Wednesday 17 February 2016

Review - Shifting Gears by Riley Hart

Title: Shifting Gears
Series: Crossroads #2
Author: Riley Hart
Release Date: February 10, 2016

Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won't the man jump in the sack with him already?

Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.

Neither man wants something serious, but the more they're together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.

But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.

Rod Nelson—who we first, hilariously, met in Crossroads—is an easygoing, feel-good kind of guy. He owns his own sex shop (Rods-n-Ends—which—*snort*) and spends his free time engaging in his favorite hobbies, which mostly consists of sex. Lots of sex. He’s a bit of a horndog, this guy. But in a loveable, goofy, and slightly heartbreaking way. 

When Landon Harrison starts making frequent visits to his shop, the two eventually strike up a friendly conversation that sets the course for this entire book. They become friends, and then friends-plus, and then way, way more than friends. It's not an easy road and these men broke my heart over and over again as they navigated their way to a happily ever after—but they did it. And the journey was SO worth it.

I loved these guys so much. Both a little damaged in their own ways, but fiercely devoted to and protective of each other. I ached for Rod—who I felt had a harder emotional journey. Most of the bruises left on my heart are from his story. Landon, who battled his own demons, just seemed more centered. He was the unlikely anchor of their relationship. He was strong, and patient, and so wonderfully tender, while also learning the complexities of his own heart and working through some pretty heavy emotional baggage of his own. Their physical chemistry was off the charts in a way that left my Kindle smoking, but they're even sexier for the real emotion and sweetness that blankets their encounters.

I simply loved this story. I love this series. I loved catching up with Nick and Bryce, and seeing how their friendship with Rod (and later, Landon) grew and deepened. There are a lot of light, funny moments here, cushioning the deeper emotional stuff, creating a perfect balance that kept me fully engaged and deeply attached to these men (all of them!). 
~ Review by Shelly

Be still my beating heart...and my clenching thighs. Perhaps that's a kinda TMI way to start my review but, ahhhh, I just finished Shifting Gears, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't need a fan, a cold shower, my husband, and maybe a cigarette. 

I wanted to read this book for two reasons. One, my love for all things Riley Hart. Two, ROD. I adored the first book in this series and one of the absolute highlights was the small but hilarious role Rod played in Bryce and Nick's foray into...err, gayness. Hmm... 

So, anyway, I entered *snicker* with high expectations. And I finished with a slightly achy heart from the feels, slightly achy cheeks from the smiling and slightly wet...eyes. Minds out of the gutter, people. (*ahem* Although, it was REALLY hot, so...) 

I struggled, especially early on, with Rod, and the slow way Shifting Gears kicked off, but ultimately that slow burn became a vital—and perfect—element of this relationship. For this couple. They needed to ease in because they both suffered from their pasts. And when they eventually went all in, it was worth the wait.

Why? Because Landon. Oh, sweet Jesus, LANDON. I might have occasionally found Rod frustrating (and heart-breaking) but his beau? Loved. From the first to the last, I wanted to have him. He was sort of closed-off, sort of open-minded (I can’t explain, just read) but oh, so irresistible. He was dirty and a little rough around the edges, but he was softer, sweeter for Rod, and he just worked for me. *Sigh* 

Add in plenty of Bryce and Nick to reward readers of book one—they're just as swoony, sexy and silly as you remember, BTW—and there were so many things about Shifting Gears that made it a damn good book. I may not have connected with it as quickly or as easily as I did with the excellent Crossroads, but that didn't stop me from embracing every word, thinking about these characters when I couldn't read about them, and hurting inside when the shit hit the fan. Oh, and from melting from the heat Landon and Rod generated... Whoa. 
~ Review by Beth

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading. 

Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.

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