12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

May/December from
12 Tropes of 2020

Refers to a romantic relationship where there is a drastic difference in age between the two participants.

Taken from TV Tropes

“Some say I’m robbing the cradle, but I say she’s robbing the grave!”

Hubert FarnsworthFuturama

Better Not Pout
by Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

Better Not Pout has been on my reading list for a while now, I remember making grand plans to read it all the way back in December 2017… it only took me two years to read it. I am very glad that I did eventually read this book as I found it to be quite a sweet and tender hearted novel.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert”

Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy

by Rachel Reid.

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: January 13, 2020.

Length: 262 pages.

Series: Game Changers #3.

Genre: QUILTBAG. Romance. M/M Romance.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Rachel Reid continues to blow me away. Not only does she make me want to know more about Hockey but she compels me to read her books in one session with her engaging characters and dynamic relationships. Although it is the start of the year, I feel like I have found a 2020 favourite in Tough Guy.

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Anticipated Arrival: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Anticpated arrivals

What is it?!

Tough Guy is the third book in the Game Changers series by Rachel Reid.

I have previously read the first two books, Game Changer and Heated Rivalry, and quickly fell in love with not only the characters of the books but the intricate and emotional stories told by Reid.

According to Reid’s website, the third book will feature Pro Hockey Star Ryan Price and a Fabian Salah who is from Ryan’s early hockey days when he was billeted with Fabians family. Reid’s description of Ryan as a tall, shy, red head, who doesn’t like flying, has jogged my memory and I think I remember this character, if only slightly (hello re-read).

When is it coming out?!

January 13, 2020.

We still have a few months to wait for this book but I am looking forward to starting the year off with another book of Reid’s from her Game Changer universe.

Why do you want it?!

I became really immersed and emotionally involved in the story telling from Reid’s first two Game Changer books and look forward to reading another story of hers from this universe. Plus, I have a very small knowledge of hockey, so it is always interesting to find out more about this game and professional sport.

Also as far as I am concerned Carina Press can do no wrong – I am always satisfied with the stories and books that are published through them. It is so great seeing more diverse content as well!

Why does everyone else need it?!

Um, because the first two books were amazing. Don’t believe me? Check out my two resews of the series and try not to be swayed into reading them. Plus who doesn’t like reading romances with shy characters?


Anticipated arrival comment

Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Lord of the Last Heartbeat

by May Peterson.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || || Amazon || Kobo ||

Stop me. Please.

Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.

But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.

In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 2 September, 2019.

Length: 351 pages.

Series: The Sacred Dark #1.

Genre: Fantasy. Romance. QUILTBAG.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Lord of the Last Heartbeat is a detailed fantasy story focused around Mio, a sorcerer whose power lies in his voice. When pushed to his limits by his power hungry mother, Mio escapes to the first place they would look, but the one he would be safest – the house of Rhodry, a cursed Moon Soul.

Focusing on Mio and Rhodry the story follows of the pair as they fight their attraction to each other and the mysterious force at work within the house. Expect twists and turns as the intricately weaved love story of Lord of the Last Heartbeat takes you on a journey filled with mystery and magic.


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Play it Again by Aidan Wayne

Play It Again

by Aidan Wayne.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

|| Book Depository ||  Amazon ||  Kobo ||


The videos are fun.

But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…


When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.

Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.

They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away?

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: 22nd April, 2019

Length: 288 pages.

Series: N/A

Genre: Romance. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as: eBook

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Play It Again can be summed up in three words:

An Absolute Delight.

The word adorable could have been used but that would have been a bit too on the nose 😋

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Book Bingo Update 3

Read that Sequel

Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

Second book in the Game Changer series, I was incredibly lucky to be given an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. Like the first book, I absolutely adored the characters in the novel.

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 3”

Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

Heated Rivalry

by Rachel Reid.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  ||  Kobo ||


Blurb:  Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.

Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardise that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.

Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realises he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.

As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


Release Date: 25th March, 2019.

Length: 310 pages.

Series: Game Changers #2.

Genre: M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Sports.

Read as: eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts:Heated Rivalry is a book that takes place over the course of many years. While technically a sequel to the first Game Changers book (of the same name) Heated Rivalry takes place before and after the events of the first book.

Continue reading “Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid”

Game Changer by Rachel Reid

Game Changer

by Rachel Reid.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb:  New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pregame rituals very seriously. In this case, it’s not just a lucky smoothie he’s craving—it’s the man who made it. 

Pro hockey star Scott Hunter knows a good thing when he sees it. So, when a smoothie made by juice bar barista Kip Grady precedes Scott breaking his on-ice slump, he’s desperate to recreate the magic…and to get to know the sexy, funny guy behind the counter.

Kip knew there was more to Scott’s frequent visits than blended fruit, but he never let himself imagine being invited back to Scott’s penthouse. Or kissed with reckless abandon, never mind touched everywhere all at once. When it happens it’s red-hot, incredible and frequent, but also only on Scott’s terms and always behind his closed apartment doors.

Scott needs Kip in his life, but with playoff season approaching, the spotlight on him is suddenly brighter than ever. He can’t afford to do anything that might derail his career…like introducing the world to his boyfriend. Kip is ready to go all-in with Scott—but how much longer will he have to remain a secret? 

Length: 334 Pages.

Series: Game Changers #1

Genre: M/M Romance. QUILTBAG. Sports

Read as an: eBook


My Thoughts: I’m not going to say I read Game Changers for the cover but I definitely read the blurb because of that cover. Once I started Game Changers, the story and characters of this book were so engaging that I finished the book in a day.

The blurb does hint at some angst, especially in regards to Scott being in the closet but I found that this wasn’t the case. The book is not just about Scott and Kip getting together but about the pair as they come to accept things about themselves and their relationship.

Continue reading “Game Changer by Rachel Reid”

Book Bingo Update 2

Sports

Game Changer by Rachel Reid

I *thought* finding a sports book would be difficult but then I found myself reading one by accident. Game Changer is a m/m romance that features a Hockey Player.

So BAM sports square done!

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 2”

SLRG: Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

connection error
Connection Error

by Annabeth Albert.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Length: 245 pages.

Series: #gaymers #3

Genre: QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts: Reeeally loved this couple. I loved the dynamic between them and how they both viewed the relationship – it added an emotional depth to the pair. The unstable ground between them mixed with their easy compatibility was so great. Especially when you combined this with the emotional journeys the characters were on, Josiah and his leadership issues and Ryan with his rehabilitation.

I knew while I was reading this that it was not only amazing but that it was one of my favourites for the year ❤

Smut Level: Lots of off-screen action and relationship development but I enjoyed this aspect of the novel. The sexy scenes were great and really emotionally charged.

I loved seeing the emotional development of Ryan throughout these scenes as he learned that he can still be the same sexual being he was previous to his accident.


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