Oct. 4th, 2017

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1) Torque is one of those stories that is a full sensory experience. Red dust - I could almost taste the dry red dust pluming up around spinning wheels. The title is absolutely perfect, reflecting the tension in the narrative, and I loved the characters, the setting - pretty much everything about the story. Whilst I could have happily done without the intimate scenes (personal preference), the stark emotional connections and the open, honest portrayal of diverse LGBT characters (bi/trans) makes a welcome change. This is a tough story - emotionally, yes, but more it's about the kind of people whose marginalisation in society is repeated all too often in fiction (lower social class), and it was great to see them taking centre stage.

Torque Charli Coty
Bisexual - Contemporary General Fiction
File Size: 3311 KB
Print Length: 161 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: CeeTwo Publishing; 2 edition (March 9, 2017)
Publication Date: March 9, 2017
Amazon: Torque Charli Coty

Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.

Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.

Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.

Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place, where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.

But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living, lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.

Warning: Contains references to abuse, subversive ideas about sexual identity and gender expression, and a free-range bisexual on a mission.
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1) This was a couldn't-put-down read, in spite of the many times Gigi got on my nerves. I'm glad I trusted the author to redeem him - this happens realistically, and whilst I still wasn't enamoured by the end, I could appreciate where Gigi was coming from. He's self-absorbed and shallow, and kind of a cliché, but I know people like him, so he's plausible. Brock, on the other hand, is lovely and has a much better sense of what changes he needs to make in his life. All in all, this is not my usual kind of read, but it was a good one. I felt for the characters and enjoyed the setting immensely. 

Growing Pains Cass Lennox
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Toronto Connections (Book 3)
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (December 8, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494908
ISBN-13: 978-1626494909
Amazon: Growing Pains (Toronto Connections #3) Cass Lennox

Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn’t the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister’s wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn’t quite on board.

Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he’d never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn’t an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There’s just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.

It’s magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn’t all you need.
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1) For anyone who’s ever loved a dog…no, for anyone who’s ever *loved*. Period. A beautiful meditation on the nature of love, loss, and the unique bond between human and dog. Warning: you will not get through the first five pages without a tear. But it’s so, so worth it.
2) I found this to be a really touching story. It kept me intrigued throughout the whole book. I’ll probably read this story again to see what I missed the first time around. 

Dog Church Gail Gilmore
Lesbian - Biography / Memoir
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (April 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1945805064
ISBN-13: 978-1945805066
Amazon: Dog Church Gail Gilmore

Does saving a life always mean preserving it, or does it sometimes mean letting go? When Gail Gilmore's beloved dog Chispa is diagnosed with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, her first instinct is to do everything possible to bring the symptoms of this neurologically debilitating condition under control. But treatments fail, and Chispa's symptoms worsen. Faced with emotionally complicated questions and difficult ethical decisions, Gail repeatedly visits the one place where she believes she might find the spiritual guidance and wisdom needed to make the best choice for Chispaa tiny, extraordinary church in St. Johnsbury, Vermont called the Dog Chapel. Within the chapel, its walls deeply layered with overlapping photographs and notes from thousands of previous visitors to dogs loved and lost, Gail finds both answers and peace in the wise words of the unknown people she comes to consider her tribe. A story of unconditional love and devotion, Dog Church is also a story of finding comfort in faith and the ways in which the emotional threads of love and grief can bind complete strangers together for brief moments in time in ways that are ultimately life-changing.
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1)  A complicated and thoroughly believable love story between two unforgettable characters.
2) She has developed strong characters, even side characters, who are flawed yet lovable. Her writing style is smooth and easy to read but keeps the reader engaged. The plot was wonderful. A definite 5 star book.

Love is Heartless Kim Fielding
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Love Can't
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 13, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635332133
ISBN-13: 978-1635332131
Amazon: Love is Heartless (Love Can't #2) Kim Fielding

A Love Can't Novel

Small but mighty—that could be Detective Nevin Ng’s motto. Now a dedicated member of the Portland Police Bureau, he didn’t let a tough start in life stop him from protecting those in need. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and he doesn’t do relationships. Until he responds to the severe beating of a senior citizen and meets the victim’s wealthy, bow-tied landlord.

Property manager and developer Colin Westwood grew up with all the things Nevin never had, like plenty of money and a supportive, loving family. Too supportive, perhaps, since his childhood illness has left his parents unwilling to admit he’s a strong, grown man. Colin does do relationships, but they never work out. Now he’s thinking maybe he won’t just go with the flow. Maybe it’s time to try something more exciting. But being a witness to a terrible crime—or two—was more than he bargained for.

Despite their differences, Colin and Nevin discover that the sparks fly when they’re together. But sparks are short-lived, dampened by the advent of brutal crimes, and Colin and Nevin have seemingly little in common. The question is whether they have the heart to build something lasting.
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1) A sweet story that challenges us to review our own self awareness.
2) Loved this story. Loved the angst. Characters were all well written and developed.  Loved Simone and even liked Chloe just a tad.  Great love story. 
3) Even though I found this story to be long in part it really was a good story. And the characters were interesting, even if I did want to slap a few of them. Though, I really am a sucker for stories with kids in them… Molly was a cutie. 

Falling Hard Jae
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 364 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (April 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955338290
ISBN-13: 978-3955338299
Amazon: Falling Hard Jae

Dr. Jordan Williams devotes her life to two things: saving patients in the operating room and pleasuring her latest conquest in the bedroom. Her idea of commitment is spending a few hours together in bed. Single mom Emma Larson is Jordan’s polar opposite. Family and fidelity mean everything to her. After an ugly divorce from her wife, a plastic surgeon, she and her five-year-old daughter move in next door to Jordan. While she finds Jordan undeniably attractive, falling in love with another womanizing surgeon is the last things she needs. When a bad fall leaves Jordan in need of assistance, Emma decides to help her while she recovers. Could those six weeks turn out to be the beginning of a happily ever after, or will they both end up with a broken heart?

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