All of the books from this month were new reads for me. I slacked on reviews during this period, so there isn’t one for any of these books. However, if there’s one that catches your eye and you want to see how I rated it, head to my Goodreads profile and see where it falls on the 5-star scale.

Black Romance Reads

Only If It’s You by T’Lyn

Javyous “JV” Goldsmith was inches away from having the career he’d worked his entire life for. One misstep and he found himself having to prove he deserved to be in the ring and that was the worst body blow his ego has ever received.

Kehlani James didn’t have much she was proud of except being an amazing mother and business owner. There was no way in the world she could make senes of being married to a celebrity boxer who has recently been condemned by the world for almost killing a man.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. JV and Kelani have to decide if one plus one truly equals two. JV has been raised to believe that one woman is never enough and Kelani refuses to become just another story plastered all over the blogs but when two strangers worlds get caught in an entanglement that disrupts everything they can count on, they both find themselves in the biggest fight of their lives.

Far From Friends by A.C. Taylor

He’s her brother’s best friend.
It never should’ve happened.
Now she can’t stop it.

Jade’s life is already complicated. She’s trying to co-parent with her toxic ex, keep from breaking his trifling girlfriend’s neck, and make sure her family stays completely unaware of her disastrous decision-making skills. The last thing she needs is more drama. So, it probably wasn’t a good idea for her to get so close to the one guy that she was warned never to get involved with, Khalif Bowen. But she couldn’t help herself. One minute they were talking, and the next, she was greeting him with her lips in the middle of the night.

Now, there’s no going back. What should’ve been a one-time fling with her brother’s best friend, has turned into a secret affair that Jade has no idea how to end, and if word gets out, more than a few people could get caught in the crossfire.

See what happens when becoming more than friends creates a whirlwind of emotions that were never meant to be exposed. Will Khalif and Jade crumble from the pressure of trying to keep the truth from getting out? Or will their unexpected feelings push them to fight for the love they never knew they needed?

Burning Season by Kiki Swinson

Set your schemes . . .
A volunteer Virginia Beach firefighter, Alayna Curry faces death every day—and is proud to carry on her retired father’s legacy. But with cash always tight and her long-time boyfriend Levi pressuring her to give up what she loves to make more money, she knows she needs more cash flow to stay afloat. . .
Set your traps . . .
All Alayna has to do is keep quiet about a scheme to burn down buildings for insurance-hungry “clients.” And for a while she’s on fire from the rush, making insane cash—and finding new passion in all the wrong places. But when the money suddenly stops rolling in—and one “client” after another pushes back against the deal—Alayna and the rest of the crew stop watching out for each other and start fighting for their lives . . .

Set your life on fire . . .
Now with the cops turning up the heat and every firefighter for themselves, Alayna must walk an impossible line to get out from under. But between betrayal, secrets, and broken duty, will what loyalty she has left be the one thing that burns her life to the ground for good?

MM Romance Reads

Devil’s Dance by Garrett Leigh

Opposites attract. The outlaw biker and the accountant. Straightlaced vs straight to hell. Or heaven, depending on how you look at it.

And you can look at it any way you like, doesn’t mean it’s true.Either way, falling for snarky Alexei Ivanov is the lightbulb moment I’ve been waiting for my whole damn life. Or at least since my head got turned by someone else. A man I call brother, but he’s so much more than that.

I’ve loved Saint Malone for years. My loyal wingman has owned my heart so long I figured it had died of yearning for him. But Saint is as fragile as he is deadly. I don’t know how to help him until Alexei brings me to life in ways I can’t describe.

He opens my eyes, and I see them both.

love them both.

With the weight of the underworld bearing down on me, I just gotta stay alive long enough to tell them.

Devil’s Dance is the first in a hurt/comfort, dark romance, MMM duet from the world of the Rebel Kings MC. Expect: tattoos, leather, and an enigmatic Russian hitman.

Saint’s Song by Garrett Leigh

Expect: a fragile king, a sweet-hearted henchman, an enigmatic hitman, and a fight to the death.Cam, Alexei, and Saint have survived their battle with the devil, but with too many enemies to count, can they survive the war?

“Kill me,” I choked out. “If he’s dead, you gotta kill me too.”

One club, one heart.

Three men, one soul.

Can loving someone kill you? I feel like the world is ending every time I look at them.

Cam. My brother. My president.

He’s the love of my life

And then there’s Alexei. I didn’t know I could feel this way about one person, let alone two. But I think of him in every breath I breathe for Cam. Every thundering beat of my heart. Because there is no Cam without him.

There is no me. My life wasn’t worth living until I found something worth dying for.
And I’d die for them a thousand times.

Saint’s Song is the second in a hurt/comfort, biker romance, MMM duet from the world of the Rebel Kings MC. Content warnings inside the book.

All the Stars by Duckie Mack

Sometimes, the one you need was right in front of you all along.

Rider doesn’t have a lot of rules when it comes to guys, but there is one- he doesn’t date, not ever. He’s content with random hookups because dating means too much. That’s reserved for the one person he knows he can never have, his best friend, Cameron.

After watching his own family fall apart, Cam longs for someone who will stick it out through thick and thin. He’s had a string of girlfriends that never seem to be the right one. The one person he can always count on is Rider.

One night out changes everything between them. When Rider ends up telling Cam the secret he’s been hiding, Cam is left reeling. But will an accident end Cam’s chances to figure out what it means for them?

Dibs by Kimberly Knight and Rachel Lyn Adams

Sometimes, an unexpected night can change everything …

It’s said that college is where you try things and eventually find yourself. Chase Matthewson hadn’t expected to experiment with his roommate and fellow teammate, Gage Statler, but a drunken night at a party led them to the same bed. Before either of them could wrap their heads around what happened, Gage suffered a devastating injury and left college.

With no closure, the two put that night behind them and never spoke of it or to each other again. They both moved on, married women, and started families. Chase lived out his dream of playing professional baseball while Gage found different ways to fulfill his passion for the sport.

Years later, both men find themselves divorced, focused on fatherhood, and not looking for another long-term relationship. But what they don’t know is that the past is about to bring them together.

Gage starts coaching Chase’s son’s travel ball team, forcing the former roommates to come face to face and finally acknowledge their secret hookup. When the team moms joke about calling dibs on the hot coach, Chase wants to tell them he called dibs first.

Tropes included in this novel are: double bi-awakening, secret encounters, single dad romance, friends to lovers, roommate romance, all grown up, second chance romance, former MLB player

Always by Loren Leigh

I avoid him.

Every time Kepler Quinn steps into a room, I get the hell out.

He does . . . something to me. When those discerning gray eyes flick towards me, his brow rising in a silent greeting, there’s a tightening of my abs. A zapping hum quivering low along my spine.

There are about a million reasons it shouldn’t be what the little voice in the back of my head insists . . . a crush.

Because Kepler isn’t just some random guy. He’s my brother’s best friend. He’s also my TA for physics this semester. And also . . . a guy. I’ve never held strongly onto being straight, but I’ve also never had this sun-scorching need for another guy before.

But I can’t avoid him when we’re suddenly in the back stacks of the library—alone—nothing but the smell of old books and softly falling dust around us. And instead of walking away from him, I let out the two words that burn in my throat:

“Kiss me.”

Always is a swoony M/M college romance with a bisexual awakening and sizzling chemistry. It’s the first in the Indigo Falls College series, a standalone, and features a happy ending.

Let’s Do This by Loren Leigh


Ever since we met two years ago, Eden Burkehammer has made everything better.

The big defenseman sets me at ease. He’s a beast on the ice—brutal and physical—but when it’s the two of us, he turns to me with these unexpectedly soft brown eyes. This gravelly laugh that makes my whole body smile. And yeah, I might have thrown a glance his way a time or two in the steamed-up locker room showers—you know, just curious.

But he’s my best friend. My teammate. Roommate.

I don’t want to mess with that. Just the thought of losing him sends a cold zap the full length of my spine. Besides, I’ve never gone there with a guy, and he’s never given a single hint he has either.

Until one morning when I sign for his delivery. An envelope that contains something I never—in my life—would have guessed.

And, suddenly, I’m thinking about him in a whole new way.


I can’t look at Shaw Keenan for too long. When he leans across my truck console, with that whip-quick smile, I get this catch in my throat and focus on the road. Or when he tips his goalie mask up onto his head, hair askew and a flush of adrenaline on his cheeks, I skate back toward the blue line.

I don’t know why. My head’s confused about a lot of stuff. Always has been. But what I do know is that I’ve never thought about anyone the way I think about him.

Especially when he steps through my doorway—in nothing but a pair of thin running shorts and that backwards pink ballcap he always wears—holding a package I ordered on a whim.

And he’s looking at me in a way he never has before.

It’s game over after that.

Let’s Do This is a steamy, low-angst, friends-to-lovers college hockey m/m romance with double first times, a flirty goalie, and a gruff defenseman willing to risk it all for a chance with his best friend. It’s a spin-off from Indigo Falls College Series and a standalone.

Never Have I Ever: Had a Bromance with a Teammate by Willow Dixon

How could one kiss change everything between me and my best friend?

Jax has been my best friend since the day we met. We not only share our passion for baseball, but we train together, play on the same team, hang out together, even sleep in the same bed half the time.

I feel safe with him, and he gets me like no one else. Yeah, he’s gay and I’m straight, but that doesn’t matter.

Until it does.
Until one stupid dare to kiss each other leads to the most amazing, epic kiss of my life.
Until I suddenly can’t stop thinking about him, about what he awakens in me.
Until all I want is him.

Our bromance evolves into something much deeper, something neither of us can define. I explore new territory with him and discover sides of myself I never knew I had.

But with not only our future in baseball on the line but also our friendship, how can this thing between us ever be more than temporary? A bromance between besties doesn’t have to change anything, right?

Matt and Jax’s story is a best friends-to-lovers romance between teammates who discover that a bromance with their bestie is exactly what they’ve always wanted but never thought they could have. Expect lots of BFF banter, some serious steam, and tons of sweetness as these two oblivious jocks navigate the line between boyfriends and bros. It is the third novel in the exciting Never Have I Ever series but can be read as a standalone.

Construction Paper Hearts by Savannah Inez

Wesley can’t be in love with Alex, can he? Both of them are straight men! Aren’t they? Then why does Alex make him feel certain things? Certain things you don’t normally feel for your best friend. Certain … sexy things?

When Alex Lyons and Wesley Hammond were in 2nd grade, Alex gave Wesley a paper heart for Valentine’s Day – but also gave Wes’s twin sister, Jessica, the exact same paper heart!

Nearly twenty years later, Alex and Wesley are still best friends.

Alex is still in love with Jessica. Who cares if she has a boyfriend? Alex knows he has a chance with her; after all, he saw the construction paper heart in her and Wesley’s childhood home when he was there for a New Year’s party! She wouldn’t have kept it all these years unless she loved him too, right?

Wesley has kept his paper heart from Alex as a prized possession for nearly twenty years, hiding it in his childhood home where he hopes Alex won’t find it. But why does he care so much about keeping it? It’s not like he has feelings for Alex, right? Not when they’re both straight men! … Right?!

Will Alex and Wesley find love this Valentine’s Day? Or will the construction paper hearts of their pasts remain only a memory?

Gay for the Stay by Seth King

“Gay for the stay” – a tongue-in-cheek term used by prison inmates to describe straight inmates who have sex with other men and “go gay” while incarceratedTwo young, handsome men. One month of forced proximity in a tiny jail cell. One fake relationship that soon starts feeling deliciously, and dangerously, real…

When 24-year-old former college football star Sutton Nash walks into Roscoe State Penitentiary for tax evasion charges, his rough-and-tumble cellmate Drake Rios instantly sees that sheltered, privileged Sutton is in for a rough ride.

So Drake offers Sutton a deal. Drake is the most feared man in Roscoe, and in return for money, Drake will protect Sutton by pretending to be Sutton’s “prison boyfriend” for the duration of his stay.

According to Drake, all they’ll have to do to convince the other inmates that Sutton is “spoken for” is stick together, pretend to be close, and pretend to fool around in the showers every morning. As long as they follow those rules, Sutton will be left alone by the other inmates.

Sutton is straight, but with no other options, he reluctantly agrees. But soon, their “arrangement” starts feeling almost like a real relationship. Drake is becoming Sutton’s closest confidante, and Sutton is enjoying their “faked” hookups in the showers more and more with each passing day. But as the lines of their “arrangement” start to blur, so does Sutton’s sense of safety…

Because how can you stay safe when the one person who is supposed to protect you is also the one person you suddenly have no defenses against?

And once both men are freed, how could a relationship between two “straight” men from two totally different backgrounds ever work in the real world?

Curious by Seth King

Two best friends. One week in paradise. One pact that goes explosively off the rails…

MSM – (men who have sex with men) – a growing phenomenon in which straight men engage in casual sex with other straight men, which sociologists attribute to loosening cultural norms and relaxing social views towards sexuality

Beau Lindemann and Nathan Sykes took their first steps together and went to their first prom in the same limo. In fact, there’s nothing the twenty-two-year-olds have ever kept from each other – except one long-simmering secret.

Today, Beau and Nathan have major girl problems. Each dumped by their girlfriends, they find themselves single, lonely and tipsy in Key West. After a boozy night of commiseration takes a shocking turn, Beau and Nathan decide to throw caution to the Atlantic winds, forget about girls for a few days, and make a pact to use each other’s bodies for sex.

That was their first mistake. But why worry about tomorrow when today feels this good?

Mostly Straight by Seth King

A standalone continuation of Seth King’s bestselling novel Gay for the Stay

“Mostly straight” – a slang term for men who are primarily interested in women but occasionally sleep with men, as well

Two friends. One pact to start hooking up – but only as friends. What could go wrong…besides everything?

When part-time model Johnny Holt checks into prison for his three-week sentence, he struggles to get medical assistance for a recent injury. All he needs is Ibuprofen, but he quickly finds that in prison, help is hard to get. But soon his cellmate Eddy makes a shocking revelation: you can get anything you want in prison from other inmates, on the underground barter system…

If you are willing to exchange sexual favors with them for it. Which means Johnny now faces an impossible choice: either cross a line he never imagined having to cross, or continue living in chronic pain…

When Johnny’s cellmate is released, his replacement is another young man named Lucky. After Lucky confides that he desperately needs cigarettes, Johnny informs him of this “barter system.” And soon, they devise a plan…

Both men are straight, but since they are both also in need, they decide to compromise. In order to keep from having to hook up with other, random men, Johnny and Lucky agree to fool around with each other in the showers – just as friends – in front of the other inmates, who will be charged per viewing session.

Johnny and Lucky are both young and attractive, and their little “show” quickly becomes a hit. But soon, a new problem arises: they start liking their hookups – and each other – far more than they bargained for…

Which means trouble. Because unbeknownst to Lucky, Johnny is harboring a secret…

A deadly one.

Other Romance Reads

The One by Danielle Allen

The cattiness.
The fights.
The shaming.
I don’t generally watch reality television, but I definitely don’t watch reality dating shows. Besides the fact that it’s completely staged, it’s a horrible depiction of people—women especially.
Women are pitted against each other to compete for the affection of a man they “fall in love” with after a week or two.
I call B.S.
It is complete crap.
So when my best friend, Koko, was hired as a makeup artist on the set of the most popular reality dating show, The One, I teased her mercilessly.
She told me that if I didn’t stop teasing her, she would get me back.
And she did…
Which is how I ended up as a contestant on The One.

After The One by Danielle Allen

The insta-love.
The perfect couple.
The enchanted fairy tale.

The concept of ‘happily ever after’ on reality TV is beautiful, but it’s complete B.S.

I mean, I get the appeal.

The One is the most watched reality TV dating show because it sells the idea that two people “randomly” handpicked by producers will fall in love and ride off into the sunset. We are expected to believe that after having a group of women embarrass themselves for the affection of a man on national television, the bachelor and the chosen one fall in love and they live happily ever after.

Let’s be honest.

Shows like The One are really about fantasy romance and must-see entertainment—not happily ever afters. That’s why the creators and producers don’t show what happens after the exotic getaways, lavish lifestyles, and over-the-top proposals. Even though reality TV relationships never last, they want us to buy into the fairy tale.

Truth is… when the cameras stop rolling, the number one killer of reality TV couples is real life.

And life just got REAL.

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