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Lost Won PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Lost Won
Author: S.E. Culpepper
Publisher: Published January 8th 2013 by S.E. Culpepper
ISBN: null
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Six years ago Christian Blakely lost his way. Fresh from college and sure of his future, an unexpected meeting changed everything. Frightened by the truth behind one night’s surrender to a hidden desire, he ran, determined to drive the memory of that night—that man—from his mind. As the years pass, Christian builds a life around his work, drifting between relationships as t Six years ago Christian Blakely lost his way. Fresh from college and sure of his future, an unexpected meeting changed everything. Frightened by the truth behind one night’s surrender to a hidden desire, he ran, determined to drive the memory of that night—that man—from his mind. As the years pass, Christian builds a life around his work, drifting between relationships as the image of one man haunts his steps. Wishing he were free from a mire of what might have been, he is offered a chance at redemption when he comes face-to-face with the man at the root of it all. Gunnery Sergeant Kevin McGuire understands commitment, whether it’s to his work as a US Marine, or to the happiness of his younger sister Risa. A proud and private man, he has never shared the story of the night with Christian; though years have passed he is still affected by it. When circumstances bring the two of them together again, Kevin is shocked by the depth of anger and passion that the younger man stirs. With the obstacles of Kevin’s resentment and distrust in his way, Christian is confronted with the same choice of six years ago: stay and fight for what he wants, or run and hide…

30 review for Lost Won

  1. 5 out of 5

    J *deep in the heart of Texas*

    4.5 Stars! Another book in my TBR clean-up operation! And....another winner. I read book 1 and really liked it so I added this one because it seemed to be one of the more liked of the series. And I'm pretty sure I liked it more than book 1 (can't remember much of book 1 honestly). This one had some great banter. I laughed quite a bit. Honestly, not a lot of steam. But the only thing that can save that is good build up. And the build-up and tension in this one was great. Low angst. These guys reall 4.5 Stars! Another book in my TBR clean-up operation! And....another winner. I read book 1 and really liked it so I added this one because it seemed to be one of the more liked of the series. And I'm pretty sure I liked it more than book 1 (can't remember much of book 1 honestly). This one had some great banter. I laughed quite a bit. Honestly, not a lot of steam. But the only thing that can save that is good build up. And the build-up and tension in this one was great. Low angst. These guys really communicated. Yeah, it's pretty unheard of. Likable characters, likable storyline (second chance romance), mostly likable secondary characters. A solid read. I'll probably go back and read book 2, even though it wasn't a well received.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heller

    You know when you're reading a book that you've been waiting for forever and it's just so incredibly delicious that you get that giddy feeling of relief and happiness as you sink into it and just enjoy the hell out of it? That was me all day reading this book. It's been hard to wipe the grin off my face. I've been waiting for Kevin and Christian's story for a while now. I loved the glimpses we got of their previous encounter in Question Mark and the voice mail moment in that book was killer. Chri You know when you're reading a book that you've been waiting for forever and it's just so incredibly delicious that you get that giddy feeling of relief and happiness as you sink into it and just enjoy the hell out of it? That was me all day reading this book. It's been hard to wipe the grin off my face. I've been waiting for Kevin and Christian's story for a while now. I loved the glimpses we got of their previous encounter in Question Mark and the voice mail moment in that book was killer. Christian has come a long way since that time. He's faced some hard truths about himself and grown up. I was impressed. They met six years ago and while I won't say they pined for each other since that time, they never forgot each other. They meet again by chance and have the opportunity to work through their issues and start something real and lasting. There are definite miscommunications here but also quite a bit of honest communication as well. I loved that they made mistakes with each other but kept trying because they knew they had something that could be special and they wanted to make it work. There was some fantastic chemistry between these two men, hello, smoking hot Marine and smoking hot tattooed sex god. I said delicious didn't I? So very delicious. I had high expectations and they were met and exceeded in this book. I'm a happy, happy reader right now. There were great secondary characters as well and (view spoiler)[a really lovely secondary romance between Kevin's sister, Risa, and his best friend, Jack. (hide spoiler)] While this could be a standalone it reads so much better having the background of who and what these men were to each other and how far Christian has come from the second book. Wonderful story here and my favorite of the series. I'm not sure if we'll see future Liasions books but Culpepper is a writer on my radar and I'd love to read them and while I have no idea where she's headed next I'm there for the ride.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gigi

    Fuck yeah 5+ stars! Highly Recommended to all M/M romance fans! Kevin and Christian (AKA Blondie). Another outrageously wonderful couple to add to my list of favorite M/M romantic heroes. I could not have loved either one of them more. Coming together six year after spending one unforgettable night exploring and learning each other, this story is about how they learn to trust and fall in love again. The angst was off the charts and Christian was just as damaged as he could possibly be. Kevin was Fuck yeah 5+ stars! Highly Recommended to all M/M romance fans! Kevin and Christian (AKA Blondie). Another outrageously wonderful couple to add to my list of favorite M/M romantic heroes. I could not have loved either one of them more. Coming together six year after spending one unforgettable night exploring and learning each other, this story is about how they learn to trust and fall in love again. The angst was off the charts and Christian was just as damaged as he could possibly be. Kevin was struggling with family issues and not in the best of places either. The blurb does a nice job summing up the story, so enough of that. There were times when I was reading this book that I was so moved that I had to re-read a passage two or more times. I felt so passionately about these two characters. I'm usually one to shy away from long novels, and half way through this book and I wishing it was twice as long because I never wanted it to end! If you like honest emotions between adult men who are struggling with their identity and how the world and family/friends see them, beautiful romance that will make you weep and touching but intense sex between two men deeply in love, this book is for you. It just fucking ROCKED! S.E. Culpepper just raised the bar as far as I'm concerned.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    In my review for Question Mark, I said "Now, I would like to see Christian being redeemed in book #3". I could honestly said that, Ms. Culpepper has indeed redeemed Christian here... However, at the same time, I thought that Christian's redemption came early, and instead this book became more of Kevin's journey towards self-accepting -- either about himself, about Christian, about his sister Risa (and to that extend about his best friend Jack). So for me, this was actually Kevin's book. Not that In my review for Question Mark, I said "Now, I would like to see Christian being redeemed in book #3". I could honestly said that, Ms. Culpepper has indeed redeemed Christian here... However, at the same time, I thought that Christian's redemption came early, and instead this book became more of Kevin's journey towards self-accepting -- either about himself, about Christian, about his sister Risa (and to that extend about his best friend Jack). So for me, this was actually Kevin's book. Not that there's anything wrong with that... See, in the beginning, we already had Christian in much calmer state of mind. He came to accept who he was, after being outed publicly (and also broke up with his girlfriend) in book #2. The only thing that he had yet to resolve was a chance of redemption with the one he left behind, six years ago in Cabo. Christian was only 23-years-old when he met Kevin and had one night of passion. He had tons of fears and came to the realization in the morning, he ran. Even if he kept Kevin's number all these years, that it became a token of luck for him, but he hadn't been able to call the Marine (until slightly the last part of book #2). Then on a running race he organized, guess who was there with his Marine buddies? Christian had that determination to set things right this time around. No more running. Which was why, I felt that his redemption had partly completed. Kevin, on the other hand, was a different matter for me. Kevin kept saying that he was a private man. That he didn't want his personal life to be a source of gossip. But at the same time, he hadn't even told his sister that he only interested in men. Nor his best friend. I couldn't understand Kevin's anger towards Christian. He was so angry about ... like he didn't remember that Christian was young, that Christian was like a deer in the headlights when Kevin approached him that night. Dude, why so harsh?! The story about these two men were wonderful for me. They had strong chemistry and I loved how both Christian and Kevin were trying to resume their relationship by being friends first (mostly due to Kevin's mistrust in Christian, but that's okay with me, no jumping into bed immediately). They talked, they dated (oh, god, BOWLING!), and they reconnected. Since Christian didn't have anyone else here (Mark only appeared as cameo on the phone), I loved the rest of the supporting characters from Kevin's side: his sister, his best friend, and his other Marine buddy (though one of them was a total asshole after he found out about Kevin). Even if the female characters weren't as fleshed out as the guys. A satisfying story ... (and I looooved the scene of the Marine ball *sigh*)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mandapanda

    Very enjoyable contemporary romance between Marine, Kevin McGuire and sports events coordinator Christian Blakely. The two met 6 years earlier when Christian ran after an amazing night together. The book is really about the guys getting over their nerves and mistrust of each other and falling in love and how it affects those around them. There are plenty of relationship twists and turns and lots of inner musings about what it means to be together. The book is enhanced by the natural and interest Very enjoyable contemporary romance between Marine, Kevin McGuire and sports events coordinator Christian Blakely. The two met 6 years earlier when Christian ran after an amazing night together. The book is really about the guys getting over their nerves and mistrust of each other and falling in love and how it affects those around them. There are plenty of relationship twists and turns and lots of inner musings about what it means to be together. The book is enhanced by the natural and interesting day-to-day life of work as a Marine based State-side. Kevin in particular has an intense stalk-y sexy vibe. And I loved Christian's tatts and his clothes-whore weakness. The women in the book were less rounded out character-wise. Kevin's overly 'saintly' sister Risa and her morally bankrupt friend Selena could have done with more complexity to their personalities but they are far from being the worst female stereotypes in m/m romance. I also found Kevin's furious condemnation of a young Christian walking out on him after his first gay sexual experience, hard to understand, but it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story. I'm looking forward to the next offering by this talented self-published author. I hope she does more books about Marines. I was getting a slight Suzanne Brockmann vibe while I was reading Lost Won.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise H.

    *** Oh, yeah, *** I knew I'd love the tough Marine and his gorgeous Blondie !! * We get an awesome tale of reuniting after years of a regret-filled memory. Handsome, built, green eyed Kevin/Kev is all military, all Marine, and has never forgotten his night years ago with wonderful, blonde, hazel eyed Christian. Christian/Blondie's tattoos are new, but the man is so much more than he remembered. The flame is lit. This intense story follows our guys on their conversations, their confessions, the h *** Oh, yeah, *** I knew I'd love the tough Marine and his gorgeous Blondie !! * We get an awesome tale of reuniting after years of a regret-filled memory. Handsome, built, green eyed Kevin/Kev is all military, all Marine, and has never forgotten his night years ago with wonderful, blonde, hazel eyed Christian. Christian/Blondie's tattoos are new, but the man is so much more than he remembered. The flame is lit. This intense story follows our guys on their conversations, their confessions, the honesty and remorse of young stupidity, and the renewed longing for one another. Great peripheral characters, family as well as friends. Christian is in the sports business and running the event Kevin shows up for, with his friends and sis in tow. Shock is what both men feel at the sight before them. Christian vows to not walk away and ruin an opportunity to give this attraction a fighting chance. Kevin's a bit stubborn, having not "come out" yet, but Christian has been "outed", and is going for it. Beautiful story with raw emotions, deeply erotic sexiness, and just the right amount of everything. I highly recommend this fabulous tale ! ENJOY !!! ========================================= These books can stand alone, but knowing Christian from the previous book, made him so much more of an in depth person. Kevin is just magnificent. Loved the story ! ===================================

  7. 5 out of 5

    Macky

    Ok so book three and its Christians story. He's been outed publicly and defeated in his pursuit of Mark and he's still hung up on his first male sexual encounter years before with Kevin and the one night they spent together before running and leaving Kevin with no word. Kevin's a Sargeant in the military and of course living under the threat of discovery so he has remained closeted, 6 years has passed and both of them are still hung up on their first encounter. They meet again unexpectedly, only Ok so book three and its Christians story. He's been outed publicly and defeated in his pursuit of Mark and he's still hung up on his first male sexual encounter years before with Kevin and the one night they spent together before running and leaving Kevin with no word. Kevin's a Sargeant in the military and of course living under the threat of discovery so he has remained closeted, 6 years has passed and both of them are still hung up on their first encounter. They meet again unexpectedly, only this time it's Kevin whose angry and skittish, when Christian -whose out now, wants to explore their relationship more and take it further. There's a lot of soul searching and a fair bit of angst. Kevin is conflicted because he also has family issues concerning his sister so you get a side story running alongside, that obviously affects them too. Have to be honest it was completely different in tone than I was expecting but overall I liked it. I've found that each story in this series has felt completely different from its predecessor which makes its strange series for me. First one a crime/ romance, the second a celeb/ ordinary joe contempory romance and this an emotionally driven angsty love story. The thread doesnt really follow on like most series! If you discount that and treat them as standalones each one makes a decent read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather C

    Loved Christian and Kevin!! Nearly 6 years ago, on a hot Mexican night in Cabo, Christian and Kevin explored each other’s souls and bodies. When the sun broke the horizon, Christian fled, running from the truth he had discovered, but not before Kevin handed him his hastily written cell phone number on a club napkin with the request that he use it. Their time together was more than a night of hot sex...it was filled with passion and a deep connection that neither man will ever forget. Now, Christia Loved Christian and Kevin!! Nearly 6 years ago, on a hot Mexican night in Cabo, Christian and Kevin explored each other’s souls and bodies. When the sun broke the horizon, Christian fled, running from the truth he had discovered, but not before Kevin handed him his hastily written cell phone number on a club napkin with the request that he use it. Their time together was more than a night of hot sex...it was filled with passion and a deep connection that neither man will ever forget. Now, Christian is all grown up and outed (thanks to a tabloid scandal), but he's still all alone after breaking many female hearts along the way. He is no longer in denial about what he wants...a chance to fix things with Kevin. Kevin is still a closeted, active marine following his latest overseas deployment...and is still haunted by the memory of Christian. Why did Christian never call him? Kevin is now living in San Diego with his younger sister, Risa, and Christian recently took a new job in the city. What will happen when these two men see each other after 6 years of no contact? This was a beautifully, sad story. The symbolism of Christian's tattoos and the recognition of his years of pain just made me sad. But that whole aspect of the story was so beautifully done. There's not a lot of angst in this one with no silly breakup...although there are some ridiculous miscommunications. But for me, Christian and Kevin's responses still felt genuine and realistic. Also, this story isn't filled with page after page of sex, and honestly, the sex scenes are not even that explicit. But it’s all the sexual tension that does it for me...and the characters themselves. The ending was so adorably sweet! Getting a smile on my face just remembering it... I must say that I have enjoyed this entire series from the beginning! The author's characters are so real to me; making real decisions and doing all the stupid things a real person might do. Christian and Kevin were introduced in the previous book, Question Mark, so this really CAN NOT be read as a stand alone. Be sure to start at the beginning with Private Eye. Please, please, please let there be a 4th book!! I highly recommend all the books in this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    This is book three in a series, while you do not have to read them in order to enjoy this book, I think you will understand Christian better if you read book two. I will just say that I love this author's voice. Her writing style is very similar to how I think and compose stories, so it is very easy for me to get pulled into her world. I love the humor and the descriptions, there is just enough angst to make me go "yeah" and relate. I am a bit of a masochist, so when Christian would react to Kevin This is book three in a series, while you do not have to read them in order to enjoy this book, I think you will understand Christian better if you read book two. I will just say that I love this author's voice. Her writing style is very similar to how I think and compose stories, so it is very easy for me to get pulled into her world. I love the humor and the descriptions, there is just enough angst to make me go "yeah" and relate. I am a bit of a masochist, so when Christian would react to Kevin or have a choice to make, I could completely understand his mindset. What I think was so good was how realistic the homosexuality in the military seemed. I have no reference, but the angst, fear, hatred, and pride seemed actuate. I always hate m/m books that make gays in the military seem completely acceptable within ranks. I especially loved how the author dealt with Kevin's need to remain in-charge of his "outness" with his men. I think that there was more emotional substance in this one compared to the other, which might be due to a sophistication of writing style. The first two books, while excellent, had a bit of built in conflict that the storyline could simply be written out. This one to me, dealt a bit deeper into the male psychology and how to make this type of relationship work. There is plenty of angst, don't get me wrong, but this seemed to be more of a character sketch of two emtionally immature imperfect men finally finding their way in their own skin. That being said, I also want to say that there is not a whole lot of explicit sex like you see in m/m books. There is still hot sexy time, but it seems more like their passion and love igniting because it can not be contained than as a replacement for plot. Very beautiful story and Christian will just break your heart. You might need a hanky.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori K

    This author has a talent for making you adore characters that she made you despise in prior books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    Another great story from S. E. Culpepper. It’s an easy read there is no mystery, no angst just a true love story, you know the sweet sappy kind a perfect story for me to read right now. Kevin and Christian are wonderful characters, loads of chemistry and sexy as hell! The guys meet and spend one night together, six years later run into each other again, realize they still have feelings for one another or rather they have been pining away for each other for the last six years. This part of the sto Another great story from S. E. Culpepper. It’s an easy read there is no mystery, no angst just a true love story, you know the sweet sappy kind a perfect story for me to read right now. Kevin and Christian are wonderful characters, loads of chemistry and sexy as hell! The guys meet and spend one night together, six years later run into each other again, realize they still have feelings for one another or rather they have been pining away for each other for the last six years. This part of the story was a bit difficult for me to swallow, I mean really after just one night they can’t stop thinking about each other for six loooong years? *Pffft* But hey I loved reading about these two so I overlooked it. This has been a really good series, I’d love to see it continue.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sagajo

    This is a different story in a common soldier m/m setting. There is something sweet and romantic about this love story while still being hard ass. Recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anke

    Wonderful read all around and the end - just *sigh* Perfect!

  14. 5 out of 5

    ElaineY

    4 stars - with reservations. This teetered around the 2-star rating right up to near the halfway point because I couldn't, for the life of me, understand why Kevin was so angry with Christian and worse - would carry that anger around for 6 years. To me, that guy had some psychological issues that would not bode well for any relationship and I was not rooting for this pair! I believed Christian deserved someone psychologically healthy, at least. Christian's story I could buy, even though I thought 4 stars - with reservations. This teetered around the 2-star rating right up to near the halfway point because I couldn't, for the life of me, understand why Kevin was so angry with Christian and worse - would carry that anger around for 6 years. To me, that guy had some psychological issues that would not bode well for any relationship and I was not rooting for this pair! I believed Christian deserved someone psychologically healthy, at least. Christian's story I could buy, even though I thought he was a fifteen year old when the book started, based on his behavior. Turns out he was already 23! There was enough about Christian to flesh him out for me so I could relate to his apprehension when he met Kevin after That Night. This 3rd installment of the series suffered (for me) from the same problem as the first one. My complaint in my review then, was that the transition from a straight to gay man for Jeremy Halliday was too sudden and I needed to be given some participation - or at least, some inkling - of the struggle he went through. Here, in Lost Won, again I was denied details of that night that Kevin and Chris spent - what was so great about it that Kev couldn't forget it, and why was Chris that important to Kev after that one-night stand to make him so angry when Chris didn't hang around after the night of, presumably, mind-blowing sex? All I got was one guy picking up another for sex and one of them leaves. What is so unusual about that? What is SO wrong about that (there is a reason why they are called one-night-stands!) that it should generate such anger and hurt? That was never shared and I found myself catapulted six years into the future and that knowledge gap bugged me throughout the story. However, aside from what looks like the author's tendency to leave out parts that I consider important and which add to the story's and characters' credibility, it did hold my attention till the end. So I'm giving this 4 stars instead of the 3 I gave Private Eye. I can't comment on the 2nd installment,Question Mark because it was a DNF for me. I just hope that in the next book, Ms Culpepper will not leave out those parts (whatever they may be) so that the premise for the story won't be on such shaky ground. And if I'm lucky, the next book might even be about Money, despite the fact that he turned at the Marine Corps Ball with a woman - but we never got to meet her or Money at the ball. I suspect Money's the next Straight-to-Gay gay. Money or not, will I be reading it? Yes, but I hope I'll be given a chance to get into MC's head and share his journey, not fast-forwarded as I was in Jeremy Halliday's or Christian Blakely's case. PS: I just noted that I'd said in my review of Question Mark that I might go back and give it another try one day - so it couldn't have been that bad. And I might just go see if I can get past Zane's characterization and finish the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    LauraZu

    5 SEXY TATTOOED STARS... man there's just something about tattooed men *swoons* Christian Blakely is a lonely man, he has a great job, a family he doesn't want to really see, no friends and a body full of sad tattoos to show the misery that he carries inside. Six years ago he met a man that changed his life forever, Gunnery Sgt Kevin McGuire showed him the part of himself that he never wanted to see, after a night that completely turned him, he ran away, with a number in his wallet and never turn 5 SEXY TATTOOED STARS... man there's just something about tattooed men *swoons* Christian Blakely is a lonely man, he has a great job, a family he doesn't want to really see, no friends and a body full of sad tattoos to show the misery that he carries inside. Six years ago he met a man that changed his life forever, Gunnery Sgt Kevin McGuire showed him the part of himself that he never wanted to see, after a night that completely turned him, he ran away, with a number in his wallet and never turned back. The years passed, Christian stops his man-whore ways after breaking up with his last girlfriend and moves to California. Till one faithful day he bumps into the man he never thought he'd see again, and he's not letting go away that easily. Problem is Kevin doesn't want to do anything with him, and when he does, the one hiding isn't Christian this time. *-*-*-* I loved how Christian changed after the last book but the essence of him is still there. The fact that he is covered in tattoos from neck to ankles is just a BIG plus for me. He's funny and charming and so sad and miserable there is just no way you cant love him after just a couple of chapters. Kevin is my own military dream, 6'5", black haired and blue eyed with bulging muscles and a love for his sister so big i just melted after every scene, and so alpha possessive he should just collar Christian and carry him around...or me? *snickers* This is a story about getting out there, out of your comfort zone, being who you are and accepting that people deserve second chances. I loved it so much i never wanted it to en! A MUST READ!

  16. 4 out of 5

    DaisyGirl

    3.5 Stars Liked but not loved. This was another solid installment in the Liaisons series but not my fave. Why? Kevin. Which is ironic because God knows, coming into this book, Christian was on my S-List. Oddly, Christian managed (fairly early on) to transform his shallow and sh*tty ways. And, frankly, I fell for him. Kevin, on the other hand, spent most of the book being stand-offish, prickish, boorish, or boring. I didn't <3 him. At. All. I wanted to like him and from the blurb, I totally thoug 3.5 Stars Liked but not loved. This was another solid installment in the Liaisons series but not my fave. Why? Kevin. Which is ironic because God knows, coming into this book, Christian was on my S-List. Oddly, Christian managed (fairly early on) to transform his shallow and sh*tty ways. And, frankly, I fell for him. Kevin, on the other hand, spent most of the book being stand-offish, prickish, boorish, or boring. I didn't <3 him. At. All. I wanted to like him and from the blurb, I totally thought he'd win me over. He did, eventually but he sure as hell took his sweet time about it. Another fly in the ointment: Rissa. I didn't care much for her. I liked her with Jack (Kevin's BFF) but her character irritated me a little. I don't know why, exactly. She just ... got in the way. Bottom line: My least fave of the series to date but nevertheless an entertaining read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelby P

    This book was so good! It's my favorite in the series. I just love how Christian matured from the previous book to this one. I really felt like Kevin and Christian were meant for each other. I did not want this book to come to an end. It was a nice surprise to see how the relationship between Jack and Risa was handled, well done. I also liked that the guys' one night 6 years ago was slowly revealed later in the book. And I like that there wasn't too much negativity at Kevin's job because of his s This book was so good! It's my favorite in the series. I just love how Christian matured from the previous book to this one. I really felt like Kevin and Christian were meant for each other. I did not want this book to come to an end. It was a nice surprise to see how the relationship between Jack and Risa was handled, well done. I also liked that the guys' one night 6 years ago was slowly revealed later in the book. And I like that there wasn't too much negativity at Kevin's job because of his sexuality. This book really surpassed my expectations. I want to read it all over again. Wow!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Silkeeeeeereads

    Of you are expecting a hot, sexy, angst-filled read, this isn't it. It's a soft, romantic story of lost love found again. I really need my trigger tripped a bit more for me to enjoy an erotic romance. 

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    If I had to pick something to complain about it would be that it got a little long winded. That's about it. Private Eye was my favorite, I loved Question Mark and this was a decent read too. S.E. Culpepper is still one of my favorite writers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomaidha Papa

    4.5 Stars So romantic, so sappy, so emotional, so intense and I so didn’t mind one bit. I am deeply satisfied by this book. I not only loved it, it left me with a feeling of content. And I must admit that throughout the read I had so many feelings swirling in me, different all the time. Sometime I loved a character, next thing I know I wanted to smash his head, and then I’d go all mushy and love him all over again. But let’s take it from the start. Christian Blakely. He is such a tormented soul, pr 4.5 Stars So romantic, so sappy, so emotional, so intense and I so didn’t mind one bit. I am deeply satisfied by this book. I not only loved it, it left me with a feeling of content. And I must admit that throughout the read I had so many feelings swirling in me, different all the time. Sometime I loved a character, next thing I know I wanted to smash his head, and then I’d go all mushy and love him all over again. But let’s take it from the start. Christian Blakely. He is such a tormented soul, practically a victim of himself and his fears. Fresh out of college he meets Kevin and on an impulse he follows him to a night that will always be engraved in his mind. Christian always knew he was gay, he simply had no intention to follow his desires. When the morning after comes and he sees Kevin asleep in bed with him it scares him dead. Just before he sneaks of Kevin wakes up and gives him his number. Ever since Christian runs. From everybody, everything, for his own self. His pain and suffering is well hidden, only proof is his own skin which he has turned into a canvas where he prints in ink all his life from the moment he laid eyes on Kevin on… Kevin McGuire. US Marine and a devoted brother. Taking guardianship of his little sister after their parents death Kevin’s all life revolves around her and his job. And deep down in hidden places of his mind and heart the image of a young man with white blond hair lurks. Kevin doesn’t know why he still keeps thinking of him even after six years have passed. He doesn’t know what compelled him to give his phone number in first place six years ago. The fact that he never received a phone call, or that Christian refuses to leave his mind irritates the hell out of him. So the moment he sees Christian at the race anger takes him by the throat and the inability to stay calm and focused gives away too much to his friends and sister. It is amazing how strong this book is emotionally. How very powerful each word and sentence. You can totally feel for both men and get a grip of their emotions, they quite literally flow through the book into you. This is how the story starts and it isn’t rushed. There is something to be said about the fact that this story has its own pace and goes through things and events slowly and with care as if not to miss one little detail. You feel at the beginning that Christian is a coward, a man who can’t confront even his own reflection in the mirror and the instant dislike hits you, while all the time your anguish for Kevin attacks your heart. But when the six years passes and Christian’s side unfolds the change takes you by surprise. Christian, having been tired of running and hiding reveals an amazingly blunt side, going for all or nothing with honesty that not only captivates Kevin, but also the reader. How very cool when an author manages to do that with his/her characters. As the events unfold I had this disturbing feeling that the tables were about to turn and when Kevin is faced with the come out drill things did get ugly. I’d never believed that a character like Kevin would have such trouble facing things head on, but this was yet another surprise and made for some very painful chapters on Christians behalf. I got at some point reading and wanting to shout some not-so-very-nice things to our tough Marine. The thing is that both men never have been in a relationship. Christian has only been in relationships that were meant to hide him from the world, hurting in his way the women he was with, and well… Kevin never got the chance to one, what with the job and raising/taking care of his sister. So it is necessary for them both to mature and learn how to, together. As I said at the beginning, this book was very, very intense emotion-wise. It twists round and round and you have no idea what you’re about to feel/read next. It keeps you on the toes even when you think that there must be an end to this, that any moment now it will go flat because no way this could go on forever. It does though till the end, which while overly romantic and quite sappy I enjoyed it more than I thought possible. And yes, I’m repeating myself, but I’m left totally satisfied by this novel. Recommended!!! Thommie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katharina

    Lost Won is a nice enough book. I expected a certain quality to the writing that I came accustomed to during the first two books in this series, and I wasn't disappointed. However, story-wise, this book didn't reach the standard of the first installment for me. Just from the story itself, this may be my least favourite of the three - I simply couldn't really connect to the characters. We know Christian from the second installment, where he's still firmly in the closet, terrified of coming out an Lost Won is a nice enough book. I expected a certain quality to the writing that I came accustomed to during the first two books in this series, and I wasn't disappointed. However, story-wise, this book didn't reach the standard of the first installment for me. Just from the story itself, this may be my least favourite of the three - I simply couldn't really connect to the characters. We know Christian from the second installment, where he's still firmly in the closet, terrified of coming out and the consequences that might follow. However, inadvertently, he outs himself anyway at the end of that book in a big way, and that's where he is right now. Recently out, unaccustomed to it, still looking for something more than just a one-night-stand, and finally admitting to that. Kevin is the guy that got under his skin all these years ago, and when Christian meets him again, all he wants is to talk, to explain, to apologise for his past behaviour. But Kevin's been hurt once, he doesn't need the same shit twice, or so he thinks. He sure is a hard nut to crack and Christian will need everything he got to make Kevin listen. I guess, my main problem was, that I didn't really understand Kevin or Christian. I didn't understand why Kevin condemned Christian that strongly even after 6 years for walking out on him when it was obvious that Christian was extremely confused and very young and insecure still at that time. I didn't understand why Christian chose his pre-outed way of life to begin with, seeing how obviously unhappy he was every day. How much denial is needed for that? He didn't seem like a very reflected or mature character at all and his sudden change was... a bit unbelievable to me. Although very VERY long coming. But then, all those tattoos of his that portray his misery, they didn't really fit, did they? I mean, a few, of course, but that many? That raises questions, especially when they're so obviously of a sad nature. And wasn't questions exactly what Christian wanted to avoid? And again, if he was smart enough to realise what a mess he's making of his life with his way of living, why would he never choose to change that? ...yeah, I didn't really get him at all. I was happy with his development, though, that's for sure!! He was so much more likeable in this book than in Question Mark! A thing I really enjoyed: Mark's appearing again (even though his part is very small)! I always like it when previous characters show up in a series with different protagonists, it makes the whole thing somewhat more rounded to me. And again, the reason for me eventually giving four stars instead of three: I simply like S. E. Culpepper's writing style. I'd recommend this book to everyone who already read the first two installments. To everyone who didn't, I'd recommend to read at least the first book in the series. For me, it's still definitely the best!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julesmarie

    I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one. I ADORED the first book, and was a little disappointed by the second. Christian was a highlight from book 2 for me, though, and I'd really been looking forward to reading his and Kevin's story. And I have to say I LOVED it! I wrote in my review of Private Eye that Jeremy was one of my favorite m/m characters of all time, and I think Christian might get added to the list as well. Ms. Culpepper has the most remarkable ability to not only get inside I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one. I ADORED the first book, and was a little disappointed by the second. Christian was a highlight from book 2 for me, though, and I'd really been looking forward to reading his and Kevin's story. And I have to say I LOVED it! I wrote in my review of Private Eye that Jeremy was one of my favorite m/m characters of all time, and I think Christian might get added to the list as well. Ms. Culpepper has the most remarkable ability to not only get inside a character's head, but to take the reader along with her. I feel like I know Christian and Kevin so well, and I felt like I was able to understand and at least sympathize with(if not cheer for) their decisions along the way. I love how the book ends with such an emphasis on redemption, because that's honestly the heart of Christian and Kevin's story. Redemption and forgiveness and trust and allowing yourself to be open to someone. And the story itself was so beautifully told and perfectly paced that I found myself rooting for them--both to be happy individually and for their relationship to finally work out. Getting to accompany these two as they navigate their way through anger and regret and fear and work toward learning to trust again was honestly just the most remarkable experience. Their reactions all seemed fully justified (to me, at least, but perhaps I just see the world similarly to how they do) and so completely honest it was heartbreaking at times. They were fantastically perfect for each other, and their HEA was satisfying on a level that not many others have been. The secondary characters were also fantastic! Ris and Jack were beautiful, Este was hilarious, and the marines and the glimpses we got into Kevin's life were fascinating. Just writing this makes me want to go re-read it so I can spend more time with all of these characters I feel like I got to know so well!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pete W

    About the first 30% of the book was a bit rough for me with all the anger from Kevin and the self-loathing from Christian. After Kevin loosen up a bit, it was a more enjoyable read. Kevin sure still hurt bad by Christian's chicken act. By the same token, Christian had been paying for it ever since as well. (view spoiler)[Kevin's anger was justified but also rather vindictive. Perhaps because we don't get to see their first night in details for me to know why Kevin invested so much into Christian. About the first 30% of the book was a bit rough for me with all the anger from Kevin and the self-loathing from Christian. After Kevin loosen up a bit, it was a more enjoyable read. Kevin sure still hurt bad by Christian's chicken act. By the same token, Christian had been paying for it ever since as well. (view spoiler)[Kevin's anger was justified but also rather vindictive. Perhaps because we don't get to see their first night in details for me to know why Kevin invested so much into Christian. Kevin sure didn't spare any time or levity to cut Christian raw until after 1/3 of the book. I realized later that perhaps Kevin thought Christian simply trivialized their time together escape thinking it was nothing when for Christian it was the complete opposite. As a reader, I knew that Christian escaping act stemmed from the fact that he didn't want to acknowledge that he was gay. Kevin did not realized this and I interpreted his closeted behaviors to mean that Kevin was a hypocrite. After some reflection I realized that it was a different matter. The issues were that Christian was a coward and Kevin was in the closet. People in glass houses should not throw stone. Kevin started to let up after he realized that (hide spoiler)] The miscommunication in this book was utilized in such a way that it move the plot along and was quite believable. (view spoiler)[Although, in my opinion, Kevin should have realized that he would not be available to take the call when he put away his mobile phone. (hide spoiler)] I liked that the MCs had quite a few heart-to-heart talked which was somewhat a rarity in M/M romance where sex was used in place of talking. The book ended on sweet note, Ms. Culpepper outdone herself with this book. I think she had finally nailed down her strong suit and run with it full tilt with Christian and Kevin.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fani *loves angst*

    4.5 stars Best of the series for me and the most emotional of them all. Kevin and Christian finally meet again after 6 years and the attraction's definitely still there, even though Kevin's not so ready to start anew. But Christrian has finally matured and he knows what he wants and will not give up without a fight. I liked this new, more mature version of Christian, ached with him and felt his despair. This connection made the book for me, whereas Kevin did his best to make me mad with him, talki 4.5 stars Best of the series for me and the most emotional of them all. Kevin and Christian finally meet again after 6 years and the attraction's definitely still there, even though Kevin's not so ready to start anew. But Christrian has finally matured and he knows what he wants and will not give up without a fight. I liked this new, more mature version of Christian, ached with him and felt his despair. This connection made the book for me, whereas Kevin did his best to make me mad with him, talking about how coward Christian was -6 years ago- while living deep inside the closet himself. It was a very emotional story about two people who both carried their own demons, and while there were a couple of things I didn't like (what was all this about Christian's family that never really got explained I wonder?), I really enjoyed it and find it impossible to put down. Oh, and those boys deserved a better epilogue, kind of like Zane's and Mark's.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deeze

    While I enjoyed this story, and loved getting to know Christian and Kevin better, it never fully engaged me the way the previous two books did. I loved getting to know Christian better, and Kevin certainly engaged my heart. Risa and Jack were a nice compliment although I thought Risa's reaction to Kevin was a touch over the top. Overall a nice romance with little drama, it just left me a little confused as to all the mental debates going on. I never fully understood the deeper emotions at play.

  26. 4 out of 5

    AussieMum

    Re-read May 2018 Still just as good. Any minor issues I have with this as the years pass I'm ignoring. ;) Re-read April 2017 I just love the shit out of his book. The way these two guys are together just gets me every time. The sex isn't explicit but the romance is sublime. *sigh* Marines do it better!!! Re-read November 2016 Still my go to book when I just need something sweet and sexy. So effortlessly re-readable. Love. Love. Love. Original review The best of the series. Just Lovely. The boys. The a Re-read May 2018 Still just as good. Any minor issues I have with this as the years pass I'm ignoring. ;) Re-read April 2017 I just love the shit out of his book. The way these two guys are together just gets me every time. The sex isn't explicit but the romance is sublime. *sigh* Marines do it better!!! Re-read November 2016 Still my go to book when I just need something sweet and sexy. So effortlessly re-readable. Love. Love. Love. Original review The best of the series. Just Lovely. The boys. The angst. The honesty. The kisses. OMG!!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Avril

    Read all three books in one evening. This evening. So freaking glad I did. Christian was such a fucking bitch in Question Mark. What he did, his attitude. Man I had no idea how I'd deal with him having his own book. Or even how/if he'd do right by Kevin. God. This one was my favorite. So awesome, these characters. Got me teared up. The author did right by them. Christian did right by me, because for damn sure he had to win me over. He did and I love the love he had for Kevin. Loved their love. T Read all three books in one evening. This evening. So freaking glad I did. Christian was such a fucking bitch in Question Mark. What he did, his attitude. Man I had no idea how I'd deal with him having his own book. Or even how/if he'd do right by Kevin. God. This one was my favorite. So awesome, these characters. Got me teared up. The author did right by them. Christian did right by me, because for damn sure he had to win me over. He did and I love the love he had for Kevin. Loved their love. The best book of the three so far. Didn't want it to end. More? Please?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I agree with other reviews when they said they didn't understand the anger Kevin held onto for so long. It was a one night stand and Christian left, get over it already. It felt like Christian was apologizing the entire book. I did like them as a couple however, and thought the book was a really good read. The smexing could have been a little more detailed. It wasn't quite fade to black but it wasn't descriptive either. Meh, still fun. :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barb Gilmour

    A wonderful addition to a great series! Kevin and Blondie were sooooo good! The whole cast was great too; if only we all had a friend like Jack. I hope we get more in this world.... Come on...show me the Money :-)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I loved this book. I didn't want it to end. SE Culpepper is an amazing author. I absolutely love this series and I can't wait for more...

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