Born Again Sinner by Daryl Banner

Title: Born Again Sinner       Word Count: 410 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: “Cody Davis is gonna make a sinner out of me.”

Yes, I know exactly who he is.
The wounded soldier at the end of Willow Street. Intimidating. Devastatingly handsome. Muscular body chiseled from stone. Deep dark eyes that dare you to come near. Attitude for days.

And I just became his caregiver.

Everyone warned me to stay away from him – including my father, the respected minister of our small town of Spruce. But clearly I’m too stubborn to heed good advice, especially when Cody Davis is as frustratingly attractive – and persistent – as they come.

As the preacher’s son, I have strict morals I must live by. But each day spent with that aggravating hunk makes me question them. My safe and fragile world is turning upside-down, and I’m not sure I have the strength to stop it.

And even worse: I’m not sure I want to.

Temptation this bad never looked so good.
This soldier is gonna make a sinner out of me.

* This is a standalone male/male romance set in the same fictional small town as “Football Sundae”. Steam, humor, and a whole lot of southern sass guaranteed. *

My Review: The whole town of Spruce knows that Cody Davis has been injured and back home from the army. Most of the town gossips that he is a crazy recluse. Cody’s mom has been doing the best she can by hiring caregivers to take care of her son. She’s at her wit’s end after losing all the previous caregivers for one reason or another. As a last resort she hires Trey Arnold, the preacher’s son who is also a nurse’s assistant.

The first time Trey meets Cody he realises that Cody is ill-mannered and has a lot of unresolved anger issues. Cody makes it quite clear that he doesn’t need any help and he is happy living in his slovenly mess. Cody is very resistant the first few visits and tries to intimidate Trey at every turn. Trey persists and puts on a brave face and strong stance so that he can give Cody the help he needs.

Things come to a head when Trey pushes too hard and Cody lashes out by bringing up Trey’s dead mother. Trey tries hard not to cry but it is clear when he left how hurt he was. Cody knows right away that he has gone too far. He feels guilty for the way he has hurt Trey. This guilt intensifies when Trey doesn’t return for three days. Cody knows he has to make amends.

Cody shows up to church on Sunday and he can feel all eyes on him. People stare and watch him with pity. He is about to turn around and leave when he finally sees Trey. He gives Cody a smile and make room for him. Cody limps his way to the front and squeezes in beside Trey. This means the world to Trey and he knows this is Cody’s way of atoning for his harsh words. They are moving into another realm of the caregiver/ patient relationship that they have.

Trey and Cody goes out to eat and after Trey takes Cody to a nice little private lake. When Trey starts helping Cody with some water exercises for his injured leg, Cody’s body reacts to their physical closeness. Cody is trying to clue Trey in to the fact that he is very attracted to him. It isn’t until a few days later when Cody seeks him out at work that Trey realises that they are developing a stronger connection. One outside the cocoon of Cody’s home where prying eyes can see them now.

Cody is brash and he doesn’t beat around the bush. He shows Trey his attraction without flowers and subtle seduction. For once, Trey gives in to his secret wishes and his long repressed heart’s desires. Cody reveals to him the world of carnal pleasures and it doesn’t take long for Trey’s long held repression to turn to an overzealous passion. Cody finds it adorable and allows Trey to explore.Trey is torn between the morals he grew up believing and this newfound world where passions rules his every decision. When he unwittingly falls asleep at Cody’s , he panics. Trey lies to his father for the first time to cover where he has been. Immediately, he is ashamed of his actions.

Cody is trying to be a better person. He likes the person he is when he is around Trey. Cody feels worthy of all the attention and caring he receives from the ‘well -loved upstanding’ citizen such as Trey. When Cody shows up to the 50th anniversary at the church as Trey’s companion,people definitely take notice. By the time they get to the after-party at the prominent Strong ranch,tongues are certainly wagging.

We are revisited by previously loved characters Tanner and Billy Strong. They are living happily in wedded bliss. Cody finds that he is actually enjoying himself talking to Trey, Tanner and his husband while reminiscing about high school. The atmosphere is relaxed and he is enjoying being himself around other gay men. By the end of the night , Cody ends up staking his claim on Trey, revealing to Tanner their newfound relationship.

Trey tries to leave Cody to go home, because he doesn’t want his father suspicious. Half way there , he realizes that Cody has unlocked his true nature. He can no longer be the pious, self righteous puppet that he projected before. Trey is ready to give himself over to the passion unfurling inside him. He knows for sure that he is in love with Cody, but he doesn’t think Cody is ready for that kind of commitment. Trey knows that what they have will be worth the fight. After a wondrous night together, Trey goes home feeling high on life and ready to confess to his father about his relationship.

Everything goes to hell when he walks through the door. His father starts quoting scriptures about the prodigal son.Trey runs off, going to the only place he feels close to his mother who he knows loved him unconditionally. He has a bit of a come to Jesus moment, where he actually has a heartfelt conversation with the spirit of his mother. He falls out of a tree and hurts himself. Cody is surprised and worried when he gets a call from Trey’s father who is heartbroken and ashamed that he has run off his only son. He is apologetic and desperately needs Cody’s skills in finding Trey.

For the first time in his life, Cody truly knows what it means to be in love. Cody is hopelessly in love with Trey and he knows he need to find him at any cost. When Cody finds Trey , he is thankful that he is not too late. He struggles and stumbles through a vicious storm with the unconscious form of the love of his life. By the time they get to the hospital, they are both in need of medical attention. When they are reunited, they profess their love for each other, knowing that through their love they can conquer everything. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Sex & Mayhem 9: Heart Ripper by K. A. Merikan

Title: Heart Ripper                               Word Count: 303 pgs
Genre: Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: You always want what you can’t have. —
David. Catholic. Gay. Set on keeping his purity ring.
Raja. Biker. Manwhore. Never refuses a bet.

David has always tried to be the best son his parents could dream of.
Always at church on Sunday.
Always eager to help with the garden.
Always trying his best at school.
Prim, proper, innocent, and kind.

But deep inside of him, there is a yearning planted by the devil himself, and when a cocky, foul-mouthed biker pulls him a step too far, David doesn’t fall into the abyss. He leaps.
Raja is all he’s ever dreamed of, yet didn’t dare voice. Older, dangerous, a wall of muscle with a grip so strong David can’t resist him no matter how hard he tries.

As a freshly appointed president of a motorcycle club on the verge of ruin, Raja has a lot to live up to. Being gay doesn’t do him any favors in terms of commanding the respect of his men. He has his way of compensating though.
Always first in a fight.
Always bragging about his sexual conquests.
Always up for a bet.
Daring, tattooed, sexy, and unapologetic.
After he boasts he can have any man he wants, he gets challenged to hook up with the preppy guy wallflowering at a party. Raja can’t wait to pop the innocent cutie’s cherry. But when he finds out the guy is his friend’s younger brother, life gets a whole lot messier.

Why is the one guy who should be off-limits always the most tempting?
POSSIBLE SPOILERS:Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, organized crime, religion, homophobia, bet, good boy meets bad boy, coming out
Genre: M/M romance, suspense
Length: ~100,000 words (Standalone novel)

WARNING: This book contains steamy content and graphic violence.

My Review: Raja is the newly appointed president of the Coffin Nails MC in Toledo. When he sees the pure innocent wallflower David at a party thrown by the Detroit chapter, he is quite intrigued. David’s purity sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of foul-mouthed bikers. Raja is dared to take a slice of this man’s innocence and he relishes the challenge. Raja corners his prey in the bathroom and sweet talks the good choir boy into dropping to his knees and worshipping him. David succumbs to Raja’s charms and for once he wants to take a walk on the wild side and not be such a goody two shoes. Raja soon has David panting and begging for it. Even though he is embarrassed by the things he does, something is unleashed within David. He personifies the slutty little cocksucker that Raja wants and he is thrilled by this forbidden behaviour. Their little session is super hot and David is totally debauched when Raja is done with him.
Raja makes his mark on David’s body by leaving him his phone number.The self recriminations start for David as soon as Raja leaves the bathroom. He feels incredibly ashamed and like the dirty slut that Raja had called him.Raja soon regrets his hasty hookup when he realizes that David is the brother of his bestfriend Hunter. He vows to stay away, but he can’t seem to get the innocent sweet boy out of his head. The same can be said for David. David feels really overwhelmed by his feelings, not only of guilt but of remembered exctasy. He makes a partial confession to the handsome young pastor at his church. When the pastor comes on to him, he is further confused. He decides to get away from his overzelous religious family for awhile by staying with his brother Hunter.
My two favorite characters Lucky and Tooth from the previous novels are reintroduced. They are getting married and Lucky gets David a job interview with the flower shop which is catering his wedding. David has a green thumb and he is very excited when he gets the position at the flower shop.He tries to set Raja straight by telling him that he is not gay and that their brief interlude was a mistake. Raja knows that David is fooling himself. He gets very angry and storms off when David mentions that he is thinking about conversion therapy, but he is also very concerned for David. It is this concern that leads him to send a pleading message to David telling him to forget about conversion therapy. It opens the line of communication for them again and it leads to them chatting back and forth in a civil manner.
Raja is called to his duties as the president of his club and he takes to the open road in order to establish himself with other chapters. He hoped that while he was away he could forget about David, but that is not in the plans. As soon as he gets back, he goes to see David at work. These two have an irresistible pull toward each other and it makes for some steamy make out sessions. They both realize that they have feelings for each other and David is living in idyllic bliss while they keep their rendezvous secret. This bliss turns to betrayal when David finds out about the long ago bet that Raja made with his friend. David is hurt and when Hunter finds out that Raja broke his baby brother’s heart all hell breaks lose.
Raja acknowledges the seriousness of his feelings for David when he loses him. Raja begs for forgiveness and tries to open up and let David see a side of him that nobody else knows. David sees the strength in their relationship when Raja reveals some of the clandestine plans that he wants to implement to take his chapter to the next level. It is very dangerous for David to learn all the nuances of the club’s business, but he decides he is in for a penny, in for a pound. With the help of Tooth and Lucky, Raja realizes that the ultimate commitment to his relationship is ‘coming out’ and claiming David for all to see. Hunter is definitely not happy with Raja, but he acknowledges that Raja coming out for his brother is a big step forward to having a committed relationship. I loved these two characters and it was great revisiting some old favorites and keeping up with their current life. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.