[Novel] Just friends

Book Title: Just Friends (Never Just Friends #1) by Saxon James

Published: August 27, 2020

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Roo

Five years ago, I walked away from Sunbury, Oregon, and left my best friend behind.

The move was supposed to get my life on track. I even had a list.

Life changing epilepsy surgery. Check.

See the world. Check

Get over my straight best friend … Not exactly.

No matter where I go or who I meet, I can’t let Tanner go.

I’m back to tell him how I feel. To get the closure I need once and for all.

Only now I’m here and falling for him all over again, it’s getting harder to say the words.

Because once I have my closure, I’ll be gone.

And this time it will be for good.

Tanner

When my best friend, Roo, left for Australia, it was the worst day of my life.

I thought we’d have each other always.

But Roo needed the surgery so I let him go, thinking he’d come straight back.

Five years is a long time.

Now he’s here, all I want is to hold on tight.

I need to show him what he means to me.

The problem is, I’m not exactly sure what that is.

My draw to him has always been confusing and different—everyone in town says so. But I struggle to understand it.

All I know is I won’t survive him leaving again.

And I’ll do anything to make him stay.

Just Friends is a best friends-to-lovers romance with an oblivious MC, only one bed, and terrible kangaroo jokes.


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[Novel] Rocket Science

Book Title: Rocket Science by KM Neuhold

Published: September 27, 2019

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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

Elijah

Saying I’ve had a crush on my best friend’s older brother, Pax, most of my life is like saying the big bang was just an explosion. It’s true, but I’m not sure that quite captures the essence of its true enormity.

I know he’s only hanging out with me because I’m new in town and getting my PhD doesn’t leave me with much time to make friends. And even if it did, my strength is mathematics, not friend-making. What I don’t understand is why he kissed me… why he seems to want to keep kissing me. I don’t think my advanced physics knowledge is going to help me figure this one out. But I think for once I’m okay with not knowing, as long as Pax and I don’t know together.

Pax

He’s still the awkward Nerdlet I remember…he’s also probably the cutest, most tempting man I’ve laid eyes on. I know I should keep my hands off him, but this thing between us is like a force of nature. I want to be his first everything. He says we’re nothing more than atoms crashing into each other. I’m no scientist but I don’t think either of us are braced for the explosion.

**** Rocket Science is a stand-alone MM romance featuring an inexperienced nerd, a cocky player, and a satisfying HEA

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[Novel] The Sugared Game

Book Title: The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures 2) by KJ Charles

Published: August 26, 2020

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

It’s been two months since Will Darling saw Kim Secretan, and he doesn’t expect to see him again. What do a rough and ready soldier-turned-bookseller and a disgraced shady aristocrat have to do with each other anyway?

But when Will encounters a face from the past in a disreputable nightclub, Kim turns up, as shifty, unreliable, and irresistible as ever. And before Will knows it, he’s been dragged back into Kim’s shadowy world of secrets, criminal conspiracies, and underhand dealings.

This time, though, things are underhanded even by Kim standards. This time, the danger is too close to home. And if Will and Kim can’t find common ground against unseen enemies, they risk losing everything.

A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction.

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[Novel] Terms of Service

Book Title: Terms of Service by Marie Sexton

Published: June 25, 2018

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Dr. River McKay moved to Denver with his husband, Terrence, hoping to give their failing marriage a new start. A year later, Terrence is gone and River’s left brokenhearted. Now, he’s decided it’s time to get back in the game. A chance encounter at the hospital introduces him to Phil, a strong-willed pharmacist who isn’t impressed by River’s degree.

Phil can’t deny his attraction to River, but dating is out of the question. Phil only does one kind of relationship — domestic servitude, where he gives the orders and his partner obeys. To his surprise, River agrees — not because he likes the idea, but because anything’s better than being alone.

They know the arrangement won’t last. Phil’s set in his ways and incapable of showing affection outside the bedroom. River’s unused to obedience and still in love with his ex. But their time together will change them, making them question everything they thought they knew about love, control, and relationships. When the unexpected threatens to tear them apart, they’ll have to choose between the comforts of the past and a future they can only find together.


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[Novel] The Experiment

Book Title: The Experiment by Rebecca Raine

Published: August 17, 2020

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When a single kiss calls your sexuality into question, there’s only one sure path to a reliable answer: further research.

Patrick

I like to think I know myself outside and in. What you see is what you get, and what you get happens to be straight. This is no mere opinion. It’s a fact – tried and tested. So, when I end up kissing my best friend to satisfy a lost bet, I already know I’ll hate every second of it.

Until I don’t.

The intense desire aroused by Logan’s kiss has me asking all sorts of new and exciting questions. Thankfully, as a developmental psychologist, I know exactly how to find the answers I need.

Logan

I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping Patrick out of my fantasies and in the friend-zone. Our recent lip-lock may have unleashed my feelings for him temporarily, but I’ll get them back on their platonic track in no time. Falling for a friend, especially a sexually ambivalent friend, is a one-way ticket to heartache.

Then Patrick announces his intention to conduct an experiment into the extent of his bisexuality. I can’t resist volunteering to help. If any man is going to join Patrick on his journey of self-discovery, it’s sure as hell going to be me.

The Experiment is a steamy, best friends to lovers, bisexual awakening, gay for you story with high heat and low angst. It is a standalone novel set in Australia. Swoon-worthy HEA included.


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[Manga] Link and Ring (リンクアンドリング)

リンクアンドリング | Link and Ring

Story and Art: Tsuyuki Yuruco (つゆき ゆるこ)

Translated by: Amimaru Translation and Localization Services Ltd

Status: Completed

Available at futekiya (EN), Rakuten Kobo (JP)

 

Summary from futekiya

“If I ever get brave enough to say I like you from the top of my lungs–” Bessho coincidentally meets Makita in a university lecture they share, finding out that they both like cute things. While Bessho hides his preferences like a dirty little secret, Makita makes no excuses for who he is and what he likes. Despite the twists and turns, they encounter along the way, the pair of lovers deal with their possessive and jealous urges on their slow journey to answering the age-old question: what is the best way to fall in love?

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[Manga] Love Awakening x Syndrome (恋⼼×シンドローム)

恋⼼×シンドローム | Koigokoro x Syndrome

Story and Art: Machida Tomato (町田 とまと)

Translated by: Amimaru Translation and Localization Services Ltd

Status: Completed

Available at futekiya (EN), Rakuten Kobo (JP) (both digital)

What it is (summary from futekiya)

College student Sano, who is curious about love but has never felt it, decides to go to associate professor Kigami, who’s famous for doling love advice out to his students. When he’s mistaken for a part-time assistant, however, Sano gets roped into cleaning the Archaeology department’s room for Kigami instead. Impressed by his work, Kigami gives him advice in exchange for his trouble and suggests Sano be his teacher’s assistant for real. But would his advice still successfully snag Sano a girlfriend, even though Kigami’s only ever liked guys?


Another title I picked up because it is on the first page lol. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it.

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[Manga] Seitokai: When a Student Council Member Rehabilitating a Bad Boy Somehow Turns Into a Romantic Comedy


That’s a really long title…


生徒会役員として問題児を更生させていたら何故かラブコメになっていた件

| Seitokai Yakuin Toshite Mondaiji wo Kousei Saseteitara Nazeka Love Comedy ni Natteita Ken

Story and Art: Hashimoto Mitsu (ハシモト ミツ)

Translation: Amimaru Translation and Localization Services LTD

Status: Completed

Available at futekiya (EN), Rakuten (JP) (both digital)

What it is (summary from futekiya)

Hananomiya’s student council president Taisei Mizuki has his hands full with rehabilitating Sosuke Hakaze, the school’s number one problem child. As Hakaze’s acts grow worse, Mizuki can’t take it and blurts out, “how can we get you back to how you were before!?” In response, Hakaze says he’ll show Mizuki how…by kissing him (!) and even jerking him off (!!) Can Mizuki, pure in both mind and body, even stand a chance of enduring the naughty chain of “rehabilitation activities” they’ve just started?


Futekiya subscription was free for the entire month of May so I decided to try their service. I picked up Seitokai randomly because it seemed light and fun, and basing on futekiya’s smutty level, it is indeed smutty.

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[Manga] Tabetemo Oishiku Arimasen 1 (食べてもおいしくありません 1 )

食べてもおいしくありません 1| Tabetemo Oishiku Arimasen 1

Mangaka: Yamada Nichoume (山田2丁目)

Status: Ongoing

Volumes: 2 (at the time of writing)

Frustrations from Mujintou led me to Tabetemo… I guess I didn’t want to accept that Yamada Nichoume is only as good as Mujintou, so I decided to give them another try with their new-ish series. Thankfully, I’m not disappointed.

In a world where demons and humans coexist, humans are treated as rare species. A chance encounter with a big-horned demon made a big change in Hiyori’s relatively peaceful life. Hodaka, the demon, demanded to allow Hiyori to eat him.

This is a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be full of blackmail, judging from the cover with cowering Hiyori and a towering demon in the background. But Tabetemo subverts every expectation I have.

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[Manga] Mujintou ni Motte Iku Nara (無人島に持っていくなら)

無人島に持っていくなら | Mujintou ni Motte Iku Nara

Mangaka: Yamada Nichoume (山田2丁目)

Status: Completed

Volume: 1

I’ve had this book on my Kobo for the longest time that I can no longer remember what made me pick this up. I think it was the Datte Maou-sama wa Kare ga Kirai series that sparked my Yamada Nichoume phase? At the time, I was fairly new with their writing and wanted to know more. Sadly, this phase ended prematurely with Mujintou. God knows how many times I’ve tried to read this, put down, wait, restart again.

You know, it’s hard to talk about this book because I had a rough time wrapping my head around this most of the time. With each restart, I hoped that things would get a little clearer to me. But to no avail. Even after finishing it now, I’m still quite lost and confused at some parts of this one. Maybe because I wanted to like this book so much and have liked some of Yamada Nichoume’s works before that I couldn’t let myself think that this book somehow disappointed me?

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