Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

22857416
Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, NA
Series: Bend or Break #1
Published: 12/30/14
Reviewed by Anne
260 ebook pages

Tom used to be the wealthy son of a wealthy man.  All of that changed when his father went to jail for fraud.  He’d stolen millions from people, leaving them, and his son broke.  Tom has just a few semesters left of college, so he sets to work driving a cab and sleeping in his car so he can earn money to afford the tuition it will take to finish college and have a chance at getting back on his feet.  He’s exhausted and happy to finally be admitted into the off campus dorm for older students, but when he enters the room he finds Reese, who is NOT happy to see Tom.  Reese had been promised a single occupancy dorm room and he’s not going to share the complicated story of how that came to happen.  When they can’t get the college to reassign them to different rooms, Reese sets out on a campaign to make straight man Tom uncomfortable enough to leave of his own accord.  So Tom finds himself coming home again and again to sit in the hall listening to his roommate having sex with other guys.  And he starts to wonder how straight he is and what’s going on with his new roommate anyway?

This book worked for me on every level.  It’s not a light book, but there was plenty of humor, especially with Tom and Reese’s best friends.  You’ve got Tom coming out to himself about his feelings toward Reese, but still struggling with all the crap life has dealt him and just having too much on his plate.  And you’ve got Reese, figuring out how to deal with his past.  The guys cause each other more pain, but it’s not intentional.  It actually made me cry, which I usually hate, but it was so sad and so sweet in parts that I had to cry.

All that makes it sound like it’s a downer of a book, but it’s NOT.  It’s full of hope.  There are no magic penises.  There’s no super-healing amateur sex therapy.  In fact there’s actual therapy with an actual therapist, and it’s helpful, but it’s not overnight.  So, no magic, but lots of hope, and Tom and Reese doing what they need to do to get better for each other.

Besides all that, there’s some super hot sex and sexual tension.  This author can write sex scenes! I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

Note: the cover reminded me of Heidi Cullinan’s college series, which I loved.  I’d say if you liked that one you’ll like this one, and vice versa, though Cullinan’s series has a bit lighter feel to it.

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Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis

22553481
Grade: A
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary , small town
Series: Lucky Harbor #12.5
Published: 12/2/14
Reviewed by Anne
43 ebook pages

The first Jill Shalvis stories I read were some Christmas novellas of hers that were in anthologies I got from my library.  I really liked them, so reading a Shalvis Christmas novella that is an epilogue to one of my favorite books?  It’s a no brainer!

This novella gives us a peak at Sawyer, the sheriff and his wife, Chloe, now expecting their first baby.   It’s got peaks at many of the characters from the series, but especially Chloe’s sisters and their husbands from the first books.

Sawyer and Chloe have a disagreement about Chloe attending the town Christmas party just before Sawyer heads out on an extra assignment.  He doesn’t want her to go, due to the advanced stage of her pregnancy and her medical complications.  She, of course, is plotting to attend.  She feels like he’s wanting to get away from her and her pregnancy based mood swings and she just wants to do what she wants to do.

Of course nothing goes as planned and hilarity ensues.  It’s a must read for fans of the Lucky Harbor Series.  The only thing I didn’t like about the story is that after all that drama and comedy… they don’t tell you what they name the baby!  I’ll forgive it because I love the rest of the story, but it is driving me a bit crazy.  Is there anyone that’s read anything anywhere on the web about it?

Kisses Sweeter than Wine by Jess Dee

23137706
Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, menage
Series: Tastes of Seduction #3
Published: 11/18/14
Reviewed by Kate
194 pages

Noah drags his business partner and former lover Declan on a working weekend, along with Violet their PR rep.  Noah’s hoping to finally bring things to a head (*snickering*).  Declan has been trying to live up to his parents’ expectations and in the process has ignored his relationship with Noah and his growing attraction to Violet.  Noah’s had enough.  It’s time for Declan to realize what Noah and Violet mean to him.  Violet has felt the mutual attraction from the men, but would never dream of acting on it because of her best friend’s prior relationship with Declan.  But she never guessed what Noah actually had planned for the trio on their working weekend.

This was the best menage I’ve read so far this year!  I love having a m/m side to my menages and Declan and Noah’s interactions were enough to cause my Kindle to overheat, or maybe that was me.  When Violet is added into the mix, what was a steamy hot romance became even hotter.

I’m not sure why I don’t read more of Jess Dee because I’ve never been disappointed by one of hers.  I’m going to have to invest in her backlist soon.  This is the third book in the series and I haven’t read the first two (yet) but had no trouble reading this one.  It’s easily a stand alone.  If you only read one m/m/f menage this year, it has to be this one!