M/M Review: Stand By You by A.M. Arthur

Stand by YouStand By You (Belonging #3) by A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Review Source: Publisher
Date Released: Oct. 20, 2014
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis:
Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job—bussing tables at his friend’s new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He’s working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex’s abuse, he’s wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it’s been easy—but Brendan’s feelings aren’t just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy’s friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence—his heart.

My Thoughts:

This book was, overall, a very enjoyable read. The plot had just enough strife and self-doubt to keep it going, but not so much that it felt like you were getting bogged down in unnecessary conflict. It addressed many real life problems, such as abuse, self-discovery, social prejudice, and even rape. It was fast-paced but didn’t feel rushed.

The characters were all well-developed, even those that could’ve possibly been described as being a cliché. Through the book you begin to fall in love with Brandon, the tall, dark, and silent protagonist, and with Romy, a character who isn’t as much of a meek follower as is originally thought. The friends that they have lend a light-hearted and occasionally guiding component to the book. There was a family element, and that family accurately showed the reactions many non-heterosexual people have to face, everywhere from ignorant acceptance to hostile rejection. It kept the book from being unrealistically happy while keeping it out of the trenches of despair.

There was some confusion with the names for me, a few of them being too similar for me to be able to tell which one a character was referring to, but it’s very possible that was a problem with me and not the book.

Exclusive M/M erotic PNR Excerpt & GiveAway: Shifting Sands (Strength of the Pack #4)

shifting sandsShifting Sands
Strength of the Pack Book 4
Joy Lynn Fielding
Genre: M/M paranormal erotic romance
Publisher: Siren BookStrand
Date of Publication: 27th March 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62741-494-4
Number of pages: 165
Word Count: 50,882
Cover Artist: Christine Kirchoff

Book Description:

The visit to Elk Ridge is supposed to be just another assignment for Tom Barrington. Then he encounters Bryce Reynolds, a generous, warmhearted cowboy who has the easiest smile he’s ever seen. It doesn’t take long for Tom to break all his rules and end up in Bryce’s bed.

Bryce Reynolds believes there’s no such thing as a hot politician, right up until he meets Tom Barrington. Tall, dark, and principled, Tom overturns all of Bryce’s prejudices, and Bryce starts to forget that he doesn’t do serious and he doesn’t do commitment.

As Bryce and Tom struggle to make sense of what’s happening between them, they’re drawn into a political battle—one which could affect the future of every shifter. And when long-buried secrets start coming to light, things turn deadly. Nothing will ever be the same again for the Elk Ridge pack.

Note: This is book 4 but it can be read as a standalone
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Exclusive excerpt for Darker Passions

“Did you get everything you need?” Bryce asked.

Tom looked over to find Bryce was pulling on a long-sleeved T-shirt. It was a real shame to see that body covered.

“I need to see the room where the meeting’s going to be held. I’ll put in a preliminary report tonight, and Jax, the head of Council security, will be here tomorrow. I’m sorry to say that he’s probably going to ask exactly the same questions I have, as well as a hell of a lot more.”

“Doesn’t sound the most efficient use of taxpayers’ money,” Bryce said, opening the kitchen door and holding it for Tom to follow him.

Tom shrugged noncommittally. He didn’t disagree, but at the same time, sometimes the only way to spot that there was something wrong was by comparing different versions of what they’d been told.

“We’ve only got two rooms that would be large enough for everyone,” Bryce said. “I don’t know whether Matt will go with the kitchen or the living room. Depends on how formal he’s feeling, I guess—or how much coffee everyone’s going to need.”

Tom nodded absently as he glanced around the kitchen again. It was wide open to the yard with those windows—any sniper would have a field day from the trees. There was a door that opened into a pantry and another to a small room crammed with boots and coats and a washer and dryer, which also had an external door. He frowned slightly as he saw the number of boots and the range of different sizes.

“How many of the pack actually live here?”

“All of us.”

He turned and stared at Bryce. “Doesn’t that get a bit claustrophobic?”

“Not so far,” he said. “Though at the rate we seem to be adding new members, that might change.”

“Colby’s not the only newcomer, then?”

Bryce settled himself back against the washing machine. Tom’s gaze was drawn to the way that showed off his long legs in those tight jeans, and then he found himself staring at the buckle of his belt, from where it was so easy to let his gaze drop the tiniest bit to notice the appealing way the denim bulged slightly.

“You may as well know up front—Jesse, our Argent, only joined us a few months ago.” Bryce’s voice broke into Tom’s cowboy fantasy, bringing his mind back onto why he was here. “He’d been on his own up till then.”

Tom was still not convinced that Jesse Turner really was an Argent, though he had more sense than to mention that fact to Bryce. “I’m guessing the councilors are going to want to know where he comes from,” he said, in what might just be the understatement of the century.

“Ya think?” Bryce’s lips curved into a smile.

“I’m not paid to do that,” Tom disclaimed. “I’m just the muscle.”

Bryce made a point of looking very slowly and appreciatively over his body. “You sure are,” he said, and then grinned at Tom in a way that made such a cheesy line somehow endearing. “I also think you’re selling yourself way short, for what it’s worth.”

Tom shrugged, uncomfortable with the feeling that Bryce actually meant what he said, rather than saying it just to flatter Tom. “So this other meeting room…” he suggested.

As he followed Bryce along the hallway, he wondered why Bryce’s obvious and repeated come-ons weren’t off-putting. He thought it was because, despite his lines, there was nothing sleazy about him. He was just putting it out there that he found Tom attractive, but not in a way that left Tom feeling uncomfortable. The fact Bryce was extremely easy on the eye didn’t hurt, of course.

 

About the Author:

Joy Lynn Fielding is a sucker for happy endings. She believes, however, that if characters don’t suffer along the way, they won’t fully appreciate being happy. Not all of her characters thank her for this viewpoint, but what do they know?

Joy lives in a small English market town, but also inhabits a number of fictional worlds at any one time, reflecting what she’s writing and what she’s reading. She has a tendency to share enthusiastically with anyone who will listen the latest fascinating facts she’s stumbled across in her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador, who has a gift for looking as though he’s interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.

http://joyfielding.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/joylynn.fielding

 

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ARC Review: Took My Breath Away

*Warning: Contains BDSM elements with M/M spanking scenes.*

Took My Breath Away

Took My Breath Away (All They Ever Needed #2) by Thianna D.
Publisher: LazyDay Publishing
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: December 18, 2013
My Rating: 5 ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sometimes taking control is what you need to do and sometimes the best thing you can do is give that control up.

In the summer between Logan’s junior and senior years of college, these two will find out more about each other and themselves than they imagined.

While unhappy to be missing four weeks of Christian’s company, Logan is thrilled to spend a month with his father’s relatives in New York.  A naturally gregarious individual, he is used to winning people over and getting things right. Unfortunately, the Mannettes are not what he expects and for the first time in his life, he finds himself seriously doubting who he is.

Christian has regained some of his old self-esteem and is taking on new challenges. Besides growing in the relationship he has with Logan, he takes the time his boyfriend is away to learn more about domestic discipline. He learns a little online but it is actually Gregory, Logan’s father, where he gains most of his information. Including the fact that his natural strength puts him in a leadership position he isn’t expecting.

When Logan returns to a strong, self-assured Christian, it is with complete relief. As discussions turn to domestic discipline and they realize their true roles within their current and future relationship, both of them are able to let their inhibitions go and together their connection grows surprising Logan to an epiphany.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the All They Ever Needed Trilogy and it starts out a few months after the end of As Natural As Breathing. You must read the first book before this one as it is the continuation of the story.

I fell even more in love with Christian. Watching him grow into a confident man who truly accepts himself in all aspects was heartwarming. I could feel his struggles and that made it all the sweeter when he was well enough to rescue Logan and be the man that he needed. The relationship between Christian and Logan’s dad was great. I was so glad when he had someone to talk things out with.

I got see the vulnerable side to Logan. There’s a bit more angst in this one with Logan’s family. They really know how to manipulate and get what they want. Logan’s confusion and the war within himself to be strong for his parents was gut wrenching. His emotional and mental anguish was palpable. When Logan finally admitted he needed help and leaned on Christian was wonderful and the love between the two just grew stronger.

Overall a fantastic read and one I will visit again and again. I’m just waiting not so patiently for the third book to come out.

Review: As Natural As Breathing

Contains BDSM elements with M/M spanking. If this content offends you, please do not continue.

As Natural As BreathingAs Natural As Breathing by Thianna D.
Pages: 213
Publisher:  LazyDay Publishing
Review Source: Publisher/Netgalley
Release Date: August 7, 2013
My Rating: 5  ★★★★★

Synopsis:

For Christian Darringer, life isn’t worth living. Just back from the Middle East; scarred and with permanent damage to one leg, he does not think anyone will want him for anything. Meeting a gorgeous man he finds himself thinking about constantly is not in his plans. Pulled toward the startling younger man with striking blue eyes, he begins to question a lot of things – especially his sexuality. Not one to hide from a challenge, he plunges ahead only to find himself more than just attracted to Logan who is full of life and joy, he finds himself head over heels in love.

Logan Mannette has almost everything he ever wanted: loving parents, happiness, friends and security. The only thing missing is finding the love of his life, a love that is just like his parents’. When he meets Christian at a party, everything changes. Instantly attracted, he does his best to help this sad man and quickly finds himself feeling more than he has ever felt before. Raised in a domestic discipline household, he holds that ideal as what he wants but his interest in spanking became a fetish and when Christian admits that he wants to be spanked; Logan believes he might have found the perfect man.

Just as everything begins for them, Christian’s past intercedes and one of his brothers makes waves about him dating a man. If it weren’t for Logan’s support, he might fold; but with the love of one amazing man, Christian finds that living his life rather than just existing is as natural as breathing.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this wonderful love story. I didn’t put it down until I was done. There’s little to no angst, don’t mistake that for no drama or tension there is that just not so much between Christian and Logan.

Christian is home after being injured, by his own men,  serving over sea. Not only does he have the physical injury and PTSD to deal with, he has to face the fact that his own men tried to kill him for standing up for another. He’s at his lowest point when he meets Logan, a young man that can actually make him laugh. Christian has never been attracted to a man and the struggle and growth he goes through to accept it in himself and with Logan was at times difficult to read. But to see the love between the two grow was wonderful. Thianna really made me feel Christians conflicting emotions and fight to accept himself.  It felt that just as Christian accepted his sexuality and comes out to his parents and closest friend, Kelli.  Then his brother, Brian, shows up with all his sanctimonious crap. I really hate Brian and people like him that make all Christians look bad. I really wanted Christian to kick his ass.

I can’t say enough good about Logan. I just love him. He is funny; I had a grin most of the way through the book. He was patient, understanding and compassionate  with Christian which was just what he needed. He may be the younger in the relationship, but with his experience he was the one in the lead, especially with the sexual aspects of the relationship. All I’ll say is  that Logan can give a good spanking 😉 The sexual tension and desire these two have for each other is palpable.

This first story ends with a very satisfying HFN.  I’m looking forward to the continuation of Christian and Logan’s story in Took My Breath Away which is due out on Dec. 18, 2013.

As Natural As Breathing on Amazon