Mini Reviews: MM Romance #4

book-review-panda

Hello, world! Despite lack of recent evidence, I’m still alive and breathing! I’m just having a really hard time to go back to my blogging schedule – I don’t have a good excuse. But today I’m back and with reviews! THE MIRACLE.

On another bunch of mini reviews, I’ll talk about more gay romances that I have read over the year and haven’t reviewed yet =)

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) regardless of my feelings, were too short for a complete review; c) regardless of my feelings, weren’t unforgettable.

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

  • Amanda Young – Crushing

  • Harper Logan – Groomed to Perfection (The Neeson Boys #2)

  • Harper Logan – Baby Daddies (The Neeson Boys #3)

  • Hawke Oakley – Love Me, Hate Me (SERIES #)

  • Mia Kerick – Scarred

*~.Crushing.~*

From Amanda Young

34013869

Rating: 4 stars

Reading period: March 1st to 4th, 2017

Format: ebook

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

Release date: Jan 25th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

When his girlfriend demands he settle down and start a family, Cole Winchester has some hard decisions to make. Marry his girlfriend, or finally break free of the closet and own up to his attraction to men.

A run in with an old friend on the beach, propels Cole’s fantasies out into the open and forces him to confront his deepest desires. Before him, lies the choice of a lifetime–embrace his desire for another man or go back to living the cold, repressed life he carved for himself.

Author’s note: this title was previously released under the name Taboo Desires.

PROS

This book was a delight to read, to be honest. A summery kind of second chance romance, it has the whole package: romance, sex, drama, a beautiful encounter in the beach… All the good stuff we love! ❤

The writing is very fluid, so you just fly through the book, you know? It’s a short story, so you can read it in one sitting, making it the perfect beach read!

CONS

I got angry at Cole all the time, to be honest. I do understand that coming out must be hard, but seriously, why insist on keeping his girlfriend around when he didn’t love her? It was just cruel. He could be a closeted guy without making someone else miserable. Anyway, that’s just my opinion, but let’s get serious.

As this is a short story, there were a few problems in the characters construction, as there wasn’t enough time for deep developments, and that’s why the book lost a star. When I finished the story, it was as if something was missing even with the well-closed end 😦

COVER ANALYSIS

What can I say about those two shirtless hotties in the beach that I barely knew and already have my heart? It’s a simple cover, it’s true, but I think it works wonders to show exactly what the story is all about, haha! ;D

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of short stories, gay romance (obviously) and steamy scenes!

panda-goodreads-icon

 *~.Groomed to Perfection.~*

From Harper Logan

The Neeson Boys #2

groomed to perfection

Rating: 5 stars

Reading period: March 17th, 2017

Format: ebook

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

Release date: March 15th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

Gavin Neeson worked hard to get into Beasley University—one of the most prestigious institutions in the country—so he could make a better life from himself. Five years after graduating, he’s saddled with massive student loan debt and a finance career he isn’t passionate about. When his ex-boyfriend cheats on him and he gains weight, Gavin finds himself in a rut. In desperate need of a boost, he goes to Rosebridge’s gay bar one night and meets Leigh—the man that’ll change his life forever.

Leigh Hensley is a rich kid with a trust fund—but he uses every single cent of it to take care of the animals he’s welcomed into his home. Too bad his parents don’t approve of him running an animal rescue. They want him to get married… immediately, or they’re cutting him off. Leigh’s at a loss until he runs into Gavin in a bar and realizes they could come to a mutually beneficial agreement. The two agreed to get married—for each other’s convenience.

Leigh and Gavin find that they have to do more and more to satisfy the Hensley parents’ demands, but in the process, they find they might have a connection after all. But Gavin’s worried Leigh won’t like him just the way he is, and Leigh doubts Gavin’s interest in the animal rescue. Will this marriage last long enough for Leigh to get control of his trust fund? And will Gavin overcome his insecurities so he can finally find the love he deserves?

You can read here my review for the first book in The Neeson Boys series, My Leading Man, here!

PROS

This was my first gay romance that also approached overweight problems. Sometimes, I admit it hit a bit too close to home for my tastes, as I’m well above a healthy weight for my height, but I was so happy to see it happening, you know? This isn’t my reality, but I acknowledge that there is a taboo involving weight and that it needs to be shown in books. That’s why I’m happy.

The story overall is good, I love Romeo and Juliet vibes in the modern era and for the love of god, THERE ARE PUPPIES IN THIS BOOK! Be aware, those of the faint heart. It’s too cute to handle.

The Neeson Boys series is loosely connected, so you don’t need to read them all or all of them to understand and enjoy each book – I love book series like this!

CONS

First person narrative. Lord help me, I’m saturated. I can enjoy the wonders of a well done first person POV, but I admit is getting harder and harder and the authors that I follow the most seem to be only writing in first person POV now. Sorry about the rant, but let’s get more personal with this book.

To be honest, in my humble opinion, this is the closest of a con that I can think of for this book. I really loved it!

COVER ANALYSIS

I’m not the biggest fan of this cover, as I think the models aren’t particularly similar to the book characters and I don’t think that the dark colors pass the message of the book well. I mean, this is a cute and fluffy romance, not a mystery or something… But what do I know?

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of gay romance, fake relationships, arranged marriages, animals and overweight approach in books.

panda-goodreads-icon

 

*~.Baby Daddies.~*

From Harper Logan

The Neeson Boys #3

baby daddies

Rating: 3 stars

Reading period: April 16th to 17th, 2017

Format: ebook

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

Release date: March 27th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

When a baby is dropped on Phil Erwin’s doorstep, he has three questions: Why’s it here? Where’d it come from? And how does he get rid of it? The English professor’s worked hard to distance himself from his trashy family, and he’s got enough going on without taking on his irresponsible sister’s problems. To make matters even worse, an airheaded student is there to witness the embarrassing event.

Jay Neeson has never seen his calm, contemptuous thesis supervisor thrown so far off-balance. Phil’s dazzling intelligence – not to mention his rough-hewn good looks – have always intimidated the masters candidate. Since Jay adores kids, he offers to nanny the chubby-cheeked little girl. Winning Phil’s approval is a potential bonus.

Phil’s sense of duty means he’s stuck with the infant for the moment. As he learns to change diapers and heat up formula, he also begins to appreciate Jay’s intelligence and caring. Forced to spend time more together, the two men realize they care for each other – and for Darlene. But as the three start to feel like a family, Phil and Jay’s custody comes into question.

With outsiders trying to take their baby away from them, will Phil and Jay be torn apart too? Or will they manage to give Darlene a loving home?

PROS

This book, as all the other ones by Harper Logan that I have read so far, is extremely sweet and it involves a baby girl that is sooooo cute you will want to rip her off the pages and hug, haha! Oops, spoiler 😉

The character construction is pretty neat and the plot, interesting. Of course that, being a sugared romance, you won’t have any deep mysteries or extraordinary stuff happening, but I always think that life itself is the most complex thing we got, so… I don’t even know what I’m babbling anymore. Point is: this is cute.

CONS

Logan took too many poetic liberties regarding the growth of the baby girl and her abilities as a baby. Also, I felt huge vibes of instalove and I can’t cope well with it. To make things a little worse, this was a first person narrated book, with switching POVs between both protagonists and I didn’t really like any of them. It’s a great story, but I would have been happier if I hadn’t read it.

COVER ANALYSIS

This cover is one of my favorites for gay romances so far. There is color, fluffiness, models that look like the characters and illustrates very well what the book is about. I honestly love it ❤

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of gay romance, instalove, family romances, college settings and sugared romances!

panda-goodreads-icon

 

*~.Love Me, Hate Me.~*

From Hawke Oakley

34283803

Rating: 4 stars

Reading period: March 5th to 6th, 2017

Format: ebook

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

Release date: Feb. 12th, 2017

summary-panda-no-background

After growing up with less than perfect behavior, Aaron is starting fresh at his new college: new dorm, new experiences – and hopefully, a new boyfriend.

But it all goes to hell on the first day when he instantly makes a new enemy: a tall cocky guy named Riley – who turns out to be Aaron’s roommate.

Now Aaron has to navigate the unknowns of college life while a man who hates his guts sleeps right next to him. But are Riley’s feelings towards Aaron really that simple? Aren’t love and hate two sides of the same coin?

PROS

This story surprised me in all the right ways. I was expecting a simple book about the new guy in campus falling for his jerk straight friend, but what I received was so much more. The feelings in this book are so real, it brings so many real problems to the surface… Seriously, I caught myself tearing up at some points and I’m not easily moved.

I also loved to see the afterwards of the great happily ever after – it is well known that a story only has a happy ending when you stop at the right moment, but most romances (not only gay ones, all of them) never quite show how the couple deal with their new reality of being a pair and how does this affect their lives. This book shows this and it was perfect.

CONS

First person narrative again, aaargh!! Also, I couldn’t relate at all with Aaron or support his crush on Riley, as the guy was a major dick. The story is from Aaron’s POV and, as I didn’t like the guy, I was in pure agony.

COVER ANALYSIS

I don’t want to talk about this one because I hated it with the force.

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of gay romance, college settings, drama and self-discovery books!

panda-goodreads-icon

 *~.Scarred.~*

From Mia Kerick

scarred

Rating: 2 stars

Reading period: April 3rd, 2017

Format: ebook

Source: Xpresso Book Tours

Release date: March 1st, 2017

Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.

Gradually, Vedie and Matthew unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?

PROS

I finally understood the concept of gender-fluid people and how they feel. I think it is too easy to say everyone is free to be whatever they want, but how can you accept something you don’t know? I was skeptical of gender-fluid people, especially because I’m quite comfortable with my born gender and because I’m friends with transsexual people, so how can someone be both things? Well, this book taught me, haha! I feel much more comfortable with the subject now and I’m way more supportive of their rights!

Unfortunately, that’s where the pros end for me.

CONS

I don’t even know where to begin. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t like the plot, the book was first person narrative and, to make matters worse, Vedie not only speaks on a certain dialect, he also thinks on it. As a non-native English speaker, I couldn’t understand half of his parts and it made me so sad! And, with the chosen narrative style, there was no way out of it if the author wanted to keep the character, well, literally in character.

So frustrating.

COVER ANALYSIS

You can read my cover analysis for this book in this post =)

RECOMMENDED FOR

Fans of gay romances and gender-fluid approached in romances.

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

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

w

Connecting to %s