Lost in Indigo: Colors of Love Book 1, V.L. Locey

Lost in Indigo (Colors of Love  Book 1) by [Locey, V. L. ]

To truly appreciate others you have to accept yourself.  Mathieu Beresford is hurt at a pivotal moment in his hockey career and all he wants to do is hide away from the world.  That's not the only thing he wants to keep hidden though.  But one look at the vibrant Indigo has him taking a hard look at who he is and what he wants.  Except he'll have to dig deep, really deep, to find the courage to accept every piece of himself if he wants to give Indigo everything they deserve.

Indigo is fierce, sweet, and definitely not a pushover.  I do think he was young and his immaturity showed at times.  The one issue I have with him is his willingness to be a secret and then when that's tested he not only shows his hurt, but he acts as if it wasn't something he was prepared for.  His youth and hurt made him react on a grand scale.  I won't say I disagree with what he did, because I don't, I just think that there was some perspective and empathy that was missing.  Coming out should always be done by and for the individual and I don't think it should be forced.  Indigo gave Mat quite a large push in that direction, but one that was sorely needed.

Mat wasn't exactly what I expected.  I anticipated getting a bear in temperament and a damaged man that needed to sort through a myriad of issues, but what I wasn't expecting was his acquiescence to the harpy of a nurse.  To laugh at her ridiculousness and be understanding of her views didn't show emotional maturity to me, it showed cowardice and weakness.  He eventually made it right but it shocked me that he would put up with it for so long.  He was also a colossal a-hole regarding Indigo when the pressure was on.

I would have loved to have an alternating POV but we only get Mat's thoughts.  It became a bit depressing and a little annoying at times to be constantly brought back to his weakness over and over again but he was the one who needed to make the most changes so I can understand focusing on him and his experiences instead.  Overall, though, the story was so very good.  There was incredible passion and the steam was hot, hot, hot!  Mat's grand gesture was so great; it really worked beautifully to lead us to the best epilogue ever.  Such a fantastic story!

*$4.50 on Amazon!
 Lost in Indigo: Colors of Love Book 1, V.L. Locey

Brave for You: Oahu Lovers Book 1, Crystal Lacy

Brave for You (Oahu Lovers Book 1) by [Lacy, Crystal]

Life can be comfortable and yet far from perfect.  An Hoang has a great life and while he's beginning to feel a yearning for a companion of his own, he's not ready or willing to risk the tentative truce he has with his parents or the amazing relationship he has with his niece.  Nate Ellison was doing his best for his little family until his wife disappeared.  Faced with a life as a struggling single father he holds himself partially responsible for their situation and isn't sure he can open his heart to someone to create a future when his present is still so uncertain.  Both men have their individual struggles and will need to open their minds and hearts to the possibility that they might finally have everything they've ever needed if they stick together.

The setting was described beautifully and accurately, which was a surprise.  Usually we get beaches and touristy spots but I was pleasantly surprised when distances, hikes, restaurants, and the weather was described so well.  There were also quite a few descriptions of food, culture, and just about everything else you could imagine.  Some descriptions are great but I felt that there were so many that I was getting lost in the details rather than having them bolster the story and not overwhelm it.  This made the story feel much longer than it needed to be.  So while they were beautiful and...descriptive, for lack of a better word, there were just too many.

As for the men themselves, I was more drawn to Nate than to An.  Both of them were interesting and while An was more complicated, it was Nate's confidence, sweetness, tenderness, acceptance, and eagerness that won me over.  There were a lot of little things that made me love him.  Such as the way he was so loving and patient with Neil and yet so honest with how he felt about Neil's various stages and temperaments.  And his honesty with An, not trying to dismiss or deny his attraction but to instead express his hesitance and what he felt he could handle at the time.  Being straightforward like that allowed the relationship to progress naturally, to build a strong foundation before adding intimacy to the equation.

This was definitely a slow-burn romance.  I didn't mind, actually, that it took them longer to jump into bed with one another.  It felt natural in the course of their relationship and the progression of the story.  And the reconciliation was more amusing than anything.  Unable to get a word in edgewise, Nate did the only thing he could think of and it was the perfect choice.  It was humorous, shocking, and confident.  While I have mixed feelings about the big family picnic at the end, I was glad that things worked out the way they did.  It was a sweet ending to a tender story filled with heartache, longing, friendship, chemistry, passion, and all the best things that build a lasting relationship.

*$3.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Brave for You: Oahu Lovers Book 1, Crystal Lacy

From the Ashes: Golden Falls Fire Book 3, Scarlett Andrews

From The Ashes (Golden Falls Fire Book 3) by [Andrews, Scarlett]

Secrets have a way of digging deep and sinking deeper the longer they're kept.  And when it's a secret born of pain, it festers inside the keeper, infecting the way they view the world and others involved with the secret they hold.  In Jack's case, his secret destroyed one family in favor of his own.  He had no way of knowing that his soul mate would be hurt the most but when he realizes that the woman he loves is the woman he could crush if he were to speak the truth he's left with a difficult choice to make.

Elizabeth is an incredible woman.  She's had to grow up under the shame and shadow of her corrupt cop father.  Despite that, she's worked hard and does her best to keep her home and her brother from crumbling all while nurturing her dreams of becoming a nurse, a wife, and a mother.  Her relationship with Jack is a bit of a roller coaster.  She knows he's it for her even if he's to stubborn to give her half a chance.  It bothers me a little that she has her moment of knowing in her soul that Jack is the one for her but she sometimes acts contrary to that knowledge.  In some cases it's how she responds to their passion.  Other than that, her perseverance when it comes to making Jack open his home and his heart to her is admirable.

Jack, on the other hand, was a bit too wishy-washy for me.  He had his own moment of knowing in his soul that Elizabeth is the one for him forevermore but then he goes on that little trip to the bar.  It's a good thing he's an honest and sappy drunk because otherwise he would have put himself in a situation I'd be hard-pressed to excuse or forgive.  When you fall in love with a strong woman you have to trust her.  Trust that she can handle the truth, the bad news, the hell you've hid.  Lies of omission hurt just as much as lies of commission.  I found his lack of trust and belief in Elizabeth the most disappointing.  Well, that and that bar trip.

The amount of forgiveness is staggering.  While I felt it was given a little too easily, I admire their strength of character.  I'm very glad that it wasn't a "forgive and forget" situation, though, and that the guilty parties were made to make amends no matter the reason for the crime in the first place.

Overall this was a moving story, one with a lot of chemistry and tender feels.  It was also a story of honesty and redemption.  Once again, Golden Falls is a place of humbling, resolution, and hope.  It's also home to fierce women and the men they choose to share their lives with.

*$3.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 From the Ashes: Golden Falls Fire Book 3, Scarlett Andrews

The Montana Brothers Series, Alison Ryan

HUCK (The Montana Brothers Book 1) by [Ryan, Alison]From the beginning I liked Belle.  She was confident yet scared and she knew how to handle herself...sick episode in the bar notwithstanding.  There's something quirky, vulnerable, and appealing about this woman with a spine of steel and yet a soul so soft.  I did find her contradictory at times and had a bit of a hard time with how little she actually go to know Huck overall.  Their relationship could have used A LOT more page time to be believable and to achieve greater depth.  From the synopsis giving two perspectives I was expecting an alternating POV in the story but we only got Belle's mind.  There's a lot of emotional frustration coming from and with Huck but we get pretty much nothing.  Despite the level of phenomenal hotness together I found the stamina, size, and intensity to be a little over the top.  Overall, though, the story was a nice, sweet, hot pairing that bodes well for the rest of the series.  3 stars.

HAYES (The Montana Brothers  Book 2) by [Ryan, Alison]Second chances are never guaranteed.  When life crashes around Sarah and she runs from everything that reminds her of her pain, she also runs away from her heart.  Hayes is by no means a monk, but his heart is saved for Sarah and Sarah alone.  Knowing she'll one day return, he's determined to either convince her to stay or run with her.  These two are well-formed and well-matched.  I enjoyed Sarah.  Yes, she ran because of cowardice, a lack of strength to face the pain of loss, but she didn't cower in the rest of her life.  She became a strong woman who had a couple well-earned vulnerabilities.  Her commitment to family despite the distance and her willingness to do what needed to be done was admirable.  The family's struggle was touching.  Having the ever-positive, sweet, and super hot Hayes not just waiting in the wings but actively seeking out more, better, deeper connections with Sarah was awesome.  I do wish we got to have his perspective, but Sarah was really the one that needed the page time for her acceptance of her past, change and growth, and reconciliation with everything.  Overall their story was tender, sweet, and definitely passionate.  They were made for one another and I enjoyed reading their story.  3.5 stars.

Boyfriend or Bust, Claire Castle

Boyfriend or Bust by [Castle, Claire]

Sometimes an announcement from an ex has the power to shock and frazzle you.  In Carson's case, his cheating ex sent him an invitation to his wedding; a lavish Greek extravaganza with the man he cheated with, to be exact.  So what's Carson to do?  Any sane and well-adjusted person knows the answer is to make up a fake relationship and accept the invitation to attend the destination wedding.  With the help of his best friend's brother, Sam, who Carson has just so happened to have a little crush on for years, he finds more than just a willing wedding date, he just might have found his very own forever.

Both men are intelligent, attractive, and have secretly been interested in one another for a long time.  In the two months prior to the wedding they get the chance to learn about all the things that make them tick.  I think that it was a smart play for the author to have a slightly shared history between them through the best friend and sister, Sloan, so we could get right into what made both men unique and ideal partners.

Sam's slightly adolescent hesitation and methods for meeting up with Carson in the beginning was seriously cute.  I was nervous about him when we first meet him because of his eyeing up someone else but it ended up making a good contrast for the next time he sees the guy.  It was a simple yet very clear way to show how much he cared for Carson despite the short timeline.

And Carson's nerdy cuteness was endearing.  To see him freaking out with Sloan could have been annoying but it made him much more relatable.  I mean, who hasn't said or done something to put ourselves in an awkward or potentially disastrous situation for whatever reason and then have an internal or external freak-out for what we did?

The story's mundane activities and the inner musings while they figured one another out did have a tendency to drag on, though, which slowed the pace of the story and its progression quite a bit.  Especially once they got to Greece.  The day-to-day activities seemed like a week's worth of time when it was really only a couple days.  And the wedding itself...so very over the top, in many ways.  When Hugo made his proposal it felt contrived.  While it might have finally proven to Carson that he can stand up for himself and to Sam that there's only Sam in Carson's heart, it just felt out of place and took the focus away from the point of the story.  Other than that, the relationship's evolution was tender, steamy, and felt right for the characters themselves.

*$2.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Boyfriend or Bust, Claire Castle

About Claire...

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.

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The Breakup, Erin McCarthy

The Breakup, Erin McCarthy

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.
I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancĂ© begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem—besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

Don’t miss Sophie and Cain’s story in The Hookup!

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The Breakup, Erin McCarthy

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About Erin McCarthy

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over sixty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient, and is both traditionally and indie published. When she’s not writing she can be found sipping martinis in high heels or eating ice cream in fleece pajamas depending on the day, and herding her animals, kids, and amazing renovation-addicted husband.

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Finding My Way Home: Doyle Global Securities Book 2, Kendel Duncan

Finding My Way Home (Doyle Global Securities Book 2) by [Duncan, Kendel]

The past has haunted Ten for so long he doesn't know how to live without his all-consuming grief and anger.  One kiss from Bas challenged that belief but like the brave man he is...he ran.  Now with Bas missing he'll have to stop running away from him and race toward him instead.  Whether he opens his heart to a new future, one with happiness and love, is the question.

In Blackbird Fly Home we briefly meet Ten and Bas and see an explosive moment between them.  Without this foundation, without learning a little about them in the previous book, I'd be missing out.  In this story we get more background and a coming together but their first true meeting carries such a huge weight for them that I would not suggest this as a standalone novel.  There's just something missing here in the build-up and laying of the foundation for their relationship.  That being said, it's only one moment, though a huge one, so their story really takes off here.

For as much of a badass as Ten is, he can be incredibly sappy and can say all the romantic words necessary to reassure Bas that a future with him is what he truly wants.  It was awesome to see another side of the sullen, focused, angry Ten.  Together they are so sweet and very, very sexy.  Ten becomes a well-rounded character when he finally relents and lets Bas all the way into his heart.  And Bas is an excellent partner for him.  With his steadiness, loyalty, and intelligence he provides a solid partner for Ten.  And his heart gives Ten a safe place to be vulnerable and to heal.

 Finding My Way Home: Doyle Global Securities Book 2, Kendel Duncan

The synopsis suggests that this story will mainly be about Ten and Bas.  While they do manage to just barely eke out the majority of the focus, the surprisingly short book is split between them and introducing quite a few other characters and their relationships.  We get a triad between Dragon, Aleksy, and Liam.  It's not a bad grouping by any means, it's just not given enough page time and attention so it feels rushed and a little too insta-love/perfect triad to be believable.  Then there's suggestions about Kendry, Teagan and Dante, as well as Case and Riott...it's just too much.  The words are spread too thin with too many people and directions.  There was a lack of focus on plot and the dangers that were seemingly wrapped up a little too nicely.

Ten and Bas deserved a little more drama, evolution, and attention.  Because they had to share so much page time with other couples and the conflict was more build-up and hype than action and resolution, I felt a bit disappointed.  I liked the overall story but I would rather that the focus was more directed, more like Blackbird Fly Home.

*$2.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Finding My Way Home: Doyle Global Securities Book 2, Kendel Duncan

Greeting Cards, Tinnean

Greeting Cards by [Tinnean]

A sweet story with a lot of tenderness. With a "mistaken" address and a love for quirky greeting cards, two men find the partner they were always meant to be with. Ben is beaten down and tired and when he comes home to an empty apartment, the life he was comfortable living is no longer a life he has. It takes his boyfriend leaving for him to finally become the self-assured man he was always meant to be. But not without some pain and pining first. It's his pining that brings him in contact with Jason. As they trade card after card they grow an affection for one another that is deeper than either have ever known previously.

I liked both Ben and Jason. Ben's self-deprecation wore on me after a while, I kept hoping he would find his spine. I enjoyed when he did because it wasn't full of bitterness or anger or a desire to show Rick up or what he gave up, it was simple, honest, and so very Ben with his quiet assurance. Jason was eager and enthusiastic all throughout. His energy and belief in Ben's goodness and different type of intelligence made him the ideal partner for the shy, subtle Ben.

A lot of the time I was hoping that the story would just slow down. I mean, the dialogue sometimes came across as a rapid back and forth thing and then when you added parents and siblings into the mix it became chaotic. The pacing was slow and then break-neck in turns so it wasn't what I would call an easy read. It was enjoyable because of the events and the happiness, but I couldn't read straight through without a bit of re-reading to make sure I wasn't missing something with how dialogue and situations progressed.

Overall, though, this was a simple story with a cute premise that executed all the sweet feels you could want.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Greeting Cards, Tinnean

A Position in Paris, Megan Reddaway

A Position in Paris: A gay romance set in 1919 by [Reddaway, Megan]

A man damaged by the war with scars much deeper than what is seen on his skin.  Another man struggling to help is family survive while hiding his family's secret.  Together these men bring light, solace, and hope for the future, but only if they'll let go of their pride and accept the happiness on offer.

James Clarynton struggles every day.  His physical pain is enormous and it's bleeding into his emotional pain.  With very little will to live he's given an idea to write a book.  When that endeavor brings him in contact with the shy and seemingly plain Edmund Vaughan, he finds a light in the darkness.  Edmund is grateful for the chance to earn a salary that will help him support his mother and brother but is closed up tighter than a vault when it comes to sharing any of his personal information with the damaged yet alluring Colonel.

Edmund is the most frustrating with his pride, knee-jerk reactions, aloofness, and hesitation.  He was also earnest and sweet to James which helped to off-set some of his less admirable qualities.  Only at the very end when he finally opened up to James after James bares his soul via his journal does he begin to make up for his continual distance throughout the book.

I did like James.  He was the most interesting by far with his inner struggles and his vulnerability.  We get much more from him through his musings and writings and so it's easier to feel for and relate to him.  Near the end when he finally figures out what Edmund needs and the eager honesty with which he opens his heart to Edmund is truly endearing.  I couldn't help but hope for his every success.

Their romance was a slow-burn...incredible emphasis on the slow.  While I grew quite impatient with the slowness, I actually appreciated that it was sensitive to the reality of navigating romantic relations of their type in the setting.  It was believable at the same time it was frustrating.  With an overall satisfying ending, the plodding feel to the writing could kind of be overlooked in favor of enjoying the story as a whole.

*$2.99 on Amazon!
 A Position in Paris, Megan Reddaway

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Teaching Truthfulness: Forever in Middlebury Book 3, Brittany Cournoyer

Teaching Truthfulness: Forever in Middlebury Book 3 by [Cournoyer, Brittany]

Accepting yourself doesn't always mean you're confident about it.  Fear regarding the reveal can be just as scary as the realization, sometimes more so.  For Peyton and Marshall those revelations may lose them the person they're finally willing to take a chance on forever with.

Marshall accepts that he's gay.  But he's not ready to share that information with the world yet.  There are times he's worked up the courage to tell his family but one issue after another come up and give him both a reprieve and an excuse.  The reaction from his best friend isn't giving him much of a reason to risk the rest of his relationships either.

Peyton knows who he is and what he wants.  He also knows what he's willing to give.  Every single romantic partner he's had has rejected those needs in one way or another and while he's hasn't completely given up hope, he's not sure he wants to continue the auditions just yet.  Until he meets Marshall.  Their misunderstandings about their availability in the beginning is cute and we get to see a little dance that builds the anticipation.  It's clear, though, that as they finally get together there's something bigger than Peyton's hesitations that may end them before anything can begin.

So Marshall is in the closet.  We get that.  It's not exactly for the best reasons, but they're still his own reasons.  Coming out should be a personal thing.  It should always be the individual's choice for if or when.  Peyton's insistence on a timeline makes sense in terms of their relationship continuing and the happiness of the individual with the sexuality in question, but Marshall should never have been shamed into doing it.  Marshall should want to do it for himself first and foremost.  A boost or a push in that direction isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of him being belittled or berated for being scared.  Calling him out on excuses is one thing but his fear is the underlying cause for them and he needed a lighter hand, I feel.  The feisty grandfatherly client went about it the best way and I really disliked the way Peyton and Sebastian handled the situation.

The conflict should have stayed focused on Peyton's hurt at being kept a secret, not the timeline for coming out.  Perfectly wonderful parents and family members have still shunned, ignored, or even disowned LGBT+ family members before.  To discount his feelings is more than just rude.  The people that had a good coming out shouldn't judge or force...they might understand the fear, but they shouldn't judge someone for prolonging what they feel might be inevitable.

While I wasn't hoping for some sweet, happy, no-conflict story, I did kind of hope for more focus on the organic conflict.  Focusing on the timeline pushed the story forward but didn't feel like it was the right way to go about dealing with the types of sexuality discussed in the story nor did it feel like the right way to propel us to the resolution.  But overall, I really enjoyed this story.  I think there was a lot of chemistry and tenderness between Marshall and Peyton.  The ending was full of love as well.  It made their difficult road almost worth all the pain.  Both men captured my interest in the beginning and secured it at the end.  I'm looking forward to Steve and Dawson's story next...

*$2.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Teaching Truthfulness: Forever in Middlebury Book 3, Brittany Cournoyer

Wicked, Wild, Wanton, M. Malone and Nana Malone

Wicked by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana] Wild by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana] Wanton by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana] 

Wicked by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana]Funny, cute, and wickedly sexy.  Bonding over a love of sci-fi, a disgusting surprise, and a drunken grope...things are conspiring to bring Hunter and Bailey together as more than just friends.  Hunter has been attracted to Bailey right from the start but it's clear she wants a friendship without the sexy benefits and he's not sure how much longer he can hold back.  Bailey is incredibly attracted to her best friend but she knows she's young and needs to be focused on her education and career until she witnesses something she's determined to wipe from her mind with copious amount of vodka.  What follows is full of humorous banter, spontaneous steam in a supply closet (among other places...), a heaping dose of karma, and a love built on all the truly important things.

Both Bailey and Hunter were genuine with one another and genuinely likable characters as individuals.  Bailey was cute and quirky and her ability to kick ass at arcade games was perfection.  She was great in so many ways that she was not only endearing, she was memorable.  Hunter's hotness, vivid imagination, bedroom prowess, and tenderness with Bailey combined with a little bit of geek to make him a fantastic male lead.  Bailey's reaction was believable and I liked the way she listened to Hunter instead of prolonging the angst of the initial knee-jerk/gut-sinking reaction to the big discovery.  There was a great progression in the story that followed an easy plot and conflict so the resolution wasn't far-fetched, rushed, or too simple.  4 stars.
*$2.99 or FREE on KU!
 Wicked, M. Malone
 Wicked, M. Malone and Nana Malone

Wild by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana]Sexy and achingly heartfelt with some of the best groveling I've seen in a short story in a long time.  A forgotten kiss as youth, an unforgettable kiss as adults, and there's only one of them that can win.  As Talia desperately tries to embrace everything that's new in her life, Cage is determined to drag her back to being the mousy, utterly forgettable little sister...or so she thinks.  It'll take everything Cage has in him to win the one woman he's always wanted but never let himself believe he could have.

Talia has a bit of a ways to go to fully accepting everything she is.  She struggles with acknowledging that she's physically attractive and desirable and I also think she hasn't truly learned to love the shyer, studious side of herself either.  By the end of the story she's still not all the way there to loving herself and all her facets, but she's making progress.  Especially because Cage is bent on proving to Talia that she's been in his fantasies as well as his heart since they were young.  While I do wish there were a bit longer of an ending, one where we could see a little more of their transition into a true couple on a more solid footing, the story worked well since their history was intertwined before we meet them in college.  And when Cage screwed up, it was his groveling through actions and thoughtfulness that was beyond perfect and sold me on them together.  3.5 stars.
*2.99 or FREE on KU!
 Wild, M. Malone
 Wild, M. Malone and Nana Malone

Wanton by [Malone, M., Malone, Nana]Sexual tension from the word go, these two deserved the intelligent support as well as the passion they could only get from one another.  With attraction disguised as animosity and seemingly diverging career paths, Trevor and Natalie have an uphill battle on their hands to breaking down their walls and finding lasting happiness together.  Of course you can't forget their intense chemistry.  With passion in spades, it's hard for them to ignore their unexpected magnetism and it doesn't take long before they both succumb.  But will that be enough to sustain them for the long haul?

The synopsis made me feel like this was supposed to be an enemies-to-lovers situation but really it was just two incredibly stubborn people who are enormously attracted to one another.  Their attraction catches them off guard and since neither one of them are in a good place to build a relationship when they meet, they do everything in their power to avoid, deny, and quash anything more than the awkward, tense interactions they create.  I didn't feel like there was a good enough transition from their disappointing interplay to a couple who could handle all the changes and situations a romantic relationship would put them through.  It was either not long enough or was too focused on their antagonism to make me believe that what they had could bridge the distance they may endure as their careers and education advance alongside their relationship.  Despite that, they had potential and incredible amounts of chemistry.  3 stars.
*2.99 or FREE on KU!
 Wanton, M. Malone
 Wanton, M. Malone and Nana Malone

M. Malone

NYT & USA Today bestselling author M. Malone lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and their two sons. She holds a master's degree in Business from a prestigious college that would no doubt be scandalized by how she's using her expensive education.

Independently published, she has sold more than 1/2 million ebooks in her two series, THE ALEXANDERS and BLUE-COLLAR BILLIONAIRES. Since starting her indie journey in 2011 with the runaway bestselling novella "Teasing Trent," her work has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than a dozen times.

She's now a full-time writer and spends 99.8% of her time in her pajamas.

Nana Malone

USA Today bestselling author Nana Malone's love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense novel she "borrowed" from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She's been in love with kick-butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination constantly channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as brazen and kick-butt as she thinks she is.

Teaching Trust: Forever in Middlebury Book 2, Brittany Cournoyer

Teaching Trust: Forever in Middlebury Book 2 by [Cournoyer, Brittany]

One man keeps his heart locked away by having a revolving door of men, another keeps his heart locked away by avoiding any kind of romantic connection at all.  Both of them need something more, something deeper, but only if they can allow trust to unlock those doors.

We meet Sebastian in Teaching Tenderness as the cheating ex.  Now, that's not exactly a way to endear him to us, but we're sure there's a reason.  It takes a long time to get that reason and all along the way, outside of his care and concern and gentleness with Tyler, we have to wade through his many descriptions of sex with other men as well as his affirmations that he just couldn't help himself.  Can't say I was a fan of that.  What did open my heart to him was when he finally broke through his emotional barriers to be truly honest with his motivations and his past.  Only then did I truly start liking him.  Before that point I was tolerating him and hoping he'd redeem himself.  Underpinning all of that turmoil was the way he took care of Tyler.  There was a good man hiding underneath his abrading arrogance and philandering.

Tyler is the art teacher that helps little Jackson to bring about a completely adorable moment in Teaching Tenderness.  There's a wariness as well as a weariness surrounding Tyler that's quickly heading to a breaking point.  Only when Sebastian pushes many of Tyler's buttons, both good and bad, does he realize that his current way of living is unsustainable.  I thought his reactions to Sebastian were honest despite them also being frustrating.  It kind of took a long time for him to be truly honest with himself.  Aside from that I thought he was cute and a good balance to Sebastian's brashness.

Their evolution together took quite a while to get to a point where I actually believed they'd make it together.  By the end I was a full believer.  Sebastian found his humility and an inner peace with his past that let him completely accept happiness.  Tyler found his inner strength and self-confidence strong enough to eradicate his demons and believe in a future full of possibilities.  They were a good match and a great continuation for the series.

*$2.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Teaching Trust: Forever in Middlebury Book 2, Brittany Cournoyer