I've actually been reading some longer books so not so many updates this week. But they've been good longer books so that's okay.
Back to Normal by Wren Boudreau (180 pages)
Greg is a freshly divorced teacher who works part-time in a fancy restaurant as a waiter. Unusually, the spirit of his dead aunt lives in his head an talks to him. The day after he finds out he's been laid off from his teaching job he finds out the restaurant is closing, but luckily the new owners hope to hire people. He is strangely attracted to Finn, one of the new owners and it's mutual but he is straight and not interested, unless he is of course. Finn is a confessed man-whore but agrees to back-off and help Greg figure out his life even if it means just friends. I really liked this. Aunt Coco was a hoot but also very touching and I thought Greg's older brother was great. I think Greg's reasons for being so deep in the closet were valid to a point but I liked how he worked through things and Finn didn't pressure him to try more. Something I read and thought "yes, finally" was that Greg had checked out gay porn when he decided to have sex so knew the mechanics. Too often these new gay guys are all "I don't know what to do". Jeez, any 12 year old can figure that out from google. Get with the times. LOL The only thing I would have liked to see what Greg's mother's response to him being out, or more of his family's reactions. A super second outing for Wren.
In the Flesh by Ethan Stone (286 pages)
Cristian Flesh is an out-and-proud police detective and self-professed man-whore. He has rules, lots of rules, like no kissing, no sleepovers, etc. Life is good until not only is one of his lovers, a hardcore religious leader, stabbed, but the man he says did it is murdered and it looks like someone is setting Christian up for murder. His partner hires lawyer Colby to defend him and he can't help being attracted to the sexy black lawyer, but Colby is deeply in the closet and has no intention of coming out. There are sort of two parallel stories, the investigation to clear his name and find the real killer, along with the development of a relationship between Colby and Cristian and Cristian breaking some of his rules. This had tons of great reviews and I did really enjoy it although I figured out most of the mystery part very early on, but I still enjoyed it. I also thought showing how Cristian changed the way he thought about the world and relationships and his developing friendship with a young street kid was great. I did want to know more about Cristian's past. It was obvious there was abuse in it but you only got hints so I found that as frustrating as Colby did likely. LOL But it was definitely worth the time.
Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane (187 pages)
Naef was born with a club foot and due to that has a twisted spine, badly scarred skin and is picked on by everyone in the village. However despite his horrific childhood he is an amazing wood carver and his sister's suitor has some influence in getting Naef (Knife he prefers to be called) a "job" as a companion for his cousin for a year. Although Naef's not thrilled, he wants his sister to have a real life and he figures being with a lion/man won't be any worse than his life. Aerie-Smith lives on an island under enchantment. Everyone has turned into animals on the island. When they arrive however, Naef has the opposite happen, he becomes a perfect twink. :-) Aerie-Smith tells him in one year he's found a way to break the spell then Naef can leave. They spend time getting to know each other and eventually in bed where when he is blindfolded Naef can feel Aerie-Smiths real body as it would be. Of course we all know the way to break the spell is not going to go well but there is a HEA, which I think is a bit non-traditional but highly satisfying. Naef is twisted and bitter inside from his treatment by the locals and I also found him highly amusing. His reactions to everything are so over the top that you can't help but be amused. I snorted many times reading it and Aerie-Smith's reaction were similar I think. It's hard to describe but they were prefect for each other and the interactions with the "people" on the island were amusing. It was really just an excellent interpretation of the fairy tale I enjoyed very much.
Hot Shot by Sedonia Guillone (8 pages)
This is a freebie from Rainbow Books. Paul, a photographer, is roomies with Carlo. He's been crushing on Carlo for years but Carlo goes through men like kleenex. After running home in the rain from dinner out, Carlo suddenly asks Paul to photograph him. Paul is getting turned on and Carlo is working it in his wet t-shirt and then taking it off until he finally tells Paul outright that he wants him. It's just a little friends-to-lovers interlude that was quite sexy and also sweet as Paul can't believe Carlo really wants him.