Tag Archive | 4.5 Stars

Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) by Santino Hassell (4.5 Stars)

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been best friends forever, but things are about to change. Unfortunately, Michael has a lot of personal demons to address before he can find happiness with Nunzio. Watching Michael’s life fall apart, complicated by alcohol and drugs, was not pleasant, but somehow the author kept the story from becoming extremely depressing.

Michael and Nunzio were so good together in more ways than one. I liked that they were both teachers and found the school stories interesting. I enjoyed their interactions, both as best friends, and as two people just starting to understand how much they loved each other.

Solid writing clinched this as a page-turner which had me immediately buying the next one in the series.

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Book Blurb

Reclamation (Love is an Open Road) by Cari Z. (4.5 Stars)

Set in the future, in a world that is filled with despair and crime, Grayson and Matt are both fighting to make it a better place. They meet under unusual circumstances while Matt is working undercover as a stripper. As they begin to develop a relationship, Matt needs to figure out when to come clean with Grayson. Fortunately, this aspect of the story didn’t overwhelm the story. The depressing lives that they both lead was also lightened up by their developing relationship. I enjoyed watching them spend time together and support each other. ¬†As usual, the author always manages to make me feel like I’m living in the story’s world with her incredible descriptions.

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Link to free download.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’sLove is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Book Blurb

Black John (Johnnies #4) by Amy Lane (4.5 Stars)

Taking a walk down memory lane, and finally seeing the truth, will allow John to free himself in life and love.

John Carey has just emerged from drug rehab and discovered his first love, Tory, has died. Tory requested that John toss his cremated remains in the water. This begins the dark journey of John’s reflection on his life. He meets Tory’s neighbor, Galen Henderson, who is not recovering very well from a motorcycle accident and is slowly becoming addicted to pain killers. Together these two discover a way forward out of addiction and into a life with each other.

The story spent a lot of time reflecting upon the depressing life John and Tory led together. John finally left Tory after Tory’s third trip to rehab. John believed that Tory would never recover if John continued to enable him. Unfortunately, John never left the memory of Tory behind and let those memories cloud his life for the next decade. His flashbacks included sex between two minors and plenty of sex between multiple characters including John and Tory. It wasn’t romantic or steamy sex since the emotional connection wasn’t really there.

Galen was an intelligent corporate lawyer who lost almost everything after his accident. Tory became his only real friend, and after Tory passed away, Galen started to get worse instead of better. John and Galen end up forming their own connection as they spend time together. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really convinced that they were going to work out in the long run. After Galen finally admits himself into rehab, the story focuses its time on the crew from Johnnies and how their lives have progressed. It was a nice walk down memory lane if you had read the first 3 stories. I just wish John and Galen could have spent more time developing their relationship.

Even though I didn’t fully buy into the romance, and the story was sad throughout, I still couldn’t put it down. Ms. Lane is a brilliant writer, and she had me completely wrapped up in John’s life.

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Originally reviewed for Swept Away By Romance. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb

Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote (4.5 Stars)

Aiden Watson has just been tricked into running the Mad Mucker, a challenging obstacle course. Fortunately, Matt is going to help him train for the event. As they work out together, they quickly become friends and then lovers. Unfortunately, Matt isn’t out and they have to keep the relationship a secret from their friends and family.

Aiden and Matt are both interesting characters. Since it’s only told from Aiden’s point of view, we didn’t get to know Matt as well as I would have liked. Aiden was a nice guy who didn’t have anything but bad memories when it came to relationships. Both of these guys decided they could easily hook up on a regular basis for enjoyable sex without any concern about taking it further. However, both of their hearts had much different ideas.

I really enjoyed watching them train together, and it served as an interesting backdrop to their developing romance. It also gave them plenty of time to work through their emotional issues and have plenty of steamy sex.

The only thing I didn’t understand was why Aiden wasn’t interested in a relationship with his best friend, and frequent sex partner, Pete. They seemed to get along extremely well and enjoyed having sex together. Although he had the same relationship with Matt, I didn’t see any better chemistry there. I think additional dialogue between Matt and Aiden would have solved that concern for me.

I really liked this sexy, fast paced romance and adored this author’s writing style.

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Originally reviewed for Swept Away By Romance. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb