SOCAL BOYS: A SUN-SOAKED GAY ROMANCE SERIES BUNDLE BY CODY RYDER
Welcome to SoCal, where the sun shines hot and the boys are even hotter. SoCal Boysis a series of four sweet, fun and fluffy gay romance novels featuring closeted movie stars, dreamy surfer bros, sensitive artists, charismatic musicians, and more—all with unique love stories you’ll fall hard for.
Wrecked car, wrecked movie, wrecked image. That’s Christopher Lawton: Hollywood’s latest celebrity wreck. After decking Hollywood’s most powerful producer in the face for blacklisting his movie, he’s hidden himself away at a secluded mountain resort called the Constellation Lodge to avoid media attention until the whole thing blows over. He expected to be bored out of his mind. He didn’t expect to meet Jackson Baker, a self-exiled writer with a passionate hate for the film industry. Christopher loves that Jackson has no clue he's famous, but he can’t keep his celebrity a secret forever. Will the truth ruin a connection that seems to be written in the stars?
Cameron Walker has never been in love. It’s not that he doesn’t want it, he’s just never found the right man—until a painting trip to the beach puthimright on his canvas. The mysterious surfer in red. He’s charming and sexy, and Cam can’t get him out of his mind…but there’s only one problem: The guy is 100% undeniably straight. As Cameron falls deeper in love with his new friend, he finds it more difficult to hide his feelings—and his orientation—from Lee. It seems like he’ll suffer the pain of unrequited love for as long as they’re together—until the tides of fate change their lives forever.
Colin Talton just can’t seem to break out of his shell. It’s his second year in college, and he’s still shy, still quiet, and still unable to bring himself to finally explore his sexuality—or anything else. That all changes when he meets a man who's everything Colin isn't, the passionate musician Marcus Moon. As Colin ventures deeper into Marcus’s vibrant world of nightclubs and music festivals, his feelings for his friend grow as intense as the beat just before the drop—but Colin can’t believe Marcus could possibly be gay. Can he finally find the courage to go after his desires, and can he show the stubborn Marcus that love is exactly what he needs to finally reach his full potential?
A former office-worker suffering from a quarter-life crisis, Alan dropped everything in SoCal to search for the passion sorely missing in his life. Except, now that he’s actually in NYC he has no idea where to even begin looking. Enter, James. Charming, sophisticated and adventurous, he's everything Alan isn’t. Not to mention he’s also a movie star—and a much older man. It doesn’t matter how right it feels, how could it ever work? With only four days to spend together in a city far from home, how can Alan convince James—and himself—that this is what they both need?
SoCal Boyshas something for everyone—straight to gay, friends to lovers, coming out, and even a daddy! Each story is standalone and can be read in any order you choose.
Of the four books in the SoCal Boys Series Bundle, I read three—Touching Stars, Tidal Forces and Sustain. One day, I may read Tasting Silver. If I do so, I will update this review to reflect that.
• The only reason Tidal Forces isn't Two Wine Glasses is because I finished it—which was hard to do, to be honest.
TOUCHING STARS: 🍷 🍷 🍷
Christopher and Jackson were honestly adorable from the first meeting. I really enjoyed how they fell into an easy companionship even though both of them were withholding pretty important details about their lives.
The little plot twist that popped up wasn't one I seen coming so it was a nice little surprise that I knew was going to add a little drama to what had up until that point been a quiet fluff piece.
The sex was subpar at best this time. Jackson wasn’t virgin but still no lube, no prep is just a horrible way to go about anal. At least there was a condom.
The happy ending was satisfying enough.
• Another reviewer mention Touching Stars was adapted from Celeste Lake by Falling Stars and . . . yeah, it pretty much was. The author changed names, pronouns and sex scenes to better suit an MM audience. Not really sure how I feel about that but it is what it is.
↳I am assuming Cody Ryder and Celeste Lake are the same person.
TIDAL FORCES: 🍷 🍷 🍷
I'm not sure what I expected from Cam and Lee's story. It started pretty typical and I really enjoyed the first 8 of 12 chapters. Then things just went off the rails and I spent a lot of time thinking, "what in the ever loving fuck?"
Lee woke up from his coma gay, as if the accident he had been in was the reason for him being gay. He didn't even any feeling—not even kinda, sorta maybe feelings—for Cam beforehand. Afterwards, they were just BAM having sex on the beach without a condom to boot.
Cam was a virgin at the time—as in never had anything inside of his butt, not even his own fingers apparently—and Lee didn't take any time to prep him. Just spit in his palm and put his dick in Cam. As far as first time together goes, it was one of thee worst I've read.
The book has a whole was okay. The writing style was solid but the story just wasn't as well rounded as it could have been. Using the accident to make Lee suddenly gay felt . . . cheap.
Tidal Forces isnt something ill read again but it had a happy ending at least.
Abby, Cam's little sister was my favorite chracter.
SUSTAIN 🍷 🍷 🍷 🍷
From the blurb alone I did not have high hopes for this book but thought what the heck, might as well and this turned out to be my favorite book of the series—taking into account I didn't read Tasting Silver.
Unlike the last two books I read in this series this one was told in duel POV which honestly did make it a little better even though I generally have no preference on POV.
I was pleasantly surprised by the meet cute between Colin and Marcus. No better way to make a friend than save the guys dog, right? They bonded quickly over a shared college class and love of music. I really enjoyed the quick slide into friendship and the sudden POP of being more. It really fit the characters and plot.
They had their ups and downs—Marcus being unable to see what was right in front of him because he was to busy chasing the success a childhood friend had already achieved. The supporting characters really helped move the story along and I enjoyed them just as much as I did Marcus and Colin, even if some of them appearing and disappearing from the story line was totally freaking random.
On a side note, I'm so happy condoms and lube were used this time, once at least. The second time was no condoms, no lube and no prep which was a hell of a thing to read.
—spoiler alert: assholes are not wet by nature. And you cannot physically relax them enough to comfortably take a dick. 🤷🏼♀️—
Still no prep but hey some people like it a little painful so it works.
Cody is a typical Southern California native - in love with the sun, the beach, and In N Out burgers, but more than anything he loves writing sweet stories about the special type of love that can blossom between two men.
Cody lives in Los Angeles with his pet cat and an unhealthy obsession with his beat up old VW van.