Relentless, The Marsh Brothers, Anna Wells
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
This is the second book, the first being about Michaela’s brother, not a Marsh brother. I’ve not read that but the description to this sounded good, and they are both stand alone novels though connected via characters. I love those kind of series 🙂
We start after the breakup with the partners when Michaela and Jordan have been close friends for the year since the split. Jordan wants more but is going slow, and Michaela is very attracted to him but as he hasn’t ever suggested anything other than friendship she thinks he’s not interested. Then they go out to a works Xmas party, Michaela gets a bit tipsy, not drunk, just enough to lower inhibitions, and back at her home having a nightcap she leans in and brushes her lips against Jordans. That’s all the leeway he needs, and they quickly end up in a hot and heavy, sensual and steamy sex session. Next morning she’s worried he was just a bit intoxicated and will regret it, so she tries to pre-empt him with her standard brush off, saving herself the pain of rejection…..that doesn’t go down well. Before she knows it circumstances have happened that see their relationship moving forward at top speed. Poor Michaela – if ever there was a candidate for the “make haste slowly” she’s it, but Jordan is a force unto himself, he doesn’t let her think long enough to regret or back track. He’s got to know her well over the last year, and now his plans are coming to fruition he’s not letting anything stop them.
They’re a great pair, Michaela has been let down so often I understand her caution, but Jordan is determined. Its what’s worked for him so far in life and he isn’t changing now. But there are secrets he can’t tell Michaela, and once they’re together she sees another side of him entirely…gone is her patient, cautious friend, and come in is this terrific but steamroller type person, and she seems to be wherever he wants her before she can even think about it. He’s a lovely man and knows her very well, he only wants the best for both of them but the secrets could derail that, and add in some attacks to Michaela by someone unknown and there’s potential for huge problems.
I really enjoyed this book, loved Michaela and her family, and of course Jordan and his. I loved the deadpan humour that crept in, such as when Michaela’s mum calls round and finds them at breakfast. Michaela is trying to say they’re just friends, but Jordan and her mum have a conversation about her over her head. “Stop talking about me, I’m right here” she says, but they both know her too well and know what she’s like once the thinking sets in.
Its was a fun read, some steamy and sensual sex scenes that fitted the plot perfectly, and I like that the danger and endings were wrapped up. I hate unfinished business at the end of a novel. I don’t have price info but its 282 pages, so enough to get a real story going with lots of emotion and drama.
Stars:four – great read and I hope to see more from the Marsh brothers.
ARC supplied by Netgalley
When All the World Sleeps, Lisa Henry, JA Rock
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I’ve had several m/m romances now from Riptide and they all have a certain quality of writing about them. There’s no silliness, no fluff, no glaring plot holes or errors, and for those looking for a quality romance its a great place to start. Both these authors are new to me, and had the book not come from the Rip-tide outlet I may have held back as the plot sounds – well, hard to make work. But these two excellent writers did it. Made me believe in Daniel along with Bel, and Dav, Daniel’s probation officer.
To begin Dav is the only person who believes Daniel – the rest of the town think he’s just using an excuse to get away with a revenge killing. Then Bel picks up what seems like a drunk Daniel one evening, takes him home to prevent further fights with others, and on the way the car jerks and Daniel reacts as if he doesn’t know what’s just passed. Bel is still not convinced by then, but later sees the chains Daniel locks himself in each night to try to stop him sleepwalking…Talking to him he gets a bit more insight, and offers to stay with him each night to protect others in the town. Bel’s gay too, and as the two men spend more time together the attractions grows. I love that part of a romance, and here its superb, taking Bel from a cynical unbeliever into a sympathetic and understanding lover. Its creeps up slowly, events unfold, some of which Bel sees, some of which he doesn’t. Bel’s trying to help but feeling his way, there’s little advice available for this situation and of course he doesn’t always get it right. I loved Bel, quiet in his own way, trying to fit into a town where gays aren’t popular he’s just kept quiet about his sexuality. His family all live her, and they’re very close so moving away where he may be more accepted would mean losing that close contact and support he has with them. He’s been happy enough..until he falls for Daniel and life and the problems surrounding them jump in.
As always in a small town – and US is same as UK there…everyone knows everything – or at least they think they do, and they hold and aren’t afraid. to express strong opinions on Bel and Daniel’s relationship. There’ the usual mix of bigots and bullies who think they are above the law and happy to take things into their own hands when they feel justice hasn’t been served to their satisfaction. Sometimes I think people like that focus on others wrongdoings rather than look at the shortcomings of their own lives. There’s the psychosocial aspect too of Daniel’s problem – what caused it, why does it happen and how can it be resolved. Looking beyond the face forward problem to what’s behind it can change so much what we see about things and I find problems like this, motives and ways of resolution really interesting. Bel encourages Daniel to seek help, to go out into the town more with him, and of course for some of the local bigots that doesn’t go down well. All small towns seem to suffer from people like that, judgemental, convinced their way is the only way, even if they are being hypocritical. In this town add all that to the fact Daniel has caused someone to die, there’s the gay factor and the way they aren’t happy he’s involved local policeman Bel into his life, and you can see trouble brewing. Even Bel’s own family aren’t totally on board except for sister in law Dav. It’s a tough decisions for Bel, standing by Daniel could lose him his home and family.
I loved Bel and Daniel, they felt so real and we got to see aspects of their inner thoughts and understand their fears. Its a very emotional read…there is some sex, but mostly there’s more tender moments, the touches, glances, kisses that make up the bulk of a romance. Poor Daniel, I really felt for him, he had an awful problem to live through without any family support, and until Bel he was coping alone and losing the battle.
It’s priced at £4.94 and at over 326 pages its a lovely long book that really explores the characters and issues raised. I love these long books, they make the reader feel they are there in the situation.
ARC supplied by Netgalley