Cowboys and Kilts by Erin O'Quinn

20452727Title: Cowboys and Kilts

Series: Brand Me Series

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Fantasy,

Length: Novella (51 Pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61124-532-5

Publisher:  Amber Allure, Amber Quill Press (December 22nd, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: Lanky Hugh MacPherson wears his tattoo and is cowboy boots all the way from Nevada to his ancestral home in Scotland, only to find a clansman named Graeme Guthrie has a subtle way of claiming the boots, the tattoo, and the man who wears them.

On a tour to the sites of Pictish stones, Hugh meets the Laird of the Castle in the oversized, handsome body of Graeme, a man who traces his ancestry back as far as the tattooed Picts who carved those very stones.

What happens when two gorgeous men first lock eyes, then bodies, and at last, their very spirits as foretold in the mysterious tattoos they wear?

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Review: This has turned out to be a bit bizarre but quite an interesting story. I had never read one of Erin’s stories and I am pleased to say the least. It was a funny little story that touches you in places that are usually closed off. A fantasy brought to life. Hugh was all cowboy and sexy to boot. He decides to visit his ancestral home in Scotland, but was having a difficult time with it. Until one night, he sees Graeme and he notices someone he wants.

Graeme is the keeper of the stones and Hugh is the bearer. Not really sure what that means, however I do know that Graeme has to do a ceremony to set his people free. When they come together, it is hot and passionate, although you can tell Graeme is innocent in the way of lovemaking. They have their ups and downs right off the bat, because to me it would seem that Graeme doesn’t really know what to do with Hugh. And not just from the fact that he has never truly been with anyone in that way. He just seems so innocent. His father has taught him what it is to be the keeper and told him about the bearer but not how to tell who it is.

Now it lost me for a bit there, trying to understand certain parts of the story. It caught my attention from the start and managed to keep it all the way to the end, however it is a hard story to understand certain parts of it. What got me was when Hugh notices Graeme’s tattoo he tried to explain it to Graeme what it means to him. However, Graeme thinks that Hugh is calling him a monster and gets upset. Now to Hugh he is calling him a monster but he is not talking about what Graeme thinks he is talking about. Hugh wants Graeme for life, now all he has to do is convince Graeme of it.

Now most of the time I look for a story in which to lose myself into. A world so much more different from the one that I am living in. However every once in a while there is a story in which I have to dissect to understand certain parts of it. This would be one of those stories. Most stories have twist and turns in them to keep you on the edge of your seat, however this one’s just confused me. I think that they are talking about one thing and it turns out that they are talking about something totally different. It actually made the story that more enjoyable. I loved how it kept me entertained and questioning my senses.

It shows to men learning their way through their past, present and future. It shows them love. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a good fantasy, two hot and sexy men, wonderful storyline, and a way to question their beliefs. Not to mention the hot and full of passion sex between them. I love Graeme’s innocent ways and Hugh’s attention he pays to Graeme. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what else this series has to offer. The only thing I wish for was that it was longer.

Merry Christmas, Utah by Erin O'Quinn

MerryChristmasUtahTitle: Merry Christmas Utah

Series:  N/A

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Contemporary/Holiday

Length: Short Story  (6K)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press (November 24th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:
♥♥♥2.5 Hearts

Blurb: Utah is a solitary Native American man who lives on the verge of nowhere, a huddle of tiny trailers in the foothills of Nevada’s highest peak. He is a medicine singer, a Paiute truth-seeker who thinks he’s happy. Mostly. He also knows he’s gay. So true happiness lies just beyond the reach of his Spirit Song.

One day, injured, he is rescued by a stranger who soon begins to teach him the nature of healing and of physical joy. The stranger, who calls himself Kris, is a throwback to the 70s’ hippie culture Utah has only heard about. And he begins to heal Kris in ways the young man has never even dreamed of.

Utah awakens on Christmas Eve to find his mysterious new friend missing. The man has only a thumbnail of a trailer, and no pickup, so his disappearance is alarming. What will happen when Utah sets out to find Kris in the dark, in a snowstorm, while the children of the world wait for Santa?

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Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: An interesting attempt at intertwining Native American spiritual beliefs with Christian Kris Kringle mythology, but doesn’t quite pull it off. I enjoyed the fact that I totally didn’t realize who Kris was at first! I didn’t add up the hippy, lovin’ Blondie with Kris Kringle, the merry Santa that delivers presents.

A promising start, the ending is sudden

A Hard Place by Erin O'Quinn

71naQRqx7uL._SL1500_Title: A Hard Place

Series: N/A

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Length: Novella (76 Pages)

Publisher: Amber Allure (October 31st, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: Nevada game warden Shawn Murphy is a man of principle, an experienced agent who sets out to do his job in the rugged Paiute Mountain range. Sent to track down a poacher, Shawn eventually discovers the perp—a falconer, illegally shooting wildlife for his bird.

Dylan Morgan—a hippie-looking man with long, lustrous hair—has lost his falcon and is hurt. In helping Dylan overcome his injury, Shawn begins to learn how to see the wildness and hunger in himself and the other man as well.

Soon, in a remote cabin, the two men begin to develop a relationship. The falconer explores Shawn’s strange tattoos—a stag beetle and a howling wildcat—and Shawn tries to understand the nature of falconry, and of the unique man who trains the wild birds.

Can these two men, hungry, yet never satisfied, find closure in each other’s arms, especially when sudden peril in the pitiless desert puts them between a rock and a hard place?

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Review: Some parts of this story were actually hard to understand, but the book was still a pretty good read.

Shawn was a game warden sent to find someone who was shooting wildlife, but when he finds Dylan, he is lost with what to do about him. He doesn’t want to turn him over, but he is an honest officer. His feelings, however, proves to win over all. He is an honest and caring man with a heart of gold. Dylan is a loving man who has the strength of his beliefs. They both have such a strength in their beliefs that they have to find away to overcome them. When dangers are presented, Dylan must save his man no matter what. Their strengths and the passion they have for each other was what made this story come alive for me. I did have some issues with the fact that it was a short story, loving ones that can take me a few hours to read, but it was told in such a way that made it close to perfect. The only thing that stopped it from hitting perfection was the parts that made it hard to understand what they were trying to explain to each other.

This book has such a great start and ending that the places where I had trouble with just doesn’t seem to matter. I think this would be a great story to read when you are driving with your family on a short trip. It is just a cute story with such passion and feelings that you can’t help but love it.

To the Bone by Erin O'Quinn

51XYozEk18LTitle: To the Bone

Series: The Gaslight Mysteries 03

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Historical (1923), Mystery, Action

Length: Novel (218pgs)

Publisher: Amber Allure (28th September 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥ 3½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The time is 1923, and the place is a fantasy city in Ireland. Two unlikely men have formed a partnership: good-natured Michael, who keeps a serious secret, and sulky Simon, who has plenty of reasons to be angry at the world. Michael has stalked the standoffish Simon from the beginning, and Simon has consistently rebuffed him…yet not enough for Michael to give up a dedicated pursuit of the handsome investigator.

As private eyes, the men have a case to solve; to find more than a score of stolen paintings, and especially one small valuable work of art worth more than all the others. But the case grows more complex the deeper they look into it. Soon Michael and Simon find themselves searching not just for a thief, but also for a citywide ring of criminals. And the closer they get to the paintings, the closer they find themselves to a killer.

Into this mix steps a man named Moshe—a pesky, secretive, nosy man who is nevertheless a brilliant investigator himself. He gives both the men fits, burrowing like a tick into their very private affairs, so close they have a hard time evading him.

Can the investigators solve a series of crimes, take care of the interfering Moshe, and drive their own intense relationship all the way to the bone?     

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Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Simon and Michael are back and their partnership as investigators is a lot easier than their relationship behind closed doors. As Simon and Michael come to terms with what they share, they still have work to do and they discover there was more to the ‘Brown man’ than they first realized. Picking up a case for missing paintings, their investigations lead to the discovery of a connection to Simon’s family, and they stumble across a citywide criminal ring. Throw in a secretive man called Moshe who won’t leave them alone and they have an interesting couple of days ahead of them.

If you have read the previous stories in this series then you know that Michael is a confident man who is cheeky and cheery, but has found himself infatuated with an uptight man. You will also know that Simon is that uptight man who is still struggling with what Michael makes him feel, but he is becoming slightly more relaxed and not quite as grumpy as he portrays to be. Their adventures together usually ends with injury, capture and danger but they usually get their man and this story is no different with more characters adding to the intrigue. 

As they work together on the new investigation, we see how they complement each other, but it is still not easy especially when a figure from Simon’s past sticks his neb in. The investigation is interesting and leads to a bigger investigation with Michael and Simon turning to Pinkerton’s and making a deal. Moshe is a man with surprises and who keeps his secrets close to his chest, so close in fact that he makes Michael look like a blabbermouth, but if Moshe really wants Simon’s co-operation then he has to learn to share. 

I really liked this story and the progression of Michael’s and Simon’s relationship, although from the first story to now it has only been a matter of days it does seem longer and Simon’s reticence adds to the overall effect of it being drawn out. I love the way that Simon works through what he is feeling rather than jumping in feet first and Michael seems to be getting Simon’s nature better and backs off a little in this one, letting Simon come to him and make the first move. At times, the story does seem to take place a lot in their heads as they think and dissect what is happening between them, and reliving certain couplings but it doesn’t take away from what is going on around them. We also see how their relationship is heating up with a lot more sexual activity taking place with *gasp* Simon taking the initiative more. 

I recommend this to those who love historicals, great characters coming to an understanding, an interesting investigation, secrets being revealed, an ending that is oddly hot, and slightly touching. 

Sparring with Shadows by Erin O'Quinn

SparringShadowsTitle: Sparring With Shadows     

Series: The Gaslight Mysteries 02 

Author: Erin O’Quinn     

Genre: Historical (1923), Mystery     

Length: Novel (221pgs)     

Publisher: Amber Allure (4th August 2013)    

Heat Level: Low    

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts   

Reviewer: Pixie     

Blurb: Simon Hart, private investigator, has always thought of himself as a regular fellow. He’s standoffish and a loner with a sullen attitude—yet surely a normal bloke. And then he meets the randy Michael McCree.

In short order, Michael has become his flat-mate, his business partner, and his wannabe lover. Now Simon must look deeper, into his own hidden desires, if he wants to survive.

There’s something about Michael’s secret vocation that invites trouble. Simon finds himself sparring with shadows: in the hidden bedrooms of a roaring twenties version of a gay bar…as a chained wall decoration in the flat of a thief and sexual deviant…and as the quarry in a deadly confrontation in an exhibitionist’s bed and then in a sewer tunnel beneath the streets of a 1923 city somewhere in Ireland.

Above all, Simon is sparring with the shadow of his own secret urges. Michael will not allow him to turn away from a kind of private investigation of which he has not even dreamed. Until now.

Follow a fastidious, surly investigator and his horny yet secretive partner through the very cracks in a city of gaslights and vintage motorcars, into a hidden homosexual culture, as the men find themselves sparring with shadows…     

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Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Michael and Simon discover that the Brown Man has given the local police the slip, trying to recapture the man they discover he might have been involved in the robbery of a rare carbuncle and they are tasked to the capture of the Brown Man and the recovery of the precious stone. Simon has to examine his own reactions to discover just what it is he really wants, Michael may have chased him down but it is Simon who holds all the cards. 

This is a pretty good story looking into the secret underbelly of a fictional Irish city and two men who investigate crime. Michael and Simon have much on their plate as the Brown Man escapes, Michael figures the man is much more than just an accomplice and decides to dig deeper but they have watchers of their own. Simon and Michael end up captured as they hunt for the carbuncle and it takes some nifty footwork of both of them and their little helper Mouse to escape. While all this is going on Simon is struggling with his sexuality as Michael works his charm. 

I enjoyed this story, watching Simon and Michael trying to keep one-step ahead of the Brown Man and to ensure the Brown Man is captured. Seeing them put together the pieces of what the man is doing, and having Simon act as a distraction. Michael’s and Simon’s relationship has its own game of sparring at shadows, as Michael has laid down his own feelings and Simon is still struggling with his own feelings and the sexual acts themselves. They make a great investigating team and the progress of the story is well paced, I liked that Simon angsted (is that a word?) over his feelings and tried to damp down the flush of lust so he could think clearly. Michael seemed to be horny most of the time even at inconvenient times and he could have toned it back a bit. They make an interesting pair and although the investigation was exciting and dangerous I ended up wanting the more mundane investigations, we saw in the previous book.

I recommend this if you love investigations turning dangerous, rescues and escapes, admitting to your feelings, historicals, and a great ending. 

Heart to Hart by Erin O'Quinn

17886043Title: Heart to Hart

Series: The Gaslight Mysteries 01

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Historical (1923), Detective

Length: Novel (217pgs)

Publisher: Amber Allure (1st May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Michael McCree is one with a mysterious past, who ends up as a newspaperman, thereby meeting the strikingly handsome Simon Hart, who comes to his shop to turn in an obituary notice.

Simon’s flat-mate and former business partner has been killed, and Simon, a private investigator, needs to track down the murderer. Michael, immediately smitten with the sulky and sexy man, lays a plan to first become his new roomer, then his business partner.

But Simon, stricken by his recent loss, is having none of Michael’s undisguised interest.

Not a man to be deterred easily from a goal, Michael sets about winning Simon’s affection. That particular battle is almost as difficult as tracking down the murderer of his predecessor, a nosy detective who was getting too close to the crimes of an evil person.

Simon spends more time ducking Michael’s advances than actually finding clues and solving the mystery. Inquiring minds want to know—how hard is Simon really trying to avoid Michael? And Michael isn’t hiding his forthright urges, but what secret is he hiding?

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Review: Michael works in a newspaper, he is also a man of mystery and secrets, he meets Simon when the man comes in to put a notice in the paper, Michael is intrigued by the man and decides that he will get closer to him. Simon is an investigator, who is looking for a new flat mate because his best friend and business partner, Sargent, was murdered, and he has no interest in letting a hooligan like Michael anywhere near him. Simon finds himself with Michael as his new flat mate and prospective business partner and, if Michael has his way, his soon to be lover, but Simon can’t shake the loss of Sargent and needs to find his killer.

This is an interesting mystery story set in a fictional city in the 1920s. Simon has just lost the man that he secretly yearned for, Sargent was murdered, and now Simon is determined to find out by who. Michael has secrets from his past, when he meets Simon the challenge of corrupting the sexy stiff man is too much to ignore. As he gets to know Simon, he wants something permanent he divulges one of his secrets and he decides to join up with Simon and help him with his investigations. Simon is resistant to Michael’s charm at first but Michael can be very persuasive, as the two become close and their investigations heat up they discover that Sargent’s killer may be from close to home and that the killer has their fingers in more than one pot.

Michael and Simon are very different characters, Simon is stuffy, rigid and likes the finer things in life, and Michael is rough, scruffy, and lusty. Putting them together was an interesting combination especially when it came to the sex scenes, with Michael alternating between gentle and rough coaxing of the virginal and prudish Simon. The mysteries that are investigating were quite rudimental, a dog snatching and blackmail, but the most interesting one is Sargent’s murder. Discovering the connections and secrets as we go along makes for an interesting story, and the characters as they open up to each other gives us a romance that is unlike many that we read about.

I will recommend this to those that love historical eras, opposites attracting, danger, threats, investigations, and a great happy for now ending. I will be interested to see what comes next for Simon and Michael.  hearttohart-backcover-300-copy6

Warrior, Ride Hard by Erin O'Quinn

Title: Warrior, Ride Hard

Series: The Iron Warrior 01

Author: Erin O’Quinn

Genre: Historical, (Ireland, Roman, England 400+)

Length: Novel (292pgs)

Publisher: Siren – BookStrand (8th August 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Former Roman soldier Gristle—“tough and hard to swallow”—has rarely allowed anyone in his life to become close to him. One outstanding exception is Tristus, a man he saved ten years before from the urges of lonely soldiers near the Wall of Hadrian. Tristus became his own lover for eleven months, and then he disappeared. Ten years later, the young pony trainer Wynn is smitten by Gristle’s looks and manner and follows him to his new home in Éire (Ireland) where he becomes his lover.

The stories of the three men interweave until at last they all three meet briefly in sacred Tara, home of the High King. Wynn is abducted by druids with sinister and lustful designs, and Tristus wants to follow the ministry of Father Patrick.

Thus no sooner has Gristle found an old lover and a new one than they are all pulled apart by the one whom Gristle calls “the bitch goddess Fortuna.”

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Review: Gristle is a sworn armsman, unlucky in love and rarely seeming happy. He is sworn to protect the hellion, Caylith, and it is a journey that will take him to Ireland and discovering new and old love. Wynn is the pony trainer. He wishes for Gristle to train him, but he is also strangely attracted to Gristle as well. But, love doesn’t run smoothly when Gristle’s old love turns up and Wynn finds himself in more trouble than he ever imagined.

This is a very interesting novel that pulls us into 5th Century Ireland as Roman, Welsh and English immigrants flee from the Saxon promise of invasion of Britannia. Gristle lost the only man he had loved when he disappeared in the night 10 years before, and now with Wynn he has a new opportunity to embrace love, but the path is not an easy one. Wynn wants nothing more than to be with Gristle, but when Gristle’s old love arrives on the scene he has brief doubts. But, before he can reaffirm his love with Gristle, Wynn is kidnapped and Gristle thinks he has run.

I must admit to enjoying the storyline of an old Roman soldier, Gristle, and a Welsh pony trainer, Wynn, falling in love and then Tristus arriving confusing Gristle. I found those aspects of the story to be good and the way something would come up to keep them from sorting out the problem was interesting. Wynn’s kidnapping was surprising and added a touch of meat to the bones, but was completely unrealistic, and Gristle’s casually dismissal of Wynn when Tristus turned up was much more than just dented pride. Tristus was a great character who came through as a much better man than Gristle did.

I will admit to being completely baffled when the story suddenly took a turn back in time by ten years to when Gristle and Tristus first met. Mainly because Gristle had already remembered it all earlier on, but secondly because it didn’t add anything new, until we got to Tristus’s POV and we find out why he disappeared. It just seemed to be more filler than any useful aspect of the story. The author has done a very good job of creating a world for Gristle and company and using artistic license to make it work.

So, I will recommend this to those who love historical stories, Romans, Welshmen, primitive hot sex, fighting for survival and a happy for now ending.