No Limits ( No Shame 2) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Limits                         Word Count: 309 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: This is NOT a stand alone novel. See end of this description for details) Josh is convinced he’ll never find someone who’ll love him the way he is. He’s not exactly a catch with his PTSD, which has transformed him into a homebody most of the times. Sweet, maybe, but also boring as hell. Plus, there’s that submissive tendency he recently discovered and is dying to explore. His complicated relationship with Noah and Indy doesn’t make it easy, either. When Connor shows interest in him, he can’t believe the sexy cop would look at him twice, let alone make an effort to get to know him. When he does, Josh discovers they have more in common than he’d ever thought possible.

Connor had survived the ordeal that left his best friend and fellow Marine dead, but that survival came at a price. He’s a robot, going through the motions, but barely alive. Until fate intervenes when he meets Josh. The vulnerable man triggers all kinds of protective and dominant urges in Connor, but what would a cute guy like Josh want with an inexperienced, closed-off, bossy steamroller like Connor?

When Connor discovers his past endangers Indy, all hope for a future between him and Josh seems lost. After all, there’s no way Josh will ever choose Connor over Indy’s safety and Noah’s lifelong friendship. When a crisis hits, can Connor prove he’s strong enough to deal with everything that’s thrown his way?

No Limits is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the second book in the No Shame Series, and IS NOT A STAND ALONE NOVEL, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) first. It contains hot sex, a little BDSM kink for beginners, more hot sex, and a beautiful friendship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse and sexual violence, including rape.

My Review: Joshua doesn’t think that he will ever lead a normal life. Between his severe PTSD and the sexual trauma he experienced while in the army, he has constant flashbacks. His best friend/ fuck buddy Noah keeps him grounded. Watching Noah in his newfound relationship with his boyfriend Indy causes Josh to yearn for something more. He is not exactly sure what that is, but he knows he feels attracted to the sexy as sin cop O’ Connor.

Connor is confused at the relationship between Noah and Josh. However, it is Noah who has given him the green light to pursue Josh. Connor is in the closet, but he knows he’s never felt the way he does about Josh. When Josh finds out that Connor is interested he is elated, but definitely shocked that such a dominant macho man could be his. Connor has a few sexual hang-ups about his size that has held him back from being with a guy. Josh is only too happy to show him that there is nothing called ‘too big’. Josh likes a little pain with his pleasure, he thrives on rough sex. He is certainly coming to terms and willing to explore his submissive tendencies with the right person.

Things become explosive when they come together for the first time. Josh feels like he has truly found someone he can belong to. He feels safe in the comfort of Connor’s arms. Connor is still a bit perturbed about the dynamics amongst this trio involving Josh, Noah and Indy. When certain secrets are revealed, he admits to feeling left out and a bit jealous that Josh stands with Noah and Indy. Even though their relationship is new , he wonders if he will ever be a number one priority with Josh. Josh needs both Noah and Connor to learn how to be comfortable around each other, because he can’t live without one man or the other.

Josh schedules a fun filled day of paintball for all of them. Noah and Connor set aside their alpha posturing to work together and it pulls them all a bit closer. Their time together is soon ripped asunder when Noah has to be rushed to the hospital for an infection in his stump. Indy panics and vanishes. He can’t face losing Noah, it is clearly a dick move on his part, but understandable given his past. Josh is devastated, but he tries to keep it together since he has the medical power of attorney over Noah. The doctors decide to operate and cut off more of his stump to save Noah’s life.

Connor knows that he has to step up and take care of his man before Josh loses his mind. He takes Josh home and they delve further into the BDSM lifestyle. Connor gives him a spanking which sends Josh into subspace, one of the best releases he has ever had. They profess their love for each other shortly after. Connor makes the decision to get educated in being the proper Dom to his sub Josh. Josh has made up his mind that he already belongs to Connor and he is only too happy to engage in lessons. It is an exhilarating experience watching these men solidify their D/s relationship and learn their limits.

Indy finally shows up and explains to Noah that he needs to sort things out in his head before he could come back. When Noah is released from the hospital, he is happy to see that the dynamics have changed. He sees Connor taking control and realize that for the first time Josh’s needs are being met. Connor proves his love for Josh by providing a solution for their living situation that will work for all of them. They decide to buy a bigger ranch style home where each couple can have privacy while still maintaining their closeness. Finally , Indy comes back after taking care of some issues that would hurt his little family. I really enjoyed watching these two couples come into their own. The unhealthy sexually codependent relationship between Josh and Noah is broken. Now their respective relationships will have a fair chance of flourishing with some mutual exhibitionism and voyeurism on both couples part. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators.


No Filter ( No Shame 1) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Filter               Word Count: 290 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Indy will do anything to prevent his mobster ex from finding him. Their last encounter left Indy recovering for months in the hospital, and ever since he’s become an expert at hiding in plain sight. Determined to stay under the radar, he takes on a new identity and moves from place to place. His life has no room for friendships, let alone love, so he keeps his heart firmly closed. After all, he has nothing to offer but a damaged body and a broken soul. Plus, he’s so done with men. Until he meets the man who breaks through all his defenses.

Former Army Medic Noah came back damaged from his last tour—in more than one way. Between supporting his best friend-with-benefits Josh who’s struggling with PTSD, dealing with his own issues, and the stress of his job as a physician assistant, rebuilding his life seems impossible. There’s little time for what Noah needs, let alone for what he wants. When he meets Indy, Noah discovers what he wants more than anything: for Indy to stay. But how will a relationship with Indy work when Noah needs Josh as well?

Indy never expected the strong, confident Noah to be as damaged and broken as himself. But what will happen if he starts letting Noah in? Indy knows he should run to protect Noah and Josh. 

Noah needs Indy to stay more than anything. But will what little he has to offer be enough to make Indy trust him and stay? 

No Filter is a steamy M/M romance featuring an open relationship (no cheating!) that ends with a HFN, but with the promise of a HEA. It’s the first book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand-alone novel. It contains hot sex, a hint of a ménage, lots of talk about hot sex, flashbacks of said hot sex, and…Oh well, you get the idea. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

My Review: If anyone would have told Indy that being subjected to a convenient store robbery would have been a turning point in his life, he wouldn’t have believed it. This is how he met Josh, the young army veteran who suffers from severe PTSD. Josh has a flashback the moment he saw the robber’s gun. It is Indy’s quick thinking that saves his life. Indy tackles Josh to the ground with his superior jiu jitsu moves to snap him out of his flashback. It sucks for Indy who already has a broken arm in a cast. Indy is trying to breath through the pain and stay in character since he is on the run and pretending to be a southern belle. Not wanting to blow his cover and desperate to get Josh out of his flashback, Indy decides to ground him by kissing him. It finally works and Josh slowly comes out of his spell.

By the time the cops show up, Indy is in severe pain and in need of medical attention. This is where Noah comes in, he is Josh’s best friend who is a former army medic. He works in the ER now and when Josh calls him frantic telling him he needs to protect Indy’s female persona, he steps in to help. Noah doesn’t know what to think when he meets Indy, but there is an instant spark between the two. However, it is clear to see that Indy is very afraid and hiding something. Warning bells go off in Noah’s head when he feels scars on Indy’s body. He also sees signs of trauma in Indy’s reactions to being restrained.

When Noah and Josh offers Indy a place to stay and recover, he takes a leap of faith and puts his trust in these two men. Indy feels an attraction to Noah, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time. When Indy realizes that Josh and Noah shares a bedroom, he feels like a fool for lusting after somebody’s boyfriend. Noah explains that Josh and him have a very complexed relationship that may defy certain norms.

Watching these three men come together was exhilarating, sensual and a little bit confusing at times. It was the pure trust and honesty in their connections that pulls it all together for me. Here we have three broken men trying to piece together their wounded hearts and souls. We have Josh who suffers from PTSD and is very codependent on his best friend Noah. He is openly gay and navigating his sexually submissive side while also working through issues from his past. Then there is Noah who facilitates Josh’s codependency as a way of healing them both. Noah has lost his leg in the war and has some residual feelings of insecurity. He is only recently identifying and accepting himself as a gay man. Indy is the only other man that Noah has been attracted to sexually. Indy is on the run for his life. He feels like he is damaged goods and it is clear that he has suffered severe sexual trauma. Noah and Josh are the first two men he has been attracted to in awhile. It is Noah who makes him want to trust again. He feels unworthy and undeserving to be in a relationship with a strong man like Noah, because of his past. Indy is afraid to become too attached and wants to protect them from the dangers of his past.

The sexual tension in their house is combustible. They all paired up sexually with each other at different times without any resentment or hurt feelings amongst each other. Noah and Josh had sex all the time as a way of finding release and it helped Josh to understand his sexually submissive side. When Noah let Josh top him, it helped him accept himself as a gay man. Josh and Indy getting together was about healing each other from their past sexual trauma. Josh gave back Indy some of the power he lost when he offers to bottom for him. Indy regains a part of himself he thought was lost forever. After their fun filled activity they fall asleep blissfully.

When Noah comes home after a sixteen hour shift in pain from standing all day, he becomes jealous when he sees them cuddled up together. Tempers flare when he believes that Indy has given Josh something that he couldn’t get. Josh sets him straight and diffuses the situation by offering up himself to relieve some of the stress and pain that Noah feels. Noah goes at Josh hard with Indy watching the whole time. When Noah finds release a dam finally breaks and all the pain and sorrow for all he’s lost comes pouring out. 

This is cathartic for all of them. It is Josh’s way of saying goodbye and bringing Indy fully into Noah’s life. Indy makes the decision the next day to tell Noah his sordid past of being sold into sexual slavery by his mom at sixteen. The man she sold him to, Duncan Fitzpatrick belongs to the mob and treated him deplorably. Indy lived in hell for four years. He finally snapped when Duncan passed him off to his sadistic cousin who raped Indy. When he was done Indy stabbed him and waited for him to die before he called the cops , so he could claim self defense. Duncan found Indy and tortured him before he could testify. Indy knows he will always be a hunted man.

Indy finally sees that what he has found in Noah is worth fighting for. He gives himself freely to Noah without fear. He gets a taste of what a loving sexual relationship should be like. Noah is happy that Indy has finally let him in and is allowing him to love him. Josh will always be a part of their lives and they have a different kind of love for him. Noah is willing to protect Indy with all that he is . He will never allow Indy to be hurt again. This is only the beginning, but it is clear to see how deep their love runs for each other. Looking forward to Josh’s story and the continuation of Indy and Noah. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Anything For Him( More Than Anything 2) by T. T. Kove

Title: Anything For Him          Word Count:201 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:How could we ever make a relationship work while living nine hours away from each other?

I’m a broken man. Thanks to my boyfriend’s psychiatrist uncle, however, I might finally get some much needed professional help to come to term with my past and my post-traumatic stress disorder. But it all feels hollow and empty without Geir—because he was the one who made life worth living. 

We might as well live a world’s apart. He can only visit during holidays now that he lives in the capital, and I can’t face going to a big city. A year’s a long time. Can a tentative relationship such as ours survive that long apart?

My Review: Geir shows up at his new home and immediately is overwhelmed by a seizure. When he wakes up , he meets his step mom and her kids for the first time. Even though he is still a little bitter,he acknowledges the beauty of the place. He misses Jorgen like crazy , but he looks forward to meeting another friend. Geir calls up Jorgen’s best friend’s brother Nik and introduces himself.

Nik is unapologetically gay, very flamboyant and super sweet. Geir’s father doesn’t approve of his new boyfriend or his friend. This saddens Geir, but he knows having a friend like Nik will keep the loneliness at bay. They get along famously.Unbeknownst to Geir, Jorgen is certainly not doing as well. Within the month that Geir has been gone, he has fallen into a deep depression. Not only is Jorgen lonely, therapy has been brutal and very evocative bringing his demons to the fore.

Jorgen has suffered an accidental overdose from trying to dull the pain. He is under suicide watch and is forced to go home with his uncle Thomas. Thomas is very kind and always quick to lend a helping hand. Jorgen runs into his cousin Andreas’ boyfriend Alex in the middle of the night. They both find that they have something in common with missing their boyfriends. Also, they both have issues that cannot be easily overcome. Jorgen realizes that it is time for him to open up himself a little. Alex and Jorgen become great friends and their trauma that they have endured due to their families bond them together.

Even though they are apart for almost a year, they keep in contact through phone calls and Geir writes letters to Jorgen which he cherishes. Life continues for both  of them simultaneously with Geir becoming more confident and Jorgen becoming stronger and  more mentally stable. Jorgen has started going to therapy more regularly and their is a vast  difference in the status of his mental health. Although he still suffers from PTSD and panic attacks, it is easier for him to control it before it even starts.

When Easter comes around Jorgen spends a week with Geir’s family. He is happy to embrace his boyfriend again and it is clear to see that their feelings have not waned for each other. They have a really sexy frottage session that pushes their relationship over into the sexual realm. Before then, Jorgen had avoided anything too blatantly sexual. They were both ecstatic and have hopes for the future that they could grow sexually. They leave each other with plans that Geir would move in with Jorgen in a few months when school ended.

Jorgen feels that he needs to explain about his childhood sexual abuse to Geir. He knows Geir suspects, but he is finally ready to open up to him  and trust him with his deep dark secrets. Jorgen writes all this in a letter and strips his soul bare. He had a truly horrific childhood with an uncle that sexually abused him on a daily basis for years. Meanwhile, he was also physically and mentally abused by a mother who suffered from multiple personality disorder. His family is definitely the personification of dysfunction. When Geir reads the letter , he is devastated and the truth is certainly heartrending.

Geir is ready to start his life with Jorgen so he can fill it with all the love that he deserves. Jorgen invites Geir and his family to a barbeque/ coming home party for his cousin Andreas. It was great to see Andreas and Alex back together , still very much in love. They give Geir hope for where he would like to see his relationship with Jorgen in the future.

Jorgen and Geir have their own intimate welcome home party. They definitely make up for lost time. Being with Geir in a sexual way allows Jorgen to reclaim his sexuality and the innocence that was taken from him. Jorgen marvels at the purity and intimacy of making love with Geir. They are both amazed at how good it feels to be with each other. They are sooo sexy together in their explorations. I really enjoyed watching both these young men blossom and break out of their shells.
Yet again, this one was not overly filled with sex, but I think that actually made it better. Their love story was made even more authentic, pure and intimate due to the lack of sex. I give this
my ratings of 4- not for the sex, but for the intimacy and love that overcame all the trauma that these two endured in their young life.

More Than Anything 1 by T.T Kove

Title: MoreThan Anything                 Word Count:276pgs

Genre:Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:He might’ve been the right person—if I hadn’t been so damaged and he hadn’t been so young.

The first time I met him, he had a seizure on the pavement in front of my flat. When my efforts to find someone who could take him off my hands failed, I let him spend the night. He was already asleep anyway, so it wasn’t like I had any choice. 

What started out as helping someone in need, slowly turns into something much more when he keeps appearing in my life. But how can he want someone like me? Someone so damaged and traumatised from my past that it keeps on messing up my present? When just one simple touch from someone is enough to bring on a flashback, a relationship with another person isn’t exactly within reach.

My Review: When Jorgen first sees the young man in front of his home , he is not sure what to expect. He immediately understands the signals as soon as the young man falls to the floor and start having a seizure. Jorgen is familiar with epileptic seizures since his uncle used to have them frequently. He takes the young man inside who he now knows is Geir from his ID. Jorgen lets Geir sleep in his bed , while he watches over him. Geir wakes disoriented, but he is met by the most handsome man he has ever seen. Jorgen is a little bit un-communicative, but Geir sees the kindness through his action.

Jorgen meets Geir by chance a few more times and it seems that he has become his self professed rescuer. Geir is being bullied at school on their second meeting and Jorgen runs off the bullies. Geir is a lonely young man and all he wants is just a friend. Jorgen is concerned about their 5 yr age difference and he knows he is a bit attracted to Geir. Jorgen is in no position for any type of intimacy though as he experiences flashbacks and panic attacks from being touched.

Geir is very attuned to Jorgen and realizes certain triggers and topics that make Jorgen quite uncomfortable. He tries his best not to push too much or be too inquisitive. Geir is wise beyond his 17 yrs and he knows for sure their is something traumatic in Jorgen’s past. The friendship between these young men blossom, but they don’t get very intimate. They are perfect for each other. Jorgen is scared of physical intimacy , because of his past sexual trauma from his childhood. Geir is not the typical teenage boy who constantly has sex on the brain. He thinks that his sex drive might be muted because of his epilepsy medications. With the lack of sex , they definitively get to know each other better through their conversations.

Their relationship doesn’t go any further than a few passionate kisses , but they both know they are thoroughly in love with each other. Their love is certainly a special brand and they have something real.This is soon torn apart when Geir’s father announces that they will be moving in with his girlfriend in another city. Geir is devastated and he feels like his father is being unfair and trying to ruin his life.

They promise to stay in touch and continue a long distance relationship. Jorgen tries to remain strong for Geir, but as soon as Geir leaves, he falls apart. Geir’s uncle is a therapist and he sees the common signs of PTSD. He encourages Jorgen to get help and Jorgen knows its time for him to get back to therapy if he wants to be the man that Geir needs. I really enjoyed this, for the heat level I will give this my ratings of  3 -If you are not all about the ‘sex’, give it a try.

Welcome to Alvarado 3: In the Wind by C.E.Kilgore

Title : In the Wind                          Word Count :64,000
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Sometimes you have to get good and lost before you’ll have any hope at finding yourself.

Dustin Hunter has returned to Alvarado after seven years of military service and one bad shot that shattered his self-assured ego. Struggling to forget what he left behind in the desert, he finds himself drifting in the wind, homeless and without direction. When the wind blows something unexpected his way, he has to decide if he’s ready to feel emotion again and deal with what he lost in the sand.

Scott Weller’s red hair, strange clear blue eyes, glasses and mechanically inclined intellect have always made him the perfect lure for bullies. Despite being well past the age of school yard harassment, Scott’s reoccurring bruises don’t go unnoticed by his friends and the newly returned Dustin. Scott’s easy smile and calm voice give Dustin a needed sense of peace, and Scott’s blushing freckles make Dustin feel something he never has before.

As the desire to protect Scott grows, Dustin finds himself in a different kind of war. An unsettling wind is blowing through Alvarado, dividing families and bringing change. When the dust settles, the small town of Alvarado will never be the same again.

My Review : Dusty comes home to his small town Alvarado from a seven year stint in the military. He is a little bit broken from all the horrific things he has seen and done. Dusty is a shell of a man his first night back, seeking out something familiar. He shows up at his grandmother’s house only to find out that it has been sold. The occupants are none other than Clint and Ricky. Clint is a familiar face from his high school days. Clint is shocked to see Dusty, but he offers him a safe place to stay while he gets his land legs. Dusty is shocked to find out that Clint is gay, but it doesn’t bother him seeing the beautiful love that these men share. He hopes one day he’ll find his way out of the darkness to experience what they have.
In a small town, news travels at the speed of light. It is not long before the whole town knows he’s back. When an old friend stops by, Dusty starts to reminisce about his old school friends and the good times they had. He is shocked to see how much Scott has grown, the little boy he used to protect from schoolyard bullies. Dusty realizes how easy it is to talk to Scott and they gravitate towards each other forming a very easy friendship. Scott is a loner who lights up whenever he is in his junkyard tinkering with old cars. He likes breathing new life into things that no longer work. Scott is laced with mysterious bruises around his neck , but Dusty doesn’t feel as if it’s his place to question him.
Dusty’s reintegration into civilian life is going better than expected especially with the help of Scott. Soon Dusty realize that what he feels for Scott is more than friendship. Dusty and Scott fall into an easy , comfortable, loving relationship. It is made easier by the fact that Dusty is also working alongside Scott at the junkyard. Their relationship is definitely not embraced by everyone in the small town of Alvarado. They make an enemy out of one of the more esteemed members of the community. Dusty defends
Scott from his bully Ryan McMasters who turns out to be the bank manager’s son. Ryan is arrested for beating up Scott and almost raping him. It’s only Dusty’s timely intervention that stops Scott from being abused further. Lots of secrets come out into the light when Ryan commits suicide and leaves a note for Scott.
Sweet , caring Scott is devastated by his bully’s death wishing that he could turn back the hands of time to help a lonely, terrified, repressed young man. Ryan leaves behind a legacy of self hatred when he tells of the conversion therapy that was foisted upon him by his father who could not accept his homosexuality. He left the world feeling still confused and so desperate and totally in love with Scott, the same man he bullied because he could not acknowledge his feelings. It is so sad to think that so many young men go through these feelings of desperation, confusion and utter loneliness because of their sexuality.
Scott confronts Ryan’s father and he continues the cycle of violence. Gabe McMasters retaliates by setting fire to Scott’s home in the middle of the night. Scott is hurt, regardless of Dusty pulling him to safety. Dusty realizes how precious Scott is to him. He makes a conscious decision to leave the shadows of his past that haunts his every waking moment and live in the light with Scott beside him. Scott and Dusty create history by being the first gay couple to tie the knot in small town Alvarado. I truly enjoy watching these flawed characters redeeming themselves through their love for each other. I give this my rating of 4 – lose the underwear.

Pushed by E.M. Leya

Title : Pushed                                  Word Count :49,065

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Tyler really needs the advertised nursing job after the recent break-up left him with nothing more than a bag of clothes and his car. To his surprise, the child he thought he would be caring for turns out to be a fully-grown, angry, young man who appears to be busy feeling sorry for himself.

Jason is more than fed up at his mother’s attempts to coddle him while he is fighting his own demons. When the new nurse appears, he tries to send him packing straight away. He doesn’t need or want anyone’s help.

The two strike a deal to help them with their situation, working together to try and piece back their broken lives and find a way to move forward.

Overcoming their differences and finding common ground isn’t easy at first, but Tyler is convinced he can prove to Jason that there is so much more to look forward to. A little trust and honesty can go a long way into helping both of them heal and show that sometimes it takes just a gentle push to make big things happen.

My Review : From the very first moment we meet Jason, it’s clear to see that he is lashing out like a bear because he is lonely, hurt and he feels trapped into a body that portrays him as half of a man. He is a man who has been to war in Afghanistan and came home, only to have a car accident turn him into a double amputee with a useless right arm. He is stuck in his third floor rooms with overbearing parents who are constantly pushing him to talk about his feelings. He has given up on trying to convince them that he is not a threat to himself. They have hired Tyler a down on his luck nurse who has just endured a horrible breakup and needs to get away from sunny California. Tyler is just the right person to push back and get Jason to get moving again.

 After a few weeks Jason realizes how good Tyler is for his sanity. Their attraction for each other starts building slowly but surely. They are both hesitant, because  they each think the other is straight. Jason is scared and insecure about Tyler’s reaction to his scarred and broken body. On the other hand, Tyler is worried about losing his position and the only home he has at that moment.  Despite their secret attraction , a very easy friendship plays out with these two. There is a nice build up in this story that makes it a very sweet romance. 

Once they figured each other out, Jason became very assertive in the bedroom which was cause for some hot fun. Who doesn’t like a man who knows what he wants and takes charge? I know I certainly enjoy the efforts of assertive men😉. Tyler truly offers a new lease on life to Jason in every way.  He has totally rejuvenated Jason’s mind , body and spirit. Tyler has carved out the perfect man for  himself. They both trusted each other implicitly and formed a stronger bond than they could have ever imagined. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.