The Telling by Eden Winters

18138621Title:  The Telling

Series:  The Telling, Book #1

Author:  Eden Winters

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (195 pages)

Publisher:  Rocky Ridge Books (June 30th, 2013) First published in 2009

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He’d left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, only to return four years later, lugging a duffle full of personal demons.

Cookesville, Alabama isn’t the most welcoming place on earth, particularly for a gay, Hispanic student wanting nothing more than, to earn his degree and get back home to Texas. An image of a somber young man that he knows only by name and the stories told by an adoring sister comes to life when Michael returns home, just as Jay is already half-way to losing his heart.

Michael’s biggest battle lies ahead, and he’ll need all the help he can get to find his way in a world where he no longer fits in. Jay’s not sure where he fits either, but it could be next to the war-torn soldier who needs his strength

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Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  Michael Ritter is coming home after a four-year tour that took him to Iraq. Physically he’s fine, having filled out during his tour he’s no longer the shy, skinny, reserved teenager he was four years ago. Emotionally, he’s damaged and broken. War will do that to a man, especially when friends are among the fallen. He suffers from PTSD accompanied by constant, recurring nightmares about the death of a close friend that he blames himself for.

Jay Ortiz fell in love with the shadow of a boy. His roommate and best friend Angie has shared her brother’s letters from Iraq with him, along with stories of their childhood and family pictures. He keeps one ragged and worn picture of Michael when he first joined close at all times. He has trouble at first separating the vivacious boy of his dreams, so full of life, with the man he meets. The blonde haired, blue-eyed boy is now built like a linebacker. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and fear and self-loathing in his eyes.

Michael has always suspected that he was gay, but a hateful bigoted stepfather kept his feet placed firmly in his closet. Still, he’s sort of shell-shocked at the reaction his body has to Jay when they first meet. Tall and broad like himself, but Jay’s Mexican heritage is worn proudly as well. Dark unruly hair with a pair of sexy dark eyes to match and skin the color of honey, just looking at Jay makes Michaels stomach twist and his skin tingle. Slowly Michael begins the process of healing with Jay’s help, and explores his sexuality.

This is a character driven story with the slowly developing relationship between Michael and Jay at its core. Michael will forever be an emotional wreck and Jay is going to have to be his anchor. I loved how Jay sang Spanish lullabies to Michael when he had an episode to calm him down. From their first kiss to Jay taking Michaels hand and ‘leading him out of his closet’, a whole lot of ups and downs and a whole lot of steamy sex, these two take lemons and make lemonade! 

At its heart, The Telling is a moving story about the healing power of love. This book is also available as a free read, so there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy and fall in love with these characters as I did!

You Don't Have To Ask by Mathilde Watson

Title: You Don’t Have To Ask

Series: Men in Uniform

Author: Mathilde Watson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (79pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (23rd June 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Adam never asked if Seth loved him and he sure as hell never told the man how he felt. The military’s policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ kept their times together brief and sporadic, making love an irrelevant consideration–until now.

With the threat of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ hanging over their heads, hooking up for a few hot but hurried encounters was all Adam Young and Captain Seth Williams had over the past ten years. Adam could never resist the opportunity to spend even a few hours in Seth’s arms. Seth’s heart was torn between the two loves of his life; the sea and his life of adventure versus Adam who could give him the love he needs to live on.

Now, six months after the repeal of the hateful law Adam is faced with a terrifying question. The chemistry between them is explosive and undeniable but is it only lust or could it possibly be love?

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Review: Adam is madly in love with his Navy guy. He has been for many years, but now with DADT repelled he fears that all he was to Seth was a booty call. Seth has made plans which he hopes Adam will agree to, but first he has to spend some quality time with the beautiful man.

Wow. Well, what can I say about this one; except that I was torn for the first half of the book and I wanted Adam to dump Seth’s ass. For the last ten years Adam has been in a ‘relationship’ with Seth, but it has never been clearly defined between them.   Hell, for all Adam knows, Seth could have a guy in every port for a booty call. He wants more now that DADT is, but how does he broach it with a man who he is usually naked and in bed with? Seth isn’t as uncaring as we first think and he has made plans. Plans that do include Adam, but he wants it all to be a big surprise. So what if he has to leave Adam naked in a motel room for hours; he just knows that Adam will love the surprise.

Okay. So by the time I had been in Seth’s head for a few minutes, I had revised my opinion of Seth and had decided that he just needed a slap across the back of the head. So he would open his stupid mouth and just tell Adam how he feels. Adam on the other hand just needed to man up. But, his trepidation was understandable as he didn’t want to lose what little contact that he had with Seth. So, I won’t go into much detail, but this really is a lovely novella and my only complaint would have been the ending. I so wanted it to end at the change of command ceremony, but other than that it was great.

Oh.  And there is plenty of hot scorching sex, touching love-making and a solid relationship in the making. So, I am going to recommend this to those who love military coming out stories, two lovers finally being open with each other and a really happy ending.

Battle Buddy by S. J. D. Peterson

Title: Battle Buddy

Series: Rough Rangers 01

Author: S.J.D. Peterson

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (67pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (17th March 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Shane Tucker joined the Army to hide behind “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. It was working too, until he was paired with sexy Owen Bradford as his Battle Buddy. If boot camp doesn’t kill him, the temptation of Owen’s sinful body surely will.

Shane Tucker joins Uncle Sam’s Army at nineteen. Tucker is gay, but not ready to be open about his orientation and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” seems like a convenient way to avoid having to dealing with his sexuality.

The Army suits Tucker; he does well right from the beginning. Things get harder for Tucker during boot camp when he is assigned a “Battle Buddy”.  Owen Bradford is a walking, talking wet dream, with no concept of personal space–he especially likes being in Tucker’s personal space. Tucker barely survives boot camp living with the constant temptation that is Owen Bradford.

Two years later, Tucker–now in the Army Ranger program–is paired up with Owen once again. Getting through training while ignoring the sizzling sexual tension between him and his “Battle Buddy” might be the biggest test of Tucker’s military career.

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Review: Shane comes from a small town and he has never had a reason to come out.   At nineteen, he joins the army and now he has the perfect excuse.   he has no choice but to lie about his sexuality and he grips onto it. Shane struggles when he meets Owen, as he fights his attraction to him and now two years later he’s still struggling with that attraction.

Whoop!  what an enjoyable story of attraction, lust and want. Shane desperate struggles to get a grip on his attraction to Owen, especially with Owen being straight and tough.  When Owen turns back up in his life, Shane finds it harder than ever and as far as he is concerned, as soon as the training is finished, he’s going to sort out his virgin status with the first available male.

I have to say that S.J.D. blew me away with the amount of research that must have gone into this book.   The descriptions of the training were brilliant and brought the book to life. While we learn a lot about Shane, as the book is from his POV, we don’t learn much about Owen.  With Shane, we can feel his lust, want and need for Owen.   But, we also feel his confusion and fear as he struggles to understand why Owen is acting like he is.  Remember, Shane firmly believes Owen to be straight.

When these two men come together it is explosive and although we don’t get an instant happy ever after what we do get is a promise of the start of a relationship that will rock both men’s worlds and boy do they rock ;-). So in all honesty, we don’t get the angst that we usually get from S.J.D.  but, we do get an awful lot of frustration and some wicked lines ‘Like right then and there before my shaft exploded and I ended up a fucking eunuch’ classic.

So, I have to recommend this to those who love hunky sexy soldiers, explosive sex, frustration, longing, doubts and a happy for now ending.




War by T. A. Chase

Title: War

Series: The Four Horsemen 02

Author: T.A. Chase

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novel (144pgs)

Publisher: Total E-Bound (26th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Heart

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Fighting the battle in his own heart, War must find peace before he can find love.

War destroyed an entire tribe of innocent people when he was mortal, all because his best friend lied to him. His guilt brings him a destiny he never planned. As the Red Horseman, War spends the centuries creating battles and wars between countries to restore balance in the world. While he accepts the job to atone for his sins, he wishes he didn’t cause men to kill each other. War lives a solitary life, without hope of ever finding forgiveness.

From the mountains of Afghanistan to the plains of Kansas, and to the steppes of Mongolia, Russell Heinz searches for peace. He’s battling survivor’s guilt after having two members of his army unit die within feet of him. His own mind shuts down, and Russell spends time in a mental ward, dreaming of a man with blood-red hair and all-black eyes. Unsure if the man is real or just a figment of his wounded mind, Russell heads to Mongolia, looking for forgiveness of his own.

Separately, Russell and War fight their own personal demons. Together, they find peace in a love tested by the fires of battle.

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Review: War still feels guilt over being deceived by his closest friend.  That guilt lead to him becoming War and being called upon to induce wars throughout the years. When Death tells War to return to Afghanistan and he discovers a lone soldier gravely injured on a ledge, he steps into rescue him. Russell is waiting for death, all alone on a ledge; he knows it’s too dangerous for his unit to come after for him even if they notice him missing. When death passes him by and he is rescued by a handsome redhead, Russell begins to doubt his mind.

This is a well written story that delves into PTSD and mental breakdowns while still giving us an incredibly enjoyable story.  War is mired in guilt, even though he knows that he was deceived the guilt still lingers.   While he rescues and supports Russell through his mental breakdown, he tries to get it across to him that there was nothing he could have done to change the outcome. Russell travels to Mongolia and meets the man who has been haunting his mind.  Finally, Russell begins to heal and understand what War really is.   he also helps War understand that the guilt isn’t his burden to bear.

Once again, I really enjoyed the story of the Horsemen; what their roles are and how they balance out the good and evil.  the characters are well portrayed and you feel sympathy for both of their stories. The sex is hot, the story-line is good and all the characters are great.  I have to admit to waiting with bated breath for Death’s story and I am really hoping that there will be a story for Lam somewhere in the future.

I am going to recommend that you give War a read.   it’s paranormal, it’s got hot sex, it’s got loads of guilt, it has some action and danger and it has a HEA.   So really you have no excuse for not reading it.