Book of the Week Poll
Welcome to the Love Bytes Book of the Week Poll!
Here are the books which achieved a 4.5 or 5.0 review last week from our reviewers.
As a reminder, the top two books from each week’s poll will roll into our Book of the Month poll at month’s end. Happy Voting!
Please scroll to the very bottom for the voting section.
This poll will remain open until at least 6PM, Amsterdam time next Friday. The actual closing time will vary depending on blog staff schedules…
Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: There Was a Boy
AUTHOR: Justin Durand
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 233 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 13, 2017
Tall, slim, shy Aaron Larkin has four objectives as he begins his eighteenth year: run a 5K in less than 15:21, graduate from high school, begin dating and come out of the closet. Two days after his birthday, a momentous first date with the man of his dreams convinces Aaron he’s in love and ready for marriage. However, Aaron must first address the damage he suffered from a difficult childhood.
“You aren’t super macho. More like…sweet and hot.”
That‘s how Aaron’s friend and neighbor Michelle, the smartest girl in the class, describes him. She promises he’ll meet someone soon.
Aaron is skilled at ignoring an unhappy childhood that left him serene on the outside and insecure, vulnerable and anxious on the inside. From middle school on, he concentrated on getting good grades and running faster but also gained more than enough experience with hopeless crushes on really nice straight classmates. Now, at the start of his last semester of high school, he’s ready for a real romance. With help from Michelle and a pooch named Daisy, he meets three seriously good-looking guys who invite him to join their running club. Daniel, Justin and Matthew are a few years older than Aaron but they quickly accept him into their social group. Life has programmed Aaron to be pessimistic but he gets his hopes up and for the first time he makes a connection with another gay guy.
Aaron knows “the course of true love never did run smooth,” but he lets himself forget and believe that it will for him. Naturally, when it doesn’t he blames himself.
There Was a Boy recounts a pivotal time when a teenager enters adulthood sooner than he’s ready, meets the man of his dreams and falls in love. Aaron has a lot to learn about sex and love. He’s positive he’s found the right teacher but an additional lesson awaits him and he must confront the wounds of his childhood before he can graduate to his new life. Read More »
Reviewed by Christie and Cinnamon
TITLE: Lost and Found
SERIES: Twist of Fate Book 1
AUTHOR: Lucy Lennox and Sloan Kennedy
PUBLISHER: SKLL Books LLC
LENGTH: 330 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2017
He promised to never leave me. But when I needed him the most, that was exactly what he did…
From Bestselling Authors Sloane Kennedy & Lucy Lennox comes an exciting new series about how a twist of fate can change everything…
He promised to never leave me. But when I needed him the most, that was exactly what he did…
Wilderness guide Xander Reed has spent fifteen years trying to forget the night he turned to his best friend in his darkest hour, only to find the young man who’d sworn to always have his back was turning his on Xander instead. Two thousand miles and fifteen years of building a new life in the quiet backcountry of the Rocky Mountains should have been enough to put the memory of Bennett Crawford out of his mind forever, but old wounds run deep and when Bennett suddenly reappears in his life as part of a wilderness expedition Xander is guiding, the scars he thought long healed break wide open.
I’d only ever wanted to protect Xander from getting hurt again. I never considered the one he needed protection from was me…
Bennett Crawford was faced with an impossible choice the night his best friend needed him.
He chose wrong.
As the only son of one of the wealthiest families in New England, he should have had the world at his feet, but losing his best friend at the tender age of fourteen changed everything. And even though Bennett’s managed to hide behind a mask of contentment as he takes his place at his father’s side in the family business, inside he’s searching for the piece of himself that’s been missing ever since Xander Reed walked out of his life. Bennett’s only saving grace is his work with a group of inner city kids, and when he’s given the chance to show the troubled teens that there’s a bigger world out there waiting for them if they just have the courage to reach for it, he takes it.
But when he steps off that bus for what was supposed to be a week of fun and adventure, he’s instantly returned to the past when he discovers their expedition guide is none other than the boy he let go so long ago. Only, the soft-hearted, insecure little boy Bennett once knew is gone, and in his place is a brooding, bitter man who isn’t interested in second chances.
People leave. I know that now and nothing Bennett has to say to me will change anything…
All Bennett wants is another chance to show Xander that friendship was only the beginning. But when a stubborn Xander refuses to even hear him out, Bennett realizes he’s going to need to fight dirty.
Because now that he’s found Xander again, he’s not letting him go a second time… Read More »
Reviewed by Kimberley
TITLE: Facing Fears
SERIES: Kiss of Leather #7
AUTHOR: Morticia Knight
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 206 pages
RELEASEDATE: July 4, 2017
As the men of Kiss of Leather celebrate the resolution of the case of Corey’s kidnappers, Master Hunter worries that he’ll never see Tobey again.
Chuck isn’t about to let one of the key figures behind Corey’s kidnapping get away from him again. Everything he and Stone have discovered through their months-long investigation is about to come together. However, when Chuck follows the suspect to a shipyard, it’s not only his life that’s in danger.
Master Hunter is officially part-owner of Kiss of Leather, so he’s thrilled to raise a toast in celebration, now that the mystery of Corey’s kidnapping has been solved. However, he can’t help but feel left out. Everyone is paired up except for him. He’s never believed in monogamy before, but after Tobey unexpectedly left Kiss of Leather and no one knows where he’s gone, did Hunter make a horrible mistake by not sharing his true feelings?
Tobey is miserable ever since leaving West Hollywood and going back to Idaho. Breaking his own promise to himself by falling in love with his trainer, Tobey left Kiss of Leather impulsively after Master Hunter said something horrible to him. But things at home are worse than ever, and he’s come to realize that those who are related to him by blood aren’t necessarily his true family. The only place he’s ever felt he truly belonged was at Kiss of Leather.
Tobey has to face Hunter if he goes back to Kiss of Leather and Hunter has to figure out what he really wants from life and love. It takes a charity slave auction to show them what they’ve both been too stubborn to see. Read More »
Guest Review by Dee
TITLE: Water Under Bridges
SERIES: The Pink Bean, book 5
AUTHOR: Harper Bliss
PUBLISHER: Ladylit Publishing
LENGTH: 250 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2017
Can you build a future if you don’t let go of the past?
Louise Hamilton has returned to Sydney after her long term relationship broke down in Brisbane and she’s loving her new job at Glow, Darlinghurst’s freshly opened yoga studio. She’s found new friends in her boss Amber and the gang at the Pink Bean and feels like her life is finally back on track. Until a figure from her past unexpectedly comes back to haunt her.
Mia Miller has just been hired as the Pink Bean’s new manager. She’s delighted to leave behind the corporate life and become part of a small business whose owners and patrons give her the sense of community and family she’s been missing. When a Pink Bean customer catches her eye and she tries to establish a connection, her advances are met with nothing but indifference and disdain.
What happens when a dark past comes back to slap you in the face? And can people ever truly move on from a deeply traumatizing experience? Find out in this new installment of best-selling lesbian romance author Harper Bliss’ Pink Bean series. Every book in this series can be read as a stand-alone without having read the other instalments. Read More »
Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: Class Distinctions
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: JMS Books LLC
LENGTH: 40 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2017
Kyle and Jonathan were perfect for each other, the two halves that, once together, made a whole. And then one snowy night just before Parents’ Weekend on the campus of Hamilton University, Kyle drops a bomb: he’s breaking up with Jonathan.
Class Distinctions follows the couple through the stormy (in more ways than one) night that ensues. Why has Kyle suddenly decided to throw away something so precious and good?
The answers lie in their backgrounds, and will gradually come to light as a winter blizzard rages around the young couple.
Their tortured paths bring them to the covered bridge where their love had come to life on a hot summer day. But will the warmth of that memory and the heat of the love they once shared be enough to outclass the storm, and more importantly, bring them back together? Read More »
Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Butterfly Hunter
SERIES: Butterfly Hunter #1
AUTHOR: Julie Bozza
PUBLISHER: Manifold Press
LENGTH: 174 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1st, 2012
It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly.
However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found.
As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it… Read More »
Reviewed by Cinnamon
TITLE: Aunt Belle’s Time Travel & Collectibles
AUTHOR: Marshall Thornton
PUBLISHER: Kenmore Books
LENGTH: 111 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2017
Where would you go if you could travel to any part of your past? That’s the question Terrance faces on his 45th birthday—and right away, he knows. He wants to go back to 1992 and not meet Mr. Wrong. But what begins as a journey to change the past becomes a trip to find the future. From the writer of Femme comes a story of best friends, time travel and falling in love. Read More »
Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: The Blake Harte Mysteries Book 1
AUTHOR: Robert Innes
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2016
Harrison Baxter lives on a farm with his parents, on the outskirts of the village of Harmschapel. It’s picturesque, idyllic and tranquil – but Harrison is far from happy. His parent’s marriage is strained to say the least and on top of that, his boyfriend, Daniel, has been mentally and physically abusing him for years. After he finds himself with one bruise too many, Harrison has had enough. But when he plucks up the courage to finally end his violent relationship, Harrison’s life is changed forever when Daniel is found murdered in the most bizarre circumstances.
Detective Sergeant Blake Harte has moved to Harmschapel after his own relationship ended in tatters. But moving to a quiet village after working his way up the ranks in a city brings its own set of problems and Blake soon finds himself at odds with new colleagues who aren’t used to his style of policing. But when he is called upon to investigate the mysterious and impossible murder at Halfmile Farm, Blake finds himself facing the most challenging case of his career.
So how can Daniel have been shot in a locked shed that nobody could possibly have escaped from?
Is anybody really Untouchable? Read More »
Reviewed by Chris
SERIES: The Shamwell Tales #4
AUTHOR: J.L. Merrow
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 316 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2017
With friends like these . . .
An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?
Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun. Read More »
Reviewed by Cinnamon
TITLE: What’s the Use of Wondering
SERIES: WMU Book 2
AUTHOR: Kate McMurray
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2017
Violinist Logan has spent most of his life training for a career in music. But as the pressure mounts during his junior year, he questions whether playing in an orchestra is the future he wants, or one chosen by his parents. His new roommate—that annoying jerk Peter from last year’s production of Guys and Dolls—complicates matters. Crammed into a dorm room with the overconfident but undeniably hot accounting major, Logan can’t stop snarling.
Then Peter sprains his ankle building sets, and Logan grudgingly agrees to play chauffeur. But instead of putting further strain on their relationship, spending time together reveals some common ground—and mutual frustration. Logan discovers he isn’t the only one who doesn’t know what he wants from life, and the animosity between him and Peter changes keys. But just as the possibility of a happier future appears, Logan gets a dream offer that will take him away from Western Massachusetts University—and Peter. Now he has to decide: will he live the solitary life laid out for him, or hold on to Peter and forge his own path? Read More »
Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: Love and the Stubborn
SERIES: Gods of War: Book II
AUTHOR: Xenia Melzer
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 348 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 13, 2016
All is fair in love and war. By now, Renaldo has found out the hard way how utterly stupid this statement is once you’ve met your match. And Casto won’t give an inch in their ongoing war for love.
After a tumultuous start to their relationship, Renaldo and Casto seem to have finally reached calmer waters. But just when Renaldo starts getting comfortable and thinks he can relax, things get out of hand again. His old enemy, the Good Mother, is dangerously close to defeating the divine brothers by reaching out to what is most dear to him. Casto still clinging to his stubborn pride is all the plotters need to drive him and Renaldo apart. Burdened by the secrets of his past, Casto fights with everything he’s got not only to save his life, but also to secure his future happiness. Facing the destruction of everything they have built together, Renaldo and Casto must choose between pride and love. Read More »
Reviewed by Kat
AUTHOR: Dakota Storm
PUBLISHER: JMS Books
LENGTH: 134 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 17, 2017
Dean Montgomery loves his ranch and his family, but something is missing. When he sets out on a road trip to purchase land to expand his ranch, he finds himself stranded in a snowstorm.
When the sexy and gruff Colt James, a tracker and rescue worker, rescues Dean, both of their lives are turned upside down. Attraction sizzles, and hearts race. But then trouble brews, and Dean is needed back home. Can these two make their new relationship work? Read More »