Susan Hawke-How to Forgive

Susi Hawke is one of my favorite MM omegaverse writers, but she also writes contemporary MM, and that’s what How to Forgive is. This is the 6th book in her Lovestrong series. They are all standalone, but they are all connected. I highly recommend reading them all from the very start. There’s a lot of fun, tears, love, and learning in them. There are several years in between the first one and this one, and we first meet Grayson in that book. Gray comes as non-binary in the first book, but in this book, which is theirs, they consider themself to be genderqueer. Their pronouns are obviously they/them/theirs. As part of their expression of their gender identity, they wear clothes that are both traditionally female and male. Their sexual identity is gay.

So, Gray has come home. Home isn’t necessarily the best place for them, not because they hate their family or anything, but because their hometown is also the hometown of the man who bullied them as a teenager. (Check out the first book, How Not to Blend for the story). Clark, the bully, has grown and changed, quite a bit, and it turns out that he was nearly as much a victim as Gray was. (Clark’s story is one of my favorite books, and so intense, How to Heal) As part of Clark’s growth and recovery, he started a foundation that would help LGBTQIA at-risk youth. Gray has the training and the schooling to work at the foundation, and they really want to, but on the day of their interview, they remember that Clark will be there.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or at least the MC compound, we have Wolf, who is, interestingly enough Clark’s husband’s brother. He is the president of the local MC. They aren’t outlaws though, strictly on the up and up, because Wolf’s mama would smack him around if they were. What the club does, though, is help out with security when people need help. In the situation where someone is being abused, Wolf and his boys will show up and provide the victim some safety. Anyway, Wolf is a pan playboy. He likes everyone, and he’s out to prove it. One morning, as he rolls out of the bed of one man, he decides to stop and get some coffee. When he does, he sees the most perfect marvelous unicorn of a person. When Wolf tries to be all cute and stuff to the person, it turns out it’s Gray, and Gray knocks him back, mentioning, among other things, that Wolf is wearing a come encrusted t-shirt.

OK, I have to go back to Clark a little bit here. He’s a fantastic character, and he has done a lot of work on himself to get over and beyond what he did as a teenager. As part of that, he apologised to Gray. Now, just because you apologise to someone doesn’t mean that they have to accept it. Clark apologised to them as part of his own growth and journey. He accepted that it was was Gray’s right to forgive or not to forgive and accepted that. For Clark, at that point, getting Gray’s forgiveness was not the important thing. The important thing was the making of amends, and that’s what Clark did. Clark is still one of my favorite characters. I have his book in every format I can.

So, back to Gray and Wolf. Grayson has become a very good person. They are very happy within themself, and they are not ashamed of who they are. They also want to do everything they can to help out kids who were in the same place as them. Gray does a very good job at it, and obviously makes a difference in many lives. They are also more than willing to go out and have fun, which is what happens with Wolf. I love how confident Gray is, and it’s not easy to be a unicorn in a world where people want you to be a horse, especially if you live in a small town. I admire that confidence and that courage. Living your truth is hard, so hard. And many people aren’t able to find that truth and to live it at such a young age.

Wolf is just a hoot. I mean, he’s funny AF. Gray and Wolf’s meet cute isn’t necessarily the cutest one out there, but it is definitely one of the funniest. Wolf is also a very good man. He really wants to make the world a better place too. He wants to help out, and he does in a way that others aren’t able to. I think that he is perfect for Gray. He won’t hold Gray back in any way, and will give them all the support that they need when they are out fighting the demons of the world.

Again, I honestly cannot recommend this entire series highly enough. It has drag queens, motorcycle clubs, alternative healers, pastors, and just about anyone else you might want to meet. The relationships aren’t always easy, and bad things do happen, but there’s always a happy ending.

OMG, Clark. Poor, sweet, good-hearted Clark. And good for Gray.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Savage Love

Today we’re looking at the second book in Jane’s Savage Island duet, Savage Love. Since it is the second part of a duet, there are likely to be some spoilers. I try really hard to keep them down, but I can’t guarantee that there isn’t going to be something there.

So, Cy and Harper have found themselves completely alone on the island. But now they have more knowledge than they had before, and they are aware that there really is something going on and they have to do something. Right now, they are focusing on finding some cameras that they have been told are around the island so that the people behind the fuckery that’s going on can watch them. They’ve searched and searched all over the island, and they’ve been trying to find the last ones.

And while we are reading it may seem like the story is only a few days, their search of the island, inch by inch, actually takes weeks. It’s hard for us to get an idea of how much time goes past, since Cy and Harper don’t really have a clue as to how much time is going on. They do eventually figure out where the cameras are, and then all the things happen.

This book really does carry over the mindfuck from the first one. Now, I thought that the first one was a serious mindfuck, because, well, it was. This one isn’t as much of a mindfuck, because we’ve started to see behind the curtains, but it’s still there. And there are more layers to it than we first knew about, and the mindfuck isn’t going to end quickly or quietly.

I think that Harper has really grown from being on the island. She’s gotten more confident and stronger. She’s been through some things and she’s shown herself that she can handle the things. I think that Cy’s love has given her a grounding that she really needed, and helped to center her. It wasn’t anything she really had before. And she was a strong and independent person before the island, but that strength and independence is now tempered by know that she has someone who can back her up, support her, and give her the things that she needs. I think that Cy and Harper are really complementary, and their different viewpoints give them things that they need, and fill holes that each of them have.

OK, no spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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JD Hollyfield & K Webster-Conheartists

I know that I generally talk about K’s darker or more taboo stuff, but this book isn’t. This book is a romcom. A tremendously funny, laugh out loud until I can’t breathe, almost peed myself romcom. I mean, yeah, it was so fucking funny. But you could very much pick up K’s touches in it. I haven’t really reviewed any of JD’s books on here, but she works a lot with K, both in co-writing situations and in shared world series. The collabs tend to be on the lighter side. So, let’s talk about Conheartists.

Luca is a lifelong con artist. He’s good at it. but, this time around, he’s bitten off a little more than he can chew. He’s managed to piss off a mobster named Arlo Rossi. Not only has he managed to piss off Rossi, he’s also managed to get Rossi chasing him. But, Rossi isn’t the only person who is after Luca. So is Mr. Death. He has taken Luca’s sister and little niece and has called Luca and told him that he needs to be at a certain address by a certain time, and oh yeah, steal a certain person.

Francis, AKA Frannie, lives in a tiny town in New Jersey called Teterboro, which has a steady population of under a hundred people. Her mom died a couple of years ago, and her dad died many, many years ago. Her mom owned an antique store, and now Frannie owns and runs the store, along with Mabel, her much older best friend, who was also her mother’s best friend. Frannie’s other best friend is Mabel’s twin sister, Beatrice. Bea loans Frannie some totally excellent smutty books. Frannie has a dog named Chandler Bing, she’s obsessed with Lean Cuisine and Richard Simmons. I can’t blame her about being obsessed with Richard, he’s a pretty awesome guy. Frannie is incredibly sheltered, and kind of lives in her own world, in a good way.

Things are all good, until some crazy man takes an axe to her front door, and tells her she’s being kidnapped. She thinks that Mabel and Bea have set up something to give her some kind of adventure, so she talks the guy into letting her pack and taking Chandler with her.

Luca calls Frannie a little squirrel, and she totally is. There’s a joke about people with ADHD getting dis…. SQUIRREL! See, totally true. The book never says that Frannie has ADHD, so I’m not saying that’s why she is the way that she is. I’m guessing it’s more that she’s just so damn hungry for new adventures, experiences, and memories. Everything she sees is something that is new to her, and it’s easy to get distracted when that happens. But it’s that very feature that makes her so damn charming and so damn sweet. Pretty much everyone who meets her falls for her because she’s so charming, enthusiastic, bubbly, and excited. I think that Frannie could be really close to incredibly annoying, but there’s just something about her that negates that possibility.

Luca is clever, loyal, and protective. You can tell just how much he is by the way he’s doing whatever Mr. Death wants him to do so that his sister and niece are safe. He also starts to feel that way about Frannie too. At first, he’s incredibly exasperated by her, which I can understand why he might feel that way, but it doesn’t take too long for him to change his mind and feel a totally different kind of way.

The book is primarily a dual POV, with a couple of other chapters from other POVs. We really get to know both Luca and Frannie that way. I loved getting into both of their heads. It was pretty great.

Like I said, there is so much funny in here. My husband kept asking him why I was cackling, and then I’d have to explain green ketchup, the big winner, or Dr. Death.

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I damned near laughed myself into an asthma attack during Chandler’s POV chapter. It was so perfectly funny.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. Happy reading!

K Webster-Dr. Dan

K is back to her taboo town, which means we get a great story as well as some super sexiness. I think, though, that Dr. Dan is the most intense of all the taboo treats. As always, this is a standalone, but it is interconnected with several of the other books. You don’t have to have read them all to read and enjoy this one, but you will probably get more enjoyment out of it if you do.

So, here’s the story. Lauren is 18 and trying to finish off her last year of high school. The problem is that she’s also sick, even though she’s trying really hard to deny it. She tells everyone that she has period pain, or something else, but doesn’t really ever say it’s something more serious. She’s living in a land of denial because her mother died a couple of years ago, so she’s afraid that she’s going to die if she ever finds out what is wrong.

Enter Dr. Dan, or Dr. DumDum, a drop dead daddy of a doctor. He works in the local ER, and when Lauren comes in to get treated, there’s just something about her that he’s drawn to. There’s something just so vulnerable and yet so brash about her that is enticing. He wants to do what he can to make her feel better, but she refuses to acknowledge that there’s a problem. That doesn’t stop Dan though.

Lauren’s journey is what makes this one so intense, in my opinion. Each of the stories has something that causes some drama or tension in the story, but none of them are quite like this one. I really felt for Lauren. I get being scared like that. I think that we all do, to one extent or another. We don’t want to face what’s happening because if we face it and acknowledge it, we have to deal with it, and that’s just scary as fuck, you know? It’s better to live in denial, even if it isn’t really. But if you live in denial, the bad thing is never going to happen.

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I love Daniel and Lauren’s family. And root beer floats.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

The Dynamic Duo-Cuff Me, Daddy

The Dynamic Duo of Alyssa and Rayanna are back with the latest Daddy of the Month book, Cuff Me, Daddy. And I think this one might be the best one in the series to this point, especially if you ask Sue, lol.

This is a second chance romance with an older couple. I know that I’ve talked about how I love a good second chance romance, being part of one myself, and as a lady of a certain age, I like seeing female characters my age. I have nothing against young nubile 20 year olds whose tits defy gravity, trust me, not one damn thing, but seeing someone my own age having some freaky-deaky sex and dealing with the realities of being 40-something is always nice.

So, Mama Sue is the oldest of the Dirty Dozen. She and her daughter Amy are both part of the book club, which more power to them. I don’t want to know what kind of kink my mother has. It’s bad enough that I know that she’s a screamer. And now you know. I live to share the pain. Anyway, her almost ex-husband left town years ago, because of reasons. Now he’s back, and there are problems. I say almost ex-husband because she left him standing at the altar.

Gabe has moved home so that he can work with the local police department and he wants to spend time with his kids, Aaron and Amy. They may both be grown up now, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to be around him. And if he sees Sue, well, that’s not a drawback. You see, it’s been decades since they were last together (22 years, but who’s counting?) and he still loves her. He’s always loved her. He will always love her. He’s pretty sure that Sue feels the same about him, somewhere deep down, but she has built all kinds of walls.

I really relate to Sue. Like I said, second chance romance here, but I get the whole loving someone for years but still being afraid of getting back with them because of what is going on with him. It can be really scary, and it’s a lot easier to be angry AF, and to yell at them. Then that anger turns into a habit, and you just can’t get away from it because it’s right there, and it’s just an easy habit.

I also relate to Gabe. Sue really does a lot of push/pull with him. I think that he’s always pretty upfront with her about what he wants and how he feels, but she’s playing games, sort of. I don’t think that she’s doing it on purpose. I think it just happens. She knows how she feels, but she fights it and hides it, so she really ends up spinning him around.

Of course, this is a Romcom, so there are some things in here that are funny AF, I mean I was laughing my ass right off, and my husband asked why, so I read him the section about jalapenos. It was just toooooo funny.

Like the rest of the books, it’s a quick read full of a lot of love and laughter. I love the Dynamic Duo on their own, and I really love them together. Ray and Ally are good friends and you can really tell it in their books. It makes for a nice flow in the books, I think.

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Amy is really going to have fun in her class, I think. I can’t wait to see her story and how her parents handle it.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Nicky James-Long Way Home

Guys, this one made me all teary more than once. Long Way Home is a really emotional book and a helluva journey. It is intense, loving, draining, fulfilling, and just devastatingly good.

The book follows the story of Gavin and Owen from the time they meet as teenagers all the way through current day. I think it’s a 15 year span. Gavin is one of the stars of their high school football team, works for his dad in his vet’s office, and is planning on being a vet himself when he grows up. He’s happy, outgoing, and enthusiastic. Then we have Owen, who is much quieter and reserved. He’s not an athlete, but works for the school newspaper, and he’s planning on being a journalist when he grows up. He has been assigned to interview Gavin for the school paper. They both end up fascinated with each other, and over the rest of the school year, Owen keeps coming up with ideas for articles so that he can meet with Gavin.

At the end of the school year, Gavin invites Owen to his birthday party, and the rest is history. Or the beginning. They spend their senior year dating, but don’t tell anyone, because Owen is positive his parents will kick out. The football team knows, but none of them actually care. In fact, Lorenzo and Ollie become great friends to Owen, as well as Gavin. Two weeks before graduation, things happen, and Gavin ends up in the Marines and Owen ends up at Michigan State University, studying journalism.

This story starts in 2004, I think. That’s during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and it was really bad in the sandbox. So, you know that’s it’s going to be hard on Gavin. The stories we get from his time in boot camp are bad, but then we get stories from when he goes on deployment. What Gavin goes through is heart-wrenching and terrible, on so many levels, just so many.

Of course, it’s not easy on Owen either. The way that things go down is so hard on him, and he’s devastated. It’s like his insides have been pulled out through his nose and then hot sauce has been rubbed on the empty spaces.

We get glimpses of the lives that Owen and Gavin are leading while they are apart. They aren’t necessarily happy lives, but they aren’t completely terrible lives either. They each make friends, and have their good times and their bad times. But through it all, there is one thing that they both still have, and that’s the connection they have to each other, even if they don’t see each other. That connection is just visceral and raw and passionate and as unbreakable as vibranium. It’s an amazing thing to witness.

This book does deal with issues around PTSD, but since you are dealing with a Marine who has been through several tours of hell, PTSD is to be expected. Nicky handles it really well. There is no glorification or glamorization of it. You just get the straight, raw, grittiness of it. It’s really honest and unflinching and even maybe uncomfortable at times, but it’s excellent.

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I hate Gavin’s father and uncle. Just totally flat out hate them so much. Die in a fiery crash and drown in a lake of hellfire kind of hate.

I love Lorenzo. His fate made me cry.

OK, that’s all for me. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Alice Winters-The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love

Oh my ducklings, have I got the most wonderful treat for you today. It is the most ridiculously wonderful and wonderfully ridiculous book I have read in a while. I was initially attracted to it because of the title, I mean, The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love, what’s not to like about that? But once I started reading, I just couldn’t put it down. I laughed until I cried more than once. My poor long-suffering husband gave me funny looks. I’m definitely going to have to read more Alice Winters if this is the way that all her books are.

Leland is known as the Sandman. He’s a notorious hitman, and he always leaves a little note with his kills. Right now, he’s staking out a house so that he can kill a scummy human trafficker. Then, he sees a guy jump over a fence, get his pants caught on the fence, and dangle, bare-assed, for the world to see. Leland pretty much decides he’s in utter love, right then and there. So, he does what any self-respecting assassin does, and leaves a love note on his car.

Jackson is a very by-the-books PI. He was in the military and now he has his own PI agency. Right now, he’s trying to find the guy who is a terrible human trafficker. The father of one of the girls that want missing hired him. Jackson also works with the police, when he can, and the local police chief is his friend, in fact he sees him as a father figure. So, when he goes down to his car and sees a note from the Sandman, the first thing he does is talk to Henry. He tells him that he thinks he might have a lead on the scuzzball, and then shows him the note. Henry warns him about the Sandman and says he might be a target. Well, he totally is a target, but Leland doesn’t want to shoot him with his gun, if’n you know what I mean.

Leland and Jackson are so funny together. Jackson works so hard to ignore Leland no matter what. Leland just flirts heavily with Jackson. Of course, his way of flirting involves doing things like shooting a soda can sitting next to Jackson when they are both on a stakeout or breaking into the backseat of Jackson’s car, surprising him and sticking his finger in Jackson’s ear. Leland is really like that 10 year old kid who likes you, but he isn’t quite sure how to let you know, so he’s just terribly awkward and over the top. But funnier. Much funnier. So much funnier.

Of course, this book isn’t all fun and games. There are serious bits. People get hurt. Things happen. There’s a bad guy who has to be stopped. There’s a relationship to build and vacuum cleaners to kill.

I just loved this book so much, and I’m really hoping that there are going to be more in the series, because it really was a perfect mix of humor, love, action, suspense, ridiculousness, and wonderfulness. Just a great book. I’m going to have to check into more Alice Winters books to see if this is her typical touch, because if it is, I’m going to enjoy myself a lot.

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OMG, the family reunion is just soooooo funny. Jackson’s mom really got what she deserved there. I never liked her, the bitch.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out. I guarantee that you will laugh. Happy reading!

Ana B. Starr-Omega of Sathion

Today, we get two of my favorite things. It’s a new Omegaverse story and I get to introduce you to a brand new author! We know how I love those things, right? Ana has written Omega of Sathion, which isn’t just O-verse, it’s also scifi, and stars humans who have no clue who they are, space pirates, and assorted other aliens.

So, Faye is a young woman who is on the verge of death. She is fighting off another bout of cancer. She’s already lost her legs to it, but that wasn’t enough, now she’s about to lose her life. But her doctor, who’s been hooking up with her mother, tells her mom that he has a way that she can keep living. It turns out that he is an alien, called a Pleiadian. They have been coming to Earth for a while to try to help humans along. Anyway, he can cure her cancer and give her legs back. The only problem is that she will officially be dead, so she’s going to have to go to a colony on a planet called Sathion. Many humans are already there, and they are trying to give it a good go. She agrees, because life on another planet is better than death from cancer, and it’s kind of exciting anyway.

Two long years later, after her legs have grown back, it’s time for her to go out to space and begin her journey to Sathion. She’s learned all she needs to know about the planet, gotten a universal translator, and is totally raring to go. But, sadly, that’s not where this journey is about to end up.

You see, space pirates capture her ship, take her and her friend, tell them they are Omegas, whatever the hell that is, and that they are going to be the crew’s toys.

Faye is a very determined young woman. She has had to be. I mean, think about what she’s gone through. She has a spine of steel, and she isn’t about to bend at all. She’s going to do what she needs to do to do what she wants. She wants to get to Sathion. She knows that’s where her life is going to be, because that’s where it has to be. So, she’s going to manage to get there, somehow.

I really do like Faye a lot. I like that stubbornness. I don’t know if it’s part of her natural personality or if it’s a learned behavior from everything that she’s had to go through in her life. Because either way would work for me, and really either way would work for Faye, I think. I think she totally deserves her happiness and someone to love and cherish her.

You’ll notice, I’m sure, that I didn’t mention anything about Alphas or males or anything, other than when I said something about space pirates. There are reasons for that. Am I going to tell you those reasons? Nope. I’m mean that way. LOLOLOL.

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I don’t trust the Pleiadians. I think there is something off about them. I’m going to be eagerly awaiting the series to see what more comes out about them.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Hit up the Zon and check it out! Happy reading!

 

The Dynamic Duo-Marry Me, Daddy

So, new month, new Daddy from the Dynamic Duo. Marry Me, Daddy was a lot of fun to read, and I loved everything that happened in it.

We have a bazillionaire named Spencer who has a month to find a suitable wife or he loses his grandfather’s company. He really doesn’t need the company, since he is super duper rich on his own, but it’s the whole principle of the matter. It’s his grandfather’s company. So he does what every self-respecting bazillionaire does, and puts up some billboards advertising for a wife. What, you never saw a billboard like that? There’s just one small glitch, because of course there is, and that’s that some copycat decided to put up their own billboard, and Spencer got all his applicants.

Meanwhile, across town, we have Anna, one of our Dirty Dozen, who loves working at the coffee shop, even though she hates coffee. She knows all her regulars, knows what they want to drink, and will stop and chat with them wherever they are. There’s a techy type who comes in a couple of times a week, gets coffee and pound cake, then sits in the corner and works on his computer. Anna doesn’t know much about him, until she sees his face and name on a billboard on her way to book club.

The next day, he comes into the coffee shop, talks to Anna, and all of a sudden, we have proposal #1.

This is a marriage of convenience story, but it almost feels like a comedy of errors a lot of the time. There are a couple of times when it seemed like the most catastrophic thing that could happen does happen. Without those mistakes, it wouldn’t be as funny, though. And really, with some of them, I have to wonder if they are truly mistakes or were they maybe a sign from the gods? Or was Jasper’s luck working in a weird way?

I like Spencer, even if his last name is ridiculous. I loved seeing how he felt when it came to the Dirty Dozen. I would think that the ladies would be overwhelming at the very best of times.

I really liked Anna, and how she all of a sudden came out of her shell. Definitely riskier than a bean burrito. She’s also very caring and rather tricksy when necessary. I like her little sneaky bits.

 

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I love everything that happens in the end. Because all the things happen.

That’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

The Dynamic Duo-May Day Daddy

We’re back to the Daddy of the Month Club again, and May Day Daddy¬†marks the 25% mark. Lisa is the 3rd one down, only 9 more to go, and I’m looking forward to them. I want to see who gets taken down next. I’m rooting for it to be Belle.

Lisa works from home, so the book club meets at her house, where they always get new margarita flavors and Lisa’s homecooked goodies. (note: I work from home, and on a good day I’m in jammie pants, hair in a messy bun, and bleary eyed from staring at the computer screen too long. Lisa is doing so much better than me.) (although I wouldn’t turn down some strawberry margaritas.) (or homecooked goodies.) (how many sets of parentheses can I put in one blog?) Anyway, on one book club night, her friend Belle comes dashing in and tells Lisa that she just sold a house to a sort of famous person who Lisa would totally know who it is, but she can’t tell Lisa yet. So Lisa, being, you know, human and curious, stares outside the window every day until she sees her new neighbor. He’s an MMA guy named Mack, who goes by May Day, and hey, guess what day he moves into his new house? You guessed it, May Day.

Mack is trying to find some place where he can be out of the limelight. So, he decides that he’s going to buy a house in a small town, far away from where he works, and hopefully, far, far, far away from the paparazzi, and even further than that away from his horrible ex-wife. He’s pretty sure that he has a good chance right now. After the movers have left, and his house is all set up, he decides to get comfy, strips down to his purple briefs, and grabs a beer. Then, he’s stuck with the worst case of ding-dong-ditch ever. I mean, this is even worse than flaming dog shit. OK, maybe it’s not overall bad, but it’s definitely surprising. And right on the heels of that event, Lisa shows up with a May Day basket for her new neighbor. Perfect timing.

This has Ally and Ray’s perfect touch of humor. It’s funny, but not heavy-handed. They aren’t whacking you over the head and saying hey, joke here, laugh. Instead, they set up the situations and let you find the humor in them. I’m not saying that there aren’t obvious jokes, because they are, they just aren’t heavy-handed. And I’m choosing to think that eating onion rings off a cock is a total joke, because otherwise, umm…

I like Lisa and Mack, and this is pretty instalove, but it works really well in their situation and with their personalities. I don’t think that a longer relationship or a slow burn would work as well for them.

I can’t wait for next month’s book.

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Heh, the bitch got exactly what she deserved, and I cackled.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!