LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(September 8, 2021)

This meme was created by Reading Marie. It’s a great meme because it’s nice and easy to do.

Here are the rules:

Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to

This Year I Am Reading…

Troy Barrett has been freshly traded to Ottawa after calling out Dallas Kent during a team practice. He wants to be a better person, and the weird, scrappy energy of the struggling Ottawa team seems like the place to…well. It seems like the only place that will have Troy right now.

Fortunately the Ottawa team includes Ilya Rozanov and Wyatt Hayes, and also includes an adorable social media manager, Harris Drover. Harris is the opposite of Troy in every way: friendly, cheerful, chatty, and goofy with a booming voice, a startlingly loud laugh, and Pride pins all over his denim jacket. Definitely not the sort of person Troy would normally associate with, and yet…

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook

Wasn’t too keen on some of the Game Changers releases but this bad boy redemption story is doing a good job of holding my attention so far. Full review soonish.

Last Year I Was Reading…

Introducing Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.

Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts…

Smoke jumper Lincoln Reid is speechless to see Jacob Hartman among his squad’s new recruits. Linc had promised his late best friend he’d stay away from his little brother. And yet here Jacob is…and almost instantly, the same temptation Linc has always felt around him is causing way too many problems.

Jacob gets everyone’s concerns, but he’s waited years for his shot at joining the elite smoke jumping team, hoping to honor his brother’s memory. He’s ready to tackle any challenge Linc throws his way, and senses the chemistry between them—chemistry Linc insists on ignoring—is still alive and kicking. This time, Jacob’s determined to get what he wants.

Close quarters and high stakes make it difficult for Linc to keep his resolve, never mind do so while also making sure the rookie’s safe. But the closer they get, the more Linc’s plan to leave at the end of the season risks him breaking another promise: the one his heart wants to make to Jacob.

This book is approximately 90,000 words.

Bookshop: US
Amazon Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook
Amazon UK Buy Links: Kindle | Audiobook

I was really looking forward to this sizzling series opener. It wasn’t bad, not too fabulous either. Somewhat a lukewarm affair but has enough heat at some points to warrant the title.

My 3.5-star review here.

We got a fire and ice situation today. Both contemporary romances involved people with dangerous jobs from the opposite ends of the temperature spectrum. One has ice hockey, the other features a relatively unknown occupation called smoke jumping. Both stories are about people trying to fit in a team. One is an age gap, best friend’s brother romance. The other is a second chance, pro athlete in the closet scenario. Both sets of MCs have a grumpy + sunshine dynamics with the grumpy ones trying to fight their attraction.

Role Model is pro hockey player Troy Barrett being miserable with his new lot in life. He was traded after calling out his ex-friend and former teammate for assaulting several women. He quickly realized his new team was not your typical hockey team. For one, they have a puppy. Also, the team love their cheerful, openly gay social media manager, Harris Drover, who took it upon himself to befriend their newest member. Most importantly, they believed him.

I think this book does a good job portraying that awkward, new to the team feeling a controversial athlete like Troy would have. Right about the time that scandal with his old teammate happened, he was also secretly nursing a broken heart. His also in the closet secret boyfriend met another guy, is now out, and, to rub salt in his wounds, engaged. This is the current state of affairs for poor Troy as he try to adjust to a new team and a new city. Lucky for him, a cute social media manager made it his mission to make him smile. So far so good, Harris!

Burn Zone introduced me to smoke jumpers. These are people who jump out of planes to put out wildfires. Lincoln Reid is a veteran who is constantly looking out for his late bestfriend’s younger brother. To his dismay, the younger man is determined to be a smoke jumper just like his older brother and Linc. He was also determined to pursue Linc. Meanwhile, the older man feels responsible for his best friend’s death. Because of that, he can’t be with Jacob.

Unique jobs aside, this was your average age gap, best friend’s brother story. The book did hold a certain charm that kept me going. Majority of this was from Jacob. He doesn’t take no for an answer and he can do it without being annoying. He can show his needy side without appearing weak. He proved to his team that can hold his own even as a rookie. Linc was a stubborn ass who made Jacob work for it every step of the way, citing the 10 year age gap and a promise to a dead man as reasons to stay away. Unconvincing reasons aside, the tension here smoldered until it went nuclear when they were together. These two didn’t take the smoothest path but it was a satisfying one.

Jumping from the plane to fire is one way to feel the heat but I prefer burning up the ice.

I’m ending the post with a book I’m looking forward to reading.

One kiss ended in tragedy.
Now they have a second chance to do it right.

Bull fighter. Heart throb. Wild card.
Rodeo pro Lane Bell knows a thing or two about taking damage.
He’s made a career out of punishing himself, but he can’t outrun his troubled past. Not when it shows up in an irresistible package to spring him from county lock-up and demand he come home.
Denver Reed is rugged and ripped, with a voice like smoke and eyes that watch every move he makes.
Lane fell hard for him once, but never again.
Because Denver is straight.

Bull rider. Mystery. Legend.
Denver Reed has never known anything but denial.
He once set the world on fire on the back of a bull, but his chance at fame is long gone. Because when Lane took off, it was Denver who sacrificed everything to clean up the shattered mess he left behind.
Denial has kept Denver alive all this time.
Denying what he feels for the sinful bull fighter with the lightning eyes and quick grin. Denying the fact that he craves Lane more than air to breathe. Denying his very nature.
Because Lane already broke his heart once.
He can’t survive it a second time.

Amazon Buy Links: Kindle
Amazon UK Buy Links: Kindle

Here’s another story about men with dangerous occupations. Down and Dirty gives us more bull riders and more second chances. This one promises to be an emotional rollercoaster so hang on tight!

What were you reading this time last year?

(I hope it’s as riveting as Morticia’s book)

reading-gif-17 - Fumble

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