A Bell for Andy by GL Roberts

24906195Title: A Bell for Andy
Series: N/A
Author: GL Roberts
Genre: Fantasy/Spiritual
Length: Novel (214 pages)
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications (23 July 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Three men haunted by the same dreams discover that they also share a past that determines their fate, a love that rules their lives, and a curse that must be broken.

ISBN: 098960604X

Product Link(s): http://www.seventhwindow.com/paranormal/35-a-bell-for-andy-ebook-9780989606042.html

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’m finding it difficult to conjure the words to describe this one. I’m torn in two. I loved the book – hell, I cried on public transport because of this book. Yet, at the same time, there are elements of this book which I found just a tad annoying. The premise of the book is great and how it turns out is certainly different to similar books I’ve read.

First off, though, I am going to put it out there: if you are looking for pure romance this is probably not your book. I think that is why part of why I was a bit disappointed. The blurb was vague (it’s one sentence!) and so where I expected more romance I got hints of connections instead. More to the point, this story is about 3 men connected by dreams, past lives and curses. Most of the story, though, is told from just the one character’s POV.

Regardless, let’s move on to the good stuff.

Steeped in Catholic tradition and set amongst the devoted Irish-Catholics of Boston, there are a lot of elements that have been brought together for this book. It is almost in two parts. The first part is of MCs Brian and Andy growing up. Brian is the character who tells the story for the majority of the book. Interesting but I have to admit that on occasion it did get tedious, especially when it came to the shared dreams.

Yes, each time the dreams were retold there was always a new subtle point added, but to be perfectly honest I don’t have the attention span to reread over something that is basically the same. The problem for me being that the stories lies within these subtle differences.

The second part of the story is Brian and Andy as adults and essentially this is where the story kicks into high gear. Up until this point it was a lot of telling and picking up all the little pieces. Now things are finally coming together. This is where Dr Mark Conno also enters the story.

I won’t go too much into the plot because I enjoyed all the little intricate points that made up the story. Although I have to admit I had it worked out, Brian is just so slow at putting the pieces together. There was an interesting twist for Andy’s character and the appearance of Mark half way through had me confused as to who Brian’s love interest was.

The story is called A Bell for Andy and it really isn’t until the last pages that you finally find out why the book is called what it is. There is a lot of Catholic dogma woven throughout the story. When the romance does come into the story, I’m not entirely sure how to take it.

The primary part of this story is the mystery surrounding shared dreams and coincidences that have brought the characters together at one point in another in their lives. So then when there is romance I felt a bit of spark but for the most part I was diverting me off the track of the mystery.

All in all, though this book has left me with mixed feelings, it is a great book. It is different to many books with a similar premise. I can’t really say it was fun because there was always the mystery, eating at my mind as I was trying to read it to finally find out what the hell was going on.

So I end on the note that this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you like a bit of mystery, a good old ghost story and reincarnation this is the book for you.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

A Cup of Latte by Bebe Burnside

latteTitle: A Cup of Latte

Series:   N/A

Author: Bebe Burnside

Genre: Contemporary

Length:   Novella (104 pages)

Publisher: Seventh Window Publications (October 10th, 2013)

Heat: None

Heart: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer:   Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Tall, dark and handsome, Michael Stafford is one of the biggest names in business. His job is to take struggling companies under his wing and do what it takes to make a profit from them, even if the people working for the company have to suffer from the consequences.


Alan Weissman is a journalist hired to write a fluff piece on Michael Stafford. The only problem is, Alan would rather rip out his eyes than sit across from a soulless creep like Michael Stafford. It isn’t until the interview begins that Alan notices something different about the deeply handsome businessman. Something unexpected and attractive that makes him second guess his opinion of the man with the dreamy brown eyes.


Sometimes all it takes to change your mind about someone is good conversation and a hot cup of latte

Purchase Link:   http://www.seventhwindow.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=65&products_id=205&zenid=65i6k38g5e2desl3vbnppehnt6

Review: Okay, let’s start with the good stuff. This is a great story premise.  I like the idea of how the two men meet and the pace of their relationship, that’s seems very, very real.  No insta-love, instead the reader meets two professional men who develop a mutual respect, which turns into a romance – realistic and believable. The story goes well as the reader navigates the relationship that the two men are building while also working on their careers.

Then we get to the conflict/crises moment.  That’s where the story derails for me, which is sad since it’s so close to the end.  There is no warning that the conflict is coming and as such, it jars the reader out of the calm existence that they’d been experiencing. You’re left with “huh”? The behaviour is first out of character; and then, second, followed by some very blurry moments.  These blurry moments were meant to mirror the view of one of the characters, which while an interesting literary strategy, doesn’t help the reader, who simply wanted to be ‘told’ not only what was happening but more importantly why it was happening.

Because the story seemed to need to conclude, the details of the conflict are recounted and as such they lose some of the dramatic punch they would have had they been revealed by using the characters themselves to showcase how the conflict was resolved. For example, the real culprit who created the issue should have been able to openly discuss the issue with the main characters and ask for forgiveness rather than the reader hearing a second-hand recount of her tale of woe and apology. Because of this, the reader is left feeling ambivalent about many of the secondary characters who while they should have moved the plotline along, seemed to have been thrown in haphazardly to simply get to the end.  Another example – Why mention Alan’s parents when we’ll never meet them?

Two other minor issues I had were that first Michael’s name kept being misspelled as: Michale, Michel or Michal. One error I can manage, once we get to three, now it’s a distraction. The second was the title. The title should have played up the whole financial/reporter angle, because that’s what the story is REALLY about.  I know authors have creative license, but the title really did throw me, I kept expecting more from the coffee front and all I got was two meetings at Starbucks.  Maybe Reporting on the Financier or something might have been more apropos.  I’m not a writer. I can only say the title didn’t do the story justice.

Finally, what was my overall impression?  I liked the story. I had some issues with plot development and the end seemed rushed, but apart from that, the story was very believable and I liked Alan and Michael, despite Michael behaving like a douche nozzle, which was needed to create the conflict.  Interestingly all the issues I had with the story are probably solvable with maybe another twenty pages of content. 

Vacation from Hell by Drake Braxton

18500491Title: Vacation from Hell

Series: The D.C. Plummer Chronicles Book Number 1

Author: Drake Braxton

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: Novella (71 pages)

Publisher: Seventh Window Publications (September 20th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts

Blurb: Donovan C. Plummer has a problem. He’s too obsessed with his job as a journalist for the D.C. Herald to keep a man in his life. Eight months into his present relationship with Chet Michaels and Donovan’s job is already putting a strain on their relationship, so Donovan decides to take Chet away from everything and go on a seven-day cruise. The only problem is that Donovan has a big story about to hit involving a conservative senator caught in a homosexual liaison, a story that brings death threats to Donovan via e-mail. It isn’t until the death threats follow Donovan and Chet on vacation that the perfect romantic getaway becomes the Vacation from Hell.

Product Link: http://www.seventhwindow.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=65&products_id=204

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: This was a really good story. It had a great story line, just needed to be a little longer, but would recommend reading it. Donovan Plummer is a journalist for the D.C. Herald. He’s been working hard to get a politician busted for hiring young men to sleep with. He finally finished his report and turned it in to his editor. So now, he and his boyfriend of eight months decided to take a cruise. It turns out it is a test to see if him and Chet could possibly live with each other. Danger comes to them and the true test is to survive. I can’t wait for book 2. 



Out of the Past by Jeffrey Ballam

pastTitle:  Out of the Past

Author: Jeffrey Ballam 

Genre:   Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (203 pages)

Publisher:  Seventh Window Publications (September 30th 2012)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Paul Vanderwall isn’t looking for love. His last boyfriend, Eric, left him with no explanation and refuses to respond to his phone calls, leaving Paul gun shy about attempting to start another relationship. But then Paul is picked for jury duty and meets a man who intrigues his mind and libido.

Javier Villalobo is the tall, dark, and handsome attorney for the defendant on the sexually provocative case for which Paul is a juror. Paul finds it difficult to listen to the testimony, especially with Javier standing in such close proximity. And if that’s not bad enough, Paul soon runs into Javier outside of the courtroom. But the trial is still in session, which means that Paul can’t respond to Javier’s eye contact, nor can he act on his own growing desire for the sexy lawyer.

When the trial ends and Paul receives a note from Javier asking him on a date, Paul hesitantly accepts.

And then Eric returns with a warning and a threat…

Product Link:  http://www.seventhwindow.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=65&products_id=185

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  I guess what they say about finding love when you least expect it is true.

Paul Vanderwall has spent the past two years picking up the pieces of his heart that was shattered when his then boyfriend, Eric, left him for no apparent reason. He has his friends and his work as a teacher in LA to keep him busy. No one is more surprised than Paul himself is when he is called for jury duty and is instantly attracted to the tall, dark, and handsome defense attorney. Paul is even more shocked when the trial ends and he gets a letter from said attorney, asking him on a date.

Javier Villalobo is a successful attorney who reads as a strong, confident man who gets what he wants. And he wants Paul. And he does it the right way! He courts him, cooks him dinner and woos Paul into submission. They are open and honest with each other from the start, so Javier is fully aware of Paul’s last relationship and the lack of closure. Both men are still shocked when Eric shows up on Paul’s doorstep begging for forgiveness. Paul has moved on and as unsure as he was when he first started dating Javier that he wanted to commit, he’s come to care for him more than he thought possible and wants to pursue their relationship more than ever. But Eric won’t give up so easily, he wants Paul back, regardless of the consequences.

This story is a roller coaster ride of emotions from start to finish. Paul is such a diverse character and he was such a joy to read. He’s strong and independent, yet awkward and unsure of himself with another man because of what happened with Eric. Javier is strong and confident from the start, but he finds himself unsure as he pursues his relationship with Paul because of Paul’s insecurities. They grow so much as individuals and as a couple throughout the book and Ballam conveys this well with the writing.

A little slow to start, and over descriptive about mundane things, Ballam finds his footing quickly though and delivers a passionate love story with enough intrigue and suspense to keep you turning the pages. I definitely recommend this book to spite that little hiccup at the start. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to get to know Paul and Javier and follow their story as they overcome insecurities and a jealous ass, undeserving ex, to find happiness together.

An Ordinary Boy by Brian Centrone

ordinary-boyTitle:  An Ordinary Boy

Series:  None

Author:  Brian Centrone

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novel (273 pages)

Publisher:  Seventh Window Publications (February 23rd, 2013)

Heat Level:  Medium

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb:   Tom Grove’s family is rich, his grandparents are famous, and he’s beautiful. He can have anything he wants, but all Tom really wants is to be an ordinary boy. Like his best friend, Marissa, Tom wants to fit in, make friends and date sexy boys. It would also help if he could be free of his father’s weighty expectations, his mother’s insane demands, and his older brother’s snide remarks.

When Tom begins his first year of college, he believes he’s going to come out and start a new life. But Tom’s plan to come out of the closet and meet hot college boys isn’t exactly foolproof. His new roommate is a straight jock, the gay club at school is made up of outcasts, and the lines between going out to dinner and a date are blurry at best.

If that isn’t challenge enough, Tom has to learn how to navigate drunken college parties, the campus social hierarchy, and the attentions of the wrong sort of boys. What begins as a journey to independence turns into a series of mishaps, love, heartache, soul searching, awkward situations and the realization that life is less like an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and more like the everyday low prices of Wal-Mart.

And to make matters worse, he still has to make it through freshman year.

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/An-Ordinary-Boy-ebook/dp/B00BKL1YWG/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3

Reviewer:   John

Review:  This boy is anything but ordinary. Have you ever wonder what would happen if Gossip Girl, Project Runway and Mean Girls would merge into one? Well, here it is. Don’t get me wrong, people. I loved this novel, but I just couldn’t understand or relate to Tom.

Tom comes from a rich family. His grandparents are really famous, his sister is becoming famous, and he’s sexy and hot. What more could he want in life? To be an ordinary boy and live a normal life. That’s okay with me. But you must know that you can’t since your social status will follow you everywhere you go. Just be you and live life. Screw the world! However, I get Tom to an extent. He wants to be normal and escape from his superficial reality. But, I got to be honest; Tom comes out as a little bit shallow throughout the novel. When he sees or meets someone, he judges their clothes, shoes, etc. That’s shallow to me and he wants to be normal? Anyways, there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing out of this world. There wasn’t a happily ever after so I hope there is a sequel in the works.

All in all, I liked this novel. Yes, it had a few flaws, but I still liked it because we get to see a new fresh voice for the LGBTQ community who is not afraid to try new things and lead us into a brand new world.

Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson

Title: Earthly Concerns

Author: Xavier Axelson

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (178pgs. Large print)

Publisher: Seventh Window Publications (12th March 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Between love and loss, there is obligation…

It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home… then something happened. Something sinister.

Between shadow and light, there is uncertainty…

Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.

If you can see, you have to help.

As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize that he’s not only in a race against time, but in a battle against his own broken heart and the terrifying understanding that whatever has taken Barrett’s child is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered.

And between decision and consequences, there are… Earthly Concerns.

Purchase Link: http://www.seventhwindow.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=&products_id=42

Review: Anson is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from his ex-lover begging for his help.  Anson doesn’t really want to, but knows that something sinister has happened and he is the only one who can get Barrett’s daughter back.

This is quite a darkish story that is well woven… but kinda odd. Anson is a psychic who is able to see and he doesn’t really know how it all works. Barrett is Anson’s ex-lover.   He couldn’t be the man who Anson needed so let him go.  Now, he needs Anson’s help to find his daughter.

I liked the dark aspects of this story.   the shadowy figure, the descriptions of moths, beetles and spiders and Anson being all angsty over Barrett. We don’t get a real feel about Barrett, except for his despair over his missing daughter and Anson.   Well, Anson comes across as a bit obsessed with Barrett. I liked the way that Anson and his psychic ability are portrayed and the descriptions are very well done to give a vague but dark feel to the story.

There is an extremely hot encounter between Anson and Barrett that is done as a memory dream and it shows an extremely passionate relationship that is filled with doubts. I must admit that I wanted to know more about the connection the two men have and how they came to have been separated, as you get the feeling that maybe Anson wasn’t as patient as he could have been with Barrett.  As Barrett, according to Anson, was struggling with his sexuality. It would have been really nice to have got something from Barrett’s POV, because all we know for sure is his despair over his daughter.

So, I will recommend this for those who love dark, mysterious, angst filled, despair lingering and pain filled stories that have hot sex and an ending that promises more for the two men.

The Incident by Xavier Axelson

Title:  The Incident

Author:  Xavier Axelson

Genre:  GLBT Contemporary

Publisher:  Seventh Window Publication

Length:  Novella

Heat Rating:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer:  Portia

Blurb:  In the line of duty, decisions that will change your life forever are made in a split-second. Nobody knows that better than Officer Michael Carmac, whose fatal split-second decision haunts his days. Tormented by guilt, Michael seeks solace in a bottle and the friendship he has with his partner, Officer Bertram Angel. But the more he leans on Angel for support, the more Michael discovers a longing that he’s kept hidden for too long. Can Angel help ease the pain of guilt or will Michael’s hidden desires be the end of their friendship?

Review:  When I first went to rate this I scored it kinda low.  But, that didn’t feel right.  It’s been a while since a book had me as twisted up as this one.  It wasn’t until I stopped trying to make The Incident a love story, could I truly appreciate its literary value.

Sure, there is a romantic sub-plot, but this is the story of Michael’s road of discovery and recovery.  Angel is just a piece of the puzzle.  The Incident shakes Michael on a core level.  He is a true Alpha personality and mistakes are something that other people commit.  I love the way Axelson doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh reality of post-traumatic depression and recovery.  Loving Angel might have given him the strength to make healthy choices, but Michael had to want his healing for himself as much as for his lover.  I also really appreciated the fact that the road to happily ever after included more than just some “love conquers all” bullsh*t.

This story is not for the faint of heart.  It’s raw and dirty, yet absolutely beautiful.  I highly recommend adding this to your library.