Cat's Books: Romance

This is a companion blog on the Romance genre to my theme and troupe list making madness. North American Wordcat: Romance Reader Reviewer, Romance List Maker.Twitter @Catsbookrom, Cat's Books Romance Novel Theme Park catsbooks.net Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cats-Books-Romance/

Equals (Equals #1) by Brigham Vaughn Review

Equals - Brigham Vaughn

Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop's dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing. Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner. For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual. However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating. Fiercely independent, Russ isn't sure he's ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals?

 

Review

 

I enjoyed this book. It was great to watch the heroes work through the conflicts of an office romance and an age difference as well as their own backstories.

However, the focus was too narrow for me, not that the book is character driven I love that, but that these men are so isolated in their connections to others.

And then it turns out this book is really a serial stretched out over several books so I don't get the full HEA. Sigh.

Good writing though.

Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers, #3) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey 4 Star Review!

Deep Edge - R. J. Scott, V.L. Locey

Trent Hanson is a figure skating phenom adored by millions around the world. His whole life has been dedicated to the sport he loves even when the sport - and his own family - have turned against him. From the playground to the Olympics to his parent’s living room, Trent has fought against bullies and homophobes to be the out and proud gay man he is. But the constant fighting has left Trent tired, lonely, and skittish. All those fears will have to be shelved though when he’s hired to spend the summer working with the Harrisburg Railers ice hockey team. Who would have guessed that the man fate has decided to pair him off with is Dieter Lehmann, all-around sex god and a man who seems to have everything to prove and doesn’t care who he hurts to get what he wants.

 

Dieter has spent too many years languishing in the minors, and a secret addiction to prescription painkillers means his career is in a downward spiral. His ex is blackmailing him, and he’s close to walking away from it all. But when he’s called up in the run for the Stanley Cup to cover injuries he has a taste of what it’s like playing in the NHL, and he realizes that a place on the Railers’ roster is what he wants more than anything. More than listening to his heart, and even more than caring for the infuriating figure skater who gets under his skin. When he crosses the line to get what he wants, he knows he has lost his way. He has to change, but is it too late for both his career and any chance he might have at love?

 

Review

 

Trent and Dieter, sigh, I love sports romance and this series just gets better and better. 

Here we have two athletes, one from hockey and one from Olympics level figure skating. They both have been dedicated to their fields since they were childern. 

Trent has lost all his money.... because...can't tell you. But as he provide supports for his mother, grandmother, and an LGBTQA youth center, things suck. 

He meets Dieter when agrees to a reality show that will follow him cross training hockey players.

Dieter is a mess. He has a pain killer addiction going on and is in and out of denial. We get a realistic look at the think of an addict and an arc into recovery. In Trent's step father and mother, we get to see the chaos addiction (though of another kind) plays on a family.

This isn't an easy love story but Trent is amazingly well drawn and Dieter really because a wonderful partner during the course of the book. 

The secondary characters and families are wonderful and we even get Filipino food through Trent's wonderful quirky grandmother.

Can't wait for Stan's book!
 
 

 

Meet-cute by C.C. Dado Review

Meet-cute - C.C. Dado

Elliot Beck may not have been blessed with mad art skills, a crooner's voice, or a godlike physique, but he makes up for it with an abundance of quick-witted sarcasm, massive insecurities, and a love of bad boys. 

After his best friend Trevor finds him naked and tied to his bed—abandoned by his latest troublemaker—Trevor convinces him to take a chance on a nice guy. When he has an awkward encounter in the men's restroom with a fitness instructor named Chase, he never suspects the Adonis might be his perfect bad boy.

 

Review

 

This is cute and fun and fast. I do with characters carrying more weight than your average romantic lead didn't suffer from self esteem issues (or at least not more than any other character in the book).

This is very funny in its wit and situations but not well developed. I had a good time anyway.

A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles $1.99

A Seditious Affair - K.J. Charles

Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.

Against the Wall (Firsts and Forever, #7) by Alexa Land 4 Star Review!

Against the Wall - Alexa Land

Don’t start something you can’t finish.

It’s a cliché, but 22-year-old graffiti artist Christian lives by those words. He’s going away when he graduates from art school in just six short months. With so little time left, getting involved with gorgeous Shea Nolan has to be a mistake. If only he could make himself stay away from the sweet, sexy police officer.

Christian has a decision to make. Are a few months of happiness worth the inevitable heartbreak when it’s time to walk away?

 

Review

 

This is a real great romance that really speaks to embracing joy and the part of love that means just being together. 

It is hard to write this review without a spoiler. Christian keeps a big secret. He is a young character so I forgive him for his stubbornness. Shea is just the warmest and bravest. It is a great HEA.

I also love the friendship the Christian develops and the discussion of arts. There is lots of love there as well. 

Painfully and very funny at times, a great romance.

A Queen from the North by Erin McRae 99 cents!

A Queen from the North: A Royal Roses Book - Racheline Maltese, Erin McRae


Lady Amelia Brockett, known to her family as Meels, is having the Worst. Christmas. Ever. Dumped by her boyfriend and rejected from graduate school, her parents deem her the failure of the family. 

But when her older brother tries to cheer her with a trip to the races, a chance meeting with Arthur, the widowed, playboy Prince of Wales, offers Amelia the opportunity to change her life -- and Britain's fortunes -- forever.

Gathering Storm (Firsts and Forever, #4) by Alexa Land 4 Stars Review!

Gathering Storm (Firsts and Forever) (Volume 4) - Alexa Land

Working as a gay porn star has brought twenty-two-year-old Hunter Storm fame and fortune, but it’s cost him a lot, too. He’s learned to think of his body as little more than a commodity, and he copes with his loneliness by giving himself to whoever will have him. The job has also put him in the crosshairs of a stalker, a man so deeply disturbed that Hunter and everyone around him is in danger. 

Fortunately, Hunter has allies, including his best friend Christopher and Nana Dombruso, a feisty senior who’s decided he's family. And then there’s Brian Nolan. When Hunter first meets the angry, wheelchair-bound former Marine, it’s hate at first sight. But despite his shattered body and tattered psyche, Brian might turn out to be the best ally of all. 

This gay romance is the fourth book in Alexa Land’s best-selling Firsts and Forever series, but each book in the series is written to stand alone, so jump in anywhere.

 

Review

 

Hunter and Brian. 

Brian has more than an anger management problem and Hunter has lost all sense of himself. Really so has Brian. 

This is love story of healing and finding yourself and your value. It has a crazy believable stalker and looks in a fairly balanced way the gay porn industry. 

We have the crazy antics of Nana, a great circle of friends, and really heartwarming love story.

Wicked in His Arms By Stacy Reid 99 cents!

Wicked in His Arms - Stacy Reid

Tobias Walcott, the Earl of Blade, has learned it is best to exercise rigid control over his passions and emotions in all that he does. Uncaring that it makes him seem cool and aloof to most in the ton, he is content with his desire to only woo agreeable and demur females. Then unforeseen circumstances see him trapped in a closet at a house party with the last woman he would ever make his countess.

 

Lady Olivia Sherwood is everything he should not desire in a female—unconventional, too decisive, and utterly without decorum. But passion ignites between them and they are discovered. Honor demands they wed, and while Tobias finds himself unwillingly drawn to the bewitching beauty, he must do everything not to tempt the passion that burns in him for her, lest it leads to disastrous consequences.

The Distance (Firsts and Forever, #11) by Alexa Land 4 Star Review!

The Distance (Firsts & Forever) (Volume 11) - Alexa Land

What if everything you think you know about someone is completely wrong?

Twenty-four-year-old Jessie thinks he has fellow street racer Kai all figured out. The tall, dark-haired Hawaiian might be gorgeous, but he’s also arrogant, angry, and a total menace when he gets behind the wheel. So why does an argument with Kai lead to the hottest sex of Jessie’s life?

As sex starts to give way to so much more, Jessie wants to trust Kai. But after a betrayal in his past cut Jessie to the core, that doesn’t come easily. Even if Kai proves to be far more than the gruff exterior he shows the world, Jessie’s sure he’ll screw up any chance at a relationship and get hurt all over again. He just needs to keep his distance, which would be a lot easier if the attraction between them wasn’t off the charts.

The Distance is the eleventh book in Alexa Land’s best-selling Firsts & Forever Series, but each book is written to stand alone, so jump in anywhere. 

 

Review

Yea! Jessie finds love. 

This is a really good love story. Jessie is a wonderful light, talented man and yet despite how very good he is, we get to see him taking a journey to being his even better self. 

Kai is grumpy. His family is great and watching fall in love with Jessie is a pleasure. 

This book is really a pleasure with a wonderful cast and new characters and the crazy at just the right happy amounts. 

Good stuff!

The Chimera Affair By Keira Andrews 99 cents!

The Chimera Affair - Keira Andrews

When young Sebastian Brambani meets a sexy and exciting older man, he’s easily seduced. But for spy Kyle Grant, it’s all business. Sebastian is simply a pawn in Kyle’s mission to acquire a dangerous chemical weapon from Sebastian’s criminal father. Kyle’s life is his work for a shadowy international agency protecting the world from evil, and he can’t worry about what will happen to Sebastian when the job is done.

Sebastian’s unwitting role in Kyle’s plan is the last straw for his ruthless father, who has been embarrassed by his gay son for the last time. But when Kyle discovers Sebastian could be the key to finding the deadly Chimera, he rescues him from his father's hitman and fights to keep him alive. Can a hardened spy and naïve college student take down a criminal kingpin, stay one step ahead of the killers on their trail—and fight the scorching attraction between them?

This gay romance from Keira Andrews features sexy spies, an age difference, a sheltered and passionate virgin, action and adventure, and of course a happy ending. 

BONUS STORY INCLUDEDThe Argentine Seduction, a sequel for Kyle and Sebastian featuring unexpected jealousy, protectiveness, and a dangerous mission in the simmering heat of Buenos Aires. (And of course a happy ending!)

Delay of Game By Catherine Gayle Free!!!

Delay of Game (Portland Storm Book 4) - Catherine Gayle

Fourth-line winger Cam Johnson fights like hell for his team—even if he has to break the rules. A vigilante on the ice, Cam takes on all the battles, whether they’re his fight or not. The Portland Storm is his team—his family—and he’ll take down anyone who threatens them. When one of his on-ice battles lands him in the penalty box, the coach’s fiery daughter calls him for a Delay of Game. Now Cam has to finish what he started.

Terrified that her father’s job as coach of the Storm will be the death of him, Sara Thomas wants nothing to do with the sexy hotheaded player who caused her dad to end up in the hospital. And Cam will do anything to rectify the damage he caused—even if it means taking the fall for something he didn’t do. After all, he’s the team enforcer. What he offers up just might save him, his coach, and Sara, too.

The Hooker and the Hermit By L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid Free!

The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid, Luci Cosway

New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!
You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy. Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

Belonging (Firsts and Forever #8) by Alexa Land Review

Belonging - Alexa Land

Can two damaged men build a future together from the shattered pieces of their lives? 

Gianni Dombruso’s life was altered forever at the age of four, when his parents were murdered and he and his brothers went to live with their grandmother, the irrepressible Nana Dombruso. Now almost thirty, Gianni has spent his life bouncing from relationship to relationship, seeking but never finding the security and stability he so desperately craves. 

Alexzander Tillane was one of the biggest pop stars in the world when he walked away from it all in the middle of a concert in 2002. Almost destroyed by the pressure of fame, Zan retreated to a life of quiet solitude in an effort to heal. But the cure backfired, leaving him with more issues than answers.

Zan knows he can’t give Gianni the stability he’s looking for, not with all his problems. He can’t even imagine why the beautiful younger man would want to get involved with someone so damaged, but the heat between them can’t be ignored. Giving in to it could be a huge mistake. Or maybe both men might end up right where they belong.

 

Review

 

I love this series as an all together fest of crazy and sweet with nice character development.

 

The plots are always bit much. Here, there is a really lack of communication in the start of the attractions. Its silly.

 

However, Zander and Gianni together are great once they get together. We get all the couple time I crave. I love that Zander is another hero's in the father and I love the discussion of attraction to older men.

 

The cast and setting are as always for me, a real good time.

 

PS And yes it is super silly that so many men in Gianni's family are gay or bi.

Guarding Morgan (Sanctuary Book 1) by RJ Scott Free!

Guarding Morgan - R.J. Scott

Morgan Drake witnesses a murder in an alleyway. He is the only person who can give evidence in prosecuting the cop responsible for the crime. When the FBI safe house where he's being held is compromised, he follows the instructions of the agent in charge and runs.

 

Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation that offers witness protection when FBI security is questionable.

 

When Morgan's handler sends him to Nik for safety, neither Morgan nor Nik could imagine that two weeks alone in a cabin in the woods would have their hearts racing with something much more than merely trying to keep Morgan alive.

Ruthless By Gina L. Maxwell 99 cents!

Ruthless - Gina L. Maxwell

People call me Ruthless for a reason.
 
Whether in the court room or the bedroom, my reputation is well-earned. I'm either working hard, working out, or working my way into some woman's panties. Problem is, none of them share my particular kink, and I end up walking away unsatisfied.
 
Until I meet her.
 
She's a friend of a friend, which makes her off-limits until temptation takes me by the balls and I'm taking her up against a wall. She literally f*cks my world off its axis, but I can't let it happen again.
 
My plan of avoiding her got blown to shit when my firm hired her as a new junior attorney. Now I'm her boss, and I have to act like I don't want to bend her over my desk every five minutes.
 
But I've never held myself back from anything before, so consequences be damned. It's time to take what we both want and show her just how damn good feels...to be ruthless.

All In (Firsts and Forever, #2) by Alexa Land Review

All In - Alexa Land

Even though he's really not over his ex-boyfriend Jamie, twenty-three-year-old former football player Charlie finds himself drawn to Dante Dombruso, the handsome, highly dangerous leader of a mafia crime family. Dante is the perfect rebound fling, six feet, four inches of raw sex and hard Italian muscle, wrapped in an expensive suit.


The confident, sexy crime boss is way out of Charlie’s comfort zone. But Charlie already lost everything once by giving in to his fear, and he's not willing to make the same mistake again. If he’s going to do this, Charlie knows he can’t hold back. He can't date this man a little, he can't trust him a little, he can't go to bed with him a little. If he's going to get involved with Dante Dombruso, Charlie has to be All In.

 

Review

 

This one is good to read for the secondary characters. I never really warmed to Charlie but did feel the heat between him and Dante.

I like them much more as the series goes on. I didn't read this series in order so I was happy when I got to the story of this couple.

Like the first book, it is a fun book but the writing flattens it in places. 

However, as a part of the whole series. it is a must read.