Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall #1) & Fire Balls (Balls to the Wall #2) by Tara Lain

Since I have recently joined Tara Lain's Beautiful Dream Team I wanted to do a post or two on some of her books that I have already read. This post is on the first two books in her Balls to the Wall series. Don't you just love that series title?!

David Underwood needs to go to AA- Alpha Lovers Anonymous. His last attraction to an alpha male got him into an abusive relationship and now ogling two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach gets him harassed yet again.

Australian Gareth Marshall needs to come out. A lifetime of hiding his orientation from his best friend and volleyball partner, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, has left him hurt and frustrated. When Gareth gets a load of David posing nude as the Michelangelo statue in the famous Laguna Pageant, he knows his days in the closet are numbered. And David is more than willing to help him take the first step out of the dark.

But Gareth's teammate, Edge, has secrets of his own, and David's ex-lover will never be happy without David under his thumb. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male - or two?

My Thoughts:
This was the first book that I ever read by Tara Lain and I was hooked! The guys were very real to me and I really enjoyed their story. The first thing that drew me in was the cover. I love it! I love sexy covers but I have to admit I am not a fan of head shots, I much prefer ones like this where I get to see those smokin' hot bodies!
I didn't read much about this book before starting it. So I wasn't sure which way the story was going to go, it wasn't until about half way in that I even realized there were three hot guys on the cover! Makes it even better doesn't it...?
David seems like a glutton for punishment even though he is only trying to find love, he seems to end up with the short end of the stick every single time. Gareth is tired of hiding and once he sees David he realizes he needs to exit the closet sooner than later. Edge, *sigh* I really wasn't sure how to take him, then when he let the cat out of the bag I loved him! It finally all made sense. I loved these guys, I just really wanted to read more about them. I guess I wasn't ready for the book to end.
I loved Tara's writing style. The pages just turned one right after the other and I read this book in one sitting, I just could not put it down. I really didn't want the story to be over that was the only hiccup. I would definitely recommend this book.

Rating: 4*

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Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California's greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous "straight gay" guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney's handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney- doesn't he? Then why can't he get the powerful pipsqueak's face out of his mind...and cock out of his ass? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn't it time for him to admit he isn't an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?

My Thoughts:
Oh yes! Now that is what I am talking about! Whew, a hot as hell firefighter and the artist that claims him, yes this one was top notch! Can you tell I am excited? This story was fantastic, and set my kindle on "fire"!

Hunter on the outside is the stereotypical alpha male firefighter. At least that is what we are led to believe. Rodney appears to be the (once again) stereotypical flaming gay man, tiny and loud in his appearance. As we read we find out that both of these statements are so so wrong.  Rodney is as in love with Hunter as someone can be without actually knowing a person.  I think what Rodney did just to help his friend was amazing, after all he just wanted to see the men happy, even if he is sacrificing his own happiness to do so.

I could not get enough of Hunter and Rodney! They were fantastic together and I just had to finish the book once I got started. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to put my kindle down. I thought that Rodney was an amazing man and I could not wait to see him get his happy ending. Hunter on the other hand took some getting used to. I really wanted help him remove his head from his gorgeous rump. Luckily Rod was able to do it.

If this book and the previous one are any clue as to what we can expect from Tara Lain in the future I am definitely sold! The writing just flows over the page and makes for an excellent reading experience. I am so eager to read more of her work I have already purchased the rest of this series. I would highly recommend this book as well as book one!

Rating: 5*

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About the Author:
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn't love - at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly menage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2011. She's now on book 23 and counting. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga "way before it was fashionable". Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas she says on her tombstone it will read, "Yes".

Be sure to check out Tara's website and find her on Goodreads.

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