Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

cover182052-medium Wanted:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go. Continue reading “Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall”

Review: Jace by Sasha Summers

cover174809-medium Jace Black went from an oilfield roughneck to an overnight singing sensation. Now he’s working on a duet with country music legend Krystal King, and he’s determined to earn his way to the top. But the more time he spends with Krystal, the more he finds himself falling for her–and he’s beginning to be more interested in her than he is in making a name for himself.

Krystal King grew up on stage and in the spotlight. No matter how golden her life appears, her past left deep wounds. But Jace Black makes her wish things were different. To do that, she’d have to risk letting him in… And that might be too big a risk for her battered heart to take.

Continue reading “Review: Jace by Sasha Summers”

Review: Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

18871918 Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.

I’m going to start this out by saying I was not prepared for this graphic novel.  Not because of the content, or even the few, brief adult moments depicted inside.  No, what I wasn’t prepared for were all the tears that I eventually shed throughout it.

Continue reading “Review: Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh”

Review: Tangled Up in Texas by Delores Fossen

cover182165-medium Between running his family ranch and dealing with far too many needy relatives, Shaw Jameson doesn’t have time for more trouble. But when his first love, former-child-star-turned-businesswoman Sunny Dalton, returns to Lone Star Ridge, Shaw senses things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Shaw isn’t prepared for the memories that come flooding back now…or the reignited spark between them that turns into a raging inferno. Still, this gorgeous cowboy will do everything he can not to get burned a second time. Because Sunny never promised this visit was permanent and Shaw has no intention of giving up the land he loves. Letting Sunny go again is certain to leave a Texas-sized mark on his soul—and a permanent wall around his heart. Unless he can prove their small town holds the promise of the future they both always imagined.  Continue reading “Review: Tangled Up in Texas by Delores Fossen”

Review: Just His Luck by B. J. Daniels

cover158589-mediumShade Sterling has carried a torch for Lizzy Conners since senior year of high school. But the timing never felt right for them, especially since his ex-girlfriend, Ariel, disappeared without a trace years ago. Now, with their ten-year class reunion approaching, Shade is tired of waiting. Determined to move on with his life and take a chance with Lizzy, he’s all in…until a car is dredged up from a local pond and Ariel’s remains are found inside.

As the newly appointed sheriff, Lizzy must investigate every single lead—including the ones that point right to Shade. She knows she can’t let her heart get in the way of an investigation, but she can’t accept that Shade is guilty. Now if she can only prove it—both to the town out for justice and to herself. Continue reading “Review: Just His Luck by B. J. Daniels”

Review: Belly Up by Eva Darrows

cover150128-mediumWhen 16 year old Serendipity Rodriguez attends a house party to celebrate the end of sophomore year, she has no intention of getting drunk and hooking up with a guy she’s just met, let alone getting pregnant. To make matters worse, she has no way of contacting the father and she and her mother are about to move to a new town and in with her grandmother.

It’s hard enough to start your junior year as the new kid in school, but at 5-months pregnant it’s even harder. So when Sara meets Leaf, who asks her out and doesn’t seem to care that she’s pregnant, she finds herself falling.

Juggling the realities of a pregnancy with school and a new relationship are hard enough, but when Jack, the father of her baby, turns back up, Sara’s life goes from complicated to a complete mess. With the help of her overbearing mother and grandmother, Sara will learn to navigate life’s challenges and be ready for anything, as she prepares for the birth of her baby. Continue reading “Review: Belly Up by Eva Darrows”

Review: Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates

cover148992-mediumDane Parker traded in his trailer-park roots for glory as a bull rider. But when a serious injury sidelines him for months, it’s the first time he can’t just pull himself up by his bootstraps. The last thing he wants to deal with is sweet family friend Bea treating him like one of her wounded animals—or the unexpected attraction that suddenly flares between them.

Beatrix Leighton has loved Dane for years, while he’s always seen her as another sister. When she enlists his help to start her animal sanctuary, she thinks it will give him purpose. Instead, it brings all the desire she feels for him to the boiling point. Bea’s father taught her early on that love means loss. But could her forbidden crush turn into a love that will last a lifetime? Continue reading “Review: Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates”

Review: Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

cover158795-medium

The videos are fun.

But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…

When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.

Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.

They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away? Continue reading “Review: Play It Again by Aidan Wayne”

Review: Hot Texas Sunrise by Delores Fossen

cover151592-mediumLove was the last thing on this untamed cowboy’s mind…until she stole his heart away.

Cleo Delaney will do anything to keep her promise and raise her best friend’s sons—even if it means telling a little white lie to the state to keep them. So Cleo turns to the only person she can trust to help her—her first love, Judd Laramie. If he fosters the three young brothers in name only, she’ll do all the heavy lifting. It’s a foolproof plan…but she never imagined that the feelings they once shared would return. With a vengeance.

Texas deputy Judd Laramie is stunned by Cleo’s request. Being a dad—even on paper—is the last thing this cowboy needs right now. But no one knows better than Judd how flawed the foster system is and how much these brothers need Cleo’s protective love. What starts as a simple lie becomes so much more, and soon it’s clear Judd needs Cleo and the family they’ve created as much as they need him. Now he’ll do whatever it takes to win Cleo’s heart and claim the future they all deserve.

Cleo Delaney is the kind of woman I’d love to have as a friend.  Funny, feisty, and loyal to a fault, she’s the person you’d call in a pinch.  She’s also the perfect person to wrangle her friend Miranda’s three orphaned sons.  Her promise to Miranda coupled with her love of the boys made me really want to root for her to gain custody.  Her business partner, Daisy, was an amusing addition as well, always supporting Cleo and helping to guide her in the right direction.

Judd Laramie is one hot cowboy deputy.  In addition to being Judd the Stud, he’s also an upstanding man with a history of alcoholism.  I think that his sobriety is approached in a realistic way with real worries.  His sponsor, Mercy, was one of the brightest spots of the book.  Although she was a little over the top, she was often needed comic relief.  Judd’s relationship with Cleo as well as with the boys was sweet and heartfelt, but I wish he’d have stepped up sooner.  There were a ton of opportunities, but he never did.  I have no doubt he was probably feeling cut out of the situation as well as doubting his ability to help due to his past, but he really could have said, “Wait, I want to help!” long before he actually did.  That said, the way he reached out to Beckham was wonderful.  He saw a lot of himself in the kid and it showed.

As a parent, the blurb caught me hook, line, and sinker.  Who can resist three young boys who have not only lost their mother but are also about to be thrown into foster care because their only living relative doesn’t want them?  The way Cleo, Judd, and the entire Laramie clan came together to keep these boys together was truly heart-warming.  Although this is only my second book by this author, it’s definitely not going to be my last.  She’s proven to me that she can write varied and enjoyable romance novels with characters that are not just likable, but relatable as well.

*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for an e-ARC in exchange for a fair review.

4/5