Review: Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

HELLO FOREVER
Series: Hello Goodbye #2
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: July 14, 2017

A SINGLE BASKETBALL GAME CHANGES EVERYTHING…

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.

Hello Forever is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers. Readers of Goodbye Paradise will get to check in on Caleb and Josh and their clan.

AMAZON

Axel had walked into my life holding a basketball when I was eight. And without even knowing it, he’d made my life at home more bearable.

Oh le swoon. Sarina Bowen brings the swoons one more time with book two in her Pay It Forward series. Hello Forever was previously published as It’s Never Over and while I never read the original, I enjoyed this one so much!

Axel and Caxton were childhood friends. Finding each other at a time when they needed the other the most, they became instant best friends. But over the years that friendship began to transform into something…more. Until a kiss at church camp gets them caught and everything changes.

Not having seen each other in over six years, they now lead very different lives. Axel is openly gay and has an amazing mother that loves him no matter what. After his recent relationship fail, he takes a chance on job at a small town, but there’s more to it than that. In his research of the college, he spots a very familiar face in one of their online videos. A face that never fails to ramp up his heart rate. A face that he needs to see again because it’s one he’s never forgotten or gotten over.

He tasted of everything I ever wanted. His tongue slid warm and wet across mine, and I wrapped my arms around him to get as close as I could.

Caxton is rocked to his very core to see Axel in his town. Deeply closeted with a mean bigot of a father, Caxton has put his life on hold to be a solid presence in his younger brothers’ lives. But Axel is one person that he’s never forgotten and the years did nothing to dilute his feelings.

They slowly pick up where their friendship paused all those years ago but it’s not long before their feelings for one another become too strong to ignore.

Caxtastrophe and Axeldental were absolutely adorable together. They were so sweet in a tentative and romantic sort of way. There’s no guessing game to how they feel about each other. The only angst come from outside factors like Cax’s a-hole of a father and keeping his sexual orientation a secret.

We get to catch up with Josh and Caleb, which I loved getting more of. Hello Forever was sweet and sexy and I simply loved Axel and Cax together. It brought the feels and the swoons and a dollop of angst and I loved how everything wraps up at the end. It was such a treat to finally see Cax grow into his own and not hide from who he is. There’s also a secondary character that was introduced here that I’m seriously hoping will be getting his own book.

#DGRFave Review: Goodbye Paradise by @SarinaBowen

GOODBYE PARADISE
Series: Hello Goodbye #1
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Caleb,” he whispered against my skin. “Just make me yours.”
“You,” I said, kissing him on the forehead, “are already mine.”

When was the last time you read a romance that was so powerful and sweet that you felt it touch your very soul? For me, that was today and this romance was this book. THIS BOOK. My god. I sobbed my way through almost the entire thing. I couldn’t help myself. It wrecked me and it owned me all at once. I don’t have enough praise to describe everything that was this story. All I know is that Caleb and Josh’s story is one that will stay in my heart forever, and as a voracious romance reader, I don’t make that statement lightly. It was just that good.

Nothing had ever felt better than lying in Caleb’s arms.

Caleb and Josh have been best friends for as long as they can remember. And Caleb has been Josh’s confidant and protector just as long. Growing up in a religious cult where a man’s worth is measured by his strength and ability to withstand hard labor, brainy Josh has always been at the bottom of the food chain. Caleb has always looked out for him and protected him, and Josh has been secretly in love with Caleb just as long.

When it becomes evident that Josh will soon be tossed out, Caleb makes a plan to escape. Having nothing to their name, no IDs, no money, they only have each other to lean on when they end up in a world that Josh had no idea existed and Caleb only had quick glimpses of.

Caleb has always been the strong one, but Josh has always been his strength. Unbeknownst to Josh, Caleb has been in love with his best friend but much better at hiding it. Now that they’re out, there’s nothing holding them back from being together but each other.

Maybe I’d craved him all my life, but I was his first, too. I felt powerful because of it.

This was such a powerful story of an emotional journey of two boys growing into men with nothing to guide them through it but each other. There’s no crazy drama, no silly angst. Absolutely nothing to take away from the incredibly poignant romance.

The secondary characters only served to strengthen the story and add another touching layer to something that was already solid to begin with. I loved the friendships and bonds that these boys formed through their journey. Every secondary character drove the plot further and just connected me to the story that much more.

I adored Caleb’s strength, but what I loved even more was Josh’s silent and unassuming strength. They balanced each other so well and their undying devotion to the other was nothing if not incredibly touching.

Hi baby,” he said under his breath. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and everyone.

This book is exactly why I’m such a huge fan of this author. It was romantic and powerful, sweet and emotional, it was touching and poignant and everything that I love about romance. It was one of the most unforgettable romances I’ve read in a long while and I simply can’t recommend it enough.

Review & New Release: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

GOOD BOY
Series: WAGs #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Rom Com
Author: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Release Date: January 31, 2017

A brand new stand-alone romantic comedy from the bestselling, award-winning team of Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy.

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

 

Blake doesn’t do anything half-assed. He laughs the way he lives his life—loud and fierce and without inhibition. He fucks that way, too.

To say that I’ve been eagerly anticipating this release from two of my favorite authors may be a miiiild understatement. But as excited as I was, I was also just a teeny bit worried too. See, I remember Blake from Us, and I was scared that a full book of his…well…personality…may be a bit much for me. But Cheezus! This man totally managed to grab me by the ovaries and the heart. Yes, he’s a little rabid at times. Like ADD tween sort of rabid. But at the same time, it totally worked for him. The authors managed to pull off what none have done for me in the past. They took a character like him and made him completely endearing. Think young Ryan Reynolds movies sort of endearing.
You may remember Jess, Jamie’s older sister, from US. I have to admit, she got off on the wrong foot with me in that book, but she totally won me over here. This is a girl that’s having a hard time finding herself. Forever viewed as the flaky one by her overachieving family, she wants to prove them wrong. That for once she can pick a career, and stick to it. That’s how she finds herself in nursing school in Canada, and once again facing the man she’s gone through great lengths to avoid.

What the heck are you talking about? Who’s wrong about what?” “You, about, well, everything.” I grin at her. “We’re way more than friends, Jessie.” “Blake—” She sounds exasperated. “But no worries,” I finish breezily. “I’ll just sit tight until you figure that out.”

Blake is just as determined to get in her pants as she is to make sure he keeps his on. Let’s just say Blakey has a thing for dick pics.

I loved the banter and back and forth between these two. Add in a few secondary characters to spice things up, and it was laugh out loud gold.

I’m Blake Riley,” I offer.
“Dyson Hart.”
“Dyson, like the vacuum?”
“That’s right.” He gives me a sidelong glance. “Want a demonstration?”
“Dyson,” Jess snaps. “What did we talk about?”

Blake was a total marshmallow. I loved how hard he cares for his friends. He may put on a good act with his breezy jokes and easy smiles, but this is a man with a heart of gold. He’ll do anything for those he cares about and when he loves, he loves hard. There’s a hidden depth to him beyond the pervy jokes and tween talk.

The story is written with a wonderful mix of humor and feeling. And man, did I love the humor

His gaze lowers to his crotch, and God help me, but I look down, too. Yep. He’s hard. It looks like he shoved a forty of beer down there and tried to smuggle it into the bar. Why does his dumb dick have to be so stupidly big?

I also loved that it didn’t follow the formulaic romance novel with the crazy misunderstandings in the end. It was perfectly paced and unfolded naturally.

If Good Boy is anything to judge by, we have ourselves a new series to obsess over. I’m already salivating for the next book. If a sexy, humorous contemporary romance with a hot hockey player with a heart of gold and a sassy heroine that’s as snarky as she is smart is your thing, then this is an absolute must read!

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Rookie Move-Review ROOKIE MOVE
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: September 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

rookie move

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold… 

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

Review-DGR3.5 starsRookie Move-DGR Teaser

You and I don’t have one-night stands. We have forever night stands.”

If you love second chance romance with a hero that’s so sweet and devoted it will make even the most cynical heart swoon, then you’ve just found your next read! It seems the romance genre is well saturated with a good share of alpha-holes lately, and I have to say that Leo Trevi was a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, alpha-holes happen to be my crack of choice. But every now and then it’s also great to get a genuinely nice guy that fell hard once for the love of his life and never fell out of it.

Georgia and Leo were high school sweethearts, until the Georgia broke Leo’s heart at the end of their senior year and they haven’t seen each other since. Now Georgia is trying to live her dream as the publicist for the NHL and gets the surprise of a lifetime when the new player to the team her father is now coaching is none other than the boy she’s never forgotten or gotten over.

He inhaled, and the familiar fruity smell of her shampoo misted his already hazy mind. Slowly, she lifted her chin, her nose tracing a line up his cheek. Then their lips found each other’s effortlessly, like magnets realigning.

Their reunion was not angst filled but it was certainly full of tension and emotion. It’s hard not to fall for Leo the very second he appears on the pages. The man is swoon with a capital S. Seriously. He doesn’t hide from his feelings or try to punish Georgia. He’s so incredibly pure with the depth of his emotion, that it practically jumps off the pages at you.

There’s plenty of tension from outside forces like the team coach and Georgia’s father and his mystery loathing and hate for Leo, Leo being the rookie to the team and trying to prove himself, and of course trying to deal with the event that led to the ultimate breaking point of their relationship.

As much as I love a good second chance romance, I have to admit that I did find myself a little bored in the first half. Leo was swoony and sweet, but alas I love my men with a little more edge to them, so while I was full, I wasn’t quite satisfied if that makes sense. The second half more than made up for the first and the story read a whole lot quicker. I was antsy to finally get the full reason about why the coach has it out for Leo and the progression of Leo and Georgia’s relationship really picked up while making me curious about the slew of other characters that were introduced like Silas, O’Doul, Becca, and Nate. I’m already salivating for their books….O’Doul especially.

So while this was a little tame for my tastes and so sweet it almost made my teeth ache at times, it also made perfect sense for this story. I could’t see it play out any other way. I loved the ending and while I wasn’t reading this with my usual devour pace, it was still a light and easy romance that I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s definitely the start of what looks to be a fantastic new series and I can’t wait for more.

Are super sweet heroes my thing? Not really. *ducks head in shame* But Leo made a believer out of me just this once.


BROOKLYN BRUISERS SERIES

ROOKIE MOVE (Brooklyn Bruisers #1)
GOODREADS | AMAZON

HARD HITTER (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) <– available January 3, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

PIPE DREAMS (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) <– available May 2, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

Review: ★Steadfast★ by @SarinaBowen

Steadfast-ReviewSTEADFAST
Series: The True North #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: July 12, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

Steadfast-Amazon

She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there’s no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie’s police chief father. But it’s a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview-DGR4.5 starsSteadfast-DGR teaser

When I was seventeen, I thought Jude was sent to me from heaven. When I was eighteen, I let him take me there. When I was nineteen, he broke both my heart and my family.

From the very second that Jude was introduced in Bittersweet, I knew that I needed his book. There’s just something about the broken and tortured heroes, and it doesn’t get more tortured than the man who let his addiction take away not only his freedom but the love of his life. Three years ago, Jude made a mistake that cost him everything. He’s always been able to hide his drug addiction from his beloved Sophie, but when he crashes into a tree and sent to prison for the death of his car’s passenger, all his darkest secrets tear wide open. Now after serving three years, the last place Jude wants to come back to is the town where everyone knows him as an ex-con, but there’s not much choice for him while he gets back on his feet again. So back to his father’s house he goes to work in his auto-shop and hopefully save up enough to get himself a second chance elsewhere.

My name is Jude Nickel, and I am an addict. Also, I’m a big fucking idiot.

Sophie Haines was the love of his life. Letting her go was the hardest thing he’s ever done, but she was always too good for him and meant for greater things. He expects Sophie to be living her dream on Broadway and not stuck with her life in shambles in their small town with a mother that’s a shell of a person and an abusive, jaded father.

It’s inevitable that they run into each other and the love that neither of them ever forgot or got over soon brews to the surface once more.

We’d ended up exactly where I hadn’t wanted us to land, slotting ourselves right into position in both my bed and my memory.

Steadfast packed quite an emotional punch. I loved the realism with which Sarina wrote Jude. This is not a man that suddenly forgets he’s an addict once he detoxed. His struggle is daily and your heart breaks for him experiencing all of it with him. His love for Sophie was easily one of my favorite things about this book. It’s just so unwavering and pure. His inner struggle of loving her but knowing he can’t be with her was heart-wrenching.

The first time I ever kissed Sophie was in a car in the rain. That kiss had made my blood surge with lust and hope. But this one made me ache with impossible longing.

But reading how supportive Sophie was with everything about him and his past made it that much better. Sophie was an amazing heroine. She’s been through so much herself and her family life leaves something to be desired, but you truly understand what draws her to Jude and why she never really blamed him for what happened three years ago.

An addiction is when you can’t keep away from something that’s bad for you. Maybe Jude was a drug addict, but I was a Jude addict.

I absolutely loved the two of them together. The story is highly emotional, angsty and with a touch of forbidden. It broke my heart and melted it. It shattered me into a million pieces and then slowly put me back together.

You own me. You always have.”
“Even when you’re not perfect, you’re still mine.”

The love between Sophie and Jude was a palpable thing. I couldn’t get enough of them. It was beautiful in a tragic way. My heart was aching reading their road to a second chance together. I’ve been a huge fan of all things Sarina Bowen for a while now, but Steadfast put her on a whole different level to me. It was easily one of my favorite second chance romances I’ve read in a long while and certainly the most memorable. It was beautiful and emotional. It was everything I had hoped it would be and so, SO much more.


TRUE NORTH SERIES

BITTERSWEET (True North #1)
GOODREADS | AMAZON

STEADFAST (True North #2)
GOODREADS | AMAZON

KEEPSAKE (True North #3) – releasing October 2016
GOODREADS 

 

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