The Cop and His Omega, Beau Brown

The Cop and His Omega: Mpreg Romance by [Brown, Beau]

Trevor and Brock have a seriously awesome connection and I liked them both right from the very beginning.  As individuals they caught my attention, but together?  Gold.

Trevor is a hot cop alpha with a big heart for his family and a big...uh...something else for the guys he hooks up with.  His feelings don't have anything to do with these meetings until Brock.  There's just something special about him right from the outset.  Brock is the intelligent, attractive school psychologist who loves his job and hasn't had a night out, or in rather, in quite some time.  Ready to let loose a little he winds up at The Pink Cap with a coworker.  And who should be there?  But the hot cop that pulled him over for a burned-out taillight.

There's a serious vibe between the two of them and you can tell right away that there's nothing they can do to avoid it.  They're drawn to more than their exteriors, there's something intrinsically genuine within each of them that calls to the other.  With a high school mini crush on both parts that was left to simmer in the background forgotten until this meeting their new spark ignites something really exciting.

I liked their banter, their common interests, their likes are calling to likes and there's just enough between them that's different to keep them coming back to learn more.  Their chemistry is incendiary and fun to watch because they're both navigating some confusing but infinitely comfortable waters.  When things start becoming serious, however, their fears set them on a course for separation.  Neither wants to admit what they're feeling and it causes a rather unfortunate confrontation at The Pink Cap.

Trevor is confused and lets Brock leave, Brock is hurt but mature enough to know when things are becoming too heavy.  Except he's unaware of just how heavy the situation has become.  Their passion has created a little someone that's going to need extra consideration that neither Trevor nor Brock was expecting or even wanted at this point in their lives.  But now that they're on the outs, what kind of a future does that paint?

I loved the way they reconciled.  There was a bit of groveling, a ton of vulnerable honesty, feels, acceptance, and sweet relief.  This kind of situation has been drawn out with added angst, frustration, harsh words, self-preservation, and dick moves in other books I've read.  I can't tell you how happy I was that this wasn't the case.  Both men were genuine to who they were as well as to the fears that they feel about their new situation.  The respect and affection they both feel is perfect.

The drama wasn't over, though, because when their little bundle decided to make their appearance they didn't expect the possible devastation that appearance could have created.  In this moment we see our strong, confident alpha find true fear as he breaks a little under the weight of a possible world without the man he has come to love so desperately.  Family and friends rally around him and show him that there's love and support on all sides as they deal with unexpected trials.  All's well that ends well, though, and this book certainly ended well.  Mixing sex with honesty, nervousness, and feels at their start and their "end" make their story a total win.

From beginning to end I cared about these men and was invested in their outcome.  The writing was smooth and the characters were solid.  I'm a fan.  This is my first book from this author and I'm on board from here on out!

*Brock and Trevor can be yours for only $2.99!

Marked to the Omega, Ashe Moon

Marked to the Omega (Luna Brothers Book 3) by [Moon, Ashe]

This is my first book from this author and I found that I liked the flow of the story and how she got a lot of the angst and frustration from the beginning to be present yet subtle enough to not overwhelm.  There are a lot of barriers between Cristophe and Mason and neither are sure exactly how to breach them.  For Christophe it's a matter of class, family, the truth of prophecy, and pride.  For Mason it's money, background, crimes, status, and family.  Where do they go to be together?  And is that even what they want?

Christophe comes from a high clan and is the first alpha of the family.  He has a legacy and a duty to uphold.  He's not going to fold under the pressure of all that responsibility but he does increasingly feel like he's being buried alive under it.  He longs for a mate and part of him is holding out for the fated mate promised him as a child by the Teller.  With a birthmark and a long-ago promise to guide him he keeps his eyes and heart open to the possibility but is becoming less and less sure that he'll find the one meant for him.  When a large party draws in unexpected company he's surprised and shocked to find what he was looking the eyes of a thief.

Mason is struggling.  His whole family is struggling.  Their pack is suffering from a high clan that takes advantage of them by literally bleeding them dry.  When Mason and his sister find the only way to pay their pack fees and feed themselves is by stealing from the rich they find that they're beginning to make a name for themselves.  Not a good thing when the richest of the rich are out to catch you and make you pay for inconveniencing their pocketbooks.  With a determination to pull one last job they make their hit the Luna house.  It turns out to be the last job for sure, but not in a way they were expecting.  Mason gets caught and has to face the music.  Will it be exile?  Or a worse fate?

When Christophe's father gives him authority to make the judgment on Mason he doesn't realize he's setting them on a course to fulfill fate's dictates.  Christophe uses his head and his heart to see that the thief is honorable, if a bit misguided, and is determined to help him.  And maybe, just maybe, find out if he really is the fated mate he thinks he is.  They grow together and find themselves drawn back to one another time and time again.  I like that they get to know one another in a more innocent way before they give in to the passion that gnaws at both of them.  Building a foundation of trust, genuine like, and sharing of selves they set a path toward a truly happy HEA...if only the Luna family would get on board.

With a ton of overlap these two are able to make something out of nothing and find out if they truly are fated mates and what that means for their future.  Once discovered and decided they work toward finding acceptance, not just of them, but of their bond.  With love and compassion, and a grandchild, things find a way to work out.  I like the ending quite a lot because they find resolution through family, the same family that was so sure that duty should be honored before love and fate.  Overall, this was a good story that had a lot of high points and very few lows.  The writing itself was pleasing and flowed well, though I wish there was a bit more depth on the page, something to really sink my teeth into rather than just like from afar, if that makes sense.  Solid characters with personal and relationship growth make for a good story and a sweet conclusion.

 Marked to the Omega, Ashe Moon

Loving Graham, Kenna Knight

Loving Graham by [Knight, Kenna]

I love humble men who set aside their fears to go after what they know they want even if they don't think they deserve it.  Both Graham and Levi have pasts that brought them pain, vulnerability, insecurities, and, ultimately, to this point in their lives where they're ready for something more whether they realize it or not.  Hotness, passion, compassion, heart, tenderness, forgiveness, understanding, healing...this book is full of all kinds of feels that hooked me right from the start.

Graham is an uber hot tattooed stylist god and with one look almost knocks Levi on his ass.  There's an instant attraction and he ticks all of Levi's boxes.  It's too bad he's a victim and Levi's case.  As Levi navigates the case he finds himself drawn deeper into Graham's life.  Actually, he's tossed right into the deep end with a giant backyard party at Graham's filled with Tease employees and their families where he's cornered into accepting a date.  Then there's their first date at the family home where he meets the entire Welsh clan.  Having never had a family of his own he's awed, envious, overwhelmed, and full of longing.  Unsure of what to make of Graham, his intentions, and his own desires warring with fears, he gets swept up in the momentum of their relationship and the drama that surrounds them.

Levi, the hot cop, has all of Graham's attention right from the beginning.  His business is being threatened by someone and it feels like it's an attack on his family since he's filled Tease with people he cares for.  Feeling overwhelmed, devastated, and extremely confused he's caught off-guard by his attraction to Levi.  And with his dark past he's determined not to get too close.  Until he can't keep his mouth from running ahead by asking Levi on a date.  And then bringing him to meet his family.  And then asking him to take his drug-addicted employee to rehab two states away.  And then falling in love with him.

Their journey is a bit tumultuous because of the robberies as well as the intense confessions of history that they're both sure will spell the end of them.  Neither shies away from the other, though, and their love grows stronger when they bear all the dark and ugly that lives inside them.  With patience and understanding they find a road to healing.  Both of these men are exceptional human beings.  They are so inherently good that they find something special, someone deserving of all the goodness that they have to offer.  Except they find a few stumbling blocks that they're not sure they can get around.  Levi overreacts and oversteps, Graham runs away.  Each time, though, they decide that love is more important, stronger than fear.  With one final revelation they discover that fate won't let them be apart, they were always meant to be together.  From the moment Levi was born their paths were set to collide.  All their struggles, trials, disappointments, everything was leading them to become what the other person would need for their future.

I really, really liked this story.  An enormous amount of feels were packed in and I had a hard time not finishing in one go.  Kids and food, however, were important...  I was impressed with how quickly I came to be invested in these men and their happiness and outcome.  As with Loving Noah, these men weren't perfect, they were human.  They needed something that could probably be found in others, but no one as completely as the author ultimately paired them with.  Such a great MC pairing with absolutely stellar besties in Gloria and Nicky.  The whole cast is made of win and the drama wasn't so large that it eclipsed the focus of the story, it focused it and allowed the romance to be what it was meant to become.

*Fall in love with Graham and Levi for yourself!
Only 99¢!

Frottage: Drawn Together Book 2, Aly Hayden

Frottage (Drawn Together Book 2) by [Hayden, Aly]

I don't know what I was expecting from these men but Phoenix was a complete surprise.  It turned out to be a good surprise, though, because he was complex, complicated, sweet, and achingly vulnerable.  Having issues like he has makes it difficult to connect with anyone and he becomes frustrated and disheartened quite easily.  With confident, alluring Ace, there's an even bigger fear that he will mock, deride, or even reject the fragile Phoenix.  When his fears seem unfounded, however, they build something that neither of them want to walk away from.  But what happens with the dream job comes knocking and Ace wants to answer?

Phoenix was troubled and I grew to love him very quickly.  He has issues, yes, but he's honest and tries to do his best.  With friends he knows he can count on to try and understand his situation he makes a life for himself that includes art, Lucy, and seclusion.  We've met most of his friends in Exposure so we have a good idea of the kind of community he's involved in, however on the fringes he places himself, and how far they're willing to go to support him beyond what they truly understand of his condition.

And then Ace shows up.  A blast from the past, his first and only crush.  Ace is struggling under the weight of delayed grieving, a lost job which was actually a career he dreamed of and loved, a writing position at a magazine he doesn't really want, and a return to the podunk backwoods town he swore would only be in his rear view.  Life has a funny way of giving you what you need even if you're sure that's never what you would want.  For Ace, it's his past that needs reconciling and a future with Phoenix.

There are issues of grief for Ace that I don't feel are satisfactorily dealt with but almost everything else is addressed in a way that makes me hopeful for the relationship and Ace's sense of fulfillment in a place he thought he left behind.  Joel again makes an appearance with an outburst that I don't really feel is warranted, but I do respect all the support Phoenix has should he need it.  I feel that Ace could have a bit more of a welcoming after things were all said and done, but overall I think that the community as a whole embraced his return with much more alacrity than he was expecting and I like that he can feel truly at home.

Frottage was cute and happy and I liked it more than Ben and Sam's story though I did think it was a bit predictable.  This story is full of good feelings, mistakes, forgiveness, understanding, and warmth.  By the end I was happy for the couple's progress both together and in their community.  I'm looking forward to seeing who else gets their HEA in Wilmingson.

 Frottage: Drawn Together Book 2, Aly Hayden

Fragile Ground, Louisa Keller

Fragile Ground by [Keller, Louisa]

Damn.  I could blame PMS for making me over-emotional but that would just be a big fat lie.  I loved this book.  The feels were there, the passion believable, the characters were alive, the setting was real, the support cast was properly supportive and involved without eclipsing the MC's, and the ending was perfect.

Olivier wakes up from a coma and seems to recognize almost everyone but Auriel.  Who is he and why does he want to take care of Olivier when they're just roommates?  And why won't anyone look him in the eye when he asks about it?  And why are his arms covered in tattoos?  Wait, he's graduated from college too?  And why does he have a picture on social media kissing the roommate when he's still in the closet?!

So many questions, so much confusion.  There's about a two year gap in Olivier's memories and a lot of that loss circles around his overly caring roommate that he can't help but be attracted to and isn't sure what to do about it.  We learn that he was in a car crash and we watch him as he struggles to fill in the rather large gap.  He's scared, nervous, confused, and on the verge of panic more often than he would like.  I can't say I blame him for lashing out when he's so vulnerable.

Auriel has the patience of a saint.  He's also completely in love with Olivier even though he seems to have forgotten him and the life they've built together.  He takes the outbursts and the averted gazes with a pure desire to help Olivier cope and be comfortable as he navigates a life he doesn't remember living.  The tenderness he shows Olivier is both sweet and off-putting to Olivier because he's not sure how to deal with a virtual stranger knowing so much about him but also staying slightly aloof as well.  It all comes to a head when Olivier discovers a picture of them kissing and looking adoringly at one another on social media.  The confrontation turns into a passionate kiss that gives Auriel hope, and ignites something inside Olivier yet leaves them in a worse place than when Olivier first woke up.

Knowing that you love someone that doesn't think they can return that affection is one thing, but to know they returned it until one day it becomes unrequited with no warning or reason is crushing.  To have had a life and a future built with someone and then to see it all literally crashing to the ground has shaken Auriel in a way that he could never have predicted.  He's doing his best to be there for Olivier and their kiss in the kitchen cracks open a door for them.  Olivier begins to push that door wider only to say something that slams it in Auriel's face when the motives for opening it in the first place are mentioned.

 Fragile Ground, Louisa Keller

I'm finding it quite difficult to not spoil everything so I don't have to speak in riddles to lay a foundation for why I felt so strongly about the book.  Ugh...  So no more saying basically the same thing anymore, I promise.  Possible plot spoilers ahead!!  Here's the deal:

Olivier has retrograde amnesia.  His boyfriend, Auriel, is in the picture until Olivier tries to use him to get his memories back.  Using him without actually acting on affection, just attraction, is too painful for Auriel so he begins to avoid Olivier.  The cold shoulder makes Olivier turn to his friends for help and they verbally smack him in the head in the hope of figuratively dislodging it from his anal cavity.  When Olivier's solution is to break things off with Auriel so he can't use Auriel's feelings that way again Auriel thanks him and then takes off.

And here I cried a bit.  Like, literal tears and sniffles for a good 45 seconds.  Trust me, that's a long time when I'm reading a book

With time and space they're both able to see what they want and what they need for the future.  Auriel makes use of Stella's family's cottage at the beach to find room to breathe, cry, and to think about what he wants his future to look like.  He meets a barista/bartender that listens to him and extends a hand of friendship...and neon alcohol with an invitation to 80's night at a kitschy bar.  The space is refreshing but also crushing because he's coming to a realization that what he wants isn't fair to the man who can't remember how he became the person he sees in the mirror.  No matter what Auriel wants he's determined to let go of Olivier because it's the right thing to do.

Olivier, in the mean time, begins to discover who he was and how he came to be who he is.  With the guidance of Sartre and the trust he has in his self and the choices that self has made he realizes that he wants Auriel.  The man who cared for him despite knowing Olivier saw him as a stranger intrigues him, draws him in.  Since he chose love and Auriel once he trusts that that's what he should do again.  He knows that there's a large part of him that doesn't remember Auriel the person but his presence, his essence, is essential to the happiness he sees for his future.  Determined to win him back, he turns to his best friend, Hattie, for advice to do just that.

Their journey to love for a second time is sweet and honest.  It's also sensual as Olivier gets a second chance to confess his desires and passions to a man who accepted it all once and is eager and happy to accept again.  What I kind of expected, the long-suffering Auriel sticking it out and the vulnerable yet frustrated Olivier eventually regaining his memories, didn't play out like I thought it would.  These men didn't always react predictably and the choices made were the same.  I was surprised by Olivier's choices and reasoning behind them, but more than that, I respected them.  There was something very real and mature in the way that he went about things with Auriel once he saw the consequences of his impulsiveness.  Even more was how he sought to learn about himself and the thought applied to moving forward from his memory loss.

The ending was sweet and passionate.  Tenderness and honesty were there too and that made the amnesia outcome a bit of a surprise but much more realistic and satisfying.  I grew to love these men throughout the story.  For a debut novel by the author I'm impressed and a new fan.

*Fall in love with Olivier and Auriel
Only 99¢!
 Fragile Ground, Louisa Keller

The First Time Around, Declan Rhodes

The First Time Around: Romance In the City, Book 2 by [Rhodes, Declan]

We first meet Mark in The Pretend Husband as the sad but loyal friend to Liam and Alex as they navigate from pretend partners to real ones.  They play a role in Mark's life in this story as well and give support and good advice when he needs it.  Given only vague details about a difficult relationship when we meet him at the dog park and a dinner party with the couple, we begin to feel badly for Mark but aren't really sure why.  I know I wasn't sure if I was feeling badly because he's just a sad, mopey kind of sweet guy that needs his own happiness or if it's simply because he was dumped.  In The First Time Around we're given a much more detailed explanation as to why he's so sad in the first place and it isn't for the reasons we came up with before.

Mark gets dumped.  Sad?  Yes, but not for the reason you think.  It's sad because he's such a sweet guy who wants so much to be loved and deserves freedom from his loneliness.  The breakup is a much-needed event that Mark isn't completely sure why he didn't bring it about sooner.  He's liberated from verbal and emotional abuse to finally regain his confidence and sense of self.  And while he's not looking for a relationship it seems that it's when we're not looking for something that it ends up finding us instead.

Daniel is an actor that has dreams of a bigger stage than the one he's on currently.  Known as "the straight guy who kisses like he's not" (my paraphrasing here...), his talent shines as well as his passion for more than just acting.  He's not out or hiding, he's just unaware.  His co-star, Stanley, is able to pull some amazing chemistry out of the seemingly straight Daniel and Daniel is surprised that he's feeling so much more than he thought possible.  And then he happens upon a sad Mark at a movie theater.

They're seeking things that are quite opposite from one another but end up in the same place.  In a theater you can be as alone in a crowd or as surrounded by stimulus as you want.  Mark doesn't want to be so alone and Daniel needs the distraction of the masses.  They both decide that a romcom will best soothe their hearts and take the risk of introducing themselves to one another.  A chance meeting turns into something more and they're off to the start of a very sweet relationship.

It has sweet and tender beginnings but soon ambitions and fears seek to drive them apart.  Job opportunities, misunderstandings, obliviously callous offers, and overreactions all play a part in the rocky road Daniel and Mark travel to find their HEA.  With humility and a spontaneous vacation they find that there's more to love than what fits their pictures.

Overall this was a sweet book that was pretty predictable but lighthearted enough to flit along the surface of enjoyment.  Geesh, that's flowery.  I liked the softer story and the hope and happiness of the ending though I feel that it's probably this writer's style, at least in this series, to have a lack of depth and gut feelings.  Meaning that I feel this higher in my chest and wish that there were something compelling in the writing that would let it sink into my gut and make me feel it on a deeper level than what's currently offered.  Still a nice story that leaves you feeling light and happy at the end.

 The First Time Around: Romance in the City Book 2, Declan Rhodes

Get to know Alex and Liam in The Pretend Husband, Book 1 in Declan Rhodes' Romance in the City series
The Pretend Husband: Romance In the City, Book 1 by [Rhodes, Declan]
 The Pretend Husband: Romance in the City Book 1, Declan Rhodes
"We could pretend I'm your husband."

Alex only needed a place to crash for two or at the most three weeks while he licked his wounds from the end of a bad relationship and found a full-time job to get back on his feet. Liam was more than generous offering room and board in exchange for regular dog walking and home maintenance.

It all seemed so simple until Alex’s stay stretched into a month, six weeks, and more. Faced with the skeptical eyes of friends, and complete strangers' unsolicited compliments about being the perfect couple, Liam and Alex concoct a scheme to present themselves to the world as husband and husband.

It works perfectly until they lose control of their plan. Alex finds out about a quality job, and it looks like it’s time to leave. Will the pretend marriage turn into a pretend divorce or something much more real?

Alex finally finds a quality full-time job and decides that it’s time to leave. The moving van is loaded, the new job is only days away, and then a late-night encounter throws all of the future plans up in the air. Will the pretend husband become something much more real?

No Limits: No Shame, Nora Phoenix

No Limits (No Shame Series Book 2) by [Phoenix, Nora]

Josh and Connor finally get their start to this series.  I started feeling very attached to sweet, shy, damaged Josh in No Filter, Book 1 of the No Shame series.  He is so selfless in the amount of himself that he gives for others that he cares for.  With Indy it's a chance to see what intimacy and sex can be, with Noah it's relief from pain, companionship, and unconditional love.  They all find love with one another in a way that would normally make me cringe and completely avoid the story altogether but the way Nora puts these men together is something beautiful.

With the introduction of Connor I was nervous that this would turn into an M/M/M/M polyamory book and I was so not down with that.  I was skittish enough when it was Indy, Noah, and Josh together.  What happens here, though, is a meeting of souls.  Josh needs something specific and what he has with Noah and Indy, while comfortable and loving and passionate, doesn't completely fulfill him in all the ways he needs.  There's something missing even though he's relatively happy with how things are currently.

Connor has needs as well.  He isn't sure what he needs or how to fulfill them because he's so limited in experience.  His confidence is shot because of difficult sexual situations he's been in in the past.  When Noah gives him the all-clear in No Filter to express interest in Josh he waits until he can't wait any longer.  Their first moment together, though, is frustratingly short and no one is clear on anything.  Josh decides to go out of his comfort zone and approach Connor because there's a chance that there could be more and he can't let it escape.

From here things move quickly to serious hotness and connection like they've never experienced.  It becomes very clear almost immediately that they are what they've been seeking but didn't think they'd ever find.  When complications arise with Connor and Indy's pasts clashing it seems like what they've been just starting to build is going to crumble before anything can stick.  Indy is important to Josh and while he doesn't want to give up what he could have with Connor, he's committed to keeping Indy safe and happy.  The strain on their relationship could mean the end for them.

Indy, however, sees that Connor is probably being truthful and also sees how much Josh needs him.  He's willing to try and to stay because of his love for Josh and Noah.  There are hints that Connor is holding something back and we don't get to see exactly what that is in this story and I suspect it'll be something rather huge, maybe in No Fear?  Despite that something being held back Connor does have the best interests of Indy, and especially Josh, at heart and does what he can to show faith until they can all trust him.  With the exception of Noah...maybe.

Noah and Connor butt heads quite a bit in the beginning because of their needs for domination and pecking order in their house of complicated affections.  Neither are willing to back down and it's causing some serious tension for everyone.  A paintball game and a trip to the E.R. and things can finally find a way to happiness but it's that trip to the E.R. that sends Indy running.

Indy loves Noah so much but can't see past his need to run.  He's not running from Noah, not really, but he doesn't see how he can stay either.  His past feels like it's nipping at his heels so he goes and attempts to get a new life again.  His heart, however, is a much stronger pull and he makes moves to go back to where his heart is home.

When he learns about Josh's own past coming back to haunt them all he goes vigilante and preemptively cuts it off before it can get back to Josh.  He is seriously badass and I'm impressed that sweet, tender, scared Indy can be ballsy and determined.  His willingness to do everything in his power to protect his chosen family is awesome and I'm even more in love with him.

Overall this is an intense story and I'm very much a fan of where things are going for these couples.  Josh is getting what he needs in Connor and moving away from the sexual connection he has with Noah and Indy.  Indy is moving closer to Noah and away from the fears of his past.  Connor finds perfection in his vulnerable lover, Josh, and is determined to protect them all under the same roof.  Noah is willing to let go of his dependency on Josh to give him his freedom to pursue Connor fully and to allow his own relationship with Indy to truly flourish.  Each of these men are worth loving and their finding themselves through all the drama that surrounds them.

Nothing is completely resolved, though, because Indy's past is still out there pursuing him.  Josh's brother is in the picture.  Connor's secret is still a secret.  There is a lot of potential for No Fear to be really great and I'm excited to see where things go from here.

 No Limits: No Shame, Nora Phoenix

Making A Family Parts 1-5, Rosa Swann

Making a Family (7 Book Series) by  Rosa Swann

Faking a Husband (Making a Family 1) by [Swann, Rosa]Aiden, an overwhelmed omega just got the worst news of probably his life.  Clay, an interested and concerned alpha just found a possible solution to his own version of bad news.  Together they might be able to solve one another's problems.  But only if they can pull off a little deception along the way.  Surely nothing will go wrong, right?  When Clay realizes he needs a date to his sister's wedding he takes the opportunity to offer Aiden help in turn for helping him out.  Aiden is more than willing to accept the aid even though he's a little dubious of Clay's intentions.

We get a pretty good idea of the type of man Clay is, a good one, and the way he helps with Aiden and Seb endears him to us very quickly.  Aiden is frazzled and incredibly insecure.  From the start I'm a bigger fan of Clay and more than a little intrigued about his family situation.  With a lot of emphasis on appearances it seems that Clay is missing what's really going on with his family and I'm interested to know how all of that will play out.

Between Aiden and Clay, however, things are a little simpler.  They're passionate for one another and with an unexpected heat there comes a large complication for their little deception.  Aiden's reaction seems to be over the top and this episode ends with more questions than answers about why Aiden reacted the way he did.  Same with Wes' cryptic comments to his brother.  There are a lot of things to cover in subsequent books in this serial and it will be interesting to see how each issue is presented and resolved.  For now, though, it seems that Faking a Husband is about to become a little more real than either Aiden or Clay intended...  2 stars.

 Faking A Husband: Making A Family, Rosa Swann

Becoming a Boyfriend (Making a Family 2) by [Swann, Rosa]This is getting more interesting.  I really appreciate Clay's gentleness and understanding of Aiden.  They try really hard to grow closer despite Aiden's incredible hesitance.  Aiden is incredibly insecure and I'm not sure if I see it getting better any time soon.  There is a lot of history with him that isn't really explained and I do feel badly for him with his situation which does nothing to make things better or easier for him.  Clay is a wonderful partner, though, and is doing his best to bring Aiden into the warmth and light he can provide.  As a caring alpha he's aware that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar and he doesn't let his frustration rule his interactions with his omega.  He's serious about Aiden and is willing to do what it takes to make Aiden comfortable with him.

Their run-in at the Farmer's Market with Aiden's family, though, that was unexpectedly frustrating.  Aiden finally decided to let Clay in and his feelings become overwhelmed under his parents' disapproval and judgment.  His brother Nic is also quite frustrating and I'm very interested to see if he gets a handle on himself and becomes the kind of alpha Aiden would be proud of.  Overall, the second addition shows me that Clay is still such a good man and is determined to be the support Aiden needs going forward.  2.5 stars.

 Becoming A Boyfriend: Making A Family, Rosa Swann

Raising an Omega  (Making a Family 3) by [Swann, Rosa]I'm sure there's something in the Omegaverse that I'm missing because the stigma against being an omega and even an un-mated one I'm not getting why it would cause such serious breakdowns.  I can understand the fear of not being supported and having a good partnership, but the complete crackup is kind of overkill.  I feel like this was way bigger of an issue than it needed to be and part of that is the lack of understanding I have for Aiden's issues.  A general sense is given and hints are also given about how bad things can be for an omega but I'm not getting why it's such a monumental deal that everyone seems to abandon, judge, avoid, abuse, or collapse emotionally and mentally when it comes to omegas and finding out the omega status of children.
So yes, Aiden is insecure and very worried about Seb and his future but he has all the skills he needs, not to mention the support of a great alpha like Clay, and most importantly, his heart is already full of love for Seb.  His insecurities are getting in the way of being who he needs to be for Seb.  I have hope for their future because of Clay but only if Aiden opens his eyes to what he truly has.  2 stars.

 Raising An Omega: Making A Family, Rosa Swann

Saving a Sibling (Making a Family 4) by [Swann, Rosa]We finally get to see what's going on with Wes and it's appalling.  I kind of suspected what was going on back in Faking a Husband but the extent is pretty ridiculous.  We don't get to meet his alpha but that confrontation is going to be big, I think.  Clay isn't sure what to do but he knows that he has to do something.  With Aiden's suggestions and concern for Clay's brother we get to see Aiden make suggestions and a grateful Clay.  As a true partnership they get to care for Wes and his brood.  They're committed to one another and providing a nurturing and safe place for those in need.

Aiden and Clay are coming together nicely.  I was apprehensive about the quality of the story after the last book but this one redeems Aiden for me.  He finally shows his strength and I like this new Aiden.  With Clay's love and care he's growing and improving as a person because he no longer needs to do everything on his own.  With the support of friends and family Wes now gets to have his own taste of the new Clay with a strong Aiden by his side.  3 stars.

 Saving A Sibling: Making A Family, Rosa Swann

Marrying a Mate (Making a Family 5) by [Swann, Rosa]Such sweetness and hope fill this story.  There's a lot of turmoil going on around Clay and Aiden with family drama but their friends and family continue to show their love and commitment to them.  Surprising additions to the support system have me excited to see how large the love will grow around these men.  With a wedding and some absolutely perfect words from the officiant I'm really growing to enjoy Aiden and Clay together.  Aiden is continuing to improve and show his true self.  He's blossoming under all the love and care Clay gives him.  Their passion is also growing and they're growing closer and closer as time passes.  Despite only meeting and mating a few short weeks ago, they're more of a true partnership than poor Wes and his mate of years.  Wes' current situation, though, is taking an unfortunate turn.  The happiness and love ad celebration throughout most of the story takes a huge turn when they come to Wes' home for the cliffhanger.  3.5 stars.

 Marrying A Mate: Making A Family, Rosa Swann

Acting On Impulse, Thea Dawson

Acting on Impulse (Silverweed Falls Book 2) by [Dawson, Thea]

There was quite a bit of depth to this age gap romance that I wasn't exactly expecting.  I enjoyed the cast of characters but was more drawn to the side characters than the MC's.  They were dynamic in a way that the synopsis promised but didn't completely deliver.  Overall, though, the book was good, it progressed fluidly, the characters grew individually and together, there was passion and forgiveness as well as compassion, and an HEA that was slightly glossed over but effective nonetheless.

Chris was young, immature, and crazy about Joy.  His young man's head and heart couldn't grasp what was growing and acted in a way that embarrassed her, himself, and left him with the egg on his face.  Later, though, he could see what he was feeling and can understand where Joy was coming from.  His barbs hit the mark for her, though, he just didn't know it.  When the opportunity presented itself to help a dying friend and mentor he took the chance and was only a bit apprehensive about the possibility of seeing Joy again.  Meeting in Victor's home was a surprise as well as all kinds of awkward.  But with a mental shake he gets to business and avoids thinking about how well Joy matured and grew into her sensuality, features, and focus.  She could destroy his adult heart if he let her, but it's a good thing he's immune...right?

Joy is thrown for a loop.  Knowing Chris could be involved with her professionally and now together at the behest of Simon and Victor, she does everything she can think of to avoid emotional complications with one very hot, very grown up Chris McPherson.  Getting to know him as a man is a bit of a revelation and try as they might, they can't fight what is between them.

They both have a past to overcome in order to find their HEA together and it'll take a lot of humility, groveling, and letting go of preconceived notions, fears, and regrets.  There are very different circumstances that they have to move beyond but each of them have something that can help the other to do just that, if only they're open to a true partnership where all their cards are on the table.  With a particular event in Joy's college history I was expecting something more with that than just a flashback that gives us background to her being so uptight.  But that's all we get.  Insight.  That can be helpful, but it doesn't really do anything to help us see if she's willing to move beyond that and accept reality for what it is and how that shaping moment is actually a stumbling block now because she took her reaction to it a bit too far.  Then there's Chris' acceptance of his own issue with his past and his success.  Self-sabotage isn't pretty, especially when it negatively affects those he cares about, not just himself.

Eventually they find their way to light and love and the ending is sweet and full of hope for the future.  The MC's work well together once they straighten everything out and get on the same page.  There's passion, compassion, forgiveness, support, and love.  Ultimately, their impulsiveness led to lasting happiness.  I'm very interested in the next story, though, featuring the most compelling of the side characters, Luke and Krystal.

 Acting on Impulse, Thea Dawson

Remember that run-in with Richard at the coffee shop?  Or seeing him with a pretty blonde in the park?
Well, find out his side of the story in Desire by Design, the first book in the Silverweed Falls series.
Desire by Design (Silverweed Falls Book 1) by [Dawson, Thea]
 Desire by Design, Thea Dawson
The Artist
Celia Jackson, widowed mother of three, is re-designing her life. Literally.

With only her talent for art to fall back on, Celia is determined to recreate herself as a graphic designer. To make ends meet while she takes design classes, she accepts a job as nanny to the daughter of Richard Hawkes, professor of engineering at the local university. Richard is infuriating, arrogant and tactless by turns—yet Celia finds herself undeniably attracted to him. 

The Engineer
Richard Hawkes, recently tenured and more recently divorced, lives only for his work and for his young daughter. His ex-wife made his life a nightmare before leaving him for another man, and he has sworn off romance forever—until his spunky, down-to-earth nanny paints a picture of a different kind of love.

But Celia won’t wait forever. Richard will have to put aside his pride and come to terms with his past if he wants to build a better future.

Quick Reads and Quick Reviews 15

Hope's Gift: The Winters Family Christmas Novella by [Kelly, Terra] Hunter's Desire (Dragons Of Sin City Book 2) by [Ripley, Meg] Omega Father: A Steamy MM Mpreg Romance (Fated Omegas Book 2) by [Wolfe, James]

Hope's Gift: The Winters Family Christmas Novella by [Kelly, Terra]This was a really sweet story.  I'm a sucker for geeky or overlooked girls and handsome, genuine men who know that true worth isn't always found in a pretty package.  Awkwardness reigns supreme in Annie Jenkins.  Compassion rules Greyson Lane.  Together they find companionship, understanding, partnership, and love.  Hope is Greyson's Down Syndrome sister.  She's high functioning but there's no mistaking what she is.  That's not all she is, though, and Greyson has led a strict life when it comes to dating women based on whether they accept her for all that she is.  Hope wants him to know that dating someone isn't about her but he can't seem to move forward with any woman who can't be comfortable with his sister.  Annie, however, captures both his interest and his respect.  She's genuinely good, hugely awkward, and honestly innocent.  She also adores Hope.  With the help of a storm, a window display competition, and Hope with her cookies, Greyson and Annie find romance and a partnership meant to last.  Such a sweet story that had lots of feels.  4 stars.

 Hope's Gift, Terra Kelly

Hunter's Desire (Dragons Of Sin City Book 2) by [Ripley, Meg]Hunter's Desire is great with a strong, intelligent woman and a dragon who knows what true treasure is.  This was a very short story that featured Claire, an archaeologist who is searching for something specific while doing her best to keep her secrets hidden, especially from the enigmatic and magnetic Noah.  Her mission is simple but the reason behind it is anything but.  Noah is drawn to her beauty as well as her intelligence.  They each have mysterious and magical pasts but what draws them together in the first place is much more elemental, much more based on lust and passion than either is ready to deal with.  Drama surrounds them and there's one person in particular that isn't happy with their attraction.  Damon, Noah's brother, is bound and determined to keep his family's secret, one that he's sure that Claire will learn and reveal.  When he has her cornered Noah discovers that he's anything but willing to let Damon carry out his deadly mission.

These two people are a good match for one another but I wish there were more of them getting to know one another without basing all their interactions on their mutual passion for one another.  They're hot together, there's no argument there, but to base a forever connection on that alone isn't so great.  There's more to recommend Claire than Noah and if the book were longer I'm sure that their relationship would be given enough attention.  Overall, the story was interesting, steamy, and a good addition to what I'm sure is a great series.  3.5 stars.

 Hunter's Desire, Meg Ripley

Omega Father: A Steamy MM Mpreg Romance (Fated Omegas Book 2) by [Wolfe, James]A complicated past keep Edward and Blaine from finding lasting happiness with one another in this enemies to lovers story.  While we only get Edward's POV, we can see that there was a lot of torment from one party to another.  Their youth is the real culprit as well as peer pressure and there's no excuse for being mean and unkind to a true friend, but there is always a way to find redemption.  Blaine was definitely young and fell under the weight of his peer's expectations of alpha behavior leaving Edward bereft, betrayed, and alone.  One moment was all it took to break Edward's trust and his little boy heart.  Realizing later that it was the biggest mistake of his life Blaine attempts to find forgiveness.  Edward is dead set on withholding it though.  With one moment of passion their lives are set to change forever.  Blaine is sure they're mates, Edward is sure they're not.

I found Edward immature and flighty.  He wasn't my favorite.  I truly enjoyed Blaine, though, despite the set-up of him being the worst man on the planet in Edward's opinion.  The outcome of their relationship and the story was more than satisfactory, though, and made me see Edward as someone more.  Not only did he mature when he realized that there was so much more to the demonized Blaine of his memory, but for the sake of their future he is making great strides to become his best self.  Overall this was a good story but without Blaine's POV I was left feeling a little annoyed through most of the book because I didn't like Edward as much.  3 stars.

 Omega Father, James Wolfe