Fangirl Moment: Review: At His Throat, A Promise by Lilith Grey

In the slave city of Spire, Ellis has been discarded. His former master, a man who was supposed to teach him and take care of him, passed away, leaving Ellis alone and in danger of being taken to the Facility. Ellis is desperate to avoid that fate. He seeks a master to take him on, guiding him into adulthood as well as a profession. Ellis has had desire stolen from him—he’s been trained to blush, to submit, to give in. He doesn’t know how to cope with William, a man who wants the real Ellis.

William is a Master, a man born in a neighbour city that does not deal in slavery. He has had bad experiences with slaves in the past, but all that changes when he rescues Harte, a young slave whose abusive master had all but destroyed him. Together, they are content in their mutual roles, not looking for anything more. But when Ellis catches the eye of Harte, and by extension, William, their relationship changes in ways for which they are unprepared.

Harte is a born submissive, a young man who lives for his role. He’s bratty but genuine. William, his master, is his entire life. Harte never expected to have room in his heart for another, but Ellis is beautiful and different and fills a place in his life that he hadn’t known was empty.

If only Ellis could learn to ask for what he desired, what he needed, then maybe William and Harte could help him. But Ellis is trapped inside himself, insecure and afraid. To stay with William, he only has to ask...but that’s the one thing Ellis cannot do...

First: I love slave fic.
Second: I love sweet slave boys.
Third: I love a master who tends to his slave boys.

So, this book and I?

I don’t know what it is about these slave stories but, gawd, they get to me. They make me have all sorts of feels. The idea of having to rely on someone so completely, having no choices be your own is fascinating to me. On the other hand, being in such control over someone else’s well-being is equally as fascinating. There’s always such a complex relationship and I just wanna get all up in the angst. Dip it in chocolate and rub it all over myself.

Ellis. Sweet Ellis. His master has just died and is now looking for a new one. If he can’t find someone to take him in he gets sent back to the Facility where unowned slaves are kept. Ellis finds Harte - another slave - and they hit it off pretty quickly. Harte convinces his Master, William, to sponsor Ellis and to help him find a permanent master. William, who can’t deny Harte anything, sponsors Ellis and takes him home. But, William never intends to have a second slave so the plan is to find someone for Ellis. Harte is enough for William and is all he wants. He is a submissive to the core. Yeah, he can be a pain, speaks out of turn, can throw a little fit, but he thrives in submitting to his Master. It’s obvious to Ellis from the beginning that Harte and William have a deep connection with one another and don’t have the typical master/slave relationship. Unlike Harte, Ellis isn’t a natural at this and really has to work at it, but he desperately wants to. He wants so badly to be wanted.

I loved these three. Ellis was so stubborn. He was obviously wanted by both William and Harte. If he just spoke up when asked he could have avoided a lot of his struggles. Ah well, that’s just who he was. He would do anything to just be a good boy, even if it meant leaving William and Harte.

I especially loved Harte. He was such an adorable, slutty little thing. He was very open with his emotions and just a sweet character. Oh, William. Their Master. What slave boy wouldn’t love William? He is basically the most perfectest master ever. There was so much chemistry between all of them. Whether it was all three of them or just two of them, their relationship felt real.

This pushed all the right buttons for me... loving master, slave boys(!), complex characters with an equally complex relationship, angst and some of my favorite kinks. 

Group Review: Heart of a Hero (The Triple Towers #1) by James Cox

Be Warned: m/m sex, rimming, sex toys, spanking, bondage

He made it to paradise on a lie...

Kallen is a hero. He single-handed ended the war. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. The truth is that he was at the right place at the right time. As the hero, he gets a room in the heavenly triple towers and enough mouths on his body to please him every hour of every day.

However, guilt and danger rise when a man starts searching for the truth. When the investigator is this sexy, he may just blow his secret, among other things.

Lorn is furious when the spy among them is named as his dead younger brother. He is determined to find the truth of what happened even if it means destroying the nation’s hero or the man he’s slowly falling for.

In Kallen’s world, bravery will get a person killed, so how exactly is he supposed to prove to Lorn that he has the heart of a hero?

Can we take just a brief pause to admire the warning at the beginning of the blurb?

Firstly, we love that the "warning" is at the beginning. It's begging us to read and love ALL the things and boy howdy did we ever! James has been such a great sport tolerating all our shenanigans and he's either a glutton for punishment, or we really aren't all that bad outside the clubhouse. I'm thinking combo platter of both.

When James sent his new book to us I immediately hoarded it, then felt a little guilty (not really) and I told the other Uni's that I had it in my sweaty little hooves, was going to review it and did anybody want it. The response was global, literally and so we pushed back the original review date to have a Unicorn dog pile of love all over Heart of a Hero.

Breann - The Collar Loving Queen of Kinky Slave Boys:

Fast-paced, LOL one-liners, fun and sexxxay. Everything James Cox does best. And, for me, this was the best I’ve read from him.

Kellan is awesome and not your typical hero. Heart of a hero? Maybe in the end, but not so much in the beginning. He was really just looking out for himself and judging by where he came from, I can’t say I blame the guy.

Lorn isn’t going to let Kellan get away with playing the hero. Nuh-uh. But can he do this and ignore how effing sexy Kellan is? Nuh-uh.

They were hot and they were rough. Yes, please! When hands started going for necks you could hear me cheering them on, “Grab it! Hold it! Right there!”

Heart of a Hero is my favorite James Cox so far. There’s a great sci-fi story set in an interesting, futuristic world. But, at the same time, it’s still an erotic romance at heart and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The two were balanced perfectly and I was drawn in by both sub-genres.

Oh, and the mini-cliffy at the end? Gah! *waits not so patiently for book 2*

Sunny - Patron Saint of Obscure Porn Gif Hunting:

One quick peek and my interest was caught right away. This was so entertaining, with an interesting dystopian world, great MCs, and irreverent humor, all mixed with James' signature porny goodness that is very much appreciated at Boy Meets Boy Reviews. There were editing issues, but I didn't let that affect my enjoyment of the story.

For me, the best part of the story was the characters. Kellan *sigh* was sweet, and just a little bit naughty. I wanted to hug him. And maybe spank him. Lorn, the usually disciplined Master Sergeant, was a good match for Kellan, even as he tried, unsuccessfully, to resist the Wastrel.

The world building and the story itself were also good, although Lorn was so easily distracted by Kellan, even with his determination to clear his brother's name, that I couldn't take the mystery part of the story too seriously. I wasn't too disappointed, though, because while I liked the more serious investigation, I also enjoyed the silliness that was mixed in. And then there were some moments that were so touching that I was taken aback. It was like a gift bag full of all kinds of goodies.

One question... When is the next book coming out?!  

Lorix - Princess of Extraneous U's and Epically Hot Birthday Porn:

Fun and hot and sexy and somebody needs to get to work on those flavouring shots, stat. I loved this book, the characters were great, the story fun - in short it was everything you expect from James Cox and more, I’m looking forward to book 2.

A few days after I’ve read it and my dwelling thought? Seriously, scientists need to work on those flavouring shots, there ain’t a man in this world gonna have trouble getting blown if you can make it taste like chocolate. Just sayin’. ;)

Ann - Bun Fetishist and Admitted Sean Cody Boys Stalker:

Oh James, how do I love thee and thine heroes?

SO freakin’ much! This story is exactly why I like reading James’ dystopian and sci-fi stories. There’s interesting world building, mystery, adventure, smarky heroes and the best sexy times in the universe.

I fell in love with Kallen right away, he’s cemented himself as one of my all-time favorite heroes. Or, anti-heroes as the case may be. Lorn is the traditional idea of a hero here, struggling to figure out how to clear his brothers’ name while fighting his attraction to Kallen, the “false hero”. No one can fight the attraction to Kallen, I mean really, who would want to, and the two form a bond that neither have had in their lives before. This is when the story went beyond a fun apocalyptic sexy time romp to a real love story and I really love the two of them together.

The unexpected twist at the end sets up the next story for our heroes and by the end of this one I would absolutely say that Kallen has proven that he has a heart of a hero too. I got goosebumps at the ending. It was awful for them, but was so perfect it’s got me so anxious for the next installment. A highly recommended fun, sexy, sweet and adventurous read.


So, there you go. Loved and recommended by Unicorns everywhere! In honor of James and given that the Stallion has now really opened himself up to the internet about his inner wants and wishes, I think it's time to post this epic artwork that hangs above the sofa in the clubhouse. Lovingly created by our own Natasha, suitable for framing . . .

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review

Find more info on BookLikes and Goodreads

Review: Only Love by Garrett Leigh

The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.
So, another overnight marathon read of a Garrett Leigh book for me. Happens every time one comes out and I regret nothing. This is an amazing story and I loved it, the characters, the hurt, the hope, I loved it all. I also read every Garrett Leigh book with a dear friend over at GR, Isaac. I met him through the short story Gypsy Rain and we've read them all together since. Since Garrett's stories are known to break your heart it's always nice to have a hand to hold while reading, even if it is virtual and across the world. There was so much we both wanted to say and I know I didn't cover everything so Isaac's review is right after mine. I think between the two of us we managed to say everything we needed to. Oh, who am I kidding? We didn't but at least you'll get two reader's thoughts and hopefully it will motivate you to read this amazing book.


Only Love is about Max and Jed. They are two men who come together out of circumstances that neither chose, but try to make the best out of and unexpectedly find something in each other. Both men are physically damaged, one by war and one by genetics, but they have to live with their illnesses for the rest of their lives. It’s something that weighs on each of them and they both ask themselves, how do I take care of the man I’m falling in love with when I can barely take care of myself? Add to the mix they are very proud men who hate that they need help. I really appreciated the subtlety the author used to show the very thing that kept them at arms’ length from each other, their pride, was the thing they truly understood and respected in each other. The reticence that each man had about their insecurities was not overdone at all, so I could completely appreciate and empathize with how they felt without getting frustrated at their stubbornness.

A running theme for Jed throughout the book is his overwhelming feeling of apathy that both plagued and confused him. Honestly, there were so many moments in Jed’s life that were heartbreaking, but this was the worst for me. His army career is over due to his illness and he’s finishing out his last days of service.

“His crew had three weeks left of their marathon tour of Iraq, and it felt like fate. His military career was over, and he didn’t much care. The depth of his apathy surprised him. He’d given the Army more than a decade of his life, and with his days numbered, he’d expected to feel more. Instead he felt nothing . . .nothing but a flat sense of impending doom. War had sucked the life from him, but without it, what was he?”

For the first time in forever he is without direction and dealing with the chronic pain leaves him floating through his days. He doesn’t sleep and he can’t eat but he still carries the world on his shoulders and it isn’t until he meets Max that he sees a little light. Max recognizes the apathy in Jed and quietly begins caretaking him. Max really is a caregiver by nature who doesn’t trust his ability to take care of someone else. Jed really is the perfect person for Max to look after. Max knew that
“he (Jed) was perfectly capable of looking after himself. His worry, he supposed, was that Jed wouldn’t bother.”

Some of the sweetest moments are the little things that Max does. Jed is trained to notice everything and he sees and appreciates all the little things so much. For every little thing that Max does, Jed does things for Max in kind and it’s a quiet courtship that I enjoyed reading immensely.

The secondary characters are very strong and there isn’t one who doesn’t add to getting to know Max and Jed. Jed’s army team is met in flashbacks and in one case, the most heart wrenching letter ever written. Towards the end we get introduced to the remaining members and throughout, there was no doubt of the connection these men shared. The flashbacks were heartbreaking and hard to read, but they explained so much about Jed, his relationship with Glenn and Paul especially. Paul, the closest person to Jed in his entire life, who we only know through flashbacks and that damn letter is central to who Jed is and while their relationship was obviously complex and too undefined to explain, they kept each other sane through the insanity of their missions. Max’s family is great, as is Carla, Dan and their whole clan. The most important secondary character has to be Flo, Max’s helper dog. I fell in love with Flo as fast as she fell for Jed. Now Nick, Jed’s brother, I still want to punch, that never changed.

At one point Max summed up Jed perfectly with “He said exactly what he thought or nothing at all”. It’s so simple but really profound and really summed up what always impresses me about Garrett’s writing. In Only Love, Jed and Max, well Jed especially, are very private and quiet people. Max needs the calm and quiet to keep his brain in line and Jed needs it to keep his demons at bay. The quiet cabin at the lake is the perfect place for them and considering how little they say, it’s amazing how much I felt like I knew them. All their deeds had purpose and I was shown how they felt throughout, I didn’t have to be told every change in mood. I felt that I could read them as well as if I was in the same room with them.

I’ve read a couple other reviews and I know there have been a few comments from other readers about the amount of sex in this one. I think just because, if you’ve read Garrett’s other works, you know that sex was how those characters connected and communicated. This was different though and I can completely respect that difference because it made sense. Anything else I would have questioned. It wasn’t like Max and Jed didn’t have sex and didn’t connect, because believe me, they did, and how. But, Jed is suffering from a chronic illness, for them to fuck like bunnies would not have made sense to me. What did make sense was how much Jed loved to kiss Max and those moments were so very special. Considering how he had lived and loved up until that point, it was no wonder simple kissing could be so incredibly intimate.

I do have to tell you about one of my favorite things in the book, it was very subtle and I absolutely loved it. There were two separate moments where one man filed away something about the other that they discovered. Things they wanted to remember because making the other happy was becoming more and more important. So, Max has a “Jed” part of his brain and Jed has a “Max” part of his brain.

When you read Only Love, plan on reading Awake and Alive immediately after. Only Love is about the meat and potatoes while Awake and Alive is dessert and it cannot be missed. The few little things I thought were missing in Only Love were provided in Awake and Alive, it really does complete Max and Jed’s story.


FINALLY. I wrote my review...and some jabbering too...

Because lemme tell you, I'm in bits. Again. As ever with Garrett Leigh, I've had to take a day or so to get myself together. Only Love is perfectly titled. I'm a mess.

Okay, okay... Now to be coherent...

I'm not going to summarize the plot and I'll try my best not to spoil, but read with caution. If you haven't read the book, all I can say is you freakin have to. Go get it now!

Right: the MCs...

I was always going to love Jed. Wounded, grouchy war vet. Tattooed. Well read. LINGUISTIC. I was gone from the blurb.

Max crept up on me. Epileptic, sweet and kind, it took me a while to see the layers Garrett Leigh cleverly wrote into him.

And Flo. That dog gave me my first major drop kick of feelz. I've read service dogs in books before and always smiled fondly, but the way this dog became integral to the plot, and the military dog from Jed's past too....major, major feelz.

Family plays a strong part in this novel, and yet again, the author has taken a very different slant on the usual nuclear family. There are blood ties here, but the two MCs are both deeply bonded to outsiders, the Valesco siblings and parents, Jed to his surviving men and their families. I liked this very much. In a book filled with much tragedy, it was a beacon of hope and warmth.

Of the secondary characters I particularly loved Carla and Dan. Dan kinda reminded me of Joe from Roads, that fraternal love he had for Jed felt like an old friend and reminded me that though Jed was often stubborn and closed off, he was a man loved dearly by so many.

And don't get me started on Paul. The dude was dead from the first chapter but his letter slayed me. I know we all say we're weeping over a book in our reviews time and time again, but that letter was a masterpiece in emotive writing.

From the military boys, I loved Glenn and I wished there had been more of him. I kinda feel he was dangled in front of me, only to disappear at the end of the book. Yeah, yeah, the book was about Jed and Max, not some straight army doctor, but I felt a click for the dude.

Sue me.

My minor gripes... One thing I picked up on, both reading and from another reviewer, was the lack of the traditional 'I love you' dialogue between the two MC's. I noticed this in Garrett Leigh's other books too, so i'm assuming it's a kinda signature for her, but in this particular book, though I never doubted the depth of feeling between Jed and Max, I felt that maybe Max especially needed to be TOLD that Jed loved him, by Jed, maybe more than once, given what they go through.

So yeah, not a big quibble, and like Heather the Dentist said in her excellent review, in this book actions do indeed speak louder than words. The emotions are palpable on every page and though this book broke my heart in many ways, I couldn't put it down.

What else, what else...

Sex. There isn't much of it, which surprised me given the intensity of the Roads series and the dirty pleasure of the authors porn star novella, Bullet. The passion between Jed and Max is there, but it very much takes a backseat to the plot and until I read the missing moment (Awake and Alive) it almost felt like an afterthought.

I say afterthought, because now, after scanning over the book again and taking some time to consider the characters and the plot, I'm not altogether sure the book needed more sex than it had. The plot of this book is a story of real enduring love and I didn't feel like I needed a bunch of on page blow jobs to make it better.

Need and like are different things though, and not gonna lie, even broken, Jed was smokin hot and more of him nekkid and dominating Max woulda made my already blown away perfect day.

So, to sum up, this book is amazing. Beautifully crafted, it's a sweet, slow burning, heartbreaking ride that still aches even now. Jed and Max both have tragic stories and ongoing hardships they will have to live with for the rest of their lives, but out of heartache comes hope and the ending of this book is just beautiful.

This is the ultimate hurt/comfort book. The ultimate wounded war vet book. The ultimate man and his dog book.

But above all, an enduring love story that left a scar on me. Bravo, Garrett Leigh. You never fail to surprise me.

A copy of this book was provided for an honest review

Review: Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

Love, like everything in the universe, cannot be destroyed. But over time it can change.

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim’s heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart.

Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

"Too sad to review yet, my heart needs to recover. I think a girl should be warned by fellow Unicorns if her heart is going to be stomped all over."

This is the status that is still on my goodreads review from when I read this book back in January. Jay Bell is a favourite author with many of the Unicorns and after all their chat about how brilliant he was I decided I need to try some of his stuff. Naturally I chose the series he is best known for and started with Something Like Summer. And I loved it, I really did.

Jay Bell has a very easy to read style of writing. His characters' draw you in and make you want to read more...and a bit more...and maybe just a tad more...
I loved Ben and Tim. They were both so well rounded, neither were perfectly good or completely bad. Do bad things happen to good people? Damn right they do. Do good people make ill advised decisions? You bet. It wasn't clear cut, straight forward, black 'n' white, good and bad.
As well as Ben and Time we meet many other characters, Alison and Jace are two that feature prominently. They are brilliant - Jace particularly stole my heart, he was fun and loving and kind and generous, I have a thing for many secondary characters and Jace is a winner in my book.

The story is written in three parts, 1996, 1999 and 2003. We see Ben grow up, deal with his feelings, with his friendships and relationships. Like many of Jay Bell's books this has a secondary storyline of bullying. It's there, subtly woven into the story, showing enormous understanding of the mental toll bullying can have.
The story was apprehensive - yet satisfying. It was angsty in a natural way, a way that didn't feel forced or conveniently there just for the story. It was romantic - boy was it romantic. Love is definitely an overriding theme in this story - and not just sex though that's there *cheesy grin* - but love, proper, in your soul, love.

So why the long time without a review? This book is fun, it's dramatic, it's romantic - it's that book you can't put down. The characters draw you in, you become embroiled in their lives. It's the kind of book that gives you the worst book hangover. But, at times, it's sad - like I said it broke my heart. It wasn't that the ending wasn't happy but the journey was difficult. It's taken me this long, in a totally good way, to prepare myself to write this review.

I'm being vague because I would hate to ruin this book for anyone - I think you all should read it. But my kindness to you is to tell you to get the tissues ready beforehand and maybe some sellotape to help patch your heart back up at the end.

Review: Rules of the Chef (Southern Charm #1) by Nicole Dennis

When hotelier Samuel Ashford arrives to change things, Southern Charm chef Dakota Mitchell fights against it and nothing will be the same.

Learning about the sale of his beloved home – The Southern Charm, chef and co-owner Dakota Mitchell is having a hard time with the potential changes. He wants nothing else to alter.

Chosen by his family's company Ashford Hotels to re-create the Charm into the latest chain of boutique hotels, Samuel Ashford enters the Deep South. Inside the overgrown, run down appearance, he learns the Charm is run by people who care and love the building, the delicious food, and their guests.

Can these two put aside differences and arguments to save the Charm? Even if it means they find a little love along the way.

I really loved the premise of this story. I was expecting enemies to lovers, southern charm, quirky secondary characters and a small town I wanted to visit on vacation. The story started out well, Dakota is slightly cantankerous, but given the news his business partner is selling his half of the business to a big hotel chain I could sympathize with him. When Samuel shows up the metaphorical fur flies and of course there is attraction. The tension was delicious and when Dakota stopped an argument with a heated angry kiss I was like “woohoo, here we go!”

What followed was a push and pull of emotional whiplash. Honestly, Dakota became a little exhausting. I get that he is passionate about his restaurant and I can forgive artists for a little crazy behavior and I do see a chef as an artist. But to me he read as just plain unstable and I kind of felt bad for Samuel. Dakota had a reaction at one point that was just over the top and it took me out of the moment. There was begging on knees involved. Samuel just kept commenting about what a good kisser Dakota was though, so lucky for Dakota or Samuel may have lost his patience and hightailed it back to New York.

There were a few practical things that threw me off. I can usually be pretty forgiving with one or two licenses with reality when it comes to moving a story along, but these just didn’t make sense to me, especially given the fact that the whole crux of the story is the business of the hotel. Samuel Ashford is part of the Ashford family who owns the powerful Ashford hotel chain. So, I was a little surprised that Samuel spent so much time on his own sorting paperwork. Seriously, that was most of what he did, sorting and filing. At least that is how it was described. It sounds nitpicky, but it seemed like a waste of resources when someone, anyone could have helped him. I know he was waiting on Chandler to come down from Corporate (more on Chandler in a minute), but come on somebody could help the guy and move the process along.

Then, when Dakota was telling Samuel about one of his employees who had a sick mother and Samuel makes a comment about employees getting health insurance (good, obviously) and then “I’ll see what we can do to waive the time (to wait to join the health care plan) for Dorian and his mom and figure out a way around her pre-existing condition.” Hmmm. I don’t think that is how insurance works. I even did a little research (yeah, I geeked out a little, plus I’ve done HR work) and apparently it is VERY difficult and VERY rare to add a parent to health insurance much less one with a very serious pre-existing medical condition, you don’t just “find a way around it”. So, yeah, sorry, I geeked out a lot. But when stuff is thrown out so casually and it’s so not accurate, the whole “business” aspect of the story loses credibility. I need the basics to be a little believable and at least ballpark accurate.

 There was repeated reference to a character that I kept waiting to meet. Chandler sounded intriguing and when he still hadn’t been introduced by the 70% mark I was getting a little concerned he may never show. Apparently he is a whiz with numbers and Samuel’s best friend, but he has some anxiety issues that make travel difficult. He could really be a great character, unfortunately he was never introduced in this story so that was a bit of a letdown. There were some great secondary characters though, Mal, one of Dakota’s assistants, Cecile, the hostess and Elise, the front desk manager. I liked all of them a lot and conversations with them were much more organic than conversations between Samuel and Dakota.

The conversations between Samuel and Dakota were honest in that they told exactly what they felt, but that was part of the problem, I was told, not shown how they felt for each other. As their relationship progressed it became even more so. Quotes like:

“I want to hold you like I did our first morning together. It was the first time being true to ourselves and our desires.”

That doesn’t sound like a natural part of a conversation and if I’ve been shown that, I don’t need to be told, the second sentence makes the declaration sound awkward and soap opera-ish. A little editing would have helped the conversations.

During the last quarter of the book a lot of new characters were introduced and serious drama happened. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to get wrapped up in the small portion of the story left. We met a contractor, sheriff, doctor, and we are led to believe we will meet a landscaper and accountant. And guess what, they are all gay and all hot. Although I’m assuming the gay and hot on the landscaper and assuming the hot on the accountant, because we know he is gay from Samuel’s description. The contractor, sheriff and Dakota are all quite tall apparently and it was pointed out repeatedly in comparison to Samuel’s more diminutive stature. They were referred to as “the taller males” and at one point Samuel “flushed under the wonderful masculine attention”. During the whole story Samuel was the one with the voice of reason and strength and in a sentence or two and with the introduction of a couple of characters it seemed he was emasculated before my very eyes. I get he was flattered, but he’s a grown man and not a blushing virgin bride. That kind of bummed me out.

The story ends with a HFN, sort of as Samuel has only committed to extending his stay, the mystery of the shoddy bookkeeping was not solved, the other late breaking drama was not solved and a lot of doors to sequels were opened, but this one gave no closure. I’m totally fine with sequels and series, I love them, but this just ended so I felt a little gipped at the end. I’m curious to see who the sequel will be about and will look into it when it’s released because I still love the premise of this series. I’m hoping the next story will get a little bit more traction because I know that sometimes it takes a book or two for a series to find its groove. I hope the Southern Charm series finds its own groove in the next book.

A copy of this story was provided in exchange for an honest review

Only Love by Garrett Leigh Teaser

The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.

We are lucky, lucky unicorns to be part of Garrett Leigh's blog tour for Only Love. I stayed up RIDICULOUSLY late/early to read this. There was no putting it down for me and I'll be posting my review as soon as I marinate in all the feelings a little more. In the meantime though, Garrett has been kind enough to share an excerpt, the beginning of Chapter 8 from Only Love.

Enjoy, I know you will!

Chapter Eight

The next couple weeks passed Jed by in a blur of painful physical therapy. Carla Valesco kept her promise to push him hard, and her sessions were tough—tougher than he’d ever imagined. He spent four days a week pushing his body to its absolute limits and the rest of his time putting it back together. His muscles burned and his bones ached, but he didn’t mind. For the first time in months, his pain was productive. And yet, despite significant progress, in his darker moments it was hard not to feel depressed by his body’s restrictions. He felt brittle and weak, like the man who had run cross-country with the weight of full combat kit was gone forever.

The onset of a bitter winter hadn’t helped. At first, the thin dusting of snow was beautiful. It brought with it a brief, awestruck calm, like man and beast were asleep, but the wet Oregon days weren’t cold enough to keep the world peacefully white for long. By day, the slush was halfhearted and wet, but at night it froze to perilous ice, and the real fear of falling unnerved Jed far more than he cared to admit. His saving grace was Max. Jed left the cabin each morning to find the yard cleared and the truck scraped. He was a little bemused by the unobtrusive care Max had decided to take of him, and he was grateful. Grateful and… something. It had been a long time since he’d been cared for by anyone, let alone another man. One of his buddies taking an extra patrol didn’t count. That was work. Max? Max was… fuck, Jed had no idea.

All he knew was he felt drawn to Max in a way he hadn’t felt since he met Paul. Back then, he’d been captivated by Paul’s easy ways and wicked humor, but despite his addictive, devilish grin and the unresolved complications between them, it wasn’t the same as the way Max’s gleaming eyes made his head spin. Some days it unsettled him to the point where he avoided Max, and yet others, he found he couldn’t get enough. He hadn’t decided which sort of day it was when he drifted out of the hospital one cold afternoon a week or so before Christmas to find Max perched on the back of his truck…

All I can say is, YES, the whole book is this good.