June saw another fantastic slew of new releases! Let’s dig into my top five.
The Barkeep and the Bro by AJ Truman
Having enjoyed the first two instalments in the ‘Single Dads Club’ I have been looking forward to the release of this one. And with age-gap, boss/employee, and bi-awakening, what more could I ask for?
Set in a small-town, this sweet romance sees the perpetually single bar owner, Mitch, falling head over heels for his ‘straight’ bartender…who also happens to be his daughter’s ex-boyfriend. This plot point, coupled with the fact that Mitch is Charlie’s boss, injects a great level of tension for the characters. Something that particularly stood out with this novel, is the fantastic character arcs both Mitch and Charlie had. Although the romance was definitely front and centre throughout, the other obstacles they faced, and the realisations about themselves and what they both want from the future, made the HEA feel all the sweeter.
It was lovely to see characters from previous books making an appearance, and also meeting some new ones! I cannot wait to see what all the teachers get up to in AJ’s spin-off series that is coming later this year.
The Anonymous Hook-Up by Jax Calder
I’ll start by saying that this book was the first I had read by this author…and I finished it and immediately downloaded and devoured her back catalogue. I’ll save those for a future post because I MUST tell you about this novella.
It has everything. EVERYTHING. It’s funny, smart, sweet and the characters…I just want to SMOOSH THEM!! I’ve never read a novella that has such well developed characters and relationships and a fabulous supporting cast. I genuinely laughed out loud and said ‘aww’ several times.
If you want a light-hearted, gorgeous, entertaining, and sweet read, make sure to pick this up.
Now, if you’re a KM Neuhold fan, you will understand IMMEDIATELY why I have been (very impatiently) waiting for this book.
(If you’re not a KM Neuhold fan – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? I can’t link her whole backlist here, but start with Caulky or Rocket Science)
As we know, KM Neuhold is the Queen of found family and sweet low-angst romances. She creates characters you can’t help but fall in love with – one of whom is Porter. The sweet Veterinarian pops up in several of her Four Bears books, normally as a date for one of the main characters who we know is going to end up with someone else. After seeing him keeping his upbeat nature after the many rejections, I (along with many other fans!) have been dying to see Porter get his HEA.
Well, the wait is finally over. Crankshaft delivered everything it promised and a heap more. Not only was Steele the perfect person for Porter to end up with, but the journey that KM Neuhold took us on along the way was hysterical. There was one scene in particular (if you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about) that had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks.
I devoured it in a single sitting and am already considering a reread. Cannot WAIT for the next book.
Platonic Rulebook by Saxon James
If you follow me on social media, you’ll already know I’m a HUGE fan of Saxon’s books. When the latest instalment of her ‘Divorced Men’s Club’ dropped, I one-clicked that baby so fast my screen nearly cracked.
Having met Griff in Roommate Arrangement, I was already invested in seeing how he achieved his HEA. Having waited an entire year to officially separate from his wife, Griff was more than ready to move on with his life, and his best friend was by his side ready to wingman him.
This book offered a fresh take on the ‘friends to lovers’ trope. Normally, we have one character who has either been secretly in love with the other for years, or they become attracted to them before the other discovers they have similar feeling. What I loved about Platonic Rulebook was how they really were just friends…at first. And rather than having one fall for the other, they both discovered their attraction at the same time.
This book was everything I’d expected and more. Saxon James always creates characters I can’t help but fall in love with, but I must admit that the men of the DMC hold a special place in my heart.
As soon as I saw the blurb for this one, I hit the preorder button, and I’m so glad I did…even if it left me with the BIGGEST book hangover once I’d finished it.
I’m a big fan of Daddy kink books and this one hit all the right moments. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me immediately message the author and demand the next one (not as weird as it sounds as we’ve spoken before).
Hobie is SUCH a beautifully layered character who you just want to pick up and hug. Ambrose is the perfect Daddy for him – sweet and encouraging. I absolutely LOVED Hobie’s snark and the way he interacted with Ambrose. It felt like a really authentic relationship that you couldn’t help but buy into.
And the steam…wow. Yep, this book is spicy and boy, does Daddy Ambrose know how to play.
If you like Daddy Kink, you do NOT want to sleep on this one.