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New Release – Better Place (Rainbow Place #3) by Jay Northcote

Title: Better Place (Rainbow Place #3)

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)

Length: 66,000 words approx

Genre: contemporary m/m romance

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date:  February 22, 2019

Series information:

Series title: Rainbow Place.

All stories will be standalones with new main characters in each book and satisfying happy endings.

 

Blurb

Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.

After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.

Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in the café and works on his laptop. His attempts to flirt are met with awkwardness at first, but gradually Joe opens up. Dylan is disappointed when he learns Joe isn’t single. As their friendship develops he begins to worry about the nature of Joe’s relationship, especially when he witnesses Harry’s behaviour in person. Abuse isn’t always physical, and Dylan knows that from experience. His concern helps Joe see his relationship for what it is, and gives him the courage to end things with Harry.

Free to act on their mutual attraction, Joe and Dylan dive headlong into something that becomes serious fast. Joe revels in the passion and intimacy he’s been missing out on for so long, but Dylan is worried that Joe is on the rebound. He puts on the brakes, knowing that they need to slow down to make this last. For this new relationship to work, Joe needs to show Dylan that he’s ready to move on from the past.

Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone and has a satisfying happy ending.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

 

REVIEW

I enjoyed Jay’s third story set in and around the Rainbow Place cafe. This is an everyday romance, with nothing OTT or like a soap opera about this tale. There’s plenty of eating, drinking, working, and watching TV in this slow-burn, low-angst romance.

Dylan works in the cafe and that’s where he meets Joe, who’s attempting to write his first novel. I liked how they gradually get to know each other and how their tentative conversations blossoms into friendship. As readers, we know this will turn into something more. I don’t think Joe cheated on his current partner. We know that particular relationship was all but over. Kudos to Dylan for respecting Joe, remaining his friend and offering him advice. I liked how they move from friends to lovers, but didn’t rush their relationship. This is a gentle, sweet romance. Hopefully we’ll see how things have developed between them in future stories. It was great to see more of Seb and Alex and other familiar characters offering Dylan and Joe their support.

 

About the Author 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has been published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are also available as audiobooks.

 

Author Links

Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote

Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotewriter

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction

Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers

Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote

 

Safe Place (Rainbow Place #2) by Jay Northcote

SAFE PLACE

Title: Safe Place (Rainbow Place #2)

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)

Length: 48,000 words approx

Genre: contemporary m/m romance, bisexual, coming of age

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date: Friday 31st August 2018

Series information:

Series title: Rainbow Place.

All stories will be standalones with new main characters in each book and satisfying happy endings.

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?

Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.

Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.

When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly café and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?

Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Review – 4*

Alex and Cam were introduced towards the end of Rainbow Place and I was hoping we’d get their story next.

This is an enjoyable slow burn romance and a coming of age story. The two men are attracted to each other from the word go, but Cam soon puts the brakes on any intimate relationship when he discovers Alex’s controlling father is also the homophobic politician who caused a lot of the disruption in book 1. There’s plenty of UST between these guys as they attempt to remain friends. Alex also has the worry of his future education, his job prospects and his bigoted parents. Cam eventually provides a safe place for Alex, as do their friends at the Rainbow Place cafe. There’s some sweet moments, a few sexy scenes, and several episodes that will make you laugh out loud. 

 

About the Author 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has been published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are also available as audiobooks.

 

Author Links

Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote

Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotewriter

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction

Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground

Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers

Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote

 

 

Review ~ By The Numbers

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 37,400 words

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

 

Secrets and lies threaten Brandon and Daniel’s new love.

Brandon Hoselton is running scared, finding security in his obsession with patterns and numbers. With his family threatened, he feels he has nowhere left to go, and even considers ending his life to keep them safe. Until Sanctuary, in the shape of the enigmatic Daniel Karnes, gives him a reason to stay alive and offers the possibility of a future free from fear.

Former SEAL Daniel is new to Sanctuary, tasked with watching Brandon, a brilliant geek with way too many secrets. Falling in love with quirky Brandon is easy; now he just has to make sure secrets don’t end up with them both dying.

The only way of destroying Varga is to cut the crime boss’s money, and the two men become part of an intricate take-down involving millions of dollars. But Brandon has a secret he can never share with Daniel, and their new love is at stake.

When the villain has murder in mind, sometimes the only way to stay alive is to lie.

 

 

Brandon took down the drapes in his room as soon as he was able to. He could have asked his sisters, but they didn’t know just how badly looking at the geometric pattern in the fabric upset his equilibrium. They knew he was weird; most sisters thought their big brothers were weird. But he also had twitches and nervous tics about certain things, and they’d seen it all, even though his list of crazy was something he could manage now.

They didn’t need to know he’d spent three hours last night counting the squares on the drapes and being irritated to the point of stimming that they weren’t even and the stitching was wrong. And Jesus, stimming—having to move his fingers, loosen his muscles, anything to ground himself—he hadn’t done that in years.

And hell if he was going to ask Daniel into his room to help him, because Daniel was someone Brandon did not want in his space. Not taking down drapes, or talking to him, or even breathing near him. There was only so much of Daniel that Brandon could take, because when he was anywhere near him, he lost his ability to form coherent sentences. He didn’t have time to have these powerful feelings of lust that kept hitting him.

Like the time he and Daniel had met on the landing and Daniel had been in just a towel. They’d only been together a few days, but Daniel was funny, and sexy, and dangerous, and exactly everything Brandon should be avoiding in his life.

He had way too much to worry about, and a date written in his memory that he wouldn’t forget any time soon. The deal he had—to stay alive, to hide himself away, and then to present himself to Varga—was just about the only thing that filled his thoughts.

Varga thought that, on a given date, Brandon would join him in his huge mansion, pull together all the funds Varga had hidden in various places, and then join him in whatever country the US didn’t have an extradition treaty with.

Like hell he would. He was meeting with Varga, getting all his money, dispersing it to the right causes, and sending any intel he could get out to the authorities.

And then Varga would kill him for doing that.

Inevitable, really, and something he’d come to terms with. He’d blown his chance to do this when he’d worked for Varga, so he had to make up for it. He was doing the right thing.

He’d been biding his time in Hope, but had been unfortunate to be scooped up by Sanctuary. He just needed to work out a way to get away from them, and in particular Daniel, but he had about ten days to go yet until that magic date when Varga had decided he would be leaving the country.

For now, Sanctuary was safe for him and his sisters.

So yeah, choosing to avoid having Daniel in his room, with his probing questions and his distracting body, was an easy decision to make in among all that crap.

The only downside was that it meant he had to take the drapes down himself.

Trying to shoot himself hadn’t gone so well; instead of being dead and gone, he had a through shot and muscle damage which hurt like knives in his skin. He waited until day four, when the pain in his shoulder had lessened to the point where he could at least manage to get out of bed and to the window but he couldn’t handle looking at those drapes any longer.

Today he actually felt capable of dealing with drapes he didn’t need anyway. There were blinds at the windows, and behind the blinds each window was coated so you could see out but no one could see in. He pushed the offending fabric under the bed and clambered back to a standing position, wincing in pain as he banged his shoulder, and sat on the edge of his bed.

The drapes were still there—he could picture them under the bed—and exasperated, he lay back on the mattress and attempted to think of something else. Blue skies, blue mugs, blue eyes. Anything blue, because it was a color that calmed him.

He lasted about a minute.

Huffing, he rolled up carefully and reached under the bed, pulling out the drapes and screwing them into a ball. Opening his door, he threw them out onto the landing, not even checking if anyone was standing there.

Daniel. Of course it would be Daniel, who reacted like a ninja and had the drapes under submission in seconds.

Once they were dead, or at least overpowered with some sort of karate move, Brandon felt like he should apologize.

“My bad,” he said, and shut the door in Daniel’s face.

He expected the knock, but hadn’t quite decided what he was going to say to Daniel when he came in. Maybe if he ignored the request to enter and said nothing, then Daniel might go away.

Daniel knocked again, and this time instead of waiting for Brandon to say he could come in, he pushed his way in, looking irritable. He was shirtless, his hair wet—evidence of a recent shower—his sweats hanging low on his hips and every muscle deliciously tight and toned.

“What the hell, Brandon?” he asked, his dark eyes angry, his lips in a set line. He wasn’t holding the drapes, so Brandon counted that as a win.

“I didn’t want them up at my window,” Brandon explained, and eased himself down into the chair by his bed. He was most comfortable there; he could see out the window and it was easier to keep the pressure off his injury.

“So you decided to throw them in my face?” Daniel sounded less pissed and more confused about getting fabric in his face.

Brandon indicated the door. “To be fair, I didn’t know you were there.” Then he couldn’t resist, “And you heroically subdued them so fast, I knew you could handle the danger.”

 

 

This is the exciting conclusion to the Sanctuary series. I’ve only read books 8-10 to follow this part of the story arc, and have enjoyed each one and the different romance pairings. While confined in various safe houses Brandon and Daniel fall for each other. There’s some tingling UST as the two men resist this attraction at first. 

Daniel, a former SEAL, now a Sanctuary operative is tasked with protecting Brandon and his two sisters. Brandon exhibits autistic traits, shown through his thoughts and repetitive calming techniques. He’s gifted with regard to numbers and calculations, but there’s something he won’t share, not even with Daniel. He has a plan and has resigned himself to the fact that he might die as a result of his actions, but he’s prepared to do anything to protect his sisters from the evil reach of Varga. Brandon comes across as geeky at times, yet there’s a depth to his character that captures Daniel’s heart. He’s certainly an interesting and complex character. 

The suspense builds as the other Sanctuary operatives close in on Varga’s operation, but Brandon keeps his secret to himself.  There’s tension as the reader wonders whether his plan will work out or will he forfeit his life and the romance that has blossomed with Daniel.  Daniel is distracted by his feelings, but he’s a professional and will do his utmost to protect Brandon. There’s an action-packed climax to the story in the last few chapters, with plenty of suspense and excitement.

This is an enjoyable light read, not too complex, yet with enough depth to maintain your interest.

 

May 17 – Jim’s Reading RoomBooklove

May 19 – Sexy Erotic Xciting

May 24 – MM Good Book ReviewsMaking It Happen

May 26 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 29 – Lily G Blunt

June 2 – Xtreme Delusions

June 5 – SarandipityBFD Book Blog

June 7 – Padme’s LibraryBayou Book Junkie

Sanctuary Series

Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghost (Book #9) Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk

www.rjscott.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts

www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott

twitter.com/Rjscott_author

www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 

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Guest Interview and Review ~ Amy Aislin

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Amy Aislin.

 

Interview with Amy

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sweets. They’re so delicious I can’t resist, even though I know I probably should.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. It was the first time I ever read a book with a gay romance subplot. It’s what got me reading m/m romance until, one day, I finally allowed myself to start writing it.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

Twister. Don’t ask me why; it’s not even my favourite movie (The Sounds of Music takes that award), but for some reason I love Twister and I can watch it over and over again.

 

The person who influenced you the most…

My mom. She is truly the strongest person I know.

 

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I don’t know if it’s unlikely, but I love astronomy. If I could do that kind of math and physics, I would’ve majored in it in university, but alas, it was not to be.

 

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

Fourth grade recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing an adventure tale about my classmates: we went on a treasure hunt! I can’t remember if we ever found the treasure…I can’t even remember if I finished writing that story. I think that was the first time I ever put a story to paper, and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…

Oh wow, hmmm. There are so many options. I’m torn between two: renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and doing nothing but reading, or renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and invite my family along for a get-together (BBQ, games, s’mores, you name it!).

 

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, my parents gave me a beautiful silver ring with a unicorn on it. A few years ago, when I started wearing rings again, I wore it to work. I took it off in the bathroom because the unicorn horn kept getting caught in my clothes when I was pulling up my pants (sorry for the visual!)…and I forgot it in the bathroom. It wasn’t there the next day; nobody brought it to lost and found. It was just gone. I’m still upset about it. I hate losing things with sentimental value.

 

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Something that would get me a billion dollars.

Title: The Play of His Life

Author: Amy Aislin

Cover Art: Kris Jacen

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: Novella/143 pages

Release Date: 28th April, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

 

 

Chapter 3

In the middle of their neighborhood, about halfway between their houses, was a small pond that froze over every winter. Riley was already there when Christian arrived at three o’clock on Christmas Eve, lugging his very, very old hockey gear and a tiny dog.

“Trevor!” The dog took off at Riley’s greeting, making a beeline for him. Already wearing his gear, Riley couldn’t crouch to greet the little shih tzu, so he bent at the waist and gave the dog a pat on the head.

Christian stopped at the edge of the pond and admired the way Riley’s jeans molded to his deliciously tight ass. Riley may not play in the pros anymore, but he still had an incredible goalie butt.

“I see you two know each other,” Christian said, mildly offended at the dog’s abandonment. Trevor clearly preferred Riley over Christian.

“Your mom brings him into the shop all the time.”

Christian grimaced. “You still see my mom?” Riley had mentioned something of the sort the other day, too.

“All the time. I see her more than I see you.”

Riley stiffened for a second as he seemed to realize what he’d said. Christian stood looking at him, unimpressed. Because really, who was it that ran out after they’d hooked up the last time, after his dad’s funeral?

Riley gave him a tight smile that said something like, Yeah, well, the phone works both ways, dude.

Impasse.

They’d have to talk about it sometime, but today wasn’t that day.

“You gonna stand there all day,” Riley joked, “or are we gonna play?”

The twinkle in his eyes told Christian that yes, Riley was aware of the double entendre he’d just uttered.

Oh, they were going to play, all right.

They didn’t bother with skates; the frozen pond was too bumpy for it to be safe. But Riley had brought his old hockey net, so at least they had a real goal.

Christian put on his gear — it was a bit of a tight fit, but it’d do — grabbed his hockey stick and a puck and moved to center ice.

“Trevor,” Christian said, and pointed with his stick. Trevor moved off the ice to nose at some dead plants poking through the snow against a fence.

“Think you’ll finally get one past me?” Riley asked, pulling on his mask. Christian would not call that smirk sexy.

“Finally? You must be forgetting all the previous times I scored on you.”

Now there he went with the double entendres.

“Ha! If by ‘all’ you mean ‘never.’ Bring it, Dufresne. Bet you can’t get one past me.”

“Bet? Okay.” Christian nodded once decisively. “If I get one past you I get to try a shot of Shimmer.”

Riley shrugged, all casual-like. “Fine.”

“And if I don’t get one past you?”

Christian could see Riley contemplating his answer, and even through the cage of Riley’s goalie mask Christian could tell Riley’s ocean eyes were on him, assessing. They swept Christian up and down. Christian could almost feel the heat in his gaze like a physical touch. He obviously had been wrong a few days ago…Riley was just as affected by him as he was by Riley. The heat shimmering between them, even from ten feet apart…. Like he could reach out and grab it. He was sure Riley was going to bet him a blowjob or something and his cock started to stiffen in his jeans.

“I want to know the reason you haven’t moved back here,” Riley said.

Instant boner-killer. No way was he telling Riley shit. Meant he’d have to work his ass off to get the puck past him. Riley hadn’t played pro in two years. He was probably out of practice, right?

Wrong. The fucker stopped all twenty-six shots — yes, Christian counted — with seeming ease.

 

 

This is a lovely, sweet story from a newly published author. You can check out some of Amy’s other writing on her website as there’s a couple of free reads there.

What I like most about this story is that it is a second chance romance. Riley and Christian had already gone through the friends to lovers transition, but had split six years previously because they couldn’t cope with a long distance relationship when they’d started different colleges. And that’s where this story starts. They’ve already got loads of history behind them and were clearly still in love with each other. Yes, there’s a lack of trust on Christian’s part because Riley had left him without a word to continue his hockey career when they’d hooked up again one night and he feared Riley would do the same to him again. And Riley was thinking Christian didn’t care for him because he had no intention of moving back to Ontario. God, if only these boys talked and said exactly how they felt and what they wanted life would have been so much easier for them. But then, us readers wouldn’t have gotten all the lovely angst and anticipation about what was going to happen when Christian returned home after the Christmas holidays. It was great they still got along so well and had fun together despite all their doubts and uncertainties. It was how it used to be between them. The scrapbook and necklaces were lovely touches to their story.

My one main grumble is what appears to be a couple of inconsistencies in the story that should have been picked up by the editing team. The main one being that Christian didn’t know he was entering Riley’s new bakery when he was sent by his mother to buy a loaf of bread. He wasn’t expecting to see Riley, nor did the possibility even cross his mind. Yet in chapter four we see that Christian had saved a newspaper cutting about the opening of the bakery and so was well aware of Riley’s new career and the location of the building. I hardly think this could have slipped his mind, nor did he comment on the fact at the time.

If you overlook these few issues, this enjoyable story is well written, with a distinct voice for each character. There are some touching moments and some great scenes between these guys.  Although originally published in April, I can see this becoming a popular Christmas/holiday read for many, and I look forward to more stories from Amy in the future.

 

MLR Press: https://goo.gl/9YvKYu
Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/uAELdC
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/6OyYTp
Kobo: https://goo.gl/TdTZkB
B&N: https://goo.gl/6phQfP
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/w1m7rP
iTunes: https://goo.gl/TChKPr

Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Why I write m/m romance

I started writing traditional m/f (male/female) romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?

If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When Jules was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin. And then there was Jules and Robin. And I thought this was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more m/m (male/male) romance and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.

Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write.

Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.

I write because I love it. Because there are people in my head who need a voice. I write the stories I want to write the way I want to write them, in a way that speaks of the characters and their struggles, yet also speaks to me, too. I hope my stories speak to you as well.

 Website  |  Facebook author page  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr

 

 

Review ~ Well-Tailored

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | KOBO


Cover Design:
 LC Chase

Length: 62,000 words



Thorne and Dash Series

Professional Distance (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Personal Entanglement (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Perfect Alignment (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK



Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone.

 

 

4*

I thoroughly enjoyed reading/listening to the first two books in the Thorne and Dash series. For some reason I missed book 3, but no worries, Well-Tailored gives a glimpse into what’s been happening with Thorne and Dash from Marc’s perspective. In fact, from the beginning we get a recap of Marc’s initial introduction to Darius when he went to the tailors with Dash. The story can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest reading the first two installments first to gain an insight into the characters and the situation Marc finds himself in.

I was always fond of Marc, so was happy to see him get his happy ever after here. Although to be honest it took me some time to see what Marc liked about Darius—apart from his hot body and sexual prowess! He comes across as arrogant and rude for much of the story, with a foul mouth that I didn’t particularly like or find amusing. Some of the banter between these guys is entertaining and it’s obvious Darius can see how talented Marc is. I liked the powerplay that occurs too. Despite claiming he never had sex with his employees he and Marc are at it like rabbits most night’s after work. They never talk about how they feel or what’s going on between them. They both want more than just sex but are frightened to voice this desire at first. Both men have issues with past boyfriends and Marc can’t seem to escape the fact that he used to be an escort. The sex scenes are sizzling and sometimes a little kinky, and in between we have Thorne and Dash’s wedding drama as well as the work Darius and Marc accomplish for the shop. Both Thorne and Marc are guilty of responding instantly to certain situations and that almost leads to disaster for both couples. It was only towards the end that I felt any real emotional connection developed between Marc and Darius when they started talking and spending time with each other outside of the shop. I was pleased that the story has an uplifting and happy ending after the almost inevitable miscommunication.

The story is well-written and, although it’s not my favourite in the series, it is still an enjoyable read. I would have liked additional details of both the main characters’ pasts and more time with them as partners.

 

May 1 – Urban Smoothie ReadM/M Book Addicts

May 3 – Making It HappenMM Good Book Reviews

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Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

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Review ~ Imagines (Imago #2)

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Imago (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover: Harper By Design





Imagines is the Latin plural for Imago, and the only thing better than one metamorphosis, is two.

Jack Brighton and Lawson Gale have been together for six months and are very much in love. Lawson’s work ensuring the survival of the Tillman Copper is demanding as ever, and Jack’s work with the regeneration of the bushfire-ravaged national park is just as hectic.

When Jack suggests they take a short trip, Lawson agrees. But then he is offered a two-week research position in tropical Queensland to help determine why the Ulysses butterfly is on the decline. Figuring they could combine work and pleasure, Jack and Lawson go on their first vacation together.

Working alongside renowned professor Piers Bonfils isn’t easy. But personal and professional differences aside, Lawson is offered a more permanent role in Queensland. Torn between his new life in Tasmania with Jack and a dying species of butterfly he feels compelled to save, Lawson has to decide where his fate lies.

But fate changes the rules. On a research expedition into the depths of the rainforest, suddenly it’s not only the butterflies’ existence that hangs in the balance

A butterfly’s life cycle never changes. From larvae to imago, their course is plotted by design. Jack and Lawson need to determine where they stand, if they live through it. Because the only thing more incredible than one imago is two.

 

I enjoyed Imago, but totally loved Imagines. Jack and Lawson are even more adorable in this story. They are several months into their relationship and deeply in love—just perfect for each other. A little bit of angst throws them a challenge. Could they really survive a long distance relationship as Jack claims? Thankfully they don’t get the chance to find out. Jack is there for Lawson when things don’t quite to plan on an expedition. I adored when Jack is beside himself with worry and barely keeping it together. And the ending and epilogue are just delightful. Superb writing and mastery of characters to engender warm and fuzzy emotions in the reader.

Looking forward to reading Red Dirt Heart Imago next. I wondered what the connection was when I read the deleted scene!



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N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldnít have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things, but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since.

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Separation ~ Blog Tour and Review

Title: Separation

Author: Louise Lyons

Release date: March 31, 2017

Length: 45,000 words

Cover design: Simon Searle

 

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.

The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.

Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.

This is a taboo story featuring twins.

 

 

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Mum reached for my free hand and slid hers into it.

“We wanted to tell you before, but it was a condition of the adoption that we wait until now.” Dad rested his elbows on the counter and steepled his fingers together—what he always did when he had something serious to say. “I appreciate this won’t be easy for you.”

“Just tell me.” I leaned away from the bar and folded my arms. What the hell were they going to say? I had some unusual disease and was going to drop dead before my next birthday?

“You have a brother. A twin, actually.” Dad paused and waited for my reaction. My jaw dropped and the rushing sound in my ears drowned whatever Mum said. My heart hammered, each beat vibrating through my chest and stomach like a drum. My upper arms stung where I’d dug my nails into them, and I struggled to breathe. A twin? Twenty-one years and now they told me I had a twin? I couldn’t find the words to express what I felt at that moment. All my life something had been missing; a strange ache inside had told me part of me had been taken away, and I’d never been able to understand it. Now I did. The other part of me was living somewhere, maybe feeling the same sense of disconnect that I did. Perhaps at this precise moment he was being told he had a twin, too.

“Where is he?” I whispered.

“We don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know? How can you tell me I have a twin, but you don’t know where he is? Do you know anything? Why isn’t he with me?” Temper flared and I leaped off my stool. “What happened? Why aren’t we together?”

“All we know is that your birth mother died shortly after you were both born. Your father didn’t want to give you up, but he couldn’t cope with two babies. He tried for a while and it got too much. So, he gave you up for adoption.” Mum explained in a quiet, sad voice, and I reeled from the information.

“How could he do that? How could he separate us?” I backed away and gripped the edge of the sink, my legs shaking and threatening to pitch me onto the floor. “Who is he? Do you know? Are there records? Why are you only telling me this now?”

“Oh, sweetheart…” Mum rushed to my side and wrapped her arms around me, and it was only then I realized I was crying. Tears dripped from my face onto her blouse.

“How can I find him?” The words came out rough and strangled, and I cleared my throat.

“The adoption agency has records. They won’t tell us where he is, but they’ll register your interest in searching for him and if he contacts them, then—”

“If? If he contacts them?” I wrenched free of her arms and paced the room, wringing my hands. “What if he doesn’t even know I exist? He might never contact them!” The thought that I may go through the rest of my life never getting the chance to meet the brother I’d only just learned about, sucked the breath out of me. I stopped my pacing, my chest heaving with emotion.

Nothing much had affected my life before—nothing that made me really feel. Even when my boyfriend ditched me for someone else, I’d moved on in two days. I supposed I hadn’t really loved him. He’d been high maintenance and we had hardly anything in common. But what my parents had just told me was huge. What kind of father would separate twins, however difficult it was for him to cope?

“Mattie…” Mum moved toward me again. I stepped around her and grabbed the key to my new car.

“Do you even know his name?” I asked.

“No. I’m sorry. We don’t know any more than what we’ve told you.”

“How could this happen?” I left my protesting parents and strode out of the room. Shoving my feet into the first pair of shoes I found in the porch, I burst out of the house. I barely heard Dad shouting after me to be careful, and Mum adding that I probably shouldn’t drive while I was upset. Moments later the Volvo tore out of the drive, leaving deep tracks in the gravel.

 

5*

I always enjoy Louise’s stories and her writing style, and from the start of this taboo story she captured my attention. Both the plot and the interesting characters kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen between these two guys.

As far as I know this is Louise’s first taboo story.  Kudos to her for tackling a sensitive topic, although I know ‘twincest’ stories are very popular with some readers. First and foremost this story is a romance. It is not full of gratuitous sex scenes nor written for shock value. It’s a story of two young men, who happen to have the same parents. They were separated soon after birth and lived apart with no knowledge of the other’s existence.  Matthew always felt something was missing from his life, so as soon as he is informed of the existence of a twin brother he searches him out. Louise builds up the tension very well here.

The twins meet up after their twenty-first birthdays and, from the start, they feel a pull of attraction. Like most people in such a situation they struggle with internal doubts and conflicts concerning the morality of forming a sexual relationship with their brother and they consider how this will impact on family and friends. There’s a time when they’re trying to resist this pull, but it makes them unhappy. Because they are not identical twins not many people would know they were related and that makes the decision to be together a little easier for them. Even so, they still have to deal with several people who ‘find out’ and are unaccepting of their relationship at first. I loved the conflict and angst here.

This is a tasteful taboo romance featuring several sweet along with some steamy scenes between the twins. I liked that the story is told from both Matthew and Tremaine’s point of view and that it is set in England. The ending of the story is uplifting and leaves you with a sense that no matter what, love truly is love.

If you haven’t read a taboo story before I’d definitely recommended this one. And if taboo stories are your thing, you’ll no doubt thoroughly enjoy Separation.

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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

 

 

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Review ~ From Top to Bottom

Book Info

Author: Kevin Klehr

Release Date: March 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945952-74-6

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Erotica

Genre: Contemporary

Theme: Menage

Word Count: 15100

Pages: 56

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MMM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

Can a dedicated top really learn to bottom? Tony wants to find out but he’s scared another die-hard top will just plow through him, instead of taking it nice and slow on a newbie.

Enter Butch, a bear who’ll try anything, and Ford, a guy whose curiosity is tempting him to cheat on his boyfriend. Like Tony, both are dedicated tops wanting to try something new, and on this journey of physical self-discovery, all will find that being open means more than taking it doggie-style.

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From Top to Bottom
Author © 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

On my various profiles, I wrote:

Top curious about being a bottom, wants to meet likeminded tops.

I thought I was straightforward enough, yet so many timewasters were happy to give but not receive. One loser argued that I ought to get my head examined. He said that it didn’t matter if the other top wanted to bottom, just as long as I got what I wanted.

I stressed that this would be a shared experience. Two or more tops learning from each other, discussing the intricate pleasures we would discover as a group.

Then he said we’d end up writing folk songs about exploring our inner regions and singing around a campfire. I thought to myself, yeah, maybe that’s exactly the direction I wanted to take. Was I getting soft, or was I just growing up? Perhaps there already was a group for closet-bottoms I could join.

But the truth was I wanted like-minded tops simply because we’d go easier on each other. We wouldn’t just ram it up there like a vandal bashing down the door. We wouldn’t be power-bottoms. We would ease in gradually; the runway lit for a relaxed landing before the passengers would embark.

Only two other tops sounded like they were on my wavelength. A bear called Butch and a secretive guy named Ford. So I set the date. The second Tuesday in June was the only night Ford could make it, and I knew better than to ask why.

I dusted and vacuumed frantically, as if I was expecting Prince Charming to knock on my door, take me in his arms, and deflower me. I lit candles to set the mood, and rolled out an old sheet on the lounge room floor. I didn’t want to bonk in the bedroom. I wanted space for us to explore, like they did in three-way porn flicks.

My front door buzzer sounded. I let in my first visitor.

“You brought cake,” I said. I tried not to let the look of horror show on my face.

“For afterward,” Butch replied. “I baked it myself. Is there room in the fridge?”

Hadn’t this guy heard of the definition of “eternity”? The time between when you cum and they leave. Who ever heard of cake after sex?

“It’s red velvet,” he said. He crouched in front of my fridge, rearranging its contents. “Do you know the weird shit that goes in this cake? Vinegar. And cocoa and vanilla.”

“Do you always bake before sex?”

“For special occasions, yes.”

“I hardly know you.”

“But you’re about to know me a hell of a lot better.”

 

This is a relatively short story, but a lot is packed into those fifty-six pages. In a way, the story is a series of vignettes of sex scenes linked together by the three main characters.

Tony is the main POV character and he is heading towards thirty. He is a sex obsessed and dedicated top who has not considered settling down just yet. In fact he wants to broaden his horizons and experience what all the fuss his sex partners have made about being on the bottom. Tony decides to hook-up with some like-minded tops (Butch and Ford) so they all have a chance to feel what it’s like to be on the receiving end.

Be warned: this is not a love story as such, although Tony does seem to develop a crush on one of his new f-buddies. The story follows the three new friends as they meet up for menage sex or have group sex at orgies. The scenes are hot and sometimes amusing. I don’t think I’ve read so many different names for a penis in one story and some of the imagery for body parts and the similes used to describe gay sex are sometimes entertaining, frequently explicit, and often humorous. No condoms are used (or not referred to anyway) and there’s no focus on safe sex at any point. There’s also drug use in the form of amyl/poppers and pot.

This is erotica. It’s hot, fun stuff rather than a serious or angsty romance. Sex is the focus of the story, but there is a story in here. I found the ending rather abrupt as if it had been rushed. The story didn’t finish how I was anticipating, but it’s sort of open and happy, and fits with the characters.

The frank telephone conversations between Tony and his father where they share TMI about their sex lives had me in stitches. Such fun!

 

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review*

NineStar Press |  Amazon UK | Amazon US

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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Review ~ Ghost (Sanctuary #9)

Title: Ghost

Author: R.J. Scott

Cover: BiterGrace Art

Length: 45, 000 words

Sanctuary Series

Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Can you ever hold on to a ghost?

Elliot is tracking an elusive killer, codenamed Ghost, with ties to organized crime. Every time the Sanctuary team gets close, Ghost slips their grasp.

Cole has nowhere left to turn. With his father dying and his sister in danger, he turns for help to the very people trying to track him down. Sanctuaryís assistance is what he needs to punch another hole in Vargaís organization.

When Elliot and Cole meet, it isnít just passion that consumes them. When lust becomes something more, Elliot realizes that sometimes you canít hold on to a ghost, and that sacrifice is often the only way to make things right.

4*

Ghost follows directly on from Accidental Hero (#8) and the team have now tracked down Cole, the elusive Ghost who is believed to be a ruthless killer. But not all is as it seems.

Cole and Elliott reluctantly work together with plenty of snarky comments and mistrust at first, but gradually they fall for each other. And of course, they blow hot and cold. They kiss and make-out, and then take a step back for a time. By the end of the story they manage to sort themselves out.

There’s lots of action, chases, and excitement, as well as time when the characters are holed-up in a safe house. Cole and Elliott work well together professionally and also support each other emotionally when Cole reveals his past and his family’s personal connection to the criminals. They manage to snatch a couple of steamy moments together.

This is a James Bond type of story of tracking down a baddie called Varga with the support of the Sanctuary team, some super gadgets, and their topnotch tracking capabilities.

I started reading the series at book 8 and, although I caught on to this plot line and the new story arc, I felt I was missing out on some details about Sanctuary and some of the characters who featured in earlier stories. I’ll need to go back to the beginning of the series and catch up before Book 10 is released.

This story sets up the next romance and the final instalment with two of the guys featured here and with Varga still at large.

 

 

February 28 – The Blogger Girls, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sexy Erotic Xciting
March 6 – MM Good Book Reviews
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March 20 – Lily G Blunt, Bella’s Blog, Embracing My Crazy, Bayou Book Junkie



RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.




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Review ~ Imago

 

Title: Imago

Author: N.R. Walker

Length: 45,000 words

Cover: Harper By Design

 

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.

 

This is a delightful and relatively angst-free story. NR Walker has created two distinct and very likeable main characters who are adorable together, along with a cute dog. The unusual setting of Tasmania makes a pleasant change as the two guys work together to track down an unrecorded butterfly. Jack takes Lawson on romantic dates each evening and they gradually fall head over heels for each other. These guys are just made for each other and there’s a gradual build up to some steamy sensual scenes. I also liked the excitement and increased pace towards the end of the story.

Nic produces easy-going and easy to read page-turners. This is a super sweet, feel-good story and the start of a new series. I’m looking forward to the next stage of Lawson and Jack’s relationship and hoping they work together again.

 

 

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 

 

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Review ~ As the Sun Sets

as-the-sun-sets-600

Title:  As the Sun Sets

Author: R.J. Jones

Release Date: 24th February, 2017

Length: 152 pages

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 5 

A sea change could be just what the doctor ordered.

Doctor Scott Penney used to be a Paediatric Oncologist—until he burned out. Watching children suffer and die took its toll on his mental health. To cope, he used anonymous sex as an emotional crutch, thinking it was better than hitting the bottle. But that inevitably destroyed his relationship with the man he loved.

With his tail between his legs and a year’s worth of celibacy under his belt, Scott accepts a position as an Accident and Emergency consultant, leaving his career in oncology and London behind.

Ben Jenkins is a paediatric nurse who loves his seaside city, his job, and his faithful old Labrador, Happy. When he meets the new doctor, Ben falls for Scott’s kind-yet-reserved personality—not to mention his good looks. Scott is great with the children who come through the hospital, but Ben senses there’s more to Scott than meets the eye.

Scott tries to resist Ben’s sunny charm—Scott’s not boyfriend material, after all—but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the sad looking old dog and his charming owner. As Scott and Ben get closer and the weather heats up, tragedy strikes and Ben is left wondering how much of Scott’s history he actually knows.

For them to move forward, Ben must show Scott that no matter what happened in the past, a beautiful day can always start after the sun sets.

**This can be read as a standalone**

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

 

My old Labrador, Happy, followed me everywhere I went. We’d been inseparable since day one. So when I opened the front door after work, it was inevitable he’d be sitting in the front room, wagging his tail and waiting for me to get changed into my runners. Happy didn’t run as far anymore—twelve was old for a Lab—but he was content to lie on the shore and wait for me to come back from my jog up the beach. By the time I returned, Happy had regained his breath and we took a slower pace home.

“You ready to hit the beach, buddy? I’ll be back in a sec.” I ruffled his ears as I kicked the door closed behind me, then took the stairs two at a time to get changed. When I’d laced up my running shoes, we set off towards the sea.

I’d thought of leaving him at home when I ran, but the vet had given him a clean bill of health, saying Happy would probably live for a few years yet. Happy knew when he couldn’t go any further, so when he collapsed in his usual spot on our run, I gave him a quick glance to make sure he was okay, then set off at a faster pace towards the marina.

For the past few days, I’d seen someone patting and talking to Happy, but the guy had always walked away when he saw me coming. At first I thought he’d been planning on dognapping him, but after the first couple of days I saw him, I realised he was harmless. He was just saying hello to an old dog. It wouldn’t have been the first time someone had tried to take him, but when Happy didn’t want to go somewhere, there was no moving him. He’d plant his butt and not move. If anyone tried, he’d bite them. The last guy had to have stitches in his arm. This behavioural trait was the reason why Happy hadn’t made the cut with the guide dogs.

I never got a good look at Happy’s new friend; he always left before I got too close. I had a feeling he wasn’t the kind to chitchat, and to be honest, I was always sweaty and exhausted by the time I made it back to Happy anyway.

But today when the man walked away, I thought I recognised him. Tall and lean, he had his head down and hands stuffed into his jacket pockets as he strode towards the steps that would take him to the road. He looked familiar, at least his back did, but I had no idea where I’d seen him before.

 

 

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4.5*

Scott’s heartbreaking career in oncology burnt him out and went a long way to ruining his relationship with Noah (from Book #1 in the series). I struggled to understand why Scott had turned to anonymous hook-ups rather than the partner he loved. But it seems Noah wasn’t capable of providing the support and comfort Scott needed at the time. But that’s okay. Noah has moved on and it’s clear they were not meant to be. That might sound ruthless and, for a time, Scott suffered because of his actions.

Scott is alone and broken when he starts afresh in Brighton and meets Ben and his dog, Happy. A change of scenery, a new medical focus, and friendly colleagues are just what he needs. I adored Ben! He is such a lovely guy and although he falls for Scott, he is a friend first and foremost and gives Scott the time and space he needs. Their romance is a slow-build, but in the process they get to know each other better. I loved how the dog brings them together. But life is not all plain-sailing in Brighton. Scott has more decisions to make regarding his career and an unwelcoming family to deal with.

I’m really enjoying this series of stories set in the UK and reading how each set of couples fall in love. This one is my favourite so far. Scott and Ben are well-developed and caring characters and that shines through in this story. Their scenes together are a joy to read. I loved Ben’s rainbow accessories and the way he deals with the children at the hospital. His mum is also a fun and vibrant personality.

Kudos to RJ for tackling two sensitive issues in this story and producing an uplifting romance through them. RJ’s writing style is engaging and the storyline and compelling characters keep you turning the pages.

Trigger warning: some readers might find the references to child cancer disturbing. Scott’s cheating occurred before this story begins so that might be more acceptable to readers who avoid cheating storylines.

 

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RJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.

RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work.  But they didn’t shut up.  They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days.  Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.

Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.

You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.

RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.

She is surrounded by males.

RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.

 

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Retro Review Tour ~ Foxes

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Title: Foxes

Author: Suki Fleet

Print Length: 328 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Publication Date: February 8, 2016

 

2016 Rainbow Award Winner – Best Gay Young Adult

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When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.

To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.

 

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5*

The use of first person present tense works well for the POV narrator’s young age and his mental condition (I’m assuming Danny has Asperger’s). It makes the events and his responses more immediate, and we get to see how others treat him through his own eyes. Many people think he’s stupid, but he’s not. He has difficulty communicating his thoughts and often prefers to write down what he can’t form into spoken words. Until he meets Mickey, that is.

The story style reminded me of a little of The Curious Dog in the Night-Time, but of course, that plot is entirely different. Suki has a wonderful way with words and the writing throughout is superbly done. Her main characters, their background, physical descriptions, personalities are all well-developed and shown through their actions and dialogue. Danny in particular is captivating.

The first half or so of the book presents life on the streets of London for homeless youth. You can almost feel the cold and the hunger, and sense the poverty and the danger Danny and others suffer. The idea of ‘sharks’ or ‘predators’ on the lookout for these youngsters adds to the fear factor as Danny wanders the streets at night searching for one killer in particular.

There were a few chapters around the 20/25% mark where I wanted the story to move a little faster, but on the whole the pace is swift. Looking back now, I understand that all those events and scenes are a necessary part of the story. A necessary part of getting to know Danny. The last quarter or so when Mickey and Danny are living together are especially gripping. I loved the togetherness and the angst. The ending is wonderful, since I was fearing the worst at one stage. Yes, the story left me with a greater awareness of living conditions for homeless people, but the hope and happiness at the end for this couple gave me a positive vibe.

Danny is such a lovely, helpful person. The grief he feels for Dashiel is palpable. I adored how Danny describes his attraction for Mickey and how these feelings increase as their friendship blossoms. My heart hurt for him when he thinks Mickey is just pretending with him and can’t possibly feel the same way. But Mickey is also such a wonderful soul. Both boys are damaged inside and out in their own way. Their scenes together are all beautifully written and the sex scenes perfectly suit the characters and the tone of the story. I loved how Mickey understands Danny, gives him time and space, and helps him grow in confidence. He seems to know exactly what Danny needs. And Danny is exactly who Mickey needs. “And if we have to live like foxes, then we’ll live like foxes. I only want to be with you.”

There’s plenty of angst along the way for Danny. He is remarkable in the way he copes with his situation and life in general. He knows his triggers and has methods to cope when he is out of his comfort zone. My heart was in my mouth during moments of suspense. The plot twists and turns and is far from predictable. Great writing, Fabulous story. Terrific characters. Highly recommended.

 

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Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than she’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.

Suki Fleet writes lyrical stories about memorable characters, and believes everyone should have a chance at a happy ending.

Her first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

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Email: sukifleet@gmail.com
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February 8 – Gay Book ReviewsBike Book Reviews

February 10 – Back Porch Reader

February 17 – Dog-Eared DaydreamsScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

February 24  Inglorious BitchesEllie Reads (all the books) 

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Review ~ Watching and Wanting

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Title: Watching and Wanting

Author: Jay Northcote

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Global

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh

Length: 52,000 words

Housemates Series – though a series, each book can be read as a standalone. 

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Helping Hand (Book #1)  Amazon US | Amazon UK

Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK 

 

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Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

 

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five-stars

This has been a very enjoyable series with four hot and dirty storylines so far. Yes, each book can be read as standalones, but it’s great to get a feel for the various main characters that pop up as housemates by reading the previous stories. And definitely worth going back to check up on Shawn again if you’ve already read them! No wonder he was always grumpy! He’s certainly different in this story and now we find out why.

Much of this story takes place in the house (and bedroom) these guys share. The focus is on Shawn and Jude this time and we get both points of view as they fall for each other and share some sizzling scenes together on and off the camera—with a little bondage and domination mixed in. These are some of Jay’s hottest to date and with an added edge to them. Shawn eagerly lets Jude guide him in the joys of gay sex, along with plenty of dirty talk and exhibitionism. Phew!

I liked how the tension built around Shawn’s denial and gradual self-awareness of his sexuality and the need to keep their relationship secret. Both characters are endearing as they try to work out if, and how, they can be together outside of the bedroom. Although I thought Jude became a little too pushy too soon for Shawn with regard to coming out as bi. I could appreciate how Shawn was torn and felt fearful. I always like the angsty times, but they didn’t go on for too long here.

I liked that previous characters were involved—Mac and Jez especially, and also Dev and Ewan—not only to see how their relationships have developed, but also for their interaction with Shawn and Jude and the humour they add to the story.

The story flowed effortlessly and kept my attention throughout. All scenes and dialogue are there for a reason and nothing felt superfluous. The ending works well and is HFN. I hope we revisit this pair in the next instalment.

This story has now overtaken Like A Lover as my favourite in the series. Loved it!

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Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

 

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Review ~ Taboo

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Title: Taboo (Taboo #1)

Author: Kol Anderson

Length: 10K

Publisher: Self Published

**Trigger Warnings**
Graphic depictions of rape, incest, violence.
Dub con, non con, abuse, childhood trauma, self-harm.
Dark themes throughout.

 

Blurb

Jake Ross never had it easy. He’s learned to accept he won’t have the life his friends have. With an abusive alcoholic for a father and a younger brother far too good for this world, all Jake focuses on is keeping his kid brother safe.

But when their father goes one step too far and introduces Weldon to their lives, it sets off a series of events that will change all their lives.

Author Note: HEED. THE. WARNING. 
This is a messed up book.

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Review

This is certainly the stuff of nightmares: an abusive, uncaring father who pimps out his virgin son for booze money, a so-called friend who gives Jake drugs in exchange for blowjobs, plus an evil boss-man who claims this beautiful boy for his very own, but needs to destroy him first.

Gah! No wonder Jake takes drugs and wants to die. And yet he needs to protect his younger brother from their father.

Trey provides the only ray of light in Jake’s hellish life when he frees him from Zach’s clutches and saves his virginity. I’m wondering whether Trey will be the hero in the end and somehow come to Jake’s rescue again. After all, his cuddle was enough to aid him after an overdose. “Maybe because he was vulnerable and that made me want to protect him. He triggered something in me, something primal and instinctual.”

Yet at the same time, I’m also considering whether he and Weldon are the same person as there are hints to Trey being messed up and trying to restrain himself with Jake. Just wondering which dark path Kol is heading on with these guys…

Indeed Weldon is a mystery. Who is he and why does he want Jake so much? More importantly what’s going through his mind? He obviously gets turned on by seeing and hearing Jake suffer. He’s a scary man who has power and authority over his men. He gives the impression he can do anything he wants and can control others to do his bidding. At first, he appears to be rescuing Jake from his obnoxious father, only for us to find out Weldon’s intentions are even more despicable. As Trey says right at the beginning, “The world is always falling apart.” I was surprised by his last act considering Weldon wanted the boy so much. Jake wished to die before this, but now… I’m amazed he survived the violation.

As you read, you’re wondering what dark thing is going to happen next. The situation seems pretty hopeless towards the end of this instalment. And seeing the incest tag to the series, will Weldon force Jake and his brother/father into some non-con acts and use them to inflict more pain and suffering?

Kol writes suspense well. His characters and storyline are all engaging. There are some beautiful lines I especially like in the beginning of Trey’s chapter. “I wanted to be inside him, and I wanted him to be so captivated by me he forgot whatever it was that made his eyes sad, or gave him that cut right above his brow.”

Kol Anderson fans will love it!

 

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Review and Guest Post ~ Ash and Cinders by Rodd Clark

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Title: Ash and Cinders ( Gabe Church Tale #3)

Author: Rodd Clark

Publisher: Driven Press

Release Date: December 8th, 2016

Length: 249 pages

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“It’s just the devil’s share. When life evens itself out and every bad guy gets what’s coming to em’ . . . it’s one of the few balancing things life really offers.”  

Gabriel Church

Gabriel Church has done a bad, bad thing . . . and normally that doesn’t bother him too much. But everything changed when he met Christian Maxwell. Chris became his unholy grail. The thing he sought more than any other treasure, yet still a priceless pearl beyond his reach. Nothing he does seems to solidify any prospect of them being able to remain together, to live that happily-ever-after story. Even if he were to make a promise to stop his killing in the name of God, it would still only be a salty futility to wet and tempt his lips.

Christian Maxwell discovered a damaged soul inside Church, with a goodness plumbed somewhere below the visible surface. He saw pain shadowing his killer like some trailing footprint left moist in the sand. But he failed to recognize each victim, or the costs of every action the fugitive took for granted. He simply pushed those faceless victims to the dark recesses of his mind, hiding them from plain view as if they were discarded things, recollections intentionally forgotten.

The one thing Church knows with certainty is the writer is the only person who really knows him, and the only man other than himself who possibly understands where they are both headed. But life is about to get more twisted and dangerous. It begins with a back woods Deputy Sheriff and that same ill-fated chance that always prevented him from slowing down his pace or finding a peaceful place to rest with Chris Maxwell by his side.

 

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This is the final installment in the Gabriel Church serial killer series.

Much of the first third of this story focuses on the thoughts of the main characters and their recollections of events that occurred previously and thus act as a sort of recap while the reader is made aware of Gabe’s and Christian’s current positions. The lovers are apart again because of Gabe’s murderous actions to protect Christian at the end of the previous story and it appears the CID special agent is getting closer to hunting them down.

We are also introduced to a new main character—a gay deputy sheriff with his own secrets—and it is clear he will have some bearing on Gabe’s destiny.

By the time the story reaches mid-way, things have started to happen that could spell disaster for Gabe. The book builds to an exciting climax where it appears all is lost for the separated lovers. Is the serial killer going to get what he deserves or is luck on his side? I was unsure how this story would unfold and be wrapped up, but I was rooting for these two guys who had broken the law. I wanted them to be together and find their happiness.

Rodd Clark has a distinctive style of narration. He writes in third person, yet gives the narrator an omniscient role too, so the reader is given information that the characters are not always privileged to receive or see the impact of a particular action on their future. We get to delve deep into the minds of the characters with many thoughts, considerations, and remembered past incidences that all have a bearing on the characters’ present position or response to a situation.

There was a lot I liked about this tale. The way Rodd gradually ramps up the tension and suspense is very well done, as is the way he has the reader empathizing with Gabe and Christian. The romance aspect of this story propels it forward. The conversations between Gabe and Christian, especially those on the telephone, are emotional and very moving at times. The love between these two guys is palpable and causes them to act the way they do.

 

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Ash and Cinders

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Rodd currently resides in Dallas, Texas. He shares his life with numerous cats, dogs, and his partner of many years. He has many projects under his belt and is working on many others. Always penning his next work, Rodd likes to keep busy with writing and reading and of course his menagerie of critters.

He enjoys the M/M Mystery, Romance and Thriller genres but has varied interests and enjoys many varied types of books. With a dark and distinctively disturbing voice he creates characters that are flawed yet intriguing; such as the M/C of Gabriel Church in his Romantic Fiction “Rubble and the Wreckage”, and carried to the newest chapter “Torn and Frayed”, as well as the third and final Gabriel Church Tale titled “Ash and Cinders”.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE GABRIEL CHURCH SERIES 

Title: Rubble and the Wreckage #1

Genre:  M/M Romantic Thriller

Author:  Rodd Clark

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Gabriel Church knows you can’t take a life without first understanding just how feeble life is, how tentative and weak it stands alone. If you desire murder, you hold a life in your hand. Whether you release it to grant life or grip tighter to end it, it is at your command and discretion. Gabriel is a serial killer with a story he wants told.

Christian Maxwell studied abnormal psychology in college but chose instead to focus on a career in writing. His background comes in handy when he thinks of writing about a serial killer. He can’t think of anyone more qualified to write the story of Gabriel Lee Church, and do so in the murderer’s own words. It’s been done before, but never with a killer who has yet to be captured or convicted.

There was never anything more than a gentleman’s understanding between the two men that Christian would record Gabriel’s life story. The killer did not ask for his complicity in any crimes, nor did he ever ask for his silence. Christian’s interest in the man, though, is fast becoming something more than academic. When the writer and his subject become unexpected friends and then lovers, the question remains: What is Gabriel’s endgame . . . and why does he want his story told?

Introducing my main anti-hero Character

Age: 36

Gender: Male

Birthplace: Kentucky

Profession: Drifter

Ethnicity: White

Body build: Toned and big, sexy and dangerous.

Who is the significant other in your main character’s life?

Christian Maxwell

Tell us about this character.

Christian is an attractive and educated man, very erudite and currently in his mid-thirties.  He is living as a closeted gay man when our story begins, but finds that he is desperate to connect with someone who can break him out of his destined routine.

How does your hero dress?

Gabriel Church is the anti-hero of the series and dresses rough and casual.  It is his body that attracts not the denims and flannel and tee-shirts he is accustomed to wearing.

If you could only hear this character’s voice (but not see him) what characteristic would identify him?

Church is a dichotomy because he appears red-neck illiterate from the outside, but in truth has his deep profound thoughts and belief-structure.  His voice is masculine without being wordy, but his control is always sensed and displayed by the few sentences he blurts out.  His speech illustrates a subtle wisdom with a serious knife-like edge, because after-all, he has seen and done it all during his lifetime.

How educated is this character?

Gabe is street smart but even with his high school education he shows he is envious of Christian’s brain and intellect.  He considers the man an enigma and struggles with the knowledge that his life could have turned out very differently had he been given the same chances at a college education.  One that Christian has taken for granted.

 Is the character book-smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?

Christian as a protagonist is trained and educated with a background that gives him the leg-up over his peers, where Church is self-taught and possesses than skill of reading people and sizing up his competition.

Does he scrape by, live comfortably, live extravagantly?

Gabriel survived only by his wits, and in a place where a bed with clean sheets is considered a luxury.

What is your character’s viewpoint on wealth?

Christian Maxwell was raised with financial comfort and due to his degree always assumed his life would run according to plan.  He is the exact opposite of Gabriel Church who has never known wealth and comfort but sees the futility in such pursuits, namely because he has seen the others he has killed die without fanfare and without their protection of wealth or reputation.  The rat-race of others, as Church has called it, it something fragile and easily destroyed in his perception.  He holds no interest in obtaining any financial freedom, nor does he expect to ever find it.

On what special skills does your character rely?

Gabe relies on his ability to read others and spot their weaknesses; it may be why he is so fascinated with Chris Maxwell, his polar opposite. Christian doesn’t seem to possess that skill at all, and this creates a symbiotic relationship of Gabe wanting to protect his lover from the dangers he sees so clearly.

Are any of his skills a source of pride or embarrassment, and if so, which ones and why?

If you were to ask Church that question in private he would easily say it was his ability to fuck, and fuck well.  He would smile his twisted grin and flash his pearly whites, but in truth the reality was that he considered himself a survivor, regardless of the odds.  He lives his life without assistance, makes no apologies and is very much the man’s man, counts only on his own abilities to get from point A to point B.

What is your character’s family like?

Church has a dismal past and walked away from his family long ago.  Whereas Christian loves his family but doesn’t seem to express pride in them or their accomplishments.  Both men have slipped from the confines of family, but for very different reasons and with very different outcomes.

Is he close to family?

Christian is close to his family, but can go weeks without speaking to them.  Church has not spoken to anyone in his family since he left as a young adult.  But for him in particular, the ghosts of his childhood haunt him more regularly than he would care to admit.

Does this character see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?

Church can only see in shades of gray.  His beliefs seem rigid and morally unyielding, but he is plagued by every decision he makes.  Those decisions become questionable only after meeting someone new that he forms a connection with, though he can’t fully fathom that at the time.

How do others perceive your character based upon looks, and is this assumption accurate?

Gabriel is a sexy man with a strong physique, and while others see him as one to objectify he is truly gifted with an ability to cut through the minutia of day to day existence.  Heterosexual males may perceive him to be ignorant because of his size and attire, but he has a sharp mind and a deadly accuracy with killing when he chooses too.  Women and gay males see him as a sexual being tantalizing them into lusty thoughts.  In that aspect their perceptions are correct, but only Christian gives him enough credit for being more than a murderer, or someone worth saving.

Does your character care about what others assume about him?

He doesn’t give a damn how others see him, but he cares that Christian knows him for something more.

If someone from your character’s past showed up, who would he most NOT want it to be, and why?

Easily that would be his younger sister who he abandoned alongside his mother and father when he left the rural sticks of his hometown.    He regretted that most of all and that  he couldn’t remain close to her, considering her collateral damage in his reach for freedom from his past.

Can your hero keep a secret (why or why not)?

For Gabriel Church, his life is a long line of secrets, he has been tight-lipped since he was a child but felt a unfamiliar wash of needing to unburden himself, but only after meeting a writer who agreed to pen his novel and explain his deadly actions to the world stage.

What secrets does your character know about people around him that he does NOT share?

He saw lust in Christian’s eyes from the very beginning and recognized the man had his own sexual secrets he’d yet to open too.  Church understands lust and regularly uses it to his advantage.  He knew Chris wanted him from the second their eyes met across the table and he toyed with him like a cat ping-ponging a half-dead mouse between its paws, and all for its own sadistic enjoyment.

What inner doubt causes your character the most difficulty?

His growing belief that every decision he made to kill was wrong, and would prevent him from attaining a life he never thought he wanted until meeting Christian.  He only questioned his faith after many long conversations with the writer and seeing the incredulous look in his eyes.

What past event causes your character the most fear?

That the choices he made for his own life would somehow affect someone he’d grown to love.  Church left his family, partially to spare them from himself, but he never assumed that additional murders would drag Christian down and swallow him in the undertow as well.

What is your character’s biggest need at the beginning of the story?

To be heard, to have left some mark in the pages of a novel he wanted written about his life.

What are your hero’s biggest hopes and dreams?

Throughout the story Church finds how much he wants to make it someplace safe.  To be able to rest for a time with Chris standing by his side and to be able to protect someone he has grown to love and respect.  Despite his attempts to reach those goals, his actions to acquire that nirvana only slip through his grasp with all the unwanted heat from his murderous past making it an impossible to reach.

What would help your character face hardship and meet any challenge?

Not having to worry about Christian’s safety.  If it were him and him alone, the task might be easy.  He could just run and run fast and disappear amid the throng of nameless strangers surrounding him.  But he has to consider another person for the first time since he drove out of Tennessee as a young man, and never looked back.

If your character could make any one thing happen, what would it be?

He wouldn’t admit it openly but he would have liked to have taken a different path and never listened to the voices in his head telling him to kill.  He would have liked to have met someone like Christian and made a life for himself in that white-washed normalcy of everyday life.

What is your hero’s biggest personal flaw?

Church has many flaws, the greatest might be his bravado and confidence, but Christian has important flaws as well; namely his inability to walk away from such a dangerous figure as Gabriel Church.

When there is a setback, what doubt or flaw surfaces?

Chris allows his lover to make the decisions regarding his own personal safety.  He knows he could be considered an accomplice to murder in the very least and may be wanted for questioning in the death of a young woman in Seattle.  But it is a matter of trust for him and that faith is equally tested many times for him.

How does your character handle challenges?

Where Gabriel takes challenges head-on, Christian wavers with the morality issue and losing the only person he desires, regardless of his better sense of right and wrong.

What is your hero’s breaking point?

His misconception that he can run and by leaving protect Christian from getting swallowed down by his own crimes, he falsely believes he can simply forget the writer and equate him as the same collateral damage he thought appropriate for his mother and sister.

How emotionally expressive is your character to others?

To most, Church is a stone cold killer, but he allows his façade to shatter while in Christian’s company and exposes his twisted ideologies and warped insights about God and life, and his place in this world.

When (if) he lies or is upset, what gives him away?

His pale, slate-blue eyes, they are the singularly most appealing feature of him and yet become a window that Christian sees inside and displays every weakness he possesses.

Who in his life has the power to hurt this character the most and why?

Church would say it would be God, because finding out he was wrong about his personal mission would be a devastating blow to him.  It is those doubts that Christian brings into play by simply listening and without judgement.  It is the first indication that Church may have been mistaken all along.

 

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Release Day Review ~ The New Wolf (Building The Pack #1)

Release Day Review ~ The New Wolf (Building The Pack #1)

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The New Wolf (Building The Pack #1) – RJ Scott

Length: 25,500 words

Cover: Meredith Russell

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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A dangerous lone wolf is intent on destroying the beginnings of a pack and when Connor is attacked and near death, there is only one thing that can save him. A wolf shifter’s bite.

After a hate crime leaves one of them near dead, Veterinarian Josh Nolan and Cop Connor Vincent are starting a new life in Black Creek, a remote town on the edge of the Green Mountains range, Vermont. Josh is taking over his grandfather’s practice, and Connor starts a new position with the local sheriff’s office. When Connor becomes curious about unsolved crimes going back fifty years he cant know the kind of secrets he begins to unearth. Or the danger that he puts himself and Josh in.

 

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The smell of coffee woke him and he reached across the bed to check for Josh. When he felt empty sheets, he assumed Josh was the one making coffee. His feet hitting the floor sent a sensation of pain up his legs and he cursed under his breath. He had issued a check with Josh that his body couldn’t cash. Either that or he was getting old. Padding into the kitchen, he blearily rubbed his eyes. It seemed they’d slept through the day and it was after nine in the evening. Josh was wearing sweats that hung from his hipbones and in the soft light from the hall, the dark kitchen was casting weird shadows around his lover. Connor had never seen anything so beautiful as Josh leaning against the counter, waiting for the coffee machine to do its thing.

He yawned widely behind a hand and crossed to Josh, cuddling him from behind. Josh tensed in his arms momentarily in surprise. Evidently, he hadn’t expected Connor out of bed yet. Then he relaxed back into Connor’s hold and finally turned in his arms and pulled Connor closer for a hug.

“How you doing?” he asked gently.

“Aching a bit,” Connor answered truthfully. After five years together, Josh could see through Connor like his mom used to be able to do. According to Josh, he could tell when Connor was lying, joking, or any other ing Connor attempted to pull on him.

“You should probably take some more pain meds.” Josh punctuated that with a kiss and, for a second, they stood close and kissed gentle close-mouthed kisses and simply held each other.

“It’s weird,” Connor started. “My thigh is fine, my chest, fine, but I feel like every muscle in me aches, and my joints, my knees, even my damn elbows. Like I’ve pushed too many weights, or run three marathons back to back.”

Josh tugged back a little and, even without being able to see into Josh’s eyes, Connor knew his other half was probably going to mention the unnecessary sex in the hallway. He wasn’t wrong.

“We shouldn’t have done that this morning,” Josh admonished. “You’re not well enough.”

“I was fine. You weren’t complaining.”

Josh huffed a laugh, then turned back to the coffee. Carrying two mugs into the front room, they sat next to each other on the old wide sofa that had come as part of the house.

“I’ll be complaining tomorrow,” Josh deadpanned. “I’m not saying it wasn’t hot, but jeez, look at this.” He wriggled a little and pushed down his sweats to expose his left hipbone and five perfect crescent dents that were red and sore.

“Shit, babe,” Connor snapped immediately. He placed the coffee down, then touched the marks on Josh’s beautiful unblemished skin. “Did I do that?” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to the marks, then sat back up, not knowing what to say. Should he say sorry? Is that what Josh wanted. Why was it so difficult to read Josh’s expression? Normally he could read Josh as easily as he, himself could be read.

“You just don’t know your own strength,” Josh said without accusation. Then he straddled Connor’s lap and buried his face in Connor’s neck. “I fucking loved it,” Josh mumbled.

Connor held him tight and relished the feel of Josh’s skin against his own. “I love you,” he said gently.

“I love you, too,” Josh murmured. “Don’t ever get attacked in the forest again. Okay?”

Connor moved so that more of Josh’s weight rested on him. The feeling of him was exquisite. Then he cuddled hard and made a mental promise never to go into the trees again.

 

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4.5*

This is a re-release of the first novella in a three book series written by different authors. Each novella follows the story of two different main characters within the overall story arc.

I enjoyed this fast-paced and compact story. I immediately got a feel for the character dynamics and the set-up. I liked how the paranormal mystery is gradually revealed and the effect it has on the main characters’ romance. Josh and Connor are already an established couple at the start of the story, having  recently moved from New York to settle in a small remote town in Vermont. Connor is finding it hard to adjust, but Josh is willing to move back to the city for him. The guys are obviously devoted to each other and their few sex scenes are hot and passionate. However, suspicious goings-on keep them in Black Creek and impact on their relationship with an almost devastating effect.

The writing style, the engaging characters, and the shifter storyline are all compelling and kept me reading swiftly to the end. I particularly liked the world-building, both within the ‘real’ and the paranormal world, and the brief glimpses we get into pack life and its history. I noticed some editing issues, but nothing major that detracted from the overall story.

The ending of the story was wrapped up quite abruptly with the main story arc left unresolved. Book 2 and 3 need to be seen as part of the whole, so this book shouldn’t be read in isolation or seen as the end of the story. Josh and Connor get their HFN, but I’m hoping the other two authors give Josh and Connor a role in their subsequent stories as I’d like to see the impact the shifter revelation has had on their relationship.

 

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RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
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PsyCop Briefs Audiobook Review



Title: PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1 (PsyCop short stories)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Publisher: JCP Books (Self-Published)
Release Date: 20th December, 2016
Genre(s): Urban fantasy, paranormal, contemporary romance
Length: 7 hours and 45 mins

Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours.

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery.

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops’ domestic life.

Coffee O’Clock
Thaw
Mind Reader
Stroke of Midnight
No Sale
Most Likely To…
Jock Straps On Sale
Piece of Cake
In the Dark
Let the Chips Fall
Memento
Impact
Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Waiting Game
On the Road
Wood
Off the Cuff
Locked and Loaded
Inside Out
Witness

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five-stars

A varied collection of twenty PsyCop stories, from brief vignettes to longer multi-chaptered novellas. Some delightful, some gripping, and all enthralling if you are a PsyCop fan. They are vaguely chronological in order, although Inside Out is a prequel or sort of flashback to a time before the series began and Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns and Witness are set in the future. Each story complements the fabulous series, providing a different slant on Vic and Jacob’s relationship, or give a glimpse into their everyday life. We are also treated to several smoking hot scenes. I particularly liked the occasional change of point of view. Both Lisa and Jacob get to tell us a story. I especially enjoyed Stroke of Midnight, Memento, Wood, Inside Out, and Witness. Wonderful world-building, great writing, and a superb romance!

As always Gomez Pugh narrates the stories in his distinct and flawless manner. He is Victor Bayne—snarky, humorous, fabulous. And my knees still go weak whenever I hear Jacob’s husky voice! 

 

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Review ~ Falling Down

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Title: Falling Down

Author: Eli Easton

Release: November 9 2016

Publisher: Pinkerton Road LLC

Length: 252 pages

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves were done and the harsh winter came, Josh would find a place to curl up and let go. It would be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now an ex-Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expected that he’d be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries fall?

 

Eli Easton’s Desktop Post  with images of places and celebrities that helped inspire this story.

 ~O~

Reviews and an Excerpt from Chapter One

 

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stars-five

I always enjoy Eli Easton’s writing and this story was no exception. From the start, my heart went out to Josh and his sorry plight. For one so young to see no point in living brought tears to my eyes and did so throughout the story. This wish to end it all had me wondering will he or won’t he try even after he met the lovely Mark. I kept saying to myself, Eli wouldn’t have such a tragic ending. Even so, I worried what effect such an attempt would have on Mark, whose own life had been tragic in many ways.

The setting was wonderfully painted in words, both the beautiful fall leaves in New Hampshire and the snow-filled landscape towards the end of the story. I could picture the scenes and the emotions they stirred within Josh.

Josh and Mark’s blossoming friendship progressed at a delightful pace—perfect for them and their situation—and when they finally express their desire for each other, the days afterward are filled with affectionate and steamy love-making.

And all through the happy times they share, I was anticipating the snow with a sense of dread and what it would mean for Josh.

No matter what else happened from here on out, no matter if he stayed with Mark or had to leave. No matter if Josh lived till he was ninety or found his peace in the snow, he would love Mark ’til the end. He was suddenly so grateful to have experienced that.”

The final chapters of the story had me on the edge of my seat for what seemed to be a long time. I was willing for things to turn out well for them. And thank goodness they have their happy ending.

This is such a beautifully written story—definitely one of my favourites of the year. I loved the characters and everything about the story.

 

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Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

Eli currently publishes with Dreamspinner Press and has a few self-pubbed titles as well.

She also publishes thrillers under Jane Jensen.

 

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Review ~ Once in a Snowstorm (Nortown #1)

 

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Author: Ofelia Gränd

Title: Once in a Snowstorm

Language: English

Published: 8th December, 2015

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Length: 28,860 words (102 pages) approx.

Category: Fiction

Genre: LGBT, Contemporary Romance, Erotic, Adult, Holidays and Celebrations

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Daring a snowstorm might not be the smartest thing Aiden has ever done, but he can’t stand being in his flat a moment longer. With only three days to Christmas, he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants a place to belong, wants people around him who won’t look down on him. He might not find all that at his mother’s place, but at least it’s better than being alone in the city. If he can make it there, that is.

Tristan is looking forward to a quiet night in front of the TV, but instead, he has to save an idiot in designer clothes from freezing to death in his forest. Tristan tries not to notice the man’s good looks, just like he has tried not to notice any man’s good looks for the last seven years. He knows where relationships go and is far better off living alone, with his dog, in his cabin.

Aiden is driving Tristan mad with his bratty comments and irresponsible ways, and Aiden is going crazy from Tristan’s judgmental attitude. Luckily, in a few days, the weather will clear up, and the two men won’t have to be together any longer. But will a few steamy nights with the grumpy lumberjack change Aiden’s mind about wanting to leave? And will Tristan still want to go back to his peaceful, predictable life without fear of getting his heart broken?

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To appreciate this story you have to accept that many overused tropes and cliches have been deliberately included and thus it’s not meant to be taken seriously. You’ll find many favourites here, including two guys snowed in over Christmas, opposites attract, enemies to lovers, insta-love, the female best friend/confidante. Even the main character names were chosen because an author had blogged about not wanting to see certain frequently used names in an m/m romance again.

Tristan is love-wary and a grumpy lumberjack who wants to be alone in his cabin in the woods. He doesn’t do any tree felling which was surprising as I would have expected people in the town to need Christmas trees at this time of year. He’s not happy about having to rescue the designer-clothed twink and reluctantly agrees to put him up for a night or two until the snow clears.

Aiden comes across as an overly sensitive drama queen. He’d lost his job in the city and was on his way to visit his mother because he was to be evicted from his home. Sadly she doesn’t appear to want him either. Aiden doesn’t do himself any favours.  He takes offence to nearly everything Tristan says to him.  Miscommunication reigns. The two guys, who are physically attracted to each other at least, are at each other’s throats for what seems like the first half of the story. Aiden makes snarky comments and issues nitpicking demands that aggravates the situation. Unfortunately, miscommunication takes up quite a large proportion of the story. Something I don’t particularly like to read, but accepted it as part of the intention of the story.

There’s physical attraction that both men try to avoid. I’m not sure why they fell in love, but when the sudden make-out scene occurs with no real buildup, we have the insta-love trope.

From here on, the romance blossoms and it’s sweet for a time. However, we have some more miscommunication and it looks like it’s the end for these newbie lovers. Don’t worry, it all ends well.

So overall, this is an enjoyable romp with a happy ending for our two guys who turned out to be nice people after all.

If you want a fun read you might enjoy this nicely written snowed-in tale. On the other hand, you might just roll your eyes at their antics.

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Beaten Track ShopAmazon US | Amazon UK

 ~O~

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A Gay Fiction Writer—some stories have a sprinkle of romance, some a dash of horror, some a pinch of paranormal, and some are a mix of it all.

Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes contemporary and paranormal, and dreams about one day writing a post-apocalyptic story—if that ever happens we’ll see.

Ofelia Gränd lives on the southern west coast of Sweden with her husband and their three children. At the moment she’s on parental leave. She could give up her glamorous life as a stay-at-home mom, and go back to her job as a teacher if she wanted to. But why not take advantage of the situation when she’s living in a parental leave utopia?

Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.

When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods. She’s recently discovered the miracle of podcasts and spends her strolls listening to wise people talk

 

 Check out Ofelia’s Blog

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Audiobook Review ~ The Downs



Title: The Downs
Author: Kim Fielding  Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Publisher: Phyllis Gerstenfeld
Release Date: 09-30-2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Dystopian
Length: 3 hours and 37 mins
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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As the son of a wealthy man, Enitan Javed has spent his life frivolously – drinking, fighting, and making love. But after his father dies, Enitan is unjustly accused of murdering him and is given the harshest sentence possible. Judged irredeemable, he is banished to the Downs. As even young children know, nothing lives in the Downs except demons who delight in torturing the condemned. Brutalized by the men who transport him to his fate, Enitan has nothing left but his thirst for vengeance.

His plummet to the Downs nearly kills him, and Enitan finds himself battered and helpless in a frightening, mysterious land. But many surprises await him there, including a strange man named Rig. And the realization that the demons he must face aren’t at all the ones he expected.


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

The story is still available for free on Goodreads.

“He stood, head bowed, body tense, waiting. No matter what happened next, his life would never be the same…”

A naked man stands with his back to the viewer, a plain white floor beneath his feet. Ahead of him, a pair of large black doors are ajar, revealing a glimpse of bright light. The man’s shoulders are slightly hunched and his head is bowed; he appears hesitant to face whatever fate awaits him through the doors.

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five-stars

The magical combination of Kim Fielding’s lovely prose and K.C. Kelly’s superb narration never fails to entertain. I listened and followed the text at the same time because I just love Kim’s writing. This certainly is an outstanding story. Her imagination creates wonderful new worlds with flawed yet beautiful characters.

K.C. Kelly’s delivery perfectly suits this tale, its steady pace, and the gradual revelation of the fantasy world. He brings the story and characters to life, imparting the right emotions and tone throughout.

I particularly enjoyed this fantasy story and the excellent world building. It’s similar but on a smaller scale to Brute. There’s a clear contrast between Enitan’s luxurious life in the city and the basic and sometimes frighteningly dangerous life in The Downs, with its demons, caustic fog, and venomous creatures. For all its harshness, the people who inhabit the Downs appear to be unselfish and more accepting of others. They live in a world where same sex relations are the norm.

The two main characters come across as believable and real. They are both physically and emotionally imperfect, but together they slowly find love and healing in each other. It’s not instant and that’s what I love about Kim’s stories. She gives them time to get to know each other and build a friendship first.

Enitan is the proverbial rich kid who likes to fight and fuck. He is wronged by his sister and judged as unredeemable. He hankers after revenge.

Like Brute, Rig is big and lumbering and disfigured. Both Rig and Brute have a heart of gold and consider others before themselves. Rig’s backstory is heart-wrenchingly sad and when his future with Enitan is in doubt I could see him being broken all over again.

This is a story of love and hate, revenge and redemption, and of finding peace and happiness with your lot in life and with the person you love. A story of second chances and discovering what’s important in life.

“I don’t want to die. But if I have a choice between a few minutes with you or an eternity without, well … I choose you … I will always choose you.”

A slow and steady yet beautifully sweet romance set in an imaginary world. Highly recommended.

 

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Audiobook Review ~ Spook Squad



Title: Spook Squad (PsyCop #7)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price  Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Release Date: 04-05-2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, paranormal
Length: 12 hours and 8 mins
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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Everyone enjoys peace and tranquility, and Victor Bayne is no exception. He goes to great lengths to maintain a harmonious home with his partner, Jacob. Although the cannery is huge, it’s grown difficult to avoid the elephant in the room…the elephant with the letters FPMP scrawled on its hide.

Once Jacob surrendered his PsyCop badge, he infiltrated the Federal Psychic Monitoring Program. In his typical restrained fashion, he hasn’t been sharing much about what he actually does behind its vigilantly guarded doors. And true to form, Vic hasn’t asked. In fact, he would prefer not to think about the FPMP at all, since he’s owed Director Dreyfuss an exorcism since their private flight to PsyTrain.

While Vic has successfully avoided FPMP entanglement for several months, now his debt has finally come due.

 

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stars-five

First, I must say I love the audiobook cover art for this story.

Once again the superb narration by Gomez Pugh kept me enthralled from start to finish. He has made this wonderful series truly outstanding. The pace and tone are spot on. I love the way he delivers Vic’s sarcastic and witty lines. In fact, he is Victor Bane and always will be. I adore the brilliant characterisation of each person with their distinctive voices and I especially love the voice he gave to Jacob. So sexy!

You really need to read/listen to the previous six stories in this series to fully appreciate the events and characters in this epic instalment.

Spook Squad is a lengthy and complex story, with fabulous and unexpected twists along the way. So much happens in a JCP novel. Her writing is marvellous and draws you in to each and every scene. The characters are well-developed and some surprise us here. The dialogue is real and engaging, and the world-building is excellent.

The main plot of this story centres around Vic identifying and exorcising the repeaters in Con Dreyfuss’s office at the FPMP building as payback for a favour from the previous story. There’s so much else going on, though. The exorcism scenes throughout this book are thrilling. I love how JCP has developed Vic’s psychic abilities and that Jacob is often there to assist him. Their connection is so deep they can just about read each other’s minds.

Indeed, we are treated to quality time when Vic and Jacob are together, and that is super hot and special. You can almost feel the love, passion, and trust that flows between these two lovers when they interact.

I’m looking forward to the next story as I’m sure there’s plenty of work left for Vic and Jacob to do, plus I need to know what’s going to happen to Crash.

 

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~O~

COMING SOON on 11th October

PRE-ORDER NOW

PsyCop Briefs

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Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours.

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery.

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops’ domestic life.

 

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Review ~ Sweet Summer Sweat and Giveaway

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Title: Sweet Summer Sweat

Author: Clare London

Release Date: September 20 2016

Publisher: Jocular Press

Length: 74,000 words

 

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When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?

Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they’re lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scot’s never even dared to dream.

All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.

Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life – but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true lover’s arms?

Or will that love be strong enough to release them both…

 

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Scot had been dreaming, he was sure he had, though he couldn’t recall it clearly. It had been a suffocating, disorientating dream: he could still feel the shudder in his limbs, the throb of his heart. A wet dream?

you were happy. You were laughing

The details were slipping away from him like smoke, even as his mind cleared. But he remembered a tall stranger leaning over him with a hypnotizing smile, and an expression of delight. Someone welcoming, with hands on him, soothing him, caressing him. A comforting, sensual presence beside him, within him, talking to him….

I’ve been waiting for you

Scot shook his head to clear such nonsense. A presenceWhat the hell kind of weird word is that? He and Jerry had been to plenty of movies about vampires, succubi and other monsters, though they’d spent most of the time making out in the darkened back seats of the theater. Was one of those special effect creatures teasing his dreams now? But he hadn’t watched a movie like that for a long time. They didn’t scare him like they were meant to, and besides, he knew all too well the difference between movies and reality.

He stretched, his movements languid. The tangible feeling persisted. It felt soft and thick, flowing like viscous liquid, stroking like feathers, full of warmth and color and a really delicious smell.

talking to you

It wanted him. It slid inside his clothes, between his legs, seeking an entrance to his body.

want you

Startled, Scot sat bolt upright. His heart was beating far more quickly than usual. For the first time, he acknowledged he was in nothing but his boxers, with no memory of undressing. And he had a throbbing erection. It tented the fabric, causing a damp patch at its tip. This was fiercer than his normal waking reaction, and it showed no signs of dying down.

Shit. He’d never had such a strange, erotic dream before, not even about Jerry!

He shifted on the bed, unsettled and horny, the sheet creased beneath him. Had Jerry undressed him? Surely it wouldn’t have been anyone else. The erection nagged at him, persistent and demanding. He toyed with the idea of running his hand a little lower, and giving it what it needed—

Then a door at the back of the room opened, bringing a waft of scented, wet air from what was obviously the bathroom.

“Scot? You’re awake then.” It was Jerry, his voice soft and sleepy too. The hard edge of their last conversation had gone, replaced by the caressing tone Jerry often used when they were making out.

“Where have you been?” Scot grumbled. “Come closer.”

Jerry walked over to the bed, toweling at his hair. He was naked, except for another towel twisted around his slim waist. A fuzzy patch of moonlight bathed his bare chest, highlighting a single, erect nipple.

Scot ached somewhere deep inside, wondering at the emotions that stirred him so strongly. He lusted after Jerry, of course he did, but this ache was something else. Damned dreams. “How late is it? Have you had a shower? I thought the lights were working now.”

“They are.” Jerry’s smile was more relaxed. “But I liked the candlelight in the dining room, so I thought we could have the same in here. It’s only ten p.m. or so. My headache was easing off so I left you sleeping and took a shower. It’s a very small bathroom so we’ll have to take a turn.” His gaze flickered over Scot’s stretched limbs, the shape of his swollen cock under the sheet. “I thought you needed the sleep.”

“Thanks.” Scot sighed and wriggled his hips on the bed. “But now I need something else.”

Jerry laughed and turned to the dresser, lighting a candle in one of the holders there. When he turned back to Scot, the chiaroscuro effect made him look alternately sensual and sinister. The faint smell of sulfur from the match trailed in the still air.

Scot sighed contentedly, and fell back on to the bed. “Didn’t I say to come closer?”

A strange expression flitted over Jerry’s face, but he grinned easily enough and climbed onto the bed beside Scot. “Yes, boss.”

Scot chuckled, then caught his breath. Jerry’s body beside him was so different from his dream. It was real. “It’s just us now, isn’t it?”

“Yes, thank God. This is our new beginning. For us, Scot—together. They won’t chase us any more, there’s no one to keep us apart. To tell us who we can and can’t see.”

It sounded rather melodramatic to Scot, but no less the truth. “To swear and spit at us?”

Jerry nodded. He stretched out a hand and slid it around Scot’s neck. “I know how bad it was—”

“No, you don’t.” Scot tried to keep the pain and anger out of his voice, but sometimes he wondered if he ever would. He’d struggled with life for as long as he could remember, first of all trying to keep beneath the radar of his miserable home situation, then to hide the true nature of his friendship with Jerry. He’d once told Jerry that he lied so much to his family and colleagues, he couldn’t always remember what was the truth and what was his cover story. He’d been forced to do it all because he’d been drawn to a man: they’d wanted each other.

Was that so wrong? He didn’t know which caused him the more pain—the persecution and abuse he’d suffered, or the cowardly way he’d tried to cope with it all.

“Hey, it’s okay. There’ll be no more of that crap,” Jerry whispered. He rolled across the bed, nudging against Scot’s body. “You’re so damned hot.” He winced as he shifted his cock under the towel. “You make me so fucking horny.”

Scot smiled and pressed his mouth to Jerry’s shoulder. His heart was beating fast again, but for a very different reason. “No more sneaking around, doing it in corners. In cars and alleyways.”

Jerry grinned. “Not always so bad, though? Sometimes the danger adds to the excitement.”

Scot hid his shiver. “But we have a choice, now, Jerry. A choice of when and where. Not just snatched half hours at lunch, or after dark, or while my parents are getting wasted at some bar or other.”

Jerry nodded. “Sure, whatever.” His hands ran gently down Scot’s chest, cupping his belly.

Scot’s muscles tightened. So maybe he’d found their secret life much more distressing than Jerry had. And it had been exciting, in its own way. Jerry in particular had seemed to enjoy the risk. Their groping sessions had been desperate and awkward, but Jerry had never hesitated to take any opportunity to fuck. Scot had been carried away with the desire too, but he regretted the fact they’d never had much time together to explore each other’s bodies. Everything had been rushed, the feelings anguished, the lovemaking awkward. Scot felt he had years of frustration and repression still to set free.

“Jerry….”

“Hmm?”

“My choice is now, Jerry. I want you here—and now.”

“Sure.” Jerry smiled at him. He didn’t seem to be listening that carefully, his eyes unfocused and his breathing shallow. Scot could feel Jerry’s cock thickening under the towel. He reached down, jerked the cloth away, and took firm hold of it.

 

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4*

A wonderful polyamorous and very sensual story. I was soon wondering whether this venture was entirely a dream or in Scot’s imagination as he himself considers at times. Was the desert heat causing a sexual mirage in this isolated and rather run-down motel where Scot and Jerry appear to be the only guests with three seductive members of staff? Or was it a ghostly apparition he was experiencing or some sort of magical spell? Scot’s senses seem to be under the control of another and at other times he fears what’s going on around him.

Being free from his parents and now free to be himself with Jerry, Scot is in an almost constant state of arousal, and the sights, sounds, and smells around him seem to ramp up his emotions. “Scot felt Jerry’s fascination seep through his veins, his skin crawl with need…”

Scot witnesses and also participates in plenty of lust-filled and almost other-worldly seduction scenes with Jerry and the other guys in the motel. He wants to leave, but somehow he finds it hard to resist.  “He didn’t want to question it, not such pure, comforting pleasure. Instead, he relaxed and allowed his mind to fill with the waves of greedy desire and satisfaction.”

I loved the rather creepy mystery and the expressive writing in this story. The heat, the tension, the magical ambiguity of it all kept me wondering what was going to happen next.

Words from Hotel California by The Eagles sprang to mind as I read this story and I’m sure Clare used the song as inspiration for her erotic tale.

“How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget…”

 

“Mirrors on the ceiling…”

 

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device..”

 

“You can checkout any time you like,

But you can never leave.”

 

 

 

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Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

 

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Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com 
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

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

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 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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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

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TEASE AND DENIAL SERIES  

 

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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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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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