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    REVIEW: Hardwood by K.M. Neuhold

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    Four Bears Construction: Hardwood – K.M. Neuhold

    I’ve spent forty-four years of my life telling the world I’m a carpet man. Is it too late to admit to myself and everyone else that deep down I’m really all about the Hardwood?

    It took me over thirty-five years to admit to myself that I’m gay, another seven to find the courage to say it out loud to anyone else, and exactly thirty seconds to develop a massive crush on my daughter’s music teacher. It’s really not my fault, have you even seen those cute bowties he wears?

    After everything it’s taken to get here, am I going to work up the nerve to come out to my ex-wife and my best friends? Am I ready to shake up my comfortable, simple life and take a chance on Watson? Or am I going to throw a wrench in my own chance for happily ever after?

    ***Hardwood is a steamy, seriously so much delicious tension, single-dad, gay awakening, low angst story, which happens to be the third in the Four Bears Construction Series. It CAN be read as a stand alone. There are NO shifters in this series, only the OTHER kind of bears.***


    I’m super eager to get to poor Ollie’s story but first, Ev gets his happily ever after.

    Everett is known as the only straight guy among the Four Bears. He’s a divorced single dad who adores his daughter, Livi. Unknown to all his friends and family, Everett has been struggling to come out for years but couldn’t find the courage to do so. He has long resigned himself to a life of solo Thanksgiving dinners. It took one fabulous and cuddly music teacher with a penchant for cute bow ties to make him realize, he could have so much more. If only he could embrace his true self.

    I’m not particularly fond of in-the-closet stories because they usually involved a lot of lies and cover ups. Everett had to constantly do it to his friends and ex-wife, Val. As a result, it felt a lot like he was cheating. And him dragging his ass dragged the story down too, especially at the middle part.

    The group banter was missing for most of the story, which I think was another reason why it felt kind of meh. Also, I know they were meant to be funny but the awkward situations Ev got himself into in his alone time were more cringey than amusing.

    These sad vibes aside, I think the coming out part was handled pretty well. I keep expecting the caught-in the act plot twist but yay! we were spared such cliches. And sure, it took a looong time for Everett to do it and it hurt his boyfriend to be treated like a dirty secret but I appreciated how the story emphasized that coming out should be on one’s own time. It was also important that Ev and Wats were honest with each other from the start.

    I expected the Bears’s and Val’s reactions to be anti-climactic, like they would say, they already know. I enjoyed how the plot surprised me on this point too. Most especially, I loved how supportive and understanding Watson was, hurts and all. He was the best character here!

    Four Bears Construction is notable for featuring mature MCs. Ev is 44. He could have easily become a Daddy for a much younger love interest so I’m happy that Wats is 40. All too often, characters above 40 end up in age-gap romance. Good job to the author for taking a different route.

    The story picked up after there were more interactions with the other Bears. Ev was spurred into action and roped the guys in to help him bust a move. Damn right, because after what he had been through, Wats deserved some major wooing.

    Hardwood was mix of highs and lows but ended on a strong note. The book certainly held true to its promise of delicious tension. The chemistry between Everett and Watson was fantastic from the get go! Their journey together was not easy but it was worth the fight. Wats went from flirty friend to first boyfriend, all the while holding Ev’s hand as he went through his awakening. Ev gifted him with his many firsts, something Wats will always treasure. He gets the forevers too.

    P.S.

    Four Bears Constructions is a series full of winning characters you couldn’t help but root for. While the books can be read as standalones, I recommend meeting all the Bears properly by reading the books in order. Read reviews of the other books here.

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Truth
    Artist: Bloc Party
    Album: Four


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    Caulky | Nailed | Hardwood | Screwed

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    REVIEW: Nailed by K.M. Neuhold

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    Four Bears Construction: Nailed – K.M. Neuhold

    My new neighbor is a total tool.

    He hated me from the second he laid eyes on me, and I don’t have the first clue why… But, if he wants to hate me, I’m happy to give him a few reasons: mowing the lawn at dawn on the weekend, leaving garbage cans in front of his driveway, renting a petting zoo for my backyard…making a list of ways to drive him crazy is half the fun.

    He deserves it with the way he’s driving me crazy right back without even trying— walking around without a shirt on, sweaty rippling muscles on full display, well-worn denim jeans perfectly molded to his…well, you get the idea.

    My point is, if he wants a war, I’ll give him one.

    ***Nailed is an enemies to lovers, neighbors who can’t stand each other, omg the anger banging, drool worthy, low angst story, which happens to be the second in my Four Bears Construction series. It CAN be read as a stand alone. There are NO shifters in this series, only the OTHER kind of bears.


    Nailed is the second book of Four Bears Construction, a contemporary series that grabbed me from the get go and had no plans of letting go soon. This is a story of a gallivanting dog, an underwear-eating goat, a grumpy mechanic and one annoying neighbor who was very determined to like and be liked by said grump.

    Stone and his neighbor, Dare started off on the wrong foot. Since then, Stone deviced devious pranks just to push the other man’s buttons. Usually, these involved causing a ruckus early weekend mornings. Once, he even rented a petting zoo for one of the Four Bears, Everett’s daughter’s birthday party. A goat wandered into Dare’s yard as he was berating his neighbor. He was only wearing boxers…

    I was annoyed by Stone’s antics but I couldn’t help but be amused by them too. He’s one of those people who can make you laugh despite yourself. He is goofy, charming, kind-hearted and yeah, quite intrusive. He had Dare’s dog, Rudy, microchipped without Dare’s permission to keep the dog from getting lost.

    Rudy is the star of the show. He doesn’t do leashes. Rudy likes their neighbor and the man clearly loves the dog. There’s no stopping the mutt from going over next door where he’s very welcome. So you could see Dare’s dilemma here.

    Dare leads a solitary life with only Rudy by his side. He restores bikes as a living, a job where he can work alone. People are not his thing. He has anger management issues that had long ago earned him a record. Dare is your tough, grunty alpha male but also bit insecure. And a complete mush when it comes to his dog. The scene where he broke down when Rudy got injured, I was really feeling that.

    The two men are in their 40s but sometimes they come across as younger or should I say, immature. There is misunderstanding in the story but it happens off-page. It started in book 1, Caulky, when the Four Bears were helping Stone move in. Here, the two men squabbled while strongly feeling the USTs. Until Stone finally outright asked why Dare hated him. The answer was kinda dumb.

    But, the romance was cute. It’s always fun to see grumpy guys melting bit by bit. I’m happy they took a chance at dating. For a relationship that started off with miscommunication, Dare and Stone was able to connect and fit seamlessly into each other lives. You wouldn’t think two very different individuals would make it work but K.M. Neuhold was able to put the two together in an endearing way that left no room for doubts.

    I love the Four Bears! I enjoyed the way they razzed each other. Cole is pretty much very committed to his honeybee, Ren. Ev continues to be the doting dad while poor Ollie, the hopeless romantic, found himself in yet another failed relationship. I feel sorry for the guy because his book comes last.

    Dare’s nephew, West, shows up on his doorstep. He was thrown out of the house by his homophobic dad. West is a bit of a smart ass. I hope he gets his own book.

    Nailed is a fun book. I liked it better than Caulky. Dare and Stone are two older men who gave up on relationships long time ago. It took a free-spirited dog for them to find love in the unlikeliest person. Rudy is now living with his two favorite people. Good boy!

    P.S.

    Nailed can be read as a standalone but this series is such a blast! Best start with Caulky and find out why Cole calls Ren his honeybee. Review here.

    Dare and Rudy:

    Man & Dog Take Road Trip To Raise Money For Lung Disease – WCCO | CBS  Minnesota
    Too cute not to post

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Absolutely Cuckoo
    Artist: The Magnetic Fields
    Album: 69 Love Songs


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    REVIEW: Caulky by K.M. Neuhold

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    Four Bears Construction: Caulky – K.M. Neuhold

    Ren is in desperate need of a rebound fling. Lucky for him, the smoking hot contractor he hired has just the tool for the job.

    The last thing I want is another relationship or another broken heart.

    All I need are my bees and the occasional hookup to scratch the itch.

    Okay, maybe meeting up with my hot contractor weekly is a little more than occasional. And maybe the way I’m starting to feel about the guy I’ve been anonymously chatting with online should concern me.

    But CaulkyAF doesn’t want to meet, and Cole doesn’t want anything serious, so what’s the worst that could happen?

    ****Caulky is book 1 in the Four Bears Construction series and can be read as a stand-alone. This is a funny, steamy MM story guaranteed to make you laugh and swoon. Absolutely NO cheating and NO love triangle. This series does NOT contain shifters, it’s the OTHER kind of bears.


    My first K.M. Neuhold book was a flop so I went into this merely out of curiosity. I have no interest in bears or construction workers but I was wondering why this series has such rave reviews.

    First, it takes serious skills to make me like contemporary romance. Caulky drew me in from the start and kept me engaged until the end. I don’t even have a favorite character yet but I’m already rooting for all the guys and I’m looking forward to their stories

    Ren just had an awful breakup in which his ex dumped him by leaving an invoice of the moving company in his kitchen table. After which, he decided to have the bathroom remodeled to his liking. The gay equivalent of getting bangs, according to his mother.

    In an effort to get his ex out of his system, Ren’s bestfriend, Daniel took him to a bar to find a hook-up. The same hook-up who later turned out to be the contractor he hired for his remodeling.

    Cole is one of the owners of Four Bears Construction. The other owners are his brother, Ollie, and their friends, Everett and Stone. Cole is confident and bossy. Always the player. Never been in a relationship, never will be. But there’s something about Ren that he couldn’t get enough off.

    And so the two moved from one-time hookup to regular fuck buddies. They couldn’t believe how explosive the chemistry between them. Along the way they each met an online friend that truly gets them like nobody else. They connected so well, soon they were sharing everything with their respective chatmates. Inevitably, inconvenient feelings started to develop…for both hookup and that online friend they never met.

    So who would it be: your awesome fuck buddy who blows your mind or your online friend whom you bare your heart? But then again, didn’t they just swear off relationships for good?

    I see some GR readers shelving the book as erotica. This was what made me hesitant to read this at first. While Caulky is steamy, it has a solid plot. It has the typical amount of MM sex scenes that are well-placed and totally skippable without losing any important information. I also appreciate that the humor did not devolve into unnecessary raunchiness.

    The story is low-angst and seriously fun. It took well-loved tropes and added some nice twist. Even if I know what to expect, I enjoyed the build up until the big reveal. It had a nice, easy pace and succeeded in keeping anticipation and excitement going.

    Caulky certainly showcased the author’s talents in this highly entertaining tale of rebound flings, online dating and bees. It opens a new series I could binge on. It introduced a group of friends I’d love to get to know more. At it’s core, it’s a story of two people falling in love despite themselves. Sometimes, it’s not even a choice.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Come Get Me
    Artist: Jenny O.
    Album: Automechanic


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    FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: Got Weird Fast

    First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons

    I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.

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    BOOKS I DNFed OR PUT ON HOLD

    I rarely post reviews of books lower than 3-stars because usually I can’t be arsed to finish them. Also, I’m such a mood reader that sometimes, no matter how good a book is I still couldn’t finish it if I’m not feeling right.

    So here are some books I keep promising I would get back to…


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    Rocket Science by K.M.Neuhold

    Relationships aren’t rocket science. If they were, I might stand a chance of figuring one out.

    Normally, I’d be all over the awkward nerdy types but unfortunately, I wasn’t connecting with either MCs. I read up to the middle up but I’m not sure I would continue with this one.


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    NoX by Adrienne Wilder

    One is a dying man.
    The other is a man who died to live.

    This is a really good take on the shifter trope and a very gripping story too but all the intensity, the haunted memories and primal lust was too much for me. I kept imagining how these people stink to high heavens with their 15-man orgy and being cooped up in a van. I got tired of people going on and on about Luca’s brother Koda. He took over the story but I wanted more focus on Luca and NoX. I wanted Dr. Dante to have a happy ending too.

    I started this last year and kept promising to get back to this but up until now, I’m still stuck in the middle.


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    Criminal Past by Gregory Ashe

    It all starts to go wrong at the shooting gallery.

    I love this series. I love Hazard and Somers. I simply got tired of Hazard’s ‘voice’ and thought processes. This series is written in dual POV but it’s really Hazard’s story. Which means from his POV, everybody was described in unflattering ways except Somers who is all sunshine and rainbows.

    I am a pessimistic person myself but jeez, lighten up will you..


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    The Seven of Spades has upped the ante. If Levi and Dominic don’t play their cards right, they’ll end up losing everything.

    This picks up after Levi and Dom’s break up which was kind of stupid really because they still end up having sex when they bump into each other. This is fine.

    What I didn’t like was how everybody was poking their noses on Levi and Dom’s business. I know their friends mean well, but I didn’t feel like going through all their nagging. I’m putting this on hold until I’m in the right headspace. I’ll still continue with this because I need to see if my guess as to the identity of the SOS is on the money.


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    Thrown to the Wolves by Charlie Adhara

    Agent Cooper Dayton is going to meet his boyfriend’s werewolf family. Unarmed. On their turf.

    And he’s bringing his cat.

    I was on my shifter binge when I started this. Unfortunately, the mood petered halfway. I will pick this up again when the mood strikes again. I had enjoyed the first two books so far so I know I’m gonna like this too.


    How do you feel about DNFing a book? Are you a mood reader too?

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