The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews: Quick Review

If he risks his heart, can he keep his head in the game?

To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years–everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.

So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…

This gay romance from Keira Andrews features opposites attracting, new adult angst, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Amazon

You have to like figure skating to like this book. And I do like figure skating, and the behind the scenes training was interesting to read. But I felt like the book focused on the skating more than the romance. And I wanted more romance.

Alex is focused solely on getting to the Olympics. All of the time, training and money are for that moment. So even though he is gay, he has never acted on it. Training takes first place in his life always.

Matt is a pairs figure skater and Alex hates him. For pretty much no reason. They aren’t in competition with each other. They simply train at the same rink.

Matt and Alex are about polar opposites. Matt is Mr nice guy, Alex runs his mouth without filter and is definitely more average than hot. Naturally, a romance begins.

And the romance is nice and it is sweet. But I wanted more. There were a lot of side characters with stories that detracted a bit from the main story so that at times, although I did really enjoy Matt’s partner.

There were parts that I really really enjoyed. When Matt soothes the prickly Alex. When Alex comforts Matt. And when Alex so awkardly invites himself to do some brief sight seeing with Matt.

I am generally a fan of Ms Andrew’s work, but this wasn’t my favorite. But that is not saying I didn’t enjoy it because I did. You would probably enjoy it as well.

 

Pieces of Candy: 3 1/2

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews: New Release Review

A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.

Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.

Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana’s big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.

Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?

Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Amazon

 

Little secret of mine: I am a total sucker for single dads. Like single, single. No mom or partner in the picture at all for whatever reason. Especially if they became fathers young. Like Jason. He was determined to make it work and he is. And now he is on a vacation of a lifetime with his daughter. So I was a little in love with him from the start.

I digress. I really enjoyed this story of a heartbroken man, thinking he was too old to find happily ever after and the single dad who is so busy working and giving his daughter a decent life that he doesn’t even consider a happily ever after.

This story is told in alternating POV’s of the main characters and once or twice from the POV of Jason’s daughter Maggie. I personally really like alternating points of view, and I feel that it was really well done. I never had to flip back to remind myself who was telling the story at any point.

While there was “insta-love” and the plot was a little far fetched, I didn’t mind that so much. The action and suspense that happened was well done and took the story forward for me.

There was a tidy happily ever after, but this book needed that. It didn’t need to be drawn out more for the sake of filling pages. And it had one of my favorite things- an epilogue a few years in the future.

A quick, easy read with some page turning points. Put this in your TBR pile.

 

Pieces of Candy: 4

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews: Quick Review and Excerpt

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synopsis

If he risks his heart, can he keep his head in the game?

To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years—everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.

So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…

Note: This gay romance from Keira Andrews features opposites attracting, new adult angst, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

buy now

Amazon

 

Heather's Review

When I saw Keira Andrews had a new book coming out, and it was a pair of figure skaters, I might’ve gotten just a little excited! And for the most part, my expectations were met or exceeded.

What worked:
Two very different personalities. While Alex is laser-focused on winning Olympic gold, Matt has a much more laid-back approach, even before a horrible accident forces him to change his track. In the end, the two of them balanced each other well.

The journey. As I was reading, I found myself turning the pages, not only to see the men fall in love, but also to see if their dreams would come true.

The chemistry. These men didn’t instantly fall into bed together. They had to work for it. It was especially intriguing to see Alex go from a socially inept, self-centered elite athlete to giving a damn about other people.

The sex. What was there was awesome. It was hot enough you can feel the connection between these men. Matt managed to get Alex to relax, he proved to be as domineering in the bedroom as he was demure outside of it. The only problem was…

What didn’t work:

The sex. Of course, this is only my opinion, but there was a huge missed opportunity in the sex. Alex is strung as tight as he could be, so focused on the sport that he doesn’t know how to let go and live. When he gave into his own desires and Matt started in with the dirty talk, he was putty. It would’ve been great to see more of Matt being a centering force in Alex’s life, starting with forcing him to relax and live out his wildest dreams.

The jargon. Sadly, if The Next Competitor had been written by a new-to-me author, I’d have likely given up on it in the first two chapters. Yes, I was eager to read about two figure skaters falling in love, but at least for a while, that took a back seat to a primer in figure skating. It almost felt like she was trying to put in as much as she could about skating to show that she’d done her research.

Too many moving pieces. If I’d tried keeping up with all the different side characters, I’d have gotten a headache. Don’t get me wrong, it’s understandable that there are more than just the two main characters in the book, but there was too much back story about a lot of the side characters and I gave up on trying to remember who went where.

Overall, The Next Competitor was a fun little read. Part of me hopes we might get to see more of Alex and Matt’s story, because when the book ended, their journey was just beginning.

4 pieces of eye candy

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excerpt

After the group finishes dinner, Matt says goodbye as we leave the restaurant. “Where are you going?” I ask before I can stop myself.

“It’s my first time in Philly, and there’s one thing I’ve got to see.”

My mouth opens and out plops, “I want to go with you.”

Matt’s eyebrows shoot up. “You do?”

“Just don’t feel like going back to my room yet.” I shrug, my cheeks hot as all eyes land on me again. “But if you want to go by yourself, it’s totally fine.” Why did I say anything at all?

“No, it’s cool.” Matt smiles, his eyes crinkling. “Come on.”

We turn in the other direction from the hotel after Mylene, who is giggling delightedly for some reason, waves goodbye. Night has fallen and the air has a frosty bite to it that reminds me winter isn’t far away, which means the Olympics aren’t far away either. We walk along in silence for a bit until I have to say something to break it.

“So, which sight is it?”

Matt zips up his jacket and puts his hands in his pockets. “You can’t guess?”

I think about what Philly is famous for. “The Liberty Bell?”

“Nope.”

“Some memorial to Ben Franklin?”

“Guess again.”

“The cheesesteak museum?”

Matt laughs. “Seriously? They have a cheesesteak museum?”

I laugh too, warmth flowing through me. “I have no idea. If they don’t, they should.”

We pass a big fountain, walking through a park in the center of a wide, looping street, an imposing building in the distance. As we get closer, it hits me. “Wait, wait. Is this the Rocky thing?”

Grinning, Matt nods and points to the building. “Philadelphia Museum of Art, featuring the famous seventy-two steps Rocky Balboa ran up in the movie.”

“You a big Stallone fan?” I’m a bit surprised.

“Not really, but who doesn’t love that moment? Come on, it’s classic.”

“I’ll give you that.”

We keep walking toward the museum, which is lit dramatically. I hardly ever visit any sights when I’m traveling for competitions, so it’s a nice change seeing some of Philadelphia. A little voice still nags, saying that I should be resting and getting ready for my long program tomorrow.

Matt says, “My dad loves that movie. We used to watch it together when I was a kid, and it was like… I don’t know. Like it helped us relate to each other. He’s a plumber from a big conservative Italian family in Richmond Hill—you know, a bit north of the rink? Anyway, we don’t really have that much in common. It’s tough these days.”

He sounds forlorn, and I have to shove my hands in my pockets to keep from reaching out to touch his arm. Maybe things aren’t as perfect in Matt’s life as I thought.

I clear my throat. “I got lucky with my father. He’s always been pretty liberal. He was a hippie or whatever back in the day. We can talk about anything.”

“How does he feel about you skating?”

“Aside from not loving how expensive it is, he’s all for it.”

“My dad didn’t like me skating when I was younger. At all. I actually only started to improve my hockey skills, but soon hockey fell by the wayside. I don’t know if he’s ever forgiven me.” Matt’s laugh is strained.

“I’m sorry he’s not more supportive. That must be so hard.”

Looking both ways, we jog across the street to the museum, and Matt shakes his head. “Now that I’m doing so well, I think he’s happy. I’m sure he is. Well, I hope so. Besides, he’s worked his ass off for years to pay for it, so it’s not that he wasn’t supportive in that way. He totally was.”

“Totally,” I agree. Clearly Matt’s got a few conflicting feelings about his dear old dad.

“Still, I think deep down he’d much rather have some stereotypically macho, hockey-playing son rather than a figure skater.”

I’m not sure what to say, so I make an “mmm” noise to show I’m listening. I didn’t know Matt could talk this much in a row.

“I just wish he could love me for who I am. I’ve always tried so hard to make him proud, but I don’t know if he’ll ever accept a gay son.” Matt shakes his head and laughs. “God, sorry. I don’t know how this became a therapy session.”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind.” Wow, Matt Savelli has angst. He always seems so together and unruffled, but perhaps he’s not made of cardboard after all. And I knew my trusty gaydar was on the money. It shouldn’t send a thrill down my spine to hear Matt confirm it, but…

“You’re a surprisingly good listener.”

“Thank you? I think?”

His eyes crinkle in the glow of the street lamps. “No, no, I didn’t mean it like that. What I meant was… It’s been nice getting to know you better.”

“Yeah, you too.” My stomach somersaults again, my fingers tingling.

At the middle of the wide, empty stairway we stand at the bottom of the steps, peering up. I whistle. “Wow. That’s a lot of stairs.”

“Bet I can beat you up there.”

I do love a challenge. “No way, no day.”

Suddenly, Matt’s off and running, and I curse under my breath as I launch after him. He’s faster than I thought, and although I close most of the distance, he remains a stride above me as we power our way up the steps. My breath comes in bursts that fog up the chilly air, and I strain to catch up with him. We pass a few people who are coming down, and they applaud as we race by.

I manage to pull up, and we’re neck and neck as we take the last steps. We reach the top in stride, and Matt lets out a whoop of joy, raising his arms in the air and dancing in a circle. I join in, because that’s what you do when you run up the Rocky steps. I’ve never seen him so animated. Well, except for when he’s irritated with me.

We take in the amazing view of the city. Skyscrapers rise in the distance, and before us is the huge oval area we walked across surrounded by the road, with trees and grass and a statue of a guy on a horse I barely noticed passing because Matt was talking.

We jump around like idiots, working up more of a sweat than we did on the stairs, which weren’t actually that hard. Matt leans his hands on his knees, and I reach out to give his shoulder a friendly punch, but my palm just rests there instead.

A shock bolts through me, like I’ve just touched a metal doorknob in winter. We’re both breathing a little hard, and Matt gives me this long look that makes me want to throw him down right here and now and do things that would get us arrested and kicked off our national teams.

He stands up straight and my hand falls away as he steps closer. His voice is low. “Thanks for coming up here with me. It was way more fun than doing it by myself.”

All I can think of is something else that is way more fun to do with someone else—not that I’d know from personal experience—and I swallow hard, my throat suddenly dry. I manage to get out, “Sure.” My pulse thrums in my ears, and it’s not because of the running and jumping.

We lean toward each other. I’m staring at his thick lips as he licks them, and I am so turned on right now, imagining what those lips will feel like on mine, and how Matt’s hands and body—

“Hurry up!”

Matt and I leap apart as a little boy hurtles over the top of the steps. His parents and a few siblings follow, huffing and puffing from their climb. The parents say hello to us and we reply, and I’m glad it’s dark, because I know I’m blushing like crazy.

The father asks us to take their photo, and Matt does, telling them to smile. He gives the phone back, and we stand there awkwardly for a few moments. I clear my throat. “Actually, want to take a pic of me so I can Instagram it?”

“Sure.” He takes my phone, and I raise my hands over my head triumphantly with a big competition smile. It’s dark, but hopefully there’s enough ambient light since a flash will just make it look like shit.

I reach for my phone back, but he says, “Wait a sec.” Coming close, he puts a big hand on my shoulder, spinning me to face away from the museum as my heart thumps. He says, “I’ll get you from behind.”

Of course I practically choke on my tongue, my balls tightening at the thought as I gaze out at the city and try desperately to clear my dirty mind. Matt laughs awkwardly. “Um, you know what I mean.”

“Uh-huh.” I raise my arms. “Is this good?”

“Yep!” He sounds too cheerful now.

Once he’s got the picture, I take a few for him. “I guess we should…” I motion to the steps.
Matt nods. “Yeah, it’s getting late.”

It’s barely eight, but I murmur in agreement and start down. We descend side by side, not talking. It would seem weird to try and kiss him now. Or maybe I should stop overanalyzing and kiss him anyway. But wait, do I really want to kiss Matt? I’m not supposed to kiss anyone right now with the Olympics coming up, especially not Captain Cardboard.

But now that I’m actually talking to him, Matt’s different than I thought he was. He’s cool, actually. We haven’t even argued the whole night, and he wanted me to come out with him.

Well, he didn’t argue, and it’s not like I gave him a choice. He would have had to be totally rude to stop me from coming, and he’s too Canadian for that.

My palms sweat. Maybe he doesn’t like me at all. I think he’s cool now that I’ve given him a chance, but what if he thinks I’m a bigger jerk than he did before? And why should I even care?

“Is your family coming this weekend?” Matt’s voice sounds completely calm and normal. Maybe he didn’t really want to kiss me, but was swept up in the whole moment, or something. Or it was all in my imagination and there wasn’t a “moment” at all. I need to get a grip.

“Alex?”

I realize he’s waiting for an answer. “Yeah. They’re driving here tomorrow.”

“What does your mom do?”

I tell him about my mom’s work as an HR consultant, which I’m sure is fascinating for him. His mom’s a teacher, and we talk about that for a while, and before I know it, we’re back in the hotel.

In the elevator, Matt presses the eleventh floor. His hand hovers by the bank of buttons, and he looks at me expectantly. “Fifteen,” I answer.

Matt smiles as he steps off on his floor. “See you around tomorrow. Good luck.”

“See ya. You too.” I’m going for a casual tone and am moderately successful.

The doors close, and that’s it, like nothing happened. Which I guess is true.

Copyright © Keira Andrews

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Fight the Tide by Keira Andrews: Release Day Review and Five-ish Good Questions

400x600_Fight_the_Tide_KeiraAndrewssynopsis

Adrift in a post-apocalyptic world, they only have each other. Is it enough?

A virus that turns the infected into zombie-like killers spreads through a burning world thrown into lawless chaos. Lovers Parker and Adam have escaped to the open sea when they hear a message over the airwaves from a place called Salvation Island—a supposed safe haven.

Orphaned as a child, werewolf Adam has always longed for a pack. He’s eager to investigate the island, but Parker doesn’t think for a nanosecond that the voice on the radio can be believed. He doesn’t trust anyone but Adam and is determined to keep it that way. They don’t need anyone else complicating their struggle to survive. Or do they?

Danger on the high seas can surface in a heartbeat, and if Parker and Adam aren’t careful, the current will drag them under.

This gay romance is a dystopian adventure featuring a werewolf, his boyfriend, and their struggle to find a place to call home.

morgan review

I was so excited to get my hands on Fight the Tide and it did not disappoint. This story was just as great as the first. Keira tells her stories in such a way you feel like you’re really there and the writing is amazing. I never knew what was going to happen next and she kept me on the edge of my seat. I caught myself screaming at my kindle at one point! Ha! The emotions were everywhere with this one.

Fight picks up right where Kick leaves off. Parker and Adam are taking it one day at a time out on the water and just trying to survive. This is truly a post-apocalyptic world they are living in now and the things and people they encounter are exactly how I believe it would play out.

Parker tends to underestimate himself a lot. He starts to feel he’s lacking in some way and may not be everything Adam needs. He has some serious struggles and getting to see him work through them and come out on the other side shows just how resilient he is.

I have to say, the sex scenes in this one were fantastic and hot as hell. Be prepared for your jaw to drop and you might even have to fan yourself a little. Just damn… Parker and Adam have a sweet relationship and I enjoyed seeing it grow more and more throughout the story. No matter what happens and what they face they always have the support of each other.

We eventually get to meet a small group of survivors in need of some assistance. I really liked all 4 of them and I thought they brought a lot to the story. We get to meet some new wolves as well and learn a little more about Adam.

I could go on for days about this but I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t stress how much I love reading about the world Keira has created. If you haven’t read Kick at the Darkness, make sure you check that out first before you start Fight the Tide. This was an amazing story and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I still have lots of unanswered questions and I want to learn more about the Wolves and the Virus. I am a zombie/ paranormal/ horror freak and Keira has rocked my world with these stories.

5 HUGE pieces of eye candy from me!!!!

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tco-friday five-ish

  1. Fight the Tide got a HUGE 5 pieces of eye candy rating from Morgan. So tell the readers anything you can on what might be ahead for these two guys? Are there a set number of books you envision for the series?

Thanks so much to Morgan! There will definitely be a third book for Parker and Adam, and also a fourth book centered on a character you’ll meet in Fight the Tide. That’s all I have planned for now, but who knows what the future will bring?

  1. You always have such a unique vision to your books. The Forbidden Rumspringa is still the most surprising book to me. What was your inspiration for this series?

Thank you. My inspiration for the Kick at the Darkness series came from a lifelong love of dystopian stories, and certainly more recent TV shows such as The Walking Dead. Also the X-Men in regards to having special abilities that must be kept secret.

  1. Parker and Adam now live in a post Apocalyptic world, just trying to survive. What do you think is the most unique aspect of the world that you created for them? Is it something you can envision happening in the present day?

When I was researching the first book, I discovered that once the power grid goes dark, experts think the infrastructure would fall apart alarmingly quickly. Let’s hope we won’t find out! It’s a challenge to be unique considering how popular zombie and werewolf stories have been in recent years, so I suppose the aspect that stands out in my books is the combination of the two genres.

  1. What one thing are you most excited about with this book? Okay, you can make it as many things as you want.

The thing I’m most excited about is how the universe has clicked into place. After the first book, I wasn’t sure what would happen to Adam and Parker, and now they’re firmly on their path. I’m also excited for readers to see their relationship deepen and grow as they face more challenges. They don’t always agree and aren’t perfect, but they are 100% committed to each other.

  1. Last question is always the fun one. You write sex scenes that are hot, and with characters that likely would never get together but for inauspicious circumstances. What do you want to write as a sex scene sometime? Your dream fantasy sex scene.

Ohh, good question! I love writing sex scenes. I wrote my first fisting scene for Fight the Tide, which I realize can be controversial and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope readers will keep an open mind. As to my fantasy scene… That’s a tough one! I don’t really have any limitations, and it always depends on what the characters want. So we’ll see what the future brings!

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giveaway

TCO would like to give away a copy of Fight the Tide to one commenter. So, tell us, what do you envision as the scariest part of being in a post-apocalyptic world?

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews : Release Day Review

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]synopsisTwo straight guys. One desert island.

Even if it means quitting their boy band mid-tour, Troy Tanner isn’t going to watch his little brother snort his future away after addiction destroyed their father. On a private jet taking him home from Australia, he and pilot Brian Sinclair soar above the vast South Pacific. Brian lost his passion for flying—and joy in life—after a traumatic crash, but now he and Troy must fight to survive when a cyclone strikes without warning.

Marooned a thousand miles from civilization, the turquoise water and white sand beach look like paradise. But although they can fish and make fire, the smallest infection or bacteria could be deadly. When the days turn into weeks with no sign of rescue, Troy and Brian grow closer, and friendship deepens into desire.

As they learn sexuality is about more than straight or gay and discover their true selves, the world they’ve built together is thrown into chaos. If Troy and Brian make it off the island, can their love endure?

 

morgan review

I love everything I have ever read by Keira Andrews. I have yet to find a book I didn’t fall head over heels for.

Beyond the Sea was no different. I enjoyed seeing every aspect of the story play out with amazing detail. The scenes were set perfectly and described so well it was like watching a movie. Everything about the story was believable and it flowed really well.

I like how it wasn’t Insta love. The MC’s went from strangers, to friends, to something more and we get to see how everything develops step by step. The slow build of attraction between Brian and Troy makes the sex so much hotter in my opinion. When they finally act on their feelings it’s just WOW. These two have amazing chemistry and the bond they form after going through so much together is so special. It was actually bittersweet for me when they got rescued. I wasn’t sure how either of them would react when they were thrown back into the real world, but I loved how it worked out.

I definitely recommend checking out Beyond the Sea. This is a for sure reread for me and 5 pieces of eye candy!!

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Holiday Roundup: Authors and Reviewers Picks

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Who doesn’t like Holiday reads? We asked some of our favorite authors and our own reviewers what their favorite holidays reads are, and some of the answers caused us to rethink our own answers. The good thing with holiday reads is that there are so many to go around, and its just the perfect time to sit back with a glass of wine or hot cocoa and spend the night with a couple of delicious men…on paper of course! 🙂

Let us know what your favorites are!

found at the library

Denise: Found at the Library by Christi Snow

if only in my dreams

Morgan: If Only In My Dreams by Keira Andrews

SleighRide300Heather:  Sleigh Ride by Heidi Cullinan

dickensFelice Stevens: The Dickens with Love by Josh Lanyon

great miracleCardeno C: A Great Miracle Happened There by Kim Fielding

Cover-Audio-He-Completes-MeSloan Johnson: He Completes Me by Cardeno C

against the grainMichelle: Against the Grain by Charlie Cochet (for the Thanksgiving scene!)

dreaming of snowJessie G: Dreaming of Snow by Teodora Kostova

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

If Only In My Dreams by Keira Andrews: Book Reviews

if only in my dreamssynopsis

To be home for Christmas, they must bridge the distance between them.

Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.

Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.

As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?

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Author Name: Keira Andrews

Book Title: If Only in My Dreams

Publisher:  KA Books

Release Date:  November 19, 2015

Genre: M/M holiday, contemporary, new adult

Tags: Christmas, holiday, contemporary, new adult, road trip, enemies to lovers

Heat Level (1 being no sexual content, 5 being erotica): 4

Pairing (Male/Female, Male/Male, Female/Female, Ménage): M/M

Length: 42,000 words

Book Links:

Goodreads Book Page

http://www.keiraandrews.com/contemporary/if-only-in-my-dreams/

denise review

I don’t usually read YA/NA. Not that I have found it to be bad, just because I usually find (and this could totally be in my mind!) that our life experience is so different, I find it hard to connect with the characters. However that being said, I will always read anything by Keira Andrews. She has yet to disappoint me (made me want to throw my kindle, yes, but disappoint, no), and everything I have read I have just loved, and been pleasantly surprised by, in some way.

If Only In My Dreams was another surprise love for me. I had just been asking for an enemies to lovers book, and there comes Keira’s Christmas book to save my day. Gavin and Charlie really worked for me. To have been friends, and then secretly loving each other all this time, made sense. Teenagers find ways to create their own problems, and just don’t know how to get out of them. These two young men did just that. Yet, when thrown together, they find a way to connect back to each other, and bring themselves to another level in their relationship. They had pain, anger, and leftover hostility, and they had to work through it to find a way to meet each other in the middle.

Coming home and dealing with the families they each had wasn’t easy. Charlie’s family truly had no concerns about him, other than his safety, so allowing a man he loved into his life was simple. However, dealing with Gavin’s family, put a fresh coat of pain on all the things they had already dealt with. Yet, they handled it like adults, and moved forward until the time came for healing to begin.

I’m putting my request in now for this couple for next year for a holiday novella from Keira. Maybe see where they are while they are in college? Just a thought. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy for me!

 

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guest review

Holiday stories are some of my favorites. There’s something magical about love that starts during what’s been touted as the most wonderful time of the year. If Only in My Dreams by Keira Andrews brought so much hope, love, and healing that I’m sure it’ll leave me smiling the rest of the day.

Okay, so the concept of Charlie running into the boy who broke his heart when they were younger on the complete opposite side of the country and needing to rely on his help to get home might be far-fetched. But it works! Especially because Charlie is so desperate to get home.

There were times when I wished Gavin and Charlie had gotten over the past a bit sooner since this is a novella, but if I’m being honest, I don’t think that would have worked. We needed to see and feel their struggle. We needed the pain to make their reconciliation that much sweeter. And it was!

When I reached the end of the book, I was left wanting more. Not because anything was missing, but because I’m dying to know if Gavin and Charlie are able to make it work once they head back to school. They’re still going to have struggles to overcome, but I truly think they’re going to make it. Maybe they’ll even give Gavin’s mom those grandbabies she was so worried about and prove to her that being gay doesn’t mean they’re missing out on anything in life, it simply means their normal doesn’t look the same as “traditional” families.

If Only in My Dreams will definitely be added to the list of Christmas books I re-read every November and December.

4.5 pieces of eye candy.

 

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meet the author

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” You can find out more about Keira and her books at her website, and on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter for news, giveaways and more.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Valor on the Move by Keira Andrews : Release Day Review and Giveaway

valor on the movesynopsis

He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart. 

Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef. 

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job. 

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission. 

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

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Amazon

denise reviewGetting the chance to read a Keira Andrews book early, well, that was a yes, please and thank you immediately. She has easily become one of my favorite authors, not just for her characters, and her great love stories. But also, because she writes stories that you just don’t see anywhere else. An Amish Gay Romance? Sure, she can do that! Zombie apocalypse, shifters? Why not? Book about the POTUS’s gay son, when she’s a Canadian? Absolutely! This author can really use her imagination and creativity to bring a story to life (or in the case of Kick at the Darkness, zombie-life) with a fresh and engaging take on it.

I was truly interested to see how someone who great up in Canada could put a different spin on a story that, in my mind would be hard for even Americans to understand all the intricacies with which families of POTUS deal with. So much of that is kept in the dark, not talked about, for obvious security reasons, but also because there is a real mystery to the highest office in the United States. I need not have worried, in Ms. Andrews’ hands, the story was safe for democracy. 🙂

I’m not sure how much of the book had creative license or how much was research that she was able to gather, but amazing job. The mental images of what the White House looks like inside, how the spaces are divided and utilized, and what may or may not be inside are fantastic. I had a fantastic vision of Rafa’s third floor sanctuary, his private kitchen, along with all the little extras on the other floors. Ms. Andrews created a world for me to live in with her characters.

Rafa (code name: Valor) and Shane could not have been further apart in their lives. Rafa, a young man, just beginning his life, planning on moving to Australia to live and afraid to come out to his parents. Meanwhile Shane has worked for years to become a part of the Secret Service’s ultimate calling, guarding POTUS. By guarding his son, he knows he is one step away from that. With this being a May-December romance (the characters are about 18 years apart), and their life experiences being so very different, their coming together was slow. Rafa knew what he wanted, but not sure how to get it, romanced Shane slowly, with food. It was so sweet to see how he could win Shane over by moving quietly.

When Rafa is in danger, Shane is there to keep him safe, save his life, even at the possible expense of his own. Yet he was powerless to resist Rafa’s charms, even without his delicious food.

This story had a little of everything, a closeted young man, a cynical older man, chemistry galore, intrigue from unexpected sources and of course, my required HEA. And I could not have enjoyed it more.

I prefer to save five pieces of eye candy ratings for books that I am SURE I will re-read, and this one fits the bill. This one will be heading to the top of my TBR again, very soon.

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**One random commenter on this post will win a copy of any of Keira Andrews book, including Valor on the Move.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.