Hot, Heavy, and Quick. For fans of the genre that like lots of hot action, a fair amount of angst – including an opening scene featuring an explosion in Afghanistan – and/ or a quick read… this book hits all three notes in spades. If you’re a fan of MM romance, you’ll likely enjoy this book. Very much recommended.
Stormy Cruise. This was probably the fastest read of the entire Valentine’s Inc Cruises series, and one of the shortest in terms of page count. Very fun, mostly light, with a couple of solidly steamy scenes. And I really liked that it tackled seasickness and having named storms (tropical storm or higher) affect a cruise, as both do in fact happen from time to time. Yet again my first from an author involved in this project, and yet again won’t be my last. Very much recommended.
Quick Battles. This is an enemies to lovers tale that also happens to be a very fast read. Cournoyer does an excellent job of quickly showing just how much these two guys *don’t* like each other… and then the hijinks ensue. Great tale of one man being burned by love and another not sure what he is coming together rather explosively. My first from this author, will not be my last. Very much recommended.
Precise Shipping. This is the first book I’ve seen in the Valentine’s Inc Cruises series to take on the actual staff, and it does an excellent job of showing the lives of the officers at least – at least the lives of two certain officers. 🙂 Precise in details most normally miss (cruise ships don’t actually use actual anchors much if ever any more) and plays with details when needed for the story (debarkation from one cruise is followed within minutes by embarkation of the next cruise, not the next day as shown here). But ultimately both the precision and the license are used very effectvely to tell a great story, and that is what matters the most. The brief descriptions of San Juan and St Thomas in particular are spot on in my experience in both ports, and even better is how well they serve the budding romance between these two. The scene where each realizes who the other is – after a relatively anonymous night together – is worth the price of the book alone, and Phoenix spins an amazing romance tale throughout the entirety of the book. As a romantic drama, one of the strongest in a truly excellent series, and very much recommended.
This one time, NOT at band camp…
When Ryan Met Sawyer…
The universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has generally been regarded as a bad move.
If you enjoyed the trip down this rabbit hole that the top line being in the book sent my brain down and you like pop culture references like the end battles of Avengers: Endgame, the Battle of Winterfell from Game of Thrones, and others… you’re going to love this book. So quit reading this review and go read the dang book already!
Brand New Characters Feel Ultra Deep. (And not always in a sexual way.) This is a MMM romance that is brand new yet feels like it is a continuation of a very deep series – and is very intriguing because of it. The dynamics of the setup of the story work well, then the rest of it falls into place in a very well paced shortish novella. My first from this author (somehow), will not be my last. Very much recommended.
Rushed Shipping. In this second installment of the Valentine’s Inc Cruises event, we get Ashe Winters’ solid entry of a transatlantic back to back cruise – though curiously, Ashe never mentions the words “back to back” in relation to the cruise itself. The pacing is solid through most of the book, until we get to the end. At that point, Winters rushes to wrap up the various story lines rather than simply writing a second book to conclude them. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the project? Regardless, a solid MM romance featuring two very relatable characters. My first book from this author, but it will not be my last. Very much recommended.
Light And Fun – Mostly. In this installment of the Valentine’s Inc Cruises MM romance series, we get paranormal author Pandora Pine’s effort, and it is indicative of her stylings while only tangentially being related to her overall world. If you’re like me and have been on many cruises, there’s a lot here that will bring back your best memories – including Stingray City in Grand Cayman and the Magic Chair at Mahogany Bay. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, this is a good introduction to what ship life can be. If you’ve been curious about Pine but are a bit leery of paranormal stories, this is an excellent way to see how she tells a story while only having the barest mention of her normal schtick. (And btw, her paranormal stories are awesome, so you should try them anyway.) This is a somewhat standard ish romantic comedy in that there is obviously the fight right before the happily ever after, but really that is the only time this book really veers away from being as light and airy as a cruise is supposed to be. Excellent work, and I’m looking forward to more from both this series and Pine.
Sexy Paradise. In this latest Valentine’s Inc installment, we have a short and volcano-worthy second romance where two boys from North Carolina reconnect on Hawaii a decade after the incident (that opens the book) where one of them stumbled into seeing the other giving a third guy a blowjob in the locker room. The overall story is truly a condensed MM contemporary romance, with all that this entails – questioning, coming together, lots and lots of sex – much of it described in detail – and a HFN. Overall solid work, and I’m really hoping to see these two appear in future books from this author.