Tough Road to FINDING HOME–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently released YA story with a touch of M/M romance from Garrett Leigh. FINDING HOME is a touching tale of a troubled teen boy trying to protect himself and his younger, deaf, sister once they fall into the foster care system. I’ve really liked MISFITS, WHAT REMAINS, HOUSE OF CARDS, and JUNKYARD HEART, so I was eager to read this one.

<a href="https://vsreads.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/finding-home.jpg”>About the book:
How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?
With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.

Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.

Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.

My Review:
This is a contemporary YA story with a hint of M/M romance set in England.

Leo and Lila Hendry were unwilling witnesses to their mother’s murder, and barely survived the fire their abusive father set to their home. At fifteen, Leo’s had a rough life, and his outbursts of temper are causing problems with their foster placements. Getting sent to the Poulton’s home is a last-ditch effort to re-home them together.

Charlie de Sousa has lived with the Poulton’s since he was a toddler. He’s fifteen and out-gay, always struggling to fit in in school. Though the youngest kid in this foster home, Charlie was formally adopted years ago. Still, his parents know how soothing a personality Charlie has, and they hope he can help Leo mellow out. Lila is shy and skittish, but Leo is openly hostile to Charlie’s dad. Something Charlie can’t understand. Both his parents are the most generous and loving people he’s ever known. His mom suffers some hearing loss and all the kids can sign, which helps Lila fit right in–and unsettles Leo.

The more time Charlie spends around Leo, the more he recognizes the signs of PTSD–night terrors and irrational hatred of certain men. He does become a buffer, of sorts, sometimes coming into Leo’s room to lay a comforting hand on him when the nightmares are too fierce. Also, there’s an attraction. Charlie definitely thinks Leo is cute, but he’d never force himself on another boy–he has no idea that Leo feels the same. An unplanned moment of intimacy leads Charlie to make a terrible decision that nearly gets Leo arrested. Just when it looked like Leo had gotten the better of his temper issues, too.

There’s a whole lot to this story that I haven’t mentioned. It’s dark and troubled; the kids all have tough backstories and we get a front-row seat to Leo’s tragic family. The love he feels in the Poulton’s home is enough to draw Leo into therapy for his anger issues, and seems to be the home he’d always dreamed of. I loved the ending of this story, and how fantastically this foster family operates. Charlie and Leo do have a wee bit of passion for Charlie and Leo, but it’s age appropriate and a small part of the narrative. The bigger part is coping with one’s self, and finding a way past tragedy. Charlie’s such a giving kid, and his eagerness to make Leo and Lila welcomed shined through. Expect some pretty graphic scenes–including drinking, fighting and some drug use. It all felt very realistic, and bittersweet. I loved it, honestly.

Interested? You can find FINDING HOME on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Otherwise you can find her on her website, twitter or Facebook.

Bad Juju in WICKED CHARM–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a contemporary YA mystery/romance from Amber Hart. WICKED CHARM is an interesting read about two kids finding a connection, and the killer who might be trying to cut them loose.

Catch my review and enter the gift-blast giveaway down below.
About the book:
Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.
Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.
Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.
Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell―the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.
But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.
When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

How about a little taste?

Though Gran’s land is mostly wet, there’s solidness, too. My eyes trace the long path that cuts the property between Gran and Mr. Cadwell in half. I’m expecting to see nature—the kinds of birds Dad and Mom study, snakes, grass, and forever sky—the same things I’ve seen every morning since moving here with Dad and Mom to help Gran, who’s ailing but doesn’t like to admit it.

I get halfway down the path with my stare before my eyes snag on something. A serving spoon falls from my hand with a clatter into the sink.

“Who,” I whisper, “is that?”

Across the way stands a boy. He’s staring at me, wearing a twisted grin like he knows me. The wind ruffles his depths-of-the-ocean black hair. He’s wearing a dark shirt and dark jeans, and I cannot tear my eyes from his.

Gran hobbles over and looks out the window. “What is he doing so close to our side?”

“You know him?” I ask.

I can’t stop staring out the old weathered screen.

“Hell right, I do. Grandson of the evil next door. Trouble in living form. Someone oughta hand that boy a Bible. Change his life forever and ever, amen.”

Gran curses a lot. “Hell” is her favorite word.

“Hell, you’d better look away first,” Gran says. “B’fore he snares you for good.”

I wonder if she’s right. I want to look away first. Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t want to look away at all.

“Mother!” Dad’s voice enters the room a moment before he does. “Did I just hear you cursing around Willow again?”

I rip my eyes away—though it’s hard—to see Dad clad in shorts and a T-shirt, ready for another day of observation. He and Mom are ornithologists, scientists who study birds. Mom follows Dad into the kitchen and takes a seat at the table; her strawberry-blond hair is braided and slipped through the adjustable hole in her hat. Dad’s hair is like Gran’s and mine, his eyes, too. Mom’s eyes are blue, and I’m secretly glad mine are not. I enjoy being like Gran.

“It’s not good to curse around her; she’s only seventeen,” Dad continues.

In Florida, Dad and Mom studied birds so much that I hardly ever saw them. Here’s no different, but at least now I have Gran to keep me company.

“Doesn’t matter, and you know it,” Gran says. “A heart is a heart is a heart. A few words here and there won’t change that.”

My stare goes to the window again. The boy is gone.

“Quit looking for that boy, you hear?” Gran says, knowing.

“I’m not looking for him,” I reply. But I’m a lying liar.

“What boy?” Dad asks.

I join him and Mom at the table.

“No one,” my lying self answers.

“Stop thinking about him,” Gran says.

“I’m not!” I say, frustrated. But only because she knows me so well that I can’t hide myself from her.

Clearly Gran isn’t a fan. We drop it and eat our breakfast, Dad and Mom jabbering about some new species of bird they think they’ve discovered. Gran watching me like a hawk. And me wondering about the gorgeous black-souled, trouble-in-living-form grandson of the evil next door.

My Review:
Willow Bell has just come to like in the Okefenokee swamp with her aging grandmother and her parents–who are ornithologists and often gone on bird-watching excursions. Her grandma’s property has one close neighbor, Mr. Cadwell, who her Gran states is the Devil. He shares his home with his twin grandkids, Beau and Charlotte. Willow, Beau and Charlotte are all seniors in high school, and Willow notices Beau rather soon after her arrival. His fierce stare and attractiveness pull her in, though she gives good weight to her Gran’s warnings about Cadwells and how they will break a woman’s heart.

Beau has a big reputation as a heartbreaker, and it’s well-earned. Still, Willow isn’t too starry eyed. She may find Beau attractive, but she’s also a girl with a mission on her mind. She wants to explore her new surroundings and make new friends. Any interaction with Beau is long on exploring–outside of one’s own mind–and short on the physical. Beau is deeply private, and the rumors swill regarding his parents and their long absence–though that didn’t make much sense to me; its a small community. Nosy parkers abound. Still, he likes that Willow gives him the space to be real, and he confides in her some of his deepest secrets. Their bond is tested once the bodies of two girls turn up in the swamp. Two girls that Beau briefly dated. Is Beau involved? What about his friends, who seem a mite too jealous of Beau getting all the girls to swoon for him?

Willow is quick to defend Beau, but evidence points to someone close to him, and she’s not sure how to take it. Naturally, Beau defends his own, but the answer only comes to light when his family is threatened. It’s an interesting mystery/romance as Beau and Willow fight for their love against both Willow’s disapproving Gran, and the killer. I liked the action bits, and the context. The swamp is so well-described it’s almost another character in the book. These kids truly love their world, and are highly protective of the land and people who live there. That was interesting to experience, as a reader.

The end is a nice twist, with a killer that wasn’t the first suspect to mind. While Beau and Charlotte deal with their own personal tragedies, Willow’s there as a buffer, a friend, and more for Beau, just like she started.

Interested? You can find WICKED CHARM on Goodreads, Amazon (US, UK, CA, and AU) Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and GooglePlay. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a gift bundle including a $10 Starbucks card, a signed copy of WICKED CHARM, and two ebooks.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of Wicked Charm and the Before & After series for teen readers, and the Untamed series for adult readers. Visit her online at http://www.amberhartbooks.com

Catch up with Amber on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Teen Angst GO YOUR OWN WAY–A Review

Hi there! Today I”m starting a week of teen stories and kicking it off with a book that’s been on my TBR for a long time. GO YOUR OWN WAY by Zane Riley is an odd-couple romance between an angry, abandoned black musical virtuoso, and an out-but-choosy white small-town boy. I read the sequel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU more than a year ago, and I surely wanted to find out how Will and Lennox got together.

About the book:
Will Osborne couldn’t wait to put the roller coaster ride of his public education behind him. Having suffered bullying and harassment since grade school, he planned a senior year that would be simple and quiet before going away to college and starting fresh. But when a reform school transfer student struts into his first class, Will realizes that the thrill ride has only just begun.

Lennox McAvoy is an avalanche. He’s crude, flirtatious, and the most insufferable, beautiful person Will’s ever met. From his ankle monitor to his dull smile, Lennox appears irredeemable. But when Will’s father falls seriously ill, Will discovers that there is more to Lennox than meets the eye.

My Review:
Lennox McAvoy is nearly 18, and he’s already survived the loss of both parents, 18 months of juvie, and being exiled by his homophobic grandparents. All he needs to do is graduate high school–and then what remains of his family can wash their hands of him. He hasn’t seen his beloved younger sister Lucy in nearly two years–and it kills Lennox that his “guardian” grandfather just dumped him in rural Virginia, in a small town run-down hotel with barely enough allowance to keep the bills paid and some food in his belly. Isolated, Lennox wants to lash out, as he’d done many times before. But, if he doesn’t graduate, he’ll never see Lucy again.

Will isn’t sure what to make of Lennox. There aren’t any out kids at his school, but Lennox is all swagger and dirty mouth. Lennox learns that Will’s out, and takes no time tossing out some crude and poorly-received come-ons. While Lennox’s shell is a tough one to crack, Will does his own investigating, and learns about Lennox’s squalid living arrangements. I comes around the time that Will’s father has a big health setback, and Will needs a distraction from his worries. Lennox is down for that, but their connection grows as they confide more and more in one another.

I need to mention that there’s lots of graphic language, and sex on the page. Both Will and Lennox have troubles they aren’t comfortable confiding. I liked how they do connect, and how Will–who is a genuinely decent kid–sees beyond Lennox’s prickly facade. Lennox is used to losing all his loved ones, and he’s sure that Will will leave him broken-hearted. They are both risking pain, but they find so much more, instead. Will’s encouragement helps Lennox to make new friends, and find allies in their school–including the music teacher who becomes very important in the next books. There’s a lot of healing happening here, and Will and Lennox find more than just comfort with one another.

Interested? You can find GO YOUR OWN WAY on Goodreads, on sale on Interlude Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Meet the author:
Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the internet. His first novel, Go Your Own Way came out in 2015 from Interlude Press.

Catch up with Zane on Goodreads, Facebook, and twitter.

pride

Cephalopod Coffeehouse January 2018: Coming to a PRESSURE HEAD

0ed81-coffeehouseHi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

Today I’m continuing my Enemies-to-Lovers theme with a contemporary M/M mystery romance from JL Merrow. PRESSURE HEAD is the first in the Plumber’s Mate series of truly fun mysteries that add a little romance. The main character is a plumber with a knack for finding water and lost/hidden items–including dead or missing people. It’s set in England, and has the absolute vernacular. The book came out several years back, but is being re-released by a new publisher.

About the book:
Some things are better left hidden.
Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights.

My Review:
Tom Paretski is a plumber with an unfortunate name–his step-granddad was Polish, and customers continually marvel at Tom’s fluent English–and a family that’s still rather posh. Tom might have gone to uni if his schoolmate bullies hadn’t terrorized him into running into the street and getting hit by a lorry–resulting in eight months of surgeries and therapy and no time to study for his A-level exams. A decade later Tom’s philosophical about it; he’s had an inexplicable gift for finding water, which helps him on the leak trail. It’s also good for lost or hidden things. The more guilt associated with the secret hiding place, the stronger Tom can sense it, like a beacon of shame. And, his pal on the detective unit sometimes calls Tom in, on the down-low, if there’s a big search on.

It’s how he reunites with his chief childhood bully, Phil Morrison. Phil was a London cop, but now he’s returned to their hometown to set up a business in personal investigations. Phil doesn’t believe that Tom just stumbled across the body of the woman he’d been hired to find; he assumes Tom must have had inside information, info that could help his clients–the parents of the deceased girl and her devastated boyfriend–find peace and justice.

Tom isn’t best pleased to find Phil on his tail, or that he still, unwillingly, find Phil to be handsome. He wants to hate Phil for the part he played in Tom’s nightmarish bullying, and eventual injury. Phil though it was just boys-being-boys, but he’s sensitive enough to recognize that Tom’s understanding of the situation back then was very different from his own. And Phil admits a very serious level of respect for Tom, who was out and not-so-proud back at school. Phil suffered a lot of insecurity in those days, having been closeted himself, and a welfare family. Tom seemed smug, and posh, then, Phil thought, but only because Tom was afraid to get close to anyone and be pounded. Interesting that both men had a secret hankering back in school.

Now, however, Tom’s proved his valuable skill to Phil, and Phil’s taken to bringing him along in his investigations of the murder. It gets really dicey when they learn the victim had some issue within the church–where she volunteered in the budgets office. Lots of suspicions are being made about her boyfriend, a recovering addict, too. And it seems the only person with sufficient motive may have been the vicar, who’s hiding with his rather sordid past of wild sex parties.

The combinations of characters really bring this story to life. Tom’s casual English and affable nature win over some of the most recalcitrant of witnesses. I loved the banter, and Tom’s sharp wit. The enemies-to-comrades-to-lovers angle worked out well, with appropriate delay and catch-up. And outrage, on the part of Tom’s pals and family; they all have a poor opinion of Phil from that school days. It’s interesting how fastidious Phil is about his clothing, car and flat–that he makes a great effort to look the part of the successful man, to distance himself from his impoverished childhood. Meanwhile, Tom, who was raised in a middle class family, has a workingman’s profession. So there’s some interesting class themes explored, as well as redemption for both Tom and Phil, for their bad childhood behavior. Their romance is sweet and catches Tom by surprise, in a good way. Expect a little bit of sexytimes, when they finally get on the same page, I’ve read two other books in this series and highly recommend them all.

Interested? You can find PRESSURE HEAD on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards Finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online on her website, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and be sure to check out the reviews for my fellow Coffeehouse presenters this month:

Teaser for BENTLEY–Coming soon!


Hi there! Today I’m sharing some teasers for BENTLEY, the first book in the Vested Interest series by Melanie Moreland. BENTLEY will be releasing on February 8th and it is up for pre-order now. Check out the teasers and buy links below.

About the series:
The Vested Interest series will include 3 books: Bentley, Aiden, and Maddox.
Meet the men of VESTED INTEREST:
Three young men meet in university and form a lifelong friendship.
Their pasts dictate the men they are, but their present shapes their future.

What happens when these men meet the one person they are destined to be with? Can they fight their feelings and walk away? Or will they each succumb and learn the sweet agony of love?
About BENTLEY
Bentley.
The leader of the group. He is uptight, formal, and cold. Rigid and set in his ways, always following the same path. Until the day, he stumbles upon her.

Emmy.
She brings with her spontaneity and light. The world she lives in is so different from his, yet he cannot control the draw to her. Nor can he explain the way she makes him feel.
Happy.
Protective.
Loved.
 

Interested? You can find BENTLEY on Goodreads, and preorders can be placed on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo. The book releases Feb 8th.

And soon to come…

Aiden (Vested Interest, #2) by Melanie Moreland
Coming May 2018! Add it to Goodreads

Maddox (Vested Interest, #3) by Melanie Moreland
Coming August 2018! Add it to Goodreads


About the Author:
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

You can catch up with Melanie on her Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or sign up for her Newsletter.

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Bad Blood, or LACE-COVERED COMPROMISE?-A Review

Today I’m sharing a review for an Enemies-to-Lovers M/M contemporary romance from Silvia Violet. LACE-COVERED COMPROMISE is a standalone read with two business men finding their attraction to be more powerful than their professional issues. THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE features a settled, but open, couple who find their perfect third. Expect the sexytimes to steam your ereader screen… O.O I’ve loved me a lot of Ms. Violet’s sexy romances, including WELL-TAILORED, DOWN ON THE FARM, THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE, and all the Thorne & Dash romances. If you think you’re into “manties” after looking over this review, try MANTIES WITH A TWIST by J. A. Rock.

About the book:
Adam Kingston expects to inherit his father’s multinational conglomerate. When he finds out half of it went to Nate Thomas—an annoying man whose dreams for Kingston Corp.’s future clash with Adam’s need to stave off financial disaster—Adam is furious. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to wrest control of Kingston Corp. from Nate.

Nate may be soft-spoken, but he refuses to be swayed by Adam’s arrogant demands. When Nate accidentally drops a pair of his lacy panties in front of Adam, there’s no mistaking Adam’s interest. Nate hadn’t realized Adam was bisexual, but now that his secret is out, Nate is willing to use Adam’s lust against him if it means protecting the welfare of the company he loves.

For Adam and Nate, hatred and desire are closely linked. Their inability to compromise threatens the company and could expose their tightly held secrets. But as they work together to develop a plan to save Kingston Corp., they begin to realize there might be more to their relationship than anger and lust.

My Review:
Adam Kingston is not pleased when he learns his father bequeathed half of his business empire to his rival, Nate Thomas. His other problem is that Kinston Corp is losing money due to his father’s mismanagement. Adam is a slick, bisexual businessman who keeps his same-sex trysts on the down-low. Meanwhile, Nate is an out and proud environmentalist who wants to save the world with Kingston Corp. His plans are to increase research and development of the green wing of Kinston’s businesses. Adam’s plans involve scaling back the environmental projects, and working on new technologies that could drive new revenue. A researcher at heart, Adam’s more than happy to roll his sleeves up, but not with Nate.

While their ideologies clash, Adam’s very much attracted to Nate’s body–and this kicks up hard when he learns Nate has a passion for manties–sexy lace and satin briefs. Adam’s a bit manic, and his desire to master Nate drives him to make compromises that might actually help lift Kingston Corp into the black.

This is kinda a fun one, though the romance developed a bit to fast for my liking. Adam’s so angry with Nate, and yet this gets switched off entirely because of manties? That was hard for me to buy. That said, Nate is not some submissive man; in fact, he takes the upper hand in nearly all their interactions, both professional and personal. They are truly committing to saving Kingston Corp, and learn to navigate their business and personal relationship in mutually beneficial ways. I liked how it ended, and the tenderness that did develop between these former enemies-turned-lovers.

Interested? You can find LACE-COVERED COMPROMISE on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by Net Galley.

About the Author:
Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Catch up with Sylvia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or sign up for her Newsletter.

Enemies to Lovers: SCORPIO HATES VIRGO-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m kicking off Enemies to Lovers Week with a review for a sweet New Adult M/M contemporary romance from Anyta Sunday. SCORPIO HATES VIRGO is the sequel to LEO LOVES ARIES, but can be enjoyed on it’s own. A grieving young man endeavors to sell his late-aunt’s home and start over fresh where the memories of her love won’t haunt him. Especially important is leaving behind his childhood nemesis/crush but the well-meaning neighbors, and their paired horoscopes, seem to get in the way. It’s a sweet slow burn, and I really enjoyed it.

About the book:
This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past . . .

* ~* ~* ~*

“Scorpio Hates Virgo” contains sarcasm, sexual content, a slightly sappy HEA, and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
It can be read as a standalone.

My Review:
Percy’s dear Aunt Abby had died about six months ago, she left him her home–the home where he was raised after his parents made no secret of wanting him gone when he came out in his teens. It’s a bit run-down, but still got great bones and a close-knit cul-de-sac community of neighbors who keep tabs on everyone, plan fun get-togethers, and lend a hand when needed. They were among the chief mourners at Abby’s wake, and though Percy knows they truly care for him too, he wants to sell the house and move away. He’s recently broken up with another boyfriend–who thinks he’s not family material–and he just wants to start over.

But, Callaghan Glover, neighbor and long-time nemesis is becoming a constant presence in his life. Cal should be at school, finishing his masters in paleontology, but he took a break and came home to help care for his pregnant mother and two younger sisters now that his dad had an existential crisis and moved out. Percy has always harbored a secret crush on Cal, but he knows it’s pointless, because Cal’s straight. Still, both of these guys need a solid friend, and their verbal sparring moves from waspish to bantering, confusing Percy more. Add to this, the cul-de-sac community is playing a “Sherlock Gnomes” game where they secretly leave treats or take on chores for their fellow Gnomers–all while trying to determine which neighbor is operating under which Gnome name. And Cal’s mother makes Percy a standing invitation to share their dinners so he doesn’t have to eat alone.

The community that Percy feels, even as he’s sorely missing his aunt, gives him the strength to reach out for what he wants–to build a lasting relationship. It takes a LOOOONG time, but Percy realizes that one of the Gnomes he’s been chatting with (and pouring out his soul a bit to) isn’t the person he expected, and that Cal may have been tipped off about Percy’s attraction. Percy is, meanwhile, building stronger roots of his own, developing a clientele of folks in their community for his massage therapist gig. Including Cal who’s hurting his back entertaining his young sister with dinosaur antics. I liked how Percy and Cal took things slow, it’s a tricky business going from enemies to friends to lovers. Cal’s own need, as a Virgo and a demipansexual, is to build a strong emotional connection before he can get physical, adds to that slow burn. Meanwhile, Percy’s hide-behind-the-sarcasm Scorpio ways makes getting close a challenge. Their love may not have been written in the stars, but it certainly burned bright enough to make Percy recognize his place in life was the one he tried to run from.

Fun and creative, I enjoyed this one.

Interested? You can find SCORPIO HATES VIRGO on Goodreads and Amazon. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About Anyta Sunday: (in her own words…)
A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, GFY/OFY, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

If you’d like to check out more of my stories, check out my website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!