Behind on Reviews…Again

I’m a slacker when it comes to writing book reviews. Well, I should back up and say I’ve been a reading slacker of late. Between Netflix, the World Cup, and now the Tour de France, when is a girl supposed to find time to read and write and sketch . . . okay, I’ll stop now!

Yesterday I was in the mood to read some m-m romance. I picked two novellas and breezed through them pretty easily. I’m going to give you the quick and dirty on what I thought about them both.

Fire_InsideFirst up is Fire Inside by Dawn Douglas.  I liked the cover, and the reviews on Amazon were good. I didn’t consult Goodreads before picking this read. Hindsight what it is, I should have.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me share the book blurb. It immediately caught my attention.

After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes. 

Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.

I have to say this was a very good read right up to the end. I loved the characters – I felt so badly for Tyler and the hell he’d been through. I liked how Ram was able to read Tyler and help him out all while keeping his growing feelings in check. I thought there was a great build-up to their first sexual encounter.

With all that being said, I did not like the ending. It was abrupt. I felt like the author left us hanging. The story was written in first person, which I had no problem with. At the end, the author added her two cents about why she did what she did and then quickly summarized where she saw things going with Tyler and Ram. Um, excuse me, but WTH?! And why was the publisher okay with that?

On a grammar side note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dashes used in a story. They gave me pause and at times would pull me out of the story. I do give the author credit as she kept me going because I had to read that first sex scene between Ram and Tyler. The ending sticks with me, and to be blunt, I did not like it.

3 stars out of 5


The next story I read was Keep Swimming by Kade Boehme. This isn’t the first story of his that I’ve read so I thought I would Keep_Swimminggive this one a try. I skimmed a couple of reviews prior to purchasing it, and they all liked how he worked in Cary’s son, Gus. I had to check out Gus for myself.

Here’s the blurb:

After his partner dumped him with a pregnant surrogate four years ago, Cary Whitmore was forced to play single parent while starting up a new business. With the dog bakery now semi-successful and his son healthy, Cary thinks he may be ready to date again.

Heath Cummings is trying his damnedest to get his charter boat service off the ground and dreams of one day soon being able to quit his job as an offshore driller. Paying off his dream requires making it through a couple more years, which means being open about his sexuality isn’t in the cards just yet. 

When the two take their flirting to the next level, Cary wonders if he can handle another guy who might take off, while Heath has to decide if he can risk his dream of a laid back life—and giving up his long-held and much enjoyed bachelor status while taking on a child when being a father was never on his to-do list. Will they sink, or will they keep swimming?

This story held my attention, but I didn’t have any problems putting it down either. I liked Cary, and his ex was a complete ass, but it took me a while to picture him in my head and to connect with him.

Heath . . . what to say about Heath . . . he was a hot mess when it came to trying to have a relationship. I could easily picture him – think surfer with a yacht instead of a surf board. I thought it was kind of odd how close he and his ex-wife, Becca, were. It seemed like she was an easy way to add drama to the story.

Gus – well, Gus is just Gus and he totally rocked while not taking over the story. I love how he had trouble pronouncing his “th”s. So very cute!

Use caution as you read further . . . not sure if these will be spoilers or not.

  • I didn’t understand the random appearance of Marshall in the story. Was it needed? It confused me (and apparently Cary) and pulled me from the story when nothing came of it.
  • Heath’s oil rig buddies showing up on his yacht – that didn’t flow right for me. Christy was a part of that group? Why did Heath get all excited over her when he swore up and down he wouldn’t cheat on Cary?
  • I got lost as to how much time passed from the yacht incident until the **SPOILER** make-up – until Heath shows up at Cary’s place. For some reason, I was under the impression it was a month, but things didn’t flow for me.
  • The ending was decent, but I wanted a stronger HEA. That’s just me, though.

There were some editing errors, but nothing super-huge.

Overall, this was an easy read; while I liked it, I didn’t love it. Gus was definitely a cool kid 🙂

3 out of 5 stars

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