It’s wrap-up time! My brain hasn’t been working. When I’ve had the energy to read at all, I’ve read something I’ve read before. I’ve needed the familiarity of rereads.
But, before we jump into the books I’ve reread (not all are rereads, but most) I missed not one, but two books last month. Goes to show that I’ve misplaced my brain somewhere. If you find it, please bring it back. I kinda miss it.
Grown Men by Damon Suede
It was the cover… I might already have lost my brain when I did this because there were quite a few things I never understood. I liked the characters, and I liked the parts of the world that made sense to me.
Every future has dirty roots.
Marooned in the galactic backwaters of the HardCell company, colonist Runt struggles to eke out an existence on a newly-terraformed tropical planetoid. Since his clone-wife died on entry, he’s been doing the work of two on his failing protein farm. Overworked and undersized, Runt’s dwindling hope of earning corporate citizenship has turned to fear of violent “retirement.”
When an overdue crate of provisions crashes on his beach, Runt searches frantically for a replacement wife among the tools and food. Instead he gets Ox, a mute hulk who seems more like a corporate assassin than a simple offworld farmer.
Shackwacky and near-starving, Runt has no choice but to work with his silent partner despite his mounting paranoia and the unsettling appeal of Ox’s genetically altered pheromones. Ox plays the part of the gentle giant well, but Runt’s still not convinced he hasn’t arrived with murder in mind.
Between brutal desire and the seeds of a relationship, Runt’s fears and Ox’s inhuman past collide on a fertile world where hope and love just might have room to grow.
I couldn’t find this book anywhere. I borrowed it from the library, so maybe you can find it there.
The Necromancer’s Light by Tavia Lark
The other forgotten book is The Necromancer’s Light. Necromancers are cool, right? Yes, they are! The story, though. I liked Shae, but I wasn’t as impressed with Arthur.
He’ll die without touch.
As a necromancer, Shae loses a little more of himself every time he uses his magic. Always cold, always touch-starved, the only thing that helps is human contact. But that’s hard to come by when those same dark powers scare everyone away from him. Nobody likes a necromancer.
Especially a paladin of the Radiant Order.
Arthur’s still bitter and broken after his last lover stabbed him in the back, and the last thing he needs is another brush with evil. When he agrees to escort the wandering necromancer north, he’s just doing a public service.
But he never expected Shae to be so clingy. Or distractingly attractive.
Shae has never felt an aura as warm and safe as Arthur’s. He craves the man’s touch—and more. But everyone he’s ever known has left him, and it’s just a matter of time before Arthur leaves him too.
Assuming the soul-stealing monsters don’t kill them first.
The Necromancer’s Light is a gay fantasy romance, with magic, hurt/comfort, and bed sharing for Reasons. First in a series but can be read alone. 56,000 words, HEA guaranteed.
Books by Ellie Thomas
The new books I’ve read this month are Twelve Letters and Queer Relations by Ellie Thomas. You can read them as standalones, but I’m glad I read them together (Start with Twelve Letters). I really enjoyed these stories, and was so happy when I realised Queer Relations was about Percy 😁
In Regency London, Jolyon Everett is determined to dissuade his irascible friend, Captain Ben Harding, from fighting a duel. However, before commencing on the pressing business of defusing Ben’s misplaced anger, Jo writes two notes — one to Percy Havilland, his very demanding paramour, and the other to his tailor, Daniel Walters. With those trifles out of the way, he can concentrate on persuading Ben to reprieve young Edward Stephens, a newly qualified doctor, who Jo suspects has a serious crush on Ben.
But the best-laid plans can go awry, as do the letters. As well as a furious Ben, Jo finds himself at the mercy of an outraged Percy and an amorous tailor. Can he convince Ben not to shoot Edward after all? Will he soothe Percy’s ruffled feathers? And might Jo realise true love can be found under the most unexpected conditions?
Sequel to Twelve Letters
In the autumn of 1814, the Honourable Percy Havilland is generally content with his sheltered existence in London’s exclusive Mayfair. As a society beau, renowned for his fair and youthful beauty and an object of desire to other well-born gentlemen, Percy is slightly miffed his personal life is not running as seamlessly as he might wish.
His good-natured lover from the spring season, Jo Everett, has inexplicably lost interest, and his replacement, Nathaniel Brooks, is far too hard-headed to be cajoled and manipulated into pandering to Percy’s every whim.
But these trifles are cast into proportion when, out of the blue, a family scandal of immense proportions threatens Percy’s peace of mind and his standing amongst the ton. Fearing rejection or even social banishment, to his surprise, Percy discovers a small, unconventional band of friends, including Jo, who are prepared to stick by him. And more importantly, he finds Nathan is utterly reliable in a crisis.
Will Percy remain spoiled, immature, and pampered? Or can he grow from this disaster to appreciate the value of true friendship? Might he even learn to love?
Books by Mary Calmes
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. When I don’t have the energy to think, I read Mary Calmes. I’ve read all these before, and my favourite is Frog, but they all work as a distraction.
Weber Yates’s dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand’s job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming.
Cyrus Benning is a successful neurosurgeon, so details are never lost on him. He spotted the prince in a broken-down bull rider’s clothing from day one. But watching Weber walk out on him keeps getting harder, and he’s not sure how much more his heart can take. Now Cyrus has one last chance to prove to Weber that it’s not Weber’s job that makes him Cyrus’s perfect man, it’s Weber himself. With the help of his sister’s newly broken family, he’s ready to show Weber that the home the man’s been searching for has always been right there, with him. Cyrus might have laid down an ultimatum once, but now it’s turned into a vow-he’s never going to let Weber out of his life again.
Six years ago, Noah Wheeler went to meet his boyfriend, Dante Cerreto, at the airport, and his world ended. Dante was kissing someone else and claimed to be in love. So Noah took his heartbreak-and the sonogram pictures of their surrogate child-and closed the door on the big picture of what he thought his life would be, focusing instead on the piece of the dream he got to keep, being a father.
Now on vacation in Las Vegas, Noah accidentally runs into the Cerreto family, and then the man himself, and learns that not only was he deceived, but Dante was as well. Now Dante wants to make up for lost time, six years’ worth, and to do that he needs Noah, the only man he’s ever loved, and Grace, the daughter he didn’t know he had, to give him a chance at happiness. Dante’s going to have to take a crash course in communication and seduction, though. Noah’s not going to fall in love just to be broken again.
Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—with a past that just might get Tracy killed.
Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It’ll be a tough sell; reputation is everything, and Cord’s is tarnished by his past indiscretions.
Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to suffocate their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord finally has the chance to ride to the rescue and break through the dam of Tracy’s reserve. But he’d better be careful: if Cord is breaking the floodgates to wash away the past, he’s going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they’re still standing when the tumult recedes.
Forty-five-year-old English professor Nathan Qells is very good at making people feel important. What he’s not very good at is sticking around afterward. He’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t feel things the way other people do. So even after all the time he’s spent taking care of Michael, the kid across the hall, he doesn’t realize that Michael’s mob muscle uncle and guardian, Andreo Fiore, has slowly been falling in love with him.
Dreo has bigger problems than getting Nate to see him as a potential partner. He’s raising his nephew, trying to leave his unsavory job, and starting his own business, a process made infinitely more difficult when a series of hits takes out some key underworld players. Still, Dreo is determined to build a life he can be proud of—a life with Nate as a cornerstone. A life that is starting to look like exactly what Nate has been looking for. Unfortunately for Dreo—and for Nate—the last hits were just part of a major reorganization, and Dreo’s obvious love for Nate has made him a target too.
When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
I was gonna save this for a ReRead Friday post over at Holly’s, but I’d already done one this month, and it was there on my phone. I didn’t have the energy to find something else to read, so… I continued down the reread lane. BDSM isn’t really my thing, I mean I’ll read it if it’s done well, but in this, it’s almost more about getting out of BDSM. It’s a means of control, not one of thrill, so I don’t know. I do like the characters and the small-town theme. It’s a little creepy with sleepwalking, but it makes an unusual story.
Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.
Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.
Bone Rider by J. Fally
This one is the book I read for my ReRead Friday post over at Holly’s. You can read me fangirling about it there. This is one of my favourite stories, and I was scared to read it again. I feared I wouldn’t love it as much, but it’s still one of my favourite stories. Awesome!
Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.
Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.
The Manny by Sara Bell
The last book I read this month was The Manny by Sara Bell. I was thinking about this story about a man needing a nanny and hiring a guy. One of them is rather flamboyant, can’t remember if it’s the dad or the manny. I thought it was The Manny I was thinking about, and I went to dig it up on a portable hard drive where I have some OLD books. But it wasn’t the story I thought it was. This is also about a guy needing a nanny and hiring a guy, but it wasn’t the one I thought I’d be reading. Do you think I’m thinking about One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea? It could be the one… I’ll have to check.
ate Fuller’s life is a God-awful mess. He’s flat broke, his dead lover’s parents are suing him again and his asshat landlord A.J. Boyd is evicting him from his bike shop, the one constant in Tate’s life. He’s starting to think things will never look up when sees an ad in the paper for a night and weekend nanny. So what if the guy who’s doing the hiring is none other than A.J. himself, or if A.J. makes Tate’s blood heat with something other than anger? After having his wife dump him because she claimed a bisexual man could never be faithful, A.J. Boyd has stopped being surprised when life throws him curve balls. Stopped being surprised, that is, until he finds out his ex-wife has died and left him with a six-week old daughter he didn’t even know he had. Now he’s sleep-deprived, scared stiff, and ready to do something really stupid, like hire the stubborn, infuriating, cocky Tate. And if the tension between them’s hot enough to restart the Chicago fire, well, so be it.
I couldn’t find this in any of the shops.