Dark Horse and The White Knight by Josh Lanyon.

jl_thedarkhorse_coverlgIt’s a Hollywood cliché: the hot and handsome bodyguard. But in the case of LAPD Detective Daniel Moran, it’s all true. Dan is everything Sean ever wanted in a leading man, but Dan’s kind of an old-fashioned guy. It’s his job to keep Sean safe and in one piece — happy is someone else’s problem.

As tension mounts, Sean can’t help turning to Dan, while Dan is finding it harder and harder to say no. Their only chance of a happy ending is if Dan can keep Sean alive — but what happens when he uncovers the secrets Sean is trying hard to conceal?
From Loose Id.

It has been a while since I have read anything by Josh Lanyon. I read the 1st book in this series, Dark Horse, early last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The characters are incredibly compelling. Sean is so broken and I love the authors ability to portray the damaged hero so strongly without him becoming too much of a whiney pain in the ass. Sean tries hard to fix himself with varying degrees of success and this is what appealed to me so much in the 1st book. He has some fairly ingrained issues with control and even though there is a sense of completion in the 1st book, it is the 2nd book where you see more of Sean slowly letting go and trying to move on, it’s just so very human. He knows Dan loves him and is only trying to help, but it is only through ultimately trusting someone else that he can move on and these two strong willed people can learn to live and be together. Love it. The titles are astute too.

jola_thewhiteknight_coverlgWhat also appeals is the humor within the book. Those sardonic moments that sneak up on you, like Dan being a black belt? heh. They catch you by surprise and make you snigger quietly to yourself. It’s clever humor and I like that kind of internal dialog from a character.

I am used to hot, but not gratuitous sex in Lanyon’s books. They often have a lean, pared down feel that is always intense, but some of the scenes in White Knight took me a bit by surprise. (No more sticky pen for you!) They were intense and loving, with much hot tub goodness. Noice.

Compelling and beautifully written, it’s books like these that stay with you. More please.

The Dark Horse at Loose Id or All Romance eBooks.
The White Knight at Loose Id.
 Josh Lanyon’s Website.

Gobsmacked by LB Gregg

lb_gobsmacked_500x75021No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Mild mannered Mark Meehan’s good judgment flies out the window when he finds his lover banging another man. Things go from bad to worse as Mark’s crazy revenge scheme uncovers shocking secrets-sending him straight into the arms of hunky lawman and old friend, Tony Gervase, a man of limited patience and secrets of his own.
From Aspen Mountain Press.

I liked Mark. In fact no, I more than liked Mark I just adored this character. He was smart and sexy, but most appealing was his very human and real nature; which is what made this book so charming. Tony was a sex god of course with his whole tall, dark and chest hair going on, but it was wanting to see what Mark would do next that kept me up till way past my bedtime.

The writing was crisp with some beautiful use of language, without it looking like the author had fallen into a thesaurus. I liked this. Sometimes it’s nice if an author feels you’re intelligent enough to cope with the big words. heh. The pace of the story was quite fast, not short, just quick with no down time. This made for real edge of your seat reading. I was just dying to know what happened next and it felt like no words were wasted. The humor was also a nice suprise, although I did not spend the whole story laughing my ass off it was enough that my partner asked me what I was reading several times… which eventually turned into, ‘are you still reading that book?’

And hot. Holy shit, I do try and suppress my prurient side and not focus solely on this, it is a romantic story after all not Hot Cops (which does look rather interesting…) so there is loads of lovely sweet stuff, but this was just so good – or maybe I just have a thing for bathroom sex! heh.

I can honestly say I did not know quite what to expect going into reading this book, especially after reading the synopsis where I wondered if the crazy revenge theme was really going to be my cup of tea. But it was a great read, seriously! Memorable and one I cannot wait to see in paperback.

You can purchase here at Aspen Mountain Press and in March in paperback at MLRP.

Primal Red by Nicole Kimberling

nk_primalred_coverlgReporter Peter Fontaine dreams of Pulitzers and reclusive painter Nick Olson’s hot body. When a murder brings Nick’s past into question, Peter has to choose: betray Nick or follow his heart?

I found the story a little choppy to start with, but it smoothed out after a while as the story gained momentum and rhythm. It was a quick read that I almost wish was longer. I think, because it was short, I was left wanting to know more and to get a little more depth from the two main characters. Peter was cool. He was a smart arse, plucky and funny. I especially enjoyed his rather vivid imagination and forays off into day dreams about firemen in lifts. heh.  I wanted more romance, more Nick (hot) and just more! I liked them! The murder mystery, very Scooby Doo and I had a few laughing out loud moments in the latter parts in which the humor was quick, clever and had me sniggering much. All in all a good quick read from an author I am looking forward to seeing more of. 

Get the book here from Loose Id.
On Goodreads.
On Librarything.

St. Nacho’s by Z.A. Maxfield.

zm_stnachos_coverlgCooper’s a violinist with a painful past. He speaks to the world through his music. He meets Shawn a determined flirt who wants him and wants in. For the first time in a long time, Cooper wants to communicate, but Shawn’s deaf. From Loose Id.

I’ll admit, there was a little eye rolling along with secret glee when I read the synopsis for this book. Oh the angst and drama, be still my heart, I am a bit of a sucker for this in a book!

The characters were likable and the premise was an interesting one. After finding it hard to get into Z.A. Maxfield’s The Long Way Home, this book was a refreshing change. It felt more in control, confident and there was a purposefulness in the writing, if that makes any sense! I really enjoyed Cooper, but just adored Shawn. I was a little curious about him though, there was very little detail about him other than his circle of friends. As he is only 22 I often found myself wondering about his family. Not that it really mattered, his family or lack of it was not integral to the story, just a thing I have obviously!

I had a few moments at the end when the drama seemed about to get a little over the top but all the threads were pulled back in and it had a satisfying conclusion.

St Nacho’s is sweet and sexy read with bikers, cooking, violins, sign and some lovely angst. 

Get the goodness here at Loose Id.
Z.A. Maxfield’s website.

Boy Culture Review.

The story of X is told through a series of confession like asides to you the viewer. He is a hustler (minus a heart of gold) with an exclusive number of clients. To keep the IRS off his back he has 2 roommates, one of whom he is developing feelings for and a new client who is challenging him to think about giving love a chance. 

X is unapologetic, cynical, often a shit and not willing to let down his mask even with his two best friends. Yet his introspective journey is incredibly watchable and totally sucked me in. I found myself quietly rooting for him. Waiting for that moment where he let down his formidable guard and became vulnerable and allowed himself to love another person in whatever form that might take. Be it in a monogamous relationship or something a little more unconventional. Watching him form his own less that traditional family ties and close friendships was a delight. I am a total mush!

There are some fab performances by Gregory Talbot, who has a totally smexin voice. Darryl Stephens, who is so incredibly gorgeous – I just could not stop watching his mouth. Merow. But, the stand out was Derek Magyar who played X perfectly.

A very enjoyable afternoon watch that certainly lived up to the line: sex pays – love costs. As it came out on DVD a wee while ago you can get it now. Check out a clip here.

Buy it here from Amazon. 
Check it out on IMDB.

Love Match by Keira Andrews.

The real action is off the court…

The only thing on Luke Rossovich’s mind is winning pro tennis tournaments. That is, until the day Jesse McAllister shows up in the locker room. Luke can’t get the young blond out of his head, and soon they team up on the doubles court. Before Luke knows it, he’s letting Jesse into his bed — and his heart.

Jesse doesn’t see why they have to hide who they are from the world, but Luke has been in the closet for years. He’s a household name with millions in endorsements to think about — no way is he going to admit to being gay. But as his secret relationship with Jesse deepens, the rules of the game Luke’s played so well suddenly seem to be changing….

I read this gorgeous bit of goodness a week or so ago and loved it. I have been trying to find other novel length books by Keira Andrews and so far no luck. There are 2 others where I purchased Love Match at Loose id but if you’ve any joy, do email or post!

Luke should be at the peak of his career but something is holding him back from attaining that success that he so desperately wants. He is pretty firmly closeted, even with his family, and feels that his endorsements and image are more important than being out. This sounds a bit cold, but there is more to it I think. After his lover died suddenly he is left very much alone in the intense world of the International tennis tour. Even though he has friends, most of them do not know he is gay and I guess there is that sense that he is keeping a part of who he is locked away.

Jessie is young, ambitious and beautiful. He catches Lukes eye and even though he knows it will be so not a good idea, Luke agrees to play doubles with him in an effort to improve his game. Their practices are laden with tension and long looks. Luke learns that Jessie is gay but is reluctant to start anything. His judgement does get heaved out the window you’ll be happy to know and there is much smexy goodness. 

I do hope Keira Andrews writes a few more novel length stories. I thought that overall the writing was tight, the story was well paced and it had a really satisfying conclusion that made me just do a big ole sigh. I throughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by this fab author.

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