Quickie Review: Phonebook, by Amy Lane

lane-phonebook-banner

Phonebook, by Amy Lane
Series: Ryan & Scott, Book 2*
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: orig. 2010, revised March 9, 2016

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
2-of-5

* This is not technically part of a series, but the characters have appeared together in other short stories. Phonebook can be read as a stand-alone.

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Release Day Review: Lollipop, by Amy Lane

lane-lollipopLollipop, by Amy Lane
Series: Candy Man, Book 3 (Stand Alone)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2016

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Buy Links: eBook / Paperback

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Blurb:

Ezra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.

Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.

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Review: The Deep of the Sound, by Amy Lane (Rating: 2.5/5)

The Deep of the Sound, by Amy Lane (A Bluewater Bay story)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 15, 2015)
Page Count: 308 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

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Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Short & Sweet: Cal works two jobs to support his brother and great-uncle, both needing extensive medical care. On his way home from an appointment with his brother, Keir, he spots a broken down car on the side of the road and his brother begs him to stop and help. The man they rescue is Avery, a geek and writer who’s headed to Bluewater Bay for a convention of his favorite show. Avery plans to move to Bluewater Bay, and his attraction to Cal is making that decision easier. But Cal refuses to promise Avery more than “until we can’t”

My Thoughts: I wanted to badly to like this novel. I truly did. The summary sounded interesting, and I’ve enjoyed other novels set in this universe. Also, Amy Lane is a well-known author in the M/M romance genre, and generally receives good reviews. However, I’ve never been able to mesh with Lane’s style of writing or her characterizations in her other novels, and unfortunately this book wasn’t any different for me.

I had been looking forward to this novel after reading the summary. A geeky, fandom-obsessed man desperate to prove himself to his uncaring family runs into a down-on-his-luck man struggling to make ends meet. Attraction happens, maybe some angst, and then they somehow end up with a HEA. It sounded like a nice summertime read. Plus, I love novels with geeky characters. Wait, let me rephrase that: I love novels with well-written geeky characters.

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Friday Five: Upcoming June Releases

Ahhh, it’s finally warming up in the Northern Hemisphere after a long and messy winter! It was snowing in Colorado just a month ago, and the piles of snow in Boston still haven’t melted… insane, right? Thank goodness summer is finally here!

(Okay, where I live it’s always summer, but that’s beside the point.)

Summer is the best time of year for Romance books in my experience, and there’s nothing more perfect than the combination of a good book, a warm breeze, and blue water lapping at your feet.

So far, June has been a great month for new releases, with amazing novels from Rhys Ford, Lauren Gallagher, and Alexis Hall, to name a few. And the rest of the month has me bouncing with excitement.

Here are five books that I can’t wait to read in the second half of June:

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

The Deep of the Sound, by Amy Lane (Riptide Publishing, June 15)

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.

Cover Artist: Unknown

Cover Artist: Unknown

Just Business, by Anna Zabo (Random House/InterMix, June 16)

Justin White may not look like an up and coming corporate superstar, but his new boss knows he has the smarts, grit, and determination to succeed. Now he just has to convince his company’s CFO, Eli Ovadia. Unfortunately, Justin can’t seem to keep his cool around the domineering Eli—and soon he finds himself taking their heat from the boardroom into the bedroom….

Still haunted by a tragic accident that left him with a wounded leg and broken heart, Eli has a need to be in control. But his desire for Justin makes him want to lose that control—and push them both far beyond their limits. But will his need to dominate Justin drive him away—or will Eli find a way to be the man he needs for both of them?

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

The Girl Next Door, by Amy Jo Cousins (Samhain Publishing, June 16)

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

The Tide of War, by Lori A. Witt (Riptide Publishing, June 22)

Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.

Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.

Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

The Peach and the Poppy, by Caesar J.M. Kauftheil (Less Than Three Press, June 24)

After an unpleasant breakup with her girlfriend, Poppy goes on a solo trip to Paris. Her first morning out she encounters a beautiful stranger, but it proves to be the only good part of the day. Though she tries to appreciate the beautiful city she’s come to escape in for a time, Poppy can’t help but feel something is lacking.

When her best friend suggests what she needs is a fling to clear away her ex for good, Poppy approaches the beautiful woman from before to be her tour guide for the duration of her vacation, but as the trip draws all too quickly to an end, Poppy realizes that in seeking a cure for heartache, she may instead have just made the problem worse…

Cover Artist: Unknown

Cover Artist: Unknown

Bonus: The Long Fall of Night, by A. J. Rose (June 2015 est.)

When NYU student Asher Caine’s uncle calls to warn him something big is coming, he has no idea it will be so devastating. Not even years of training can prepare him for what he’s about to face. The only plan he has is to get his sister and nephew across country to safety, whatever it takes.

Elliot Davenport isn’t about to let his Chemistry lab partner leave him behind, though he’s never done a spontaneous thing in his life. Ash is mysterious, aloof, and so damned sexy, Elliot can’t get the guy out of his head. But his crush takes a backseat as the gravity of the situation becomes clear: the eastern two-thirds of the United States has gone dark.