Don't Judge a Book by Scarlet Blackwell

Title:  Don’t Judge a Book

Series:  A Mind is a Sexy Thing

Author:  Scarlet Blackwell

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  Silver Publishing (April 28, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts                                                                             

Blurb:   Bring together the unlikeliest of couples–a car thief and a librarian–and watch the sparks fly. Darren and Rhys are ill-matched but their hearts aren’t listening.

Bookworm Rhys lives in the idyllic town of Hawks Bridge and spends his days working at the local library, his evenings quietly reading. He thinks it’s all about books and even the occasional interruption ‘real life’ throws his way cannot change his beliefs.

When car thief Darren arrives to do his community service, Rhys’ world is turned upside down. Rhys thinks the man is uneducated, only to find him reading classics. He expects him to behave like the criminal he is, only Darren doesn’t. While Rhys isn’t exactly out and proud, Darren is in denial about his sexuality.

Product Link:  https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/products_id/1056/

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Rhys is a librarian’s assistant.  He spends his days filing books and helping patrons.  He loves his job and is content to spend his evenings reading alone in his apartment.  Darren is a youthful offender assigned to Rhys’ library for community service in lieu of jail time.  He just wants to do his hours and get the hell away from Rhys.

This book is wonderful.  Darren and Rhys start in on each other from the very beginning.  Darren sees Rhys as a pretentious geek and Rhys sees Darren as an illiterate Philistine.  Neither is really aware that all that animosity is masking a whole heap of sexual tension.

Rhys is out and proud and tends to gravitate towards men who are only interested in casual hook-ups.  Darren has never been with another guy, but he can’t seem to keep his hands off of Rhys.  I loved that these two are from a different space than usually found in UK romance.  They’re young, working class stiffs; they cuss, drink and are absolutely beautiful together.  The lovin’ is hot and the overall tone is kinda gritty and urban without falling into that genre fully.  It would have been nice to see more of their home lives, but we get enough to know where each is coming from.

Darren is a bit of an idiot…at first.  But, he manages to make it to happily ever after in one piece.  He might not have started the book “gay, but admits, by the end, he’s “bent as fuck.” J  Highly recommending.

Professor's Keeper by Nicole Dennis

Title:  Professor’s Keeper

Series:  Silver ~ A Mind is a Sexy Thing

Author:  Nicole Dennis

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  Silver Publishing (April 28, 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts                                                                               

Blurb:   Professor Alistair Tarrellton knows everything about algorithms but little about relationships. After ex-Marine Rhys Blackwood rescues him from a botched robbery and a panic attack, Alistair finds himself with a new keeper, but can he afford the distraction?

Child prodigy, scientist, and, Professor Alistair Tarrellton knows research, not people. Hiding behind glasses and an overstated vocabulary, he faces panic attacks and headaches if situations become too uncomfortable. As head of the college’s bioinformatics area of study, he teaches classes and runs two labs, but he prefers to hide in his private one at home.

A stop at the grocery store on his way home one night puts Alistair in the middle of a botched robbery. While a panic attack freezes him, he watches former Marine Rhys Blackwood take command with ease, and one touch from this powerful man pushes away Alistair’s fear. Rhys quickly invites himself into Alistair’s home and life, and while part of Alistair doesn’t believe he can afford the distraction of a relationship, the rest of him wants the other man to never leave.

Product Linkhttps://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/products_id/1057/?zenid=8c9520ab3c8fee76c28aa1f3ccf7d664

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Alistair is the quintessential goofy professor.  He got his first college degree while kids his age were still learning to tie their shoes. He is a certified genius with zero social skills.  He may be able to map the human genome with his eyes closed, but he could really use a keeper in his personal life.  Rhys is a wounded soldier who finds taking care of Alistair is more fun than rehab.

I hate to say it, but this is the first Nicole Dennis book that I enjoyed start to finish.  She writes really sweet romances that just don’t appeal to my jaded nature.  Professor’s Keeper was sweet but not too sappy.  Alistair is the cutest thing.  He reminds me a lot of the Criminal Minds character Dr. Spencer Reid.  He uses big words when he’s nervous. (* Note: I would have given this story a higher rating, except for the fact that sometimes Alistair fell out of character and used words that were not consistent with his history or education.) Rhys may be big and strong, but since being forced to leave the military, he’s kind of lost.  Taking care of Alistair gives him a reason to wake up in the morning.  He is organized and patient and just what Alistair need.  And sexually, Alistair takes to intimacy like a duck to water.  I got a bit nervous, when after only 4 hours Rhys invited himself to move into Allister’s home.  But, while they shared a living space, Alistair asked the right questions to let me know he was not a complete codependent git.  The guys take things pretty slow and everything is not champagne and roses.  Trust me, when I say, Alistair can throw one hell of a temper tantrum. The I Loves you came early, but it wasn’t too far outside the realm of plausibility.

I also had a few hiccups with medical procedure and the whole burn rehab process, but most people wouldn’t notice.  Me…major distraction.  All in all, like I said, this is a sweet romance and I enjoyed reading it.

Moving Mountains by Freddy MacKay

Title: Moving Mountains

Series: Finding Peace 1.5 (Spin Off)

Author: Freddy MacKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (222pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: After being dumped by his lover, George Sanders threw himself into his research, burying his broken heart. When his friend Max kisses him, can George figure out what’s going before it’s too late or will Max leave him for good?

George Sanders threw himself into his research trying to bury his broken heart. The past week out in the field gathering research for his doctorate thesis hasn’t gone any better than the previous six months. The only positive is the company of his friend, and lab assistant, Max Flint.

Max’s behavior has become erratic and their conversations awkward and stilted. When Max kisses him and asks for more, George isn’t sure he can handle his advances, especially if Max is leaving for another university.

Can George figure out what’s happening before it’s too late and Max leaves him for good? Or will the past keep him from seeing what’s been right in front of him for the last four years?

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1054/?zenid=4ca2249a3d4b381f52c374324eb4d278

Review: George is confused by his best friend’s behavior.  Max is running hot and cold and George doesn’t know how to approach him to find out what’s wrong.  But, then Max kisses him, confusing him even further.  By the time George has caught up, it just might be too late. Max has wanted George for some time now, but George is just clueless to all the signs. Then, when Max goes out on a limb and still gets rejected, Max just can’t take it anymore.

A wonderful story of friends-to-lovers filled with misunderstandings and crossed wires. George was hurt badly by his ex-lover, when he was forced to hide his relationship and then dumped by e-mail. Now, he is wary of another relationship.  When Max kisses him, it throws him for a loop, as he never even knew that Max was gay, never mind interested in him.  But, now he is worried, as Max will be leaving soon for his new graduate program. Max has tried everything except throwing himself at George to get him to notice him and now, after one more last-ditch attempt, he is giving up.

This is a well-written story that draws you in with the confusion of a young man who just hasn’t got a clue about anything other than his work. George is absolutely clueless about anything going on around him and it is quite an endearing quality that grows on you.  At first, I thought that Max was being mean when he was calling him dense but George really was; when it came to subtle interaction going on around him. Max is a wonderful young man who has been holding out hope that his best friend would notice him for more than friendship. These two together make a great couple, as long as they both know exactly what the other really means.

There are quite a few misunderstandings, wrong conclusions and getting the wrong end of the stick, as they try to find a way through the mine field that both their emotions lay down. Both Max’s and George’s reactions throughout the story get to you, as you want to grab them both and say LISTEN and EXPLAIN, as they both jump to conclusions. Their relationship moves along at a nice pace without them jumping into bed for hot sex right from the start.  They do get to it and it really is hot, but it is when they both feel secure in their relationship.

I will recommend this to those who enjoy friends to lovers, clueless academics, a bit of angst, misunderstandings, developing love and a happy ever after.

The Dom for His Alpha by Christine Shaw

Title: The Dom for His Alpha

Series: Dark Times 01

Author: Christine Shaw

Genre: Shifters, Vampire, Demon, Paranormal, M/M/M

Length: Novella (112pgs)

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing (1st March 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Dark faces the fact he will never enjoy the feel of a whip or a flogger on his ass again. The new alpha of the light pack cannot be seen as weak. Until the following morning when Dark answers his door to the sexiest vampire doctor he has ever seen, his mate.

After a day of unbridled passion between the sheets, Kai and Dark get thrust back into reality. When they see a man strapped helpless in a BDSM club, can they rescue him in time, or will they unleash a new threat upon them?

As a lust demon, Harry always knew he would have a mate with a high sex drive, but once he had met “master,” everything had turned pear-shaped. Now with two mates who love him dearly, can they overcome a threat that may be bigger than they realize, and will Dark finally get to submit?

With the supernatural high council present, will the light pack succeed in ridding themselves of the enemy?

Purchase Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/the-dom-for-his-alpha

Review: Dark has just won the Alpha challenge when he comes across his mate Kai. Kai is not all that happy to have found his mate, especially as he lives in New York and the wolf lives in Texas.  But, just as Kai and Dark work things out they find they have another mate, Harry, who is being treated badly in Dark’s BDSM club. Can the three paranormals work things out or will their enemy win?

This is a story that I had high hopes for because the beginning was well written and a lot was explained about this author’s paranormals. But, then it seemed to fall apart not long after Dark and Kai first met. Dark is the new alpha, but he is a submissive and he gets really upset when Kai seems to reject him. So upset, in fact, that he tries to kill himself. Kai suddenly realizes that he doesn’t want to lose his mate and voila they are all lovey dovey. They then rescue Harry from an abusive Master and he fits nicely into a lovey dovey sandwich. Then, suddenly they are threatened by an unknown source for unknown reasons.

In the blurb it says that ‘Dark faces the fact he will never enjoy the feel of a whip or a flogger on his ass again.’ Urm, well unless this book isn’t to this blurb then that is total rubbish, as Dark couldn’t care less who knows that he bottoms and likes a flogging. What does seem to emerge is his past with another Master and how that Master disappeared never to be heard of again, leaving him feeling abandoned. Harry has his own problems to get through including the loss of his powers. Kai is the only one that seems to have no problems other than pressure from the council to do what they want.

There are several very good bits in this book and to be honest this feels more like a novel cut down to be a novella; there are lots of details and information for such a short book and there is a lot going on in the way of plot. It also seems to be quite choppy, switching back and forth between characters. The sex is very hot, the BDSM is well detailed and the characters are quite good (although Dark needs to learn not to cry at the drop of the hat).

I believe that this is this author’s first published m/m (*note:  Ms. Shaw has a full Siren backlist, which includes only M/M romance.  To learn more about her and read reviews of her other works, click here.*) and I have to say the potential is there; it just needs to be smoothed out more. So, all in all, I will recommend this to those who love shifters, demons, vampires, hot sex, angst and a pretty good story-line. I’d also recommend this to those who are fans of Lynn Hagen, Joyee Flynn, Gale Stanley and Stormy Glenn.

 

 

 

Taxes and TARDIS by N. R. Walker

Title: Taxes and TARDIS

Author: N.R. Walker

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (133pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat: Moderate-Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Brent Kelly was a laid-back tradesman, whose only concerns were drinks with friends and which man to bed next. In need of a new accountant to sort out his shoebox of receipts, he’s referred to Logan Willis, a quiet spoken, science-fiction loving geek. He didn’t expect the geeky guy with an English accent and dark-rimmed glasses, wearing a TARDIS-blue shirt to be so intriguing.

He didn’t expect to be fascinated by him, let alone attracted to him. He most certainly didn’t expect to fall in love.

From jock to geek, both men know the differences between them are vast. But in this opposites-attract erotic drama, maybe it wasn’t the differences between them that would drive them apart. Maybe it was the differences between them that made it worth the fight.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1058/?zenid=ae8b9dbbf1d8656d592b5e9dd2bd55a6

Review: Brent Kelly turns up at his new accountant’s office with a shoebox full of receipts. He is struck dumb when he meets him and it has nothing to do with his paperwork either. Logan is surprised when he gets a call from Brent and agrees to see the man outside the office.

This is a cute and sweet romance that will have you smiling while you read and leave you with a warm happy glow. Brent is an electrician who works construction and goes out with the guys on a Friday night for a beer and a good time and is unabashedly gay. Logan is an accountant who is a bit of a geek and loves Dr. Who.  He helps his sister in her bookshop on the weekends and is careful about his sexuality… put these two men together and opposites attract and what we get is a true romance.

These characters are wonderful together. Brent getting tongue-tied around Logan at first, Logan getting Brent hooked on Dr. Who and Torchwood, spending time together, making love and hanging out with friends there isn’t one moment that you doubt that they belong together. This is a really well written book that shows both men having doubts as to whether they are good enough for the other, but finding that even though they are so different they still get along brilliantly together.

Their relationship is going great when someone interferes and nearly destroys everything between them.  But, with a friend to mediate and explain some things they just might make it. The sex between Brent and Logan is hot and erotic and Logan can be quite a force when he is horny.

I will recommend this to those who want a sweet romance with a touch of conflict, of opposites attracting, of fears of short comings and a happy ever after that leaves you smiling.

Prove Me Wrong by Bethany Clark

Title:  Prove Me Wrong

Series:  Silver ~ A Mind is a Sexy Thing

Author:  Bethany Clark

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  Silver Publishing (April 28, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low-Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   Eccentric genius extraordinaire Tennyson Mycroft isn’t used to challenges. When Kristian Dawlish bursts into his life Tennyson’s reality is upended. What starts off as a bet quickly becomes serious. Tennyson has to decide how far he wants to take it.

Coping with a genius is never easy and Tennyson Mycroft takes it to a whole new level with his quirky attitude and all-too-accurate ‘psychic’ abilities. He’s never let anyone get close to him. And thinks he’s perfectly happy as a solitary professor. Then Kristian Dawlish arrives on campus and suddenly everything is in uproar.

The pair engage in a battle of wits as Kristian tries to prove Tennyson is a fraud. A bet is made in a moment of lust, but soon Tennyson longs for more. Will Tennyson come to terms with the fact he is as susceptible to emotions as everyone else, and finally drop his walls? Even if he does, is Kristian willing to take the risk? Follow them on their journey filled with laughs, nosy students, and a discovery that uncertainty isn’t always a bad thing.

Product Link:  https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/products_id/1055/

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Tennyson is the quintessential academic fruitcake.  He enjoys pushing the limits of social norms and making people squirm.  He’s not exactly effeminate, but he opens the book in purple shoes.  He’s an arrogant sod who looks down at the masses with utter disdain.  When Kristian finds out Tennyson claims to have psychic abilities he scoffs at the very possibility.  Tennyson, feeling generous, proposes an interesting wager.  Kristian has ten opportunities to debunk Tennyson’s claim.  Despite his skepticism, Kristian agrees, even to the part where he pays for every loss with a kiss.

I almost didn’t read this book.  I assumed, incorrectly that “Kristian” was a female.  Something told me to order Prove Me Wrong, anyway.  I am beyond thrilled that I did.  Despite being written in 1st person (Tennyson’s) POV, my least favorite, I loved this book. The writing is fluid and perfectly paced.  Poor Tennyson, for all his genius, is clueless as to intimacy and relationships.  His feelings scare the bejeezus out of him, but his natural curiosity makes him forge on.

Kristian and Tennyson’s relation is so sweet.  It’s almost like they accidentally fall in love. For most of the book, it is mostly stolen kisses and cuddles.  Tennyson is amazed at how satisfying dinner and a movie at home can be.  Little by little their lives intermesh until they look up and realize what all their friends suspect…their dating. J  The secondary characters that help them are great.  I loved how by allowing himself to care for Kristian, Tennyson opened up to other relationships. Relationships with people who had been in his life, but he never really noticed.

My heart practically stopped when Kristian had an assphat moment near the end, but the ending left me with a smile on my face.  Exquisite.  Highly recommend.

Frog by Mary Calmes

Title: Frog

Author: Mary Calmes

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (178pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th April 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Weber Yates’s dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand’s job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming.

Cyrus Benning is a successful neurosurgeon, so details are never lost on him. He spotted the prince in a broken-down bull rider’s clothing from day one. But watching Weber walk out on him keeps getting harder, and he’s not sure how much more his heart can take. Now Cyrus has one last chance to prove to Weber that it’s not Weber’s job that makes him Cyrus’s perfect man, it’s Weber himself. With the help of his sister’s newly broken family, he’s ready to show Weber that the home the man’s been searching for has always been right there, with him. Cyrus might have laid down an ultimatum once, but now it’s turned into a vow—he’s never going to let Weber out of his life again.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2892

Review: Weber has just retired from bull riding and on his way to the promise of a job. He stops off in San Francisco to visit his sometime lover Cyrus. Cyrus, the neurosurgeon, who is so far out of his league that Weber wonders what he is doing. Cyrus is madly in love with Weber and he doesn’t see Weber the way that Weber sees himself.  Now, with the help of his family, he sets about to convince Weber that they are a match made in heaven.

Mary Calmes has done it again, giving us a wonderful heart-warming story that is a treat to read. Weber won’t acknowledge the love between him and Cyrus, because he truly believes that Cyrus could do so much better than a washed out homeless bull-rider. He won’t be some kept man and there is nothing in the way of work for him in San Francisco. But, that all changes during his latest visit. Cyrus is desperate to keep Weber and to convince him that he has always been the prince for him and not the frog that he thinks he is, and this visit with his family around him they just might break through Weber’s walls.

*Sigh* A truly wonderful heart-warming story that I read with a slight smile on my face all the way through; as slowly the realization dawns on Weber that to Cyrus he has always been a prince. I have to say that I really enjoyed this one, as Weber stuck to his guns about not being a kept man and he really didn’t seem to notice the effect he had on people around him. Cyrus really had his hands full trying to convince Weber that just because he didn’t have any worldly possessions didn’t mean he had nothing to offer and that what Weber did have to offer was all that he had ever wanted.

This is a story of true love, pride and perspectives. about how love can do away the social barriers and how some people can gain respect just by their innate goodness and natural respect for those around him. These characters are perfect and the secondary characters are incredible, but didn’t try to steal the show.  The story is melded together perfectly and the love, want and need shines through the pages leaving you in no doubt how much these men really mean to each other. Cyrus and Weber have a passion that exploded from the first time they saw each other and has carried through the last three years and we can enjoy many passionate sex scenes, embraces and clinches that will make you a little hot under the collar.

I have to recommend this to all Mary Calmes lovers, lovers of heart-warming stories, those who enjoy passionate sex, letting go of pride, happy-ever-afters and stories that leaving you with a smile on your face. (I still say witchcraft.)

Astronomical by Silvia Violet

Title: Astronomical

Series:  Silver ~ A Mind Is A Sexy Thing

Author: Silvia Violet

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (141pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A hot, kilt-wearing astronomy geek with a powerful telescope. A tongue-tied librarian who likes his orderly life. Where will their attraction lead them?

When sexy, kilt-wearing astronomy professor Greg MacIntyre moves in next door, Blake Theriot knows he’s in trouble. Blake is a research librarian, and he likes things orderly and controlled. But in his secret fantasies, he craves a big, powerful man like Greg to stir up his life.

Every time Blake tries to talk to his erudite neighbor, his brain shuts down and his vocabulary is reduced to one-word utterances, but when Blake’s niece challenges him to invite Greg to dinner, he does. A few shots of after-dinner whiskey loosen Blake’s inhibitions, and the two men share a hot kiss and the promise of more. Can Blake relax enough to give himself a chance with Greg, or will his fear of letting go ruin his hopes for love?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains mild power play.

Part of Silver Publishing’s “A Mind is a Sexy Thing” anthology

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1051/

Review: Blake has the hots for the sexy astronomy professor who has just moved in next door. Unfortunately, whenever he is face to face with him his brain stops working. Blake’s niece wraps him around her finger and Blake ends up inviting Greg over for dinner, where the two men hit it off.  But, Blake has been hurt in the past and he feels that Greg is blowing hot and cold.

This is quite a good novella that has a slight touch of submissiveness from Blake and a touch of domination from Greg. Blake likes his life ordered, everything slots into place nicely and although he has had to accommodate for time with his niece everything must be perfect. When he meets Greg, he has fantasies about him, but he can’t quite make the step to ask him out. But, with the encouragement of his niece and his sister he does get his man. Greg seems to be quite a guy.  He’s hot, wears kilts (swoon) and is a slightly absentminded professor.  He seems to be interested in Blake, but Blake seems to be completely oblivious to it.

I quite enjoyed this story as Blake has some insecurities and suddenly gets to experience something he has always yearned for.  But, then it terrifies him to have such a strong reaction to it. Greg’s behavior also plays on his insecurities, although Greg doesn’t mean anything by it. Blake’s reaction is angsty. The sex between them is extremely hot and Greg also manages to use sex to help Blake through his anxiety.

I thought Blake and Greg had the potential to work through their problems on their own, but Blake’s sister and niece decided to help out… although it disturbed me that a nine-year old girl was getting that active in her uncles’ love life and encouraging him to date Greg. I have never met a nine-year old that hasn’t blushed and giggled or pretended to throw up at even the thought of a kiss between adults.

I will recommend this to those who love very slight domination and submission, hot sex, a bit of angst and a great ending.

 

 

 

Physical Chemistry by Jana Downs

Title: Physical Chemistry

Series:  Silver: A Mind is a Sexy Thing

Author: Jana Downs

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (87pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Nico Johnston doesn’t care that fellow chemist, Jin, is gorgeous, kind, and talented; Nico can’t risk getting involved with a man like Jin. Together for a semester, Jin hopes their shared project will lead to more than good test results.

Nico Johnston is a nerd with a grudge. Top of his class in the Chemical Engineering department, Nico’s academic career is set. Until Jin Rogers transfers from Penn State and usurps his position as highest-ranked student. To add insult to injury, Jin joins the research project Nico is conducting for the department head. It doesn’t matter that Jin is gorgeous, kind, and talented, Nico can’t risk getting even involved with a man like Jin again.

Jin Rogers falls for Nico the second he sees him. Nico is intelligent, talented, and driven, qualities which intrigue Jin. Unfortunately, Nico is oblivious to Jin’s crush. Their shared research project is Jin’s only hope.

Tempers and passions flare as they are forced into constant, close contact during the semester. Can Jin overcome his imperfections and can Nico give himself a chance at happiness?

Part of Silver Publishing’s “A Mind is a Sexy Thing” anthology

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1053/?zenid=517645e89e8f6881f55383666414ffcb

Review: Nico is harboring resentment towards transfer Jin, because he is now top of the class.  knocking Nico off the top spot. Jin is attracted to Nico, but Nico has a wall built around himself that Jin can’t penetrate.  Until they have to work close together on a project and just as everything is going great, Jin’s secret is exposed.

This is a wonderful story about perceptions and resentment and scratching below the surface. Nico is a geek pure and simple and the only thing that he truly thinks he has going for him is his.  And when he is knocked off the top spot he is not happy. Jin is a hard worker, but Nico thinks everything seems to be so easy for him. He’s good looking, he has money, he’s intelligent and everyone likes him. Nico is certain that his friendly charming personality is a front and that one day he will show his true colors. But, as he gets to know Jin better, he begins to realize that with Jin…what you see is what you get.

Ohhh.  I loved Nico and Jin.  Both of them are geeks, but while one is confident in himself, the other is filled with doubts because of his past.  Nico has to put aside his preconceived notion about men like Jin and open himself.  And Jin has to be honest and hope that Nico will understand, but that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and that is just the way Nico likes it. Nico sees Jin as perfect and that puts him off.  Jin sees Nico exactly like he really is and it isn’t until Nico realizes that Jin isn’t perfect that he fully relaxes into their relationship.

Jana Downs has written a story that is sweet and touching and both her MCs have their own flaws, even if at first glance you miss them. The characters are perfect together and they get to know each other before jumping into bed (which is hot by the way).  Nico’s support for Jin was wonderful ,when he discovered the truth, and Jin’s fear was well written and very understandable.

With this story, I am going to recommend it to those who love flawed characters, hot sex, hot geeks and a happy ending for two sweet men.

 

 

 

Alexios' Fate by Kayla Jameth

Title: Alexios’ Fate

Series: Apollo’s Men 01

Author: Kayla Jameth

Genre: Ancient Greece, Mythology

Length: Novella (179pgs)

Publisher: Breathless Press (13th April 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Seduced by a king, pursued by the god Apollo, and wooed by his slave, can Alexios escape his fate and find love?

Mature King Lykos has a sexy confidence that turns Alexios’ head. Seduced by Lykos, Prince Alexios discovers a world of men he’s never known before.

Meanwhile his slave Galen has gotten tired of waiting in the wings. He sets out to woo Alexios and win his heart.

Even Apollo can’t leave Alexios alone. The young prince finds himself pursued by a god and in danger of a perilous love.

How will Alexios follow his heart when he unwittingly wins the favor of a god? Can Alexios escape the fate of Apollo’s past lovers and have the man he wants?

Warning: Contains a scene containing rape.

Purchase Link: http://www.breathlesspress.com/alexios-fate

Review: Alexios has reached the age to take a mentor, but his father is using it as a way to secure allies through a betrothal.  Alexios catches King Lykos’ eye and Alexios finally notices his slave, Galen, and a god decides to shape his future for his kindness towards Apollo’s prophet, Cyrus.  But, due to the bitterness and jealousy of one man, everything might be snatched away with Alexios’ life.

I absolutely love Greek mythology and this story is a prime example of the wonders of the Greek gods. Alexios is coming up to his eighteen birthday, the time when he is to choose a mentor.  After meeting all the visiting Kings there is little doubt in his mind who he wants as his mentor and that man also happens to heat his blood. Galen has watched his master with lust in his eyes for a while and now finally his master is noticing him back. But, then Galen is attacked in his master’s chambers. Lykos has many reasons for courting Alexios and one of them is to punish Alexios’ father.

There is quite a bit going on in this well written novella and it all leads back to Alexios, in one way or another; his treatment of Cyrus brings him to the attention of Apollo, Lykos’ attention leads Alexios to take more notice of Galen and Alexios father’s bitterness and resentment leads him to call the wrath of the gods. This is a really enjoyable story with a twist for Alexios at the end. Alexios is a red-blooded male who is just finding his oats with men so there are some passionate clinches and longing looks with some special lovemaking for Galen.

The characters in this book are great and meld well together to give us an image in our minds of the interactions and attitudes of the ancient Greeks. The image of the gods having such interaction with the mortals and the rules that even the gods had to abide by. and it gives us an interesting tale that I really enjoyed. I know there are two more stories planned in this series and I am hoping that they will have Cyrus in there somewhere, so we can see how he is progressing.

I will recommend this to those who love Greek mythology, hot sex, gods, the wrath of gods, twisty background stories and a happy for now ending.

 

 

Always MJ by S. J. D. Peterson

Title: Always MJ

Series:  A Mind is a Sexy Thing

Author: S.J.D. Peterson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (98pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th April 2012)

Heat Level: Low-Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Matthew Jonathon Parker, Matty to his friends, never did anything spontaneous. Yet six months ago, during a ‘poor-me’ moment, he entered an online chat room and may have met the man of his dreams.

Matthew Jonathon Parker planned every aspect of his day. From the time he woke up until the exact minute he crawled back into bed, his day was set. He wasn’t the kind of man to seek out other men in chat rooms. He certainly wasn’t the type to fall in love with someone he only knew from typed words.

After a six-month online affair, Matty agrees to meet Jay in Florida for a weekend getaway. Only Jay isn’t what Matty expected; although, perhaps he should have known it was too good to be true.

After all, Jay’s screen name AlwaysMJ stands for ‘Always making jokes’–or does it?

Part of Silver Publishing’s “A Mind is a Sexy Thing” anthology

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1050/?zenid=d350f9e31495e91e487aed638d28ae1f

Review: Matty thinks he has found the man of his dreams. After speaking to him on-line for six months, he is finally going to meet him face to face. But, when he gets to the rendezvous spot, the man he finds is the last one he’d ever imagine.

This is an emotion filled novella that will pull you in two directions as you empathize with both characters. Matty is predictable. Everything he does is planned down to the last detail, but now he is doing something totally out of character for him… he is meeting the man who he fell in love with on-line. Matty is still of two minds when he gets to his hotel and starts to suffer from a panic attack, as the full weight of what he is about to do hits him. But, as always his best friend Jared is on the end of the phone to pull him through and get him to relax. But, when Matty finally sees ‘Jay’ for the first time there are some things that even Jared can’t smooth over.

As always S.J.D. Peterson has given us angst, frustration, anger, confusion, forgiveness and love. Giving us the experience of feeling as the characters do, of conflicting our emotions as to how to feel about these characters as we try to decide who we should empathize more with. Matty, as he discovers that his dream man is not the stranger he thought he was,  the betrayal he feels when he thinks it was all a joke, the anger that someone he thought so highly of could do that to him and then eventually forgiveness as he realizes how much this man truly means to him. then we have ‘Jay’ who has been trying to find a way to tell Matty how he feels about him and comes up with the on-line chat so he can show Matty a side of himself that he keeps hidden. To show Matty that he is the man that he can rely on. Then, we have his horror as to how Matty reacts and the realization that Matty had taken it the wrong way. His desire to get it through to Matty that he is serious and his frustration when Matty won’t listen, his determination that Matty will listen and give them a chance. Every emotion shines through.

A well-crafted story that is a fantastic friends-to-lovers plot, but doesn’t take the easy way of them just falling into each other’s arms. They both have to work at it and it makes it a more enjoyable read for its readers.

I recommend this to those who love friends to lovers, angst, some erotic loving, great characters and a happy ever after, after a few bumps in the road.

The Viking in My Bed by Jan Irving

Title: The Viking in My Bed

Series: Lightning Strikes  01

Author: Jan Irving

Genre: Gay MM/ Time-travel/ Bondage/BDSM

Length: Novella (94 pg)

Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (April 2nd, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥2Hearts

Blurb: Book one in the Lightning Strikes Series

Wise-talking college student Bailey Moore saves his romantic side for the historical romances he’s secretly addicted to—until he wakes up crushed under six foot plus of sexy, aroused ancient Viking.

Bailey Moore is a cynical, wise-talking college student who saves his mushy, romantic side for the historical romances he’s addicted to, until he wakes up crushed under six feet three inches of aroused Viking warrior.

At first he takes Freyr Grímsson as a glorious odd ball obsessed with Medieval role playing-down to his rough hewn sword, but Frey insists Bailey is his guide in this new world and when Bailey is attacked by a mysterious creature, he’s convinced that he and Frey have to wage a battle to drive evil forces off campus. But when his Viking conquers him in bed, Bailey is afraid Frey will also lay claim to his secret, vulnerable heart.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of a light D/s nature.

Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1605

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: Let me just start by saying how very disappointed I am from this book. Reading the title The Viking in My Bed and the blurb I truly got excited and couldn’t wait till I got it on my hands. But you know what they say: Don’t get your expectations too high…

So let’s see. Bailey is a college student, he studies… God knows, that has to do with graphics? Yes! His professor (she’s also a big bad demon wannabe) gives him some old Celtic graphs to study and while Bailey’s playing with them he creates a summoning portal!!! But he doesn’t know it so the next morning he wakes up with big, horny Viking licking his… arm! Telling him that he want to make him his… woman!!! Bailey, although shocked, takes it in the stride believing it must be a joke from his friends due to his birthday. And while Freyr (the Viking) apparently knows no other way of communication beside roaring and bellowing that Bailey is “the guide” and he is “the guardian” and big bad things are coming after them (no reason on why all that is happening is given btw), BFF Candy shows up to calm things down by… grooming Freyr, conditioning and cropping his hair.  So they get convinced that Freyr’s the real thing by his nasty scars. Now, except Freyr, there are other creatures coming after them from the void… The guardian fights and keeps the guide safe. Bailey learns that his professor manipulated him into creating the portal so she could be possessed by the Whisperer and then control his powers.  So ultimately what guardian/guide needs to do, is go get the graphic, reopen the portal, send demons/guardian back and all clear. And here is my best part so far. All this happen during one day time. Freyr, of course, makes Bailey his woman and conquers him by… spanking him!! Oh, and Bailey falls for Freyr, cause Freyr made him look him in the eyes while they were lovemaking!!!The D/s scenes that we were being warned about, yeah!! I  So after falling in love with Freyr, Bailey has no intention of letting him go. He and his friends make up a plan and armed with Molotov cocktails, they go after the professor… Well, the end, it is after all a love story!!!

All in all, I was expecting an adventure and didn’t get one. I was expecting some hot sexual scenes and didn’t get any. II wish there had been more of a love story, if nothing else. In one word I found the book lacking!

Pixie’s Two Cents:   ♥♥♥2.5Hearts  This is a humorous take on time-traveling Vikings and the love of good historicals. Bailey discovers that there are things that really just can’t be explained and finding a Viking in his bed is definitely one of them.  Having that Viking declare him his guide is another and having evil come after him is the last straw. Frey has been summoned by the guide and it is his job to fight the evil and he decides to make Bailey his ‘woman’ (yeah, I know, but he’s a sexy Viking so I’ll give him some leeway).

I really do believe that this is more tongue in cheek, let’s have a giggle type of story from Frey’s over the top Viking tendencies, to Candy’s (Bailey’s friend) insisting on conditioning Frey’s hair, to the mention of re-enacting scenes in a Johanna Lindsey book. It’s not all smiley fun though, because Bailey has to face up to the fact that he was tricked and betrayed by a long-time family friend who is power mad and he doesn’t get the nice and tidy evil oh no his is the slimy, stinky evil with razor-sharp teeth and claws.

So in all honesty I will recommend this to those who want a light-hearted read that will have you giggling and laughing, with a slight poke at the more serious time-traveling Vikings, with lots of hot sex between a hot Viking and his ‘woman’ (sorry I just love that), some very slight kink and a happy ending for them all.

 

 

 

False Start by Janey Chapel

Title: False Start

Series: N/A

Author: Janey Chapel

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Length: Novella (72 pg)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 24, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts ~ loved it

Blurb: It’s Tucker Locke’s ten-year college reunion, and he doesn’t have much to show for himself. Sure, he’s a successful lawyer with a nice car and a nice apartment, but his life is empty, and Tucker knows why. A decade ago, not ready to come out of the closet, he left Whit Jamison behind.

Tucker’s spent ten years pretending to be straight—ten years thinking about his mistakes. But all the time in the world couldn’t prepare him for the reality of seeing Whit again. Whit’s taller, more mature, more attractive than ever, and every bit as out and proud as he was ten years ago. Time hasn’t changed the chemistry between them, and it looks like Tucker might get a second chance. All he has to do is brush aside the years of lies and embrace one powerful truth.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2893&osCsid=5sbi3he6ju7rtb8s4qttkmr9n5

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: Such a lovely story it made me sad that it had to end. Chapel has a very unique way of writing emotions.  she truly made my skin shiver with her wonderful descriptions. I felt like I could stretch my hand and literally touch the character’s feelings, their agony, fear, anticipation and their beautiful lovemaking. This is the story of Tucker and Whit.

Whit is charming, with humor and guts. I totally loved him. The kind of character that knows who he is and is proud of it. And if you don’t like it too bad for you.

Whit discovers his orientation in early puberty and when he finishes high school he comes out to his family. A lucky boy he is, for his family accepts and loves him and mostly supports him in his life. Whit has been in love with Tucker for four years and he’s never even dreamt of having him, thinking Tucker is straight. Ms Chapel has a great way on describing an adolescent crush, the stalking we do when we’re young and for some reason can’t get close to our object of desire.

Whit goes to college as a proud gay boy and beyond his hopes; he and Tucker hook up secretly. As much as Whit would love to have Tucker acknowledge their relationship, he understands that it may be harder for Tucker to do so. With Tucker being a senior, Whit waits till graduation thinking that, after all that school drama is over, it would be easier for Tucker to claim his orientation. Alas, when the time comes Tucker gets so scared of what might happen if he comes out that he shuns Whit and avoids every contact between them. He breaks Whit’s heart and with that he leaves from their hometown and goes to university. The 10 years that pass by are 10 very sad years for Tucker. Not only hasn’t he claimed his sexuality, but he spends them lying even to his own self and trying hard to be straight. He never returns home until a letter comes, an invitation for college reunion. A reason to go home and try to find the strength to out himself once and for all. A reason to go back to Whit. But will Whit be there and if so, will he want him back??

The events that follow-up, Tucker’s inner fight not to run once more, but to stay and try to get back his love and get another chance are so emotional that made me wish Ms Chapel had written a longer novel so it wouldn’t end that quickly. And, although there were only two sexual scenes in the book, they were so intense and hot and sensual and powerful that they took my breath away. A wonderful book that I’d highly recommend to any fan of contemporary M/M romance.

 

Dragon Whisperer by JB McDonald

Title: Dragon Whisperer

Series: Dragon 04

Author: J.B. McDonald

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Short (55pgs)

Publisher: Torquere Press (4th April 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Getting magically eaten by a dragon wasn’t part of the plan. Really, there hadn’t been much of a plan to begin with, but it had definitely involved more dragon slaying and less getting knocked unconscious. Even the unconsciousness wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t push Ashe closer to death each time.

Katsu is worried sick at Ashe’s descent. He’s worried enough to find a dragon whisperer to help, despite the fact that he hates her. He hates her appearance, he hates her attitude, and he especially hates the way she’s helping his lover when he couldn’t. Despite this, he hopes she succeeds — or soon Ashe won’t be alive at all.

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_91&products_id=3552

Review: Katsu is worried by how much the dragon is feeding off Ashe.  Ashe is weak, pale and losing weight, but the dragon wants more. When the dragon attacks a member of their group, Katsu and Ashe set off to find help.

This is another great installment from this cute dragon series. Ashe is getting weaker and weaker as the dragon grows and continues to feed off his magic. Katsu is more worried than he lets on and is trying his best to find some solution to the problem of the dragon but when the dragon attacks one of their friends Ashe and Katsu set off to get advice from dragon experts; none of whom can help until they discover the Dragon Whisperer.  A dragon whisperer that Katsu doesn’t like and who is more interested in the dragon than trying to explain what Ashe needs to do.

Katsu and Ashe are again that offbeat couple who won’t share how they feel about each other, even though it is clear to you and me how they really feel. Katsu feels like he is letting Ashe down by not being able to come up with a solution to the dragon problem and Ashe feels like if he doesn’t get better soon then Katsu will turn to someone else. When they end up with the dragon whisperer, Lady Tabitha, Katsu is resentful that she could help Ashe where he couldn’t.  And he hates the way she treats and speaks to Ashe, as though he is always doing something wrong. But, it means he can help explain it so Ashe understands.

This is like a mini adventure where we get installments of Ashe and Katsu’s life together and their ups and downs as they travel with a band of mercenaries and Ashe’s unfortunate bond with a baby dragon. It’s great.  Ashe and Katsu are two great characters who are a bit abrasive with each other, but both care deeply for the other.  They just don’t show it that much. Ashe needs his confidence boosting and Katsu tries his best to convince Ashe that he can control what he has learnt. We have more of this series to look forward to with the next installment Dragon Soul and then maybe 2 or 3 more to come.

I will recommend this to those who love dragon’s, elves, magic, abrasive men/elves, resentment, jealousy and a happy for now ending.

 

 

 

Lucky by Tia Fielding

Title:  Lucky

Author:  Tia Fielding

Genre:   Transgender Romance

Length:  Short Story, 24 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 25th 2012)

ISBN: 9781613723142

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:   Sloane would’ve given anything to have been born with the right body, but he hadn’t. He’d have given anything to have his family back, but his father insisted that until Sloane was ready to become his heterosexual daughter again, he wanted nothing to do with him. So Sloane dealt with the challenges of living transgendered as best he could. Luckily, his best friend Jace was there with him every step of the way. Jace is the best man Sloane has ever met, but Jace is gay and Sloane still doesn’t have the right parts – until Jace proves that he loves Sloane just the way he is.

Product Link: 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2738&osCsid=bphqn3h22on4kjmi62vhb10pk5

Reviewer:  Artemis

Review:  This is the first transgendered book I have read and there were some parts of the story I found fascinating and others that I wasn’t thrilled with.  Since this is a very short story at only 21 pages it seemed like we didn’t really get to know the main characters very well.  Sloan was born female but was never really comfortable in her own skin.  She came out to her parents as being transgendered and it was not accepted well.  Sloan began living as a male and the one person he could rely on no matter what was his gay best friend Jace.  The two of them room together at college and Jace is there for Sloan through all the doctors’ appointments and emotional breakdowns that arise.  Sloan does not want to go through the surgery to become anatomically male because of the possible complications. Slowly, Sloan begins to realize that his feelings for Jace are more than that of a friend but doesn’t think that Jace would be interested since he is anatomically female.

 

Being my first book that deals with the issues of a transgendered character, I admit that I am not sure how things would work between someone who is a gay male (Jace) and someone who is anatomically female (Sloan).  I had trouble with that angle but the deep feelings that Jace and Sloan have for one another are very obvious.  Jace is the rock that has held Sloan up for years and even though the physical part of the relationships moves rather quickly, I did like that they had a history together.  I wish the story was longer so that I could have better understood the issues that each of them had to deal with to get to that point in their relationship.  It felt slightly rushed and I was left feeling a bit lost at the end.