True Love? GET A GRIP-A Review

Hi there! Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published M/M romance from L.A. Witt. Get A Grip is part of the Bluewater Bay series, but totally enjoyable as a standalone. I really enjoyed RAIN SHADOW, also part of the series by LA Witt.

About the book:
If a tree falls in Bluewater Bay . . . could it be fate?
A year after his divorce, Shane Andrews isn’t interested in dating—not that he has time, between three kids and a demanding job as a grip. When a windstorm knocks a tree onto one of the Wolf’s Landing soundstages, Shane’s there to help with the mess . . . and so is firefighter Aaron Tucker.

A former smoke jumper, Aaron’s an adrenaline junkie and way too restless and reckless to be relationship material. As far as he’s concerned, monogamy is for penguins, and he’d rather be alone than tied down. Signing up to be a stepparent? No, thank you.

But after a scorching-hot night together, they’re hooked. Aaron is a taste of the excitement Shane’s been lacking, and Shane’s pushing buttons Aaron didn’t know he had. The more they’re together, the less Aaron craves wild nights with other men . . . but the more Shane wants to play the field like he never got to in his twenties.

This could be the love neither man knew he needed, but only if Shane gets his feet back on the ground before Aaron walks away.

My Review:
Shane is a twice-divorced bisexual father of three kids. He’s tight with his previous ex, Leo, who still acts as stepfather to the kids, though non of them are his blood. (COOL GUY!!) Shane’s been celibate for over a year when he meets Aaron on the Wolf’s Landing set following a big storm that sent a tree crashing into the production studio. Aaron’s an experienced firefighter who volunteers on Bluewater Bay’s crew.

He’s also forty-six, and down for anything.

Aaron and Shane hook up like a wildfire devours a countryside–their chemistry is white hot. But, Shane’s not good at casual sex, and Aaron’s not really interested in a commitment. Or so they think. I liked the way these guys let themselves simply be, for a while. Aaron’s promising no-strings sexytimes fun, what Shane totally missed out on becoming a father so young in life. They have grand plans to be super adventurous, and those fall through. The upside is, they still have each other, and they like it that way.

Both Aaron and Shane try to talk themselves out of taking this relationship into the serious side, but neither of them can stop the progression they are making. There’s room for mistakes, and making up for the missteps. I loved watching it all unfold, and well, there are a good number os yummy sexytimes, so…bonus points! The end is sweet and tender. I appreciated Aaron’s hurt, and Shane’s willingness to make it right. Brought me in mind of “You had me at hello” and that was lovely.

I also liked that these guys are a little older, and have some struggles acting like kids on the prowl. They are good with the self-deprecation on that score. It’s a yummy-sexy-sweet read and I’d recommend it.

Interested? You can find GET A GRIP on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Cleaning Up a CHIEF’S MESS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published M/M romance from L.A. Witt. CHIEF’S MESS is the third book in her Anchor Point Navy-romance series, and features two men who’ve struggled to find love, and have some serious work necessary to make it possible now. I really liked JUST DRIVE and AFRAID TO FLY so I couldn’t wait to read this one.

About the book:
Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series and is likely BEST enjoyed after reading AFRAID TO FLY (book 2), but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Anthony only came to Anchor Point as moral support to his sister, who’s ex-husband wants to spend time with their children. Travis (from AtF) has been sober for three years, and is rebuilding his life with his new partner, Clint, but Anthony doesn’t trust Travis as far as her could toss him. Still, if Anthony’s sister is happy, then Anthony will accept her judgment. Even if he’s sure that Travis is still a lousy drunk…

Frustrated by the tension of the experience, he goes trolling for some prime Navy “seamen” at a bar in the small town. That’s where he meets Noah, and it’s a hawt time in the bunks. Noah hasn’t ever had a long term relationship, though he’s nearing forty, and Anthony’s captivated by him. Their tryst turns in to a weekend, and then travel between his home in Denver and Anchor Point. Each time Noah and Anthony get together it’s better than the last time, but there’s a situation developing between them:  Noah drinks. Anthony can’t fathom how much, because they only spend a few days together every few weeks, but it’s starting to creep into their phone calls and video chats.

Noah doesn’t believe he has a problem, but it’s becoming clearer each day that his heavy drinking affects his work and relationships. Especially when Anthony is (emotionally) hurt bad due to Noah’s own (drunken) negligence. The alcoholism issue between Anthony and Noah took a long time to develop, and that felt realistic. Lots of people can be functional alcoholics, especially in isolation. Noah’s few friends didn’t necessarily see his problems, and they worked with him daily. That said, Anthony reached out for help regarding his own prejudices with alcohol, and it helped bring healing for him, too. I liked how Travis and Clint proved to be great guys and important parts of both Noah and Anthony’s story, in the resolution. The story started out with dirty, dirty sexytimes, and I liked how this transitioned into a more tender romance. Anthony and Noah both showed a lot of vulnerability, and that really made them endearing, although Anthony came off as a jerk initially.

I’ve loved this series from the beginning, and I Look forward to more sexy Navy men, and all their military issues, finding love in the future.

Interested? You can find CHIEF’S MESS on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Trusting NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M romance recently re-released by L.A. Witt. NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW is a quirky romance for two men who find they have the same thing in common: their boyfriend. O.O That was a big hook for me, but I’ve loved some of her recent books, including AFRAID TO FLY and JUST DRIVE, so I couldn’t wait to get into this one.

Scroll down to catch my review and enter to win a backlist book from LA Witt!
About the book:
“I believe you have something of mine, Zach.”

The stranger’s accusation throws Zach Owens for a loop. He’s never seen this man in his life, and he’s not prepared when he finds out what they have in common—their boyfriend, Jake.

Make that ex-boyfriend. With the jerk out of the picture, Zach hurries after the stranger to apologize… which quickly leads to some sizzling hot revenge sex.

Despite starting on the wrong foot, Nathan Forrester can’t get enough of the sexy movie theater owner. Still, he’s jaded and distrustful—especially when Jake keeps materializing in Zach’s presence despite Zach insisting that relationship is over.

With a devious ex-boyfriend trying to sabotage their fledgling relationship, Zach and Nathan need to learn to trust each other, or they’ll both wind up with nothing.

This 61,000 word novel was previously published, and has been revised to include an extended ending.

My Review:
Zach is a movie house owner out on a date with his boyfriend, Jake, when a stranger sits beside him and proceeds to inform him that Jake is also his boyfriend. Yeah, awkward. Both Zach and the stranger leave Jake at the bar–but Zach can’t get over his feelings of shame, and reaches out to the other man, for camaraderie, and a drink to settle the story.

Turns out Nathan and Jake had been dating four years, and Zach’s furious he was unwittingly pulled into this situation. Nathan shares Zach’s fury and the two of them quickly decide the ultimate revenge would be to have it off together. Only, it’s HAWT. A week later, Zach’s still daydreaming about how good he and Nathan were together. And a week after that, he’s thrilled to see Nathan buying a ticket for one of the art house movies showing in his theater. They talk, briefly, and Nathan makes it clear he’d like to see Zach again. Could it be that it was a one-in-a-million good time, or can they catch lightning in the bottle again?

It’s better. So good they don’t want to stop seeing each other, but they hardly know one another and it’s terribly awkward that they have barely more than revenge sex and an ex between them. Still, they think it would be okay if what develops is a rebound fling. And it sort of is. Until it’s more. And that just eats Jake alive when he reaches out to try to repair the breach with Zach. And then tries to manipulate both Zach and Nathan into a fight.

I really liked the in-depth discussions regarding trust, and the lack of it, that Nathan struggles with regarding relationships. He’s had two serious boyfriends who were cheaters–and when Zach is late or can’t make a date, he’s almost certain that’s just Zach messing around on him. Not that it should matter if they aren’t that serious. But, somehow along the way this got serious for both of them, and Zach has a fun and sexy way of working on Nathan’s trust issues. Expect a bit of bondage, some highly inappropriate projector room shenanigans, a scheming ex, and so much sexytimes the book needs a fire extinguisher. I loved it.

Interested? You can find NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from LA Witt.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Living Past Being AFRAID TO FLY–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published M/M romance from L.A. Witt. AFRAID TO FLY is the second book in her Anchor Point Navy-romance series, and features two mature men who’ve had their fair share of hard knocks finding love. I really liked JUST DRIVE, so I couldn’t wait to read this one.

afraid-to-flyAbout the book:
Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

My Review:
Commander Travis Wilson pilots a desk instead of fighter jets, ever since the crash and ejection that rattled his spine and left his radio-operator confined to a wheelchair. It was excellent skill that kept them both alive, but Travis’ back and nerve damage takes a constant toll–one he doesn’t want to medicate, or he’ll be relieved of duty. Let’s not forget that Trav’s a proud man, too, and unwilling to relent his position or admit he should be on disability. He’s bisexual, but more attracted to men, than women–and the only person he ever loved was a fellow pilot who couldn’t out himself before he was tragically killed.

Lt. Commander Clint Fraser is rebuilding his life after suffering PTSD over a drone mission gone wrong. Unable to speak about the super-classified mission, he treated his nightmares with liquor until his wife left, and too the kids with her. Clint hasn’t had a drink in two years, but his “coming out” at the Navy Ball is all kinds of messed up when Clint’s date shows up roaring drunk. The up-side? Travis Wilson noticed that Clint’s bisexual.

Travis and Clint work in the same building, but aren’t in the same chain of command. When they recognize that spark building between them, they keep it mostly quiet, so they can see if it builds or fizzles. Trav’s sure it’ll fizzle, as he’s not fit for the kind of sexual activity most gay men enjoy. Clint’s not put-off though, because he likes the rapport they build, and he’s not picky regarding his sexual activity; if everyone is satisfied, it’s fine to keep it a little less physically-challenging.

I liked how Travis’ adult daughter plays a role in the book. She’s got PTSD from being a family member of an actively deployed airman, and I thought that was a unique perspective to experience. Clint’s family situation is a messed up, with Skype visits and supervised visitation, and that seemed excessive. I was glad that Clint started to stand up for himself by the end of the book. Travis and Clint claim to want to keep things light, but they keep reaching out for one another, emotionally and physically. I liked the way their relationship built. The sexytimes are nice and sensual, even if they aren’t filthy-raw, and the accommodations they make to keep Travis from experiencing heightened pain were clearly defined. It felt very realistic, and sweet. The deeper their bond grows, the more Travis begins to freak out. It was good he got some sense smacked into him by his daughter, friends and Clint–who isn’t willing to take a brush-off. The end is an HEA.

Interested? You can find AFRAID TO FLY on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Close Quarters–JUST DRIVE-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a contemporary M/M military romance from LA Witt. JUST DRIVE is the first book in her new Anchor Point series about seamen finding love in the Navy. I’ve really enjoyed HIATUS, WHAT HE LEFT BEHIND, RAIN SHADOW and LEAD ME NOT from Ms. Witt, so I jumped at the chance to read JUST DRIVE. It’s soooo good!

just-driveAbout the book:
For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

My Review:
Sean Wright is a Navy brat. His father dragged him all over the US even after his parents divorced. Dad, as a Navy Senior Chief, made more than his mother, and though he’s 22 years old, Sean’s going to college in Anchor Point, their newest locale, on his dad’s GI Bill money as a dependent. Sean’s been out for years, and his father is loving and supportive.

Sean works as a cab driver in Anchor Point, to supplement his income, and picks up Captain Paul Richards one Friday night. It’s clear his passenger is having a rough night, so Sean follows his directive to “just drive.” They spend some time in the car, and out at a lonely pier, and notice that each man is attractive, and interested.

44 year old Paul is one of few “out” captains in the Navy. He’s been busting his butt for 24 years in the hopes of making Admiral, and is newly stationed in Anchor Point as commander of Naval Air Station Adams. Before he was able to come out, Paul had two broken marriages to women, and he’s not proud of it. He’s still not able to find a man to settle down with, however, because his travel always upsets his partner(s). He’s frustrated and down when his newest relationship fizzles, but catching the eye of his sexy young cabbie is an immediate panacea. Paul and Sean spend a very sweaty night at a local no-tell motel, exchanging only the barest of info. Paul accepts Sean’s card, in case he needs other transport, but neither man can shake the connection they made that night.

Paul calls, and Sean comes. And that’s not a pun. Their hook-up nights become more frequent, and involve more than just sex–they’re inadvertently building a relationship. It seems to be going great–Paul and Sean get along well, and have a solid connection–until Paul learns that Sean’s father not only works on his base; Chief Wright is in Paul’s chain of command.

That means both Paul and Sean’s father could be discharged if Sean and Paul are discovered. For two men that have devoted their lives to the service, this is an untenable risk–and Sean’s father makes that clear.

What began as a one-off had grown into something real, however, and both Sean and Paul have to fully examine their lives, careers and aspirations. Would Paul walk away from the Navy for Sean? Could Sean accept that type of sacrifice? What sort of life would they even have together? Sean’s heartbroken, and Paul’s surly. The fallout is personally dramatic, with Sean deciding that the best way for him to make himself available to Paul is to stop being a Navy dependent. Thing is, Paul’s got his own plans, and they involve never letting the Navy ruin his love life again.

Expect a lot of soul-searching, and sexytimes, and seamen… 😉 The story is tender and sweet, with a good dash of angst, because Paul and Sean can’t seem to quit each other. That leads to lots of clandestine meetings, which are deliciously gut-wrenching. I have a special affinity for older-younger and “we shouldn’t”/”just one last time” connections, especially when the characters have multiple ‘last’ times. The resolution was really satisfying, with a storybook HEA.

Interested? You can find JUST DRIVE on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Stuck in the Middle–HIATUS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M/M menage contemporary romance from LA Witt. HIATUS is a bittersweet, but realistic, read featuring a married couple who is divorcing and their third–who tries to keep them together.

HiatusAbout the book:
Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.
Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.

But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers’ broken relationship, but there’s only so much he can do from the road.

At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.

Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.

Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

My Review:
This is a bittersweet menage M/M/M story that explores a disintegrating marriage, and the reasons behind the collapse. It has a happy ending.

3.5 stars.
Cam and Theo are a married couple. They’ve been together 17 years–since college–and just over four years ago met Nate, singer in an up-and-coming band. They were up for some fun, and it worked so well, that Nate joined them, permanently.

Well…the book opens with Nate ecstatic for one of his rendezvous nights on the road with his sexy boyfriends, only to find Cam waiting for him. Because Theo is moving out of their house back in LA. Nate’s blindsided and hurt, and Cam’s a mess. They make love, but it’s bittersweet.

Rinse and repeat that a few times. Sometimes Theo comes, sometimes Cam comes, see–while they can’t live together, neither wants to lose Nate. It’s a bad situation.

What Nate learns, as he strives to get his men back together is that Theo’s been suffering depression for a long time. And, Cam’s been struggling with borderline-OCD and panic attacks for a long time, and neither noticed the other’s problems because they were too wrapped in their own mental illness.

There is a lot of bitter in this book. There are also points of extreme sweetness. As a person who’s suffered depression, I felt it was more bitter than sweet. As a person who’s weathered rough patches in a long marriage, it was raw to experience echoes of similar distance in the characters on the page.

It ends with a very reasonable and relatable and realistic reunion. That was really satisfying, but I still had a LOT of angst–some on the page, some of my own baggage–to heft before I got to the good parts. Those good parts coming at the very end of the book.

Poly romances are often hard to relate to, but it’s not hard to relate to the unraveling of love. Nate was such a dear, really stoking the fires to get Cam and Theo to reconcile, but his efforts were in the wrong place, because only the people breaking up can do the making up–as Theo and Cam realized.

The mental illness issues were carefully described, and felt very real–especially the depression as I have first-hand experience with that. I liked how the solution was never complacent, not: “we’ll get over it.” Once Cam and Theo claimed their issues, they got productive help managing their emotional state. Part of their delay seeking counseling was fear that any marriage counselors would tell them they needed to cut Nate loose. I could relate with that fear, as poly relationships are not given the same weight as marriage, and that prejudice proved a hindrance to their health. Still, there were several lights at the end of the tunnel, and the end proved to be both happy and sexy.

In all, it worked for me. I just wished it had been a little more upbeat.

Interested? You can find HIATUS on Goodreads, Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!