For a Reason ( Sizzling Miami  Series 2)  by Jessie G.

​Title: For a Reason ( Sizzling Miami  Series 2)      Word Count:366 pgs           Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Former Marine and full time big brother, Bull Connor spends his days helping those in need of a second chance and his nights fighting the inner demons that won’t let go. During a routine tow he comes face to face with the only person who refuses to need him and the one man he wishes would.

As a throw away, Ian Jones is used to being alternately overlooked or ridiculed but hasn’t given up on the idea that with just one chance he could turn it all around. Rescued by the one person who neither overlooks nor ridicules him, he longs to be seen as more than just a man in need.

Ian isn’t pining for the family he’s never known but when they descend, unwanted and uninvited, Bull must prove that he’s the man who will protect Ian’s long neglected heart by sharing the demons that torment his wounded soul.

My Review: In all his 25yrs, Ian always had a rough life. He was left in a dumpster by his crack addicted mother on the day that he was born.  Ian always felt as if his life was pointless since nobody ever wanted him and he bounced around from foster homes. Regardless of all of this, he has strived to pull himself out of the gutters by going to college to get a computer science degree.  Ian is on his way to a job interview when his car sputters and dies in the Miami heat.

From the moment, the tow truck driver Bull lays eyes on Ian, he wants to protect him . Ian has always been wary of macho men who wear their strength like an armour. However , he soon realizes that Bull is trying to help him when he gives him a cheaper rate for the tow. This puts Ian on edge,because he knows that nothing in life is free. Bull tries to get Ian who he has dubbed ‘Red’ to open up to him. There is something about Red that touches him to his very core. When he sees the fleabag motel where Red lives, he  just knows he can’t leave him there. Bull is just in time to see the manager harassing Red for his overdue rent.  Bull gives him no choice , he forces Red to pack his bags and move in with him.

Red is overwhelmed by Bull’s overbearing ways. After thinking for awhile , he realizes that Bull has given him a chance for a fresh start. Ian is wary, but he thinks he would love to get the chance to know this kind-hearted sexy bear of a man. Bull makes it very clear that he is attracted to Red, but Red is so scared of his feelings. Red has never been in a relationship. He has a low self-worth caused by the people in his past  and doesn’t understand what Bull sees in him.

As the time goes by, Red sees how altruistic Bull is in the way he takes care of all the needs of his family and friends. Red decides to take the plunge and give their relationship a go. Red wants to ensure that he is the man who takes care of Bull’s needs. Bull takes care of his’boy’ and shows him the beauty of love between two men. Red explores his newfound sexuality and they dabble in a bit of light BDSM. Bull is the greatest teacher he could have ever imagined. He loves the many facets of his man, the aggressor, the nurtured and the sweet caring giver.

Not only does Red endear himself to Bull, but also to the rough and tumble crew of ex-cons that work at  Bull’s garage. They see a confidante in Red, someone they can show their true selves to without judgement. This trust and openness is what gives Red the strength to expose all his deep dark secrets to Bull. Red opens up and tells Bull his whole life story about the many times he tried to kill himself starting at the age of five, he tells of all the abuse physical , mental and sexual that he has endured throughout his lifetime. At first he is scared that Bull will see him as tainted, but seeing Bull’s tears has washed his soul clean and gone a far way to healing him. 

Their bond becomes stronger and they both learn to trust in each other. Their trust in each other is definitely needed when Ian’s family appears out of the blue. This sets everything in a tailspin. Ian is overwhelmed , definitely unsure and insecure as he doesn’t know what to think about having a brother and now a father. Things are very unsettled for him, but Bull is there for him through it all.

It is very painful for Ian to learn about his family, but he really wants to get to know his brother. It is harder for Ian to give his father a chance , because he doesn’t believe he is upset enough. It isn’t until Bull points out that his father is also a victim to his mother’s addiction and lies, that Ian relented a bit. Ian’s familial ties will definitely be slow going, but his love for Bull is surely on the fast track especially when Bull proposes. This was a beautiful love story and I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear. 

Frozen 1:Innocent by Scarlet Blackwell

​Title: Innocent    Word Count: 38,349

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Gabriel Black is at his remote Alaskan cabin finishing his new novel when a man breaks in and holds him prisoner. Ethan is frozen to the bone and carrying a gun, his origin a mystery. Heat ignites instantly between Gabriel and Ethan and the lines between captive and captor soon start to blur. Ethan is an enigma, a man surely on the run, maybe a dangerous criminal, but Gabriel is drawn to Ethan’s broken spirit and damaged soul. What secrets is Ethan keeping and is he, as he claims, innocent?

My Review: Gabriel Black is at his cabin trying to write his next novel when he is surprised by an intruder. His first impression of the man pointing a gun at him is that he is very handsome. Gabriel knows he’s in trouble , but so far his captor Ethan has not hurt him. Ethan is definitely in trouble with the law, but there is a vulnerability and a gentleness that belies the fact that he could be a hardened criminal. 

Gabriel gets hot and bothered by his sexy captor after sleeping the whole night pressed against his body. He tries to seduce Ethan the next morning , but he has to admit to himself that he is not just doing it to gain his freedom. There is a sexual tension between these two men.  Gabriel is really turned on by Ethan and it’s obvious to him that Ethan is repressing his sexuality.

 Gabriel has to remind himself that he has a partner back home even though things have been rocky for them lately. He is almost sure that their relationship is about to end, but he still wants to remain loyal. Confirmation of the end of their relationship comes when his partner Jack calls to tell Gabriel that he has been having an affair with Gabriel’s best friend Jordan. The betrayal hits Gabriel extremely hard and he breaks down in front of Ethan. 

Ethan feels horrible for the heartbreak that Gabriel is enduring because of his cheating ex. Ethan wants to comfort this sweet man, but instead he gives him some time alone to pull himself together. Gabriel’s sobs are heartrending and after what seems like hours he is all cried out. It is at that moment while he’s watching tv that he sees the manhunt on for Ethan who allegedly killed his boyfriend. He escaped from prison after serving 3 years so far. Ethan explains to Gabriel that he is innocent and was framed for the murder.Gabriel chooses to believe Ethan , because he desperately needs to explore the connection he feels with this man and there is an obvious innocence surrounding Ethan. Before they can go even further Ethan is caught and sent back to prison. 

Gabriel is shaken up and decides to distance himself from the situation by going back home. He is met by an empty house and realizes that nothing else compares to the two days he had with Ethan.  Gabriel decides to become actively involved with Ethan’s case. Ethan is happy to hear from his lawyer about Gabriel’s involvement. For the first time since being sentenced, he starts hoping for the future.

Gabriel and the lawyer go through the evidence with a fine tooth comb. Eventually , all their hard work and dedication pays off when they find the real culprit. Not only do they find the suspect but they also find another victim chained in his basement. It takes no time at all to free Ethan when they’ve found the real killer. 

Gabriel is hiding close to his car on the day of Ethan’s release, not sure of the reception he will get.Ethan is overwhelmed with gratitude and as happy as Gabriel is, he is also worried that this is all they have between them. He decides to give Ethan some space to be with his family. Ethan feels abandoned and goes over to Gabriel’s hotel room to give him a piece of his mind.  Ethan is angry, but it doesn’t take long for their passion to combust. They experience the same feelings that they had started to explore at the cabin. They realize that  while the foundation of their relationship is a  bit unsteady, they can make it. They are both willing to make the effort and take it one step at a time and see where it can lead. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Rainbow Connection  by Alexa Milne

​Title : Rainbow Connection                   Word Count:39,000

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Two men, one with a past, and one determined to give them a future, together.

Mick Flanagan has kept himself hidden since his only lover died three years ago. He works at night, keeps to his routine, has impressive facial hair, and avoids contact with other people. Enter Ceri Llewellyn, with his constantly changing rainbow-coloured hair, who seems determined to talk to him. Gradually, Mick tells his story and begins to trust Ceri, but Mick has a past that contains more than just a dead lover. Can Ceri show him that he deserves to be loved and, above all else, help him find his true self?
My Review: When we are first introduced to Mick Flanagan, a picture is painted of a lonely, desolate man. Mick is a man who has experienced the loss of his partner Alfie and has totally shut down. It is clear to see that he has OCD issues and he follows strict routines as a coping mechanism. He has allowed his grief to block him off from humanity. He lives in an almost silent world with very few friends, his books and his dvds. He works as a security guard  where he observes everything on the complex. That’s where he first sees the delivery guy with the rainbow coloured hair.

 When Ceri Llewellyn first meets Mick  he  is very intrigued by the quiet man and invites him out. Ceri is very attracted to Mick who looks like a mini ‘bear’ with his beard and his hairy arms. Ceri is very outspoken and he is determined to coax Mick out of his shell. He finally gains a toe hold with Mick when he finds out he is passionate about the Doctor Who series. A connection is sparked and Ceri uses this to his advantage.  He invites Mick to go away with him so that they can go to a museum of sorts filled with Doctor Who memorabilia.  

There is just something about Ceri that gets Mick to open up and finally be himself. Mick gains new insights about himself,  things he couldn’t pursue while he was with Alfie. Ceri exposes Mick’s dominant possessive alpha side and  for the first time Mick really wants to explore and embrace this new part of himself. They get along great the few days they are away and their sexual chemistry is super hot and something neither has ever experienced with anyone else.

Their budding relationship comes to a screeching halt when Ceri pushes Mick to put away some of Alfie’s things and inject pieces of himself in his own home. Ceri is definitely not wrong, because he is on the outside looking in and sees that Mick’s house is almost a shrine to his dead lover Alfie.Mick tosses Ceri out of his home and possibly his life. It is when he meets up with his old friend Sally that she gives him the same perspective as Ceri. Mick knows he overreacted and he knows he needs some help to come to terms with his grief and his OCD tendencies.

Mick and Ceri make up and their lovemaking is as hot as ever.  Even though they are taking things slowly , they decide to be committed to each other  and get married eventually . They become the rock they both need and encourage each other in all aspects of their lives. Their love is relatively new,  but  it is clear to see that it will be longstanding.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Something Shattered by Bailey Bradford

Title : Something Shattered                Word Count : 64,448
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again.

Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.

Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.

But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.

And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk.

My Review : All the tongues are wagging in the small town of El Jardin, everyone is wondering about the new resident Caleb who moved there in the dead of night. Caleb is in a very fragile state of mind when he meets Jesse Martin. Jesse Martin is a police officer and also Caleb’s neighbour. He has heard the rumours and he has some speculations of his own. He has caught glimpses of Caleb and he knows right away that the young man has been through something very traumatic. Caleb is bruised and battered and seems to be afraid to come outside. Jesse is the only one that Caleb allows to get close to him. To Caleb, Jesse represents strength and safety, two things that he desperately needs.
Jesse slowly inserts himself into Caleb’s life by coaxing him out to the mailbox. Everyday, he walks him the few feet to the mailbox, just to help him get over his fear. As much as Jesse would like to know what happened to this beautiful young man, he tries not to pry and doesn’t prod beyond what Caleb is comfortable with. This somehow strengthens Caleb’s resolve to get back to the person he once was. Although he has that residual fear of the outside world which is a memento from the violent assault he recently experienced , Caleb does not fear Jesse. He eagerly awaits the minutes until he sees Jesse. The relationship doesn’t take long to be forged between these two lovers. Caleb is a bit sweet and shy but underneath that lies a sexy vixen which allows Jesse’s dominant side to come out and play. The chemistry between them is explosive and leads to some really hot scenes. Whether it is a quick romp on Jesse’s lunch break or a lengthy session in Caleb’s bedroom, they attack each other passionately and voraciously.
With the encouragement of his sister, Caleb decides to open up and tell Jesse what he’s been running and hiding from. Jesse wraps Caleb up in his strong arms and knows that he will protect him from any harm. Their wills are soon tested and they face adversity in the form of smallminded police officers. They all come together as a family and stand strong against the actions of a few. Caleb also appeals to his audience, since he’s a writer. He discloses all his hidden truths and exposes his life and all the problems and hurt that he has been through . This sheds light on the homophobic jackasses in their lives and they soon realize that they can’t win in the face of such strength. Jesse and Caleb work seemlessly as a couple and even though small town life will not be perfect, their love for each other will see them through . I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Odds Are 2:Against all Odds by Chris T. Kat

Title: Against all Odds        Word Count : 36742
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : And then they lived happily ever after…

Sometimes Joshua Stone thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. How else can he explain Michael’s love for him? And now they’re living together… in a real relationship. This is the stuff of fairy tales, a love like other people take for granted.

Sure, they have their moments, what couple doesn’t? But a small doubt lingers in Joshua’s heart. Can this really be true? Can a gorgeous man like Michael really love someone like Joshua—the guy with cerebral palsy, who’s helpless without his walker or his tricycle to get him around?

Michael senses Joshua’s worries, but there’s nothing he can do to dispel them because that would mean revealing his secret—and he’s not ready for that. Their mutual secrets hang between them like time bombs waiting to explode. They might not survive the inevitable blast.

My Review : Michael and Joshua are totally head over heels in love with each other. Like so many relationships, theirs is fraught with challenges. Joshua is a great professor who has cerebral palsy and often rely’s very heavily on his cane. He has figured out that a combination of rest, less stress and taking his medications when needed allows him to lead a functional life. Josh is often plagued with feelings of inadequacy and has a low self esteem which stems from his disability. He is still amazed that he has such a wonderful, sexy hunk for a boyfriend.

Michael is a hot construction worker and he is the exact opposite of Joshua. One of the things that they have in common is that feeling of inadequacy. Michael is always worried that he will never measure up or be good enough for Josh. He has a learning disability and he can hardly read or write. He is plagued by self doubts and his wish is to be a man who can make Josh proud. Their self doubts fester and leads to a misunderstanding that can ruin their happy lives.
All of Josh’s insecurities converge on him, making him think that maybe Michael has decided to cheat on him. For sure , Michael was very wrong for lying to Josh, but it was only his fear of looking like a failure in front of Josh that had him keeping secrets. His clandestine movements turned out to be him going to a course that would help him read. The huge meltdown that Josh experienced, forced them to learn from their mistakes. They both had to accept that they were both perfect for each other through their imperfections. They realized that they had to both trust in each other and in their love.
There were incredibly tender moments and supremely steamy love scenes. I loved these two main characters immensely. There is no better man for Josh than Michael who takes care of his lover, by always placing Josh’s needs as a high priority. Michael is so giving and all he sees when he looks at Josh is an equal partner. On the other hand Josh loves Michael despite his limitations and never belittles him or treats him as less than a man. Against all odds, they truly learned to appreciate and love each other as they are. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Not Without my Phone by Heidi Champa

Title : Not Without my Phone     Word Count : 28,000
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Keller James loves his smart phone. A lot. In fact, his phone is the most important relationship in his life, much to the chagrin of his friends. Keller uses his phone for every part of his life, including his favorite thing—hooking up. Keller doesn’t see the problem with being connected all the time. Until one night, when a simple text message turns his whole life upside down, he suddenly finds himself without his phone. And without his friends.

In desperation, Keller turns to Gus Adams, his favorite barista, who has never owned a smart phone in his life. Gus helps Keller through the loss of his electronic connection, through his withdrawal symptoms, and shows him how to survive without the world at his fingertips.

As they get to know each other, Keller finds himself falling for Gus. And suddenly, for the first time in years, Keller doesn’t miss his phone at all. When he finally gets a new phone, will his addiction resurface, or can he resist the temptation of the digital world and follow his heart instead?

My Review : Far too often, we all get lost in the world of technology. We don’t always appeciate the beauty of what the real world can offer us. We are living in a post modernistic era, where we feel like we have to be plugged in and connected all the time through our smart phones, tablets, WiFi connection etc. Keller is very guilty of this. He lives for his next hookup and his phone is always at the ready. His friends accuse him of being shallow, self absorbed and addicted to his smartphone. They are definitely not far from the truth, especially when his excessive use of his phone culminates into him having a car accident while texting and driving.
This has to be one of the stupidest and most dangerous things that people are doing nowadays. Nothing is that damn important to risk other people’s lives on the roads. I just don’t get it, maybe I’m just not that coordinated, but I can’t focus on doing that much while driving. I will stop my mini rant here for the time being and continue with Keller.
Keller’s friends are super pissed at him for causing the accident, rightly so I might add. He is very apologetic and he is forced to take a long hard look at himself and his lifestyle choices. He makes a pact with his friends to stay away from smartphones for a whole month.The cute barister at his local coffee shop Gus helps him to explore the world without his smartphone attached. This is definitely new for Keller and he feels like a fish out of water. He has to relearn the nuances of human connection in the most basic ways. Long gone are the quick easy hookups. It takes him awhile to connect the dots and realize that Gus really likes him. Keller finds a depth in their connection that he could never imagine with any of his hookups.
Keller starts to understand how truly shallow his former ‘connectedness’ used to be. He sees the realness of his relationship with Gus, but he is still not sure how to categorize what they have.

As the month winds down, Keller can’t wait to get back to ‘normal’ and he looks forward to getting a new smartphone. He looks at his relationship with Gus and as much as he likes him, he is not sure what is going to happen with their relationship. I think this is pretty sad that the fruitfulness of his relationship would be hinged on him getting back his phone. How could he jeopardize the realness for the impersonal conectivity of social media.
Within a few hours of getting his new phone things are screwed up for them. Gus catches Keller texting in the middle of the night to one of his former hookups. Gus is disappointed and hurt that he seems to be in the shadow of this new phone already. I felt bad for Keller though , because even though he was a little bit guilty, he wasn’t totally in the wrong. He was just letting down his former hookup gently.

Over the few weeks that they are apart, Keller makes a few changes and it’s clear to see that he truly sees the beauty in human interaction now. Keller makes the ultimate grand gesture not only to Gus but also to himself by getting a regular old phone that’s definitely not a smartphone. Gus accepts his apology and acknowledges that maybe Keller is ready to start a real relationship with him. Keller felt good at not being shackled to the updates on social media. This was a sweet short read. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.

Love Has No Boundaries : Six by Tara Spears

Title : Love Has No Boundaries: Six      Word Count : 161 pgs    Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :

My Review :  Two single dads coming together can be quite explosive. Angel is a single dad after his partner of six years leaves him on the day their surrogate goes into labor.  Angel is blessed with a beautiful girl named Cheyenne who is now  13 months. Angel is a school teacher and this is  how he meets the parent of Riana, one of the students in his class. Marcus has gone through a horrible divorce and has lost his other child to the grandparents  who have kidnapped him.

Both men fall into an easy relationship that is smooth sailing from the beginning.  It was definitely a sweet romance. Their family melded together nicely and seemlessly. Marcus is the perfect dream guy. He is caring, romantic , loving and dominant. He supports Angel when he has to do a surgery which affects their sexual pleasure. It all works out in the end and Angel realize that Marcus is the one for him. Angel is there for Marcus right up to the point where they are able to recover Marcus’ kidnapped son. I can see a lot of happy moments in their future.  I really enjoyed the end where their lives are forwarded a few years in the future.  The kids who they adore are grown up and forging their own  romantic relationships. It’s fun to see them teasing their parents about their frequent amorous exploits. This was really an easy read and I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.