Mini Reviews: M/M books #3

book-review-panda

Hello, guys!!! Good Sunday to you and cheers to free time, at last! ❤ Today’s edition of mini reviews are more gay romances, as I do read those quite a lot, but this lot have all something in common (you know, besides all books being gay romances an all): I have received ARC copies of all books in exchange for honest reviews at Amazon! That was done ages ago, so now I’m properly reviewing the books over here too =) Thank you for all the authors and ARC programs once again for my ebook copies ❤

Just remembering that the mini reviews deal is a combination of inspirations from Cait, of The Paper Fury, and from Lindsey, of @thepagemistress, and that I do those with books that: a) I really liked, but the book didn’t change my life; b) were too short for a complete review; c) were good, but weren’t unforgettable.

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Casey Cameron – More than Luck (Legendary Pairs #2)

  • Harper Logan – Something New

  • Harper Logan – My Leading Man (The Neeson Boys #1)

  • Stella Starling – Be True (At Last, The Beloved Series #1)

  • Stella Starling – Be Loved (At Last, The Beloved Series #3)

*~.More Than Luck.~*

From Casey Cameron

Legendary Pairs #2

more than luck

Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: Feb. 13th to 14th, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review at Amazon

Release date: Feb. 8th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

Drey Harper isn’t looking for love; he had more than enough heartbreak after a betrayal cost him everything five years ago. Now at 40, he’s the art director for the hit collectible card game Legendary Pairs. Between long hours at work and countless anonymous hookups, Drey’s life seems pretty full…until the day he meets Lucas Cho.

In the world of Legendary Pairs, 24-year-old Lucas Cho is a superstar. He plays for big money and parties like a rock star, and his arrogant swagger gets him what he wants, at the gaming table or in bed. But when a chance encounter with Drey in a crowded bar leaves him wanting more, all his fortune and skills count for nothing.

The company thinks Lucas’s glamorous playboy lifestyle is good for business, but it’s going too far–Lucas is spinning out of control, and Drey has been sent to clean up the mess and save Lucas’s sponsorship. With a major tournament coming up and Lucas’s contract with Legendary Pairs on the line, it’s up to Drey to keep him out of the bottle and walking that line.

For Lucas, the stakes have never been higher, but the game he’s playing has nothing to do with cards and everything to do with the stoic older man who’s captured his attention. Drey knows a relationship between them is out of the question–Lucas is too young, too reckless, too broken–but the more time he spends in Lucas’s company, the more he wants what he shouldn’t have in this steamy May/December romance.

PROS

This was my first romance by Casey and omg, I’m blown away. I’m stunned with the intensity of her character building, her flawless plotlines, the raw pain and joy present on each emotion shown, the sexiness of the steamy scenes and how sweet Casey can make reality be despite all the difficulties. Seriously, this book touched my heart.

Oh! And the narrative is third person from both Lucas and Drey’s POVs ❤

CONS

Despite being swept off my feet, More than Luck was a risk read for me. I don’t like great age gaps between the couple, regardless of the involved individuals’ genres. In this particular case, it didn’t prove to be an issue as I feared, but I don’t see myself going for this particular element again any time soon?

COVER ANALYSIS

The truth is that I don’t really like this cover. The Photoshop felt too strong on the models, all this orange barely helps us to see the city beneath the couple, I didn’t like the models and the black board is pointless. I just really like the fonts used on the writings and the disposal of the elements, oops!

QUOTES

Drey has pratically all the wisdom in this book, so no Lucas passages, sorry!

Dwelling on problems in his past was pointless when the present had more than enough trouble to keep him occupied. – Drey’s thoughts

~*~

Drey knew full well he had to get over this tendency to assume everyone did everything just to spite him. Just because he was a vindictive bastard didn’t mean everyone else was, too.

~*~

Unresolved issues between him and other men were starting to become a pattern in his life. – Drey’s thoughts

And this killer dialogue:

Drey: And that’s the only reason you want to stay?

Lucas: Oh, totally. The sole reason. It’s not at all so I can get you to fuck me at least fifteen more times in every position I can think of.

Drey: If you can only think of fifteen positions, I worry about the depth of your sexual education.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of M/M romance, card games, drama and people that, like me, believe that is never too-late to find the one

panda-goodreads-icon

*~.Something New.~*

From Harper Logan

something new

Rating: 4 stars

Reading period: Feb. 17th to 18th, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review at Amazon

Release date: Feb 11th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

A marriage of convenience is one thing. But married to a straight guy? That’s a whole different story…

Brooklyn Blackwell’s got a dissertation to finish and tenure to secure – the last thing he’s looking for is romance. But with his advisor’s charity on the brink of losing funding, Brooklyn’s got one shot at saving it. The bet seems easy enough: marry a straight guy, stay married for a year, and snag a hundred thousand dollars. It doesn’t count as romance if the guy’s not into him, right? This should be a piece of cake…

Austin Hastings never planned on getting married – to a man or a woman. Scarred by his parents’ impressively bad example, he planned on traveling the world, not winding up trapped in a relationship in some podunk town. But the longer Austin spends in his mind-numbing corporate job, the more monotonous his life becomes. Marrying a gay guy might seem a little strange, but there’s one thing it’s definitely not: Boring.

There’s only one problem – the more Austin gets to know Brooklyn, the more attractive the guy gets. Normally, he’d be all for a little harmless exploration. But is it still harmless when the guy you’re exploring is your husband?

Things get even more complicated when pictures of them in bed together accidentally go viral online. They’re supposed to stay married for a year – will they even make it a month? Or will their marriage of convenience turn into something entirely new?

PROS

This book was one of the funniest romances I have ever read! The character’s upward humor was brilliant and warmed my heart with every new scene ❤ Also, I love fake-relationship plots and the contrasts between Brooklyn and Austin just made it all more cute and believable!

CONS

The most cliché line of all times was used on this book and not once, but TWICE. It is one of the few things I can hardly forgive in first person narratives… Which line, you ask? This one and all its sisters in similar wording: “I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding”.

COVER ANALYSIS

I’m not this cover’s biggest fan. While I like the elements position, the colors, the font used on the writings for both the title and the author’s name, I don’t feel that those models represent the physical description given for Austin and Brooklyn in the book and this is a HUGE turn off for me when we deal with covers with models. Yep, I’m a pain regarding aesthetic questions.

QUOTES

This book had many, MANY brilliant moments, both in dialogues and passages, so it was a mess to choose only the best pieces, ugh! Seriously, read the book.

“I just don’t understand why it has to be such a big deal, you know? Like, it shouldn’t matter what gender someone is. If you want to kiss them, you should be able to kiss them without it being a whole thing.” – Austin

~*~

It didn’t matter that most of my brain was telling me that I was being paranoid. The paranoid part of my brain was louder. – Brooklyn’s thoughts

~*~

“Promise me that if we ever decide to become famous again, we pick something that only octogenarians will care about. It’d be easier to outrun groups of people who use walkers to get around.” – Brooklyn

And those killer dialogues:

Brooklyn: I thought maybe I should do something to mark the occasion. You only get fake-married once, you know?

Austin: Real-fake-married, though. And I certainly hope you’ve never done this before. I’d be hurt to find out I wasn’t your first.

~*~

Brooklyn: It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they have little whales in their belt.

Austin: I’ll remember that. Next time, I’ll wear the one with lobsters.

Brooklyn: Lobsters are much more serious, you’re right.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of M/M contemporary romance, fake-relationships and funny books!

panda-goodreads-icon

 

*~.My Leading Man.~*

From Harper Logan

The Neeson Boys #1

my leading man

Rating: 4 stars

Reading period: Mar. 8th to 9th, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: received from the author in exchange for an honest review at Amazon

Release date: Feb. 27th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

There’s no forgetting your first love.

It’s been twelve years since the boy next door disappeared from Steven Neeson’s life, but he’s never been able to forget the promise they made to each other. Since then, Steven has been lost on his path through life, suffering through stagnation and the inability to follow his desire to become a writer. When he learns that his old neighbor grew up to become a famous movie star, Steven decides to risk everything and leave his life behind. Screenplay in hand, it’s off to LA for a chance at the big time—and to reunite with his childhood sweetheart.

Kalvin Hinderbrook is Hollywood’s hottest new leading man and most eligible bachelor. He’s spent his entire career avoiding romance in order to keep his orientation hidden, afraid that coming out of the closet would kill his chances to reach the A-List. It’s been easy for him to sacrifice love for acting, but that all changes when he shows up in town.

In just one passionate night, their reunion breaks every wall Kalvin set up to protect himself, but he can’t afford to fall for Steven again. He’s about to take on the biggest role of his career, and he’s sacrificed too much to let it all crumble now—so why can’t he control these feelings he thought were long gone?

They once believed they would be together forever. Can old love be strong enough to transcend the challenge of time?

PROS

The sex scenes were delicious, but too few for this romance category, in my humble opinion. Or maybe I just felt like seeing more sheets action between Kalvin and Steven? Oops! Hahaha! The characters and settings are very well built and Harper explored the point “career versus happiness” like a boss ❤

CONS

There were several unrealistic social situations in this book that completely killed the mood for me. While the romance was true and sweet, I can’t believe that a star as big as Kalvin would believe that his childhood boyfriend would come back for him after 12 years without any dark reasons behind the effort. #justsaying

COVER ANALYSIS

I LOVED THIS COVER. I NEED A PAPERBACK OF THIS BOOK IN MY SHELVES. I don’t even know if this is available in paperback, but omg, I need it. Harper’s covers are always well composed when we talk about elements and scenario, but omg those models hit me good and hard. They are exactly how I imagined Kalvin and Steven to be! Also, I love that Harper pratically always uses the rainbow pattern behind the author’s name and the red coloring for the word “leading” was a brilliant choice. What can I say? Everything is just PERFECT.

QUOTES

The dialogues in this book are killers, so spotlight for two times in which Kalvin and Steven were brilliant together:

Kalvin: Does this movie have a name?

Steven: Untitled.

Kalvin: Very mysterious.

~*~

Kalvin: How about this – you wear a hat and sunglasses too, and we’ll both look weird and suspicious together.

Steven: They might think we’re trying to rob the place.

Kalvin: Ooh, fun!

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of M/M, drama, friends-to-lovers, celebrity life backstage and contemporary romance =)

panda-goodreads-icon

*~.Be True.~*

From Stella Starling

At Last, The Beloved Series #1

be true

Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: Jan. 16th to 17th, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: received from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review at Amazon

Release date: Jan. 06th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

“When we’re in public, you’re mine.”

Outspoken, outgoing, and outrageously out, Trevor Rogers isn’t one to say no when opportunity comes knocking. And jetting off to New York City to play the part of reclusive billionaire Logan Carter’s boyfriend for a Valentine’s Day publicity campaign? That’s not just a yes, but oh hell yes.

When Logan Carter’s business partner, the founder of the popular dating app bLoved, starts receiving death threats and has to stay out of the public eye, Logan is thrust into the limelight. The only problem? Logan doesn’t do public. He also learned the hard way never to mix business with pleasure… no matter how tempting someone like Trevor might make it.

Trevor doesn’t want to be tied down, and Logan isn’t interested in opening up… but if falling in love is all just an act, why does saying “I love you” start to feel so real?

PROS

This book made my world stop when I first started reading, making me fall in love with another author: Stella. The chemistry between the characters was masterfully done, the settings, the relationships, the EVERYTHING was perfect, haha! Seriously, 5 stars without blinking.

CONS

This cover. Seriously, the story had everything for me, but this cover… Ugh.

COVER ANALYSIS

Sorry for the spoiler in the first line, haha! I don’t like this cover. While it has a fresh and fun look to it, I don’t think the models represent AT. ALL. The characters and, as I said before, this is a big issue with me. Also, I don’t usually like then the book covers are so obviously branded in the element positioning. Just look this cover and the next. For the non-observant reader, they could be the same book. #justsaying

QUOTES

Trevor was one of the bubbliest characters I’ve ever met and Logan was practically a rock (he’s just not good with spontaneity or social situations outside business, poor rich thing), so Trevor is the main star on these quotes:

Feelings of fashion inadequacy were just nerves. – Trevor’s thoughts

~*~

He’d listened. He’d remembered. Most importantly, he’d cared enough to act. – Trevor’s thoughts

~*~

Logan put the man in romantic. – Trevor’s thoughts

And those killer dialogues (you know, then Logan spoke at all, haha!):

Kelly: I hope this coach you’ve got coming in is worth his salt. What are his qualifications?

Logan: He made me laugh.

Kelly: Holy fucking shit. Put him on the permanent payroll. Done.

~*~

Trevor: You scared me.

Logan: It’s my house. I’m allowed to be wherever I want to be in it.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of M/M, contemporary romance, fake-relationships, billionaires getting their way, Cinderella-like plotlines and fun books!

panda-goodreads-icon

*~.Be Loved.~*

From Stella Starling

At Last, The Beloved Series #3

be loved

Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: Mar. 06th to 08th, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: received from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review at Amazon

Release date: March 4th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

“How do you fall out of love with your best friend?”

Police Officer Brandon Byrne has carried a torch for his best friend since the day they first met. He’s mastered the art of keeping his feelings to himself as Shane, a serial monogamist, falls out of one bad relationship and right into another, again… and again… and again. But now, after ten long years, it’s finally time to face reality.

Shane’s getting married, and what Brandon once thought was his destiny is just never going to happen.

On the cusp of saying yes to his boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Shane Allen is getting cold feet. He’s always wanted a happily-ever-after… so shouldn’t he be more excited at the thought that it’s finally about to happen? But when he takes a compatibility quiz on the popular gay dating app, bLoved, it does more than just help him answer that question, it opens his eyes to some scary truths.

Maybe it’s not just cold feet. Maybe it’s time to get out.

Brandon might finally get his chance at the one thing he’s always wanted, but only if he can protect Shane long enough to take it… because when Shane’s rejection exposes his ex’s true nature, it starts to look a lot like that of a psychopath.

PROS

The psychological intensity of this book stunned me. I walked in expecting a sugared romance like the first one and BAM! There’s a psycho ex, stalking, police work and very dangerous situations! IT WAS SO REFRESHING! I LOVEEEEED IT ❤ Also, both Brandon and Shane are huuuge nerds, so the references are killers!

CONS

The cover, again. And I continue to dislike the series covers.

COVER ANALYSIS

It’s the same problem in book #1: these guys aren’t Shane and Brandon. Brandon doesn’t even has a beard, for crying out loud!!! Just no.

QUOTES

“I’m just a normal guy, who likes video games and cheeseburgers and the Black Eyed Peas, and who just so happens to also like other guys, too. It’s never been a problem for me, and if it’s a problem for anyone else, that’s their problem.” – Shane

~*~

It had gotten to the point where every mention of Peter’s name made Brandon want to hit something. Preferably something named Peter.

And this killer dialogue:

Shane: That championship is mine.

Brandon: You’re mistaken, young Jedi. But mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

Shane: Did you seriously just do a mash up of Star Wars and Bruce Lee?

Brandon: What can I say? I’ve got mad skills.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of M/M, thrillers, contemporary romance, nerdy culture, drama and big loving families ❤

panda-goodreads-icon

~*~

And we’re done! Phew, so many books and so little time!! Thank you soooo much for reading! Hope I could pick your interest for one or two of these babies =)

With love,

annelise-panda-signature-no-background

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: M/M books #3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s