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

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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

ARC REVIEW: Relay by Layla Reyne

About the book

Relay
(Changing Lanes #1)
by Layla Reyne

ebook
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.

review

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

ebook
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