Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Love Me Like a Rock + Hard Candy by Amy Jo Cousins


Love Me Like a Rock by Amy Jo Cousins

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryHaving grown up with artistic implements always in hand, there’s almost nothing Austin can’t make real. Except for one thing—an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate and occasional hookup, Vinnie. The combination of emotional and sexual frustration fuels a spark between Austin and the nude model in his drawing class. Austin isn’t used to having trouble focusing; models are merely challenging subjects to be rendered on paper. But the geology TA’s direct blue gaze is powerful enough to drag Austin’s focus away from his…physique.After a quick and very dirty post-class encounter, all the reasons that Austin has been waiting for his best friend go fuzzy in his mind. Sean is nothing like Vinnie. Sean is persistent, pays attention, and makes it clear he wants to be together.But if Austin can’t get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose his friend, or his lover.

Review: Love Me Like a Rock is part one in the story of best friends and part-time lovers, Austin and Vincent. This book focuses on Austin, who has always wanted more from Vincent, but never voiced his feelings. However, in a life drawing class, he meets Sean, who is happy to take things casual for a bit. Well, he says he's okay with that but he really wants Austin all to himself and not still pining after his best friend. Despite this, the two of them do grow closer and closer. Sean studies geology and even gets Austin to go on a camping trip with him, which shows how dedicated Austin is becoming to the idea of them as a couple.

I really loved this book. I've read a variety of books by Amy Jo Cousins and she writes some wonderful, sexy stories with depth and emotion. What more could you want really? Now moving on to Vincent's side of the story...


Hard Candy by Amy Jo Cousins

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryVincent Lim always assumed his best friend (and occasional hookup) Austin would be waiting for him—that eventually they’d end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with a dance major, Vinnie knows the drill. Minimize the embarrassment by pretending they’ve never met. Yet Bryan’s vibrant spirit and calm center lure Vinnie like a shelter from an emotional storm.But Vinnie’s thrown off his game by the rest of Bryan’s total package. Vinnie’s a rowing jock with a single-minded focus on living up to his parents’ academic and social expectations. Bryan might as well be outfitted with glittery butterfly wings—with plenty of pride to match. Vinnie’s haphazard attention to a lover won’t cut it this time.Physically, they can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

Review: I think it goes without saying that Austin and Vincent don't end up together in the romantic sense. The previous book is Austin's story, and this is the other half of that. While Austin is currently dating Sean, Vincent realizes that he really did expect him to end up with his best friend and now he's not sure what he wants in terms of love. He ends up meeting Bryan in a slightly embarrassing, drunken situation, but Bryan is sweet and takes care of him. Bryan is what people would call "stereotypically gay" which basically means he can't hide it. He talks how he wants, he wears what he wants, and he's not exactly afraid to be flamboyant. That doesn't mean he doesn't have worries or fears, though Vincent seems to worry more for him.

I liked these two guys together. Bryan is understanding of Vincent's limits and inexperience, though he does push him to do and be better. As for Bryan, Vincent learns to be more open and okay with himself by being in Bryan's presence. It's not easy for them, but you definitely want them to make it work!

Overall, these two books are 6.1 and 6.2 so I would read them in order and read them both! Definitely worthwhile!

12 comments:

Melliane said...

Oh it's grea tto find 2 good books like that!

Erika Sorocco said...

I just can't get into romance novels - I don't think either of these would intrigue me much. :/

xx

Keertana said...

I think this is such an interesting format for books to be in so thanks for putting these books on my radar, Lauren! I'll definitely have to check them out at some point. Wonderful review, dear!

cleemckenzie said...

I'm not much of a romance reader, but it sounds like you really enjoyed these books.

Kindlemom said...

I do love good romance stories that still have depth for sure. This sound fabulous!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I like that the author did two books with each voice.

Karen Alderman said...

I love her books so much!


Karen @For What It's Worth

Tanya Atkinson said...

These both sound great. I like that despite neither guy being with who they initially wanted/expected, they both find something more. I'm not familiar with Cousins but I'm glad these are now on my radar. :)

Lola R said...

Sounds like an interesting set-up and how they both end up with someone else than the other. Great review!

The Bibliophile Babe said...

Glad you enjoyed!

Eva @ All Books Considered said...

I love this author and this series -- so underrated! Great reviews

Joyous Reads said...

It's been awhile since I've read a good M/M romance. Thanks for these recommendations, Lauren!