Hi peeps, we have Torquere Press stopping by today with their newest anthology release Exchange of Power, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Shorty’s review, so enjoy the post and click that rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
Exchange in Power
Bailey Bradford, Gacy Grant, Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae, Cassandra McMurphy, S.E. O’Connor, Charles Payseur, CB Potts, Torrance Sené, Dawn M. Sooy, T. Strange, Angelique Voisen
exchange: the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another; power: the ability or right to control people or things
In matters of the heart, what happens when there’s an exchange of power, even for just one night?
Both veteran and new authors make up the eleven stories about the power shift between Doms/subs, vampires/werewolves, teacher/apprentice, Alpha/beta, Necromancer/zombie, superhero/arch nemesis, and incubus/medium.
Blurb: Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.
Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.
Review: After the death of his sister Evan distanced himself from all that he loved by moving to Paris to pursue a career as a fashion photographer. Evan is thrilled when he is noticed by Elizabeth Nadasdy, a leading designer in Paris, but his joy is turned to horror when he discovers just what she is and she turns him into a monster. Now Evan has fled to New York to the only person he can turn to, Will his best friend, with the hope that Will will be able to help him destroy Elizabeth. Will has hopes that he will be able to help his best friend Evan, but some parts of Evan’s story are just too hard to believe until he is attacked by a ghoul. Together they discover theriomorphs (shape shifters) who are the vampires sworn enemy and they ask for their help in taking Elizabeth down. Caught in the middle of an ancient war both Will and Evan admit their feelings for each other, but they have to survive the coming confrontation to have a hope of happiness.
Blood Bathory takes us back to evil vampires who care for nothing but their own needs and nature protecting shifters who are mortal enemies. Evan though he was getting his dream when he was offered a job as an in-house photographer for a Paris fashion house, but he was getting a nightmare when the designer set her sights on him. Now Evan is on the run hoping to get help before she sinks her claws in him again, and he turns to the only person he thinks can help: Will. Will is a police office in the Computer Crime Squad and has missed his best friend Evan, when Evan turns up on his doorstep asking for help he won’t turn him down and he is pulled into a world he never imagined.
This story has a lot of detail that brings it to life, we discover a paranormal world that is constantly at war, two sides that are good and evil, each wanting to wipe the other out. Then we have Evan who is determined to make the one who changed him pay, he doesn’t want to be a vampire and sees himself as a monster. Will is a great character who is there for Evan every step of the way, trying to make him see that he isn’t a monster and is as different from his creator as night is from day. The storyline is really good, with the evil Elizabeth taking what she wants when she wants it and revelling in her power over others, the fact that Evan has escaped her and not embraced the great gift she gave him is a smack in the face she refuses to live with.
There are many characters that we are introduced to and who you can see with be linchpins not just to this story but future ones as well, they are what keep you reading as the story comes together and the pieces fall into place. Evan’s and Will’s relationship doesn’t come together until about half way through, when they both acknowledge that their brief fling in college meant more to both of them than the other thought. They are excellent together and Will is the most supportive man you could ever meet, shoring Evan up while he struggles with his new nature.
I recommend this to those who want a more original type vampire, nature loving shifters, two men reconnecting as they race through danger, a great storyline and an ending that has you hoping for the next instalment.
Blurb:Can marriage be a shield, sword, and healing balm? That’s Aidan’s hope: use marriage to get out of town, preserving his relationship by saving his lover’s mind.
When the man who molested Aidan’s lover escapes a pedophile charge, Aidan will stop at nothing to keep his lover, Mike, safe. But Mike can’t imagine leaving the town he’s lived in all his life. Just as he can’t imagine letting go of self-recriminations or sharing his nightmares with Aidan. If they can’t find a way through this, their fledgling relationship will die before it can grow deep enough roots.
Warning: This story has flashbacks to sexual abuse and mentions of sexual abuse of children.
Review:This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Aidan and Mike are struggling to keep their relationship on an even keel, which is difficult when all Aidan wants is to leave town and Mike struggles with his doubts about his molestation. Aidan has dreams of changing the world with politics and is offered a dream job in DC, but Mike doesn’t want to leave his home town even with the difficulties that he faces. Mike is filled with doubts both about his sexual orientation and with the abuse he suffered, his abusers words still ring in his head, haunting him and taunting him. Both men have to work out just what they want before it is too late and their fledgling relationship crumbles around them.
This is a good story about support, love, finding your confidence and what you truly want. Black Mahogany continues on not long after Heartwood finished, it continues the story of Mike and Aidan as they make decisions for the future and the repercussions of Mike coming forward with the truth about his abuse. Mike and Aidan’s relationship has many ups and downs, as Aidan tries to convince Mike to leave town and Mike tries to pretend that the abuse hasn’t left him scarred.
Aidan wants to get Mike out of town and getting a job offer in DC is the answer to his prayers, but Mike doesn’t feel the same way. Mike still isn’t convinced that he is gay and that he only wants Aidan, but his abusers words keep taunting him and he begins to believe the abuse was his fault. We see a whole run of emotions as these two young men try to find a way to stay together, even as they seem to push against each other and rub each other up the wrong way. Mike and Aidan both discover much about themselves in this story and that their love can’t be easily broken or ignored.
I recommend this to those who love broken men finding themselves, discovering their faults and accepting them and a loving troubled relationship finding solid ground.
Blurb: Johnny and Charlie, from “Jobless in January: Johnny Smith”, have enjoyed a casual relationship for nearly a year, meeting up once or twice a month. The trip to Dorset should have been a fun reunion after six weeks apart and it shouldn’t have had Charlie walking out on the first morning. Johnny is left at a guest house with more questions than answers and no Charlie to answer them.
Johnny has to decide if he wants to fight for their casual relationship, and the hope that it might lead to something more, or just crawl away and lick his wounds. Is Charlie worth fighting for even if Johnny knew where to find him?
Review: Picking up a year after book 2, Johnny and Charlie have been living a life of stolen moments and sparse weekend visits. After several weeks spent in Canada, Charlie is back in Johnny’s arms, but for how long.
What I liked most about book 2 was the relationship development between these two characters. How Charlie taught Johnny to be aware of who he was and what it was he truly wanted. That was completely missing from this novella. They have each gotten it in their minds what their partner does, or doesn’t in this case, want and heaven forbid they talk to each other about it.
Overwrought with angst, it was like reading a YA novel! I didn’t care much for this one until the very end when Johnny basically took what was his.
Series: Winterfield, Book #5 Author: Edward Kendrick Genre: Action/Adventure/Crime
Length: Novella (92pgs)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (July 20th, 2013)
Heat Level: None
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
An attempted bank robbery brings five customers and a doctor together when they are taken hostage by the robbers. Can Tabitha and the five men–Preston, Bing, Ezra, Randy, and Marc, foil them without one of them dying in the process?
‘Breaking news–A bank robbery attempt has turned into a hostage situation. According to a police spokesperson, four men entered the bank at ten-thirty this morning intending to rob it. Someone activated the silent alarm, bringing the police to the scene. Accounts are sketchy but it has been reported via text messages from a customer inside the bank, the security guard was shot. His condition is unknown at this time. A few minutes later, two more shots were heard. According to the police, there were two tellers, two other bank personnel, and five customers inside the bank when the robbers invaded. We will keep you updated as more becomes known.’
Thus begins the attempt by Tabitha, Preston, Bing, Ezra, Randy, and soon, Doctor Marc Rivers, to foil the robbers and regain their freedom–without being killed in the process.
Review: This is an action packed epilogue! You get to reunite briefly with several couples from the Winterfield series and see how they react under pressure. Turns out the robbers picked the wrong day to hit this bank, given that half the town’s gay population is held hostage leaving their angry and determined partners outside to foil their heist. This story contains gunfire, death, and heroic rescue, but a warning to those looking for it: no hot smex.
Blurb: Twenty years old Richard Giles is living on the streets of London in the year 1660, scrounging for food and shelter the best he is able after the closure of his place of employment and death of his mother.
After being given shelter for the night by a kindly old man Richard is back on the streets when an unfortunate incident brings him into contact with a man who may just change the direction of his life, for the better.
Review: This is a rag to riches story and I kinda liked it. Richard is down on his luck and after the kindness of an old man; he feels his luck just might be changing. The Duke of Orleans takes pity on the poor man who gets soaked by his carriage and it’s the start of something beautiful.
Now I have to say it’s not historically accurate but I for one didn’t care, its fiction so I was quite happy to read about a down and out young man who captured the heart of The Duke of Orleans.
This book gave me a warm good feeling and I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a nice light read with a happy ending.
Blurb: Gareth is his parents’ dirty secret: Cursed with a demonic appearance, he has always been in hiding just to stay alive. He must never be seen or his family will die. But when a violent attack endangers a local youth — whom Gareth adores from the shadows — there is no one else to help, and Gareth is driven to risk everything to save him.
Now the young man, Evin, wants to know more about this terrifying and beautiful stranger. Where did he come from? Is he a demon, or something more? They begin to meet in the darkness, becoming friends and then lovers. Evin’s sexual exploration and adoration of every part of Gareth’s strange body erase fear and self-loathing; and Gareth’s enthusiasm and prowess make every tryst more powerful, more deliriously sensual than the last.
But there is a purpose to Gareth’s existence, and when it is revealed, Evin and Gareth will be enslaved by rivals, separated to end up on opposite sides of a war. Evin will be forced to play a dangerous role: One which may make him Gareth’s destroyer.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, violence.
Review: Yay!!! Medieval type fantasy… yay yay ha ha woo woo… (Sorry little happy dance there couldn’t control myself). Okay, so out of all the genres in the world this is my favorite type, as the author can really let themselves go with their imaginations. Sword’s, armor, shields, evil nobles, downtrodden peasants, magic, heroic men, evil monster’s, etc. Etc. Etc. Because really, there is so much to choose from. Now sometimes it works… and sometimes it doesn’t. Some authors lose track of where they are going with the story or add too many detail’s or plots or people. But this author doesn’t miss a trick.
Gareth is sweet, naïve and bullied by his parents. Evin is trying to get through life as a peasant, who is being blackmailed and mistreated by the mayor’s son. As these two get to know each other you can’t but help cheer them on. They are about to embark on a journey that will separate them and see them re-united in a heart rendering way. At one point I really couldn’t see how the author could bring them back together, and then I thought all was lost.
Charles Edward, I salute you. This story has it all and your imagination is something to admire because the ending was inspired.
So what would I recommend? If you like fantasy, magic, Medieval, a wicked Queen, an evil Sorcerer (a wizard if you want), re-growing limbs!!! (Yeah I know!) hot and kinky sex (really I think some men will be jealous of Gareth) and a storyline that keeps you reading then…this is it.
Blurb: Tyler’s life perked up when he met Jake. So what if long-time friend Marty can’t stand him and his landlady has no use for his new beau. Tyler’s determined not to see the dark side of his lover. It’s his own fault for believing people don’t go around keeping secrets and lying.
Tyler should know better. He’s an ad executive. He knows the packaging is what sells, and Jake is quite a package. His lover is no slouch when it comes to false advertising, either, and when Tyler finds out the truth, it hurts. Weathering Jake’s lies and secrets gets easier with the help of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures that maybe a lot of things would get easier with Steven.
Tyler should have known better. Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop is completely as advertised.
This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, sometimes, even if what you see is not what you get, what Tyler’s uncovered in Steven might just be what he’s always wanted.
Review: I liked the characters in this as they seem human. Tyler who suffers from migraines, Steven who has OCD, Marty who has Schizophrenia, Jake who is arrogant, egotistical and self-centered and Libby who is the all round nice girl somehow compliment one another.
Tyler can’t believe it when his face is introduced to a martini, then a rock masquerading as an engagement ring, and then his ‘boyfriend’ runs off after his fiancé. Libby picks up the pieces with more martinis and a good old shoulder to cry on. Steven is interested in being more than friends but his past holds him back. Jake is determined to keep Tyler and to ruin any chance that Steven might have.
I truly liked this book as Tyler and Steven took several months to get to know each other (even though Steven doesn’t divulge his past), they both had reservations about relationships, Steven being worried that when Tyler found out about his past he wouldn’t want him and Tyler worrying that he will just be used again. The interaction between the characters is wonderful. Tyler and Marty’s friendship is just really sad as you can imagine Tyler longing for his old friend back.
I recommend this as a really good read and hope that Marty will have a story of his own.
I guess you could call this my inaugural post of MM Good Book Reviews. I, personally, feel that a good romance is a good romance, regardless of the genders, orientations or number of participants, but in order not to offend any of my more sensitive readers, I’ve elected to segregate gay romance from straight romance. Not sure how long that is going to last, as it goes against my principles, but we’ll see.
Anyway, rather than start off with a review, I decided to begin what I’m calling, Friday Rants. Just little thoughts that pop into my twisted head as I read, write and review.
Today, I would like to address the literary device, and I use that term loosely, of allowing characters to fall in love at first sight. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against instant attraction. But, unless you are writing paranormal fiction that includes mate specific pheromones, PLEASE STOP THROWING LOVE AROUND LIKE CANDY.
I read a novella this week that was so sweet. It was well written and had a nice pace. A CEO was headed to an important meeting when his personal assistant calls in sick. A hottie from the secretarial pool fills in and saves the day. So far, so good. Anyway, our lovers (because, of course, all gay men have a deep seeded need to bend over and take it from every man they’re attracted to) please insertheavy sarcasm have raw, nasty sex. All is going well, until the secretary pulls out his resume. Mr. CEO freaks out and assume that their little tryst was a ruse to merely further the secretary’s career. He blows up and shows his ass. The secretary is equally offended and stomps off into the night.
Now, I didn’t have any problem with the plot up to this point. There were a few points hiccups that made me pause, but none big enough to stop reading. Anyway, back to our story. So the next morning, the CEO realizes he might have jumped to conclusions. As luck would have it, there is a job within his company that the “secretary” would be perfect for. With NO further contact, the man leaves town for a six week assignment, presumably happy as a clam.
During their time apart, they do not call, email or even text. But, the minute that secretary comes back to town, the CEO is declaring his undying love. WTF? Since meeting these two have spent maybe 12 hours together…total. And most of that time was spent in bed. And forgive me for being cynical, but you can’t believe anything a man says when he’s plotting on some ass. In that time, they may have discovered that they are very physically attracted to one another. Maybe thought…hmmm, I’d really like to get to know this guy better. But, love…come on.
I wish that this was an isolated incident. But, alas, that is not the case. What I’d really like to see is a character that files a restraining order and then runs for the hills after one of these declarations. I want to see someone checking the medicine cabinet for psych meds or googling nutcases online. Something. Anything that lets me know he values his personhood to much to fall for that load of blarney.
I didn’t just come up with this theory, I have the same complaint about many het romances. Attraction can be instantaneous, but love takes a bit longer to take root in a person’s soul. If you want me to take your writing seriously, take the time to let me see the players falling in love. Or if you are going for porn on paper, cool. Sometimes sex is just sex. But, stop trying to fit A Love Story into DeepThroat.
Because, I promise you…the author of the piece that I used as an example, next book might be filled with angst, passion, suspense and humor…unless, they send me a free audiobook…I’ll never know. There are too many well written, well thought out books for me to waste my time on that kind of mess.
If, you agree with me, or think that I’m full of crap, leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think. If nothing else, maybe we could form a support group for readers of bad writing. 😉