A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Nuts (Ace’s Wild #2) by S.E. Jakes — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5 This series takes place in the same town, though each book is by a different author. Jagger and Preston meet on the first day of junior year after Preston gets punished for flunking out of several private schools and sent to a rough Boston public school. Although Jagger is […]

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ghost House by Jacqueline Grey — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 The main characters are a college student named Andrew, who is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and a mysterious man named Caius, whom he keeps dreaming about after spending the night in a haunted house. I think the blurb tells you everything […]

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Review: Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey and Stephanie Locey

LoveIsAWalkInThePark_Cover
Cover design by: Meredith Russell

I would rate this 3.75 stars.

Sullivan is a dancer with big dreams of Broadway, but has ended up teaching mostly kids and the elderly at a rundown dance studio. He has a pitbull named Princess Pizazz Periwinkle, no really. One morning he sees Duane in the dog park with his Yorkie named Tiberius. It’s lust at first sight, but Duane is shy and a little awkward about putting himself out there. Sullivan has no such issues and Duane’s roomate Ronan helps encourage Duane. Of course, Pizzy and Tibby are doggie besties from there on out.

This story is told in alternating first person so the reader gets Sullivan and Duane’s thoughts throughout the book. Although the addition of details about their friends adds depth, Sullivan’s relationship with Aliyah mostly consists of insults, his awe of her art, and the fact she wealthy and it’s her condo. Duane’s relationship with Ronan mostly consists of him listening to Duane’s dramas. The book is realistic in it’s depiction of day to day life and trying to fit relationships in between work and sleep. There always has to be a conflict and in this case, it’s external to the relationship. Be aware there is an on page sexual assault. Emergencies and our reactions to them either drawn us closer, or push us apart from people. In this case, it’s all handled fairly quickly with not a lot of detail, allowing for minimal angst on the reader’s part. The final obstacle is when Duane’s parents come for a visit. Overall this is a sweet story of boy meets boy with explicit, but low heat, love scenes and a happily ever after.

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 Jim does everything in his power to not have to ask his sister Sarah for help, but when it’s not enough, he ends up staying at her house until he can get back on his feet. Sarah’s husband is a reverend and his flavor of religion can’t coexist with […]

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 The is book three in the Endangered Fae series. While you could probably read this alone, it would be best if you started from book one. Having said that, this is the best book so far and shows what could have been possible in the first two books. This […]

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Review: My Cocky Cellist by Cole McCade, Undue Arrogance 2

 

My Cocky Cellist cover
Cover Artist: Cole McCade

I would rate this 4 stars.

 

Vic Newcomb has been best friends with Ash since boarding school. He is briefly in book one. You don’t have to read book one or read these in order to understand the plot. Since he’s suffering from hypertension, Ash books him in with his masseuse, Amani Idrissi. Vic is the rich, egostistical, privileged, white man. Amani is the poor, talented, hardworking black man working his way through school. Vic is intrigued by him and during the course of their conversation offers to pay him for cello lessons. He ends up paying him for something else entirely, and that twists the layers of intimacy they are creating. As they both fall in love, trying to remember this is a business contract, they hurt each other.

I liked the characters and wanted them to be happy together. The author’s writing style weaves the audience into their intimacy with alternating POVs. Even though the words master and sub are used, the kink is mild and has more to do with voluntary power exchange. This also plays with the bi for you/out for you trope. With all of Amani’s pride at the beginning of this, it all but disappears as they become a couple. It seems unlikely that the money was such a big deal, is just no longer an issue. It also seems strange Vic doesn’t tell Ash about Amani. There are never any ramifications to a rich, famous, straight CEO suddenly dating a femme, black Moroccan man. In other words, it’s a nice fantasy, but I wanted a little more realism–a little more depth. However, there are references to Richard Gere, so if this is a take on Pretty Woman, that may be unfair of me and there is something to be said for writing the world how we want it to be.

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: One Step Back by Edie Danford — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 Asher is the good boy nerd and Joe is the bad boy jock. Joe’s mom and Asher’s dad have been dating for four years and are about to get married before everything falls apart. Eleven years later, Asher and Joe meet again at a business meeting when they realize […]

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A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: A Deeper Blue (The Game #2) by S.E. Harmon — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 This is the second book in the series and should be read in order for maximum emotional impact. A year later, Blue is still basically in the closet. Happily ever afters are work. So, I’m not going to lie: I was upset about Blue using a beard. Keeping this […]

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Review: The Blueprint by S.E. Harmon, The Game 1

The Blueprint Cover
Cover Artist is Kanaxa

I would rate this 4.25 stars.

Kelly Cannon is having a very bad night. This book throws you in the deep end immediately. But sometimes you can’t ignore things anymore and Kelly is in love with his best friend, NFL player Britton “Blue” Montgomery. With Blue under so much pressure in his career, to have to worry about losing his best friend too is not helping. I can say I liked Kelly right away. I loved the use of humor. It took me longer to warm up to Blue, but then he does get less time on page at the beginning. After being in their heads, I can say these two deserve each other. The most difficult part of this book is being in Blue’s head, how does he not know?! Oh course, it’s obvious why. But, there comes a point when he can’t lie to himself anymore either. Turning a 17 year friendship into a relationship is not without its ups and downs.

This just feels natural. I love their interactions. Even during sex, they are themselves with humor and banter. Just when I thought they couldn’t be mature about things, they proved me wrong. The reminiscing about childhood events really works in this story as they both think about how much their relationship means to them. Kelly’s family adds so much to this story, I can’t imagine it without them but, it makes Blue’s family a glaring omission. I would have liked to see them too, even though his dad doesn’t sound pleasant. There is nothing about his brother. Still, they have made an impact on who Blue is and it would have added another layer.

There were small issues I had, like how accepting everyone is, which is less realistic than the rest of the book. There is also the timing of Kelly basically giving Blue an ultimatum–while I understood his feelings and why, the particular moment had me more sympathetic with Blue than Kelly. Maybe that’s on purpose though, and I just didn’t realize it. For anyone who likes friends to lovers, the nerd and the jock theme, and bisexual for you, as well as a coming out story, this is your book. Because there is a full range of emotions here, and it’s realistic without being overly dramatic, it doesn’t feel like a list of tropes.

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Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen, This Time Forever 1

Building Forever Cover
Cover By: Natasha Snow

I would rate this 4.5 stars

Charlie is a widower with a teenage daughter and a crush on his neighbor. Simon is on the rebound and rebuilding his life in a new state at a new job. When Simon’s ex Brian steps back into the picture, and Charlie needs to prioritize his daughter Olivia over his love life, things get complicated.

I find that I like the dual POV in alternating chapters approach rather than the willy nilly style some authors have. Seeing their relationship unfold from both sides made me care about each of them and I never struggled to figure out whose thoughts were whose. Charlie is adorable. His admitting he was bisexual and sharing that with his friend and daughter was handled in the confident way of someone who is honest with themself and others while still showing his doubts and anxieties. Simon is more serious and cautious, taking longer to think things through. I laughed out loud a few times; I felt weepy a few times too, and cringing–there was definately cringing. They burn up the sheets, but in a way that is real and human. They connect in that way that people do when they are actually honest when getting to know each, other instead of just putting on a face.

Their story is engaging with interesting side characters that give it richer layers: Simon’s friend Frank, Charlie’s friend Phil and his neighbor Cassie, Simon’s new business partner Aurther, even Charlie’s daughter Liv are all there to show us different facets of the MCs.

The difficult part about being in love and staying in love is the daily decision to–the decision to stay when things hurt, or are not fun and easy, but still confront and fix them. To think about what someone else needs even if they don’t communicate well or ask for help is part of building a partnership. Stressful things can either pull people apart or bring them closer together, and that’s a choice too.

Sometimes I feel like I judge books too harshly, like I’m being mean, but then I read a book like this and I know that all the books I gave a lower rating to are missing what this book has, and I feel fine about it. This is the kind of romance I want to read, regardless of genre.

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