Beloved Enemy by Star Noble

BelovedEnemyLGTitle:  Beloved Enemy

Series: NA

Author: Star Noble

Genre: M/M Historical

Length: 193 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/ Timeless Dreams (February 13th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:  At the edge of the Roman Empire, Cheruscans Kjeld and Dafried forged the bonds of childhood friendship, playing and hunting together along the mighty Rhine—until Romans ripped Kjeld away from his idyllic life and best friend to live as a Roman soldier.

That was ten years ago. Kjeld, now a Roman general, returns to his foster parents to prepare for a glorious celebration: a battle in the Coliseum. What he doesn’t know is that Dafried, after being captured during an assault on Roman military post, now trains as a gladiator in preparation for the upcoming competition. When the childhood friends reunite in the sands, it could spell death for one of them.

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=3573

Reviewer: Cat

Review: The story starts out about two boys and their friendship. Kjeld and Dafried’s world seem to revolve around each other and you can feel their closeness and know they have a deep bond.  They are also boys who want to help fight for their families against the Romans.  Then one day the Romans come and take Kjeld away. They say they will not bother the clan if they let them have him; he will be taken to Rome and taken care of. The boys’ worlds are shattered.  Then it moves ten years later and tells of how Kjeld was raised in a wealthy environment. He finally had to put his past behind thinking his family and Dafried had been killed.  One night his servant was administering to him and was especially endearing and he remembered Dafried.  Marcus misinterprets Kjeld’s reaction and kisses him. Kjeld is shocked and doesn’t return his feelings, so he knows he has to let him go. But, now he can’t stop thinking of Dafried. To his surprise he finds Dafried is a gladiator and is in a death match against his step- father’s best gladiator.

I thought this story was beautifully written and I wasn’t able to put it down once I started. I thought the characters well-developed, inspiring and the story fast paced and intriguing.

Recommendation: I recommend this book to anyone that loves a story of friends to lovers, a well- developed historical setting, love lost then found again, Soldiers, Gladiators, and sensual and beautiful lovemaking.

Storm Season by Nessa L. Warin

StormSeasonLGTitle: Storm Season

Author: Nessa L. Warin

Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal

Length: Novel Plus (256pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th February 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥2Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: In Brightam’s Ford, a storm is coming. Ranch owner Jasper Borland and the rest of the townspeople have been rushing to prepare for the months of destructive weather the wet season brings, but with their limited technology, survival can be a struggle in itself. When Jasper finds a lost, injured young man on his property, he has no choice but to take him in. At least he’s quiet.

Unable to speak, the young man communicates by projecting his thoughts—a process that hurts anyone he isn’t touching. Since most people fear him, that means everyone but Jasper. Soon Jasper learns his guest is a telepath, a northerner named Tobias Thatcher, who is searching for his kidnapped sister, Samantha. Hesitant to leave and wary to stay, Tobias must find his sister before the men who took her follow through on their plans.

When the men come for Tobias, he can remain at Jasper’s no longer. But Jasper can’t let him go out alone. As the storms begin, he and Tobias set out on a dangerous journey to save Samantha and uncover the truth.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3601

Review: Jasper is getting his little ranch secured for Storm Season when he comes across a bedraggled young man huddled against the side of his barn, and although he is puzzled by why he could hear the man’s voice in his head when they touched, he couldn’t leave him out in the unforgiving storm. Tobias has been traveling for many months, his sister, Samantha, was kidnapped and he is on the path of those that took her. Stumbling across Jasper is a blessing. Jasper shelters him from the storm and when he discovers the mission Tobias is on, offers to help him. But, not everyone likes telepaths and they also have the problem of the men who want Tobias, as well.  Can they reach Samantha and save her from being sacrificed or will Tobias join her in the sacrificial circle?

This is a slow methodical story set on a continent that is plagued each year by fierce violent storms, and the forests are inhabited by spirits. Jasper has lived in Brightam’s Ford for several years. His house is fortified for the storms that will batter it, so when he discovers a young man trying to find shelter, he takes him in and offers him aid. Living inland is easier during the Storm Season, but it is still a fight for survival.  No one willingly travels during Storm Season unless they have a death wish. But, in order to aid Tobias, Jasper is about to brave the elements to rescue a woman for the young man he is attracted to. Tobias has a desperate need to find his sister, but, he knows he will be feared by many for being a telepath. Finding Jasper to aid him is a miracle and he tries his best to control his abilities. Setting out for Shaleton at the beginning of Storm Season may be stupid, but he needs to save his sister.

I will be honest and say that although I was intrigued by the blurb, this story just wasn’t for me. I found it to be very slow going, tedious in places and I disliked Tobias’ manipulative and stupid behavior. Jasper is a great guy though and although it took him some time, I liked when he stood up to Tobias and put him in his place; telling the telepath that using his abilities against people was wrong. Tobias only ever thinks about himself and his sister never minding the fact that someone is putting their life on the line to help him. Tobias kept putting them in danger by his rash actions which had me gritting my teeth in anger, and I wanted Jasper to just dump him at the side of the road.

I must admit that the thought of constant violent storms, forest spirits, a telepathic community and an Order bent on sacrifice interested me and kept me reading, but in the end it just wasn’t worth the 256 pages that I read. A lot of the time was spent on the road avoiding the mysterious men that were chasing Tobias.  Lots of running from the storms and finding shelter and Tobias going on about finding his sister and demanding that they had to set out NOW. We don’t get to know why the Order want Tobias until near the end, and although we get a little excitement it is cut short when Jasper falls unconscious. The love that develops between them is sweet and described beautifully.

I will recommend this to those who like slight paranormal, rescues, running from storms, sweet loving and a very happy ending.

 

The Poodle Apocalypse by John Inman

PoodleApocolypse[The]LGTitle: The Poodle Apocalypse

Author: John Inman

Genre: Humor, Zombies

Length: Novella (88pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th February 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: With the world suddenly teeming with zombies, Charlie and Bobby are fighting to stay alive. Being about as gay as two people can be, they insist on doing it with panache.

Even with the planet throwing up its legs in submission, there is no reason a couple of style-conscious guys can’t look good while saying good-bye to the age of man and ushering in the age of… God knows what. Amoebas, maybe. With their loyal zombie poodle, Mimi, at their side, they bravely face the apocalypse head-on.

Death, destruction, and the undead they can deal with. But without electricity, it’s the depressing lack of blow-dryers and cappuccino machines that really pisses them off—until Bobby goes missing! Suddenly Charlie has more than fluffy hair and a good cup of coffee to worry about….

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3603

Review: Charlie and Bobby are woken one morning by a car alarm to a world that has mysteriously changed.  They seem to be the only two humans still alive on the planet. Cars are left running in the streets, shop doors stand open, but all of humanity seems to have disappeared… well except for the odd human zombie. Freak weather, zombie bashing and food hunting they can handle, no hair dryers and no Starbucks is really pushing it, but zombie animals really freak them out. Together they can handle anything, but then Bobby disappears, just what will Charlie do?

Oh my God *snort chuckle* this is absolutely wonderful, a humorous zombie story with two wonderful characters. Charlie and Bobby wake to a world that has changed, there are no other humans that they can find… well, except the odd zombie here and there. There is no electricity (no hairdryers or cappuccinos damn you world) and the weather is really freaky, snow one day and blistering sun the next. Charlie and Bobby can manage to survive, as long as they have each other… oh and the zombie poodle, Mimi, they decide to keep. But, when Bobby mysteriously disappears, Charlie sets out to find out what has happened to the world and for that he needs to capture a zombie.

Charlie and Bobby are incredible. I swear if there is ever a real zombie apocalypse I want them on my team. When the story starts Charlie is casually digging a grave while Bobby is sunning in a hammock and we begin to learn how the world has changed and how they are coping.  And it is nothing like you would have thought. Charlie and Bobby carry their zombie apocalypse with flair, panache and humor. There is plenty of sex for our cute queens and some fearsome frights (zombie crickets!!), but it isn’t until Bobby disappears that Charlie begins to really panic.

John Inman has written a delightful story that will have you chuckling, grimacing and giggling (in that order).  It will have you trying to guess what has happened to the world. Gods’ Rapture? Aliens? Government experiment? But, you will not figure it out until the author tells us… and I never saw it coming *shakes head* not even for a second did it even cross my mind. You will adore Charlie and Bobby and even Mimi grows on you after she stops being disgusting *shudder*.

I have to recommend this to those who adore zombie apocalypse, two absolute queens who love each other, humor, giggles and chuckles, hot sex, zombie animals, a twist that smacks you in the face and a very happy ending. You know what… I think everyone should read this just because it is absolutely wonderful, it’s an easy read filled with humor with just a touch of disgusting in places, with great characters and a great storyline.

Natural Predators by Neil Plakcy

natural_predators_300Title: Natural Predators

Series: Mahu 07

Author: Neil Plakcy

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Investigation

Length: Novel Plus (279pgs)

Publisher: ManLoveRomance (15th February 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:   ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The death of an island patrician in a warehouse fire puts openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka, his partner and their foster son in danger.

The beautiful tropical island of O’ahu is filled with predators, from high-flying owls to bottom-dwelling criminals. When the body of an island patrician is found in a warehouse fire, tracking his killers will bring openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka into contact with many of those predators, natural and otherwise. Kimo and his detective partner Ray Donne dig deep into the history of Hawai’i as the islands were teetering on the brink of statehood in order to understand the victim, his killer, and their motives. Kimo and his partner, fire investigator Mike Riccardi, decide to become foster parents for a homeless teen who witnessed the crime, while preparing to become dads themselves.

Purchase Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=NPNATPRD

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Kimo and his fire investigator life partner, Mike, are called to an early morning warehouse fire where a dead body has been discovered. Kimo and Ray, his work partner, have to dig deep into Hawaii’s history to resolve the murder of a high-profile patrician.  Just who is killing off the elders of the Island and why? Whilst investigating the murder, Kimo and Mike take in a teenager who might have witnessed something he shouldn’t have and they try their best to become foster parents to the young man.  Even while they struggle with the personal decision to become donors to two of their friends.

I really enjoyed this mystery that dates back over 50 years and delves into the history of Hawaii. Kimo and Ray work together to solve the murder of one of the countries patrician’s.  When they discover the wife of another patrician murdered in the same fashion they begin to realize it is the connected to a murder more than 50 years before. Kimo and Mike have choices to make in their personal lives when two friends ask them to be sperm donors and a young man needs shelter. Mike is all for having a family, but Kimo is worried about the responsibilities that will fall to them.

This is a great combination of work and personal lives, both sides are drawn together, but neither overtakes the importance of the other. The way this story is written is really good.  We get drawn into the mystery and investigation and we also get drawn into the personal aspects of the story, making us vested in both being resolved. Much to our enjoyment this story is easy to follow, even if you haven’t read all the stories in the series.  You still get filled in on the important details that you might have missed from previous books. Neil Plakcy makes good use of all the characters, drawing them into the story in useful ways and making each one important.

Kimo and Mike are a great couple and this story shows that even though they are madly in love, they still have their ups and downs.  The slight conflict that we see between them is wonderfully done and it isn’t brushed over when they do come to an agreement, because doubts arise when Dakota (foster son) is injured. The mystery side is brilliant, it drags you in as they follow the meager leads they can dig up, but it also leaves you with a warning… if you are going to commit murder, don’t leave somebody else to clean up your mess ‘cause it just might come back to bite you in the ass.  lol. At the end of the book there is a free short called Alpha and Omega where it is a year on and we can catch up on Kimo, Mike and Dakota.

I am going to recommend this to those who love murder mysteries, learning about another culture, personal dilemmas, deep love and a happy ending.

Tormented Discovery by Jayson James

17290632Title:  Tormented Discovery

Series:  Finding Our Way Series Book Two

Author:  Jayson James

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  365 Pages

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (January 27th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts

Blurb:   Justin and Derrick have a secret that they revealed only to their closest friends. They are gay and are now a couple. The story of Justin and Derrick continues as they learn more about being a gay couple in their senior year of high school and the complications that arise from it. Some friends will have their backs while others simply stand on the sidelines. Other friends will be accepting and others will ridicule them.

Sometimes love is almost not enough to save a relationship and both Derrick and Justin begin to have their doubts as they watch relationships around them rise and fall. Justin and Derrick both want to have new experiences, new choices and make new friends, which leads to them questioning their own relationship. They soon discover that some of the people they consider friends have their own secrets, some darker than others. The couple begins to see how people react towards homosexuality and just how people want to deal with it and them.

Will Justin and Derrick be able to hold onto each other while their lives and secrets spiral around them?

Or will they decide to step back and give up on themselves and each other?

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Tormented-Discovery-Jayson-James/dp/1480246433

Reviewer:   John

Review:  Oh no! Oh yes! I loved this novel. This story is told in three points of view, Hayden’s Derrick’s and Justin’s. To some, that might be a little confusing, but it’s not. When there is a skip of one point of view to the other, the story flows smoothly. It does not go back and retell what you just read. At first, I found it hard to know in whose point of view I was, but when I catch on, I loved the story from beginning to end.

My favorite character was Hayden. I loved the little kid. He was straight and friends with the gay guys in school. His best friend Ryan has a little crush on him. A little? He falls for the guy! Who wouldn’t? He was awesome! At first, Hayden freaks. Name a straight guy that wouldn’t, right? After he calms down, he seeks Ryan and tries to fix their friendship which he does. Those two stay as friend and I liked that.

Derrick and Justin were awesome. I liked their love story, but Hayden stole the show. I hated Kristian. He was mean and unlikeable. I hope he gets what he deserves in book three. The plot was good, but the story was a little too long for me. I liked the fact that I felt like a fly on the wall throughout the novel. I truly felt like if I was eavesdropping on their conversation and a part of the gang by the end of the book.

In a nutshell, the story and characters were great and likeable. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read about a group of friends as they make their way through life.

 

No Tea, No Shade by Stephani Hecht

n424884Title:  No Tea No Shade

Series:  The Haven Coffee House Boys Series Book Four

Author:  Stephani Hecht

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novella (80 Pages)

Publisher:  Extasy Books (January 15th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:   Sometimes the ones you love can hurt you the most of all.

Devlin is used to others thinking that he’s a jerk. He likes it that way. It makes it so, nobody ever expects too much of him. Only his close friends really know that soft side of him, and, that he’s never exposed enough so he can get hurt. Then Christian, Devlin’s boyfriend, needs him more than ever. Will Devlin be able to let his guard down enough, or will he risk losing Christian forever?

Product Link:  http://www.extasybooks.com/no-tea-no-shade/

Reviewer:   John

Review:  No Tea No Shade is the fourth book The Haven Coffee House Boys Series by Stephani Hecht. The story revolves around Devlin and Christian and their group of friends. If you have not ready the previous novels, you might feel a little lost in this one.

Christian is suffering from depression and has been hiding it from his boyfriend Devlin. Devlin could be such an asshole sometimes and I don’t see why Christian would even consider him as boyfriend material. But, Christian does bring out the best in Devlin and I like that. One thing I didn’t like was the fact that this novel was too short and consisted of only one plot. Christian’s depression. That’s it. There is nothing more. I would have loved if the plot was extended into something more interesting.

I must admit, Mrs. Stephani Hecht dealt with a very important issue here. Depression is something serious that has been affecting a large percentage of our youths. I think that the message was clear. Get help and let other help you.

When it is all said and done, the novel was okay. If another plot was added to this very serious issue, it would have made the story ten times better and interesting.

 

Love Means…No Limits by Andrew Grey

LoveMeansNoLimitsLGTitle:  Love Means… No Limits

Series:  Farm #9

Author:  Andrew Grey

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (January 21st, 2013)

Heat Level:  Medium

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Bart van Andren, aka Spider, has been running away from life with a lot of chemical help. When he wakes up in a hospital, he discovers he’s picked up a champion. Duane must see something in Bart no one else ever has, because he finds Bart a job at Laughton Farms, where the people show Bart kindness and patience. He might even kick his drug habit with a little help from his new friends Geoff, Eli, and especially Tyrone.

Tyrone Jackson works at the farm despite the disapproval of his traditional black family, who find it suspicious that he works with gay men. Tyrone knows he’s gay, and until now, he’s kept his home and work lives separate.

Though Tyrone resists his feelings for Bart as long as he can—he’s seen enough of the drug culture to last a lifetime—he can’t deny their attraction forever. But before he and Bart reach for more than friendship, Tyrone has to face his family and Bart has to close the door on his past—a past that could put Tyrone, the farm, and everyone he’s come to care for at risk.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3528

Reviewer:   John

Review:  Love Means… No Limits is book nine of the Farm Series by Andrew Grey. The story stars Bart van Andren, aka Spider, and Tyrone Jackson who meet at the Laughton Farms. And that’s where the story takes off.

I loved Spider, sorry, Bart. He was a scared little kid that has been running away from reality and his life with the help of several drugs. After passing out in a motel, he wakes up in a hospital and meets Officer Duane. Duane sees a lot of potential in Bart and gets him a job at the Laughton Farms instead of serving jail time. It is there that he meets Tyrone. I loved Tyrone. He was sweet, dedicated and the best brother around. He has been living in the closet all his life because he is afraid to tell his family about his sexual orientation and I don’t blame him. His family is very racist and believes that gays are going to burn in hell. I personally think that Bart and Tyrone are perfect for each other. Tyrone brings out the best in Bart and Bart brings out the courage in Tyrone. And it is that courage that gives him the strength to tell his family that he is gay. There is a huge plot involving Bart’s past, but I won’t say it. You have to read it to find out. That little tragedy helps them to become closer and a happy couple.

In general, this is an amazing little read. You will laugh, cry and feel happy just reading this novel. A recommend it to everyone. Happy reading!

 

 

 

A Star is Born by Robbie Michaels

A-Star-is-Born-Cover-Draft-2Title:  A Star is Born

Series:  Most Popular Guy in the School #3

Author:  Robbie Michaels

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novel (200 Pages)

Publisher:  Harmony Ink Press (September 14th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3. 5Hearts

Blurb:   Having left New York and their old lives behind them, Mark and Bill are settling into their new home in California, their jobs, and their college courses. At least Mark is, but when Bill’s acting career takes off, Bill leaves college – and Mark – behind to film around the world. Learning to live together was hard – being the boyfriend of a budding superstar is almost inconceivable. Though it’s a struggle to stay relevant to each other when they live in different worlds, Mark is committed to Bill and their relationship.

When Mark gets an unexpected long weekend, he decides to surprise Bill on location in Maui. After all, it’s Mark’s birthday, and he wants to spend it with his boyfriend. But when he gets there it is Mark that is surprised when he finds Bill and his costar in bed together. The combination of fame, fortune and infidelity seems to spell the end for Bill and Mark – until a personal tragedy drags them back to New York, where it all began, and reminds them what really matters.

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Star-Born-Popular-School-ebook/dp/B009B1AVVC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361976083&sr=1-3

Reviewer: John

Review:  Okay. I don’t know how to start this review. A Star is Born is book three of the Most Popular Guy in the School Series. I loved book one and two even with their flaws. Many would have given up on the series and moved on to something else, but I kept holding on. The story continues with Mark and Bill. I loved Mark and started to dislike Bill in book two. For some reason, I didn’t believe or trust him. Now, I disliked Mark so much.

I love him as a person, don’t get me wrong, but I just can’t understand him sometimes. In book two, rumors surfaced about Bill cheating on him and Mark went psycho on his ass. Now, in book three, he caught him cheating and he takes it so…easily. He goes and has a blast with his credit card? What? I would have burned Derrick St. James’ house to the ground along with them and threw their remains into a volcano. That’s just me though. I have no idea why Mark stayed with him, but I don’t blame Bill for cheating on him either. What Mark got was coming since book two. He was not giving Bill what he wanted so he found it elsewhere. That still DOES NOT give him the right to cheat on Mark. He should have kept his dick in his pants. I guess, those two are meant for each other after all.

All in all, this was an awesome read. Yes, I hated the characters, but that just shows that Mr. Robbie Michaels got what he wanted. To have people on both sides, loving and hating the main characters. That to me; makes an awesome read. Another thing that I loved was the fact that I couldn’t find any plot holes. Maybe there were some, but I didn’t found any. That was a huge improvement from the previous novels.

 

Go West Young Man by Robbie Michaels

Go-West-Young-Man-Cover-Draft-2Title:  Go West Young Man

Series:  Most Popular Guy in the School #2

Author:  Robbie Michaels

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novel (260 Pages)

Publisher:  Harmony Ink Press (August, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb:   “The Most Popular Guy Trilogy: Book Two” A few short months ago, Mark Miller was a shy nerdy kid who kept his head down and stayed off the radar. He had nothing in common with the in-crowd. But then he got snowed in with Bill Cromwell and learned not to judge a book by its cover. One thing led to another, and now Mark has a boyfriend. A “popular” boyfriend. A boyfriend who wants to go to prom with him. But Mark worries that Bill is risking too much-his popularity, his friends.

Then there’s graduation: caps, gowns, and a whole new world awaiting Mark and Bill in faraway California. They rent an apartment, join the workforce, and start college. It’s the beginning of the journey of their lives, and they should be enjoying it-but amid uncertainty, temporary separations, and bad communication, Mark and Bill have to struggle to hold on to the fledgling relationship that grounds them when the outside world seems to move too fast.

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/West-Young-Man-Robbie-Michaels/dp/1613727151

Reviewer: John

Review:  The second installment of Robbie Michaels’ the Most Popular Guy in the School Series is better than the first. The story continues where the first book left off. It starts with Bill’s birthday and continues with their journey in California. Just like the first, this one suffered from one or two plot holes that left me wondering. Also, sometimes the scenes and dialogues appeared to be a little too unrealistic. But guess what? It’s fiction! I do however; want to know what the hell happened with Sue and the jocks? Did they end up in jail? Did they get away with it? I read that chapter twice and couldn’t find my answer so I moved. Maybe, I missed it. I still do want to know though.

In California, I liked Mark and Bill together as a couple. They seemed perfect and meant for each other. Mark was awesome and geeky, just like how I like them. I started to dislike Bill after the rumors about his affair with Derrick St. James. I disliked Derrick St. James. I don’t know why, but I knew he was trouble the moment he walked into the picture.

Overall, I loved the story since it was the tale of a couple trying to make it work in life. That seemed very realistic to me. In life, there are so many trials that push couples to the breaking point. Some stay together, some, walk away. I liked that these two stuck together and proved their love to everyone even against me.

 

 

 

The Case of the Cupid Curse by Amber Kell and R.J. Scott

thecaseofthecupidcurse_800Title: The Case of the Cupid Curse

Series: End Street Detective Agency 01

Author: Amber Kell & R.J. Scott

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (107pgs)

Publisher: Total E-Bound (25th March 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The very thought of paranormals is enough to drive Private Investigator Sam Enderson mad, but add in his attraction to a vampire, and his world is turned upside down.

Sam Enderson is a human detective who finds himself working for paranormal creatures, despite his resolve to stick with humans only.

Bob is a vampire and turns up on Sam’s doorstep to rent a room. Sparks fly, and Sam is attracted to the vampire in spite of himself.

Soon after Sam is cursed by a witch, two cases land on his desk. Dealing with werewolves, annoying ghosts and a grumpy gargoyle is bad enough. But somehow, in amongst all of this chaos, he has to find a lost fae and a missing shifter child.

Purchase Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2033

This book can be purchased/read up to 4 weeks before release with TEB VIP account.

Review: Sam has just inherited a detective agency from his recently deceased uncle. Sam has a five-year plan all laid out and there is no room in that plan for supernaturals’. Until a witch walks through his doors and a vampire wants to rent a room, and a fae triad (minus one) needs their third finding and a little werewolf girl is lost. Tossed in over his head he accepts (begrudgingly) the help of Bob, the vampire, Teddy, the ghost and Mikhail, the vampire/siren.

Oh, this is a delightful paranormal story of an everyday human *snort* being tossed into the supernatural world with a bang. Sam inherits a building that housed his beloved uncles’ detective agency; he decides to follow in his uncles footsteps and becomes a private investigator. But, his first prospective client isn’t happy with his work ethic and he discovers that his uncle had dodgy dealings. When Bob walks through his door asking to rent a room it throws Sam in a tailspin as he fights his attraction to the supernatural. But, he has cases to work which drag him further into the supernatural world and his plan of only dealing with humans goes out the window.

I really enjoyed this first story in the End Street Detective Agency and I am looking forward to more. We are introduced to an interesting array of characters and some very interesting cases that we delve into.  We see as Sam struggles with his attraction to Bob and as they come together, with Sam still not really understanding the depth of Bob’s feelings. The storyline is cool, the cupid curse was very interestingly carried out and the various paranormal we come across are great.  Sirens, Vampires, Werewolves, Gargoyles, Ghosts, Fae, Witches and a cat familiar, they all add that little spark of magic that makes this a great story.

I highly recommend this story to those that love supernatural and paranormal stories, hot vampires, a confused human in denial, great characters, a great case solved; hot sex and an ending that is left wide open and has you biting your lip against the urge to scream in frustration.

Something In the Way He Needs by Cardeno C.

SomethingintheWayHeNeedsLGTitle: Something In the Way He Needs

Series: Family Series 01

Author: Cardeno C.

Genre: Contemporary, Slight Kink

Length: Novel (220pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th February 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Police captain Asher Penaz’s staunch professionalism bleeds into his home life, down to his neatly pressed attire and spartan apartment. He enjoys being the man in charge, and leather bars satisfy his need for dominance—so his sudden and powerful attraction to the lighthearted, free-spirited Daniel Tover throws him for a loop. In his entire life, Daniel has never gotten what he needs, so he moves to the next place, the next job, the next attempt to find something worth staying for, always landing at the top of his game, but never feeling like he belongs.

The chemistry between Asher and Daniel sizzles, so Asher invites Daniel home. As both men struggle to learn themselves while getting to know each other, the lines of desire and control blur. With all that fire comes the risk of getting burned. But if Daniel and Asher can walk through the flames together, they might find what they desperately need.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3599

Review: Asher loves being in control.  he loves having the power of being in charge; it suits him well in his job as a police captain and in his personal life as a Dom. But, Asher doesn’t understand the overwhelming need and attraction he has to the bumbling, lighthearted Daniel who has no structure and no direction in life. Daniel lives his life flitting from one job to another, one city to the next and loves it, but in his heart he is looking for someone to belong to. The two men meet and sparks fly.  They embark on a relationship that neither man really understands, and when the going gets tough will they be able to face it together or will uncertainly drive them apart?

God damn, Cardeno C., when you decide to break the mold you do it in a unique and brilliant way. Asher loves being a Dom.  He loves having the control of a sub’s pleasure, of giving them just what they need, but he has never met anyone that he has wanted for more than a night, until he meets Daniel. Daniel doesn’t have any real structure in his life.  He flit’s from one thing to the next looking for some place that he really belongs.  He enjoys life but is always searching, and he might have found what he is looking for in Asher.

This is a story that I never thought I would read; a Dom changing for his submissive.  A Dom changing because he found something he never even knew he was looking for. But, a Dom who nearly loses what means the most to him because of his own pig-headedness. Asher and Daniel are a fantastic couple. Daniel changes Asher without even realizing it and Asher introduces Daniel to something he never knew he would like. There’s a lot of give and take with both men finding what they really need, but neither man are actively trying.  They just naturally provide what the other needs, and whoo the sex is explosive. It isn’t all easy between them though, especially when Asher’s past rears its ugly head because of his insecurities, a simple touch of jealousy and lack of communication.

This is a story not to be missed if you love slight kink, a Dom who wakes up to his needs, a sweet man who likes a touch of dominance, a great story, brilliant characters and a very happy ending, I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Aquamarines of Courage 1 by Serena Yates

Aquamarines of Courage-400x600-500x500Title: Aquamarines of Courage 01

Series: Gemstone Chronicles 03

Author: Serena Yates

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Alternative World

Length: Novel (175pgs)

Publisher: Diversity Novels (15th February 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: “Courage is like a cut gemstone: multi-faceted and surprising at every turn.” — The Collector

Nico escaped a fate of running his rich family’s business empire to follow his real calling: discovering ancient artifacts. As a modern-day treasure hunter, he lives for the adventure of researching a lost object, pinpointing its likely location, then hopefully retrieving it. When he finds a mysterious stranger washed up on his beach one day he is intrigued and more than ready to help him find the Aquamarines of Courage. That quest proves to be his biggest adventure yet.

Nayder has a family obligation to find his soul-partner and become the Chief Stabilizer on N’Tyre, making sure water and land are in perfect balance. The entire N’Tyrian culture depends on maintaining the foothold on land their underwater heritage has only recently allowed them to gain. There is only one problem: his father expects him to partner with a woman and produce offspring. Nayder has different ideas and thinks he can do his job without a soul-partner. Defying his father’s orders, he instead attempts to retrieve the Aquamarines of Courage by himself.

But fate has different ideas. Nayder ends up on Earth to discover that Nico may be his soul-partner. Only once they have found the Aquamarines of Courage will they know if they are truly meant to be partnered…

Purchase Link: http://diversitynovels.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=21&product_id=8

Review: Nico is living the life he loves, searching for lost treasure. Discovering a naked man on his beach, he listens to the man’s strange story and offers his help to embark on an adventure to retrieve the Aquamarines of Courage. Nayder has a duty to find his soul-partner, his female soul-partner so he can continue on the family name and stabilize his planet. Discovering the Aquamarines stolen he sets off to find them, but discovers a man who may just be his soul-partner; together they search for the gems. Finding the gems is the least of their problems when they return to N’Tyre and discover that someone will do anything to prevent the Aquamarines from returning to its safe place.

Oh, this is a fantastic addition to the Gemstone Chronicles with its twists and hidden turns. Nico and Nayder are a wonderful pair. Nico has already shuck off his family responsibilities to live life the way he wants to, while Nayder has no choice but to face up to his. His whole planet depends on him doing his duty. Nayder lives in a society where women rule and gay men are frowned upon.  When he discovers that Nico could be his soul-partner, it shakes him up and he doesn’t know what to do. Nico is okay with embracing Nayder and what they could have, but first they both have to survive.

This storyline is fantastic.  I never saw the latter part with all its twists coming and it keeps you on your toes as you try to grasp the swift turns that seem to come out of nowhere. There is much more going on than just recovering the Aquamarines of Courage though, there is also have a hidden faction in the N’Tyre world that don’t want the Aquamarines returned and will do anything to stop Nico and Nayder. We also get to visit the Collector and the Chroniclers and we see how they are getting on.  Their story interests me as much as the stories that are being created for the Collector do. All the characters in this story are wonderful and although I want to rave about the storyline I don’t want to take away from the pure pleasure of readers discovering all the twists, turns, betrayals and secrets that come up throughout this book.

I am going to recommend this to those who love alternative worlds, hot mermen, hot treasure hunters, great twists and turns, some hot sex and a very happy ending. Oh don’t forget that we get to look forward to the Diamonds of Victory!!

 

Erasing Shame by Yeyu

ErasingShameLGTitle: Erasing Shame

Series: N/A

Author: Yeyu

Genre: MM / Bittersweet / Tragedy

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 22nd, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb: The son of a Han traitor who had let the Xianbei Mongols invade the borders, Jiang Shicai swears to restore his family’s honor, hoping to better the Hans’ lives through peaceful means. He believes violence is never the answer, but to gain respect, he finds himself fighting for the Xianbei.

Ten years later, an annoying but handsome playboy, Dugu Xuechi, arrives as the incompetent new military inspector of Shicai’s region. Shameless, irresponsible, and obnoxious, Xuechi tests Shicai’s patience almost every second. Despite their mutual dislike, Shicai finds himself drawn to the capricious man, especially when he sees the resemblance between Xuechi and his deceased best friend. Yet Xuechi’s self-destructive behavior and refusal to accept help require attention that distracts Shicai from his goal for peace–and it doesn’t help that Xuechi is Shicai’s strongest political opposition. Haunted by a childhood promise he never had the chance to fulfill, Shicai must choose between his feelings and his values.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3593

Review: This novel is one of the most extraordinary ones I’ve read in a long time. I’m still feeling a deep sadness and valiantly trying to compose myself, while at the same time I’m shocked with how emotionally powerful Erasing Shame is.

This is an alternative universe ancient China, a world created by the author based on the Six Dynasties. Being a created world though doesn’t mean that the culture portrayed in the book doesn’t feel realistic. I was immensely satisfied with the historical feeling of that area the story has. The explanations the author provides greatly help you not only follow the story in a better way, but even understand a bit about ancient Chinese culture.

This is the tragic story of the Rong Empire Heir and his best friend/love who is doomed to betray him. This is a tragic story of a very strong love that is doomed not to prevail.

Jiang Shicai first met the Heir Lan Yu when he was a little boy of six years old. Though it seemed extremely unlikely the two of them formed a great friendship and Shicai swears lifetime loyalty and support for the young Heir. Children’s oaths doomed to fail when at age 15 Shicai’s father betrays the Han people and the Empire by letting their enemy pass their borders resulting in the slaughter of all the Imperial Family save Yu and his mother. Five years later the last of Shicai’s hope dies, when news of Yu’s suicide reaches him. Feeling hopeless and helpless, drown in shame and despair Shicai vows that he will restore the family name and honor Yu’s death by making whatever in his power to help the Han people.

Ten years after his father’s betrayal Shicai will face new challenges in the face of a young playboy/inspector named Xuechi. His resemblance with Yu will distract Shicai, his exuberant behavior will irritate him and his rare moments of vulnerability will forever seduce him. His goal to achieve prosperity for the Han will be constantly overthrown by his object of desire; hidden truths will remain in shadows until the moment things come crashing down leaving Shicai yet again hopeless.

In a world surrounded by corruption, greed and cruelty love will bloom, yet it can only exist in a world of make belief, behind masks of happiness, because when those masks fall cunning manipulation, deep, dark hatred and twisted feeling unveil.

Our characters are doomed from the beginning to fail. Xuechi’s long life trauma and hatred will not allow him to stop, sacrificing everything and everyone on his way to revenge never allowing anyone close enough to help, never asking for help. And Shicai’s strong ideals and sense of honor blind him from his love, pride and ego getting in the way ultimately ending losing the one person that ever meant something for him.

We also witness other types of “love” in this book, coming from loyal servants, who despite or because their idolizing their masters end up never seeing what would be the one thing that would make them happy. And of course the one-sided loves of loyal subordinates and people who blindly love their superiors ending up draining them with their demands or their ignorance of who their object of worship really is.

It was painful reading about Xuechi, his many personas and facades hiding a deeply isolated person, wounded and suffering that horrible emotional pain. His end was perhaps the saddest one I’ve ever read and although Shicai truly break down with it, I couldn’t help feeling a bit anger toward him and his ideals that cost both of them so, so much. Both characters in the end suffered their own punishment for their choices however cruel it was.

Erasing Shame might be a tragedy, but it is definitely a brilliantly written book. It’s pace and suspense will always keep you on your toes and it honestly won’t let you stop until you reach the bitter end. At times you will feel like a child, you will laugh and smile, you will read about the wondrous Chinese culture of that area and the incredible diplomacy and sophistication of those people. You will feel anger and despair along with the characters and even a little sick with the cruelty and brutality of others. But in the end you will love this book.

For me this is a must-read book and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It is simply too good to miss.

 

Mark's Courage by Diana DeRicci

MarksCourageTitle: Mark’s Courage

Series: Finding Happiness 03

Author: Diana DeRicci

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (27pgs)

Publisher: Happy Ending Press (15th February 2013)

Heat: Moderate

Heart:  ♥♥♥♥3½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Jimmy’s career is rolling full steam ahead and the challenges of a dating a celebrity are beginning to encroach on Mark’s stable world. When Jimmy is nominated for an award, even Mark’s co-workers question his intentions. Will he stay at a job he enjoys, or will he find the strength and courage to be what Jimmy needs most?

Purchase Link: http://dianadericci.com/happy-ending-press/

Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Jimmy’s career as an actor is really taking off and Mark is in full support.  But, when Jimmy is nominated for an award, Mark’s friends ask him when he will be embracing the life as a celebrity spouse and it leads Mark to begin realizing the direction his life is taking.

This is a great little snippet into Mark and Jimmy’s lives. Mark enjoys his life as an IT expert and is happy for Jimmy as his career takes off.  But, he soon begins to realize that his happy little world might have to change as Jimmy becomes more noticed in the acting world. Jimmy and Mark are a great couple and we see some great moments between them.  Jimmy is on a break from filming and they visit Mark’s parents, they have an interesting way of sharing Chocolate Pie and they have a very romantic time.

There really isn’t much for me to really say about this story except that it is an ongoing series with future additions expected, the characters are both great and you want to see how they progress through the difficulties that are thrown at them. There is some incredible hot sex between them, and it shows the depth of their love.

I have to recommend this to those who love watching relationships grow, difficult decisions and some really hot sex and the promise of seeing these young men in the future.

Spiretown by Lia Black

Stockholm - SwedenTitle: Spiretown

Author: Lia Black

Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Magic

Length: Novel (233pgs)

Publisher: Vinedark Publishing (2nd December 2012)

Heat: Moderate

Heart:  ♥♥♥♥3½ – 4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: It’s been several years since the end of the Mage wars. Those born with the taint of magic are sent to places like Spiretown, a city within a city that serves as a prison for its inhabitants. Logan Grey is the self-proclaimed mayor of this ghetto, but he’s suddenly found himself in some trouble, and he needs help from an unlikely source.

Templar Battalion Commander Collin Anderfels is having a very bad week. His fiancée left him for his best friend, he was blown up in a raid gone wrong, and now he’s been forced to protect a man who represents everything that Collin loathes. Worse still is the fact that Logan Grey keeps saving his life, and he seems intent on bedding the young Commander, despite Collin’s sometimes violent protests.

Somehow, beyond prejudice and deceit these two unlikely partners find themselves becoming more than just allies, but can a love born from lies survive when the gates of hell are torn open?

Purchase Link: US: http://www.amazon.com/Spiretown-ebook/dp/B00AHH0UQK

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spiretown-ebook/dp/B00AHH0UQK  

Review: Spiretown, a place where people born with the taint (magic) are shipped to when their magic becomes apparent. Logan is a mage, who has his own little part of the world in Spiretown. But, he needs help when he discovers the Red Seal (a group of rogue mages) are targeting him. So, he approaches an unlikely source for assistance. Collin is a Templar Commander.  His group is there to keep the mages in place and to destroy any who succumb to the demons. Being approached by a mage for protection is astounding; beginning to have feelings for the mage just might destroy him.

This story is slightly dark, with prejudice, hate, anger and fear, breaking down those emotions and finding love. When Collin’s team is lead into an ambush by the Red Seal, he never thought his savior would be a mage.  But, that mage wants something in return, he wants protection. Logan needs the help of the Templar if he is going to bring down the Red Seal. Saving Collin fit into his plans, and now he just needs his web of lies to come to fruition. But, neither Logan nor Collin reckoned on an emotional connection forming between them. But, it is that love that just might save them all, when the Red Seal attempt to rip open the gates of Hell.

This is a great story if you are looking for a story that is drenched in angst and darkness. After the Mage Wars, all humans showing the taint of magic were rounded up and put in places like Spiretown.  Children taken from their parents were handed over to the clergy and Logan was one of those children. Templers are plainbloods (humans with no ‘taint’), who are given the task of dealing with any mages who succumb to demons.  Many of them, like Collin, hate the mages due to losses of family in the Mage Wars. Logan is a special mage though; he has special abilities that the Red Seal want.  Logan turns to Collin for help and it begins a complex relationship between the mage and the Templar.

I have to admit to that this story isn’t black and white.  Neither character is particularly lovable due to their personalities, but the longer you read the more you understand what drives them. The storyline is brilliant, but twisted, and at times will turn your stomach, especially when it comes to Logan’s past. We see a huge development in Collin’s psyche as he comes to realize that not all mages are evil and that some humans do deserve what they get.  The relationship he develops with Logan is not easy, but it is something that he would give everything up for. Logan is a very complex character and how he has been treated as a child has left scars on his soul.  It has also molded him into the way he is now and it’s a miracle he isn’t completely insane.

I have to recommend this if you love angst, demons, mages, harsh lives, some hot sex, great descriptions, some horrific scenes, a love emerging against the odds and an ending that has hope.