Tag Archives: GFY

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: Tats of Honor by Vona Logan

Tats of Honor by Vona Logan
Title: Tats of Honor
Author: Vona Logan
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★¾

Blurb:

Kegan Andrews wears his heart on his sleeve, or rather his skin—his tattoo is a testimony to those he’s loved and lost. The losses are piling up—like his young cousin’s suicide and his fiancée’s betrayal. He needs perspective, and the New Zealand trip he planned months ago seems to promise him that. Then Kegan meets Dominic, a man wrapped in so much grief and guilt it’s as if his own heart died two years ago with his long-time partner.

Dominic can’t move on—can’t even imagine it until Kegan jumpstarts his frozen heart. Dominic knows Kegan isn’t gay, so he fights his growing feelings, but Kegan embraces his new self-knowledge about whom he might love. Will Dominic stay mired in the safety of past heartbreak and become a distant memory etched into Kegan’s skin, or will he risk himself for the promise of a new beginning?

Review:

I started out liking this story but as I got further in it started losing me. This story was far from the worst I’ve ever read but I think it could have been a lot better. It was a painful and sweet story but not without its problems.

Both the MC’s are going through a loss in their lives that in a roundabout way brings them together. I really liked Kegan and Dominic and I did feel the chemistry between them but I didn’t like the insta-love/lust Kegan had for Dominic. I can’t figure out if I should call this a GFY or not. Kegan was engaged to Helen for two years having been with her for two years previous to that except for one small scene where he talks about getting together with a teammate on his soccer team in College there is no mention of him being gay or having any feelings in that direction. After the death of his cousin Kegan and Helen decide to head to New Zealand for a vacation unfortunately or fortunately for Kegan Helen bolts at the airport leaving Kegan on the plane and on his own only to find out once he lands that she has been cheating on him with her boss.

Dominic is still grieving after two years for his partner of 15 years after he was taken from him in a car accident. His friend Lisa comes to stay with him for a few days and the two of them meet Kegan. Lisa was fun but how she didn’t see the looks between Kegan and Dominic I’ll never know so her trying to get Kegan had me rolling my eyes…women

Some things in this story moved too fast, some things moved too slow and some things weren’t necessary. I don’t know why there had to be a fiancé for Kegan.  The loss of his cousin would have been enough to have him want to travel somewhere with no memories of him and maybe make that place a new start for him. The paranormal aspect at the end came out of the blue and it did me in, it’s the reason for most of the lost stars.  If there had of been some paranormal things happening throughout the story it would have worked but the way it was it had me scratching my head.

This isn’t a story I’d say “You need to read this” but it’s also not a story I’d say “Pass this one by”. If I had a heads up I think I may have enjoyed this more.

Review: Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes

Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes
Title: Heart of the Race
Author: Mary Calmes
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Varro Dacien spends his life riding toward the next adventure. Brian Christie, his best friend and touchstone, the one person who’s always truly seen him, plays sidekick on these madcap adventures and subsequent trips to the hospital until he can’t take it anymore. While Brian can see Varro, Varro has never caught on that he’s breaking his best friend’s heart.

Without Varro, Brian builds himself a life that’s all about just getting by, doing his best to ignore the hole in his heart and his life. Without Brian to balance him, Varro pushes harder and takes more risks to reach that ultimate high. His job racing high-octane bikes on suicide-level courses makes it easy to get that rush… until it’s no longer enough and Varro realizes it’s not the race, but who’s waiting at the finish line that truly matters. Now he just has to convince Brian to be there.

Review:

Brian Christie met Varro Dacien as a young boy, when Varro invites him to fly off the roof of his house in go cart. Varro is a dare-devil with Brian cheering him on. Later as adults, Brian can’t watch the man he loves continue to put his life in danger as racer. He also can’t watch the parade of women coming in out of Varro’s life.

Brian walks away from Varro. He tells himself it’s because he needs to start his own life, but really he just can’t face Varro and tell him how he feels. Brian does start his own company and buys a home. He has everything, everything but Varro.

Varro’s lead crew member shows up on Brian’s door begging him to come back in Varro’s life. Without Brian to anchor him, he is more dangerous now, than ever. Brian sends him away only to have Varro himself call. It’s hard to deny your feelings to the person who knows you the best.

I loved this story. I was so swept up in Varro and Brian’s relationship from the first page. Brian is accepted and loved by everyone in Varro’s life, so for him to admit he is in love with his best friend, means he risks the love of the only family he has ever known. I felt every tug on Brian’s heart. He is a character that will always stick with me.

I give this book 5 stars. It is packed not only with action from the racing, but the emotional punch it brings as well. Mary Calmes fans will not be disappointed!

Review: Lyrics of Love by Angelina Aniyha

Lyrics of Love by Angelina Aniyha
Title: Lyrics of Love
Author: Angelina Aniyha
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

Performing in a club one night, the last thing Steve expects is for the effort to actually pay off. But a popular band has just lost its lead vocals and their manager, after hearing Steve, thinks he might just be the perfect replacement. The only problem is Nero, the band’s rhythm guitarist, who seems to want absolutely nothing to do with Steve for reasons he won’t explain.

Review:

I love musicians. There isn’t something that just makes me beg for more when it comes to the tortured music man.

Fate has lost their lead singer until they hire Steve. Everything seems to be going well, except that Steve still feels like an outsider after several weeks of being with the band. When they go on tour, Bruce Tanner, Steve’s crush pops in the picture.

Steve and Bruce get to know one another when Steve starts to question his sexuality. When Steve comes to terms with the fact that he may not be straight, he realizes that he and Nero might make a good pairing.

Nero is the brooding all through the book. I wish we could have seen more of him. I feel like we only got a glimpse into who the man really is. He and Steve together made more sense to me than Bruce and Steve.

This book was totally different from the blurb! There is so much packed into the short novel. Sometimes I needed a map to know which direction things were headed.

I give this book 3 stars. I enjoyed the twists and turns, for me it was a fun read. I think if there was more of Steve and Nero’s relationship instead of so much Bruce, I would have given it more.

Review: Choices and Changes by K.L. Belanger

Choices and Changes by KL Belanger
Title: Choices and Changes
Author: K.L. Belanger
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay, Bisexual
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

On the cusp of his twenty-fifth birthday, Bo Sanford grows frustrated with his directionless life. Slaving away at his father’s construction company all week and partying every weekend leaves him little time for introspection, but he knows it’s time for a change. When his best friend, Mac, drags him to a college party, Bo catches sight of a girl. But not just any girl—the girl of his dreams: a delicate blonde-haired beauty with a pink scarf and a smile that promises warmth and humor. There’s just one problem: she isn’t a girl.

Even after Bo discovers the truth, he keeps seeing Erick, and the choice to follow his heart despite the obstacles has profound repercussions on not only his sense of self but his relationship with his family and even his job. Being with Erick makes him all the more determined to be his own man and claw his way out from under his father’s thumb.

But Erick faces choices of his own: the choice to get involved with someone redefining his sexuality, the choice to trust again, and even the choice to believe love can last beyond the temporary.

Review:

I really liked Choices and Changes. It was one of those books I couldn’t put down once I started reading it. It wasn’t what I was expecting after reading the blurb which is a bit misleading but that’s a minor detail the story turned out to be sweet and engaging.

Bo and Erick are fantastic MC’s, I fell in love with both of them instantly and following them to their HEA was great. While Bo and Erick have an instant attraction when they first see each other they take it slow. After Bo gets over the shock that the person he finds himself attracted to is a guy and not a girl like he thought he opens himself up to the possibility Erick could be that special someone for him. Falling in love was a slow process for these two, they became friends before moving on to being lovers and for me that was perfect.  I think this was one of the first books I’ve read where the MC’s actually talked to each other when problems came up and that was a refreshing change, it showed me that you didn’t have to have the MC’s always misunderstanding each other or not talking through their problems to make the story work. I loved it.

There is a small amount of angst for both the guys one having to deal with an overbearing father that I thought was just over the top (not the writing but the character) and the other dealing with a past that brought tears to my eyes but the author had the guys deal with it in a way that worked for me. My only complaint was the epilogue. I’m not sure it was necessary but that just my opinion, other than that it a story I would recommend to romance lovers.

This is my first time reading something from this author and I will definitely be looking to read more.

Review: The Vampyre’s Revenge by Tracy Rowan

The Vampyres Revenge by Tracy Rowan
Title: The Vampyre’s Revenge
Author: Tracy Rowan
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

Podgy fanboy Frank Vogel lives a dead-end life. He’s addicted to pop culture, Internet porn, and fantasies about Rebecca Hansen, a Buffy-like cheerleader from his high school days, but he yearns for something more. When he finds out Mrs. Carlson, his sweet, elderly landlady, is a vampire, a whole new world opens up to him. Blinded by dreams of sexy, mysterious vampires, Frank begs Mrs. Carlson to turn him. Against her better judgment, she does.

Unfortunately, Frank’s life doesn’t seem much different afterward. Then he runs into his unwitting nemesis, Will Chase–former high-school football team captain, former boyfriend to Rebecca–and makes gleeful plans to destroy him… until he discovers that he and Will have a lot in common.

Review:

An interesting take on a Vampire story, it’s not what I was expecting even though the blurb does a good job of explaining what the story is about.

Over all I enjoyed this book. An easy short read that’s very quirky even odd at times something totally different from any other Vampire story I’ve read, it was fun to read. I had hoped for some laugh out loud moments which I didn’t get but I got a lot of chuckles, it’s certainly a story not to be taken seriously.

Frank is a geek, always has been and he knows it. When he finds out his landlady Mrs. Carlson is a vampire he wants her to turn him thinking he will have a much better life. Vampires are mysterious, strong and so sexy but sadly for Frank when Mrs Carlson turns him he isn’t much different than he was before.

Things get interesting when Frank meets up with Will Chase, someone Frank had problems with in High School, he’s Captain of their High School Football Team and Rebecca Hansen’s boyfriend, a girl Frank had wanted to date in High School. He thinks Will has stolen Rebecca from him and wants revenge but what he gets is a surprise when it turns out he likes Will.

I loved the relationship between Will and Frank and the one between Mrs. Carlson and Frank for me those were the best part of the story. This really isn’t a “romance” like most m/m romance stories and what sex there is, is mostly off page. I guess I’d call it a slow burn romance, sort of.

My one complaint is this is a GFY story, Frank is straight, Will is gay and Frank has never had any thoughts of being with a guy until he meets Will again. Their GFY story was totally unbelievable but then so are Vampires. ;-)

Review: Desert Run by Marshal Thornton

Desert Run by Marshall Thornton
Title: Desert Run
Author: Marshal Thornton
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Publisher: Torquere Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Suspense
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating:★★½

Blurb:

Palm Springs, 1973. Don Harris is a piano player on the run after killing a Chicago mobster’s son in a bar fight. On the lam, he meets a pretty blonde girl in town for a convention. He lets down his guard and spends the night with her only to discover she’s the younger sister of his best friend all grown-up. Foolishly, she tips her brother off to Don’s location, and he’s on the run again, hoping to find a safe place to land.

Out of money and desperate, Don accidentally walks into a gay bar where he allows a kid named Harlan to pick him up so he’ll have a place to stay. As the mob chases them, Don begins to fall for the kid, putting them both in harm’s way. Harlan has problems of his own, and Don knows he shouldn’t get involved but he can’t help but step in when Harlan gets in trouble. To save himself, Don’s got to save Harlan.

Review:

I looked forward to reading this book. The cover is beautiful, yes I’m one of those that the cover is important it’s what draws me to the story and I thought the blurb was intriguing. I love a good mob story their usually full of suspense and drama by adding in the M/M Romance angle it should be a win win for me.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen with this story. My first uh oh moment was right at the beginning, a good portion was about Don (not his real name) and Shelly a girl he meets in the Bar he works at. They hit it off and they leave together, without going into exactly what happens next I’ll just say for a moment I’m like “Whaaaat?” I thought this was an M/M Romance not M/F Romance, did someone switch my book?” I was put off for a bit but the writing was easy, I liked Don and I figured I would just hang in there I was sure it would come around. It did….sort of.

There is supposed to be drama and suspense, it’s a mob story right? Sadly I didn’t find there was much of either. I’m almost half way into the book and finally I meet Harlan, the character I’m assuming is going to be Don’s love interest. He’s great they are both great but I just couldn’t get myself to believe in the two of them as a couple not the way it was written at least.

My biggest gripe with this book is the GFY storyline, I think that’s a tough one to get to work and the GFY here was totally not working for me not even a little bit.

If you’re a big fan of GFY you may enjoy this book. I didn’t hate it by any means but I also didn’t love it.