Category Archives: Contemporary

Review: The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes

The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes
Title: The Backup Boyfriend
Author: River Jaymes
Cover Artist: Killion Group
Publisher: Self-Pub
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Amazon
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

Dylan Booth doesn’t have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex’s company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec’s new boyfriend.

The ex suspects Dylan is lying.

Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.

And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.

But Dylan’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…

Review:

As GFY stories go this one was a sweet read. I’m not a big fan of the GFY storyline but I’m glad I decided to read this it’s a bit different from the usual GFY storyline.

Alec and his ex Tyler run a clinic together and after a break up things are awkward for Alec especially when they are to receive a Humanitarian award for the work they do at their clinic. You see, Tyler has moved on and will be bringing his new boyfriend to the awards ceremony and to add insult to injury Alec’s parents will also be there which puts a bit of pressure on Alec. His mom still thinks the two can fix things and get married like she was hoping.

After the breakup Alec spontaneously buys a bike, a 1964 Harley-Davidson, unfortunately it’s not in tip top condition and is in need of work. He takes it to Dylan a mechanic specializing in classic bikes, he’s also the one that told a mutual friend that Alec needs get himself a starter bike….oops too late. Dylan finds himself helping Alec with his bike and more, he suggests he be Alec’s Backup Boyfriend for a party and a friend’s and for the award ceremony. This begins the friendship that eventually leads to something special.

I loved their interaction calm, patient Dylan is the perfect friend for Alec who can be just a tad high strung which had me laughing more than once. I loved the slow easy way they went from friends to lovers and I loved Dylan’s easy acceptance when the relationship turned sexual. He doesn’t freak out just the opposite he wants to explore this new situation he finds himself in. I loved how he had an aversion to labels and he didn’t feel the need to be pigeon holed and I loved their HEA.

Overall I really liked The Backup Boyfriend; there were a few small glitches but nothing major. The men were hot, the sex was hot and the story was engaging.

I recommend this to everyone.

Review: The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton

The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton
Title: The Ranch Foreman
Author: Rob Colton
Cover Artist: Leah Kaye Suttle
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

When Madison “Matty” Ward finds himself out of work and without a place to live, his cousin comes through with a job on the Gates cattle ranch. Despite not knowing anything about herding cattle or taking care of horses, Matty does his best to impress the older hunky foreman, Baxter Hollingsworth. Baxter is drawn to the new young hand, but he’s deeply closeted, and after an openly gay veterinarian shows he’s interested in Matty, Baxter’s repressed feelings lead to an explosive encounter. Baxter then withdraws—leaving Matty feeling angry and used—until an accident forces him to confront his fears.

Review:

After Madison Ward could no longer take care of his ailing Aunt Martha, his cousin Brian Ward not only found him a job, but a place to live on the Gates ranch as well.

Never having done ranch work before, Matty starts out as the low man, as a stable boy. Being out of the closet isn’t always possible in ranching. When an unwanted pass by a fellow coworker leads to more, the only man Matty has eyes for steps in.

Baxter Hollingsworth is not use to showing anyone but his stallion his emotions. Allowing the man that has captured his attention to escape due to his fears of being out, leads him to be drastic changes.

What I enjoyed…

I loved watching Matt find his place on the ranch. A city slicker in tennis shoes learns not only how to wear cowboy boots, but how to fill them as well.

What I didn’t enjoy…

I really think this book could have used a few chapters from Baxter’s point of view. I would have loved to hear what was going through his mind when Matt Ward walked into his life. Most of the time Baxter comes off as a jerk. Having his POV could have added to his character.

Overall, I give The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton three stars. I think the story will be devoured by cowboy fans. I just felt the story was too one sided. The plot felt rushed to me. This took away from getting to really know the other characters in the story as well as we got to know Matt.

Review: Positive by Tia Fielding

Positive by Tia Fielding
Title: Positive
Author: Tia Fielding
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Even after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.

Though the case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.

Review:

Tia Fielding has written an engaging story about Love, the choices we make along with the ramifications, and the feeling of being wronged in some way.

Milwaukee Detective Shawn Mackey and his husband journalist Brent Walsh, have been together for years with the expectation of a short breakup that changed their lives forever. Ben Sutherland has lived his life with a prostitute for a mother and the resentment of being wronged.

The plot is really two fold. The lives of Shawn and Brent are intertwined with the despair that causes Ben to use blood tainted with the AIDS virus as a weapon.  Ben takes his frustration out by shooting individuals, that don’t see what they have, with darts filled with the tainted blood.  This hits home to Brent and Shawn who have been living theirs lives with the apprehension of spreading the virus that Brent contracted one drunken night during their breakup.

While there was definitely some holes in the plot I enjoyed this story along with the development of the characters.  The ups and downs shared by this guys led credibility to the story and it was engaging to see them work through them and come out stronger.  All of the characters were well developed including their sisters, Brent’s long time best friend Ollie, Shawn’s partner Ashley, narcotics officer Malik and shooter Ben. The wrapping up of Ben’s story by comparing it to Brent’s was very well done.  In the end the book gave the reader closure in an elegant manner.

All in all I would recommend this book.  It is not your typical love story, but the elements are there and these guys are an adorable couple who deal with the challenges of their lives quite well.

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: Parting Shot by Mary Calmes

Parting Shot by Mary Calmes
Title: Parting Shot
Author: Mary Calmes
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

A Matter of Time Story

Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.

Everyone thinks Aaron has it all—looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important—his heart.

Review:

Duncan Stiel is a police detective working an undercover sting when things go beyond FUBAR. Shot and left for dead, the only thing Duncan wishes he had was more time to get to know Aaron Sutter. Duncan couldn’t believe how fast he fell for the wealthy businessmen. After dinner with mutual friends, both Duncan and Aaron knew there was more to explore.

Aaron doesn’t understand why Duncan stopped calling. Things were going really well. The fight for power against his father has taken up most of his time, but he still missed Duncan.

When Duncan discovers Aaron’s brother knows more information in a murder case, Duncan knows he’s going to have to deal with Aaron again. He thought he was finally over the man, but it turns out he is a great liar, even to himself.

Aaron and Duncan go undercover to put a nasty piece of rich boy scum. Things get out of hand quickly after Duncan is beaten up. The longer it takes contact someone on the outside, the longer their lives are in danger.

This book is part of the A Matter of Time series. I have to be honest, I haven’t read any of this series, but I’m gonna have to backtrack and discover what I’ve missed!

As anyone who enjoys this genre knows, Mary Calmes is a top notch writer. The woman can seriously write stories that will melt your heart and overheat your tablet. So it pains me to say this story didn’t meet my expectations.

Usually in a Mary Calmes story, the characters are strong and consistent throughout the story. While Duncan and Aaron are great characters, I felt like they were both inconsistent in several places. It took away from the story for me.

That being said, I think the rest of the story was excellent. There is a lot of sex in this story, but I think it adds to the instant attraction these two felt for one another. I am a total Duncan fan! I loved how dedicated he was to his job. He goes on my all time favorite character list.

I give Parting Shot by Mary Calmes four stars. I think her old fans and new fans alike will enjoy this story. If you haven’t read anything by Mary Calmes, then stock up today! This author is simply one of the best authors I’ve ever read.

Review: My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister

My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister
Title: My Only Sunshine
Author: Rowan McAllister
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Tanner Wallis is nearly at the end of his rope the night Mason Seidel finds him lying next to the mangled body of a cow on the back pastures of the Seidel family’s Wyoming ranch. Recently out of the hospital after he and his boyfriend were brutally beaten, Tanner is jobless, homeless, and almost penniless. His desperate hope is that Mason will believe he’s innocent of the senseless crime and give him a place to heal, both physically and emotionally, until he can get on his feet again.

But Mason already has enough on his plate. He’s only been back on the ranch a few months, ten years after his father kicked him out for being gay, and only because his sister begged him to come help after the man’s disabling stroke. With all his responsibilities—running the struggling ranch and keeping his sister and father off his back—Mason can’t really afford the distraction Tanner represents. But he can’t just abandon the attractive young man either. There’s trouble in spades on the ranch, but if they face it together, Mason and Tanner might find a future with a little sunshine.

Review:

Tanner Willis can’t last much longer. After a recent hospital stay, Tanner finds himself stumbling down an unknown road, heading God knows where. Tanner stumbles onto the Seidel family’s Wyoming ranch just as two men slaughter a cow for amusement. He never meant to pass out near the murder animal, but his battered body just couldn’t take any more.

After three months of being back on the family ranch, Mason Seidel is finally alone. Camping out in an old bunkhouse, Mason is jarred from his contentment with the sounds of an animal in distress. Looking at tire tracks leading away from the scene, Mason almost missed the other body lying close to the slaughtered animal. Mason doesn’t stop to look the man over, for all he knows; he’s captured one of the murders.

With cracked ribs and in desperate need for food and water, Tanner finally gets the Sheriff and handsome rancher to understand he’s in no shape to harm an animal. Tanner is taken in by Ed, the ranch foreman and his wife Lucy. A hot meal and a bed to rest, leaves Tanner feeling hopeful.

Mason knows how his father would behave if he acted on his attraction to Tanner. After being kicked off the ranch when he came out, Mason has returned to help his father after a stroke left him in a wheelchair and near helpless. The nasty homophobic slurs his father spews daily leaves no doubt in Mason’s mind that if he is to have a relationship with Tanner, it is to be kept private.

Mason can’t promise Tanner much, but it is all Tanner needs at the moment. The pair finds themselves head over heels in love and no longer able to hide their affections. Things come to any ugly head when Mason’s father passes away. His once supportive sister lashes out and says some pretty nasty remarks.

When Mason’s sister tells him to read a copy of the will, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Mason is denied anything. As long as he has Tanner, the rest is easy to face.

What I enjoyed…

I really loved Mason and Tanner’s relationship in this story. While things weren’t ideal from the get go their attraction and commitment to one another never seems to fail.

I also really enjoyed the fact that this story wasn’t tangled in a miscommunication plot. It could have easily turned out that way, but the author chose to write an entertaining plot without falling in that rut.

What I didn’t enjoy…

I only have one small complaint about this story. We learn pretty early on that Tanner left his family after an argument with his parents. I only wished more was written about this. It seemed like a pretty big event in his life more should have been explained, in my own opinion. There is the last chapter where things come together and he and his family are reunited, I was just left needing a little more.

I give My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister four stars. I think this book is well written and will be a hit with fans of cowboy themed books. The characters in this book are standout and so well written, they feel real. I think McAllister has a beautiful way of telling a story. I will most certainly be looking up this author’s backlist!

Review: Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn

Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn
Title: Hanging by the Moment
Author: H.B. Pattskyn
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

Review:

This is my first time reading anything for this author and I definitely will be looking to read more from her. I was a bit apprehensive about reading Hanging by the Moment, I knew the subject matter was going to be a tough one but H.B. Pattskyn did such a beautiful job handling it, I’m in awwe.  This book is about finding love but when you find it it’s not being exactly what you planned on. Learning that the man you think is ‘the one” has HIV is confusing and so scary that you wonder if you should run for the hills but come to realize that no matter what you want to be there for that person.

Pasha is a twenty-five year old that you will want to wrap your arms around when you read how sad his life seems to be. He works with his father in the family diner but things are not easy for Pasha, you see his father is Russian and comes from the old school of raising your children, the one where they are always right and the kids are expected to do what they say no questions asked and definitely no talking back. My heart broke for Pasha after his mother has to be put into a home and his older brother leaves to attend college he realizes someone has to stay with his father to help keep their family business alive so he drops out of school. He has a younger sister whose life is such a mess all the responsibility lands on Pasha to keep things going.

Daniel is a truck driver that stops one day at the diner when he becomes lost and meets Pasha. The flirting between these two was so sweet it put a smile on my face and I knew these two just had to get together. Unfortunately their relationship isn’t a smooth one, Daniel has HIV and these two wonderful men must find a way to make it work.

I loved this story, it was so well written and Daniel and Pasha were so endearing you can’t help but fall in love with them and rooting for an HEA. Of course there are characters you’ll want to hate, some you’ll want to shake and some you’ll want to slap but there will be some you just love and surprisingly one character that you’ll probably not like most of the way through the book ends up being an amazing person. All these characters make this a story what it is, a story about family and friends, true family and friends the ones that stand behind you and love you for who you are no matter what.

I highly recommend this story even to those who can’t read about HIV and AIDS in the end this story will warm your heart.

Review: Bread, Salt & Wine by Dev Bentham

Bread, Salt & Wine by Dev Bentham
Title: Bread, Salt and Wine
Author: Dev Bentham
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Some wounds never heal. George Zajac grew up in a religious family with a father who beat “the swish” out of him. Now he’s a troubled man. At thirty-eight he moves across the country to start a new life in Los Angeles, working as the catering chef for a prestigious French Restaurant.

Kenny Marks, a writer who’s currently waiting tables, is everything George cannot be–flamboyant, proud and sexually confident. Enthralled by Kenny, and against his own better judgment, George agrees to a date. Sparks fly. The sex is better than good. But even after the two get close, George remains crippled by humiliating sexual hang-ups. Still haunted by his childhood, he lingers in the closet and can’t commit to a relationship with Kenny.

Love is the great healer, but is it enough? George’s emotional scars could drive Kenny away, and with him, George’s last chance at happiness.

Review:

I don’t know how to express how much I loved this book! Bread, Salt & Wine is very sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes sad but has the perfect HEA ending.  This is a story about 2 men, George is a Chef who heads to California to start a new life and Kenny is a waiter. George handles the catering and after working closely with Kenny they find themselves falling in love but there are some big hurdles to get over to reach their HEA. It’s about George’s struggle to overcome what happened in his childhood that won’t allow him to come out of that closet and be happy with who he is. He’s resigned to the fact he will never be in a relationship no matter how much he wishes it, until he meets Kenny.

Kenny, what can I say about Kenny…..I LOVED this funny, flamboyant, very sweet and very out young man. Kenny has no inhibitions and that terrifies George he’s not looking for a relationship, he’s hoping for a friends with benefits scenario with Kenny and against his better judgment Kenny accepts that kind of relationship and the rules George puts up. This is an accident waiting to happen.

The angst broke my heart I found myself reaching for a tissue more than once but it also had a lot of moments that had me laughing. Even with their age difference, George is heading to 40 and Kenny is younger by more than just a few years, their relationship works. It was never George taking care of Kenny it was actually the other way around and I loved that, it really shows how the abuse George suffered in his childhood has destroyed his confidence and kept him firmly in the closet.

Bread, Salt & Wine is book 4 of the Tarnished Souls series. It can be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading at least the first book where you get a glimpse of George and Kenny. I knew after reading Learning from Isaac that I wanted a story about George and Kenny so I skipped ahead to book 4 and got my story. Now I’m going to go back re-read the first book, read the next 2 then re-read Bread, Salt & Wine where I can spend more time with my new loves George and Kenny.

I’m sure book 2 & 3 will be just as beautiful so I highly recommend reading the Tarnished Souls series.

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: Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson

Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson
Title: Beyond Duty
Author: SJD Peterson
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.

Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac—who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one—would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers.

Review:

Mac Jones and Gunny Duchene are about to retire from the Marines. Having met in boot camp, for these best friends moving on is easier said than done. They’ve never called what they’ve built a relationship, but how they feel for one another can’t be denied. With DADT no longer in existence, Mac and Gunny no longer have to hide in the closet afraid of being discovered.

Before their retirement ceremony, there are parents to tell, wedding/honeymoon plans to make, and decisions each man must make about what comes after retirement.

What I enjoyed…

First off, I love Gunny and Mac! I love them together as a couple and on their own. These characters are so well written, that I had a hard time remembering they were just characters in a book.

There were several scenes where I totally swooned like a school girl. For instance, when Mac and Gunny finally say, I love you. One of my favorite moments came when Mac’s parents were coming over for dinner…

He stroked his hand soothingly along Mac’s stomach. “I’ll hold you together if you start to fall apart.”

I also loved how raw and cracked open Gunny and Mac are in each of their situations. These tough Marines faced many missions, but love has them both more exposed than they have ever been in their lives.

Clare Jones. This world needs more mothers like Clare.

There is a scene is this book where I completely wept like a baby. Gunny and Mac’s wedding was so beautiful. Like Gunny, I found myself holding out hope his parents would show.

What I didn’t enjoy…

I absolutely cannot think of one single thing that I didn’t love about this book.

I give Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson 5 stars. If you have never picked up a book by this author, then start with this one. Every time I read one of Miss Peterson’s books, I feel like I’ve gone home. Truly stunning material by spectacular author.