Reviews

Quick Review: Blind Spot by Jessie Pinkham

Blind Spot by Jessie Pinkham

Ben has an unusual matchmaking hobby. He has a sixth sense about who will be someone’s perfect match, and enjoys bringing people together, the only problem is that he has a blind spot when it comes to finding love for himself.

Isaiah is Ben’s longtime friend with benefits. After a brake-up, Isaiah needs some comforting, so Ben brings over pizza, they have some great sex, and finish the evening with cuddles and Netflix.

The next morning, Isaiah’s sister shows up on Ben’s doorstep telling him that Isaiah is head-over-heels for him and if Ben doesn’t feel the same way, then he needs to cut her brother loose. Ben would like there to be more, if only he could be certain like he is with his other love matches.

When they sit down for “the talk”, Ben tries to explain his reticence, but Isaiah isn’t having it. Normal people take a chance on love every day. Just because they don’t have the Ben’s mystical matchmaking seal of approval, doesn’t mean that they can’t have a future together.

If ever there was someone worth taking a chance on, it’s Isaiah. Ben sees the light and they tumble into bed, now boyfriends – with all the benefits and love that the title implies.

Even as they plan their wedding, Ben can’t help his matchmaking tendencies, seeing a bright romantic future for Isaiah’s brother and the wedding florist.

I really enjoyed this sexy/romantic short from Jessie Pinkham. Blind Spot was an interesting twist on the classic friends-to-lovers trope. Isaiah was right, there are no guarantees in life, and I was happy to see Ben finally get out of his own way to find his true love with the man who was right there all along.

Quick Review: Realization (Delaney Duo Book 2) by Alie Nolan

Realization (Delaney Duo Book 2) by Alie Nolan

Alone in New York and with no date for Valentine’s Day, Dylan signs up for a new app that sets you up on a blind date, presumably with someone who is you perfect match. Up until this point he’d only dated women, so he is surprised to find that he has been matched with Russell, his father’s best friend and business partner, who is in New York meeting with clients. They decide to go through with the date and end up having a wonderful evening together. When they say goodnight, Dylan hugs him and kisses him on the cheek. Only Russell turns at that exact moment and they accidentally kiss on the lips – not that either of them minds.

Back in San Diego, Russell gives Dylan a call to discuss what happened. Russ liked it. Dylan liked it. What’s the harm in having a little bit of fun? So, Dylan takes charge (which Russ really likes) and instigates some incredibly intense phone sex. They end up talking over the next few weeks, Dylan eventually confiding that he hates it in New York, his job sucks, and the only bright spot in his day is talking with Russell. Dylan’s really starting to like this guy. Maybe he’s more bisexual that he originally thought.

As a surprise for Dylan’s 23rd birthday, Russell flies to the east coast. Upon arrival at his Brooklyn apartment, Dylan leaps into his arms and they’re finally able to do in person what they’ve, so far, only be able to do over facetime.

In their post-coital bliss, they discuss where their relationship is going. They formalize their status as boyfriends who’ll somehow find a way to make their long-distance situation work.

The guilt is starting to get to Russ. He wants to tell Devon (Dylan’s dad) all about the great new relationship he’s in, but how do you even start that kind of conversation?

One day, Dylan decides he’s had enough of New York. He packs is meager belongings and flies home to San Diego. When he arrives on Russell’s doorstep, they reunite with a passionate kiss.

Now an official cohabitating couple, the only thing left to do is tell Dylan’s dad. Devon is shocked when they make their announcement, but Russ is able to explain how much Dylan truly means to him. Understandably, it’s all a little awkward at first, but the at the end of the day it’s happiness that counts.

Several months later, everyone gathers for a celebration of love and friendship on New Year’s Eve. There may even be wedding bells in the future for one of our happy couples.

This novella is the second part of a duology that began with Resolution. Devon found love with Dylan’s best friend Sebastion in that story. I loved that book, and I loved Realization just as much. It was wonderful watching Dylan and Russell navigate their complicated family dynamics on the way to their very sexy happily ever after. Author Alie Nolan really knows how to craft a compelling read that really delivers on some beloved and time-honored romance tropes – age-gap, father’s best friend, bisexual awakening. I enjoyed both books in the Delaney Duo and think you will too.

Quick Review: Resolution (Delaney Duo book 1) by Alie Nolan

Resolution (Delaney Duo book 1) by Alie Nolan

Sebastion (no, I didn’t misspell it) is excited to be spending the new year with his best friend at Dylan’s family cabin in the snowy Colorado mountains. But Dylan’s flight is delayed. When Sebastion arrives at the cabin, he is surprised to find it occupied by Dylan’s incredibly hot father, Devon.

Despite some initial awkwardness, Sebastion finds he enjoys talking to, and spending time with Devon. One night, with a few glasses of wine to loosen their inhibitions, Sebastion gives into his desires and kisses his best friend’s father.

Though neither of them wants to jeopardize their relationship with Dylan, they also don’t regret that amazing kiss. On New Year’s Eve, they have a picnic on the floor of the cabin in front of the fire. They end up talking for hours and, as the clock is about to strike midnight, Devon asks what Sebastion’s resolution is. Begrudgingly, he admits that his resolution for the past few years has been to lose his virginity. Devon takes him to bed, and they blissfully ring in the new year in each other’s arms.

With days spent building snowmen and snowball fights, and nights filled with kisses, cuddles, and plenty of orgasms, Devon realizes that he just might be falling for Sebastion.

After a week of uninterrupted bliss, Dylan finally arrives. While finding his dad and best friend in a romantic relationship certainly wasn’t what he expected, at the end of the day he just wants them both to be happy.

Their relationship with Dylan intact, it’s time for Devon and Sebastion to decide if this is just a vacation fling, or something more. They definitely both want more, and Devon takes his newly designated boyfriend upstairs to celebrate.

A few months later, we find our happy heroes living together. Dylan will be joining them for dinner, but when he arrives, he has his own surprise announcement about his brand-new relationship.

I am powerless to resist any romance that features two nice guy heroes and I was on board with this story from the moment these two met. Devon and Sebastion have a genuinely warm and adorable chemistry together. They were so kind and thoughtful. Once they acknowledged their mutual attraction, they moved cautiously, considering how their relationship might affect Dylan, someone they both deeply care for.

When Devon learns that he’ll be Sebastion’s first, he does everything in his power to ensure that Sebastion’s experience is unforgettable. Like I said… so kind, so thoughtful, and so damn sexy.

If age gap and first times are your go-to romance tropes of choice, then I think Resolution just might be the story for you. This novella is the first part of a duology. Dylan’s story continues in book two, Realization.

Quick Review: My Merman Boyfriend by Elizabeth Monvey

My Merman Boyfriend by Elizabeth Monvey

Rian awakens in the hospital, unable to remember a thing. Not the accident that brought him there, not even the smokin’ hot boyfriend at his bedside. Jarred takes him back to a gloomy gothic mansion that overlooks the sea, Jarred’s ancestral estate on the coast of Maine.

Rian spends the next few days trying to remember anything about his previous life. The attraction to his mysterious lover is hard to deny as they spend more and more time together. One early morning, he follows Jarred down a mysterious passage that runs underneath the house to a sea cave laden with treasure.

His boyfriend is a merman! No spoilers there, it is the title of the story after all.

Rian also remembers the cause of his amnesia. It was no accident. Someone in the house wants him dead!

The villain makes one last attempt to do away with Rian. But a cliffside scuffle sends the murderer over the edge, leaving our heroes to happily swim off into the proverbial sunset.

My Merman Boyfriend packs a lot of gothic punch in its short page count. I really enjoyed the spooky atmosphere, the sense of foreboding, which is so important when comes to a gothic romance like this. Rian is a likeable hero who works hard to solve the puzzle of his connection to this place, and its enigmatic owner. And let’s not forget Jarred, Rian’s handsome, slightly broody, mysterious lover. Talk about a hero worth pinning over. *swoon*

I loved Elizabeths Monvey’s modern take on these classic gothic romance tropes.

Quick Review: Monster Till Midnight by E.J. Russell

Monster Till Midnight by E.J. Russell

Brady’s new place is the ideal setting for a super spooky haunted house on Halloween night. He’s got the perfect costume, plenty of candy and scary décor – he even hires help to handle all the trick or treaters. But when the big night arrives, no one shows up. Even the guy from the temp agency arrives late wearing weird tactical gear.

Rej is an agent from another dimension and he’s tracked someone through time and space to Brady’s doorstep. Gorvenath has used his magic and technology to create havoc across multiple dimensions and it looks like Brady is his latest victim. That’s not just a jack o’ lantern mask he’s wearing… it’s become his actual head.

They need turn Brady back into himself and uncover any clues to Gorvenath’s whereabouts. Can a squirrel/octopus hybrid and a pile of candy corn provide the answer? And will they ever get a chance to explore their growing attraction to one another?

Monster Till Midnight delightfully combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, and romance. Brady and Rej have a wonderfully weird meet-cute and this story hints at their possible continuing adventures. If these two ever get their own full-length book… well, sign me up, because I can’t wait to see what Brady and Raj get up to next.

 

 

Quick Review: What Happens in the Spare Bedchamber Stays in the Spare Bedchamber by Rosie Ann Rammjoy

What Happens in the Spare Bedchamber Stays in the Spare Bedchamber by Rosie Ann Rammjoy

In this erotic historical short, Donall and his boyfriend Benjamin are visiting friends in Edinburgh. When everyone retires for the evening, Donall and Benjamin can hear their hosts being amorously vocal in the bedchamber next door.

Donall can’t help but become aroused and fears he might offend Benjamin’s delicate Victorian sensibilities. They love each other, but their experiences in the bedroom have been rather chaste up that point.

Surprisingly, Benjamin is feeling just as ‘inspired’ and they end up sharing a sensual night of erotic firsts. The next morning Benjamin is happier and more relaxed than Donall has ever seen him. Lucky for them, they have several more nights left in their stay.

This story is told entirely from Donall’s point of view and I really enjoyed how his primary concern was for his lover’s comfort. He was worried that Benjamin would be scandalized by the sound of their friend’s activities and later, when Benjamin lets down his wall of propriety, Donall’s priority switches to his lover’s pleasure.

What Happens in the Bedchamber… is a sweetly sensual, erotic short about a couple who are just beginning to explore the possibilities of their sexual relationship.