance, a prostitute who is also trying to hide his activities from the cops. Chance concocts a huge cover story of them being boyfriends in order to get Christian from under the suspicion of the cops looking for the graffiti artist Zane. The two become fast friends and end up at a club where Chance can pick up some tricks.

It is here that Chance points out the sexy guy who is staring at Christian.  That sexy guy happens to be Shea Nolan, the sexy Irish cop who we’ve come across in previous books. Shea is very shy and a little  bit of a klutz,  but Christian finds him to be very endearing.  Christian takes Shea home with the intention of having a one night stand. Their night together turns out to be magical and leaves them both wanting for more. It soon becomes clear that they will be seeing a lot more of each other since they have a lot of the same friends and run in the same circles.

Nana is up to her usual shenanigans and she definitely sets the stage for their romance to blossom albeit quite unintentional. Nana plans a wedding for her grandson Vincent and the love of his life Trevor on a cruise ship where all our favorite boys are invited. It was great to catch up with  all these characters. We also got a glimpse of Hunter and Brian whose wedding was also planned by Nana on the cruise ship. Vincent and Trevor have adopted a son since we last saw them and Christopher and Kieran has a baby on the way through a surrogate. Throughout this week long cruise,  Shea and Christian were able to foster their relationship and build a bond that neither expected.

Some of Christian’s secrets start leaking out the closer he gets to Shea. We are introduced to Finn, Shea’s brother who definitely doesn’t approve of their relationship because he thinks Christian is just a two timing user. When Finn corners Christian,  he has a huge panic attack fueled by flashbacks from a horrible experience in his life. It is after this, Christian shares his secret with Shea about being raped in his first weeks at college. He has tried to take back his sexuality in some small way by only topping his lovers and only being intimate with his clothes on. Shea doesn’t push him and he tries to take care of this beautiful vulnerable man. 

We’ve always suspected that Christian is a rich kid and this is proven when the secret comes out that his father is a famous rock star named Alexander Tillane. Another facet of Christian’s personality comes out when we see him taking care of his dad who is a bipolar OCD recluse who experiences lots of highs and debilitating lows. Although  Christian holds so much in , he is a great person who loves hard and tries to shield the ones he loves from heartache.

Christian soon reveals his biggest secret ever to Shea. He is dying from a malignant brain tumor. This was really gut wrenching and I cried buckets right alongside these characters.

As Christian’s illness becomes more pronounced, he learns the true meaning of love from all his friends and especially Shea who stays by his side throughout clinical trials. Christian has to learn to set his pride aside so that his friends and soon to be husband can help him through this devastating period in his life. The book ends on a high note with Christian experiencing some improvement from the clinical trial  drugs. Shea is positive and has hopes that Christian will make a full recovery and that they can enjoy a long and healthy life. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. As his cock started rubbing that spot deep inside me, pleasure took over. My body relaxed and I exhaled slowly. I began to stroke my cock, rocking my hips in time with his thrusts, and begged, “Harder , baby. Please.” Shea got up on his knees , his hands grasping my waist, and watched as his cock slid in and out of me. He moaned and began thrusting harder and faster, his orgasm building. When we were both close I sat up and hugged him to me, bouncing on his thick shaft as I cried out. As soon as I felt his cock twitch and the first blast of cum fill me, I began cumming, too, my cock pressed between us. He held on to me, thrusting wildly, yelling as he came. ( I really enjoyed the passion between these two. They took the greatest pleasure in each day through hot lovemaking and lots of public  sex😉.)