More Than a Stud by Jerry Race

91fPE0R9JPL._SL1500_Title: More than a Stud

Author: Jerry Race

Genre: Fantasy/ Paranormal/ Contemporary

Length: Novella (114 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-927185-56-1

Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.75 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Will stakes and fangs keep Shane and Jamie from being a couple before their relationship begins?

Shane Richards, 24, male model, has a few problems. His rival threatens to discredit him if he participated in the upcoming America’s Top Male Model contest. Near his twenty-fifth birthday, the dormant vampire abilities within him begin to surface and he starts having nightmares about meeting his so-called father whom he’s never met. As if that isn’t enough one of his male friends, who has the hots for him is determined to make him his lover. On his twenty-fifth birthday, his nightmares come true and he winds up risking his life in a battle with his father over a pendant with supernatural powers.

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/More-than-Stud-Jerry-Race-ebook/dp/B005KDCAG4

Review: Okay it was hard to put this story into a neat slot.  There are a number of stories that are swirling around.  There is the story of Jamie and Glow who are vampire slayers and run a model agency. Then there’s the story of Shane who’s a latent vampire about to come into his powers.  He’s been having nightmares and visions of who might be his father. Then there is the political battle ensuing with Shane’s vampire father and his need for vampire world domination.  Then somewhere in there is a supposed romance between Jamie and Shane.

The plot ideas are great and would make for a superb book, however it doesn’t work well in a novella because none of the stories is developed well enough. Especially the romance between Shane and Jamie. That story falls flat because the reader doesn’t ever see how that relationship develops or what the two men have in common.  In fact, there is little character development of either Jamie or Shane.

The vampire intrigue and the need for Shane’s father to get back the ‘key’ is the most well-developed plotline in the story and if being measured on that alone, then the story would be a resounding 3. However, because all these other elements are introduced, as additions or sub plots, then there is a need to see them all handled with finesse and care.

Great plot idea, but I think the story needs more development.

Briefcase Booty by S.A. Welsh

4280briefcasebooty510w-430x645Title: Briefcase Booty

Author: S. A. Welsh

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (88 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-77111-769-2

Publisher: eXtasy Books (February 19th, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Two men are brought together by a green pirate parrot at a Christmas work function. One is a divorced highflying lawyer with a baby and the other is an acrobatic pirate performer. The link? They were best friends until they were nine and Luka’s family moved away. Luka, the pirate, just got out of a relationship and needs a place to crash, and Peter is sleep-deprived and desperate not to lose Luka again. The problem? Luka is gay and Peter is straight. Against the odds, they come together and discover family isn’t made by blood but love. Can Christmas spirit and the love of family help them overcome their differences, rekindle the childish love they shared when they were young, and let it grow into something more?

Purchase Link: http://www.extasybooks.com/briefcase-booty/?keyword=briefcase%20booty

Review: Two little boys are best friends. They are separated by the wrongdoing of a bad parent.  Twenty years later, they meet again and what ended as simple childhood friendship is now rekindled in passion.  Peter, now a successful businessman divorcee is simply trying to live each day, be a good parent to his son, and dodge the unwanted attention of his assistant.  Luka is a performer who checks all of Peter’s never before known buttons on the sexy meter. The two men fall instantly back into the patterns of their childhood friendship.

There are a lot of insta’s going on in this story.  Peter insta-invites Luka to move into his house with him. Peter insta-ntly moves from straight to being attracted to a man. There is insta attraction between Luka and Peter. There is insta-adoration between Luka and his namesake Loukas, Peter’s infant son. Then there is the insta-love that the men feel for each other.

The story moves from zero to sixty in about sixty seconds.  However, the three men are very adorable as a family and so the reader will suspend their disbelief to believe in the fairy tale and the happily ever after.

Devon Cream by Jet Mykles

20660032Title: Devon Cream, 2nd edition

Author: Jet Mykles

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (81 pages)

Publisher: MLR Press (January 30th, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: When Steven helps his neighbor Devon move into the studio apartment upstairs, he can’t help but drool. And that’s all. Devon is straight and totally off limits. Knowing, though, doesn’t stop the desire Steven fights every time the two men are together, which is a lot since Steven has decided to take Devon under his wing until the young man can get his life together. 

This story was part of the HOT COMFORT anthology previously published. 

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

Review: There is nothing like a coming of age story, especially when it involves a man who has no clue that he could be attracted to another man.  Meet Steven who’s an older cook who befriends young, straight and down on his luck Devon.  The two become friends and Steven becomes besotted with young Devon even though he knows the man is straight. The lines of this friendship become blurred and that allows Devon to remove himself from his previously assigned box of identity and to explore new ones. 

Devon begins to care for Steven and takes a leaf out of Steven’s book when it comes to taking care of Steven when Steven is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity that throws his life into chaos. Readers will love Steven and Devon – Steven as the older gay man who doesn’t want to take advantage of his young padawan; and Devon with his dependence on Steven to help him adjust to his new life. They are both very different from each other, yet together they make sense and a very cute couple. The reader wants them to get together and when they do, there are smiles all around.

The reader will also enjoy seeing how the book got its title.  It’s is rife with double entendre. Nice little read.

Dandy's Little Girl by Ari McKay

81f6Hngk7qL._SL1500_Title: Dandy’s Little Girl

Author: Ari McKay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (102 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61040-645-1

Publisher: Torquere Press (February 4th, 2014)

Heat Level: Low to Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Noah Coleman doesn’t do casual relationships. After losing his partner, Jeff, and raising their daughter Emily by himself, he’s not used to thinking of anyone in a romantic way. But when he moves back to Chicago and meets former classmate Andy Lane again, Andy somehow manages to worm his way into Noah and Emily’s lives – and into Noah’s heart. Noah watches Emily and Andy grow closer, but Andy doesn’t seem to want anything more from Noah than friendship. What’s a father to do when he realizes balancing love and parenthood isn’t as easy as he’d always thought?

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4123

Review: A delightful story about love a second time around.  Noah is a man grieving the loss of his partner while now raising their child.  When Andy Lane enters his life, he doesn’t think he’s ready for a relationship, but Lane’s quiet and non-threatening presence breaks through Noah’s grief and he begins to care. Feeling that the sentiment is not returned, he ends his lukewarm relationship with Andy, which depresses both men. 

Once Noah realizes his mistake via how heartbroken his daughter is by Andy’s absence, he swallows his pride and goes to talk with Andy, which will allow both men to talk about their misunderstandings and begin to build a relationship with each other.  The Epilogue of the story explains the title, which just makes the story all the sweeter.

The characters of Noah, Andy and Emily are well-developed and the reader roots for not just the two men to be together but also for the three of them to build a family with each other.  The power to love is infinite and often death is tragic, but that doesn’t mean that love will never ever be there again. This story is about family, trust and how love can heal anything.

Next to You by Rebecca Brochu

91mVISzgIGL._SL1500_Title: Next to You

Series:  Romance on the Go

Author: Rebecca Brochu

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (32 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-77130-709-3

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (January 26th, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Understaffed, overworked, and generally exhausted contractor Ricci DeAngelo still has to contend with a long subway ride at the end of each day. The last thing he expects is to fall head long into a relationship while dozing on the train. But that’s exactly what happens when a sexy and equally exhausted stranger falls asleep on his shoulder one night. 

Ricci’s nap partner ends up being Layton Callis, an equally overworked pâtissier who looks and smells good enough to eat. When they unexpectedly fall into a routine of napping together on the late train, Ricci finds himself in a unique position. He can continue only seeing Layton during the week and spending his weekends in a sleepless mess. Or Ricci can step up and see if he can get Layton to agree to wake up next to him on a more permanent basis.

Purchase Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/next-to-you-by-rebecca-brochu/

Review: The premise of this story is simple adorable. What’s not to love about two men who are both so exhausted that they literally fall into and onto each other night after night on the train. So many relationships are built on lust – instead both these working men find each other each night and exchange some basic pleasantries before falling asleep together.  The most intimate thing one person can do with another is to share their personal space and sleep together (not sex, actual sleep).  These men build a relationship in the late hours when guards and inhibitions are down.

They eventually find that whenever they do not sleep together, they do not sleep well and so they move their relationship from the train to an actual home where the intimacy they began continues and they find that they can build their relationship into more.

This is a story about two hardworking guys who meet and find that they are very compatible. This is the way that many relationships begin, simple and innocuous.  It gives the regular guy hope that he can find his Romeo too.

Very sweet story. Excellent plotline and the characters of Ricci and Layton are lovely.

Reading Between the Lines by Jane Davitt

74ec06b76db1b05c12a8159b226793c0a87452f4Title: Reading Between the Lines, 2nd edition

Author: Jane Davitt

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (65 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61040-646-8

Publisher: Torquere Press (February 4th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Forced to room with a student who hates him on sight, Seth’s expecting a rocky semester, and falling for the surly Gabe only adds to his troubles. Gabe’s past is full of secrets, a closed book, but can Seth find the way to Gabe’s heart by reading between the lines? 

Previously published by Torquere in Kegs and Dorms (2008)

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4122

Review: The book starts one way and then veers off into an unexpected direction.  Seth and Gabe are unexpected roommates with a love/hate relationship.  Gabe loves to hate Seth.  Seth sees Gabe as a puzzle to figure out and he begins his investigation to unravel the mystery. That leads him to discover violence in Gabe’s past; the discovery, however, still doesn’t allow he and Gabe to develop any kind of friendship.  It will take a confrontation for both men to be able to be honest with each other and to admit their true feelings.  Gabe must confront his past in and Seth must help him deal with the issues that have arisen from that.

This is a short story, but it manages to embrace the themes of homophobia, fear, violence and how the events of one’s life can haunt you if not confronted and dealt with.  The reader knows that Seth and Gabe will get together and their fights, disagreements and squabbles are viewed as the necessary sexual tension required.  When they do manage to get together, it doesn’t feel contrived and there’s a ‘realness’ to their conversation that is true to their age and their life experience.

As the story closes, this feels like a college relationship and not like it’s going to be an ever after story. But it is very appropriate for where Gabe and Seth are in their life.  While I was expecting some ribald college romp, this story had a hidden depth to it that made it sincere in its effort to depict what life could be like for two young men in college in this position.  I was pleasantly surprised by the content and while it has some angst to it, the ending with how Gabe and Seth had developed both a relationship and a friendship was a pleasant ending.

Second Chances by Arianna Paige

71zUtpyvZsL._SL1500_Title: Second Chances

Author: Arianna Paige

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (40 pages)

Publisher: Arianna Paige (March 10th, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Richard Forrest is your average working stiff just going through the motions. Childhood baggage keeps him “in line”, but away from some of the things he truly wants. Adrian, or Rain as Richard calls him, was one of those things. After nearly two years of separation, Richard bumps into Rain and their incidental meeting results in old emotions flaring to life for both of them despite everything in the way. 

Rain’s free-spirited nature led him down a road of bad decisions that included drug use. This was ultimately the thing that separated the two of them in the past. Now a recovering addict Rain is trying his best to put his life back together. When Richard finds out that Rain is drug free he welcomes him back into his life and embraces who he truly is in the process. Everything moves forward in a fairy-tale manner until all too familiar behaviors start to resurface. 

Can Richard and Rain work their way through this latest set of trials and tribulations? Will suspicion and fear tear apart what their love has finally stitched together?

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chances-Arianna-Paige-ebook/dp/B00BSEWP2S

Review: This is a story about what happens when love is accompanied by fear and no one talks about that fear.  Addiction is real and for those who love a recovering addict, the fear of relapse is one that they live with constantly.

So Richard never admitted to himself that he was gay because of his upbringing.  However, all his friends have always known that he was in love with Rain. Now that Rain is back and he and Richard are back together and officially in a relationship, Richard’s life can begin. However, can one always trust a former addict? Having denied his sexuality for so long, Richard’s relationship with Rain is very important to him. And he so he denies his fear of his boyfriend succumbing to being an addict, again.  As such, rather than talking with his boyfriend, he will allow his fear to consume him until he creates issues where none need to be created.

The story is touching from a number of angles, the first being Richard’s inability to admit that he’s gay despite everyone knowing he is. It’s touching from the perspective of Rain’s devotion to Richard even when he didn’t know it. Then when coupled with Richard’s acceptance of his sexuality and feelings for Rain, the reader is touched on all those levels.

When Richard creates the breach in the relationship, the reader is not certain how Rain will respond. But, his acceptance of Richard’s fear and the reason behind it is further proof of the depth of the emotion between the men and how an addict must often be the first to forgive in order for them and their loved ones to move on.

A powerful story and message packed into only a few pages.

Too Good by T. Strange

20691539Title: Too Good

Series:  Take it Like a Man Anthology

Author: T. Strange

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (29 pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Josh didn’t really want to go out for his birthday, but his friend Tony insisted. He can’t believe it when a hot guy hits on him and wants to go home with him! Roy is well-hung and worried about hurting Josh, but Josh insists he can take it. They have a great time together, but Josh has a nagging suspicion that Roy might not be telling him everything. 

This story is also available in the Take It Like A Man Anthology.

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=4117

Review: The Take it like a Man Anthology is all about men who are well endowed and the men who love them.  This slice of erotica focuses on a former chubby child who’s grown into an accomplished attractive attorney who doesn’t quite see himself that way. He’s set up for a date on his birthday and ends up spending an erotic night with a man with his own set of hang-ups. While everyone assumes that men like to be large, sometimes being big can be an issue and Roy and Josh must navigate through their erotic night to see if there’s anything else left after that.

Realizing that he was set up, which he is vehemently against, Josh refuses to see Roy again, but calmer heads prevail and the two men meet again for another night of passion.  Roy is big, buff and hot, but more importantly, he’s hot for Josh.  What’s not to love?

This is a short story designed to get the motor running for all size queens.  It does that in spades.

Monkey Suit by B.A. Tortuga

20653025Title: Monkey Suit

Series:  Take it Like a Man Anthology

Author: BA Tortuga

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (22 pages)

Publisher: Torquere Press (January 28th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: Casey resigned himself long ago to wearing a monkey suit and playing piano in swanky hotels and bars. It’s work, even if it isn’t the big break he always dreamed of. No, his ex-lover Derek got that: the record deal, big Nashville house, sold-out tour. When Derek comes back to Austin, though, he wants Casey, not all the trappings of fame. Can he make Casey believe it, or is their song played out? 

This story is also available in the Take It like a Man Anthology

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=4115

Review: So music star Derek left town and his love behind in search of bright lights and fame.  He found them, but in the interim, he found he lost himself. He’s returned home to collect the thing he should never have left behind – the talented piano player. Casey has never seen himself as someone with talent and so it was easy to let Derek go and be famous because he would only ever be an invisible sidekick.  Now however, they both have a second chance at love.

Derek wants to simplify his life and go back to just writing music; and, he wants to do it with Casey, the man he loves. So he’s come back to ask him to be with him on his farewell tour.  To achieve his goal, Derek will need to convince Casey that he is not a talentless hack that he can make it outside of Austin and that he, Derek, never stopped loving him.

Derek will need to pull out all the emotional stops. He will need to remember how to play the instrument of his lover’s body if he’s to prise him away from Austin and take him to the bright lights of Vegas.  Well apparently, the music of love and passion never fades … and Derek and Casey are able to hit just the right note.

Erotic and heartfelt. 

Just What the Doctor Ordered by Lorne Rodman

20691518Title:  Just What the Doctor Ordered

Series:  Take it Like a Man Anthology

Author:  Lorne Rodman

Genre:  Contemporary

Length:  Short (19 pages)

Publisher:  Torquere Press (January 29th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer:  Eli

Blurb: When size queen Sam winds up in the ER after an unfortunate incident with the world’s biggest dildo, he’s more embarrassed than hurt. But empathetic ER doc Gregg soon as him singing another tune. Could an ER visit and a bowl of soup really lead to something more? 

This story is also available in the Take It like a Man Anthology.

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=4119

Review: There could be nothing more embarrassing than having to go to the ER for having broken a dildo in your ass. However, sometimes there’s a silver lining in that your ER doctor is well endowed and would much rather you use him as your personal rod of correction rather than something made in China that comes with a 90 day warranty.

Once Sam heals, he and his hottie doctor, Gregg, will meet up for some soup and some sex – in that order.  Sam will be able to satisfy his size requirements and Gregg will find someone who doesn’t think his size will cramp their style.

This is a match made in heaven – the computer doctor and the ER doctor. What’s not to love?

Great characters, nice witty banter – hot erotic man on man love. 

The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt

20654577Title:  The Perfect Size For you

Series:  Take it Like a Man Anthology

Author:  Lily G. Blunt

Genre:  Contemporary

Length:  Short (29 pages)

Publisher:  Torquere Press (January 29th, 2014)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer:  Eli

Blurb: After updating his Rent Boy blog profile, well-endowed porn star Ty, receives a text requesting an appointment with a sexually inexperienced client. Andy asks Ty to provide him with the necessary knowhow, so if he ever goes on a date with the guy he’s attracted to he’s fully prepared. 

Little does Ty know this hook-up will lead to a friendship that will subsequently change his life. Can Ty remain friends with Andy or will he always want more? And how will Ty react when Andy finally goes on a date with another man? 

This story is also available in the Take It like a Man Anthology.

Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4116

Review: It’s always the best kind of story when the stud falls for the geeky boy.  Ty is the perfect specimen of man. He’s successful in that he has his own business while also making money as a porn star and being a rent boy/escort.  He’s not just a manwhore. He’s saving up to buy himself his own place. Enter Andy who Ty is taking under his wing.  Andy has not yet come out, but he wants to employ Ty to teach him the physical aspects of being a gay man. Especially since there is a certain boy who Andy has his sights set on.

As Andy and Ty spend time together, both of them develop feelings for each other but neither of them will admit to them. The twist to this ‘sizeable’ tale is that both Andy and Ty are both well-endowed men.  Andy is ashamed of his size because it made him an object of ridicule in high school and it takes Ty for him to appreciate all of his maleness. When Ty bottoms for Andy, it shows the depth of Ty’s feelings for his young friend.

After some person angst which makes Ty stop seeing Andy, both men make up and begin a relationship with each other, because after all what’s better than one big dick in a room? Well, two big dicks, of course.

Great erotica with a lot of heart!

Love Me Tonight by Adriana Dane

18867956Title: Love Me Tonight

Author: Adriana Dane

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (56 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61124-517-2

Publisher: Amber Quill Press (November 17th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli

Blurb: At Hotel Draysden, management fraternizing with staff is a no-no. Casper Rosabella knows the rules, but he also believes that sometimes rules were meant to be broken. Sometimes it was worth taking a risk, especially when the man Casper craves is as hot as Lando Madrid.

Eye contact leads to a need to experience more, and through phone calls and texting, the men start to learn about each other. But then the lines blur when Casper and Lando make arrangements to meet for one night of unfettered sex in a seedy motel room, when taboo passions will culminate between two men who work at the same place, but certainly shouldn’t play together.

With secrets shared and desires revealed, the men are drawn deeper into a burning need to know more about each other. But considering their situation, could the relationship become something other than just a one-night stand?

Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/LoveMeTonight.html

Review: Take a mild-mannered man who realizes that having someone control your life when you don’t want it is not the same as surrendering control and add a spicy Latino to the mix and it will prove to be an intoxicating cocktail. Casper takes a chance on flirting with Lando and starting an illicit and potentially risky affair. Both men are searching for something and unbeknownst to them they will find what they need in each other.

All they need is a month of illicit courtship followed by a night of erotic passion – what will result is two men who finally have what they need and a love that can blossom into something more.  Lando will be the masterful Dom and Casper his willing sub.  They are both well matched and suited. Lando needs a man who will see beyond his lowly position in the company and appreciate all that he is and desires to be. Casper needs someone to show him that while he is buttoned up all day, he can let go and allow someone else to be in control of his passion.

The story is hot and sexy and drips with passion. This is a story that will have you looking around your workplace to see if there are any sexy vibes you may be missing.

Going Home by Rex Patrick

Portrait of two young boys gay on a black backgroundTitle: Going Home

Series:   Home to Harmony

Author: Rex Patrick

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Short (49 pages)

Publisher: Rex Patrick (October 22nd, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.75Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  At age twenty-four, Evan Parker was on the way to becoming rich by anyone’s standards. He just didn’t look it, act it, or feel it. He’d left the tiny town of Harmony, Maryland, for William and Mary, and grad school at the University of Virginia, Wharton School of Business. He hadn’t seen Isaac Wells in four years, not since Isaac told him that he didn’t really love him, and probably never had. He’d decided that sex with men wasn’t for him, that it all had been a mistake, a cruel joke, and that he was going to marry Janet Bourne, and live a normal life. 

Purchase Link:   http://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Harmony-Rex-Patrick-ebook/dp/B00G2UWW5S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1389145564&sr=1-1&keywords=going+home%2C+rex+patrick

Review: The story premise for this book is VERY good. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t reach its full potential for a number of reasons.  While the character of Evan is outlined with some degree of clarity, the reader doesn’t even get a chance to understand Isaac.  He’s presented as a multi-faceted character, but we don’t know why.  The reader never discovers what makes Isaac tick or why Evan liked him during their previous relationship or why he still carries a torch for him. We don’t really know what Evan does for a living (something in the financial field which makes him very wealthy at twenty-five, but doesn’t require him actually going to a job), and the descriptions of Isaac’s professional life are drawn in broad strokes. The reader doesn’t really know why they should root for Evan and Isaac to be together, since the reader doesn’t know what connects them in the first place.

The story also jumps around a lot and the lack of effective editing sometimes makes the story difficult to follow.  Many times throughout the story, the reader will become confused between real speech and the characters thoughts as well as which character is actually speaking. The conflict and climax of the story sneak up on the reader without any warning, at which point the story seems to unravel through what appears to be a lack of planning and thought as to the steps to make this a believable series of events. Then once the conflict is resolved, the story rushes to its HEA and the reader is left a bit bereft.

So the story premise is great and this reviewer hopes that the author revisits the story and does some serious editing, which would greatly improve the story flow, followed by adding a few paragraphs here or there to round out the main characters and to fill in some missing plot details.  Another five or ten pages and the story will realize its potential and become a much better read.

Wedded Bliss by A.J. Llewellyn

81EXhh5HVbL._SL1500_Title: Wedded Bliss

Series:   N/A

Author:A. J. Llewellyn

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Novella (84 pages)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press (December 10th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Jack Callahan is in a financial bind, so when Australian novelist Bruce Logan offers him a small fortune to marry him so Bruce can get his green card, Jack agrees. The two men know enough about each other to pull off the immigration interview at Homeland Security, and they can happily share an apartment in Los Angeles until Bruce establishes legal residency.

The problem, though, begins when Jack develops feelings for Bruce and becomes torn when his new husband starts dating another man. Not only that, but Bruce’s expected book royalties fall way short of expectations. Now, not only can Bruce not pay Jack the promised “marital fee,” but also it seems that he’s in love with his new man. And with Jack’s lengthy solitude broken, his feelings for Bruce only deepen.

Can the two married men actually find wedded bliss with each other?

Purchase Link:   http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/WeddedBliss.html

Review: Okay, let’s just start with the fact that I loved how real this book was – Real from the point that marrying someone for a green card is illegal and will create HUGE legal issues for both parties.  However, this occurs all the time in this country. The notion of this now occurring with two men is an interesting twist and can be sure to become a very regular occurrence when marriage equality is achieved across the nation. So the author takes this premise and then layers it with some Hollywood drama complete with two slightly insecure men, and then two females who’ll help to save them from themselves. 

Jack Callahan is a perfectly nice man and when the reader first meets Bruce, he seems nice enough.  However, mid-way through the book, his charm tarnishes and it doesn’t really return until close to the end of the book.  Jack is a very likable character, Bruce less so; BUT he does redeem himself in the end and one can only relate this to the flaws that anybody would have. Real life enters when finances are not as they seem, libidos get in the way, exes make themselves apparent and feelings get hurt.  The book does a good job of encapsulating a lot of activity taking place in short time frame, and the romance between the men feels very real and true to life rather than seeming like the usual formulaic love story that is usually seen. The story is well paced, well-written with well-developed characters; and, the plot is believable.  Additionally, despite Bruce’s slightly douchy moments, you do want to see him and Jack end up together.  A good read.

Kept Tears by Jana Denardo

20576412Title: Kept Tears

Series:   N/A

Author: Jana Denardo

Genre: Fantasy

Length:  Novel (210 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 27th, 2014)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he’s ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters. 

What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is fae, with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries—among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.

Purchase Link:   http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4658

Review: These would ordinarily be two totally separate stories.  The first would be the gay PTSD survivor and the second would be the fae cohabiting with the human story. The book, however, blends these two elements and that proves to be rather interesting.  The story begins with Aaron simply absorbing the fact that despite his disability, someone is attracted to him. Then he embarks upon a relationship with this man.  Without his even knowing it, Aaron becomes the pawn in a dangerous game of a scorned lover where he becomes the target of his anger.  The intrigue swirls around Aaron without his ever knowing what is going on.  By the time, Aaron is clued in to what is happening. His reality is thrown a curve ball as he realizes that there is an alternate universe.  Now the story moves from a simple love story into a paranormal intrigue adventure.

There are lots of turns and unexpected plot twists in this story.  Aaron’s character runs true to form a strong military type/survivor with PTSD, and his pairing with Rhys is well done.  Both characters are well written and the paranormal realm blends well with reality making the story seem much more contemporary and less like fantasy.  The intrigue is well placed and keeps the story moving and gives it an edge that makes the story more than a simple love story between a fae and a human.

In the end, however, what makes the story endearing is how the two men, especially Rhys cares for Aaron and how Aaron is able to come out of his shell and deal with his PTSD.  The families of both men are very entertaining and provide a great backdrop for the story that unfolds about both the men as well as the action adventure portion of the story.  Excellent blending of two genres. Two thumbs up!