January Recent Reads

Happy New Year to you all! I hope the holiday season was kind to you and that you are sufficiently recovered from any Yuletide overindulgences to dive into some new reading recommendations!

Apologies for the lack of “Recent Reads” in December, but as you can imagine, the silly season kept me very busy. I didn’t get much reading (or writing) done but somehow managed to make nearly 100 rum balls for a Christmas party – so that’s something. Anyhoo – I hope you enjoy these books I recently read.

Heteroflexible” by Daryl Banner

This one really hit me like a tonne of bricks. The story of two young men. Best friends since school, now college roommates. One straight, the other gay – and head over heels for his bestie.

There isn’t a gay man alive who hasn’t fallen in love with a man they know they can never have. It’s a tale as old as time itself. But what happens when those unreciprocated feelings suddenly seem a bit less unreciprocated? Is it just wishful thinking, or is there something more to this lifelong friendship? Do they dare risk everything for a chance at something deeper?

Heteroflexible is a beautiful, sweet, powerful and relatable story featuring gloriously constructed characters and relationship dynamics that are almost too real. I couldn’t put this one down, and I highly recommend it.

“His Submissive” by Jason Collins

Dissatisfied with his safe, boring and predictable life as an accountant, Jake decides to challenge himself and add some adventure to his existence by taking some time off and hiking the great Appalachian trail. He’s never gone hiking before, but he’s got a bunch of fancy and expensive equipment from a hiking store – what else could he need?

His hiking adventure quickly turns into a life threatening nightmare when, during a storm, Jake is caught in a sudden mudslide. Injured and facing the very real possibility of imminent death, he is unexpectedly rescued by a mountain man who swoops in at the last minute to save the day.

Levi lives alone in a cabin in the woods. He works for the parks department monitoring the local wildlife in the area. He’s never been that keen on people and values his solitude. But when a city guy falls into his life, Levi’s world is turned upside down. He’s never been attracted to a man before, and the dominant, possessive feelings Jake inspires in him are beyond anything he’s ever experienced before.

As Jake recovers from his injuries, he has no choice but to remain with Levi, but when the time comes for him to return to the real world, these two men may find saying goodbye a lot harder than either of them can handle.

His Submissive features a lot of steamy BDSM and Dom/sub scenes, but is also sweet and romantic. The two main characters are complex, insightful and work well together. I enjoyed this one, and I can see myself diving back in for a second helping one day!

“After The Crash” by Emma Alcott

Marshall was your typical geek in high school, but with the added bonus of also being gay. Relentlessly targeted by bullies for years, Marshall just bit his lip and got through it, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before he could leave and his real life could begin. The only fond memory he has of his school years was Fox, the one boy who stepped in and defended him during a particularly savage beating.

Years later, Marshall is a billionaire tech genius but dissatisfied with his life. He can do anything he wants, except let go of his past. Deciding he needs to take some time for himself, Marshall takes a year off from work to return to his little home town in the hopes of confronting a few ghosts from his past and maybe find himself in the process. The last thing he expects is to run into Fox again, but he is not the boy he once was.

Fox did everything to remain on the straight and narrow during high school, not wanting anything to spoil his chances of entering the military after graduation. He kept his head down and tried not to make waves. Years later, Fox is a broken man. Haunted by war and suffering from severe PTSD, he returns to his home town seeking peace. But his parents are more interested in their social climbing than caring for their mentally wounded son, and Fox is forced onto the street.

The last thing he expects, while having a panic attack in a bush, is to bump into Marshall, the boy from high school he once saved from a beating by his so-called friends. Marshall offers him a live in position as a groundskeeper at his Victorian manor house on the edge of town.

Fox is straight. Marshall knows this. But the more time they spend together, the more he starts to fall for the former soldier. Fox also finds hanging around the geeky billionaire is inspiring feelings he never knew he had. But can these men really find a way to connect, or is their relationship doomed to crash and burn?

After The Crash features several triggers, including high school bullying, violence, war, PTSD flash backs, anxiety and panic attacks. Beyond that lies a story of two men, desperate to heal the wounds of their past while trying to find their place in the world. Highly recommended.

Well, that’s all for this month! I hope you found something interesting for your “to read” list. I wish you happy reading until next month.

Lots of Love

Alex Leslie

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