Saturday, July 11, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ Fakers by Lucy Lennox & May Archer

FakersBrooks Johnson’s Words To Live By:

When returning to Licking Thicket, TN, for the first time in ten years to reunite with your nosy neighbors, heart-broken ex-girlfriend, and matchmaking mama who never quite believed you were gay, it’s best to bring a fake boyfriend as backup...

Just don’t be surprised when your ex-girlfriend does the same.

And when her incredibly hot fake boyfriend becomes the one island of calm in a sea of bovine-based insanity, it’s best to exercise caution… especially when he pushes you up against the rough barn wall to check you very thoroughly for splinters...

Just don’t be surprised if you fall head-over-hooves in love with him.



Never have I ever…..Laughed so hard and loud as I did while reading Fackers by Lucy Lennox and May Archer. The book captured my attention from the start and why wouldn’t it since it took place in a town called Licking Thicket.

Brooks returned to his small town home in Tennessee after a ten year absence; back to crazy and nosy neighbors, an ex who would rather give him the death stare than play nice, and a new position as Head Licker for the annual festival. And it just gets better from there.

Circumstances reunited Brooks and his fake boyfriend with his ex- girlfriend and her bestie, and all the convolution started from there.

There were so many things I loved about this book. First, keep me laughing was always a great motto and Lennox and Archer succeeded. I do not know a page where I wasn’t chuckling. The double entendres and sexual innuendos were rampant and added to the appeal. Second, the larger than life characters sprinkled throughout and the roles each played. From Brook’s parents to the junk yard dealer, everyone held a role that accentuated the storyline and drew the reader more into the town- a place where anyone would want to live.

Mal, bestie to Ava was the icing on the cake. He was sweet, loving, and oh so sexy. Sparks flew the first time he met Brooks and the two waded through relationship fiasco trying to find their place in each other’s lives.

Lennox and Archer delivered characters with insight while sustaining humor. General Beau tickled my fancy. Town gossips and know-it-alls gave dimension. Completely perfect.

Many times, when two authors cowrite the flow can be stagnant, with separation of the styles, but Lennox and Archer were flawless and seamless. May Archer was a new author to this reader, yet I could not tell the difference in collaboration.

I can not wait to see more of Licking Thicket and the teamwork of Lucy and May. Bring it on!

Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review

~~~~~

2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Monday, July 6, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ Redemption by Garrett Leigh





Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Reformed gangster Luis falls hard for his boss. When friendship turns to love, it’s up to Paolo to convince him second chances are worth the pain.

Luis Pope is back on the street after a six year stretch in prison, but life on the outside seems just out of reach, especially when the whole neighbourhood knows his face for all the wrong reasons.

Paolo’s temper makes it hard to keep staff, and he knows Luis’s rep all too well. But his nonno believes in redemption, and Luis isn’t the tough guy Paolo remembers. Prison has left its mark, inside and out, and all the kindness in the world can’t fix the three inch scar on Luis’s skull.

And it can’t keep ghosts locked up. Luis’s the best worker Paolo’s ever had, and Luis’s happier than he’s ever been. But his old life doesn’t want to stay in the past. Trouble comes to call, and when it makes him an offer he can’t refuse, keeping Paolo safe hurts the most.

Redemption is an angsty, standalone MM romance novel, with second chances, found family, friends-to-lovers, and buckets of hurt/comfort themed loveliness.






Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Redemption by Garrett Leigh was a dark and emotional roller coaster. Not your typical romance- edgy infused with patches of love.

Luis Pope, recently released from prison, needed a new start apart from the thug life in his brother’s gang. Quiet, reserved, a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, Luis simply desired peace.

Paolo ran the café once owned by his grandparents- kept tradition alive- but worked himself to sickness. Luis entered his establishment like a man on a mission, but with no mission to attain.

Ms. Leigh brought together two vastly different men on the surface, yet very similar at the same time. Each man brought forth his own set of insecurities, however for some reason they synched. Ms. Leigh’s writing ability delivered characters that on the surface should have stayed miles apart from each other, but her carefully placed words gave credence to opposites do attract and everyone deserves a second chance.

What I most enjoyed about the book, was the fact that since the book revolved around gangs and nefarious dealings, she never sugar-coated what the outcomes could be. Yes, Luis and Paolo found love and created a lifeline to each other, but it was done tastefully and realistically. There were no flowers and little hearts in your eyes. The curve balls of life, the expectations of family, and the hope to find something better surrounded the pages of Luis and Paolo’s story.

The sadness and sorrow permeated throughout and kept me interested in the hopes that all would work out. I hated characters, I loved characters, but never did I want to put the book down and walk away. Ms. Leigh has a way of capturing the reader, drawing them into the story, and keeping you on the edge of your seat.

A must read. Redemption was …..
Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review


~~~~~
2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Friday, July 3, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ Pieces of Me by N.R.Walker

Title: Pieces of Me
Author: NR Walker
Series: Missing Pieces, Book 2
Standalone: No
Genre: MM Romance
Release date: June 26, 2020


Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/piecesofme2 
Synopsis:
Missing Pieces Series, Book Two
Justin’s recovery is slow, but any step forward is a win in Dallas’ eyes. Having always been a source of strength for Justin, even before the accident, Dallas is trying to find his feet again as he struggles to get some normalcy back in their lives.
But now, with added financial pressures and Justin’s ongoing medical needs, Dallas isn’t sure how much longer he can be the strong one.
As missing pieces of Justin’s memory return, Justin realises the physical side of their relationship is another piece of the puzzle he desperately wants to put back together. And as he gets to know Dallas all over again, he realises what his mind can’t remember, his heart can’t forget.
Excerpt:
“Did you say accounts?” Justin asked, nodding toward where I’d stacked the papers on top of my laptop.
I wasn’t gonna tell him about my money worries, but I didn’t want to hide this from him. Maybe just not the extent of it. It was a fine line. “Yeah. I just have a few things to get done tonight. I’ll need to be working in the shop with the boys this week and not in the office, so if I can keep on top of the paperwork . . .”
“Is that because I’m not there?” he asked. “Do you have to do my job?”
Shit. I withheld the sigh that threatened to escape and put my fork down. “Not exactly. I mean, yes, a little bit. But it’s nothing we can’t handle until you’re ready to come back.”
His brow furrowed and I gave him time to think about what I’d said. He ate some more of his pasta but then pushed what was left around his plate with his fork. “Do Davo and Sparra have to do my work too?”
Shit.
I didn’t want him to feel bad, but I also wouldn’t lie to him. “The three of us are filling in the gaps. When I was at the hospital every day, Davo and Sparra did everything. They really covered my arse. So now we’re home, I’m trying to do as much as I can to help them out. We have an important contract coming up, one we do every year, and it’s good money. I can’t drop the ball on it.”
“I don’t like letting you down,” he whispered.
I reached over and squeezed his arm. “You’re not. At all. In any way. You’re my priority, first and foremost, Jussy. But my business is important too. Davo and Sparra depend on me for a job and I don’t want to let them down. I just need to get the balance right, that’s all. So if I have to do some work on the computer while we sit on the couch after dinner, then so be it.”
He tried to smile but couldn’t quite manage it. “My accident . . .”
When he said nothing else, I did. “Your accident was not your fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. And we’ll get through this, I have no doubt. I just want to try and do the right thing by everyone, that’s all.”
“I want to help. I can do . . .” He frowned again, like he couldn’t find the right word. He shrugged. “I don’t know what I can do.”
“You can get better, and you can rest and recover,” I said. “And you can make an awesome spaghetti.”
That earned me a small smile, but it didn’t last long. “I hate that everything is so hard. I want to do things but I’m tired, and my leg and my arm are stupid, and my head hurts most of the time. And the worst part is that I can’t think properly. Like sometimes it’s clear, and sometimes it’s foggy, sometimes it’s like I’m underwater. I hate that I can’t remember everything, and I hate that I feel so lost.”
“Lost?”
He gave a small nod. “I dunno who I am. I mean, I know I’m Justin, and I know where I come from, and all that shit. But I dunno who I was. The last five years were so important and I’ve lost that. I dunno who that Justin is.”
I pulled my chair around so I faced him, and I took his hand. “Baby, I wish I could fix that. I wish I knew how to get everything back. I hate that you feel that way, but I completely understand why you do. I’m sure I’d feel the same if it were me in that van that day.”
“I just feel . . . lost. And sad.” He shrugged. “I guess today’s just a bad day, but I . . .” His chin wobbled and his eyes became glassy. “I dunno.”
“Oh, baby,” I whispered. “You’re allowed to have bad days.” To be honest, I was surprised he hadn’t had more bad days before now. “Do you want a hug?”
He nodded quickly, and I stood up and helped him to his feet. I pulled him against me and he snuggled in, fitting the side of his head against my neck. I rubbed his back and held him tight, and for the longest moment, we never moved.
“Thank you,” he mumbled.
“What are you thanking me for?”
“For everything. For knowing what I need when I don’t.”
He made no attempt to move and I certainly wasn’t going to. “I need your hugs too.”
“I mean it. When I’m all fuzzy and . . . not together . . .  I can’t think of the word. Anyway, when I’m like that, you hug me and it fixes me.”
“Well, you’re welcome. You can have a hug any time.”
He was quiet again for a bit and he leaned heavily against me as though he were falling asleep. “Thank you for staying.”
“Staying where?” In this hug?
“With me. For not leaving me. You could have, but you didn’t.”
I pulled back then so he could see the seriousness in my eyes. “Justin, baby. I love you. I’ve loved you for years. You are loved. And I know that’s probably weird for you, but I need you to know this: I’m not leaving you. Not then, not now, not ever.”
His face softened and he almost smiled. “It’s not weird. Well, maybe a little bit but not really. We’ve been on like, one date.”
I laughed. “Does tonight not count? You cooked me dinner. It could be our second date.”
“Nope. I forgot the candles.”
I chuckled and pulled him back in for a hug. His left arm went around me and held me just as tight as I held him. He was warm and smelled like home. “Candles make it a date,” I said quietly. “Got it.”
He was quiet again and heavy against me. “I like hearing you say it,” he mumbled. “That you love me. I know you do. You look after me, and you care.”
He liked knowing he was loved, and I couldn’t blame him. It was an amazing feeling, comforting like a soft bed and warm blankets on a cold night. I knew he loved me too. I knew he did. It was just trapped, hidden under the surface. He’d already remembered slivers of me from our life before the accident. He said my wing tattoos felt safe, like home. And he trusted me, and for a guy who was surrounded by strangers, that was a helluva statement.
His heart knew me, even if his head didn’t.
And I clung to that with everything I had.


About the Author:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…


For more about N.R. Walker you can find her at:
Email:
nrwalker@nrwalker.net

Pieces of Me by N.R. Walker was the continuation of Justin and Dallas’s story in the Missing Pieces series. After tragedy struck, Dallas and Justin forged towards a new life through friendship and love.

Ms. Walker delivered pure and unadulterated emotion in this beautifully written story. Her uncanny ability to draw a reader into the story surpasses most authors as well as her ability to make the reader invested in the characters. Dallas was patient and loving, worried about everyday life while attempting to create a calm force for Justin to recuperate and retrieve his memories. Dallas’s love permeated throughout as did Justin’s for the man he fell for twice.

Secondary characters enhanced the storyline and demonstrated how life affects all those involved whether directly or indirectly.

Ms. Walker wrote sexy, comfort, and love- carefully placed and never forced as the journey of Dallas and Justin continued for the better.

A beautifully written series full of emotion and emotional upheaval. Should not be missed.
Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review

~~~~~
2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ All That Remains by RJ Scott




Length: 82,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell 

Lancaster Falls Series

Book #1 - What Lies Beneath - Amazon US | Amazon UK |Universal Link
Book #2 - Without a Trace - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Blurb

Federal Agent Lucas Beaumont has an agenda — get himself assigned to the case of the apparent serial murders at Lancaster Falls, find out who the murderer is, and then lay the ghosts that haunt his grandfather to rest. In the midst of a horrific murder investigation, the only peace he gets is from simple moments in a warm kitchen, talking to hotel owner, Josh. Attraction to the easygoing man is something he didn’t expect; in doing so, he opens himself to hurt, but at the same time, he begins to fall in love.

Josh is struggling to keep the Falls Hotel, even with every cent he has invested in its upkeep. The one thing keeping him above water is the not entirely legal work he does on the side—a steady income that not even his son knows about. When the FBI takes over his hotel for the duration of the Hell’s Gate serial killer case, Josh is faced with the real possibility that Lucas will not only discover his secret but also steal his heart.

When tragedy hits Josh and his son, and when it seems all hope is lost, can Lucas rescue them both?



USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:



a Rafflecopter giveaway



All That Remains the final book in RJ Scott’s Lancaster Falls trilogy was everything I hoped for in this romance suspense book. Overall, what I most loved about the trilogy and ATR was the mystery, suspense, and who dun it. Yes, the romance was lovely and heartfelt, but the mystery to be solved did it for this reader.

Josh was part of the crew from the first two books, and I was so glad he got his own story. He was an integral part of the storyline from the start and no spoiler alerts, but I never expected just how integral.

Lucas, an FBI agent assigned to the Hell’s Gate case commandeered the hotel which Josh ran and the chemistry between the two men was palpable. The slow build up of their relationship gave credence to the sensitivity of the many topics brought forth in the story. Bones in a reservoir, murder-suicide, murder, leads that took LE on a cat and mouse run, so many things added to the appeal. All the while, Josh and Lucas found each other and held on tight.

Ms. Scott did what many writers are not able to do. She wrote a book more about the characters and their relationships sans a sex scene every other page. The book was a journey of a small town, the secrets and lies that surround it, and the people who inhabited it. She never wavered in utilizing all the components from the first two books as the storyline was a continuation, so even though each book revolved around a specific couple, all characters were integral throughout. Truly a testament to her organizational skills as well as her writing ability.

This reader found ATR intriguing and captivating, and my only drawback was the story ended and I wished it could be longer. As a fan of murder-mystery in the likes of David Baldacci and Dan Brown, Ms. Scott found a new niche.

Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review


~~~~~
2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ Stephen, Boy: ISO by Sean Michael

Stephen (BOY: ISO Book 1)Bad boy ISO someone to make me behave. Punishments welcome. Strict Daddy Dom necessary. Will consider a pair.
When Champ reads the ad on the internet, the dragon shifter is immediately intrigued and contacts the boy who wrote it. When a quick phone conversation leads to the boy sharing his address, Champ heads over, unhappy that a boy would not only leave his phone number on the internet, but then just give out his address. When he knocks on the door, he’s ready to show this boy exactly what kind of punishments he can meet out.
Stephen would like to be a boy, but he’s been burned, and badly, in the past, so he’s not in the lifestyle anymore. All that changes when he answers the door and meets Champ. It doesn’t matter that Champ was expecting to meet Stephen’s roommate Marc, the big Daddy falls for Stephen immediately and insists that while there was an initial mix-up, Stephen is the one he’s actually there for
Patience, kink, and confidence may not be enough for this Daddy to win his boy over, but add in the magic of love and dragons and it’s a whole other story.



Stephen, Boy: ISO by Sean Michael was everything you expected in the author’s wheelhouse. Lots of sex, sexy characters, and a bit of magic. Happenstance brought Champ to Stephen’s doorstep; little did the dragon shifter know he would meet his fated mate. 

Stephen answered his door to a stranger answering an ad placed by his roommate and met the man of his dreams. Together the men embarked on a relationship journey that sizzled.

If it is one thing that Sean Michael can write, that is steamy, hot, downright dirty sex scenes, and Stephen, Boy: ISO did not disappoint. When Stephen and his sexy dragon came together the fires ignited. Although the relationship started fast the premise of fated mates fit the bill. But, the leisurely pace of the men getting to know each other was well done and gave more meat to the storyline.

The secondary characters, Marc (Stephen’s roommate) and Berny and France (Dragon shifters) added to the storyline and paved the way for the next installment in the series.

A fan of BDSM with a Daddy kink? Then this Sean Michael’s book is for you- especially if you appreciate the author’s writing style.

Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review

~~~~~
2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

S.E.X. Review~ A Sweet Man by Jaime Reese

Title: A Sweet Man
Series: The Men of Halfway House
Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance (stand alone)
Release Date: June 16, 2020


Two men. One sweet dream of family and forever.

Gabriel "Bull" del Toro loves his fast-paced globe-trotting job, but aches for an honest relationship and the trust that comes with it. After a few too many heartbreaks, he’s nearly given up hope of finding that special someone. 
Until Ben.
Born deaf, Ben is used to working twice as hard for what he wants, but risking a newfound friendship on an impossible dream is scary. After all, there’s one lesson he’s learned: everything is temporary—freedom, friends, even family.
Neither man expects the undeniable spark between them or for every moment together to fuel that connection. For the first time, a happily ever after is within reach, but they must trust that the dream of acceptance, family, and a place to call home is more than a sweet fantasy. 
It can be forever.
------------
A Sweet Man is an interconnected standalone within The Men of Halfway House series. It is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and never giving up on a dream. It includes wounded hearts, an age-gap romance, and enough cake and sweetness to give you a toothache.


Chapter 1

Mid-January

Ben ran into the bedroom and swung the door shut. He leaned back against the door, gasping each breath while clutching the cell phone to his chest. Seconds. It was all he had before that bastard came barging in to take what he wanted.
Pushing off the door, he leapt over his still packed duffle bag sitting on the floor and wedged his body in the narrow space behind the bed. He grabbed the edge of the bed frame and pushed.
Damn bed wasn’t moving.
He gritted his teeth and pushed harder, finally shoving the bed on its rusty wheels across the carpeted floor. With the bed bumped up against the door, he had a moment of reprieve to take a deep breath.
His eyes burned as he stared at the door and a memory flashed in his mind.
Once his parole had been granted, Sam had asked him to make a simple decision: Halfway House or this place.
Another stupid decision made.
He glanced around the room—at the peeling paint, dirty carpet, and iron bars on the windows. This place wasn’t Halfway House. Both houses were in Miami-Dade County and about an hour apart, but there was a world of distance between them.
Climbing onto the mattress, he knee-walked toward the foot of the bed. Carefully, he inched closer and flattened his hand against the worn faux wood. One pounding thump against the door vibrated against his palm.
Then another and another, each harder than the one before.
He gasped when the mattress shook beneath his knees.
A punch from Jake would cause some damage—he had a pulsing black eye to prove that.
He pulled his hand away. Even though he couldn’t hear it, he imagined each strike came with an accompanying yell. Maybe even a curse. Or two. He crab-walked backward, away from the door now visibly moving with each strike.
He retreated to the wall, keeping his eyes trained on the single point of entry in front of him. First day at the new halfway house and he already had to deal with bullies.
If he were at HH, things would be so different. The house owners would never allow violence under their roof. Julian would have swooped in like some super ninja and caught Jake’s fist midair.
Ben leaned back against the wall and slid down until his ass hit the dirty carpeted floor. He tightened his grip on the cell phone in his hand. The punch to the face had been a small price to pay if he still had his phone.
Correction… His lifeline.
Now he realized why Sam had to gain special permission for him to have one. Every place had different rules and having a cell phone was a violation of this house’s rules. That detail hadn’t clicked until two other residents had practically salivated at the sight of his phone when he had pulled it out from his back pocket to view the incoming text message. Like a pack of wolves, another resident had joined in. In true alpha form, Jake had pushed the three of them aside and taken the lead, delivering a punch to the side of Ben’s face that had shoved him to the ground.
They had expected him to quiver, give in, huddle into a ball or surrender his phone. They hadn’t counted on him tightening the grip on his lifeline or his speedy escape.
He banged his head back against the wall.
Bump, bump, bump.
He was tired of life kicking him in the nuts.
Tired of second-guessing every damn thing he did.
Tired of how he kept making the wrong decisions.
Five years ago, he had trusted the wrong people. Friends had used him as a scapegoat and that had resulted in a grand theft charge. The judge had shown him mercy during sentencing, splitting his time—twelve months in jail and four years on probation.
With the jail time completed, he had ended up at Halfway House while transitioning into his probation term. He had been on the right path afterward for almost two years. He had reconnected with his sister and had moved in with her. He had secured a steady job, working with Shaw. 
Until the day he had gotten into a friend’s car during his lunch break.
He hadn’t known the car was stolen. He couldn’t have guessed that one choice would have resulted in a probation violation that would send him to a state prison to complete the remaining two years of his sentence.  
He screwed his eyes shut, instantly wincing at the pain of his swelling eye.
He missed Julian and his partner, Matt. He missed Ryan and Shaw, the friends he had made during his stay at Halfway House. But he was too embarrassed to see any of them. Regardless of how many times he had analyzed the situation in his mind, it was his bad decision that had landed him in prison.
He wrapped his arms around his midsection. Times like these, he sought the comfort of his plush bunny. He wasn’t a kid anymore, but the worn plush rabbit was stuffed with family memories. Frayed and patched together like the sole survivor of a zombie experiment, the plush toy was likely lost, just like he felt. Or maybe someone had found it and discarded it with a cringe at its horror-movie-like appearance. It wouldn’t surprise him.
Everything was temporary.
His parents, the few people he thought were friends while growing up. The revolving door of families over the years.
His relationship with his sister.
He leaned his head back against the wall and stared at the ceiling, fighting back the tears. She had warned him to stay out of trouble. He hadn’t even had a chance to apologize to her before getting hauled away. He had burned that bridge. More like annihilated it with C4 for good measure.
After that, nothing had mattered. He didn’t care to see anyone else, even though Shaw had tried to visit him several times.
The sting in his eyes reappeared. He needed to look ahead and deal with this current situation. He shouldn’t have resisted Sam’s insistence on returning to Halfway House. But the thought of seeing the disappointment in Julian’s pale green eyes, or his partner’s sad smile, tore through Ben’s heart. He couldn’t risk disillusioning every person who might care. Matt would take Ben’s failure personally. And Julian would console his partner and share that pain.
He couldn’t do that to them.
The phone in his hand vibrated, pulling him from his thoughts. He swiped at the screen, blinking a few times. His heartbeat quickened as panic set in. His vision was a little fuzzy. Dammit. The black eye was going to be a problem. He needed the clarity. Otherwise, he’d have trouble reading text messages and other people’s lips. He pulled the phone closer and farther away, hoping to pinpoint a spot in his line of sight that would make the display clearer to read the new text message.
You didn’t respond. You ALWAYS respond. I’m on my way.
The knot in his chest lessened reading Sam’s words. His reintegration officer hadn’t given up on him after dropping him off at this nightmare of a house a few hours ago. He glanced up at the door when the bed shifted. Jake was pissed—pissed enough to hit the door hard enough to move the bed on the carpet.
He had to get out of here. Now.
He quickly texted a reply. I can’t stay here. His attention snapped up when the bed shifted again. He kicked out his feet and pushed them against the bed frame, hoping to add some additional resistance until Jake tired himself out. Please hurry, he wrote in another text before Sam had a chance to respond.
Life hadn’t been kind, but he managed the best he could, always trying to find the good in others.
But the people outside that door, in this place…there was no good here to find.
Ben closed his eyes and held his phone close to his chest, willing Sam to respond. He gasped when the phone vibrated moments later. He blinked a few times, focusing his vision, and releasing a shaky breath at Sam’s reply.
I’ll be there soon. I called Aidan. He’s on his way.
Ben’s shoulders slumped. Relief or embarrassment, he wasn’t sure. He battled with the nagging tug in the back of his mind, worried about seeing the detective again, the one who had taken the time to help Ben reconnect with his sister after so many years.
But he’d take the embarrassment. Aidan was the only man who could likely stop Jake with a simple glare, and make a few phone calls to push Sam’s request through the system to move Ben elsewhere. Right now, he’d take the rescue any way he could get it. Welcomed it with open arms, even if he needed to beg or subject himself to a reprimanding lecture.
He wouldn’t survive here.
They would eventually take his phone and wouldn’t care about the damage they left in their wake. A black eye could easily lead to a broken arm or hand if he continued to resist. Without his phone or use of his hands, he wouldn’t be able to communicate in the hearing world. 
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall. 
After leaving his childhood home, there had only been one place where he had felt safe.
Right now, that was exactly where he needed to be.
He just hoped Sam arrived in time to take him there.

Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.


HOSTED BY:


Jaime Reese has the uncanny ability to make a reader wait with bated breath for her next release, no matter how much time passed, and then draw you into her world without grumbling that you’ve waited for so long. Oh hellociousness, did A Sweet Man made this reader forget that it had been so long.

Previously at Matt and Julian’s halfway house, Ben returned with a new lease on life, yet still with the trusting and loving personality he possessed. Gabriel “Bull” del Torro, former partner to Aiden of A Mended Man was in securities and sometimes helped at his sister Nat’s bakery. Good thing one of the requirements for living at Halfway House was the necessity of a job. Ben had a passion for all things sugary and taken under Nat’s wing thrived in the bakery business. Of course, that meant Bull would see a lot of the sweetest man he ever laid his eyes on.

Ben was a special character written by Ms. Reese. Born deaf, he read lips and used ASL to communicate. Ms. Reese did not deliver a woe is me character in Ben. What she delivered was a fierce man, able to stand on his own two feet, with drive and passion- And he was perfect for Bull. Ben’s tenacity to live in a hearing world was only equaled to the love he felt for Bull.

I cried and laughed as Ms. Reese took us on a journey of love and life. Passion radiated throughout no matter what each man did- job, friends, partners. Highs and lows were carefully placed yet not forced as we received a glimpse of what a deaf person struggled with in a hearing world, but also the triumph that occurred when a loving partner and family eased the way to happiness.

As always, Matt and Julian were forces to be reckoned with as they managed and cared for the men of Halfway House as stern loving parents. Additionally, old friends made key appearances in the welfare and well-being of Bull and Ben’s lives.

A Sweet Man was everything I wanted and needed in a Jaime Reese book. Never would I want this author to feel pressured to put out more books a year, as she never gives cookie cutter. Loyal fans will wait forever to get a glimpse into the world of The Men of Halfway House. Her ability to draw you into the story and create a synergy of relationships was heads above most authors. Ms. Reese can reduce a grown man to tears with her written words while also making anyone swoon.

A Sweet Man was
Definite S.E.X.
A five handcuff review


~~~~~
2020 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.