ARC Book Review – Back Piece

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Goodreads | Amazon

Title:  Back Piece

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy naval officer approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.

Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.

As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?

Back Piece is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.

Rating:  4 and a half stars

Review:  I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Colin and Daniel meet at the local gym – Daniel, a young Naval officer, and Colin, a local tattoo artist – and sparks fly almost immediately. Both men have their insecurities, however, and despite their initial ‘casual’ relationship, feelings and inner demons soon appear.

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of L.A Witt, so getting this ARC on Netgalley was amazing. First, I’m going to quickly go into why I only gave this one four and a half stars, instead of the usual five star rating, and then I’ll explain further why I loved this book.

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The only qualm I had with it was the extensive sex scenes. I know it’s the point of the book, but to me, there was too much sex in this one, and not enough other scenes to balance it out. That’s a personal opinion though, so just ignore that.

Now onto the good points:

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I loved how Witt wrote one of the characters as being a man with an eating disorder. That’s something that’s not represented well in media as a whole, so I appreciated the diversity there, where a lot of authors just have women with the eating disorders. Respect. Also, there’s a character who’s 26, and still a virgin, and I appreciated that even more, because in books, you generally find teenagers finding each other and losing their virginity to each other, and whatever, but as someone who’s 22 and never even dated before, it was especially nice to see a character in a book like that.

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As usual, the sexy scenes were brilliantly done – if a book can get me hot and bothered with just the sexual tension? It’s a keeper. I mean, damn! I loved reading about Colin and Daniel getting together, and figuring out what they both liked to do, and seeing that develop over the book? Wow.

Now for some quotes that I particularly liked – think of them as little tidbits to whet your appetite for this book:

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He was lucky to have shipmates who weren’t homophobic at all, let alone the type who could be menacing or dangerous Quite the opposite in fact – mostly they just tried to get him laid. Maybe not very skillfully, but they tried.

That was Colin’s Achilles’ heel. Hot men were great. Adorable guys? Want.

 

So that’s why everyone likes blowjobs so much.

The thought almost made him laugh out loud like a drunken idiot. And he still didn’t care.

 

“Well if you’re worried about your lack of skill, you’re more than welcome to practice on me.” He sighed melodramatically. “If that’s the sacrifice I have to make for the good of gay mankind, then…. Then-” He took a deep breath. “-I’m ready.”

Was this karma for taking so long to find someone? It was like the universe was saying, Sorry about keeping you a virgin for twenty-six years. Here’s an ex-porn star with tattoos and a six pack. Enjoy.

Don’t mind if I do.

 

Was Colin going to be upset? Think he wasn’t really enjoying it? Oh Christ, had he actually found a way to fuck up being fucked?

 

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Back Piece is the first in a brand new series, and was released on April 25th 2017.

 

Happy reading!

ARC Review- The Upside of Unrequited

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

Rating: 4 and a half stars

Review:

First of all, thank you so much to Penguin Random House for supplying me with this review copy to read – when I read the email that said my review request had been accepted, I think part of me died and went to heaven, purely because this happens to be the book I’ve been most looking forward to reading.

Okay, for this review, I think I’ll do it a little differently – first I’ll quickly go through why I didn’t rate this a full five stars, and then I’ll list some of the reasons why you HAVE to read it. Sound good? Okay, lets get cracking.

 

I didn’t relate to Molly as much as I related to Simon in the first book – Simon’s the adorkable Harry-Potter-loving, secret romantic, and I get that so much, whereas with Molly, I didn’t connect with her in the same way. That’s nothing against the author – it’s a purely personal thing. I understood how Simon was feeling, because I’ve had to deal with similar stuff myself, but since I’ve never had to experience Molly’s issues, I didn’t fully connect. Hence, the four and a half stars.

Another little thing that I find issue with, is the use of the word ‘fat’ to describe Molly. Again, maybe this is just me, but I hate that word and the connotations behind it. I’d much rather have preferred to read other words like ‘big girl’  or ‘plus-size’ rather than ‘fat’ – that word gives me the squicks, and a horrible feeling inside.

Other than that, I adored this book, and these are just five of the many reasons you should read it when it’s released in April:

  1. SO MUCH DIVERSITY!! I love how much diversity is in thi
    s book – there’s Molly’s who’s a plus-sized Jewish girl; Cassie who’s gay; their interracial mums, one of whom happens to be bisexual (!); Mina who is pansexual….the list goes on and on, and it’s wonderful.

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  1. Reid Wertheim – just….Reid. He’s a Game of Thrones/Tolkien fan, and he’s just amazing. I want to marry him so freaking much, and just have lots of little nerd babies with him….and I’m getting carried away now. Moving on-
  2. Cameos from ‘Simon Vs’ characters – you better believe I was fangirling when Simon appeared suddenly. I was basically like this:

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  1. The mothers – Patty and Nadine are so cool, I almost want them to be my mums too! They’re so chill about basically everything, and they treat Cassie and Molly like adults, instead of little kids, which is very nice to read.
  2. The Supreme Court legalising same-sex marriage – part of the book happens at this time, and it actually talks about it, and I’m so happy that something as important as this ruling was given its own moment in the book. This alone should be reason for you to read ‘The Upside of Unrequited.’

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And now, let me tease you with some of my favourite quotes from the book:

Classic adult logic. Reid and I are vaguely the same age, so of course we’re basically soul mates.

That’s two legit new friends today, and it’s not even four thirty. Mina of the Labia and Middle Earth Reid.

I’ve had crushes on twenty-six people, twenty-five of whom are not Lin-Manuel Miranda.

It would be nice if I were the kind of person who didn’t require a battalion of wingwomen to make this happen.

I mean, how does a person explain YouTube to her seventy-year-old grandmother?

When Patty came out, the first thing Grandma did was try to set her up with the cantor’s daughter. Who is actually straight, but Grandma gets thrown off when women have short hair.

“Yeah, so this one and his boyfriend just spent two hours arguing about whether I’m a Gryffindor or a Hufflelump.”

Hufflelump?” Simon covers his face. “I can’t. Jesus Christ. Abby, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

 

The Upside of Unrequited is being released on April 11th 2017

Book Review – Making Love

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Title: Making Love

Author: Aidan Wayne

Synopsis: Carla the cupid is an excellent shot, but her chemistry is so bad that most of her matches don’t last. Her dream is to shoot a True Love pair, but until her scores improve, she’s relegated to the Puppy Love division of Aphrodite Agency.

Leeta, a succubus, is looking for a True Love match. Which is highly unusual, as most succubi are aromantic. But Aphrodite Agency—her only hope—turns her away because the receptionist can’t believe she’s not just looking for an easy meal.

Carla agrees to take Leeta’s case on freelance. She figures it’s a win-win: Carla gets to put a succubus’s True Love match on her résumé, and Leeta gets to find her True Love! Except as Carla tries to find a match for Leeta, she finds herself maybe . . . relieved when the matches don’t end well. And Leeta seems to be getting pickier and pickier. Things will never work out until Carla learns enough about chemistry to figure out who’s truly best for Leeta, and until Leeta can admit what—or who—she truly wants.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I received this title from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an incredibly short read – only just under 100 pages long in total – but it was sweet. When I saw this on Netgalley, I was intrigued by the notion of a romance between a succubus and a cupid, so I gave it a go.

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Personally I found it to be overly brief, if that makes any sense? There wasn’t a lot of character building, and everything seemed to be over with very quickly. If it had been a full length novel, I would have gotten into it more, but this was very short and over too fast.

 

 

The concept is fantastic, I admit, and after finishing my last ARC (a serious romance novel), I was delighted to be able to indulge in a spot of super-cute fluffiness, because it really was very cute. I loved the upbeat nature of Carla, and her determination to find True Love for everyone, even for someone whom everyone says is incapable of True Love. I do wish we had more character building for Carla and Leeta though – they have the potential for so much development, but the novella was so short that their whole interaction seemed rushed.

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If you’re looking for a cute novella to read over your lunch break, with a demisexual Cupid and a succubus who just wants love, then this is something you’d enjoy.

 

Making Love is due to be published by Riptide Publishing on Jan 30th 2017.

Book Review – Afraid To Fly

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Title: Afraid To Fly (Anchor Point #2)

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

Rating: 3 and a half stars

Review:

I got this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Between Travis and Clint, two military veterans, they don’t just have issues – they have the whole freakin’ subscription. Clint’s trying to regain his family life after alcohol destroyed it, and Travis is dealing with PTSD – his own, and his daughter’s – along with pain problems that give him serious limitations in daily life. However, one night after the Navy ball, they find comfort in each other, and things get romantic pretty quickly.

Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this.

Me before reading this (when I saw it was another L.A Witt book):

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Me halfway through:

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Me after finishing: 

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First of all, I love how both the main characters here are bisexual, and nobody at the base seems to really care about it. That’s just very nice to see some positive bi representation, especially in a military background like this.

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I also liked that both MCs were in their forties, instead of the usual early-20s twinks you tend to get in MxM fiction. The characters had history, and their own back-stories. Clint has his kids and his ex-wife that he’s unable to see, and Travis suffers from serious back pain that’s barely manageable even with his TENS machine and a whole load of pain medication.

However, the main thing I didn’t like was that there’s a whole lot of military jargon that’s difficult to understand if you’re not intimately familiar with it already. There were times when I found myself having to stop reading to Google what certain phrases and abbreviations meant, because I was clueless. That’s the downside which is why I brought my rating down to a three and a half star rating, because it is a big thing, but I enjoyed the book nonetheless.

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I’ve read quite a few of L.A Witt’s books in the past, and I always enjoy her writing – this was no exception. Despite the military jargon that caused me so much confusion, I found myself invested in the characters, and wanting them to have a happy ending. If you enjoy male on male romances with some sexual scenes, this is one for you.

 

Afraid To Fly is to be published on Jan 19th 2017 by Riptide Publishing.

Book Review – Roped In

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Title: Roped In

Author: Marie Sexton/L.A Witt

Synopsis: Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars.
Review: I received this e-ARC via Netgalley from the publisher, and I’m just giving my honest opinion – I freaking loved this!
Graham is getting sick of the same stressful routine that comes with roping, but when he meets Kaz – sexy, sexy Kaz – he has his head turned. It takes a little compromise on both their sides, but soon they fall into bed together, and it’s hot as hell.
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First of all, lets list the things I didn’t like about this. Hm….I guess the only thing I didn’t like is that it was too short. I would have happily read about a whole relationship between these two, right through to marriage. As it was, I read this whole thing in about two hours while lying in bed. Too short.
Aside from that, it was incredible. I was hooked on these layered and complicated characters from the get-go. Graham is a cowboy who isn’t into the rodeo anymore, and Kaz is a stubborn young protester who isn’t afraid to challenge anything. Even Jackson grew on me by the end.
It was great to see both Kaz and Graham learn to compromise and bend a little by the end of the book – in fact, there was more than a little bending throughout, if you get my drift. Ha.
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I’ve been a big fan of L.A. Witt ever since reading ‘Running With Scissors’ last year, so this was a treat to be able to read another of their work. I hadn’t ever read Marie Sexton before, but the whole thing was great to read.
There are explicit sex scenes, so if you aren’t into that – well, if you weren’t into that, you wouldn’t have read this far already, would you? Just sayin’.
I give this a hearty four and a half stars, and I wholly recommend you go request this from Netgalley and read it, or even just buy it yourself, since it’s now published as of June 20!

Book Review – Fierce And Fabulous

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Netgalley | Goodreads | Author Blog

Title: Fierce and Fabulous (Sassy Boyz #1)

Author: Elizabeth Varlet

Synopsis: ​Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.

Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn’t need. Spotlights aren’t made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.

Though Ansel tries to pretend that what’s between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there’s something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel’s world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go​.​

Rating: 4 stars

Review: This is a review of an ARC I received on Netgalley from the publisher, and this is a totally honest review.

Warning – this may contain gifs and fangirling.

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This book! Oh my god, I’m still getting over it. It’s so hot and sexy, and emotional – it’s got the whole package! Okay, Becca, calm down. Let’s take    it back to the start.

Ansel is a Yanis-Marshall-style dancer who is fabulous and smashing gender roles with his glitter and his painted nails and everything. Then you have Fitch, who is as straight as you can get, working for his family’s construction company. When they meet at a gay club – for Fitch’s sister’s birthday party – their encounter leaves Fitch seriously questioning his sexuality, and Ansel searching for a way to deal with his surprisingly strong feelings.

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This is basically what Ansel and the rest of the Sassy Boyz do:

Fabulous, right?

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If I had to nitpick one reason why I’m not giving this a five star rating, it’s that the sex scenes lasted too long and were too often for my liking. They seemed to go on forever, and have at least one per chapter. Less is more in erotic books, in my personal opinion.

Aside from that though, I absolutely loved it. I loved the different layers to the different characters, and getting to know the other characters aside from the main ones. Everyone’s just so fabulously complicated, and just…aah!

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This is the first in a series, so it’s my guess that the author is going to do a book for each of the Sassy Boyz. The next book is called Dark And Dazzling, and it apparently focuses on Azariah ‘Z’ Hayes, which I’m excited for.

This book is published on June 27, but isn’t going to be archived on Netgalley until the end of July, so go and request it, because this is incredible. It thoroughly deserves to be rated four stars.

Now, because this book is so freaking awesome, here are some quotes I pulled from it, to get you jazzed about reading it:

“I’m a blinking rainbow sign that says Queer as Fuck.”

“This is all you need to know about me. I like pretty things, but I also love my cock. I don’t want to be a woman, but I happen to look like one. I enjoy wearing heels, experimenting with makeup, and sparkly things. I also enjoy sticking my hand down my pants and scratching my balls, ’cause, yes, I do have them. So, if you asked me out tonight because you thought I was almost a woman or might eventually be one, you’re going to be disappointed.”

“I’m just Ansel fucking Becke and screw anyone who has a problem with it.”

“Stop looking at me like I’m special,” Ansel whispered. It was so quiet and said with such a plea, Fitch barely heard because he was so focused on his own discovery. But when he finally did, the heart in his throat grew so large it almost choked him.

It took a moment to swallow back the emotion enough to respond. “Sorry, Angel, but that’s one thing I can’t do for you.”

Book Review – Hiatus

Goodreads | Netgalley

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Title: Hiatus

Author: L.A Witt

Synopsis: Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.

Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.

But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers’ broken relationship, but there’s only so much he can do from the road.

At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.

Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.

Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: *I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

This is not the first L.A. Witt book I’ve read – last year I stumbled upon ‘Running With Scissors’ on Netgalley, and I fell head over heels with it. That’s why when I saw this on Netgalley, I was over the moon. Trust me, I so wasn’t disappointed!

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Is it possible for something to be totally adorable and totally hot at the same time?

This is something I’ve been interested in for a while – a polyamorous relationship.I was instantly intrigued by the premise of the book from the synopsis – a rockstar who happens to have two boyfriends, who in turn happen to be married to each other? Fascinating. However, as soon as I started reading, I was drawn into this triad of drama and feelings and emotions that is the relationship between Nate, Cam and Theo.

Let’s see, how can I summarise this succinctly? Nate’s a musician who’s making it big with his band and touring almost constantly, but this puts a spanner in his relationship with Theo – oh yeah, and Theo’s husband, Cam. It’s hard enough for Nate to be away from his boyfriends for months on end, but it gets even harder when Cam appears and breaks the news that the two husbands are having a ‘break.’ You think being in a triad relationship is hard? The drama and tears are just starting.

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The three different points of view threw me off a little at the start, and a little thoughout because just as I would get into Nate’s POV, it would switch suddenly to Theo, and I’d have to re-adjust, but that’s pretty much the only bad part. Okay, now we’ve got that out of the way, lets get into the fangirling and squealing.

It’s so refreshing to read something where it’s about the existing relationship and working with that, rather than establishing a brand new relationship. Theo and Cam work on fixing their relationship with each other, their relationship with Nate, and also fixing themselves. They’re all just so adorably pathetic and sad, and I ended up head over fictional heels in love with each and every one of them.

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There is graphic sex scenes in it, but they’re few and far between, so you’ll be okay even if smut isn’t your cup of tea. Actually, they’re kind of hot – dyad (two-person) sex scenes, and then an explosively hot threesome later in the book. Ooh la la!

This is a definite recommendation from me if you like guy-on-guy romance novels, or any books where there’s a poly relationship. I can’t wait to get the hard copy of it when it’s released on July 19th.

Happy reading!