Category Archives: Young Adult

Review: Pitch by Will Parkinson

Pitch by Will Parkinson
Title: Pitch
Author: Will Parkinson
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★½

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The day Jackson Kern walks into Taylor Andrews’s classroom is a momentous day in Taylor’s life. He’s had crushes before, sure, but as time goes on, this is starting to look a whole lot more serious. Still, Jackson doesn’t return Taylor’s feelings.

Taylor has his own admirers, though. Kevin Richards is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Taylor, so when Taylor rejects him, Kevin retaliates. At first Taylor’s entourage rallies around him, but then Kevin takes his deception one step further and Taylor sees his support dwindle, teaching him the valuable lesson about who he can truly consider a friend.

Review:

Will Parkinson has created an enjoyable young adult/coming of age story centered on the lives of five high school students: Taylor, Benny, Jackson, Addy, and Becca.

  • Taylor is the primary character of this story.  He is a talented artist who falls in and out of crushes quite frequently.
  • Benny has been Taylor’s intelligent, witty, and level headed “straight” best friend since kindergarten.
  • Jackson is the new kid and an athlete that excels playing baseball.  His life has been lonely due to the constant moving around caused by his father’s job.
  • Addy is the adopted child whose biological parents abused him physically and mentally.
  • Becca is the self-centered, attention grabbing, high school cheerleader who wants to be with those that improve her popularity.

 

Between these five they run the gamut of issues and live experiences including bullying, obsession, fitting in, the new kid, crushing, pressure for good grades, gay bashing, outing, homophobia, and abuse. The lives of these five intertwine through a multitude of happy and sad events dealing with what life dished out.

Keeping the age of these kids in mind and remembering that they are high school age makes their actions understandable and believable.  There is the typical teenage reaction to life along with some profound wisdom and adult reactions. The story tugs your heart in all directions. The drama is over the top at times and the issues dive pretty deep. Simply though, it all works together and weaves a sweet story with enjoyable characters and a dash of angst.

Review: A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Maxfield

A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Maxfield
Title: A Broken Kind of Life
Author: Jamie Maxfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

With a foreword by Cody Kennedy.

Aaron Downing is broken, barely clinging to the hope that one day, he will be normal again. His life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear, but he perseveres and starts college, determined to move on.

Then Aaron gets assigned to work with Spencer Thomas for his programming project. Aaron doesn’t want Spencer to think he’s a freak, but as he gets to know his new deaf friend, he figures out he doesn’t need to be “normal.” If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough to find his footing again.

Or so Aaron thinks until his parents begin talking about institutionalizing him to give his brothers a more stable life. He searches desperately to find a way to cope or even to fake normalcy. But his new shrink’s instability makes conquering his demons that much more difficult, and his attraction to Spencer threatens to send Aaron spinning out of control.

Adapted as a YA edition of the novel Aaron by J.P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Review:

A Broken Kind of Life makes you stop and think about life and how quickly things can change.  It tells of two young men. One struggles to come back after a completely horrific attack and the other struggles with how he is treated for being deaf. The subject matter is hard and the struggles these young men endure are heart wrenching.

Aaron is a popular 16 year old high school student, plays soccer, and is a talented member of the debate team.  Aaron and his best friend Juliette are your average middle class teenagers.  Everything changes when they are brutally attacked on their way home from debate practice one night. Two years pass and Aaron is a broken person unable interact socially with others including his own family.  Starting college Aaron meets Spencer who is deaf and fighting his own social demons while dealing with his alcoholic retired psychologist father.

In college Aaron and Spencer are assigned a team project together and their story unfolds as these two build a friendship.  The journey is not easy for them, having to deal with the repercussions of Aaron’s attack and the limitations and social ramifications of being deaf.  Many of the details about the brutal night are conveyed to us when Aaron flashes back reliving the attack in is mind.  The relationship and the care and support between Aaron and Spencer is truly heartwarming. The author has written their story in such a way that you truly feel the emotions of these guys.

This was not an easy story to read and is definitely not for everyone. However, I absolutely loved this book. There were moments when I laughed, wept with sadness and joy, got angry, and where my faith in mankind was lost and restored. I highly recommend this book just be prepared for extreme disregard for a human being and the consequences left in the wake of that disregard.

Review: Haffling by Caleb James

Haffling by Caleb James
Title: Haffling
Author: Caleb James
Cover Artist: Alan M. Clark
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

First in the Haffling series

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn’t help, and his mom’s schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care.

When Alex’s mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling.

As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

Review:

The blurb provided a perfect summary of what the book was all about. I found it interesting and original, therefore, it had wounded up on one of my favorite books list. It was truly an adventure read. Very well balance between reality and fantasy. The author did wonderful at story telling about the universe the author had created. The novel supposedly to be a long read, but it was that good making it a quick read for me. It was an easy read as well. There weren’t anything that could confuse or complicate things for me while reading the adventure Alex went on.

Alex was a wonderful gentleman who worked his butt off to protect his family and his age was what controlled him when his mother went missing. He wasn’t old enough to be a legal guardian for his young sister. Alex had done so many things for his sister, which meant he would do anything to protect her even if it cost someone’s lives. Seeing how vulnerable Alex could get was what made him a wonderful flaw character in the novel. He grew up with an annoying fairy that chose to live on his shoulder and constantly nagging to his ear. No one could see the fairy on his shoulder so he had to be careful how he reacted when he lose his temper with the fairy in the public. Otherwise, he’d be sent to the mental hospital.

Once he found his mother, his whole world had changed from what he normally known to absolutely nothing. He had to go through plenty of obstacles to be able to protect his family. He soon discovered he wasn’t what he thought he was—nonhuman. Instead, he was half human and half fairy, which was where the title came in:  Haffling.

The novel was more of a dark fantasy because it did have some horror to it. It was a perfect young adult with an exciting adventure throughout the book that could easily made my heart raced every time Alex faced an unavoidable obstacle.

What I like—

I pretty much loved the book. It had plenty of horror that made me keep on reading with a desire to know what was happening to any of the character. I especially love the pairing the author chose for Alex. That boy (his love interest) did give me a couple gasped and hoped he would be okay. The novel wasn’t predictable either. I kept trying to guess how Alex would overcome the obstacle he experienced at the very near ending of the novel. It kept me entertaining, which was important.

What I didn’t like—

The book ended.

Overall, I think everyone should give this book a shot. It had originality to it. The world building was excellent. If you loved dark fantasy, then this book was a perfect pick because it focus on the plots rather than just limiting the story to the romance. Highly recommended!

Review: The Sacrifices We Make by Sophie Bonaste

The Sacrifices We Make by Sophie Bonaste
Title: The Sacrifices We Make
Author: Sophie Bonaste
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★½

Blurb:

Adam Jameson has always felt like an outsider in his own home, where his parents’ constant efforts to instill religious fervor have instead filled him with fear. Most of the time, he just wants to stay out of everybody’s way. But when Adam is forced to volunteer at a homeless shelter his senior year in high school, everything changes. He’s introduced to people who care about more than religion and, as a result, he starts to come out of his shell. For the first time in his life, Adam finds people who he wants to be around.

Mickey Stafford lives on the streets, a teen kicked out by his parents for being gay. He comes to the shelter for food and medical care, and after they literally run into each other, the two boys strike up a friendship. As Mickey introduces his new friend to the world he lives in, Adam starts to question everything: his parents, their religion, even his own beliefs. Once Mickey kisses him, Adam starts soul-searching and finds his heart, which is full of love for Mickey. But these two young men will have their love put to the test as they face a future of uncertainty and fear.

Review:

Adam Jameson has grown up in an extremely religious household. He attends a private religious high school and his life is governed by his parent’s religious beliefs.  Adam has spent his life trying to live in the shadows and keep his head down.  He has seen what happens to those that speak out, go against the beliefs of the religious community, or act “inappropriately”.

Michael “Mickey” Stafford is homeless after being disowned by his family when his is caught kissing another guy. He has been on the streets for a while, has become street smart, and avoided the drugs and prostitution that often accompanies this life.  He is struggling to make a better life for himself.

As part of being a good Christian Adam is forced to work at the Glenbrook Homeless Shelter by his father. Here Adam literally runs into Mickey and they become friends.  In fact Mickey is the first true friend that Adam has ever had. Their relationship builds until they discover love. Along the way Adam is tortured by the fact that the beliefs he has been taught and reality don’t match up.

Their happiness is short lived when Adam’s homosexuality is discovered by his parents.  Rather than be sent to a rehabilitation clinic Adam takes to the streets with Mickey.  When Adam and Mickey try to figure out what to do next we discover that Adam has a brother who was also disowned for being gay.  Adam and Mickey are taken in by Adam’s brother and his husband and given a chance to start a new life.

The author did an excellent job weaving this story.  It flowed very well and brought to light many tough subjects. It starts out a bit stiff but quickly loosens up.  It also wraps rather quickly and somewhat unbelievable. Most importantly, this is a powerful story that reminds us that even in this day and age there are less fortunate folks, especially teens, living among us.  Here we get a happy ending, but it leaves the question, how many others out there don’t get their happy ending?

Review: Waiting For Forever: Determination by Jamie Mayfield

Waiting for Forever-Determination by Jamie Mayfield
Title: Waiting For Forever: Determination
Author: Jamie Mayfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title 

Waiting for Forever: Book Three

Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield have risked everything in a desperate escape and are finally together. Jamie is free of his tormentor … for the moment. But Brian and Jamie know that one wrong choice could lead him to their door.

The long, lonely hours in their safe house leave Jamie with nothing to do but think. He thinks about Brian, about the direction their lives should take. He thinks about his parents. Mostly, he thinks about drugs. Jamie wants to feel good again, forget about his self-hatred, and stop the gnawing cravings that prey upon his mind and body.

One moment of weakness may prove fatal for them both.

After being reunited with his father, Jamie attempts to put his life back together amid rehab, seizures, and the gutting loneliness of Brian’s rejection. As he tries to cope, he finds that relying on his friends isn’t as difficult as he’d imagined, and soon he can stand on his own feet. Jamie starts college, working to become the man Brian needs. Unless he earns Brian’s forgiveness and wins back his trust, their love will be sacrificed on the altar of Jamie’s demons.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J.P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Review:

This is a final book of Waiting for Forever series. It’s longer than the first two and was told in Jamie’s POV. Following Jamie’s journey was really difficult for me to keep on reading. It was a tough journey for Jamie. To be honest, I wish this book was told in Brian’s POV because I was more connected to him than Jamie. Seeing him complaining more than I could count seemed unrealistic, but again, I hadn’t met a drug addict or a person who’d survive a horrible domestic violence. Things could messed it up inside someone’s head especially after what Jamie had to go through. The things he saw and suffered was beyond anyone could have possible survive. I wholeheartedly agreed with Jamie’s father, Mitch when he was so proud of Jamie being so strong and be able to fight hard to survive. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t know if I actually could find a will to continue living. Being abused countless times and being under drugs nearly all of the time, I didn’t think I could live after that. It was wonderful for Jamie to be able to get himself a help and having him reunited with his father was the best part of the whole novel.

I was shock when a certain person got shot and watched how Jamie had to see it then believed that person actually died really did change his life completely. The rat poison caught me off guard as well. It actually was harder for me to be able to write a thoughtful review because there were so many things going on in the novel of three hundreds and plus pages. It basically was a huge journey for Jamie to go from the worst stage to the better stage. I often went speechless and forced myself to take a break from reading the book. It was the reason why it took me a bit longer to finish the novel. It was that good, but harder for me to be completely connected when it was too emotional.

Seeing how Brian reacted to the whole thing actually disappointed me, but I did understand why he acted like that. He had his own haunting past which caused him having a crazy repetition of nightmare since he was a kid. For that, I wished I were able to read from his POV to understand why he was like that. Having epilogue in his POV helped the book to be much stronger and powerful ending to the series. I was glad I was given an opportunity by the publisher to read and review the series. It was the books I’d treasured in my heart for as long as I could.

I highly recommended you take your time and purchase this book (only if you have read the first two) to read. You’ll be lost and saddened to watch all the things Jamie had to beat. It will be a scary read and emotional as well. Excellent read, I promise you that.

Review: Waiting for Forever: Destiny by Jamie Mayfield

Waiting For Forever - Destiny by Jamie Mayfield
Title: Waiting for Forever: Destiny
Author: Jamie Mayfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★½

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Waiting for Forever: Book II

San Diego is so much more than Brian McAllister ever expected. He’s found friends, acceptance, encouragement, and an entire world of sexual adventure he never dared to imagine back in his little Alabama town. The only thing missing is Jamie. Encouraged by new friends Mike and Emilio, Brian builds a life for himself, haunted by a beaten and bruised boy no one seems to want to help.

Part Two: Fallen Angel

Dumped into gay rehab, blond-haired fallen angel Jamie Mayfield has been shunned by his parents and forced to find his own way. When Brian McAllister, the other half of his ravaged heart, explodes back into his precarious life, Jamie is astonished and dismayed. In the two years they’ve been apart, not a day has gone by that he hasn’t longed for Brian. How can Jamie protect Brian from the pain and brutalization of his life when he can’t even protect himself?

Brian and Jamie put every bit of themselves into saving each other, but obstacles keep them apart. Jamie’s own self-hatred may prove to be their undoing.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J. P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Review:

It was probably the most emotional book I’ve read for a while. I couldn’t imagine how hard it had to be for Brian to go through all of that and still stood up strong. In this book, Brian was my hero. I admired his stubbornness to find the love of his life no matter what kind obstacles he had to go through. When he finally found it, my whole body hair stick up and shivered constantly. It was a moment when I had a huge smile on my face and Brian had done it. It showed that if you search hard, you wouldn’t find it. If you didn’t search it and let the fate led you, you would find it. It was a constant reminder I had to tell myself. Don’t look for it, let it finds me.

The first part was my favorite part of the series. I honestly was really disappointed when the author decided to switch to Jamie’s POV in second part of the book. I really preferred to stick with Brian but I’ve grown to be fond of Jamie and could see how much he had suffer to survive. Especially that horrible boyfriend of his. Scott was a jerk but he could be a sweetheart. Once I saw what Scott had done to Jamie, I just want to kidnap Jamie and get him away from him for as long as I could. I knew Brian was thinking the same. It was why I preferred to read from Brian’s POV just a bit longer to see how he reacted after he found Jamie. It really did ruin the book for me but in the end, it still remained a favorite book I could treasure it for as long as I could. Yes, it was hard to read, but I knew it was necessary to see their journey through everything.

Now, I was a bit disappointed to not see more of Adam, but he was soon forgotten after seeing how many awesome friends Brian made. Especially Mike who had been there for him for everything. Alex…one of my favorite character and he happened to be close friend with Jamie so I got plenty of time to learn more about Alex. To see two of my favorite secondary characters together, it warmed my heart completely. After finishing this book, I knew I had to keep reading the third book no matter what. It was that good.

I highly recommended for any age since it does have some adult materials but everything is faded to black type of thing so it’d be comforting for any readers. Just be sure you’re strong enough to handle the pain the men had gone through to survive. Especially the ending.

Review: Waiting for Forever: Choices

Waiting For Forever - Choices by Jamie Mayfield
Title: Waiting for Forever: Choices
Author: Jamie Mayfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Waiting for Forever: Book I

Part One: The Throwaway Boy

As the country’s religious and secular leaders battle over equality in the abstract, Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield live in the crossfire. In their little town of Crayford, Alabama, loving another boy is the worst kind of sin. Best friends since childhood, they explore their love and each other in Jamie’s backyard tree house as they hide from the world. They happily plan for the future together—until their lives are rocked when their secret is exposed and Jamie’s family intervenes.

When hatred turns to violence in their sleepy little town, Brian tries to cope with the loss of his best friend, who is stolen in the night. In desperation, he turns to Adam, a new friend with a shared pain. Can Adam fill the hole left by Jamie’s absence? The answer will change everything.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J. P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Review:

First of all, I did read JP Barnaby’s version of Lost Boy series and I actually preferred the Young Adult version because it was more comfortable for me to read and follow Brian’s journey. The intimate scenes were much less, which would be an excellent read for any young kids. I remember how heart breaking it was for me to read back then and it still did in this book. It is a story I’d treasured it in my heart because it killed me to see what Brian had been going through. It was more emotional since it was told in first person point of view.

The first part of the story was adorable and exciting to see how Brian and Jamie came to a realization that they were attracted to each other in a more than friendship type of relationship. Since I read the Lost Boy, I kept getting nervous knowing what would happen to them soon. It made it a bit challenging for me to keep on reading since I didn’t want to see Brian got hurt emotionally. And then the physically later on into the book. It was a terrible thing for Brian to go through and it was amazing that he refused to let it ruin his life, even though it almost did.

Being in a small town, I could imagine how hard it would be for a gay person to survive and it didn’t matter how old this person would be. The minor character I adored were Brian’s teacher, Kyle. It was mentioned in the book that he’d had been struggling to survive as a gay teacher, which meant he actually had to bring the lawsuit in order to save his job. He was a brave soul and refused to let the bigots forced him away.

Now, there was Adam and I wished I would be able to read more of him in this book. He was a second person that made Brian much more alive than he used to be before he joined Karate for self-defense and a development of strength to stand up for himself. In other word, Brian needed to find his confidence back. Adam was there in between and he turned out to be a special person to Brian and his family. I hope I would be able to read more about him in the next book since I only read the first book of the Lost Boy series so the second book would be a surprising read for me. I look forward to that!

I definitely highly recommended you to get the book and join Brian and Jamie’s journeys. Just keep in that in your mind, all royalties Jamie Mayfield would receive will all go to homeless LGBT Kids find safe shelters. It is a great cause!

Review: That Witch! by Zoe Lynne

That Witch! by Zoe Lynne
Title: That Witch!
Author: Zoe Lynne
Cover Artist: Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Lesbian
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Cassidy Ryan and Brynn Michaels attend the same high school, but they live in different worlds. Cassidy’s a popular cheerleader, and Brynn’s the social leper. One is all sunshine and rainbows, while the other could’ve been carved from an Edgar Allan Poe book.

Both girls have their problems, though. Cassidy is coming into her birthright—a long line of ancient magic Cassidy isn’t ready to have. Brynn is coming into her sexuality—something that will definitely cause problems with her very conservative family.

When a teacher assigns Cassidy and Brynn to work together on a project, the girls find themselves in a heap of trouble, because what they feel for each other can’t be denied. If they have any hope of changing ignorant and frightened minds, they’ll have to listen to their own hearts first.

Review:

This book was a quick and easy read. The characters were likable even though one of them could be a jerk at the beginning but in the end, it all worked out. It did have some stereotype going on in the book, but it worked. It was a mix of paranormal, coming-out, and acceptance story that young adults need to check the book out. It had a comforting ending as well. It put a smile on my face every once a while when I was reading the book.

What I enjoyed: How Cassidy and Brynn fell for each other was written beautifully. It wasn’t rushed or anything like that. The author described each character’s personalities well. The world building was good even though it wasn’t emphasized that much because it was mostly a contemporary story rather than have it being a paranormal book.

What I didn’t enjoy: There weren’t enough details about witches. I highly expected to read more about it because of the title. The book felt short than I expected. I wasn’t sure if the book was actually a series or a stand-alone. According to author’s webpage, it was categorized as a stand-alone novel. If that was the case, then that disappointed me because there were so much to cover. I knew there had to be something more mystery about being a witch.

Overall, it was a quick read and I really enjoyed it a lot enough to give it a well-deserving four stars. Highly recommended to any readers since it covered the coming-out story with both bad result and good result for both main characters. The POV switching was not too confusing either. This is the author to keep eye on.

Review: Finding Ashlynn (Being True, #1) by Zoe Lynne

Finding Ashlynn by Zoe Lynne
Title: Finding Ashlynn (Being True, #1)
Author: Zoe Lynne
Cover Artist: Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Lesbian
Length: Novella
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Every Friday night, Jenna and her best friend, Stella, attend their local LGBTQ youth group meeting. It’s a great place for support and friendship, but Jenna wants to fall in love. In walks Ashlynn, a purple-haired girl who wants to know how bad coming out of the closet can be.

Living in two different worlds, Jenna and Ash have vastly different ideas about the difference between sex and love, the definition of virginity, and how to face a world out in the open where they can admit their true feelings… whatever they may be.

Review:

From the moment Jenna laid eyes on Ashlynn, she knew she wanted to know more about the punk rocker chick. Every Friday, Jenna and her best friend Stella attend a local LGBTQ youth support group. Normally Jenna is shy, but when Ashlynn wanted to know more of how Jenna came out to her parents, she couldn’t stop talking.

From the outside, Ashlynn seems to be confident, but the truth is surprising. When Ashlynn see’s Jenna for the first time, she is immediately love-struck. She can’t help but notice the girl who has captivated her heart is everything she’s not. Jenna has the perfect house and the perfect family. She can’t help but wonder if she would be good enough for her newfound love interest.

I loved this story. I’ve never read a story by Zoe Lynne, now I can’t wait to read more. Lynne has easily created characters any young women can relate to. This story was so well written, I could feel Ashlynn’s fear as she confronts her father about being a lesbian. The butterflies of new love, Ashlynn and Jenna experienced were exciting and made me want to say, “Awww!” several times throughout this story. I most definitely want to read Stella’s story! I loved the side characters just as much as the main characters.

I give Finding Ashlynn by Zoe Lynne, 4 stars. I think the author has a talent for telling stories all young adult can relate to. I recommend this story for anyone needing a bright spot in a rough day. This story will touch you.

Review: Dumb Jock Book 1 by Jeff Erno

Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno
Title: Dumb Jock
Author: Jeff Erno
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

2nd Edition
Dumb Jock: Book One

Jeff Irwin is short, timid, and studious. A bit of a social outcast, he lives quietly in the shadows of the popular kids at his school, his life ruled by his ever-present fear of rejection or failure.

Enter high school football hero Brett Willson and the chance for Jeff to embark upon the challenge of educating the world’s dumbest jock.

But what develops between Brett and Jeff proves far more challenging than any tutoring session. In 1983, rural Michigan isn’t ready to embrace love between two men, never mind two teenage boys. If they’re going to make a go of it, Jeff will have to come out of his shell—and Brett will have to prove he’s more than just a dumb jock.

First Edition published by Xlibris, February 2009.

Review:

Jeff Irwin is a high school freshman with a perfect GPA. He is shy, reserved, and keeps to himself. When the PE teacher calls Jeff into his office, he is nervous and worried. Coach only seemed to notice Jeff when he was doing something wrong, like throw a ball. Wanting to keep his GPA, Jeff agrees to help the star quarterback, Brett Willson pass his English class.

At first, I couldn’t see Brett and Jeff as a couple. They seemed to have nothing in common. Brett is selfish and cruel at times, where Jeff is sensitive and has so much thrown at him. I felt like I got to know and understand Jeff better than Brett (that may be linked to the story being told in Jeff’s POV).

One of my main issues with this book was the amount of issues Jeff has to overcome. Bless that boy’s heart! I felt like every time something good happened to Jeff, it was quickly shut down or over shadowed by another dark event.

The sex scenes in this book were far more in depth and detailed than in other young adult stories. I worried about the BDSM type relationship formed. Jeff is easily the type to worship a Dom and not say when things have gotten out of hand.

The hospital scene was so brilliantly written that it not only made me cry, but took my breath away. One of the best scenes in the entire story for me.

Overall, I liked Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. I give it three stars. I’m excited to continue reading the series. I think Jeff Erno is an amazingly talented author. The three stars is not a reflection on the skilled writing, but my issues with the plot of this story.