This book can be easily define a sweet romance. The story is pretty classic: small town, two sweetheart lovers, one from the most important family of the town, the other orphaned and raised by a drunk, the rejected of good society. They never should be friends, even less lovers. And to add problem to problem, they are both male.
Caleb is the golden son (even if he has dark hair...) and his father wants for him to be a politician. But when he is 13 years old he meets Royce, new in town after the death of his parents. Royce lives with his uncle, an abusive man, and the friendship with Caleb is his only escape from horror. When they are both 16 years old, friendship becomes loves and for four years they bring along a clandestine relationship. Caleb always swears that they will leave together, after college, they will go where they can claim their love. But when the moment arrives, Caleb cheats out, and Royce goes away alone.
Now after ten years, Royce is again in town, but he has no intention to meet Caleb, since he knows that he still loves the man and he will not survive to another farewell. Instead Caleb wants to see again Royce, even if for few minutes, since his life since their departure was an hell and he needs to be with the man he really loved, and actually the only man, or woman, for him.
The story is not so long, 70 pages, and as I said before, it's almost a sweet romance: there is a lot of talk about love, but not even one sex scene. Both Caleb than Royce treasure their memory, but the reader is not put apart of their thoughts. The story flows smoothly, it's easy to read, but since both characters are 30 years old now, I wouldn't mind a bit of more action. Anyway sometime is refreshing to read a sweet romance, and I'm always fond of the bad boy-good boy next door pair.
Amazon Kindle: When Love Comes Back Around
What Matters Most by Lisa Marie Davis
Silas was always a strange boy. He saw imaginary friends, or so he thought. When he was a bit older he understood that what he saw were the souls of dead people who had something other to do before leaving, and they asked to Silas for help. Even if so young Silas knew that it was not normal for him to see souls, and from his parents he didn't have help. Lucky him his paternal grandfather, an old Irish man, taught him about the "sight" and that their family sometime gives birth to a special man like Silas.
To add strangeness to oddity, Silas soon realized that he was gay, and as he never hid the sight, he didn't hide his being gay. For his parents it was too much and Silas found himself alone at a very young age. With only a money help by his father he moved in a new city and began the life of a ordinary clerk, and at the same time he continued to help the souls. Always open in all the aspect of his life, when he became friend, or lover, with another man, Silas didn't hide the spiritual side of his life, and this lead to him being alone, since no one actually believed him. Silas got the fame to be handsome and sexy, but a bit odd.
When he spends a one night adventures with Josh, and the morning after he discovers that the man is very much in the closet and without any intention to come out, Silas tries to go on with his life, but Josh's mother has other idea... the problem is that Sarah, Josh's mother, is a soul and help her in her last wish means reveal to Josh that he can see the souls of the dead.
The story is an odd mix of hanging atmosphere and lustful sex. Silas is almost double faced, one side the cool and serene man who sees souls and calmly helps them, on the other side the man who picks up a man for a one night stand and makes passionate love; these are two side that almost crash, but that in a way melt together to draw up the character. Josh instead is a problematic man, with a abusive father and a weak mother, a grown man with still the mind of a child; sadly he needs an authoritative figure beside him, since alone he would not be able to break free from his father's clutches.
Even if there is sex in this story, it's almost like an ethereal experience... again that hanging feeling; the overall sensation of the story is of a continuous flow of energy, without the up and down that usually characterize a romance. In a way, for a story which deals with souls, it's quite a right sensation.
Amazon Kindle: What Matters Most
Unstoppable Force by Lisa Marie Davis
This book has written "Cinderfella" all over the pages... there is also a fairy godmother in the guise of the very special male escort agency owner who matches Cinderfella alias Pretty Man Cale to Multi-Millionaire Prince Charming Ethan.
So, see, I can't be too hard with this story, since it's all about romance, and I can't not like a romance; doesn't matter if the story is unbelievable, if the cynical in me continued to say that a man like Ethan will never and never fall in love with Cale, I want the romance and I get the romance.
Ethan is a very handsome and very wealthy business man; at the beginning of his career he was a runaway guy with a skill for software and a pretty, even if rough, look. With the help of both his virtue, he manages to warm the bed of a middle age and wealthy man who in exchange, taught to Ethan how to be a successful business man. When the man moved on to another young lover, Ethan was enough skilled and independent to make his own success life. Today Ethan isn't searching for commitment, he likes to play the field, and so he usually buys the service of an escort agency when he is in the mood.
Cale is another runaway boy; escaping from an abusive stepfather who unfortunately taught to Cale that he is only worth for sex, Cale ended in the clutches of a little mafia criminal who, at his eyes, was a big treat. Managing to escape also from him, Cale now is under the shelter of fairy godmother Gwen, who sends him to Ethan. It's a match made in... bed? but Ethan pampers Cale like a prince, trying to instill a bit of confidence in the pretty man (and in this case I mean pretty as beautiful, since Cale is really beautiful even if he doesn't realize it).
A little trouble to resolve the issue of Cale's past does nothing to ruin the fairy tale atmosphere and the obviously path toward an happily ever after; if only life would be so simple...
Amazon Kindle: Unstoppable Force
Loving Lucas by Lisa Marie Davis
Ten years before Lucas was a young high school teacher just out of college; he was the classical teacher who liked to be more a friends than a authoritative figure for his students, but he did that without second thoughts. Problem was that one of his student was an unstable teen who probably would need a psychiatric help and instead his family didn't take with the right seriousness the problem. Riley, the student, approached Lucas and when the man refused him, all went to hell: Lucas was raped and left for dead in a burning cabin. He managed to survive and to denounce Riley, but he also lost his life and his lover, who couldn't suffer his scarred body.
Now Lucas has a new life in a little small town where everyone loves him, above all the local sheriff; Nicholas is an handsome man, with plenty of choice if he wants, but he sets his eyes on Lucas. When they met five years before, Lucas was still too traumatized by his past events and he was not ready for something serious, and so Nicholas accepted the second choice to be his best friend. But now Riley is out of prison and both Lucas than Nicholas know that the man will come for Lucas, and Nicholas is not willing to let the man take the most important thing he has, Lucas; since Nicholas has no doubt that Lucas is his own.
The story is not very long and there is not mystery, since it's clear since the beginning that Riley will try to harm Lucas once again. It's more interesting to read and see how Nicholas will convince Lucas to accept not only his help but also his love. Truth be told, I think that Nicholas takes advantage of the situation to force Lucas to accept something than in other condition it will be years before they arrive to the same point. Probably Nicholas is tired to wait (but not enough to renounce) and above all he is tired to be judge by someone else actions. And this is maybe the point that I understood less: it's true that Lucas is scarred, but only on his back; in his everyday life, with dress on, he is a very beautiful man, and no one can notice his scars. All right, being a gay man, maybe having is back all scarred is a bit more important than a straight man (naughty Elisa, I know), but is it enough of a reason to dump someone? Lucas is clever, handsome, with a good work, is it possible that someone dumped him for some scars? And even if it happened, is it possible that he chose 10 years of chastity upon the action of only one man?
Anyway, the story is quite tender and the sex is good, something I noticed in the previous books by the same author: she mixes well the two elements, never letting the sex take the main role in the story, always letting the tenderness and love being in first line.
Amazon Kindle: Loving Lucas
Amazon: Love Conquers All (print book)