Tag Archives: angst

Body Rocks (Off Beat #1) by AM Arthur

Body RocksBody Rocks (Off Beat #1) by AM Arthur

Published on June 28, 2016

Published by Swerve

Categories: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Musicians

Blurb:

Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country…too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member XYZ.

Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?

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Our thoughts:

I’m not sure how I feel about this story. The idea of two members from rival bands falling in love has so much potential and appeal. I picture clandestine meetings and choosing between their heart or their music. Instead, the getting together part seemed easy. Even meeting up was easy. Heck they even had a confidant from the band that knew of their relationship!

What I wasn’t expecting was the angst coming from petty standards! When a guy totally lies about who he is and then gets self-righteous when the in the closet lover refuses to acknowledge him, I had issue with that. It wasn’t a deal breaker, it just seemed like a double standard.

I enjoyed the complexity of Dom’s family. He was loved and supported, Trey didn’t have any of that. However, it felt like too many problems were introduced to keep the story going longer when it could have been a shorter story about them getting together, playing music, and overcoming the odds. I could have done without the car accident, attack, and short break up.

This novel felt more new adult and if you go into it with that thought process, the immaturity and angst is totally fitting. It was a very different type of story from AM Arthur so I’m glad to experience something new and look forward to what else the new series has to offer.

RATING: SNEAKERS

Hiatus by L.A. Witt

Hiatus by LA WittHiatus by L.A. Witt

Released on July 19, 2016

Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Word count/pages: 244 pages

Categories: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Mènage

Blurb:

Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.

Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.

But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers’ broken relationship, but there’s only so much he can do from the road.

At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.

Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.

Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

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Amazon  •  Samhain Publishing

Our Thoughts:

I’m not usually one to grab a book with mènage, but something about Hiatus‘ synopsis sang to me. I went for it and I’m glad I did! It’s one of the few mènage stories that actually felt real to me. I could believe these three as a unit whereas usually that’s not the case.

Hiatus was a difficult novel to read because it isn’t rainbows and cupcakes and joy, joy, joy. The content is laden with conflict, separation and imminent divorce. Cam and Theo have been together for 17 years, but they both have issues that have caused too much conflict. It weighs heavily and eventually drives them to a trial separation.

Another problem is that they have a lover, Nate, of 6 years and now he’s stuck in the middle. It really felt like he was the child of a divorced couple. Seeing each of them separately. Everyone trying not to be jealous. It was just sad and stressful. But Nate, no matter how torn apart by what has happened, is determined to work towards getting Cam and Theo back together.

That’s great in theory, but the task is more draining and difficult than Nate could have ever imagined. It takes Nate leaving, Cam reaching his breaking point, and Theo truly flying apart for them to gravitate back to each other.

Basically, Cam and Theo have real life debilitating issues that came to be unmanageable thanks to stressful jobs and the market crash. That huge event in their lives put them on a runaway train towards anxiety disorder and depression. Two issues left untreated and not shared. They became the biggest obstacles between them and now they not only have to accept their problems but overcome them in order to be together.

Hiatus is sad and draining at times but then again, so if real life. If you like a bit of realness in your books this is a perfect read. If you want only happiness and roses, this probably won’t satisfy you. The chemistry between the guys is really intense and totally off the charts so if you can get through the tough times to the hot ones, it’s worth it to see the passion and love they share.

RATING:  BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Review: What About Now by Grace R. Duncan

WhatAboutNowFS
What About Now by Grace R. Duncan

Dreamspinner Press

Cover by Reese Dante

Release date: 5/9/2016

100k words

Blurb:

Five years ago, everything went wrong.

Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.

After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.

With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.

Ebook: http://bit.ly/1q9U75b

Paperback: http://bit.ly/1SsdMDx

Our thoughts:

Grace R. Duncan pens an intricate tale of forgiveness, growth, and acceptance in What About Now. Rafe and Braden have been apart for about five years. Prior to that, they were school friends who eventually grew into lovers. Inseparable. They even started their own company together. Everything was great until things became strange and Braden wasn’t able to process the changes. Rafe was more dominant in the bedroom and Braden liked it. Braden just couldn’t come to terms with what he felt and what others perceived of the behavior. Distance grew between Braden and Rafe and then a misunderstood moment brought everything to a crashing end.

Now, Rafe and Braden are on a charity cruise and Rafe is determined to get Braden back. Rafe’s never stopped working towards this goal, he’s never given up on them being together again. He’s willing to remain calm and focused to see his plan through.

The bulk of the book is Rafe winning Braden over once again. It’s not hard to do since Braden has never stopped loving Rafe either. They just have to get past that bleak moment and look at what caused them to drift as well.

Rafe is more than eager to introduce Braden to the lifestyle he has discovered since their separation. He just has to do so without pushing Braden away and making matters worse. These two are constantly battling internal pulls. Mentally they are both doubting themselves over issues from their past. This is why their love for each other is so important. Their lifetime of love is the strength they will need to pull from to face the challenges, accept what they cannot change, accept what they want to learn, and embrace each other fully again.

What About Now has just the right amount of pursuit, mending, steamy moments, fun times, serious teasing and intense scenes, and forever devotions.

Blog Tour and Review: Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn

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Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Releases: March 28, 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Word count: 73,300
Page count: 262
Type: Standalone
Cover by: Lou Harper

About Patchwork Paradise

Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

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Our thoughts:

Indra Vaughn knows how to deliver grief. She ripped my soul in two as Ollie grieved over losing Samuel. Torn. To. Shreds. The intense guilt and grief were raw emotions that pulled tissue after tissue from the box next to me as I read. Intense. Real. Vulnerable. This is how Patchwork Paradise begins but it’s not all sadness and loss.

We endure Ollie’s grief over losing Samuel for a large part of the novel, but it’s important to Ollie’s story. During his time of sorrow and loss he has to relearn life as he knows it. He’s been with Samuel since they were kids. Friends, then lovers at age sixteen. They were to be married and would live happily ever after. That was cut short and now Ollie has to find a new normal.  Now, life is no more touches and enveloping hugs. Being alone becomes something he gets used to but the loneliness is suffocating.

During this time of struggle,  it’s pure torture to read Patchwork Paradise!  Almost every memory, whether good or bad, would provoke tears. Ollie’s emotions are so profound that they impacted me with every word. Boxes of tissues. Seriously, boxes.

Over time, Ollie realizes that missing Samuel doesn’t hurt as much and that his coping and moving on isn’t the end of the world. What he never expected was to discover that Thomas, his dear friend, had always desired him. Knowing that fact propels Ollie to really think of Thomas in a new light. To consider a potential relationship with the man he’s called a friend for so long. Just when Ollie thinks it’s possible and within reach, Thomas pulls away.

Thomas pulling away becomes a common theme from then on. He’s so badly in love with Ollie that he can’t stand the thought of losing him in any way. Nothing just might be preferable to living and losing. This is infuriating to Ollie. He’s been there. Loved deeply and lost tragically. How could Thomas be so callous?!

There’s so much that goes on in this novel. From Oliver losing Samuel to the whole friendship dynamic between Oliver, Cleo, Imran and Thomas. Samuel’s parents applying unnecessary pressures on Oliver. Lastly, a baby is added to the mix. I honestly don’t know how Oliver kept it together so well. Once he grieved, he picked himself up and started taking small steps forward. WhenThomas entered the scene as a potential love interest, things became so complicated. It was worth it though because Oliver’s life would take a turn that it never would have with Samuel. He was lucky to fall in love and be loved twice in a lifetime and each one of those loves was unique and fulfilling.

Patchwork Paradise is definitely not a lighthearted story. It’s deeply emotional. Your heart will ache from Ollie’s pain. Your eyes will swell with tears, but it all worth it in the end!

RATING: STILETTOS!!

About Indra Vaughn

After living in Michigan, USA for seven wonderful years, Indra Vaughn returned back to her Belgian roots. There she will continue to consume herbal tea, do yoga wherever the mat fits, and devour books while single parenting a little boy and working as a nurse.

The stories of boys and their unrequited love will no doubt keep finding their way onto the page—and hopefully into readers hands—even if it takes a little more time.

And if she gleefully posts pictures of snow-free streets in winter, you’ll have to forgive her. Those Michigan blizzards won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Connect with Indra:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/indra.vaughn.7

Twitter https://twitter.com/VaughnIndra

Giveaway

To celebrate, Indra is giving away an ebook from her backlist at EVERY BLOG STOP! She’ll also be giving out a grand prize of $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 2, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!