on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Tag Archives: Adorable!

An Unconventional Courtship by Scotty Cade eBookTitle: An Unconventional Courtship
Author: Scotty Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 230 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable!, Affair with the Boss, Businessmen, Co-Workers,  Lots of Tension,  On Vacation, Series,  Sweet, Unrequited Love
Rating: Really Liked It

Guest Review by Heather C

BLURB

Tristan Moreau loves his job as chief administrative officer and personal assistant to Webber Kincaid, President, Chairman, and CEO of Kincaid International. It would be the perfect job… if only he hadn’t fallen in love with his boss as well as the work. After two years, he’s still doing everything in his power to keep his feelings hidden—mostly because he wants to protect the reputation of his famous boss but also because he wants to keep his job.

Webber Kincaid has stayed in the closet, using his best friend and confidante as his beard. Everything in his life was working out just fine until he met Tristan Moreau. Within months, Tristan stole his heart and became his lifeline. But Webber knows the rules of the workplace better than anyone, so he’s kept his distance.

But two years is too long to wonder “what if?”—especially when business takes them to a private Caribbean island. When Tristan and Webber succumb to the tropical heat, their professionalism starts to backslide. It’s a seemingly impossible relationship, making a go at it under the paparazzi’s microscope. It may be the best—or the worst—business decision they ever made.

REVIEW

The good, the bad…and the adorable.

It’s a story that’s been told many times over again: employee-slash-personal-assistant falls for uber rich boss. Tristan Moreau has been deeply betrayed by a past lover who chose to be with a woman instead of a him. Now, seven years later, Tristan finds himself secretly in love with his boss, Webber Kincaid, and has been hiding it for the last two years. Then when Webber comes to Tristan and invites him to spend three weeks on his private island with him for work and relaxation, Tristan doesn’t know how he can keep his feelings from showing any longer. The conflict: Webber is supposedly straight and doesn’t even know Tristan is gay! Plus, there is the matter of Webber’s company and reputation to think about…

The Good: There was soooooo much sexual tension!! Seriously, all of the accidental touches and heated looks had me giddy. The guys didn’t even kiss until 37%!!! Plus, there was only like 5 minutes of angst that gets cleared up quite quickly. Honestly, I expected it to drag on for ages, but nope, it all gets fixed and sweetness ensues.

The bad: Speaking of the the sweetness, at times it was a bit much. Once these guys realize they are both in love with each other, its kinda insta-I-plan-to-spend-the-rest-of my-life-with-you-love. So it made me roll my eyes a few times, but Tristan and Webber were so cute I just accepted it and kept on reading. It did get a bit wordy at times, but I like this kind of wordiness, so it didn’t really bother me.

The Adorable: I adored Tristan and Webber! How could anyone not love them. They are both sweet and kind and Webber has to be one of the most romantic heroes I’ve ever read. He knows how to steal a girl’s man’s heart! And all the romantic plans he made while courting Tristan…*sigh*…so romantic.

Moving on to the sequel: An Unconventional Union. I’m hoping for a beautifully, romantic wedding!

Disclaimer: This is not something I would normally like to read, but today, it was perfect for my mood. I recommend saving it for one of those days when you need something sweet and easy.


UnforgivingMinute[The]LGTitle: The Unforgiving Minute
Author: Sarah Granger
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 72,925 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Tennis, Sports, Athletes, Closeted/Coming Out, Awesome Female Characters!, Past Injury/Trauma, Nasty Exes (and I mean nasty!), Famous, Paparazzi!, Around the World settings, Animals, Meet the Parents, Rich/Poor, HEA, Adorable!, Light & Sweet
Rating: Really Liked It!

BLURB

Ryan Betancourt has got it made: he’s reached the top tier of the tennis world thanks to a wild-card entry to the US Open. Ryan is meeting players he has idolized for years, including his teenage crush, Josh Andrews. But he isn’t ready for the politics and manipulation that come with life at the top.

Josh Andrews is closeted, private, and difficult to get to know. He’s been playing tennis since he could walk, won his first tournament at five, and was sent to Spain at thirteen to attend a tennis academy. Before a knee injury forced him into a year off, he was ranked the number one player in the world. Now he’s back—and intent on winning.

Josh and Ryan first meet at a tournament in Brisbane. Ryan excitedly greets Josh only to be ignored. Crushed, he realizes the golden boy of tennis isn’t all he seems. Only in the team-building environment of training for the Davis Cup does Josh open up enough for them to grow closer. Their developing relationship is everything Ryan ever wanted, and he is blissfully happy. But inevitably they have to play against each other, and everything changes.

REVIEW

Awwwwwwwwwww!

So that’s how I feel now, just having finished this. In the words of Fake Joy Behar Fred Armison, So What? Who Cares? This might not be the perfectly executed book, but it wins on more than one account, most importantly rating high on the Swoon Meter!

It took a late blooming start for Ryan Betancourt to play in the big leagues, against his childhood idols and masters of tennis, but in the past year something clicked for him. His maybe late but now meteoric rise from the Futures and Challengers tournaments won him a wild card place in the US Open, and his new more confident playing gave him the points the enter the top tier of international men’s singles and entrance into the most celebrated top tournaments worldwide. Sincerely optimistic without fault, Ryan starts the season in awe of the his new contemporaries, many who used to grace his teenage walls. One, more than any other, however, has always been his idol. Perfectly poised in tennis and life, Josh Andrews is the wunderkind of tennis on his comeback after a torn ACL and several year absence from the circuit. Meeting his inordinately beautiful and talented hero in real life… well, that’s a big disappointment.

Ryan’s personal life seems to progress with his success at the game, and the more time he spends as a part of the famous and elite players, the more he realizes he deserves to be among them. In correlation, his confidence in his own performance shines. It seems that everyone has undervalued him, but that’s only because his successful rise is climbing faster than their expectations. He soon finds that he has friends and a place among the top tennis world.

Ryan is eternally optimistic, but with that comes a tenacity and perseverance. When he still can’t get his mind off of Josh Andrews, even when everyone else seems to have a conflicting observation about the man, Ryan decides to speak to him himself. Soon after, their paths continue to cross and the two become friends. But what Ryan expected to find in Josh Andrews is rather different than what he finds — a conflicted, somewhat broken man only held together by the determination to win.

The biggest part of what made this book so satisfying was in the creation of Chase MItchell, the antagonist. Granger is pretty crafty in the trajectory of Mitch’s character, though I have to tell you that while I couldn’t have said just what direction the book ultimately took, I didn’t warm up to him at all. (Pardon me while I go off on a tangent you might not understand unless you’ve read the book!) When we first meet him he comes off with just the right amount of cultured charm, which (probably intentionally) slightly rubs the reader. He seems like the kind of guy with ulterior motives, but he’s handsome, charming and doesn’t really display any kind of negative behavior — at least to Ryan. It’s was also pretty clear to me that he had some secrets by his few mentions of Josh to Ryan and the fact that Ryan is never in the same room as both of them. By the time the story is set up to reveal the real Mitch, he goes from confidante and friend to Ryan yet coming betwixt the two of them to the absolutely perfect target and one of the reasons to bring Ryan and Josh together for a final time. And when you finally hear about all of his past deeds and crimes and realize just how despicable of a man he really is, then he’s the perfect antagonist, and a perfect opportunity for Josh to get his comeback. And through Josh, Ryan as well. (Okay, tangent over.)

What originally drew me to this book was the tennis aspect. I took tennis lessons from age 5 to 14 and was pretty good, actually. I never would have gone anywhere — I just don’t have the drive for it and I’m the least competitive person. I like to read about athletes that push themselves because that was never me. This definitely gave me what I wanted, but I was drawn into the story immediately by Ryan, who is an enigmatic narrator. He’s driven yes, but without many of the faults of exceedingly talented athletes — like ego, aggression and other stereotypical Type A behavior. And of course, he’s the underdog. We naturally want to cheer him on.

All I can really say is that analysis aside, this was just a really enjoyable book to read. Part of that is the action, which cut into the drama nicely. Also, that creation of such a satisfying antagonist in Mitch. There’s quite a bit of detail about tennis and some jargon about the game that some reader’s might not quite understand. I found the detail about the whole system much more intriguing, and though I know very little about the real life tennis world to compare, the story came off as authentically set in the real world and not an idealistic one. But mostly, it read like a novel masquerading as a novella, meaning that the reading experience passed by in no time because of my enjoyment of the story and becoming immersed in the characters. There’s no deep analysis of them or a really intricate plot in the narration, but instead a light tone and satisfying finish that made me a fan of Sarah Granger. Now, I need to go back and read her other story published earlier this year — The Long Road Home.


PurrfectMatchLGTitle: A Purrfect Match
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 65,024 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, Co-Workers, Heartwarming, Interracial, Kids, Kink, Spanking, Light & Sweet, Secrets & Lies, House Cat Shifters
Rating: Really Like It

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

When a bad day at work culminates in losing out on a promotion, Jim Sanders shifts into his animal form to let off steam. Then his bad day turns into a bad night—while prowling his Atlantic City neighborhood as a large gray house cat, he’s caught in a torrential downpour. What little luck he has washes down the gutter when his new boss, Andrew Wright, catches him taking shelter on his porch, brings him inside, and starts calling him Mr. Frosty.

As a feline, Jim becomes the inadvertent confessor for his boss’s lonely son, Tony, a victim of schoolyard bullying. As a human, he feels drawn to Andrew, a man he wanted to resent. Finding love was never part of Jim’s plan for the future—not with his bizarre secret—yet suddenly he finds himself navigating that minefield anyway. But not everything is easy, especially for an interracial gay couple dealing with prejudice in the workplace, at Tony’s school, and even within their own families.

REVIEW

After a rough day in which Jim gets passed over for a promotion, he decides to blow off some steam by running in his shifter form. Unfortunately, it starts storming and he’s a long way from home. Taking a break on someone’s porch, he’s found by a boy named Tony, the son of the man he lost his promotion to, Andrew. Jim is still furious but he’s also exhausted. Before he knows it, Tony and Andrew are taking care of him and naming him. But not only is Tony growing attached to Mr. Frosty but Jim is starting to really like Andrew and Tony. It’s not long before he starts spending time with Andrew at work and then spending time with both of them as a cat. Jim doesn’t want a relationship with Andrew but he can’t help how much he’s coming to care for them. There’s a lot of things standing in their way of a relationship, though, like bigotry, slight racism, bullying, and a needy kid.

I really liked this story for a lot of reasons. The characters are very likeable to the point you want to hug them until everything turns out okay. Jim is actually a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He’s this huge hulking black man and his anger is one of the scariest things some people have seen. However, he’s got a big heart in that gruff manner and that heart is set on Andrew, whether Jim likes it or not. Andrew, on the other hand, seems almost fragile compared to Jim. He’s just uprooted his whole life to live somewhere that Tony could get a good education. He’s stressed beyond belief because his job demands so much but Tony demands even more. He’s sweet and kind but won’t take shit from anyone when he’s pushed too far. One of the cutest things about this book, aside from Tony, is how Jim acts in his cat form. I found him both hilarious with his inner monologue and adorable in his actions.

Their relationship is a bit rocky because Jim is very resentful of Andrew and Andrew is uncomfortable around Jim. Jim is very firm in his desire to just be friends at first but when they finally get together, I found them to be smoking hot and readers should know that they dabble in a bit of spanking, that while out of nowhere, I found fitting to their situation and their personalities. I loved that while Jim didn’t want to necessarily have a relationship with Andrew at first, he was surprisingly accepting of Tony, even to the point of being protective of him and Andrew, and handled Tony being sick very well. I adored Tony, even when he was being a little brat. His struggles with moving, not being able to be with his dad so much and getting bullied felt like very real problems. Another thing I liked is how there were moments of bigotry and racism thrown in that were dealt with in their own time and while I thought how they were handled was slightly too fast, I still enjoyed the conflict it gave the story.

Even with enjoying this story so much, I still had some problems with it. Mostly, while I liked that Jim was forced into a parent role, I felt like it was too fast considering he was still relatively a stranger to Andrew. I adored that he handled the kid so well but I didn’t appreciate his comments regarding how Andrew should raise Tony while Jim was in his cat form. I felt like it was unfair to judge Andrew when he didn’t really know either Andrew, Tony or their situation at that time. Beyond that, I wished there had been more explanation of Jim’s shifter ability and how he was able to do it. There’s a vague reference to why he’s a shifter but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity especially since when Andrew found out, it was remarkably easy for him to accept that Jim was also Mr. Frosty. One other thing is I wished we got to see more of Jim’s family, more time with his parents and even meeting more of his family.

Overall, this was a very well done story. It’s well written and I adored the characters and what they had to go through. More than that, I loved how Jim and Tony got along and the fact that Tony understood what Jim meant to Andrew and how easily Jim incorporated himself into their family. If you’re looking for a cute, sweet and heartwarming book with some moments that are touching and hot, you’ll want to read this story.


SecretChemistryLGTitle: Secret Chemistry (Shifters #1)
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 59k+ words, 220 pages
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, Alpha Men, Cowboys, Forbidden Love, Forced Separation, HEA-ish, Hurt/Comfort, Injured Character, Magic, Mate Bonding, Secret & Lies, Series, Shifter Sex, (Fox/Wolf Hybrid) Shifter, Wolf Shifters, Yearning
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Not all werewolf societies are created equal. The one Tim Evans grew up in detests those not of “pure blood”—so when Tim discovers his mate is Jay, a male fox-wolf hybrid ten years his junior, it shocks him, to say the least. Too young to claim his mate and too weak to protect him from the rest of the pack, Tim fears for Jay’s life. When a human gets hold of Jay, Tim believes he has lost him forever.

The next eighteen years are hell. Tim devotes his life to his family and running their stable, but anger and depression threaten to consume him. Then fate brings Jay back into his life. Tim knows Jay feels the same attraction he does—mates always do. So why won’t Jay act on it?

REVIEW

At a gathering, thirteen year old Tim notices a strangely enticing smell but before he can figure out what it is, chaos starts to rein within his pack. Some of the pack want to hunt a den of hybrids, which causes hostility among the wolves. Forced to go home when the wolves turn violent, Tim can’t resist the smell for long and follows it to a mother and a young fox/wolf hybrid named Jay. Noticing the hybrid is his mate, protective instincts compel Tim to do everything in his power to get them to safety. Unfortunately, while trying to save Jay, he ends up getting injured and forced to leave Jay’s side. Now, eighteen years later, Tim’s life hasn’t exactly been alluring but he’s finally put into a situation to reconnect with Jay when Jay and his father want to buy a horse from Tim’s family’s ranch. Jay, though, doesn’t understand the instant connection between the two, which causes Tim to explain to Jay his own existence. Not only that but now Tim has to break it to his family that the mate he’s been yearning for is not only male but the very shifter that caused so much unintentional chaos and hatred almost two decades earlier.

This story starts off a bit odd in that the Jay and Tim meet when they are very young. In fact, the first third of the book revolves around their first encounter at such an early age. Some readers might have an issue with this because, while they don’t mate, the connection is there and very real even though Jay is only three and Tim is thirteen. In my opinion, it worked with this story because the separation they are forced to endure for eighteen years has molded them into the individuals they are in present day. More than that, it allows the reader to get a sense of how their connection formed and grew without there being flashbacks throughout the story, which is part of why I adored this book so much because I’m not that fond of sporadic flashbacks.

Another reason I loved this book is because of the characters. When you first see Jay, he’s a toddler and probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever read. He’s so innocent and trusting of Tim right away because of their mate bond so there are a few sweet moments between the two when they’re young, which I found completely adorable. Jay, at twenty-one, is much more bolder and feisty. He won’t put up with Tim’s irrational or possessive behavior (at least not often) so it made for an entertaining read watching Jay put Tim in his place. Tim, on the other hand, is fiercely protective of Jay from the start and those feelings didn’t diminish in their eighteen-year absence. Actually, I really loved how alpha male he was. I found his jealousy and possessiveness extremely amusing but he was also very gentle with Jay. Their chemistry is really hot and the sexual tension between them is even better.

The plot deals with a few things. First is the fact that Jay is a hybrid and, therefore, wanted dead. Tim’s father has a hatred for hybrids because of what happened to Tim’s mom for trying to protect them. So, one of the conflicts is getting Tim’s family to understand their mating and accepting it. The other major conflict is the fact that Tim has made some rash decisions in the past eighteen years that has made him unfit for being an alpha. This means not only is their relationship forbidden but there can only be one alpha pair and that is not supposed to be Tim and Jay but Tim’s brother, Robin, who is more submissive than anything else, and Robin’s eventual mate. It’s interesting how it all plays out and the emotions that run rampant through every character in this book but there’s also a whole host of interesting shifter capabilities (like sensers and their healing ability) that I loved reading about because it made this shifter story unique in its own way, which made this read stand out from ordinary shifter stories. One of the highlights of this book is definitely Tim’s little brother Robin. He’s such a delight to read about because of his mischievous behavior and his very naughty comments. I loved reading every scene he was in.

I really adored this story but it’s not without its problems. First off, the story ends with the assumption that trouble will strike again. I don’t want to go into too much more detail because that will ruin the enjoyment, I think, but I’m just going to say that while it’s an HEA, it’s left open-ended because there’s the realization that more conflict is bound to happen because of their mating. My only other problem was the sister, Debra. She was a real piece of work and I would have happily strangled her if I could have. I’m curious, though, with all her animosity if she’ll be the cause of the problems sure to come. More than that, I’m still left wondering, what does Tim look like? Being from Tim’s POV, we never really know (and if it’s told, I unfortunately missed that). I feel like I should also warn readers that this book has shifter sex in it. While this didn’t bother me, I know that is not some readers’ cup of tea.

Overall, this was a delightful read that was both adorable and hot. It’s intense at times but the characters are definitely loveable and entertaining with a plot that is very intriguing. The world is different but easy to follow and even though it has a sort of open ending, I’m curious where the story will head from here. I’m also wondering if the sequel will be about Jay and Tim or about Robin and his eventual mate. Really looking forward to finding out!


caribbeanblues185Title: Caribbean Blues
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 15,900
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, HEA, Marine Biologists, On Vacation, Short Story, Sea/Sail/Rivers
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

When Jon Lawson’s ex dumps him just before a romantic vacation to the Bahamas, Jon decides to go it alone in order to prove he’s not as boring as his ex claims he is. Once there, he meets marine biologist Derrick Mason, who seduces him into a passionate vacation affair and teaches Jon about more than just the dolphins that brought them together. But when Derrick offers his heart, can Jon put aside safety and security to take a leap of faith that will change his life forever?

REVIEW

The duo writing under the pseudonym Ari McKay are quickly turning into authors I’m starting to love. I look forward to each story I read by them and have enjoyed every one of them so far.

This one was no different. Jon gets dumped right before a romantic vacation to the Bahamas. To prove he’s not stuck in a rut and as boring as everyone claims him to be, he throws all caution to the wind and embraces his freedom by himself. In doing so, he gets to accomplish one of his lifelong dreams – swimming with dolphins. He meets Derrick Mason, the dolphin trainer at the resort, who’s love of dolphins rivals Jon’s. An instant attraction consumes them both and before long, they’re full-fledged into a vacation fling. Unfortunately, their feelings are running deeper than a passing attraction and it’s up to Jon to decide if he should stay his boring self and return home or embrace his new self-confidence and the love that gave him it.

One of the things I adored about this story is how much Jon grew as a character in such a short read. He starts out very self-conscious and self-deprecating but with Derrick’s tender care, he blossoms and develops that confidence he desperately needed to feel good and happy. I loved Derrick because of that and although we don’t know much about him beyond surface details, I enjoyed the way he was portrayed. Another thing I loved were the dolphins. I smiled whenever they were in the scene and how easily Jon bonded with one of the surliest and grumpiest dolphins at the resort – Scrooge. I just loved how much Jon and Derrick connected over them and especially the fact the story held that connection.

The book mostly consists of the beginning of Jon’s vacation and the end of it when he goes home. We don’t get much details in between but I strangely didn’t mind that because of how they interacted in the beginning. I will say the story was too short because I really would have enjoyed more details about them, especially in the end to see how they live their lives from then on. That was my main problem, I suppose. Although, I should warn readers that the ending gets a bit too sweet and it is insta-love but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Overall, a good story with likable characters and sweet dolphins. A bit more development and details would have been ideal but it’s well-written and doesn’t feel rushed. It has sweet moments, playful moments and a tad bit of heartbreak. I definitely recommend it for those looking for a quick, easy read.


Pack BusinessTitle: Pack Business (Pine Hollow Wolves #2)
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Length: 22,138 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, Existing Relationship, HEA, Kids, Pets, Secrets & Lies, Series, Wolf Shifters
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Division lines are drawn when Hannah’s unusual gift creates panic within the pack. Liam has to choose between his pack and his new family and the choice he makes could have deadly consequences for the ones he loves. A confrontation for Travis will alter his and Hannah’s lives forever and he’ll have to make his own choices for the future of all he holds dear.

REVIEW

Liam, Travis and Hannah are just starting to settle into their new lives as a family when things within the pack start to become troublesome. Hannah’s extraordinary gift is causing the pack to become fearful of what she represents. When push comes to shove, Liam must decide between his family and his pack but family always comes first. Now Liam has to figure out a way to keep Travis and Hannah safe by himself and build up the courage to let Travis know just how much he and Hannah have come to mean to Liam.

I liked this one better than the first one because it had more conflict that branched out to include more of the shifter community. I also felt like this one was livelier with more emotions in it. You see further into Liam as a character and realize he has a knack for the dramatic but also a world of love for Travis and Hannah. Travis is more accepting and laid-back in this book because his life is settled and not as rough as it was. Hannah is, of course, still extremely adorable and I loved the little scenes with her even if I did think once or twice that her attitude seemed like a girl older than a two-year old.

This story had more action than the last. Whereas Almost Paradise was a sweet, slow story, this one was slightly too fast for the amount of conflict within it. Regardless, I found all of it very entertaining because it was so different than the first one but also because Liam tended to get a tad snarky while he’s snarling at other shifters.

I believe this series still suffers from a lack of detail because I still have questions about Hannah and the shifter community. To be honest, there’s a six month gap between Almost Paradise and this book that would have been beneficial to read about because it seemed like Liam figured out what Hannah was, how she used her abilities and how he found out that information that would have been nice to read about. We are told instead of shown, though, and that actually created more questions than answers. Beyond that, this book was a bit too rushed, which made the resolutions for each conflict seem a tad weak. I think the fact the whole story takes place over 24 hours added to the rushed feeling. If it had been spaced out over a longer period of time with a bit more details around everything, this story would have been a very good one.

All in all, I still really enjoyed it. It’s sweet with more romance than the last book but also with more action as well. We get to see more into Liam’s side of things by meeting new shifters and getting a taste of what a shifter life is like. I do love the way Liam and Travis are progressing in their relationship even if it is very fast, it’s still sweet. I’m curious is Samson, Liam’s alpha, will be getting a story. Even though he was a bit of a bastard, I’d still love to read about him getting his own man!