wife, mother, book lover

His Roommate's Pleasure - Lana McGregor There are no words. It was hot and sweet all at the same time. I really, really liked it. Made me want to paint fences.
The Ghost on My Couch - L.A. Gilbert Oh what a lovely short story. It's just over 100 pages but I loved Alex from the start. I liked that this was a little different and still very, very, sweet. It gave me the warm and fuzzies and the stomach clenches and for me that's a winner.
All The Colors Of Love - Jessica Freely Okay, to review. Firstly I would say I was given a copy of this book for an HONEST review.

This book was unlike any I had read before. It's a YA sci-fi book and I have to admit, though I love fantasy I have read very little sci-fi. That said I thoroughly enjoyed it - to the point that I was almost late for work because, yeah, I just need to finish this bit.

The two main characters were Harry and Antonin. Harry's dad is an evil super-villain and Antonin's family is just plain weird. As well as his mum, he has an android aunt and an aquatic plant man for an uncle. The two boys end up sharing a room at college and eventually Antonin breaks down Harry's carefully constructed barriers, to become his friend. Unfortunately Harry's dad is not against using this as a tool to get what he wants. He's also not afraid to end lives, so what will Harry do when it's Antonin's life that is on the line? Fighting against his dad, Harry is also trying to deal with his growing feelings for Antonin - he doesn't think he is good enough for him.

The relationship between the two boys was the part of the story I particularly loved - I freely admit, I am a love junkie. Although both boys have had a hell of a lot to deal with whilst growing up, at first glance it appears as though Harry is the stronger one of the two. As the story develops though Antonin's strength shines through. How much they try to protect each other, even to life risking ends, is heart clenching.

Despite sci-fi not being an area I know too well, I really enjoyed this factor of the story. I think it was quite quirky, it wasn't space ships and deep space but an aquatic plant uncle. Well that's cool right there. The super criminal/evil villain story line was great too. If there ever was a villain to hate it's Harry's dad. Until Jessica Freely starts making you feel sorry for him that is.

All of the characters in this story had a bad back history - so much so that they even make a game of it to see who has suffered the most. Some of it is not easy reading, despite the humour that also runs through it.

My only query about this book was the age range it is aimed at. The two boys are 15, so you generally take a couple of years off for the aimed at audience. So if this applies then we're looking at early teens. Lots of elements of the story would be great, they'll love the quirkiness of it. Teens struggling with their own sexual identity would, I think, totally identify with Antonin and Harry. The one thing that made me stop and think was the violence at times. Yes there is much worse readily available to see on TV. Atrocities go on in real life, but the tying up for several days humiliation, and references to rape made me pause.

Now I wouldn't want to put people off reading - it really is an enjoyable book, I just think a slightly older audience, mid to late teens maybe, would be better than those too young. But then again it could just be me and my squeamish side.

I am certainly going to check out more books by this author.

Man-to-Man Coverage: The Extra Point - Nico Jaye These books were perfect shorts for an Autumn evening. I loved the characters of Cam & Brad. I loved that they started as rivals, but as they got to know each other the romance blossomed between them. I love it when a romance starts as friendship, it gives something extra to the relationship in my opinion.

As well as writing two fabulous main characters and a great supporting cast, I loved the detail Nico Jaye writes into her stories with regards to the American football game. I know nothing about the sport but, without boring me, she manages to make it real for me.

I enjoyed the first story so much, I had to read the follow up before I went to sleep! Really lovely short stories for those who love, love.
Man-to-Man Coverage - Nico Jaye These books were perfect shorts for an Autumn evening. I loved the characters of Cam & Brad. I loved that they started as rivals, but as they got to know each other the romance blossomed between them. I love it when a romance starts as friendship, it gives something extra to the relationship in my opinion.

As well as writing two fabulous main characters and a great supporting cast, I loved the detail Nico Jaye writes into her stories with regards to the American football game. I know nothing about the sport but, without boring me, she manages to make it real for me.

I enjoyed the first story so much, I had to read the follow up before I went to sleep! Really lovely short stories for those who love, love.
Simple Men - Eric Arvin So I was kept up until stupid o'clock by Eric Arvin and sexual tension that you could cut with a knife.

Honestly the ST in this book is amazing, there is no way you can just stop reading half way through. So there am I bleary eyed trying to give the dog his insulin injection this morning after definitely not enough sleep - it was touch and go whether it would be the dog or me getting the jab. Reading, an extreme sport.

Simple Men, well it's a great book about relationships. About falling in love. There are four main characters or two potential couples. Chip, the American football coach and Foster the new chaplain, and two of the American football players, Jason and Brad.

Chip is the stereo-typical ball player/lad about town who grew up to be the ball coach/a bit better, but still lad about town. He's in a relationship with a fellow teacher, Lynn, neither of them are particularly committed to it, but it's convenient for now. Then Chip is introduced to Lynn's friend Foster. Now I've been at it with the highlighting features again because, well isn't this the best line? "Still, it was odd how Lynn disappeared. How the world froze and everything that wasn't the chaplain faded to the dullness of a haphazard etching." Gah, that feeling when everything else is just gone and all you are aware of is one person, that feeling, well Eric Arvin nailed it with that sentence, I felt Chip start the descent (ascent?) into love.

Of course Chip hadn't ever really considered that it would be a man he fell in love with, it had always been women in his bed before. Chip was confused about it to start with, and, when things weren't working between him and Foster, he did sleep with another woman but it didn't work. He tried thinking about other men - but that didn't work either. I think this is what I like about this story so much, the message is you don't fall in love with a sex or a gender - you fall in love with a person. Chip loved Foster, so until he met him and realised this nothing, man, woman nor beast (though just to be clear, there were no beasts in this story, at least not in the loving stakes) was going to be right.

Foster, the other part of this potential couple was gay, but he too had been in a bad relationship. The relationship where he was the novelty gay vicar, a bit of a finger stuck up to the world - that was until a bigger 'up yours' came along. So he started work at the university and hoped to quietly lick his wounds. Like Chip he wasn't expecting to fall in love. It is actually Foster who nearly causes this relationship to finish - his friendship with Chip's ex, Lynn, was nearly the end of them. Not wanting Lynn to be hurt, the way his ex hurt him, he called it off. Yep, after stomach clenching moments waiting for them to get together, he finishes it.

Oh okay, I'll just read one more chapter, it's not that late anyway (it is, it's really, really late).

Brad and Jason were the other main characters. They were the kind of 'before' glimpse into Chip's life, the way things could have been for him, if he'd met Foster a couple of decades earlier.

Best friends, they liked nothing better than a prank, except maybe a bit of rough-housing. They'll take on any bet - better than scrubbing the toilets out, right? So when they are dared to kiss each other in the shower they take it in their stride and happily snog away. They are both aware that this actually means a hell of a lot more to them both than the audience of peers watching. Again Arvin let's us into Jason's head perfectly, "He had to push the kiss off like it meant nothing at all. A lie. A big one.......He wanted to know how the kiss felt for Brad. Adjectives. That's what he wanted."

Brad is feeling similarly confused, though being the biggest prankster, the biggest gad about, on the team he has a tougher time admitting how he feels than Jason. I loved how, even though there was all this confusion (and the damn sexual tension), their friendship was still front and centre, they didn't let that slip.

This book does have an HEA (phew), after the build up of tension I think I would have exploded if it didn't. In many ways this is 'Eric Arvin lite', the story lines are perhaps less complex, the 'between the lines' meanings thinner on the ground. It isn't however 'Eric Arvin light' - each sentence is beautiful, words are not wasted. With sentences like this - "Chip doused his anger, and they kissed harder and deeper than the college grounds had seen in some time. There were obscenity laws against such kisses" - how could you not love this book? Go on, read it, you know you want to.
A Man-to-Man Christmas - Nico Jaye A perfect end to this series of short stories. At just 11 pages long it's a tea break filler but the sweetness and fluffiness of it is perfect. Also, the common sense of the little girl - why can't they kiss under the mistletoe, they're in love. Well said. Now can you go tell a few million grown-ups that??
BTW I Love You - Nico Jaye Wow, did I love this book, in fact I can't think of one thing I didn't like about it. But then I'm the first to admit I love me sweet romance and boy does this fit the bill.

Playing chatroulette one night Aiden and Jake met. Or should I say Batman and Wolverine met. Though they both actually go to college in the same town, Jake is currently studying in Australia. They become friends and keep in touch via the internet. Slowly Aiden realises that the chat sessions with Jake are the highlight of his week, but does Jake feel the same way and if he does where do they go from there?

Aiden and Jake were fantastic characters. I loved how you felt everything Aiden did, the uncertainty he had when posting comments, the doubts that niggled his mind. He knew things were getting more serious between the two of them - yet the logical part of him thought it wasn't possible to have such strong feelings for someone you've never met. I loved how both of them were so honest with each other - no mind games and unnecessary angst. Nico Jaye is also really funny and injects that sense of humour into the storyline.

The slow romance was amazing, it was one of those books that had your stomach clenching in anticipation. Nico Jaye wrote it so beautifully I could easily read it again (and no doubt will).

This book is a FREE short by Nico Jaye so there is no reason to stop anyone from reading it. If you like romance you'll love this - check it out.
Drunk Text - seventhswan I was really unsure how I was going to rate his but you know what, I liked it, I really did. I liked Gunnar's transformation - the fact that he was a real bastard, the protagonist we both love and hate and the journey we took with him.

I liked the humour, the other characters and the sex. Oh yes the sex - well when it starts with forgotten finger paint fun and a whole revelation in the S. E. X department, then you know it's going to be one hell of a ride!!

Reading this was lots of fun on a grey Sunday in September!
Like the Taste of Summer - Kaje Harper Like everything Kaje Harper writes this is a beautiful book. I adored how it began, with Jack remembers first falling in love with Sean. I like the reminder that falling in love is sometimes the easy bit, maintaining it over the years can be tricky though. That reminder to look at what's close to home and remember.

Of course the story itself is lovely. Jack and Sean don't have it easy getting the relationship off the ground, but they do and it's sweet and lovely and all those things Kaje Harper does so well. She really writes wonderful relationships.

It's a fabulous short read so check it out.
Learning Curve (Life Lessons, #4) - Kaje Harper Oh wow - well that was a Saturday well spent.

Learning Curve was everything I have come to expect of Kaje Harper's Life lessons series. After four full length novels and some short stories it would have been easy for these characters to become tired and the storyline repetitive - but that was in NO WAY the case.

As ever there was a criminal case as the background, with the main focus of the book being Mac and Tony's relationshi and as ever both parts were handled beautifully. I love the way Kaje Harper writes the crime side of her stories, they are interesting, tense and yet not over angsty - it's all necessary, not too much. As Mac wasn't actively at work in this book there was less Oliver and co - though they were there - but this didn't stop the detective part of the novel being brilliant.

I loved the fact that we met Mac's family in this novel and found out more about what makes him tick. We'd known it wasn't a happy childhood and this was a great insight into Mac. Kaje Harper said this may be the last book, I hope it's only last for a while because I feel there is still plenty of territory to explore there. And I really, really, really want to know more about Mac's brother.

As ever the main focus of this book was Mac and Tony's relationship (sorry I've got to do this I LOVE MAC!! I want him for my birthday with whipped cream and a cherry on top and yes I know he's only fictional. Ok, now that's out of the way..) and again, four books in, the worry at the back of my mind was, is it going to be boring? We've had the getting together, the coming out of the closet, the wedding, the family, where is there to go? There was plenty of places to go and it wasn't at all boring. With every page I felt the love grow between the two of them. it's in the little things as well as the big. The looks, the touches, the worry. They centre each other, it's not just about the sex (though, good lord, the sex is hot) it's about them. And every look, touch and worry makes my heart beat faster.

I love these books and will most definitely read and re-read them again and again. I hope against hope it isn't the last we've heard from them, I'm sure there is a million stories they have yet to tell us. Thank you Kaje Harper for a fabulous series. But mostly thank you for Mac.

If you've not read these books I ask, what the heck are you waiting for? Go and check them out now!!
Another Enchanted April - Eric Arvin Okay, I feel like I'm turning into a one woman Eric Arvin fan club at the moment. I've read several of his books over the last few weeks and have yet to find one I don't love. Another Enchanted April was, yet again, a winner for me. His prose is just beautiful to read, descriptions, humour, characterisation, plot - he has it nailed.

Three friends set off for a holiday to the small seaside town of Beechwood and they each have their own agenda. Tony, who really doesn't want to be there, wants to mind his own business and for everyone else to mind theirs. Doug - beautiful, fit Doug - well his agenda is easy; sex and lots of it please. Jerry's agenda is simply Doug, and the hope that maybe this year his best friend will see what's right in front of his face.

Eric Arvin's sense of humour shines through in this book as all three of the protagonists muddle their way through the holiday. From an orgy in the shower to a narcoleptic hunk who just can't stay awake at the crucial moment, you can pretty much guarantee you've not read it before - and if you have, most definitely not like this.

The descriptions of the gardens (in which much of the book is set) are written so well they paint a vivid picture in the mind's eye. I have found this with his other books, the scenery is not just background to his story, it is a crucial part of it.

This can also be said for his secondary characters, each of them bring something important to the story. I'm very partial to excellent secondary characters and often find I prefer them to the main ones, Eric Arvin manages that fine line between supporting the main cast without over-shadowing them.

I really wanted the characters to have an HEA in this book (okay, I always want an HEA, I like happy) - did they get it? Well you'll have to read it and see! Once again, highly recommended.
Pole Star - Josephine Myles Another enjoyable short - until I discovered M/M I didn't like short stories. Goes to show I was just reading the wrong type.
Sunshine and Buttercups - Danni Keane What a cute, sweet, short. And it has left me longing to read the book for which it is a prequel, Not Letting Go. If you like YA and first love then this is for you.
Junk - Josephine Myles Okay, well I've literally sat down all day reading because I couldn't put this book down.

Jasper has a problem hoarding books (I'm feeling you Jasper, I really am) and Lewis is half of the clearing out company he hires to help him with his problem. Despite growing feelings between the two men, Lewis is trying not to let the relationship develop as he feels he is abusing his power as therapist to Jasper. He's worried that Jasper's feelings are really only a transference of the safety he feels with Lewis and that when his hoarding problem is sorted Jasper will no longer be needing him.

It is obvious from the start that these two men are supposed to be together and Josephine Miles writes a brilliant love story, the kind that leaves you longing for the romance to develop. As well as the romantic storyline, she tackles the hoarding storyline beautifully. It could have been boring or tedious but it wasn't.

I love the humour in this book. Some of it's very subtle and some of it is cringworthngly (total made up word, but none that exist fit it quite right) out there. The naked parents, I wanted to see more (er, not literally obviously, literally it was all on display, they were after all, naked) of them. So funny, maybe an angle to consider when the children are old enough to date. But no, the thought of preparing chilli, naked...well yeah. Ouch. I diverse, but these are the thoughts this book had me having. I loved it.

Another new author to add to my got-to-read pile. I'm thinking of avoiding GR for a while, it's seriously bad for my bank account and housework. But then all those books...er Jasper, could I have the phone number for Lewis please?
Beyond Duty - SJD Peterson 3.5 *