Tag Archives: addiction

Finding Their Way (Restoration #2) by AM Arthur

Finding Their WayReleased 20 July 2015

Published by Carina Press

Copy obtained from publisher for review.


Thanks to an abusive father and a string of bad relationships, Riley McCage learned the hard way that people are not kind without a reason. Now, after landing a job at popular gay bar Pot O Gold, Riley is on the right track–until the night Boxer finds him drunk and drugged in the back room of an exclusive sex party.

Donald “Boxer” Boxwood wasn’t looking for anything beyond some casual kink until he peeled Riley off the floor and gave him a safe place to stay. But there’s something compelling about the guy crashing on his couch, and the two forge an instant friendship that eases into unmistakable attraction. Despite Riley’s hesitancy, Boxer knows one thing to be true: he needs Riley in his life.

Riley risked everything to run away and build a new life for himself, and his secrets aren’t something he’d ever wish upon his kind, gentle new friend. But when the past comes to call, he’ll have no choice but to put his trust in Boxer…and believe people can change enough to deserve a second chance.

Book two of the Restoration series

Buy Links: Amazon •  All Romance eBooks Carina Press

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Our thoughts:

Another book in the Restoration series! I always enjoy AM Arthur’s series because she takes a few friends, who are more like family, and leads us through each of their hopes, fears, longings and loves. We really get to know each and every one of them by the series end. It’s fulfilling and extremely rewarding as a reader. The Restoration series skirts the Belonging Series as Donner from Belonging works at The Pot of Gold with Riley. That’s the link, but really Restoration is about James, Nathan, Riley, Boxer, and Elliott (so far). Of course there are other friends in the picture but these guys are a more close-knit family than friends.

When Riley gets into a compromising position, Boxer saves the day. With that comes the start of a beautiful friendship. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Boxer is just an all around good guy. He knows what it’s like to live in hard times. He cherishes his friends and the little bit of family he has; he’d do anything for them. When Riley is in need of a place to stay for two weeks, Boxer offers.

Riley can’t help but feel interested and scared around Boxer, all at once. He’s attracted to Boxer but his size is intimidating. In his past, nothing good has come from being around a muscle-bound guy. They usually are most efficient at whooping Riley’s backside. What Riley knows is that Boxer is upfront, honest and genuinely kind. How could he not fall for him? Riley doubts so much because of his preconceived notions and also because of his lack of self-esteem.

Boxer’s confession of a particular kink is just the thing to turn Riley around. By indulging Boxer, Riley finds a new strength he never knew he had. With that comes confidence and a bit of bravery. These two are skirting around the inevitable, they’re falling hard for each other.

As with all AM Arthur books, the guys have baggage. Their pasts are a bit broken and colored with bad things. Alcohol. Drugs. Abuse. Crazy family members. Loss. They will need to stay open and communicating and not let their fears overcome them. If they push towards a common goal, Riley and Boxer just might find that their soul mate is right there for the taking.

I cannot recommend AM Arthur’s books enough. I’d be hard pressed to decide on one to recommend because I feel you should read them all! Finding Their Way is an emotionally charged journey that went too quickly; however, gripped hold and never let go the whole distance.


Back in Play (Power Play #2) by Lynda Aicher

Back in PlayReleased 11 May 2015

Published by Carina Press

Categories: Romance, Hockey, Contemporary, Addiction


For Minnesota Glaciers captain Scott Walters, skating on a bum knee—and self-medicating to keep skating on it—is all part of the game. That the painkillers he’s eating prevent him from having meaningful relationships is just one more sacrifice in a lifetime of them. He’s worked too hard to let his image be ruined by injury or dependency, so he hides the pain and fakes the rest—a girlfriend would only complicate matters.

High school teacher Rachel Fielding never needed a man in her life, but she also never intended to grow old alone. When she meets Scott while visiting her brother, she’s intrigued to find herself wanting him in her bed. For hours at a time, as often as possible. Scott is a giver, and just the memory of his attentions is enough to drive her crazy. Anything long-term is out of the question, though—the pills she finds in Scott’s house indicate he’s struggling with a lot more than growing older in a young man’s game.

When what starts out as a what-the-hell weeklong fling turns into Scott and Rachel exploring each other outside the bedroom, Rachel hesitates. But Scott asks for her support to break his addiction, and hearing him admit his secrets has her ignoring her own rules—until he breaks her heart. With the Glaciers refusing to renew his contract and his future with Rachel uncertain, Scott has some big decisions to make and a lot to prove—especially to himself.

Sales links: Amazon •  All Romance eBooks • Carina Press

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Our Thoughts:

I’ve read a lot of Lynda Aicher books and they’re all fabulous stories. There have been two that have stood out head and shoulders above the rest and they happen to be linked. The first was Bonds of Denial, Rock and Carter’s story. The other is Back in Play. In Back in Play it is Scott and Rachel’s story. Rachel is Rock’s sister! Imagine my squeals of joy during all the Rock and Carter cameos!

Rachel and Scott meet at Vanessa and Holden’s wedding. The whole opening scenes were wonderful because we have Glacier players and the club friends merging on the same scene. It was the best of two series merged together for optimum reader delight. :)

Scott and Rachel share a quiet moment together on a balcony then dance the rest of the night away. Rachel, a teacher from Atlanta has no clue who Scott is. She’s not a sports fan so she doesn’t know his notoriety on or off the ice. She just sees a man needing a distraction as badly as herself.

What results is the start of a fiery romance between the two. Fun, distracting dates that make Scott feel like he’s liked and desired for more than his talents on the ice, it’s almost too good to be true. Rachel has never had a man take so much interest in her. A man attentive and giving yet fun to be around, also too good to be true.

That perfect world comes shattering to the ground when Rachel discovers Scott’s biggest secret. It shows pure strength of character for Scott to fess up and disclose that he is in so much knee pain from an injury two years ago and is now addicted to pain meds. He’s being let go by his team and the management hopes he will retire because they don’t want to see him crippled or dead from addiction. Rachel is so stoic when Scott lets all his demons surface. The shame Scott felt was quickly pushed aside when Rachel didn’t judge or flee. She just held him and asked what she could do to help.

That’s exactly what Scott needs, help. Facing a rough road ahead, he’s determined to kick his addiction and play hockey again. He wants the Glacier’s to take him back for one more season, one more chance at the Cup. Just one more year. Can Scott really manage the pain drug free? Will the knee make it that long. Will Rachel and Scott be able to juggle a long distance relationship when addiction and other factors weigh so heavily on the relationship anyway?

Back in Play really does a great job of bringing the struggles and mess of addiction to the forefront as well as the hardships and stress that playing a professional-level sport can put on a person. Scott has only known hockey. He’s scared of what comes after. He’s always known that one day his career would end but once faced with that reality, it’s hard for him to accept. Rachel is set in her ways and has past issues that prevent her from committing to a long distance relationship.

Rachel and Scott are so perfect together. They’re mature, fun and smolder in the bedroom. You’ll find yourself rooting for them from their first meeting until the last pages. Back in Play is all about the individuals and their journey toward love and acceptance through the grasp of addiction. Acceptance within a sport, within their families, friends and also with each other.


Breaking Free (A Guarded Novel) by Cat Grant

Breaking FreePublished 15 July 2014

Published by Cat Grant Books

Copy obtained from author for review.

Breaking Free is part of the Guarded world. If you haven’t read Guarded by L.A. Witt and Cat Grant, you can still read Breaking Free. Although part of the same world, they can stand alone. I do recommend that you read Guarded, it is a 5 star book and really should be at the top of your ‘to-read’ list. Breaking Free occurs a few years prior to Guarded, so it was like going back in time and seeing how relationships were established and life changing events occurred.

In Breaking Free we are going through a period of time in three individuals lives, Richard, Robert and Jason. They each have struggles and a strong voice, so I like that each chapter in the book started from a different point of view. I think it would be best to write this review similarly. I will start with Richard.

Richard is a very complex individual. He is a former sub, turned Domme. Yes, Domme. He loves to dress as Renee while in the playroom. Towering high heels, tight corsets, nails to mark a back! Richard feels right as Renee, complete. After years of therapy he is deciding to transition to Renee for good.

Richard’s transformation was beautiful and full of tension. She was finally seeing the person she longed to see in the mirror but with that came so much animosity. Her business partners were downright cruel and not understanding at all. They were narrow-minded and hurtful. But, for every coworker against her, there was another in support. It was uplifting and the boost Renee needed during this complex time in her life.

Being married to Robert, Renee didn’t expect him to struggle so much with her changes. He knew that Richard desired to be Renee for good but how was he supposed to come to terms with his husband being a woman. Richard was gay, never made out or had sex with a woman. He wanted a man, Richard, not the soft curves of a woman as Renee began to show. To say the chemistry between them took a huge hit would be an understatement. Robert was struggling to accept losing his Richard. He started to push Renee away and grasp onto the closest thing he could grab hold of, their submissive Jason.

Jason, poor broken soul of a guy. He is coping with his long-term boyfriend being an addict. Eric lived more of a rock-n-roll lifestyle than Jase ever did as a guitarist in a fledging band. Eric was in and out of rehab so many times, and Jase was always there when he came home. He was there to see the good days dwindle back into addiction each time. Was it even love anymore, or just routine. Was it a sense of obligation and fear of losing Eric to an overdose that kept Jase around? That was what Jase was struggling through each time. Not an easy or happy life to be living.

All three protagonists have to dig deep and determine what they want to hold on to and fight for and what they need to let go of. Walk away, or fight the fight and stay. Robert realizes Richard is still in Renee. The wrapper has changed but the inner goodness is the same, if not more vibrant. He has to loosen the control he desperately holds with a tight grip, he cannot control Renee or Jason. Renee realizes her strength and desires and their value. Jase has the hardest go. His choices are thrust on him and he has to recover and try to emerge stronger.

Breaking Free brings everything together with Guarded and makes for a very satisfying world of hardships, love, acceptance and strength,



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