Book recommendation

49113872._SY475_Alfie Adams comes at life sideways.

After unexpectedly losing his job in television, and having the script he’s worked so hard on unceremoniously dropped, Alfie turns up at his oldest friend, Jam’s, birthday party drunk, pretty sure his world has ended, and that he’s about to hit rock bottom with a bone-cracking thud.

But it’s funny how Jam’s little brother, Benji, seems to know exactly what Alfie needs. For the past twelve months Alfie has thrown himself into his job and tried hard not to think about beautiful punk-loving Benji—tried not to see how the sweet kid he used to look out for, and who used to trail so adoringly after him, has grown up into a big lad with an even bigger heart. As Alfie sobers up, he begins to see things with a new perspective, and Benji has his full attention.

If only Alfie can admit what it is he wants.


Last week, I read something wonderful. I was scrolling my Kindle app and found Everybody in the Place that I downloaded a few months back when it was free but still hadn’t read. So I decided that it was time, and I was delightfully surprised. Everybody in the Place is a short, slice-of-life story about two wonderful characters that touched me deeply. Everyone, including the side characters, are genuinely nice and interesting, and the relationship between Alfie and Benji (but also his BFF Jam) is very heart-warming.
But what gripped me the most was Suki Fleet‘s language. Some people just have a way with words, and Suki Fleet is one of them. Every word, every sentence, just got to me in the most wonderful way.
I mean:
I’m pretty sure I’m not walking properly, rather I feel like I’m a little glittery fish swimming across the sea of the park, pulled along by a warm safe ocean current that has Benji’s face. I could swim forever.
or
Jam joins us and the three of us dance crazily together. I am nothing but a beat. A glimmer of light. A gasp of smoke. God, I’ve missed this. 

I could fill this entire blog post with quotes from this story, but that would get me in trouble for abusing the fair use doctrine, and we wouldn’t want that. 🙂
If you’re in the mood for a short, British story about one very significant day in the lives of two young men, I warmly recommend this book. And if you, like me, are awed by beautiful language, this is a must-read.

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

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

Sunday book recommendations

Happy Sunday everyone! Today, I thought I’d recommend a few books to you that I’ve read lately (I feel like reading, cooking, and listening to music is all I do these days, how about you?)

So if you, like me, read a lot during these difficult times and are looking for recommendations, here are three books I read and enjoyed this last week.

sunday rec

Beautiful Boy by Grace R. Duncan (buy link) was a re-read, the first time I read it was in 2015, but I love it even more now. It’s a BDSM story with some hardcore scenes, but it’s also loving and sweet and emotional. Just like I love my stories.

Afflicted by J.M. Snyder (download link) is free, super short, and emotional. It’s a glimpse into a relationship and it left me wanting more…in a good way.

His Favorite Color is Blood by K.A. Merikan (buy link) is the antithesis of what I usually read. You know by now that I love short, sweet, fluffy, and the primary focus being on the relationship…everything His Favorite Color is Blood isn’t. It’s long, kinky af, and the non-relationship-related plot takes up a big chunk of the story. The relationship between Grim and Misha is glorious though (kinky kinky kinky…I seriously can’t stress this enough!) and that’s what kept me glued to my e-reader. I had to take a break at 71% because it was getting hella intense and I felt like my heart would give out on me. So I posted this in K.A. Merikan’s reader group on Facebook, and let’s just say that Kat Merikan’s answer didn’t really calm my frayed nerves 😆

favorite color blood

As you’ve noticed by now, I didn’t die of heart failure, but it was close 😀


If any of you have any recs for me, leave them in the comments. I’ve been on a age-gap or BDSM spree these last few weeks, so if you have a book that fits that description and that’s also emotional and focusing on the relationship, I’d be super happy!

Take care and have a great Sunday!


Don’t forget about the Smashwords’ Authors Give Back sale, where my books are at least 30% off, but many is 60%. Here’s the link to my author page where you can browse my books.

And if you, like me, has been craving age-gap lately, may I suggest His Steady Heart?

HSH blurb quote smashwords sale

Feel-good books for trying times

Ugh, I just…can’t…with life right now. Lots of stuff (on top of the virus) is making my life miserable right now, and if that wasn’t enough, I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo. So I’m supposed to write 20K words in April, when life is like this? Yeah, okay.

But…I don’t want to make the blog a depressing place, so I won’t bother you with my troubles. Instead, I’ll give you a couple recommendations of books I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed. They are great if you need some happy in your life (because who doesn’t?)


51792269._SX318_SY475_Granddad’s Cup of Tea

Widower Ewan lives a quiet life in his country village, helping out with his grandchildren and dodging his daughter’s attempts to improve his social life by signing him up for every retirement club she can find. When he meets Alex, newly bereaved and taking his first tentative steps into living out and proud after a lifetime in the closet, Ewan reaches out to offer sympathy. As their friendship deepens, Ewan finds himself questioning both his own identity and the nature of his feelings for Alex. But is it too late for a second chance at love?

 

M/M Contemporary / 41 pages

Buy link

Seriously, this book was a ray of sunshine. Ewan, a widower and granddad, is a fabulous character. I wish everyone had a granddad like him. So if you’re in the mood for short, sunshiney, and wonderful, about two mature characters (their age isn’t stated in the book, but I’m guessing seventies. Or late sixties at least), I warmly recommend this book.


37904249._SY475_Finders Keepers

Needing a change of scene, Griffin Burke moves from Brisbane to Coolum Beach to start a new job. The beautiful white sand, aqua-coloured ocean, blue skies, and summer breezes are everything he longs for. What he finds is a mud-covered dog, lost and hungry, with a nametag and a phone number.

Dane Hughes is stuck in Surfers Paradise at a week-long work conference when he gets a phone call from his distraught mother. His dog, his fur baby, Wicket, has run away. Unable to leave and feeling helpless and miserable, he gets a text from a guy. “I think I found your dog…”

Griffin and Dane start talking, and Griffin agrees to look after Wicket until Dane can collect him. With a few days left before his new job starts, Griffin takes Wicket on some coastal adventures and sends Dane photos of their fun, and so the start of something new and kind of wonderful begins.

Griffin might have moved to Coolum in search of a new life, but what he finds is so much more. What he gets to keep just might take some four-legged help.

M/M Contemporary / 220 pages

Buy link

I’m not a dog person, but Wicket was just too adorable. And the way the guys communicate (you probably know by now that I think that the only thing sexier than communication is consent!) is fabulous. And I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, and after reading this book I want to go more than ever. So if you want a cute dog, interesting side characters, and an abundance of sweetness, I warmly recommend this book.


leather and tea series

I also read the third book in the Leather and Tea series by K.L. Noone. It was wonderful, the whole series is wonderful, but I’ve gushed about it before so I won’t gush again. I’ll just quietly post buy links to all three of the books and look at you sternly until you run off and buy them.

Leather and Tea | A Leather and Tea Morning | Leather and Tea in London


Stay safe everyone, and please share whatever feelgood stuff you do to keep your spirits up in these difficult times. ❤️

Feelgood re-reads and sweetness

Hi everyone! I hope you are all well and staying safe, and I hope your loved ones are well and staying safe, too. I’m well, and my family is, too. I barely leave the house, but that’s nothing extraordinary for me: I’m an introvert homebody who’d prefer to never leave the house, and have to mentally prepare even for mundane stuff, like going out and getting groceries 😀

Yesterday, I was convinced I had contracted the virus (despite only going to the grocery store this week where I didn’t interact with anyone) because I had trouble breathing, which is a warning sign. And then I remembered that I have allergies, and that spring is coming. Malaysia doesn’t have spring, so I’ve forgotten what it feels like after 8 years in a tropical climate. So I popped a pill, talked myself down from the ledge, and this morning when I woke up, I felt perfectly fine again.

So, I decided I need to step away from all the frantic reporting. It’s not like I’m hiding or ignoring the news, but I need a breather. Besides, I trust my husband to inform me if the end is nigh and I need to find the nearest bunker.

So what do you do when you need a breather from the apocalypse? Read, of course!! So I went to my trusted “feelgood re-reads” list on Goodreads and picked a few books that always make me feel better. I thought I’d share them with you, if you also need to take your mind off things.

feelgood

A Second Harvest if you want age gap and slow burn. Cultivating Love if you want to read about an established couple’s deepening relationship. For A Reason if you want the MCs to meet early in the book and then read about how they make a life together. Galaxies and Oceans if you want to read the most romantic book on the planet and want a huge dose of hurt/comfort. Jesse’s Diner if you want to read about a guy who really doesn’t get when he’s being flirted with. And Let Your Heart Be Light if you want fluff.

Buy links:

A Second Harvest | Cultivating Love | For a Reason | Galaxies and Oceans | Jesse’s Diner | Let Your Heart Be Light


And if it’s sweetness you need, I’ve been known to write a sweet book or two.

cover blurb available now w review quote

Maybe a cute, fluffy, possessive bunny shifter?

Amazon | JMS Books

promo horoscope review quote

Or maybe a brother’s best friend story with corny horoscopes and a butterfly that sort of looks like BB8?

Amazon | JMS Books

Cover blurb review quote

Maybe you want to read about two guys in their late forties finding love? Also, there is an ex-wife in this story, but she’s NOT a shrill bitchy harpy – on the contrary 🙂

Amazon | JMS Books

all i see reveiw quote

Or if all you have is a few minutes to yourself: a shorty (just under 5K words) about an established couple and a dilemma?

Amazon | JMS Books

Or check out all my books over at JMS Books. Most of them are sweet and cute and fluffy.

Book recommendation and sale reminder

Happy Friday everyone! I hope your week has been better than mine: my husband caught a really nasty (really, really nasty!) stomach bug, so I had to spend the beginning of the week being his nursemaid instead of doing writerly things. He’s all better now and luckily it doesn’t seem like he passed it on to me at least, but his illness threw a wrench in my plans and now I have to play catch-up. So of course, I have a family thing this weekend and need to be away! Isn’t that just typical? Anyways: I have planned to spend the train ride editing my manuscript, so hopefully I won’t be too far behind come Monday.

Sorry about the woe-is-me intro, but you know how it is when Real Life interferes with your plans: everything gets effed up!

That being said; being my husband’s private nurse meant lots of time for reading, so I wanted to recommend a book to you. The lovely Rachel at Signal Boost Promo recommended it on Facebook and it sounded right up my alley. And it was, so now I’m passing along the recommendation to you guys:


30741230._SY475_Houston we have so many problems…

Curtis “Launchpad” Larkin’s career as an astronaut has had its share of ups and downs.

Alternately lauded as the single-handed savior of NASA and condemned as a reckless, hot-headed bully, Curt has been through the wringer of public opinion and come out on top. When he embarks on his final mission with NASA, Curt figures there’s no curveball that life has left to throw him.

But when the role of spacecraft communicator is passed to a young engineer back in Houston who he’s never met, Curt’s mission takes on a new trajectory.

“CAPCOM to commander. Do you read?”
Patrick Harte’s life is turned upside down when he’s called to fill in at mission control, working directly under his hero, Curtis Larkin.

Falling for Curt is just a small step for Patrick — but it’s one giant leap to think that the astronaut could ever return his feelings.


“The more I talk to you, the more I know that we understand each other.”
After Curt connects with Patrick from worlds away, he can’t imagine life on earth without the other man… Despite the fact that he’s never laid eyes on Patrick. And their problems won’t stop once he’s cleared for landing.

The bad-boy astronaut is no stranger to controversy — but will the genuine and soft-spoken man of his dreams be able to keep up with the trouble Curt seems to stir everywhere he goes?

BUY LINK

I’m not doing an in-depth review, but if you like age-gap, long-distance (space-earth that’s what I call long distance!), and space, this is definitely the book for you. I was so caught up in it, I literally forgot to eat. I really loved it!! I mean: space…says the person who never reads sci-fi (but loves to watch it!), but this really worked for me!

And aren’t book recommendations the greatest gifts someone can give you? Granted, not all recs work for everyone (I was so sad that one time I bought a book for someone, who read it and thought Huh, what is this shit?), but when someone recommends The Perfect Match to you, don’t you just wanna go over to them and give them a big ole kiss of gratitude? 🙂


Before I leave you to go pack my suitcase and get ready for my trip, I want to remind you about the Smashwords sale that’s still going on. Now’s the time if you want to load up on cheap books for the weekend!

Here are some of my books in tropes/themes for you if you know what you’re specifically in the mood for 🙂 Otherwise, go to my author page and scroll away!

Age-gap | Bunny-shifter | BFF’s brother | Second chances | Trapped together | Bittersweet | Established relationship | Queer wedding | Pegasus shifter  | 40+ guys | Collection

My author page

Smashwords read an ebook week march 2020

Top Ten Gay Romance

Tomorrow is the release day for JMS Books’ 2019 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology (where my story Awakenings & French Songs is featured). To honor this occasion, and to wrap up 2019, I thought I’d list my top ten gay romance stories I’ve read this year.

The criteria is that I read them this year, they don’t have to be released in 2019.

The list contains contemporary, fantasy, and historical romances. The books are short and long, sweet and angsty, swoonworthy and heartbreaking, and so, so good. I’ve gushed about most of them before and all of them get my warmest recommendations ❤️

Tell me about one of the best books you’ve read this year! 🙂

top10

Buy Links:

The Best-Laid Plans | Chicken Soup | Galaxies and Oceans | Invitation to the Blues | A Leather and Tea Morning | Little Tree | The Naked Remedy | Promises | Sea Change | Shut Your Face, Anthony Pace!

Holiday book recommendations

I’ve read shockingly few holiday stories this year! I usually devour them like crazy, but I don’t know what’s been wrong with me this year. I hardly know who I am anymore! 😀

So I asked my kind friends on Facebook to recommend me some new holiday stories – preferably short and sweet – and I bought and read – and loved – two of the recommended books. Now I’m passing on the recommendation to you.

christmas

Let Your Heart Be Light (<- Amazon link) by J.R. Lawrie was just what the doctor ordered. It’s three short stories about two couples, the both couples are fabulous!! Kind of a Big Deal and The Farrington Club is about the same couple, Zach and Richard (the blue-haired guy and the bearded one on the cover), so read KoaBD first. I loved these two, but I have to admit that my favorite story was the one in the middle, For Services Rendered. Julian and David melted my heart, and if they don’t melt yours, you are probably the Grinch…or possibly dead.

And when you’ve read Julian and David’s story, check out this short, free continuation.

If you’re in the mood for sweet and incredibly romantic, this is the book for you.

Pattern for an Angel (<- Amazon link) by CJane Elliott, was lovely. Gabe is a wonderful, understanding single father, Loren is a femme man who is also a drag queen, and Gabe’s son Ian is a little boy who loves to wear dresses. If you’re in the mood for queer characters and a tale about acceptance and understanding, this is the book for you.


Tell me, have you read a particularly good holiday story this year that you want to recommend? 🙂

One month until Christmas…

Today is one month until Christmas and the last couple years, I’ve made these elaborate holiday themed blog posts during December, but this year with the move, I haven’t had the time to plan and execute something like that. So instead, I thought I’d recommend six (and a bonus) of my favorite holiday themed reads from last year’s advent calendar here on the blog (when I recommended a holiday story I’d read and loved every day until the 25th).

Hopefully they’ll tie you over while you wait for your favorite author’s holiday story to drop this year 🙂

2018 xmas favorites

Talk Turkey | It’s Not Yule, It’s Me | Watermelon Kisses | Goldilocks and the Bear | Revelry | The Working Elf Blues

The above links are to the blog post from last year where I wrote about these six fabulous holiday stories. On every post, I shared the blurb, the cover, and buy links, as well as a short reason to why I picked it, my favorite quote(s), and a song I paired – in all unseriousness – with the book.

What they all have in common is that I absolutely adored them and definitely plan to re-read them this year.

Tell me about your favorite holiday story in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for holiday stories! 🙂


Bonus: 

I read this book last December, but didn’t include it in the advent calendar because I loved it so much it needed a separate post here on the blog where I could gush freely about it.

But really. If you haven’t read The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish you really really should. It’s a fabulous, fabulous holiday story that deserves all the love. Read my gushy review here (buy link is in the review).

39347033Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.