[Review] Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Cost of Repairs
(Cost of Repairs #1)
by A.M. Arthur

Publication Date: June 5th 2012
>> Review copy provided by A.M. Arthur in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Samuel Briggs moved to small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, to escape his tragic past and try to start over. When he’s not out walking his beat as a police officer, all he wants is peace, a manageable routine, and time to fix up his newly-purchased project home. And Samuel absolutely does not have room in his new routines for a relationship. Except a chance encounter with a handsome diner cook unexpectedly shakes his resolve.

Rey King lives for his work as a short-order cook, part-time hardware salesman, and full-time handyman. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs, so he isn’t looking for complications. And the gorgeous blond cop who comes to Rey’s rescue is a complication he definitely doesn’t need. Lucky for him, Samuel feels the same way.

But what starts as an afternoon of no-strings sex inevitably complicates itself, as the two men learn how deeply each other’s emotional damage goes. When Rey is seriously injured protecting a friend, their already shaky foundation cracks a little more. Samuel barely pulled his life back together after his first lover’s death and falling in love again isn’t part of his recovery plan. He knows renovations are always a gamble, but this one isn’t about risking money—it’s about Samuel risking his heart.


After reading two books by A.M. Arthur that were a bit lighter on the angst, we are now back to the angst level I’ve come to expect whenever I’m reading an A.M. Arthur book. And I’m totally digging it. Some people might say that Cost of Repairs had too much angst and too many twists, and on some days I might agree, but those are usually the days I want something fun and light, which I did not want today.

I made the fatal mistake to start this book at midnight and of course I got hooked and couldn’t put it down. Thank God the following day was a Sunday. I’m not the only one that always is like “only the first few chapters” and ends up reading the whole book, right? Tell me I’m not. LOL.

Anyway, I really liked this style of ~1/3 of the book from Samuels POV, ~1/3 of the book from Reys POV and the last third was kinda a dual POV. Haven’t encountered that in another book so far, usually it changes every other chapter or it stays on the same person the entire book. Anyway I liked this POV style and the writing style in general, of course.

Like I already mentioned this book had a lot of angst, so naturally our characters were somewhat broken and had a lot of secrets. What I liked was that they never pushed the other one to reveal all those secrets. They were comfortable with waiting till the other told them because they wanted to share. Overall their whole relationship was kind of a slowburner, emotionwise. I liked that, it was interesting to read. So many things I didn’t expect.

Also I liked the side characters, especially Jenny, poor girl. I hope to see more of her though the other couples in the next books, even if it’s just a glimpse here and there.

Did I mentioned that this book turned a bit thriller-ish at the end? That was an interesting twist.

I am also aware that Rey and Samuel got a second book later on in this series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read that, not because I didn’t like this pair – I definitely did! – I’m just not that big on follow-up books. That’s probably just a weird quirk of me, but only time can tell if I pick it up or not. It’s called Acts of Faith, in case you want to check it out.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’m probably still going to pick it up, because this story felt somewhat unfinished without that one thing happening that I can’t mention without it being major spoilerish. It totally made sense to leave it unfinished though. I rather have some things not solved, to keep things more realistic.

Overall I liked this book a lot and can’t wait to read about Schuyler (-> Color of Grace). He was an intriguing characters for sure.

Rating: 4,25 stars


ARC REVIEW: Relay by Layla Reyne

About the book

(Changing Lanes #1)
by Layla Reyne

Publication Date: January 8th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.


When I received Relay I was in a foul mood after dnf-ing the last three books I’ve read, so I put it aside, because I was sure if I would read it with a feeling of lingering disappointment that I would not like it. That was a wise decision by me. Instead I read it after I read a book I absolutely loved. Lol.

Layla Reyne is a new-to-me author, but after reading Relay I will check out her other books as well.

Anyway Relay had all the things I love combined: m/m romance, an enemies-to-lover relationship that also included a second-chance romance and it had a sports theme. I loved the whole animosity between Dane and Alex in the beginning of the book. That was fun.

Also their whole 2nd relationship was a slowburner, which I also loved. Slowburners are more fun in my opinion and the relationship makes more sense if its built up slowly instead of over the course of just 30 pages like in some books I’ve read. We didn’t get to find out a lot of their first relationship though. Normally I’m not a big fan of flashbacks, but in this case I would have liked one or two, but that’s me nitpicking.

Dane’s parents I wanted to hurt – a lot. Poor Dane. I kinda disliked the fact though that Dane let them control his own life for that long of a time, but I’m glad he finally stood up to them.

The writing style was really good and while I read some reviews that were disappointed that the whole swimming thing wasn’t as prominent as they hoped and that we didn’t find out if they won any medals at the Olympics, I was quite glad this was the way it was. I want an incentive to read the next book – which I would have read nontheless, just saying –  to know how they did at the Olympics.

Also I’m curious about Bas and Jacob. Their book will be the second one in the Changing Lanes series and according to Riptide Publishing’s website it’s called Medley and will be released April 23. Can’t wait.

Rating: 4 stars

Mini Reviews #4

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Review copy provided by NetGalley)

To be honest with you I knew the second I hit ‘request’ on NetGalley this was not a book for me, but I let myself be swayed by all the people on Twitter who hyped this book up and I wanted to be in on the hype as well. Well… it’s two years later and I finally decided to own up to my mistakes and pick this book up.

Sadly, like expected this just wasn’t for me. I really gave it a fair chance. I read till 25% in the hopes that it could change my mind, but it never did.

Also I was quite thrown by the way the book started. Normally I wouldn’t mind if the book started right in a situation, but in this book I was lost. Too many characters at once and too much happening that I couldn’t place nor understand.

This book is the very reason why I’m normally not riding the hype wave, because those books never live up to my expectation.

The writing style of this book was ok-ish, didn’t keep me hooked or anything, but maybe it’s just the content that couldn’t keep my interest and not the actual writing.

Rating: DNF

Rachel Van Dyken – Cheater (Review copy provided by NetGalley)

I love everything written by Rachel Van Dyken, may it be NA, Paranormal Romance or something as dark as her Eagle Elite series, but I couldn’t make myself pick up this book. Simply because of the goddamn title. If this book had any other name I wouldn’t even have cared about the title, but that word ‘Cheater’ was the biggest reason I didn’t want to give it a chance.

This is an RVD book, did I really expect some type of big cheater? Apparently… yes, and I wasn’t happy with this book.

For a good part of the book I despised Lucas, because he was so… And I was so… *throws plant pot at wall* but I got over it and over time he grew on me a bit, like mold. Ok, not really, I still was annoyed by him for most of the book.

Avery I liked from the beginning, she was kinda shy, but also not afraid to speak up to Lucas.

BUT, big but, as much as I liked RVD’s writing style – as always – and as much as I found the banter funny, this will not be my favourite book by RVD, probably will be my least liked book by her, because of Lucas. I couldn’t stand him for the fact that once he started seeing Avery, he was still seeing all the other girls right in front of Avery. He was a manwhore and I did not like it.

In hindsight I probably should have trusted my gut and should have never touched this book, because than it couldn’t have ruined this picture I have of RVD’s books, like that she can’t do wrong. Sadly, she proves with Cheater that she can, at least for me :/

This turned out longer than I intended. So to keep thing short: not my piece of cake.

Rating: 2.5 stars

ARC REVIEW: Soul To Keep by Garrett Leigh

About the book

Soul To Keep
(Rented Heart #2)
by Garrett Leigh

Publication Date: April 2nd 2018 by Riptide Publishing
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley <<

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place—he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie—so wild and beautiful—bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

reviewSoul To Keep is the first book by Garrett Leigh I read and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last one. Also it is the second book in the Rented Heart series, but can perfectly be read as a stand-alone in my honest opinion, because that’s what I did. I might have missed some backstory about Jamie and Zac (main character from the previous book), but I didn’t need it to understand Soul To Keep, so no harm in not knowing the first book.

Garrett Leigh’s characters were quite broken. Marc not as much as Jamie, but he also struggles. Both, Jamie and Marc, had to fight with some sort of darkness in their life and I like, how after meeting and getting to know each other, they complemented each other. Their relationship started off as some sort of friendship and morphed into a romantical relationship. What I loved about that relationship as well was that it was quite a slowburner. The first time they really had sex was at 80% of the book. Don’t understand that wrong, they did make out a bit before that with BJs and stuff like that, but it took some time till they had the real deal. Nowadays I feel like most of the books have the first sex scene in the first 30% and sometimes it feels totally unnatural, more like it’s a requirement to have one that early. So I was glad that was not the case in Soul To Keep.

I also liked how Garrett Leigh dealed with Jamie’s addiction and other problems and didn’t totally make them disappear at the end of the book, because that’s not really the way that works. That little conflict Marc and Jamie had near the end also made perfectly sense, because of Jamie’s past.

Also this book had quite a lot of angst, mostly from Jamie’s POV. Marc was more relaxed in that manner, because he already had enough years to deal with his problems, but I liked to read from both POV’s. That’s always my favourite, because this way I can experience the feelings from both sides of the story.

I absolutely recommend this book, if you are looking for an angsty, but at the same time cute and slowburner-y book to fill some of your hours.

Rating: 4,25 stars


[Review] Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Wild Trail
(Clean Slate Ranch #1)
by A.M. Arthur

Publication Date: December 11th 2017 by Carina Press

Welcome to Clean Slate Ranch: home of tight jeans, cowboy boots, and rough trails. For some men, it’s a fantasy come true.

Mack Garrett loves the rolling hills surrounding his Northern California dude ranch. Leading vacationers on horse trails with his two best friends is enough – romance is definitely not in the cards. When a sexy tourist shows up at Clean Slate, he’s as far from Mack’s type as can be. So why is the handsome city slicker so far under his skin in less than a day?

Roughing it in the middle of nowhere isn’t anywhere near Wes Bentley’s idea of fun. Then he lays eyes on the gruffest, hottest papa bear he’s ever seen. But Mack is as hard to pin down as he looks – distant, sharp-tongued, and in desperate need of a shave. Until a campout gone wrong strands both men in the mountains with nothing to do but get to know each other.

Mack intends to keep his closely guarded heart out of Wes’ very talented hands. But for a seven-day cowboy, Wes is packing some long-term possibility. The cold country air can do wonders for bringing bodies together – but it will take more than that to bridge the distance between two men whose lives are worlds apart.


Once again I’m reading a book by A.M. Arthur and I liked it, didn’t love it, because I had some issues with it, but I liked it.

Let’s start with the positive stuff.

#1: A.M. Arthur’s writing style, I liked her writing style in previous books and also liked it in Wild Trail.

#2: this book wasn’t as angst-filled as her other books, don’t get me wrong, I like angst, but this was a welcomed change.

#3: that action scene near the end was cool and I mean a different kind of action than sex 😉

#4 gay cowboys, I’ve read a lot of M/M books and non of them ever featured cowboys, and while I love my gay/bisexual sport players, this whole cowboy thing was a welcomed change as well.

#5: I liked the characters, especially Mack, and while I liked them and how they all interacted, they are also the cause of all my negative points, which are the following.

The whole daddy/boss nickname situation between Mack and Wes – I did not get that at all, because there was not one element of the whole BDSM dominance stuff in this book and whenever I read one of those two nicknames, I had to cringe inwardly. It just felt off. Might only be me though that thinks so.
Another thing that bugged me just a bit was the relationship overall between Mack and Wes. While I loved that they didn’t immediately jumps into bed to have wild sex, I didn’t get what their relationship was built on. Yes, they have deep talks and date and romance – and I liked it – but I just didn’t feel it. Maybe I’m defective. LOL

Overall I still liked it and will definitely check out the next two books, because I’m curious how the whole Avery and Colt thing will work out, also I’m eager to see if the book about Reyes and Miles will be as slowburner-y as I think it will be.

You know what thing I think A.M. Arthur could also write really well? NA M/M sports themed books, because her books are always – in my unknowing mind – well researched and like I already mentioned I’m a sucker for that setting. LOL, don’t mind me and my cry for more sports themed books, I read a bunch of them and are running out.

Rating: 4 stars

Mini Reviews #3

Cody McFayden – The Truth Factory (Review copy proved by NetGalley Germany)

I read the first four Smoky Barrett books a few years ago and really loved them, but this one… by 39% I couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe my expectations were just way too high, but it was so damn boring and  then all these descriptions. I skipped whole paragraphes because they were just bla bla bla.

Also Smoky’s team and family that I loved dearly in the previous books were pretty much absent.

I wished I could have loved this, but I can’t read another 250+ pages. (the german version is 480 pages long).

Rating: DNF

Mina MacLeod – Experiment Number Six (Review copy proved by NetGalley)

If you are expecting a big romance in Experiment Number Six, you won’t find it. It focuses more on the whole mission stuff and getting Jason Slate to regain his memory. I had no problems with that fact, I liked it, but I have a problem with the fact that I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a prologue novella for an upcoming full book or not. Because I really wanted them to catch the bad, bad terrorists and the ending was just a bit too sudden for me. It was a novella so I can’t really expect much about character development and I didn’t, so that’s that.

The one thing I can say for sure is that I really enjoyed the writing style, it hooked me from the first page.

That little twist near the ending was fun, a bit obvious, but fun nevertheless.

If you are looking for a quick afternoon read – took me 25 min – then you might give this a try, but don’t expect a big romance story.

Experiment Number Six didn’t blew me away, but it was an ok read to fill my afternoon for a few minutes. I blame the fact that it was only ok for me on the fact that I’m used to full length books. If this had been full lenghted I believe I would have liked it more.

Rating: 2,5 stars