Every month the Sinfully team brings you our Hotpicks. Check out our favourites for November and don’t forget five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of November’s Hotpicks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Keep up with all our Hot Picks –> HERE.
Something Like a Lovesong by Becca Burton
Rating: 5 Stars
One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?
Freya: Something Like A Love Song has to be my favourite read for November. It isn’t released until December, but damn ...
This story invoked my protective instincts. It contained, characters I’d die for to protect, injury, tenderness, support and a whole bunch of other things that seduced me into their world, and made me not content to leave until I knew they’d be okay. It is extremely well written and depicted the highs and lows of recovering from a traumatic head injury. So, it wasn’t all kisses and roses either. Something Like A Love Song took me on a rollercoaster of emotions which is exactly what I look for in a 5* read.
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Beautiful boy by Grace R. Duncan
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.
College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.
But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.
Debra: This story grabbed me from page one. Grace R. Duncan created two well-written characters and a beautiful and loving relationship between Kyle and Mal. Whether it was through the intense BDSM scenes, the tender vanilla love scenes or even just hanging out on the couch, everything is focused on building the relationship with very little outside influences. While Mal is intent on showing Kyle how beautiful and special he is and teaching him how to trust, he doesn’t realize just how Kyle is teaching him how to live again. I just adored the relationship and watching these two fall in love.
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Lisa’s Hotpick #1
Leveled by Jay Crownover
Rating: 5 Stars
Leveled by a broken heart
Orlando Frederick has spent so long running from a real connection with another person that he can’t remember what love even feels like. The fear of being hurt by someone leaving is almost overwhelming and he can’t get past it.
Leveled by a broken body
Dominic Voss was a cop, first and foremost, until a life-threatening injury put his career on the back-burner. Unable to face the prospect that he might never go back to his old normal, he’s ready to try anything to feel alive again.
Leveled by love
As Lando and Dom try to find a way to be together, they must find a way to be themselves first
Lisa: Leveled is essentially the start of Jay Crownover’s new series entitled Saints of Denver. I am a hardcore fan this author’s Marked Men series and was so excited to discover that we’d be getting whole new series loosely tied to it. All the Marked boys wove their way into my heart and I love their “merry band of misfits” wholeheartedly so I am ecstatic to get more from Ms. Crownover. This novella is the first M/M venture by this author and while it can certainly be read as a stand-alone romance I think that this book was written for fans of the Marked Men series, those that are looking forward to the new series. Ms. Crownover has written this novella as a bridge between the old and new, the Marked Men series and the Saints of Denver series.
All and all, I think that Jay Crownover accomplished what she set out to do with Leveled. This was a wonderful start to the Saints of Denver series and it was also a novella that served as closure when it came to Remy’s story which was a loose thread from the Marked Men series. I loved getting more time with the Marked boys in this novella and I can’t wait for Sayer and Zeb’s story in Built, which will be the first full-length novel in the series
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Humbug by Joanna Chambers
Rating: 5 Stars
Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin's on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin's boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.
Sally: I really enjoyed this retelling of A Christmas Carol, especially in how the building blocks of Dickens story were shaken up and given a modern makeover. They are all there – ghosts as well – and it was almost as much fun drawing the parallels as it was reading Quin’s emotional journey from corporate cockroach to a decent caring human being. I loved the names and the plays on words. Ah heck I just loved it all. If you only read one Christmas story this year, let it be this one.
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My Big Fat Southern Gay Wedding
(A Southern Thing #3) by Sara York
Rating: 5 Stars
When he was a kid, Jack Miller thought life would be a certain way, then he figured out he liked boys and not girls, changing the course of his future. Jack has spent the last few years learning that life doesn't always give you what you expect, in both good and bad ways.
Andrew's gone missing, and Jack's parents have split. He's made it through high school, but the future is nothing without Andrew. To be complete, Jack knows he needs to find Andrew and bring him home. But Andrew has disappeared.
Lost doesn't even begin to describe how Andrew Collins feels. Homeless and destitute, he's ready to end it all. Thinking that Jack is dead, Andrew returns to Sweet to end his life on Jack's grave. Instead he finds lies were told that drove him to a path of destruction. After not seeing each other for almost a year, Jack and Andrew come together, but their problems don't end there. They must work hard to make it to their big fat Southern gay wedding or risk losing it all.
Mark: OK this was an extremely tough choice for me this month. I had a lot of great books but in the end I had to choose one and went with My Big Fat Southern Gay Wedding. This is the last book in a series of three, all of which I listened to in November, I can only say that all three books had me tears, I went through an indescribable emotional journey with the two MCs Jack and Andrew. Although I actually listened to all three books on audio with the fantastic narration by Jason Frazier I’m sure even in the written form all three stories will tug at the heart strings and not let you go. It deals with some very hard but unfortunately all too realistic themes and it certainly isn’t a fluffy bunny kind of romance. It’s packs a punch right in the gut and deals with the worst kind of bigotry imaginable but in that there are the most joyous of moments and loving of people to be found. A real tour de force of a romance showing us that love can conquer in the end.
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Lisa’s Hot Pick #2
How to Walk Like a Man by Eli Easton
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.
Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.
The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?
Lisa: How to Walk Like a Man is the second book in Eli Easton’s Howl at the Moon series. This is a unique, sweet and hilarious PNR series that will leave you clutching your heart as well as howling with laughter.
I really enjoyed this sugary tale of love with little angst and moderate steam levels. Both characters were endearing and I could not help but root for their relationship. This story is told in dual POVs. What starts off as a simple friendship between Matt and Roman blossoms into something more. I loved how Roman had no idea how to handle himself in a relatively “normal” relationship as he has no previous experience with things such as going out on dates, holding hands in public and other significant normalcies that come with being in “human” relationship. Matt was closeted so he had to come to terms with the fact that for the first time in his life he met someone who made him want to come out into the open. It was a fine balancing act between both males as they attempted to navigate the bumpy road to a happy forever. Matt and Roman both had a lot to learn but the more entwined they became with one another, the more the risk of falling in love seemed worth it.
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Macky’s Hot Pick
A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn
Rating: 5 Stars
Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the queer population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.
Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.
Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he's bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…
Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good
Macky: What a lovely surprise this book was. I said in my original review that I loved everything about this story, and I truly did. I loved the dynamics between Tobias and Levi and how, without going into the over the top world of kitchen sink drama, Nyrae wove their slow burn, yet still tummy flipping, sexually charged, romance around the quite poignant, emotional background stories and excellent supporting characters; whose own thoughts and actions were crucial to the progression of this endearing couples love story. An emotionally satisfying story that was beautifully written and perfectly balanced, it was pretty much a sublime read for me.
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Alan’s Hot Pick
Pent Up by Damon Suede
Rating: 5 Stars
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PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.
Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.
Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?
What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.
Alan: “Pent Up” is more than a “gay romance”. In fact, I can’t even recognize it in those words. It’s a serious work of art, one that will baffle you, move you, challenge you, force you to plumb the depths of the characters and the circles in which they move. If you’re looking for a light read, this is not it.
But if you’re looking for a superbly-written, profound and profoundly beautiful novel about men learning to love, a brilliant work, then don’t miss “Pent Up”. One of the deepest and most satisfying books I’ve read in a very long time.
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