Citywide

Citywide by Santino Hassell

Full disclosure, I only read Rerouted. Before all of you jump on me, I am allowed to read what I want to read, and I honestly was only interested in Chris, Jace and Aiden. Not that I have to justify my reading choices to anyone, but I have no desire to read the other two novellas because those characters don’t call to me.

That being said, I LOVED Rerouted. I could read about these three men for, well, forever. I wish they had their own full length novel. It’s about Chris, a bisexual man who finds himself as the extra to a married gay couple Jace and Aiden. Jace and Aiden have been together 20 years and are polyamorous, but lately they only want one man to make them a trio. When a blackout leaves the three of them stuck together, it’s up to the couple to convince Chris he’s perfect for them.

As I said before, I loved this story. Chris I wanted to hug the entire time, I understood all of his insecurities and where he is coming from. It’s easy to want him to fall into his happily ever after, but some things needed to be worked out and I think Hassell did a great job of covering all those issues.

Citywide can technically be read as a standalone, but I think maybe you should read Third Rail a short story first to get some background.

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Autoboyography

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

4 stars! 

“His smile ruins me.” 

This book follows Tanner, an eighteen year old bisexual Jewish kid who moves from liberal Palo Alto to the mormon town Provo, Utah when he was fifteen. His parents ask him to go back into the closet fearing the community won’t accept him. And he does, for three years. But then he meets his new TA Sebastian, the son of the local Bishop. And it doesn’t take long for him to fall completely in love.

“Love fails for a million reasons – distance, infidelity, pride, religion, money, illness. Why is this story any more worthy?
It felt like it was. It felt important. Living in this town is suffocating in so many ways.
But if a tree falls in the woods, maybe it makes no sound.
And if a boy falls for the bishop’s closeted son, maybe it makes no story.” 

This book struck close to home. I’ve been thinking a lot before writing this review because I don’t want to offend anyone with it, so let me be clear. I am a fairly liberal person, and I am not a fan of any organized religion. While I grew up in Southern California, there is a small Mormon community in my home town. I grew up with Mormon kids who I knew were gay, that almost everyone knew were gay and yet they couldn’t admit it (and I know because they later came out after high school). I remember when Prop 8 happened, one of those kids kicking a sign his own father had put on his lawn. It’s something I’ll never forget. To me, love is love, and as long as no one is hurting anyone, everything is okay. So when reading this book, a lot of this was going through my head. Now this isn’t to say I hate Mormons or organized religion, but it’s difficult for me to accept something that doesn’t promote love.

Off my pedestal now, this was an amazing love story. Knowing up front what Tanner and Sebastian face, you can predict what challenges they would face. But this book wasn’t predictable, and I was rooting for these two boys the entire time. I think this is a book that teens need and I wish we had when I was a teen. I highly recommend this book and I hope you give it a chance.

“I don’t actually care if you break my heart, Sebastian. I went into this knowing it could happen and I gave it to you anyway. But I don’t want you to break your own. You have so much space in your heart for your church, but does it have space for you?” 

Third Rail

Third Rail by Santino Hassell

4.5 stars! 

I love love love the five boroughs series by Santino Hassell! This threesome of characters, Jace, Chris and Aiden are among my favorites, I’ll read anything about them. Honestly I wish there was like a 500 page book about them, but I’m just plain greedy. Third Rail is a collection of short stories about them in chronological order, because they get another story in Hassell’s Citywide coming out November 2017.

This book was HOT. I mean, Santino’s books always are. But an MMM threesome? Yeah. Enough said.

I believe this can be read as a standalone, other characters are mentioned but it’s not confusing. This book should also be free, so grab it while you can!

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

Third Rail Release Blitz and Excerpt

Third Rail (Five Boroughs):

Christopher Mendez has always known his sexual identity had a swerve. No straight guy would have low-key lusted after his childhood best friend, right? Unfortunately, a combination of insecurity and overall lack of game has prevented him from further exploring his sexuality. That changes once he agrees to participate in a photoshoot for a queer dating app and meets Jace Fairbairn.

 

Jace is beautiful, fey-like, and in an open polyamorous relationship with his gorgeous linebacker-looking husband Aiden. Once they set eyes on Chris, they’re instantly in lust and determined to broaden his sexual horizons. But what’s supposed to be a straight-forward sexual encounter gets complicated once a one-night-stand has repeat performances, and Jace and Aiden begin to fall in love.

 

This collection of shorts explores the start of a relationship that eventually blossoms into something the three men realize they cannot do without.

 

THIRD RAIL releases on 10/25/2017. It will be FREE at all major retailers.

 

Links: https://www.books2read.com/u/4Awv5qhttp://santinohassell.com/books/

 

Subgenres: queer contemporary romance in the Five Boroughs universe.

 

Excerpt:

We took the train into Queens, which surprised me. I had it in my head that people like Aiden, who were in the same category as Caleb, Ashton, and Meredith, took cabs or slick town cars everywhere. My rich people hookup fantasy was shattered once he led me to the subway with the rest of the suckers.

“This would have been way cooler if you’d had a car downstairs waiting for us,” I confided as we descended the steps to the subway. “Like you in your suit and me with my fifty-pound backpack getting in a black Lincoln. That would have been tight as fuck.”

Aiden slipped his Metro Card from his pocket, snickering. “What, you thought this was some Fifty Shades of Queer set up?”

“Yup. Do you have a play room?”

“My entire apartment is a play room, bro. Have you met my husband? We don’t exactly keep it to one location in the house.”

“Good for you. I’m lucky if I get any action in my own damn bed with my right hand.”

We walked towards the E train, our conversation lost in the rush of bodies moving around us. He could have started describing exactly what they did in every corner of their place and nobody around us would have given a single fuck. But that was New York for you, and it was why I loved it.

 

 

About Santino Hassell:

 

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

 

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

 

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

Michael’s Wings

Micheal’s Wings by Tiffany Reisz

4 stars

Michael and Griffin are my favorite couple from the Original sinners series, and The Angel my favorite book. So when I saw they were getting their own collection of stories I jumped on that so fast! This was a great glimpse back into this world, a new original stories and if I am correct 5 previously published short stories about this couple all in one volume. If these men were real, I would love to be the F in their MFM sandwich!

I adore them, thank you for giving us more of them Tiffany!

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Axios

Axios by Jaclyn Osborn

5 stars! 

“Our lives may take us to unexpected places and it might alter many a things, but I will forever be yours.” 

I’ve been needing an epic romance, and who knew I’d get it from an author I’d never read or heard of before? High five to Arabella for the spot on book recommendation. Axios is the story of two Spartan soldiers (Eryx and Axios), who from a very young age they were trained to kill, always knowing they would live their lives fighting wars.

Eryx is loyal to the Spartan lifestyle because of the sins of his father, while Axios has a harder time adjusting. From childhood to adulthood the two are inseparable, best friends and then lovers, finding comfort in each other’s arms. In a land where feelings are viewed as weak, the two develop a strong relationship. But as war approaches, fear infiltrates them, for one cannot live without the other

“Know what I see? I see someone who is kind and who stops to see the beauty of the world. Someone who likes to watch the birds fly in the sky, wondering where they go… wondering what it’s like to soar amongst the clouds. I see an intelligent mind who ponders what makes the sky blue and where the sun goes at night. But mostly… I see my truest companion.” 

I really loved this book, I felt it was exactly the epic romance I needed to break me out of my book funk. Seriously, this is going under one of the best books of 2017! This book reminds me a lot of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, in fact I think super fans of that book may have a hard time with this one because they are so similar. But this was filled with romance, longing, and angst and was just completely perfect for me.

I loved both of the main characters, Axios is a gentle soul thrown into a harsh world. The only thing that gets him through it is Eryx and his desire to be strong for him. Through harsh conditioning Axios becomes harder, but still has the soft and kind soul beneath. Eryx on the outside doesn’t show his emotions as much, we really only see them when he’s with Axios. But he loves Axios with all his heart and will do anything for him, even when it goes against what he truly believes in.

This book is a historical romance and I think the author did really well. There was never really a moment where I was reading and thought “that would never happen” and I was amazed by this. She stayed true to the story and the setting and backdrop only accentuated the love story and made it that much better.

If you’re a fan of epic romance this is the book for you! It flowed across my mind so smoothly and gave me so many feels. I’m going to be dreaming of this couple, I just know it!

PS: sorry to all the friends I’ll be badgering to read the book. It’s a condition of my friendship 😛

“I will kill any man and turn the whole world to ash for you, my warrior. I fear neither battle nor death, but I fear the day you are not by my side. Never question where my heart lies, because it is forever yours. In this life and the next.” 

Illegal Contact

Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

4.5 stars! 

“I’m your boss. You’re my assistant. We’re not anything else.” 

Gavin Brawley is one of the NFL’s biggest players, and after an assault charge he’s been confined to his home for six months, monitored by an ankle bracelet. Being benched means Gavin needs to hire an assistant to manage his entire life, something he’s not exactly happy about.

Noah Monroe is in desperate need of a job, after him and his father lost theirs they need to make ends meet. The last thing Noah wants is to be a PA to a cranky NFL player, but despite his reservations, he takes the job.

Tension is high between the two of them, and things don’t start off smooth. But the more time they spend with each other, the better it gets until a tentative friendship and mutual respect is formed.

“Better to have an insolent nerd with no interest in football than a kiss-ass fan who will tell all to all their friends.” 

Illegal Contact is the sports romance you’ve been waiting for! Football is never my first choice (like ever), so I was surprised when I ended up loving this football romance. Well, I shouldn’t have been because Santino Hassell is everything that’s good in the MM romance genre. The voice he gives to his characters is so strong, Noah and Gavin felt like real people to me, one’s I could turn my head and talk to.

This is an I hate you/I love you kind of romance. The beginning starts out with much badgering and barb trading, but I loved the journey from dislike to mutual admiration. They always say there’s a thin line between love and hate and this book encapsulates that phrase excellently. I loved Noah and Gavin equally, neither one of them got on my nerves at any point and I was rooting for them both to get what they want.

This is the next big series in MM romance, so you’d be an idiot not to pick up this book!

“You are trustworthy. And I’m tired of always hiding.” 

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Concourse

Concourse by Santino Hassell

3 stars 

“There’s not always weakness in forgiveness.” 

I had read a lot of mixed reviews on Val’s an Ashton’s story, so I went in with low expectations and an open mind. And while I didn’t love it, I did enjoy these two characters.

Concourse is the story of gay instagram star Ashton, or A Town. Known for being a partier and slutty after a sex tape from his youth. Val’s mom used to work for Ashton’s family, so the two boys grew up together and formed a special bond. Constantly in and out of each other’s lives, the two begin spending more time together, and feelings get mixed.

I wanted to like this book a lot, I really did. But if there’s one thing I hate, it’s wishy washy characters and both Val AND Ashton fit the bill. Well it also didn’t help that the first 20% of the book all that seemed to happen was the characters driving around and just kind of not doing much. The plot didn’t move forward at all until 50% in.

I liked Val and Ash as individuals, it was their actions toward each other that drove me crazy. I would liken this couple/book to Hard Wired by Megan & Santino, and Rowdy by Jay Crownover. By this I mean when one character finally made up their mind about what they wanted, the other character starts to backtrack. IT’S SO FRUSTRATING!!! And not in an angsty good way.

I really liked the self journey Ashton went on to improve his quality of life and to give a good impact in the world. Val’s journey was more about giving up on old things that didn’t seem to matter anymore, just letting go.

I still love Santino, I’ll read anything the man writes. This one just wasn’t a winner for me.

First and First

First and First by Santino Hassell

5 stars! 

“There’s not one way to to live or to love, and whoever tries to tell you any different will probably be dead in a decade or two anyway, so screw them!” 

Santino Hassell has easily become one of my favorite authors in the last year, and it’s because he delivers amazing books like this one! First and First is everything I never knew I wanted.

First and First is about Caleb, a thirty six year old former CFO having trouble finding himself after losing his ex to another man. Oli is a programer whose sex life is open and adventurous. On New Year’s Eve at a party, the two ending up spending a night of mind blowing sex with each other, spinning Caleb’s world and causing him to rethink who he’d always assumed he was.

It’s clear that Oli is not up for a relationship, but Caleb finds more and more often they are spending time together. Oli encourages Caleb to be more free with how he is, yet Caleb still struggles with anxiety at points. A companionship forms, but Caleb knows not to expect anything from Oli….. but should he?

“I said I wasn’t your Prince Charming. You don’t enjoy being banged like a ragdoll because I pranced into your life. You didn’t discover hot sex just because I happen to exist. I don’t want you thinking of me as your savior. As someone you’re beholden to because now you know what you like. You told me what to do that night. You were just drunk enough to stop caring about what I would think of you.” 

I loved this book, if the 5 star rating isn’t clear enough. I love the way Hassell writes, how his characters are flawed and yet so lovable. Caleb at many points in this book spoke to my heart, his struggles with anxiety, his self doubt. After spending so many years hiding what he was it made him insecure, which affected his relationships and his sex life because he never learned how to be himself until now.

Oli is a bit of a mystery, I really liked him for David, but without dual POV it was difficult to gage what he was feeling and thinking. Our perspective was only what Caleb saw, and at times what Caleb thought about Oli instead of Oli himself.

Lately I tend to not enjoy books with erotic tones because I feel there is more sex than plot: Santino’s books are the exception to this because he gives readers an amazing combo of hot and plot every single damn time. It’s like the perfect recipe for my reading tastes, the best of both worlds.

This book can be read as a standalone, it features characters from the two previous novels. So while you can read it as a standalone, I do recommend that you maybe consider reading book 2, as those characters are in this a bit more and it could help with context.

An amazing read, I stayed up until 2 am to finish it. I cannot wait to devour more of Santino Hassell’s books.

“But regardless of what you think of yourself, when I look at you, I see someone beautiful. Someone who makes me insane, because all I can fucking think about is touching you. Being close to you. Being inside you. And there’s a reason for that, baby.” 

Hello Forever

Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

4 stars! 

Sarina Bowen writes the best MM romance! Hello Forever is a rerelease of the novel, Never Over, previously published under Bowen’s pseudonym Nealy Wagner. Hello Forever is in the same universe as the book before it, Goodbye Paradise, but features different characters.

Axel and Cax were sixteen years old when they were caught kissing in the woods at church camp, and from that day on they were separated never to see each other again. Years later, Axel is considering taking a job in the sports department at a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts, when he sees Cax on tv in the audience at that schools basketball game. That, combined with the fact that he had no other paying job offers, Axel accepts the position and moves there.

Cax is busy helping out raising his three younger brothers. After the death of his mother, his homophobic father has made it clear Cax won’t be allowed anywhere near his brothers if he’s gay, so he hides himself and pretends to be straight for the sake of his brothers. Axel is excited to reunite with his childhood friend turned crush, but Cax proves to be a bit more skittish. The two begin a tentative friendship, but it’s hindered by Cax’s fears of his father finding out about them. What was a happy reunion may not be a happy ending, but it’s up to Cax and Axel to figure out a solution.

Despite the subject matter, this book was much sweeter and less intense than the book before it. At the beginning it reminded me a bit of Bowen’s other mm romance novel The Understatement of the Year, but once it gets going the two grow apart from there. This is the romance between a graduate student and a faculty member, friends to lovers and second chance romance all wrapped up in one!

I live in a liberal bubble, and I like to believe that people are accepting of the LGBT community, but that’s not really the case. This book was a good reminder that not everyone is tolerant and can embrace love and acceptance, and my heart went out not only to Cax, but to all the other men and women like him who were shunned for who they are. I loved reading Cax’s journey to himself, and I think Axel was the perfect man to help him to it.

I do wish the relationship between Axel and Cax had been developed a bit more, we got a glimpse of their past but I felt it wasn’t enough. Without that, this book borders on the line of instalove, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment. I honestly hope Sarina Bowen never ever stops writing mm romance, or stops writing in general. She’s a go to author for me and has never let me down. I urge and encourage you to pick up her books if you haven’t yet, and you need to make sure you read this one.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

Oversight Blog Tour

OVERSIGHT by Santino Hassell

Series: The Community, Book #2

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 26th, 2017

Length (Print & Ebook): 242 pages

Subgenre: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal 

Publisher: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/oversight

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30364801-oversight

Book Blurb:

Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

 

Takeaways from the book:

  • Learning to trust people even if it’s someone you least expect to be on your side.
  • Learning that sometimes loyalty isn’t forever.
  • Psychic abilities don’t make the characters powerful in terms of strength, but it helps them to see the world around them clearer including their love interests.

Quotes from the book:

 

  • “Employer? The Community is my employer. You own this night club, and that’s fine, but I don’t work for you.”

 

  • Six just stared at him. This beautiful personification of blankness but with burning black eyes.

 

  • He was drawn in by the strength of Six, and when that bubble wrapped around him again, it felt almost safe enough for him to break.

 

  • Without the invisible antenna of his gift picking up signals from everything around them, every touch was intensified in a way Holden had never experienced. He felt anchored to the world. To Six.

 

  • He didn’t want to end this kiss. He wanted Six to keep exploring the inside of his mouth with a delightfully frantic lack of finesse, and he wanted a genuine fucking smile once they were done.

 

Excerpt 

Six was sitting behind the desk, once again clad in a skintight polo buttoned up all the way but this time paired with cargo pants. As he sat on the edge of the chair with his thighs spread, Holden was waiting for all those muscles to burst the seams.

“Why do you dress like an extra from Jersey Shore?”

“I’d have to pop my collar for that.” He only paused in his typing when a surprised laugh fell from Holden’s mouth. Raising an eyebrow at me, Six said, “Was I not supposed to get the reference?”

“Well, you’re a cyborg so I didn’t think you would.”

Six turned in the chair so he was facing Holden. He had on his default neutral face, but a slight twitch of his brow and lip betrayed possible amusement at the comment. Was there some getting through to him after all, or were they destined to stare at each other in mutual blankness to see who could emote the least for the next… however long he’d be here as Holden’s handler?

“Not having an empathy chip doesn’t make me a cyborg. There are plenty of ways to figure someone out without feeling any of their vibes.”

Holden crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall next to the desk. “As someone who was born with an empathy chip with elephantiasis, color me skeptical.”

Six mirrored his post, crossing his arms and leaning back in the chair with his thighs spread. The view of thick thighs and a good sized bulge were a temptation Holden didn’t try to resist. He glanced down twice before managing to hold Six’s steady gaze.

 

Author Bio:

 

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

 

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

 

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

 

Damaged Like Us

Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

4 stars! 

“Dear World, stop fucking with me. Sincerely, an agitated human.” 

Maximoff Hale is the son of reality television star royalty. His entire life, he has known nothing but the spotlight, the constant nagging of the paparazzi, and has always had a body guard. But when his guard retires, Moffy is faced with having to spend his days with a new guard. He’s even more shocked when that new bodyguard ends up being his childhood crush, Farrow Keene.

Farrow is five years older than Moffy, and with his father being the Hale family physician, he’s comfortable with the family. The more time he spends with his charge, the more he realizes he’s attracted to him, and the feeling seems to be mutual. The only problem? Bodyguard and charges cannot date, making anything between them forbidden.

“Don’t you see, Maximoff? There’s a cement wall in front of you, and you’ve just been told to be satisfied with staring at it. And so you stand there, not able to see the other side.” 

I was so extremely excited for this book, not only is it a spin-off of the Addicted series, but we get an MM romance too? I was completely overjoyed and ecstatic, it’s like Christmas came in June! Finishing this book, I came to the realization of why I love books by the Ritchie twins so much: they always deliver a quality story with realistic, relatable characters and lots of feels. It’s obvious they take their time when writing a book and make sure the reader gets a story of great caliber. And Damaged Like Us follows in that same vein.

I loved both Moffy and Farrow equally, these two men were amazing! Moffy is the oldest of all the Calloway children, and because of that he falls into the role of protector. Moffy will support is siblings and cousins, would kill for them. His loyalty to his family is the most important thing to him. Farrow values his work, he knows that what he does makes a difference, and he will also do anything to keep the family safe. It’s rare that I say this about a character, but I also really dug Farrow’s demeanor, the twins did an amazing job describing him and developing him.

There were some issues near the end that I felt were rushed and kind of brushed aside. I wish that we had seen more of what came of those issues, but maybe we will see more of their impact in the next book? Or a novella? I was just shocked by the behavior of some of the characters from the original series and never really got an explanation or confrontation about it, which I really wish we had.

I love these authors, I after having read eleven works by them I can honestly say they write the best books in the indie romance community. I really enjoyed this book, it’s a fantastic start to a new series and I cannot wait to read what is to come.

“Millions of people know me, but not like this. Not like that. I hang onto that fact like rope on a wall that blocks my view of everything. He’s how I see the other side. He’s made my life feel freer.” 

Mature Content

Mature Content (Cyberlove #4) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

4 stars!

Beau Starr and TrashyZane are both gay online stars, they each have their own channel and have hundred of thousands of subs. But both have very different brands, Beau is the straight laced, positive smiley guy, and Zane is well…. TrashyZane. Both hate each other, until a surprise evening of hate sex shows them they have undeniable chemistry. But one issue is constantly between them, do they even like each other?

The Cyberlove series is one of the best MM series there is, you always get something different with every book. This installment was seriously hotter than the other ones, and that’s saying a lot because this is a series that is on fire! I liked the hate/love trope it had going on, both characters legitimately got to know each other as a result of this. I do wish it had been a bit longer so as to develop their relationship a bit more, it felt rushed at the end, but otherwise it was great! I need more Cyberlove in my life!!!

Mature Content is book 4 in the Cyberlove series and can be read as a standalone novel.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review

Tease

Tease by Ella Frank

3.5 stars!

“You’re where my heart is. So that’s where I stay.”

Try by Ella Frank was my first ever MM novel. In fact, I went into it not even knowing it was MM. After a while I had thought, where’s the love interest? Yeah. That was my dumb blonde moment. I ended up loving that book and it opened up a new world of romance for me. I love Tate and Logan and will read anything involving the two of them.

Tease takes place about four years after the original trilogy and we get to see what is happening in the “domesticated” lives of Tate and Logan. Both have been busy with work, and when Logan realizes this, he demands they make more time for each other.

I like that this book cleared up lose ends from the last book, things I definitely had questions about and some resolutions I never expected to get, so I was very happy for those. Why not a higher rating? I felt the pacing was off and I was skimming through the hot parts. I wish we had gotten more plot than hot, and it’s how I also felt about book 3. Again, I did enjoy this book and the fact that we got answers, it was just a bit too slow and didn’t hold my attention as well as books 1 and 2 did.

PS I am dying for the next book after the end of this one. So Ella still has me hooked!

“Forever’s a long time.”
“What? Worried you couldn’t put up with me for that long?”
“No. I’m worried it won’t be long enough.”

Who We Are

Who We Are by TJ Klune

4 stars!

“… it’s not about where you come from. It’s about who you are.”

This is such a sweet series. I am dying to read the next book so I am very quickly gonna review this one so they don’t blend. Who We Are is the second part to Bear Otter & the Kid, a continuation. Bear and Otter have moved in together and are in the process of adopting the Kid. It’s an adjustment period in their lives and while nothing is perfect, they are very happy together.

First thing I have to get off my chest. The cover of this book is HORRIBLE. It didn’t affect my rating or how I felt, but I put off reading these books because of the covers. Yes I judge a book by its cover, and I honestly think these would sell better with a cover update. That being said, I loved the story. I love how in this book Bear seems to have gotten over his “no homo” phase as my friend Eva and I call it (referring to the numerous times he said in the first book “I’m not like that”). Bear is working out his feelings for the opposite sex, and what seems to be GFY may not necessarily be the case.

I laughed a lot while reading this, all of the family dynamics and antics are so much fun to read. This being my 5th book by Klune I do see some of his patterns in his writing (older/younger couple, meet when one is a kid, family support systems, tragic moments, etc…)

But what I loved most was Otter and his unwavering devotion to Bear and Ty. He’s such an amazing man and I wish we got more of his POV and how he feels about everything. He’s got a touch of alpha in him and I love it!

If you haven’t read this series (or Klune’s books) yet, please do yourself a favor and just read them already. Guaranteed lots of smiles and feels…. in a good way.

“Nothing’s too fast if it means forever.”