Can’t Fight It( The Blueridge Junction Boys 2) by A.D.Ellis

Title: Can’t Fight It                                  Word Count: 334 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:For small-town tattoo artist Levi Wells his few forays into love have only brought him trouble. When trouble with a capital T came sashaying into town two years ago in the form of flamboyant young dancer Jay Owens, Levi becomes more determined than ever to stay away from anything remotely resembling a relationship. Especially one with someone so young and different than him.

Two years. That’s how long Jay has been trying to wear Levi down. But, Levi only sees Jay as a thorn in his side and balks at their differences every chance he gets. Luckily for them both, Jay isn’t going to let a little thing like Levi’s reluctance stand in the way of getting what he wants.

Levi is as stubborn as Jay is tenacious and they find themselves at an impasse. When Jay inadvertently gets himself into an unnerving situation, Levi’s protective nature surges forth even as he berates his heart for getting involved. Will Levi stay focused on their differences and keep fighting his true feelings? Or will Jay finally burrow through Levi’s self-imposed walls? One thing is for sure, you can’t fight love.

*Can’t Fight It is a male/male romance meant for ages 18+ due to language, themes, and adult scenes.*
My Review: Jay Owens is certainly a force to be reckoned with, every inch of his glorious twinky self. He’s had his heart set on a certain Tattoo God, Levi Wells ever since he’s moved to Blueridge Junction 2 years before. They have a great group of friends surrounding them and it is obvious how close they are when its Jay’s birthday. Jay is always fabulously flamboyant in his everyday life and it is increasingly apparent when he has a ‘pretty in pink’ party theme.

Jay is always flirty, sassy and overtly sexual whenever he is around Levi. His behavior makes Levi want to run for the hills. Levi doesn’t feel like Jay is his type especially given their 10 yr age gap. Jay heckles Levi and calls him ‘daddy’.Levi is constantly rebuffing Jay’s advances, but his walls are slowly tumbling down when he starts having sexy dreams about the sexy little twink. When Jay makes a thank you toast to his friends at his party, he opens up a little about his younger self and what drove him to Blueridge Junction. Jay’s home life was less than perfect with a drug addicted mother, he was left hungry and alone for the most part. Seeing Jay in this vulnerable light makes Levi want to wrap him up in his arms and take care of him. 

Levi comes to the decision, albeit kicking and screaming that it’s time to move forward in their relationship slowly. He can’t fight his feelings anymore and he acknowledges that Jay might be the perfect type of guy who can give him his happily ever after.Jay is ecstatic that all his dreams are finally coming through, but he soon understands it won’t be easy. Jay has a very independent spirit and he butts heads with Levi’s ‘take control’ attitude. Levi is left soothing ruffled feathers more than once.

Their first argument stems from a lack of communication and high-handed ways. Jay is extremely pissed when he finds out that Levi has gone behind his back and requested his boss give him time off. To Levi’s credit , he was just being protective of Jay since he has a stalker who keeps calling him. Jay works as an exotic dancer and Levi believes the two things are connected. Their friends provide insight when they explain that both Jay and Levi will definitely have to open the lines of communication for the longevity of their newfound relationship.

Jay and Levi talk things through and make plans for what their roles will be in their relationship. Jay realizes that his past has caused insecurities and he should just accept help when its given. He sees that Levi is more protective rather than controlling. When Jay gets another threat, Levi suggests that he move in with him. Levi has Jay’s best interest at heart and he just wants to love him and protect him now that they’ve ventured on this journey. I really enjoyed watching the sparks fly between these two, their sexual chemistry was amazing. They are opposites who complement each other in every way.

Before they can get their happily ever after, Jay gets a letter saying that his mother died. Levi goes with him to sort things out. This gives Jay closure and a bit of peace on his neglected childhood. It is bittersweet when he finds out that all the money he ever sent his mother was saved for him. She wrote an apology letter saying how much she loved him. For once , she actually did right by Jay. It doesn’t erase all the loneliness and hurt he felt as a child, but it has mended a small part of his heart and given him insight as to what he would like to do as a future career.

They have a couple of blissful days touring the city before they head home. Their friend Kennedy, the cop dealing with the stalker case tells them that the stalker has revealed himself. Jay decides to not press charges as he just wants to move on. Jay has plans to open up a dance studio with the nest egg that his mother saved for him. It will be a place where he can give youths a safe place to be who they want to be. Finally, Jay and Levi’s future is on the right track. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

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The Firsts & Forever 8 : Belonging by Alexa Land

Title :  Belonging                      Word Count : 98000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Can two damaged men build a future together from the shattered pieces of their lives?

Gianni Dombruso’s life was altered forever at the age of four, when his parents were murdered and he and his brothers went to live with their grandmother, the irrepressible Nana Dombruso. Now almost thirty, Gianni has spent his life bouncing from relationship to relationship, seeking but never finding the security and stability he so desperately craves.

Alexzander Tillane was one of the biggest pop stars in the world when he walked away from it all in the middle of a concert in 2002. Almost destroyed by the pressure of fame, Zan retreated to a life of quiet solitude in an effort to heal. But the cure backfired, leaving him with more issues than answers.

Zan knows he can’t give Gianni the stability he’s looking for, not with all his problems. He can’t even imagine why the beautiful younger man would want to get involved with someone so damaged, but the heat between them can’t be ignored. Giving in to it could be a huge mistake. Or maybe both men might end up right where they belong.

My Review :  It is very hard to believe that Gianni , the playboy of the  Dombruso family is this extremely vulnerable creature that we see in this novel. I had a hard time reconciling this young man who had such a low self esteem with the sexy Gianni we saw in the previous stories. I guess we all hide behind a facade sometimes and  things are not always what they appear to be. It soon becomes obvious that Gianni allowed himself to be used because he thought that was what he deserved.

Zan Tillane, the infamous pop star and Christian’s father is the first man that Gianni has truly opened up to. It was definitely not a love match at first, with Zan being a grumpy bipolar shut in. He definitely did everything to make Gianni’s life harder while he was bringing him groceries. It was only Gianni’s perseverance that kept their interactions afloat. Gianni constantly pushed  Zan’s buttons by getting him to try a different fruit on each of his visits. It was hilarious watching their foray into this newfound relationship.  However, they do not make any great strides, because Zan is too accustomed to his self imposed solitude and too scared to expose himself to the world at large. It is not until Gianni decides to move to New York to live with a man who he doesn’t love and to whom he is just a booty call, that Zan sees what he is about to lose.  

Zan braves the paparazzi and leave his self imposed solitude  to prove to  Gianni how much he means to him. Zan ends up hiding out at Nana’s house, the safest place he could ever be with Nana and her beretta and the ex mafia Dombrusos. Zan tries to shield Gianna from the paparazzi by running away from their newfound romance.  Gianni is devastated and worries about Zan, because not even Christian has been in contact with his father.  It doesn’t take long for Zan to come back to Gianni, when he realizes that his safe haven is in Gianni’s arms and that they can weather the storm of his fame together . Gianni gives Zan the strength to return to performing, something that he has always loved but with which he became so overwhelmed.

I really enjoyed this installment with these two main characters who totally complemented each other. I really liked the chemistry between them and even though there is an age gap , it did not seem that way which I liked. 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.)

In too Deep by Kate Sherwood

Title : In Too Deep                    Word Count : 80,665

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : At first glance, Cade and Aiden hardly seem like a match made in heaven. Their worlds couldn’t be further apart. Cade is quiet, serious, and determined to succeed; Aiden’s a party-loving frat boy. Cade comes from a rough home and worked hard to get the scholarships that make it possible for him to attend college; Aiden’s had it all thrown in his lap by supportive, kind, and wealthy parents. Cade wants nothing to do with Aiden, but from the moment they meet, Aiden is determined to find a way to bring their different worlds together.

Aiden manages to persuade Cade he’s a decent guy, and a tentative friendship becomes much more. But a trip to Aiden’s family cottage puts Cade in the path of a ghost from his past, and a dark secret he never expected to face again. Cade did what he had to do to escape his dead-end life, but now he sees he didn’t leave it as far behind him as he thought.

My Review :  Cade has one goal in his mind as a college student,  to do exceptionally well in school so that he can get a good job. He works hard,  studies every chance he gets and then some. He comes off as a bit stand-offish and antisocial to people around him, but he could care less.  Circumstances in his life has made him this way, and he is just trying to make a headway in life where he won’t have to sell his body anymore. His parents are both alcoholics whose only care is where they can find their next bottle.

  Aiden is very rich, very handsome, very sociable and very priveleged. He is very interested in getting to know Cade better, but Cade refuses to give him the time of day. Aiden pursues him every chance he has, by going to the cafeteria where Cade works.  Aiden was persistent to the point of being desperate. It was a little bit sweet , but it was disturbing as hell. How many times can you be rebuffed by a crush before you finally take the hint? Aiden seemed like a bit of a spoiled brat for not taking no for an answer while Cade seemed a bit mean for not giving the poor guy a chance. It was clear that he liked Aiden and I just believed that he was way too rigid in his resolve at not even trying to be friends with Aiden.  No man is an island and no matter how proud we try to be , we all need friends at some point in our lives. I definitely take off a point here for Cade’s attitude.

Personally,  I think the book went downhill from here. Reason being, after being told no for the  umpteenth time, I guess Aiden finally got the picture and left Cade alone. He moved on with his life , moping around his frat until Cade came to a party seeking Aiden out. In true Cade fashion he told Aiden quite sullen that he messed up on his exam by getting a B, because he couldn’t get Aiden off his mind. Aiden being the desperate one, falls in his arms and their relationship as boyfriends starts slowly. The sex between them was great , but for some reason I just couldn’t feel the chemistry between the two. I really couldn’t gain any respect for any of these two main characters. I am usually the one to champion the underdog ,but I must say I really didn’t feel as if Cade deserved this. 

It all comes out that Cade was a former prostitute and that’s what he did to pay for his first year’s tuition. I have tons of empathy for flawed characters and I usually end up crying with them and rejoicing with them when they find their true love. That was not the case here. I hated  Cade’s pious attitude and how he constantly pushed Aiden away acting as if he had done something wrong just because he was rich. I really don’t think he was justified in treating Aiden that way. On the other hand Aiden was a little too perfect and understanding,  almost groveling for any affection that Cade decided to give him. His character came off as being too fake. This whole relationship  left a bad taste in my mouth of being unequal in every way, financially and especially emotionally. In the end their problems were resolved so easily and superficially in my opinion. This one was truly a hit and miss for me, there was just something missing. I give this my ratings of 3 – give it a try. It was ok, I guess I just expected a little more out of these characters.  The premise was there for a great story, it just fell short in my opinion.