Wednesday Book Review ~ Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

LILYTed—a gay, single, struggling writer is stuck: unable to open himself up to intimacy except through the steadfast companionship of Lily, his elderly dachshund. When Lily’s health is compromised, Ted vows to save her by any means necessary. By turns hilarious and poignant, an adventure with spins into magic realism and beautifully evoked truths of loss and longing, Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

I have to be honest. I’m supposed to read this book for my book club. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. The premise snagged me. I won’t lie. A guy and his dog. Yep. I’m a dog person. Okay, I’m a critter person. I’m the one who swears at the movie when the people live but the dog/cat/ferret/etc dies. I knew what would happen. Spoiler alert…yeah, there’s a very tissue-worthy moment at the end. Like super tissue-worthy.

But to tell you how I feel about the book…it’s complicated. I liked it. Okay, I liked parts of it. The connection between Ted and Lily was a riot. How she talked… In! All! Exclamation! Points! is very much how Dachshunds bark, so effectively how they talk. I loved that part. How she was his support was good, too. If you’ve ever had a connection with a dog, you know they aren’t just pets. They’re family. So I got and loved that part.

But there were points I kinda wasn’t impressed. The whole portion with the octopus was a little hard to handle. Once I understood, then I understood, but it took a bit. Then there was his tendency to drown his sorrows in pills and booze. Hey. We’ve all been there. Done things we wouldn’t normally do. That made Ted real, but I guess I expected something different. Maybe more….arguing. More fighting. Maybe I lost it in the metaphor of the octopus.

Either way, the book was good, but I’m not sure I can read it again. The bit at the end where I mentioned the tissues was a tad too real for me. Having put an animal down not long ago, this made those memories rawer. So if that’s a trigger for you, then read the book, but be warned. If you’re looking for a sweet, sappy ending, you might be surprised.

I’d buy this one and keep it, but I’m not sure I can handle reading it again right now. See what you think. You might be pleasantly surprised…after tissues.


Sunday Snog ~ Home to Cedarwood by Megan Slayer


Check out the rest of the snogs right here:

This week I thought I’d go a little sweeter. A little. There is still a lot of heat and heart in Home to Cedarwood. It’s a MM single father story with love, lust and a speeding ticket. Check it out and read the kiss. I hope you enjoy!

Home to Cedarwood 1802906

Single Father Society, Book 1

By Megan Slayer

M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation

From Loose Id


An AllRomance Ebooks Bestseller!


Colin Baker owns a book store and he’s back in Cedarwood with his son. He’s looking for a new start after a bad breakup, but he never expected that start to include his old crush, Officer Jordan Hargrove. Jordan hasn’t come out, but if he can score with Colin, then he’s all in. He’s dreamed of hot nights with the quiet man.

After a speeding ticket and some hurt feelings, sparks fly between the bookstore owner and the police officer, but Cedarwood is a small town with small town values, and a gay couple isn’t what the town expects. Colin’s created a support group for single gay fathers and he feels he’s making some difference in Cedarwood. Some folks in Cedarwood are fine with these two men reconnecting, but some aren’t.

Will the naysayers be enough to drive Colin and Jordan apart, or will they make their way together in this small town.

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“Did you mean what you said? About talking to me?” Colin stopped by the cart corral. He yanked one of the carts free from the rack. “You asked Gage if you could speak to me. Guys don’t usually do that.”

“I’m stepping in on your dad-kid time. I might have been a jerk in the past, and I’m sorry.” Jordan plucked a basket from the stack. “The kid needs to be included. If something happens in your life, it affects his.”

“How did you become so smart about single parenting?” Colin pushed the cart and stayed beside Jordan. “Most guys don’t get that. They think my kid is baggage I can unload at will.”

“Not that you don’t make use of your brother being in town.” Jordan waggled his eyebrows. “I’m sure he’s handy.”

“He is since he’s in the other half of the duplex. We pooled our money to get it. We’ll either sell it when we outgrow it or if one of us moves out, just knock down the walls and make it a single-family dwelling.” Colin tossed a couple boxes of prepackaged cupcakes into his cart. “Gage takes those to school.”

“Remember when I stole yours?” Jordan gripped the basket with both hands. “I felt guilty for the rest of the school year.”

“We were like twelve.” Colin snorted. “You still remember that?”

“Guilt has a way of not letting go. Tommy Hicks conned me into it. I think he figured out I had a thing for you.” Jordan pressed his lips together. He’d known since they were in middle school that he was gay and crushed on Colin for most of that time. He wondered what Colin would make of his admission.

“You’re not comfortable with coming out.” Colin placed two loaves of bread on the child seat part of his cart. “Isn’t it funny how we know, but we aren’t ready to admit it to anyone, least of all ourselves?” He smiled and reached for Jordan but pulled his hand away before they touched. “Now’s my turn to understand. Flaming shit aside, it’s hard to be gay in this town.”

Jordan glanced around. Only he and Colin stood in the aisle. He wanted to say something smart like, I’m on the force. I can’t come out. The words didn’t come. He stepped in close to Colin.

“I’m scared to speak up. If I do, I’m worried the people won’t respect me as a cop,” he whispered. “Stupid, right?”

“Then they’re fools.” Colin bridged the gap between them and kissed Jordan on the lips. The woodsy scent of his cologne wrapped around Jordan, and the heat of Colin’s breath warmed Jordan’s cheeks. When Colin pulled away, the blue in his eyes flashed. “I’m not a fool,” Colin murmured.

The kiss lasted seconds, and Jordan doubted anyone saw them, but the connection remained. His lips tingled, and his heart fluttered in his chest. He’d been kissed in public by Colin Baker. Kissed! Holy shit.