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My Top Reads and Audiobooks ~ July – September

 Back in December I signed up to the Goodreads Challenge.

Not having done this before and not knowing how many books I’d read in a year, I entered a nice round number of one hundred. I intended to include the ebooks I’d read as well as the audiobooks I listened to. I thought an average of two a week would be achievable.

To my surprise and delight, I achieved the challenge and I have increased my total several times. I’m now aiming to read two hundred books by the end of the year.

In no particular order,

here are my recommended books from the last three months

eBooks

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Match Point by Leigh Carmen

Bitten by Mistake by Annabelle Jacobs

Endings and Beginnings by KC Wells and Parker Williams

Five Sided Heart by Max MacGowan

What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger

Cronin’s Key and The Weight of it All by NR Walker

Lost in the Echo by Jack L Pyke

Wes’ Denial by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Voyeur by Louisa Mae

Bones Bundle by Kim Fielding

 

Audiobooks

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How to Wish Upon a Star by Eli Easton

When One Door Opens by JD Ruskin

Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon

Fair Game and Fair Play by Josh Lanyon

Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain

All of Me by Cardeno C

Between Loathing and Loving by Andrew Grey

SARGE by Bey Deckard

Tasting Notes by Cate Ashwood

Groomzilla by Tere Michaels

Check out the books I’ve read so far.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from January to March.

Here’s my post for recommended reads from April to June.

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite stories.

RAINBOW SNIPPETS ~ September 24th

RAINBOW SNIPPETS

 

This week’s Rainbow Snippet is taken from my taboo story

Let Your Heart Decide

There’s a short verse at the beginning of each chapter which tells part of Samuel and Thomas’s story.

The entire poem is collated at the end of the book

and it is also published in the LOVE IS LOVE Poetry Anthology in aid of Orlando’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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Let Your Heart Decide

 

~Samuel and Thomas~

My heart overflows with abundant joy.

Joined as one,

I cherish these captured moments of sheer bliss.

 

The sweet taste of your love lingers in my thoughts.

I yearn to hold you in the quiet darkness of the endless night.

Let Your Heart Decide

Buy Links

Paperback available via 

CreateSpace | B & N

 Amazon.com | Amazon UK  | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

eBook 

Smashwords | ARe | PayHip | B & N | Kobo

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Add on Goodreads 

 ~O~

 Please visit the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group for more links to great fiction.

The gang posts throughout the weekend, so check back a few times if you can.

rs5med

 

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

~O~

Sign up for my newsletter HERE to keep in contact via email.

 

 

 

 

 

RAINBOW SNIPPETS ~ September 17th

RAINBOW SNIPPETS

 

This week’s Rainbow Snippet is taken from my taboo story

Let Your Heart Decide

There’s a short verse at the beginning of each chapter which tells part of Samuel and Thomas’s story.

The entire poem is collated at the end of the book

and it is also published in the LOVE IS LOVE Poetry Anthology in aid of Orlando’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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Let Your Heart Decide

 

~Samuel and Thomas~

Lying in the circle of your arms,

I feel safe from all harm.

With you holding me close,

the bleakness of the night holds no fear.

 

Kiss me, hold me, take me.

Show me you love me.

But please, never leave me.

PROMO 5

Let Your Heart Decide

Buy Links

Paperback available via 

CreateSpace | B & N

 Amazon.com | Amazon UK  | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

eBook 

Smashwords | ARe | PayHip | B & N | Kobo

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Add on Goodreads 

 ~O~

 Please visit the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group for more links to great fiction.

The gang posts throughout the weekend, so check back a few times if you can.

rs5med

 

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

~O~

Sign up for my newsletter HERE to keep in contact via email.

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook Review ~ Guarded by Kim Fielding

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Title: Guarded

Author: Kim Fielding

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Length: 3 hours and 38 minutes (Word Count: 36,754/111 pages)

Release Date 8-30-16

Genre: M/M fantasy

Tags: royalty, military men, enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort, prison/captivity

Warnings: non-con/rape, kidnap, and torture

 

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A brutal war left Volos Perun with physical and emotional scars and with a reputation as a hero. Now he’s a soldier stationed at the palace, desiring Prince Berhanu while receiving only loathing in return. But when Berhanu foolishly refuses the king’s request to let Volos accompany him on a peace mission to the neighboring country, Berhanu is kidnapped and brutalized. Now Volos must risk his life as he works to save Berhanu and help his country avoid another devastating war.

 

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4.5*

This story was written as a part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Love’s Landscapes event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors selected a photo/prompt that spoke to them and wrote an accompanying short story.

I enjoyed this beautiful tale of honour, bravery and love. It is set in an alternate world, the Kingdom of Weydata, which is sort of a mix of medieval and Georgian times with fantasy. There are stage coaches and inns, fortified castles and sword fights, kings and princes, mention of wars and political intrigue. There’s no magic or fantasy creatures, so the world Kim Fielding created almost appears historical.  I particularly liked that a person’s sexuality and partner were not an issue in this reality. Any relationship was accepted without question and seen as commonplace.  The sights and sounds of this kingdom ooze from the tale, painting a clear picture of life for these people. There’s plenty of details about the culture and costumes woven into the story, which we see as events unfold.

This enemies-to-lovers story follows Volos, a war hero and guard in the king’s castle, who willingly risks his life to rescue Berhanu—the rude prince who apparently despises him—after he is kidnapped while on a secret peace/trade mission to a neighbouring country.

The journey and search for the prince culminates in a tense and exciting rescue. There’s a gang rape scene during this time that Volos’ witnesses. I’ve wondered about the purpose of this plot point because Berhanu appeared to suffer only from the physical after-effects of this ordeal. I think it helped the two men connect because Volos had received similar brutal treatment previously while in prison. Perhaps it was also there to justify Volos’ slaughter of the captors.

Volos ensures Prince Berhanu succeeds in his original peace mission and gradually the prince moves from treating Volos with cruelty and contempt to showing him love. Their early sexual encounters are very much like their relationship—rough and desperate. Yet as they become friends they gradually grow closer. There’s more tension when the two men return to the castle. But we are treated to a happy ending which includes a beautifully romantic scene. I liked Volos’ noble character from the start and gradually came to like the prince as he showed his more tender and compassionate side. I did wonder early on if Mato, the innkeeper, would win Volos’ affections. Mato now has his own separate love story.

With all the unusual names and places, this was one of those stories where I was glad that I’d read the story first and seen the words before listening. Not that the story was difficult to follow. Greg Tremblay gives a steady and professional performance as always. His voice is generally clear and easy to listen to, with plenty of emotion where needed, which helped me picture the characters, events, and places. I found one or two of his character voices were a little inconsistent at times, though, which threw me. Some had a cross between an Irish and a Scottish accent, although it varied. Overall, it was a very enjoyable audiobook and one I will listen to again. 

 

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Audible.com | Audible UK | Amazon.com | Amazon UK

The ebook is FREE ON GOODREADS if you are a member of the MM Romance Group.

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Connect with Kim Fielding on Facebook and Twitter

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Find out more about Kim’s books on her

 Website

 

Review ~ Wes’ Denial by Joseph Lance Tonlet



Title: Wes’ Denial (Tease and Denial #2)
Author: Joseph Lance Tonlet
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 1st 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, BDSM, Tease and Denial, Erotica,
Page Count: 398
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

 

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This second story in the series continues the tale of Wes and Grif that began in Grif’s Toy. It’s a rather darker novel, composed of lengthy scenes from Wes’ current life with Grif (his sub, his soul mate, and his partner) interspersed with significant events from his past that have all impacted on the man and made him the Dom and person he is today. We witness Wes developing his own sadistic brand of kink while still at school with straight and gay friends, in a military bootcamp, with another Dom and his sub, and when tormenting Grif.

The storyline goes back and forth between past and present, with each chapter being given a date so the reader knows when it is set. Admittedly I was a little confused at times, not because of the jumbled timeline, but because we’re often only given part of the picture and it is only later we see the relevance of the scene or the influence the characters have on Wes’ life. And all the time, the reader knows something isn’t quite right. It is only towards the end of the story that the meaning of these events fall into place. The author created some fabulous secondary characters and each is there for a specific reason.

Wes and Grif are complex and fascinating characters, individually and as a couple. They enjoy a unique and intense sadistic-masochistic D/s relationship and we witness various snapshots of this as they explore their preferred kinks. We are treated to glimpses of their lifestyle through small penis humiliation and exhibition play, chastity devices and extended orgasm denial, pleasure and punishment as they negotiate or share some wonderful scenes and push the boundaries in their evolving sexual relationship. These moments are erotic and hot, and above all show the love and trust each man has in the other and their desire to bring pleasure by providing everything the other man needs. The whole relationship comes across as genuine—as if constructed from personal knowledge and experience.

But Wes has a secret he hasn’t shared with Grif.  We find out as Grif discovers the truth, although we are given hints to its dark nature along the way. There’s a truly emotional scene where Grif worries that their bond has not been enough for Wes. I thought the book’s title referred to the denial Wes demanded of Grif. I gradually realised that Wes has spent much of his life in denial regarding certain events from his past.

The book is very well written with heart-wrenching and erotic scenes. The captivating story draws you in and makes it easy to visualise each event. In fact, I was cringing and pulling away when Grif’s cock cage was first fitted. There are also violent and disturbing incidents, including brutal beatings and punishments, which are essential to the story. The epilogue is bittersweet and made me cry. But it was perfect.

Some people may find the content of the story disturbing, so please heed the warning tags. And make sure you read book 1 first, otherwise much of the story won’t make sense.

For me, this is a beautiful love story between two men who mean the whole world to each other and are willing to do what it takes to make the other happy. Indeed, they spend a lifetime learning to please their soul mate.

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PayHip  | Author’s WebsiteARe | Smashwords | Google Play | Lulu |  Amazon | Paperback

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JOSEPH is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

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➝ Personal Website

➝Facebook

➝Twitter (18+)

➝Ello

➝Google+

➝Pinterest

➝Tumblr

➝Goodreads

➝YouTube

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TEASE AND DENIAL SERIES  

 

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RAINBOW SNIPPETS ~ September 10th

RAINBOW SNIPPETS

 

This week’s Rainbow Snippet is taken from my taboo story

Let Your Heart Decide

There’s a short verse at the beginning of each chapter which tells part of Samuel and Thomas’s story.

The entire poem is collated at the end of the book

and it is also published in the LOVE IS LOVE Poetry Anthology in aid of Orlando’s Pulse Victims Fund.

Lily-Love-is-love-JayAheer2016-banner1

 

Let Your Heart Decide

 

~Samuel and Thomas~

With limbs entwined, our bodies move as one.

Our hearts pulse their internal rhyme.

In every breath and every beat,

With each push and pull, we feel complete.

~

With my lips, I long to trace the contours

of your beloved face.

Bring me to this glorious paradise

so our bodies join once again.

Let us feel our hearts become one as it was meant to be.

PROMO 5

Let Your Heart Decide

Buy Links

Paperback available via 

CreateSpace | B & N

 Amazon.com | Amazon UK  | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

eBook 

Smashwords | ARe | PayHip | B & N | Kobo

add-to-goodreads-button31

Add on Goodreads 

 ~O~

 Please visit the Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group for more links to great fiction.

The gang posts throughout the weekend, so check back a few times if you can.

rs5med

 

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation.

~O~

Sign up for my newsletter HERE to keep in contact via email.

 

 

 

 

 

Review ~ What It Looks Like

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Title: What It Looks Like

Author: Matthew J Metzger

Release Date: August 20 2016

Length: 80,615 words

 

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Eli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.

But this isn’t what it looks like.

Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.

 

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4.5*

 

The fabulous writing style and the emotionally absorbing story pulled me in right from the start. What it Looks Like is a thought-provoking and informative read that made me consider whether the author had drawn upon personal experience to inspire the characters and their situation. The whole story felt real, with plenty of raw, gritty emotions. We are shown the mind and body of a person transitioning and the difficulties facing them, at home, in the wider world, and in forming a sexual relationship.

I particularly liked how the story begins with an already established relationship and we discover the issues confronting them, both individually and as a couple.

The story could easily have been sub-titled ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover’.  Eli and his family are dealing with his transitioning and Rob being on the scene has made the home situation worse. Eli’s father in particular is prejudiced and stubborn regarding Rob, not necessarily because of the transitioning, but because he can’t see Eli’s boyfriend as anything other than a criminal who is bound to re-offend. He isn’t only thinking of his son’s well-being, but also his professional position in the police force. Plus he is still adjusting to treating Eli as a son rather than a daughter. Eli’s parents might feel they were acting out of love for their child, but they are not responding how Eli wants them to. Rob reacts negatively to this prejudice and non-acceptance of him, which in turn perpetuates the belief that he is a thug.

Through all these arguments and shouting matches we see a person torn between the people he loves, wanting them to accept each other, and to make the situation more harmonious. Yet at the same time, Eli is often angry and stubborn and determined to do things his way. He tends to put Rob first in his life because he’s head over heels in love with him, and that only exasperates the situation.

Rob is loud and angry and yobbish. He comes across as a thug to those who don’t know him well. His tough life has hardened him, yet he is capable of love and affection. He loves Eli for who he is on the inside rather than what he looks like. He  likes the book and is not been put off by the fact that the cover doesn’t quite match what’s inside just yet. Indeed, he loves the whole person and has readily accepted Eli from the start.

This is a complex story with several unexpected twists in the plot and character dynamics. There’s plenty of emotion and anger throughout, which on the whole felt genuine. It’s a realistic and gritty story, where  life is not all chocolates and roses. Nor is it a rose-tinted look at relationships. The story is about working through problems and sorting out how they can be together, even if family members or some members of society object. Rob might be a criminal but he is more than that. Eli might be trans but he is more than that.

I loved that the characters appear real, with plenty of flaws and shortcomings. I particularly liked bad boy Rob and his brother, Danny, and how they accepted and defended each other and Eli. Rob might have been a criminal, but he loved Eli no matter what and was willing to support him. There’s some great banter and humour that goes on between the three of them, which helps to lighten the story.

The hot sexual relationship was a surprising element. These guys are young and kinky and I never quite knew what they were going to try next. There are D/s aspects to some of their scenes, where one of the partner relinquishes control, to the extent that safewords are firmly in place.  We also see Rob and Eli’s softer side when they are not fighting. The cuddling and showing of affection help balance the story and made the love seem real.

There were a couple of things that made me pause when reading. Yes, there are strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing throughout, but it’s not gratuitous. I felt it was part of their situation and true to the characters. Having said that, I thought one or two of the arguments were rather contrived for a specific purpose, including one that led to a BDSM scene. There’s also a little hypocrisy in Eli’s character. He’s trying to train Rob not to lose his shit and then Eli reacts to a situation just as Rob would have done. Also Eli jumps to a certain conclusion about Rob that leads to a fall out. He’d been trying to show his family that Rob is no longer a criminal, yet at the first hint of real trouble he immediately doubts his lover.

I know the story had to stop somewhere and we’re given a HFN ending in the epilogue with plenty of hints to how things would go. But I really would have liked to see what happened next for Eli and how that affected his relationship with Rob.

Overall, a highly recommended and incredible read with some superb writing. Be prepared for strong emotions and arguments with lots of swearing, plus some D/s sex and control scenes.

 

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  Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

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Add to Goodreads here.

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Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British-born author dragged up in the south of England as part of a typical nuclear family with three kids, a mortgage, and no dog because a dog would get hair on the carpet. A brief escape to the north to study focused his writing from daydreaming rambles to his first novel, Our Last Summer. It is unquestionably better than the dissertation he produced at the same time for his university degree, but probably not as inventive as the excuses he provided for missing classes so often.

Matthew has since returned to the London area, and therefore lives mostly on the public transport. He suspects that his next few pieces will probably involve homicidal characters on the London Underground.

For more information, please visit matthewjmetzger.wordpress.com.

 

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