All posts by Avril Stepowski

Review of Only Love by Garrett Leigh

1 Only Love E-Book Cover


The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.




4 Flames

I really enjoyed this story. Jed and Max have a very iffy relationship to start. Still, the author did a good job of showing us their building feelings. Once they did get together, the chemistry between them flowed off the page

I gave this only 4 stars because I found myself skipping the flashback scenes from Jed.  I understand the author wanted us to know more about Jed and why he is the way he is, but as a veteran I found them a little too hard to read.

I fell in love with both characters. I found the family dynamics very realistic between siblings.  The relationship that Max & Jed have with their nieces is heart warming and very admirable.

The ending seemed a bit lacking for me. Like something was missing. I see that the author has planned more for these guys, and I look forward to reading it.  Maybe it will fill in the blanks for me.

Overall, I’d recommend this read.





Review of Havoc by Kindle Alexander



RATING: 4 flames

I would have given this 5 flames, but I’m not a fan of HFN.

Alec & Keyes sizzle off the pages of this read. The differences between them seem insurmountable, and on paper they definitely are.


Still, when they’re together, they fit very well!  The building of their relationship is slow and at times extremely tender.  The author thoroughly showed me the personalities of both men, which I loved!  The side characters are both entertaining and maddening.


I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say, you have to read it!

Review of Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown

Cowboys and Angels: Book One
by Sue Brown
Heat Level: 3


Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan?

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?


Rating: 5 Flames

I’ve been in a book slump, but this book pulled me right out of it.

Great plot, in that it wasn’t TOO angsty. Sweet and slow burn between the MCs. Wonderfully diverse cast of characters.

When Gideon and Dan finally get together, the chemistry just pores from the page!

Well written, well proofed, which makes it all even better. Definitely recommend this one!

Mr. Frosty Pants Review


mr frosty pants cover

Length: 90,000 word approx.
Cover Design: Wicked
Smart Design



Can true love warm his frozen heart?

When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on
his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make
him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds
Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool
façade again.

Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey
have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—
and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.

Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class
differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero,
childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.



Author Bio

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan
favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However,
her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in
the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.



Rating: 3 Flames
Review by Avril S.
The story is well written, well edited and proofed. I just never got the feels I expected. Overall the characters were kind of 2 dimensional in my mind.
I did feel as if they belonged together. I also felt that Joel was kind of a wimp. The trope was a bit too on point.  The angst a little contrived.
This is only my opinion, but since I did overall enjoy it, I gave it 3 Flames!  I am sure that many will enjoy it!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Review & Blog Tour





Rating: 4 Flames

Colton is such a sweetie! And Winter? HOLY HOTNESS!!  A kind and caring man is such a turn on! Especially when they look like lumberjacks!

I loved the underlying message in this read. Open your heart to the possibilities.  It kept me interested and reading all the way through.

I would recommend this read with your favorite holiday beverage, a blankie, and a warm fire!  It’s sure to give you the feels!