#20Backlistin2020: Book Review: Beyond Identity by Karrie Roman

Beyond IdentityI read a previous novel by Karrie Roman and thought it was a fabulous read, so I was keen to read Beyond Identity, but for some reason it has been on my shelf since the end of August, I’m not sure what was happening around that time but I seem to have a fair few backlist books from this period. This is my fourth #20Backlistin2020 review and it does feel so good to be getting some of these great books read.

This was one book I was loath to put down in order to go to work, I was hooked from the beginning and despite some of it feeling a little bit hard to believe, I really enjoyed it.

I really liked both of the main characters, Noah, who is currently homeless, is bashed on the streets one night ending up in hospital. Harry is a financial reporter trying to become an investigative journalist, he is doing a story on the homeless community and when he hears of the assault on Noah, he turns up at the hospital to see if he can interview him.

Noah was a great character, at first unwilling to ask for help, but slowly letting his guard down as his relationship with Harry progressed. As I found out about Noah’s situation, it seemed it was another all too familiar case of a child getting lost in the system, just like real life. I really liked Noah and I liked seeing how he was tough but vulnerable.

I liked Harry, I liked how his compassion and empathy wouldn’t allow him to turn away from Noah, a complete stranger when he was in need of someone to help him, and that he was willing to follow Noah and help him to uncover the truth about his past.

There was plenty of chemistry between Noah and Harry, as well as genuine affection, and I loved how this relationship bloomed.

The truth about Noah’s past and his parents went in several directions I wasn’t expecting and one I was. It will never cease to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to be top dog. There were a few moments when I didn’t know if all was going to end well or not and I had to keep reading despite the need to sleep.

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Ninestar Press for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Amazon AU                     Amazon US                   Amazon UK

Goodreads

New Release Book Review: Hard Ride by A.M. Arthur

Hard RideHard Ride: A Gay Cowboy Romance (Book 5 Clean Slate Ranch series) by A.M. Arthur had me up all night reading to see if our two main characters, Slate and Derrick could go from fake boyfriends to something real. I have enjoyed this whole series so far and this newest book was no exception.

This one takes us away from Clean Slate Ranch, though all the previous characters I’ve come to know and love, regularly make appearances. After Slate has an accident he makes a deal with Derrick, they will be fake boyfriends for the summer, so Derrick has a date for 5 family weddings he has to attend, and in return Slate can recuperate at his place in the city where he has access to medical facilities.

The fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope is not a new one, but I personally haven’t read many of them, and I really enjoyed this one, watching them fall for each other, they already knew they had the chemistry, but watching that chemistry turn to something more was really enjoyable even if they were both too stubborn to say anything to each other. Cue best friends who can help out.

I loved the new cast of supporting characters who live in Derrick’s house and who Slate also becomes good friends with. I especially liked Dez who’s sweet, quirky and an individual and made Slate’s time recovering more enjoyable and set him on a new and completely different path from his former interests.

Slate has kept a secret from everyone, a teenage daughter who he is desperate to form a proper relationship with. I liked the way this played out and I liked how open she was to Slate and Derrick’s relationship and how that made her look at her dad in a new and better way.

A really enjoyable romance and I’ll be cheering this couple on, as I have for all the couples so far. I hope there is another book in this series to look forward to.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin – Carina Press for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

 

New Release Book Review: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy (Game Changers, #3)Tough Guy is book #3 in the Game Changers series, MM romances set in the world of hockey. I really enjoyed book #1 Game Changers and book #2 Heated Rivalry, so I was straight onto it when I saw book #3 was out.

This novel focuses on Ryan Price a hockey enforcer whose job it seems is to fight the other team’s players who try to start trouble with his team members during the game (not knowing a thing about hockey, this is what I interpreted it to mean). It is a brutal role to play in the team and other than his size, it’s not one that Ryan is suited for.

When he is picked up by a new team, he moves to Toronto and bumps into an old friend, Fabian, a musician, who he used to have a major crush on years before. It turns out Fabian felt the same way, but back then they were both dealing with teenage drama as well as learning about their sexuality.

I felt for Ryan and Fabian, both having issues about their self worth, brought on by different things. For Fabian, it was awful parents and for Ryan it came about due to his self-hatred about his job of fighting and hurting people and the way he was bounced from team to team, never fitting in anywhere.

These two guys are very different, but I enjoyed the dynamics between them and how they pushed each other out of their comfort zone and made them think about what they wanted in life and in their future.

Another enjoyable read in this series, I do hope there will be more.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Carina Press for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

Book Review: Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

I always enjoy Annabeth Albert’s books and her new book Arctic Sun is no exception, the first in the Frozen Hearts series, this was a journey of discovery for our two main characters.

IMG_20190404_215158

Griffen, a pilot in his family business, has been dealing with grief and is a recovering alcoholic who struggles to be around people and has the belief that he doesn’t deserve to be happy and isn’t worthy of being loved. River is an ex-supermodel, who has dealt with an eating disorder for most of his life, leading to hospitalisation. He has used travel as a way to heal, and also a way to run away from anything real. When these two damaged men are thrown together on a photography trip in Alaska, sparks will fly.

The descriptions of Alaska on this trip alone made me want to save up and go there ASAP, also, if there are more mountain men like Griffen, I’d be there even quicker. I loved the journey these two had to traverse, both the physical and the emotional journey. Though it was the emotional journey which took its toll on these two guys who are both dealing with so many issues. I was invested in their romance from the start and as I got to know the characters and what they had been through, and what they were dealing with still, my heart ached with hope that they would make the journey and end up together.

This story explored the physical and emotional relationship between the guys and it was a really great exploration. There was humour in their initial hookups and I loved the way River was able to make Griffen lower his walls and have a bit of fun, River was certainly not willing to give up on this happening while they were on the trip. The sexual tension was hard to ignore for both parties.

Hearing River’s story about his eating disorder was sad, I have a friend with an eating disorder and know how badly it can affect someone. Watching him struggle through each day, worried about what he was eating, feeling sick at the thought of eating, was really sad, hearing him explain to Griffen how he couldn’t see himself the ways others, especially Griffen saw him was also really sad. This is such a sad disease that definitely needs more attention, as does the way the fashion industry and magazines etc, portray the idea of perfection. It’s also great to have a male portrayed with this issue, as it is mainly women we think about when we hear ‘eating disorder’.

Griffen’s issues were subtler but no less damaging to his life and his future. Dealing with his avoidance of group situations, especially ones where people may be drinking was hard for him to navigate. As was his belief he wasn’t worthy of good things happening to him. In this River and Griffen had so much in common and were able to connect through this.

A great read, with two guys who deserved more than they had and needed each other to open up and start healing.

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin – Carina Press for a digital copy in return for an honest review.

Book Bingo Round 3

It’s time to cross off another square this week, I’m actually going to cross off 2 squares, I was thinking of 3 but I’ll save one for next time.

img_20190124_112215

First up is A book with a red cover, I read A Christmas Gift by Beth Prentice which was fabulous as has been the whole Westport Mysteries series.

Read my review here

 

 

 

 

img_20190130_080816The next book is Written by an author I’ve never readI read a lgbt romance/crime book Valor by Karrie Roman an Australian author I wasn’t aware of before. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Read my review on Goodreads

 

 

 

So that’s now 4 squares makes off for book bingo so far. How is everyone else going.

img_20190130_074129

Until next fortnight, happy reading.

Claire Louisa x