You're the One by Gene Taylor

YouretheOneLGTitle: You’re the One

Author: Gene Taylor

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Length: Novel (210 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 19, 2013)

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Heat Level: Explicit

Blurb: Intimidated by the clubs and cabarets of 1970s Chicago, shy English teacher Graham Thomas needs a miracle just to be able to talk to a man. When help arrives from a Robert Redford look-alike wizard, Graham brushes him off—he’s obviously certifiable. Or so Graham thinks until he tries out a popular song title as a come-on line and everything changes.

Given the power to make others fall in love with him, Graham begins to enjoy the nightlife. But when he misuses his gift, he finds himself with accidental and unwanted suitors, including the senior dean at his school, a ticket-mad cop, and a rich young banker. Then Graham meets Mark Matthews and finally faces the moral issue of whether it’s fair to use magic to make someone fall in love. It would be so easy…

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Reviewer: Cat

Review: Graham is a gay English teacher that is looking for true love. After some pretty tough experiences, he meets a strange man who gives him a power to make others fall in love with him.
After a couple accidents and a couple mistakes, he realizes he doesn’t want this power. If he is going to have a lover, he wants it to be real and not magic. Does he find real love? You should read it and see.

I was pleasantly surprised by this story. It’s really cute, yet funny, and the paranormal twist was unique and interesting. All the characters were interesting, charming, or outright funny, but I can’t say much else without giving the story away. The story got a bit cheesy at times with some of the clichés and puns, but that added to the humor of it. I loved how Graham knew what he wanted and how each relationship unfolded. This is such a fun, sweet, funny, and pretty hot story.

Recommendations: if you like stories of searching for Mr. Right, coming out, old music, hot sex, and oh yeah… Magic… this is definitely for you.


The Flame by Skylar Jaye

Flame[The]LGTitle: The Flame

Author: Skylar Jaye

Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy

Length: Novella (162pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3rd July 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Despite the stigma against magiks other than the four elemental types, Jeremy Ashe works hard toward a degree in runic studies, navigating his way through family disproval and school clique politics while trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. What he never figured on is The Flame, Samuin College’s fire mage prodigy, Marcus Smith. Sparks strike and threaten to raze Jeremy’s plans to the ground. When strange fires begin to burn all over campus, clues point to Marcus. Suddenly life isn’t just complicated, it’s dangerous.

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Review: Jeremy has gone against family approval by turning his back on elemental magic for the more mundane runic studies. Navigating his way through college, while hiding his family connections and trying to decide what he wants is all that matters. But, his plans are shaken when he meets Marcus. Marcus is the college’s fire mage prodigy and everyone seems to want him because of his power. But, Jeremy isn’t impressed and sparks strike between them. When mysterious fires are set around campus all the clues lead to Marcus, but Jeremy refuses to believe his love would endanger anyone and sets out to find out the truth.

This is quite a good college setting with magik, disapproving families, proving yourself, and discovering love. Jeremy has always been labeled the failure because his core is wind and not fire. To make matters worse, he turned his back on his wind core and is studying runes instead, one of the most looked down on magical abilities. Marcus is a fire core prodigal. His parents didn’t have any magic, but he is expected to outshine all others of his generation. Jeremy and Marcus don’t expect anything from the other except to be themselves. They develop a great relationship, but they both have their own insecurities.

Both the main characters have their own personal demons. Marcus is feeling the pressure of so many expectations and Jeremy the sting of constant disappointment. The story is from Jeremy’s perspective, so we get to know him quite well. How he feels about his family and his views on magic. We do get to know a bit about Marcus and he is a genuinely nice guy. his potential hasn’t gone to his head and he just wants someone to want him and not his potential. The danger and trouble that both Jeremy and Marcus find themselves in is interesting and makes from a nice twist. But, their relationship is what really pulls this story together.

I want to be able to rave about this story because it’s about magic and hot men, but there was just something missing. A spark for me to grab hold of which would woo me into adoring this book. The thing was that Jeremy just didn’t quite have it. I think it would have been much more interesting from Marcus’ perspective. The storyline was interesting with its typical ‘famous family looking down on the relative who is different until he does something that astounds’ and the jealous college mates who turn it dangerous, but the relationship was what kept me reading.

I recommend this if you like magic, college romance, dangerous situations, raving mad jealously and a happy ending.

Phoenix Rising by Theo Fenraven

Title: Phoenix Rising

Author: Theo Fenraven

Genre: Crime, Mythology,

Length: Novella (176pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (11th July 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: New York City homicide detectives Artemis Gregory and Rachel Wayland are first on the murder scene of a beautiful young gay man, the third victim of a serial killer dubbed the Moon Killer by the department. Their investigation leads them to Talis Kehk, charismatic lead singer of the rock group Phoenix Rising. As the next full moon approaches, Artemis and his partner uncover clues that lead straight to Talis—even as Talis, exhibiting behavior Artemis finds strange indeed considering the circumstances, uses every means possible to keep Artemis close.

Artemis could never fall in love with a murderer, could he? Innocent or not, Talis has a secret… and it’s about to change Artemis’s world forever.

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Review: Artemis is on the trail of a serial killer when he follows a thin trail to Talis, the lead singer of a rock group. with the evidence against Talis piling up Artemis is getting ready to move in for the kill, but Talis has other ideas. Talis has spent many years hunting for his soul-mate, now he has found him and all he wants to do is get Artemis to fall in love with him. but, Artemis suspects him of murder, so Talis has to take drastic action to secure Artemis’ affection.

This is an interesting novella that combines mythology with crime and soul-mates and gives us some interesting character building. Artemis lives for his job. he loves the thrill of the chase, but the newest case of young hot gay men being mysteriously murdered have left him baffled. The evidence is plenty, the cause of death undetectable and the suspects nil… until Artemis makes a tenuous connection to the leader of the rock band, Phoenix Rising. Talis is running out of time, he doesn’t have much longer left to find his soul-mate and he finally finds him in the shape of police detective Artemis Gregory. But, Artemis is resistant to his wiles, so Talis has to resort to drastic measures to convince him he did not murder those young men.

There are many things that this book has going for it.  the storyline is good and strong, the plot interesting and the writing is good. But, there are a few things that pulled me from the book, as I had to suspend my disbelief to continue and I was disappointed in the way that Artemis seemed to change half way through the book (I like my characters consistent). Artemis came across as a strong character. he can compartmentalize with ease, but his focus is always on the job. he isn’t about to be swayed by any pretty face and he will catch the criminal… but then he changed and he was all wishy washy, pulled about by his attraction to Talis and completely losing focus of all the young men who were murdered.

Talis was a much more consistent character. he has one focus and that is to survive. I really can’t say if Talis and Artemis would make a good couple because I only saw Talis trying to seduce Artemis over to his side and Artemis going from a strong man to a man in the throes of infatuation.

That isn’t to say that the book isn’t good. Part 1 was brilliant and had me hooked, but then Part 2 started to lose me as Artemis changed. But, then Part 3 threw me for a loop. The storyline of a Phoenix searching for its soul-mate was really good and the string of unsolved gay murders was a brilliant touch. the way the characters were at the start of the book was great and I had very high expectations.

So, I will recommend this to those who love mythical creatures, two hot men, and great, hot sex (lol), impressive written imagery, a great storyline and a happy ending.