Tag Archives: Friendship

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: Self Preservation by Ethan Day

Self Preservation by Ethan Day
Title: Self Preservation
Author: Ethan Day
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★½

Blurb:

Davis always assumed they would wind up back together, until Jack calls and invites Davis to his wedding to Tadd Austin, a prominent architect in Chicago. Jack’s only known Tadd for two weeks, so whatever Jack feels for Tadd couldn’t possibly compare to what he shared with Davis. There’s no way in hell Davis can stand by and watch the life he always expected to get back slip away to some guy Jack barely knows. Tadd Austin, indeed…more like Toad Ass-ton, Davis thinks.

With his best friend, fashion designer Deseree Wildwood in tow, Davis has to shed his sweet, guy-next-door persona, and re-vamp his image into a self-confident, hot piece of eye candy. He’s going to the wedding with only one goal in mind: to do whatever it takes to win back Jack. The Toad is toast!

Once in Chicago, Davis discovers it isn’t going to be as easy as he thought. Not only is Tadd very un-Toad-like, but a mysterious British playboy named Alex Parker manages to interject himself into the mix. Only true love will survive as the tug of war ensues in this Bermuda love triangle from hell.

Review:

This was another great Ethan Day book. I always know I’m going to get something humours, sweet and sometimes emotional with an HEA and very little angst. His characters are something that will give me hours of reading pleasure.

This was a sweet story about love, friendship and coming to terms with what you’ve lost then realizing there just may be a light at the end of that love tunnel for you anyway. The story is light hearted one that took me on a journey that kept me wondering if there was going to be a HEA until almost the end. It’s a well written romcom that plays out like a movie.

I pretty much loved everything about Self Preservation. Davis, Deseree, Jack, Candace and Alex were great. I liked Tadd but for some reason I never got completely connected to him, I think it might have been because he wasn’t in the story as much. Davis was sweet and sad at the same time. Pining for his first love, Jack, for 6 years made me sad but he had such a great personality it was hard not to love him and his best friend Deseree was such a hoot! They made a perfect pair. The shenanigans they get involved in trying to win Jack back were priceless. The few flashback chapters told me about how Jack and Davis got together and a little about their relationship which really helped in understanding Davis’s need to win Jack back.

Ethan Day has a way with words, his characters are comical, snarky and hard not to like. In Self Preservation there isn’t one character that I could say I disliked and I found myself really hoping they all got their own HEA. This story ended differently than I thought it would but it really was a perfect ending.

Review: Raining Men by Rick R. Reed

Raining Men by Rick R. Reed
Title: Raining Men
Author: Rick R. Reed
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Sequel to Chaser

The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.

It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?

When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.

Review:

Dear Rick,

I loved this story! I think I was one of the very few that liked Bobby from Chaser. I don’t know why, he did a despicable thing to Caden, but there was just something about him that tugged at my heart. I knew there would be more to him and couldn’t wait to see what you had in store. In my opinion, you couldn’t have done a more perfect job with him and his story he is exactly how I hoped he would be, plus more. You had me bawling like a baby through a lot of Bobby’s story not all of it was from sadness, I loved every minute of it.

~~~~~~~

This isn’t your typical M/M Romance novel and by that I mean there isn’t a romance per say but there is an HEA and a whole lot more than I was expecting. I got to see what made Bobby the way he is. His endless stream of men and his indulging in what could be risky play becomes a sexual addiction stemming from a feeling of never being able to live up to what he thought his father expected of him or wanted from him. Bobby uses sex and men, lots of sex and men, to mask the pain he feels and every time he does he’s thinking and hoping it will somehow fill a void but all it does is make matters worse and has him spiraling even further down a very dangerous path.

Bobby does hit rock bottom, eventually. Therapy and new friends help him to climb out of that hole he’s buried himself in but not without a lot of rocky times and some very large setbacks. He has one very funny and very sweet champion, a Chihuahua he finds one night in an alley. Bobby takes him home and names him Johnny Wadd. Johnny becomes influential in Bobby’s recovery, he is someone Bobby can love and be loved by unconditionally, something Bobby desperately needed. Johnny had me laughing out loud, what a little sweetheart. One of the funniest moments was when he runs into Lily a Boston Terrier at the park. If you know anything about Rick you’ll know that he has a very sweet Boston Terrier named Lily living with him. Lily wasn’t the only thing Rick included in Bobby’s story that comes from real life and I thought that was brilliant, somehow that made me feel closer to the story, if that’s possible and it brought a certain realism to the story. It was nice to see Caden and Kevin again and really nice that Caden and Bobby don’t just fall into each other’s arms and all is forgiven. Wade and Aaron are new to the story and play an important role in Bobby’s life but this story is all Bobby.

Raining Men had me crying a lot and laughing, it’s a great story and one that will be going on my favorite’s shelf! It bears repeating I loved Raining Men!

Thank you so much Rick, now do you think I could have more? ;-)

Review: Beatitude by Larry Closs

Beatitude by Larry Closs
Title: Beatitude
Author: Larry Closs
Cover Artist: John Barrow and Anthony Freda
Publisher: Rebel Satori Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

New York City, 1995: Harry Charity is a sensitive young loner haunted by a disastrous affair when he meets Jay Bishop, an outgoing poet and former Marine. Propelled by a shared fascination with the unfettered lives of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, the two are irresistibly drawn together, even as Jay’s girlfriend, Zahra, senses something deeper developing.

Reveling in their discovery of the legendary scroll manuscript of Kerouac’s On the Road in the vaults of the New York Public Library, Harry and Jay embark on a nicotine-and-caffeine-fueled journey into New York’s smoky jazz joints, dusty rare-book shops and thriving poetry scene of slams and open-mike nights.

An encounter with “Howl” poet Allen Ginsberg shatters their notions of what it means to be Beat but ultimately and unexpectedly leads them into their own hearts where they’re forced to confront the same questions that confounded their heroes: What do you do when you fall for someone who can’t fall for you? What do you do when you’re the object of affection? What must you each give up to keep the other in your life?

Beatitude features two previously unpublished poems by Allen Ginsberg.

Review:

I was given this book from the author to read and review and to be honest it made me really nervous. What if I hated it or I couldn’t connect with the story because of the Beat Generation aspect, which is a big part of it. I know a little about the Beat Generation era, recognized some of the names but I don’t know a lot, thankfully you don’t need to know anything to love this book and I loved, loved, loved it!

It’s well written and informative, it got me so interested in knowing more of that era I found myself googling and reading whatever I was able to find.

This is a beautiful example of Gay Fiction at its best, but then again it’s a beautiful story no matter what genre you want to put it in. It’s not a romance but there is a love story of sorts. Harry and Jay are the main characters. Harry is gay, Jay is straight and again Harry finds himself in love with someone who can’t return that love at least not in the way Harry would like. Unrequited love seems to be something that follows him around. Harry left his last relationship for that reason. He loved Matteo but sadly Matteo didn’t love Harry the same way and that wasn’t Harry’s first experience with being in love with someone that wasn’t in love him.

Then Harry meets Jay and they become best friends. The two of them have so much in common they would make the perfect couple. I couldn’t keep myself from hoping, just maybe Jay would find himself in love with Harry but Jay is in a relationship already.

Beatitude has some sad moments that brought me to tears but it also had some very touching moments that made me smile. It’s definitely bittersweet at the same time it’s a heartwarming story of what real friendship and love can be.

Larry Closs has written a wonderful story that is multi-layered but he effortlessly interweaves those layers into something that is special. I never found myself bored or lost instead I found myself never wanting this story to end.

Thank you Larry for giving me an amazing story to read and review, now that it’s over I have no idea why I was so nervous. ;)

I highly recommend Beatitude.