Tag Team Review: Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2) by Heidi Cullinan
Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.
Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.
In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.
He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.
Chelsea – 5 Hearts
There’s not much I can say that will express how much I love this story, together with it’s predecessor. They’re sooooo emotional, but in a heartwarming and feeling-with-the-characters type of way not a my-heart-is-bleeding-on-the-floor type of way. I couldn’t put this book down! Emmett and Jeremey completely steal my heart and I will always want to read more of them!
Adam – 4.5 Hearts
Carry the Ocean was one of my favourite reads of 2015. Jeremy and Emmet, and The Roosevelt, completely captured my heart.
In this sequel, readers will get all the feels, complex characters, and needed social commentary that made book 1 so great.
Guest Audiobook Review: Everyday History by Alice Archer
Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.
Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
Run time: 9 hrs 53 mins
Narrated by Daan Stone
Reviewer – R *A Reader Obsessed*
”Sex please, hold the love”
That is the mantra of Ruben. Charismatic, confident, everyone’s best friend. People flock to him to bask in his light, but Ruben’s barely a man, and when he surprisingly develops a crush on his high school teacher, he finds himself changed, intrigued, and determined to discover exactly what it is about Henry that makes him so enticing.
Henry and Ruben are vastly different in all the ways that could possibly count – looks, personality, age, and especially where they are in their lives. However, once Ruben graduates, they act on their attraction, and it’s explosive and intimate. In such a short time, they reveal and learn about the other with an intensity that far surpasses every prior experience… but just because they’re perfectly perfect for one another, they both know that Ruben is just not ready for such a commitment. They kindly use the other to take the next step towards a new chapter in their lives and part ways.
Review: A Worthy Man (The Men of Halfway House #5) by Jaime Reese
Vannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.
Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.
After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.
Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever.
Damn, but every book in this series is such an emotional ride! A Worthy Man is right up there, but I do think this one is even more relationship focused (which sounds weird to say with this series, I know) making it even more romantic to read. The setup is unique in that the two MC’s, Vann and Drayton have known one another since their teens and have been in love since about that same time. And they don’t have that, “Oh aren’t they perfect for each other, how sweet” kind of love, they have that soul deep, eternal kind of love that’s just plain, more.
Review: Cask Strength (Agents Irish and Whiskey #2) by Layla Reyne
Professionally, the FBI team of Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker is as good as it gets, closing cases faster than any team at the Bureau. Personally, it’s a different story. Aidan’s feelings for Jamie scare the hell out of him: he won’t risk losing another love no matter how heart-tripping the intimacy between them. And loss is a grim reality with the terrorist Renaud still on their trail, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.
Going undercover on a new case gets them out of town and off the killer’s radar. They’re assigned to investigate an identity theft ring involving a college basketball team in Jamie’s home state, where Jamie’s past makes him perfect for the role of coach. But returning to the court brings more than old memories.
As secrets and shocking betrayals abound, none may be more dangerous than the one Jamie’s been keeping: a secret about the death of Aidan’s husband that could blow his partner’s world apart and destroy forever the fragile bonds of trust and love building between them.
There’s no substitute for the real thing.
Audiobook Review: Dare to Hope (All Cocks #4) by T.M. Smith
Tristan is the second oldest of the Brennan brothers and the odd man out. Most of the Brennan men have careers in law enforcement, but as a psychiatrist, Tristan chooses to help people in a different way. Quiet and restrained, he is content to hover in the background of his more gregarious brothers. Then he meets two men, each broken and damaged from losses beyond their control.
Gabriel Simenson is mourning his lover’s death. The random act of violence that took Gio’s life has left everyone at All Cocks reeling. The only thing keeping Gabe from drowning in misery is the friendship he’s forged with Micah, the newest model at All Cocks. He continues to struggle, and at the urging of his All Cocks family Gabe agrees to counseling with Tristan under one condition: Micah must go with him.
Micah Solo can relate to unbearable loss, having lost his leg and so much more in Iraq. The past two years he has been alone, adrift and vulnerable – the memories of war haunting his dreams, spilling over into his daily life. At All Cocks, Micah has found the acceptance he craves and the family he lost, but still he yearns for happiness and peace within.
The friendship between the three is instant, the mutual attraction evident. They circle each other, wanting more, yet unsure if it is truly possible. Is life the mundane reality they’ve each come to accept for themselves or do they dare to hope?
The All Cocks Stories is a series set within the world of online gay porn. Micah’s PTSD is told in detail, including flashbacks to his time in Iraq.
Listening Length: 6 hours and 13 minutes
Narrator: Joel Leslie
This is a lovely story, with a moving background. Micah’s flashbacks are realistic and emotive, and Gabe’s grief is almost tangible. Tristan helps them both individually, but fights his attraction to both men, believing they’ll be better off without him around. The complexities of the relationships with each other are enthralling. The menage aspect makes the will-they wont-they so much more complex, and the demons each man is fighting make is even more challenging. That said, it wasn’t an overly angst-y book, and was very enjoyable to listen to. So much so, that I stayed awake until 4am one morning to listen to the end!
Review: To Touch You (Mates #4) by Cardeno C.
“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”
By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.
Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.
Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.
I love, love, love how this fated mates story is told. Yoram is young and Salvatore is dying and yet no one messes with the fact that these souls are fated for one another. In fact, they all know how rare it is to find your true mate and refuse to allow Yoram to be without his. I dug how strong and stubborn Yoram is at this point because he is going to be one hell of an alpha. I shamelessly giggled through Yoram’s father, uncle, Ethan and Miguel discussing how and when they would turn Salvatore to cure him when he was standing there amongst the swirling paranormal shifter chaos wondering WTF is going on! Seriously, it was fun and getting a mini Yoram declaring the adult male as his was adorable. So freaking fluffy.