Publisher: MLR Press

MR. AVERAGE by Parker Williams

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
MR. AVERAGE by Parker WilliamsMr. Average by Parker Williams
Published by MLR Press Genres: Contemporary, MM
Reviewed by Cassie

Lawyer Lucas Manetti has been playing the field for years, but now he thinks he might be ready to settle down. Kyle, the hot mechanic that works on his Lamborghini, seems like a perfect choice. Too bad Lucas’s money can’t buy everything…

I liked the premise of Mr. Average—a rich guy finding love with a regular guy. I wanted to like the main character as well, but I just couldn’t. First-person narrator Lucas came across as arrogant, cold, and sometimes wishy-washy. He has issues about love, and also about the socioeconomic status of his lovers and what that might say about him. His regular Joe love interest (not the guy I thought it would turn out to be) is kind and sweet to a fault, which made Lucas’s behavior all the more frustrating. Lucas does change a lot over the course of the book, but the story happened too fast for me to buy into the changes as much as I would have liked. I did enjoy the sweet ending, however, and the conversational writing style. There was so much potential here, even if it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. If I run across another of Mr. Williams’s books, I will certainly give it a try.

DISASTEROLOGY 101 by Taylor V. Donovan

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
DISASTEROLOGY 101 by Taylor V. DonovanDisasterology by Taylor V. Donovan
Published by MLR Press Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Cassie

Cedric Haughton-Disley suffers from severe OCD and germaphobia. The only way he can have any kind of connection with a man is through carefully regulated one night stands. Kevin Morrison is a divorced father who is coming out as gay at thirty-six. He’s looking for more than a quickie. By all rights, a relationship between the two of them should be completely impossible…so why are they so attracted to each other?

Can Cedric and Kevin both come out of their comfort zones in order to find a happy medium that suits them both?

I really enjoyed Disasterology 101. Cedric’s ailment was dealt with well, in my opinion. He knows he has issues, and he tries to work on them. He also knows he comes across as cold and arrogant, which never bothered him until he meets Kevin. Their first encounter is an unmitigated disaster, and for once Cedric regrets how he acted. When he meets Kevin again, as a student in a class he’s teaching on blueprints, he’s determined not to make the same mistakes. I admired that Cedric was willing to try a relationship, even though he makes a lot of mistakes (and knows he puts a lot of demands on Kevin due to his condition). He knows himself and his limitations, but for Kevin, he’s willing to push himself to increase his limits.

Kevin is also a very likable character. He’s accepting his sexuality later than many men, but he’s determined to live an honest life, even if he’s not sure how. He’s also determined to take care of his ex-wife and his children. To do so, he works nonstop and takes classes on top of his crazy work schedule. Adding in a relationship with Cedric, an admittedly difficult man, is one more ball for Kevin to try to juggle, but he tries nonetheless.

Cedric’s condition and Kevin’s perilous financial and family situation lead to a lot of stress for the two of them. Fortunately, they’re both willing to try. There are a lot of setbacks, but the end result is more than worth it. Disaterology 101 is a sweet and emotional tale of two unlikely lovers learning to find strength in each other.    

LEATHER DAYS by Alex Ironrod

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
LEATHER DAYS by Alex IronrodLeather Days by Alex Ironrod
Published by MLR Press
Reviewed by Lisa

Six weeks ago Lt. Mark Farrell and Det. Dan Fortunato of the LAPD busted Group7 and their leader Erich von Sommerfield for white slavery trafficking and drug running among other things.  Not only does it mean taking some real scum off the streets it also means that Mark and Dan can further explore their fledgling relationship.

Comfortable with being a gay Dom in his personal life Dan is helping Mark tap into his own submissive desires.  The lieutenant is a widower with a 10 year old who once dabbled in man on man sex, but that was a long time ago.  Working with Dan on the case and sleeping together is something Mark never expected to happen. 

Discovering the body of a young man who leaked information on Group7 means they have to dig further though their boss has pulled Mark off the case to look into death threats against a prominent criminal attorney.  The more they dig the more they realize the brutal death and the threats circle back to their enemy, Sommerfield.  Everything comes to a head when family is jeopardized.  Nothing will stop Dan and Mark from protecting the people they love.

With a complex, layered intensity Leather Days features a gritty, no holds barred murder mystery.  Mark and Dan share the duty of telling their story one chapter after the other which gives a fascinating perspective as the plotline unfolds.  Leather Days offers suspense, drama, and scorching hot sexual encounters.  There are some rough sex scenes which are pertinent to the story as well.  Enjoy Leather Days, a well balanced cop story and a hot romance too.

DO YOU SEE ME NOW by Stephani Hecht

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
DO YOU SEE ME NOW by Stephani HechtDo You See Me Know by Stephani Hecht
Published by MLR Press Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Lisa

Skinny, geeky little openly gay Dax Rogers suffered through the unfortunately predictable peer pressures and tortures of high school with two goals in mind.  He would graduate and he could see popular jock Lance Walter every single day.

As an adult he’s been sweetly compensated for those miserable years with a very successful career as a makeup artist on a hit television show.  Ironically, walking to the studio every day Dax passes a popular coffee shop featuring none other than Lance behind the counter.  It’s obvious to Dax that Lance doesn’t remember him at all.

Receiving an invitation to a ten year reunion weekend get together leaves Dax conflicted.  On the one hand they were horrible to him so why should he want to see any of them again, on the other he’s going home extremely successful when no one expected him to amount to anything.  There is also the possible bonus if Lance goes.  Maybe, hopefully he’d recognize Dax?

A charming romance from start to finish.  Do You See Me Now features realistic characters within a fresh take on a tried and true plotline.  Sweet revenge and a couple of twists in the story give additional depth.  All in all, cheering for Dax and Lance is a no brainer.

TUMBLE TURN by Charlie Cochrane

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
TUMBLE TURN by Charlie CochraneTumble Turn by Charlie Cochrane
Published by MLR Press Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Cassie

Paralympic swimmer Ben Edwards has put aside the search for Mr. Right in order to concentrate on his sport. His dream of making the Olympic team in time for the London 2012 Olympics is at hand, and he’s got a good chance to win a medal. All he has to do is concentrate for a few more weeks.

Then he meets his high school best friend’s future brother-in-law, and all bets are off. Nick’s gorgeous, gay, and interested.  No matter how many times Ben tells himself there couldn’t be a worse time to try to start a relationship, his heart doesn’t seem to want to listen. Will family stress and his new relationship cost Ben the medal he’s dreamed of for so many years?

Tumble Turn is a funny, sweet tale of love coming when it’s least expected. Ben made a great narrator. He’s amusing, self-deprecating, and a little neurotic. Although he has cerebral palsy, he doesn’t let his condition define or limit him. He deals with the symptoms of CP the same way he handles everything else: with good humor and determination. After hearing that the Olympics would be held in London in 2012, Ben has spent the past seven years training. He wants to compete on the Paralympic teams for several swimming events. His personal life has been on the back burner. When his old school friend Matty introduces Ben to his girlfriend’s attractive, gay brother, Nick is tempted, but he’s not in a good position to start anything. Unfortunately for Ben, neither his heart nor Nick seem to care. Ben’s soon very distracted from his training by thoughts of Nick. When Nick finds out, however, he comes up with an ingenious plan to keep Ben on track…

One of the best things about Tumble Turn is Ben’s first-person narration. He’s so entertaining. Not being British myself, I loved the liberal sprinkling of British sayings and slang. Normally I would have been irritated by the lack of information about Nick, but this way it’s easier to understand Ben’s insecurities. This really is Ben’s story, and that’s a good thing. The secondary characters, especially Ben’s mom, who had an unending rivalry with Matty’s mom, were people I’d love to meet. I learned about the Paralympics, too, which was another plus. Overall, Tumble Turn Is a quick, enjoyable, and sweet read that will appeal to fans of sports stories, heroes who overcome odds, or sweet romance. While I’ve been a fan of Charlie Cochrane’s historicals for a long time, with Tumble Turn she shows an equally deft hand with contemporary romance. 

THERON’S BOYS by Kiernan Kell

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FAELON by A. J. Kelton

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PERFECT FOR ME by D. H. Starr

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JACK’S BACK by A. C. Katt

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P. O. W. by Max Vos

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