Review Hodgepodge (#3)

Review Hodgepodge

Historical romance used to be my ‘comfort genre,’ but lately it seems all you have to do is take away cell phones and cars, throw a heroine in a frilly dress, give the hero a title, and BOOM! You have yourself an historical romance. Maybe this is why it’s been hard for me to find one that knocks my socks off. (Though it can be done, as I did finally find one!)

Luckily, M/M has filled that void for me. It started out as me clinging to the contemporary romance genre in the only way that seemed to work for me anymore, but it’s turned into an obsession. Today, I have three mini reviews for some of the M/M’s that I’ve read recently. Hopefully you’ll see something that sparks your interest!

Flair Divider 2


The Dom Around the CornerThe Dom Around the Corner by Christine D’Abo
Book #1 in Escape
Genre: Erotica, BDSM, M/M
Publication Date: June 15th, 2015
ARC provided by Riptide Publishing and Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads: Simon is jaded. His bookstore is failing, his personal life is nonexistent, and he’s tired of the local scene. He’s desperate for a change, and hopes to find it at Escape, the hot new BDSM club in town.

What he finds there is Gavin. One look at the sexy submissive is all he needs to know that his trip to Escape was the right decision. And their night of no-holds-barred kinky sex feels like only the beginning . . . until his promising new sub vanishes with the dawn.

Then Gavin walks through the door of Simon’s bookstore—for business, not pleasure. To both of their surprise, he’s the consultant Simon hired to help save the store. As they work together, Simon realizes that he might have another shot at happiness, if only he can convince Gavin that he’s worth sticking around for.

Publisher’s note: This title is a heavily revised re-issue of a prior story, Commanding Acquisitions, originally released in 2010.

4.5 Stars – A

The Dom Around the Corner might be a little book, but emotion leapt from every page. For some reason, I find the idea of the high powered business man letting go and submitting to be very sexy, so I knew this book was up my alley before I even opened it. Add to that how emotionally vulnerable both Simon and Gavin were, and you have a very sweet read. Their connection was solidified from the very beginning; you could feel the heat the moment Gavin presented himself to Simon. It’s given away in the blurb, so there’s no surprise when Gavin walks into Simon’s life once again. Simon is bound (do you see what I did there?) and determined that Gavin won’t get away from him this time, but Gavin is too shell-shocked to give in to Simon right away. Overall, this was a very heart-warming read about two men who need each other as much as having their BDSM desires fulfilled. I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Series Reading Order:
1. The Dom Around the Corner
2. The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden

Thank you to RIPTIDE PUBLISHING and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Rush by Nyrae Dawn
Genre: M/M / Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads: For the love of the game.

Brandon Chase has always defined himself by one thing: football. Tough and athletic, he is a great college player who enjoys the hard hits and the sweaty grind of the gridiron. But when Brandon is injured, only one person can help him get back on track-a forbidden love he’s desperately tried to put behind him.

Alec Andrews has never quite forgiven Brandon for walking away when their friendship turned into something more. But he can’t deny help to one of his closest friends. As the two spend the long, hot summer working together, their old attraction comes flooding back.

Now as Alec thinks about coming out to his conservative family and Brandon considers revealing he’s a gay football player, the two men must be strong to fight for a love that could be the greatest rush of their lives.

2.5 Stars – C-

If I’m going to read contemporary romance, M/M is my genre of choice. Pair that with the fact that this was from Nyrae Dawn who wrote the Games trilogy (which I adored,) and it’s safe to say I went into Rush wanting so much to love it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be. It was high angst all the way through, which, when done well, can make for an excellent story. Here it was very repetitive and too much to take at times. I did like both Brandon and Alec, which makes sense seeing as there was nothing to distinguish them from each other. They were so interchangeable I often forgot whose POV I was reading. I think the biggest fail in this book for me was Alec. As I said, I liked his character, but he was short-changed. Aside from Brand, he had very little going on in his life and no direction. Everything revolved around Brandon; it just wasn’t enough for me, and made his character seem very one-dimensional. I wish he, like Brandon, had a goal he was working to achieve. Too much was resolved with candid conversations that didn’t seem indicative of the characters because of the fears they carried inside of them and how private they were. Also, when it came to the sex scenes, I didn’t feel like the payout was worth it. Sex between Brandon and Alec was preceded by years of foreplay and buildup, and the scenes were just shy of fade to black  – though admittedly this is a personal preference and may work for you. I like explicit!

I didn’t feel that this story had enough going on outside of Brandon and Alec pining for each other. It was missing something I can’t quite put my finger on, and for that reason I was unable to really enjoy this friends to lovers story.

Rating: 2.5 Stars


HimHim by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Book #1 in Him
Genre: M/M / Contemporary Sports Romance
Publication Date: July 28th, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

4 Stars – A-

If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know that Him is a Badass favorite. It made Wendy’s Top 10 for 2015 (you can read her review here,) and all of her gushing lured me in – though let’s be honest. When it comes to M/M, that doesn’t take much. Him could easily have been replaced with Hot, and the title would have been just as fitting. This was a wonderful friends to lovers story with the most perfect blend of angst and humor. Wes and Jamie were such fun characters, and their inside jokes and memories let you know just how good of friends they were. Together, they steamed up Lake Placid and nearly set fire to my kindle. These boys had chemistry off the charts, and I couldn’t get enough of them. While it wasn’t all fun and games with Jamie and Wes, they were very good at taking things as they came. (Mostly each other…haha.) This was a feel good story with characters whose fears came from a very real place and had me rooting for them until the very end. I can’t wait for the next installment of the series!

Rating: 4 Stars

Series Reading Order
1. Him
2. Us (Expected Publication: March 8th, 2016)

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