When Angels Cry (Phoenix Club 7) by CJ Bishop

Title: When Angels Cry         Word Count: 131pgs
Genre:Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: ANGEL, Part 1

18-year-old Angel’s sudden arrival at the Phoenix throws Dane’s heart into a frenzy.

But after losing out so recently with Caleb, he is in no hurry to feel the heartache again and resists his own rapidly growing feelings for the young man, unaware that what Angel needs most right now is someone he can trust and feel safe with.

Caught up in an abusive situation at home from which there seems no escape, Angel’s prime objective is to protect his little brother from the same hellish existence he himself has been thrust into at the hands of their sick minded stepbrothers.

Warning: This book contains homosexual relations and language not suitable for readers below 17yo.

NOTE: For those coming across the ‘Phoenix Club’ series sporadically, they were written in this order, and if possible, should be read accordingly, due to story lines that run through all the books :

ABEL
CALEB
ANGEL
GABRIEL
MAXWELL

My Review: All Angel has ever known in his life is pain. Him being the new member of the Phoenix Club is a way to lessen some of that pain. Angel lives with his two step brothers, Wade and Axel. Wade is a horrible human being who started exploiting Angel’s innocence from an early age. Wade knows that Angel would do anything to keep his little brother Maddy safe from the harsh realities of their world. He uses that to keep Angel in line. Angel has struck up a deal with his brother that as long as he brings in good money, they will leave Maddy untouched.

Angel tries to sharpen his skills on the dance floor , by getting one of the other dancers help. It is going good with Ricky, but Angel only has eyes for Dane. Dane is one of the sexiest men Angel has ever laid eyes on, but for some reason Dane keeps his distance. Dane is intrigued by Angel’s innocence, but he doesn’t want to fall in the same trap like before. Dane fell a little bit in love with Caleb before and that unrequited love killed him. Angel knows he needs to be focused in order to make enough money to get his brother away from Wade and Axel.

Max and Horatio are still pining over each other, but seeing the turmoil that Max is in, Horatio decides to go away. This kills Max, but this is what he needs to separate himself from the overwhelming feelings. Horatio is half way around the world entertaining another young doppelganger of Max. Even though it is not ideal , he still finds a friend in Seth. Gabe and Cole are still very much in love, but Gabe starts being furtive and taking secret phone calls. Cole has caught on and it makes him very nervous that Gabe is keeping secrets from him.

When Angel is hurt by one of Wade’s friends Byrd, he becomes desperate. He enlists the help of Dane to give him some lessons for sensual dancing. The chemistry between the two is off the charts and soon leads to something more. Angel seduces Dane with his innocence and Dane’s guards around his heart are pushed away. After they fall into a blissful sleep, Angel is caught in the grips of one of his nightmarish memories. Dane sees that loving this boy could be the thing to go break him. He is running scared and pushes Angel away, telling him that their hook up was a one off thing. Angel is heartbroken and leaves in tears, knowing that yet again he was nothing special to another man. To be continued….. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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Scars We Hide (CadburyNovel 2) by Jaclyn Osborn

​Title: Scars we Hide             Word Count: 308 pgs

Genre :Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Trust makes you vulnerable. Weak. Peyton Evans learned that lesson long ago. Being shuffled between foster homes since he was five, and then surviving for so long on his own, he has kept a wall around his heart. The abuse he suffered at the age of fifteen refuses to fade into the past, and the scars it caused impact him every day. He’d thought he’d found love before, but that relationship showed him once again that trust only led to more pain.

Struggling with an addiction he developed as a teenager, Torin Hayes found himself one screw up away from going to prison and decided to get clean. But a sudden incident threatens to send him back down that rocky path, and he fears people will never look past his intimidating appearance and will only see the tattooed delinquent he’s been labeled as for years. Moving to Cadbury, Oklahoma is his only way to start over.

When the two men meet, the attraction between them is far from instant, but Torin’s persistence blurs Peyton’s opinion of him as a tattooed bad boy who will break his heart and shatter him all over again. Peyton’s scars run deep and make it hard for him to let go of his fear and accept a love he doesn’t feel he deserves. But, when it comes to matters of the heart, even the most strategic plans can change.

*Trigger warning: This story contains content that may be sensitive for some readers. The triggers are: drug/alcohol abuse and flashbacks of sexual abuse including rape. This is Book 2 in the Cadbury series, but can be read as a standalone.*

My Review: The main character Torin has a lot of demons plaguing him. Torin a recovering alcoholic has just lost his best friend/ fuck buddy to a drug overdose. This causes Torin to relapse and go on a bender. His uncle steps in and decides to take him to his hometown in Cadbury. This is exactly the break that Torin needs to get away from all the bad influences. From the moment he lays eyes on the quaint little house that his uncle sets him up in, he knows that he can finally make a change in his life. He quickly starts looking for a job, but his bad boy persona coupled with a scar on his face can be very off-putting. 

Torin meets Peyton, the sexy blond barista that works in the coffee shop where he is applying for a job. Torin is smitten and there is an innocence and vulnerability that surrounds Peyton that makes him want to protect him. He is turned down for the job, but that does not stop him from asking Peyton out. Peyton is very attracted to the sexy bad boy , but he is cautious about relationships because of his experiences. 

All the people in Peyton’s life has always left him by the wayside. He was taken from his drug addicted mother and put in foster care. When he was finally placed with a family, he was sexual abused by his foster bother constantly. Peyton’s foster brother caused him a lot of emotional scars making him feel unloved and unworthy. Peyton tends to shy away from relationships because of the pain he believes will come from it.

Peyton tells Torin he is only interested in some no strings attached fun and Torin agrees. They both find out soon enough that won’t work. Peyton causes Torin to yearn for more, because he is the only guy that keeps Torin’s demons at bay. When Torin is with Peyton, he doesn’t think about drinking. He starts wanting more and this scares Peyton. It seems that Peyton has become his new drug of choice. When Peyton’s  ex Luke accuses Torin for not being good enough, that sets him on edge. Torin realizes in  that  moment that his sobriety is definitely going to be an uphill battle when he almost has a panic attack. He calls Peyton right then to see if he can soothe his raging demons.

 From the tone of his voice Peyton comes to the conclusion that something is  very wrong with Torin and rushes to his side. Peyton has to admit to himself that he does care for his sexy badboy. Torin opens up to Peyton telling him about his addiction  and about his grief over his bestfriend. However,  he stirs up a lot of Peyton’s demons when he pushes too hard , too fast. When Peyton rejects him , he gets really upset and this pushes Peyton even further into his shell because of his past abuse. Torin doesn’t understand that Peyton’s rejection stems more from self preservation than anything else. Here are two guys who are so damaged that they don’t recognize that they are each other’s healing  balm.

After about a week , Torin’s heart is aching after all his texts to Peyton has gone unanswered. He decides to take the bull by the horns and see if Peyton will give him another shot. At first , Peyton  rebuffs him but when Tor turns to leave he realize that he really want to lead a normal life where he can have a boyfriend. Tor is ecstatic that Peyton is willing to give them a chance. They start out slow and their makeup sex is extremely hot.They are with each other everyday and even though it’s slow going Peyton starts to open up a little more. He goes more in depth and tells Torin about being raped by his foster brother Jason. All of his insecurities are laid bare, his feelings of worthlessness and his stuttering. The pieces of the puzzle that is Peyton all comes together and Torin gets a better understanding of the man who has captured his heart. 

Torin has turned into the sweetest most loving boyfriend and this causes Peyton’s healing to progress. Torin encourages him to speak to a professional and finally Peyton acknowledges that he does need help.These two men are able to find their strength from within each other to help heal their individual scars. Torin continues to go to AA meetings so that he can be a better man to support his sweet Peyton. Torin introduces Peyton to his mother and brother when they come for the holidays. Peyton sees how warm and loving Tor is with them and he feels a sense of belonging for the first time ever. They both work together to overcome any residual fear of intimacy leftover from Peyton’s past abuse. It’s slow going but Tor is very patient and so protective of his ‘baby boy’. Their relationship progress to the next level where they move in together and Tor gets Peyton a cat. The love that they feel for each other is something that is almost tangible. I really enjoyed watching these two men healing each others hearts. Their sexual chemistry was definitely a big plus as well. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear. 

Romancelandia 1: Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino

Title : Too Stupid to Live                         Word Count :80,500
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong…can they?

My Review : Sam can be described as a dorky flaming gay guy. He is a little bit shy and far too insecure. He has his head in the clouds and his nose stuck in a romance novel most of the times. It is definitely not surprising when he gets run over by a horde of rugby players when he gets a little too close to their field. Sam looks up a little bit dazed, only to be confronted with the most beautiful blue eyes on the most brawny highlander. Welllll, that would definitely be the case if he was a character in a historical romance. He is jarred back to the present when the rugby player gives him a hand while smirking at him. Sam decides to take his chances and awkwardly asks the sexy rugby player out. He is brutally shot down when the guy lets him know that he is not his type.

When Sam’s best friend Nik has a party, he eagerly attends hoping that he can just forget his humiliation with the sexy guy. Sam is utterly shocked when he comes face to face with the same guy , only to realize that it’s Nik’s boyfriend’s cousin Ian. Ian can be described as the worldly fuck’em and leave’em type. He immediately notices Sam as the dorky guy he knocked over on the playfield. As the night goes on , he becomes more intrigued by Sam, especially since his cousin Jurgen warned him to keep his hands off. He is a bit like a kid in a candy store, he just can’t resist the chase. By the end of the night, he has decided that he has to get into Sam’s pants.

When Ian corners Sam in his room, Sam is torn because he knows he is not Ian’s type, but he greedily accepts the attention showered upon him by this sexy stud. Ian pushes all of Sam’s hot buttons and he has the right commanding presence to make Sam fall to his knees and worship him. Sam is a little bit ashamed by how eager he is, but he has never had a hotter night than he did with Ian. Ian’s foundation is altered as well, because something felt different about his experience with Sam. There is just something about the geeky guy that he can’t forget.

Ian comes up with a proposition that he thinks they can both benefit from, but he has certain ‘parameters’ set in place. He makes it very clear that they are not boyfriends, they are just guys hanging out who occasionally have sex. Sam would really like to tell him where to shove it, but he is also excited by Ian’s dominance and he can’t resist exploring the glimmer of hope in the back of his mind.
Sam lives his life by the mandates of the romance novels he likes so much and the more he gets to know about Ian is the more he realizes that Ian is far from that ideal …..or is he?

Ian is a tortured soul who has some issues he is working through with a therapist. He is still navigating fully coming out of the closet to some of his coworkers, friends and family. Ian knows he will lose some along the way, but he is ready to take that chance to be with Sam.He is soon able to acknowledge that the parameters that he set for their ‘relationship’ is not able to confine the ever growing feelings he is having for Sam. On the other hand, there is Sam who is very insecure and definitely not sure of his own footing in whatever it is that they are doing. He is trying to shield his heart as best as he can , so that whenever the inevitable heartbreak happens, he will survive.

A turning point comes in their relationship when they come across one of Sam’s ex boyfriend one afternoon. Ian feels a sense of jealousy, but moreover he wants to protect Sam when he gets a glimpse of how the guy treated Sam. He sees where Sam’s insecurities stem from and makes it his point of duty to help him see his self worth. Their bond becomes stronger when Ian teaches Sam to trust him when they explore Sam’s submissive tendencies. He takes a scene out of Sam’s romance novel where he role-plays the part of a highland laird. As corny as it sounds , this solidified their relationship in a way that nothing else could. This was the means to show Sam how perfect he is, just the way he is in all his awkward dorkiness.

Like most romance novels, there is a big misunderstanding in the plot where Sam thinks Ian is trying to break up with him. It takes Sam being almost gay bashed for them to reconcile and admit to each other how much they love each other. I really enjoyed this one, there were funny moments and hot and steamy sessions between these main characters. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Elpida 2: Tharros by C.Kennedy

Title : Tharros                             Word Count:109,942
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. Almost. He has great friends, parents who love him just the way he is, and he was a champion hurdler until someone took out his knee when they kidnapped his boyfriend. Yet, Michael is determined to make the USATF tryouts in spite of his injuries.

Christy Castle is Michael’s entire world. Healing from years of abuse, his abduction by a predator has left him hiding a new secret as he tries to start his life again. Together, Michael and Christy work to recover from their wounds in time to make prom and graduate high school. To complicate matters, Christy is astonished to learn a fellow victim from his native Greece has survived. Christy will stop at nothing to bring him to the US to keep him safe.

But the prosecution of Christy’s kidnapper looms large in their futures and the struggle to return to normal only worsens. Christy’s past continues to haunt them and, when the prosecution turns ugly and Christy’s new life is torn apart, only their unrelenting courage and determination can save them from the nightmare that threatens to destroy their future together.

My Review: Tharros means courage in Greek and that was exactly what was shown in the second half of the love story of Christy and Michael. The story picks up where it left off from the first novel. Christy has just been found by Michael severely abused and raped by the monster who has abused him for most of his childhood years. This is a horrific tale of innocence lost and the injustices that monsters perpetrate on children everyday. Christy is in his last year of high school and has lived a lifetime of horror already. It is only the steadfast love of his boyfriend Michael and the great support system that he has in Michael’s family and friends that keeps Christy’s sanity intact.
The things that these two young lovers have endured in their short time together has definitely made them stronger. They are constantly harrangued by the press for the story of Christy’s recent kidnapping and Michael’s heroic actions to get him back. Most of their time is spent recuperating from their injuries and getting back to some semblance of normal. Although Christy is in a fragile mindset, he is given something new to focus on when he finds out that Thimi another little boy who endured similar atrocities is still alive. Christy does everything in his power with the help of the adults in his life to bring about Thimi’s safe passage to the United States.
It is the little joys of everyday life that helps Christy and Michael to continue their journey. They prepare for their prom while they go to physiotherapy to get their bodies healthy. Michael is very happy when all his physiotherapy pays off when his injured knee gets better. Micheal will be able to continue with his high school track team.Christy really looks forward to the event of prom and he is truly happy with the most simplistic things like finding a dress and wearing a beautiful corsage. Christy revels in his femininity and Michael supports him without suppressing the effeminate side of Christy. He embraces everything that is Christy.

 The rest of their time is spent getting ready for the trial of Yosef Sanna , the monster who abused Christy. It is very heart-rending for Michael to watch the almost catatonic state that Christy has reverted to as he testifies. Christy perseveres under the pressure, but he is utterly gutted and broken when Yosef yells horrible untruths about Christy’s mother not loving him. Christy flees the courtroom and by the time Michael figures out where he could be it’s almost too late. Michael finds him at the top of a ferris wheel , inconsolable , sobbing and wanting to die. Christy’s psyche is shattered to pieces and he believes he is the dirty little whore that his abusers want him to be.
Once again Christy ends up in the hospital where Michael stays with him. Michael is a fortitude of strength for his beautiful Christy. While they are there the verdict is passed and Yosef Sanna gets life in prison. However, it is the fact that Thimi, the poor abused little boy will be coming to the United States that gives Christy the strength to endure. Christy is definitely brave and has shown great courage in fostering new relationships and forming connections with people that are not tainted by abuse. Michael’s love for him remains strong and helps to heal Christy day by day. I give this my ratings of 3- because as much as I love these beautiful characters, there was just too many unrealistic dramas happening throughout this story. I actually set this book aside for more than a month before I was able to finish it. It was my love for Michael and Christy that made me pick it up again.

Men in the Shadows 4: The Porn Star by Rain Carrington

Title : The Porn Star              Word Count : 382 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sammy is looking for the man who could make him feel the way Neil had, and finding it impossible. A secret admirer starts to leave him roses and notes, stalking him. Sammy is intrigued, but with college, his job at his father’s garage and his new tutoring gig, he doesn’t have a lot of time to guess who it could be. Secretly, though, he hopes that it is Neil, who he couldn’t stop wanting.
He finds out and soon begins to explore his kink, to be watched. A video is uploaded to a website and attracts the attention of a porn producer. IS this Sammy’s big break, or will it end in heartbreak?
The student Sammy starts to tutor is a rich and difficult man named Andrew. Andrew disregards and berates anyone who crosses him, including the new personal assistant his father hired to “babysit” him.
Tom is a former Marine with a secret agenda, keeping him in the job with the privileged man he doesn’t know if he’d rather slap or kiss. Once Andrew’s parents announce their impending divorce, Andrew goes off the rails, only to find Tom there to catch him.
Through the last two years, Malcolm and Kirk have lived and loved, but when Sammy asks Malcolm to keep a secret from his big lover and his biker brothers, including Road Dog, Sammy’s father, Malcolm agrees, only to be found out and losing everyone who mattered the most to him. Can he and Kirk find their way back to one another, possibly with the help of the big Marine they met through Sammy?
Secrets, intrigue, murder and unspeakable acts abound in this final installment of the series. Three couples unite and are put to the test by family, friends and new jobs. Can three men come out stronger or end up another casually of their Men in the Shadows?

My Review : This book really showed how to bring the two halves of our ‘selves’ together and how to reconcile the disparity between the two. First of all, we meet Sammy who is a sweet young man who seems to be lost. Sammy has been hurt by a former lover and has decided to cure his pain by sleeping around. This helps him for a time, but lately he has realized that these encounters are leaving him unfulfilled. When Sammy starts getting notes from a secret admirer, he has to admit that he is somewhat intrigued. He tells his best friend Malcolm who seems to be worried for Sammy. He suggests that it could be the work of Sammy’s former lover Neil. Sammy agrees with Mal, but even though he still feels hurt over Neil’s betrayal, deep down he hopes the notes are from him. Sammy goes through his everday life as usual, going to college, working at his father’s garage and doing some tutoring to a spoiled brat named Andrew.
Things come to a head when Neil reveals himself as Sammy’s secret admirer. Sammy’s immediate reaction is to walk away from Neil as he knows no good can come from it. Neil persuades him and begs him for a chance to apologize. Neil is sorry for the way he betrayed Sammy. He knows that he messed up before and got Sammy’s friend Malcolm hurt, but he was also the one who helped find Malcolm when he was kidnapped. Sammy wants to forgive Neil and he realizes that he is still very much in love with him. He is in a quandary, because he knows that his family would definitely not appreciate him getting back together with Neil. Sammy’s father Road Dog, belongs to a biker gang, and he has forbidden his son to ever speak to Neil again after all the problems he caused the family .
Against his better judgement, Sammy decides to give Neil another chance and take things slowly . Neil is ecstatic that he gets to be with his sweet Sammy again. They agree to keep their relationship a secret for the time being. Things are going great with them and within no time they have totally reconnected. Neil is the only man that has been able to bring out Sammy’s kinky side, he is a bit of an exhibitionist. Neil caters to Sammy’s exhibitionism by filming their passionate lovemaking and uploading it to a porn site with Sammy’s approval. Sammy is beyond excited to see the thousands of views that their video has gotten. This sparks a flame within Sammy which can no longer be tamed.
In the meantime, another relationship is being formed between Sammy’s spoiled brat student Andrew and his live in bodyguard Tom. Andrew comes from a family of wealth and he is rude and disrespectful to everyone. He is over priveledged and his father has paid his way through life. He is failing his classes and Sammy realises that the true problem lays in the fact that he can’t read. Andrew goes through life ,covering his failings by being rude and not letting anyone get close to him. He pushes everyone to their breaking point, so that they will eventually leave him. This did not work with Tom, who he thoroughly pissed off with his attitude. Tom is a former marine and a Dom and he is absolutely fed up with Andrew’s disrespect. He is outraged and resorts to his natural inclination to discipline. It isn’t until he starts spanking Andrew and hears him screaming and sees the tears roll down his face , that he realize he does not have the right to discipline him. He starts to apologize, but he sees something in Andrew’s eyes and demeanor that appeals to him. Andrew thrives on punishment and their is a sparkle in his eyes that was never there before. Tom decides to hone Andrew’s submissive nature and turn him into the perfect slave . Tom wants to be his master so bad and soon sees the reality coming through.

It was truly an awakening for both of them to see the rich snobbish attitude taken over by the true mindset of what it means to be a perfect slave to his master. Andrew knows that his true purpose in life is to service Tom in all aspects of his life. Tom initiates Andrew to the life of a slave surrounded by like minded friends. Andrew endures a lot of pain with all the devices used by master Tom and his mentor, but he relishes it and receives pleasure as well. Andrew’s lessons in submission is definitely not for the feint of heart. Tom is a hardcore Dom and there is a lot of pain play , hot wax play amongst other things that I couldn’t fathom. However , the one thing that resonates with me is the open love that these two men experienced once both of their dreams are fulfilled.
Sammy’s feelings for Neil are becoming overpowering and he feels he can no longer hide his relationship from his family. To say his father was upset is a true understatement. Road Dog walks away without speaking to his son. His confession also opens a can of worms when it is revealed that Malcolm kept his secrets. Malcolm’s husband Kirk who is a member of the same biker gang as Road Dog believes that keeping secrets from his biker brothers is a true breach of trust. This causes a rift in their marriage and Malcolm walks out on Kirk. I was really sad to see this as they are my favorite characters.
They have been through a lot and they are really a solid couple.
They all have to pull together when trouble comes in the form of Andrew’s rich daddy. He is the head of a pharmaceutical company that developed a drug that can ‘cure the gay away’. Finding out that his son is gay would definitely cast a shadow on his wonder drug causing him to lose money, so he decides to have his son killed. This is where Malcolm comes up with the brilliant idea that the members of the biker gang could protect Andrew for a fee. It was very interesting to see the different kinds of friendships that were formed amongst these three couples. They all faced the dangerous ordeals with the support of their friends. They endured and came out victorious as three devoted couples. Tom was able to find his perfect slave in Andrew. Neil was able to cater to Sammy’s kinky side and this allowed Sammy to appreciate the man he knows and loves. Kirk was able to reaffirm the strength of the bond that he has with Malcolm.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Michael’s Awakening by Jaclyn Osborn

Title: Michael’s Awakening                    Word Count: 190 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:One moment…that’s all it takes for life as you once knew it to change irrevocably. For Michael Kingston, that moment was when he first laid eyes on Gabriel. In his life, Michael had only known darkness, leaving behind a broken shell of a man. Unspeakable memories of his childhood constantly plagued him, causing him to disconnect emotionally from the world. No one had ever shown him love; therefore, he believed that he was unworthy of it. And then everything changed.

Gabriel Greyson had always been different. Growing up in a small, Bible-thumping town, his preferences for men, makeup, and fashion made him an outcast. But, with the support and love of his family, he overcame obstacles that were thrown his way and rose above the intolerance. He danced to the beat of his own glammed-out drum and refused to believe that he was anything other than ultra-fabulous. Working as a beautician, he had a job he adored and felt that everything was perfect in his life. Everything except for true love.

When these two unlikely men meet, sparks fly. For the first time in Michael’s life, he feels like he can overcome the darkness inside him. Gabriel gives him hope and slowly brings him out of the shadows, showing him that even the darkest of souls can be redeemed. But there are secrets that Michael keeps locked away. Michael’s fear is that Gabriel will turn away from him when he discovers the truth. After all, who could ever love a beast?

My Review:  The juxtaposition of darkness versus light comes through clearly in our main characters. Gabriel is a flamboyant, vivacious, vibrant androgynous young man that exudes a light that can’t be suppressed or contained. He is someone who you can’t help but to love, because according to him he is so damn ‘fabulous’. It’s obvious that he is used to being sneered at and judged by the way he wears his sexuality proudly. He is unashamedly gay and he puts on a brave face daily to deal with the bigots of Texas. Gabriel loves all things fashion and takes pride in his appearance. He is very talented and has a passion for playing the Cello, something that he got from his deceased mother who loved him unconditionally. It is at one of his concerts where we are introduced to his counterpart Micheal. Michael’s very soul is wreathed in darkness. He has never known love and was abused constantly as a child by his own mother. He has scars , both physical and emotional. He is instantly attracted and drawn to Gabriel’s light, but he is afraid to overwhelm that purity with the darkness within him. They have a moment after Gabriel’s performance, where they have an intense staring match. Michael brushes off his attraction and decide to leave the angelic Gabriel alone.

Micheal is definitely surprised at his reaction to Gabriel when they meet again for the second time at a nightclub. He doesn’t understand the possessiveness he feels when another man tries to pick up Gabriel. He dominantly steps in and Gabriel is shocked and intrigued to see the handsome intense stranger who he saw briefly at his concert. Gabriel is certainly attracted to Michael and there is something vulnerable about this strong man that calls to him.

Thet both get along famously and it doesn’t take Michael long to stop fighting his developing feelings for his ‘princess’ Gabriel. Gabriel is amazed that this macho self- assured attorney accepts him in all his flamboyant girliness. Michael sees something special in  Gabriel that makes him want to step into the light. They quickly become close when Michael reveals the horrendous abusive childhood that he had to endure at his mother’s hands. Gabriel was halfway in love with Michael from their very first date and Michael’s openness pushes him  headlong into full blown love.

Michael pampers and spoils Gabriel at every opportunity and Gabriel is so happy that he is accepted so wholheartedly. They are compatible in every which way. Michael is definitely the knight in shining armour to Gabriel’s ‘princess’. It soon becomes clear to Gabriel’s family and friends that he has found the perfect protector and love of his life . They welcome Michael with open arms. Gabriel is truly a character and I can’t  express how much I  adored him in all his prissy fabulous glory.  However, not everyone is so accepting of Gabriel. A homophobic zealot decides to target Gabriel and succeded in hurting him. Michael got there in time to save his ‘princess’. And yes, they lived happily ever after with Michael proposing with a beautiful girly princess cut diamond for Gabriel. This was an exhilarating fun read with just the right amount of angst. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from this author. I give this my rating of 5- bring out the vibrators .

The Firsts & Forever 9: Coming Home by Alexa Land

Title: Coming Home          Word Count: 432 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:For twenty-six-year-old rent boy Chance Matthews, surviving day-to-day in San Francisco is difficult enough. Then an ill-fated road trip to Wyoming to search for his biological father throws his life into a tailspin. When a string of catastrophes leaves him stranded and desperate, help comes from the last person he’d expect. His knight in shining armor is everything he could want and then some, but Chance is sure a man like that would never want someone like him. That’s the stuff of fairy tales, and he stopped believing in those a long time ago.

My Review:  Chance Matthews has been chewed up and spit out by this thing we call life. He ran away from home when he was 14 after being abused. He has been earning his living as a prostitute on the mean streets of San Francisco since then. Although he doesnt have a good relationship with his mother, he has been diligently sending her a 1000 bucks for more than 10 yrs to help take care of his little brother.

One night after he finishes with a John, Chance’s path crosses the stoic Finn Nolan. Chance is not sure what to do since Finn is a cop and he fears being arrested. Finn is just as shocked to see Chance since he only knows him as the photographer and friend of his brother’s husband Christian. Chance tries to make a quick exit, but before he can go Finn propositions him and swears him to secrecy. Chance is still very wary , thinking that maybe he is being set up for entrapment. However, there is something in Finn’s eyes that call to him.

Although their arrangement should seem illicit and tawdry, Finn somehow makes it special. Chance tries to remain detached, but he is sucked in by the beautiful person Finn is. Finn is a virgin when it comes to man on man action, but he always makes Chance feel priceless. Chance is able to feel connected to a lover for the first time in his life. Their chemistry was out of this world.

When Chance decides to go visit his family and hunt down his biological father, he uses this as a way to cut the ties with Finn as well. He has become far too attached and fallen in love with Finn. Finn definitely doesn’t want to give up Chance and he wants to further the special connection they have between them. 

Everything turns upside down once Chance goes on his journey. He finds his sixteen yr old brother half starved and living on his own  with another  vulnerable looking sixteen yr old. He thinks he might have found his father , but the man practically threw him out. To top it all off, someone steals his beat up old car with all his possessions and money in it. He is at an all time low and feeling hopeless when Finn calls him. When Chance hears his familiar warm voice , he has a meltdown and stutters out the whole story.Finn would do anything for this beautiful man so he rushes to the rescue.

It was very emotional watching the progression between these two.  To see Chance finally opening up and trusting Finn. Also, watching Finn throwing caution to the wind and holding on to Chance and coming out to his parents and claiming who he truly is.

 Their ready made family was very interesting with two teenagers on the brink of manhood. It was lovely to watch them navigate through all the feelings of loneliness and coming to care and love each other while dealing with their trust issues. I really enjoyed this one . I give this my ratings of 5 – bring out the vibrators. 

Favorite Quotes: 1. He laid me on the floor again and spread my legs with a hand on the back of each thigh, exposing me as he pressed my knees to my chest. I moaned when he drove his tongue into me, opening me up before he slid it out again and licked my opening. He kept that up for a while as I reached down and stroked my cock, and then he sat up a bit and pulled a bottle of lube from his jacket pocket. ( Such a visceral reaction .)

2. I kept my legs right where he’d put them as he drizzled the lube over my hole and onto his hand. He pushed two fingers inside me and rotated his wrist, grazing my prostate and making me yell as a shockwave of pleasure pulsed through me. Then he slid his hand out and said, “I’m going to fuck you raw, baby .” I stopped stroking myself and raised my head to look at him. “We both got tested last week, just like you’ve been doing every six months. We know it’s safe.” ( There is nothing better than skin on skin. It definitely heightens the arousal.)

3.“Just so you know, I’m not going to hold back. We can make love some other time. Tonight, we’re going to fuck. I want you to feel so damn good and cum so hard that you forget everything but my name. I’m going to make you mine with every thrust into you, and then I’m going to cum inside you. I want you to know for an absolute fact that you belong to me. Only me. Do you have a problem with that?” (Sometimes you  just need a good hard fuck, no frills and gentle touches.)

4.He slammed into my prostate again and again, his big, thick cock filling me, stretching me, and I threw my head back and yelled as I arched up off the floor. I needed him closer. Deeper. I needed him to be a part of me. I clawed at his back, wildly, desperately, and when he yelled and came in me, I shoved his jacket out of my way and bit his shoulder, hard. All rational thought had completely fallen away. I was distilled down to sex and need and hunger, and he was, too. He fucked me like it might be our last time ever, urgently, almost frantically, pushing his seed into me with each thrust, yelling as he came in me. He dropped onto his elbows, his face inches from mine, his pupils so dilated that his eyes looked black, and told me, “You’re mine.” It was an absolute statement of fact. “Yes. Fuck yes. Yours.” The words tumbled from me. I was surprised I could talk. When he pulled out of me, his cock was barely deflated. “Fuck me, Chance.” His voice was pure gravel. ( Soooo hot.)

5. He got on his hands and knees as I fumbled for the lube and slicked my throbbing cock. I pushed a wet finger into his warm opening , fingering him roughly as I told him, “It’s going to hurt.” I was way too worked up to think clearly, let alone prep him properly. “Good.” I pulled my finger from him after just a minute and pushed my cock into his incredibly tight butt, grabbing his hips. We both moaned , and he mumbled, “Fuck yes, don’t stop.” I took him like he’d taken me, hard, fast, and rough. Our jagged yells shattered the stillness, along with the sound of my body slapping into his. My fingers dug into his flesh as I pulled him onto my cock, impaling him as he drove himself back in a steady rhythm. ( I love when it hurts sooo good, so raw , so in the moment. You can definitely feel that you’very been well and truly fucked days after.)