Book Review: Beauty and the Bookworm by Nick Pageant

bookOk, so I’m going to keep using the World Cup as an excuse and you all are going to just have to deal with it. I wasn’t a huge soccer fan before this, but there’s something about being in Brazil while it’s going on that changes a person. Anyways, I needed a nice short read that I could finish between matches; and I obviously found one or you wouldn’t be reading this review about it.

Mason Leery is a cardigan-loving, geeky librarian who lives his life through his m/m romance novels. I will admit it was really hard to relate to a bookworm, wink*. The polar opposite of Mason, Shane Beaumont, is a physical trainer and masseuse. Shane is also beautiful, hint the title. Our two MC’s meet one fateful day at the park where Mason is reading and Shane is jogging. Shane trips over Mason’s feet and ends up getting his shorts caught in a tree, exposing his green jock strap. When Shane bends over to pull up his shorts, Mason gets flashed, and it’s love at first sight, wink*.

Thus begins the wonderful romance/relationship of our two MC’s and you immediately fall in love with them. I especially liked Shane’s attempts to impress Mason and fulfill his sexual fantasies. I mean, he has to compete with a ton of romance novels. Don’t worry though, there is conflict involved, this story isn’t completely unbelievably happy. I won’t give it away which secondary character is responsible for it though!

Your list of suspects who could possibly jeopardize our happy couple are:

1)      Mason’s crazy lesbian, biker grandma that he lives with. She’s definitely over-the-top! And let’s be honest, if your granny’s in a biker gang, there’s bound to be trouble.

2)      Shane’s twin brother Shawn. Who’s the good twin and who’s the evil twin? Bum bum bummmm.

3)      Mason’s BFF Twyla. She’s sassy and clingy and oh-so pregnant. Yay hormones!

4)      Mona Lisa. Not the painting, but an eco-crazy lady!

All in all, it’s a fun quick read. It’s full of laughs and super fun characters, although Twyla does get super annoying. You will totally fall in love with Mason and Shane. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get myself mentally prepared for the knock-out rounds that start this weekend!

This story has dicks, lots and lots of dicks. Oh, so now you’re interested? I should have put dick in the first line.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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*Wasn’t available on B&N

Book Review: Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

10155216_10101700702994575_5550919188911807228_nFor some odd reason, this book kept making me think of Murder, She Wrote. I just kept expecting Angela Lansbury to pop in and be all like: By Joe, I think I got it! I was really caffeinated when I read this book. It was the butler!! Not really.

So, Jarrett Arlington is the head of the Long Island Arlington Empire (super wealthy people). He invites an investigative journalist named Griffin Neptune Hadley (his parents might have been stoners) to the Winden House estate to investigate the disappearance of Brian Arlington that happened 20 years ago. The kidnapping happened during the family’s Midsummer Nights themed party, and even though they paid a ransom, Brian was never returned. So what happened to Brian? Is he still alive? Bum bum bummm.

Despite having permission from Jarrett, Griff is met with some resistance from the rest of the family (a very eccentric family, I mean seriously eccentric. There’s all kinds of quirky characters in this special batch of crazy). There is a lot of resistance from the family friend and lawyer, Pierce Mather. Pierce immediately has it out for Griff, and doesn’t want him to write the book about the family. Despite this warm welcome, Pierce makes Griff swoon…weak at the knees…twitterpated. Dang Pierce and his good looks and confidence.  So, as Griff dives deeper into the mystery that is Brian, he becomes even more drawn to Pierce. I mean of course he does, we are in a m/m romance. But with the mutual attraction between the two of them, there is still distrust. We are in a mystery novel as well. I mean, come on people…

Enter suddenly, Leiland Alvin, a man claiming to be Brian. This has been one crazy week for Griff! Now Pierce and Griff must put aside their differences and join forces to prove that Leiland is a fraud! Will they be able to work together? Can their love survive the suspicious accidents and creepy phone calls? Where’s Brian?! Jessica Fletcher probably knows.

In all honesty, you don’t have to be Jessica Fletcher to figure it all out. The answers are handed to you fairly early, if you pick up on them. But this doesn’t detract from the book. I found it a fun and light read. A nice mix of mystery and romance, with just a few weird parts (thanks for the sex, let me collect some DNA). Although Lanyon is pretty formulaic in his writing, I am a fan, and I’m excited to read some more of his work.

A doll house or maybe a piece of wedding cake.

4/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: Only Love by Garrett Leigh

10155216_10101700702994575_5550919188911807228_nOkay, so I think I was just in a bad mood or dealing with long weeks, but I wasn’t 100% in love with this book like so many other. I kept comparing it to a Nicholas Sparks story and was expecting one of the main characters to drop dead at any minute. Plus, the main characters had so many issues, like seriously, issues…both mentally and physically.

First there is Jed. So Jed has a chronic stomach condition, he can’t really keep food down. Because of his illness, his time is the army is cut short. During his time in Iraq however, he lost several comrades, including his best friend who died in his arms, and suffered a leg injury. Oh, and he has PTSD. Of course he does. He probably also suffers from dandruff and restless leg syndrome.

Jed returns home, a place he hasn’t been back to for fourteen years. He stays with his estranged brother, Nick, and his family, which consists of his wife, Kim, and two girls. But guess what, Nick has issues too…alcoholism. Awesome. Well, Jed ends up moving out to a cabin to stay with Kim’s brother, Max.

Awe, Max. Max is great, sweet, caring, and an all-around great guy. But you guessed it, Max has epilepsy. Of course he does. But the real reason we love Max, is because of his service dog, Flo. Flo was by far my favorite character in the book. The dog was intuitive, smart, caring, sweet…I could have done with a whole book about Flo. Or if the book was told by Flo’s point of view.

Now that Max and Jed are independent, together?, their relationship slowly…slowly…grows. And it grows in a very predictable way. I’m Jed, I’m a tough guy who protects people and don’t want anyone taking care of me. I’m Max, I like to take care of people but don’t need protecting. Let’s fall in love with each other! Okay! Pretty soon, they realize their need for each other and the little things they do for each other builds, then we have our happy little gay love story.

Like I said earlier, I think I was just in a bad mood. So many people liked this book, but I just didn’t buy into it. I just kept wondering how all these dysfunctional people ended up in the same place. Poor Flo, was like the only normal…person? Maybe I shouldn’t have read so many good romance novels right away, now I have super high standards. Anyways, it’s a good book if you like Sparks but don’t want all the death. I am giving it 3 stars, because my foul mood prevented me from being bias, especially towards damaged war heroes looking for love amoungst the seizures. I’m not a nice person.

He said exactly what he thought or nothing at all.

3/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: Not Just Friends by Jay Northcote

20626492I mean seriously, based off the cover alone…they are clearly more than friends. Remember than one time in college when you and your best friend got drunk and decided to experiment? Well, that’s basically the plot of Not Just Friends. Luckily, Northcote added more to the story and I really enjoyed the journey of the MC’s (although it was primarily just sweet with little surprises). I was also a huge fan of Friends and there’s a big Ross and Rachel dynamic, so I think that’s also why I loved the book.

So we start off with Lewis arriving at his new college in Bristol (the story takes place in London btw) and he moves into his new flat. He meets three of his new roommates right away, Dean, Rob, and Andreas. Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember their names right now, although they are great additions to the story. Anyways, they’re all sitting around eating pizza and getting to know each other and they are all fairly nice guys. Lewis is pretty excited that they are all hitting it off because it’s his first time away from home and he left behind his best mate (remember, London) Paul and his now ex-girlfriend. He is single and ready to mingle.

2 hours later because his mom’s car broke down, the 5th flatmate, Max arrives. There is something about Max that Lewis is immediately drawn to. Is it his slender frame? Dyed blonde hair? Earrings? His beautiful pale green eyes? His arse? No…it must be friendship! Well, it turns out, Max is gay, totally out and proud. Then maybe it isn’t friendship Lewis feeling…

The more time they spend together, the more Lewis finds himself attracted to Max. This makes him question everything! Like his relationship with Paul, and his relationship with his ex. To try and diffuse his feelings for Max, Lewis starts talking to one of the girls in his class, Amanda. They decide to have study sessions together and let it go from there. At the same time, Max is hooking up with someone from the LGBT group, Bruno.

Lewis is of course jealous of Max’s new relationship and after a horrible date with Amanda, he admits that he might be gay. He also confesses his feeling towards Max. Amanda is super supportive, and gives him advice while staying a good friend. As luck would have it, Max and Bruno break up because Bruno misunderstood what exclusive meant. So Lewis finds himself comforting Max and thanks to a few drinks, one thing lead to another and badda bing badda boom!

Now what? Do they forget that ever happened? Do they stay just friends? So, like I said, there are no surprises…picture Lewis now as Ross and Max as Rachel. Will they? Won’t they? Were they on a break? So many questions that need answered! If you need some angst-light reading, then this book is for you. Especially if you loved the Ross/Rachel tension in Friends. Sorry, Friends is very popular here in Brazil, and I just watched like a mini marathon of it, so it’s fresh on my mind.

When I was at sixth form college, I used to play for blowjobs with one of my mates, but I’m assuming you’re not down for that.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: The Unwanted by Jeffrey Ricker

5199022I really enjoyed The Unwanted, it was basically the gayified version of Percy Jackson. Despite some major clichés that occur, I found myself engrossed in the story; but then again, I’m a sucker for mythology. This is an unusually short review for me, but I didn’t want to have to write “SPOILER ALERT” over and over. If you want to know more about the story, you’re going to just have to read it.

The story starts off with Jamie, a skinny, short, gay sixteen year old. He is the only out kid in his high school, is constantly being bullied. His main bully is Billy, the school jock, who torments him every chance he gets. But today, Billy steps up his game and punches Jamie in the face. So Jamie leaves the school without permission and heads home. Waiting for him when he gets home is his mom, which is a surprise considering she’s supposed to be dead. Oh and there’s also a winged horse in the backyard.

Well it turns out that his dad had lied to him and his mom was never dead, she’s just an Amazon. Yes, Amazon, as in the mythological warrior women. His mom explains, that since he was born a boy, he had been left with his dad to raise. But now she has returned because there’s a crisis at hand and a prophecy says Jamie might be the only one that can save her people.

So, Jamie and his best friend Sarah band together with Billy to help his mother. Why Billy, you ask. Well, this is m m romance and foes becoming lovers should have been a given. Will they be able to save an ancient race? You might have doubts, but don’t worry, our little Jamie does acquire some skills and becomes a semi-good fighter. He didn’t just leave everything to his brute, Billy.

Considering the story is about the Amazons, you’d expect the action of the story to be the primary focus, especially with things like spiteful gods and prophecies. But the story is pretty low-key. It still moves along though, Jamie had a great narrative and a wonderful sense of humor. We all know how much I love a wicked sense of humor. Plus, it was obvious the story was just building towards something epic. And luckily, Ricker didn’t disappoint! I was struggling on who to trust through the book, and Ricker hit me with some major reveals at the end that I didn’t see coming.

Like I said, there weren’t a whole lot of epic fights, but that didn’t bother me. I liked the book regardless. And even with the “chosen one to save” prophecy that I’m familiar with (I read comic books), I found The Unwanted delightful. Somehow, the clichés just worked for me in this one. Plus the ending was perfectly bittersweet. I hate not giving you all more, but

Like putting handcuffs on an Amazon.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: Spirit by John Inman

5199022I’m not sure where the sudden involvement of ghosts in gay romance novels came from, but I like it. Toss a murder, a hot young stud, an unexpected love affair, and a spooky-ass ghost with a weird sense of humor into Jason’s summer plans, and you’ve got the makings for one hell of a ride. There’s also an arthritic dog named Thumper.

Jason Day is a video game designer, gay and single. His sister, Sally, goes on a four week vacation with her boyfriend, Jack; leaving Jason to babysit four-year-old nephew, Timmy. Timmy is crazy smart for his age. He’s also cute, funny, inquisitive, and manipulative; making him a giant handful for Jason. One of my favorite parts of the book was the fact that Timmy basically took over. He constantly stole the show.

I will say though, that I have always found kids to be a little creepy, and Timmy is another example why. Shortly after his arrival, Timmy starts talking about the man in the basement. Cause that’s not creepy. But Jason just leaves it to the boy’s imagination, even though his house was built in 1923 (which is a reasonable age for it to have paranormal activity). Something interesting we find out is that Jason bought the house from Sally. She sold it to him after her husband and Timmy’s father, Paul, disappeared one day. I’m guessing he just went out for a pack of cigarettes.

Enter Timmy’s uncle from his dad’s side, Sam! He happens to be in town on secret business and because he’s hot, Jason tells him to stay with them instead of a hotel. There’s an immediate attraction between to the men (this is an m/m romance after all). Jason had met Sam once before at Sally and Paul’s wedding, but they really hit it off now.

Now that Sam’s staying in the house, Timmy’s ghost friend becomes more active. As he (yes I called him a he…not sure if that’s Spoiler Alert worthy) makes himself more apparent, even to Sam and Jason. But don’t worry, he’s a friendly ghost. He spends most of his time playing and hanging out with Timmy. The only time there’s an issue is when the phone rings and Jason isn’t allowed to answer it for certain people. I think that’s vague enough to not give anything else away.

As the days go by, Jason and Sam develop a sexual relationship. And we all know that leads to love, let’s not forget the genre I’m reviewing. Their mutual concern for Timmy’s welfare, and their budding love, makes them want a simple life, one without a ghost. So they work together to find out who the ghost in the basement is and what he needs to move on to the afterlife.

There’s a lot more to the plot, but with the limited settings and cast of character, if I wrote more I’d basically be giving away the whole story. I can only recommend reading it to find out for yourself. You might not be surprised by the outcome, but it’s a still a quick fun read, full of mystery and humor. Seriously, Timmy will have you giggling throughout the chapters. But be warned that there are sad moments though too, especially with the ghost and some involving Timmy as well. Luckily, there’s only a few of those moments sprinkled throughout.

Timmy accepted with stoic resignation, although I did hear him mumble something about chicken poop and peckerheads

4/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed

5199022Remember that one movie, The Wedding Planner? And remember how you wished all the main characters were men? Well, Legally Wed gives you what you want.

Duncan is a thirty-seven-year-old elementary school teacher who desperately wants to get married to the person he loves, have kids, and live happily ever after. So when same sex marriage becomes legal in Washington (the state not D.C.), he proposes to his boyfriend of three years, Tucker. But instead of saying yes, Tucker refuses and also dumps Duncan. Womp womp. Heartbroken and drunk, Duncan decides that in order to be happy and married, he needs a woman. I mean, that’s the logical choice when you’re drunk. The next obvious thing to do once he has figured this out, was to post a Craigslist ad for a Gay Man Seeking a Woman to Marry.

Enter Marilyn. Despite numerous replies to his ad, Marilyn stands out. She’s unique, funny, and outspoken, so Duncan decides to meet her. After meeting at a coffee shop, they soon realize that they have a lot in common. They soon hit it off, spending lots of time together at gay bars, restaurants, and their apartments. Marilyn had always been a fan of gay men and m/m romance, so she was excited to have found Duncan. And one fateful night after a few drinks, because the best decisions are made when you are drunk (this is one of the lessons I learned from the book), she proposes to Duncan and he accepts. After working out some details, Marilyn suggests a professional wedding planner.

Enter third wheel, Peter Dalrymple. Peter, is a tall, hot, gay, muscular bear. Duncan is immediately attracted to Peter, and the feeling is mutual. However, because this is m/m romance, they can’t act upon their urges because of Peter’s professionalism and Duncan’s morals. But seriously though…he’s marrying a woman because he was drunk and heartbroken…I think she’ll understand if he just returns to men. Anyways, just before the wedding, Duncan meets with Peter alone. Well, once alone, Peter gives in, grabs Duncan and kisses him. Despite kinda liking it, Duncan pushes Peter away and fires him.

Duncan’s sister, Scout, who is aware of his thing for Peter, calls him to inform him of a family tragedy. So Duncan heads off to Pennsylvania without even notifying Marilyn. This marriage is definitely doomed. While in Pennsylvania, Scout yells at Duncan, calling him a fool for marrying Marilyn and ruining his chances of being truly happy. His sister, who has always been supportive, gets through to him. Once home, he finds a distraught Marilyn and he realizes that he didn’t even think of her while he was away. Duncan calls off the engagement with the understanding that he only loved Marilyn as a friend. Amazing the things we realize when we’re sober.

Realizing what he really wanted, Duncan contacts Peter. They are now free to act on their attraction to each other. Will they live happily ever after? Will Duncan get the family he desires? And what of Marilyn? Will she get her happy ending? Read the book to find out!

I enjoyed the story immensely. But then I also really liked The Wedding Planner, so it was going to be a given. There were a few places where the story drags but nothing major. The secondary characters were excellent and aided to the overall humor of the story. Big step up from the crap I read last week!

And that’s not even counting the disasters–the one-time only dates with lunatics, egomaniacs, and Mama’s boys.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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