Heart of the Race

Always a fan of a good Mary Calmes story!

Heart Of The Race

By Mary Calmes

★★★★☆

Varro Dacien spends his life riding toward the next adventure. Brian Christie, his best friend and touchstone, the one person who’s always truly seen him, plays sidekick on these madcap adventures and subsequent trips to the hospital until he can’t take it anymore. While Brian can see Varro, Varro has never caught on that he’s breaking his best friend’s heart.

Without Varro, Brian builds himself a life that’s all about just getting by, doing his best to ignore the hole in his heart and his life. Without Brian to balance him, Varro pushes harder and takes more risks to reach that ultimate high. His job racing high-octane bikes on suicide-level courses makes it easy to get that rush… until it’s no longer enough and Varro realizes it’s not the race, but who’s waiting at the finish line that truly matters. Now he just has to convince Brian to be there.

Racing Bike

Originally part of Dreamspinner Press 2013 Daily Dose Anthology: Make A Play featuring 30 different stories by some of the best authors in M/M Romantic Fiction, this story called to me mainly because it was by one of my favorite authors, Mary Calmes.  This is a short easy read and like most of her works it’s a sweet love story.  If you are a fan of Mary Calmes I am sure you will enjoy it.

A sucker for a good GFY/OFY story I enjoyed seeing two best friends become more and fall in love.  Who better to fall in love with than the person who you trust the most in the world?  As Brian paints us the picture of  growing up knowing he’s in love with Varro and doing his best to keep his feelings from destroying their friendship while secretly wishing his straight best friend felt the same way about him, you can actually feel his heart ache.  Varro being absolutely oblivious to the way his best friend feels is almost maddening.    He needs Brian in a way that most need air but he can’t seem to open his eyes enough to realize Brian is the one person who makes him whole until it’s almost too late.

There’s angst, heartbreak, humor and romance.  There isn’t an over abundance of sex making this more of a contemporary love story. My one and only complaint really was that it was way too short.  I loved the characters but there was definitely room to expand the story more and to get a more in depth look at them.  I would honestly be happy to see more of Varro and Brian.

Nothing fires the blood like a little friendly competition. Anything from a meeting of the minds to full-body contact, these men are making a play. There are no losers in the game of love.  Over 1,500 pages of fiction selling individually for a total $80.20 or as a bulk package for $54.99.

Purchase the entire Make A Play Anthology from Dreamspinner Press or Heart of the Race separately at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Chase The Storm

Chase The Storm

By V.M. Waitt

★★★★★

Who doesn’t like a good cowboy story?  While this may not be your typical cowboy romance it is definitely an emotionally charged story.  It’s a tale of self discovery, heartbreak, healing and love.  

Elijah is searching for the place where he belongs, never quite fitting in at home with his privileged life, forced to follow in his parents footsteps.  Not able to be himself at Harvard.  Elijah wants more from his life, money and power are not important to him, he just wants to be happy and do something he can be proud of.

At the end of his freshman year at Harvard Elijah purchases an old truck and decides he is going to for once in his life do something for himself.  Packing up and hitting the road after his last final, Elijah drives with no particular destination in mind.  When he finds himself stranded in Arthur Nebraska while he has his truck repaired he decides to try and get a job at a local farm instead of asking his parents for help knowing it will be the end of his summer journey.

When he meets Chase he is immediately attracted to the quiet and somewhat unapproachable farm owner.  Chase is abrasive, hard to please and distant.  Elijah however can not deny how much he is drawn to Chase.  Chase tries to fight his attraction to Elijah, he knows there are too many reasons why getting involved with the young man is a mistake but the more the two are around each other the harder it is to deny how much he wants him.

After Elijah and Chase finally give into their attraction Elijah thinks it’s the beginning of something great but instead Chase pulls even further away.  Chase isn’t ready to let go of his past, it haunts him and being with Elijah is something he’s not yet ready for.  Elijah has to work even harder to prove to Chase that they belong together–even if Chase will do everything he can to push Elijah away–Elijah won’t give up.  The more the two work together the closer they become and the more they fall for each other.

Is what they have more than a summer romance?  As autumn draws near, Elijah is due back at college, and he’ll have to choose whether to continue his education and follow in his family’s footsteps… or to stay in Nebraska with the man he loves.

This is a very emotional book.  There are so many times I felt as if I wanted to yell at the characters and at the same time cry for them as well.  Elijah is a lot stronger than I think I could have personally been with Chase, even if he is only 19 years old.  I wasn’t sure if it was naïveté or courage and tenacity.  Chase pushed him away so many times and was extremely harsh, it took a very strong person to be able to see past that and keep putting himself out there.

At times I wasn’t sure I could even like Chase, while I could understand his reluctance and the reasons for his distance and construction of the walls around his heart, his actions sometime left me angry and hurt on Elijah’s behalf.  There were many layers to Chase, you had to really get past the top layer–gruff, brusque, infuriating–to find the sweet, romantic, loving man that Elijah needed in his life.  Chase is the only person to have ever really cared enough to get to know him, he sees more to Elijah than anyone else.

There are some time is this book that are so sweet and sincere, and others that are sad and frustrating.  For the most part this is a journey of self discovery.  It’s about leading a life of your own and finding a place you truly belong.  It’s about letting go and overcoming loss and of course it’s a story about love.

Cute, Sweet and Funny!

A Tale of Two Trucks

By Thea  Nishimori

★★★★☆

Interior designer Mike Stevenson is out shopping for a new ride when he literally runs into Joe Adams, a contractor who works for one of his clients. Mike feels an immediate spark of attraction, but Joe is wearing a wedding band, so Mike assumes his case is hopeless—just like the rest of his love life. Then the two lonely men start spending time together and Mike learns more about Joe’s past, falling deeper in love with him against his own better judgment. But everyone from Mike’s vindictive ex to Joe’s well-meaning family seems determined to get in the way of their happiness.

 

 

A nice easy read for a lazy afternoon, this story is perfect when you’re in the mood for a feel good funny love story. Joe is sweet and sincere and I so wanted to give him a giant bear hug. Mike is funny with the perfect among of sarcasm and wit. It’s great to see a true friendship blossom into more.