May Archer & Lucy Lennox- Liars

May is the one who introduced me to Lucy, and am I ever glad! Liars is the second book in a co-written series by these ladies called Licking Thicket. And yes, there is every single double entendre that you can possibly think of. And more. I highly recommend reading the first one, Fakers, even though the books don’t have to be read in order. But it’s just funny as fuck, especially since it concerns a festival with Lickin’ in the name.

Parrish has decided that he’s going to run his uncle’s new restaurant in Licking Thicket. He needs to get out of Memphis, and Licking Thicket is just what the doctor ordered. He is predictable, steady, dependable, and you can set your watch by him. Parrish always goes to work, and he works very hard. Even if he doesn’t necessarily need to be there. He’ss very dedicated. One day, he’s in the court house when he runs into a gorgeous man who is struggling with a young baby girl, who then pukes all over the guy. Parrish helps him out, and kinda tells him off in the bathroom too, and then finds out that the guy is there for a custody battle.

Diesel is at a loss. His sister died and left him as the guardian of her beautiful baby girl. He knows less than nothing about babies, but he knows that he loves this precious baby girl. He has to go to court because the rich family who adopted his sister are trying to take custody, and he isn’t going to let that happen. But, he’s not rich. He owns a salvage yard, and he found his attorney on the back of a bathroom door. So far, though, the judge appears to be on his side. But Diesel’s attorney tells him that there are a lot of things that would help him win his case, including being in a steady relationship. Up comes Parrish with an apology casserole and Diesel introduces him as his fiance.

This is really ridiculously funny. There are all kinds of jokes, double entendres, funny situations, and even a really bad first date with lots of talk about fishing. There are also fake fiances, apology baby baskets, and well-meaning friends. And chickens. Lots and lots of chickens.

Both of these guys have hard spots in their history that make it hard for them to want to help or trust someone, but they aren’t broken by those things, just a little bent around the edges. They are both truly loving, caring men who want to help others and to make sure that a beautiful little girl stays with the people who love her most and who are going to be able to care for her the best.

I really liked watching Diesel and Parrish’s relationship grow and watching them grow beyond their damage and into new people together. Their relationship turns them into someone who is better. Not that they were ever bad to begin with.

And I adore all the people of Licking Thicket and how they are all up in everyone’s business. The whole town really is a family, I think. A huge, very dysfunctional family.

Miss Sarabeth is about the most awesome person ever, and I’m pretty sure she’s a tricksy hobbitses too.

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

2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Books Pt. 1

I’ve read MM for years, but this year, it seemed to ramp up even more. It ramped up enough that I’m giving it its own Top 10 list this year. Remember, these are in no particular order.

K. Webster-Wicked Lies Boys Tell

Once a year or so, K writes an amazingly, overwhelmingly emotional book that rips you apart and puts you back together. Her books My Torin and The Day She Cried fall into this category. So does Wicked Lies Boys Tell. This is a friends to enemies to lovers kind of story with some coming of age tossed in. The relationship between Penn and Cope is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I will fully admit that there were times that I cried during this. K really just knows how to create characters that break me down and stick with me for a while.

Nicky James-Long Way Home

Long Way Home was beautiful and devastating. It’s the story of Gavin and Owen. They were high school sweethearts, but when they turned 18, they ended up being split up, and the story spans many years of their lives. We get to see what happens to each of them. It sounds like it could be nothing but a heartbreak, but I promise that it’s not. It really is a beautiful story. It was the first Nicky James book that I read, but not the last.

Susan Hawke-How to Heal

Susan Hawke is also Susi Hawke, but she writes contemporary under this name. Her first series was the Lovestrong series, and How to Heal was the last book in that series. It’s a great series, with a lot of humor and love. There is also a lot of pain, especially in this book. This is my favorite book in the series. It’s a hurt/comfort, redemption, Daddy/boy kind of book, and it works so perfectly together. Clark had been a bully in the first couple of books, but this one takes place several years later, after he has changed, but he still thinks that he has to pay a penance for what he did. His journey is a hard one, but a beautiful one. I have all these books signed, and I ARCed most of them. How to Heal is also the book I’m currently listening to in my car when I’m alone. I’ve read it at least 2xx this year.

Lucy Lennox-Wilde Love

Lucy Lennox has two main series that she’s written. They are the Made Marian and the Forever Wilde books. The two series are interconnected. Marian came first, but I read the Wilde books first and I fell in love with Grandpa and Doc, because it’s totally impossible not to. I, like all of Lucy’s readers, was desperate to find out all of their story, and thus Wilde Love was born. I own both an e and an audio copy of this. I took a mini-vacation this year and listened to this on my drive. It starts with when the guys first meet, during Vietnam while they were both serving, and runs through the current day. There are so many beautiful little moments in here and so many heartbreaking ones at the same time, and sometimes they are the same moments. This book made me just love Grandpa and Doc so much more.

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

I laughed hysterically the whole time I read The Hitman’s Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love. Leland is a hitman, no really, a real hitman, and Jackson is the PI who is trying to help catch him. Leland is so fucking snarky and may or may not have a gun fetish. I mean, honestly, Alice writes a damn good story that keeps you interested, while letting you laugh at the most ridiculous stuff possible. I swear that Leland just has no filter at all, and it’s glorious.

Tune in for part 2 tomorrow!

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Lucy Lennox-Wilde Love

Wilde Love is one of the most epically beautiful MM romances that I have ever read. Lucy Lennox has written a story that spans decades, starting in 1968 and going all the way through today. I read this book when it first came out, and I bought it on Audible and listened to it on my drive earlier this week. If you have the chance to listen to any of the audiobooks of Lucy’s books, I highly recommend it. Michael Pauley’s voice is amazing, and it makes the story 1000000% more intense.

So, this book is part of the Forever Wilde series. It follows a family, named Wilde, who live in Hobie Texas. The family is huge, I mean, huge. The patriarchs, Doc and Grandpa, who ran a ranch, had 4 kids, 1 boy and 3 girls. Bill, their son, had 10 kids, and I can’t remember how many are boys and girls, but most of them are queer. The Forever Wilde books mostly focus on Bill Wilde’s boys, but a cousin and a friend of the family sneak through. This book, though, doesn’t follow the boys. It follows Doc and Grandpa from the first time they meet until now.

It starts in Vietnam, where Major Weston Marian is a medevac helo commander. He’s one of the guys that would rush to injured people and take them to the hospitals on base or the MASHs. One day, he meets Liam Wilde, green lieutenant and brand new medic, and thinks that Liam is the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. The problem is that it’s in the late ’60s and he’s in the military, and being out then would’ve meant a dishonorable discharge at best, and being beaten within a centimeter of his life at worst. So, he hides his attraction to Liam, and becomes the man’s friend. It helps that Liam is married with kids. Eventually, Liam and Major end up as part of a permanent team on a helicopter, and worked together as part of a team for quite a while.

But, as it does, life and team move on. Major rotates home, to a base in TX, not far from Hobie, actually. Doc makes it home and drags Major home to the ranch, where he meets Liam’s wife Betsy, their kids, and both sets of parents. West ends up being basically adopted by everyone, because he’s pretty awesome.

There’s so much more than what I’m going into here, including a lot of pain, emotional and physical. There’s also so much love and humor. You get to see through the eyes of a gay man during a time when being gay was enough to get you arrested. I mean, this happened a year before Stonewall and the birth of the Pride movement. Plus, you add in the stuff about Vietnam in the beginning and all the social upheaval of that. There’s just a lot of changes that happen while the book goes on. Lucy doesn’t document each and every change and say oh, this change, that change, and the other change, but what you do see is how the changes affect the main characters and their families.

I know that I am not doing Doc and Grandpa justice. They are an amazing couple and great characters on their own. They love each other fiercely. They love their children and grandchildren. Doc and Grandpa would do just about anything they had to for someone they love. That’s just the people that they are. Being near their love story is like standing next to a bonfire on a cold night. It gives you light and warmth and it makes you feel better and like things are all right in the world. It truly is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read.

Part of what makes this story so great is Betsy. She is an incredibly loving and generous woman and she puts her definite stamp on the whole book.

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Oh Betsy, sweet Betsy. Poor sweet Betsy. But without her, I don’t think anything else would’ve been as possible as it was.

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

 

Lucy Lennox-King Me

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t featured Lucy Lennox on here before. I totally should’ve, I love her books. King Me is the 7th, I think, book in her Forever Wilde series. I first met the Wildes when I won a copy of Hudson’s Luck from May Archer. Now I own most of the Forever Wilde books and all but one of them in audio. They are totally awesome. Full of all kinds of love and family and all that good stuff.

Here’s the basics of the series. In a little town called Hobie TX, there is a family called the Wildes. There’s Grandpa and Doc, Weston and Liam, respectively. They had four children. Their son Bill, had 10, yes 10, kids, 6 of whom are male. And at the beginning of this book, 4 of whom are all in happy relationships with the men of their dreams. If you want to read the most amazingly beautiful love story I have ever read, I recommend that you go read Wilde Love. It’s Grandpa and Doc’s story, and it made my Grinchy heart grow two sizes.

Anyway, out of those 10 kids that Bill and his wife had, we have King. He’s the middle child, and left Hobie to go to Paris and the Sorbonne. Since then, he rarely goes home. His siblings are all pretty sure that he’s some kind of super-spy, Texas’s version of 007. And that’s what I thought too. Then, I read this book. Instead of being a super-spy, King is one of the best art thieves in the world. While he was at the Sorbonne, he fell with a very bad man, who took advantage of the wonderful person that King was, and then started a relationship with him and trained him to be the thief that he turned out to be. Then, that asshole fucked King over, and left him at a job to take the fall.

That’s where we meet Dirk Falcon, who is not a ’70’s porn star, no matter what his name sounds like. He is an FBI agent who works with Interpol as part of their art theft squad. He gets to the place where King has been left tied up, and he sees King as a victim, because King was working really hard to make himself appear to be so.

Two years later, King is still breaking and entering and snatching art. But, he’s also leaving said stolen goods at the places he just broke into, along with detailed notes about how he did it and suggestions about how to beef up security. Falcon is now chasing him, because he knows that King is the thief, but he can’t pin anything on King.

This book turned into a huge heist story. I love heist stories. I mean, I watch all the Oceans movies over and over because I love how all the plans work. The Italian Job? Yes, please, and for more reasons than the fact that Jason Statham is in it, but that doesn’t hurt. The perfect heist story is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Let me tell you, this is definitely a thing of beauty and I will find joy in it forever. I love how the pieces come together to turn into this whole big thing, and how you don’t see all the little pieces and tricks until after the heist has been accomplished and they show you everything.

I really like the interplay with King and Falcon. I kind of think of them as a dual star solar system. They are attracted to each other because of the gravity each exerts, and that gravity keeps them together. They orbit each other and finish each other. OK, maybe my metaphor fell apart a little bit, but I think that you get the idea.

I think that King and Falcon are both good men, who each have their own moral codes. Of course, those codes don’t necessarily intersect all that much, but you know, it works. I think that they are really good for each other, and I hope they have a lovely long life together.

I do have to say that I was totally shocked when I found out that King wasn’t a super-spy but was an art thief. All I could think was what would Doc and Grandpa say? I mean, the Wildes are all so law abiding and all. It was a total, utter, and absolute shock. But, you know it really worked well. Knowing Doc and Grandpa though, I think they may know a little more than we think that they know. They are almost psychic. And I think that King should be really happy his favorite sister is a lawyer.

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Ugh. Falcon’s boss is literally the very, very worst. I mean, ugh. She can just go sit on a tack. A really big, really sharp, super pointy tack.

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

Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology

I have a real treat for my MM lovers out here today. And yes, I meant in any way you want to take it. Today I’m sharing a beautiful anthology from several really talented authors who write MM romance. Heart2Heart is more than just a bunch of great stories though. It’s also a charity anthology, which means that proceeds are going to the LGBTQ+ charities of the authors’ choice. Awesome, right? So, not only are you getting a bunch of really lovely stories, you are going to help out some great charities, but stop reading this right now and go buy it.

Anyway, this book has an interesting setup. A couple of months ago, several MM authors asked for interesting and unexpected couple combinations. You know, like a sommelier and a criminal, or a lawyer and a lobsterman. Then 9 of the combinations were chosen, and the anthology was born. The premise is that all of the guys either signed up or were signed up by well-meaning friends and family for a dating app called Heart2Heart. They were running a Valentine’s Day special that offered a free dinner. The matches were supposed to be guaranteed love matches. The algorithms and coding were supposed to match you with the person who would be perfect for you. Except… It would be boring if it happened that way, wouldn’t it? There’s a glitch in the coding and the matches went all wonky. But, as this is a Valentine’s Day offering, you know that they are all HEAs, so you know that something good is going to come out of all the wonkiness.

I’m not going to review each and every one, mostly because I want you to go out and buy this book. Plus, the stories are all pretty short. There are funny stories and there are more serious stories. The one thing they all have in common is that they are full of true love and hot sex. I do have a couple of favorite combos, and I mentioned them above. You don’t think that these guys would possibly fit together, but they do, and it’s awesome. So, go check it out.

No spoilers today, but here’s a bouquet of roses. I hope that you have great plans for V-Day, no matter what you are planning on doing. Me, I celebrate 1/2-price Chocolate Day Eve on 2/14.

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