Mini Reviews: M/M books #3

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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)

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Guarding Mr. Fine, by HelenKay Dimon (Tough Love #3)

(alternative title: Mr. Fine INDEED, where do I find myself one of those to keep guarded in my room? *–*)

Good night, everyone! Welcome to a very special moment in the form of my review for the third book in the Tough Love series, by goddess HelenKay Dimon: Guarding Mr. Fine! ❤

You see, this book holds a special place in my heart because the first volume of the series was my first ever spies gay romance ❤ I looooove action/adventure books and sadly is still hard to find good ones in the diverse shelves, aka my favorites, so it was a huuuge moment for me to have virtually met HelenKay’s work *–* I’ve read and reviewed all books so far and since I had finished The Talented Mr. Rivers I knew I just had to have Guarding Mr. Fine ❤

Now that I’m done with all the raving, let’s go to the particulars: I have received this book from Loveswept, the publisher, in exchange for an honest review and this is the moment of truth! [haha]

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As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.

Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.

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Me after finishing this book:

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In a Gilded Cage, from Mia Kerick

Good morning, beauties! Welcome to my review for In a Gilded Cage, a lovely Rapunzel M/M retelling from Mia Kerick *–* I received my copy from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review to be posted during their book tour for this title. Thank you so much, guys! It was an amazing experience =D

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Prin is a boy with a mission: to succeed in life. After a childhood with barely enough food to eat, Prin is ready to the next step of life: college, working, getting famous and getting rich. Not necessarily in that order, as he really needs the money as soon as possible.

To make sure he’ll have the necessary funds to move to Boston once he graduates and that he won’t be a burden to his awesome loving parents, Prin arranges a job as the gardener of Damien Gothan’s ridiculously large Estate. With soccer practice, his college classes and assignments and a world of lawn to mow, one would expect Prin to have his head completely focused on his life goals.

Well, Prin had managed to accomplish that until he lays eyes on Lucci, Damien’s heavily guarded son. What began with a giggling and playful race across Gothan’s gardens soon becomes an obsession to Prin. Who is Lucci and why no one seems to know him? Why does Damien guard him so fiercely?

More importantly: How will Prin manage to see Lucci again?

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Me after finishing this book:

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The Road Home, from Elsa Winters & Brad Vance

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(Alternative title: ridding a roller coaster wouldn’t have given me more emotions)

Moorning, everyone! Welcome to the review for my first read of 2017! I’d say we started the year with the right foot if only I could just forget about the 748543303 reviews from 2016 I still own you. Ugh.

Today I’ll be talking about another M/M romance that I received from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review: The Road Home, from Elsa Winters & Brad Vance. The time has arrived =D Thank you so much for my copy, guys!

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Nick Carpenter grew up in the foster system after watching his parents die in a car crash. Now, he’s finally found a place for himself as an EMT. Partnered with a gruff but very competent paramedic as his first assignment in Seattle, he figures that it’s best to keep this working relationship strictly professional, even if Andrew is hot as hell.

Andrew Hazard loves his job, even if he gets paired with a different EMT every couple weeks. Once an EMT proves himself incompetent, Andrew makes no effort to be friends with them. That’s why it’s such a relief when Nick comes along. He keeps the ambulance stocked, he can drive well, and he knows how to start an IV. He’s great at saving lives, and also a great person to hang out with. From hiking to movies, they find themselves spending a lot of time with each other. Nick’s homosexuality definitely isn’t a problem, even though Andrew’s girlfriend jokes that he wants to spend more time with Nick than with her.

When Andrew gets the chance of a lifetime – going to the prestigious UCLA Medical School – his girlfriend doesn’t share his enthusiasm. And so, freshly broken up, Andrew asks Nick to go with him on a road trip down south to check out the area. Nick wants to keep him as his best friend, even though his romantic feelings have reached a fever pitch. But he also realizes that this could be his last chance to let Andrew know how he feels. Will Andrew let Nick into his heart, or will this road trip be their last hurrah?

Me after finishing this book:

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Sugar Season, from Spencer Spears

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(Alternative title: OH MY STARS, THIS BOOK WAS TOO PERFECT FOR MY LITTLE PANDA HEART!)

Hello, romance fans! We’re about to start a really sweet review [haha, I’m so funny] for Sugared Season, from Spencer Spears! I have received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review – again, thanks so much, Spencer! – and the moment is here! Btw, before we start, Happy Book Birthday to Sugar Season ❤ ❤

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Graham lost his husband Joey five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. He knew he should be grateful for having at least a handful of years next to the man of his life, but the memories had been too much for Graham. How was he supposed to move on when he didn’t have the courage to take his ring off? When he had to drive to Joey’s parents once a year for a depressing and heart shattering ritual?

More importantly: why won’t people allow Graham to suffer alone? The only man he wants is Joey – no one else will do.

Ryan lost his elder perfect brother five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. After a lifetime of resentment towards Joey, wishing every day for the guy to vanish within air and put an end to their mother’s comparisons, Ryan suddenly saw his wishes coming true in an awful and heart breaking way. Despite knowing that he hadn’t caused the war Joey had been fighting in when he died, Ryan feels responsible for his death. To help matters, Ryan just lost all his money to a con man in New York and was forced to move back in with his parents, enduring twice more the comparisons from his mother.

All Ryan wants is some perspective in life and a minute without listening to any kind of critic to his looks or his choices.

Graham and Ryan worlds’ collide when both men decide to stray from their regular modus operandi and make out in the parking lot of a highway bar. It wasn’t supposed to mean anything… Until they discover just how related they are.

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Me after finishing this book:

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Mini Reviews: M/M books #2

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Hii and welcome to another chunk of mini reviews! If you missed the first one, never fear – it’s here!

I was hoping I could deliver you all the reviews I own you, but oh well. The year ended on me. #what #pandalogic Soo, I’ll just make the mini reviews a deal for books I’ve read on my own and weren’t unforgettable =)

This idea is a combination of inspirations from Cait, of The Paper Fury, and from Lindsey, of @thepagemistress

As always, feedback is welcome and needed, but in this section especially, TELL ME WHAT AM I DOING, PLEASE?! I await your instructions on the comments section, haha!

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

  • Amber Kell – Attracting Anthony (Moon Pack #1)
  • Cardeno C. – Jumping In (ALPHAS #6)
  • Liv Rider – Dragon Sun
  • Tavia Lark – Werewolf Happy Hour (The Raven Park Wolves #1)
  • Tavia Lark – A Game of Cat and Wolf (The Raven Park Wolves #2)
  • Tavia Lark – Never Been Bitten (Vampire Delivery Service #1)
  • Wolf Specter & Rosa Swann – The Baby Pact (The Baby Pact Trilogy #1)
  • Wolf Specter – Omega’s Touch (Anima Sanator #1)

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Mini Reviews: M/M books #1

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Hello, panda shippers! Hope everyone is on the beautiful path for the new year and having a good time =) Today I’d like to talk about those 83479303203902 late reviews I own you all.

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I know, it’s bad, but thanks to Cait, from The Paper Fury, I FINALLY found a perfect solution to speed things up with my reviews, especially regarding books that were good, but not remarkable: MINI REVIEWS!

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I know what you’re thinking. But Annelise, the whole internet and the galaxies know about your George R. R. Martin syndrome, so how are you planning to write mini reviews?!

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Thankfully, I have another awesome friend that helped me solving this problem: Lindsey, from @thepagemistress ❤ A looong time ago, she asked how I organized my ideas for a review and we chatted about this for hours until she finally came up with her own method for Goodreads reviews and I’m graciously using them as well for the Mini Reviews posts =)

As this is the first one, I apologize for it being so long, but explanation is necessary! I’ll try to stick to a theme when doing mini reviews, so you know what you’ll find here =) Feedback is always welcome and needed, but in this section especially, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO IN THE COMMENTS LATER, PLEASE?!

Now, let’s do this, haha!

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

  • Andrew Grey – Eyes Only For Me
  • Aria Grace – More Than Friends (More Than Friends #1)
  • Aria Grace – Drunk In Love (More Than Friends #2)
  • Chad Lane – Only For You (Only For You #1)
  • Holley Trent – Winterball (Den of Sin #10)
  • Jack Woolf – Police Force

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Order Up, from Declan Rhodes

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Good night, cookers! What’s up? Okay, if you’re not a cooker, good night to you too – I’m not much of a chef myself, so who am I to judge, right? Haha!

Nonsense aside, today I’ll talk about a cozy woozy sugared romance I’ve received from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review – thanks, guys! It’s Order Up, from Declan Rhodes!

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Food, sex, and romance.

Anthony Hunt is expert at the first two, but his track record is poor on the third. A recent top-of-the-class culinary school graduate, he owns one of the hottest, trendy food trucks in town. Impressed by Anthony’s good looks and appeal to the camera in a losing cause on a TV competition show, New York producers are looking to sign him for a food truck reality show. The only catch…they want him to have a personal life as appealing as his body and face.

Bryan Pierce is a rising young executive. He loves his success and he loves food, but he’s never really loved a man. He has plenty of experience in bed and on dates, but he has set aside relationship entanglements as a casualty of the corporate climb…for now.

One taste of the seductive, spicy shrimp from Anthony’s truck the Pampered Prawn is all that Bryan needs to want to know more about the chef…much more. Bryan is also just the kind of man that would look great on camera at Anthony’s side. It’s a romance of convenience that works like a charm…until real love intervenes.

Me when I finished this book:

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The Farther He Runs, from Lynda Aicher (Kick #3)

Good night, people! Are you ready to rock?!! I hope so, as the book I’ll be reviewing Tonight r o c k e d my world ❤ I’m talking about the third book of the Kick series, from Lynda Aicher: The Farther He Runs! Please, on’t get sad that we are “already” on the review for book 3! All books in the Kick series can be read as standalones, so you can pick your favorite and devour it without worrying about losing content =D

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so buckle your seatbelts and let’s do this! Thanks so much to Loveswept for my copy, I loved it!

Read here my reviews for the previous books in the series!

The Harder He Falls (Kick #1) | The Deeper He Hurts (Kick #2)

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the story

Finn’s survival and recovery from a tragic accident with his cousin and best friend ten months ago can only be described as miraculous. After many months spent into a comma and struggling to recover his movements and basic motor coordination, anyone would be happy to know they are alive.

Not Finn. His Marine pride insists on reminding him all that he had lost in the accident. His shape. His dignity. His best friend. Finn was now just a broken and shallow vessel of the man he used to be – the man he loved to be. And now his remaining best friend and long-term platonic crush, Tanner Dorsey, came home after deployment.

How is Finn supposed to look Tanner in the eye and feel worthy of his attention now?

If anyone ever cares to find out how a true bitch-slap from life can hurt, just ask Tanner Dorsey. After months with barely any communication outside the military world, Tanner comes home to find out one of his best friends is dead and the other, broken.

Tanner has mixed feelings about the tragic accident that took Chris’ life away. While his heart won’t stop bleeding for his best friend any time soon, it’s also his one in a million chance to show Finn, his platonic soul mate, that he is no lesser of a man for relying on others. For relaying on Tanner. However, how could he prove to Finn he would always be there for him?

How is Tanner supposed to convince Finn they could work together?

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Me after finishing this book

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Junior Jolt, from Elaine Ashford (Straight College Guys #3)

(Alternative title: Oh boy, how do I love fake relationships!!)

Hello, my precious people! Just like the goddess Kelly Clarkson, piece by piece I’m slowly getting back to a nice posting pace =) I know you are all too proud of me, but please, hold your horses. I’ll accept the congratulations and all when we go back to 1-3 posts per day, haha!

We’re here gathered today to witness my first book review for one of Elaine Ashford’s romances after months of blind fangirling! A big moment, my people! As I told you yesterday on the biggest bookish news post of my history as a blogger, I ended up on Elaine’s ARC mailing list somehow and received a copy of the third book in the Straight College Guys series, released on this Monday, Nov. 21th, in exchange for an honest review: Junior Jolt! Thanks so much once again to Elaine and her team for selecting mee!! I still don’t understand why it happened, but OMG THANK YOU! I don’t need to understand, I’ll settle for just being insanely happy, haha!

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the story

Parker Gagner is one of those guys who knows exactly what he wants and where he’s going. As the captain of the college’s Hockey team, Parker knows his priorities and lives by the code of honor inside and out of the ice rings. That’s why he steps up in the middle of Eli’s fight with his ex-lover and promptly sends the guy off by telling him that Parker and Eli are together. Not because Parker can’t stop thinking about Eli those last weeks and how good a kisser he might be. Nope, definitely not – after all, Parker is straight… Isn’t he?

Eli Martin still doesn’t understand what’s happening on his life. Since Parker meddled on his fight with his ex, the Hockey captain came in crashing Eli’s world. How can it be so easy to pretend to date a man with so many responsibilities and so incredibly popular with pretty much everyone? And how can a fake boyfriend put up such an effort to make Eli feel cherished when none of his real previous dates did so?

On one thing, Parker and Eli can agree on: their lives won’t ever be the same.

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Me after finishing the book

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the analysisJust remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

THIS WAS EVERYTHING I’VE BEEN HOPING FOR ON AN ELAINE ASHFORD’S BOOK AND MORE! #discretion #youwontfindhere This book was really short, with only 23k words, but I made a point of taking my time reading it, to savor all the cuteness, the romance and the really funny quotes. It was exactly what my heart called for and it would have made to the big five stars if Elaine hadn’t used the oh-so-famous-line “I released a breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding” not once, but twice (with slightly different wording, but still sounding too similar to the deal-breaker for my tastes). All in all, four beautiful stars ❤

The narrative was first person styled, with switching points of views between Parker and Eli. If you have been around for a review or two and, as I’m really discreet about my tastes, it just may ring you a bell when I say I first person isn’t my usual go-to kind of narrative – you know, it leaves too much space for hate for the characters on my head, haha! Junior Jolt was another delicious exception for this concept of mine and I loved getting inside Parker and Eli’s heads. I admit, Eli and I had our tough moments, as the guy screws up a little on some part during the story I’m so precise, I know, but nothing too serious for me to roll up my eyes and hate him ❤ Also, the fact that this is a short book helped as well. I would have loved to see more of Eli and Parker’s world, but the story had the perfect size, truly.

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I have to say that I fell in love with the lightness and cuteness that flows through Ashford’s writing style. She managed to build real, strong and funny characters without needing many pages and deep intense thoughts on their parts – come on, that’s just fabulous. And I didn’t even get to tell you yet about all the pop culture references inside the book!!

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The plot was simple and fluffy, with all the cuteness my heart had been craving from my latest gay reads. Don’t get me wrong, I love deep and complex stories (I actually have an offline friend that likes to say I “breathe complexity”, haha!), but sometimes I miss the harmony between sad/tense/intense/rough moments with fluffy/cute/funny/light moments. After all, isn’t this what makes a real relationship? Ups and downs? A rollercoaster that never allows you to get down and vomit in peace? #what #gross

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Sorry, that metaphor didn’t quite go as expected, haha! My point is, despite the lack of real depth in Junior Jolt, I do prefer reading them to the completely dramatic ones. Offline life itself is already full of drama, so I don’t feel like absorbing a hit to my guts that was meant for someone fictional that I really care about. I need to stay strong for my friends, for my family, but books are supposed to be strong for me. Otherwise, how am I going to keep sane?

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However, of course, I stray from my original path. Nothing new, but I’m sorry nevertheless! Let’s discuss our characters, right? 🙂 As this is the third book of the series, despite the tranquility of reading it as a standalone, I don’t feel safe to say much about sidekicks, sorry! This time, exceptionally, I’ll just talk about the main couple.

Parker is your dream gentleman hidden beneath his hockey player captain status. He always puts his friends and the people he cares about before himself and go really out of his way to make them happy. I loved how he protected and wooed Eli without Eli even realizing it all before it was too late, haha! I really loved that Ashford was able to build such a male and gentle guy at the same time, burling the stereotypes like a boss ❤

Regardless of my feelings for Eli’s life decisions or panics, he was also very well constructed. He was funny and charismatic without pulling the effort and charmed his way into any social group, which is mildly fantastic! Especially if you, like me, prefer to walk always with the same people, haha! (Don’t get me wrong, I swear I have plenty of friends, but my coolest parties are always with the same girls, oops! I’d totally include Eli on my parties from now on, tho!)

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Also, I feel like is my duty to inform this book has steamy hot scenes and it’s not for those faint of heart. Parker and Eli go good at each other and I really like their chemistry pretty much all the time, haha!

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Now, how about some quotes? Of course we have cool quotes! How else would I woo you guys into fangirling about it with me?? =O Here we go!!

“I’m a fucking catch, thank you very much. Except I remember that Parker just insinuated he’s my boyfriend, and wait, what?” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“It takes a little while for my brain to get back online, distracted by Parker’s…everything.” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“I’m full of excellent decisions, what can I say?” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“Opening the door, I motion for him [Eli] to go in first. He fake curtsies, and I laugh. Just force of habit, I guess – I open the doors for everyone, male or female.” – Parker’s thoughts

~*~

“You just said you needed a diagram to fully explain it. That sounds pretty complicated, Parker.” – Eli

~*~

“I still don’t know what I’m doing, but a little bravery never hurt anyone, right?” – Parker’s thoughts

~*~

To wrap things up: if you are a gay romance lover, a fake relationships lover, a fluffly books lover and you’re ready for that quick and delicious read to relax you all over, you MUST read Junior Jolt ❤

5star

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Thank you for reaching the bottom of this review! It always means a lot to me to know you came all the way down ❤ Also, thanks so much again to Elaine Ashford and to her team for selecting me for this ARC, I was made a very happy and satisfied girl!

Love you all and see you around!

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