Category Archives: 3.75 Stars

Review: High Concept by Whitley Gray

High Concept by Whitley Gray
Title: High Concept
Author: Whitley Gray
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Denver homicide cop and shooting survivor Beck Stryker lives to solve the case that left him with PTSD, chronic pain, and killed his co-investigator four months previous. Now his career hinges on his ability to work with the man who shut down his advances two years ago.

After last parting ways with Beck, psychiatrist-turned-FBI profiler Zach Littman never anticipated seeing the detective again. Being sent to Denver to work on a series of killings that have continued after the only suspect died is bad enough. Discovering the detective in charge is Beck leaves Zach gritting his teeth and girding his loins.

The last thing either of them needs is romantic entanglement with a fellow investigator, but danger is a powerful aphrodisiac. The case heats up, and friction between them ignites a fire neither can ignore, first at work and then in the bedroom. As they zero in on the plot behind the murders, the crosshairs zero in on Beck and Zach.

Review:

This is my first time reading Whitley Gray and while I didn’t love this book I did more than like it. High Concept started out strong I thought I had a 5 star book on my hands but as I got into the story it lost me in places.

At the beginning of the book we meet Beck Stryker a Homicide Detective just recently back to work after being involved in a on the job shooting that left his partner dead and Beck severely injured. Along with his physical injuries he’s suffering from PTSD not a good combination but he’s desperate to get back to work so he can pursue the case that killed his partner. When it appears there are 3 cases that have the same MO a FBI profiler is called in to help. Zach Littman is that profiler and as chance would have it Beck and Zach have met, two years before they shared a kiss, a kiss that neither man has forgotten unfortunately at the time of the kiss Zach was in a relationship and Beck was deep in the closet.

Now they are together again working this case. Zach is no longer in a relationship but he is suffering from PTSD from a previous case and Beck doesn’t have any real reason to stay in that closet anymore. They are two damaged men trying to make life and their budding relationship work. I did like the dynamics of their relationship but I had trouble accepting that these two have been thinking about each other all that time over just a kiss. As it turned out that was fairly easy to ignore because this story isn’t about their romance it’s about the mystery, their budding relationship is a side story, a good one but not the focus of the book.

If High Concept had stayed on this track I’d have been ecstatic, unfortunately a case in Zach’s past comes to play but it has nothing to do with the case Beck and Zach are working on. Having another case thrown into the mix like that was distracting and at times annoying, not for any other reason than it was like reading two separate books that was written as one story. If the stories had somehow ended up related in some way that would have been great, I just didn’t like being pulled between both and I didn’t think enough information was given on Zach’s case. I kept wondering if this was book 2 of a series and I needed to read Zach’s story to understand what was going on but it’s not and that whole story line just didn’t work for me in this book. I think it would make an excellent book on its own, Zach’s case was dark and intriguing, perfect for a mystery.

If you’re looking for a book where the romance is the focus this may not be the book for you but if you don’t mind the romance being secondary and the mystery being the focus you might want to give it a try. I will definitely be picking up another book from Whitley Gray.

Review: Yesterday’s Tears by T.T. Kove

Yesterday's Tears by T.T. Kove
Title: Yesterday’s Tears
Author: T.T. Kove
Cover Artist: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Damian’s world is irrevocably altered the night his aunt and uncle are brought into his A&E, victims of a terrible car accident. Grief-stricken and lost, with nowhere else to turn, he calls Josh—the man he loves, and who left him.

Meanwhile Matt does not know how to live in a world where his parents aren’t, especially when the rest of his family seems capable of handling it while he wants only to hide from the world. His only solace is Adam, whom he wishes was so much more than the man he occasionally has sex with—and who apparently has been keeping a secret that ruins the only comfort Matt had left.

Review:

This is a very difficult book to read. This story is full of angst with the exception of the HEA ending there is a lot of sadness with only a few spots of happiness.

The theme of the story is a good one, it’s about family, loss and how friends and family come together to help each other move on when something devastating happens. Unfortunately there were too many character’s to follow and because of that it was hard to remember which ones were couples and who was related to whom. It got very confusing at times and that bogged the story down. I did have my favorite couples and I wish there had of been more of each of their stories.

I really loved Josh and Damien, they are the MC’s at the beginning and I felt absolutely horrible for everything they went through in their time together. I did feel like something was missing I wanted to know more about what their life was like before the book starts. You only get small glimpses of their life before and that was frustrating but everything they went through made their relationship a strong one.

The other couple was Matt and Caesar. Matt was a mess after the death of his parents and not very trusting of others. I felt for him and was so glad when he found his happiness with Caesar. Because we see them meet in this story it didn’t feel like they had any missing pieces to their relationship I just wanted more of them.

These two couples are the most predominant characters in the story but there are many more. I liked Yesterday’s Tears but I did have issues with it, other than there being too many characters. I thought the story jumped around too much, just as I was getting into a particular storyline it moved on. That was very frustrating.

I do recommend this story especially if you love a lot of angst and know there is an HEA.

Review: Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling

Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling
Title: Horizons
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

2nd Edition
Horizons Series: Book One

College football player Clark Stevens, a popular wide receiver with a potential NFL contract, has a few problems. He’s got a jealous girlfriend, a narrow-minded and controlling father, an attention problem, and an unexpected and powerful attraction to the trauma doctor—the male trauma doctor—who treats him for a broken bone.

Dr. Jody Williams is getting some really mixed signals. He can’t ignore how much he wants Clark, because it’s obvious Clark feels the same way. For the out and proud doctor, the solution seems very simple. For Clark, it’s not! His world is not gay-friendly, and the obstacles he’s faced have led him to deny his sexuality for years.

It’s the Super Bowl of disasters, no matter how you look at it. In the end, Clark has to decide if he’s going to stick with the only life he’s ever known or take a chance on a new one with Jody.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, April 2009.

Review:

I really liked this book! Horizons is an angsty story with a sweet romance. While there is nothing new about the story it captured me from the start. It has plenty of drama, some of it a bit over the top. Clark is a college athlete and gay, he has a family that would never understand his being gay and on top of that he is being looked at by NFL scouts, a league notorious for not being gay friendly, that’s two strikes against his coming out. So he stays in the closet, deeply in the closet. He has a girlfriend, Nikki, who he has known forever and kind of uses as a cover, she is in love with him but doesn’t love her. I’m not a big fan of that scenario but in this book I looked past it. Then there is Jody, a doctor that takes care of Clark in the ER when he breaks his arm playing football. Jody thinks Clark is straight, his best friend Lil lets him know that Clark has been checking him out so he’s sure Clark is gay. These two click but are very wary of getting together, neither can stop thinking about the other and they slowly begin a relationship.

For the most part I was okay with everything about this story, I wasn’t a big fan on having the female portrayed as a ditzy nasty “girlfriend” and I thought Clark’s family was a bit over the top with how they controlled and demeaned Clark (that was mostly his father) for some this will be enough for them to not like the story but the two of them learning about each other and trying to work on building some form of relationship grabbed my heart. The only other reservation I had about the storyline was the long separation that happens with Clark and Jody. Clark’s sudden disappearance with no word felt out of character but I admit I do understand he did it to protect the one he loves with good reason.

With the exception of the long separation between Clark and Jody I liked the pace of the story and I liked the different POV’s. Horizon’s is actually a very sweet romance between two very likeable guys. I recommend this to anyone that likes a story with angst that ends in a beautiful HEA. Now I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Review: A Margin of Promise by Emma Lanner

A Margin of Promise by Emma Lanner
Title: A Margin of Promise
Author: Emma Lanner
Cover Artist: Kimi Owens
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Packed off to London with orders to obtain a wife, Isaac arrives at the home of his benefactor, Lord Edmund, with whom he has corresponded for several years. Upon his arrival, however, Edmund proves to be less warm and welcoming than Isaac had expected, and is eager to see him married off.

Distraction comes first by way of Gideon, beautiful and charming and eager to show Isaac a different sort of society, then Patience, smart and marriageable and a talented matchmaker, who decides to help Isaac woo Edmund and bring out the passionate man Isaac knows from their years of correspondence.

But Edmund seems bent on ignoring him, and Gideon determined to draw him closer…

Review:

A really enjoyable read, a historical at its best. The romances were sweet but a bit frustrating at times, some of the main characters need to learn to talk to each other but then if they did that there would be no conflict, therefore no story. Things can’t be wonderful all the time or it would just be boring. There is no real angst and no cheating in this story, just a lot of men being, well men.

Isaac must find a wife but he has no interest in a wife he wants his benefactor Edmund. Edmund also needs a wife but he wants Isaac. Edmund’s good friend Gideon has been in love with him forever but Edmund doesn’t realize that. When Isaac meets Gideon they are drawn to each other and Isaac decides he wants Gideon to teach him in the ways of loving a man, he thinks the reason Edmund won’t come near him is that he isn’t experienced so he sets out to remedy that with Gideon. What a dilemma.

The story didn’t go where I was so sure it was headed and I think that is why I liked it so much. A Margin of Promise kept me guessing and just when I was sure I got it things changed. The secondary characters were perfect, I especially liked Patience, a strong and determined female who stood up to the men and lead her life the way she wanted. The connection between all the MC’s was strong and I really felt no matter which way things ended, who ended up with whom or if they ended up all together (I’m not a big fan of ménage) I would be just fine with that. Some may find this story a bit confusing but it really is worth the read.  I think the best way to get past the confusion is not to try and figure it out just go with it and let the story take you on a journey of love, lust and betrayal that ends with a very satisfying HEA.

This is a historical that I would recommend to everyone that loves romance. I should mention there is a fair bit of sex but I never thought it was there just to pad the word count for me it helped me understand some of these guys better.

Review: Dance Only for Me by Megan Derr

Dance Only for Me by Megan Derr
Title: Dance Only for Me
Author: Megan Derr
Cover Artist: LeBurden Design
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Jackie Black is a cowboy and sorcerer and proud of both. He spends his days breaking curses and locating items of interest for other abnormals. His pride and joy are the alchemy-enhanced pistols at his hips. The love of his life is Roman, a businessman and witch. Tired of living several states apart, Jackie decides to surprise Roman by moving closer.

But instead of being a happy surprise, Jackie finds himself the victim of an unpleasant one. Alone in a strange city, with nowhere to go and his world in pieces, Jackie is taken in by an old man who says he is a paranormal detective and could use someone of Jackie’s power and abilities to catch a killer.

Review:

This is book #6 in Megan Derr’s Dance With the Devil series, having only read the first book I wondered if I’d be lost in this one but thankfully that wasn’t the case, this can easily be read as a standalone but I’ll definitely be looking to read the others in the series.

Jackie Black, a cowboy and a sorcerer is a gun for hire otherwise known as a gunslinger or is he a bounty hunter? I’m not really sure what to call him but in the world of Vampires, Demons, Witches and a awry of other paranormal characters if you’re in need of help he’s your man. I really loved everything about this character he was by far my favorite, followed closely by Wyatt who charmed me to no end. I loved the way Jackie talked, his good ole boy ‘slang’, the easy going way he has about him, his fierce need to make things safe but mostly I loved how underneath all that he was so sweet but a tad bit sad. Jackie seems to have trouble with his relationships so he tries to leave that behind and concentrates on helping those in need.

Jackie takes on a case which is the main mystery of this book but it breaks off into smaller mysteries that need solving. It does all come together, I never felt lost or confused the author did an excellent job of keeping the story flowing until the end. Part of that I’m sure was because of her secondary characters in the story, all were fascinating to me and all had very distinct personalities. Wyatt was such a lovable character, he was smart, funny and sweet. Jackie kept calling him kid throughout the story because he appeared to be so young but appearances can be deceiving, there was so much more to him, as everyone soon found out.

I don’t mean to sound evasive but this is one of those stories that if I write too much about the plot I’ll give away what happens. With it being a mystery it needs to be read without too much information before hand so you can be drawn into the mystery along with the characters.

This is another of those books that isn’t an m/m romance, its focus is definitely the mystery but there is a romance that gives this book a bit of what romantics look for. A combination of a western and paranormal that worked really well together but I attribute that to Ms. Derr it’s not an easy combination to make work, at least in my opinion. Megan Derr has created a wonderful world with great characters and an interesting storyline. A really good read for paranormal fans.

Review: Written in Flesh by Various Authors

Written in Flesh by Various Authors
Title: Written in Flesh
Author: Alex Whitehall, Alina Ray, Kimber Vale, and Suzanne van Rooyen
Cover Artist: Nathie Block
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

For many people, there’s nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there’s no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We’re showcasing four of those stories in Written in Flesh.

Key is Bound by Ink to a woman he does not—cannot—love. He runs to escape his fate, but finds Dax, another fugitive, and learns that some bonds go deeper than skin. In the heyday of the 1980’s, Ian Grothe’s club is about to discover the Next Big Thing, but Ian only has eyes for the lead singer. But as the band’s star rises, Ian gets left behind, his hopes turning to Powder.

Then, in Helotry, Rontak is an escaped slave who wears the mark of his service beneath his skin. While on the run, he is sheltered by Tréy, an artist with a heavy secret of his own. Finally, Ellis comes to the Sui Generis Protection Agency bearing the Mark of the Familiar, magical animal tattoos granting him remarkable shapeshifting abilities. When he feels a True Bond to William, the Wardsman of the agency, he has to convince William of the truth or risk losing his sanctuary, and perhaps even his life.

Review:

Bound by Ink by Kimber Vale
3 Stars

Key lives in a place where man on man love is not allowed and even though he has strong feelings in that direction he goes ahead with a bonding ceremony to his best friend. While he is getting her name tattooed on his arm he talks with Betta the witch giving him the tattoo and learns there is a place where he would be free to love whom he wants. So on the eve of his marriage commitment to Kaya he realizes he can’t do this to either of them and he runs right into the arms of Dax.

The beginning of this story had such promise, I was really enjoying it. When Key and Dax meet they seem so right for each other.  I loved both of these characters and their time together was sweet but the last half of the story kind of lost me. The pace of the first half was perfect but as the story moves along it gets feeling rushed and has way too much happening all at once. Having said that I did like the story I just wish it were longer just enough to make the last half flow better. The HEA ending was perfect though.

Powder by Alina Ray
4 Stars

Ian owns a small club that’s in need of a band to play after his regular band has had to drop out. He sets up an audition for the band Shredding Angels but knows he doesn’t have a choice he has to hire them time is running out. Thankfully it turns out to be the best thing he has ever done….for a while. Ian realizes he’s attracted to the tattooed lead singer, Arnold, he asks him out for coffee and doughnuts to firm up the contract and learns Arnold is attracted to him. Ian decides Arnold isn’t a name for a member of a “famous band” which is what Arnold is hoping Shredding Angels will be and the two of them decide on the name Apollo. Things work out well for these two and they become lovers but things happen that pull them apart.

I really liked this story. The romance between Ian and Apollo is slow and sweet which I loved but the thing that separates them kind of annoyed me obviously not enough to make me dislike the story. I didn’t like how Ian so easily forgave Apollo after being separated for so long but if Ian is okay with it then who am I to judge. One of the sweetest moments for me was when Ian sees a new tattoo that Apollo has and realizes what that tattoo represents.

Heliotry by Suzanne van Rooyen
3.5 Stars

Heliotry is a sci-fi story. Rontak is born and raised a slave the tattoos he wears on his body won’t let him hide from that. He’s sold to a man that abuses him and in my opinion tortures him, it’s a horrible life and after spending years with this man he escapes. Trey finds Rontak injured and starving, he takes him home to care for him and he learns that something in his life is connected to Rontak.

I liked this story I guess part of that is because it is sci-fi and all realism can just go right out the window. I loved Rontak he’s such a strong character after having endured a life of slavery but he also has a gentle and almost virginal side to him. The planet he lands on after his escape is completely new to him and at times I saw a childlike way about him that really endeared me to him. Trey was a trickier character to figure out. I know he had strong feelings for Rontak and wanted to do anything he could to save him from being captured by the hunters and uses his family’s money to save him money. There were things in this story that made me go hmmm…in any other genre I would have balked but in stories that realism isn’t an issue I let it go. I thought this was a good addition to the anthology not my favorite story but I enjoyed reading it.

Mark of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall
4.5 Stars

The story begings with Ellis being rescued from an abusive master by James a member of the Sui Generis Protection Agency and taken to a safe house. Ellis has the capabilities of shifting into various animals all connected to the tattoos he bares on his body. When Ellis arrives at the safe house he catches the scent of his mate and runs to him only to find William doesn’t want anything to do with Ellis. William is James’ son and a Succubus that has had to live with everyone around him wanting to touch and be with him so he doesn’t trust the feelings that Ellis has or brings out in him, he doesn’t want to believe that Ellis is his True Mate.

I loved this little story, out of all of the stories in this anthology this was my favorite by far. This story is a unique cross between fantasy, magic and shifters.  Ellis is the sweetest mix of innocence, shyness and strength. His fierce protectiveness of William made me smile, everything Ellis did made me smile. For the most part this is a light read but there are those small sections that we have to re-live with Ellis through his nightmares and that’s the abuse he suffered by his former master. I thought the characters were well developed for the size of the story, I did wish it could have been longer to get to know William better but I thought this story was more about Ellis and not getting into much of Williams life didn’t stop me from loving the two of them together.  I would love to see this story expanded to novel size and include some of the other characters that are living in the safe house. This world was fascinating but the one negative was the story wasn’t long enough to explore that world in very much depth.

Overall this was an enjoyable read with a great mix of stories.

Review: One Bad Day: A Theo Bourne Story by Evelyn Shepherd

One Bad Day: A Theo Bourne Story by Evelyn Shepherd
Title: One Bad Day: A Theo Bourne Story
Author: Evelyn Shepherd
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Carlos started off his day with an absent lover and a stubbed toe. He had hoped as the day progressed things would start to get better, but he should have known better than to get out of his bed. With Theo being secretive, a string of bad luck, and a rogue vampire that ruins his dinner plans, Carlos can chalk off the day to one big epic fail. But sometimes even the worst of days can end in the most wondrous of ways.

Review:

This is a little addition to the Theo Bourne Series. It’s short, funny and a perfect complement to the series. The guys are back for a small sexy romp that is lighter than the series.

One Bad Day is just what the titles implies. The story takes place in one day all in Carlos’s voice. The big macho uber sexy shifter becomes a clumsy, not so sure of himself softy. The story starts with poor Carlos getting left on his own while Theo heads out to work for an unexpected job on a day that was meant for the two of them to be together. Alone and at loose ends Carlos decides to go out, the phone rings and running to get it he stubs his toe. It’s Abe on the phone he wants to meet for coffee. Carlos agrees and jumps in the shower where he gets soap in his eyes, slips and almost falls in the shower and the day has just started. The day never gets better for Carlos but it did make me laugh and the day ends perfectly a super sexy and romantic evening for Theo and Carlos.

It’s a cute read even if you haven’t read the others in the series but I recommend reading all of them if for no other reason except that they are great!

Review: Keeping Sweets by Cate Ashwood

Keeping Sweets by Cate Ashwood
Title: Keeping Sweets
Author: Cate Ashwood
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Days away from high school graduation, with hardly a penny to his name, Evan Lowry needs to earn money for college. When he comes across an ad for modeling, he thinks his luck has changed—until he learns he’s interviewing for an adult film and will be expected to have sex. On camera. With other men.

For gay porn star Brandon Court, the shine has worn off of regular shoots. He and his producer, Les, decide to try something new: a reality-show porno set at a beach house. When he meets wide-eyed and naïve Evan for the first time, Brandon isn’t sure if he wants the kid to get lost or get naked. Naked wins.

On set, Brandon takes Evan under his wing, and over the next month, they are thrown together in every intimate way conceivable—except emotionally. Both Brandon and Evan are terrified of trying for anything deeper, and insecurities and doubts wear on their hopes, but the chemistry between them won’t let them slow things down.

Review:

I’m not sure what it was about this book that kept me from loving it. Bran and Evan are great characters, the writing is good and as first novels go it’s great but something is missing for me.

Evan is a very sweet 18 year old virgin who leaves home the day he graduates from High School he heads to Oregon where he has a scholarship to the University of Eugene. Needing a job he answers an ad for adult male models only to find out he’s applied to be part of a gay porn site.

Bran is a 27 years old, a veteran of the porn industry. He’s tired of this life and after years of never feeling anything for the men he works with on or off camera he thinks it may finally be time to stop.

Sparks fly for both Bran and Evan when they meet and the author wrote these two characters perfectly the emotion and connection between them is definitely there so why didn’t I love it? I think it’s a feeling more than something specific but there were a few things that I would liked to have been different but again this is just my opinion. I would have liked to have gotten to know some of the secondary characters a bit more, especially Colt, even if they aren’t pivotal to the story. The scene with Bran and Evan going to the Sex Shop had so much potential to be hilarious, I thought it was a missed opportunity.

The age difference between Evan and Bran did bother me somewhat, not the years but the maturity of the two characters. At the beginning Evan seemed so much older than his 18 years, being on his own most of his young life he had to grow up more quickly than most but when he’s with Bran he becomes this little boy, one that needs coddling, I thought of him as a much stronger character than that but then maybe in hind sight it works.

Insta-love or Insta-lust no matter what you think their first meeting is, love and an HEA is what these two deserve and got.

This is a sweet story with loveable MC’s it’s a great debut novel for Cate Ashwood and I did enjoy reading it. I look forward to what comes next from her.

Thank you Cate!

Review: Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

Aaron by JP Barnaby
Title: Aaron
Author: J.P. Barnaby
Cover Artist: Pride Media
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

I can’t describe what it’s like to want to scream every minute of every day.

Two years after a terrifying night of pain destroyed his normal teenage existence, Aaron Downing still clings to the hope that one day, he will be a fully functional human being. But his life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear. When, in his very first semester of college, he’s assigned Spencer Thomas as a partner for his programming project, Aaron decides that maybe “normal” is overrated. If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough for him to find his footing again.

With his parents’ talk of institutionalizing him—of sacrificing him for the sake of his brothers’ stability—Aaron becomes desperate to find a way to cope with his psychological damage or even fake normalcy. Can his new shrink control his own demons long enough to treat Aaron, or will he only deepen the damage?

Desperate to understand his attraction for Spencer, Aaron holds on to his sanity with both hands as it threatens to spin out of control.

Review:

I started reading Aaron with a high expectation, which was probably a mistake on my part. I did have an opportunity to beta first few chapters before it was released. I remembered I enjoyed it and I still do now.

The overall of the story didn’t completely satisfy me. I felt like there was something missing from the story. I wasn’t completely connected to Aaron or Spencer for some reason. The writing style the author had written was done really well. It showed how much the author had a love for her characters in the book.

Learning what happened to Aaron had killed me for sure. The author didn’t fail on that part. She’d done extremely well at making me feel something painful for her characters. Watching how Aaron had gone through at college was a hard journey for me to read. Especially in the class when he fell apart front of a couple of people. It was a terrifying moment for Aaron.

Spencer, on other hand, was a likable character. The only thing that annoyed me a little was the way he talked. I don’t think I have met any deaf people that talked like the way Spencer did. I most certainly didn’t myself. (In case if you’re wondering, I’m deaf too.)

Other thing made me wondering why—it was just Spencer and his father. The author mentioned his father learned sign language on page 104 on a paperback book in Chapter Eleven as quoted:

“SPENCER: I had dad and my aunt Nelle. My dad was everything to me growing up, dad, interpreter, everything. He and my aunt Nelle learned sign language with me. They studied everything they could about ASL so that they could help me. It took me a long time to realize how hard that must have been for my dad, taking care of a premature deaf baby on his own after his wife had been murdered.”

Throughout the story, I’ve seen Spencer speak to his dad when he could just easily sign to his dad. I do understand he intended to speak to his dad to keep up the conversation but it still made me puzzle a little. I mean, I do speak to my parents but I always sign and talk simultaneously. I’d thought it would be the same for Spencer and his father when it came to having a conversation. Again, that was just my own opinion of how I’d imagine myself growing up similar to Spencer. That issue was very minor of the whole story, though. It didn’t pull me out of the story at all. Not even once.

Oh, on the opening when we first were introduced to Spencer’s first POV, I immediately find it so unbelievably. It felt like that scene was a force to add a sex bit in the story. Don’t get me wrong, it was really hot scene but to start us with that scene when we haven’t learn about who Spencer was…it was probably a wrong way to begin with. I eventually forgot about that scene when I continued into the book. It was that good.

All in all, it was an entertaining read. Hard but it has ended with a happy for now. I already knew the author is currently working on the sequel about Spencer. So, the ending didn’t disappoint me. I did feel something was missing from the story. Maybe it was because of there was a bit too much of telling than showing? I do not know. It is a book I will still highly recommend.