Book Recommendations, Book Reviews

Sunday book recommendation

Last week, I read the most breathtakingly romantic book, and I just have to share it with you. Last year, I read Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker, and in my review of it, I wrote: “Galaxies and Oceans is maybe the most romantic book I ever read. Full stop.”

But maybe Galaxies and Oceans has been overtaken by this book. Or at least, it now has another book sharing first place as the most romantic book I’ve ever read.

Which book am I rambling about?


a worthy manVannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.

Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.

After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.

Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever.


halfway house

A Worthy Man is book five in The Men of Halfway House series by Jaime Reese, and I’ve read books 1-3 (pictured above) before. All three books were five-star reads for me, but when the fourth book was released, the blurb didn’t speak to me, and neither did the reviews. The fifth book, on the other hand, did speak to me, so I bought it when it was released back in 2017. But as you all know by now, I’m a short story lover, and A Worthy Man is 425 pages long. Yes. 425!! So I put off reading it because I wasn’t in a mood for such a long story…and I forgot about it.

Until last week, when I scrolled my Kindle app on my e-reader and found it. And lately I have been more in the mood for lengthy books, so I thought “Why the hell not?”

And wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow. 😍

I was hooked from the first page, and Dray and Vann’s story never let me go. It’s a pretty slow story, focused on their relationship, and those are the kinds of stories I love the most. Yes, there are secondary plots, but they never steal focus from the romance. Dray and Vann’s emotions leapt off the page and settled in my heart and my stomach…and in my tear ducts, as evidenced by my tweets below 😀

crying

And it did kill me, in the best possible way. I read it slowly because I didn’t want it to end. I re-read passages that were swoonworthy, and highlighted almost the entire chapter 9 because it was so beautiful and emotional. When I finished it, I lay slain on my couch with my e-reader pressed to my heart and stars (or maybe hearts?) in my eyes.

How will anything ever measure up to the romance level of this book?

If you’re in the mood for action or angsty or gritty or a book with the classic romance plot points where something bad happens at around 75% that makes you doubt there will ever be a HEA, this is definitely not the book for you. But if you, like me, love to read about an underdog who’s had to fight his entire life and finally gets something good in his life, if you love second chances and true love, if you love to read about people who really love each other, who’d do anything for each other, who are always there for each other, who never waiver in their feelings, this is the book for you.

Yes, it’s long. But it’s worth it.  And it can be read as a standalone even though it’s part 5 in a series.

I’d give this book ten stars if Goodreads allowed me.

Amazon link

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews

Sunday book recommendation

There are two tropes I’m not really a fan of when it comes to romance: the fake boyfriend and vacation romance. For the first, I don’t like fake anything, and for the second, I don’t want an expiry date on my romances. I want my romances to have forever-ever-after in sight, not “two weeks, then we go back to our normal lives.”

Despite that, I just read and loved a book with both those tropes: Honeymoon Sweet by Allison Temple. The reason I even tried it was that a while back, I read a post on my friend Addison Albright’s blog, one of her “what I’m reading on the treadmill post.” In these posts, she always includes her favorite quotes from the book she’s currently reading, and for the Honeymoon Sweet post, I fell in love with every single quote. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. So I went to Amazon and downloaded the sample, loved it, so I bought the whole books.


52672329._SY475_Doug is a cheese pizza kind of guy. A honeymoon cruise around the Caribbean is the most adventurous thing he’s ever done. Going on that honeymoon alone is unthinkable, but here he is, with a luxury suite and a broken heart.

Tripp is a hopeless romantic. He’s in a sinking relationship that’s been taking on water for months. He’d throw in the towel if he had one, but he’s naked and locked out of his room.

No one should be on a cruise alone, and Tripp has a simple solution: he and Doug will pretend to be husbands and enjoy everything a week of sea and sun has to offer. But as the days and nights heat up, can a cheese pizza kind of guy be brave enough to give love a second chance?


And oh my god, the book was fabulous. Tripp is a hilarious character, and Doug is a sweetheart and I loved them together. There were several laugh-out-loud moments in the book, and my husband looked at me fondly when I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the couch, and asked “Is it a good book, honey?”

I mean:

Sometimes half the problem with sex is people take it way too seriously, when it’s really just bodies flopping around like seals and making noises your mother would tell you aren’t polite at the dinner table.

But it’s not only funny. There are many serious, heartbreaking moments, too, when the laughter got stuck in my throat and I had to hide my trembling lower lip from my husband who likes to gently tease me when I cry to books. And that’s one of my favorite kind of books: the ones that can both make you laugh and cry and that leaves you feeling happy when you’ve finished it.

Another thing I really loved about it was how distinct the voices were: the story is told in first person alternating point-of-view, and it’s really easy to know which chapters are told from Doug’s POV and which are from Tripp’s. That’s not always the case with stories told in alternating first person POV, but Allison Temple did a great job with Tripp and Doug.

All in all, this was a very satisfying read and I’m very happy that I ignored the fact that I don’t like the fake boyfriend or the vacation romance tropes. I would have missed out on a great book if I’d stuck up my nose at it just because of that reason.

I give it my warmest recommendations and send my thanks to Addison Albright for pointing me in the direction of this wonderful read.

Amazon link

About Nell, Sale

Memorial Day Sale

memorial day sale jms

JMS Books has a Memorial Day Sale and offers 40% off all e-books, including pre-orders. So hurry over there and pre-order my upcoming childhood friends-to-lovers story Always You if you haven’t already. Or if you’re in the mood for a second chance love story told in answering machine messages, Late Night Poetry is the book for you.

But all my books are on sale of course, so check out the links below 🙂

Always You | Late Night Poetry | My author page

About Nell, Always You

Life update

Hi! I know I’m mostly absent from my blog these days, which sucks, but I hope I’ll be back to normal soon. The reason? Well, there are many, on top of the whole global pandemic thing, but first and foremost this one:

photo_2020-05-20_10-37-40

But Nell, you say, didn’t you just move?

Why yes, yes I did, thanks for asking. We moved to this place in November, but because of Covid-19, our landlady decided out of the blue to sell the house, so we had to scramble to find a new place to stay. But we did find a place, and a nice place at that. It’s smaller than we have now, so I’ll be without an office again and my writing space will be in the living room, but I’m fine with that. On the plus side: the apartment is brand spanking new, as in no one has lived in it before us, so that’s nice.

However, moving is a hassle and messes with my routines, which is why I haven’t been around much. The move happens next Friday (May 29) and I hope everything goes back to normal after that.


Until then, don’t forget to pre-order Always You if you haven’t already:

always you promo rjscott

Thom Novak feels like a walking cliché: the gay guy desperately in love with his straight best friend, Lee. But he’s willing to keep his feelings hidden, to do whatever it takes, as long as they stay friends forever.

Lee Conway loves sharing an apartment with Thom, his best friend since birth, and would be happy doing it for the rest of his life…no matter his current girlfriend’s opinion on the matter. But he’s never been known for being in contact with his emotions.

When something happens to upset the status quo, Lee pulls away. Has Lee learned how Thom feels about him? Will it mean the end of their friendship? Or is there another reason Lee needs time to think? A more…hopeful reason?

M/M Contemporary, app 11000 words

PRE-ORDER LINKS:

JMS BOOKS (20% OFF UNTIL JUNE 5) | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | KOBO

Always You, Coming Soon, Family Found Series, In My Arms Again, Sale

Pre-order links and free books

Hi! Today I want to want to share a couple great things with you. First, the pre-order links for my upcoming childhood friends-to-lovers story Always You, and second more free books from JMS Books.

always you promo rjscott

Thom Novak feels like a walking cliché: the gay guy desperately in love with his straight best friend, Lee. But he’s willing to keep his feelings hidden, to do whatever it takes, as long as they stay friends forever.

Lee Conway loves sharing an apartment with Thom, his best friend since birth, and would be happy doing it for the rest of his life…no matter his current girlfriend’s opinion on the matter. But he’s never been known for being in contact with his emotions.

When something happens to upset the status quo, Lee pulls away. Has Lee learned how Thom feels about him? Will it mean the end of their friendship? Or is there another reason Lee needs time to think? A more…hopeful reason?

M/M Contemporary, app 11000 words

Pre-order links:

JMS Books (20% off until June 5) | Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo


For the third time this year, my publisher JMS Books and my fellow JMS authors offer a whole bunch of books for free to get you through these trying times. This time, I’m giving away TWO books (three if you count All I See that’s permanently free).

imaa fil

I’m giving away my pegasus shifter who can’t shift, fated mates story. And the fabulous Kris T. Bethke and I are giving away the first book in our family found series. Clickety-click the links below if you want the opportunity to read them for free.

In My Arms Again | Falling Into Love | All I See

But there are currently 90 books free at JMS Books, so if you’ve already read all mine (in which case: I LOVE YOU!! 😀 ) and still want free books, here’s the link for you. Why not go wild and download them all??