When He Beckons – eARC Review

Title: When He Beckons
Author: Halli Starling
Series/Number: N/A
Genre: Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: December 28, 2022
Themes: MM Romance, Older Characters, Chance Meeting, Hiking, Getting Caught In The Rain, Novella, Quirky Characters, MC in their 30’s, MC in their 40’s, Cats, Book Talk

Synopsis:

A charming – but slightly strange – accidental first meeting at a skate park. Opposites attract. And technically…one works for the other one.

Zan has a fast mouth and a lot of technical know-how, so dating hasn’t always been easy. He’d set aside any notion of a romantic life to work and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Biking, canoeing, skiing, you name it. He’s never tried skateboarding, even though he stops by the skate park near the trail where he bikes to watch boards – and sometimes people – flip, or crash hard.

Instead of skater-watching, Zan meets Deacon. Deacon’s odd and interesting, and it turns out, the head of the small indie press of which Zan is a huge fan. Rochester Press puts out the weird and erotic, the dark and mischievous, and finally meeting the head of the press is great. Maybe not so great – Deacon has just hired the printing company Zan works for, and now Zan’s in charge of all the new jobs.

It’ll be fine.

Except Zan (and his big mouth) immediately asks Deacon out on a date. And Deacon accepts. There’s no fraternization clause in Zan’s contract, or Deacon’s. It should be fine.

A high-heat, quirky novella about two people who would never seek out a date via online platforms or at speed dating. But their weird seems to compliment each other.

Thank you to the author for an eARC of this book.

Alright, I’m not going to lie to you. I have loved everything I’ve read from Starling so far. I am already excited for anything new that gets released and backlist titles.

But, I won’t gush too much because then it will just become incoherent screaming and I think I do that enough. Alright. When He Beckons. For starters I was hooked immediately. We enter the story at Zan and Deacon’s first meeting and it’s the weirdest, flirtiest things I’ve ever seen. I adored it. The further we get into the story the more it just seems like these two clicked immediately. Like that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and you know you’ll just hit it off with them. Like their weird perfectly matches your weird. That’s what Zan and Deacon had and that’s what I loved about them. Their chemistry was immediate, but it didn’t feel forced. They had time to actually get to know each other and explore their feelings for each other before making any moves past planning a date.

I really loved that these were two men in their 30’s and 40’s, that were well established in their lives and happy with what they do and how they live. They weren’t trying to change each other or themselves, they were just looking for someone who could appreciate them and what they appreciated. I really liked how the two of them opened up to each other about their interests and that those interests overlapped. But it never felt like they were perfect either. Some stories have characters that their interest overlap and they click really well, but it doesn’t feel real. Like there’s not enough differences between them to feel like real people. Zan and Deacon felt like real people to me. They felt like people I could meet out in the world and they would be just how they were in the book. A little eccentric, but fun and sweet.

The only downside to this book was that it wasn’t like a million pages longer. I mean, honestly, it’s one of those books that’s warm and soft and I could just curl into and read hours and hours of, if that existed. I do think that (though I would have happily read more) the ending was perfect and I will definitely be going back to this novella when I need a soft story with some spice thrown in.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Incredible Indies – Authors to Follow (LGBTQ+) #1

Hello friends,

In today’s installment of Incredible Indies I am going to give you some authors to check out and follow. I asked on Twitter if any indie authors wanted to be given a shout out in this series and so many people reached out! So, here is the first installment of authors to check out.

Continue reading “Incredible Indies – Authors to Follow (LGBTQ+) #1”

In The Event of Love – eARC Review

Title: In The Event of Love
Author: Courtney Kae
Series/Number: Fern Falls #1
Genre: Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Themes: Second Chance Romance, FF Romance, Bisexual MC, Christmas Tree Farm, Christmas, Small Town, Returning to a small town, Family struggles, Financial struggle

Synopsis:

With her career as a Los Angeles event planner imploding after a tabloid blowup, Morgan Ross isn’t headed home for the holidays so much as in strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain vistas, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, her hometown of Fern Falls is built of one heartbreak on top of another . . .

Take her one-time best friend turned crush, Rachel Reed. The memory of their perfect, doomed first kiss is still fresh as new-fallen snow. Way fresher than the freezing mud Morgan ends up sprawled in on her very first day back, only to be hauled out via Rachel’s sexy new lumberjane muscles acquired from running her family tree farm.

When Morgan discovers that the Reeds’ struggling tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and corporate greed destroying the whole town’s livelihood, she decides she can put heartbreak aside to save the farm by planning her best fundraiser yet. She has all the inspiration for a spectacular event: delicious vanilla lattes, acoustic guitars under majestic pines, a cozy barn surrounded by brilliant stars. But she and Rachel will ABSOLUTELY NOT have a heartwarming holiday happy ending. That would be as unprofessional as it is unlikely. Right?

Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corp. and Edelweiss for an eARC of this title

I absolutely adored this book. In The Event of Love is the sweet and cozy holiday romance that warms your heart and makes you feel like cuddling up in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate. It was so sweet to see these two characters overcome their history, their fears, and their own hang ups about themselves and each other.

I really enjoyed seeing how the second chance romance developed and how the two main characters worked through their histories together. I also really enjoyed how the romance didn’t feel rushed. It was obvious that there were still feelings between them, but the time it took for them to open up and trust each other again. It didn’t feel like they were rushed into opening up and trusting each other again, so it felt more realistic that they were hesitant at first and were unsure of how things would go between them.

There were a few things that I didn’t like in this book, but they were honestly personal preference and came down to certain situations that just don’t do it for me, but that I can totally see other people loving.

I loved watching them grow and seeing the magic of the holidays bringing them together. It was such a sweet story and I would highly recommend it.

Rating: 4/5 stars