Denying Yourself by Silvia Violet

17801256Title: Denying Yourself

Author: Silvia Violet

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal

Length: Novel (205pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Matt and Shane both have secrets. Matt never believed he was anything but straight, yet he’s increasingly attracted to his best friend. Shane is comfortable with being gay, but when he discovers he’s part werewolf, he hides that part of himself, fearing Matt’s reaction. Suffocated by his uptight parents and conservative hometown, Shane begs Matt to run away with him.

But starting over doesn’t help. Matt still denies his desires, and Shane abuses alcohol to dampen his wolfish urges. When Matt breaks down and kisses Shane, the pent-up passion proves too much for Shane’s self-control, and his wolf gets free. Horrified, Shane flees—into deeper trouble. Before they can hope to accept each other, Shane and Matt must accept themselves.

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Review: Shane has crushed on his best friend, Matt, since the day they met. Over the last few months it has been harder and harder to cope with holding back and he turns to drink to ease the feelings. But, then something shocking happens and Shane drinks even more to suppress the wolf. Matt denies the part of himself that would make him different. Running away with Shane, so he can build a life for himself away from the farm, seems to be the answer. But, the strain is telling on both of them and they start to grow apart. One morning, they both give into their urges and it is too much for Shane’s wolf. Shane flees in horror and falls into despair with alcohol for company. Time is what both young men need to accept their own natures. But, can Matt and Shane reconnect at the right time for them?

This is a great story with a completely different approach to shifters. Shane and Matt are best friends. Shane has crushed on Matt since they met, but Matt is straight. Shane has struggled with his attraction and began to drink to drown out his urges. But, discovering the secret his adoptive parents kept from him scares him and he decides the time has come for him to leave and he hopes Matt will go with him. Matt struggles with his attraction to Shane and completely denies his sexuality. When Shane becomes more erratic and unpredictable, Matt doesn’t know what to do and his frustration leads to explosive sex with Shane. But, Shane flees and Matt is left alone, not knowing if Shane is dead or alive.

I really liked how this story was portrayed with two young men both struggling with their identities. Matt with being gay and Shane with being a wolf. The shifter aspect of the story was pretty bleak, many young shifters growing up with no knowledge of what they are or how to cope with the shifter nature. Often falling into addictions as a way of coping, until they either hit rock bottom or are rescued by an older shifter who can get them help. We get bombarded with Shane’s troubles as we progress through the story. With the difficulties he faces, but he’s always holding onto the hope of getting Matt’s forgiveness.

The story is all from Shane’s perspective, so we miss out on a chunk of what Matt is going through. We follow Shane as he becomes lost in the bottom of a bottle, as he claws his way out with help and the struggle to stay sober as he builds his life back up. There is some great sex in this story both between Matt and Shane and, as Shane gets integrated into the pack, with Carl (the pack alpha). There is no cheating, but there is voyeurism and group sex between shifters. Both Matt and Shane are great characters who go through their own acceptance of themselves. Denying themselves was hurting them both and finding themselves brings them both love and joy.

I will recommend this to those that love shifter troubles, recovering from addiction, forgiveness, accepting your own true nature whatever it may be and accepting love to find your happy ending.    

In Search of a Story by Andrew Grey

InSearchofaStoryLGTitle: In Search of a Story

Series: N/A

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 31st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: He’s searching for a story but finds so much more.

Brad Torrence is next on the chopping block at the newspaper where he works. Hungry for any source he can find, he runs across an ad in the classifieds: For Sale: Nursery Items, Never Used. It’s the lead he’s been looking for. Thinking a piece about the loss of a child will give him the edge he needs to keep his job, Brad follows up. He doesn’t expect a single man to answer.

Rather than being offended, Cory Wolfe finds sharing the story of his grief and pain liberating. He’s even surprised by the spark that strikes, and one story leads to another.

Brad digs into his stories and Cory’s life, eager to know everything about the man who’s caught his attention. But when a lead points him to the hospital where Cory works, he unearths a mystery that might have been safer left buried. Brad’s search for a story could prove deadly….

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Review: Brad is in a slump. He’s a damn good writer, but the journalistic part of him hasn’t exactly caught up with the rest and now his editor is plain and simple giving him one last chance. No stress right? He needs one good story to keep his job and he’s not even thinking of the next good one to continue on the line. The present only matters and when a classified ad hits his eye, he jumps at the opportunity. The ad says an entire nursery is for sale brand new, never used…

Cory once had a dream. He dreamed of being a father, he dreamed of having a family. Now, he has nothing. Mourning for his loss for months, now he needs to move on. His family insisting that keeping the nursery is not good for him. What he didn’t imagine though, was that the reporter searching for a story would be his healing stone. Talking to him and telling his story was the first step. But, finding intimacy in this incredibly cute, understanding and absolutely hot man, made all the difference.

While Brad got his story, he also got Cory in his life and that life never seemed better than now. Leads to other stories keep him busy at work and a growing intimacy keeps his feelings expending in his private life. But, things get in their way quickly enough; as fast as they fell into a relationship, that fast everything might come to an end.

I loved this story. It was very sweet, very romantic and it actually had quite some suspense, albeit smooth and not extremely intense. But, I found it perfect. The plot itself was anything but boring and while it seemed at first as yet another reporter going for a story and finding love kind of stereotype, it wasn’t. Yes, our main character did find love, but he sure had to work for it by the end of the book. I was glad that the plot didn’t stop at Cory’s story. I was very glad that Brad on his side kept moving on searching and digging stories while at the same time trying to make his life and relationship work at the same time. I was extremely glad that the things that came in their way and gave their relationship hardship were not mundane things or things that have been told over and over again.

This book has a really fresh air about it and besides being built rather nicely, besides have an ongoing plot with new elements along the ride, besides having a very sweet and romantic love-story; it also had a way of taking you along with it. I think I tried stop reading at some point and I simply couldn’t put this down and I was shocked how much immersed I was in the book without even seeing it coming.

It was not hard to do so though. The writing was good and the characters were beyond charming. Cory’s character was fantastic. Even though young – only twenty-six years old – Cory had already achieved things in his life. Becoming a doctor really young and knowing exactly what he wanted from his life. I loved him instantly, but I liked him more the farther I kept reading. He was quite real for me, even if he jumped a bit from mourning to loving in a very fast period of time. And Brad, well what not to love from a character with his will power. Even in his most vulnerable time, he was quite adorable and the way he evolved and grew in this book was quite fascinating. I think this was one of the sweetest book characters I’ve read, and even though I don’t do sweet, I couldn’t help but be wooed by this couple.

The end of the book as you can imagine was a clear HEA and when you read the book you probably instantly know how it’s going to end. Still I think I was surprised a bit by it nevertheless. A good surprise, a happy surprise, an “I wish people were more like them” kind of surprise. Loved it, and if you’re in search for a sweet, romantic read with a bit of action then you should definitely give this one a try.


Raining Men by Rick R. Reed

RainingMenLGTitle: Raining Men

Series: Sequel to Chaser

Author: Rick R. Reed

Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel (300 pg)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 31st, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: The character you loved to hate in Chaser becomes the character you will simply love in Raining Men.

It’s been raining men for most of Bobby Nelson’s adult life. Normally, he wouldn’t have it any other way, but lately something’s missing. Now, he wants the deluge to slow to a single special drop. But is it even possible for Bobby to find “the one” after endless years of hooking up?

When Bobby’s father passes away, Bobby finally examines his rocky relationship with the man and how it might have contributed to his inability to find the love he yearns for. Guided by a sexy therapist, a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, a well-endowed Chihuahua named Johnny Wadd, and Bobby’s own cache of memories, Bobby takes a spiritual, sexual, and emotional journey to discover that life’s most satisfactory love connections lie in quality, not quantity. And when he’s ready to love not only himself but someone else, sex and love fit, at last, into one perfect package.

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Review: A character I loved to hate? Boy is that an understatement. I despised Bobby with a passion. I despised him so much that I was seriously considering not reading this book. I despised him so much, that even the title of this book made me furious. In the end, the only reason I started reading this sequel was the old friend of mine called curiosity. Now? Now I’m glad I did and I’m truly happy to admit that Mr. Reed outdid himself. Reading this book was quite a delight and a lovely experience of so many, many feelings and emotions that I’d literally hate to have missed.

So, this is Bobby’s story. We met him at Chaser and probably most of us saw a sad leaning to pathetic guy, with all sorts of problems and issues that in the end turned truly despicable hurting his best friend. No scratch that, his only friend, Caden, and the guy he tried to steal away from him, Kevin.

And now we get to know Bobby better and he starts the same shitty Bobby we all knew and loved (not) and the wonder of wonders he actually admits it to himself. It also starts with the appearance of that beloved shrink Caden used to go to for his own issues (she rocks by the way).

Slowly, but steadily we get to read through Bobby’s life. see things through his eyes and see back into his past and family. Yes, it was expected that the reasons that turned Bobby into the person he is today would run into his childhood, but what I loved the most about this character and the way he evolved was the blindness he suffered. The feeling of totally deserving being used and abused and being nothing more than a hole, Bobby constantly felt was overwhelming. I admit it; I did not want to like him. I did not want to sympathize with him, but the fact that this character doesn’t require that of you is what makes you fall for him in the end. That and his absolute stupidity that frustrated the hell out of me during 70% of the book.

So, as I got to really know Bobby, I had these incredible moments where I was left with my eyes bulging and my jaw hanging and my mind reeling and thinking over and over Is this the same Bobby I saw at Chaser? Yes, he is, but is this… this… and how old is he? And oh God no, just no.. Don’t do that, don’t go in there… Yeah, those were some of my thoughts, my nails suffered the agony I was feeling and the frustration and the angst that Bobby would once again fell prey to his own self-destructive behavior. Because, while the character finally starts seeing that something is wrong with him, not understanding exactly what at the beginning, he starts a journey trying to find the root of his problem and solve it. That journey though is not easy and we get to feel all that along with Bobby, we get to witness him – and how very apt that word is – laps and succumbing to his demons.

I felt powerless there. Really I was reading this book and in a matter of minutes I felt as if I was witnessing someone commit suicide and I was unable to do anything about it, but watch the fall. And I got to feel that nausea and lump in my throat, but unable to stop reading the way Bobby just let himself drop low. So low that I feared there was no way he could get out of that dark hole.

But he did, and as the blurb says in the end he did get his package deal. It was an amazing trip till he got there. There were many surprises along the way, and characters that truly did the unexpected thing. Characters that did a hell of a lot of growing up. And while this is definitely a romance with a HEA, I’ve got to say that the achievement of that HEA has never felt more realistic and approachable to me. The entire book felt as if the author handpicked the characters straight from out the streets, stripped them of their stories and wrote their life for us to have a glimpse of.

A very remarkable book that the forever-romantics would not want to miss.


The Boy Who Came In From the Cold by B.G. Thomas

BoyWhoCameInFromTheCold[The]LGTitle: The Boy Who Came In From the Cold

Author: B.G. Thomas

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel Plus (284pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th May 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm. 

Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.

To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.

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Review: Todd finds himself out on the streets in the middle of a snowstorm with nowhere to go. It is the rubbish end to a rubbish year, but maybe his luck is about to change because of small kindness from a stranger. Gabe takes pity on the young man trying to find shelter from the snow, letting him into the lobby of his building. Later when the young man finds his way to his door Gabe takes a chance and offers Todd the couch for the night. As they grow close over the following week, they both have to put their pasts in perspective and decide what they want from the future.

Todd is twenty and until he met Gabe he never questioned his sexuality. But, getting to know Gabe and trying to come to terms with his attraction has him rethinking his actions in the past. Gabe accepting Todd into his home has him wondering if he is making a mistake again. The last time he took a young man in, it ended in disaster and Gabe holding his heart close. Todd and Gabe are great characters who both lay their pasts to bare. Who both have wounds that still need healing and who both need friendship and love.

There are some great secondary characters who add something special to this story. We meet Peter, who is an eccentric older gentleman. We meet Tracy, who is a fierce protective lady and we meet Cody, who is a brief but understanding confidant. The story is well written and we get pulled into the lives of Todd and Gabe, as Todd finds his feet and begins to discover his dream. And Gabe finds his confidence in his own judgment again and opens his heart to love. The storyline is good, with Gabe wanting nothing but to pass on what was once offered to him, a helping hand. We have Todd finding what he wants and not what his step-father wanted, and we have them both settling their pasts with Todd’s being a surprising twist. The story flows quite well making it easy to read and follow. There isn’t any real strong emotional pull just the easy acceptance of watching a character come into his own.

This is a brilliant finding yourself/coming out story that has a slight touch of ‘Pretty Woman/CinderFella’ feel to it. It gives us a wonderful insight to a young man discovering his sexuality after he pushed away and ignored his strange urges. it shows us a hint of what he grew up with by the insidious memory voice of his step-father. It brings you the wonderment of discovery as Todd realizes that being gay isn’t nasty or evil and you don’t have to be limp wristed or feminine to be gay. and it gives you the pure joy of discovering love for the first time. With Gabe we see him struggle not to make the same mistake again. Of trusting that his feelings and instinct are right and that he isn’t projecting his wants and needs onto someone else.

I recommend this to those who love great coming out/finding yourself stories, finding love and discovering your dreams and getting your happily ever after.


Hour of the Lotus by Patricia Correll

HouroftheLotusLGTitle: Hour of the Lotus

Author: Patricia Correll

Genre: Japanese Historical, Folklore

Length: Short (75pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th May 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: General Sho Iwata is devastated when the man he secretly loves, Prince Narita, is struck with a mysterious illness. To make matters worse, the servants assigned to sit up with the prince at night have been falling asleep, leaving him unattended. 

Iwata’s current lover, Hiroshi, is well aware of the general’s unrequited passion. But that isn’t his biggest problem. His sister is Narita’s favorite consort, but Hiroshi believes she has been replaced by an imposter. When he convinces Iwata to investigate, they discover the true cause of the prince’s illness. Iwata will fight to save the man he loves, and Hiroshi will fight for his sister, but if they want to save the prince and find justice, they first have to battle an ancient spirit and survive.

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.                                                                           

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Review: General Sho Iwata is concerned with how ill his beloved Prince Narita is. When Iwata’s lover, Captain Hiroshi Sagawara, comes to him saying that his sister Lady Kumomo, the prince’s favorite consort, is an imposter Iwata believes him because of his conviction. Together they investigate and discover the real nature of the prince’s illness. Now, Iwata and Hiroshi have to fight to save the ones they love.

This is a good bittersweet story that delves into Japanese folklore and the setting of ancient Japan and mighty warriors. Iwata is fiercely loyal to his prince, the man he has followed since he was fifteen. Not being able to help his prince while he is afflicted by a mysterious illness is tearing him apart. When his lover, Hiroshi, discovers that his sister is an imposter, it isn’t long before they discover the illness is of mystical means. Hiroshi would do anything for Iwata, but when he discovers his sister’s fate, Hiroshi needs vengeance. When their first attack fails, Hiroshi knows what he has to do. But, all it would take would be three little words from Iwata to sway his course.

This is a great little folklore story that focuses on the mystery of the prince’s illness, the imposter and just gently brushes over Iwata’s and Hiroshi’s relationship. While I found the folklore angle interesting and it was enjoyable, the relationship angle was lacking. I was expecting more from what the blurb described and while the story could be construed the way the blurb describes it, I was only able to see it through squinted eyes and a cocked head wondering exactly where Iwata’s love for his prince was… I only saw loyalty and devotion. Both Iwata and Hiroshi are great warrior characters, stone faced and devoted to duty, but there are times when their closeness is clear. The scene where Iwata awkwardly comforts Hiroshi during his grief which shows chinks in both their armor. The end scene was good and leaves you with mixed feelings; Iwata giving up his chance of happiness so Hiroshi can exact vengeance for his sister’s spirit.

I recommend this if you love Japanese folklore, bittersweet love, longing for three little words and an interesting storyline. 



Honor C by C. Zampa

HonorCLGTitle: Honor C

Series: N/A

Author: C. Zampa

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 29th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: When Honor Castillo convinces himself he isn’t gay, he begins a new life. He ends his affair with his lover, Jorge Villagomez, and marries Rebecca to establish a life with her as a respected San Antonio businessman. They have a son and he tells himself he is happy.

Eleven years later, Jorge returns to San Antonio, and his path crosses with Honor’s once more. The flame of their passion never died, and neither did Jorge’s love for Honor.

When Jorge approaches Honor to design his studio, Honor believes he can walk the line between friendship and lovers. But when a sudden crisis threatens to take Jorge from him forever, Honor must choose between his duty and his heart. Most of all, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to lose in order to be true to who he really is.

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Review: Oh my. oh damn. No book, no book ever has the right to make you feel so much…this many emotions all at the same time. I loved it. I adored it. I hated it and it damn near broke my heart only to leave me with a slight glimmer of hope and a trembling, barely there smile and eyes stinging. I was overwhelmed by this book. my head hurts after the roller coaster of emotions and I think I didn’t dare breathe freely from the moment I started reading till the very end, and even then I think my breath has not returned to normal levels. It must be that chunk in my throat that refuses to go even after half an hour that I gave myself to compose and collect my thoughts.

Damn what a story. It starts with Honor and Jorge as young men. Secret lovers hidden in a tree house that has witnessed their most intimate time together, their epic perhaps relationship. It starts with their last day as Honor – convinced in his illusions that he’s not gay – ends the secret relationship with his beautiful Jorge to start a new life with Rebecca, a woman he fell in love with. It start with the first time Honor rips Jorge’s heart and Jorge leaves San Antonio not bearing to witness his love’s smiles directed to another person.

It goes on with a slight flashback of memories from their childhood and how the two – dare I say – fated lovers met, how they story began.

And it hit you right through your heart eleven years later when Jorge comes back in town and Fate throws them together yet again. From that moment on, we see this gorgeous erotic dance and flirt between them that swirls you in its rhythm and dazzles you in its sensuality. The passion, the craving, and the longing and oh my God, the sizzling heat is all there and you can almost taste it when those two balance precariously between friendship and… Oh who am I kidding, when they meet again I wondered how the entire place didn’t catch fire and point at them for being responsible. Those feeling described were that palpable. Amazing work in writing that down. The author makes you feel in love and right when you think you can’t handle it anymore, when you truly believe this is it, they will finally make their declaration and be together and this will end up in fantastic explosion of intimate intercourse between them…

Oh God, I think I hated this author just then. The pain that shot through me with what came next, forget the characters, forget the book, I was having a damn heart attack.

I thought I’d dislike this story when I read the blurb, I really did. I dislike closeted cases, married men cheating on their wives and simultaneously ripping their lover’s heart apart. I was confused or perhaps I did not understand the blurb correctly. Although Honor is indeed –quoting him- the king of the closet, although he indeed causes too much hurt to their weird triangle, he never once cheated on his wife. He lied to her, hid his very own being from her, and fooled her for eleven years into his love. But, Honor had the decency to not humiliate her that way. As much as I wanted to kill him at times for the mess he did, I truly loved Honor and everything about him.

But, as I said, he caused a mess of everything. Silly man. First driving Jorge off and then destroying his entire life. Everything that followed was simply exquisite. I loved the realistic feeling I got from every scene. I loved Rebecca’s take, all bout her, every single reaction was brilliantly written. I loved Honors anguish and feasted on Jorge’s pain. Don’t misunderstand me, what followed was highly frustrating and nearly drove me crazy till I read past it, but that was the beauty of it. And as I was slowly reading through the end, when I’d thought I’d finally breathe a bit easier I was once again forced to shatter my expectations into a fantastic albeit HFN and with a high taste of sadness end. The character growth was just plain brilliant.

Honor C is a book that will shatter your comfy zone and take you into a hurricane of delightful feelings including a few tears spilled here and there. I strongly suggest you read it; it would be such a waste to miss such a beautiful read.

Heads up: There is one mf scene, albeit not graphically described, it focused more on the emotions between Honor and Becky and how it felt as the end for their marriage and a bittersweet goodbye.

Bound by Guilt by Sandra Bard

BoundByGuiltLGTitle: Bound by Guilt

Author: Sandra Bard

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th May 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Kit Mason works at Eddy’s, a boutique where the clothes are chic, the paycheck’s weak, and Kit has no qualms about snagging rich older men looking to pay for play. When Cory St. James walks in, he checks all Kit’s boxes: he’s middle-aged, the entrepreneur of a pharmaceutical company, and already has a kept boy at home—what’s one more? Kit sets out to seduce Cory and bulldozes through his denials, but when Cory finally gives in, his lover, Sasha, catches them with their pants down. 

Sasha isn’t the pampered toy Kit expected. In fact, Kit may have misjudged him. And the consequences that ensue when Sasha catches Kit and Cory together leave him alone. Unwilling to be weighed down by guilt, Kit decides to look after Sasha himself, even if Sasha can’t stand the sight of him and there are a few things about Kit’s past he doesn’t want Sasha to know. But Kit isn’t willing to do all the work when it comes to forcing Sasha to rebuild his life. It’s a slow process of growing trust and learning to stand on their own—and together.

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Review: Kit is always on the lookout for a mark, a rich older man who will pay to play. When Cory walks into the boutique where Kit works and ticks all of Kit’s boxes, Kit is tenuous in his pursuit and refuses to take no for an answer. Even knowing Cory has a live-in lover, Sasha. When Cory finally caves under Kit’s relentless pursuit, Sasha catches them. Now Sasha is left alone and Kit feels guilt over his actions. Checking to make sure Sasha is alright ends with Kit trying to get Sasha to rebuild his life. But Sasha hates him and it is a fight of wills.

Well, what can I say about this book other than it twists your emotions as the full story enfolds. Kit is not a likeable man. In fact, for the first half of the book you would like nothing better than to plant a fist in his face. Kit is callus and self-centred, he pursues rich older men with the sole purpose of sex for gifts or money and he doesn’t give a damn who gets hurt from his actions, until the day he meets Sasha. Sasha is a man who has been through hell and now he has a new fight on his hands because some man wanted his lover and it all went wrong.

Before we go any further this isn’t a romance as such. Yes, some feelings develop and Sasha and Kit become close, but there is so much more going on like Kit’s growth as a person and Sasha’s recovery, an understanding of sorts grows between them and it is a minefield. There isn’t any warm fuzzies as you read this book. We don’t get rainbows, unicorns and sunshine. what we do get is guilt, companionship and an understanding of sorts which is hard-won. The range of emotions that get dragged out of you is quite astounding; hate, disgust, pity, glee, admiration and hope are just a few. There are one or two powerful scenes like the scene where Cory and Kit get caught and then the scene outside the church.      

The characters are splendidly written as they both draw you into this story seeing the awkward dance between them. A tenuous understanding that draws hope to them and the beginning of something developing between them. Sasha is a difficult character to get to know as he is very guarded and it is a while before you get his full story. Kit is a character that you aren’t sure you want to know, at first, but he does manage to redeem himself quite well and he is also a man who refuses to apologise for the way he is. But, he does improve the longer he helps Sasha.

I have to recommend this story to those that love hope and redemption, guilt, a great storyline, companionship and developing feelings, misunderstandings and beginning anew.               

Good To Know by D.W. Marchwell

goodtoknowcv-paulrichmondTitle: Good To Know

Series: Good to Know: Book One

Author: D.W. Marchwell

Genre: MM / Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October, 2009)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥2 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Jerry McKenzie is a reclusive and antisocial artist, quite content to ride his horses and work in his studio, keeping to himself. It’s not any kind of life for a child, and when Jerry finds out he’s been named his orphaned nephew’s guardian, he panics. He doesn’t know what to do with a child and isn’t sure he can give William the affection and the love the boy so desperately needs.

Then Jerry meets David Loewenberger, the new teacher William becomes immediately attached to, and he starts to see how they could make a family together: a family to replace the one William lost, a family David had given up on ever finding… a family Jerry never knew he wanted.

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Review: William Baldwin Pruit III is a ten-year boy, living for the last five years of his life in a boarding school in Switzerland. That all comes to an abrupt end when a lawyer shows up to inform him that his parent died in an accident and as they decided in their will William is to go and live with his only relative alive, Jerry McKenzie.

Jerry is forty-six years old and has no family. All he wants and needs is his art and the occasional twink to get off. When a lawyer shows up at his front door telling him he has inherited a ten-year old kid, his first reaction is to tell him he doesn’t want the responsibility and that they can take the kid back to boarding school. But, after realizing that William is in the back of the car and listening at his words Jerry caves in and gives it a trial. After all, even if the kid is the only family he has, Jerry has been alone for so long he is convinced he doesn’t need one now.

Just when Jerry is about to freak out with the changes in his life and a little boy who needs him, David shows up. David is going to be William’s teacher and offers to help Jerry in this new role. But, while they start a platonic friendship it quickly becomes clear that there is so much more for the two men.

This book had all it takes to be a really, really good one. The kid character was perhaps one of the best to start a story with and I feel that it went to complete waste, because while the opening scene was perfect, the rest was just downhill.

It made quite an impression to me that while the two main characters were supposed to be forty-six and forty-two years old their entire behavior was that of teenagers. It made quite an impression on me that a teacher makes a house-call and in the very same day hooks up with the child’s guardian. It made quite an impression on me that said teacher keeps claiming not wanting to hurt the kid yet his entire behavior was selfish and childish. It made quite an impression to me that while this story started with the little boy and how lonely and unloved that kid felt, it continued to be one enormous case of games between the adults and the child was left on the sides only to come forth when needed as a shield. It made quite an impression to me that while this book was about middle-aged men who finally find a family and have to work through it, there were so many tears and melodramatic scenes that would be more at home in a young adult soap-opera.

No, I did not like the writing in this novel at all. The dialogues were beyond surreal, they had this wistful touch all over them and they were literally quite sappy, not what I expected from this kind of read. It was too much on every account. Too fast to fall in love, too fast to make commitment, too fast to break it up and too fast to come back together.

One other thing I didn’t like was the logic behind the events that followed. The logic behind the “villain” in attacking a tenured teacher, the logic behind the “villain” in attacking a little boy without consequences, the logic behind the pair’s final falls out. Oh I really didn’t understand that one. Was it the fact that the characters kept interrupting each other and no one ever made a full sentence? Or was it the fact that there was no reason for their fall out at all. I don’t know, it made no sense.

Bottom end the plot was not attracting at all. They fell in love, things seemed great, a bad guy shows up and creates a bit trouble and after a huge melodramatic scene everything fell in place as if by magic. The characters were too immature and the erotic part was too much. The only thing that held my interested was the child character; everything else was a big no for me.


Cowboy's Challenge by Susan Laine

17791760Title: Cowboy’s Challenge

Series: Cowboys Of Snow Lake 04

Author: Susan Laine

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboy/Western

Length: Novella (151pgs)

Publisher: Siren-BookStrand (4th May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Simon Westfield is the owner of a stud farm in Wyoming. He’s recently lost his brother in the army, and has become the guardian of two young children, Dale and Allie. After a while, it’s clear he needs help.

Enter Tristan Markham, a professional live-in male nanny, or manny.

Though great with kids, Tristan is as strong-willed as Simon, and their points of view on everything are polar opposites. Where Simon is closeted, reserved, and introverted, Tristan is an out and proud liberal pacifist.

Clashes are inevitable.

But they can’t deny their growing attraction, so a deal is struck. Casual sex only. But when things start to go wrong—Simon’s mother dying of cancer, the kids’ grandparents suing for custody, and Simon being thrust out of the closet—it’s time for them to work together, or lose everything they have.

Because despite their differences, they are a family. And families stick together—no matter what.

Purchase Link:

Review: This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Simon has recently become guardian to his brother’s children, Dale and Allie. But, juggling the children’s needs with his work on his horse ranch is becoming harder to cope with and his friend, May, recommends a nanny. Tristan is a manny and he loves his job. dealing with the Westford family should be just routine, but he clashes with Simon quite often with their opposing views. Their attraction won’t be denied and a deal is struck. But, they start to become close as they face what life throws at them. Simon’s mother is dying and Dale and Allie’s maternal grandparents threaten to sue for custody. Tristan and Simon must pull together as a family to keep their family together.

This story is a great sexy rancher novella with cute kids and a sexy manny. Simon needs help with his brother’s children. It’s bad enough that his brother died, but the children’s mother has become unstable and unable to look after the kids. Enter Tristan the manny, who realizes it isn’t only the children who need help. As Tristan and Simon become close and enjoying their secret relationship, Tristan becomes a rock that Simon didn’t know he needed. They become a family that they have to fight for and coming out of the closet isn’t the hardest thing to do.

I really enjoyed this story and its development. The relationship between Simon and Tristan doesn’t happen overnight and when it does start it’s hot and explosive. They keep it on the quiet and then everything happens all at once. Simon’s mother doesn’t have long to live and then there’s the custody threat. Tristan is a brilliant character and he clashes with Simon at times, but only when Tristan thinks he is right. Simon is more ridged in his thinking and Tristan smoothes down his rough edges. They make a very interesting couple and make great parents and you root for them to vanquish the threats against them.

I will recommend this to those who love cowboys, mannys, family stories, compromise, finding love, hot sex and a very happy ending. 

The Undercover Lover by Rebecca Brochu

17876280Title: Undercover Lover

Series: Romance on the Go

Author: Rebecca Brochu

Genre: MM / Contemporary / Erotic Romance

Length: Short Story

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Romance on the Go 

When vice cop Gentry Trecall is informed that he’s going to be going undercover as a hooker, thanks to the city’s latest bid to crack down on prostitution, he’s skeptical but resigned. What he doesn’t expect is to encounter someone like Dublin MacAulay, the owner of the popular night club The Pale that just so happens to be right across the street from the corner Gentry has been assigned. 

Dublin’s unlike anyone Gentry’s ever met before. He gruff and sincere, trying to get him off the street. An unspoken attraction lingers between the two, but the truth about Gentry’s profession is the only thing that keeps it at bay. 

When the truth finally does come out will Dublin be able to forgive Gentry for the lie he’s had to tell? Or will his undercover work lose Gentry the lover of his dreams?

Product Link:

Review: In this short story we meet Gentry, an undercover cop for Vice. His cover identity is that of a hustler and everything goes better than expected until Dublin, owner of the night-club across from Gentry’s post, shows up.

At first Gentry and his partner think he’s a potential client, but Dublin surprises them by offering Gentry a jacket and some food and telling him to leave his post before he calls the cops on him. Same goes the next night and the one that follows. Only the cops are never called. Gentry’s undercover arrests grow in numbers and a strange friendship is born between him and Dublin. Dublin’s insistence to help the poor “hustler” with no means in life makes Gentry realize that this man is one to keep. if there weren’t the lies he’s forced to tell Dublin in order not to blow his cover.

I loved this short. It was greatly written, with a sense of humor behind the lines that makes the read irresistible, characters that were funny and charming each in his own way and a plot that was just about perfect for the length of the read.

Gentry is the twinkish kind that, while born in a family of cops, had a strong relation with his father and brother and an acceptance that is almost dreamy. That’s a reason for him to follow on their footsteps and become a cop. ready to do his job and stand his ground when his young and “fairy” appearance brought some unwanted trouble. His hustler role is hilarious in some ways and quite convincing in others.

His partner Trent is a character that makes an appearance and is quite entertaining with his lines and teasing.

And Dublin, well my favorite of the bunch is a big bear of a sweet man who has you instantly wrapped around his little pinkie. When things get revealed, I wondered if the read would lead toward the melodramatic and disappoint with stereotypes, but thankfully it turned to be quite the opposite.

And as the blurb says this is a romance on the go and is perfect as a quick fix that will bring you a healthy dose of sweet, sexy and even hot feelings. Recommended.

Do You See Me Now by Stephani Hecht


51OateotMwLTitle: Do You See Me Now

Author: Stephani Hecht

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (56pgs)

Publisher: ManLoveRomance (9th May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Sometimes the best things are right in front of you, just waiting to be seen.

Dax Rogers was a loner in high school, so he kept to himself. Now grown up, Dax has changed a lot. Not only has he made a huge name for himself as a special-effects makeup artist, but he has a whole new look. Then an invitation comes in the mail. It’s the tenth reunion for their graduation and they are having a weekend retreat. When he shows up and sees that Lance, his old high school crush, is there too, Dax is both overjoyed and nervous. Will the men be able to make up for lost time?

Purchase Link:

Review: Dax is a pretty confident man. he is successful in a job he loves in Atlanta and is happy with how he looks, and he is a far cry from the loner who was picked on in school. Lance used to be popular in school, but he was shunned after he came out. Now, he has a coffee shop in Atlanta and is shy. Both men receive an invitation to their high-school reunion, and they both make the choice to face the past.

I liked this cutesy short that was for both characters about putting the past to rest. Dax has walked past the coffee shop to catch a glimpse of Lance for ages now, but he still can’t quite work up the courage to ask him out. Lance has crushed on the Goth boy for months. when Goth boy finally walks into his shop, Lane is too shy to ask him out. Going to their class reunion is a way for both Lance and Dax to put high-school to rest. Lance is surprised when he sees Goth boy at his high-school reunion and is happy when they hit it off. together they face the bullies.

I did enjoy this story. It was very sweet and the characters were great. Dax and Lance make a great couple. They connect when they actually properly talk to each other and they both realize that they have wanted the same thing for months. Going into the reunion, both men had very similar expectations but different attitudes. Dax was bullied for being openly gay, skinny and quiet and he goes to the reunion to flaunt his new look and his successful career. Lance had been popular, but was shunned when he came out. his friends turned their backs on him and now he is going to the reunion to get closure on that time in his life.

Stephani Hecht has done a great job with turning the tables on the bullies when they are adults. most of them showed shame at what they had done when they were younger. While there were only one or two who still had the same attitude. Lance and Dax are great together being sweet and hot at the same time. I really liked that they never let the attitude of others make them bitter. Dax helps Lance gain his confidence when facing his tormentors as well. Ah, Dax has got a smart mouth on him. 😉

I recommend this to those who love facing the past, hot men connecting, forgiving old school friends, hot sex and a very happy ending.


When Dachshunds Ruled the Serengeti by Michael Murphy

WhenDachshundsRuledtheSerengetiLGTitle: When Dachshunds Ruled the Serengeti

Series: N/A

Author: Michael Murphy

Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 24th, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Phillip and José, newly minted Ivy League roommates, couldn’t be more different. Phillip is an only child from a wealthy New York City family. José is the oldest of nine children of Mexican migrant workers. He has only known rural life in the Southern US—though he was born in California, his family moved from state to state, following the crops across the country. 

Phillip comes to school with every electronic gadget known to man. José arrives with the clothes on his back, a paperback he pulled from the trash in a bus station, and a notebook and pencil. They both need to adapt to their new environment and, in the process, quickly become fond of each other despite their differences.

As their fondness grows into love, their world is turned upside down when they are charged with caring for José’s eight younger siblings. To Phillip, sharing José is not easy. To José, caring for his siblings is his most important responsibility, even more so than his education. If his relationship with Phillip is to survive, they have to bridge the gap between two very different worlds.

Product Link:

Review: Michael Murphy brings us a very interesting and engaging story where we get to meet Jose and Phillip, and witness two young men that, though they are the same age; they couldn’t come from more different worlds.

Jose is the firstborn child out of nine of a Mexican family of migrant workers. That means that they had no home as they crisscrossed the country in a van in search of farms with work for a week or in the very rare occasion two. Also being very poor he has never had possessions so when he gets to college all he carries with him is a backpack. In it is a notebook, a romance novel and a t-shirt he found in a trashcan and the clothes on his back.

Ok, so I’ll be honest here and say I was not only astonished with this character, but I just can’t even begin to imagine that it could be real. I know logically, in my head I comprehend that there are people out there that are indeed that poor. Still the very detailed description of Jose’s life, his so simplistic needs, and his perspective were astonishing.

When other kids were having a hard time adjusting to the small rooms and non-existent space, Jose had more than he had his entire life. When other kids were trying to find a hole to stuff one more gadget or one more piece of cloth, Jose was utterly bare and oh my God the emotions that sized me when the cold hit hard and mercilessly and the poor guy had only a t-shirt. I’m overwhelmed by that aspect of this story.

Now, the exact opposite of Jose, Phillip is not only an only child, but his family is rich. Rich as in condo in Manhattan and a farm with a huge mansion in Vermont. Talk about a clash of worlds. Where Phillip whined about the heat, Jose was feeling right at home. Where Philip couldn’t sleep due to noise, Jose was dead to the world what with being raised in a family with nine kids. And the differences continue in a black & white pattern.

And it is like that, in the form of a smooth storytelling, that this read subtly draws you in it and before long you are so engrossed and so wrapped up in its web that you don’t even understand what happened. It doesn’t look like it when you start reading, you don’t even suspect it at the beginning, but you end up swimming deep in a very emotional read and a very sweet romance.

The intensity builds slowly as we get to see our pair become friends from simple roommates. Our heart gets to expand when Phillip reaches out to Jose and in an almost altruistic way gives him a hand for the very basic of needs a human being has, a pillow and a pair of sheets, a sweater to beat the cold and food, because people must eat don’t they? And then we get to feel all warm and cozy when that friendship changes to more and the two young men become the joy of one another. I get to feel the simplistic happiness of the first kiss and the emotional highs from the first “I love you”.

And just as it happens in real life we get to see things go south and everything turning to little pieces of shattering glass with all that entails. The frustration, the angst and the anger are not lost on us at all. We get to experience those along with our protagonists and if you’re partial to one of them, you might even come to hate the other at times.

Yes, I must say I got really invested in this story. I found it very well written. The know-it-all narrator made a pretty good job giving us the story without the all confusing effects of head-popping. It’s one of the rare occasions that I liked this style of writing and even enjoyed it. Reminded me of old classic books and took me back to my childhood when this was the writing style I encountered most back then. And as I said the story is quite engaging, very romantic and while it made me quite mad with Phillip at some point – I could really beat him if that character was real – that is a fact I appreciate even more. The end itself either was a bit abrupt, or I am a never-satisfying person always wanting more. Either is a possibility, but bottom end I would have loved a peek in the near future. As it is I’m left wondering.

So this is a book for the ever romantic, for those who want to believe that no matter how hard things are and no matter how different two people might be, there is always a possibility of a dream come true as long as you work hard enough for it.

Buried Bones by Kim Fielding

BuriedBonesLGTitle: Buried Bones

Series: Bones 02

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves, Ghost

Length: Novel (250pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Werewolves don’t have a how-to manual—nor do men embarking on a new life together.

It’s been a few weeks since Dylan Warner wolfed out and killed Andy, the crazed werewolf who originally turned him and later tried to murder Chris Nock. Architect Dylan and handyman Chris are still refurbishing Dylan’s old house as they work out the structure of their relationship. They come from very different backgrounds, and neither has had a long-term lover before, so negotiating their connections would be challenge enough even if Dylan didn’t turn into a beast once a month.

To make matters worse, Dylan’s house is haunted, and events from both men’s pasts are catching up with them. Dylan has to cope with the aftermath of killing Andy, and Chris continues to suffer the effects of a difficult childhood.

In his quest to get rid of the ghost, Dylan rekindles old friendships and faces new dangers. At the same time, Chris’s father makes a sudden reappearance, stirring up old emotions. If Dylan and Chris want to build a lasting relationship, they’ll have to meet these challenges head-on.

Purchase Link:

Review: This book is part of a series and is best read in order. Dylan and Chris are still working on their relationship. The foundation is solid but fitting two lives together is proving a little shaky. Throw in Dylan’s penchant to turn furry once a month and they have much to work through. But, that is the least of their worries when they discover Dylan’s house is haunted and Dylan starts digging in Andy’s (werewolf who changed Dylan) past which brings them more trouble. The two men have to stand together and strengthen their relationship to the face on going challenges. will their love be strong enough?

This story continues the story of Chris and Dylan. As Chris faces Dylan’s wolf and they build a stronger relationship which can handle the problems thrown their way. Chris and Dylan have already faced a lot. There are some mentions of what has happened previously so it’s a good idea to have read Good Bones. In this story, Dylan and Chris are refurbishing Dylan’s house and Chris is practically living with Dylan. But, neither man will broach the subject of it being permanent, as they are still unsure of what the other’s reaction will be. They discover a ghost haunting Dylan’s house and Dylan reconnects with old friends who could give him advice. But, digging through Andy’s past brings them a lot of trouble. On Chris’s part, he has to confront his past when he bumps into his father, Jimmy, and Jimmy wants to talk.

I enjoyed this rather different werewolf story and the still developing relationship between Dylan and Chris. Dylan discovers more about his werewolf nature and Chris describes his awareness of what Dylan is like as a werewolf perfectly. These are great characters. Both men have insecurities about their relationship and about their lives in general. They get snarky with each other and just a touch sulky, but they love each other and really want their relationship to work. They support each other with what is going on and knock each other out of pity parties when it is needed. Their relationship is passionate and hot. Well, when they aren’t dodging a ghost anyway.

The storyline is brilliant, Dylan and Chris both reconnect to their pasts and we meet some interesting characters. We discover more about Andy and we end up actually feeling kinda sorry for him. Chris’s dad, Jimmy, has a heart to heart with Chris and you have to admire a man who admits his faults and then tries to do something about it. The ghost twist adds quite a bit to the storyline and definitely makes it more interesting. This is a really well written story that weaves Chris and Dylan’s relationship perfectly with the paranormal aspects of the storyline.

I recommend this to those who love a more human based werewolf story, some ghost hauntings, putting the past to rest, some interesting twists, a bit of danger, a lot of love and some hot sex, and a great storyline which leads to a very happy ending.


The Gig by Kim Fielding

Gig[The]LGTitle: The Gig

Series: Speechless #1.5

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance

Length: Short Story

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 22nd, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Sequel to Speechless
A Bones/Speechless Crossover

An accident in Drew Clifton’s past left the former novelist with aphasia, unable to communicate through either speech or writing. Through sheer strength of will, he built a quiet but lonely life for himself. But now he’s fallen in love with Travis Miller.

Travis has his own issues—a permanent eye injury and unemployment. But he’s determined to help Drew find ways to engage and succeed again in the wider world, and a guitar-playing gig at a local coffeehouse seems like a good start.

Dylan Warner and Chris Nock happen to be in the audience that evening, and they have a few niggling problems of their own. Perhaps a chance meeting will provide solutions that might benefit all of them.

Product Link:

Review: First of, as the blurb states, this short story is a sequel to Speechless – another short that is quite engaging and deliciously sweet – and a crossover between that and Bones Series by Kim Fielding, and it’s free.

That said I don’t know what to make out of this one. It’s too short and it left me the feeling that it’s a prelude to something more. If not, then I’m highly disappointed, but if indeed I’m correct then it’s definitely worth grabbing it and prepare yourself.

A quick flashback to Speechless and we remember Drew, a once very good novelist who had a car accident resulting in aphasia that left him unable to talk or write. Back then Drew had succumbed to his fate and had no expectations of a better life, and definitely didn’t expect to find love from the quiet Travis, who due to his own disability – having one good eye – had pretty much surrendered himself to a solitary life as well.

Yet, small miracles do happen and while Drew was not able to speak a single word, quiet Travis spoke enough for both of them and better yet their chemistry made it all possible for the pair to form an adorable bond. Written in a remarkable way that made you, as a reader, feel the entire relationship as if you were living it.

So in this – extremely short – sequel we see the pair again as they move on with life, trying to get out there in the world and interacting with society. Drew making his first attempts into believing he still has to give even if his talented pen is now broken and Travis trying not to fall prey of that feeling of being “unworthy” of Drew and depended on his lover due to lack of work.

We also meet Dylan and Chris from Bones as they form a bridge and literally bring a new air of hope for Travis and Drew.

In the end if this short, truth be told, I felt like it was abruptly cut short. Also, truth be told, I’m more eager than ever to see what’s next and how that is going to work. Is Ms. Fielding going to bring forth another crossover? Is it going to be focused solely on our primary protagonists? I suppose in the end this is exactly the point of this story, enticing and intriguing us and making us quite impatient of the future.

Adrian's Librarian by Hollis Shiloh

AdriansLibrarianLGTitle: Adrian’s Librarian

Author: Hollis Shiloh

Genre: Regency

Length: Novella (103pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd May 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥2 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: One night at a masquerade party, rakish Adrian Knowles kisses the wrong man by mistake and meets Oliver Windham. Feisty yet wary and broken, Ollie desperately needs a friend. Almost against his will, Adrian finds himself playing the hero… and falling in love. 

Adrian hires Ollie to set his library to rights—after having his servants put all the books out of order. He promises himself he’ll treat Ollie only as a friend, but Ollie quickly becomes the only man he wants.

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.

Purchase Link:

Review: Adrian mistakes a young man catching some air for his secret rendezvous. After kissing the man and apologizing he listens to his tale of woe and decides he has to do something to help the appealing young man. Oliver finds himself in an untenable position when his uncle turns him out and he falls into the hands of a procurer. With no one to turn to and no way of finding employment, Oliver has to accept his fate. until Adrian comes to his rescue and offers him the job of librarian. But, Oliver is still wary, after all why would someone of Adrian’s station help a man like him?

This is a very gentle paced Regency romance, of a young man who is struggling to survive and a well-to-do gentleman who takes him under his wing. Adrian falls under the innocent charms of a younger man when he mistakenly kisses him. Taking him into his home as a librarian, Adrian can’t help but wish for more. Oliver is wary of his new employer, the man kissed him! Oliver has been bruised in the past and it led to him being homeless. Now Oliver has to trust his instincts and he blooms under his new employer’s roof. When Oliver discovers his feelings for Adrian are romantic in nature, he has to convince Adrian it is something he really wants.

Oliver and Adrian made a decent couple, but it is a very tentative friendship at first with Oliver’s fear and wariness shining through and Adrian’s suppressed longings and yearnings. The relationship is slow-paced, with Oliver learning to trust Adrian and when they do begin to explore the relationship deeper it is still drawn out slowly. The storyline is quite good with a wealthy gentleman coming to the rescue of a man fallen on hard times. A man who has been misused in the past and needs protecting. the wealthy gentleman falls in love, but doesn’t think his affections will be returned.   

I found this story to be a little bit too much at times, Oliver crying and Adrian’s yearnings just drove me mad. I really felt at times that it was getting Mill’s and Boon’s sappy and a really early Mill’s and Boon at that. The attitudes were completely wrong for the timeline as well, men crying!! Offering comfort!! Not in Regency England they didn’t. I really did want to enjoy this story more, but it just didn’t sit right. Because it felt like Adrian was treating Oliver like a female with delicate sensibilities, rather than as another man.

I will recommend this to those who love young man in distress, a dashing gentleman rushing to the rescue, falling in love in harsh times, gentle love and a very happy ending. 


Prelude by Shira Anthony and Venona Keyes

PreludeLGTitle:  Prelude

Series:  Blue Notes book #4

Author:  Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes

Genre:   M/M Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (250 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (May 6th 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.

When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he’ll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David’s heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.

David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  David Somers is a brilliant conductor with intimacy and self-esteem issues thanks to a strictly shitty childhood. He was raised by his emotionally inept grandfather after his parents’ death. His dream is to become a composer, but he has issues getting the notes that dance in his head to pen and paper. Until he meets Alex.

Alex Bishop is an openly gay violin player, and a damn good one at that. He has a dark past having lost his parents as well, but he carries scars both emotionally and literally from his childhood. Tall, slender and tattooed Alex catches the eye of the standoffish conductor not with his boyish good looks, but with his instrument.

David is so scared of opening up his life and letting anyone past the walls that guard his heart that his budding relationship with Alex is in jeopardy before it really even begins. Can the outspoken, outrageous, talented and artistic violin player break down the walls and keep the man he loves? Or will David’s broodish attitude, inability to trust and unwillingness to love Alex back separate them permanently?

Well written and emotional, Prelude tells it’s story through the lives of two young men that have overcome mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of people they loved and trusted. And the lasting effects it’s had on both their lives. How the love they have for one another makes them better people. Did I mention that they rock in bed as well? I definitely recommend to fans of the genre.

The Way Back by Carter Quinn

WayBackLGTitle:  The Way Back

Series:  N/A

Author:  Carter Quinn

Genre: Contemporary Romance  

Length:  Novel (200 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (June 11th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   In freshman year, Riley Evans met the best friends he ever thought he’d have, Jason and Eric. But then his friendship with Eric turned into something much more. That relationship ended almost as soon as it began, and Riley hasn’t let anyone near his heart since. Until now.

When Riley needed him most, Jason helped pick up the pieces. Six years later, he’s once again part of Riley’s life. Riley is slowly letting Jason past his defenses and is starting to see how good they are together. They’re even planning a romantic weekend getaway. Then, out of the blue, Eric calls, claiming he wants Riley back.

Riley has been dreaming about Eric for six years, but suddenly he can’t he stop thinking of Jason. Jason, who has always been there when Riley needs him-who puts Riley’s happiness above his own, even if that means his own heart will suffer. Jason insists Riley face his old feelings for Eric to make sure they’re really gone. But are they? If Riley can’t learn from his mistakes, he may be destined to repeat them-and Jason won’t wait forever.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  I loved this book! I laughed, I cried, I laughed while I cried. This book is just a complete plethora of emotion.

Riley Evans has finally found happiness with his long time friend, Jason. It was a long road travelled to get to where they are. Six years ago Riley was in love with Jason’s brother, Eric. In denial about not only himself, but his feelings for Riley as well, Eric broke something inside Riley when he left and married a women. Jason has only just come back into Riley’s life and is helping him rebuild his broken heart when Eric calls out of the blue, telling Riley he wants him back.

I was thankful that Riley didn’t try to hide anything from Jason. He was open and honest with him from the start. Riley isn’t quite ready to give Eric that second chance at his recently mended heart, but he’s spent the last six years wondering what if? Jason knows that if Riley doesn’t deal with the situation he will always wonder, so he makes Riley promise to meet his brother and then decide if he wants to give him a second chance.

My heart broke slap in half as Jason had to watch his brother court the man he loved. Jason had already buried his feelings for Riley once for the sake of his brother and what he thought Riley wanted. Now he has to know definitively if Riley loves him, his brother, or the shadow of the man Riley thinks Eric is. Has Riley found the man he needs with Jason? Or is this second chance with Eric opening the door for them to finally be together? Or is Riley so screwed up that he ends up pushing both men away, destined to be alone and miserable?

I will tell you that you will get your HEA. I just can’t tell you who exactly gets that HEA. I loved the author’s ability to make the reader actually feel what the characters were feeling throughout the story; definitely an emotionally wrought, passionate and intense read, with a lot of ups and downs. Riley grows so much throughout the story, and I loved his character development. He was flawed but real and unsure of himself, what he felt. But once he figures out who he is, therefore exactly who he’s meant to be with, he will stop at nothing to attain his goal.

Must read for fans of the genre, but I’d recommend this one to those hard-core romantic readers as well. There is some hot as hell guy action, let me tell you! The “bareback” scene is my absolute favorite. But the lunchtime scene is a close second. Quinn managed to keep the story light with a bit of humor, like Riley’s best friends husband (I did not need that visual!) and some quirky anecdotes (helium!) as well.


Learning to Love: Evan and Daniel by K.C. Wells

LearningtoLove-EvanandDanielLGTitle:  Learning to Love: Evan and Daniel

Series:  Learning to Love #2

Author:  K.C. Wells

Genre:   M/M Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (332 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (March 20th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥2Hearts

Blurb:   Evan Wainwright’s good relationship karma is paying off. After helping his friends, Sean and Michael, discover their sexuality—and each other—Evan meets the love of his life. Their new housemate, Daniel Collier, is everything Evan could want in a boyfriend. Now if Evan can just work out why Daniel panics whenever Evan tries to get close.

Daniel has finally met his soul mate. Evan is perfect for him—at least, he would be, if Daniel could find the courage to overcome his demons and leave the past behind. But his mental scars prove difficult to heal, and Daniel struggles with his heart, even though it tells him Evan is the one.

Life in the student house goes on despite the usual interruptions: a wedding, a trial for a hate crime, a gay couple with exhibitionist tendencies. Through it all, Evan and Daniel remind themselves they are meant to be together. But until Daniel trusts Evan with the secret that’s tearing his family apart, “meant to be” is on hold.

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Reviewer:   Tams

Review: This book centers on the love story of Evan and Daniel, although Michael and Sean play a huge role in the context of the story as well. Evan played an instrumental part in the pairing of Michael and Sean, who are getting married as we start this book.

Daniel has secrets and sorrow in his life. Secrets he’s afraid to share with Evan. Oddly, he shares them with Michael and Sean, before his boyfriend. But, Evan is patient and wants nothing more than for Daniel to feel safe and loved with him. It was definitely a struggle and a testament to true love as this pair take two steps forward, and then three steps back for the majority of the book.

Overall this was an okay read. There were so many unrealistic and completely unbelievable aspects to the story that it took away from my enjoyment of it. It’s almost the end of the book before they actually have sex, and hot as hell it is! This was actually an aspect of the story I enjoyed, that they didn’t fall into bed immediately. They took their time. But, then Daniel went from scarred due to events in his past, to sexual deviant in two pages flat. Unrealistic.

I’m surprised I remembered character names as everyone called everybody baby, honey or some equally sugary name all the time, again unrealistic. I really wanted to like this book more than I did. But hey, to each his own. Be sure to go through all the reviews before you take mine to the bank!

Overall, this was a good story.  I enjoyed seeing Daniel finally get beyond years of abuse so that he could finally be happy with Evan.  Evan, I adored.  I adored him in the first book and I adored him in this one.  Sean and Michael I liked but I found them to be a bit much at times.  As mentioned above there is zero conflict between them as a couple and I found that (along with

Worth the Coming Home by Lisa M. Owens

WorthComingHomeLGTitle:  Worth the Coming Home

Series:  N/A

Author:  Lisa M. Owens

Genre:   Contemporary/Light BDSM/Kink

Length:  Novel (244 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (October 26th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   For Josh Brooks, it’s a summer of wishes come true. First he gets his dream horse from a rival trainer. Then his brother’s Army Ranger buddy, Dane Keller, comes to work on the ranch and Josh meets his dream lover too. Dane is hot, competent, and fresh out of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Everything would be perfect—except nobody knows Josh and Dane are gay.

All Dane wants is a quiet life in a less claustrophobic closet and a ranch job where he can earn a living. But when his best friend’s little brother, the one who wrote the letters that kept their spirits up in Afghanistan, turns out to have grown up in all the right ways, Dane can’t help wanting more despite his fear of commitment.

While Dane and Josh are busy trying—and failing—to keep their hands to themselves, someone else is watching, biding his time. Then he strikes, first at Josh and then at the prized horse. When all of their secrets and fears are exposed, Dane is determined to protect Josh, even if it means leaving him behind.

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Reviewer:   Tams

Review: Josh Brooks is the dedicated horse whisperer on the ranch he’s called home for over half his life. He and his brother, Jesse, live with their aunt and uncle, having lost their parents when they were children. He hides his sexuality from everyone except his best friend for fear of their reaction.

Dane is Jesse’s best friend. The guys met while in the military, serving in Afghanistan. Having separated himself from “don’t ask, don’t tell”, all Dane wants is to live his life a little more open than the military allowed. He travels to Montana, per invitation from Jesse, and begins working with the brothers on the ranch. The attraction between Dane and Josh is electric and downright explosive. Can two closeted gay men maintain a relationship when they can’t even be honest with their friends and family about who they are? Hell, they can’t even be honest with themselves! Their only saving grace might just be the fact that they can actually be honest with each other.

Someone is watching. Someone has targeted Josh and his precious horses. After Josh is outed very publically and painfully, he withdraws from everyone and everything. Except his horses. Owens has managed to blend several highly debated topics within an engrossing storyline and keep it in good taste. Homophobia, hatred, ignorance and PTSD coupled with love, compassion and family values. But after Josh is hurt not once, but twice, Dane leaves feeling like he’s failed and he can’t protect him. Can Josh convince the man he loves that he’s worth coming home to?

I will warn you, if you aren’t a fan of dominant/submissive relationships, this may not be the book for you. It is in no way, shape or form a bad thing in this storyline. Dane is the alpha male, the dominant in the relationship. Josh is submissive and he loves it. He wants Dane to take control and I assure you, he’s never forced into anything. I loved the way they found common ground and their relationship became stronger. The sex is HOT and these boys like variety. They don’t care if it’s the bed, the wall, the barn, the open range or the kitchen table! If you haven’t read this one yet, you really must!!


The Hollywood Version by Harry K. Malone

HollywoodVersion[The]LGTitle: The Hollywood Version

Author: Harry K. Malone

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (244pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Mark Lawler has always imagined the world as a movie. With his overactive imagination, he can’t help equating life and art. Currently, he’s living the dream: successful actor, beautiful wife, and he works with his best friend, television heartthrob Zach Pericles. The problem is a certain contingent of fans are convinced Mark and Zach are really in love. 

When a compromising photo of them leaks to the press, Mark’s life spins out of control. The show’s executive producer plans to kill off Mark’s character, and Mark faces unemployment and life as a single man. He turns to Ross Lockhart, an old acquaintance, to help him pick up the pieces.

Ross has to be the most frustrating man Mark’s ever known, but he’s levelheaded and wise for his years, and Mark envies the honest life he leads. Maybe Ross can teach Mark a thing or two about finding his own happily ever after.

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Review: Mark is living the highlife. He’s a popular actor; he has a beautiful wife, Alex, and the greatest best friend, Zach. But, everything begins to fall to pieces when a compromising picture of Mark and Zach leaks out. The producers of his show plan to kill him off, his wife demands a divorce and his best friend turns his back on him. Mark doesn’t know who to turn to in his time of need except Ross, an old acquaintance who is also in the business. Ross thinks Mark has lost touch with his roots. Mark immersed himself in the Hollywood life and lost some of himself. Ross begins to bring Mark back to what is real and important and Mark acknowledges a part of himself he never really noticed before.

This is an interesting story that while it holds your interest also confuses the senses as you try to make heads and tales of the main character, Mark. Mark is straight. He is very happy with his wife, Alex, and enjoys a close friendship with his co-worker, Zach. With rumors flying about his relationship with Zach among the fans that there is more between them, Mark never examines what he truly feels until he loses it all and he turns to Ross. With Ross, Mark can’t help but notice how he feels and although he has to keep things quite, he embraces a side of himself that he has largely ignored.    

This is one of those stories that I wasn’t sure how to react to. I really liked that Mark found something special with Ross and really worked at making things right, but I was also vastly disappointed in his reaction to his circumstances caused by his so-called best friend and his wife. Ross is a great character and he isn’t a fool who topples into love. He makes sure that Mark has faced his feelings and really knows what he is getting into. Ross isn’t about to be an experiment or a rebound. Mark is a bit self-centered and is very Hollywood conscious. Even when he is trying to do something nice, it’s about how it would make him look.

The writing and storyline are very good. I just found myself lost when it came to Mark. Mark was very casual about his sexuality and discovering his real feelings. I liked Ross a lot. he seemed to be the only solid character who knew what he wanted and didn’t sell himself out for the Hollywood dream. The relationship he has with Mark isn’t easy for him when he can’t be sure that Mark actually knows what he wants, especially after so much turmoil. The sexual relationship between them is great and I am glad that Ross made Mark wait.

I will recommend this to those who love Hollywood actor stories, being true to yourself, finding the real you, finding love, accepting love and a great happy ending.