“Vanilla Clouds” by Roe Horvat

about

“I could spend days listening to you talk about chocolate.”

Sex and chocolate are the two pleasures Michał enjoys most in life.

His sex life has been nonexistent for some time, though. After a particularly bad hookup, he keeps mostly to himself. That leaves chocolate. Luckily, he works surrounded by the most delicious, extravagant produce in Gothenburg. Beside his job at the chocolaterie, his main source of excitement is his online friend, Magnus, whom he stubbornly refuses to meet in person.

A customer turns up at the chocolaterie one day—tall, shy, and charming. He could be just the right man. If Michał can step out of his overly safe shell, there might be not only chocolate, but sex, too. Maybe chocolate-flavored sex. And if he’s lucky, maybe even love.
Read More

“Galaxies and Oceans” by N.R. Walker

about

Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.

Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.

Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.

Aubrey never expected to be happy.

Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.

 

review

New beginnings. Rebirth. Revival. That’s what I think of when I think of Aubrey and Patrick. And when I think of them together, my heart races and my face softens. Their love is deeply passionate, fierce and firm, and beautifully brave. Walker is one of my favorite authors for good reason, but this story completely blew me away. The pain is quick and sharp; from the very first page I was hooked and anxious. However, she counterbalances the hurt with an abundance of love. Aubrey is a survivor of domestic abuse. He escaped his tormentor….but at a hefty price. A violent bushfire created an opportunity he couldn’t resist. Faking his death, he fled south leaving his entire existence behind him. Six months later he finds himself at Hadley Cove and at the mercy of a few dozen strangers hoping they might give him a chance. One might argue there’s nothing random about him crossing paths with Patrick, the resident lighthouse keeper. Or could even go as far as saying their intentional connection was set by the stars. *sigh* I’m not sure if there’s anything more romantic than the universe playing a role in bringing two soul mates together.

Like

Neither men are looking for love when Aubrey arrives in the teeny seaside town (which I adored!). Aubrey is simply trying to carry on despite the many hardships he’s faced. Orphaned as a young child, his grandfather raised him. However, a cruel twist of fate took his only family from him before he hit adulthood. Striving to follow his dreams he made it to college only to have that derailed from completion by his controlling boyfriend. Control turned into abuse and he was caught in the endless cycle of domestic violence. To say life has been unfair would be an understatement. On the other hand, Patrick found his happiness and blissfully relished in the joy of true love. Until his partner was lost at sea. Four years have passed, but the fracture through his heart has yet to close. He succumbs to his grief and sorrow. Although he has barely begun his fourth decade, he’s resolved to his solitude. Well, that was until the new man in town with a bright pair of eyes with a magnetic pull caught his attention. How’s that old saying go?? “Just because you weren’t expecting it, doesn’t mean it’s not everything you’ve been waiting for.” Yeah…that.

love

It’s easy to fall for both Aubrey and Patrick. They are extremely lovable. Aubrey was reborn with a new outlook on life. I am in awe of his strength and courage. He literally climbed out of the ashes and reclaimed a new life. He doesn’t trust easily, which is to be expected. But even he can’t deny there is just…something about the sexy keeper of the lighthouse that makes him feel safe. It’s as if his heart and soul see peace and comfort within Patrick. They form a fragile friendship that burns into a deeper bond. I was captivated by their fall. Patrick hasn’t completed his mourning and he’s overwhelmed with guilt. He wasn’t supposed to feel this way again. But with the help of Aubrey he realizes that grief changes and love is everlasting. He can still honor his love for Scott and give his heart to Aubrey. Because love can be infinite and eternal. Some things can’t be stopped or controlled; the tides will forever rage and the stars will burn through the darkness for all time. A beautiful lighthouse sets the perfect backdrop. Walker doesn’t skimp on the tender moments. This story is filled with healing and solace. There’s passionate picnics, sweet stargazing, and affection that will melt your heart.  Sprinkle in some heat and an intriguing secondary cast and I was stunned into an immediate reread. That is a rare occurrence and I cherish the powerful books that leave me breathless. This is a remarkable tale that is worthy of your attention.

beware

Domestic Abuse. It’s not on page but that doesn’t diminish the sharp pain. I ached and raged on behalf of Audrey. Then we have, an age gap. Patrick is fourteen years older than Aubrey but numbers mean little in the face of love. Additionally there is the loss of a loved one. Patrick’s ex, Scott, suffered a tragic death but true love never ends. Patrick discovered he can still hold fast to his love for Scott and also give his heart to Aubrey. Sometimes we aren’t meant to find pure love only once. And I’m so grateful Walker blessed Patrick with his second chance at happily ever after.

bookisforIf you’re looking for swoon, eager for sexy, and wish to be captivated by a love story mapped by the stars, follow the light here.

 

bookinfo

TITLE: Galaxies and Oceans
AUTHOR: N.R. Walker
PUBLISHER: Blueheart Press
LENGTH: 313 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2018
BUY LINKS: Amazon