Murphy’s Law by Penny Brandon

Title: Murphy’s Law

Series: N/A  

Author: Penny Brandon

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Loose Id (July 31st, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:  Fed up of trying to fly under his step family’s radar, David sets off to Australia to get away from their constant harassment. Maybe there he can be himself, be free, be with someone who can help him forget about his problems for a while. Meeting Scott, who not only thinks he’s sexy but shows him how much over and over again, is perfect. And Scott doesn’t care that he’s accident prone. Well, David is everything prone; what can go wrong does. And falling in love with someone he nearly kills is about as wrong as it can get.

Scott likes his sex uncomplicated, preferably with someone just passing through, but his family wants him to settle down with some nice young man. To get away from their meddling he heads to Bondi Beach. That’s where he meets David, a man who just pushes his buttons, and the fact that he’s looking for the same thing Scott is, makes him ideal. However, he falls in love with David–sassy attitude, accidents, and adorable accent included. But how is Scott going to persuade David to stay with him, especially as David’s seriously upset about nearly getting him killed?

This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

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Reviewer:   Cat

Review:   This story is really cute and funny. Nicely fast paced, one twist after another. The sex is hot and the things that happen are funny and some are suspenseful.

You can’t help but fall in love with David, and also sympathize with him for being so accident prone. I really related, since I seem to have the same fate. Scott is also likeable and so hot. What’s not to like about him? What all can go wrong in an Australian paradise? You wouldn’t believe half of it!! But I am not telling you will have to read this!!

Some of the things are really out there! Also it’s a bit hard to believe that someone just meeting another person falls so in love in such a short time. Seems like a normal person would run the other direction when these things happen. We aren’t talking spilled paint or stubbed toes here. But this is fiction, and it’s fun to escape to these places especially of love at first sight and ever enduring.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves, love at first sight, sweet funny romance, and some pretty hot mansex.



After Ben by Con Riley

Title:  After Ben

Series:  Seattle Stories, # 1

Author:  Con Riley

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novel (300 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (July 16th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Medium

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he’s looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans.

While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it’s his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge… until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.

Theo’s late partner was significantly older—enough to strain Theo’s relationship with his family—and the potential of another relationship being cut short leaves him gunshy. Theo needs to lay Ben’s memory to rest, reconcile with his family, and rekindle neglected friendships if he’s to start afresh with a new lover. But Theo isn’t the only one with a past.

His biggest challenge, in living after Ben, might not be his to face.

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Reviewer:   Any

Review: There are so many things to love about this book.

I particularly appreciated these things:

1) The author is very good at hooking the reader with clever, well-written sentences at the end of scenes and chapters. The opening sentence is a great example: “Sometimes, just sometimes, Theo forgot he was single.”

Brilliant. It opened up so many questions for me that I needed to read on.

2) The story is emotion driven.

3) Characters and relationships are complex, not all honky-dory.

4) The fact Morgan and Theo get it on in the later part of the book, so the sex doesn’t overshadow the plot and therefore (at least the first time they meet and do the deed) it’s more intimate.

About 80% of the book I really enjoyed, certainly the first half felt quite refreshing, slow but I felt I was really discovering the character.

However, there were a couple of things that didn’t quite do it for me and this is where I found myself starting to skip: The flashbacks. Some of the ones with Ben were important for the main story line and character development, but sometimes there were too many and it felt unbalanced to the central romance. I could have done with about half of them.

Also, even some of the current story was written in flashback. Theo would go home to his mum and dad and then think about what’d happened with Morgan or his interns etc, when I feel this might have been more effective if those scenes played out in current time.

And, the last little thing that wasn’t for me was very little sex, to way too much. I’m talking about balance here. That first explosive sex scene between Theo and Morgan was wonderful, but it quickly got boring the more they went at it (especially when other plot points were still open — like what happened to Morgan and more on those issues, which I would have found more fascinating to focus on). I guess, for me, it felt not quite right considering the slower, more emotionally intimate beginning.

One thing that I am GLAD I knew before reading, otherwise I would have been disappointed, was that Peter is NOT the love interest, although he is lovely and has (I thought) a spark with Theo and they do get physically close. If I had NOT known he wasn’t the main love interest, I would have anticipated Morgan being Peter . . . (especially for the first half of the book) I would have thought that maybe Peter was Peter Morgan. In fact, I know myself as a reader, and I would have been secretly hoping that was the case. However, knowing that going into the story helped and I had not much issue with that little plot.

In fact, I really loved Peter. I would LOVE to read his story. Also, I would be interested in Evan’s brother’s story as well. I have temporarily forgotten his name, but I got the feeling there could be an interesting story there . . .

I absolutely loved the Jory and Evan’s story. Such characters, lovely side romance. 😀

All in all, I liked this story. I think this is going to be one of those authors that just gets better and better and I can’t wait to see how she develops her next books.