Beautiful Chaos Gay Romance Review

“Emotional” isn’t enough to describe Devon McCormack & Riley Hart’s Beautiful Chaos. The title alone should clue you into that. Does chaos give way to harmony or…simply a mess? Find out below.

From the Amazon Blurb:

SILAS

My home is my sanctuary. Or is it my prison? Some days it’s hard to tell.

I’ve confined myself behind these walls for protection. I have my reasons, but that doesn’t change the profound loneliness I’ve discovered in the process.

Then one day I find myself drifting toward the window to see him. Corey Marshall, my new neighbor. Quiet, reserved, and cute as can be. He infects my thoughts, becomes the image I fantasize about.

I want to taste his lips, smell his scent…feel what it’s like to be inside him.

And soon, watching becomes exchanging gifts and messages, which becomes so much more.

It’s wrong to want this as badly as I do, but I can’t help myself. I crave him so desperately. It’s hard to tell if what we’re doing is going to make me lose my mind or change my entire world, but it’s too late to turn back now…

COREY

I’ve never been quite right. Too high or too low. Pain is my constant companion…at the hands of my abusive ex, and often from myself. The sweet relief is only temporary, but in those moments, it’s like I can finally breathe.

Then I meet him. Silas Rizner calms the chaotic storms inside me. He makes me feel loved, treasured, even when I don’t deserve it. I cherish the moments we share–cooking, cuddling, and when Silas reads to me until I fall asleep. When he’s inside me, it’s the only time in my life I’ve ever felt complete.

Silas becomes the glue that holds me together, that bandages my scars. Inside the walls of his home, we’re almost safe, but our demons are always there, waiting to break free.

We’re a mess. We’re broken, chaotic, beautiful; we’re in love.

But not even love can slay our monsters. No, only we can do that.

Unless our monsters destroy us first.

TRIGGERS: Self-harm, depression, anxiety, mentions of past domestic violence.

*While the sexual situations depicted in Beautiful Chaos are imperative to the characters’ development throughout the course of the novel, readers are advised to peruse the “Dear Reader” letter at the beginning of the book to help them make an informed decision about whether this particular story will be to their tastes. This letter can be viewed in the downloadable sample or by using the “Look Inside” feature found on the title’s product page.

First, I want to give these two authors their props for handling some deep, very real issues dealing with domestic abuse. Do not ignore the trigger warning from the blurb. These two lovers have a lot of darkness to wade through.

Thankfully, Silas and Corey’s ultimate journey doesn’t fall into the typical co-dependent unhealthiness that plagues the romance genre (Looking at you, Fifty Shades). Though the two have a lot of work to do, but the focus is on them healing individually instead of together.

From a writing perspective, scenes were captured so vividly I had to put the book down a few times to catch my breath. That’s not to say this is a book that “isn’t for everybody.” On the contrary, I believe it’s a story we don’t get enough of.

Beautiful Chaos isn’t about happy endings or beginnings. It’s not about two beautiful, Calvin Klein model-looking men who are “struggling to find love.” It’s about how someone who is completely damaged learns to choose themselves so that they can choose another.

I look forward to more from these authors.

 

Photographic Memory Gay Romance Review

Aiden Bates’ Photographic Memory offers plenty of promise. Imagine running into your old middle school crush on a blind date? What are the odds, right? But do those odds hold up to Bates’ overall story? Let’s find out.

From the Amazon Blurb:

A man focused on success. An artist determined to make a difference. A fateful choice between love and money.

ALEX
I’m on the verge of burning out, but I can’t quit. I refuse to be poor, refuse to return to Texas a failure. My career is everything—at least that’s what I thought, before I was set up on a blind date with Jordan, the boy from my past I left behind.

Jordan is everything I remembered—a brilliant artist dedicated to making a difference in the world. He calls to my soul, reawakens the part of me I crushed in order to get ahead. How can I be with someone whose political activism threatens my very livelihood? How can I not, when he reminds me of the person I used to be?

A person who would make the choice to betray his employer and hand over sensitive financial documents in order to bring down a tyrant bent on destruction. . .

A person who is carrying a life-altering new secret.

JORDAN
I’m falling in love with someone who works for the most evil bank in the country—the boy I loved when we were kids. But he isn’t the same person. I know Alex—he isn’t a man without a conscience, a man devoted to nothing but success. The more time we spend together, the more I can see the familiar light coming back into his eyes. A light banishing the imposter who would choose murky success over ethics, sabotaging our relationship.

He’ll have to make a final choice—us, or his dreams of wealth. Have I gone too far, bringing Alex into my world of battling corporate greed? I don’t want our relationship to cost him his career, his reputation. . .

But maybe it should, if it means halting his walk down a dark path.

A path we now have no choice but to walk together. I’m expecting Alex’s baby. . .

. . .and Alex is expecting mine.

Alex and Jordan’s romance shouldn’t work on paper. Fortunately, the most incredible of romances start out that way. Bates’ writing rarely disappoints as we navigate the complete different and opposing worlds of both leads.

However, I could have used a flashback or two. A scene from back when they were awkward, most-likely-oppressed gay teens would have been nice. I mean, by all means, rip on Texas a little.

The romance was a little hard to buy into at times. Yes, it’s possible to be in love with someone who has nothing in common with you. It’s happened to me more than once. However, at times, it seemed like all these two had in common anymore was being from *Grim Thunderclap* Texas.

Overall, this was a very interesting read. Though I struggled with some parts, I was not disappointed. I look forward to more of Bates’ work.

The Boyfriend Contract Gay Romance Review

Secret trysts and daddy issues in a gay romance? Sounds about right. Jason Collins’ The Boyfriend Contract offers a sweet, if predictable, story that’s sure to delight the M/M core fanbase.

From the Amazon Blurb:

BRETT:

It’s normal for your new boss to ask you to be his fake boyfriend at the interview, right?

When I arrive at the run-down vineyard for a bartending job, I’m not expecting a man like Ethan Carrington to answer the door. Tall, chiseled, and passionate, the man is sex on legs, and he offers me more than bar work.

Ethan wants me to pretend to be his boyfriend to impress investors. I’m reluctant, but I need the money, and there are many perks to working with the drop-dead gorgeous man in charge.

The job is fun, the benefits are excellent, and Ethan is charming and intriguing. I can pretend to be his boyfriend, no problem. That’s all this is: an arrangement we’ll both benefit from. So why can’t I stop fantasizing about him?

We’re surrounded by wine, and all I want to do is offer Ethan a private tasting.

ETHAN:

He’s gorgeous, and he just gave me the best Climax I’ve ever had.

Well, at least that was the name of the sample drink he prepared for me during the interview. He’s good with his hands, but I have my eye on more than just his cocktails.

I used to be all about living fast and spending money, but those days came to a screeching halt when my wealthy father gave me an ultimatum: prove my skills by flipping an old vineyard and turning a profit, or he’ll cut me off.

The vineyard needs renovations from the ground up, but investors aren’t willing to part with their money. They want proof that I’m good with long-term commitments.

A stable boyfriend would do the trick.

All my dreams come true when Brett shows up. Sexy and irresistible, he’s more than capable behind a bar, but I have something crazier in mind. If his acting is as good as his bartending, he’s perfect fake boyfriend material. The question is, what happens when it stops being an act?

Things are heating up, and I’m not sure if we’re still pretending.

Right away, it’s obvious where this story is headed. That’s not why you’ve chosen to read it, though. Like many M/M romance novels, most of the story is meant to accentuate the sex scenes. Notably, however, the toppings more often than not add a much needed boost in flavor.

Two guys agree to pretend to date each other. As time goes on, they begin to realize they’re not pretending anymore. We’ve seen the same thing in heterosexual land several times before. So, why does it work so well here?

From writer-to-writer, I can tell Jason Collins made a considerable effort to improve his already-well-defined skillset. Even though the story is predictable, his writing enables you to still feel for the characters and wonder what’s going to happen next anyway.

It’s a testament that sometimes we need a little predictability when we step away from reality.