Never Too Late Spotlight #5 11

N2L5-001Bindings and BooksIt starts with an embarrassing encounter on a ski slope.

James Connell is adamant – He’s not getting involved!

The 42 year old bookstore owner’s life is governed by logic, order and a dash of OCD—just the way he likes it!

There is absolutely no place in his life for a way-too-young, sexy, carefree guy like Ash.

What would people think?

Ash Bradley-Mills is adamant – He wants James!

Travelling the world and testing sports equipment has been great fun for Ash, but he’s ready for something more.

He wants an adrenaline rush of a different kind, and tall dark, handsome and older James fits the criteria perfectly.

Now all Ash needs to do is break through James’s defenses and life long fear of judgement. Easy!

He’s got the perfect plan to push James out of his comfort zone and into his arms.

-This was a well-written book. Poor James. His OCD and sense of order gets thrown by Ash and he is set to stay away. Kind of hard when your family and friends don’t make that possible. The author poured in a heaping of drama and a ex-boyfriend who I seriously want to punch. Can I hit Brody? PLEASE?

If you’re like me, you’ll adore James, try to decide which Ash you like more – the first one or the second one – and all-in-all, like the story.

4 stars.


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Herm I.T.Robin Paley, a Vietnam vet, and Hendrix Higgins, a former teacher who witnessed a school shooting become trapped together during a storm in March of 2001, when Hendrix, now a computer tech, arrives to fix Robin’s only source of contact with the outside world. Discovering they have much in common, an afternoon of bonding leads to more. When Robin admits he’ll never contact Hendrix again, however, a heated argument ensues. Hendrix fights hard to move on, while Robin seems to want to stay stuck. They angrily part ways, Hendrix telling Robin to call him if he ever wants to live again. When Robin finally reaches out, he fears it may be too late and that Hendrix has moved on.

First off, if you suffer from PTSD in any form, consider how you feel before reading this book. I’m shaken due to my reactions to it and it’s been decades for me.

Ever read a story and you just know that a whole chunk is missing? Yeah, that. The story is from Robin’s POV, a Vietnam vet dealing with a HUGE amount of PTSD. He’s become a hermit and the furthest he goes is to the end of his drive anymore. He has major issues, psychological problems wherein healing only comes with time and therapy. Then, there’s Hendrix, his love interest in the story, who is dealing with his own form of PTSD from having been a teacher in a school shooting situation.

Two men, royally f’d up by situations out of their control. The difference? Hendrix wants to get better. Robin doesn’t think he can. His ex, a horrible man by the name of Frank who was also f’d up by the Vietnam war, consistently put Robin down, beat him up mentally to where he didn’t think he was worth anything.

They have one brief tryst one morning before Hendrix leaves. Then suddenly the story is 6 months later—though the reader doesn’t know that until many paragraphs later—a few days after 9/11. While the story ended on a positive note, it was not what I expected. I expected a love story. Instead, what I got was a ‘fight for the right’ story, which tends to happen in stories focused around 9/11.

It left me disappointed. Robin suddenly acted so different, and considering this last part of the story was the first time he’d left his own place in longer than the story ever tells us, it felt off. He needed therapy to feel as good as he came across. But he hadn’t been out amongst people to do so.

I just don’t know how Hendrix and Robin have a future. I needed, as a reader, a reason for Robin to suddenly move on and didn’t get one. 9/11 should have created more pain and yet it seemed to do the opposite with him, which I found confusing.

3 stars.


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Where There’s SmokeIf he can make room in his life and his heart, an isolated medieval history professor might find a real life knight in shining armor.

A terrible breakup in his early thirties left David shying away from relationships. For years he’s been content with his solitary life, finding fulfillment in his career, books, television show marathons, and his cat’s companionship. When David meets his neighbor Zach, he can’t tell if Zach is just being friendly or if the handsome fireman might actually be interested in him. The more time they spend together, though, the more David questions his resolution to remain single. If Zach can extinguish the flames left by David’s past, David might finally break away from his structured life and take a chance on love.

A cute, sweet romance. David, who doesn’t want to be seen as a damsel in distress, even though he keeps having to be saved, finds a knight in shining armor in his neighbor Zach, who is a firefighter. It was a cute story what with a neighbor who seems destined to make trouble and get them together and a cat who helps with that as well.

A nice 4 star read.


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Saints Save A SinnerWilliam Arthur Ainsworth, second son of the Earl of Cannahan, has just purchased a Lieutenant’s Commission in the Coldstream Regiment, British Foot Guards. A new officer, Will shows promise and is taken in hand by experienced Scottish Sergeant Duncan Blair. Friendship grows into affection and desire as the men fight the French from Egypt to Sweden and back to the Spanish Peninsula through the six coalitions of the Napoleonic Wars. A bloody defeat in Spain and tragedy at home pull William away from service in the British Army and turn him from an officer to an earl, but status, time, and distance combined can’t change Will’s feelings for Duncan. When a hard-won peace is finally achieved, Will realizes the most important mission he may ever undertake will be convincing Duncan that the end of the fighting can mean the beginning of their lives together.

This was not my kind of story. First, it was the Regency time period which doesn’t appeal to me anyway. Second, it was filled with tons of ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing’. It felt like an entire novel needed to be condensed into a short story so all the chapters where X,Y, & Z happened were shortened to a few paragraphs and so it felt like reading a laundry list rather than experiencing the events.

Doing accents in a book isn’t easy, but this one failed a bit short for me because the ‘accent’ for Duncan kept changing. From ye’r to yer for your and changing the way the ‘na’ was used in canna and ha’na – there were quite a few accented words that didn’t have continuity through the story.

One of the worst infractions was Duncan said a full couple lines in Gaelic and Will didn’t know what they meant. As the story is from Will’s POV, we should not have known what they meant. Unfortunately, directly after the Gaelic was the English version – within the same quotation marks.

However, while those kinds of things would normally garner a 2 star review from me, I will admit the storyline was engaging enough that I bumped it up to 3 stars.


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Kithric’s MountainKithric, an aging dragon tamer, leads a solitary life atop his mountain, until the day he accidentally traps a dragon that is more than he seems. Expecting to be killed for capturing a dragon shifter, Kithric instead finds himself spared and left to deal with his continued solitude.

He finds he can’t be rid of Ylfrin the dragon shifter that easily, though, and as Ylfrin continues to return, bit by bit Kithric begins to fall for him and starts to value using what life he has left to the fullest. But before he and Ylfrin can explore their feelings, they must first confront dangers and corrupt forces encroaching from outside Kithric’s Mountain.


Okay, this story had a few unique elements. We have Kithric our ‘older’ character, but when we get to know Ylfrin, we find out he’s much older, though we never quite find out how old he actually is. It’s kind of an amazing tale of a man willing to give up and finding the one who makes him want to fight on.

Two old men willing to battle it out for each other gets 4 stars. Though I do wonder what they’re gonna do when the people come back.


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Aiding and AbettingWhen cynical forty-three-year-old police officer Evan Andrews finds his home broken into, he quickly learns there’s more to Beau Toliver than meets the eye. Injured and afraid, Beau mistrusts Evan and the police every bit as much as Evan mistrusts Beau. As affection slowly grows between them, Evan discovers the real threat might come from the colleagues he’s considered friends for over two decades. When the truth comes out, Evan races to save Beau’s life at the risk of his own. His actions could mean the end of his career, but he might finally realize there are more important things in life.

This was an interesting read. To start off with, it is in present tense, which always bugs me unless it’s in YA lit. However, the story was interesting enough, that I was actually able to overlook at that part. It’s suspense romance and nicely done for such a short story. Evan’s a great character, though I do think he makes some pretty stupid mistakes. And Beau? I wouldn’t want to have to go through what he did. Yikes! The suspense was good, but the romance actually was lacking. Yeah, Evan was attracted physically, but why was he attracted emotionally? That part I didn’t get. But, if you take out the romance that was there but not really, the book was quite good.

I loved what happened to the bad guy – 4 stars.


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11 thoughts on “Never Too Late Spotlight #5

  • Caitlyn Dean

    Oh Bindings and Books looks like a really good read. How awful was Brody? He must bring out strong emotions if you want to punch him.

  • Denise Dechene

    Where there’s Smoke by Nico Jaye or Aiding and Abetting by Nora Roth sound interesting. Thanks for the chance

  • Jen CW

    I think Kithric’s Mountain or Where There’s Smoke sounds great. Thank you for the chance.

  • Shorty Chelle

    I have read all the books listed but except for the last two and thought they were good. Books 5 and 6 appeal to me the most as I love books that are mystery or paranormal.

  • Barbara Adams

    I have yet to read a fantasy genre M/M novel, so I’m quite surprised to find myself really wanting to read Kithric’s Mountain by Jessica Payseur.

  • Jerry Fuller

    All the books sound really good. Can’t wait to read them all. But being a dragon lover I will really enjoy Kithric’s Mountain.

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