Knights in Silk by Julia Talbot

18518351Title: Knights in Silk

Author: Julia Talbot

Genre: Romance

Length: Short Story (18 pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press (September 18th 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: When Army Golden Knight Derek is assigned to tandem jump with an old flame, he tries to get out of the assignment. Former CIA operative Kane is nothing but trouble, after all. Now an activist for the environment, Kane knows a man can change. Can he convince Derek to take a new leap of faith?

Product Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_111&products_id=3994

Review: Now this was an interesting short story. Derek and Kane had once upon a time been lovers, but Kane had his sights on his career and made a choice. A choice that left loud and clear the fact that he’d Lost Derek forever. Now many years later Derek founds out that his tandem jumper is none other but the infamous Kane.

At this point, we get the impression that the tension is going to skyrocket the moment these two are going to get in the same room. Secretly I was expecting a bit of a fight, some punches flying, you know. That didn’t happen, but the author made a good job with the tension thing. Their first meeting after so many years was a bit of a rocker as Kane was nothing Derek expected. Kane had turn a one-eighty and the trouble Derek expected came in a completely different way.

A point that drove itself home once the jump took over.

The story being so short did not have much of a romance, but we got the feelings and what would be pretty loud and clear. I wished at some point for a small flashback in the days when this pair was together. I wished at some other point for a glimpse in the near future. I also wished for that chemistry that was all around the place to have taken a more solid outlet. While those wishes remained moot points, I did enjoy this read a lot. It was fast, it was solid, and it made my heart beat a bit faster.

Recommended!

Lost and Found in the Pacific by Julian Griffith

18518351Title: Lost and Found in the Pacific

Author: Julian Griffith

Genre:  Historical  Romance (WWII)

Length: Short Story (23 pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press (September 18th 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5~4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: After their B-24 crashes into the Pacific, Lieutenants Andrew Mackenzie and Harry Glassman make it onto the plane’s life raft just ahead of the sharks. With their survival in doubt, they discover that their love for each other goes deeper than friendship. They promise each other that if they have any future at all, they’ll make sure it’s a future together.

Product Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_111&products_id=3993

Review: Well damn, I just love WWII stories, and I wasn’t disappointed by this one.

Lieutenants Mackenzie and Harry Glassman are forced in a rescue mission that was doomed not only to fail, but put in danger the life of the rescue crew. The airplane they were using was lacking at best, its engines both failing them in the middle of the Pacific.

Out of the crew, the only survivors of the crash were Mac and Harry, with Mac being injured, and they missed being shark food by a hair. It seems almost impossible a rescue for them would happen anytime soon and their future is looming a bit dark.

It’s the fact that they may die that encourages Mac to confess he’s attracted to men and furthermore being in love with Harry.

And this is why I love War stories. You know those stories that have you face to face with death and therefore make you a bit reckless, going for it even if the results might not be what you hope for. It’s that desperation of dying that throws to the wind any fear of rejection we face on our times. Here neither one of the characters wanted to die without making one last effort and try to find that elusive feeling of love.

From there on the story moved with such a lovely impact, I was lost in the sensations of these two lovers. A bit macabre at first with all those deaths around, it swiftly turned utterly romantic.

Insta-love? Yes, but who didn’t say I love you back then when your life measured with days, not years. Insta-bond? Yes again, but stranded in the middle of the ocean, facing being shark food with one wrong move, and even  rescue seeming a bit slim, well I do believe I would’ve sworn eternal love myself. I liked the story a lot. I got lost in it and despite being a quick one, it felt wholesome to me.

Recommended!

 

Ranger's Luck by Serena Yates

18518351Title: Ranger’s Luck

Author: Serena Yates

Genre: Romance

Length: Short Story (12 Pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press (September 18th 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3~3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Ethan Turner never liked living in a city, and his job as park ranger at Glacier National Park is just what he dreamed of. He loves protecting the animals and land under his care, and dealing with the occasional tourist — well, all jobs have their drawbacks.

Caleb Sagan, a recent journalism graduate, works at the Billings Tribune. He got stuck with a two-month assignment at Glacier National Park to write a series of articles extolling outdoor life meant to draw more tourists to Montana.

Can these two men overlook their differences long enough to make it to their first date?

Product Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_111&products_id=3992

Review: Well there are several ways meeting a guy, but nothing beats saving him from distress. There are also many types we like in a guy, but nothing, nothing beat that one and only type that you don’t like surprising the heck out of you.

So when Ranger Ethan was tasked with finding the city-guy, dumb-lost journalist, Ethan was not too happy about it. And I just love reading about the shock these types of characters get when they face their so-called nemesis. And if Caleb were a bit more confident making Ethan lose it a bit more, it would have made my day.

As it was, it was a pretty nice read, quite enjoyable albeit way too short. It leaves you with the wish of more, of being behind a plant when they have their first date, or in the closet when they have their first… uhm yeah, you get me.

So if you like a nice, quick read, settled in the wildness with two gorgeous guys, give this one a try. 

Knights and Butterscotch by Faith Ashlin

18365572Title: Knights and Butterscotch     

Author: Faith Ashlin     

Genre: Alternative World    

Length: Novella (177pgs)    

Publisher: Total E-Bound (20th September 2013)    

Heat Level: Moderate    

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥ 4½ Hearts   

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: A story of modern-day knights, paint-splattered artists and a lightning bolt of attraction that hits hard enough to make a knight think he’s going crazy. And then things get complicated.

The year is now, the place is somewhere like here, but the feeling is very different. Matti Elkin is a modern-day knight and, while he may not have a horse or a suit of shining armor, he’s brave and true, has a sense of duty, and honor a mile wide and a passionate belief in his king.

There’s a war on and the knights are fighting hard, but while on R&R Matti is hit hard with an overwhelming attraction for Jamie, a tall, handsome painter.

Jamie makes his head spin and his cock harden, and has him acting in ways that make him question his own sanity. But when the war takes an appalling turn, they are both thrown into a world of confusion that has them questioning everything they thought they knew.   

Purchase Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2320    

Review: Matti is a modern-day Knight, fighting for his King and the safety of his country. On a rare day off and at a co-worker’s wedding, Matti meets a painter who rocks his world and has Matti acting in ways he never has before. Jamie is astounded at the attraction he feels for Matti, but he grabs the feelings Matti evokes and embraces the moment. But when the war takes a bad turn Matti discovers that he might never have really known the true Jamie, and Jamie has to convince Matti that he is really the only one who knew the true him. Jamie has no choice but to embrace a duty that he turned away from, but with Matti by his side he can be the person that the country needs while being the man he really is in private. 

This is a brilliant story in an alternative world, with two strangers acting on their instant attraction leading to a love that can withstand any shock or surprise. Matti has dedicated his life to his King, he is loyal and fiercely dedicated, as a Knight, he protects the country, and with a war against the Northern invaders, he has little time off. Jamie left his old life behind to become a painter; he loves his life of painting and just wants recognition in the Gallery’s. When the two meet sparks fly and before they part they ensure they will see each other again. With Matti fighting a war their visits are brief and just as they are getting to know each other better disaster strikes and Matti has difficulty in seeing Jamie as the man he fell in love with.

I loved this story, the way that the story was written so the old world values were brought into the modern-day war was brilliant and the attraction between Jamie and Matti seemed to leap off the page. While their relationship started off with a high and while they were happy, they still had things to sort out to become closer and get to know each other better in the short flashes of time they had together. When Jamie’s secret come out I was surprised, there was no hint just a sudden revelation. Matti’s reaction was brilliant and I loved the way he struggled with the revelation but managed to find a way to help and support Jamie in his desperate time of need. 

This is a really good storyline which flows smoothly showing a great couple who manage to conduct a relationship even though they are apart for a large amount of time, it also shows us the difficulties they both face as they come to grips with the truth of their situations and the love and support they both offer the other. We only get a little information on the world they live in, but it reminded me of long days past when counties invaded each other for land. We see both Matti and Jamie stepping into roles they aren’t quite comfortable with but with them standing together, they dig deep within themselves and shine. 

I recommend this if you love alternative worlds where Knights still roam (in armor-plated vehicles), painters proving to be more than they first seem, hot sex in snatched moments, a love that can stand a shocking revelation and a great cheeky ending.

Shy by John Inman

16128083Title: Shy

Author: John Inman

Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Comedy

Length: Novel (256 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 30th 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Dating is hard enough. Throw in an incontinent Chihuahua, an unrequited love affair, a severe case of social anxiety disorder, a dying father, and a man-eating hog and it becomes darned near impossible. Still, it takes two to tango—and when Tom Morgan, a mild-mannered assistant bank manager with a debilitating case of shyness, meets Frank Wells, who is straight off the farm and even shyer than he is, sparks start flying.

Just when Tom and Frank’s burgeoning love affair is rolling along nicely, Frank must return to Indiana to oversee the farm while his father battles cancer. Tom tags along to help Frank out and finds himself slopping hogs and milking cows and wondering what the hell happened to his orderly citified existence. And what’s with all the chickens? Tom hates chickens!

With Frank’s help, Tom grits his teeth and muddles through. Funny what a couple of guys can accomplish when they’re crazy about each other. Not even nine hundred chickens can stand in the way of true love.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3424

Review: I remember this book when it was published; I remember thinking “what a nice bum” in reference to the cover – which by the way is a very nice cover – and I remember having too many books to review to pick this one up too.

So months pass and Shy makes its way onto my hands and I start reading it. From the first line till the end, too many feelings and emotions pass through me. Only now that I’m a bit calmer, I am thinking that when a book winks its eye to me I should pick it up ASAP no matter how long my TBR pile is. At this point though there are so many reviews out there for this book that one more won’t make the difference, so instead of a classic review I’m going to go and dissect this book, while I’ll try and hold off the spoilers.

So I’m going to start with the characters of this book.

Tom, our main character and the person whose point of view this story is narrated from, is of course my favorite. He suffers from SAD (social anxiety disorder) and he has a very wandering mind. Why is that important? Well because all those wandering thoughts make it to narration, and while at one moment we’re reading about this very serious event happening, those wayward thoughts make an appearance and ridicule all seriousness. The effect; laughter till you feel the need to change your panties… literally. So back to Tom, who is obsessed with his cheating ex, Jerry, while hates the guts of his ex’s current boyfriend Stanley (the home wrecker/dick), while knowing all the time that he doesn’t stand a chance getting Jerry back, what with his extreme bouts of debilitating shyness. The fact that his “pecker” is huge makes no difference.

Frank: now Frank is Stanley’s brother (can you see the irony and hilarious possibilities?) and he suffers from a more severe SAD situation than Tom. Frank is also gorgeous and really, really nice guy. In short, he and his brother have NOTHING in common.

Jerry; the cheating ex who as the story goes on turns out to be quite stupid as well – that is completely my opinion, others might find him a jerk and so on.

Stanley. The dick! Not my words, I’m simply quoting Tom here for he repeats that quite a lot. Stanley is also known as asshole, but his most outraging characteristic is “mean.”

Now there are other characters in this story, but the one’s that make a strong impact are mostly non-humans.

Pedro, the Chihuahua, whom I would not mind to see strung up from a tree or stomped down by some cow hoofs. I totally hated that Rat-Hellhound so much so that while I don’t want a sequel on this book I wouldn’t mind a short story when Pedro finds a gritty death and not out of old age. The little bugger! Now you might think I’m a bit overacting or mean, you might find redeeming treat for Pedro once you read the story – and grudgingly I admit there are – you might think I don’t love dog (you’d be dead wrong), I don’t really care. This one character came straight from Hell as far as I’m concerned.

Moving on, there was Samson, the hog. I will not comment this character except to say that damn that HOG! He gave me the shock of my life. Or the author did masterfully using Samson for his deviant plans. It worked!

There were also blood-drinking chickens, nasty bumblebees, Grace, the momma-pig and her little piggies (a case that had me thinking “hmmm bestiality? Nahhhh! He wouldn’t…”) and many, many more.

Next stop chemistry and relationship mechanics.

Both main characters here had SAD, so the immediate question that arises is, how realistic is this?

For me this story was so NOT about being realistic that I didn’t even go there. It was pure comedy, sarcasm, and escapism. So if there were exaggerate elements involved (there were) it suited me just fine. It’s what comedy is made of and they made me piss my pants laughing on more occasions than I care to remember.

And that leads to the other issue I usually feel so uncomfortable with, instant love. Tom has this epiphany the very first time he lays eyes on Frank. All his previous obsession with Jerry instantly gone, his panic attacks, while still happening, have become less important because Frank is worse than Tom, and he feels the need to take care of him, ground him/each other facing their common enemy. So while it was quite ludicrous the fact that they saw each other and everything moved in lighting speed, I honestly didn’t notice it. The plot was so full with things happening right and left, the hilarity dripping from every single word I read was so overwhelming, I suppose the tears made it quite hard for me to “see” and get annoyed with the instant little thingy.

At that point, in the book, the plot takes so many turns it would have had my head spinning if it wasn’t so wonderfully written. The ex turns jealous, the brother turns devil incarnate, the setting turns rural from urban, and a whole new range of characters are introduced. The story makes high and lows in the blink of an eye. One moment you’re crying and your face feels like it’s going to have the Joker’s smile for the rest of your life, and the next you get emotional and even a bit sad, because life is just like that, only to get elated once again with the most ludicrous twists you could ever think of.

Now I’m not forgetting the romantic part here. No sir, not at all. It is here where that half heart/star was kind of lost. As I mention at the very start, Tom is quite gorgeous, so is Frank. And while Frank is by no means lacking in the “pecker” department, Tom is constantly pointed out as very, very well endowed. Now, pay attention. The chemistry between these two is brilliant. I loved it. For me it was beyond perfect. But why? Why dear author would you have such a well-endowed character and have him limited to fellatio and hand-jobs? What was with that? The only sex scene that involved penetration in this book was the one between Stanley the dick and Jeff (Frank’s once upon a time hook up). Really? Really? Didn’t that slut have enough he had to get the fun as well? And while we’re reading and reading and patiently waiting for the BIG BANG between Frank and Tom, and personally speaking, I was dying to see them in (anal) action, you go ahead and give us Stanley? What was up with THAT? Ok, so it obviously annoyed me, but rant over.

And all this brings us to the end of this lovely, hilarious story.

Oh My God! No freaking way! That gritty end! I just can’t believe I read that. Oh, God! I freaking LOVED it!

Captive Magic by Angela Benedetti

captivemagicTitle: Captive Magic     

Series: Sentinels 03

Author: Angela Benedetti     

Genre: Paranormal     

Length: Novel (307pgs)     

Publisher: Torquere Press (4th September 2013)    

Heat Level: Moderate     

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts    

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: Teleporter Breck Bayes made a deal with a demon to save the life of his little sister Amanda, who was dying of cancer. The demon expects Breck to work off the debt — as a thief who can get past any walls or locks. If Breck balks, Amanda’s cancer will come back, and she’ll die. Breck’s a good guy, but a few trinkets versus Amanda’s life? It’s no contest.

Manny hears about Breck’s popping around town and uses his own talents to find and confront him. Sentinels are supposed to prevent the mage gifted from using their talents to steal, by force if necessary, but then he gets the whole story. Manny understands family, and he decides that his Sentinel persona is going to have to suck it up and deal while he helps Breck get out from under the demon — even if it means becoming an accomplice to the thieving while, they plot Breck’s escape. But then the demon notices Manny, whose true sight and seeking would be very useful in its quest to own things that don’t properly belong to it, and suddenly it’s not only Breck who’s in trouble.   

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=3978    

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Breck has landed himself in trouble, he made a deal with a demon to save his sister’s life, and all he has to do is use his teleporting abilities to get objects for the demon in return… objects that belong to others. Manny hears that there is a teleporter popping up around town and decides to check him out and see if he understands what he is, but things take a strange turn when Manny discovers the trouble Breck has landed himself in and the reason. As Breck and Manny try to discover a way out from under the demon, the demon sets his sights on Manny, and Manny and Breck decide to fight fire with fire. 

This is a great story that explores just what a teleporter could be capable of, while twining it with a touch of danger and a manipulating demon. When Breck made a deal with a demon he never thought he would be stuck chasing down trinkets, or being chased down by someone who has an ability or their own. Manny just wants to make sure that the new guy isn’t up to anything illegal, but when a life is on the line, he can’t say he wouldn’t have done the same thing. Working together, they discover that there are no limits when it comes to teleporting but they have to do some dodgy dealing if they are going to save Manda (Breck’s sister). 

I really enjoyed this story with its dimension jumping and puzzle solving, watching as Manny and Breck begin to enjoy a relationship and how they save the day. I liked how they worked together to figure a way out for Breck and how they managed to fix things when everything went wrong. Their relationship was forged during a really difficult time for Breck, and you can see him being pulled in two when the demon gets impatient and begins pulling his strings…. do what the demon wants or be there for his mother and sister? Manny being with him and helping him really saves Breck in more ways than one. While Manny is a large part of this story, I couldn’t help but feel that it was really Breck’s story and although their relationship is special, it is really Breck’s trials that make this story great.

I recommend this to those who love paranormal abilities, dimension jumping, interesting beings, a relationship forged in hard times and a great ending.  

 

 

The Event by Talia R. Blackwood

9b133b6c249c25bfaa29a375cc682f8f.image.300x450Title: The Event     

Series: Apocalypse 01 

Author: Talia R. Blackwood     

Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Science Fiction, Fantasy    

Length: Novel (188pgs)     

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th September 2013)    

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit     

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts    

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: A mysterious event destroys the world and merges two adjacent realities. The Dark Ones are gathering and now more than ever, Lucian and Raide must fight for each other and those they love.

After an apocalyptic event—a devastating earthquake and acid rain—the world merges with a parallel reality. Atmospheric gases obscure the sun and strange entities haunt the night. A group of survivors start a journey to seek aid.

Lucian Seagrave, a city boy with aspirations of becoming a rock singer, discovers Raide, a former monk from the adjacent reality. Raide reads auras and knows Lucian is fated to be his soul mate.

But the Dark Ones are lurking. As any hope to find help fades, Lucian and Raide learn they have to fight for each other and those they love.     

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/the-event-ebook-p-59069.html    

Review: A cataclysmic event causes the world Lucian knew to nearly cease to exist, with the earth churned up and building crumbling Lucian’s small band of survivors seek others and shelter, but with the acid rain and the strange nighttime creatures, they have a harsh journey ahead of them. Raide was a novice monk when the earthquake first struck and the acid rain fell, he watched as those around him disappeared and with another young novice sets out to discover what happened. Raide and Lucian meet, Raide overjoyed that his soul mate still lives and their attraction flares, but the Dark Ones are out there seeking to spread their blackness and Raide and Lucian must fight for each other. 

This is a great story of two nearly parallel worlds colliding, with few survivors and a daunting new world. Lucian survives the earthquake and the acid rain, he rushes to his best friend Emanuel, and they discover nearly everyone else has disappeared. With one other survivor they set off to check on loved ones and join up with those who have survived, they face the desolation and set off for the city hoping there are more people. Raide and Julius are the only survivors at the monastery and they set off to find out what has happened and if anyone else has survived, but they fall into the hands of the Dark Ones before being rescued by Raide’s soul-mate, Lucian, and they all embark on a journey of survival hoping to avoid the Dark Ones and the night creatures. 

This is one of those stories that has quite a bit for us to grasp, somehow two parallel worlds have collided and the destruction is devastating, we have bands of survivors searching for others, but none of them can make sense of what has happened until people from the opposite worlds meet. Mysterious night creatures attack at night and there are bands of Dark Ones or evil people who roam during the day, then we have the various relationships of the survivors. We also discover that some people on Raide’s world have soul mates and some people can see auras, it adds that bit of extra intrigue to the story as well as the fact that Raide’s world was three months in front with time.  

This story holds your attention from the start but you do begin to question Lucian’s relationship with Emanuel early on, but you begin to understand the dynamics of their friendship. Lucian’s and Raide’s relationship is special their coming together is both sweet and powerful. The discoveries we make are good and the slight action we see is great. The band of survivors are an interesting selection and you become invested in their journey and wonder what they face. The world building is great, you get a wonderful sense of the desolation that surrounds them all on their journey with the burnt out cars and destroyed buildings, the piles of empty clothes and the nameless, faceless identification as though those that are gone never existed.   

I recommend this to those who love strange post-apocalyptic events, bonds being made, and relationships being forged, hot sweet loving, kidnappings, and rescues and ending that is also a beginning. 

Jealousy by Jenna Galicki

18242263Title: Jealousy

Author: Jenna Galicki

Genre: Contemporary/Erotica

Length: Novel (314pages)

Publisher:Beau to Beau Publishing (July 1, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Cat

Blurb:Note to Reader: This novel contains sexual situations involving heterosexual, as well as homosexual couples.

When Heather Cooper married Peter, she thought that she had finally found someone who could handle the inseparable bond she shares with her gay best friend, Justin Perrotta. It’s only a matter of time, however, before jealousy rears its ugly head and Peter’s true feelings emerge. He starts drinking and his erratic behavior threatens their marriage.

Burned by an ex-boyfriend, Justin refuses to open his heart to love again. Wild relationships and one-night stands leave him lonely and unfulfilled, even though he will not admit it. He finds love when he least expects it, but his fear of commitment threatens to ruin the best thing that has ever happened to him.

In this modern day ‘Will and Grace’ meets ‘Sex and the City’, two best friends, a straight woman and a gay man, struggle to find someone to love as much as they love each other. 

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Jealousy-ebook/dp/B00DQXMW7M/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Review: Heather and Justin have been friends practically since they were born. They love each other and nothing or no one could ever come between them. The only thing is, Justin is gay, Heather is straight, and their love is more of a brother sister love not physical.

I was pleasantly surprised by this story. I couldn’t put it down once I started. I loved the bond Justin and Heather shared.  I found the story sweet even if there were a few things that were a bit hard to believe. This is fiction anyhow and who would not want the love these two shared. The only thing I truly missed was there was no backstory of Justin or his family. There was Heather’s mother briefly, but nothing on Justin and he was always at Heather’s.

This is a very character driven story, going through Heather and Justin as they grow up and age. There are a couple little twists that had me on the edge of my seat but made me love Justin even more.

I recommend this if you like deep emotional stories, tight friendships, both Gay and hetero sex (not mixed or not any threesomes) and an all-over interesting love story.

Familiar Path by A.M. Burns

c36812bc64624025b43cf7548c7d67f9.image.300x450Title: Familiar Path

Series:  Familiar Ways, 01

Author: A M Burns

Genre: Contemporary/Coming of Age

Length: Novel (231 pages)

Publisher: Silver Stream Press (August 17th 2013)

Heat Level: Low (none)

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Cat

Blurb:Lugh’s mother packed up and moved them from sunny Florida to tiny Steamboat Springs, Colorado after his father’s accidental drowning. Resigned to his mom having to work a lot, and only just beginning to deal with his dad’s death, Lugh is disappointed when she is called in to work on his fifteenth birthday. After an unnerving dream, he decides to head to the nearby river where he ends up following a strange, urgent, internal pull. When another boy helps him rescue a young cat from the river, Lugh discovers a family secret he never suspected. Now, with his new cousin Abby and their friend Wyn, Lugh must figure out the rules of his new life before the forces that seek to destroy them can get the upper hand. CONTENT ADVISORY: As part of a series, this book contains a HFN ending. Stand by for book two, where the action continues!

Purchase Link: https://silverstreampress.com/familiar-path-ebook-p-1514.html

Review: Lugh moves to a new town and finds out he is Magus (warlock). Had a cat for a familiar and learns more of his powers.

This is a sweet story about coming out and growing up. The familiars are cute and I like how they talk to the magus, I loved the introduction to the characters, there was a bit of mystery.  But, for me the book was very long-winded for a predictable story. The description is beautiful, we do learn a lot about Lugh, and the bond between him and his familiar is adorable. This a great young adult story, sweet, charming with a little mystery.

If you like witches, magic, mystery, cats or animals in general with a touch of romance this is for you.

Pudding Jones by D.C. Juris

18273070Title:   Pudding Jones

Author: D. C. Juris

Genre:   Contemporary

Length: Novella (58 pages)

Publisher: Wilde City Press, July 31, 2013

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Mandingo

Blurb:   Award-winning reporter Emmer Richfield is the kind of guy who covers wars, the kind of guy who asks the hard-hitting questions. He is not—and he’s certain about this—the kind of guy who does sappy human-interest stories about homeless people. But, his newest assignment is not just any human-interest story. It’s a mandate from the mayor: convince the people of Dodson that Foxton Industries’ plan to build a mall—and oust the homeless population—is a bad idea by way of a feature on a homeless man named Pudding Jones. But Pudding quickly goes from just another story to a man who changes Emmer’s life. The question is, can Emmer return the favor before it’s too late?

Purchase Link:   https://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/pudding-jones/#.UkiiuIYWL-Q

Review:  Okay so the blurb doesn’t give away plot lines and I certainly will not as I talk about this story.  This is a well-written and heart-felt short story about a man, Emmer, who is irrevocably changed by meeting another man, Pudding Jones. The story is about a sweet and tender relationship and there are many dips and turns that will surprise you as you read. Learning about Pudding is heart-breaking. Watching Emmer evolve is awe-inspiring.  Seeing them together is touching. This is also a story that peels back some of the fallacies of our homeless population and makes them real people instead of indispensable ‘things’ whom the larger population chooses to ignore.  The story makes you think about who you are as a person and if you are really doing enough and if you are really as good as you think you are. This is a story that will end leaving you thinking about the possibilities of what was and what could have been. While I didn’t expect the ending, it was fitting.

I wanted to give the story a 4 and then realized that I was doing so because of an expectation that I had. That would be totally unfair to the ‘story.’ The story is an extremely good and well written one.  So as an honest reviewer, it has to get a 5.  Not OMG because I SO loved everything about it, but a 5 because oh so well written and I believe the author meant for us to think and question and well, DC … achieved that in spades. Nicely done!

Elided Cadence by T.C. Blue

91got6Bu2BL._SL1500_Title:   Elided Cadence

Author: T. C. Blue

Genre: Contemporary

Length:   Novel (251 pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press, September 10, 2013

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts ~ It’s one of those books that you want to climb into the pages … 5 OMG!

Reviewer: Mandingo

Blurb: The last thing Alan Freemont is expecting when he finishes his latest makeup gig and heads to Oak Grove, Arkansas, for a long-deserved vacation is to discover a wrecked tour bus. No. The last thing he’s expecting is for the tour bus to belong to part of Andrew Lyon’s band. Wait. No, again. The LAST thing he’s expecting is to meet Andrew Lyon and discover that the man is more than just pretty, but smart, too. And needy, because three of Andrew’s closest friends were on that bus. Only two of them made it.

Andrew Lyon has been having a relatively good year. Sure there have been disagreements between him and his record label, but what else is new? Then he gets an early morning call that changes everything. One of his closest friends is dead and two others might be following soon after. Alan Freemont, the man who discovered the accident, turns out to be a Godsend.

Can the men — one on the periphery of celebrity and the other a favorite media target — find their way to something real when intense emotions, paparazzi and an abundance of fans descend on the small town? Andrew isn’t sure. He’s already suffered enough loss already, hasn’t he?

Maybe. Maybe not. If Alan has his way, he’ll see to it that Andrew doesn’t lose anything more

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=3985

Review:   Okay so within the first chapter of the book, the word ‘minions’ is used. This Despicable Me reference should have let me know that the author was going to take me on a joyride.  So, let’s just find some adjectives to describe this book.  Sultry.  Erotic.  Heartfelt. Gripping. Gut-Wrenching.  Author blue manages to take you through all of these emotions on the roller coaster ride that is Elided Cadence.

The novel opens by focusing on the themed of grief, loss and guilt. The author expertly made Andrew’s grief real and palpable and his emotions raw. This grief fives way to the need for a human connection hat has nothing to do with the joy of sex, but more the need to acknowledge life through one of life’s most powerful forces and to anchor oneself to life.  Once the reader becomes attuned to this, the author then shifts the focuses to the themes of pain, sacrifice, what it entails to be gay and famous and to lose one’s anonymity. 

This story begins with a climax and then the reader gets to ride the roller coaster of emotions that the climax creates.  Many m/m novels present men as one dimensional while this novel allows the reader to see the full spectrum of gay men and life by demonstrating their full spectrum of career, friends, lover, confidante, parent and protector. The novel also differed because it focused so much on how the men felt, and communicated more so than on the superficial aspects of looks and hotness, although these were also there in good measure.

I’m a book buff and I love m/m romances so I really didn’t think that I could be surprised by anything new in this genre.  Well colour me surprised!  The book is told from multiple perspectives like a Chinese telephone game. And while that strategy should be confusing by jumping from thought pattern and perspective to another, it isn’t.  Each time the story changes perspective, it is because that character’s viewpoint s actually what propels the story forward. All the events that Alan and Andrew experience are seen and felt through that of many of the secondary characters and reflects a very real-life depiction of how tragedy is experienced and overcome and how a relationship can begin, grow and develop in that atmosphere of emotional devastation.

The story however feels more like Alan’s story than it does Andrew’s and the author’s ending while very satisfying allows the story to continue and to explore Andrew in a way that was not done in this book.  Alan is a very complete character and a ‘whole’ man. Andrew is still on a journey and it is meeting Alan that allows that journey to begin and it begins with his discovering human compassion, warmth, empathy and understanding in. This he adds to the deep friendships he’s already learned how to build, develop and sustain.

In closing, this reviewer’s most eloquent comment about this story is that it feels real.  The emotions are real and they do sometimes leave you reeling or needing to take a reading break to get a grip on how you are feeling.  The dialogue is also very real. It will have you laughing at the snarkiness of Alan and then crying at the angst of Andrew as he struggles to communicate. You can hear his very pause, gulp and uncertainty in his tone.  So grab a tissue and some tea – you will need it.

 

Winner Takes All, 2nd Edition by Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban

18398032Title: Winner Takes All, 2nd Edition

Series: N/A 

Author: Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (112 pages)

Publisher:  Musa Publishing (July 26th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Blurb: Dominic Taylor and Matt Harris have been friendly rivals – with occasional benefits – for a few years. With the downturn in the economy, though, Matt’s business is struggling. Dom, whose company is doing well, offers Matt a bet that could help save Matt’s company. But the terms of the bet would literally put Matt’s ass on the line and change the dynamic of their friendship.
As the deadline approaches, they graduate from making out to making love, raising the stakes as they each come to terms with what they really want, and what really matters.
No matter who wins, there will be no going back for either one of them. Because the winner takes all.

Product Link:  http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9&products_id=633

Reviewer: Lisa

Review:   I absolutely loved this story. Great story line and wonderful characters. Dominic has wanted Matt since he has known him. He offers to help Matt when Matt’s company looks like it would be folding. The help actually comes in the form of a bet. If Matt can convince his board to sell to Dominic, Dominic get’s Matt for one week.

Winner Takes All caught my attention from the moment I started reading and kept it till the end. Dominic and Matt are pure magic together. Dominic could teach classes in seduction. Poor Matt didn’t stand a chance. Not that he really wanted one. But, it was fun to watch him struggle with his attraction to Dom…and really, really hot.

I loved that it wasn’t a short story or a long story, it was the perfect length. I would re-read this story many times over.

 

 

Trill To Me Sweetly by Charlie Richards

3933TrillToMeSweetly510-430x645Title: Trill To Me Sweetly

Series: A Paranormal’s Love, Book Number 1

Author: Charlie Richards

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (118 pages)

Publisher: February 1st 2013 by Extasy Books

Heat Level: Moderate to Hot

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Blurb: Into the paranormal world: A man’s idea of good and bad can be put to the test at the most unexpected moments.

Maelgwn, leader of a clutch of gargoyles in Durango, Colorado, only planned to be in Stone Ridge a few days to help a fellow gargoyle’s mate through laying their first egg. His plan to leave changes when he scents his mate in the hospital. He discovers his mate is Bobby Truman, a human who has no idea the paranormal world exists, even though a number of his friends are shifters. Maelgwn begins the arduous process of watching and waiting, searching for that perfect opportunity to make contact with his mate.

Bobby Truman is tired of his boyfriend, Seth’s, abusive friends, especially when Seth doesn’t do anything about their antics. The broken nose, compliments of Seth’s buddy Grant, is the final straw. When he’s attacked by muggers and rescued by a mysterious stranger in the dark, Bobby hopes it’s the opportunity he needs to make a clean break from Seth. Even if it doesn’t work out with Maelgwn, maybe Bobby can keep his new love interest’s attention long enough to prove to Seth they are really done.

Bobby thinks it’s odd that Maelgwn won’t come into the light, always meeting him after dark, but he’s nowhere near prepared for the truth when it finally comes out.

Can Maelgwn convince Bobby that the things that go bump in the night aren’t always bad and to take his place at Maelgwn’s side in a paranormal world? Even when that means uprooting his life and moving?

Product Link:  http://www.extasybooks.com/trill-to-me-sweetly-2/

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I absolutely loved this story. It is a wonderful start to a new series. Charlie Richards has done gargoyles before, but Maelgwn and his crew are fresh and sexy. Readers first meet Maelgwn in Book 14 of the Wolves of Stone Ridge series, Gustav’s Gargoyle Adventure. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16121818-gustav-s-gargoyle-adventure

This book is very funny and sweet at the same time. Just the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from Charlie Richards. I love the tender moments that Maelgwn and Bobby have. At first Maelgwn was afraid to let Bobby know what he truly is, a gargoyle. When Bobby does find out, it was an accident. There is also a bit of suspense thrown in, which is nice.

The sex between the two is very hot and passionate. They have a little bit of problems to work through, but love shines through. I never laughed so hard in my life. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Waiting for a Spark by Lillian Francis

18215197Title: Waiting for a Spark

Author: Lillian Francis

Genre:   Contemporary

Length: Short (24 pages)

Publisher: JMS Books (August 19th, 2013)

Heat: None

Heart: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Liked it!

Reviewer: Mandingo

Blurb:   Jerome’s life is humdrum, mundane even. Every day he catches the bus to work, listens to his best friend, Nav, rants on about the latest crisis in his life and tries to stop his attention from wandering to the gorgeous guy at the back of the bus too often. After all it would be embarrassing to get caught staring.

Friday morning had been no different. Except that the object of his blatant attention was definitely making eye contact, his Asian best friend had involved the entire bus in a racist rant against the East Europeans and Jerome appeared to have been struck dumb.

Now two days later Jerome’s run out of milk and all the local shops are shut except for the Polskie Delikatesy. Jerome’s hanging about on the pavement, studying adverts in the window which appear to be made up of far too many Zs & Ks, and wondering if he could do without milk for the evening. Stepping through the door brings Jerome face to face with the realisation that racism isn’t just about rants and rallies, but is inherent in thoughts and deeds, things said, or even in silence. That being a target for other people’s prejudice because of his sexuality, doesn’t mean he’s immune from false and pre-conceived notions. If he can come to terms with that and accept that everyone — even a gay liberal trainee journalist — might be just a little bit racist, then maybe, just maybe, he could be going home with more than a pint of milk.

Purchase Link: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=902

Review:   This review could be summed up with the following three words. Sigh, Smile, Happy! 

However, a reviewer should do due diligence and report correctly. So here goes. This is a short story that illustrates with textbook accuracy exactly how a short story should be written.  The story is set in London and tells the tale of two boys, one of Jewish descent and one of Polish descent.  The story takes place over three days. The story opens with the author establishing the premise and back story using the monologue in Jerome’s head on day one. She then switches to dialogue to set the scene for the conflict. This then sets the scene for the next two days where the two boys establish a friendship and begin a relationship.  The fact that the author is able to accomplish all this in 24 pages is testimony to understanding the basic mechanics of good storytelling – (a) set the scene (b) present the characters (c) establish the conflict (d) use interesting, well-constructed dialogue to show rather than tell and then (e) move from conflict to climax/resolution. The fact that the dialogue is littered with British slang only serves to further cement the setting which is always a good thing. The reader will actually begin to hear the British accents in their head as they read.  How exciting. To read and actually be transported across the pond. Yay!

The end result of this short story – A cute couple whom the readers are able to bond with and root for. The story is well paced, nicely written and throwing in British slang lends it an air of being a ‘different other’ which is always nice to see in either short or long form.  The story starts on a bus so I’d suggest this for one’s commute on either a bus or train and have life imitate art.

Hunter's Hunt by Chris T. Kat

huntershunt185Title: Hunter’s Hunt

Author: Chris T. Kat

Genre: Erotic Romance / BDSM (light)

Length: Novelette

Publisher: Torquere Press (September 18th 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Wanted: one bear. Must be burly and hairy, and strong enough to paddle. Hunter Bell is on the prowl, and he knows just where to find his prey: at the Bear Trap, a gay leather bar he’s more than a little familiar with. So many men, so little time. He’s just about to pounce on his choice of the evening when a newcomer enters the bar, turning everyone’s head. Adrian Michaels is everything Hunter despises in a man. He’s lean and boyish looking, and he has the deepest dimples Hunter’s ever seen.

And yet there is an immediate attraction, one that neither man can deny. They’re both too astonished to do anything about this apparent interest in one another, and they waste their opportunity. Now it’s up to Hunter to forget about his stereotypical preference and go for the guy that’s just entered his dreams. If only he can admit to himself that Adrian’s what he really wants…

Product Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4016

Review: This short story has a very simple plot, an old-time classic he’s-not-my-type where the protagonist suddenly realizes he’s into a man who doesn’t check even one box of his preferences. In addition, this story has the insta-lust/insta-love thing going on for which I don’t actually care. This thing “I took one look at you and fell head over heels” is a total red flag for me. So how come I liked this?

I have no idea how it happened but I can safely declare that I was bewitched by this read in the exact same way Hunter got bewitched by Adrian. Those words in this text must have had some kind of a spell, because I was enwrapped in there from page one and when I came out of it I was even slightly bedazzled.

The plot was not challenging at all, but it flew so effortlessly. The character’s emotions were not only easily accessible but they kind of stuck with you and made you feel along with the characters with a smile plastered on your face, which you only notice after your face start to feel sore from its constant presence.

And he’s another thing that baffled me; the spanking. Hunter is this mean bear who’s in the hunt for a guy of his caliber, strong enough to handle what he can dish out. Is in a mean state to dish out pain, power, struggle, and hard sex. Instead, he’s stranded with Adrian, who’s the exact opposite of what Hunter’s looking for. And he turns mellow, caring, and considerate. Their only “rough play” is spanking and by all that is right with the world I should have disliked the Hell out of this. I’m still baffled that not only I liked it, I found so damn suiting this pair, and so very erotic, that I have my mind made. There is some serious spell in this book. It’s enchanted, no other way about it.

I suppose I should have expected this on some level as Ms. Kat’s work up until now has left me quite satisfied. She made this pair work and she did it with a dose of humor I can’t resist. I loved these men, loved their banter, and loved how they interacted, the awkwardness, the coming together. I found them hot and sexy, sensual and erotic. So much so that I didn’t mind at all the elements that usually put me off. No, not only I didn’t mind them, I found them mandatory into making this read the enjoyable and fun one it is.

For me this story worked, and it worked well. Recommended!