Hi guys! We have L.A. Witt popping in today with The Closer You Get, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Artemis review so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
The Closer You Get
The virgin isn’t the only one with something to lose…
Self-described manwhore Kieran Frost is loving the single life. Two years after moving to Seattle, he still has his friends with benefits, Rhett and Ethan, plus a never-ending supply of gorgeous, available men wandering through the bar where he works. A relationship? Spare him the drama and heartbreak. He’s got no complaints about his unattached lifestyle.
When Rhett’s daughter introduces him to newly-out-of-the-closet Alex Corbin, Kieran’s interest perks up. After all, the quiet ones are always the freaks in bed. But Alex isn’t just shy and reserved. He’s a virgin in every sense of the word, having never even kissed anyone else.
Kieran is no one’s teacher, and his first instinct is to run like hell in the other direction. But his conscience won’t let him throw the naïve kid to the wolves for someone else to take advantage of. The plan is to introduce Alex to his own sexuality, pull him out of his shell, then go their separate ways.
It’s the perfect, foolproof plan…assuming no one falls in love.
Blurb: Life is like high school.
For Grey Talbot teaching high school history was a choice. When a gorgeous blond punk of a kid walks into his class with attitude to spare, Grey fears his choice might just be his undoing.
High school kids kept getting younger and Paul Gaines stayed the same. Moving from one city narcotics unit to the next, his youthful looks and slender body made him a perfect undercover cop for the job.
Meeting the professor wasn’t part of the deal. The man was smart sexy and off-limits even if he was younger than Paul.
For Grey getting involved with one of his students, even if that student wore a badge meant playing with fire. Fire that could burn them both.
Review: When I first read the summary of this book, I was a little bit worried about the whole student/teacher concept. I’m not a huge fan of adults and underage kids in a romance book! But, we learn very early on in the book that Paul is not really a student but an undercover cop trying to bust a narcotics ring. Despite the big reveal to the professor, no one else can know so while there is the whole ‘forbidden’ relationship angst. It isn’t creepy for the reader to be reading about a student/teacher relationship.
I loved that the author gave Grey an outwardly prim and preppy attitude but a touch of bad boy underneath. I really think his character was perfect! Just enough concern for his students matched with a bit of attitude and a whole lot of sex appeal.
Paul is dedicated to his job as an undercover narcotics officer, although getting sick of playing the part of student because of his slim and youthful appearance. While he knows that falling for the professor is a no no, he just can’t seem to help himself!
There was a good balance in the book between Paul and Grey’s relationship and the investigation of the narcotics ring. I was definitely surprised at the outcome of the case but won’t go into details and spoil the story! I did think the end was a little bit rushed…I would have liked a bit more of a wrap up than we were given, although it ends with a HEA so I was happy.
The passion between these two characters is intense but the emotions are there, too. Nobody is jumping into bed right away and there was a nice buildup of both story and relationship before things get too serious.
I am always going to buy a Mercy Celeste book and definitely recommend this one as well. It is sweet and sexy with a great story line and wonderful attention to details. I loved it and will be reading it again…probably more than
Blurb: It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.
Review: This story starts out in a rather lighthearted way with an interesting collection of friends, coworkers and acquaintances heading out on a journey to watch a sports game. They bicker, tease, nag and argue but everyone seems to be getting along okay. The journey home poses some problem when the ferry company they used goes belly up and they are forced to find an alternate route home. The route they choose takes them into a rather isolated area on a long stretch of empty road. Pitch black with an eerie mist rolling in; the author does a great job of portraying the slightly spooky surroundings just as Allen starts acting very strangely. As he dives out of the car with Dennis fast on his heals they seem to cross a barrier of sorts that leads them back in time. In ‘real life’ Dennis and Allen have a sort of casual dislike for each other. As they are thrust back in time they begin to replay a 75-year-old love affair between two World War 1 soldiers.
I found it interesting how the author had Dennis and Allen essentially living two lives each. While they had the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of their current selves they also had those same things floating around in their heads from their 75-year-old counterparts. It created quite a bit of tension within the characters minds as they tried to decide whether they liked each other or not.
I enjoyed this story. Not only the main characters but the secondary characters were very well written as well. It is written with a very heavy British influence in terms of the writing style and some of the phrases were totally new to me but I had no problem understanding them in the context of the story. Overall, a very well written story with a nice time travel twist.
Blurb: Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school’s basketball team. He’s a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life has become a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe’s serial cheating. Kyle’s parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him.
Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents’ lives. He likes Stephanie, his father’s girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother’s handsome boyfriend, Reece. As Kyle struggles with his fear and frustration, he grows angrier and more erratic.
Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn’t solve all Kyle’s problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle’s harried life. But Dwight’s life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight—and about his father.
Review: Thunder in His Head is a coming of age story about Kyle’s struggles to deal with growing up, being gay, and falling in love. In the beginning of this book, I get the impression that Kyle is a little bit confused, slightly angry, and really just wants to be left alone. His parents are separated, and while his dad’s girlfriend seems to be okay, he is developing one serious crush on his mom’s boyfriend. The author does a great job of portraying Kyle’s torn emotions. He understands that his feelings for Reece are wrong, but that doesn’t stop the heart and the hormones from wanting what he shouldn’t have.
In comes Dwight, and Kyle’s life takes quite a turn. We see the relationship between Dwight and Kyle develop as a teenage romance with lots of angst, anger, and miscommunication between the two of them. Along with the relationship between Kyle and Dwight, we see the struggles of the secondary characters as well. They are all very well written and seem quite ‘real’. In fact, all of the characters in this book are very realistic. The dialogue doesn’t come off as stiff or forced at all.
At the end of the book, I felt like I had a better understanding of Kyle’s inner struggles when it came to his parents and their significant others than I did with his relationship with Dwight. I wish the book had continued on for a few more chapters to JUST focus on Dwight and Kyle.
This was a great coming of age story with realistic characters who are struggling with difficult issues and emotions.
Blurb: Thomas-Edward is only a teenager when he escapes his working-class neighborhood. He’s ready for anything–except the arrival of Donovan Whyte in his life. Sophisticated and dazzlingly handsome, Dondi quickly becomes the center of Thomas-Edward’s universe, introducing him to a world full of drama, passion and feuding families.
When their relationship fizzles, they remain uneasy friends until Dondi invites Thomas-Edward to his family’s summer-house. Thomas-Edward is immediately attracted to Dondi’s mysterious brother, Matthew–and finds himself hopelessly drawn to both men.
As time passes, Thomas-Edward develops a unique bond with both brothers as they orbit around each other, although he knows only one of them can be his lifelong love. Will the three of them be able to find a way to hold on to each other? Or will love, its loss and the threat of death destroy their connection once and for all?
Review: When Thomas-Edward heads off to college and meets Dondi he is swept away into a world that he never even suspected exists. Dondi is wealthy beyond anything he has ever seen before and wants nothing more than to spoil his new roommate. Dondi is not only wealthy, but charismatic, passionate, and totally uninterested in settling down or finding true love. They engage in a brief romantic involvement but their relationship quickly settles into one of a more platonic nature. There are definite deep feelings between the two of them but they avoid the passion, jealousy, and romance of a true relationship. Thomas-Edward becomes quite a fixture at Dondi’s family home and while Dondi is off traveling and bed hopping, deep feelings begin to grow between him and Dondi younger brother Matthew. As the bond deepens between Thomas-Edward and Matthew, Dondi’s lifestyle is starting to catch up with him and the triangle they have formed begins to break down.
I was a little bit uncertain when I first began this book because the writing style is different than I am used to. The author tells the story in snippits….you will read about a weekend or a month at school and then skip ahead a bit to a new situation at a different time in the story. At first, it seemed a bit choppy but I found myself unable to put the book down. I *HAD* to know how the friendship between Thomas-Edward and Dondi developed. I needed to know if Matthew and Thomas-Edward finally admit their feelings toward one another. I was intrigued by Dondi’s family’s dynamics and the wealthy lifestyle they lived. As the book progressed, I needed to find out how Thomas-Edward, Matthew, and Dondi all handled the issues that were thrown in front of them at every turn.
I don’t want to give away what happens in this book, but I will say that I was in tears and wanted to throttle the author for the plot twist that ruined the triangle that Dondi, Thomas-Edward and Matthew had formed together.
I don’t think any review will do justice to this book. It is a page turner and a tear jerker and definitely NOT your typical male/male romance book. If you are looking for a book that will be emotional rather than passionate, this is definitely the book for you
Blurb: Truman Durant has two painful secrets. One keeps him in the closet and the other hangs inside his closet. Letting either out seems like the equivalent of suicide to him. He didn’t know just how badly he needed Stasi Manolis until he found himself in the pushy Greek’s sights. Would giving up his secrets and maybe falling in love really be so bad?
Review: In this book, Truman is struggling. He can accept the fact that he is gay, but the need to occasionally dress up in girl’s clothes is harder to accept. After a very emotionally scarring incident in his last relationship, he is perfectly happy keeping his secrets very carefully hidden in the closet. Stasi doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of experience with being out and proud, but he came out of the closet and is doing the best he can. He has a horrible crush on Truman, but figures the very heterosexual seeming baseball player doesn’t bat for his team. When he catches Truman watching him in the library he starts to hope that maybe this could turn into something. When he follows Truman out-of-town and discovers his penchant for garters and lace, Truman is horrified and terrified that his secrets will all be exposed. While Stasi is a little bit shocked he is also a whole lot turned on and Truman starts to think that maybe he can let the secrets out of the closet. The path isn’t particularly smooth, but they are determined to forge ahead together.
Let me just say that I read this book in one sitting on a very lazy Saturday morning and could not put it down. I also found myself grinning stupidly half way through the book because Truman was so darn sweet and Stasi was just so perfect for him. These characters were incredibly well written. I could feel Truman’s pain and insecurity, his fear of someone finding out his secrets, and how much he hated the need he felt for cross dressing. When Stasi discovered his secret he was honest with Truman…while he had never had a thing for guys in lace he was incredibly interested and excited about seeing this side of Truman. He was caring and protective and the bond between the two was intense. I think the author did a good job of making this a realistic story…there were misunderstandings and awkward moments during sex and all of the things that real relationships have to go through. I am glad they found their happily ever after and I would love to see these characters come back in another book. I would love to see this relationship mature and have these characters be so sweet, down to earth, and passionate 15 years from now!
Blurb: After being bullied into the closet by his conservative senator father, Jay Molloy reconciles himself to a life of one-night stands instead of the loving D/s relationship he craves. When he meets the man of his dreams, trained Dom Eric Keger, all Jay dares to hope for is a quick fling. Eric has other ideas. He’s been hired by Jay’s father to run security at the family’s hunting resort, but now he has his heart set on Jay.
When murder victims begin to turn up at the resort, Eric and Jay start an investigation, but chasing down the killer proves less frustrating than dealing with Jay’s abusive, homophobic father. Exploring their new relationship would be hard enough on their own, but Eric and Jay also have to deal with politics, Jay’s fake fiancée, and a murderer who may be something more than human.
Review: Jay starts out this story heading to the bar to look for a guy to satisfy his deepest desires. While he doesn’t hide his homosexuality from his family, he has to keep it quiet or ruin his father’s political career. He even has a fake wife to squire about town whenever there is a campaign dinner he needs to appear at. While he is waiting, in walks Eric…a guy who seems to be everything Jay could ever want and more. While Jay just figures they will have a little fun together, Eric makes it very obvious that his is playing for keeps. Homophobia, murders, and a not so human killer all conspire against their relationship from the beginning, making them both wonder whether love will survive.
There were a few things that I really enjoyed about this book and others that I thought needed some work. The story is told in the third person so you really get to understand how both characters feel at any given time. I like that….it gave the story a well-rounded feel for me and didn’t seem at all chaotic with the changing points of view. I think the author does a good job of drawing the reader into the story and making them wonder what is going to happen next. There are plenty of details in the writing so that you get a good feel of the surroundings, the emotions, and the characters.
The first thing that really threw me was how quickly Jay knew that Eric was the perfect guy for him. While I certainly agree that some guys might look ‘tougher’ than others he seemed to know within seconds that Eric was not only a top but a Dom as well. Seemed a little unrealistic, but the author did a good job of creating the character that Jay really wanted. The other thing that didn’t really sit well with me was the supernatural aspect. There really wasn’t any background to make you think that monsters really existed in this world. I think the story would have worked just as well if you put in a human serial killer in place of the monster.
While I would have like to have gotten to know the secondary characters more deeply, I think they were well written. Jay’s father is your classic homophobic politician and his mother took a long time to finally stand up for herself. You can tell Jay really wants to please both of them which makes his own wants and desires secondary to everyone else’s. I found it interesting that Jay seems to take more of a stand against Eric than he does his own father. He is a bit of a mouthy sub and Eric has his work cut out for him as a Dom.
Overall, I think it was a pretty decent story, although there were some aspects of it that I think definitely needed a little bit of work.
Blurb: Lee Staunton and Dirk Krause have been seeing each other for a couple of months when they get the bad news: the firehouse they work at will be closed unless they can come up with the money to complete some maintenance and repairs. The union wants to stand and fight. There’s just one problem: the only suggestion for how to raise the money is Lee’s. And Dirk hates it.
Unfortunately, everyone else thinks Lee’s “Chicken and Beefcake” dinner—which they’ll attend in just their hats, boots, and fire pants—is a great idea, and Lee goes ahead with the organizing. But interference from the borough council and low ticket sales threaten to rain on Lee’s parade. If Dirk can’t put aside his pride and stubborn nature for one night, it could cost both him and Lee their jobs—never mind their relationship.
Review: This is a sequel to Andrew Grey’s previous novel, Redemption by Fire. In this book, we continue the story of Lee and Dirk as they worry about the security of their jobs at the firehouse and attempt to forge ahead in their relationship with each other. The firehouse they both work for is struggling financially and the possibility that it may be closed permanently is starting to worry them. Lee comes up with the idea for a Chicken and Beefcake dinner where the firefighters will serve the townspeople dinner in just their pants, hats, boots and suspenders. The hope is that the women of the town will pay good money to be served by topless firefighters. Great idea, but Dirk hates it and makes his opinion known very loudly.
Lee is hurt by Dirk’s refusal to support his idea and I must admit Dirk comes off as a bit of an ass at the beginning of the story. Lee is sweet and determined to help out his station as best he can, even without the support of his partner. He brings together the fundraiser dinner with the help of an assortment of firefighters and friends and a lot of hard work. I love the glimpses we get of the supporting characters, especially Billy, who tries hard to turn a bunch of studly firefighters into accomplished wait staff! It was downright amusing to read that section!
Dirk is at times distant and angry and then he turns around and gets all sweet and supportive. I am not sure if I want to hate him or keep reading to get more of the sweet and mushy part of the personality! The passion between Lee and Dirk is intense, but there are a number of moments that are tender and gentle. I am really looking forward to the next installment of this series to see how these two men develop as a couple. And, hopefully, we will see more of the secondary characters that were introduced in this book!
Blurb: British national Greg Stephens knew there would be challenges in his new relationship with handsome American Navy officer Danny Taylor: long distance; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; the Defense of Marriage Act; US immigration….
But he didn’t anticipate his greatest obstacle: Danny’s born-again Christian mother, Vivien. A secretary in a small-town Southern Baptist church in Texas, she bristles at Greg’s secular beliefs. Through passive-aggressive manipulation, subtle deceit, or outright battle, Vivien resolves to banish Greg and return Danny to the fold, come hell or high water. Greg’s hold on Danny’s heart is pitted against Vivien’s crusade for Danny’s soul.
All the while, Greg devotes himself to keeping Danny happy while negotiating the cultural differences of his life in America. Danny’s new career as a lawyer takes them from his native Texas to New York. But with Vivien testing Greg’s stiff upper lip at every turn, something has to give.
Review: The British Devil is a long novel that encompasses several years’ worth of the relationship between Greg and Danny. all the way from their first meeting to a very nice happily ever after. Greg meets Danny just as he is finishing his tour in the Navy and heading back to the US for law school. As a British national, Greg knows that they have quite a few struggles ahead of them if their relationship is going to survive. Immigration laws are tough and Greg has several years of school ahead of him, but the biggest obstacle for the two men to overcome is Danny’s extremely religious and conservative mother.
I was excited to read this book because of its ties to the right wing conservative and religious population of Texas. Having lived there for a number of years, I am very familiar with the attitude of the gun toting, anti-gay, Baptist population. Obviously, not everyone in the area has the same beliefs, but Danny’s mom certainly would not be unusual in that area of the US.
This book touches on a number of very heavy subjects, but does so in an informative way that doesn’t really feel oppressive. Greg’s character has quite a bit of wit and humor in him and I am truly amazed at the patience he shows towards Danny’s mom. In fact, there were a number of times I wanted to smack Danny for his blindness and stupidity when it came to how his mother treated the partner he professed to care so much about.
I loved Greg….he was patient and kind, with a lighthearted humor that seemed to just win over everyone he encountered…except Danny’s mother. She was just freakishly scary in her religious beliefs and I couldn’t understand how she could ‘forgive’ her son for being gay, but had such a huge problem with Greg for not believing in God and Jesus the way she did. She did everything in her power to drag the two men apart and I really don’t know how the people in her life didn’t throttle her.
I was a little surprised that the ending offered such a rapid turnaround in terms of her opinions. There is an extremely heated scene with lots of screaming and all of a sudden there is crying and a completely new mom. I think the switch happened a little too fast for me to feel comfortable with. I was happy to see the happily ever after, but I think that portion needed a little bit more time to develop.
There were a few scenes where I thought the author delved a little too deeply into a thread that didn’t need that much analysis, but overall, he did a great job of showing us who each character was and how they got to be where they are today. The secondary characters were all well developed and I hope Tucker has a book coming up where he grows up a bit and finds someone he can have his own happily ever after with!
This is less of a romance and more of a look into the struggles a gay couple have to deal with in terms of society. It is sad that Danny and Greg (or any couple!) has to deal with this sort of stuff and I can only hope that laws in the US change QUICKLY so that other couples don’t have to go through what they did
Blurb: Jensen Rivers wasn’t looking for trouble. As the new kid on the block at Clyde’s Body Shop, all Jensen wanted was a job, a place where he could put his head down and ass up. Young and handsome, he was the kind of simple, honest guy who was happiest when he was working hard, with oil smeared across his chest and grease up to his elbows.
But Dean ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson plans on getting more than just Jensen’s hands dirty! Reckless and arrogant, drenched in sweat and dripping with a masculinity that cannot be tamed, Hutch challenges Jensen to a series of perilous night races. The prize: sexual domination!
Night after night, wheels burn, passions flare and the no-holds-barred lust between two testosterone fuelled daredevils ignites. But losing a race is one thing. Losing your heart is something altogether more dangerous.
Will Jensen risk everything to find the love trapped behind Hutch’s fearless façade? Will Hutch bury the secret tragedy of his past before he throws away his last chance at a future?
Review: Drive Shaft is a fast paced, aggressive and very sexy short story that provides a rush of adrenaline and some instant gratification. Jensen has hired on as a mechanic at his Uncle’s auto shop. Hutch is fellow mechanic and definitely a bit rough around the edges. He is full of anger and passion and is looking for a little bit of excitement. The author hints at loss in his past that causes him to push others away, but readers won’t find out til the end of the book exactly what is traumatizing him.
Jensen and Hutch get along like a house on fire and both have a passionate love of a good automobile. Hutch challenges Jensen to a race with the prize being full control of that night’s loving. The race is fast, dangerous, and ends in a rush…as does the sex that follows! A repeat of the race (and the sex) leaves the reader with the understanding that these are BOTH very strong men with a need for control. The last race is a tad bit different…the race is just as fierce, but Hutch and Jensen are starting to realize that the connection between them is more than just a battle for the winning position.
I really liked this book and think the character development was done very well, especially for a story as short as this one. While I have little understanding of the mechanics of a car or motorcycle, I could appreciate what fine pieces of machinery they were. I was a little skeptical that guys with that much pride in their automobiles would treat them quite as aggressively as Hutch and Jensen did, but they certainly knew how to handle them. If you are looking for a fast paced and aggressive love story, this is certainly a good choice.
Blurb: Orphaned in infancy and raised by the great comedy actress Dorothy Jordan, Sim Treagar has lived all his nineteen years among the high drama, greasepaint and shabby theatrical glamour of the Drury Lane Theatre.
When Lieutenant Gervase Levison comes to the theatre to deliver the Royal Duke’s congé to Sim’s adoptive mother, the two men fall immediately into a passionate love affair.
But Gervase’s powerful family oppose their love and seek to use it against the Lieutenant, in a high-stakes game of rumors, scandal and thwarted inheritances. When Gervase is sent to sea, his prospects are safe but Sim’s heart is broken. Can they ever hope to be reunited in a love his handsome sailor’s family can’t countenance?
Review: Child of the Theatre is set in London in the 1800s and the author does a wonderful job of giving us a true feel for the time period. There are descriptions of costumes and architecture that are appropriate to this period of history. Although, I was a bit surprised at how easily the characters accepted their homosexuality…seems like this would be something that was frowned on by Victorian society, especially in the upper class.
I really enjoyed Sim’s character. At times he blushes sweetly or makes a witty joke. He is passionate with Gervase, but also a tad shy. Gervase’s character, on the other hand, is a little bit domineering, but in an authoritative way. Not cruel, just a man who knows what he wants and expects others to do his bidding. The interactions between him and Sim are tender one minute and wild the next. You can really feel that they are drawn to one another very deeply.
As in any good romance, there are challenges that the couple must face…specifically Gervase’s family and their intense dislike of his relationship with Sim. They are torn apart, they both suffer the agony of separation, and then they are reunited, but the challenges aren’t necessarily gone just because they are back together. The ending leaves me to wonder whether the author has a sequel in mind for these characters!
Blurb: Eros Omnia — Ross to his friends and Cupid to the rest of the known world – is having a bad day. With just one more set of arrows to shoot before he can move up to Mercury’s vacant position, Ross loses one of the arrows and worse yet, uncovers a plot implicating two of the oldest gods on Olympus. At the same time, one of those arrows shot true in the finest ass Ross has seen in an eternity. With a little cunning, some bravado and the most beautiful mortal he’s ever laid eyes on, Cupid’s aiming to make his worst day turn out to be the best yet…
Review: Ross has been the God of Love for close to a century and has discovered that the work isn’t particularly rewarding. There is a position opening up for Mercury (the God of Trade) and Ross is determined to get the job. He only has to act as Cupid on one last assignment and he is pretty sure the position of Mercury is his….as long as he doesn’t screw up! Getting Tony and Kristin together proves a little bit difficult, however. Tony Aster, a medical student that makes Ross’s heart beat a little faster, finally gets hit with his arrow after a rather humorous incident involving a pigeon, but Kristin proves a little bit more difficult. Ross ends up losing the arrow meant for her and now Tony is walking around primed for falling in love with whoever sticks themself with the lost arrow. Two things happen as Ross tries to fix his slightly messed up case….he discovers that there is a plot amongst some of the other Gods to ruin his chances at a promotion and he falls head over heels in love with Tony.
Since I have always been fascinated with Mythology, this story really drew me in right from the beginning. It is a quick read so there isn’t a lot of time to develop the secondary characters very well, but I think the author did a really good job of letting us get to know Ross and Tony. As a medical student, Tony has a natural tendency to be nurturing and Ross would love more than anything to just fall into his arms, but always has his mission to unite Tony and Kristin in love in the back of his mind. They give into the very real attraction between them and become physically involved, which makes Ross wonder why Kristin and Tony were ever meant to fall in love in the first place.
I thought the author gave a unique little plot twist at the end in terms of why Ross was being sabotaged. Sometimes I had a hard time following who was who in terms of all the gods involved, but probably because the story moved along so fast. Overall, though, I enjoyed the author’s writing style and thought Ross and Tony were both really great characters. She also gave a lot of description when discussing people and places involved which really made it an enjoyable story
From the Publisher: Rook, Knight and Bishop have been searching for a fourth man to join their threesome for quite a while when Knight meets Jason, the live model in the art class he’s auditing. He thinks that Jason is the perfect man for them and his lovers Rook and Bishop quickly agree. The trick will be convincing Jason…
About the Author: Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the Kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago”.
A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.
Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.
My Review: I wasn’t really sure how a book with 4 male characters was going to play out, but I was really impressed with this story. I can see why the author uses the game of chess as a comparison. The strategy and give and take in the relationships is similar to the moves each piece must take in a game of chess.
Bishop, Knight and Rook are looking for someone to join their threesome. They want someone who they can ‘play with’ (as they call it) for a year and Jason is their choice of playmates. Problem is, Jason insists that he is straight and not all that interested in sex. Unfortunately, Jason is also broke, about to be evicted from his apartment and lose his job so he tries to be a little bit more open-minded about the proposition. When Rook offers to introduce him to the pleasures of a M/M relationship, his world is turned quite upside down when he realizes he might not be as straight as he thought!
Each of these characters is completely distinct with their own voice, personality, and character traits. Bishop is, without question, the dominant force in this relationship. He is forceful, but caring and clearly loves both Knight and Rook in very different ways. Knight is a tortured artist, ex drug addict and very intense. He needs Bishop to dominate him and keep him in line and there is some light BDSM in their relationship. Rook is a sweetie and it is hinted at a couple of times in the story that one of the reasons they are looking for a fourth for their group is so that he has someone he can take care of and bond with. Bishop and Knight have a very dark and intense need for one another and while they both love Rook, he needs someone a little gentler and Jason seems to be working out fine!
I love that they author created such unique characters with their own personalities. It really helped, at the beginning, when I was first starting to get to know them all. This book is made up of a whole lot of sex, interspersed with joking and lighthearted bickering and a little bit of angst. If you are looking for lots of plot and mystery…this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are looking for well written characters with good personalities and fun dialogue that have lots of sexy fun, this is a great choice!
If I could have changed anything about this book, I would have added a little bit more back story. I really want to go back to the beginning of this threesome and see how the whole thing got started! With this being the first book in the series, I am looking forward to seeing how Jason’s part in this whole thing works out. He is a sweetheart and seems to be enjoying his introduction into the world of M/M sex.
From the Publisher: The Sins of Autumn weaves a general thread of revelation loosely tying these tales together. Wrath, gluttony and pride are explored in these hot m/m tales involving action, burning hot sex and out-of-this-world adventures that will leave you hoping for cooler weather—soon!
About the Authors:
D.J. Manly: I write not only for my own pleasure, but for the pleasure of my readers. I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t written and told stories. When I’m not writing, I’m dreaming about writing, doing something wild and adventurous, or trying to make the world a better and more open-minded place to live in.
A.J. Llewellyn: A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled
Serena Yates: I’m a night owl who starts writing when everyone else in my time zone is asleep. I’ve loved reading all my life and spent most of my childhood with my nose buried in a book. Although I always wanted to be a writer, financial independence came first. Twenty-some years and a successful business career later I took some online writing classes and never looked back.
My Review: The first book of this anthology really grabbed me right from the start. In Hail Storm by D.J.Manly, Chance and his friends absolutely worship the rock band Hail Storm and form a tribute band in their honor. Chance doesn’t realize that he has a connection to the lead singer until they meet face to face. It turns out that Hail, the lead singer, is actually Chance’s brother and the two quickly form quite a deep bond. A little thing like falling in love with the same guy (Storm, a key member of the band) might just tear them apart.
From the very beginning of this book, I could feel the hormonal angst of a young guy and his passionate obsession with his favorite rock band. There is a lot of hero-worship going on and he cannot believe it when Hail tells him they are really brothers. Chance is torn between the loyalty he feels towards his brother and the deep feelings he develops for Storm. Hail is obsessed with Storm and Chance knows that by falling in love with him, he will bring Hail’s wrath down on both of them.
I loved the way the author portrayed the conflict in this story. Hail gives Chance everything…opening his home to him and helping him achieve his own success, but in return Chance falls in love with the man Hail wanted to claim as his own. There was no malice involved, just circumstance, and as the pages turned and the conflict was resolved I had to smile at how right things ended up in the end.
The second book of this anthology, Full by A.J.Llewellyn didn’t grab me quite like the first one did. Barney Calloway is an extremely overweight voice over actor in Hollywood. He has struggled with his weight his whole life and after a particularly embarrassing party mishap he finds a business card tucked under his windshield wiper saying one word. Full. On the back is a phone number (which he calls) and miraculously the next morning he wakes up at his ideal weight. Family members and old flames react oddly to the new Barney and he isn’t sure that being overweight was really his only problem.
The message that the author portrays here is a powerful one….our happiness cannot be achieved by being physically perfect. Barney is overweight at the beginning, yes, but after the weight comes off, he starts to realize that maybe he had a ‘fuller’ life than he thought he did. While I liked the story, I think the writing was a bit choppy. I would have liked for the pace of the story to slow down a bit, maybe have the author pick a few key characters to focus on, and still keep the same storyline. Great message, though and one Barney finally understood in the end.
In Autumn Quest by Serena Yates there is a parchment thief stealing books and scrolls from the Royal Library and he must be stopped. The Khan decides to put his youngest son, Bayar, in charge of solving the mystery of the thief’s identity. Bayer chooses an assistant…Chinux, a bounty hunter…to help him in this quest.
The contrast between the scholarly Bayer and the rough and tumble bounty hunter is quite evident. Even though Bayer should be in charge (being royalty and all), it is clearly Chinux that is leading this expedition. They are shocked to learn the true identity of the thief, but their combined strengths and talents allow them to overcome evil in the end. There is a nice bit of adventure, intrigue, and passion all wrapped up in this story. These two characters really complement each other well and I was rooting for them to not only find the thief, but maybe find a life together in the end as well.
Overall, the Sins of Autumn Anthology is a nice collection of stories that illustrate the sins of wrath, gluttony, and pride and how passion can play a part in all of them.
Blurb: Joel’s new boss advocates celibacy for his employees. Joel is totally cool with it…until a friend tells him what it means.
Joel’s new boss founded the ‘Clean Living’ movement to promote healthy living through celibacy, which Joel thinks is totally cool until a friend tells him what it means. Mr. Jeffers is also a stickler for hygiene – especially Joel’s—and his approach always includes a hands-on demonstration. Still, the job is easy and the pay is good, so who…or what…is a guy to do?
Review: Joel has started working for the ‘Clean Living’ movement and his new boss Mr. Jeffers is meticulous about cleanliness. He insists on celibacy and frequent hands on inspections to make sure that Joel is keeping himself scrupulously clean. Since Joel is a fairly clean sort of guy, this doesn’t really worry him too much until he starts getting excited about Mr. Jeffer’s inspections. Turns out, Mr. Jeffer’s celibacy requirement only goes for intercourse with the opposite sex. That means Joel is fair game for his bosses sexy advances.
This is a very short book…only 16 pages…so there isn’t a lot of time to really get to know the characters too well. It is pretty obvious that Joel is not all that bright or experienced when it comes to sex. Mr. Jeffers is definitely a clean-cut and very determined man who has his sights set on his young and very attractive employee.
The writing isn’t really my style….the author gets the point across in a very blunt way, leaving very little to the imagination. I think the story could have been told just as well with a little bit more finesse. There is a certain amount of buildup and exploration but the majority of the story is some fairly graphic sex. If that is what you are looking for in a story, than this would be a good choice.
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: Dirk Krause is an asshole of the first degree. His life is a hell of his own making, and he makes everyone around him just as miserable. When he’s injured on the job while fighting a fire, he’s nearly unbearable to the hospital staff, and of course no one from his unit cares enough to visit.
Lee Stockton is the new guy at the station, so he gets saddled with the job of bringing Dirk a sympathy bouquet from the guys at the firehouse. To Dirk’s surprise, Lee sees through him like a pane of glass and doesn’t take any of his crap. Lee’s determined to get Dirk to stop being a dick just to push everyone away. When their fighting turns to fucking, will the fireworks shine brightly on a possible relationship or leave them with nothing but ashes?
Review: The opening scene of this book is a gripping one with Dirk, one of the main characters, struggling to get a baby to safety in a raging house fire. While he is successful at his mission of saving the child, he lands himself in the hospital due to an assortment of injuries. He gets a visit from Lee Stockton, one of his fellow firefighters, who arrives with an arrangement of flowers from the guys from the firehouse. And apparently the only reason Lee is there is because he is the newbie and had no choice. Seems like Dirk is a major asshole with an attitude problem and no one really likes him enough to make the trip to see him. Dirk isn’t really surprised and continues with the crappy attitude even during Lee’s visit. Lee, however, sees right through the attitude and correctly deduces that the major source of Dirk’s anger is the fact that he is gay and trying to hide it.
Between working in a rather homophobic career and having an extremely conservative father, Dirk doesn’t really feel comfortable outing himself. Lee is a rather decent guy and even after Dirk is released from the hospital, he tries to visit him at home and help out as much as possible. Unfortunately, Dirk is still pretty much a pain in the ass although the heat of anger quickly turns to passion and they find themselves burning up the sheets on a regular basis. Lee isn’t going to stay Dirk’s dirty little secret, though, and the two of them have some serious issues to work out if they are going to find happily ever after.
I think, in general, I liked the story line and writing style in this book. My major problem was that I thought it was a bit rushed. I really would have loved to see a chapter or two before the fire and hospital scene to introduce Dirk and Lee and get to know them better. I actually thought at the beginning of the book that Dirk was a total newbie to the gay lifestyle which I learned was not the case a little later into the story. There was a lot of anger and passion between the two men which made for a rather intense story. I also would have like to see the ending stretched out a little bit longer. Just a wrap up to the relationship would have been nice. Overall, I think this is a good story and I do so love the closeted firefighter theme. And the cover is an absolutely beautiful thing….absolutely drool worthy!
Blurb: After an accident left him broken in body and spirit, Charlie Howard retired from the police force to teach at a community college. Life has taught him that he’s unlikely to get what he wants, so he’s stopped asking. Instead, he hides from the world in the apartment complex he manages. After all, no one can leave him if he doesn’t let anyone in.
Will, a sexy, classic-film-loving twink, moves into the apartment across from him and—to Charlie’s surprise—makes it clear that he’d like nothing more than to hole up with Charlie and get kinky. Will has no problem expressing what he wants in bed or out of it, but he’s never dated anyone long-term, and Charlie isn’t sure Will’s ready for anything serious.
Charlie is a serious kind of guy. He wants Will and everything a relationship could mean, even if he doesn’t have any experience in that scene—even if that makes him vulnerable. As they grow closer, Charlie realizes that it’s time to start asking for what he wants, and if he wants to be happy, he’ll have to risk everything and ask Will to stay.
Review: Charlie had to retire from the police force due to a severe car accident that left him scarred, both emotionally and physically. He has to deal with chronic pain as well as the pressure of being ‘the rock’ for his slightly chaotic family. He teaches Criminal Justice at the local community college and manages his family’s apartment complex. He is a take charge kind of guy, but suffers from a little bit of a self-esteem problem.
He finds himself falling fast and hard for a very sexy and flamboyantly gay tenant named Will. Will is giggly and looking for fun, but also sweet and wanting a bit of a father figure. Charlie’s insecurities refuse to allow him to believe that Will could possibly want him for a long-term relationship. He doesn’t want to tie Will down and sees his injury and a decade age difference a huge weight on the relationship. There is an incredible amount of heat and passion to their relationship and also a lot of tenderness, but Charlie and Will have some MAJOR lack of communication issues to overcome. Charlie doesn’t mind playing ‘daddy’ (even in the bedroom!), but needs to know he doesn’t have to be strong all the time. Will is just as eager to take care of Charlie, but isn’t always sure how since they don’t talk much about it.
The sex between Charlie and Will is sweet and passionate, with a little bit of light BDSM that is totally realistic and well written. You really get to know each one of these characters and there isn’t a huge angsty plot to deal with…just the realities of a developing relationship, with all of the ups and downs that are involved. Sometimes, I got a bit lost in the dialogue and for some reason I felt like I got to know Charlie better than I got to know Will. I got frustrated a number of times with their lack of communication skills, but isn’t that just like a guy? Despite these minor flaws it was a very enjoyable read and I will be looking for more by this author!
Blurb: Sloane would’ve given anything to have been born with the right body, but he hadn’t. He’d have given anything to have his family back, but his father insisted that until Sloane was ready to become his heterosexual daughter again, he wanted nothing to do with him. So Sloane dealt with the challenges of living transgendered as best he could. Luckily, his best friend Jace was there with him every step of the way. Jace is the best man Sloane has ever met, but Jace is gay and Sloane still doesn’t have the right parts – until Jace proves that he loves Sloane just the way he is.
Review: This is the first transgendered book I have read and there were some parts of the story I found fascinating and others that I wasn’t thrilled with. Since this is a very short story at only 21 pages it seemed like we didn’t really get to know the main characters very well. Sloan was born female but was never really comfortable in her own skin. She came out to her parents as being transgendered and it was not accepted well. Sloan began living as a male and the one person he could rely on no matter what was his gay best friend Jace. The two of them room together at college and Jace is there for Sloan through all the doctors’ appointments and emotional breakdowns that arise. Sloan does not want to go through the surgery to become anatomically male because of the possible complications. Slowly, Sloan begins to realize that his feelings for Jace are more than that of a friend but doesn’t think that Jace would be interested since he is anatomically female.
Being my first book that deals with the issues of a transgendered character, I admit that I am not sure how things would work between someone who is a gay male (Jace) and someone who is anatomically female (Sloan). I had trouble with that angle but the deep feelings that Jace and Sloan have for one another are very obvious. Jace is the rock that has held Sloan up for years and even though the physical part of the relationships moves rather quickly, I did like that they had a history together. I wish the story was longer so that I could have better understood the issues that each of them had to deal with to get to that point in their relationship. It felt slightly rushed and I was left feeling a bit lost at the end.
Blurb: Jeff, Evan, and Dan have been living happily together for the past two years. They still have problems, especially between Evan and Dan, but they’re mostly able to convert the interpersonal disagreements to sexual tension—and then resolve it—so nobody’s complaining.
Then Dan’s long-lost sister shows up seven months pregnant and on the run from the law, and the situation goes from complicated to overwhelming. Jeff and Evan want to help, but with Evan fearful for his own sister’s safety and Jeff struggling to keep his health issues under wraps, they’re a little distracted. As Dan’s sister struggles with her past, Evan’s seems intent on gambling with her future. With emotions and family ties pulling them in different directions, the threesome have to hold together—or the people they love may tear them apart.
Review: Let me start out by saying that this is the first book of this series that I have read and I would really like to go back to the beginning of the relationship and see how it all started. However, the story made perfect sense to me without having read their past history.
Dan has overcome the tragedy of lost love and found a wonderful relationship with Jeff and Evan. He and Evan have a bit of an explosive relationship at times and it always falls to Jeff to be the peacemaker. Evan comes from a background of extreme wealth and has a tendency to expect things to always go his way. It make’s Jeff job as mediator difficult sometimes. When Dan’s sister shows up after living a life of crime for years, it puts a lot of stress on this complicated relationship.
Throughout the story, there is a point of view shift between all three characters, which is nice because you get to take a peek inside all their heads to see what is really going on. There are a lot of crises in this story and they seem to fall one right after another very quickly. As a result, there isn’t too much time for the development of the guy’s relationship. As soon as a crisis occurs, there is an argument or conflict between the characters, a distance forms between them, then finally comes resolution only to be followed by a new conflict. Everything was very fast paced and I really just wanted these three guys to spend some time snuggled up in bed talking and holding each other in peace and quiet!
I really did love the story, though, and the author did a wonderful job of creating memorable secondary characters. I am not sure I liked Dan’s sister all that much and I’m sure that was the author’s objective! She was (at times) sweet and caring and then seemed to be manipulative and childish. I loved Chris (the best friend) and his wit and humor really added lightheartedness to the story.
Jeff, Dan, and Evan really love each other…that much is very obvious throughout the story. The conflicts they have to deal with at times push them apart and then draw them back to each other. I would have like to see more relationship development throughout the story but think that overall this was a very good book!