Dr. Morbid's Castle of Blood by Hayden Thorne

Title: Dr. Morbid’s Castle Of Blood

Series: Masks 06

Author: Hayden Thorne

Genre: Young Adult, Superheroes

Length: Novel (173pgs)

Publisher: Queerteen Press (JMS Books) (19th August 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Following the attacks on Vintage City by the Deathtrap Debutantes, life quiets down, and the superheroes are temporarily without work. Unfortunately, unemployed superheroes mean bored superheroes, and with Peter’s birthday just around the corner, Eric asks for help in coming up with the most creative gift he can give a boy who’s got everything. Tapping into everyone’s fondness for computer games, Eric enlists the heroes’ help in experimenting with a video game in a desperate bid to amaze Peter with something unique.

What they don’t expect is a game that’s been sabotaged by an old nemesis. Eric and the heroes suddenly find themselves trapped in a horror game, forced to advance against the clock or be stuck in it forever. With three of their friends vanishing from the group, Eric and Ridley are forced to use their wits and their limited abilities to fight their way through monsters that are meant to keep them from finding the others. Outside, Althea as Spirit Wire, along with unexpected allies, scrambles to keep a delicate connection with her friends as she tries to save them all.

Purchase Link: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products_id=574

Review: This book is part of a series and is best read in order. Eric is struggling to come up with a birthday gift for his superhero boyfriend, Peter; the guy who has everything he could ever want. So, Eric with the help of a few of his superhero friends sets out to get the coolest best present that a boy could ever want, a 3D interactive computer game.  But, it goes wrong when an old nemesis sabotages the game and they are stuck inside fighting zombies and monsters, trying to find their friends with a time limit to finish the game and escape.

This is a great story for young adults and those not quite so young adults who love gay superhero stories and great fun. Eric just can’t think of anything to give Peter for his birthday (except the obvious, but then he is sixteen and horny. So, when he strikes upon the idea of a unique gift he pleads with his friend Althea to help him out. So everything is planned and the game seems to be going great and then everything goes wrong, as they find themselves trapped having to complete the game before the time runs out. then three of them go missing and Eric and Ridley have to battle their way through the rest of the game trying to find their friends with the limited help the Althea and two unexpected allies.

Okay, so I have to admit to being a fan of the Mask series. I just love being able to read a book that can take me back to my teenage years of dreaming about superheroes and the weird and wacky things of the teenage imagination. This story is great; Hayden Thorne really does manage to get into a teenage psyche to give us the weird and wonderful life of Eric and his friends. the adventures they have are unique and very funny in places. This story is no different. Eric and Peter are a great couple, but other than them being boyfriends and horny, most of the story is focused on Eric trying to find the perfect gift and then on the adventure of being stuck in a game.

This is a really well written story for those of us who love trying to recapture those fleeting teenage feelings and this is an excellent story for young adults who want to let their lives go briefly and sink into an imagination filled world which is fun, amusing and just a touch angsty. I know people will pull a face, but my favorite bit out of the entire story has to be the scene with the zombie baby. It was just so disgusting and amusing and oh, so wrong to laugh, that I still chuckle when I think about it.

So, I recommend this if you love a gay teenage superhero, their faithful not superhero boyfriend, angsty teenage problems, adventures that only a teenager could do, horny teenage boys, chuckles and laughter and an amusing story.

 

 

Animal Magnetism ~ A Dreamspinner Press Anthology

Title: Animal Magnetism

Series:  A Dreamspinner Press Anthology

Author: Heidi Champa, Cari Z., Matthew Vandrew, Chris T. Kat, Avery Vanderlyle, Kim Fielding, R. Cooper, Emily Gould, A.J. Marcus, Skylar Jaye, Minerva Wisting, Lily Velden, Kate Pavelle, Liz Makar, G.S Wiley

Genre: Anthology

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 13, 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate (total book)

Heart Rating:    ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Lions tigers and bears Oh! My! Whether ist a dog or cat or something more exotic, the animals in this collection of m/m stories serve as the catalyst for bringing lovers together. No matter how the encounter begins, by the end of each story, with a little help from their finned, furred, or feathered friends, our heros have discovered some animal magnetism of their own.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3150&cPath=50

Reviewer: Cat

This is a great collection of 15 stories where animals of some sort are catalysts for romance. Some are sweet and some are very hot. All were very cute and fun to read. I will break each down with a heat rating for ya!

Review:

A Few Too Many by Heidi Champa

Heat Level:  Explicit

Ted takes his dog, Jake, to the annual Highland Games. After winning, Jake gets into the cups sitting around of booze and gets sick. Ted rushes him to the vet to find that the usual veterinarian isn’t in. a new very sexy vet is there instead.

I found this story so cute, I laughed until I about cried. Then it got so hot at the vet’s office.

If you like dogs, men in kilts, hot vet, and hot man-sex you will love this.

Having a Ball by Cari Z.

Heat Level:  Explicit

Jimmy comes to snake sit at his older brother, Michael’s, house, after, Michael’s wife died in an accident. Michael had to take his daughter, Kelly, to visit her deceased mom’s family for two weeks at Christmas. Jimmy is left with instructions of how to care for the snake and an emergency contact in case of problems. The emergency contact is a neighbor upstairs. Circumstances bring Jimmy to call on the neighbor. What happened that he had to call the neighbor? What happened after he called the neighbor? All I’m telling ya is read this story… it’s cute.

This one was sweet, also. You can’t help but feel for Jimmy being creeped out about babysitting a snake. Things that happen afterward are pretty hot.

If you like sort a sad stories, snakes, friends to lovers, History lessons, and hot man-sex you will love this one.

Along Came Spiders by Matthew Vandrew

Heat Level:  Mild

Hedge is on his way to work when an earthquake hits. A woman says a man may be injured and has a basement full of spiders. Hedge is a nurse and goes to help. Alec a police officer that was just going off duty tries to keep Hedge from going in, but Hedge insists.  They get trapped temporarily inside with loose spiders.

This was such a sweet romantic story even if it had spiders on the loose.

If you like police officers, male nurses, a sweet romance and spiders you will love this one!

Cuddling Up by Chris T. Kat

Heat Level:  Explicit

Paul was leaving work and it was raining cats and dogs (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun), so he goes back into the big cat house at the zoo where he works. (Real cats like lions and leopards and stuff)When he gets inside he finds Noah, his relief cuddled up with the Snow Leopard and her cubs. He watches, afraid if he startles them the leopard will hurt him.  When Noah finally exits the cage, Paul confronts him and an argument ensues. Paul goes into the shower to cool himself off and get out of his wet clothes. Noah follows him in.

I loved this story it was so sweet the scene with Noah and the snow leopard and the story of why he was in the cage. The sex was really hot, too.

I recommend this if you like, Snow Leopards and cubs, sweet stories, and hot man-sex.

New Tides by Avery Vanderlyle

Heat Level:  Mild

Steve had to take a job on the east coast and his boyfriend Eric had stayed on the West Coast. He works in aquatics with crabs.  After three years and trying the long distance relationship and failing they still kept in touch some and Steve really hadn’t moved on. Eric had. Steve’s favorite possession is a pencil with a crab on it that Eric had bought him when he graduated school. His pencil keeps coming up missing and found in strange places.  The new co-worker, Jan, studies octopi and has one named Cleo that he is studying its behavior. How does Cleo Bring Jan and Steve together when octopi aren’t one of Steve’s favorite marine animals?

I love this story it. It’s a sweet story about a man not wanting to let go of his love, but a strange occurrence helps him put Eric in his past and find new love. Even with no sex mentioned this story was so good and exciting.

I recommend this story to anyone that likes a sweet story with no sex, Octopi, crabs, marine biology and sexy men.

Care and Rehabilitation by Kim Fielding

Heat Level:  Mild

Ira is a history professor he is in mourning of losing his long- time partner to leukemia. He has his partner’s dog, a St. Bernard and she finds a baby bird. Ira is told of a person the takes birds in to rehabilitate. When he gets there, he finds the person is an ex student of his, that he had a mild crush on when he was in Ira’s class. Ironically, Caleb had had a major crush on Ira, too. Caleb is also in mourning of losing his mother a year ago and had taken over her business of taking in the injured birds that needed rehab. Can a baby bird and a St. Bernard be the path to both Ira and Caleb’s healing?

I absolutely loved this story. It has no actual sex, but the story is so sweet, yet sad with a happy ending.

If you love Birds, dogs sad but sweet stories of love lost and having to move on this one is super great!

Butterbean and the Pretty Princess Make A Home by R. Cooper

Heat Level:  Moderate

Riley and Eli are roommates. Eli is the best roommate Riley ever had. But, Eli and Riley are so different. Eli is quiet, large, and hairy, and from a wealthy family. Eli has tattoos, designs them and runs around with his friends that talk about Eli. Riley has been staying home more finding he enjoys Eli’s company. One night on his way home he finds two kittens in a box in the trash. He brings them in and Eli flips out. He is terrified, and thinks he has allergies. Can two abandoned kittens bring together two friends?

This story was so cute. Eli’s reaction to the kittens is hilarious.

If you like friends to lovers romance, a cute funny story, tattoos, and kittens you will love this one.

Jonno by Emily Gould

Heat level:  Mild

Ethan took a job in the wildlife park because his partner Louis had been giving him a hard time about not working. Their relationship seemed to be falling apart. On his first day at work a squirrel named Jonno bit him. He had to go to the onsite medic, Mitchell. He and Mitchell become good friends. Can A mean squirrel bring two friends together?

This was another cute sweet story. I felt so sorry for Ethan. Louis is such a prick. Ethan and his squirrel Jonno’s relationship is absolutely hilarious. The buildup of Mitchell and Ethan’s relationship is so sweet.

If you like squirrels, funny stories, sweet romances, and friends to lover’s romance.  Stories with a great relationship with no sex this one is a must read.

On Eagles Wings by A. J. Marcus

Heat Level:  Moderate

One day out hunting with his eagle, Gavin, a Falconer, finds Heath, a ranger on a cliff. He had been pushed by a poacher and broke his leg.  Gavin rescues him.  They both have been friends for a while and both live out in the wild alone. They find themselves even closer.

This is a very sweet story of a rescue that brings friends to lovers.

If you like eagles, hunting, wilderness, sweet hot man-sex and friends to lovers check this one out.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road by Skylar Jaye

Heat Level:  Mild

Gabe has chickens as pets. His neighbors don’t mind since he shares the eggs. Tracy and her son just moved across the street. Tracy came back to the country sick to spend the rest of her time. Aaron is having a hard time adjusting. One of Gabe’s chickens keeps getting out and going to Tracy’s, Aaron keeps returning her.   Aaron isn’t into one night stands and Gabe isn’t into commitment. Can a wandering chicken bring these two together?

This is another really cute sweet story of an animal bringing to men together as friends and possibly more.

If you love the country, stories with a bit of angst, chickens and friends to lovers, this one is a must read.

Tears for a Broken Sun by Minerva Wisting

Heat Level:  Explicit.

Akira runs a flower shop his parents left him. He has a crush on a customer that comes in every Friday. they have even had dinner a few times as friends, but he thinks Luca is straight. Wan, Akira’s dog is acting strangely this day. An earthquake comes and its bad and his house is wrecked inside. He starts walking the dog seeing people leaving for the shelters afraid of a tsunami. Wan keeps acting strangely so they head to shelter after seeing people on buildings. Luca comes up on a bicycle and gets Akira to run. A tsunami comes and they barely make it to a deserted building.   Akira is upset his entire house is destroyed and his shop. Why did Luca come to save him?

A very exciting keeps you on the edge of your seat story.

If you like a story with excitement, sadness, and a sweet friends to lovers. This one is great!

Stripped Bare by Lily Velden

Heat level:  Explicit w/some slightly vulgar language

Nick is an artist and at one of his exhibits a handsome stranger comes in.  He eyes one of the works then leaves. The next day he shows up at a talk and asks so many questions Nick feels he was stripped bare. After the talk, the customer meets with him and wants him to hold the three orbs until he can meet with his partner.  Michael shows up at his shop one day and Nick’s parrot, Ollie, that has a foul mouth   talks way too much. Does the fowl mouthed fowl bring them together?

This was a cute fun story. I loved the descriptions of the art and the story behind Ollie. It’s hilarious and hot.

If you like art, parrots and hot man-sex give this a go. It’s hilarious. Fun and fast paced.

Wild Horses by Kate Pavelle

Heat level:   Mild

Kai is nearly homeless and having to scrounge for food.  Desperate, he picks a man’s pocket. He gets 60 dollars and a new iPhone.  Atilla raises horses and runs a teaching school and his entire life is on the phone. He has money and doesn’t care about the 60 bucks. He sends a message and says you can keep the money, but please return the phone. He leaves another message you are much better than this. Kai feels bad and finally decides to return the phone. He goes all the way to Atilla’s horse ranch and gets overheated. One of Atilla’s horses that are wild and the only horse Atilla hasn’t been able to train takes up with Kai. How does a wild horse change a homeless desperate man’s life?

I liked this story. It was interesting how Atilla was so kind and generous to Kai. I had one problem with this story, however. I was reading and rooting for Kai and Atilla and the story just stopped. It really didn’t end or allude to an ending. It just felt like she ran out of time and cut off the story. I would have loved to found out what happened to Kai and Atilla.

If you love horses, stories full of desperation and a Good Samaritan keeps returning her.   This one is for you.

Show and Tell by Liz Makar

Heat Level:  Explicit

Damian is a kindergarten teacher and self-professed animal killer. Sam is the new owner of the local pet store. Damien is blackmailed by one of his students to get a new classroom pet after his latest tragedy.  He goes to the shop to find a snake and meets the new owner, Sam.

I think this was one of my favorites. It’s fast past sweet and so funny. These kids… the things they say.  The story is sweet, hot and full of humor.

I recommend this one to everyone.  But especially if you like snakes, turtles, dogs and funny kindergarteners, and hot man-sex.

The Conch Republic by G. S. Wiley

 Heat Level:  Mild

Randy is unemployed and living with his mom in Key West. He gets a job in a tourist shop and meets Jack.  Jack collects Conch shells and has a conch museum.

This is a sweet romance. I found it a bit rushed and it just suddenly ended. I’d have loved to see more of the romance between Jack and Randy maybe less of Randy’s sister Brett.

If you like beaches, Conch museums, stories about authors and book readings. Try this one.

 

Beholding Beauty by Sam Singer

Title:  Beholding Beauty

Series:  N/A

Author:  Sam Singer

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  DreamspinnerPress (June 27th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3048

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  When modeling didn’t pan out the way the wanted, Craig kinda accidentally fell into the escort business.  He doesn’t have deep-seated guilt over his job and actually enjoys it most of the time.  But, Dee isn’t like any client he’s ever had.  No other client pays him to just hang out and watch movies.

This is a really sweet take on Beauty and the Beast. I loved the fact that Craig didn’t have this horrible history and/or was turning tricks to eat.  Half the time, he was just an escort for lonely people.  But, all those people want “the pretty face”.  And he was okay with that, until Dee.  With Dee he develops a friendship that is so much more honest and based on mutual interest.  If he could, he wouldn’t even take Dee’s money, but he was too insecure as to whether Dee would still want to see him, so he maintains the status quo.

I wish that we could have seen more of Dee, both in the present and before he became beastly.  But, all in all, I really enjoyed this story.  There isn’t a lot of sex, but there is a whole bunch of sexual tension.  Nicely paced and very well written.  The ending was sweet, but I wished that we could have seen a bit more into the future.

I recommend Beholding Beauty for readers who love a modern fairy tale, sexy escorts and wounded Beast.

 

 

 

Safe by C. Kennedy 2nd editon

13600975Title: Safe

Author: C. Kennedy

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: Short (89pgs)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (October 24th, 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Safe follows the burgeoning love of two boys from the time they meet at ten through their senior year in high school when they’re outted by a foolish display of affection.

They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love at eighteen. Caleb is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. Nico is small and beautiful and has an Italian father who rules with an iron fist. Literally. Nico is never safe from his vicious father. One morning Caleb forgets himself and pecks Nico’s lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. Accidentally outing themselves is the least of their problems. The ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents may get Nico killed.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4288

Review: Caleb and Nico have been best friends since they were ten. they kissed at twelve and become boyfriends and at nearly eighteen they are happily madly in love. But, just one mistake could now take that all away from them. Nico faces his biggest fear when his vicious father finds out the truth and Caleb is left feeling helpless, as he can’t keep his true love safe.

This is a wonderful coming of age, first love, high school sweetheart story that by the end has you smiling as tears blur your vision. Caleb and Nico are a wonderful young couple who have had to hide their love for each other for nearly six years. When Caleb slips up and pecks Nico on the lips at school and a teacher can’t keep his mouth shut. It leads to danger for Nico. And Caleb has to admit the truth to his father when he doesn’t feel ready.

One of the best things I loved about this story was the way that it drew us into both Caleb and Nico’s lives. We see them as they grow up together at pivotal moments of their lives; as their relationship progresses and as they grow and explore their sexual relationship. Although it was from Caleb’s POV we get a great feel for the character Nico, how sweet and gentle he is but with a backbone when he needs one. Caleb is more of the protector in the relationship wanting to protect Nico from his father and anyone around them that would do him harm. Caleb also wants to take care of him and be the one that Nico relies on.

This story is really well written and gives us a wonderful experience of high school sweethearts who have to hide what they really are from everyone. to the struggles they face when they are outed and the ramifications of the actions of a careless adult. Nico and Caleb show how they stand together against anything thrown at them, but also how they support each other in a traumatic time. I was very happy with how the story played out. Although, I would have liked to see what happened to the teacher who spread it around and the punishment that he received for the distress and heartache he caused by his actions. So, even though this story is about teenage boys, that don’t mean that there is rampant sex.  Yes, there is some experimenting, but they never go all the way. The sex in this is all about them discovering with each other; what they both like as their relationship progresses and doing what they both feel ready to do.

In all honesty I recommend this to both young adults and adults who love true romance and true love, being there for someone you love through the good times and bad, to being brave enough to face your demons and a happy ending for two wonderful young adults that is also a new beginning for them.

Crimson Mate by Nikki McCoy

Title: Crimson Mate

Author: Nikki McCoy

Genre: Paranormal, Shifter, Vampire

Length: Novel Plus (291pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (18th August 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A war is brewing, and a man born of two worlds holds the key to its prevention. Will Quinn allow Manning to convince him that love can exist between enemies before the coming battle consumes them both?

A centuries-old feud has pitted Ba’Kal–shifters—against Vam’kir–vampires. Quinn has suffered the pain of the ongoing contention in ways no man ever should. Once the respected son of the Vam’kir king, his life was forever altered the day his father realized a truth of which even Quinn was unaware.

As the Ba’Kal ruler, it is up to Manning to seek justice for the vicious attacks the Vam’kir have perpetrated against his kind, but his very beliefs are called into question when he discovers his mate is also his enemy. To keep Quinn safe, he must learn to trust in the impossible–that love might exist beyond boundaries, for failure means the end of his future and the rest of his race.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/982

Review: Quinn suffered for years at the hands of his father for being different, but now hiding out with his sister in America he has some semblance of peace. That is, until he spots a shifter who makes him feel things he shouldn’t. Manning wants revenge on the ones who killed his mother, but when he smells his mate all he can think about is finding and claiming him. When the two meet weeks later, Quinn has a secret that he can’t tell Manning and Manning thinks he knows what is for the best. Can the two sort out their problems so that they can save their races?

This is a shifter/vampire story that puts a different spin on the races and makes for an interesting storyline with a twist. Manning is a Ba’Kal (Shifter), in fact he is the ruler of them. he has many responsibilities and one of them is to mate and produce an heir, but he has other problems like finding his mother’s killers and the Vam’kir (vampires) who are targeting shifters. Manning puts everything on a backburner when he meets his mate, Quinn. Quinn though just wants to run, he knows he is different from his kinsmen Vam’kir and he can’t let Manning know that he is Vam’kir, as they are enemies, but he knows he isn’t safe whichever way he turns.

There is quite a bit to this storyline, as we have Quinn who is both Ba’Kal and Vam’kir. He has been punished severely by his father for years, his sister rescues him but even she doesn’t know the full truth. And now he has a mate and when Quinn finally learns the full truth of what he is, he has a whole load of new problems to face. Manning and Quinn do make a great couple, even with the problems they face, and Manning has a world of patience as he waits for Quinn to become comfortable with him.

I wish I could go into more detail about the ongoing struggle that Quinn and Manning are facing, but it is kinda complex with its explanations, and it would also give away the entire storyline. All I will tell you is that Manning and Quinn are great together and although they have problems with trust, they do come through it by the end. This storyline is really good and the story is really well written. we get to know the characters really well and although they do have their faults, which make you want to slap them at least once, they do crawl into your hearts.

So, if you love shifters and vampires, hot sex, gentle love, earned trust, complex plans from the goddess, a hard past, a happy ending and a superb twist then this is the story for you.

 

 

Irresistible by Talia Carmichael

Title:  Irresistible

Series:  Something in Common Series # 4

Author:  Talia Carmichael

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella (143 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (August 22, 2012)

Heat Level:  Medium

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥2 ½Hearts

Blurb:   A Something in Common novella

Del Jenkins prefers to be alone—or so he tells himself until his younger brothers try to make him a playdate with bookstore owner Harper Hillman. Del’s brothers just want him to make a new friend, but there is no way he can be friends with Harper. Not unless Harper’s definition of “friends” includes jumping into bed together and getting naked and sweaty. When Harper turns him down flat because he doesn’t sleep with strangers, Del shrugs it off and suggests they get to know each other better. He already sees something wonderful in Harper, and he won’t give up so easily.

Harper is still mourning his dead husband, and a casual sexual encounter with Del is the last thing he wants. But getting to know each other—platonically, of course—should be harmless. In no way is Harper getting close to another man. But as he and Del spend more time together, Harper realizes it’s too late—he’s already involved. His heart is set on Del, and Harper is powerless to resist.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3167

Reviewer:   Any

Review:  Not irresistible enough for me.

Firstly, keep in mind I haven’t read the author’s other stories, so this review is based on the book as a standalone.

I tried to get into this, I did, but I struggled. Some moments I got a feel for the story, but it didn’t ever quite stick. Though, I think there are many aspects of the book that have so much potential.

  • There were moments of wit.
  • Sweetness between Del and Harper (and the 6 year-old twins).
  • Interesting backstories of both main characters.
  • Moments of sexiness.
  • I also liked the image Harper had of Del as a tiger.

 

However, these things were overshadowed by a lack of story focus. I didn’t find myself curious to find out answers to things (other than the band Del wore around his wrist), because there weren’t many questions raised. So the story had a slow feeling to it.

The biggest issue for me was there were too many characters in this book. So many were important to the main characters, but I didn’t get a feel for any of them, because there were simply too many to concentrate on. This would be less of a problem, I’m sure, for those who have read the other stories, but reading as a standalone, it was overwhelming and got confusing.

The other thing that felt off in this story was how things jumped so fast. From Del and Harper disliking each other to wanting each other; and when Del tells Harper his secrets—something he’d never been able to tell anyone before—and then suddenly, he was telling all his friends and family about it. I didn’t feel the struggle I should have for such an important turning point in the story.

However, these things aside, if you like to read about sweet everyday moments and if you like family and friend dynamics in your story, then you might enjoy Irresistible.

 

 

Beneath the Surface by Kate Sherwood

Title: Beneath the Surface

Author: Kate Sherwood

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 20th, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: When Peter Carr’s company sends him to Southwestern Ontario to sweet-talk the town into agreeing to a gravel quarry proposal, he welcomes the challenge. Technically he’s a lawyer, but really he’s a problemsolver. He just never expected the problem to be Caleb Sinclair, the passionate but introverted artisan carpenter who lives next to the proposed quarry site.

“Know your enemy.” That’s Caleb’s philosophy. And trying to turn fertile farmland into a gravel pit earns Peter the title of “enemy.” Caleb loves that land, and if he has to make peace with his homophobic neighbors to make war on Peter, so be it. Except knowing his enemy doesn’t turn out anything like he expected. Peter’s not the fairy-tale monster—he just might be the first step to happy ever after.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3162

Reviewer: Showme

Review:  Kate made me cry again! Not the blubbering kind, just a little. But, the woman got me again! This is a sweet romance but for those of you who love the steam (I do too!) don’t expect much.  The MCs are on opposite sides of a fight for most of the book, but Peter loves a challenge and winning over Caleb proves to be one.

Caleb refuses to leave his small town even after receiving a brutal beating after his coming out. The town has shunned him, but he doesn’t want to leave his grandparents land, the only place that’s ever felt like home. When a company buys the land adjoined his to dig for gravel, it puts his safe place in jeopardy and the town in an uproar.

Peter is a win at all costs lawyer for a big company. It’s his job to work over the townspeople and make sure the process goes smoothly for his employer. He’s not a bad guy and he likes to find a way to make people happy. Or does he enjoy manipulating people into believing their happy? This town is just like the others until one of the guys at the meeting, Caleb, doesn’t buy Peter’s charm and smiles. Caleb turns Peter’s successful schmooze session at a town hall meeting into a problem. But, Peter loves to solve problems and Caleb just made himself one.

I enjoyed this book. The characters were likable with the exception of one I particularly despised, but that was the point.   I’d have loved these boys to give into their lust a little earlier in the story. Given the circumstances under which they meet, I guess it’s understandable how Caleb would be hesitant to give into the urge, even though Peter reminds him of the hunky Clark Kent. The epilogue is wonderfully sexy and playful.

I recommend this to readers who love a good old-fashioned love story.

 

 

 

Nothing of a Son by L. A. Witt

Title: Nothing of a Son

Series: This title is part of the Forbidden Liaisons AmberPax™ Collection.

Author: L.A. Witt

Genre: MM/Fantasy

Length: Novella

Publisher: Amber Allure (August 19th, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: When a storm forces traveling soldier Daedalus to seek shelter, a wealthy duke takes him into his home. The only condition? Stay away from the duke’s daughters.

But the duke said nothing of a son…

And when Daedalus meets Rauman, the two men can’t help but succumb to their mutual attraction…even if they’ll both be hanged if anyone finds out…

Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/NothingSon.html

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: Have I said how much I enjoy this author? No? I do, her work is fantastic and Nothing of a Son is no less. Daedalus meets Rauman at his father’s, the duke, house. Daedalus has been warned not to approach the duke’s daughters, but he should’ve been warned about the son as well. Rauman is stunning and the electricity between the two of them has nothing to do with the storm that caused Daedalus to seek shelter. In fact, the storm seems less dangerous that the shelter is turning out to be. Men like them face one fate if they are to be discovered, and that is the hangman! But nothing can stop the two of them, the attraction is too great to ignore, the want is ripping them from inside out, and neither of them has felt a similar passion before. Two nights of unbelievable coupling and two days to make the intensity drive them mad. Two day for Daedalus to be on his way. In spite of Rauman’s pleas to take him with him, Daedalus knows there is no place in this kingdom for men like them…

I loved it. I loved all about it.

The story was fantastic, an officer that comes back from war and the youngest of the duke’s son, forbidden and an ultimate fantasy.

L. A. Witt’s writing is always so smooth, that before you understand it, you’ve devoured the book and still crave for more. What did I like the best? Uhm…let’s see. The chemistry between the characters is so damn mind-blowing. The perfection in which the characters align with each other. The breathtaking sexual scenes that are beyond erotic and sensual and hot. The fact that it was such a short story (only 16k words) and it was so complete, lacking nothing, is very refreshing.

Yes, I loved all about this book and if you have the slightest inclination toward fantasy, with officers and duke’s sons and forbidden love, you should definitely read Nothing of a Son. Take a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy!

 

 

A Ring and a Promise by Devon Rhodes

Title: A Ring and a Promise

Author: Devon Rhodes

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella

Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (February 13th, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Careers in military service are never easy on relationships—even less so when both lovers are in different branches…and both are men.

Naval Academy graduation now under their belts, Cary Barrientos knows the reality of the upcoming separation from his roommate of the past four years. Owen is more to him than just his best friend—he is the one person Cary can see spending his life with.

Owen Marsh knew that when he became Cary’s lover, the day would come when he would have to walk away. Now that day has come, and he’s having a hard time convincing himself that it’s just sex between them. Even with DADT repealed, there is no way a Marine and a Navy flier can be together. He’s just being realistic not expecting more.

When Cary switches their Academy rings, hoping Owen won’t notice, he makes a vow—he will do whatever he has to do, including believing enough for the both of them, to make their unlikely relationship stand the test of time. But when his Marine is called up for duty overseas, can a piece of jewelry and a promise be enough to get them through?

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the His Hero anthology by Total-E-Bound

Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1525

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: This quick read begins when Owen and Cary graduate from the Naval Academy, with Cary entering the Navy as a pilot, and Owen becoming a Marine. The young men had been roommates and friends throughout their Academy years, only becoming lovers in their last year of school. While Cary hopes to continue their relationship, Owen is more self-contained and Cary all but loses hope for their future together. A Ring and A Promise follows Cary and Owen for several years, and offers small glimpses into their lives, both together and individually. A sweet, heartfelt read that neatly avoids being overly sappy despite occasionally high emotional content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Guitarist in the Fae Queen's Court by Amber Kell

Title: A Guitarist in the Fae Queen’s Court

Series: Fae Intervention #01

Author: Amber Kell

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Silver Publishing (August 11th, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: When Jimmy Bo Jackson auditions for a gig little does he know it will plunge him into faery court intrigue or that his lover has been keeping secrets from him.

Prince Rain has avoided the stifling environment of the fae court for years, but when his beloved guitarist goes missing he’ll give up anything to save the man he loves. (via Goodreads.com)

Product Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/310/?zenid=c4712d8440d5fe9f00f0b3a0545364ff

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: A Guitarist for the Fae Queen’s Court is the first book in Kell’s new series, Fae Intervention. This is a fairly typical Kell book, in that it is a relatively quick and easy read. Rain is somewhat hard to completely like, as he inadvertently set JB up for abduction to the Fae Court. Meanwhile, JB has no clue his lover is a Fae Prince, or that the Fae even exist. I think I would be a little more than mildly annoyed, but JB seems to brush this huge omission off pretty speedily. While part of me was impressed by his rapid forgiveness, a larger part assumed this flub was glossed over to get the book finished and published more quickly. Cynical? Perhaps. But serial romances sometimes seem rather hastily manufactured. In any case, there is an element of mystery to the story that adds a bit of depth, and while Rain and JB aren’t the most complete of characters, A Guitarist is a fun and easy first book in what is sure to be a popular series.

 

 

 

 

Sin and Seduction by Allison Cassatta

Title: Sin & Seduction

Series: N/A

Author: Allison Cassatta

Genre: Contemporary/BDSM

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 10th, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb: Dorian Grant is king of the New Orleans underworld, but he isn’t mafia and doesn’t appreciate the assumption. He’s simply a crude businessman anyone in his right mind would think twice about screwing over. Life in the Big Easy is all about sin, and violent, short-tempered Dorian has committed them all.

But not all New Orleans sins leave a bad taste in the mouth, as Dorian discovers the night a man stage-named Sweet Heat dances into his life at a club called Sin and Seduction. Dorian was expecting a hot lay. He damn sure wasn’t looking for a relationship, and certainly not with someone like Jansen, who turns Dorian’s grimly organized world upside down.

Now Dorian finds himself pressuring Jansen to quit his job because he can’t stand the thought of other men touching what’s his. Of course, Jansen wants a little quid pro quo—after all, Dorian’s job is dangerous. Jansen just doesn’t realize how dangerous until it’s too late. (via Goodreads)

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3131

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: Sin & Seduction was a bit hard to read in parts, as there is a fair amount of violence and a fairly graphic scene featuring somewhat dubious consent. Dorian is not a likeable character at all, and Jansen alternates between seeming like an abuse victim and appearing to be a gold-digger. Though there are explanations for their behaviors, it doesn’t really make either any more palatable. In fact, their personalities are so extreme; it is difficult to relate to either character. The repetitive on-off nature of their relationship and the severity of Dorian’s mood-swings are such that between the two, it is hard to keep up with the story.

In between the ups-and-downs of Dorian and Jansen’s affair is the threat of violence from Dorian’s peers, and Dorian’s efforts to maintain his position in the underworld while keeping the brutality from touching Jansen. Despite his attempts, the bloodshed enters their lives, and the effect that has on their already strained relationship becomes as much a focus as their personalities.

If one can get past the violence, and doesn’t hold out for the characters to have startling, life-changing revelations, this is an interesting read.

 

 

 

 

 

Room to Grow by Kate Sherwood

Title:  Room to Grow

Author:  Kate Sherwood

Genre:  Contemporary

Length:  Novella (81 pages)

Publisher:  Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (August 7th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Cole Wheaton is a high-end garden designer just getting out of a difficult relationship with a deeply closeted architect. David McLean is just coming out of the closet himself. Cole befriends him, but won’t get any more involved, because David is a risky proposition, and Cole wants something stable. They finally get close enough to try for something more, but then David’s ex-wife pulls him back into her life, and it may end up pushing Cole away.

Product Link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/room-grow-p-6957.html

Reviewer:  Showme

Review:  First off, let me say, I adore Kate Sherwood and her writing. Her Dark Horse series are the only books about three men in a relationship I have ever truly enjoyed.  She writes real characters that I fall in love with. So yeah, she’s on my automatic buy list. If all that wasn’t true then the beautiful cover on Room to Grow would have drawn my eye.

Cole Wheaton designs beautiful landscapes for a living. He’s creative, successful and openly gay. Cole is just coming out of a relationship with a man who isn’t coming out of the closet anytime soon. He hurt Cole and treated him like he was a dirty secret while Cole had real feelings for him. So the last thing Cole needs is to be attracted to a married man who is just admitting to his preference for men.

David McLean is married to his best friend, Stephanie. He loves her, but he just can’t make himself love her like a husband should love his wife.  Her latest project, the backyard, is an attempt to find some common ground with her husband, but brings Cole Wheaton into their lives.  Cole and David find they enjoy each other’s company and David is strongly attracted and develops feelings for Cole. Cole doesn’t want to get involved with a newly out of the closet man coming out of a marriage to a woman. He’s still doing Stephanie’s yard and would prefer to keep it professional but Stephanie asks him to help David through his transition. Things start out friendly, but the attraction proves too much for the guys.

I was a little worried in the beginning that I’d find it strange for Cole to get together with his clients soon to be ex-husband, but Kate made me want a HEA for them. The book does move at a slower pace, but that may be what makes the progression of the relationship between Cole and David more palatable while working for his lover’s soon to be ex-wife. She’s not demonized either, which I appreciated.  I loved the descriptions of the yards and Cole’s descriptions helped me get to know him better. It was almost too short and I would have liked a little more fleshing out the guys going from resisting the temptation to falling in love. In the end, this was not my favorite Kate Sherwood book, but well worth the time and money.

 

The Auspicious Troubles of Chance by Charlie Cochet

Title:  The Auspicious Troubles of Chance

Series:  The Auspicious Troubles of Love # 1

Author:  Charlie Cochet

Genre: Timeless Dreams

Length:  Novel (172 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (June 20th)

Heat Level: Medium

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4½Hearts

Blurb:   Chance Irving is a young man with a gift for getting into trouble—not surprising, as trouble is all he’s ever known. After losing everything he held dear one fateful night, he decides to leave New York and his past behind, and joins the French Foreign Legion. But even in Algiers, Chance can’t seem to shake his old ways, and he ends up being transferred to a unit made up of misfits and rabble-rousers like him—a unit he finds just in time to be captured and thrown into a cell with his new commandant, Jacky Valentine.

A highly respected commandant with a soft spot for hard luck cases, Jacky is the kind of guy who would go to war for you, and the three equally troubled youths from his unit he’s more or less adopted feel the same way about him. Suddenly Chance starts to think that his life doesn’t have to be as desolate and barren as the wastelands around him.

But even after their escape, with the promise of a future with Jacky to buoy his spirits, or maybe because of it, Chance can’t stop making mistakes. He disobeys orders, lashes out at the boys in Jacky’s care, and blazes a trail of self-destruction across the desert—until someone makes him realize he’s hurting more than just himself.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3049

Reviewer:   Any

Review:  To talk about this book, I have to divide it into three parts. Beginning, middle, and end.

Beginning: (♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts)

It came as a shock, at first, to be spoken to directly from the narrator. It took a little adjusting, but Chance’s wit carried me through the slight awkwardness, and soon I fell in love with the style. Chance’s voice is funny, rude, blunt and sobering. The way he thought and narrated just made his character all the more endearing.

In the first part, we know “Jackie” is an important person to Chance, and we get glimpses of him in the narrative “a man continuously accompanied by chaos and some form of deep-seated lunacy”, which left me curious to know more about the man. Especially since the story opens with Chance shot in the stomach, and Chance knowing he has to get to Jackie. The stakes high, right from the start, and I wanted to know more—would he make it back to this Jackie? And why is this person so important to him? What is their story?

Also, this first part of the story shows us Chance (Chauncey at the beginning) growing up and the momentous events in his life that lead him eventually to a desert in Africa. I don’t want to give too much away, but reading it was emotional and engaging. I certainly sympathized with him.

Middle: (♥♥♥♥♥5+Hearts)

Gah. I was totally swept away in this story. Let me just say, once we got to Chance’s life in the desert I was a goner. Nothing could pry me away from reading. Nothing. I stayed up very late, consequently.

Here’s why:

  • It’s full of tension.
  •  It made me swoon, swoon, and swoon some more.
  • The settings the author used made her scenes unique. For example, and this was the shining star of all scenes in the book (and many of them were good) but she had our two main characters, Chance and Jackie, meet in a box. Yes, a box. I refuse to say more, except that I recommend everyone read it! J
  • The sex was hot and it fit the characters perfectly.
  • Also, and this was what worried me a little when I first started reading—and was relieved to find it not the case—this is not a full on war story. The war is a background and we don’t “see” much of it. The story really does focus mostly on Chance’s growing and his and Jackie’s relationship.

End: (♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts)

Don’t get me wrong, here, I still LOVED the book, but the ending didn’t quite click with me. It seemed too neat somehow. I think I got irritated that we find out Jackie was suddenly wealthy. It seemed too fairytale, and while I love fairytales, it didn’t seem to quite match the rest of the book.

On the other hand, the lead up to the resolution was very emotional, and I got teary. All pluses for this wonderful book.

Overall:   Great characters. Chance and Jackie are particularly well drawn, but also Johnnie, Alexander and Bobby, who I suspect we’ll see more of in future books.

I’ll leave you with my reaction after reading the last page:

Oh hell yeah. More from this author, please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campus Visit by Stella Huerto

Title:  Campus Visit

Author:  Stella Huerto

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novel (185 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (August 14, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb:  Damian Garza and Alex Murphy became best friends in their closed-minded small town, remained inseparable through Alex’s coming out, and have stayed close while studying at different colleges. They’re close enough that Damian dares a shocking e-mail confession: he’s bisexual and wants to experiment with men. With Alex.

It’s supposed to be a simple friends-with-benefits arrangement, one weekend only. That one weekend turns into two, then three, then a whole season of unexpected passion. But life after graduation can’t be ignored: soon Damian will be obliged to return to his family’s orange orchard, and Alex will fly off to his dream job in Europe. Unless they can admit their feelings to each other—and the world—their time as best friends may be over.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3177

Reviewer:   Any

Review: This is a sexy friends-to-lovers story that has quite something going for it. I read the story in one sitting, and didn’t notice the hours go by until—good gosh, is that the time? Luckily, I’d finished by then.

First thing I want to say about this book is you have to be in the mood for some sexy fun, and quite a lot of it. The story follows Damian and Alex as they move from experimenting (Damian is bi and wants to try out being with a guy—and wants it to be Alex, because he trusts him) to something a lot more emotional. The tension of the story for me was held in the questions: Is this more than just sex? When and how will they realize it? And, this especially considering the fact Damian feels he is responsible for helping his family back in his homophobic village, and Alex has a new job overseas: What will they decide to do when they do realize what they mean to each other?

Second thing I liked was the way I felt gooey at some moments in the development of their relationship. Just loved the scene that starts on the beach with Damian taking shots of Alex. The author did a good job in building up the images in my head. Actually, all throughout this story the author carefully involved the senses. In particular, I noticed the smells of things. Oranges. Salty coastal breezes. Soil. Redwood Trees . . .

A couple of things that didn’t quite work for me:

1)      The beginning couple of chapters seem fun, but pretty unbelievable to me. So I’d recommend suspending believability for a while. It gets more real and involved in the middle of the story, though.

2)      Max—the village villain—was maybe a bit too bad, and his character felt a little contrived, there solely for the purpose of bringing the story to its climax.

Those points aside, it was a fun, easy read. Recommend.

 

 

The Ballad of the Burning Year by Augusta Li

Title: The Ballad of the Burning Year

Author: Augusta Li

Genre: Fantasy, Incest (Brothers), Action, Adventure

Length: Super Novel (437pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (18th August 2012)

Heat: Explicit

Heart: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Brothers Kei-Go and Ju-Go barely escaped the destruction of their homeland by a savage race of invaders, only to find themselves stranded on an isolated island. Kei wants to stay safe, but Ju craves vengeance. Who will win the argument?

Brothers Kei-Go and Ju-Go barely escaped the destruction of their homeland by a savage race of invaders, only to find themselves stranded on an isolated island. For Kei, the island is a paradise, safe from the horrors of slavery and war. But Ju craves only vengeance and the liberation of their people.

Kei and Ju gradually formulate a plan to free their kinsmen, and while implementing it, they’ll make unlikely allies and cross lines they never thought they would, all for the good of their people.

Will they sacrifice their ideals in the name of vengeance? Are they willing to give up their forbidden love, and any chance of happiness, for the greater good?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains incest and scenes of rape or near rape.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1183

Review: Kei and Ju have been stranded on an Island since they escaped from the invaders of their homeland. Kei is happy on the Island, but Ju is burning with revenge for their people. When they have visitors and they learn of the true plight of their people, Kei has no choice but to lose his paradise and his lover to rescue his people. Ju just wants his vengeance and will accept the limited help of his enemy to do it and he will put aside his love to get freedom for his people.

Augusta Li has produced a story that makes you keep reading as you follow the progress of two brothers who lead their people to freedom. Kei and Ju fought against the invaders as their land was destroyed. They were captured and finally escaped, living on a paradise. Island Kei is happy, but Ju can’t stop thinking about his homeland and what happened. And now, finally an opportunity arises that means they can help their people from the enforced slavery and rules of the invaders. But, just what lengths will they have to go to, to liberate their people and is it a price they can pay?

This story is all from Kei’s POV and it is he, who suffers the most for his brother’s need for vengeance. Kei and Ju might be brothers but they are lovers of the heart. They belong together, but their people puts taboos on relationships like theirs. Kei is happy with how things are and would be happier if Ju would bond with him, but Ju holds back. Ju is burning up with his need for revenge and pushes his brother more than he realizes. They have a true love, but it is far from easy for them. I must admit that although I loved the way this was written I would have loved it even more if we could have had a peek into Ju’s head to see how he really felt and thought about things.

This is not an easy review to write because there is more at work than a simple storyline than the liberation of the Elim. It is also about the sacrifices two brothers have to make in the process and not just their own relationship, but with what Kei has to do with forbidden magic. even knowing that if any of his kinsmen ever found out he would be banished even if it was for the good of his race. The only thing that keeps poor Kei going is the belief in his brother’s love and the hope for the future. Now this is a warning, Kei does have a couple of different partners in this, with his brother’s blessing, of course, but all the encounters are beautifully done. There is danger, violence, betrayal, forbidden love, secret allies and unexpected friends that make this book what it is.

I have to recommend this to those who love fantasy, an uprising of a downtrodden race, two determined brothers who want to love each other and an ending that is explosive, violent and gives the Elim a bargaining chance.