Blurb:Magical species must never mix. According to the rules, Simon Osborne should ignore the children’s cries for help. After all, they’re werewolf cubs, and he’s an apprentice mage. But for once in his life, Simon breaks the rules and rescues the cubs, saving them from a demon intent on draining them of their magic.
Of course, all actions have consequences, and Simon’s bold move earns him the displeasure of his peers and the attention of the cubs’ alpha, a man named Gray Townsend.
The last thing Gray needs is a mage in his life, but Simon did save his son. Since Simon is now a friend of the pack, Gray doesn’t have much choice about it—or the forbidden attraction that goes along with it. Unfortunately for the alpha, he needs Simon’s help to track down the demon behind the kidnappings—before it strikes again. Simon and Gray must join forces to protect the pack, even as they struggle to resist the temptation that threatens to destroy them both.
Review: Simon breaks the rules when he saves some werewolf cubs from a demon and two humans. He becomes further involved when their alpha (Gray) asks for his help and lands in further trouble when he saves Garon’s (Gray’s son’s) life. Gray needs all the help that he can get when it comes to Others, because they don’t mix he has no clue how to deal with the problem of the demon. With the help of Simon, they just might get to the truth.
This is an extremely well written fantasy that grips you from the start. Simon breaks the Mage’s rules when he goes to the rescue of some werewolf cubs. Even knowing that he will be punished doesn’t stop him from helping them… and then he has to face their Alpha who he feels an instant attraction to. But, the troubles that he faces just keep coming as he has to face his Master and then coming to Garon’s rescue again, all while feeling ill from a magical attack. Gray also feels the attraction, but his concern is for his pack and the demon who took the cubs. As they work together to get to the bottom of the problem, secrets emerge from Simon’s family history.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the characters to be enchanting, the storyline incredible and the plot great. Poppy Dennison has wrote an fantastic piece of work that draws you in from the beginning and doesn’t let you go as you discover the well woven plot and the intrigue and secrets and deceptions of this fantasy world. I loved the way that the supernatural circles were set up; each species keeps to themselves and has no interaction with the Others, instant distrust towards Others and it is filled with a world of possibilities. In this story, we have werewolves, mages, a demon and a vampire, the background building is brilliant and we get an idea of the everyday workings of werewolves and mages.
The characters in this book were great and I especially loved the cubs, Garon and Emily, and their personalities. The adults were good as well, with Simon and Gray being a good match, but the one who intrigued me the most was Cormac and I would love to learn more about him (hint). There are some really hot scenes between Simon and Gray. I loved the way that they worked together and just seemed to fit so well together. The way that the pack was described as a huge family and the interactions between them warmed the heart, but the way that the mages worked left me feeling sorry for the loneliness that they most all feel.
With this one, I am going to recommend it to everyone who loves fantasy, shifters, mages, vampires, demons, unexpected danger, intrigue, hot sex and a fantastic storyline… I advise everyone to give this a go because I really don’t think that you will be disappointed if you give this one a shot.
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (14th March 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb:Nine gods ruled the world until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying, and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.
In the land of Pozhar, the people fear the return of Zhar Ptitsa, the god of souls and rebirth who nearly destroyed them nine hundred years ago in a terrible rage. To prevent his rebirth, the people hunt down and sacrifice Vessels, those born with a piece of Zhar Ptitsa’s soul within them.
The Sacred Texts say that one thousand such Vessels will be born and all must be sacrificed to destroy Zhar Ptitsa once and for all. Now, only two pieces remain in the bodies of two thieves who will not go to the Flames without a fight.
Review: Oohh. What can I say to this one except Ooohhh? This is again a revised edition of an original that was posted on Megan Derr’s website and she has changed it up a bit so that even though it still has the original plot and characters the storyline is completely different. High Priest Dym has spent his entire life searching for the Vessels who carry pieces of Zhar Ptitsa’s soul. Now, finally there are only two left. Raz and Pechal are thieves and when the hunt for the new vessel begins Raz is determined that his friend will not be sacrificed and with the help of friends he sets out to avoid the sacrifices.
This is a brilliantly written fantasy that has mystery, intrigue, hunts, twists, danger and a couple of romances. Dym is in charge of the sacrifices to prevent the return of their God Zhar Ptitsa to Pozhar, but everything isn’t as it seems and a faction is trying to prevent the sacrifices from going to the Sacred Fire. Raz is one who doesn’t want to lose his friend to those fires, but even he ends up in danger when he comes face to face with Dym. There is a lot going on, as there are slightly overlapping stories as some actions in this book help with the progress of future books.
The characters in this book are great. There are quite a few of them and some of them are from future books which whets your appetite for those stories. we see Duke Krasny, Lord Ailill (a White Beast of Verde), Shio and Shinju (the mermaid sisters from the end of Treasure), we have new characters Raz, Dym, Zholty and Ivan and his gang and they make it an interesting story with quite a bit of action. Zholty is a sneaky character and is one to keep an eye on, but that isn’t to say that you should take your eyes off the others. There is again as always with Megan Derr inferred sex and we see the relationships building, but the focus is on the fantasy storyline. Can I say any more about this story? Well. Yes. But, then I might give it away and I would hate to ruin the discovery for you, so you really do need to read this book.
What can I say about this one except…damn? I have to read the next books in this series. For those of you who read the original then I say you have GOT to read this book, because there are some significant changes for some characters that will make interesting reading in the future books and it will be interesting to see how these changes affect books 4 and 5. And for those of you who haven’t read this book then what are you waiting for? If you love fantasy, danger, intrigue and a great storyline then you shouldn’t miss this book.
Blurb: Left alone in Baltimore after his unpredictable lover bails, Special Agent Zane Garrett takes his frustration out on everything in his path until he is ordered to Chicago to back up an undercover operative. When he gets there, though, he finds himself face to face with his wayward partner, Special Agent Ty Grady. They have to deal with the uncertainty lingering between them while they work to retrieve their intended mark, a retired hit man and CIA wet-works operative named Julian Cross.
Ty, once a Marine and now a FBI hotshot, has a penchant for being unpredictable, a trait Zane can vouch for. Zane is a man who once lived for his job but has come to realize his heartbreaking past doesn’t have to overshadow his future. They’re partners, friends, lovers, and the go-to team for unusual cases. With Cross and his innocuous boyfriend, Cameron Jacobs, in tow, Ty and Zane must navigate the obstacles of a cross-country trek, including TSA pat-downs, blizzards, their uncooperative prisoners, CIA kill teams, a desperate lack of sleep and caffeine, and each other. Ty and Zane are determined to get Julian Cross to DC in one piece, but it’s starting to look like it might be the last thing they do.
Pixie’s Review: For some reason some people doubted that Abigail Roux would be able to do justice to the Cut & Run series after Madeleine Urban retired from writing and, well, all I can say is read it and weep. Ty and Zane are teamed up to bring in Julian Cross, the only man still alive who can identify the man responsible for countless deaths, but he doesn’t come quietly and Zane and Ty have their hands full with the prisoners, the CIA, each other and their relationship. As they run across the country, dodging CIA operatives, dealing with unruly prisoners and trying to deny the need to kill Cross, Ty and Zane sort through their relationship.
Ty and Zane are back. When we last saw them, Zane had just woken up and found that Ty had done a flit. Now, he receives a phone call telling him he has a job, when he turns up at the rendezvous point he is surprised to find Ty. Ty fled because the walls were closing in and now he is face to face with the man he loves, but, they have a mission to complete, get Julian Cross to D.C. to identify a killer at all costs. It is far from easy, as they are chased by the CIA, who wants to stop Julian Cross, and to make matters more difficult, Julian’s boyfriend Cameron comes along for the ride.
What can I really tell you about this book? Except freaking brilliant. For those of you who worried that Roux wouldn’t be able to keep the spirit of Cut & Run and its characters alive, you worried for nothing. Abigail Roux gives us the characters we know and love, their attitudes, snarkiness and all their faults and flaws… she also gives us the excitement of chases, shootouts, and Ty’s ability to make people want to kill him. She also gives us Julian and Cameron from Warrior’s Cross and the spirit of those characters shine through just the same.
This book is really well written. The storyline and plot are excellent. The characters are really well-developed and nothing is over the top. Ty and Zane and their complex, but easy relationship, is woven brilliantly throughout the action and suspense. And although their relationship edges into their work, it doesn’t overpower it and they do manage to come to a new starting point in their relationship. We also get a visit with Nick (Ty’s best friend) and he and Zane work some things out. And I have to say pairing up Ty and Zane with Julian and Cameron was a pure stroke of genius, they were all brilliant together.
So, we have hot sex, betrayal, twists, hot men, danger, chases, shootouts, things not being as they seem, a happy ending, 4 men that we know and love and an incredibly good story. If you want to know more, than I advise you read this book. Oh hell. I’d advise you to read it anyway.
Artemis’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Let me just say that I am a HUGE Ty and Zane fan and have read all of the previous books in this series multiple times. Some I liked more than others but I have been waiting for Armed and Dangerous for what seems like ages! I downloaded it within hours of its release and did nothing but read it all day. I honestly could not put it down. Both the relationship development and plot were incredibly well written. You will not be disappointed in this book!
I was furious with the ending of the last book…Zane wakes up to an empty bed and a note from Ty that he needs some time away to think. I wanted to throttle him. This was settled rather quickly at the beginning of the story and Zane and Ty are immediately thrust into a mission that requires them to transport 2 very important people back to DC. If you have read Warrior’s Cross you will already be familiar with Julian and Cameron and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend you check it out. While you don’t NEED to understand these 2 characters for Armed and Dangerous to make sense, it will help. And since it was another awesome book by Ms. Roux you won’t be sorry!
Julian is not a willing participant in his transport back to DC and he is determined to get himself and Cameron away from Ty and Zane. This involves a lot of arguing, trickery, and a few outright physical fights. Ty and Julian have a very hostile yet extremely amusing way of dealing with each other. I alternated between laughing and cringing every time they started fighting.
As for Ty and Zane’s relationship, all I can say is that I am SO glad to see them finally starting to open up emotionally. They are finally willing to admit that they are totally and completely in love with each other and really try to be honest and open about their feelings without it being at all corny sounding. Zane finally give’s Ty the necklace he bought and has been hiding for quite a while. It was a romantic moment that had just enough smirking and teasing to keep it from being out-of-place in the story. The author dealt with the Nick issue from the previous book as well and I think it was very well done. We are left with a better understanding of Ty and Nick’s relationship and Zane seems accepting of their friendship.
The sex is downright scorching hot and Ty is finally starting to accept the fact that he really likes having Zane take top dog position. They are comfortable with each other, passionate, and totally in love. This translates into some seriously sexy interactions that are the perfect blend of both heat and tenderness.
I was disappointed in the end that they didn’t come out to their coworkers but am really looking forward to the next book in this series to see if that issue is tackled in it. I just hope that MS Roux is writing quickly!
Blurb:James Stratton’s moral cost him everything and he never thought he’d recover until one very stubborn, loving man showed James he deserved to be loved.
James Stratton was proof there was such a thing as a lawyer with morals—and he paid a very high price for them. A successful plan to stop a sadistic murderer ended up costing James everything. After being kidnapped and assaulted, he was held in a ‘facility’ where he was kept medicated, ostensibly for his own good. In reality, his parents had had him kidnapped again—for his own safety, they’d claim, once he’d been freed.
Glenn Shearing, former FBI agent and deeply closeted, fell for James before he ever met him. All it’d taken was reading the file on the extraordinary man, and Glenn knew he’d found someone worth stepping out of the closet for. He risked everything to free James, and didn’t consider it much of a loss when he left his job and headed for Texas.
James needs all the help he can get after what he’s been through, and Glenn wants to be there for him. James isn’t ready for any kind of intimacy, not after being hurt physically and emotionally. But will he push Glenn away one time too many? Or will he let Glenn’s love help him heal?
This book is part of a series and must be read in order.
Review: Because of what James started with the Rollins, many people paid the price. James being one of the worst effected and it didn’t end with his rescue, because then his parents got involved. And if not for the dedication of his best friend, Chase, and with a determined FBI agent to lend a hand, then he would still be in hell. Glenn is a FBI agent who worked the Rollins case. He rescued James from his kidnappers and then again from the ‘facility’ James parents had placed him in. Glenn sees something in James that he wants to get to know, so follows him to the town. But, can these two men be together after everything they have seen and been through?
Bailey Bradford has finally given us the story of James, who we have wondered about for many a book. Now it’s his time to shine along with Glenn’s, but they have problems to work through. James has had traumatic experiences and although we don’t get the in’s and out’s we do know that it was horrific for him. It’s left him with panic attacks and a skewered vision of himself and feeling like he is less than a man, especially in the eyes of Glenn, who saw James when he was at his most vulnerable. Glenn doesn’t think that James is weak. He actually believes that James is a strong survivor, but, he knows he has to take his time with James. But, the longer James seems to push him away, the more he starts to lose hope.
I loved this book for its seriousness of James problems. Nothing was swept under the carpet. He didn’t instantly make a startling recovery and it was a long progress that took into consideration everything he had suffered. Although there is an attraction between James and Glenn, their relationship doesn’t get off the ground until nearly halfway through the book and that was due to what James had suffered and also because of Glenn’s doubts that James would want an older man like him. So it’s a rocky start for them both, as fears and doubts get in the way, and they also have the added outside pressure for someone lurking around town and then James parents turning up.
So, in this book we have wounded souls, hopeful suitors, interfering parents, guilt, hope, spying PI’s, hot sex, the beginning of healing and a happy ending, but that isn’t just all it has. there’s understanding and helpful friends, everyone pulling together to protect a man who lost everything and fought with everything he had to do the right thing and a man who risked everything on the off-chance that the man he fell for, would want him back… this is a must read book.
Blurb: Cop Damon is a 9/11 survivor, still traumatized and still grieving the loss of his firefighter soul mate. Will Christmas in New York ten years after the tragedy bring him closure and perhaps a new future?
Ten years after the horror of 9/11 and the loss of his firefighter partner Justin, former NYPD cop Damon Summerfield is back in New York for Christmas with his family. Still deep in mourning with no end in sight, he visits Justin’s favorite bar near Ground Zero and there meets Simon, a member of the FDNY and fellow survivor of 9/11. Damon can’t bear to give their attraction a chance, not when he thinks Simon’s job will tear them apart someday…
Can Simon help Damon with his grief and can they build a future together?
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains a HFN ending.
Review: Damon has spent the last 10 years grieving the lover he lost in 9/11. Now, on his first trip back to NY in as many years, he meets a man who ignites a part of his soul he assumed was buried with his dead lover.
911 is pretty intense for a novella. Both Damon and Simon lost men they loved in the terrorist attack. But, where Simon had a wonderful support system to help him heal, Damon isolated himself in Montreal; existing, but never really dealing with his loss. 911 is as much about Damon letting go as it is about his moving on. By going to his dead lover’s favorite NY bar, visiting Ground Zero, even just talking to his family, Damon finally begins to heal. I loved the ending of this book… It’s more a promise of a future, then a HEA. This is exactly how it should be until Damon is emotionally stronger and ready to be a full partner in a healthy relationship. Any relationship. But, especially in a relationship, where his new partner is in the same high risk profession as his last lover. Very well written; intense on several levels and highly recommended.
Blurb: Forty-five-year-old English professor Nathan Qells is very good at making people feel important. What he’s not very good at is sticking around afterward. He’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t feel things the way other people do. So even after all the time he’s spent taking care of Michael, the kid across the hall, he doesn’t realize that Michael’s mob muscle uncle and guardian, Andreo Fiore, has slowly been falling in love with him.
Dreo has bigger problems than getting Nate to see him as a potential partner. He’s raising his nephew, trying to leave his unsavory job, and starting his own business, a process made infinitely more difficult when a series of hits takes out some key underworld players. Still, Dreo is determined to build a life he can be proud of—a life with Nate as a cornerstone. A life that is starting to look like exactly what Nate has been seeking. Unfortunately for Dreo—and for Nate—the last hits were just part of a major reorganization, and Dreo’s obvious love for Nate has made him a target too.
Review: Nathan is an English Professor who has decided to head back into the dating game a year and a half after his last relationship. But, he never once thought that his neighbor, Dreo could fit that role. Dreo is very interested in Nate; he’s known him for four years and has had many chances to observe Nate. and now he makes his move, but it isn’t perfect, as the life that Dreo is trying to get out of suddenly explodes around him.
Well, here we are with another feel good story from Mary Calmes, and I wondered if Ms. Calmes could really continue to give us her wonderful stories, with her great characters (you know the ones), one character is wonderful, loveable, and is a rock to all around him and the other one who is strong (alpha), silent and just what the other MC needs. Well it’s a resounding YES she can. Nate isn’t in the first blush of youth, he’s 45 and has already had his family (fully explained, but it involves a drunken night and doing the right thing). He’s being encouraged to get into the dating game by his ex-wife, but the guy he is interested in is 32 and he thinks the guy is too young for him. Enter Dreo who is 28 and is his neighbor and has his 16yr old nephew living with him. Okay, I’m not explaining any more than that because my fingers will fall off.
So, we get a lot of background about both Nate and Dreo, and we see how Nate gets drawn into Dreo’s life without really realizing it. And we also see how Nate usually moulds himself to be what a person expects, but with Dreo he doesn’t get the chance because Dreo already knows what he wants and that’s the Nate he has seen for the last four years. We don’t see Dreo’s working life, just the very fringes of it, as Dreo is getting out, so don’t be expecting loads of mob trouble. The trouble they do get is after Dreo leaves the life behind him and is from a source who hates gays.
We have an interesting mesh of people in this one, and obviously we have sparking hot love, ex-boyfriends, wannabe boyfriends, loving friends who adore, a manhandling alpha male, a touch of angst and a hospital visit. There wasn’t as much angst as I am used to in this Mary Calmes, but it didn’t affect my love for the story… Nate just wasn’t an angsty person and he seemed to be able to calm those around him. Dreo *sigh* Dreo was just everything a guy (or girl) could want, a take charge kinda guy, but he had a slight vulnerability about him *sigh*.
So, all I can say is that I have to recommend this to those who want a feel good, happy ending, leave you with a warm feeling, type of story.
Blurb: Elf Prince Fabion enjoys the perfect supermodel lifestyle until wizard Matradorian chucks him back in time to save Henda, the sexy, powerful elf king. Since the death of his lover, Henda has lingered in a half-alive, half-dead state. Surprisingly, Fabion is a spiritual match for Henda’s dead lover, so only he can save the dying king.
Fabion uses his sexy bod and sweet lovin’ to revive the elf king. All seems well until he realizes that by saving Henda, his own timeline was destroyed and he must stay in this ancient land forever. Fabion pitches the biggest temper tantrum of any century.
Soon a new threat emerges which puts his life in fresh danger. Now who wants to kill him?
Review: Fabion lives in the thirty-ninth century. The world is a foul place, with toxic seas, smoggy air and a dying land. The elves are a protected species. Fabion lives the life of a supermodel that is dragged kicking and screaming to the nineteenth century to help save the planet and the Elf King Henda.
Well. Damn, this is a funny, chuckle worthy, giggle making story, which was a pure joy to read. Henda lost his love Fabion and is now fading, as a last ditch attempt to save him, Matradorian (Mattie) travels through time to find Henda’s perfect soul mate and reunite them. But, what he finds is so not what he would have imagined. Fabion is a supermodel elf who is adored by millions and wanted by all, his beauty is breath-taking and he has an ENORMOUS ego. When he is dragged back in time to change history, he takes all his uncouth ways with him… including hand gestures, curses and insults, along with a diva temperament… and may the White Gods have mercy on them all. Now they have to discover who put the spell on the original Fabion, and work together to bring a better future for them all.
This is a funny loveable story and I found these characters to be loveable and thoroughly enjoyable as they bantered about. The storyline was quite good, although, it was a bit anti-climactic at the end as I expected something more explosive. Fabion is a character like no other… he is just too much diva to be true and has some wicked thoughts. I found his reaction to landing in the nineteenth century quite funny, especially when he realizes he has been conned and is now stuck. I also thought that the way he reacted to Henda was sweet, but, damn he really is a diva.
There is a lot for Fabion to come to terms with, and a lot of maneuvering for him to do as he slots into the previous Fabion’s life. He also has to deal with their souls merging, as he experiences some of the old Fabion’s memories and feelings. The elves in the nineteenth century accept the new Fabion as the old Fabion, although they all realize he is a different Fabion… seriously, if you want to truly understand you have to read the book. There are several really funny bits and a lot of sex going on (which is really hot). We also see Fabion drunk, drinking elves under the table, teaching them new insults, but also bringing life and joy into the family. He has an interesting way of phrasing things and it livens up the story no end.
So, if you enjoy fantasy, comedy, time-travel, hot sex, hunky elves, a mystery, saving the world, lots of chuckling and giggling and a happy ever blissful after with lots of sex, then this is the book for you and I highly recommend it for a fun filled afternoon.
Blurb:It’s been years since Ashton fell in love with a boy, but now that boy is a man who makes Ashton burn for more.
Ashton Clarke is a stripper. Some nights he dances on stage at the Nuts and Bolts, other nights he gives private dances to the club’s rich patrons. When he is sent to give a private dance to a birthday boy and he turns around to see J.C. Sparta sitting there, he runs. Nobody from Ashton’s past knows that his parents cut him off from the family fortune when he came out, forcing him to strip to make ends meet.
But that’s not the only reason Ashton runs. J.C. Sparta was the one man he loved but never confessed it. When J.C comes back again and makes him an offer, how can he possibly refuse?
Review: Ashton was disowned when he told his parents he was gay. Now, he makes his living stripping. It’s a job that pays the bills, but one night he turns around and his client is none other than J.C., the boy he once fell in love with. J.C. is celebrating his birthday with a lap dance bought for him by his best friend, but when the dancer turns around he’s startled to see Jeremy (Ashton). Jeremy who he remembers from school, but what was he doing stripping? J.C. needs to see him again and hopes he can give him an offer he can’t refuse.
This is a lovely short story of seeing past the trappings surrounding a man and to the person they really are. Ashton lost everything when he came out to his parents, only his best friend Bo stood by him and helped him navigate the real world and now J.C. has walked into his life. But, Ashton is wary of trusting him, after all the only person he knows he can trust is Bo. So does he take a chance with his heart? J.C. has been bitten in the past and he is wary of jumping in with a man again, but when he sees Jeremy (Ashton) again after all these years he throws caution to the wind and takes a chance that Ashton wants him and not his money.
Both Ashton and J.C. are wary men, but as they come together both of them seem to realize that they have found just what they need in the other man. You can understand Ashton’s cautiousness, because of how he lost not just his parents, but all his friends when he came out. only one person standing beside him and being there for him, so when J.C. comes to him it makes him wonder what J,C, really wants. J.C. is willing to take the chance that Ashton wants him, the man, and not the businessman, he knows it’s a risk, but he wants Ashton and wants to show Ashton that they would be good together.
The dynamics of the relationship is fluid, although Ashton likes to be spanked by J.C., he also takes control as well. The sex between them is very hot and at times feels desperate, as though they must have it now. Although the relationship felt a bit rushed, it seemed to suit both their personalities and worked well for them. Although they make an interracial couple, there is no real focus on that; they are just two men who want each other.
So, if you want a story of seeing beyond the surface, new beginnings, hot passionate sex and trusting your instincts, of realizing that the timing is perfect for you and no lost regrets, then this is the book for you.
Blurb:A wingless angel is sent to Earth with two missions: help a heartbroken human regain his faith and return the first angel created, now called The Fallen, to Heaven. Xavier’s life and his soul mate both depend on his success.
Xavier is the only angel in Heaven to have been created without wings. When he is sent to Earth to help a human regain his faith and retrieve the first angel ever created, he finds everything he knew about his home is a lie. Heath Noland is a broken man. Restoring his faith seems impossible, but trying to return the angel called The Fallen to Heaven may be deadly. He’s lived a long time on Earth as Adam by successfully killing all the others sent to take him back to Heaven. Neither Adam nor Xavier expects this time to be any different, but Xavier must succeed. His life and his soul mate are on the line.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains scenes of rape or near rape.
Review: Xavier has been called forth to go on a double mission, to restore the faith of a mortal and to return The Fallen angel to Heaven, neither task is easy. Heath has been shattered by the deaths of his fiancé and his grandfather, his faith is rock bottom and when a man appears at Heath’s feet, who then later proclaim that he is an angel, Heath ends up helping the man. Adam refuses to return to Heaven, and he has the wings of the angels sent to retrieve him as proof, nothing can make him go back… except the little angel sent to help his friend.
This is quite an interesting novel, which has a few different twists on Heaven. Xavier works in the ACD (Animal Creation Division) in Heaven. well, he is mainly a paper pusher now after too much to drink and a little experimenting (oops here comes the Platypus), so he is very surprised to be sent to Earth to complete two missions… especially when he doubts very much that he will be coming back intact. Heath lost his fiancé to a horrific attack and then his grandfather, now he has no faith in God, but the little angel he meets helps to heal his soul a little. Adam hates God and refuses to return to Heaven, but when he meets Xavier he knows that God has played the trump card and there will be one last confrontation between them.
I found this storyline to be intriguing and I enjoyed the twists that presented themselves, I found the writing to be a bit rocky at first but it soon smoothed out and it was easier to stay in the story. The characters are interesting, Xavier truly seems meek at first and then turns a bit fouled mouthed when he gets to Earth but his gentle nature stays the same. Heath is a well portrayed character who really does get beaten down in the faith department and I was really surprised that he wasn’t suicidal (I would have been in those circumstances) and although he is brisk and brash at first you warm up to him quite quickly. Adam is The Fallen but not everything is as true as it seems, when we first meet him he comes across as evil but you get the feel that something is being kept from us, when you find out the truth you want to bitch-slap God right in the face… yes my hand was itching.
The relationship between Xavier and Adam is slow to form, but progresses well. Xavier and Heath become good friends. although there are one or two kisses between them. Adam and Xavier are really hot together and they don’t jump into bed straight away. The image of Heaven that is portrayed in this book is like nothing we have been led to believe, and God is not quite as benevolent as portrayed either, during the last scenes you really do want to do violence towards God just to cause God the same pain that God caused Xavier. Oh and the warning about rape, well it’s spoken about, there are no rape scenes or near rape.
So, if you fancy your Heaven a bit different, your angels good and bad, your sex causing sparks, your friendships fast developed but strong and a happy ending for those involved then this is the book for you.
Series: A Rent Boy Tale (Riptide Rentboys: The 2012 Collection)
Author: Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Short (51pgs)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (21st May 2011)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb:Addiction drives Sean O’Hara to a critical crossroads. Will he make the right decision, or will the floodwaters bound for New Orleans sweep him away?
Street kid Sean O’Hara never had it easy, but New Orleans has driven him to his knees. His girlfriend’s broken up with him for a sugar daddy, a gun-toting pimp has robbed him of everything but the clothes on his back, and he’s down to his last two OxyContin. Sean’s no seasoned streetwalker, but he’s not above it either, not when he’s already itching for his next fix.
A familiar-seeming stranger named Ángel may be his ticket to some quick cash, but only if Sean’s willing to help him indulge a high-class john’s weird fetish for the night. As Ángel tells him, in this city and this business, you have to get a little weird to survive.
When night falls on the French Quarter, Sean realizes Ángel and the john want more from him than he was expecting to give. What once seemed merely strange soon crosses the line into supernatural and sinister. And Ángel, the man Sean had viewed as a partner and protector, might also be his otherworldly judge and executioner.
Author note: “Cruce de Caminos” is erotic horror, not romance, and contains an HFN only by the furthest stretch of the imagination. However, it’s also a prequel to The Druid Stone, coming from Carina in August, which is very much a romance.
Review: Sean is basically living on the streets with his girlfriend and any money they get usually goes towards drugs, food and a bed for the night… in that order. But, then his girl goes off with a sugar daddy and Sean ends up turning tricks for some cash when he loses his belongings. Just when he is beginning to get desperate, Ángel turns up and makes him an offer.
I found this one to be a bit smoky/misty around the edges. As though, you can tell right from the start that this story is going to be different and will have a quality about it that is slightly mystical. Sean comes across as only seeming to do certain things to keep his girl happy. When he meets Ángel, he is given options to maybe turn his life around. But, Sean seems to be on a destruction course, but finally he begins to recognize the signs of his impending doom.
I have to say that I found one or two aspects of this book to be disturbing. Like how Sean was drugged and then he can’t remember anything the next day and then later his girl finds flecks of wax on him… yeah strange. Ángel does pop up a few times seeming to steer Sean, or rather trying to steer Sean in the right direction, but it takes Sean facing his mortality before he takes the first steps.
This isn’t a romance, although there is some m/m aspects in it and some m/m foreplay, there is no sex. This story is actually a prologue for another story for Sean. So, we just get the bit where events change is life and he decides to get clean and do something with his life and obviously it has to do with Ángel and his mystical qualities.
So, I would recommend this to those who like horror, urban fantasy, mystical, the breaking point in a young man’s life and the promise of more in the future.
Blurb: Jacob was devastated when the doctor diagnosed him with a rare blood disorder. Deciding to make the best of what time he has left, Jacob casts all caution aside and pursues the one man he had been warned away from…Shelby.
Shelby smells the sickness on Jacob, his mate. After finding out that Jacob doesn’t have much longer to live, he begs the prince to convert the human, but Christian refuses. He tells Shelby that the choice is up to Jacob and Jacob alone.
When Shelby is attacked by a pair of rogue vampires, Jacob learns the people in this world are not just human. He can live with that. But what he can’t live with is the fact that he is too weak to defend the man he is quickly falling in love with.
Time is running out and Shelby isn’t sure he can convince his mate to be converted. When Jacob collapses right before Shelby’s eyes, Shelby realizes just how close he is to losing the one man fate has given him to love for the rest of eternity.
Review: This is a very well-written book. Though it is part of a series Christian’s Coven and the fifth in the series, nothing is lost. I was able to follow perfectly. I think a series like this is really a showcase of the author’s abilities to develop such defined characters and settings to reel you in and make you want to go back and read the rest and continue on. I can say mission accomplished here. I loved the story, all the characters, good and bad alike, the storyline of this book and the depiction of the love scenes. As we all know by now, I am a major sucker for a great love story.
This one the blurb pretty much says it all. Jacob finds out he is sick and decides to not waste his precious little time. He wants to spend what little he has left with Shelby even though he has been warned off, but no one really says why. He soon finds out the Shelby is a vampire. Shelby knows he is sick and that they are destined as soul-mates and that Jacob is all he will have. Eternity is a long time to be alone so he tries to get Christian the Prince of his coven to turn Jacob to save hm. Christian refuses. If Jacob wants to be turned, he will…but not against his will.
Time is running out for Jacob and for Shelby to convince him to change his mind. So does Jacob finally decide to convert? Does Shelby have to live forever without a mate? What are the rogues and who are creating them? (Oh, forgot to mention evil rogue vampires that could threaten Shelby’s safety!) I am not gunna tell ya!! You will have to read the book.
I recommend this book to anyone that loves vampires, the soul-mate principle. Good solid love stories, hot mansex and a well-developed series.
Review: Jeremy has struggled through the last 9 months, being near his mate but refusing to claim him as Jeremy isn’t gay. But, now the time has come that he can deny it no longer. Sam has fancied his straight boss since he started working at the Tattoo parlor, he knows that he isn’t the most outgoing of employees; he stutters, is shy and for some reason fights keep breaking out around him.
This story was originally offered as a 13 page freebie at the m/m Goodreads group, so this is the expanded version for those who may have read the original. So, Sam has wanted Jeremy since he started working for him, but now after being the reason for another fight he thinks Jeremy has had enough, until he finds out the truth. Jeremy has tried to keep his distance from Sam but, it’s causing problems. Jeremy now has to face the fact that he must claim his mate and also explain to his mate just what they are.
I quite liked this novella, it was cute, sweet and slightly funny in places and it is a good shifter romance. Now it wasn’t instant mates because, one, Sam doesn’t know he is a shifter, even though he does have a strong attraction to Jeremy, and two, Jeremy is straight and fights his attraction to Sam until he can no longer put it off. Even though it seems as though Jeremy really doesn’t want a male mate, it doesn’t mean that he hadn’t made arrangements for the inevitable. Both characters are interesting and mesh well together and the reactions of both of them are good. There are some really good scenes between the MCs as well and I really enjoyed the fact that Jeremy wasn’t an Alpha; he’s just a normal member of the pride. There’s no angst, danger or drama, this is just a nice relaxing shifter story.
So if you like shifters, hot sex, uncomplicated stories and a happy ever after then I recommend you give this story a read.
Blurb: The midforties are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to sensible. But when Barry Grooms’s partner of twenty years is killed on Barry’s forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.
After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can’t eat another casserole or swallow much more advice, and so, still numb, he escapes to Key West, then New York. He embraces a new mantra: Why the hell not? He becomes so spontaneous he’s ready to combust. First, he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, and then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next, it’s a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior, so youthfully oblivious he thinks Karen Carpenter is a lesbian woodworker.
Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life’s gravity spins Barry back to the town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say good-bye with grace.
Review: Barry and Andy have been together for 23 years. It is Barry’s 45th birthday and tragedy strikes. As Barry struggles with the minefield of life, his friends and family look on helplessly, as he tries to find his path as just Barry.
This is a touching story of love, loss, anger, grief, new beginnings and trudging on with your life in the face of a terrible tragedy. It isn’t so much of a romance, it has romance, but it is not the focus, and there will be no dancing off under the moonlight with a new love. In this story we come across Barry the night before his birthday as he celebrates with his husband Andy. We stay with him through the next year as we see his loss, his new beginning, further loss and where he begins to heal.
This is not a book that you can put down easily once you get into it. As a matter of fact. I couldn’t even tell you where or how I became ensnared in Barry’s life. The characters that are described in this book start to become real to you. Their characteristics come to life and you begin to feel like you get to know Andy, Barry and all their friends. When tragedy strikes you can feel their horror and pain. You understand their reactions to everything and the need for levity at the funeral. And. you also understand that life still moves on, as their lives start to pull them back to reality.
We join Barry on his journey as he tries to find his life without Andy; dealing with avoidance, both physically, emotionally and mentally, with friends and with acquaintances who don’t know of Andy’s death, on the pitfalls of far-flung friends as having to explain again and again of his loss. Of beginning anew, making new friends and taking a new lover. This is about a man who has been set adrift from his rock and is trying to find a raft to stabilize him… so please don’t expect him to be having loads of sex and finding new love. Although Barry does have a new brief relationship we don’t get to see the sex, it is inferred.
I really wasn’t sure about this book when I first cracked it open, as the prologue seemed a little spacey to me. But then, I got into the first chapter and somewhere along the way I became enthralled with all the characters and their lives, their interactions and their friendships. There are some humorous parts and some tear making parts, some regretful parts and some angry parts. And watch as he steps into the dating pool again and fights a quagmire of online profiles.
I really do have to recommend that everyone give this one a try, it might not be dripping in sex and happy ever afters into the sunset but it is a great book and a touching read.
Pixie made contact with Rodney while he was vacationing in sunny Palm Springs, CA. He was gracious enough to take a break from sunbathing on clothing optional beaches to grant MM Good Book Reviews and interview.
Rodney Ross So far, so good. To answer your question: it’s gratifying, of course, to see my work unleashed upon the world. But, until I hold the paperback version in my little palsied claws, it won’t quite feel real.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I can see how that would work. Like when you finally get a printed copy, it makes it more real.
Rodney Ross It does. I’m a very tactile person — not a hoarder, but my bookshelves groan under the weight of the works I REFUSE to part with.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So, The Cool Part of His Pillow is not the typical romance, but I found it to be a compelling read. Tell the readers a little about it please.
Rodney Ross My getaway to Palm Springs has at least given me some breathing room, time to focus on promotion…I have made the rounds of the few LGBT bookstores here and thankfully found DSP product…so I immediately set upon charming the owner or manager into ordering THE COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW.
Rodney Ross Thanks, hon, for the compliment. I know it doesn’t conform to the norm. Frankly, I was a little surprised Dreamspinner was keen on it. It is almost anti-romance, in that romance is almost completely subtracted from the main character’s life, with a very good chance he may never recreate happiness again. So, actually, it’s about finding new bliss, repurposing and reformatting and reinventing.
Rodney Ross Well, writing it as I did in first person, he surely embodies a lot of my views, politically, etc., but anyone who would consider it memoir is mistaken. I really wanted to address a certain age in the LGBT community, when a certain invisibility descends, and what happens then when the certainty of your life also vanishes. That Barry is successful, has money, all of his hair and teeth and a sense of humor means little when the touchstone of his life, his partner Andy, is whisked away in one horrendous moment.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I have got to say, what a way for it to vanish, when I was reading it my heart was in my throat. You showed complete destruction of a person’s life in brilliant detail.
Rodney Ross His thought processes become a little skewed, his innate skepticism multiplies, he doesn’t trust much of anything, and then realizes that there has to be a sunset for him to dream on, somewhere. And so begins his journey…not exactly EAT, PRAY, LOVE, more (like) DRINK, SULK, BITCH for a time, but he works his way through. It was difficult to write. Having a partner of many years myself, it was difficult to conceive of such apocalyptic horror, and the ongoing trauma of the legal system, the viral video of the accident itself.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think it was brilliantly written. You grasped his stages of grief really well. It came across the page and let us join him and mourn with him.
Rodney Ross That was my goal. Grief is such a process, and to share it so publicly is additional torment. It redefines you. It becomes The New Normal.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Don’t give it away. I was imagine all sorts of accidents, especially with Andy racing a train earlier in the book.
Rodney Ross And without going into Spoilers, my hope is that the novel also demonstrates that, yes, sometimes the shit continues to hit the proverbial fan, and you have to don a bigger rain bonnet. It’s an unthinkable exit, that’s for sure. Yet, I also wanted to couch this in humor.
Without mumbling the trite “My favorite emotion is laughter through tears” stuff from STEEL MAGNOLIAS, indeed, I felt the circumstances needed a light touch. I have always been, and continue to be, a hopeful person, so that informs my writing. That tears are being shed does not preclude the possibility that a smile can be found in the darkness. You have to give the reader breathing humor.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews You did. It was exceptionally well done. Okay, less me gushing and more about you. As you said you have a long-term partner/husband and I read that it was your 30 year anniversary this year. How’s Greg been in the support and encouragement?
Rodney Ross Greg is the ultimate support system, which makes him sound like some space-age ventilator. As a writer himself — plays — he knows too well the angst and torment and anxiety and heavy lifting of writing. I mean: it’s not so easy. Digging ditches is hard labor, but constructing a plot and dialogue is itself a lot of sweat.
And Greg appreciates the fact that I will often disappear, when the muse hits, for hours in my office, tapping away, living other people’s lives. He’ll come in with a drinkie, or a reminder that dinner has gone cold, or laments that maybe pretty please could we go somewhere and look at real people and not just the ones I’m inhabiting?
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Well, do you have a certain process or is it something less structured, when you sit down to write?
Rodney Ross A hybrid of both. I knew the first sentence of TCPohP when I sat down to write, and I knew the last, so I had an endgame, but I was always open to exploring how much I could get away with…several characters evolved radically, but they were always in the outline. I work from copious note-taking. I rarely share what I do with Greg, or anyone. I might run a concept by him and if he makes a squichface at me, I know maybe I am on the wrong track.
Key West, as literary-minded as it is, doesn’t have many reader groups, or author get-togethers, so I really don’t have a lot of interaction in that way…which can be a help or a hindrance, as it is.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Has Dreamspinner helped with their authors’ forum? Putting you in touch with other authors and the like?
Rodney Ross A bit. Again, I don’t really seek or need help with the craft…it’s really the promotion aspect that I have sought input on…book signings, the practicality of how to take a credit card, how big should the posters be, beer and wine versus soft drinks, all of those basic things that are unfamiliar terrain to me.
I worked in Advertising for over two decades, but I never promoted ME. Now, I — and the novel, of course — are the product, and it’s still a little off-putting. I am by nature talkative and friendly, but shaking the hands of strangers is surreal. So those are the things I have asked about, and gotten both good and not-
As bookstores vanish, there is less opportunity for those venues, so you have to explore the idea of LGBT centers, LGBT coffee shops, bars, lounges…I mean, if I could sing, I’d probably write a Karaoke blurb and perform the goddamn thing.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So you had a lot of experience, you learn as you go along I suppose. Well, after this you’ll soon be an old pro. I gotta ask how it was for you when you first started submitting your book to publishers.
Rodney Ross I felt like I had missed on some quota.”Oh, we already an LGBT author.” Or, “We have a book about The Gay coming out in 2013.”
I was surprised how closed the market is — mainstream publishers, I mean. If you aren’t Sedaris or Burroughs or Cunningham — all of whom I love — it becomes difficult to avoid the gay ghettoization.
My people is about people, not political concepts, it’s about pain, which is universal. But I think what most Literary managers and Editors saw was, “Oh boy, another one about a lonely gay man.” If, of course, they responded at all, which many do not. Silence. I heard crickets. My own labored breathing. But nothing for weeks.
I also think gay sensibility informs so much now, the industry has become a little blasé about it. Gay characters abound, sassy trannies show up on Page 83.
Rodney Ross Indeed. I was elated that they found worth in my work because, as I said, it doesn’t really conform to certain strictures they indicate in their Submission requests. So I felt they appreciated the writing…and their Editorial Staff is without peer, lauding what they felt was good and gracefully indicating where I’d made a misstep, overstated something or needed clarification.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So you found Dreamspinner Press is breaking newish ground in the M/M genre, does this mean you have another book in the works?
Rodney Ross I do indeed, and it does an LGBT component, but isn’t driven by it, so I don’t know where it will find a nice home. But yes, I DO think Dreamspinner took a bit of a gamble on me; I hope readers do, as well. If people are seeking hot sex scenes, they won’t find them, but they will find a whirling dervish of a plot, some twists and, I hope, a sense of fulfillment for my character by the final page.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews I think people who read M/M are now opening up to more versatile story-lines and we appreciate the authors who take a chance on us. 😉
Rodney Ross I hope you are right. I am a bit apprehensive. I myself like to read explicit sex passages, but it didn’t feel right for this particular tale…since its first-person, it would have come across as a bit more salacious, like a lovemaking narrative.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews So, after the experience that you have had, what would you recommend to someone else who is thinking of submitting their work?
Rodney Ross I didn’t even THINK about this as M/M, frankly; I just thought it about one gay man and his survival.
DSP has been so kind. Their responses to inquiries are lightning-fast. I just E-mailed this AM to lightly grouse about it not being on Amazon or Barnes & Noble yet, and I had a response within 30 minutes. The answer: big e-tailers will go “live” with it when they damn well choose, but the detail has been furnished to them.
Of course, fiscally-speaking, I would much prefer people buy from DSP directly, or request it at their local bookstore, but I also know people tote around gift cards, and there are those are NOT comfortable registering at an LGBT website, whether because they are closeted or just don’t like to “register” anywhere.
Elizabeth North has assembled a dazzling and capable staff that truly appreciate the writer and their voice; I never once felt at all they were trying to cookie-cutter me into anything.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Hmmm, we always try to post the direct link to the publishers when we do a review as it shows support to the author and the publishers… and I think I read somewhere that authors get a better percentage from a publishers sale. Okay, you spoke about publicity earlier so I have Got to ask, where the hell is your website?
Rodney Ross I don’t have one, nor will I. Knowing my own OCD characteristics, it would consume too much time, administering, blogging, updating, and I wouldn’t get any writing done. I know, I KNOW, this does not particularly endear me to those who want access to their author’s site, but I will direct people to FB, or Twitter. I’m savvy enough to know my own weaknesses, and I would be so engaged with the site, decades would pass and my novel-in-progress would languish.
And yes, I DO get a better percentage from a direct sale from DSP…but I still have friends, family and others who do the Amazon thang, and they are growing impatient with me. But hell, yes, hon, put up those Direct LINKIES!
I am a slow methodical writer who polishes as he goes along, and my output is probably not as prodigious or as swift as many others….hence, the limitations I place on myself when it comes to Internet visibility.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews LOL, I know what you mean, sometimes you can lose yourself in trying to keep on top of everything and then fall behind *sigh* I do that with writing reviews. So stick a profile up on Goodreads chick, I did a web search for you and ended up with a Rodney Ross who writes articles for Bass Fishing, Gah.
Please tell me that wasn’t you!!
Rodney Ross Uhm, no, that wasn’t me, and yes, I will take your counsel and update my GOODREADS Profile; I am pretty sure I have one, but it may need more detail re: the novel and such.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews The novel is on there just no personal information or contact details 😉 so this is where I get personal… does you have an all over tan? *snigger*
Rodney Ross Currently, yes. I and my traveling companions spent a little time at a clothing-optional resort where we exercised our option.
Rodney Ross As I mentioned, I am in Palm Springs CA this week, where it has been a hellish 107 the other day….but, of course, it’s a “dry heat,” whatever the fuck that means. It’s been a good trip. They — a couple such cuties — actually went hiking today to Joshua Tree.
I said, “See ‘ya” and eyed a breakfast burrito. I haven’t yet let them read the book; they want to discover it at my book signing in Key West mid-June.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Lucky you. I am going to be sick with jealousy. Okay back on track, what hobbies do you have, when you have the time?
Rodney Ross I garden, tend my three glorious cats, give my husband unsolicited advice, judge strangers, pass gas and blame others, travel.
Rodney Ross Botox, laser resurfacing and some light lipo under the chin, that’s the key. Better living Through Sutures.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews An honest man, if it makes you happy do it, that’s my motto. So a few more rambles, Let everyone know where they can find you so they can let you know how much they love The Cool Part Of His Pillow.
Rodney Ross People can join me on Facebook, or they can search for THE COOL PARTOF HIS PILLOW Page on FB, they can access my gasbag Twitter thoughts @RodTRoss, or they can E-mail me at RodneyTRoss@aol.com.
And if they ever visit Key West, just look in the gutter.
Rodney Ross I have recurring dreams of flying, as it is, and God knows I get the heartburn after Mexican, so I am actually halfway to dragon status. And wearing these sandals out here has given me a scaly hoof, too.
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews Oh god, Portia will kill us when she reads this, but what a way to go, I’ve had loads of fun Rodney, but I will have to draw the interview to a close, otherwise were gunna delve into the unknown. So, Rodney it has been a pleasure to have you here on MM Good Book Reviews and I have had a ton of fun, any last words to your new fans?
Blurb: An abusive childhood causes a barrier in Payne’s relationship with Braxton. When they meet Flame a solution to their problem might be at hand. While the path to love is never smooth, three men prove harder to balance than two.
Payne’s abusive past raises a barrier in his relationship with Braxton, but they love each other enough to work around it. When they meet Flame, a solution to their problem might be at hand.
While the path to love is never smooth, three men prove harder to balance than two and Flame isn’t sure if he’s ready to be part of a trio. But Brax and Payne are determined to make Flame part of their family and the combined power of men in love won’t be denied… even when death tries to knock on their door.
After two life-altering events, Payne realizes in order to keep the happiness he’s found, he can’t let the past rule control his future.
Review: Braxton and Payne have been lovers for three years. They are still very much in love, but due to horrific childhood trauma, Payne suffers from some pretty major sexual dysfunction. Rather than either man risking triggering Payne’s mental demons, when the mood strikes them, they invite a third into their bed. Well, Payne’s bed, because Brax just watches; anything to keep Payne happy. At least that was the pattern…until they meet Flame.
I really didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I rarely see survivors of sexual trauma accurately depicted in a realistic manner. Especially not the type of abuse that Payne endured. And I speak from almost twenty years of dealing with victims professionally. But, I think Amber Kell did a pretty good job with Payne. I also really like that Brax and Payne were given a reasonable time to build their relationship, before adding a third. And even then, all three men are open with their attraction and their concerns. Which made me believe their ménage could work outside the bedroom. The characters are very well crafted. And, by that I mean, they complement one another. Where Brax is straight alpha male, Flame is more nurturing. Both men are obvious with their devotion to Payne, but we also see them begin to develop a relationship that is separate, if not quite equal.
A couple of things trigger Payne’s “switch”. And, again I felt they were realistic events, not simply plot devices. I totally bought that he was emotionally ready to add a third to his existing relationship and expand his sexual role with both of his lovers. If anything, I think Brax could have stood to open up a bit more…
Amber Kell never ceases to amaze me with her mastery of the novella. For all its heavy subject matter, Switching Payne is not maudlin. Neither is it sappy sweet. It’s just a really nice romance between three wounded men, who somehow make it work for them. Highly recommend.
Blurb: In the last installment of the Wolf Harem series, all questions will be answered. Five will now become six, but will he be invited to their bed?
Dallas showed up for the wrong reasons and Spencer biting him was an accident in the sense he didn’t realize it meant life or death to the man. While Dallas is trying to follow the rules of his new pack and adapt to a life with actual friends and a make a home, everyone else is working hard to build a true family. It’s not been an easy journey in anyway but one they are all better off for taking.
The last surprise of the series… Who makes the special guest appearances?
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains scenes of sex in a partially shifted form.
Review: Spencer and the gang are sleeping when they are awakened by an intruder. Spencer reacts violently and forces a choice on Dallas, fuck or die. With the only choice besides death, being he has to sleep with the man, Dallas has no choice but to become a shifter. With a new addition to the household, Spencer, Ryder, Ethan, Dean and Luc have some adjustments to make, pasts to face, insecurities to acknowledge and flaws to accept or their relationships will begin to crumble.
This novella is the last in the Wolf Harem series and continues from just before the end of Dying Assassin and is filled with hot sex, jealousy and angst. Spencer screws up by biting an intruder, especially when he learns that the assassin was sent with false information, now he has to turn the man to save his life. Dallas is deep in the closet and now he has to have sex with a man to save his life. All the men, together, have to work through their problems and jealousy to come together as a real family.
I am going to be honest and say that I am in two minds as to this story. Why? Well, it’s simple really. Spencer and Dean got right up my nose with their attitudes towards Dallas. And, also the fact that they were all determined to force Dallas to admit he was gay. Spencer got on my nerves with his childish behavior concerning Ryder as well. It also amazed me that any of them got any work done with the amount of sex going on. On the other end of the scale, we have the abused men who are shown compassion and understanding and are offered love and support as they get the help they need. Dallas has amazing insight into Ethan and helps the little guy to admit the truth to everyone. And the love that all the men feel does shine through. So. that’s why I am in two minds.
This story is well written and it is entertaining. it has a lot of angst, frustration, anger, love, hot sex, resolution, healing and a happy ever after for the guys… but what it doesn’t have is a face to face resolution with Payton. We get told what will happen to him, but we don’t see it. So, I recommend this to those who like any of the above and also a special visit from two of our favorite authors.
Blurb:Dante is a talented musician. When a hot groupie offers to be his sex slave in exchange for his soul, he thinks it’s a kinky hook up. Instead he’s bound to an Incubus on probation and there’s hell to pay.
Dante is a struggling musician in New Orleans with no time for a social life. He doesn’t know that his passion has caught the eye of some otherworldly creatures who want more from him than the music he makes.
Eroc is a sex demon on probation for showing mercy to a human. When the King of the Incubi hands him the important mission of retrieving Dante’s soul, he knows that it is his last chance. But Eroc never anticipated the pleasure he feels when obeying the sexy musician.
Can the two overcome their differences and make a meaningful relationship out of a shady business deal? Or will they both lose themselves in the roles they’ve been cast to play?
Review: Eroc is an Incubus who has been given the task of getting Dante to enter into a contract for his soul. Unfortunately, Eroc isn’t quite as impervious to the humans’ charms as he thought. Dante inadvertently enters the contract, but he decides to make the best of it as there is no way out.
This is quite a fast-moving novella with a good twist and a very happy ending. Eroc has to get Dante to enter a contract for his soul, but he also has to ensure he does it right after his last mistake. Dante is in a band who wants to hit it big, when he comes across someone in his dressing room he mistakes them for a groupie, to his instant regret. Now Eroc and Dante come to a truce, but Eroc has to go to further lengths to ensure his feelings don’t engage and Dante wants nothing more than for Eroc to let his emotions go.
I really enjoyed this cute novella of an Incubus who needs to gather souls for their King. But, his emotions start to become involved and he has to try to stop them from becoming further entangled. We also has a human who inadvertently agrees to that contract, because he isn’t thinking with his big head *wink wink*. But, what we also have is two men coming together and making beautiful music together (what! They do, it’s a good song), as well as some spectacular sex.
The progression of the story is really quick, over the course of just a couple of days. But, there is a reason as to why it happens so quickly (I’m just not gonna tell you *g*). You get a good feeling for both Dante and Eroc, as we share head space with both of them, and they do make a great couple. They are really hot together in the sack, and we see a little power play (kink, D/s) but it isn’t too heavy and it works really well for them. We also have a little twist at the end when we meet the Incubus King (who sounds interesting).
So if you love Incubi, musicians, slightly D/s sex, hot sex, loopholes, invalidating contracts and happy ever afters, then this is the book for you.
Blurb:Harry Zade has secrets. A secret pact with an ancient trickster, forged in the heat and dust of war-torn Baghdad. A secret tragedy borne from a quest for fame. A secret love for a young man called Kamal.
Harry Zade seems to have it all: wealth, movie-star looks, and a stellar career as a society photographer. But he also has secrets….
A secret pact with an ancient trickster, forged in the heat, dust and chaos of war-torn Baghdad. A secret tragedy borne from greed, ambition and the quest for fame. A secret love for a young man called Kamal.
With a young English researcher, whose curious interest in Harry and his story goes beyond the purely academic, to tell the tale, the time has come for all of Harry Zade’s secrets to be revealed.
But, as in The Arabian Nights, take nothing for granted until the story is finally done.
Review: Harry somehow managed to get everything he could have ever wished for, but the price was quite steep. Now, he tells his story to a professor of mythology who specializes in Arabic folklore.
Wow. How to describe this story? This story is the type of story that I’d expect to be told in a country pub; sat around the fire in the dead of winter, with the wind blowing, the rain pounding and the old gent in the corner is regaling us with myths, folklore, urban legends and village tales. Harry Zade told his tale of woe to a stranger in a little café. the stranger gives him something in return, and the next thing Harry knows his life is on the up… but there comes a point where a choice is made… fame, money, power or love… it isn’t until too late that Harry even realizes that there was a choice.
This is an enjoyable story, if you do like this sort of thing; stories told that happened to a friend of a friend, and there is always something magical or mystical about them. The interviewer in this story we don’t get much about, not even a name, which I found a bit strange at first, seeing as it’s from his POV, but you realize when you get to the end of the book, that it just adds to the mystique of the story. Harry comes across as very brash and a drunk, but as he tells his story, you begin to realize how damaged he really is, by the events that led to his fame and fortune.
So a well written bittersweet short story, that surprising enough gave me chills near the end. I will have to recommend this to those who love myths, folklore, pain and anguish, and a bittersweet ending with a slight twist.
Blurb: In the 1700s, Gatian Almasia was rich and a sought-after member of Parisian society. No one realized he’d lost his reason for living three years earlier. When his sister accuses another nobleman of raping her, Gatian does what any older brother would do. He challenges the man to a duel, and kills him. Later that night, the dead man’s family takes their revenge on Gatian.
Gatian’s death is just the beginning of the journey he must take as Death, the Pale Horseman of Apocalyptic fame. While he doesn’t regret taking the nobleman’s life, the guilt of not being there when his lover died builds a wall around his heart, and until he accepts forgiveness, he must always be Death.
Pierre Fortsecue is a spoiled rich young man whose heart is broken by the man he thinks he loves. Finding himself alone in Paris, Pierre sinks into a haze of heroin. He gets a tainted baggie of the drug, and almost dies from it. Death arrives to take his soul, and something about Pierre touches the Pale Horseman, who steals him away to help heal.
As Pierre heals and Death begins to feel again, they begin to wonder if love really is the only emotion needed to overcome desolation and destruction.
Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series
Review: Death has no remorse for the actions that lead to his death. But, he carries guilt over his lovers’ death. Now, he carries the mantle of Death, the Pale Horseman and his new orders take him to a man who is close to death from drug abuse. Pierre has plunged back into drug abuse after discovering his lovers’ betrayal, on the brink of death. He is visited and given a reprieve. Now, with the help of Death, he starts to pull himself out of the gutter.
*Sigh* Death, oh Death, what guilt you carry on your shoulders. How hard you try not to care and how soft your core really is. Death/Gatian has lived with the guilt of his lovers’ death for many years. But, meeting Pierre leads to some similarities, but also glaring differences. Death begins to hear his lost lovers’ voice, as he helps Pierre get clean. Pierre has sunk low before, but never this low and now, with Death’s help, he starts to see things a bit differently and begins to find his way out of the hole he has landed in.
I have to say that this is my favorite Horseman and not just because we finally got Death’s story. It’s also because of the level of detail that we are treated to; from the streets of Paris in the 1700’s, to Gatian’s country estate. And also the detail of the effects of the drugs and the overdose. We get to see Aldo and Bart briefly for a flying visit and we meet Lam’s lover, Day. God. I so want to read their story.
Death and Pierre’s story is really good. Pierre finally comes to face his own actions and grows up. Even going so far as to… ah nah read the book. Death/Gatian finally begins to process his own guilt over not being there when Oliver died. and Pierre and Death have some really hot sex. I thought that the way the relationship played out was great. And, I especially liked it when Pierre insisted on standing on his own two feet, without using Death as a crutch.
So the end to a well-loved series and I will recommend that everyone who loves paranormal, hot men, great back stories, hope for the future and a happy ever after.
Blurb:Adam’s assignment is to work with the ex who destroyed their relationship. Lee wants to know why Adam betrayed the Bureau. Can they learn to believe not everything they thought true was actually real?
Adam’s newest assignment for Sanctuary means working with the man who didn’t trust him two years ago and destroyed their relationship. He still hates Lee but Jake Callahan, boss of Sanctuary, doesn’t give him a choice, insisting they need to get along for the good of the cross-agency case.
Lee wants desperately to understand why Adam betrayed the Bureau. He is still angry and disappointed, but the memory won’t leave him alone. The Bullen case is the perfect cover to get back in his ex-lover’s life, and he is determined to find out the truth.
Against the backdrop of Sanctuary and the Bullen case can they learn to understand and believe that not everything they thought was true was real?
Review: Adam has no choice, but to work closely with a Fed. A Fed that he used to work with. A Fed that he called a friend. A Fed that was his lover, but now is only his biggest regret. Lee needs to know why Adam betrayed them. Why he threw away what they had and why he would never say why. Together working on finding the leak, the truth comes out and they both know it isn’t finished.
This is another great addition to the Sanctuary series. Adam is told to work with the Feds, but he is far from happy to learn which Fed it is; Lee Myers, his ex. Lee uses the assignment to get the answers that he has always wanted, but they are far from the answers that he expected. Now both men must work together to protect the innocent and to lure out the FBI leak. All the while striking sparks off each other with their attraction.
Adam and Lee make a great couple. Two souls ripped apart by deceit, but now reunited as they struggle to find evidence against the Bullens. These characters are opposites, not just in appearance but in personality, too. and they strike sparks off each other from their first scene together, which had a passionate clash. I loved the way that these two men fell back into the easy work camaraderie, even while they hadn’t sorted out their differences. And Adam’s absolute trust in Lee was breath-taking, but Lee’s lack of trust made him look a bit petty. Although, we would all have had doubts, if we had been shown the evidence and no defense was forthcoming.
I loved the way this story went and the tricky twists. Although, it got me wondering if both Lee and Adam hadn’t been set up in the first place by the FBI leak. We see characters from the previous books and a new one is added, (who is in the next book with Manny :-)). and evidence comes to light that just might stop the Bullens once and for all. The relationship between Adam and Lee was bound to be rocky with their history, but other that getting answers and confessing what really happened, there wasn’t too much angst and it was pretty smooth sailing.
R.J. Scott has provided us with a wonderful story of lovers torn apart by betrayal, a bit of action, a bit of danger, some passionate sex, twists and a really well written storyline that flows smoothly. So, really I have to recommend that you give it a read.
Publisher: White Stiletto Press (March 14th, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½ – 5 Hearts
Blurb: Detectives Scott Turner and Will Harrison are sent undercover after an apparent murder/suicide in Laurel Heights, an exclusive gay housing community. Will the two closeted officers be able to hide their attraction while each believing the other is straight? And is there a killer amongst them waiting to claim his next victim?
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title includes scenes of dubious consent.
Authors Blurb: A shot rings out in the dead of night and leaves two residents dead in the exclusive, gay gated housing community of Laurel Heights, an apparent murder/suicide, but not everyone is convinced.
Detectives Scott Turner and Will Harrison are sent undercover to dig beneath the surface and discover answers. There’s only one problem: Scott and Will are not out of the closet at work. Now they are two gay men, pretending to be straight, who must pretend to be gay in order to stop a murderer.
Will the two closeted officers be able to hide their attraction while believing the other is straight? And is the killer living among them waiting to claim his next victim?
Review: Aaaarrrggghhh Noooooooo. Lisa Worrall you have made my author’s to stalk list, I just… I can’t… I want… ggggrrrr.
Will and Scott are two detectives who are both deeply in the closet at work. So far in fact that neither knows the other is gay. When they are put together to work the case of the deaths of two gay men both men begin to panic. Can these two men pull off the act of a lifetime and convince the other residents that they are both gay and in love while they try to hide their real feelings from each other and solve the case??
This is a brilliant story that drags you in and keeps you hanging on as it throws red herrings at you. Will is deeply in the closet after he watched a friend get driven out of training. He now has an imaginary life as a straight man. Scott is in the closet because of his father and his bigoted reactions. he is the player with a long string of imaginary women as notches on his bedpost. Both these men have to try to solve a murder while trying not to reveal how they feel about the other man.
The characters in this book were brilliant. Todd was a fantastic portrayal of the scared man trying to hide the truth from everyone. Will and Scott made a great couple while they were pretending to be a couple and they were even better when they became a true couple. The mystery surrounding the murder/suicide is good and keeps you on tender hooks throughout the book, as you are thrown flashes into the murderers and his victim’s lives. Will is a lot more open to coming out to everyone than Scott is, but they both had very different stories with their parents and that reflects in how they both act and react.
The sex in this is hot between Will and Scott and there are some erotic scenes involving some of the other characters as well. I will give warning, we do see evidence of partner swapping and there are also some scenes of physical abuse. Now we come to the part that means Lisa Worrall owes me a new eReader, the ending is brilliant and frustrating and made me throw my eReader across the room (I miss paperbacks *sigh*). Just when we thought that everything was sewn up in a neat little package Lisa Worrall gives us the epilogue!!
So this book I recommend to those who love thrillers, mystery, hot sex, confused macho men, a brilliant story, a group of friends that seem incredible and an ending that will make you want to hunt down Lisa Worrall and force her to write the next book NOW. (Hmmm She lives in England, I think I need to visit the seaside soon) lol ;-).