Contour ( Shape of You 1) by Meg Harding

Title:Contour (Shape of You 1) Word Count:200pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Jamie “Roxy” Albright has one great love in his life and room for no other. He lives and breathes makeup. Men are nothing more than temporary distractions and romance… well, that isn’t worth his time. With a burgeoning career as a YouTube makeup artist opening doors to never before dreamed of opportunities, time isn’t something Jamie has and distractions aren’t something he can afford.

Instagram model and shirtless wonder Tyler Jackson is quickly falling for elusive Jamie. How it went from a seemingly innocent message to feelings, he’ll never know. Their chemistry is instant and fiery hot, and Tyler’s never been that good at self control. The challenges are endless, though. There’s Jamie’s walls to break through and a country worth of space between them. And just when things are starting to look up, life throws a wrench in the works.

My Review: When internet sensation Youtuber make-up artist Jamie decides to comment on an instagram photo of the model he’s been crushing on, he’s not sure what to expect. Tyler is surprised to see that the androgynous snarky make-up artist his ex girlfriend idolized has commented on his pics. Tyler is bisexual and since he’s single , he decides to see what’s what. He likes what he sees of Jamie even though their personalities are vastly different. Jamie is aloof, doesn’t give much away and is very much an ‘ice princess’. On the other hand, Tyler is the all American jock everyone loves. He is super kind, always talking to his fans and very personable. Tyler’s a dog lover and has two beautiful dogs that seem to be well loved. For some reason , this is a huge draw for Jamie.

They build up a rapport through text messages and the chemistry seems to flow between these two. Tyler knows that Jamie will be a hard nut to crack, but he just keeps on opening up , hoping that will pull Jamie in. Tyler goes for a visit to Jamie’s city and Jamie is definitely nervous wondering if things are going to get weird. For Jamie, sex is not a biggie and that’s what he tends to lead with, without the intimacy. Things are a little bit different for Tyler, he is not into one night stands, he is more of a relationship kinda guy. Things definitely get hot and heavy between the two, but Tyler also ensures that Jamie gets a proper first date. It is clear that their chemistry is off the charts, but Tyler knows that Jamie uses sex as a defense mechanism. He decides to change that, he doesn’t allow Jamie to hide behind the sex. For the first time , Jamie is exposed to intimacy and it is certainly scary but deep down inside he craves this with Tyler. Tyler sees that Jamie is freaked out the morning after, so he promises no commitments, but rather that they take things slow and see where it goes after he goes back home to Nashville.

They continue their relationship via texts. Things get downright dirty when Jamie returns the favour by visiting Nashville. Their reunion is explosive, there are no holds barred and their romp in bed is carnal and messy in the best possible way. Things get pushed in the right direction when they decide to do a makeup challenge for Jamie’s YouTube channel where he introduces Tyler to the world as his boyfriend. Their romance is absolutely a whirlwind but it works for them. Jamie meets Tyler’s best friend Dan who cautions him to take care of Tyler’s heart. Jamie is honest that he knows nothing about commitments and relationships, but he knows he wants to try with Tyler. They make further plans to backpack across Europe, after Jamie finishes up a business deal which he is signing with Lush.

Jamie opens up more to Tyler on the Nashville trip, but there is still a wall in place. When Jamie’s mom finds out about Tyler, she’s a bit negative in her advice. Jamie thinks the world of his mom, who raised him single handedly by being a stripper. It is obvious that his relationship purview has been skewed from all her negative relationship advice over the years. He has been taught to use sex for power and fun without the intimacy attachments. Their Europe trip starts off with Jamie being upset with his mom and reevaluating everything he’s always known about relationships. When Tyler calls Jamie out on his foul mood, Jamie makes the decision to open up for the first time with Tyler.

Jamie waits until they get to their hotel room to explain what’s going on. He opens up to Tyler about his past and the way his mom brought him up and some of the morals she instilled. One of the main things is to never depend on anyone and that romantic love is a choice, where you leave yourself open for heartache and pain. As he speaks the truth he has always lived, Jamie realizes how isolated a life he has been living. Tyler acknowledges where Jamie is coming from and opens up about his own addiction riddled mother who doesn’t really play a role in his life other than being a leech for his money. Tyler lets Jamie know it is okay to be scared of all these new relationship feelings he is having. He realizes that Jamie is at a crossroads , feeling conflicted about what he thought he knew about commitment and relationships.

There is one thing that Jamie is certain of , Tyler deserves to have a place in his life. He grasps what he wants, titillating Tyler with his lacy thongs. Tyler can’t get enough of this sexy man who brings out the caveman in him. Two weeks together have them seeing all sides of each other. They tour Europe doing all the cute couply things. It is inevitable that there will be some unguarded moments between them. The moment has finally arrived, Jamie goes totally bare before Tyler. Baring his face is akin to Jamie baring his soul for Tyler. Jamie never lets anyone see him without his makeup. Makeup has turned into his shining armour that protects him from all hurt and pain.Jamie lays himself vulnerable for Tyler and it’s a beautiful thing. Tyler knows in his heart he has fallen for this beautiful man, but he knows Jamie is not ready to acknowledge yet what he might be feeling.

They soon find out the true hell that a long distance relationship can be, especially between two young up and coming professionals.With their busy schedule, they can barely make time to text, much less skype. Knowing that he might lose Tyler doesn’t sit well with Jamie. That’s when he realized that love and romance with Tyler was never a choice. He has unavoidably and irrevocably fallen for this kind spirited, supportive sexy jock. Jamie lays his soul bare for Tyler professing his love. In the end, Tyler makes the decision freely of uprooting his life in Nashville to be with the man of his dreams, his true love Jamie. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Advertisements

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!!!

Bully for You by Catt Ford

Title: Bully for You                           Word Count:22,732
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:What could be hunkier than a cowboy? Not much, according to Martin Du Bois. He convinces two friends that a visit to the rodeo is every gay man’s wet dream, and so the three of them gaily (and I do mean gaily) set off to watch cowboy asses in action.

A visit to a bar after the event gets Martin closer to the action than he ever thought possible, and he meets Jesse Cumberland, the man who caught his eye in the ring and made his rhinestones sparkle. Instant attraction leads to a one-night stand that gets under Martin’s insouciant skin and causes him to rethink his determination not to get involved emotionally. When Jesse invites Martin to his ranch, the visit is almost derailed by Martin’s realization that they lead very different lives. As a flaming city queer, he sees no way to fit with the solid, athletic Jesse. It’s up to Jesse to see if he can change Martin’s mind.

My Review: Martin Dubois is very excited to go to the rodeo with his two friends Dale and Curt. He is definitely going for the eye candy or should I say ‘ass candy’. He is enthralled by these sexy cowboys with asses to die for. Dale and Curt remind him to look but not touch, seeing as how rodeos tend to be dominated by homophobes and rednecks.Martin is pleasantly surprised when he goes to a bar after the event and a sexy cowboy immediately comes to his rescue.
Martin hits it off with Jesse Cumberland as soon as they meet. The chemistry between these two is off the chain. Marti is a bit shocked that Jesse finds him attractive. He describes Jesse as being extremely masculine versus his uber femme looks. Marti allows his insecurities to get in the way of him and Jesse moving forward as their little fling comes to a halt.

After staying away for a few weeks, he decides to go to another rodeo.Jesse is pleasantly surprised when he looks in the stands to see Marti. They pick up where they left off and they realize that they like spending time together in and out of the bedroom.
It seems that Marti’s insecurities were not all unfounded. When he goes to Jesse’s ranch for a weekend rendezvous, their differences become glaringly obvious. This casts some self doubts on their relationship for both men . Can they reconcile their differences and turn them into something cohesive ? They just can’t see how they will be able to fit into each other’s life seemlesly for something on a more permanent basis.
They have a big blowup when Marti feels useless and clumsy while riding his first horse. He feels a sense of defeat and makes the decision to return home to his city life. Jesse sees the challenges in their situation , but he believes that they can overcome them and build a strong foundation together. He convinces Marti to work with him and take things one step at a time. This was really a sweet short read and I hope there will be a sequel showing where these two end up. I give this my ratings of 4-lose the underwear.

Welcome to Alvarado 2:Unwelcome Home by C.E. Kilgore

Title : Unwelcome Home             Word Count : 192 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sometimes the best way to get back on your feet again is to help someone get back on theirs.

Five years ago, Clint Shepfield broke the town of Alvarado apart when he used his fists to break Samuel Garrett’s body. In prison, Clint’s had plenty of time to deal with the guilt and accept the real reasons behind his actions. He’s now accepted his homosexuality, Sam has forgiven him, and he’s being encouraged to return to the town he thought would never welcome him home.

In the blink of an eye, and the stomping boots of drunk bullies, Rick Santos lost everything. Once a track star in the making, Ricky’s been left confined to a wheelchair, his hopes for the future gone. His happy zeal for life is taken over by a pessimistic, bitter attitude, leaving Sam and Cody at their wits’ end. The first time Ricky snaps at Clint, everyone is surprised when Clint bites back.

Clint makes it his mission to get Ricky out of his funk and out of that chair. Maybe if he can help Ricky stand up straight again, Clint will be able to do the same. But, not everyone in Alvarado is ready to welcome them into the community, leaving Clint and Ricky dealing with the possibility of being unwelcome home.

My Review : Self-hatred is a very profound emotion that eats away at our very souls. Nobody knows this better than Clint Shepfield who made a horrible mistake in his teen years that he will forever regret. He hurt the sweetest young man Sam Garrett who he had a crush on, a crush he could not own up to out of fear of being acknowledged as gay. His horrific actions sent him to prison for five years, a penance he would willingly pay over and over again if it could erase his past. Instead of being the soccer star that he was meant to be he is now the town’s pariah.
Clint has a long hard road ahead of him especially since he will be staying with the same young man who he almost destroyed. It so happens that Sam is in love with Clint’s best friend Cody and they are living together. Sam has since forgiven Clint for his actions when he finally understood that his rage was not motivated by homophobia but rather it was self -hatred. It comes from the inner most part of Clint’s ‘self’ that was not able to understand his feelings. He lashed out at Sam who had the courage and owned his sexuality even though it meant that he was bullied and treated harshly especially by his father.
Initially, Clint is bombarded by all the emotions and all the updates of the old town. He realises there is so much that he missed out on. He also feels a bit unwelcome when he meets the other house guest Ricky Santos, Sam’s best friend. Ricky is staying with them after enduring a homophobic attack which left him in a wheelchair. Ricky is very bitter and he also hates what Clint had done to Sam. There definitely is no love lost between Clint and Ricky, but they soon realize that they feel somewhat adrift and lost in the house with their two best friends who are madly in love. These two shattered men accept that they both have to acknowledge the part they played in the path that their lives have taken. They have to discover how to forgive themselves for their actions. They both have a lot of healing to do and it soothes them to tag team their issues together.
For the most part, Clint is not able to trust his instincts due to his inexperience and his past violent acts. He has to learn to forgive himself so that he can trust in what feels right. It is undeniable that there is a spark between Ricky and Clint and they can’t help but to explore this option.Ricky is there to guide him into the foray of intimacy between two men. Although they are able to relate on both being lost in their new realities, they are constantly reminded that their roles are vastly different. There is a juxtaposition of Clint being a felon while in contrast Ricky is a victim. It is hard to see how they will reconcile their two personas without Clint’s past intruding. As soon as they get beyond this, there is yet another hurdle for them to jump.
Clint has to relearn how to live again and how to be a normal man. On the other hand, Ricky is battling his disability and trying to revise how to live in a wheelchair and how to be content with that corporeality. Clint does all he can to help Ricky and gives him the push he thinks his brain needs. He has a feeling that Ricky’s disability is more of a mind thing and he wants to see if he can get the physical body to work in conjunction with Ricky’s battered pysche. Clint comes up with the juiciest incentives in the form of foreplay to try to get Ricky using hand crutches instead of his wheelchair to get him mobile. They decide to trust in each other and stand strong together in love. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Fin & Matt by Charlie Winters

Title : Fin & Matt                Word Count : 269 pgs

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Fin MacAuliffe had always been less than masculine; never truly confident enough to be himself. He’d long known he was gay – he’d just never shared it with anyone, not even his own free-thinking, liberal parents. Sure, they knew. Yet, they never quite gave up on linking him to some respectable girl with good genes and a generous bank account. Fin’s own account was nothing to be ashamed of, but even with all of the advantages, the only true thing he longed for was companionship.

After dragging himself back home to Missouri after graduation, Fin prepared to start his adult life – beginning with taking a new job as a music teacher at a private school. He was set, at least by the traditional standards. On his very first day, he saw him…

If there was a God, he made Matt DiFiore personally. Disheveled, straight black hair which appeared to be self-cut. Chiseled cheekbones. Tanned smooth skin.

Fin knew he was staring. Matt’s lower half was covered by track pants with side snaps, but Fin knew that beneath those snaps housed the most glorious legs in existence. Those full lips wrapped around an apple, biting down as a small smile formed and he turned to walk… Fin’s… way.

My Review : I truly enjoyed taking the journey of this beautiful love story between these men. Fin was a young man who had everything at his fingertips, except for the one thing he really needed; love from that special someone. Matt had nothing tangible to give, except for that special love that he had saved for the right man.

 Matt’s life is in shambles after a failed marriage to a young woman whose father blackballs him in his professional life as a doctor. He is left picking up the pieces of his life , a huge debt hanging over his head and stuck as the high school gym teacher. Matt is also estranged from his parents who are very blue collar and have a hard time accepting their son being gay. Matt is immediately attracted to the new young music teacher Fin. Fin doesn’t have to work because he has a trust fund with millions in it and parents that adore him and gives him everything. Fin’s parents are very accepting and prove to be a rock for these two. 

 At first,  Fin is a shy insecure little virgin. He is very concious of his effeminate ways and delicate features. He comes into his own and become this confident sexy man through his explorations with Matt. Fin and Matt hook up shortly after meeting and their story flows into one of those love at first sight journeys where they never tire of being in each other’s presence.  They have a great connection body and soul. Their sex scenes were very authentic and super duper hot. They soon move in together and Fin helps Matt to go up against his ex father-in-law and reclaim his life. Matt is able to get his dream job in sports medicine. This goes a far way in smoothing out the disparity that Matt felt in their financial situations which always seemed to be a bone of contention between the two .

Matt asks Fin to marry him and they live a blissful happily ever after. The ending was a bit bittersweet and very emotional.  I mean I cried buckets 😢. Their is a fast forward of their lives in the last chapter where it shows them adopting a daughter and that daughter turning into a teenager. It’s really a snap shot of their lives. We are able to get a glimpse of them getting older and losing important people in their lives. Their love is an undying and everlasting love which stands the test of time. We have to watch Fin endure the loss of  his husband Matt to a heart attack. Throughout this all, we see his love remains unchanged for his soulmate who he still goes to visit and talk to by his graveside. As I said , very bittersweet, but I liked it because it really added depth and reality to this love story. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. Oh God ,” Matt expelled. “You’re so fucking tight.” He lowered his lips for a brief kiss before thrusting deeper. “Too much… too much, Matt.” I gulped hard, gasping for air. “Alright, you’re okay.” He slowed his pace, rubbing his thumb over my cheek. “Look at me.” He continued to rock his hips, but it was a lazy tempo; working me open with each forward movement he made. I ground my teeth together as the pain surged through my stiff frame. Fighting tears, I focused back on his eyes, gaining my composure. Matt nearly stopped short, studying my face. “Fin. I know it’s hard, but you have to try to relax. Otherwise, I’m going to hurt you. Can you do that?” I nodded. “Can we use more lube or something? You’re too big, I think.”“Under normal circumstances, I’d consider that a compliment.” He ran his hands through my hair and lowered his lips to mine. “I don’t want to hurt you. This is supposed to feel good for you, okay?”“Okay,” I answered. Matt clicked open the bottle of lubricant and pulled out of my body carefully. Using his finger first, he nudged the tip inside of me and slowly coated my opening. He poured a bit more on the outside of the condom and used his hand to smooth it over his engorged cock. “Let’s try this again, okay ?” He pushed in once more, moving at a sluggish clip. “Better?” he asked, sliding in easily. I gave him a smile, doing my best to hold it together. “So much better.” Honestly, it was. Within minutes, it was easier . More enjoyable. I closed my eyes and started to get lost in Matt’s hands moving about my body. His lips latched onto my throat as his hips pumped steadily. ( One of my favorite sex scenes, because it shows the true picture of anal sex. The good, the bad and the ugly. It is not always sunshine and flowers, sometimes it can be painful.)