Review: My Highland Cowboy by Alexa Milne

Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends, he loves his home, but he’s lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.

Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothes brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, design individual dresses, while on the side, Drew designs and produces a line of men’s lingerie. He visits Scotland to design dresses for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncan’s best friend at Christmas. 

Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives, miles away from each other, find a way to love? 

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to homophobia and references to death of a character’s parents.

My Highland Cowboy had so many of my love buttons in it, I don’t even know where to start. I love opposites who attract, but also complement, cowboys, snark, Scotsman, Brits, kilts and a well-earned HEA. Drew, Duncan and I got it all in the Highlands.

Duncan has inherited a ranch that he was able to turn into a successful destination vacation spot. His story is impressive and I couldn’t help but respect the guy for all he’s gone through. It’s not over the top, but I could get how it made him such a determined character from the beginning. He’s pretty shy overall in social situations but he’s got that quiet strength that is something I absolutely LOVE in an MC. Drew shows up at the ranch to stay for a bit as Drew’s sister is marrying Duncan’s BFF. Duncan is a designer from London with a passion for his work and a plethora of charming attitude he’s more than happy to share with everyone.

Duncan finds Drew . . . unsettling. Duncan is fine with his quiet albeit lonely life. He’s never really felt a spark with anyone regardless of their gender and he’s been with both men and women in his past. They were there to scratch an itch though and nothing more. Drew is attracted to Duncan from the get go, because HELLO, he’s a hot, tall, dark and handsome cowboy. The two get to know one another amidst the wedding planning and Drew manages to push a whole mess of Duncan’s buttons. 

This is where my favorite, and at the same time, least favorite things happened. Let me babble a bit here. Duncan has complete control over his life and is a successful businessman but his love life is non-existent. Drew has no trouble finding dates and getting himself a little something, but he’s very career driven at this point and his company is on the cusp of making it big. He’s got no time to be someone’s experiment, he’s worked way too hard to get where he is. Drew has the confidence that Duncan doesn’t have in the romance department and he’s not questioning who he is, at all. I kind of figured he’d be driving the bus on this one, but he didn’t. He turned out to be all practical and while he did pursue Duncan, he never pushed too hard and he never begged. I was so frustrated when he left the ranch. I already loved these dudes and I wanted them to be together! Like, right then!

That wasn’t a thing though and reading further on, I’m glad it wasn’t. Duncan had to own this, he had to be the pursuer. It really showed how much personal progress he made and it wasn’t just about Drew. Sure, Drew was the catalyst, but Duncan wanted this happiness too and he had to learn to be comfortable and confident in his own skin before he could attempt to make Drew happy.

So, it wasn’t an easy road to an HEA for these guys, but it wasn’t overly angsty either. Thankfully! The journey and the bit of back and forth made the HEA more believable and while it did evolve pretty quickly once the time came, the compromises were legit for their lifestyles and I was all kinds of happy for them.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

A single stroke can change your world.

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

I don’t even know where to begin with this beauty.

This book starts angsty in a way that doesn’t feel like a burden. It’s not an emotional drain. I didn’t have a knot in my stomach trying to figure out when the pain would end. I think it’s because the friendship between the two men developed in a really clean and honest way. There was no subterfuge, nor underhandedness. It was truly about life, about two people connecting in unexpected ways.

Heidi Cullinan is definitely gifted in storytelling. Xander and Skyler are beautiful characters. They share a common thread, with their love of manga, even while their lives have been been completely different up to that point. That commonality allows them to get to know each other more, and as their connection strengthens, it allows the other things that link them to be revealed.

The supporting characters were a joy. Pamela, Zelda, Unc, and then later, the rest of the Lucky 7 crew. They were all high value support for these two men as they struggled with the challenges that would be their last year in college, and how to navigate their relationship.

The grey-spectrum sexuality in this story, for me, was superb. I loved the way it was handled. I loved that Xander supported Skyler through his revelations. The slow build of their relationship was amazing. I just happy sigh when I think of both these men. I heart them so much.

The art in this story was beautifully vivid in descriptives. I saw everything I felt I was being shown. I also felt every emotion Skyler did when he was looking at what Xander created, and I understood how Xander was unsatisfied when he’d finished a piece. I can imagine all artists feeling that way. That nothing is ever perfect, but the muse demands an outlet and it must be fed.

I haven’t read Heidi Cullinan’s entire back catalogue, but the many books I have read, I’m pretty sure there is erotica in all of them. Not so with this. There is no traditional sex, but there is sensuality and sexual contact in an entirely different way, that was unique to these two men. I think those who appreciate romance and relationship building will appreciate the lack of erotica in this story. I found it really refreshing. Sex was not the end goal, or the trial they had to overcome with Skyler’s grey sexuality paired with Xander’s sexuality. The focus was on building a strong relationship in a way that didn’t appear like Xander was giving up something or Skyler was giving into something, and the mastery of this is what really made me fall in love with these two men as a couple, and the story as a whole.

This book isn’t just fluffy or easy, it has depth, heart, and emotion. There were moments where I teared up and felt sad, but now that I have finished the story, I feel like I have another story that I will turn to when I need the comfort of a re-read.

Recommended for everyone who enjoys MM romance.

A review copy was provided by the author.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Controlled Burn by Erin McLellan

Welcome Erin McLellan! This is her first clubhouse appearance to promote her debut novel, Controlled Burn. See our review here.

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win the giveaway below and good luck!

Hello! I’m Erin, and welcome to the blog tour for my m/m college romance, Controlled Burn! I can’t wait for you to meet Joel and Paulie, and hope you enjoy their romance as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow along as I stop off at several blogs throughout the week, and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About Controlled Burn

At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About Erin McLellan

Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the South or Midwest—particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas—with characters that are complex, good-hearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Erin likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Erin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed writing, but becoming a librarian and meeting enthusiastic romance readers helped her find her own writing passion. Now Erin cheerfully writes romance with characters across the LGBTQIA spectrum. A former public librarian, she still enjoys being surrounded by books and readers, but Erin hopes to find her stories on the shelves as well.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska with her husband, and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

Connect with Erin:

To celebrate the release of Controlled Burn, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Dalí by E.M. Hamill

Dalí Tamareia has everything—a young family and a promising career as an Ambassador in the Sol Fed Diplomatic Corps. Dalí’s path as a peacemaker seems clear, but when their loved ones are killed in a terrorist attack, grief sends the genderfluid changeling into a spiral of self-destruction.

Fragile Sol Fed balances on the brink of war with a plundering alien race. Their skills with galactic relations are desperately needed to broker a protective alliance, but in mourning, Dalí no longer cares, seeking oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in the arms of a faceless lover, or at the end of a knife.

The New Puritan Movement is rising to power within the government, preaching strict genetic counseling and galactic isolation to ensure survival of the endangered human race. Third gender citizens like Dalí don’t fit the mold of this perfect plan, and the NPM will stop at nothing to make their vision become reality. When Dalí stumbles into a plot threatening changelings like them, a shadow organization called the Penumbra recruits them for a rescue mission full of danger, sex, and intrigue, giving Dalí purpose again.

Risky liaisons with a sexy, charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí’s undoing—and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.

I’m giving this review my first heart reaction rather than sitting on it and trying to analyze my feelings.

This story was a winner for me. Superb character development. Complete worldbuilding which was easy to follow; I was immersed in this intergalactic world.

The plot was well paced and didn’t appear to have any holes. I have zero complaints in terms of storyline or character development. I was completely connected to Dalí the entire time. I love them. I think they are amazing, complex, and definitely a risk taker by nature.

This story starts out sad. Dalí is grieving the loss of their Husband, Wife, and unborn child. They are on a self-destructive path with petty fighting, and anonymous sex.

It isn’t until they sleep with the brother of an anti-Third Gender activist and son to the President of Europa that Dalí almost gets the sweet oblivion of death they are seeking. Only, once they are recovering, they realise it may not be death they want, but to wade out of the loss and find purpose again.

Dalí’s grief lends an edginess to their character, without the story being too dark or depressing. The sharp pain is there, like a wave, and as a reader I was completely aware of it the entire time I was reading, but the story, while centering around Dalí’s pursuit for answers to their loss, didn’t get bogged down with the constant ache and depression.

All of the characters in this story are well plotted out. I’d say there is room for more expansion on some of the characters, and culture and customs of the difference species, but that would require a lot more time and the Glossary at the back gives a basic overview if the reader wants to refer to it while reading (or before reading if you’re that way inclined). Within the story, there is enough information to satisfy during the encounter, and some species who get more page time, are explained a little more with each encounter. I enjoyed the balance. There is no information overload in this story.

The action and suspense is done exceptionally, and I couldn’t put this book down. I was completely engaged the entire time. I wanted to know what would happen next, and how the relationships built between Dalí and other characters would work out. Lord Rhix was an especially complex situation that kept me guessing. I couldn’t tell where the story would go while Dalí and Lord Rhix were interacting.

The peculiar connection between Dalí and the Sontavians was of great interest to me, and I wish there was more information on this, but I suppose if Dalí doesn’t understand it, then the reader shouldn’t either.

Sci-Fi can be a bit hit and miss for me. It took a long time for me to get into it, and only certain stories will keep me interested without my eyes glazing over in confusion of a completely made-up world. This was expertly delivered to readers like me. It wasn’t overly complex, but it was definitely apparent that this was futuristic and Earth no longer existed. Everything was clean and direct, flowing seamlessly through the storyline.

I will be stalking this author for any future gems, and I really hope Dalí becomes the lead in a series. If not, I will have to revisit them often within the pages of this book.

Recommended for all Sci-Fi readers, this is not a romance, but an action adventure story with some conspiracy plots, and some light erotic content.

A review copy was provided for an honest review.

Review: Goodnight My Angel (Angel Enterprises #2) by Sue Brown

Callum Ross has a tough decision to make. After years of working for the covert ops agency in the UK and owning his own security firm in the US, he’s forced to choose between the business he loves, and the new relationship with his partner, Josh Cooper.

A bottle of whiskey and Josh almost being killed helps Cal make the decision, and he moves to the UK with plans to set up his own security consultancy. Then the head of the covert ops agency where Josh now works asks Cal for help. Agency operatives and their families are being injured or killed, including Cal’s friends.
Cal is asked to investigate with Josh’s assistance.

As the number of victims increase, they’re aware either of them could be the next target for the killer.

Warning: this review may contain expletives. 

(It totally does.)

Guess what?
This story ends in a fricking cliffhanger.
Fuck. My. Life.

I wouldn't care (I lie, I would) but I loved the book and wanted to know all the things and now I have to wait.

I know. I hear you. Patience is a virtue. Virtue is a grace. Grace is a little girl who didn't wash her face. Well today I have no patience, no virtue, no grace and a dir... okay, my face is clean, I have some pride.

God-damn you, Sue Brown. Don't leave a gal hanging like that. I want to know the why. WHY?????
And the who. I mean, okay, we found out the who, but not really the who because who is the who?????
I've got to bloody wait until the next instalment of this series.

It's a good job I'm enjoying Cal and Josh and there assassin-y, protecting-y lifestyle. Or is it? If I hated this series I couldn't give two figs who and why. But I do care. I care too much. I have ragey issues with the not knowing and holy moly the next book I read had better be good or it's going to suffer. Dammit though, the book is well written, enjoyable; the mystery scenes are mysterious, the hot scenes are hot, the sweet scenes are sweet... get the drift? It's a gooooood book. BUT IT HAS A MOTHER-FUCKING cliffhanger ending. 


So, basically if you enjoy a bet of self-torture, are a self-confessed masochist, go ahead and read this book before the next one comes out. Go on, I dare you.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Three Player Game by Jaime Samms

Jaime Samms is making her clubhouse debut to promote Three Player Game, the newest edition to the popular Bluewater Bay series from Riptide Publishing! Be sure to enter the giveaway below by leaving a comment.

Good luck!

About Three Player Game

Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.

Almost, anyway.

Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.

It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.

Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game—it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. MaxfieldHeidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

About Jaime Samms

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.

She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .

Find Jaime:

       Amazon Author page:

To celebrate the release of Three Player Game, one lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of How the Cookie Crumbles and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Fangirl Review: Axios: A Spartan Tale by Jaclyn Osborn

I am Axios of Sparta, and I was born to kill. At age seven, I left home to train with other boys where we were taught obedience, solidarity, military strategy, and how to withstand pain. My harsh upbringing stripped me of my weaknesses and forced me to become strong. Ruthless.

But, I craved something greater—a life I could never have. Against all odds, and the toughest training a warrior could endure, I found an unexpected love in the arms of a fellow Spartan. He was the very air I breathed and the water that sustained me. Fighting side by side with him, we were invincible. Where he went, I followed.

However, there was no place for love in Sparta. Feelings were for the weak. The only life for a Spartan was one of battle and brutality with no guarantee of tomorrow. In times of war, all men were put to the test, but the greatest challenge for us was not one of swords and spears, but of the heart.

"Loyalty. Brotherhood. And love."

There's been buzz over on GR about this book with good reason, so I wanted to share my feels to the non-GRers among you, because this book is stunning, unforgettable and deserving of hype. What I want people to know if you read nothing else of this review is that this is not a sad book! The ending is bittersweet but the book as a whole is gripping, wonderfully entertaining, masterfully written, poignantly insightful and above all else a resplendent love story.

Jaclyn Osborn is a new to me author but she has my attention now. As a history buff I appreciate the research and attention to detail that is evident on every page, in every nuance and her usage of these historical events to weave a timeless love story is what made Axios special to me.

Axios and Eryx forge a bond through trials and tribulations that stands the test of time. But this story is more than the telling of their romance. It's about forming a brotherhood, finding a family and a home amongst them and fighting for each other. They may not believe in the war but they believe in each other and that is why they fight. Trust me when I say the secondary characters are just as well crafted as Axios and Eryx and just as crucial to their story, even the ones that flash through their lives like shooting stars.

Axios is the narrator of this story and we meet him at the tender age of seven after he's been sent to the agoge. Eryx is in his group and they become best friends. I admit I was skeptical when I realized how young they were at the onset but by starting the story while they were but babes Osborn was able to build these characters and their relationship from the ground up. She brings us along to witness their evolution from boys to warriors to men firsthand. It was exhilarating to read.

Both are complex characters that I could go on and on about but what I found most touching was the way they compliment one another. In a different time, in a different place I think Eryx would've been a teacher with his inherent leadership skills and gift for storytelling and Axios an artist of some sort. Axios is a beautiful person, so tenderhearted and kind. Watching him become the warrior he has to be, through no choice of his own, and lose some of his dreamer essence made me doleful. It's not fair but it's his reality, a reality that he must face in order to survive.

However, were circumstances different perhaps he would never have met Eryx and that would've been the real tragedy, because he and Eryx are two sides of the same coin. Jaclyn Osborn made me believe their love defies time and space. If reincarnation exists they will find each other again and again.

If you know nothing of Sparta, know that they were a warrior nation. Their entire society subsisted upon building warriors, a process that begins with conscription at age seven. There is blood and violence. War and all that that entails. It's brutal and heinous and changes them. Friends are lost. Bonds are strengthened. Enemies are felled. But there is always another war looming thus their reprieves are short-lived.

Both are aware every battle they survive could be their last. They know every moment is precious and make the most of them. They live and love to the fullest. They are playful with each other and their friends. Never is there any doubt where their loyalties lie, though. They may fight for Sparta but their first priority is each other.

Osborn was very conscientious of using foreshadowing if you are not a history buff. The tension builds. The handwriting is on the proverbial wall. If you subscribe to the notion that a romance isn't a romance without a traditional HEA, this may not be the book for you. I find myself most affected by these romances. They are the ones that stay with me-The Age of Innocence, The Wings of the Dove, Romeo and Juliet and more recently Amberlough. They speak to me and Axios spoke to me so I'm recommending it to you through this fangirl review.

My thanks to Jaclyn Osborn for writing this sophisticated and memorable story that became, for me, an instant classic. It's the best $4 I've spent in quite some time.

My warrior. My lover. My heart.

Tag Team Review: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove, #1) by Annabeth Albert

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Lost in a Book - 3.5 Hearts

You know how sometimes you have no idea what you want to eat for dinner but you know you have all the ingredients for a recipe that tastes decent, not complicated, and very dependable? One you could make with your eyes closed? That’s what I would equate Trust with a Chaser to. It’s solid Annabeth Albert in whom I have come to expect dependable reads from. But dependable doesn’t always have to be predictable and that is what I have also found with this book. The recipe for in-the-closet-MCs has been well played throughout the genre and unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of variation.

1 closeted cop
1 out and proud male
1 crazy-stuck-in-their-ways small town
2 families with drama
1 situation to overcome and determine whether coming out is worth the risk
1 million references to how OLD 39 years old really is *AARP anyone?*

You get my point? It wasn’t awful. Just very predictable in the way most books with closeted tropes are. I liked Police Chief Nash Flint and Tavern owner Mason together. They had great chemistry and pretty steamy sexy times. There was a lot of family drama that didn’t really explode. Mason was pulled in many different directions with the family of degenerates he shared blood with, the restaurant, and Nash. Chief Flint had to deal with his own reservations, how he thought his town and family would react to him coming out and the burden of being Chief in a small town. The coming out was practically a non-issue even though the build up made it seem it would be the opposite.

I could feel the connection between Nash and Mason. Their intimacy built slowly over time by starting with meals at the Tavern and escalating to “cooking lessons” at their houses. Nash learned how to *ahem* cook among other things. Their relationship was believable. I just wish that a little spice was thrown into the story to set it apart and make it somewhat more than the status quo.

I liked this book the same way I like cooking grilled cheese because it’s easy and I know it will come out edible. But, sometimes I want to add tomato, ham and if I’m feeling really frisky, grilled onions. Having regular grilled cheese isn’t bad… I just don’t want it all the time.

If you’re looking for a low key predictable read with sexy times, I’d recommend it. But if you’re in your 30s, make sure you have a will written, AARP card secured, and nursing home on speed dial. #ancient

Adam - 3.5 Hearts

Mason Hanks returns to his struggling hometown with plans to revive it as a LGBT tourism hotspot. He begins by opening a gay-friendly restaurant. He’s surprised when the local police chief, Nash Flint, becomes a regular customer.

Nash is wary of Mason’s plan, and of Mason’s trouble-making family. But as he and Mason slowly build a friendship, Nash can’t help but fall for the younger man and wonder about life outside of the closet.

I’ve got a soft spot for MM romances set in rural or seaside locations. The setting just makes the story feel more romantic. So I really enjoyed visiting the fictional coastal Oregon town of Rainbow Cove.

However, small town biases and stigmas also play a big role in this book. Both Mason and Nash have hang-ups that stem from growing up in Rainbow Cave. Mason finds it difficult to shake off the Hanks social stigma, while Nash thinks it’s impossible to be an out and proud police chief.

Both characters are immediately likable. It was easy to connect to Mason’s struggle of trying to balance work and family obligations. And Nash’s early efforts to give Mason a chance, despite his family history, quickly won me over.

Though Nash and Mason are attracted to each other from the beginning, it takes a while for them to act on it. Instead, they build a tentative friendship. Nash makes a habit of having lunch at Mason’s restaurant, and Mason looks forward to their regular lunchtime chats.

When the two finally give in to the heat building between them, they’re hot, hot, hot.

The chemistry, both physical and emotional, between Nash and Mason is obvious early on, and the two just click. But the big stumbling block is Nash’s refusal to come out of the closet.

I’ll admit, I got fed up with Nash’s behaviour at a certain point. I didn’t like the idea of him playing with Mason’s feelings, but I could understand the turmoil Nash himself was going through.

It takes a lot of hard work for Mason and Nash to get their happy ending. But even so, once it finally came about, I thought it was very sweet.

I would have liked some more closure on the storyline involving Mason’s family, but overall I enjoyed this sweet and sexy small-town romance.

Review copies were provided.