Father of the Groom: Love and Care Book 1, Silvia Violet

Father of the Groom (Love and Care Book 1) by [Violet, Silvia]

Short, sweet, and very, very sexy, Father of the Groom is a tender take on the Daddy/dom kink.  With Avery and Graham's explosive chemistry right from the start you know the sexy times will be hot.  But what I wasn't expecting was the amount of tenderness, care, concern, and sweet feels.  While the pace was quick and the relationship moved extremely fast, I actually didn't mind because the quickness wasn't glossed over, it was acknowledged over and over and fed the brewing conflict the budding couple needed to overcome to get to their happy ending...both literally and figuratively.

Graham had been estranged from his children after coming out as gay decades into his marriage.  With his relationship slightly strained but on the mend, he attends his son's wedding.  He's not expecting to find a sassy man in pink lip gloss that will capture his attention.  He's even less prepared for the younger man to grab hold of a place in his heart and not let go.

Avery is a stylist of fabulous proportions and is committed to helping his best friend's wedding go as smoothly as possible.  While running one of her errands he's stopped in his tracks by the sight of the most delicious man he's ever seen.  Unwilling to let the chance to meet the man pass him by, he approaches the stunning stranger.  The interaction floors him and when he learns just who the man is, he makes a quick retreat because no quick hookup is worth upsetting his friends...right?

The connection is immediate and powerful and taps into desires shared by both men.  Neither one expected it but it was just what they needed.  I loved reading their interplay and was touched by how considerate and careful Graham was of everything Avery was offering him both spoken and unspoken.  I could actually believe that they'll survive both distance and the lack foundation based on the length of the relationship.  What they build is something lasting despite not knowing one another very long because it's based on trust, vulnerability, honesty (mostly...), shared interests, common goals, support from family and friends, and a desire to work it out no matter what.

The only thing missing was an epilogue.  I would have loved to see a small snapshot of the happiness they were beginning to build.  Without that it felt like more of an HFN rather than an HEA and I want so very much to believe that they get their HEA.  Overall this was a great story that was filled with passion, kink exploration, tenderness, and heartfelt confessions.  I don't even mind that we get basic background information and a lighter, fluffier feel in the story rather than angst, conflict, and hard-won resolution.

"...I thought I was taking care of you by not saying anything.  But I shouldn't keep things from you.  Doing what's best for you means comforting you if you're upset, not trying to keep you from hearing something upsetting."

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 Father of the Groom: Love and Care Book 1, Silvia Violet

Auctioned: 8392 Book 1, Cara Dee

Auctioned by [Dee, Cara]

Holy.  Freaking.  Intense.  There's no shortage of action here and the sweet, honorable young man we met in Power Play is forced to change as he goes through a harrowing situation none of us can truly fathom.  When his savior and protector plays his part a little too well, it's clear that Gray will have to fight through the fog of despair and lies to make sense of everything and hopefully make it home alive.

Gray is abducted.  Stolen one night on his way home and subjected to degradation, torture, humiliation, and pain.  For months he's biding his time and fighting against his desire to just give up.  Just when it looks like things can't get any worse, he's purchased by someone he's sure will subject him to a life of misery and torture.  But appearances aren't what they seem.  His new owner just might be able to rescue him physically and maybe, just maybe, give his mind and heart a safe place to heal when it's all over.

But that future is nowhere in sight for most of the story.  We follow them walking a fine line between truth and lies trying to maneuver around and through the minefields of their captors.  I liked seeing Gray in both his weakness and his strength.  It's not something I could ever really relate to, what he went through, so seeing the ups and downs, the utter defeat he has to fight against, was quite powerful.  Written superbly, of course, we are made to feel his anguish and frustration.

 Auctioned, Cara Dee

I do wish we had gotten Darius' POV but since their story isn't at an end yet, I'm sure we'll get his side of things in subsequent books.  What we do see of him through Gray's eyes is a bit biased.  There's humanity right alongside hero-worship and both are well-earned.  Darius is smart, calculating, brutal, and efficient.  He's also tortured in his own mind by past events we aren't yet privy to.  Add in his hauntingly beautiful body, riddled with scars, and Gray can't help but slide into the confusing attraction for a man he's not sure he'll ever truly know.

The brutality was graphic but described in a way that isn't over the top or gruesome.  There was honesty in the telling that I appreciated because there are many, many moments that are incredibly tragic.  Certain moments were also shocking in their horribleness.  What the main villain of this story does near the end that sends Gray over the edge into an almost uncontrollable rage is a grisly and cruel surprise.  If the hatred for the enemy wasn't there before, it sure was after that.

Gray and Darius were a fantastic team and played well off of one another.  By the end we can see all the conflicted thoughts and feelings Gray has and I was supremely grateful for that.  Instead of pushing a romantic entanglement as a way to cover Gray's ghastly experience, we see inside Gray's head as he acknowledges that things are immensely confusing and conflicted.  Realizing that there's a new normal to be found, a way of reconciling the trauma, grief, and healing and that Darius may or may not play a role in that was much better than having Gray fall quickly for his savior without all the turmoil that surrounds the possible romance.  It helps that there will be more parts to their story and I'm crazy excited to see how everything plays out.

*$2.99 on Amazon!
 Auctioned, Cara Dee

Cowboy's Omega: Poppy Field Omegas Book 2, Beau Brown

Cowboy's Omega: An Mpreg Romance (Poppy Field Mpreg Romance Book 2) by [Brown, Beau]

Lex and Stewart start off with a dramatic introduction.  But their interest actually began long before the interrupted confrontation at the bar.  Both men have been secretly hoping to connect beyond the frequent purchase of flannel shirts.  One night gives them an amazing start but complications from the past derail any forward progress they might make with one another.

I enjoyed Stewart and his resolve to friend-zone Lex.  With no explanation from Lex when he disappeared to his sudden reappearance with very little explanation or reassurance that it won't happen again, he's right to do what he does.  You can see the strain on him, though, because all he truly wants is to be loved by this one man.

Lex wants to be that man for Stewart.  But his ties to his family and past are standing in the way of his forever happiness.  He's got some major decisions to make if he has any chance of winning Stewart over and away from any other interested alphas.

It's unclear for most of the story if they can move beyond it and I don't actually feel that there's a solid conclusion on that matter by then end.  There's love to be sure, passion and attraction in spades also, but I don't know if things are truly resolved.  I was hoping for something definitive because it seemed to be that there was a setup for additional drama and I was expecting the big conflict to be something different from what actually happened.  While I appreciated that what happened was significantly lower in the angst department from what my assumptions would have predicted, the overall feeling was kind of a letdown because it felt like something was missing, something concrete about Lex's past versus his present and future.

To be honest, some of my favorite parts included Peter.  Being that he's such a close friend to Stewart he gets to give wonderful advice, incredible advice actually, and they save Stewart from making a huge mistake.  Ever the voice of reason and understanding, Peter is the standout character of the series so far.  His contribution gave a grounding to the roller coaster Lex and Stewart ride throughout their story.  Their passion, a solid cast, and a sweet ending made this an enjoyable addition to the series and a pleasurable read.

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 Cowboy's Omega: Poppy Field Omegas Book 2, Beau Brown

Nerdgasm: A Naughty Nerds Novella, Kimberly Reese

Nerdgasm (Naughty Nerds) by [Reese, Kimberly]

I'm a sucker for a nerd.  Especially a hot nerd who doesn't know how hot they are.  And cherry on top?  Dude still has his cherry.  I'm in love right from the start!  All the characters are really great and set a great foundation not only for the couple featured here in Nerdgasm, but also for the rest of the Naughty Nerds which I will definitely be reading.

Theo is a sweet boy that has a stutter.  He's a great man who has built his life on solid principles of behavior that make him honorable and admirable.  When he's almost knocked flat by the whirlwind that is Addy he gets the chance to learn and grow romantically as well.  He brings a solid stability to their relationship that I adore.  His character had an incredible amount of depth.  And the way he sticks up for himself and his choices regarding bullying is fantastic!  There's room for improvement and with Addy's fierceness in the back of his mind, he does just that.

 Nerdgasm: A Naughty Nerds Novella, Kimberly Reese

Addy's got a direct attitude that serves her well with Theo and she's open-minded and enthusiastically honest.  She comes off quite young, which is fitting for her age, and her immaturity sometimes concerns me in terms of longevity.  There's no sign whatsoever that she's flighty or inconsistent however, so that concern becomes unfounded the farther we get into the story.  Addison is a good character but she's not nearly as deep or fully fleshed out as Theo.  Her fierce attitude complements Theo's mellow attitude about most things but she's also a bit high-strung and it causes difficulties between them.  Once she gets the full picture of Theo's past she realizes just what she's done and is willing to do whatever it takes to make amends.

The whole story is sweet, short, fits the ages of the characters, and read to that same demographic as well.  There's a solid cast with the professor, Demi, and even Brock the bully that keeps me invested in the rest of the Naughty Nerd stories.  If you're wondering why all this praise only merits 3.5 stars from me it's because of the lack of depth.  While the story is great, there's just so much lightness and goodness that the conflict seems quite small in the scheme of things.  The HEA is earned, but only because they were both willing to work things out.  Overall it was just that the relationship felt, read, and stayed juvenile from start to finish.  It was a great story with wonderful characters, just a bit floaty and sweet all the way through.

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 Nerdgasm: A Naughty Nerds Novella, Kimberly Reese

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Baby Doctor: Poppy Field Omegas Book 1, Beau Brown

Baby Doctor: An Mpreg Romance (Poppy Field Mpreg Romance Book 1) by [Brown, Beau]

Peter and Rafe have a difficult beginning.  When their attraction becomes bigger than either can deny anymore, the consequences of their passion are both exciting and surprising.  I really enjoyed Peter.  His personality is mellow and hopeful.  He's also willing to stand up for himself against Rafe's pomposity and callousness.

Rafe's softening is sweet to see but I feel that there wasn't enough of it.  And the groveling wasn't enough for me either.  He said some great things and was honest, which was a perfect start, but I was hoping for a little more tender words and gestures rather than us having to infer them like Peter needed to.

Overall, though, they were an ideal match with Peter's ability to soothe Rafe and show him a side of being human that he neglected all too often.  Rafe's amazing way of taking care of Peter and giving him the support and stability he needed to feel secure is the perfect complement to Peter's subtle fierceness and innate sense of nurturing those he loves.

The side characters were interesting and just strong enough to be interested in their stories yet none of them stole the stage from Rafe or Peter.  With a solid cast around them you could see that it isn't just about this one insular couple, it's how each of these men come together to offer advice, sanctuary, a kick in the ass when necessary, and the love they need to carry through their individual hard times.

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 Baby Doctor: Poppy Field Omegas Book 1, Beau Brown

Anywhere with You, Christina Elle

Anywhere With You by [Elle, Christina]

Teegan was cute and quirky if painfully shy and awkward.  She was equally endearing and pitiful.  I'm kind of on the fence about liking her because from the start she was a ball of neuroses and vulnerability with sparks of strength and determination.  There were far more moments where her character was likable than there were with Wes though.

From the very beginning Wes didn't have a ton of redeemable actions.  He was tolerable throughout the story and marginally likable, but not enough for me to not want to constantly roll my eyes in disgust at his motivations and obsession with Juliet.  Not enough of his supposed goodness was talked about or shown so I'm left to guess that at one point he was a great guy.  All we really have to go on is that he saved dances for the shy, sweet Teegan at various dances they were both attending.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement, you know?  SPOILER ALERT UNTIL THE END OF THE PARAGRAPH...SKIP AHEAD IF YOU SO CHOOSE.  And what is it with men in these stories that have to kiss their ex or get some kind of physical with them to determine that they're over them?  Why can't they be honest with themselves and use their heads and hearts?  Seriously getting burned out on these types of men's actions in moments like these.

 Anywhere with You, Christina Elle

Misty's hovering during Wes' attempts to make amends made his groveling and their reconciliation seem rushed and insufficient for the hurtful things that were said.  He really was a huge jerk and the things he said about his motivations concerning Juliet as well as why he even came with Teegan were awful.  It was going to take a lot to come back from that and Misty's orchestration up to this point to get Teegan to listen were helpful, but completely detracted from and truncated a whole lot of the things he could have and should have said to prove that a "forgive and move forward" was justified.

There was a majorly unsatisfying conclusion regarding Juliet.  The parting thoughts from her via Wes were out of character and felt like a way to quickly take care of her loose end.  I mean, look at what she did to Wes.  Not to mention her described character traits that haven't really changed since college.

Anywhere with You, Christina Elle

As a side note, the scene when Wes came to his sister to find Teegan and to gain her advice for how to fix things was off-putting and detracted from the flow of the story's falling action and dénouement.  Her sexual stuff when Wes went to her room was probably added to relieve some of the tension and lingering hurt Wes caused during his epic screw-up but came off as awkward and unnecessary.  She didn't have to describe what she wanted her husband to do in such detail from the entryway while standing with Wes.  Her husband was worried about his reaction to the face paint and instead of saying something like, "I'll be right there, then you can eat me like the good zombie you are," she went into detail about the scenario she wanted and that tipped things into creepy, not because of their kink, but because the timing and audience wasn't appropriate.

Overall the story was alright.  There was a lot of passion between them and also quite a bit of romantic potential as well.  With an ending that was more of an HFN than an HEA, it was both hopeful for their future and disappointing that we don't really get to see if they can live up to the promise they were beginning to show after reconciliation.

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 Anywhere with You, Christina Elle

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Quick Reads and Quick Reviews 23

Fates Altered: Halven Rising, Prequel by [Barnard, Jules] My One and Only: A Friends to Lovers Romance - Book One in the Harper's Corner Series by [George, Christina] Faking Lucky by [Purdu, Q. D.]

Fates Altered: Halven Rising, Prequel by [Barnard, Jules]It's certainly an interesting take on the Fae/Human world relationship in this story.  Both characters are quite young for their races and yet they both possess some mature qualities that make me believe in them as individuals.  This was a very slow-moving romance that felt very superficial only because the length of the story didn't lend itself to deep exploration of character motivations.  As written they are good characters that are interesting and truly set the stage for a love that influences the lives of all those that will follow in the actual series.  3.5 stars.
 Fates Altered: Halven Rising Prequel, Jules Barnard

My One and Only: A Friends to Lovers Romance - Book One in the Harper's Corner Series by [George, Christina]Well, I was hoping for more.  A lot more.  Both main characters had immense potential and with a lot of support and encouragement from most of the people around them I was hoping for more on the build of the romance.  Instead, most of the story shows just how truly frustrating Jessica is.  She was so weak.  Yes, I can see her vulnerability and her issues, but where they should have been something more like reasoning behind her actions, they became the complete focus of her character.  There was very little fighting through and growing in strength or resolve, it was her continually breaking down and reiterating the same thing over and over not just in her inner dialogue, but to her friends and Matt as well.  I don't feel she redeemed herself by the end.  I felt that Matt deserved so much more for a partner.  I do feel that the proposal came from the right person, though.  Aside from that, I was trying hard to like her enough to finish the story.  2.5 stars.
 My One and Only: Harper's Corner Book 1, Christina George

Faking Lucky by [Purdu, Q. D.]I can't say I'm a fan of the book.  It was written pretty well and had a lot of promise but I found Desdemona to be flighty, annoying, and immature.  I enjoyed reading the history flashbacks but everything in her current life was incredibly disappointing.  There's nothing wrong with sexual exploration and truly finding your own likes, dislikes, inclinations, and acceptance.  But where this story failed was in making the main character someone who didn't take true control of that.  Instead, she was continually rolled by every circumstance she found herself in.  It was more like reading about things that would be more appropriate in a New Adult book with someone who was a freshman or sophomore in college.  The scientific aspect to the story was informative but the way it was integrated into the story just made it seem like the author was trying way too hard to create an "enlightened" story with the science and reducing the stigma of faking orgasms and individual sexual exploration and expression.  Good points but extremely poor execution and a main character that had a past worth reading about but a present that was downright ridiculous.  2 stars.
Fakind Lucky, Q.D. Purdu

Stone: Bad Boys of Willow Valley Book 2, Shannyn Leah

Dax was the first Bad Boy of Willow Valley,
Now we get Stone...

 Stone: Bad Boys of Willow Valley Book 2, Shannyn Leah

Stone Patino was once a bad boy, but not since moving to Willow Valley.  He left that bad boy life behind years ago.  Left it in the underground fighting ring he used to call his home.  Now, he lives in the country and works on cars.  He prefers the simple life without someone trying to put their fist through his face on a weekly basis.  There's just one thing about that life he misses.

Bowie Blake was once a bad girl too.  But now she's a socialite-turned-reality TV star who turned her back ten years ago on the love of her life, Stone Patino.

Full of regret and needing help, she seeks out Stone again.  She drags Stone back into the ring to fight her battles and save her wheelchair-bound brother.  Stone agrees, but must fight through his own demons and his love for Bowie.  Both soon learn it's not easy to fight the same battles they'd already fought and lost so many years ago.  But now it's a fight they both aim to win.

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 Stone: Bad Boys of Willow Valley Book 2, Shannyn Leah

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 Stone: Bad Boys of Willow Valley Book 2, Shannyn Leah

Author Bio

 Shannyn Leah Author Page

Contemporary romance author Shannyn Leah loves olives, lip gloss and reading (and writing) romance novels. Her love of words started at an early age and soon grew until, during her teenage years, she’d started writing her own novels. When her mom pushed to finally publish some of the stories, she quickly amassed two complete romance series (By The Lake and Caliendo Resort series) and, in 2016, released her first Fantasy Romance entitled The Gatekeepers (Part One of the Winters Rising series).

When she's not writing contemporary romance books into the early hours of the morning, Shannyn can be found antiquing with her two favorite people, her momma and sister, in their picturesque London, Ontario hometown.

Shannyn would love to get to know her readers as you get to know her (just don’t send her any carrots!)

Get 3 FREE books and never miss special promotions, brand new release or the inside scoop by signing up for her newsletter. https://goo.gl/JiHvXD

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Stone: Bad Boys of Willow Valley Book 2, Shannyn Leah

Badlands, Morgan Brice

A cop and a psychic...
Skepticism, a serial killer, and a chance at love all vying to come out on top.
June 30, 2018

Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghosts tours and does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor.

Jaded cop Vic D'amato saw something supernatural he couldn't explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.

But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help.  As the body count rises, Simon's involvement makes him a target, and a suspect.  But Simon can't say no, even if it costs him his life and his heart.

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Author Bio
Gail Z. Martin

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin.  Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure, and supernatural thrills to go with the happily-ever-after.  Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions.

Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at Gay Romance Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.

Follow Morgan...

Quick Reads and Quick Reviews 22

Work Rules: A Breaking the Rules Novel by [James, Jacki]So.  Dang.  Good.  The characters were engaging, likable, a bit flawed, and incredibly sweet.  The relationship was full of tenderness, banked passion until they let it boil over, and freedom.  The drama was low and even the confrontations with the exes weren't overly dramatic and drawn out to create angst.  The reconciliation was almost unnecessary because they both acted quickly and thought through things with both logic and heart.  Honestly, this book was just so freaking sweet that I couldn't help but love it.  Yes, there was a lack of negativity in the book to create tension and something for the MC's to overcome, but I just don't care.

Ultimately what you get is two people finding the love of their lives.  You get to watch Alex seeing through Nathan's Trashy Club Kid facade enough to grant true freedom to Nathan's heart and soul as well as Nathan's whole person giving Alex the love he didn't expect to find in a man and making that okay.  They were a perfect match and the point was love and freedom for being accepted for all that you are and can be rather than a story about two men finding love amid coming-out drama and awful exes.  Those things are there, but they are muted in the face of love and acceptance.  4.5 stars.
*$2.99 or FREE on KU
 Work Rules: Breaking the Rules Book 2, Jacki James

Must Have Been Love (Camp Firefly Falls Book 20) by [Moss, Tragen]Two men who don't seem to be a good match and yet are perfect for one another.  What they didn't realize when they agreed to a breakup was that they were in love.  Their time at camp for Brandon's brother's wedding is fraught with tension, regret, and a barely simmering passion that neither can deny.  The descriptions of feelings, experiences, the characters, the setting...all of it came together quickly and clearly so you could dive right in seeing as the story itself was so short.  There's very little angst except that which comes from the regret over the breakup and the subsequent tension it causes by keeping up appearances.  This story is filled with feels, reflecting on the relationship's ups and downs, and tons of chemistry.  I believed it.  4.5 stars.
 Must Have Been Love: Camp Firefly Falls Book 20, Tragen Moss

Knocked Up by [Lynn, Stacey]No one expects to become pregnant from a one-night-stand, especially when protection is used.  But Cara finds herself in that exact situation.  What she knows of the guy she slept with is positive.  Whether that translates into an interested baby daddy?  She's afraid that her unexpected news will not be well-received.  After a rough beginning Cara and Braxton get reacquainted and grow something between them that meant they wouldn't just have a good co-parenting situation, but a relationship that was meant for deeper, more connected togetherness.  Their passion was not just intense, but there was tenderness and the shedding of emotional walls that really grabbed my attention.

This story had its emotional ups and downs.  I can't say I was charmed by Braxton's version of honesty, but it was definitely honest.  From the point that he committed himself to Cara, though, I could see just what kind of man he was and I loved him.  Like I said, his confessions about the time between the wedding and when she showed back up in his life didn't endear me to him but his earnestness and tenderness toward her from their second-meeting all the way to the end drew me in and kept me rooting for him.  I was predicting that the big dramatic moment between the couple would come from Cara and while she did have a small part in it, she was unaware of it at the time.  Instead, it was from Braxton.  The groveling gets huge, huge points from me here.  I love a good grovel.  I supported Cara and her decision to distance herself but I also felt that she was reacting on an emotional level instead of one that was clear-headed while hurt, if that makes sense.  Overall, the story was so great.  I enjoyed the characters, the steam, the tenderness, and the ending was absolutely perfect.  4.5 stars.
 Knocked Up: Crazy Love Book 2, Stacey Lynn

Home Skillet: Culinary Kings Book 1, Cate Ashwood

Home Skillet (Culinary Kings Book 1) by [Damien, Sandra, Ashwood, Cate]

When the one you're still hopelessly in love with is the one that got away and they turns to you when their life is falling apart, what should you do?  The logical answer is to set appropriate emotional boundaries and be there for them but to keep your distance.  But I know of no one who would be logical in this instance.  There's always that part of you that hopes that this time you'll be appreciated, this time they'll truly see, this time...  And yet all the hoping in the world is just bound to get you more heartache and confusion.

Ben and Jimmy are in this terribly dysfunctional relationship that masquerades as friendship.  Jimmy gave up more than just a best friend when he chose to live his life in Manhattan the way he had and almost to the very end of the story I found him utterly selfish.  There's no nice way to call him a user and I'm sure so many people will read this story and see him as a scared man, an emotionally fragile man who just had his dreams of a future crushed and so he turns to the one person he could count on.  What they're not seeing is that Jimmy has only ever been protective of was himself.

Yes, he had the horrible misfortune of having homophobic parents.  My issue, though, isn't with his sexuality, coming out, or even his choice to marry a woman.  My issue is that Jimmy uses Ben under the guise of teenage hormones and familiarity, uses Jenna for her connections and wealth, and uses Ben again when his life goes to shit.  His patterns of behavior are disappointing and reprehensible.  I also wished that he did more to convince Ben of his feelings, did a lot of groveling, and voiced his sudden realization.  Ben may not have needed that, but I certainly did.

There is good to him.  I do like that when he finally wises up and opens his eyes to everything he gave up when he dumped Ben he sees just how amazing Ben is and focuses on encouraging him, supporting him, and becomes unwilling to deny what they're building.  His words to Ben at the end with his surprise were heartfelt and honest.  I enjoy that he finally understands how essential Ben is to a happy, fulfilling life.  He was lucky that the woman he married was Jenna because, while we have our doubts about her in the beginning, her strength and compassion later on showed us that he does actually have good taste in friends.

Ben was probably awesome.  And I did like him quite a bit more than Jimmy.  But most of the story shows him being a self-deprecating man in love with his former best friend and just can't get over it.  I'm not shaming a decade-long unrequited love situation.  I'm just expressing disappointment in Ben's choice to be a pushover.  His choice to help his family instead of continue with school got him stuck in a rut that he couldn't see a way out of.  He slowly sucked the life out of his own soul and the only good part of him is tied to the one man he should move on from.  It's an unfortunate situation that ultimately ends well but is still sad to read before he gets his happiness.

So it's clear that I have some frustrations and disappointments with the characters.  Truth.  I also didn't really enjoy that the setting felt more like a place-holder and not really used to their advantage.  The story was slow to move to anything really great between them and yet the entire thing felt rushed.  Lots of surface stops and a whole heaping amount of angsty inner dialogue.  The steam, however, once they got it on, was quite nice.  I adored the proposal situation and thought it fit the men and the story.  And even though my review seems terribly negative, which it kind of is, I didn't hate the book.  I think this suffered from a slightly inattentive group of or individual proofreader that got caught up in what they hoped for the book rather than what was on the page.

*$2.99 on Amazon!
 Home Skillet:Culinary Kings Book 1, Cate Ashwood