MyFictionNook

Sandra @ My Fiction Nook

I like romance and boys loving boys in my books. 

You can also find me on my main blog

 

 




1417 Devotees
124 Devoted To
3267 BOOKS


Currently reading

Secrets and Charms
Lou Harper
Progress: 100 %
The Luckiest (Lucky Moon Book 2)
M.J. O'Shea, M.J. O'Shea
Progress: 100 %
My Favorite Uncle
Marshall Thornton
Progress: 100 %
The River Leith
Leta Blake
Progress: 100 %

Favorite quotes


Author Of The Month - Lane Hayes - Grand Finale

Join us again today for our Grand Finale celebrations, with a look at Leaning Into You, PLUS the exclusive cover reveal for the upcoming 2nd book in this series, Leaning Into The Fall, and excerpts from both books! We also have our Author Q&A, and one more chance to win one of Lane's books. 

 

Hope to see you there!! 

ARC Review: Class Distinctions by Rick R. Reed

Class Distinctions - Rick R. Reed

I read the 2nd edition of this book, out 2/25/17. 

 

 

 

A quick glimpse into the relationship and almost break-up of two college kids who are young, dumb, and in love.

Kyle and Jonathan, both freshmen at university, are madly in love. Except Kyle is ashamed of his humble background and believes that Jonathan and his rich parents will look down on Kyle's poor mother when they'll meet at the upcoming Parents' Weekend.

So, clearly, it's easier to just break Jonathan's heart, and his own. Right? Wrong!

In actuality, this book is simply too short. We don't get a full picture of their relationship, so it's difficult (not impossible) for the reader to put herself into the shoes of these young and dumb kids.

I would applaud Jonathan for not giving up on Kyle (after the initial shock wears off), and going after what he wants, demanding an explanation for that which is to him inexplicable. He does listen and learns something new about his boyfriend.

Kyle too learns that maybe he should have not assumed and instead be a grown-up and talk about his fears. Pulling the crap he pulled didn't win him any favors with me, even if I could to some extent understand his fears. Shame wasn't a good look on him, and while I felt sorry for him during his pain, he did bring this on himself.

The author does a really good job exploring the relationship each boy has with his mother, and that's where this book really worked. I also liked that we got a dual POV, as both Jonathan and Kyle deal with their equally broken hearts. There was a lot of emotion that really came across well in those lines.

I also liked that they both felt drawn to the special place where they shared their first kiss, and thus got a chance to find their way back to each other.

Still... not my favorite by this author. I think this story might have worked a little better if we had been given a bit of a lead-up to their almost break-up, and thus seen why they were so devastated, instead of simply being told they were.


** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost promotions as part of the re-release of this story. A positive review was not promised in return. **

ARC Review: Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

Dating Ryan Alback - J.E. Birk

Well... this was different.

We all know the trope - rich actor meets regular guy and romance ensues. And this book has that trope, except the way the rich actor meets the regular guy is unusual.

Ryan Alback, the actor in question, is a very private person and hates the limelight. He loves his job, but doesn't like being in the public eye. He's more or less a recluse, after a bad Hollywood relationship turned very sour and Ryan felt used.

During an interview shortly before Valentine's Day, the talk show host launches a Dating Game - people can write in to the show to possibly win a basically blind date with the hot actor. Reluctantly, Ryan agrees.

Fast forward a few weeks, and Jason Santos, a somewhat shy teacher who only allowed his friend to enter him if she would then leave him alone about his love life (or lack thereof), has been chosen as Ryan's perfect date, and the talk show is paying for a long weekend at a nice romantic hotel.

Both men have been burned in the past, and neither expects anything good to come from this weekend date, but they find that they do have some major things in common, and actually enjoy themselves. I really liked how the author didn't make things easy for them - their early interactions are rather awkward, like you'd expect two men to behave after having been put in the same location as nothing more than a publicity stunt.

Ryan had a very difficult time trusting Jason, and Jason seemed to be still very hung up on his ex-boyfriend (the guy who refused his marriage proposal and broke his heart), and I didn't really feel that there was any kind of spark at first between the two men.

Both of them were also really nice guys - Ryan being super normal and not blinded by his success, and Jason intent on starting a non-profit to help kids whose parents were undocumented immigrants.

Over the long weekend in Vermont, as they spend time together, both men realize that there might be something there after all, despite their somewhat unconventional way of meeting.

Of course, smooth sailing is out of the question, and Ryan's distrust for most people rears its ugly head when a tabloid posts pictures of them together, with what seems to be a quote from Jason.

I understood how Ryan could have misjudged this situation, and how angry he was, so angry that he wouldn't even listen to Jason defend himself and deny the accusation.

Obviously, at that point, the weekend is over and Jason flees the hotel at once, heading home and moving on.

I liked this a lot, and I was engaged from start to finish. Their story just easily flows, with ups and downs, and at no time was I bored. There aren't any major lulls, nor are there any rapid time jumps, and the development of their relationship seemed natural in the time frame in which it takes place.

Both Ryan and Jason must learn to trust each other, and this obviously takes time, especially considering how they both have been hurt before. I liked that Jason didn't look at Ryan as some famous movie star, but took the time to get to know the person behind the famous face. He also had some backbone, and didn't easily let Ryan off the hook.

What bothered me a bit, because I wanted them to have a HEA, is that at the end of the story it's not quite clear how they'll actually plan to be together - is Ryan going to move? Is Jason? Still, that didn't distract me from my enjoyment.

Extra points for including a sweet dog (Alby) who's afraid of her own shadow but who warms up to Jason eventually just the same as her owner. The rest of the supporting cast (Ryan's actor friend who gives him some long-overdue advice, Jason's teacher friend who meddles) was well done.

There is but little steam in this book, and while there are a few bedroom scenes, they're not super explicit. This story didn't need it - it's a sweet and adorable romance, and it should be read as such.

Recommended.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

ARC Review: Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay

Letters from Cupid - Ari McKay

This was the perfect Valentine's Day tale - two sweet, slightly nerdy profs communicating via letters in the weeks leading up to February 14th.

After overhearing a conversation in the office next door, occupied by one Dr. Derek Chandler, university professor, Macon Pinney (whose name I repeatedly read as Mason) disagrees with Derek's assessment of his love life and pens a letter to his colleague, signing it "Cupid".

And thus begins a back and forth correspondence between Macon/Cupid and the object of his affection, Derek. Except, of course, Derek has no idea who Cupid is - it certainly couldn't be the cute but aloof professor in the office next door. Right?

At the same time, Derek tries to get to know Macon in person, and confesses his innermost thoughts to Cupid. Who's also Macon.

But Macon thinks that Derek's gushing over the cute man he's interested in doesn't pertain to him, and is afraid that he might have lost his chance to win Derek's heart...

Seriously cute, even though the correspondence was a little stilted - I thought that just added to the charm. Both men didn't think they had a chance with the other, both of them hesitant to really open themselves up to possibly hurt, and thus super careful with revealing their desires. However, once the truth comes out... well, you read this for yourself.

If you're looking for a sweet Valentine's Day romance, try this one.


** I received a free copy of the 2nd edition of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Author Of The Month - Lane Hayes - Week Three

Join us today for our third week of celebrations for Lane Hayes, with a look at the Kind Of stories, and a personal story Lane has chosen to share. There's also another chance to win!!

Release Day ARC Review: Poppy's Secret by Andrew Grey

Poppy's Secret (Dreamspun Desires) - Andrew Grey

This is a sweet romance about a second chance at love between two men whose story was derailed 9 years prior when one of them got really cold feet and ran off, and a huge secret the other one's been keeping. It deals with family, forgiveness, and realizing where your heart belongs.

About nine years ago, Pat and Edge were in love and about to start a family. Except, as they were very young, Edge, a bit more of a free spirit, bolted to become a famous artist, and Pat ended up becoming a father to a little girl on his own.

Fast forward to current time, and Edge is back in town, wanting Pat back. And Pat's secret is likely to come out.

I liked this a lot. I fully understood Edge's reasons for leaving, and I also understood Pat's reason for letting him go without telling him the truth. Their biggest issue was communicating honestly, which, considering how young they were at the time, is also understandable.

The author did a fine job allowing the two men to rekindle their relationship, but also keeping the reader engaged by not making it easy for them. While the love between Edge and Pat has not cooled at all in their time apart, they both are different people than they were nine years ago, and Pat's daughter Emma is currently the biggest part of his life. They have to relearn each other, and carve out space to restart their relationship.

Both men also have to forgive the other, and I liked that the author didn't make that a simple thing. They had to talk, be honest, and figure out how to move beyond the hurt that Pat still feels when Edge comes back, and the massive secret Pat has been keeping from Edge.

Of course, this is a romance, so you know how this ends, right?

I also liked the supporting characters, especially Pat's little girl, and his mother. They really brought additional depth to the characters and the story. Emma was perhaps a little too precocious on occasion, but I ignored that for the most part. She was overall a sweet little thing, and I liked her. She was very open to having Edge in her father's (and her) life, as long as it made her Poppy happy. I'm glad that the author didn't portray her as jealous of the guy in her father's life after having him all to herself for so many years, and didn't use Emma as a plot device to create additional conflict.

I rather enjoyed reading this, and I think you will too.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Author of the Month - Lane Hayes - Week Two

Join us again today as we take a look at the Better Than series, with excerpts, as well as five little-known facts about Lane. And there's another chance to win, too! 

ARC Review: Do You Trust Me by B.G. Thomas

Do You Trust Me? - B.G. Thomas

I read the 2nd, revised edition of this book.

Do You Trust Me didn't work as well for me as Ben's other work, primarily because of the homophobia displayed by one of the main characters.

It's written in Ben's usual somewhat breathless style, and I enjoyed the story overall.

After the death of his wife, and the death of his best friend/brother-in-law, the newly widowed sister-in-law invites Neil to join them for a final vacation at a dude ranch, where Neil's daughter has spent a week each summer with her aunt and uncle for many years.

Neil has long buried the part of him that's gay, and has no plans on letting that part out even after his wife is dead. He's also still grieving his late wife, and his brother-in-law.

At the ranch, Neil is introduced to Cole, a young wrangler who happens to be gay and attracted to the older Neil.

This is also the part where I stopped enjoying this book for a while as Neil's suppressed sexuality makes an appearance dressed up as homophobia. The fact that he goes as far as complaining to the ranch's owner about Cole being gay really ticked me off, and I disliked Neil for a long while after, even if he eventually redeemed himself.

The book is unfortunately too short for me to believe in Neil's change of heart, his decision to have an affair/relationship with Cole, while continuing to question the gay part of himself, and their eventual HEA. It feels compressed into too few pages, considering they're only on the ranch for a week, and there just didn't seem enough time for someone who'd suppressed his homosexuality all his life to find the courage to come out, not only to himself but also to his family.

I think this book would have been better served by giving both Neil and Cole more time to realistically reach their happy ending.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

ARC Review: Just Like Cats And Dogs by B.A. Tortuga

Just Like Cats and Dogs (Sanctuary Book 1) - BA Tortuga

It took me a bit of time to warm up to this story, because it felt a little disjointed at the beginning, but then it sucked me right in and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

Sam, a feline shifter, was adopted as an orphan by a large family of wolf shifters who are part of an even larger pack. Being a cat, he never really fit in with the wolves, even though his mother tried hard to make him feel welcome. As soon as he could, Sam left the pack and struck out on his own.

Gus, a wolf shifter from the same pack, someone who bullied and tormented Sam when they were younger, can't quite believe it when he runs into Sam again by chance and feels a mating pull toward the cat.

Both Gus and Sam, as well as the rest of the pack, are rather animalistic even as humans, and I really liked that part of this mythology. They growl, they snap, they bite, they play; Sam thinks about tuna a lot (I mean A LOT), which was funny, and Gus was enamored with mostly raw meat and sweet stuff, especially chocolate in all forms.

They both realized early on that they were mates, even if that caused friction because of their different shifter species. Both of them eventually decide that the mating pull is more important and just go for it.

I giggled a lot, especially at the nicknames they have for each other - Puss and Pup. Hard to explain unless you read this book, and then I won't have to explain. I liked how Gus instinctively realized what Sam needed, and how he was hellbent on getting his Puss everything he wanted, even if that came at a cost to himself.

There are obviously struggles, what with the family dynamics for both of them, but they stick together and make it work. And there are some more sinister forces at work too that they have to overcome. Sorry, no spoilers here. You'll just have to read this book yourself.

I had some niggles though. I can excuse the lack of condom use bc they're shifters and thus immune to human diseases, though I would have liked to see it discussed at least. Sam's 17 siblings - only one of them really stood up for him, with the others treating him more like an outcast. Even his sister Helena, though initially on his side, struck out for me eventually. I had some confusion with some of the situations at Sam's loft in NYC, which I can't discuss without giving away a plot point, unfortunately.

Overall, this was a good and engaging story (once I got past the early parts), and I'm interested in checking out the next one in this series when it's available.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Book Review: Faking It (Metropolis #1) by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack

Faking It - Devon McCormack, Riley Hart

This was a fun romp. I enjoyed reading it, even if the characters are a bit of a stereotype, what with the washboard abs, the massive dicks (except for the bad guy; his dick is reportedly on the smaller side), the super-toned bods, and the fact that nearly everyone in this mostly fictional condo building just north of downtown Atlanta is gay and most of them fuck indiscriminately but safely. Wheeeee, they're young, they're hung, and they're having a good time.

There is lots and lots of steamy sexy times in this book too, and it would be very easy to dismiss it as just another stereotypical erotic romance BUT the two main characters actually do struggle to make sense of their lives and themselves. They do have feelings, they feel hurt and pain and grief, joy and happiness and heartbreak, and while they don't always make the best choices, they do try to get it right.

What begins as a fake relationship with hot sex turns into much more, even if there are roadblocks and fears. If you can look past the first person present tense and superficial descriptions of the hot bods all around, there is actually a sweet romance within.

I enjoyed it. YMMV.

ARC Review: Three Hearts by Grace R. Duncan

Three Hearts - Grace R. Duncan

Cover Reveal tomorrow, 2/4/17, on My Fiction Nook!!

 

 

The blurb tells you the gist of what you'll find within so I won't bore you with a repeat of that. I will however tell you that there is much more to this story than what you find hinted at in the blurb. I will also tell you that the female wolf mentioned doesn't play as big a role as the blurb might hint, but she is the catalyst for... well, you read this for yourself.

This book was a blast to read. I adored Liam Scott, and I adored Mason Hayes. I loved their bond, their relationship, I loved how well they worked together, I loved how they were both kind and thoughtful and so, so in love with each other, even if Liam doesn't believe it and Mason is afraid to say it.

The mythology used here was also rather interesting - Mpreg obviously, but giving the Omega wolf an actual uterus - and the author did a great job, IMHO, of weaving the various aspects of her specific mythology seamlessly into the narrative and dialogue without making it sound like info dump.

There were moments when I giggled, there were moments that made me go 'awww', and there were moments when I wanted to reach into the book and knock both of these men over the head so they'd finally just bloody talk about what was bothering them.

Also, lots and lots of sexy, steamy times. Because, wolves. And knotting. Knotting! And pheromones, and an Omega wolf in heat, and mating bonds, and family times, and misunderstandings, and realizations, and love, so much love.

I didn't want to stop reading until I had reached the final page. The epilogue, set 8 years after the main part of the book, was super cute too. I enjoyed watching Liam and Mason with their pups, and also appreciated the family tree image at the end. By then, it was really clear how much Liam had grown into himself, how his view of himself had changed, because of Mason's love for him, how he was an equal partner in their relationship despite the discrepancy in incomes, and how supremely happy and fulfilled they were.

This was a nearly perfect Mpreg wolf shifter novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute I spent reading. I couldn't ask for more.

Well done, Grace, well done!


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

ARC Review: Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt

Nachos & Hash (Mary's Boys Book 1) - Brandon Witt

Darwin has achieved nearly everything he's wanted - a great job, a fabulous career, money, a nice place to live - he's missing out on the romance part. He's been dating, but none of those dates have led to anything more permanent than a one-night-stand, and this latest date is simply another disaster.

However, things might be looking up - his waiter Cody is cute, and Darwin thinks there might be something there.

Cody dropped out of high school and hightailed it out of his hometown to escape the homophobia. His job as a waiter at Hamburger Mary's in Denver is enough to keep a roof over his head, and OMG, there are lots of gay people in Denver, so Cody feels much more at home. When one of his customers at the restaurant expresses interest in Cody, he's a bit reluctant to believe that someone as successful as Darwin could see anything other than a piece of ass in Cody.

But Cody is wrong.

Brandon Witt crafted a really cute novella here, and this being the first in a new series, I can hardly wait to see what more is in store for us. I liked how different Darwin and Cody were, but how their dreams and aspirations, while not the same, were very much alike after all, even if it didn't appear that way. Both wanted someone to love, to build a life with, to hold at night, to wake up with in the morning. While Darwin's overall dreams were perhaps a little bigger, Cody still wanted the same fundamental things as well.

Their relationship develops fast, with ILYs coming relatively soon after meeting, but it didn't feel unrealistic. I guess when you know, you know, and that was part of what made this book a great read. I believed their connection, I believed their romance.

The author explored Cody's issues with self-worth quite well, and it was rather obvious to this reader that what happened had to happen for Cody to move forward.

There is a bit of angst too, and I won't go too much into the cause of it, as it's for the most part outside of their relationship, and thankfully doesn't last long. The supporting cast was lovely and fiercely supportive, and helped Darwin and Cody along quite a bit in realizing their relationship potential.

My previous reads by Brandon Witt tended to be more angsty, and this book is a welcome departure from that. It's much more light-hearted, and fun. Also, drag queens! A great start to what seems to be shaping up to be a great series - can't wait to read more about Mary's Boys!


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

ARC Review: The Worst Best Man by MJ O'Shea

The Worst Best Man (Dreamspinner Press Book 27) - M.J. O'Shea

In this latest installment of the Dreamspun Desires series, we are introduced to August O'Leary, an American who went to college in the UK, fell deeply in love, got engaged, got dumped, and now, eight years later, works as a high-end event planner in London. He's got great friends, but hasn't allowed anyone to get close to him since his fiance broke off their engagement at the behest of the fiance's class-conscious mother.

You see, in Britain, one mustn't marry someone from the working class when one is filthy rich and part of the lower aristocracy. Apparently.

Since the ex-fiance, Christopher Burke, is the best friend of Libby, the bride-to-be who just hired August to plan her wedding which is the social event of the year, and Libby's fiance Edward is too busy to help with the planning, their paths cross once more.

I really liked that the author turned the usual "wedding planner" trope a bit on its head by not having her character fall for one of the happy couple, but the best friend of the bride, and gave them a strong albeit painful history. It's part second-chance-at-love story, and part tongue-in-cheek at the British social classes.

It's quite obvious from the start that August is still hurt and angry at being so unceremoniously dumped, and Christopher's inability to even apologize doesn't win him any favors either. It's clear that their love still burns brightly, but August doesn't trust Christopher at all, and Christopher has no idea how to win August back.

His persistence however pays off, and he gets another chance with August. Until he .... well, I'll let you experience that for yourself.

I liked August quite a lot, and I thought that he had the required backbone to stand up to Christopher, but also soft enough to allow himself to open up again after a while. I also liked his friends, and how supportive they were of him. August's family, whom we meet when he's back on Boston on vacation, was also supportive and kind.

I didn't like Christopher very much in the beginning, considering the history between him and August, but it was also clear after a while that he truly regretted having succumbed to his family's pressure to give up August, and is hellbent on winning him back, glad to be given another chance. I think that being given insight into Christopher's mind was helpful in turning my opinion of him the further I got into the book.

Of course, this book is OTT more often than not, but that's to be expected from this series, and part of why I love reading these books. The grand gesture, the sweeping romance, the heart-pounding lead-up to the climax - all of it is in here, and I had a blast reading this book.

One big niggle - when August and Will are moving to New York to open the new store, there is no mention of Will needing a visa to work in the US - while August as an American doesn't need this, Will as a Brit certainly does, and this was never mentioned. I cannot ascertain whether the author paid attention to immigration laws or not, or whether I was simply supposed to assume that a visa was obtained, so this bothered me.

Apart from that niggle though, I thought the book was a great way to spend a few hours, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Author Of The Month - Lane Hayes - Week One

Join us as we kick off our month-long celebrations for Lane Hayes, our February Author of the Month. Check out the Right And Wrong series, plus Lane's favorite things. There's also a chance to win one of her books! 

Author Of The Month - RJ Scott - Grand Finale

Join us once again for our celebrations in honor of the fabulous RJ Scott, with a look at the Montana series, with excerpts, our author Q&A, and one more chance to win!

 

Release Day ARC Review: Whiteout (Seasons Of Love #1) by Elyse Springer

Whiteout (Seasons of Love) (Volume 1) - Elyse Springer

My first book by this author (and her debut novel, to boot) was a complete success. ICYMI, when I finished the book and posted my final update, these were my words:

 

Wow. Also, WOW. I absolutely loved this. Complex characters, complex relationship, a FUBAR, and then... WOW. Y'all, get this as soon as you can.

 

Noah wakes up in a remote cabin in Colorado during a blizzard right around Christmas time, with no recollection of who he is or what he's doing there, and furthermore, no idea who the gentle, handsome man taking care of him is. The handsome man introduces himself as Jason and makes Noah feel safe. He only tells Noah that he slipped in the snow and hit his head, which explains the headache and bumps on his head as well as the amnesia.

 

Jason dotes on Noah during his recovery, but refuses to tell him much more than his name, claiming that he's been in touch with an ER doctor, who advised him not to plant any ideas in Noah's mind, and to let Noah remember on his own. Which should perhaps take a few days.

 

At first Noah seems okay with this, but then doubts set in, primarily after observing Jason hide what's being discussed during the phone calls with the doctor, and also because Noah catches Jason on more than one occasion looking super guilty.

 

As the memories come back slowly, Noah remembers Jason being loving and kind toward him, but also gets snippets of Jason acting in anger. And snippets of his mother and father, a tragic death, manic research in a library, and a best friend who doesn't call him Noah.

 

Eventually, it all comes flooding back, and I had one of the most massive surprises in my book-reading career. I seriously sat there with my mouth wide open, in complete shock as to what had just happened on page. Note the FUBAR comment above.

 

At this point, the book's 2nd part begins, and we find ourselves in NYC. I won't tell you much more than this because I don't want to spoil the experience, and I won't tell you how it ends either. Just remember, this is a romance.

 

Told entirely from Noah's POV, we don't get but glimpses of what makes Jason tick through Noah's eyes, but the author included enough of Jason on page to make me care about him just the same. I did have one small niggle, which I can't explain here, because it would be a spoiler, just suffice it to say that there has been some major loss in Jason's life, and how it was handled here was a bit too unrealistic for my taste. I suppose grief can manifest itself in a variety of forms, and everyone deals with grief differently, but Jason's characterization didn't quite gel with how his grief was handled here.

 

And yet, I absolutely loved this book. It has complex characters, a complex plotline, superb character growth, and the author made the characters work for what they ultimately achieve. Noah looks deeply inside himself and realizes what he's done, what he's lost, and what he wants - and then goes after what he wants as best as he knows how. He has help along the way, but the humility he displays, not only at his guilt and failures, but also his triumphs was extraordinary.

 

This is the first book in a 4-part series, with each book covering a season. I'm not yet sure how connected these books will be, but I will tell you that this book can be read as a standalone.

 

Definitely recommended!!

 

 

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **