Broken Mercies by Lucy Marker

BrokenMerciesLGTitle: Broken Mercies
Series: N/A
Author: Lucy Marker
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 24th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Musician Daniel Gilchrist has decided he’s broken.

He doesn’t deserve Jeremy Evans, a sensible, sweet artist who insists they belong together. Bad choices after a hellish childhood make Dan more suited to guys like his ex-lover, a toxic mega-star who wants to resume their affair.

But Jeremy is irresistible, and he’s survived a few nightmares of his own. He challenges Dan to get rid of the false shame imposed by his mentally ill mother. Her twisted zealotry had influenced his choices, and it’s time to stop blaming himself for inadequately protecting his little sisters from her cruelty.

While Dan wrestles with old guilt, his former lover persuades him to collaborate on a song that protests religious bigotry. Dan grows suspicious of the star’s odd behavior, and then law enforcement shows up.

That clinches it—Dan really isn’t good enough for Jeremy. Somehow, he’s managed to drag the poor guy into danger.

ISBN: 978-1-63216-215-1

Product Link:

Reviewer: Portia

5 of hearts logo red on black smallReview: I love a story where one of the main characters is broken and I as a reader can slowly watch him come to a place of healing. But as a healthcare worker, specializing in mental health, I have a hard time reading some of the poorly researched characters in popular fiction. I have no idea what Lucy Marker did prior to putting pen to paper, but I do know that she did a phenomenal job dealing with some really tough issue.

Dan and Jeremy meet in rehab. Probably not the best hook up place, but their attraction is instant. And here is where Lucy Marker did something that I really like…she let them wait. That’s right, wait. I haven’t done any kind of long-term care in ever, but if I had patients I knew were struggling with issues, I would counsel them to work on their addictions/issues first and when they were in a better place, see where their attraction took them.

When I see crazy people bed hopping in books, I literally cringe. Love and sex are nice, but some people need a Jesus/therapy cocktail with a Xanax chaser to get better. Just sayin’…

As for the suspense element, the suspense definitely takes a back seat in this one, for me.  However, I can honestly say, “I didn’t see that one coming.”.

For me, this was an intense read. Both Dan and Jeremy have been through literal hell. My mama heart broke a thousand times watching them heal. Especially, knowing that they were so hurt by people who should have done nothing more than love and protect them. I should also add that this book might provide triggers for readers with a history of childhood mental, sexual, or physical abuse.

And while this is a very emotionally draining book, there are moments when you one of the guys makes a breakthrough and you can’t help but cheer for them.

I recommend this for readers who like their romance with a healthy dose of reality. Broken men, good friends, and finding room to forgive oneself.

Highly recommend.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

Manny to the Rescue by Trina Solet

816C8dvWDCL._SL1500_Title: Manny to the Rescue
Series: N/A
Author: Trina Solet
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella (44K)
Publisher: Trina Solet (November 9th, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Why would Owen be terrified of Connie and Maggie, his two little nieces? Because he is about to be left alone with them. Owen thinks he is going to have to take care of his nieces by himself until Dan shows up. If Owen approves, Dan is ready to be the girls’ manny.

Right from the start, Dan is a big help and an even bigger temptation. And Owen isn’t the only one being tempted. When he was younger, Dan had a crush on Owen. Now that he is living with him, Owen has never looked hotter. The crush is back in full force. Too bad Dan isn’t the kind of guy Owen is into. But even a hint that he is interested might spur Dan to make a move.

Unfortunately, Dan is bringing trouble with him, and he doesn’t even know it. When Owen becomes a target, will Dan be there in time to save him?

ISBN: 9781311748997
Product Link:
Reviewer: Portia
Review: I don’t know if every man should have a mama like Owen, but fortunately for these guys, they do. This story starts with her running off to Greece with her new husband. But, being the good mama that she is, she invites her BFF’s son, Dan to apply for the nanny position with Owen. Now, I’m not saying that she was playing matchmaker, but if Owen has a type…Dan is it.

This is one of the sweetest stories that I’ve read this year. And it had just enough sugar to make it sweet, but not so much as to make it cheesy. The dialogue is sharp, the interaction between the main characters is smooth and oh, my god…those girls are just too effin’ adorable.

Both Dan and Owen have insecurities. Dan thinks he’s too young to attract a successful man like Owen. While Owen thinks, he’s too boring to attract a young hottie like Dan. Thank goddess, they are both wrong. In and out of bed, these two are the perfect complement and I really enjoyed watching them fall in love.

If you like a sweet love story that has a satisfying Happily Ever after…I Highly recommend Manny to the Rescue.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake

Title: Smoky Mountain Dreams

Author: Leta Blake

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (412 pages)

Publisher: Leta Blake Books (November 13, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Sometimes holding on means letting go
After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he’s center stage, he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother. He doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Portia

Review: Christopher is an understudy singer at Smoky Mountain Dreams. It’s one of those cheesy places, like Dollywood, where singers who could make it in Nashville go to perform.

He’s not happy, but he’s not unhappy either. He has a job that he enjoys and a Gran who adores him. But, he wouldn’t mind being someone’s first choice to love.

This was such a sweet story. Christopher just melted my heart and I wanted nothing more for him, than a happily ever after. And I was surprised by both Jesse and his family. Because he was married, I kind of assumed he would be this closeted guy, who wanted to keep Christopher a secret. But, that wasn’t the case. If anything, Chris was the one pushing for discretion.

What really made this book for me, were the sub-plots. Christopher’s interaction with Jesse’ daughter neared to break my heart. While Jesse thought he understood his daughter, Christopher really got her. And the in-laws were amazing people, another nice change from some many similar stories.

Jesse and Christopher romance has a nice slow burn. Which sounds weird when you consider their first interaction was kinda hot. But, even when they became more physical, it takes some time for them both to figure out if this is a forever love or not.

I have a list of hopelessly romantic authors…and Leta Blake just made the cut. There is tension, drama, misunderstanding and hope, all the things I like in my HEAs.

Highly recommend.

Three of Hearts by Kelly Jamieson Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway!

Kelly Jamieson - Three of Hearts Banner 1
Hi guys today we have Riptide Publishing’s Kelly Jamieson popping in to introduce you to her MMF story Three of HeartsKelly also brings along a great giveaway where there’s $25 Riptide Publishing store credit to be won, and Riptide gives you the chance to help them choose next years Holiday charity so leave a comment with the charity you’d like to help. <3 ~Pixie~
Kelly Jamieson - Three Of Hearts _500x750

Three of Hearts


Kelly Jamieson

Haylee Tremayne is tired of the road. The concert tour for Three of Hearts was a success, but she’s confused by the inexplicable tension between her bandmates, Ben and Lucas. She’s also ready to go home to her boyfriend in Nashville. Time off would probably help everyone relax, even if it is Christmas, a season with too many bad memories.

But right before their last concert, Haylee discovers she’s been dumped for a sexy girly-girl. Story of her life: all guys see is tomboy Haylee. At the after-concert party, she drowns her sorrows and—desperate to feel feminine for once in her life—asks Ben and Lucas for a threesome. And it’s just as sexy and fun as she hoped.

Back in Nashville, Ben and Lucas prove again and again that their first night wasn’t a mistake. But the tension between them is still high, and on Christmas Eve, their ménage takes a stunning turn. When it all falls apart, Haylee is terrified that their crazy relationship might cost them the band, their success, and worst of all, each other.

Continue reading “Three of Hearts by Kelly Jamieson Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway!”

Third Eye by Rick R. Reed Book Blast, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Rick R. Reed - Third Eye 600x600Banner
Hi guys, today we have the incredible Rick R. Reed stopping by to introduce you all to his new release, the thriller, Third Eye, he lets us have a peek at a very spine tingling excerpt, he has a fabulous giveaway and we the the lovely Portia’s review for you to enjoy, so I will leave you guys to it and remember to click that Rafflecopter link (and buy this book… it’s bloody fantastic!) <3 ~Pixie~
Rick R. Reed - Third Eye Third_Eye_Final_Flat

Third Eye


Rick R. Reed

Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn’t sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl. 

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls’ parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the “third eye.” 
Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them. 

Categories: Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction, Horror, M/M Romance, Mystery, Thriller

Continue reading “Third Eye by Rick R. Reed Book Blast, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!”

A Memory Away by Taylor Lewis

81JY9sj2l1L._SL1500_Title: A Memory Away
Series: N/A
Author: Taylor Lewis
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella (134 pages)
Publisher: Taylor Lewis (February 10, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: In a world where it’s unusual but men can carry children, boutique owner Kyle Gerritsen has just about managed to get his life back on an even keel after a pretty rocky couple of years when someone puts a brick through his shop window. Typical of the way his life has gone of late it’s suspected he is the latest victim of a mini crime wave in his neighborhood and he is horrified when one of the investigating detectives assigned to his case turns out to be Jonah Goldman – otherwise known as the one night stand that has unknowingly fathered Kyle’s beloved son Shea.

Kyle doesn’t know whether to be relieved or outraged when it is apparent that Jonah has no memory of their night together but knows that he needs to do everything he can to keep out of the studly detective’s way in future – especially as the gleam in the detective’s eye is all too familiar and the last time he saw it he ended up a single father!

Jonah just knows that there’s something about Kyle and he’s just interested enough to ignore Kyle’s increasingly desperate attempts at rejection to try to figure out what it is.

Product Link:

Reviewer: Portia

Review: I have to confess that I HATE M-preg books. My overly pragmatic mind simply cannot wrap itself around the concept of a man bearing a child. But, one of my favorite type of het romance, are secret babies, so I was very curious as to how Taylor Lewis was going to handle the M/M version. A Memory Away might just be the title to make me rethink that opinion.

First off, the explanation of how Kyle was able to conceive was extremely plausible. And without pulling out all my old anatomy books, I could see it. Secondly, Kyle is not a woman with a penis. He thinks, acts and reacts like a man. Even when he was wearing pretty panties and taking care of Jonah, I always saw him as a man, and for me that’s important.

But, Jonah is who I absolutely loved. He is a hot mess. He knows how to be the big bad detective, but when it comes to emotions, he is so clueless. I almost felt sorry for him. Love and relationships were not on his radar, not to mention fatherhood to “the kid,” but he accidentally fell. And fell hard.

I would recommend this story to readers who like their romance with a little sweetness mix in. Sweet babies, badass partners, and kickass best friends.

Highly recommend.

The Winter Dark by J.S. Cook

WinterDark[The]LGTitle: The Winter Dark
Series: N/A
Author: J.S. Cook
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Novella (104 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 10th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Veteran police chief Eli Gallagher doesn’t ask for much, but he does insist that his officers uphold the “serve” part of “serve and protect.” Conscientious young Deputy Stan Leach takes Eli’s motto to heart, maintaining a high standard of personal accountability.

When Eli’s long-distance boyfriend, Gilbert Nees, telephones from Philadelphia, Eli thinks he intends to further cement their relationship. Unfortunately, Gilbert’s news is anything but good. But Eli doesn’t have time to wallow, because a violent act results in murder in the small town of Morristown, Mississippi.

But as Eli and Stan uncover evidence, their personal lives begin to unravel. Stan, working closely with Chief Gallagher, grows increasingly attached to Eli and learns what it really means to be an advocate of justice.
Product Link:
Reviewer: Portia
Review: This book confused me, at first. I really couldn’t get a handle on exactly whose story it was. On one hand, Stan is kinda sorta in a relationship, yet crushing on his boss. Eli is taking a trip to see some unknown man, but we aren’t sure of the nature of their relationship. But, all of that is becomes unimportant as crime hits their small town.

This is one of those books at a). I’d like to see turned into a movie and b). MADE me turn the page to find out what was going to happen. For a while, the mystery overtook the romance, but I don’t mind when that happens.

And “The Proposal” made me forgive any other issues I had with the work. It was just toooo sweet.

I would recommend this title to readers who like a bit of romance in their mysteries, grouchy lawmen, and fake Yankees.

The Rescued by Derek T. Cole

615RjXH+qpL._SL1000_Title: The Rescued
Series: The Harden City Chronicles, #1
Author: Derek T. Cole
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: Novella (130 Pages)
Publisher: Offhand (July 16th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb:  Garth is a recently divorced man with a tough job: hunting the extremely nasty and troublesome people of Harden City. Trying to rescue an informant from a brutal death, he winds up with the rescued man in his home, and a relationship between the two develops.

It’s going to be tough going. Garth is a middle class worker in Harden City, but Dean, the one he rescues, is a resident of The Penn, the poor part of town. Harden City’s economic and social structure isn’t kind to the poor, relegating them to the slums of the city and making it almost impossible for them to get out. Dean is a fish out of water, seeing parts of the city that he’d never be able to see on his own. He’s due to go back to The Penn unless Garth finds a way to keep him out.

Garth begins to fall for Dean, but he knows it’s a doomed relationship. If it became known that he was gay, Garth would lose his job and all of his assets – making him as poor as Dean. He wants Dean badly, but Garth knows it will put his job and life at risk, including his ability to see his young daughter.

The Rescue is a gay romance urban fantasy with erotica. Fictional Harden City has sci-fi and paranormal elements, but the relationship between Garth and Dean feels like the real world.

The question is: will they be able to work through the challenges brought on by their budding relationship?

The Harden City Chronicles is a series of novels, novellas, and short stories detailing the lives and adventures of the citizens of Harden City. They are all gay, romantic, and erotic in nature.

Product Link:

Reviewer: Portia

Review: Let me start by saying, I hate most urban fantasy stories. I also am not a huge fan of cliffhanger endings. That being said, I really enjoyed Part One of the Hardin City Chronicles.

Garth Sargent is a hunter. They are the guys that the police call in when shit gets real. He is coming out of a nasty marriage and just wants to be free of “The Bitch” and to do his job. A job that takes him into The Penn. A state sanctioned permanent underclass, in my mind, I wit was the underbelly of Gotham City. The Penn is also the home of Dean.

Now that I think about it, Dean makes this story for me. Everything is no new to him. Yet, he is such a gentle soul. I couldn’t blame Garth for falling. But, I ended the book not being Garth’s biggest fan. I can’t wait to One-Click Part two. Just to see how Garth gets out of the clusterfuck he has created.

The writing is crisp and had enough suspense to hold even my jaded attention.  There are several characters introduced that I would like to get to know better in future books.

If you aren’t big on cliffhangers, you might want to give this title a pass. But in its defense, the ending was at a natural break. There is no HEA or HFN, just an ach in m gut wanting everything to work out, but knowing that was/is almost an impossibility.

Highly recommend.

Rescued by Felice Stevens

fs_rescuedTitle: Rescued
Series: N/A
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel (212 pages)
Publisher: Loose Id (August 19th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Ryder Daniels has spent the last year recovering from rejection: his parents couldn’t accept his sexuality and his lover chose drugs over his love. The only bright lights in his life are his younger brother and his rescued pit bull. But now his mother’s punishment for his lifestyle has cut him off from his brother he loves so deeply. Devastated, he throws himself into the work of the Pit Bull Foundation he and his friends started.

Jason Mallory can no longer hide the dissatisfaction of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. When her marriage ultimatum pushes him to break things off, he’s determined not to jump into the dating scene. But when a group of injured pit bulls are found on his construction site, he can’t forget the guy who shows up to help.

After Jason adopts one of the dogs, he and Ryder become fast friends—until one night, Ryder lets down his guard and Jason recognizes his desire. Soon, they can’t deny the passion between them but will family differences and ugly prejudices keep them apart, or can they fight to prove that love is precious, no matter the flavor?
Product Link:
Reviewer: Portia
Review: I love when I come to the last page of a book and have a huge smile on my face. Rescued is definitely an “aww” kinda story.

I thought this was going to be a cookie cutter “gay-for-you” read. But Felice Stevens did an excellent job revealing the activation of Jason’s latent gay genes. He knew something was missing in his hetero relationships, but hadn’t found anyone to catch, much less hold his attention…until Ryder.

Literally, from their first meeting, Jason is drawn to Ryder. Unfortunately, Ryder is still licking his wounds from a failed relationship, and is not in the mood to be some straight guy’s “experiment.”

I really can’t call this a sweet romance, cuz it is uber hot. When Jason and Ryder finally get hot and heavy, they get nice and dirty. 😉 Felice did an excellent job developing their relationship. Friends and family’s reactions to their relationship were realistic and really added to the story. My twisted mind actually enjoys when not all threads lead to happily ever afters.

This is my first Felice Stevens read, but will assuredly not be my last.
Highly recommend.

Connect with Felice Stevens

Buy Links:
Loose Id-
All Romance-

Felice will be giving away one ebook copy of her book.

On the Home Front by Jambrea Jo Jones

912AITd2mCL._SL1500_Title: On the Home Front
Series: This story has been previously released as part of the Stand to Attention anthology by Totally Bound Publishing
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novella (57 pages)
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing (March 13th, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Forgiving yourself is the hardest battle…

Peter “Bulldog” Jakes killed his mother. People tell him it isn’t his fault, but he is just as guilty as if he pulled the trigger. Bulldog knew being in the Army Special Forces would eventually hurt his family.

Moby Edwards’ heart aches for his First Sergeant and he wants to help, but Bulldog blows him off—every time.

When Bulldog is forced to take leave, Moby follows, but will things out of their control ruin what could be the healing power of friends turned into lovers?
Product Link:
Reviewer: Portia
Review: As some of you may know, Jambrea is my go to author for Sci-fi. And as much as I love her in that little box, On the Home Front has made me realize that girlfriend can write Contemporary, too.

Don’t tell anyone, but this was my favorite story in the Stand to Attention Anthology. It had it all, just enough angst, and a bit of suspense, hot soldiers, and steamy lovin’. Moby is the best boyfriend. He just seems to know what Bulldog needs. From dealing with “parenthood” to dealing with his past, Moby helps without taking over. That rung true, for me.

And speaking of parenthood, I really felt like I was watching the birth of a family. I always enjoy watching big, strong men deal with little girls. I also liked the fact that I didn’t guess the bad guy. (This is my only complaint, although the suspense made sense, I would have like to see a bit more foreshadowing.)

This story could easily have been a full novel, but Jambrea did an excellent job within such a limited format. Highly recommend.

Nine Dates by Shanyn Hosier

71pt87PfdiL._SL1275_Title: Nine Dates
Series: Desert Ménage, #1
Author: Shanyn Hosier
Genre: MMF Ménage
Length: Novel (289 pages)
Publisher: Shanyn Hosier (January 6th, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: Secretary Beth Mitchell has a problem. A 6’2″ gorgeous, blue-eyed problem. Office crushes universally suck, but she reckons hers truly takes the cake. For not only is sweet, charming John O’Brien her best friend at work, he’s also taken. Not that it would matter if he wasn’t, because to top it all off, John’s gay.

Or so Beth thought… until he asks her out on a date. And in the span of a few moments, all Beth’s preconceived notions about John come tumbling down when he asks, “You understand people come in more flavors than just gay or straight, don’t you?”

Being raised in a small Midwestern town by a single mother gave Beth a solid grounding in realism and a strong work ethic, but did nothing to temper her driving ambition or quell her sense of adventure. So when John proposes something she never dared to imagine, Beth leaps at the opportunity, however untraditional, to be with him.

Only John’s boyfriend, medical resident Paul Atwater, isn’t so sure. When Beth shows up at their apartment proposing they give nothing less than a triadic relationship a try, he thinks the whole thing’s a recipe for disaster. He argues, “There’s got to be more to a successful ménage à trois than a nine date plan!”

For that’s exactly the strategy Beth lays out. Nine Dates follows Beth, John, and Paul as they get to know each other. Tender romantic moments, steamy physical encounters, a strong dose of sarcasm, and brownies a la mode all feature heavily. Is it possible for a committed, monogamous relationship to welcome a new member, much less withstand the invasion? Is true love always the right path to follow? And just how complicated can things get?
Product Link:
Reviewer: Portia
Review: One of my favorite genres is MMF. Unfortunately, it hard to find stories that have the dynamics that speak to me. Basically, stories where all partners are equal. I was tickled to death to find this new series.

John and Beth work together. John often stops by Beth’s desk and flirts. She’d thought to take it to another level…until she heard he was gay. When John finally ask her out to lunch, she is confused and maybe a bit angry, thinking he was trying to have his cake and eat it, too. I felt her pain, when she learned that not only was Paul full aware of Beth, but asking her out was his idea.
This is a fabulous beginning. There is no insta-love. There is plenty of snark, as Paul and Beth get to know each other, and figure out what they will be to John. Even the realistic portrayal of a surgical resident, worked for me.

Beth is smart and a grown ass woman. She’s not looking for a knight in shining armor, much less two. Nor is she apologizing for her unconventional relationship. John is a sweetie, and a tad ballsy. I love his explanation of how he can love more than one. But, Paul is my favorite. He’s got some serious issues and uses a smart mouth to hide his insecurities. Watching him and Beth develop their own relationship was fun.

Now, there is still room for this trio to grow.  A lot of the sex scenes centered around Beth, and I hope that changes with the next couple of books.  Emotionally, I found the voices to be distinct and realistic.  I even liked the honest portrayal of a medical resident.  Paul’s time is definitely not his own, and he feel left out…a lot.

Definitely recommend for fans of this genre.

Finding Eden by Kele Moon

Title:  Finding Eden

Series:  Eden 02

Author:  Kele Moon

Genre:  Contemporary BDSM

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave (August 18, 2011)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥%Hearts

Blurb:  Handsome, angry and spoiled, Danny Carlow struggles to find his place in the world when his hatred for authority makes survival difficult. The only thing keeping him from completely giving up and turning to a life of crime is his friendship with clean-cut Paul Mattling. More than his conscience and best friend, Paul’s also the one Danny secretly pines for with every ounce of his being.

Paul is a natural over-achiever with a football scholarship and straight A’s to boast about. Yet he’s haunted by an abusive childhood that’s left him more scarred than anyone realizes. Looking for an escape from his demons, Paul has his own deviant secrets, ones he doesn’t want anyone, especially Danny, to know about.

When dark desires are accidentally revealed, Danny and Paul end up coming together in a clash of wild passion more tumultuous than either of them could have anticipated. Tasting the forbidden is sweet, but it turns the tables on their relationship, putting everything, even their lifelong friendship, in jeopardy.

Reader Advisory: This story visits the dark side of BDSM, where the only thing more intense than the scenes the characters participate in, is the love they have for one another. Please note there is a very brief F/F encounter.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Newsflash:  I don’t like bondage.  Don’t get me wrong, a little tie-me-up and ass slappin’ is sexy.  The whole beat me until I bleed…not so much.

Which is why, I don’t get why Kele Moon is one of my favorite writers.  I think it’s because she creates characters that are so real, even my cynical soul can suspend my inner demons and believe the players are getting exactly what they want and need.

This book was particularly satisfying because I already knew the main characters.  Beyond Eden was one of the first bondage titles I’d ever read that didn’t creep me out.  Going back to see how Danny and Paul began was awesome.  And unlike some series that are written out of chronological order…this worked for me.

Paul is a pretty simple guy; he needs pain.  Finding out why was sad.  Danny, on the other hand is much more complex.  For me, his love for Paul was never in question.  But, watching him struggle with his feelings, especially guilt over his own masochistic tendencies was heart wrenching.

I will probably never be a big fan of BDSM, but as long as Kele Moon is writing them, I’ll be reading them.  Highly recommend to anyone who wants an intense love story between two young men, trying to find themselves and each other.

Thommie’s Two Cents: I love BDSM stories, and I adore them when they are written with the passion the genre deserves. This is one such story, however it is not a simple one, not light in any way and there is some serious dark side some people might not like at all. Me? I loved it.

Danny is a rich boy, but angry beyond what one would call normal. He hates authority. He hates not being on top of things he hates his father. Everything makes him want to unleash the anger but for Paul, his best friend and golden boy who grounds him and makes him want to be better. Paul is also his tormentor as Danny for years pines for him, loving him bone deep. In short, Danny is a bomb waiting to explode.

But Paul is not the golden boy everyone sees. Deep down there is darkness and abuse, deep down his soul hurts and he tries to find that elusive nirvana anyway he can, and that leads him to danger so real that even his life hangs on the line. When Danny finds out the truth, things between them burn hot and there are only two things that can happen when there is such passion and tension between two people. Either they’ll crash or they’ll fly together.

I loved it. The eroticism was sensational and the way these two dealt with their vices simply spectacular. I’m not a pain slut but even I felt like I was about to fly with these too, they were so great together. I loved the fact that nothing came easy, I loved the fact that the enormity of their situation was stressed properly, how their decisions affected both of them, the pain, the hurt, the love that was yet wasn’t. This is not a romance, this is a love-story, and as such, it was filled with pain, loss, and emotions that often drive near insanity. It takes you spinning along with them and you have no idea what you’re going to experience next.

I must say that this book just sucked me in and made me its slave in more ways than one. The characters were not only alluring, but it felt like they had glue in their aura and I couldn’t escape. Both are touched by darkness and abuse, both reacts to it differently. They are the epitome of sadist and utter masochist. They are glorious together. Now I don’t need to be either, or to understand how someone could get off on pain for me to accept it as a fact or simply enjoy the read. If you read this book with intention to understand in a psychological level the workings and wirings of a sadomasochistic relationship I think this is not a book for you, but if you want to read about fire that burns hot, the inevitability and hold the dark passions have on two brilliantly written characters, then I’m absolutely certain you’ll love it.

And then, there was the end, and oh my, what a turn. At that point I felt like it would never happen, and the pair would literally revel in that sick fire until they ceased existing. It all depended on Danny (something I felt a bit awkward about) and he rose to the situation, and he made me want to squeeze him so hard he cracked. The promise for a fantastic sequel is there and I can’t wait to see how these two manage to overcome the haze that blinded them through the entire book and grow into their possibilities. As for this one, it’s strongly recommended.

The Healing Power of Eggnog by Jamie Fessenden

HealingPowerofEggnog[The]LGTitleThe Healing Power of Eggnog

Series:  Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming

AuthorJamie Fessenden

Genre:   Holiday Novella

LengthNovella (89 pages)

PublisherDreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat LevelModerate

Heart Rating♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   Will Sutherland hasn’t been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he’s surprised to find they’ve taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet…, and openly gay.

As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who’s been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will’s brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link:

Advent: Heartwarming:

Reviewer:   Portia

ReviewEven before this delicious morsel dropped into my inbox, I wanted it. The cover artwork is just so festive and inviting. And you know me…a total cover whore.

As for the story itself, it is everything I look for in a holiday read. Sweet, sweet and sweeter. Not to say that there isn’t a bit of angst, there is, but, it just enough to make the sweet sweeter.

Will and Ryan are an interesting pair. For that matter, the whole family is interesting. Will’s parents realized that they could have handled Will’s coming out better, but don’t have the words to say I’m sorry. Ryan isn’t so much a substitute for Will, in their eyes, but more of a second chance.

I love that fact that instead of the family falling apart, they all grew a little bit over the holidays. Opening up and finding a peace that eludes so many, during this time of year.

As for the ending, I am a sucker for beginnings. And if Jamie Fessenden were a nice man, he’d slip me the recipe to that magical eggnog. J

The Final Line by Kendall McKenna

TheFinalLineEventPicTitle:  The Final Line

Series:  The Recon Diaries, Book #3

Author:  Kendall McKenna

Genre:   Action/Adventure

Length:  Novel (108,000 words)

Publisher:  MLR Press (July 4th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood is an instructor at the Basic Reconnaissance Course. His last deployment ended in horror, but he can’t remember those events. Battling severe PTSD, Corey’s drinking is growing out of control.

Sean Chandler walks into a dive bar, and into Corey’s life. An actor and a musician, Sean has the empathy and compassion to sooth Corey’s pain, and the strength to support him as he struggles to heal.

Corey’s lost memories are pivotal to a civilian murder, and a military investigation. Remembering could mean salvation, or destruction. Will the truth be too much for Sean to handle?

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  It takes every ounce of Marine discipline for Corey Yarwood to make it through a day. And the only sleep he gets is found at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels. Living with PTSD is bad enough, but not remembering is even worse. Not to mention that one of his old unit brothers wants to pull Corey into his drama. Now is so not the time to fall in love. Good thing Sean didn’t get that memo.BrothersinArmsw-series250

*squee* I have waited 15 months to find out whatever happened to Yarwood. And man was it worth the wait. Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVED Jonah and Kellan in Brothers at Arms, but there was just something about Corey that spoke to me. He was just this dumb kid, but my mama heart just wanted him to be safe and happy. Watching Kendall break in him down and then allowing Sean to help him put the pieces back together kept me glued to my Kindle for two days. I LOVED THIS STORY!!!

The Final Line is by far, my favorite book of the year. It plays like an action adventure movie. And just like Brothers in Arms, the romance takes a backseat to a very well plotted mystery. The men react like men and the steamy stuff is thrown in all the right places. The medical details of Corey’s struggle with PTSD are spot on, as were Sean’s reactions. The secondary players were great, and I must admit, I wished Kendall wrote Het fiction so she could tell another couple of brothers’ tales. Bottom line, The Final Line had it all, romance, action, suspense and authenticity. I highly recommend this title.

And just in case you are one those readers that jumps right to chapter one, I thought I’d include the important parts of The Final Line’s dedication page. 😉

First and foremost, for Portia de Moncur, who wrote the first

ever review of Brothers In Arms. She also holds the dubious honor

of being the first to demand Corey Yarwood be given his own

story. Her encouragement is why Jonah, Kellan and Corey live in

more stories.

(Kendall, I’ll be looking for my autographed print copy in the mail. I am beyond honored that you listen to the pleadings of little ole me. ;-))

Beholding Beauty by Sam Singer

Title:  Beholding Beauty

Series:  N/A

Author:  Sam Singer

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  DreamspinnerPress (June 27th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  When modeling didn’t pan out the way the wanted, Craig kinda accidentally fell into the escort business.  He doesn’t have deep-seated guilt over his job and actually enjoys it most of the time.  But, Dee isn’t like any client he’s ever had.  No other client pays him to just hang out and watch movies.

This is a really sweet take on Beauty and the Beast. I loved the fact that Craig didn’t have this horrible history and/or was turning tricks to eat.  Half the time, he was just an escort for lonely people.  But, all those people want “the pretty face”.  And he was okay with that, until Dee.  With Dee he develops a friendship that is so much more honest and based on mutual interest.  If he could, he wouldn’t even take Dee’s money, but he was too insecure as to whether Dee would still want to see him, so he maintains the status quo.

I wish that we could have seen more of Dee, both in the present and before he became beastly.  But, all in all, I really enjoyed this story.  There isn’t a lot of sex, but there is a whole bunch of sexual tension.  Nicely paced and very well written.  The ending was sweet, but I wished that we could have seen a bit more into the future.

I recommend Beholding Beauty for readers who love a modern fairy tale, sexy escorts and wounded Beast.




We Danced by Jeff Erno

Title:  We Danced

Series:  N/A

Author:  Jeff Erno

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (June 1st, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   For six years, Rex Payton has focused on two things: keeping his late father’s small-town Kentucky bar afloat and raising his nephew, Tyler. After the tragic loss of his parents and sister, Rex has no interest in romance. He’s respected in his community and regarded as one of Carlisle’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s accepted that his life isn’t conducive to a romantic relationship, especially as a closeted gay man.

Enter Josh Billings, a veterinary student who’s serving an internship in town. Josh’s deepest passion is helping animals. Romance is the furthest thing from his mind… until the night he meets taciturn, handsome Rex Payton. Chance and an after-hours dance conspire to forge an intimate connection neither man looked for—one neither man can ignore after the dance leads to a kiss.

Suddenly romance isn’t so insignificant, but it’s also not without complications. For this relationship to work, Josh has to decide if he can cope with dating a single dad, Rex has to open his heart, and Ty has to learn to share his dad’s affection.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Okay…confession time.  I was itching for this book since it popped onto Dreamspinner’s Coming Soon page.  The little boy on the cover was absolutely adorable and I couldn’t wait to read his story.  But, when I got We Danced in my hot little hands and started to read I almost didn’t make it through chapter one.

No.  It wasn’t that the writing was that terrible.  Jeff Erno is a fabulous storyteller.  I had no trouble picturing a tired barkeep cleaning up at the end of the night.  The smell of Pine-sol, the music playing in the background, the timid knock on the door, all set a wonderful mood that sucked me in.  Then we came to the dance.  I may have mentioned in the past that I strongly disapprove of instalove unless werekin are involved.  So for two sober, absolute strangers to slow dance in an empty bar almost had me running for the hills.  Then Mr. Erno nicely let Josh have the perfect reaction and I was hooked.  No way was I putting this book down, until I reached The End.

Turns out, rather than the sappy mess I feared, We Danced is one of those books that I will go back and re-read again and again.  It was absolutely brilliant.  Neither Josh nor Rex was looking for a love match.  Hell, they weren’t even looking for a hook-up.  And Josh is a bit leery of getting involved with a single dad.  Their romance unfolds ever so nicely.  It’s sexy, it’s funny and Ty is a little angel.  I loved that despite their apprehensions, they were both so honest and supportive of each other.  Rex and Ty show Josh that there is room in his life for more than just his academic dreams.  And Josh helps Rex remember, he had dreams of his own, before his life was tragically altered and Ty became his sole purpose for being.  Did I mention the hot,steamy sex…;-) And there is enough blood pressure raising drama to justify me taking extra dose or two, while I read.  *smdh* Family…too bad you can’t hand pick them.

I have one more confession…this was my first Jeff Erno read.  I know you are probably shaking your head and wondering how I could own a M/M review site and failed to read one of the biggies in the biz…I have no excuse.  But, now that I have been introduced properly to this fabulous writer, you can bet, I’ll be begging for his entire backlist.

I am recommending this book to readers who love seeing single dads find love, little boys who are wise beyond their years and sexy young men who have sense enough to alter their dreams to include falling in love.




Mourning Jack by S. A. Meade

Title:  Mourning Jack

Series:  N/A

Author:  S. A. Meade

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Total E-Bound

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   When Ade loses his best friend he soon learns that mourning Jack brings not only sorrow but happiness too.

Restaurant chef Ade is a man of his word. When his best friend is killed while serving in Afghanistan, he honours a promise to look after Jack’s lover, Cal.

Ever the white knight, Ade does his best to console Cal in spite of losing his job and nearly losing his life. Ever the fool, Ade falls in love and learns the hard way that loving someone who can’t love him isn’t enough.

With a new job in a new place comes the possibility of a new love, but Eric has baggage of his own. Can Ade and Eric leave their old heartaches behind and find new happiness with each other?

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Ade and Jack were as close as brothers.  If fact, when Ade’s family didn’t take his coming out well, Jack’s family became his surrogate parents and all but adopted Ade.  There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to honor his friend.  But, falling in love with Jack’s lover wasn’t on his agenda…it just kinda happened.

The title of this book kind of threw me.  Maybe, it’s me, but this was so much more than Ade or even Cal mourning Jack.  Don’t get me wrong; even though he’s dead before the book even begins, Jack is a primary character in this book.  But, for me, this is Ade’s story.  Despite his love of cooking, his job has become a chore.  He fights his attraction for Cal, because he feels like it’s too soon, if ever they are meant to explore the mutual chemistry between them.  He really just wants a normal life, with a normal man who loves him.

I loved the glimpse into English village life that Mourning Jack gives the reader.  There is a laid back pace that really worked for me.  I can’t tell you more of the plot, because there are a few twist there that were totally unexpected.  But, the ending left me with a smile.  Ade and Cal mourn Jack in very different ways, but in the end they both found a way to fill the void that his passing left.  This is a very well written novel and I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy a gentler pace to their romance and lovers who find love in unexpected place.

And on a side note:  If S. A. Meade were a nice person, she would post recipes for all the lovely dishes that Ade creates throughout this book.  J




Surviving Elite High by John H. Ames

Title:  Surviving Elite High

Series:  Surviving Elite High 01

Author:  John H. Ames

Genre:   YA romance

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Dare Media eMedia Production (June 19, 2012)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts

Blurb:   John Henry Ames is a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school’s star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John’s help to pass and graduate high school.

As John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women. Nick becomes his friend and protector in school. Their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them. Several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever. Will they follow their own voice or return to the safety of their own shadows? Surviving Elite High is a breathtaking saga that illustrates a flourishing same-sex love, family, and friendship.

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  I’m not going to waste time restating the blurb above.  It’s a pretty good overview of Surviving Elite High.  But, what it doesn’t reveal is just how fabulous this book really is.  I’ve never been a big fan of the whole 90210 vibe of some YA romance novels.  Somehow, the poor guy always gets screwed and the rich guy is never as good as we want him to be.  But, reading Surviving Elite High was like watching the pilot of a new TV series (with its growing pains) and watching the growth of the actors and the entire crew as they grow together as the season progresses.

The first couple of chapters weren’t earth shattering, but the writing was interesting enough to keep me reading.  But, as we get to know John and meet, first his tormentors and then his friends, you couldn’t help but want to get to know this kid more.  At this point, his sexuality wasn’t even an issue.  He was just trying to get from point A to B without getting his ass beat by dumb jocks.  His first person POV was quite interesting.  Despite all the negativity in his life, he has a great attitude.  He is really thrown off kilter, when he meets Nick and finds his secret crush is really a nice guy…most of the time.

So like I said, after that slow start, this book is really fast paced. It really is like watching a soap opera…there is so much going on.  But, somehow, it wasn’t too much.  And even with all the drama going on, it wasn’t maudlin.  The secondary cast is great.  John’s best friends, Madison and Kitty are two little rich girls that have kinda adopted John.  But, rather than being the typical teenage bitches, like on Pretty Liars, they are genuinely nice girls.  Hell, even Nick’s competition is a nice guy.  It was really cool, to see them all supporting each other through the chaos of high school.

Now, I know for a fact that this is supposed to be John’s story.  It’s written from his point of view, but for me…Nick is the bomb.  From the minute that John makes a blip on his radar, Nick is unwavering in his devotion; first as a friend and later as a lover. To everyone else, he can be a bipolar dickhead, but not with John.  With John he is always protective and emotionally open and I loved him.  There were several times, throughout the book, where I could have just reached in a hugged him for his choices.

John H. Ames/Juan Alvarado is a fabulous fresh voice in GLBT YA fiction.  I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Senior year at Elite High promises to be another rollercoaster ride and I can’t wait!!  And in a perfect world, Jacob will find someone just as amazing as he is. Highly recommending this title for readers who hate bullies, love enemies falling in love and young men growing up nicely.

Almost Paradise by Caitlin Ricci w/bonus author chat

Don’t forget to scroll down and check out Pixie’s interview with Caitlin.

Title:  Almost Paradise

Series:  Pine Hollow Wolves 01

Author:  Caitlin Ricci

Genre:   Paranormal

Length:  Novel

Publisher:  Silver Publishing (June 16th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts                                                                             

Blurb:   Travis will do anything to keep his daughter safe, now that he finally has custody. Financially ruined, he cannot even afford food for himself most days. Could a stranger’s offer to dogsit be the solution Travis has been hoping for?

Travis has done everything to keep his daughter safe. He’s fought a long, hard battle with the courts to gain full custody and has finally found some breathing room. But that security comes at a heavy price.

Staying in a motel and living off his quickly dwindling savings is no way to raise a toddler, so when Liam steps into his life and offers him hundreds of dollars just to watch his dogs for a weekend, it almost seems too good to be true.

But when he finds out there is more to Liam than he ever thought, he has a hard decision to make. Can he and his daughter stay and be safe or will he need to leave?

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Liam is running an errand for his Alpha when the scent of a man gets his attention.  Even without his shifter senses, he can tell the other man is down on his luck.  But, being a shifter he is keenly aware that the other man is just as attracted, if not a tad leery of Liam.  But attraction isn’t enough to make Travis accept Liam’s invitation to lunch.  Fortunately, Travis’s daughter, Hannah, has no reservation about getting to know Liam better.

I’m not sure how Almost Paradise is going to be received.  I personally loved it.  There was enough of a break from the same ole same ole paranormal shifter stories that flow through my inbox that I was hooked from the beginning.  There’s enough back-story to hook me, but enough left unsaid for me to look forward to the next book.  And as I know that Book 2 is about the Alpha, who came off like Don Corleone, I can’t wait to see how he redeems himself.  Not to mention the Alpha’s sister, who is a rather scary woman.

Anyway, back to this book. We are introduced to Liam first and I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like him.  I got that his position was similar to a traditional pack’s beta, but because of the dynamics, he came off as more of a mob errand boy.  But, as he interacted with Travis and Hannah, he shifted, in my mind, from paid lacky to more like Tony Soprano.  And not just his character, but all the shifters.  They have a clannish elitism that just reminded me of New York mafia family.  Which might not mean anything to you, but I’ve always found authoritative men with an air of mystery uber hot. The fact that he’s all about the pack and family only made him that much sexier.

And as much as I loved Liam, I loved Travis more.  He’s been through hell, trying to retain custody of his daughter.  Now that everything is pretty much settled, he’s broke and unemployed, yet trying to maintain some level of normalcy for his child.  Sue me, but I’m a sucker for real daddies.  And, as much as he wants Liam, he is no pushover.  He makes Liam work for their mating bond, like a first-rate trial attorney.

I really applaud Ms. Ricci for creating a shifter world that is both interesting and different.   I look forward to reading Samson’s story and getting to know Liam, Travis and Hannah more in the future.  I’m recommending this title to readers who believe that men can handle a bit of courtship, patient shifters and far-sighted little girls.

Caitlin stopped by the MM Good Book Reviews interview room, yes we have one and agreed to be interogated…I, mean interviewed by Pixie. 😉

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hey Caitlin, how you doing today?

Caitlin Ricci I’m good. Just woke up and had some breakfast. How’s your afternoon?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews It’s wonderful. Kids not back from school yet, so a bit of peace and quiet.

Caitlin Ricci That’s got to be nice. No kids here (yet), but planning on at least three.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. I have three, makes me crazy sometimes. Well, Caitlin, I have looked around a bit and you are an honest to god brand new writer. So tell us a bit about yourself

Caitlin Ricci Yep, I am completely brand new. I’ve been writing for years, ever since middle school, so around the age of twelve. I don’t know what middle school is called there (England), since I know you have primary and then secondary, but for some reason, I thought secondary was for older kids. I never really felt like my stuff might be good enough to publish though until I wrote a short a while back and submitted it. It got rejected but after that I realized that the sting wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be so I got on this path with the Pine Hollow Wolves and Almost Paradise was born. I’m 27, live in Colorado, have a dog, a fiancée and a Blue Tongue Skink which is honestly the coolest reptile people can have as a pet. I’m in college for my bachelor’s in Human Services with a concentration in Domestic Violence and then I’ll be getting my master’s in either Social Work or Child Psychology. I want to be a school counselor with a primary focus on GBLTQ kids and their issues of bullying, acceptance, coming out, dating and suicide.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Wow. So you want to help all those poor kids who are having a hard time in school or at home. I think that is admirable.  I hope you get your qualifications for that. And as for the Blue Tongue Skink, I’ll take your word for it. Lol. I know you got knocked back a few times by publishers before Silver Publishing snatched you up, so can you tell us a little about your experience with that and what would you say to someone going through the same situation now?

Oh, and secondary school is for ages 11-16, then they can go onto college and then university.

Caitlin Ricci Good to know if I ever have a book set in the UK 🙂

As to your question, mostly I’d say…just keep writing. I love a quote that NaNoWriMo sent me once that said that you can’t edit a blank page. Yeah, it hurts to be rejected, especially when you love the story and the characters, but it’s gonna hurt when someone gives you a less than stellar review or a good friend says that they didn’t like your book or any number or other things. You can’t please everybody and if your story is good someone will publish it.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. So, you are my first Silver author interview.  Can you walk us through their process and how much support you get ;-)?

Caitlin Ricci Wow. That’s kind of awesome. Yay, team SP! The process is actually really simple. They’ve got a form on the website that you just fill out so no query letter stress there and you don’t have to try to sell yourself or your book. Just be honest, sound a little interesting and put in the info that they want. I submitted Almost Paradise the day before the deadline for the father’s day submission call. You get an automatic response saying that they got it and then a week later Alison sent me an email saying that it was accepted. It was 5 am when I read it and I was getting ready to go into work. I was bouncing around the room trying not to wake Scott (my fiancé) up.

I signed the contract, did the pre-edits, sent it back, talked to my cover artist, and did some more edits, talked to the cover artist again, a few more edits and then boom! Everything was done. The process is actually very easy, the editors are there to help and my cover artist is an awesome person who I would gladly work with again.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I am glad Silver looks after you so well. So have you had support from other m/m authors? I know Dreamspinner has an author forum, does Silver have something similar?

Caitlin Ricci They do and we’re all very friendly over there. I’ve connected with a lot of SP authors here on FB as well. And I belong to a group that is just for MM authors in Colorado which is fun since we’re hoping to do some in person events pretty soon and our Out in the Rockies blog hop is going on right now. Networking is just as important as an author, as it is in any other arena. Although writing is often a lonely solo type of excursion it’s great to have other people around to bounce ideas off of, get help when you’re feeling unmotivated or jazz over a new cover.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews That’s great, I also heard that you are quite new to reading m/m as well, tell the readers how that came about.

Caitlin Ricci I am actually, which is pretty crazy that my first book published is MM. I’ve been reading erotica for a while including Lauren Dane and Maya Banks so the idea of MMF or MMMF wasn’t new to me. Then a friend told me to try out Kim Dare. I read her free shorts and then read Duck!. I fell in love with the characters and decided to start writing MM. The idea of two guys in love though wasn’t completely new to me. In high school I was reading Yaoi and Shonen-Ai, watched Queer as Folk and loved Will and Grace.

I still write other pairings including MF and FF and MFF, but my guys have sort of taken over WIPs.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well at least you’re on the right track now. Lol.

Caitlin Ricci Yep :). I like it a lot and thankfully I’ve got friends and a fiancée who support me.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, your guys are kinda wonderful. Just in case none of you readers know Caitlin’s new book is Almost Paradise which is the first in the Pine Hollow Wolves series. Can you tell everyone about your book?

Caitlin Ricci Thanks for saying that they’re wonderful :). Alright, so what few people know is that Almost Paradise was actually the second book that I wrote in the series. The sequel (working title Man’s Best Friend) is about the alpha and his love interest. Travis (from Almost Paradise) was mentioned in it and I liked him instantly, had to know more about him and after I finished Samson’s story I wrote Almost Paradise. Luckily it came together in time for the submission call. AP is about Travis, a single father who has worked his butt off to keep his little girl. Liam sees him when he’s trying to get a job and invites him to lunch, knowing that he’s got to do something to make this guy’s day just a little better. While they’re there Liam gets a call from his boss, Samson, telling him that he’s got to go out-of-town. With no time to get a sitter for his two dogs he asks Travis to do it and things just sort of fall in place from there.

And Hannah is freaking awesome. She’s the little girl and she’s adorable.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah I know, me and Portia had a cat fight over who was doing your review… I got to interview you Lol. *mean boss* Not that it isn’t lovely to be chatting to you!! Now I also heard that there is a Nap sized story about Travis and Liam, will that be published at all?

Caitlin Ricci Nap sized?

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, a really short one. It’s like the smallest short story that doesn’t take long to read… Nap sized.

Caitlin Ricci Ah okay. Sorry, wasn’t familiar with the term. *blush* wow so I’m a noob. There is a short with Travis and Liam that I’m hoping silver will accept for their Christmas line. In it they’re off on vacation with Hannah and they’ve been together for seven years now and they’re visiting Ireland. Some interesting things happen in that story that set up Hannah’s YA series later on when she’s 15.

I love this couple and couldn’t just let either them or Hannah go by the wayside.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh. that’s so cool. They are in it for the long game whoot!

Caitlin Ricci Total long game. They’ve been married for years at that point, Hannah loves having two dads and in her series her best friend is a younger Shifter named Ippy (Phillip) so she’s all for having a Shifter father and belonging to the pack.

I like HEA and for me that’s when they’re old they’re still sitting on the back deck, drinking sweet tea and watching their grand kids run around with more giant dogs.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews And as for the Nap thing I think it all depends who you talk to. Some would class it as a day-dream. Whatever floats your boat…for me its nap sized. Anyhoo, tell us more about your book, was it a conscious decision to not have any sex or was that how the characters wanted it.

Caitlin Ricci I put myself in Travis’s shoes. He’s not having hook-up. His daughter is right there in the next room and he’s trying to do what’s best for her. He’s a father first and always has been. That lessens in later stories when he realizes that he doesn’t have to be the only one there for Hannah and that she’s actually got an entire pack right there waiting for her if she ever needs anything, but right now his primary concern is making sure that she’s taken care of. For me having sex in there felt like it wouldn’t be doing that side of him justice. There’s one point when he’s angry, but Liam doesn’t want it to be like that with him. When they come together it’s because the time is right for both of them and Travis is willing to let Liam into their lives fully and let him be Hannah’s dad as well. The later stories are all explicit, including theirs.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh, you authors are always teasing me with future books, damn. So, where did the idea originate from? And although there are shifters we don’t see a change and it seems like you have put a lot of thought into what your shifters will be like… you know not instant mates and changing at the drop of a hat.

Caitlin Ricci There is a change :). I don’t like instant mates because it seems to be forcing the other person into a relationship. Arranged marriages are fun and I may do a story about one someday but forced forever binding relationships are not something I find sexy. The idea started with Samson. In his story (Pine Hollow Wolves #2) he rescues a child from a fire, finds himself overcome with smoke and passes out. He finds himself in an animal shelter and can’t get out without exposing himself since there’s cameras in the shelter. I like magic based Shifters as opposed to traditional werewolves where the bones break, there’s lots of pain, they end up naked, etc. I thought about having them naked but with Hannah around that wasn’t going to happen. They can choose clothes or not though. They’re no larger as dogs than they are as humans, which is still really big. But there’s no sudden change of mass to try to explain.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, but that change doesn’t count *raspberry*, Ha Hannah is a proper cutie and I loved how you worked her into the book without it getting to silly… got to say though that I admired Travis’ patience. I so wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from hauling off and giving someone a beat-down!!

So tell us about your hobbies or what you do in your spare time.

Caitlin Ricci Me neither. I think the only reason he didn’t was because he knew that Hannah was there and no good parent wants their child to see that. It was a hard line though deciding how much Liam would do, since he’s far more into justice and making sure that his new little family is safe than worrying about what people think.

Classes take up a lot of my spare time when I’m not writing. I’m also a nurse aid and I work with Alzheimer’s patients and other forms of dementia. I have a dog that I love that I try to take on a walk every day. I enjoy movies, listen to loads of different music and do a ton of laundry. Ideally, though, I’d like to cut that back to writing most of the day, walk with the dog and a movie at night. I enjoy horseback riding. I used to write poetry, but I haven’t in years, camping, fishing, shooting at the range, painting and cooking.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Damn! When do you have time to breathe!!

Caitlin Ricci Lol. Most of that I do on my minimal vacations. Generally, my life is writing, school, work, fiancée, dog. I work part-time so that makes the rest of it fit in nicely. Shooting is done on the weekends, same with fishing generally since we like to go early in the morning. Writing I can do whenever I want to though since I take a pen, paper and my tablet with me everywhere. A few hundred words is still writing and when people get nosy I get to tell them that I’m working on my next novel. They either get curious or give me the “you’re crazy” look and go away.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. So you said Scott (the fiancé) is supportive. What did he first think when you started writing m/m?

Caitlin Ricci He said the same thing that he says now- that he’s happy for me, but wants me to go back to writing my YA MF series that he told his family about, so he can share it with them. They are supportive of that I write, but they don’t know what. Same with my family. He stopped caring that I watch gay porn and call it research though which is a nice plus. Really though, he’s supportive no matter what I choose to write, because it makes me happy and my eventual goal is to live off writing. If I can support us both with something that I love to do and he can take care of the house and the kids while I play with beautiful men in my head that would be awesomeness rolled in chocolate and dusted with glitter.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Aww. That’s so lovely. I must admit I have heard some horror stories from other authors about how their family’s reacted badly or someone leaked it and they lost their jobs *shakes head* some people are just stupid. Right, so any secrets you want to share? *raises eyebrow*

Caitlin Ricci I write under a pen name, so that I don’t lose my job or my future career. Not many people would be okay with their child’s counselor writing MM erotic romance, or any erotica actually. I’m still debating on whether or not to keep the name for my YA stuff or not.

Caitlin Ricci Hmmmm…. secrets…. I worry that I bother the SP staff too much and that they’ll realize I’m not worth the trouble :).

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews ‎*Laughed myself silly* Damn girl, I read your book they won’t be letting go any time soon.

Caitlin Ricci Thank you darling 🙂 With my book coming out the day after tomorrow I realize that’s not likely, but it’s still hard to believe that my story got turned into a book which people have read and will be reading and that people will hopefully like and that my second book, Taming the Lion Tamer, was accepted as well, but there’s no release out on that yet.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Ohhhh new book *stars in eyes as gazes off into a dream world*. ~shakes head~ Okay, I was about to ask if there was anything else in the pipeline other that Pine Hollow Wolves. Will Taming the Lion Tamer be a series or a stand alone?

Caitlin Ricci And, if anyone is wondering if they’ll like my writing or not they can always pick up the Silver Shorts which are available for free off the SP website. I’ve got shorts in most of the ones from week 20 on.

Caitlin Ricci Right now it’s a standalone, but there is a sequel that might happen. Taming is about Quinn and Charlie. Charlie has a sister who has been divorced for about 2 years now, but she will get back together with her ex in her own book.

Blurb for Taming the Lion Tamer- Charlie thought it would be like any other Friday working as an animator. Then in walked Quinn and his rescued Asiatic Lion. For years Quinn has devoted his life to rescuing big cats so when an animation company offers him a donation in exchange for bringing one of the cats in to model he jumps on it.
Charlie’s so nervous that he can barely look at Quinn, much less talk to him. Quinn is confident, friendly and too handsome for words. Charlie can’t believe it when Quinn notices him, and then invites him up to the sanctuary for the weekend. He’s enthralled and finds himself falling hard for the man his sister calls Sex God Quinn Fitzgerald.

Draft blurb…so it won’t be the final, but it’s a sneak peek.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm. looks interesting… we will all keep our fingers crossed for you. **whispers* You are supposed to push books at the end so you can put up all the links *wink**

Caitlin Ricci and that’s a link to see the inspiration for Charlie, in case anyone is interested…. I just think he’s pretty to look at

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews ‎*cough* Yeah he is all right I suppose * drool*

Caitlin Ricci There’s no link though yet: P. I will follow the rules next time!

Hmmm, more new stuff…… working on Pine Hollow Wolves 2 and 3.

Book 3 being with Samson’s sister, Evangeline.

I have another MM planned called The Runaway. I also have two MM stories (a 5k short and something over 20k) awaiting acceptance at Silver Publishing

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So, there will be a lot of scope for you to play with and a lot to choose from.

Caitlin Ricci The 5k short is a St Patty’s Day fun little thing and the 20k is (working title) Marked by Grief which I’m pretty proud of. It made a beta reader cry so at least the emotion is strong in it 🙂

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Wow, busy bee. Yip.

Caitlin Ricci totally busy but that’s how I like it. Oh! And I forgot to mention the MMM story that is my current WIP PITA. I say that lovingly, of course. It’s my first time writing MMM, so getting the dynamics right is like playing with lit matches and trying to juggle them all at once.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews MMM is a hard one to do. But, if you have the right balance between the characters it should work well. Looks like you will be keeping Silver busy for some time 😉 and we will have lots to look forward to *g* lucky readers.

Caitlin Ricci ‎:) I certainly hope so. It’s a lot of fun to write about guys and before trying it I had no idea how enjoyable it could really be. I still like writing about women, but there’s something different and fun and OMG sexy about two guys who happen to fall in love.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews There is and you also have more diversity with the characters as well. Okay, so I am getting dirty looks off my starving kids so just a few more questions. This is the most important one… if the world were to change into a magical world what magical or mythical creature would you be?

Caitlin Ricci Hmmm…. gah hard one. And I thought this would be easy :P. Okay… thinking…. thinking… thinking… A shifter absolutely. But something that could fly…. so probably a dragon. Something fierce, protective, could still go bounding around the countryside with my dragon friends, but wouldn’t be nearly helpless like a unicorn or Selkie.

And flight would be important, although I’d be large so staying hidden would be an issue. And eating knights would be a pain. But, being a griffon wouldn’t be that much fun either and there’s no way I’d be a basilisk. So yep, a dragon.

Western, not eastern.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lol. You wouldn’t go back in time. *snigger* Hell Hound beats all of them hands down… that’s what I’d be.

Caitlin Ricci A hell-hound would be an awesome choice, especially considering all of their powers. It’s the imminent death thing that I wouldn’t like though. Sounds lonely when if someone sees you, they know they’re going to die.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yeah, but remember they guard the gates of hell, which means they would have loads of friends on tap. 😉

Okay. So, before I choke to death laughing, tell all the readers who will become your fans *scowl* they will!! Where they can find you, so they can tell you how awesome you are.

Caitlin Ricci Lol. True. I’ve wondered what it would be like to be Ammut, too. Same idea, only not nearly as cool looking. And she just eats the hearts so only sort of the same.

Lol. Fans would be awesome and comments are always appreciated! They can contact me here on FB or on my blog at And Silver Publishing is giving away a copy of Almost Paradise tomorrow so make sure to enter if you haven’t already. My blog is also a great place to find good music and sexy pictures of guys.

Author Caitlin Ricci

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews And don’t forget Facebook where we can stalk you and you would never know!

Caitlin Ricci

Stalkers are welcome, too. Since it’s a public profile :P.

Gah Hannah is so freaking cute on that cover!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Yep. So, I have to bring this interview to a close (why do we call it an interview when it’s a chat and free for all?) and I have to thank you for being gracious enough to join us here at MM Good Book Reviews and thank you for being a good sport and putting up with me;-)

Caitlin Ricci Seriously, the pleasure was all mine and I had a great time. Thanks for inviting me over and it was great talking with you.

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Great talking to you to, and we will do something in the future when you are an old hand at being an author. Thanks again Caitlin… Bye.

Caitlin Ricci Sounds great. Have an excellent evening and thanks again for your time. Bye!

Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Enjoy the rest of your day *waves* bye.

Caitlin Ricci thanks, you too.



The Good Life by Diana DeRicci

Title:  The Good Life

Series:  Father’s Day 2012 04

Author:  Diana DeRicci

Genre:   Contemporary

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  MLR Press (June 15th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts                                                                             

Blurb:   Chad Rarig and Sonny Phillips have been friends since skinned knees and after school homework. Life is pretty normal, if a bit bland for Chad, until he receives a phone call that changes the rest of his entire life. With Sonny’s strong shoulder in friendship and his mother’s support, he cautiously embraces his fate, one that includes binkies and an utter loss of sleep.

Sonny offers a chance to let Chad settle into this new wilderness of parenthood, sharing his home with his best friend. Only he definitely hadn’t anticipated having to deal with an attraction that left him panting and hungry as a starving man for his best friend. His gay best friend who thinks Sonny is straight, because he’s never told him the full truth to preserve their friendship above all else.

Can Chad come to terms with all the challenges of fatherhood and still keep Sonny’s friendship? Will either be willing to take the risk to cross that line from friendship to something more?

Product Link:

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Chad is learning the hard way that sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be nice. Never, in a million years, did he think his little deposit into a paper cup would get dropped off his door step.  But, his three-month old daughter, Annalee is living breathing proof that Fate has a twisted sense of humor.

The Good Life starts out with poor Chard knee-deep in a panic attack.  When he agreed to donate sperm to his friend, Elizabeth, he just assumed she would always be around to take care of her kid.  Hell, they weren’t even that close.  If his name hadn’t been on Annalee’s birth certificate, it could have been months before Chad even found out Elizabeth was dead. Fortunately, just like he has always done, Sonny comes up with the perfect solution for Chad’s new little family.  They can use his spare rooms and he can help out as much as he can.  Who knew that having his crush under foot could be pure hell?

I am such a sucker for friends to lover romance and insta dad stories really do it for me.  When they are combined, you really have to screw up for me not to enjoy it.  Fortunately for me, Diana DeRicci is one of the biggest romantics people who I know and The Good Life was a joy to read.  She spun a tale that had me smiling and awwwing from beginning to end. Chad goes through so much just trying to adjust to parenthood.  Then to have his straight best friend profess love was just too much.

Was the storyline kinda predictable?  Maybe a little.  Was the dialogue sappy?  Sometimes.  Did I absolutely love it?  Hell, yeah.  This is the kind of sweet romance that is perfect for Father’s Day.  I knew there was a HEA coming, but DeRicci made me work for it.  I mean, Sonny loves Chad, and Chad loves Sonny, but does Chad really love Sonny, or is he just a convenience.  There was just enough twist to make a potentially tired plot sparkle.

I recommend this one for readers who like HEAs, but want to believe neither party is just settling for the nearest warm body.