A Life Interrupted by Lynley Wayne

18468270Title: A Life Interrupted

Series:  N/A

Author: Lynley Wayne

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (32K)

Publisher: MLR Press (November, 2013)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating:
♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Dan and Travis have been together twenty-two years when tragedy strikes, will they be strong enough to find their way back from a life interrupted?
Dan and Travis met in college, the unlikeliest of pairs, and then became friends and lovers. For the past twenty-two years, Dan’s lived his own version of happily-ever-after, with Travis by his side. Then tragedy strikes and life as they know it ceases to exist. Will they be strong enough to find their way back from a life interrupted?

While Travis fights for his life, Dan can’t help but relive all those little moments that made up their life. All those things that he took for granted at the time. Those very same events may end up being all he has left of the man who is his entire world.

Product Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=LWLIFEIN

Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: Yes we’ve seen this plot before: loved one has an unexpected tragic event and winds up in the hospital facing life and death surgery and we reflect on the would have been and should have beens, on a lifetime flashing before our eyes. But Lynley Wayne does it so well!

I thoroughly enjoyed traveling through their twenty-two years of love, from discovery of each other to child rearing, and real relationship issues. There are moments of heartbreak, sweet love, anger, misunderstanding, and forgiveness that all people in relationships that last this long experience. Hanging on the precipice of life and death was very nerve-wracking, and I could swear I felt Dan’s exhaustion. I could relate to real life events I’ve experienced as the tension builds to a nail-biting crescendo. But then we’re left hanging!!!! Yes this story has a to be continued warning!!! Ugh!

It was definitely good enough that now I’m chomping at the bit to find out the ending!!!

Improves with Age by Lavinia Lewis

ImproveswithAgeLGTitle: Improves with Age

Series: N/A
  
Author: Lavinia Lewis
  
Genre:  Contemporary

Length: Novella (58 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 17th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Sometimes you can go home again. Reece Watkins left Montana after high school. A math major, he found a fulfilling career as an accountant in Washington with Mike, the love of his life. But then Mike dies of a heart attack, leaving Reece to reevaluate his own life and realize he’s on the same track. He decides to return to Montana and a slower pace.

Former football team captain Nick Kenison never left Montana. Instead, he married his high school sweetheart, had two kids, established a contracting business, and discovered he was gay. Now out and proud, Nick drives out to Reece’s to answer a call about roof repairs.

In high school, they were opposites, but now? The attraction between them is electric. Of course, it isn’t that easy—Reece is still dealing with body issues, self-esteem issues, and grief over Mike’s loss. Nick will have to teach him it’s never too late for love.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4007

Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: Snow on top, heat below! Graying hair doesn’t mean either of these men is slowing down! If anything, their passions burn hotter once Nick and Reece reunite. The love scenes are very hot firing and passionate, and the lurch my heart took as Nick backed off was soon to be corrected when he accepts Reece “warts and all.” This is a hot and sweet short novella, perfect for a rainy day read.

Sharp Dressed Man by T.A. Chase

Chase_Final_Front_Cover_5_18_2013Title: Sharped Dressed Man

Series: Mixed Tape Series Volume #1

Author: T.A. Chase

Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Length: Novelette

Publisher: MLR Press (June 7th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: For twenty-five years, Jim and Dan have thought about what could have been, and now they have a chance to find out.

Jim Stanton and Daniel Perkins fell in love with each other at a ZZ Top concert in 1987, though they never admitted it. After graduation, they let their love slip away, but never forgot. Their 25th class reunion gives them the chance to correct the mistake.

Product Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=TAC_SDRM

Review: A very sweet little story Sharped Dressed Man follows two High School best friends who drifted apart in the years that followed until one day, after twenty-five years, they received a Reunion Invitation.

The story is a bit weird in some part. See both men had this epiphany at a concert of ZZ TOP they both attended, that they were in love with each other. Neither though had the guts to share that little info with the other, instead being afraid that if their best friend would find out they’d lose the friendship they so much valued. Ending up, of course, not only trying to hide what they felt, but also losing their best friend anyway when High School was over.

As years passed by and each of them settles into their careers, neither has the same time to go back home for visits. Not once managing to see each other during these twenty-five years. The yearning though is there, the longing of seeing their best friend. The man who all others had to compare and compete for each. And now the time has finally come for them to make that happen.

So you see this story is quite easy flowing in concept. Jim and Dan’s families both are not only very accepting, but also trying to match them together. There are no complications and no angst at all in this entire story. Only the fears each character harbors that their feelings won’t be reciprocated. So when they finally meet right outside the place where their reunion is held their hunger for each other steps in and takes them both in a reunion of their own. A first time holding too much passion for them to contain.

Honestly, either I’m too picky or this was a bit too much for me, but the dialogues between the characters were not very fascinating, they rather put me down a bit. There was this huge going round and round blaming each other (thankfully the next day) about how stupid they were to have lost all this time. While in the meanwhile, there was no dialogue about their current state. How are these two men? What happened to them in so long they haven’t laid eyes on each other? They jumped so fast into the “I love you”, “let’s stay together,” and “let’s get married” that I sort of had a mental whiplash with that.

Bottom end, I would rather have a HFN than a HEA here. But, objectively, any fan of the sweet romance and the love conquers it all, even our fears of rejection, would probably love this story. It’s sweet, it’s easy, and it has a most satisfying end.

Still by Mary Calmes

StillLGTitle: Still

Author: Mary Calmes

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (190pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.

When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3810

Review: Sivan only sees that the relationship he has been in for 17 years has become stagnant. Deciding he has to let his husband go so Walter can find happiness, he asks for a divorce and begins to build a new life. Walter has too much pride to say no when his husband asks him for a divorce, but he never truly let’s go of the idea of getting Sivan back. But, convincing Sivan that he truly does love him is hard to do when Sivan refuses to really listen to what Walter is saying.

This is a great story of a well-established older couple whose relationship has fallen into a rut and one of the men decides the solution is divorce. Sivan needs to be told he is loved and wanted, and because he isn’t hearing the words he decides his relationship is over. Walter isn’t one to share his feelings; instead he shows his love with actions. But, when his husband asks for a divorce, instead of fighting for the relationship he agrees to the divorce. Both men try to move on, but Walter never gives up hope that Sivan will be his again. When Sivan has problems with an ex-co-worker, Walter swoops in to take advantage and convince Sivan of his love.

I really did enjoy this smooth story. Sivan is positive that because he isn’t showered with constant love and affection that his marriage is over. He really hasn’t got a clue how Walter really feels and instead of talking about it, he makes a decision for both of them. thinking he knows what is best. Walter is a great character. he is more of the strong silent type who is there when you need a rock. Sivan reminded me of an older slightly calmed down version of Jory from the A Matter of Time series. He needs reassurance that he is loved and when he isn’t reassured he acts thinking he knows best. Watching as Sivan finally comes around to the fact that he was all wrong is entertaining. seeing two men who have lost touch with each other open back up was really sweet and the sex they have is really steamy.

I have to recommend this to those that love drifting apart and reconnecting stories, rediscovering misplaced love, a touch of danger by a disgruntled ex-employee and a very happy ending.   

 

 

The General and the Horse-Lord by Sarah Black

GeneralandtheHorse-Lord[The]LGTitle: The General and the Horse-Lord

Series: N/A

Author: Sarah Black

Genre: MM / Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts

Blurb: General John Mitchel and his favorite pilot, Gabriel Sanchez, served together as comrades and brothers-in-arms for more than twenty-five years. They followed the warrior’s path: honor first, and service, and the safety of the tribe. Their own needs for love and companionship were secondary to the mission. Retirement from the army, however, proves challenging in ways neither expected.

When old warriors retire, their armor starts falling away, and the noise of the world crowds in. That changing world sets up longings in both men for the life they might have had. After years of loving on the down-low, the idea of living together in the light seems like pure sweet oxygen to men who have been underwater a little too long. But what will it cost them to turn their dreams into truth?

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3684

Review: General John Mitchel served his country his whole life. Living the life of the warrior, honor, service and the safety of the tribe always came first. His need for love and companionship were reduced to stolen moments and fragments of memories with his beloved pilot Gabriel Sanchez also known as the Horse-Lord. For twenty-five years they served together and loved each other on the down-low.

Now, nearly a year after his retirement, John is still trying to adapt to his new life. A life without wars and fights, without the army and his fellow warriors, or so he thinks. There is at least one constant in his life now, those little moments he shares with his friend and lover. Those stolen moments from Gabriel’s family where they both can be the men they truly are.

When Gabriel announces his divorce everything changes. Now John sees the opportunity to claim what he’s always wanted and never even dreamt of having. A life with his one and only love. A life where loneliness won’t have first stage honors. Where he won’t have to sleep and wake alone, but shared happiness with his Gabriel is a possibility.

Oh.  I truly loved this book. This story is one of war outside the military. Outside in our world, where honor and dignity are not a given. Where people will use every low move they got to get what they want. where things are not as simple as a mathematic equation. And this book has so many, many characters to love and adore.

John is such an incredible man. At his fifty-two years old, he will find out that life is a constant battle. Now he has to fight for his own wants and dreams, for a place where loving the love of his life will be alright. He will have to fight for his family and his values more than he did when he was enlisted and in the middle of flying bullets. At fifty-two, John will learn to love himself and literally change his views of what he can claim and how open he will be.

Gabriel, the Horse-Lord and right hand of the General for way too many years. What a character, what bravery and passion and fierceness. How very lovable on all accounts and how very sad on some.

This pair was simply perfect together and their adaptation through their new life was just plain beautiful. In the end, I had the vision that they would reach eighty years old and still fight side by side in perfect harmony. The fear of all their enemies.

Another beautiful character here was Kim, John’s adoptive son. In this book Kim has a battle of his own to fight along with his fellow wingman, Billy. They are victims of an abusive man and while their parents will of course jump to the rescue, they will deal with this matter in their own way.  And such a beautiful one it is. Very brave characters indeed.

So I understand I’m being completely vague and perhaps not in a straight line of thought. That is due to the complex plot this story has, too many things that link with each other.  Details I don’t want to give, because this book deserves no spoilers. All I have to say is that it’s simply perfect. A book that will be enjoyable while making you think and giving it a serious thought. A book that refers to gay military men of another generation, an older one. How they were affected by their sexuality and what it meant to them back twenty years ago. What it means to them now days and how do they see themselves in comparison to the new generation. A book that will go through the fears that inflict both generation and how they deal with them. A beautiful, beautiful book.

I had a bit of an issue with the end here, of course. It felt like there was no full disclosure, or that perhaps the end deserved a bit more intel. I’m going to wonder about Juan and what was really bothering him. How did he evolved and his relationship with his father afterward. I will be wondering about Walker senior and his son.  I know they got what they deserved, but boy did I want to read it with all the gruesome details. I’m going to wonder about the ex-wife, of course. Speaking of, I am so glad that the bitch ex-wife was not given an absolution and in the end didn’t “miraculously” change and became the all compassionate and supportive ex like it happens in most books. It was so damn invigorating seeing this character. Still I’d have loved a nice little paragraph with one final scene with her. What I did loved about the end was that it ended the way it began with Abdullah al Salim. That was perfect, and perhaps the promise of a sequel?

So at this point there is really no more to say but a final recommendation. Go read it. It’s a must.