Sunday, October 23, 2016

#REVIEW Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer #gayromance #suspense #romhero

Title: Enemies of the State (The Executive Office Book 1)
Author: Tal Bauer
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: February 14, 2016
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Length: 336 pages

Description: A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.

A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.

A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.

Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.

For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.

There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.

As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.

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Enemies of the State is without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year. It is captivating, intriguing, and ambitious. Bauer very dexterously takes on a delicate topic--a president involved in a gay relationship--as well as a plot by rogue operatives that could endanger the entire world. I love it from the first page to the last!

Ethan is the Secret Service Special Agent in charge of protecting the president. A very lonely president who wants a friend. Of course, Ethan knows he's not supposed to be develop personal relationships with his protectees. He's certainly not supposed to befriend one, or worse, fall for one. Ethan's struggle to remain impartial, to smother his growing attraction for the president is real and felt by the reader as though it were happening to us.
President Spiers smiled, big and broad. "I'd appreciate that, Ethan. You know, I do value your advice. You've seen my predecessors, and all of their foibles and faults. If you have advice for me, I'm always all ears."

That was not what he'd been expecting. Swallowing, Ethan tried to find his tongue. "I'm just your detail lead, sir."

"You're the kind of guy I'd be proud to call a friend."

And there it was, that invisible barrier the president had bemoaned, slamming down between them with all the force of a guillotine. Ethan felt the physical push of the barrier against him, a klaxon blaring in his mind, telling him to back away. This was dangerous, this path to familiarity and traded smiles. Where there was familiarity, there was ease, and where there was ease, there was danger and risk, and breaches in security. He couldn't be a friend to him, the man he was supposed to protect at all costs, even with his own life. How could he ever be objective if he was to befriend this man?
How indeed? Especially when everyone of the president's friendly overtures feels like flirting to Ethan? The slow burn between Ethan and Jack will have you flipping the pages to see where their friendship will go. Is Jack interested in Ethan or is this up-to-now straight man really just looking for a friend?

You'll have to read the book to find out!

There are so many touching moments in this story. The secondary characters characters are amazing and interesting in their own right, including a very interesting president of Russia. You'll be like me and want to know all their stories as well. Lucky for us, Enemies of the State is the first book in a series. Yay! I can't wait for the next one.

If you love slow burn tension that leads to explosive romance in the midst of crises of international importance, this is the book for you!

OUR RATING: 5 stars!

Monday, October 3, 2016

ARC #REVIEW Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker Williams #RomHero #mmromance

Title: Of Love and Corn Dogs (Of Love And... Book 1)
Author: Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 23, 2016
Publisher:  Parker Williams
Length: 168 pages

Description: With more money than he could spend in ten lifetimes, Darwin Kincade still couldn't keep death from stealing his lover. A little older and a whole lot wiser, flirting with his twice-a-week waiter is the perfect no-risk substitute for a real relationship. Until the night his routine is upended by the restaurant's newest employee.

Ricky Donnelly loves people. While being a server isn’t his dream, he’s good at it. When a grumpy man is seated in his station, Ricky sees there’s more to him than he lets on, and when the man relaxes, he’s actually sweet.

As the two men bond over a discussion about corn dogs— something Darwin’s never heard of—he realizes how much he’s missed out on in his life. He vows to open himself to new experiences—including, perhaps, a chance at finding love again.

Not wanting anything to muddy their blooming relationship, Darwin hides part of himself from Ricky. He likes the look in Ricky’s eyes, unclouded by Darwin’s notoriety. Unfortunately, the truth can never stay hidden, and when it comes out, Darwin may lose any hope of holding onto the future they’ve begun to build.

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Of Love and Corn Dogs is the story of Darwin, a very rich man trapped in a life of work and luxury. On the other hand, Ricky's life is all about work and holding his own. The men couldn't come from two more different worlds. But that's half the fun, isn't it?
"Tonight we have a truffle-braised tenderloin served with whipped dauphinoise  potatoes and honey-glazed carrots." In fact, as he recited the special, it became obvious the whole stick had been practiced to death.

Darwin grinned. His turn to do a little teasing. "And what did you think of it?"

"Excuse me?" Ricky asked, obviously not expecting the question.

Darwin tapped his index finger on the table, feigning irritation. The adorable look of consternation on Ricky's face ammused him. "I assume you tried it, so what did you think?"

Ricky bit the corner of one lip, then glanced around before he leaned forward and whispered, "Honestly? I thought it was pretentious. Give me a corn dog any day."

Darwin burst out laughing, which drew unhappy stares from the patrons at nearby tables. He didn't care. "What's a corn dog?" 
This is a slow-burn story filled with moments of incredible romance. Darwin is no ruthless mogul. Rather, he's caring and considerate of all the people in his life, especially those who work for him. But sometimes, money isn't the solution to a problem--it's the cause.
"I am so sorry," Maria apologized. "They're good boys, even if sometimes they need to be disciplined. Unfortunately, Darwin refuses to do it."

"Please," Darwin said, frowning at Maria. "Your kids are way more afraid of you than of me. Hell, I'm afraid of you."

That comment set everyone but Ricky to laughing. He wasn't sure why. It had been funny. But he couldn't get it out of his head that his family had come to a mansion for dinner with a man who had his staff serving them. The words part about it? His mother and sister seemed to be perfectly at ease. 
This odd-couple romance has a wonderful mix of sweet moments, tense ones, and sexy ones. The writing is mostly fluid, and the plot moves along at a steady pace. Of Love and Corn Dogs is a solid start to Parker Williams' new series!

OUR RATING: 4 stars!