Monthly Mini Review
The Risk by Elle Kennedy, narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Virginia Rose – B+ I bought this on a Whispersync special a while ago. Teddy Hamilton is one of my favourite male narrators and I’ve had some good experience with Virginia Rose before as well and $2.19 was a bargain I could not resist. Book 2 in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series, which is in itself a spin-off of the Off Campus series set around the same college hockey team, The Risk tells the story of Brenna Jensen, the coach’s daughter and her secret relationship with star Harvard forward Jake Connelly. Jake and Brenna have smoking hot chemistry but it takes a while before they do more than smolder at each other – Briar and Harvard are deadly rivals on the ice and Brenna taking up with him is tantamount to treason. However, their chemistry cannot be denied, particularly when Jake may be able to help Brenna in her quest for an internship at Hockeynet, a cable TV channel devoted to all things hockey. Brenna is studying journalism (she wants to focus on sports) and is up against all sorts of misogyny in getting a chance. Jake agrees to help her out – one fake date in exchange for a real one and off we go.
The romance is great, very satisfying and very hot. I liked both Jake and Brenna. I especially loved how sex-positive they were with each other.
I’m over at AudioGals with a review of By the Book by Julia Sonneborn, narrated by Amy McFadden. I was a little bored actually and there wasn’t enough romance to satisfy.
Monthly Mini Review
HeartShip by Amy Jo Cousins – B A sweet, mostly low-conflict novella about Josh, a college football player (he’s heading into his final year and has been previously red-shirted so he’s 25) and Benji, a 32-year-old massage therapy student who meet on an online fandom for RWBY, a (real) American anime series. After they meet online, they take their conversations to Twitter and catch up once a week to live tweet episodes of RWBY together. Benji’s handle is “princessglitter” and he’s never actually specifically stated he’s a guy. Josh has never explicitly asked him. Benji assumes Josh thinks he’s a girl. But it doesn’t matter because Josh lives in Minnesota and Benji lives in Miami.
Until Josh, who has been sidelined due to a possibly football-ending injury decides to surprise his friend in Florida with a visit.
It’s not a gay for you story. It’s clear very early on that Josh has always known he’s gay. He just hadn’t come out yet, not even really to himself. However, once he meets Benji in person, their flirty online banter and the deep friendship they’ve developed spills over into physical intimacy. It’s fair to say that Josh takes to gay sex like a duck to water and he barely has a qualm about coming out – even to his teammates back in Minnesota. I read it as a “show the world as you’d prefer it to be” kind of thing rather than (unfortunately) actually realistic. There is a little homophobia referenced but it’s dealt with quickly and isn’t a big feature in the story.
While I was on holidays I had a review up at AudioGals of How To Date a Douchebag: The Learning Hours by Sara Ney, narrated by Josh Goodman & Muffy Newtown. After a less-than-stellar beginning, I ended up liking this one quite a bit.
I’m over at AudioGals with a review of Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen, narrated by Andi Arndt & Cooper North. Entertaining new adult romance with great narration.
I’m over at Dear Author with a review of Cross Check by Kelly Jamieson. It didn’t hit the high of Shut Out but there were things to like.