ARC Review: Crushing on the Cowboy (Sarah M. Anderson)

Based from Goodreads Page as well as reading a couple of reviews at Dear Author, this novella might be an expansion of Mitch and Paulo’s story line that was just secondary or being in the background of the other couples at Anderson’s rodeo world.

I thought the story was dry and lacked emotion. It was crammed with Mitch’s personal fear of being outed — since rodeo world was not very kind to gay men. At the same time, I felt that Mitch’s internal conflict as well as the feelings between these men were told to me rather than shown. Maybe because this is the author’s first full jump into the M/M romance, she still tries to find the balance of telling a story from perspectives of two men? In any case, it was rather hard for me to feel connected to Mitch and Paulo that way.

In addition, amidst of broken conversations between Mitch and Paulo (Mitch was not exactly fluent in Portuguese while Paulo didn’t speak English very well), it had too much sex scenes for my taste, instead of relationship development.

I did give a point for one particular thing. I actually thought it would end up in a cliche way … like them being outed in public or maybe Paulo gets badly injured which leads to love confession at hospital. It was nice to know that it wasn’t the case.

ALTHOUGH… at the same time, the ending was way rushed. To me, it felt like it was tying up some loose ends which happened in the other books but the author just didn’t want to explain them all again here.

Maybe Crushing on the Cowboy will work better for the fans of this author’s works, or for those who are starting their experience of reading M/M Harlequin romance. Unfortunately for me, this novella didn’t impress much *shrugs*.

 

RATING: 2.5 out of 5
25stars

 

11613309

 

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

30064734Title:
 Crushing on the Cowboy
Author: Sarah M. Anderson
Series: Rodeo Dreams, #3
Genre: MM Contemporary/Western Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 27, 2016

ARC Review: Riverbend Road (RaeAnne Thayne)

It feels good returning to Haven Point, the fictional small town from the pen of RaeAnne Thayne, which started with Snow Angel Cove back in 2014. In Riverbend Road, readers are going to meet police officer Wynona “Wyn” Bailey and the Chief of Police, Cade Emmett.

I loved Wyn so much!! I thought she was totally awesome. She stole my heart early on when she walked into an old barn on fire to save two teenage boys. Then Wyn continued to charm me as the story went along, with her befriending a skittish woman and her kids, teaching self-defense class, and of course dealing with her feeling for Cade. I loved that she made the first move and later on, she didn’t back down when she told Cade what she wanted out of him.

 

“I don’t want to be vital to the department. “I only want to be vital to you. I’m in love with you, Cade. Don’t you get it?”

 

There wasn’t a lot that I could complaint about when it comes to Wyn. I adored her; she was kind, friendly, resourceful, and strong. On top of that she was also a survivor. I think Wyn is definitely my favorite heroine so far from this series.

Cade on the other hand — urgh, I could knock some sense into him. Being the best friend of Wyn’s older brother, Cade suffered from the typical attitude in romance, as in not wanting to make a move towards his best friend’s sister. It also didn’t help that Cade was practically Wyn’s boss, which could complicate their professional relationship if people found out. Especially since one of Wyn’s friends was none other than Haven Point’s mayor, a.k.a. Cade’s boss.

Despite this, I thought the story was lovely; there was definitely a chemistry between Wyn and Cade considering they were also good friends. There was douse of humor too, one of the most precious moments was when Wyn asked Cade to help with her self-defense class. Not going to spoil much but there was a good amount of drama and action near the end, which resulted in a satisfying conclusion for Wyn and Cade’s romance.

It was a satisfying read and I look forward to more stories from Haven Point…

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

11613309

 

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

ARC Review: Riverbend Road (RaeAnne Thayne)
27780411Title: 
Riverbend Road
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Series: Haven Point, #4
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: June 21st, 2016

ARC Review: Damned If You Do (Marie Sexton)

Abbadon has not been able to meet his soul quota and the failure to do so will result in demotion. So Abaddon is set to do the ultimate soul acquisition, something SO BIG that he didn’t have to do any soul taking anymore, a golden ticket to promotion. And where else would he get this pure soul? None other than the Bible’s Belt, ladies and gentlemen.

I immediately liked Abaddon, there was something really funny about devil who thought soul acquisition was a drag of a job. I admit I was a bit hesitant when Abaddon met Seth for the first time though. Seth definitely quoted Bible quite a lot — and as a Muslim those verses got lost on me. Never really good in interpreting holy words, I guess :). I was also worried where the story would took direction, with Seth being part of a revival group.

BUT, this was ultimately a sweet story. Although it involved a devil and a faithful young blind musician, but it didn’t went at all preachy. I enjoyed the twist about Seth and how Abaddon and Seth found a way to be together in the end (yes, people, there is HEA, so no worries!).

However, I also didn’t quite grasp the relationship built, especially in Seth’s part. I mean, Seth was blind and as much as I don’t understand about sexual attraction (being asexual that I am), I think the way that someone’s look do play part on it? So I wonder how Seth could find himself falling for Abaddon. They didn’t really spend a lot of time together because the revival group kept moving places and Abaddon practically ran around Hell to find loop hole in his mission to retrieve Seth’s soul. It was easier for me to believe that Abaddon could fall for Seth and his pure soul rather than the other way around.

Conclusion: It was sweet and light romance involving character with strong religious faith. Oh, and watch out for the snakes. I mean it. There were A LOT OF SNAKES!!!

 

RATING: 3.5 out of 5
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The ARC is generously provided by author for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

2001133Title:
 Damned If You Do
Author: Marie Sexton
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 39,759
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: June 14, 2016

ARC Review: The Harder He Falls (Lynda Aicher)

Well, this is a case of too much sex (scenes) not enough story combined with wrong expectation based on the blurb. Duly noted I only read the blurb once before requesting the ARC, then I forgot about it when I started to read since I wanted to be in a ‘clean slate’ when I was reading. However, I definitely didn’t expect the D/s tone.

See, I am not really keen with D/s in general. On cases where D/s stories work for me, it usually because I am mentally prepared somewhat or at least the D/s feels natural for the characters. In my humble opinion, leather bar does not necessarily mean BDSM scene, so it definitely threw me off.

Another issue I had was with Grady, as one of the MCs. I just felt that his personality was all over the place, went hot and cold, and his incessant internal drama and denial were not appealing (I am not a submissive!). So Grady didn’t share everything — because clearly, men don’t communicate — and then he got pissed off because Micah made the (wrong) move or assumption?

Yeah. Sexy. Not.

Grady remedied that situation around half-way by telling Micah about his bad experience with a Dom — thought it didn’t really stop him from going hot and cold the rest of the way. It definitely made a dent in my enjoying him as the main character. To be honest, if it wasn’t for Micah and his health condition, I might not be able to finish. Although, in full disclosure, I also skimmed the story when they went back to all sex scenes.

Micah was the one that kept me going. I liked characters that weren’t flawless. Micah’s health condition was intriguing for me. I was engaged to read how he performed in day-to-day activities and how he reacted with the possibility of having a lover in his life. Even if I couldn’t understand what Micah saw in Grady … but maybe that makes him a better person that I am (*haha*).

Grady’s conflict and denial gave way to a lot of arguments with Micah and the tendency of him running away when things got intense. Then the closure was slightly rushed and hey, everything was hunky-dory, except for me as a reader.

Conclusion: MEH at best for me. Not exactly my cuppa tea. But for those of you who like their books with a lot of sexy times, D/s kink (or at least giving up control in the bedroom), you might enjoy this more that I do. I am bailing out of the series too — marine Doms are not my poison *shrugs*.

 

RATING: 2.5 out of 5
25stars

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:
27876320Title: The Harder He Falls
Author: Lynda Aicher
Series: Kick, #1
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: June 7, 2016

ARC Review: From This Day Forward (Lauren Layne)

I usually enjoyed Lauren Layne’s stories but this one, well, it was MEH. Probably because the core of the conflict between Leah and Jason was summed up perfectly with this line: You could have just fixed this with a simple text saying … . Yep, just one line. It will clear all the misunderstanding. Plus I totally guessed the identity of other woman from million miles away. It was WAY too predictable for me to enjoy.

Luckily, this was a novella, so probably didn’t go as long as it could. Still, I disliked the whole miscommunication thing in this digital age. Just like the other woman said, “It’s a good thing we live in the age of phones. And email. And Facebook. And Twitter. And texting—” … because if one is determined enough, he/she can easily do it, me thinks. Which makes Jason’s reasoning for not trying enough was LAME *shrugs*

On the positive note, Layne’s writing was pretty good especially when sort of introducing the girls of Wedding Belles. I was pretty intrigued — so maybe I’ll check their stories out.

RATING: 2.5 out of 5
25stars

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:
27778688Title: From This Day Forward
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #0.5
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 100 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: June 6, 2016