POUNDING SKIN–A Military Monday Review!

Hi there! Sorry for the radio silence, I was in Virginia Beach through Monday afternoon and didn’t have a chance to post until we completed an overnight drive home, and I managed to get some sleep! So “Military Monday” is happening on Wednesday… Today I’m sharing a review for another M/M military romance from L.A. Witt. POUNDING SKIN is the second book in her Skin Deep series, that feature sexy Navy men, and tattoo artists! It’s on a different coast than her Anchor Point series, set in Virginia Beach, where I spent many a Memorial Day weekend, y’all! I’ve loved other Navy romances from LA WITT, including  JUST DRIVE and most recently WASH OUT, so I wanted to jump into this new series.

About the book:
Fighter pilot Jon Russell never sleeps with the same man twice. Known for his lack of shame when it comes to hooking up, Jon has no interest in commitment—even friends with benefits sounds like too much work.

Matt Huffman has slept with lots of women. He’s had loads of girlfriends. So why does the hot as hell pilot getting a tattoo as the result of a lost bet stop his breath? And how come he can’t stop thinking about him, even after he’s gone?

When Jon returns to Skin Deep the second time, he doesn’t want another tattoo. He wants to hook up with the gorgeous artist he spent hours agonizingly close to, and Matt wants to explore some curiosity about men. Fulfill the desire he can’t stop fantasizing over. And he wants to do it with Jon.

As their casual hook up becomes more than just skin deep, both Matt and Jon are faced with questions they don’t want to answer. Matt understands he’s bi—but are these feelings he has typical of hooking up with a man? Or is it only Jon that can make his heart pound? If Jon wanted nothing more than a fling, why does he find himself needing not just Matt’s body, but all of him? And can their relationship withstand the hardships that makes Jon avoid them in the first place?

My Review:
Navy fighter pilot Jon Russell loses a bet with his squadron mates that forces him to get a tattoo–despite Jon’s intense fear of needles. The artist that he seeks out, Matt Huffman, is nearly down-and-out with too many bills and too little cash, but he’s compassionate and curious. Bi-curious, that is. It seems that some of Matt’s recent experiences have highlighted how attracted he may subconsciously be to men. But, there’s no escaping the fact that he’s aroused by the terrified Navy pilot under his tattoo gun.

Jon’s always ready for a hook-up, but nothing more. And, he’s not sure why he’s so inexplicably attached to Matt–especially so when Matt admits he wants some sexual experiences with an experienced man. Jon’s all to happy to volunteer his sexpertise, and they build a friendship that includes smoking hot sex whenever they can manage. But, they also communicate in a friendly way, and begin to spend non-sex-related time together sharing meals and outings. Matt’s nervous about coming out as bisexual, and Jon patiently stands by his side. Months go on and they are far more than friends, and really more than lovers, before Jon recognizes he’s actually in a relationship. And, that’s not cool with him. He’d sworn to never settle down with another man again, but is being with Matt all the time really “settling”?

I liked this one. Matt was such a tender heart, despite his bulk. Jon’s compassionate, to a point. His freak out because of the ‘-ship’ business was troubling, but I liked how he came to terms with his fears in the end, and salvaged his relationship. Matt was definitely worth it. I also enjoyed all the sexplorations and how eager Matt was to embrace his bisexuality once her mentally committed. It’s clear he’d been traumatized in his youth by an overbearing, homophobic father, but his existing family is supportive, for the most part.

Also, the setting! Virginia Beach is a place I’ve spent lots of time over the years. In fact, on Monday–the day I was supposed to be logging this post–I was doing a drive-by of NAS Oceana, Jon’s base station. I always love when I can connect with a locale and the descriptions of the settings in and around the coastal area there were spot-on. Looking forward to more books in this series!

Interested? You can find POUNDING SKIN on Goodreads, 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!

Living Life in HIGH CONTRAST–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M romance form Tess Bowery. HIGH CONTRAST is the first book in a series, and features an odd couple romance between a geeky college intern and a smoking hot piercer… Rawr!

High Contrast (Evolution Ink, #1)About the book:
The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.
Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend. Except for the way he refuses to talk about his past, or where he lives, or anything about his personal life.

When Ethan is arrested while on a mission of mercy, the reason Cody is so tight lipped comes to light. And while Jacob and Cody fight to understand the depth of their feelings for one another, the police dogs catch their scent. So does the local mob.

Now Jacob has to make the hardest choice of his life: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands…and hope Cody is there to break his fall.

Warning: Contains a good boy who wants to be bad, a bad boy who longs to be good, bodies that are canvases for living art and high-speed chases with police dogs.

My Review:
Jacob is a plain, geeky, out gay man, living with his wild, artistic, tattoo-artist brother, Ethan, in an apartment in NYC. He’s serving a summer as an unpaid intern in his BFFs father’s ad company, and pretty much hating life. A Lot. Jacob wants a man, he feels like a fuddy-duddy, and is currently having a major hopeless crush on the newest employee at Ethan’s tat shop: Cody, the piercer.

Cody’s a wet-dream of a man, in Jacob’s opinion. Tall and lithe, with long blonde hair, amazing tats, and soooo many piercings. His junk could set off the TSA body scanners, I bet. Jacob doesn’t know this, at first, he just hangs out at Ethan’s job mooning over Cody, wishing Cody was gay. Or bi. Or bi-curious…

Thing is, they really hit it off, and it turns out the Cody is totally gay, just not interested—-in getting Jacob mixed up in Cody’s messed up life. And that’s not cool in Jacob’s opinion. This book was so refreshing, with it’s motley cast of hell-raising tat artists, poor schmucky Jacob, and Princess Andi, Jacob’s bestie who is also Ethan’s girlfriend. I really dug the total dynamic, and the twists this book took were beyond the pale.

Ethan gets in trouble for running pot for disabled vets who can’t get a legal prescription filled, as a favor to his business partner. Turns out the “po-po” (NYPD) had been tipped off, and that brings the Russian mob, corrupt cops, Cody’s drug-running ex, and a masquerading old Slovak woman into the mix. We don’t know where the danger lay, but we do know that Jacob will save his brother any which way he can, and Cody feels indebted to The Brothers Shain for their assistance in his recent domestic problems, so he’s down for a Dumpster dive or a covert op, when needed.

I loved how Jacob and Cody totally bonded. They are “geeks of a feather” and that was really cool for this geek to read. Jacob’s an upstanding guy–and pretty much hysterically neurotic–so he’s all about not pressuring Cody into doing anything physical–while he’s also doing a serious solid for Cody. Can’t have the beautiful man feel beholden, or anything. Oy vey. It’s Cody who makes the moves here, and he’s so smitten with Jacob it’s swoony.

Expect bad guys who try to hurt good guys, funny guys who make fun of not funny guys, a couple of covert ops run by absolute novices–seriously, it’s like me and my sisters trying to take down a gang–that result in amazing stand-offs and heroic deeds. I really don’t want to give the plot away, but I can tell you this one ends on a really high note, and it’s only the beginning of the series.

Also, Jacob and Cody totally get it on, and Jacob learns the benefits of metal-augmented male appendages. *wink wink*

Interested? You can find HIGH CONTRAST on Goodreads, Samhain Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:

Tess has been a fan of historical fiction since learning the Greek and Roman myths at her mother’s knee. Now let loose on a computer, she’s spinning her own tales of romance and passion in a slightly more modern setting. Tess lives on the east coast, with her partner of fifteen years and two cats who should have been named ‘Writer’s Block’ and ‘Get Off the Keyboard, Dammit.’

You can catch up with Tess on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!