[Release Blitz + ARC REVIEW] Diamond in the Rough by Charlie Cochet

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DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

FOUR KINGS SECURITY, BOOK 4

CHARLIE COCHET

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 02.12.19

Diamond-In-The-Rough-Kindle

Cover Art Copyright © 2019 Reese Dante

http://reesedante.com

 

BLURB

For Ward “King” Kingston the role of protector, forged by fire and tragedy, is one he takes seriously. When King is asked to safeguard the son of a four-star general and friend, he is pulled back into the world of government black ops on a mission that raises painful memories from his past. The moment King meets Leo, amid the chaos of a lockdown at a secret black site, it’s clear he’s never faced a challenge like this—one that will test his unwavering sense of control.

Leopold de Loughrey is a misunderstood genius whose anxiety and insecurities are sent into overdrive when he is forcefully recruited to work on a top-secret project. Terrified of what his role as “invaluable asset” means, Leo’s stress leads to disappearances, arguments, and blowups that threaten the project and Leo’s future. King’s arrival is a calm in the storm for Leo and his frenetic thoughts.

King and Leo couldn’t be more different, yet as they navigate the dangers of a secret multi-agency operation and face unknown threats, their differences could be what saves them. Neither man believes a happily ever after is in the cards, but their hearts might just prove them wrong… if they can survive a deadly betrayal.

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EXCERPT

“Everything okay?”

Leo bit down on his bottom lip and nodded. “Mm-hm.” How about we not reveal what a complete and total freak we are to the hot soldier guy? Not hot. Obviously hot, but Leo shouldn’t be thinking hot. Ones and zeroes. That’s what he should be thinking. Ones and zeroes and sixes, or was that eights? Six-pack or eight-pack?

“Leo?”

“Eight.”

“I’m sorry?”

Leo’s jaw went slack. Holy shit, he’d said that out loud! He promptly shut his mouth, eyes wide. Something banged somewhere, and he flinched. Lifting his gaze, King scanned the room, his expression turning pensive, like he was trying to figure something out. For Leo, it was easy. Noise. It filled the room. Clicking of keyboards, talking, whirring of equipment, and movement. The hostility that rolled off some of the analysts like little clouds of doom didn’t help either.

“I’ll be right back,” King said before he headed toward the analysts.

Leo followed King’s movement as he walked down the rows of workstations until he seemed to find what he was looking for. With a warm smile at Heather, one of the first analysts to be recruited, he pointed to a pair of heavy-duty noise-canceling headphones. He said something that had her blinking up at him, and he checked her ID before his next words were followed by him putting his hand to his chest. She raked her gaze over every inch of him—way to be subtle, Heather—and her cheeks went pink before she lifted her wide eyes to his. Leo wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t seen it, but she visibly sighed. Like a dreamy sigh, not the frustrated “why do you have to breathe the same oxygen as me” sigh she’d given Leo that morning when he’d asked to borrow a highlighter.

Heather nodded, and King took the pair of large headphones from her desk, then returned to Leo, Heather’s gaze never leaving him, or rather his ass. Leo narrowed his eyes at her, and when she realized she’d been busted, she started typing away at her keyboard like she was Sandra Bullock in Speed and her desk would blow up if she typed under fifty words per minute.

“Does anyone actually ever say no to you?” Leo asked.

King chuckled and handed him the headphones. “You’d be surprised. My family certainly has no problem giving me a piece of their minds. Noise-canceling headphones. Why don’t you use these for now and let me know which brand you prefer, and I’ll be sure to get a pair brought to you right away.”

“How did you know?”

“One of my brothers-in-arms, Jack, handles cybersecurity for Four Kings Security, and when he’s working on an important project, he puts on headphones to block out any noise that messes with his concentration. Usually it’s when our other brother, Ace, is in the same building.”

Leo couldn’t help his smile. “King, Jack, Ace? I’m sensing a pattern here.”

 

Move over, Ace, we have a new king (pun intended?) in town and surprisingly it’s not King as one might think but Leo. Sorry, Ace! I still love you.

To be honest with you when I picked up Diamond in the Rough I knew I would like it but I didn’t actually  believe it would be the best book of the series. I was kind of disappointed by the third book Join the Club. Don’t get me wrong it was good, but kind of underwhelming. So imagine my surprise that DITR (I’m lazy, sue me) was sooo good. I loved Leo and King, especially Leo. I could totally relate to his awkwardness and quirks. I could absolutely see him and Dex (main character of the Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series – highly recommend!) working together to annoy the crap out of someone. I also loved to finally see more of King as he was somewhat of a mystery to me in the previous books and I also loved him so much. Leo and King together were hilarious. I found myself laughing often. Ace was the cause of some of those laughters as well. I just love that man.

Charlie Cochet’s writing style kept me hooked to the pages as usually and made me read the whole thing in one sitting.

DITR was a well done conclusion to the Four King series and I had so much fun reading the whole series. I honestly can’t wait for the spin-off books and I hope to see the all the guys again.

Rating: 4,5 stars

CharlieLogo2018Website

Charlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, releasing her creativity through art, or binge watching a new TV series. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website: www.charliecochet.com

Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliecochet

Twitter: @charliecochet

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/charliecochet

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/CharlieCochet

Instagram: www.instagram.com/charliecochet

THIRDS HQ: www.thirdshq.com

Sign up for Charlie’s newsletter: http://bit.ly/CharlieCochetNews

Follow Charlie on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/charliecochet

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[Review] Heal by E. M. Leya

About the book

Heal
(Save the Kids #3)
by E. M. Leya

ebook
Publication Date: January 24th 2019

Beau always dreamed of being a doctor, and despite his family’s disappointment, he followed his dreams, becoming a well-known pediatrician. Working in the emergency room he’s faced the worst that society can do to children.

Parson lost his best friend to suicide after foster care failed her. He vowed that he would be the change the system needed and give children the chance that his friend never had.

When a severe case of sexual abuse brings Parson and Beau together, they find they share a passion to make a difference, focusing on helping to show the abused children that not everyone in the world is out to hurt them.

That’s not the only passion they share, the more time they spend together, the stronger their relationship becomes. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and for once, they’ve found someone who isn’t only out to take what they have to give.

But like any new relationship, there are secrets between them, ones so big that it could break them apart before it really gets started. It’s only the determination to save the kids that pushes them forward, making them both see, that despite their pasts, the future can be brighter, and together they have twice as much to offer than they do alone.

review
I read Heal the day it came out and I also wanted to review it on that day but sadly I couldn’t find time to do so because of one of my finals in college. I originally wanted to wait with reading it after my finals but I couldn’t possible wait for that. I have no patience whatsoever.

So here is finally my review.

I really, really liked the previous two books Pain and Secret (highly recommend!) and wasn’t quite sure if Heal would work for me because in Pain and Secret the MCs were both part of the active part of the team while Beau is more on the passive part of the team. Color me surprised but I liked it. Not as much as Pain or Secret but that’s not because Beau’s on the passive part but for a different reason. I’ll get to that in a second.

I’ll name the positive things first really quick because I always seem to forget to mention the good aspects. It’s just so much easier to write about the bad things for me.
Positive thing #1: the writing style sucked me right in from the very beginning.
Positive thing #2: I’m always a sucker for good team dynamics and I absolutely adore the STK team.
Positive thing #3: I love that not every sting of theirs is a total success. I hate reading books where everything always works out to plan.
Positive thing #4: I absolutely loved Parson, he might even now have to share the number one spot with Xander.

So… let’s get to the not so positive things for me. I’ll go ahead and tell you that I’m giving this book 4 stars but I’m a bit of a nitpicker so bear with me.

The first thing I wasn’t much a fan of was Beau’s and Faith’s relationship. I loved that he was a mentor for her but the whole bff thing was a bit weird for me. I’m sure those relationships can be found in real life, there was just something that made it a bit cringy for me, for example the talking about Beau’s sex life.

My next point contains a spoiler so read at your own risk. *SPOILER* The whole forster care thing I liked but Beau decided after knowing them for a week that he wanted to adopt them just because. They haven’t even lived with him by then, they were still in the hospital. Admirably but kinda fast. Also he pretty much told Parson after the first date that they should get married. Holy moly, that man really moves fast. I loved Beau and Parson together but still. Slow down, Beau, just a bit. *SPOILER END*

Last but not least it’s just something I noticed and if I’m wrong let me know, please. Did Parson ever tell Beau why he decided to work in the field he chose? I mean like we as the reader know, hell, even the people who only read the synopsis know this but does Beau actually know? Did they ever talk about that? Beau told Parson his story but did it happen the other way around … I’m honestly not sure. I’ll need to check and re-read the book again but first I’ll need to finish my last two finals. *sigh*

Okay, nitpicking’s over.

I absolutely can’t wait for the next one and the wait won’t thankfully be that long. It’s supposed to come out by the end of February. Yay, nice birthday present for me.

Rating: 4 stars

[ARC REVIEW] Deke by Eden Finley

About the book

Deke
(Fake Boyfriend #3)
by Eden Finley

ebook
Publication Date: January 9th 2019

Ollie

Word of advice: don’t come out to random guys in public restrooms. Even if they’re charming and adorably nerdy and offer to help.

My family believe I can’t be happy if I’m not out to the world. I have a bitter ex-boyfriend and an unstable NHL career to show for it. A fake boyfriend seems like an easy and quick solution to get my family off my back, and this guy is volunteering. I take him up on it without asking his name.

I really should’ve asked for his name.

Lennon

Word of advice: learn how to introduce yourself properly.

In my defense, I don’t recognize Ollie Strömberg right away. I cover football, not hockey.

I’m not supposed to see him again, and he’s never supposed to find out I’m a reporter.

That all changes when my editor reassigns me.

It’s a lesson I should’ve learned by now. Nothing’s changed since high school. Jocks still hate nerds. But even worse, athletes hate journalists. Especially ones who know their secret.

*Deke is a full-length MM novel with a HFN/HEA and no cliffhanger*

review

~ ARC provided by author in exchange for my honest opinion

Sweet Neil Patrick in a harness (read the book and you will understand this), this book was soooo good. The ARC hit my kindle when I still had a friend over and it might have been possible that I was a bit annoyed that she hasn’t gone home yet, so I could read it. Just a teeny-tiny bit.

After reading Trick Play, the second book in the series, I was totally expected a book about Talon, because his story was kind of teased about, but instead Eden gave us Lennon and Ollie and I have to say I’m absolutely not mad about that.

Like the previous books Deke was an absolute joy to read. It was funny – freaking hilarious to be honest, that joint scene really got me laughing my ass off – and I loved the characters, even though I wasn’t sure I would like Lennon, when Eden announced that he would be one of the main characters. I had absolutely no reason to worry, he was awesome.

Even though the next book in this series won’t be a fake boyfriend type of book, I can’t wait for Talon’s book and would love to get my hand on it yesterday.

I totally recommend Deke to anyone, in fact I’m planning to reread it again this evening. You might want to start with Fake Out though so you get to meet the whole clan, even though all the books can be read as stand-alones in my opinion.

I want to give 4,75 stars, because I rarely give the full 5 stars but to hell with it, every single book of this series deserves 5 stars.

Rating: 5 stars

ARC REVIEW: Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert

About the book

Tight Quarters
(Out Of Uniform #6)
by Annabeth Albert

ebook
Publication Date: July 9th 2018 by Carina Press
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

review

Tight Quarters is the sixth book in the Out Of Uniform series and I kinda don’t know what I’m supposed to say about this series anymore. I like it! Didn’t loved it, but I liked it. I like the way its written. I like the way the characters are portrayed. I like the story. I like the romance. If I didn’t like this series or this particular book I would have abandoned it long ago, but I’m still here, so that should tell you everything.

The thing I especially liked about Tight Quarters is that the age-gap wasn’t make into a big deal. I think it was mentioned once – in a thought – and that was it. Really liked that. Normally, at least in most m/f romances I’ve read it was always made into a problem, even though in most cases it just wasn’t one. That’s one of the reasons I like m/m romances. Way less unnecessary drama in my opinion. There was some drama in Tight Quarters but not related to the age thing, just saying.

Overall I really liked it and can’t wait to read the seventh and if I’m not mistaken last (*cry*) book in this series.

Rating: 3,75 stars

ARC REVIEW: Unprincely by Eden Finley

About the book

Unprincely
(Royal Obligation #1)
by Eden Finley

ebook
Publication Date: May 15th 2018
>> Review copy provided by author in exchange for my honest opinion <<

A bisexual prince isn’t the only scandal in this palace.

Destined for the crown he doesn’t want.
Bad boy Alexander hates his title. He’s the tabloids’ favourite hot mess. Xander thrives in the attention but wishes they’d leave those rumours about him on the editing room floor. The ones about the type of company he likes to keep.

Irresponsibility takes a backseat when tragedy strikes the royal family. Gone are the days of being the reluctant prince. Instead, duty and obligation become Xander’s life. Until he meets Delia.

Not as lady-like as she seems.
Lady Cordelia Hillington was raised right. She knows how to act appropriately in public and appear demure in front of the dignitaries she grew up around. Which is why Prince Alexander is taken aback by dirty promises falling out of her mouth at a charity event.

After a steamy night at an anonymous, high-end sex club with a handsome stranger wearing a mask, Xander and Delia are desperate to find their Cinderella man. Little do they know, he’s closer than either of them would suspect.

Determined to remain professional.
Roman Elliot, former soldier turned royal guard, has kept his feelings for the prince a secret for years. His job is everything to him, and he’s not going to do anything to jeopardize it. That’s the plan until he finds Prince Alexander at a sex club with none of his security detail accompanying him.

It’s a night Roman wishes he could forget but being assigned as Delia’s protector for the summer makes it hard. He can’t let them know it was him they spent a night with, but he gets the feeling both Xander and Delia already might know …

**Unprincely is a 54,000-word MMF contemporary royal novel with over the top characters, impromptu proposals, and just a touch of Cinderella-ism. HEA guaranteed.**

review

This was way better than I anticipated. Why you ask?

When Eden Finley offered ARCs, I told her I would love to read it but I was also upfront and told her I wasn’t sure I would like it, because quite frankly m/m/f is not really my genre. She gave me one anyway, which makes her awesome.

Starting this book I tried to go into it without comparing it to any other m/m/f book I read and disliked before, and I think that worked out great. Another thing that made me like this book was definitely Eden Finley’s writing style. There is just something about it that drew me in from the first page and I probably would have finished it in one sitting if I hadn’t decided to start it in a parking lot waiting for my brother.

While I’m still not 100% on board with the whole threesome relationship going on in this book, I liked a lot better than in other books I’ve read. Maybe because I really liked all three of the people involved individually as well. Xander, Roman and Delia were just really likeable characters and while I may have rooted for Xander and Roman to kick Delia out and start a M/M relationship – I hope you can forgive me for that lol – I actually liked those three together. They fit.

I’m actually surprised I liked this book so much and I am going to read the second book in this series – willingly, because I want to ;). One other reason I can think of why I liked this better than other books, is that there weren’t as many sex scenes as I thought there would be. Don’t get me wrong, I had nothing against threesome sex scenes, they are pretty hot. It’s just that in my opinion m/m/f books are usually flotted with them and there is no story aside from it whatsoever. It’s just one sex scene after another after another, you get my drift. Unprincely was different in that regard. I liked it. The three different POVs might have also been a factor. I’m a sucker of various POVs.

Unprincely might be the first m/m/f book I actually enjoyed, so kudos to you Eden Finley. Well done.

Rating: 4 stars

[Review] Pain by E.M. Leya

About the book

Pain
(Save The Kids #1)
by E.M. Leya
ebook
Publication Date: December 12th 2017 by E.L. Publishing

When his daughter is kidnapped, Matt’s life screeches to a halt. He would do anything to get his daughter back, but first he needs to find her. When the police exhaust all possible leads, Matt does the only thing he can do — he uses his hacking skills to infiltrate the dark web. Torn, he desperately hopes he finds a lead on his daughter among the heartbreaking details he comes across, yet prays she isn’t one of the countless children being victimized for thousands to watch.

Xander is a tough, bearded, tattooed pedophile hunter, working for a team who takes down some of the most dangerous people in the country. He doesn’t have time for love or relationships, at least until he meets Matt. Xander’s never let anyone get close, but there is something about Matt that draws him in, and it’s more than just concern for his daughter.

Xander and Matt come together explosively, both searching for a distraction from the darkness they face, but what they didn’t expect were feelings to form. Matt finds himself leaning on Xander and his team for support, while doing what he can to help them find and protect other children from the darkness creeping into their world, never once giving up hope that they’ll get a lead on his daughter.

One phone call threatens to change everything, and when faced with a new reality, the two of them must decide if what they have is worth fighting for. What they need to realize is, sometimes finding the one person who calms you can make it all worthwhile.

review

I wasn’t quite sure if I should write a full-length review for Pain or Secret (the second book of the Save The Kids series). In the end I decided to go with the first book, Pain, because that is normally the book you start a series with, right? If you’re not me, that is. I, of course, started with the second book first, like usually. I don’t know when I finally will be able to pick up the first book in a series first. Maybe it will happen someday. But because of this, I can always tell you if a book is readable without needing to read the other books of a series. Both, Pain and Secret, are perfectly fine to be read as stand-alones.

I will say that this series isn’t for someone who’s squeamish and doesn’t want to read violent scenes, there are some here. Child abuse is also talked about, but the actual abuse happens off page.

I really liked the writing style and the dynamics between the characters. Also poor Faith, she was so strong and I loved her relationship with Xander, I loved that guy, don’t judge me 😉

I also loved how Xander and Matt’s casual relationship slowly drifted off to a serious relationship without them even noticing at first. Those two were cute.

I will definitely pick up the third book in the series, if there will be one. I sincerely hope so. No idea what characters it will be about though, maybe Dyson and a new character?

Rating: 4,5 stars

 

ARC REVIEW: Roped In by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Roped In
(Clean Slate Ranch #2)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: May 21st 2018 by Carina Press
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion <<

At Clean Slate Ranch, the men are rugged, the trails are rocky and lassos aren’t only used for roping horses

For Colt Woods, Clean Slate Ranch is home. The dude ranch in Northern California helped him heal from a devastating breakup. So when his ex-Dom, the man who broke his heart, waltzes onto the ranch, Colt doesn’t know how to deal.

A research job at a nearby ghost town brings history PhD Avery Hendrix to Clean Slate. He’s not in town forever, but it doesn’t take long for him to feel the familiar draw to Colt. When they find out they’ll be sharing a cabin on the ranch, it’s all Avery can do to stop himself from bending Colt over a saddle right then and there.

In such close proximity, Colt’s and Avery’s old feelings come galloping back. Soon Colt is doing his master’s bidding again and loving every moment of it. And the pair may be in for the ride of their lives—if the dedicated professor and his rugged cowboy can learn to trust again.

review
Roped In is the second installment in the Clean Slate Ranch series and I have to confess to not liking it as much as I liked Wild Trail, the previous book. The main reason for that is the BDSM theme. I’m just not into the whole Dom and Sub thing, or as it is here, the Sir and pet thing.

The other parts of the story I absolutely liked. How Colt had to deal with that big secret of him that’s now out of the bag, and no, I’m not talking about him being gay. That we already knew. You know what secret I’m talking about, if you read book one. Which you absolutely don’t need to have done, before reading Roped In, just saying. The whole dynamics between the different characters I also really liked.

This would have probably been a 4,5 star read, if not for the BDSM thing… which makes me sad, because I basically like everything A.M. Arthur writes.

If you like to read about BDSM and want to have a good angsty M/M read, this is probably a good book for you. Me not so much, but I’m definitely looking forward to Miles’ and Reyes’ story. These two appear broken and I’m really curious.

Rating: 3,5 stars

[Review] One Night with Rhodes by Eden Finley

About the book

One Night with Rhodes
(One Night Series #4)
by Eden Finley

ebook
Publication Date: May 22nd 2017
>> Review copy provided by the author in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Blair Rhodes considers himself an equal opportunity player. He knew from a young age that he wasn’t entirely straight. Ogling his best friend’s older brother was the first thing that tipped him off. But Garrett Erikson is off limits. Always has been. Garrett is as straight as they come.

Garrett’s reputation as a womaniser precedes him, but it’s not who he is. Not even close. And when Blair turns up on his doorstep, heartbroken over a breakup, Garrett knows it’s a bad idea to go drinking with him.

One night is all it takes for everything to change.

For the past ten years, Garrett’s denied his desires to everyone, including himself.
And as much as Blair wants to be the guy Garrett needs, he needs to protect his own heart. Like his ex-boyfriend always told him: “Never mess with the straight ones. It only leads to trouble.”

review

One Night with Rhodes is my second book by Eden Finley, the first one was Fake Out (totally recommend this one, btw).

I will say right away that I loved One Night with Rhodes, except for one tiny things. That thing was this: The first chapter played in 2016, the chapters after that played in the time from 2011 till 2016, for a really big part of the book. I think it took to around 90% till we caught up to that first scene. And while I absolutely did not mind that, it still felt a bit flashback-like. I think if the first chapter wasn’t there I wouldn’t have had that problem. This is me nitpicking by the way, I read the whole thing till 4:30am in the morning, so that should tell you everything.

By the way in case you are considering reading this book, please know that the relationship between Garrett and Blair is an on/off-relationship, so if you don’t want to see the main couple with different partners throughtout this book (only in the off-phase though), this book probably isn’t for you. Just saying.

Blair was a really nice, considerate and patient guy, he didn’t push and I really loved him. Garrett on the other hand, while I also loved him, I wanted to hit him on the head from time to time, just because some of the things he’s done. I get it, but still, sometimes I want the ability to reach into a book and shake some sense into the characters. Who wouldn’t like to have that ability though? 🙂 These two had a lot of ups-and-downs, but I loved those.

If you are into M/M romances, where one of the guy is closeted, with an on/off relationship, this probably is your piece of cake. Did I mention their crazy family/friends? Hilarious. And the sarcasm. I love sarcasm. You might want to give One Night with Rhodes a try.

Rating: 4,5 – 4,75 stars

 

ARC REVIEW: Medley by Layla Reyne

About the book

Medley
(Changing Lanes #2)
by Layla Reyne

ebook
Publication Date: April 23rd 2018 by Riptide Publishing
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Sebastian Stewart was never Mr. Dependable; he was more the good-time guy who only wanted to swim, party, and ink tattoos. Until he cost his team the Olympic gold four years ago. Bas is determined to do right this time around—by his medley relay team and his rookie mentee.

Jacob Burrows is in over his head. The Olympic experience—from the hazing, to the endless practices, to the unrelenting media—makes the shy nineteen-year-old’s head spin. He’s trying to be everything to everyone while trying not to fall for his gorgeous tattooed teammate who just gets him—gets his need to fix things, his dorky pirate quips, and his bisexuality.

When Jacob falters under the stress, threatening his individual races and the medley relay gold, he needs Bas’s help to escape from drowning. Bas, however, fearing a repeat of his mistakes four years ago, pushes Jacob away, sure he’ll only let Jacob down. But the only path to salvaging gold is for Jacob to finally ask for what he needs—the heart of the man he loves—and for Bas to become the dependable one.

reviewAfter reading my very first Layla Reyne book, Relay, and liking it (4 stars), her second book, Medley, had three possible ways to go. #1 It could be better than Relay, #2 it could be not as good as Relay, so it would make Relay a fluke, meaning I only liked Relay by this author and won’t like any other books by her #3 or it could be about the same as Relay.

To keep the suspense short, it was about as good as Relay, maybe a teeny-tiny bit better. Spoiler: I’m giving Medley 4,25 stars 🙂 that’s 0,25 stars more than Relay. Like I said teeny-tiny bit.

I can’t tell a specific reason why this one was slightly better than Relay, it probably was just all things combined – which doesn’t mean Relay was bad, like I said 4 stars 😉

We kind of already got a glimpse at the characters of Medley in the previous book and I really liked Bas and Jacob in the previous and in this book. Bas was this calm and collected guy who tried his damnest not to mess up and Jacob was a cute, clumpsy, way to observant guy who tried to do his best. Those two together just worked, they were like pieces of a puzzle that fit together. Their drama wasn’t overly over the top, but it was there, so if you’re not a fan of drama, back out now. I personally love drama, especially the kind of drama they had.

What I also really liked was that we got another glimpse at Dane and Alex’s relationship. I love it when previous couples are still included – in this case they had to because they were on the swimming team lol.

Also some people didn’t like in the previous book that swimming and the whole Olympia thing weren’t really that much of a deal. Guess what, in Medley it is a pretty big deal, as they are in the midst of the Olympics. So here you go, people! There is your swimming competition! Satisfied now?

Did I mention I was watching the Winterolympics on TV while reading this book? No? I was. Lol.

The writing style sucked me in as much as it already did in the first book. Also I really liked that Layla Reyne mentioned a german speaking country, in this case Austria. We germans are not enough mentioned in fiction romances. 😉

Overall I really liked Medley and can totally recommened it to anyone that wants to read a swimming related m/m romance. Also I really hope there will be a third book, not really sure if that will actually happen since I don’t have a clue what characters that could be about and what the whole setting would be, but I would definitely read it. Just saying.

Rating: 4,25 stars

 

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

About the book

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

ebook
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.

review

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