Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: First Time, Forever by K.C. Burn

Married couple, Trevor and Derrick, just sent their son off to college and are now experiencing an empty house for the first time in years. While they miss their son, there's no denying the fact that years of extra caution can now be thrown out the window and they can act like the wanton couple they once were. However, increased health issues, a few stray gray hairs and being weeks away from turning 40 causes Trevor to pull away from his younger husband.

Confused by Trevor's behavior, Derrick tries to do small, romantic things to put the spark back into the relationship. Unfortunately, those gestures are either ignored or shot down. Due to their busy work schedules they barely see each other at home and when they do, their interactions are tense, cold and awkward. At his wit's end, Derrick's insecurities begin to get the best of him. As both men deal with their fears, their relationship slowly starts to unravel.

I enjoyed this story because it featured a well-established, married couple. It's full of angst, mostly brought on by a lot of miscommunication between Trevor and Derrick, but it was nice to be inside each man's head throughout. My heart broke a little for Derrick as he tried to salvage his once strong relationship, and I empathized with Trevor as he struggled with aging and fearing that that love of his life might leave him. First Time, Forever was a touching and poignant story from start to finish.

Buy Links

Carina Press | Amazon

~ M

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I Take You by makoharuheartandsoul

I Take You by makoharuheartandsoul

Makoto and Haru are happily enjoying their new engagement and living in Tokyo.

This is pure fluff and I love every moment! I Take You is basically a slice of life piece that shows us how Makoto and Haru are living their lives in the hustle and bustle of the city. I can't wait to see how their relationship grows and the story the progresses. Check it out!

~ M

artwork credit: wei-ting

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: Knit Tight (Portland Heat #4) by Annabeth Albert

One of Portland’s hottest young baristas, Brady is famous for his java-topping flair, turning a regular cup of joe into a work of art. Every Wednesday—aka “Knit Night”—hordes of women and their needles descend on the coffeehouse, and Brady’s feeling the heat. Into the fray walks a tall, dark, and distractingly handsome stranger from New York. His name is Evren, and he’s the sexy nephew of Brady’s sweetest customer, the owner of the yarn shop down the street. He’s also got a killer smile, confident air, and masculine charm that’s tying Brady’s stomach in knots. The smitten barista can’t wait to see him at the next week’s gathering. But when he tries to ask Evren out, his plans unravel faster than an unfinished edge. If Brady hopes to warm up more than Evren’s coffee, he’ll have to find a way to untangle their feelings, get out of the friend zone, and form a close-knit bond that’s bound to last a lifetime…

I had a tough time with this book. I loved Brady's character! He seemed like a good guy and a person I would enjoy hanging out with. Evren, however, was narrow-minded, uncompromising, uptight and a bigot. I could not understand why someone like Brady would even entertain the thought of dating Evren. Not only did Evren have unconventional kinks and aversions to pretty normal things, he also had a very bigoted view of bisexuality. I understand he'd been hurt in the past, but his sweeping generalizations and inability to see others' points of view was troubling. Because of that, it was difficult for me to believe that these two men were in love and that their love would last.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Release date: April 12, 2016

Buy Links
Kensington Publishing | Amazon

~ M

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coliver Birthday Fic by bisexualtrashlord

Coliver Birthday Fic by bisexualtrashlord

It's Oliver's birthday and Connor wants to make it the best ever.

Uncontrollable smiling! That seems to be all I did while reading this short fic. Connor's acts of love for Oliver's birthday will definitely melt your heart and leave you wanting more! Check it out!

~ M

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I ❤ Yaoi: My Student Suddenly Proposed to Me by Ame (Free! Doujinshi)

Hello yaoi fans! This week's feature is the Free! doujinshi, My Student Suddenly Proposed to Me by Ame.

Makoto is completely caught off guard when his six-year-old student, Haru Nanase suddenly proposes to him. Even though he tries to explain to him that he is just a little boy and will meet many potential love interests when he grows up, Haru is determined to make Makoto his bride!

This is so adorable! Tiny Haru proposing will steal your heart and Makoto's flustered explanations will bring a smile to your face. The entire manga is really quite endearing and the ending is wonderful!

Read My Student Suddenly Proposed to Me here.

~ M

Monday, March 21, 2016

Of Wishes and Dreams by mistyhaze420

                                                  Of Wishes and Dreams by mistyhaze420

Nasir knows his life is worthless. He's been homeless and a member of a gang since his early teens and resorting to crime in order to survive the streets. He wants a better life, but wishes and dreams are never a reality for guys like him.

Agron's life isn't perfect, but he does his best. After his parents were tragically killed, he's been taking care of his young brother, Duro. He knows he could have a better life with someone special by his side. If only that person would magically appear...

This is a wonderful read! I've been a fan of mistyhaze420's for years. Her Lessons Learned and The Thing About Falling stories are classics, and this one certainly has the same potential. I was pulled into the lives of Agron and Nasir and their struggles, fears and secret desires. mistyhaze420 has a knack for making characters so real that they almost jump off the page and embed themselves in your psyche. I always find myself thinking about her characters long after reading about them, and that's the mark of a truly great writer.

Even though she's currently concentrating on The Thing About Falling, I hope mistyhaze420 will gift readers with another Nagron story in the future. Highly recommended!

~ M 

picture credit: Dan Feuerriegel's instagram

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Spencer Cohen (The Spencer Cohen Series #2) by N.R. Walker

In this sequel to book one, readers pick up exactly where the last book left off. Spencer and Andrew are still reeling from their confessions to one another and now must determine how to face the future. Spencer has never been in a relationship before so he's essentially clueless, and Andrew is extra cautious because he doesn't want to jump head first into yet another relationship.

I really enjoyed this book because it realistically showed how Andrew and Spencer navigate their new relationship status. It delves into more serious territory when Spencer reveals additional information about his tragic past, and when he takes on a new client that could potentially have dire consequences. The sexual tension between Spencer and Andrew is off the charts, but there is also a good mix of fluff and a little angst. I especially enjoyed the moment when Spencer didn't want to become a miscommunication cliche during their first argument.

As I've stated many times before, N.R. Walker is so talented at creating complex and interesting characters that make you want to root for them. I don't know how she managed to make me like both Spencer and Andrew even more, but she did! I can't wait to read the final installment in the series and see where she takes these two wonderful characters! Highly recommended!

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

~ M

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What the Hell Happened to Sousuke? by tornadoquakes

Three years ago Sousuke disappeared from everyone's lives without explanation. His departure was particularly hard on Rin since he couldn't understand why his best friend would abandon him like that after all the plans they'd made. When Makoto literally bumps into Sousuke one day while on his way home, he takes one look at his former acquaintance and decides he is going to help him.

I am blown away by this story! It is so well-written and all of the emotions expressed by the characters are palpable. This is definitely a SouRin story, but MakoHaru is also heavily featured. You will swoon reading about their intensely sweet, domestic relationship. I highly recommend this gorgeous story for any fan of Free!

~ M

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I ❤ Yaoi: Escape Journey by Ogeretsu Tanaka

Good morning, yaoi lovers! This week's feature is Escape Journey by Ogeretsu Tanaka!

In college, Naoto has an unexpected reunion with ex-boyfriend Taichi who he broke up with for claiming their relationship was for sexual release only. Naoto has been carrying this old resentment, but little by little his heart is starting to forgive Taichi, who has really grown compared to their time in high school. All the while, their friend Fumi-chan seems to have fallen in love with Taichi. As friends, they have extraordinary compatibility, but turning it into love isn’t going too well. 

This is a sweet story about former boyfriends who slowly rekindle their friendship and love for one another. I really enjoyed the drawings, especially Naoto's exuberant expressions. There is a little angst in the story, but nothing too overwhelming. Occasionally I found myself a little lost because things would happen so rapidly when switching from scene to scene. I recommend this if you're looking for a nice, relatively uncomplicated read.

 ~ M

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: The Guy With The Suitcase by Chris Ethan

Pierce is homeless.

Young and strong-willed Pierce has been living in the streets of New York City for six months, since his parents kicked him out of their perfect, Christian, suburban house. Pierce is gay. And he is suffering the consequences for being true to himself.

Rafe is homeless.

He is also sick. Impressionable, but far from innocent, Rafe ran away from home almost a year ago. His sickness is slowly killing him. But Rafe is not a hopeless case. He has learned to get by. Nights of paid passion turn to sheltering warmth from the imminent New York winter.

And then there's a suitcase. Pierce's suitcase, which holds secrets from everyone including its owner.

When their worlds collide, their lives intertwine and when the world seems bent on bringing the two souls to their knees, fate has other plans for them

This book is not for the faint of heart! The subject matter is extremely heavy and so often I wondered if these two men would ever find happiness. Chris Ethan definitely portrays the hopelessness, danger and desolation of homelessness very realistically. Through it all, Pierce and Rafe were able to support and love each other through all of the grit, pain and sorrow of their situation.

Buy link

~ M 


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

So, No Date Tonight? by jooliewrites

So, No Date Tonight? by jooliewrites

Oliver has had a meteoric rise to fame in the music industry. Not only is he nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy, but also Album of the Year and Record of the Year. He's still getting used to doing press, but he'll gladly push through his shyness in order to be on the Grammys red carpet. All the while, his publicist, Connor, is keeping close watch and making sure no one pushes his client, and crush, too far.

Oh my goodness! This story is so cute! I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I'll just say that if you're a Coliver fan, this is a must read! I guarantee your heart will melt!

~ M

picture credit: Conrad Ricamora's instagram

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I ❤ Yaoi: Call My Name, Embrace Me (Namae wo Yonde, Dakishimete) by Kubu (Free! Doujinshi)

Good morning, yaoi fans! This week's feature is Call My Name, Embrace Me (Namae wo Yonde, Dakishimete) by Kubu!

After Makoto confessed his feelings to Haru after graduation, their lives changed forever. Makoto moved to Tokyo and Haru remained in Iwatobi; the two best friends also lost all contact and haven't spoken for six months. When Nagisa and Rei suggest visiting Makoto and surprising him, Haru is the most excited he's been in a long time. However, when he overhears an hurtful exchange between Makoto and another student, his world comes crashing down.

This doujinshi is gorgeous! The story is beautifully written and the drawings are so lovely! I really enjoyed the realistic feel of the Haru and Makoto's relationship and how it wasn't an easy ride for either of them. Rei and Nagisa added a wonderful feeling of hope and were so supportive of their good friends! Highly recommended!

Read Call My Name, Embrace Me here.

~ M

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Review: Fight to Forgive by J. Leigh Bailey

Recent college grad Aaron Elliott is a pro when it comes to avoiding conflict. So when he hears his mother and stepfather plan to sell the family’s rambling summer retreat, it takes everything in him to object. The lake house is where he feels closest to his late father. It’s where he fell in love with his best friend…and it’s where he let family pressure decide his future rather than following his heart.

A combat injury has naval officer James “Freddie” Fredrick dry-docked, possibly for good. But the pain in his shoulder is nothing like the hurt he feels when he sees Aaron back in town. It’s been four years since the love of his life left without a word—and though Freddie would give anything to deny it, the heat between them hasn’t faded.

Once upon a time, Aaron let Freddie go without a fight. He won’t screw up their second chance to have a happy ending. But unless he makes peace with the past, Freddie won’t be able to face their future.

This book was just okay for me. I often found myself extremely frustrated with the main characters because both of them refused to communicate with each other and try to figure out why the other did what he did four years earlier. Freddie was very hardened by his broken heart and military life, and Aaron just seemed weak overall because he never wanted to stand up for himself out of fear of confrontation. It took quite a while for things to start moving in this book due to the amount of exposition and set up. If the MCs had actually sat down and talked to each other from the start, the book probably would have ended up being maybe 20 pages long.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Final Victory by ForestFair394

A Final Victory by ForestFair394

Ai wins his first match while attending university and receives a big surprise!

This is just a sweet, quick read that will bring a smile to your face! Even if you don't ship Rintori, A Final Victory is a cute story to read when you have a few minutes to spare. Give it a try!

~ M

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I ❤ Yaoi: Megane to Koi to Aoi Tori by Natsukawa Shiori

Good morning, yaoi lovers! This week's selection is Megane to Koi to Aoi Tori by Natsukawa Shiori!

Kei, who loves to read shoujo manga and romance novels, is a high school student yearning for love. However, he understands that his unpopularity doesn’t make him fated for love. If he were just as handsome as his childhood friend, Kiyoshi, love would probably come easily… Thinking of this, Kei gets envious of Kiyoshi.

I really enjoyed this short, but sweet, manga! It follows the nerd/popular best friends trope almost to the letter, but at the same time, it doesn't feel stale. Kei's desire to just be liked and go on a date was a little heartbreaking, but Kiyoshi always made sure, since childhood, to look out for his best friend and let him know that he was a great person who deserved loved and affection.

If you're in the mood for a quick read that's low on angst and high on the "aww" scale, check this out!

3.75 stars
~ M