As I continue to make my way through the ever-expanding world of m/m romance, I meet more and more authors and have the pleasure of exploring their individual brands of storytelling. Nico Jaye is a new favorite.
I saw some FB discussion about the publication of her most recent book –> He’s Just Knot That Into You <–. It’s the story of wolf shifters, and purportedly contains ‘knotting.’ Having read it, I can confirm that there is, indeed, knotting contained therein. And despite the fact that were-beasts are mythological, knotting is not. There are articles about this here, here and here. (in case you have questions…)
HJKTIY is the story of Tanner, an alpha werewolf who has not found his mate, yet. Nico creates a unique mythos for Tanner’s world and uses its elements to create tension and conflict within the story, so that we share his hopes, dreams and anxiety over finding his mate. Because the first part of the book is about finding Tanner’s mate, I won’t spoil it by mentioning a name, but it won’t take the reader long to figure it out and start shaking their head at Tanner’s inability to get a clue. I love this part of the book.
Even after Tanner figures out who his mate is, there is tension – that mythos and Tanner’s mate have layers! And then, when you think that’s it, there is more. This story takes some unexpected turns. In that respect it reminds me of Curiosity Killed Shaney by JC Wallace. Wallace’s story is great m/m romance, but takes on a paranormal battle of good and evil. So check out HJKTIY for the romance and the knots, read it for its clash between dark and light, but mostly read it, because it’s fun and heartwarming.
Sex and Candy is the luscious short story of a naughty encounter between bad boy Lee and a mysterious leather-clad stranger in a dance club. The story is centered around a public hookup, but it is more than meets the eye. In a very short space Nico builds sexual tension, delivers hot sex and wraps it up with unexpected sentiment. It’s a great blend of the elements that make up the best m/m romances.
Different Strokes is the story of Olympic swimmer Tomas Lundquist and massage therapist Darren Wright. Darren steps in to sub for his business partner as Tomas’s regular therapist. Tomas harbors a secret attraction to Darren, but has his reasons for resisting him. Now that the two are thrown together several times each week, he has his work cut out for him. Despite Tomas’s Olympian battle to keep his attraction under control, there comes a point where he realizes it’s mission impossible. Darren is ready to take things full steam ahead, but can’t figure out this baffling man who’s hot and heavy one minute and formal and restrained the next. Who can figure out a guy who thinks of car repairs as a romantic gift??? Darren can’t, and it’s apparent Tomas is confused, too, but they’re a couple of adorably earnest guys who’ll eventually sort it all out.
There are a couple of lines in this book that have stuck in my mind. (Seeing as I have a mind like a sieve, that’s saying something.) Here’s one of them. The two are at a dance club with friends of Darren’s. Tomas is thinking while watching the group. “They were young, fit, and cultured, and Tomas would swear they were all half in love with Darren, too.” First of all, that word “too“! And second, I LOVE it when the humble and unassuming character, whose head we are mostly inside, is seen from another perspective for a moment and we realize, they are unaware of their own awesomeness; they have no idea how much they are loved by the people around them. Mmmm. That feeling! Aaaaahh. Good feels.
This story takes the reader into the world of competitive kick boxing. Oliver Reyes is a student and aspiring kick boxer preparing for his first ever competition. He feels attracted to the team’s captain Derek Vance, but just doesn’t have the time to get involved. That doesn’t keep him from indulging in an unexpected night of clubbing after his team’s meet is over. He goes out on Halloween night and finds himself, in a sparkly unicorn costume – “…shirtless, glittery gold unicorn horn perched atop his head, pink-and-red heart on his pec, and a giant rainbow-colored horse’s tail attached to his rear via a belt loop on his jeans. …an iridescent white half-mask…” And then there was hotness. And then more story, and more hotness and revelations and a happily-ever-after.
And I’m in love with the title of Chapter Four: “It’s a Scientific Fact That Morning Afters Arrive Two Days Too Early.”
This one! I so ❤ it. Nico wrote it in response to a “Don’t Read in the Closet” challenge.
There is a soft place in my heart for stories of first love and this is one. It is romantic, fun and sweet despite the fact that it starts out with Aidan thinking how his love interest Jake is not one to voice his feelings.
Two young men on the cusp of graduating college find one another by chance. They are both on Chatroullette at the same time and, coincidentally, each is wearing a superhero mask. Aidan is Batman and Jake is Wolverine. It would seem they are a match made in the DC universe…no, wait, that’s Batman. Wolverine is a Marvel character. Well, that should have been foreshadowing, a clue that they were a world apart. And they were! But they prove that love cannot be stopped by geography or anything else life throws at them. No, and btw, neither can those three little words.
Each of Nico’s stories has endearing characters, interesting situations, moments of humor, and a satisfying happily-ever-after. I’m looking forward to more happy hours of reading from her pen. Thanks, NIco.
(If the DRitC link doesn’t work, and you’d like more information, try a search engine. The group that sponsors it on Goodreads is a closed group and my link may just work for me as a member of the group.)