Friday, January 9, 2015

Freebie Friday – January 9th Edition

Welcome to the first Freebie Friday where I will quickly review any freebie reads that I have read in the past week as part of the I Love Freebies reading challenge.  Up this week:

Bonded by Sara York: Chris came home to a break-up note from his boyfriend.  In an effort to take his mind off his pain and loneliness, Chris starts hitting the gym…a lot.  On one trip he has in interesting encounter with a man named Greg who sounds like holy hotness and I immediately thought, goody!  Chris’s new man…until Chris has an equally interesting encounter in the locker room with another man named Liam.  Then I was not sure what was happening.  Greg keeps Chris from killing himself after trying to lift too much weight and then it becomes clear that Greg and Liam are involved with each other and interested in having Chris join them.  I liked this part of the story but then more and more pieces were added in and it all became a bit muddled.  Greg was clearly a Dom, Liam was clearly a sub, but Chris was shown at different times as being a bit of both, but not necessarily in a “switch” kind of way, but more as a plot convenience.  Liam also had some serious issues to deal with and I wish more time had been devoted to that aspect as well.  More pages would have benefited this story greatly although I did still mostly enjoy it.

Three Strikes by Piper Vaughn: VERY short story in which Shawn is the floor manager of a customer call center.  He gets another complaint about one of his newest workers, Jeremy; it is in fact Jeremy’s third strike and Shawn is rather relieved to be able to fire him.  Something about Jeremy makes him uneasy.  Jeremy first tries to sexually proposition Shawn in order to keep his job, and then appeals to Shawn’s fairness by asking for a one-week trial…if Jeremy gets no further complaints, he gets to keep his job.  Later in the next week finds Shawn and Jeremy working out late at night in the company gym and hooking up.  After Jeremy’s proposition the week before, this just struck me as uncomfortable and it seemed that Shawn was putting himself in an untenable situation that Jeremy could late exploit if he so wanted. 

Healing Her Heart by Laura Scott: Larissa is an ER nurse who suffered abuse at the hands of her stepfather when she was younger.  Gabe is a doctor who left his former job after dating a coworker ruined his professional reputation.  When a patient comes in who seems to be suffering from domestic abuse, Larissa can’t help but try to do everything in her power to help this woman.  This puts her in the sites of both the woman’s husband and her equally crazy son.  Gabe soon finds himself feeling protective of Larissa as she is the victim of several “accidents.”  Both of them have to figure out how to let go of the past in order to truly move on with their futures.  I very much enjoyed this inspirational romance and will be looking for other stories by this author.

Candy Cane Kisses by Elle Rush: This is the fourth book in a series but I didn’t feel that I was missing anything by not having read the other titles first.  Lindsay just wants her candy cane cookie recipe to work.   Bodey just wants to figure out how to ask Lindsay out after being a love-em-and-leave-em encounter when they were both younger.  Bodey creates an elaborate plan to finagle Lindsay into a date with him…Lindsay cops onto the plan fairly early on and starts changing the rules to suit and amuse herself.  I liked this short story…both Lindsay and Bodey were relatable and enjoyable people.  When Bodey realizes his current plan has been hijacked, he admits that he made a mistake and works to rectify it.  Both characters were mature and fun.  I want to read the other stories in this series and can only hope they are as sweet and enjoyable as Lindsay’s candy cane cookies must be.

Dirty Cop by Kyle Adams: Conrad gets pulled over for speeding, is asked for his papers, yells “Scissors cut paper!” and burns rubber leaving the cop on the side of the road…until the angry cop turns up at his front door.  This was super short but super fun and super steamy.  Also, Princess Leia?  Awesome!

The Book of Prime by Katy Baker: This was a starter to a longer story featuring vampires and immortals. While it was well written and full of action, it was just getting started when it ended (which is the point of this type of story, but I didn’t realize that was what it was when I started reading.)  While I enjoyed this, I will not be following up on the rest of the series. 

Untouchable by Alexis Blake:  Mary Margaret inherits her childhood home when her Aunt passes away.  Finally being able to get home from her latest dance tour and having just found out that her fiance was a serial cheater, she just wants to decide what her future will entail.  Meanwhile, her neighbor turns out to be the boy that broke her heart right before she left for dance school.  He gave her up once to allow her to have the life she deserved and to create one of his own that was more than the troublemaker he had become.  Now they are both grown up and Ryan is determined to finally make Mary Margaret his own for good.  The story was just getting going with some solid foundation building when, boom, Mary Margaret discovers Ryan is a Dom and the story ended. ..I am still deciding if I want to follow up on this one or not.  I probably will, the writing was strong and I liked both of the main characters (and Mutt!).

One Night With Her by Lauren Blakely: Jack is at the hotel to seal a business deal concerning the sales of his company’s latest sex toy.  Michele is there to speak at a conference.  They see each other in the bar and decide to see how far their attraction takes them.  This is another story that is only the beginning and is meant to hook readers into longer, not-free books.  I will not be following up on this one.

Caught up in Her by Lauren Blakely:  Bryan and Nate have just graduated and will soon be heading off to their new jobs but first, they are headed to Nate’s house for a couple of week s to run Nate’s family store.  Helping them is Kat, Nate’s younger sister.  Bryan and Kat soon fall for each other and make plans to explore a relationship when Kat goes to NYU and Bryan starts his new job in NYC.  However, an opportunity comes for Bryan to get a coveted spot at his company’s branch in Paris and Bryan decides that breaking Kat’s heart is for the best as she deserves more than a long distance relationship.  Fast forward five years and Kat is still the one that Bryan longs for.  And then the story ends.  I will probably follow up on this one.  The writing was excellent and I truly liked all of the characters.

Reading Challenge
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