Author: Adam Fitzroy
Genre: Contemporary/Time Travel
Length: Novel (182 pages)
Publisher: Manifold Press (February 1st, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.
Review: This story starts out in a rather lighthearted way with an interesting collection of friends, coworkers and acquaintances heading out on a journey to watch a sports game. They bicker, tease, nag and argue but everyone seems to be getting along okay. The journey home poses some problem when the ferry company they used goes belly up and they are forced to find an alternate route home. The route they choose takes them into a rather isolated area on a long stretch of empty road. Pitch black with an eerie mist rolling in; the author does a great job of portraying the slightly spooky surroundings just as Allen starts acting very strangely. As he dives out of the car with Dennis fast on his heals they seem to cross a barrier of sorts that leads them back in time. In ‘real life’ Dennis and Allen have a sort of casual dislike for each other. As they are thrust back in time they begin to replay a 75-year-old love affair between two World War 1 soldiers.
I found it interesting how the author had Dennis and Allen essentially living two lives each. While they had the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of their current selves they also had those same things floating around in their heads from their 75-year-old counterparts. It created quite a bit of tension within the characters minds as they tried to decide whether they liked each other or not.
I enjoyed this story. Not only the main characters but the secondary characters were very well written as well. It is written with a very heavy British influence in terms of the writing style and some of the phrases were totally new to me but I had no problem understanding them in the context of the story. Overall, a very well written story with a nice time travel twist.
Author: Gene Gant
Genre: M/M Contemporary/ Young Adult
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (May 15, 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school’s basketball team. He’s a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life has become a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe’s serial cheating. Kyle’s parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him.
Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents’ lives. He likes Stephanie, his father’s girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother’s handsome boyfriend, Reece. As Kyle struggles with his fear and frustration, he grows angrier and more erratic.
Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn’t solve all Kyle’s problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle’s harried life. But Dwight’s life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight—and about his father.
Review: Thunder in His Head is a coming of age story about Kyle’s struggles to deal with growing up, being gay, and falling in love. In the beginning of this book, I get the impression that Kyle is a little bit confused, slightly angry, and really just wants to be left alone. His parents are separated, and while his dad’s girlfriend seems to be okay, he is developing one serious crush on his mom’s boyfriend. The author does a great job of portraying Kyle’s torn emotions. He understands that his feelings for Reece are wrong, but that doesn’t stop the heart and the hormones from wanting what he shouldn’t have.
In comes Dwight, and Kyle’s life takes quite a turn. We see the relationship between Dwight and Kyle develop as a teenage romance with lots of angst, anger, and miscommunication between the two of them. Along with the relationship between Kyle and Dwight, we see the struggles of the secondary characters as well. They are all very well written and seem quite ‘real’. In fact, all of the characters in this book are very realistic. The dialogue doesn’t come off as stiff or forced at all.
At the end of the book, I felt like I had a better understanding of Kyle’s inner struggles when it came to his parents and their significant others than I did with his relationship with Dwight. I wish the book had continued on for a few more chapters to JUST focus on Dwight and Kyle.
This was a great coming of age story with realistic characters who are struggling with difficult issues and emotions.
Author: Larry Benjamin
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: Novel (204 pages)
Publisher: Carina Press (March 19, 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Thomas-Edward is only a teenager when he escapes his working-class neighborhood. He’s ready for anything–except the arrival of Donovan Whyte in his life. Sophisticated and dazzlingly handsome, Dondi quickly becomes the center of Thomas-Edward’s universe, introducing him to a world full of drama, passion and feuding families.
When their relationship fizzles, they remain uneasy friends until Dondi invites Thomas-Edward to his family’s summer-house. Thomas-Edward is immediately attracted to Dondi’s mysterious brother, Matthew–and finds himself hopelessly drawn to both men.
As time passes, Thomas-Edward develops a unique bond with both brothers as they orbit around each other, although he knows only one of them can be his lifelong love. Will the three of them be able to find a way to hold on to each other? Or will love, its loss and the threat of death destroy their connection once and for all?
Review: When Thomas-Edward heads off to college and meets Dondi he is swept away into a world that he never even suspected exists. Dondi is wealthy beyond anything he has ever seen before and wants nothing more than to spoil his new roommate. Dondi is not only wealthy, but charismatic, passionate, and totally uninterested in settling down or finding true love. They engage in a brief romantic involvement but their relationship quickly settles into one of a more platonic nature. There are definite deep feelings between the two of them but they avoid the passion, jealousy, and romance of a true relationship. Thomas-Edward becomes quite a fixture at Dondi’s family home and while Dondi is off traveling and bed hopping, deep feelings begin to grow between him and Dondi younger brother Matthew. As the bond deepens between Thomas-Edward and Matthew, Dondi’s lifestyle is starting to catch up with him and the triangle they have formed begins to break down.
I was a little bit uncertain when I first began this book because the writing style is different than I am used to. The author tells the story in snippits….you will read about a weekend or a month at school and then skip ahead a bit to a new situation at a different time in the story. At first, it seemed a bit choppy but I found myself unable to put the book down. I *HAD* to know how the friendship between Thomas-Edward and Dondi developed. I needed to know if Matthew and Thomas-Edward finally admit their feelings toward one another. I was intrigued by Dondi’s family’s dynamics and the wealthy lifestyle they lived. As the book progressed, I needed to find out how Thomas-Edward, Matthew, and Dondi all handled the issues that were thrown in front of them at every turn.
I don’t want to give away what happens in this book, but I will say that I was in tears and wanted to throttle the author for the plot twist that ruined the triangle that Dondi, Thomas-Edward and Matthew had formed together.
I don’t think any review will do justice to this book. It is a page turner and a tear jerker and definitely NOT your typical male/male romance book. If you are looking for a book that will be emotional rather than passionate, this is definitely the book for you
Series: Greeks Invented Love
Author: Missy Welsh
Genre: LGBT, Contemporary
Length: Novel (226 KB, 112 pages)
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (September 17, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Truman Durant has two painful secrets. One keeps him in the closet and the other hangs inside his closet. Letting either out seems like the equivalent of suicide to him. He didn’t know just how badly he needed Stasi Manolis until he found himself in the pushy Greek’s sights. Would giving up his secrets and maybe falling in love really be so bad?
Review: In this book, Truman is struggling. He can accept the fact that he is gay, but the need to occasionally dress up in girl’s clothes is harder to accept. After a very emotionally scarring incident in his last relationship, he is perfectly happy keeping his secrets very carefully hidden in the closet. Stasi doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of experience with being out and proud, but he came out of the closet and is doing the best he can. He has a horrible crush on Truman, but figures the very heterosexual seeming baseball player doesn’t bat for his team. When he catches Truman watching him in the library he starts to hope that maybe this could turn into something. When he follows Truman out-of-town and discovers his penchant for garters and lace, Truman is horrified and terrified that his secrets will all be exposed. While Stasi is a little bit shocked he is also a whole lot turned on and Truman starts to think that maybe he can let the secrets out of the closet. The path isn’t particularly smooth, but they are determined to forge ahead together.
Let me just say that I read this book in one sitting on a very lazy Saturday morning and could not put it down. I also found myself grinning stupidly half way through the book because Truman was so darn sweet and Stasi was just so perfect for him. These characters were incredibly well written. I could feel Truman’s pain and insecurity, his fear of someone finding out his secrets, and how much he hated the need he felt for cross dressing. When Stasi discovered his secret he was honest with Truman…while he had never had a thing for guys in lace he was incredibly interested and excited about seeing this side of Truman. He was caring and protective and the bond between the two was intense. I think the author did a good job of making this a realistic story…there were misunderstandings and awkward moments during sex and all of the things that real relationships have to go through. I am glad they found their happily ever after and I would love to see these characters come back in another book. I would love to see this relationship mature and have these characters be so sweet, down to earth, and passionate 15 years from now!
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Genre: M/M BDSM/paranormal
Length: 837 KB (200 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 11, 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: After being bullied into the closet by his conservative senator father, Jay Molloy reconciles himself to a life of one-night stands instead of the loving D/s relationship he craves. When he meets the man of his dreams, trained Dom Eric Keger, all Jay dares to hope for is a quick fling. Eric has other ideas. He’s been hired by Jay’s father to run security at the family’s hunting resort, but now he has his heart set on Jay.
When murder victims begin to turn up at the resort, Eric and Jay start an investigation, but chasing down the killer proves less frustrating than dealing with Jay’s abusive, homophobic father. Exploring their new relationship would be hard enough on their own, but Eric and Jay also have to deal with politics, Jay’s fake fiancée, and a murderer who may be something more than human.
Review: Jay starts out this story heading to the bar to look for a guy to satisfy his deepest desires. While he doesn’t hide his homosexuality from his family, he has to keep it quiet or ruin his father’s political career. He even has a fake wife to squire about town whenever there is a campaign dinner he needs to appear at. While he is waiting, in walks Eric…a guy who seems to be everything Jay could ever want and more. While Jay just figures they will have a little fun together, Eric makes it very obvious that his is playing for keeps. Homophobia, murders, and a not so human killer all conspire against their relationship from the beginning, making them both wonder whether love will survive.
There were a few things that I really enjoyed about this book and others that I thought needed some work. The story is told in the third person so you really get to understand how both characters feel at any given time. I like that….it gave the story a well-rounded feel for me and didn’t seem at all chaotic with the changing points of view. I think the author does a good job of drawing the reader into the story and making them wonder what is going to happen next. There are plenty of details in the writing so that you get a good feel of the surroundings, the emotions, and the characters.
The first thing that really threw me was how quickly Jay knew that Eric was the perfect guy for him. While I certainly agree that some guys might look ‘tougher’ than others he seemed to know within seconds that Eric was not only a top but a Dom as well. Seemed a little unrealistic, but the author did a good job of creating the character that Jay really wanted. The other thing that didn’t really sit well with me was the supernatural aspect. There really wasn’t any background to make you think that monsters really existed in this world. I think the story would have worked just as well if you put in a human serial killer in place of the monster.
While I would have like to have gotten to know the secondary characters more deeply, I think they were well written. Jay’s father is your classic homophobic politician and his mother took a long time to finally stand up for herself. You can tell Jay really wants to please both of them which makes his own wants and desires secondary to everyone else’s. I found it interesting that Jay seems to take more of a stand against Eric than he does his own father. He is a bit of a mouthy sub and Eric has his work cut out for him as a Dom.
Overall, I think it was a pretty decent story, although there were some aspects of it that I think definitely needed a little bit of work.
Series: By Fire Series
Author: Andrew Gray
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 1143 KB (79 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 7, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts-loved it
Blurb: Lee Staunton and Dirk Krause have been seeing each other for a couple of months when they get the bad news: the firehouse they work at will be closed unless they can come up with the money to complete some maintenance and repairs. The union wants to stand and fight. There’s just one problem: the only suggestion for how to raise the money is Lee’s. And Dirk hates it.
Unfortunately, everyone else thinks Lee’s “Chicken and Beefcake” dinner—which they’ll attend in just their hats, boots, and fire pants—is a great idea, and Lee goes ahead with the organizing. But interference from the borough council and low ticket sales threaten to rain on Lee’s parade. If Dirk can’t put aside his pride and stubborn nature for one night, it could cost both him and Lee their jobs—never mind their relationship.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3149
Review: This is a sequel to Andrew Grey’s previous novel, Redemption by Fire. In this book, we continue the story of Lee and Dirk as they worry about the security of their jobs at the firehouse and attempt to forge ahead in their relationship with each other. The firehouse they both work for is struggling financially and the possibility that it may be closed permanently is starting to worry them. Lee comes up with the idea for a Chicken and Beefcake dinner where the firefighters will serve the townspeople dinner in just their pants, hats, boots and suspenders. The hope is that the women of the town will pay good money to be served by topless firefighters. Great idea, but Dirk hates it and makes his opinion known very loudly.
Lee is hurt by Dirk’s refusal to support his idea and I must admit Dirk comes off as a bit of an ass at the beginning of the story. Lee is sweet and determined to help out his station as best he can, even without the support of his partner. He brings together the fundraiser dinner with the help of an assortment of firefighters and friends and a lot of hard work. I love the glimpses we get of the supporting characters, especially Billy, who tries hard to turn a bunch of studly firefighters into accomplished wait staff! It was downright amusing to read that section!
Dirk is at times distant and angry and then he turns around and gets all sweet and supportive. I am not sure if I want to hate him or keep reading to get more of the sweet and mushy part of the personality! The passion between Lee and Dirk is intense, but there are a number of moments that are tender and gentle. I am really looking forward to the next installment of this series to see how these two men develop as a couple. And, hopefully, we will see more of the secondary characters that were introduced in this book!
Author: Greg Hogben
Length: 703 KB (290 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 30, 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts-loved it
Blurb: British national Greg Stephens knew there would be challenges in his new relationship with handsome American Navy officer Danny Taylor: long distance; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; the Defense of Marriage Act; US immigration….
But he didn’t anticipate his greatest obstacle: Danny’s born-again Christian mother, Vivien. A secretary in a small-town Southern Baptist church in Texas, she bristles at Greg’s secular beliefs. Through passive-aggressive manipulation, subtle deceit, or outright battle, Vivien resolves to banish Greg and return Danny to the fold, come hell or high water. Greg’s hold on Danny’s heart is pitted against Vivien’s crusade for Danny’s soul.
All the while, Greg devotes himself to keeping Danny happy while negotiating the cultural differences of his life in America. Danny’s new career as a lawyer takes them from his native Texas to New York. But with Vivien testing Greg’s stiff upper lip at every turn, something has to give.
Review: The British Devil is a long novel that encompasses several years’ worth of the relationship between Greg and Danny. all the way from their first meeting to a very nice happily ever after. Greg meets Danny just as he is finishing his tour in the Navy and heading back to the US for law school. As a British national, Greg knows that they have quite a few struggles ahead of them if their relationship is going to survive. Immigration laws are tough and Greg has several years of school ahead of him, but the biggest obstacle for the two men to overcome is Danny’s extremely religious and conservative mother.
I was excited to read this book because of its ties to the right wing conservative and religious population of Texas. Having lived there for a number of years, I am very familiar with the attitude of the gun toting, anti-gay, Baptist population. Obviously, not everyone in the area has the same beliefs, but Danny’s mom certainly would not be unusual in that area of the US.
This book touches on a number of very heavy subjects, but does so in an informative way that doesn’t really feel oppressive. Greg’s character has quite a bit of wit and humor in him and I am truly amazed at the patience he shows towards Danny’s mom. In fact, there were a number of times I wanted to smack Danny for his blindness and stupidity when it came to how his mother treated the partner he professed to care so much about.
I loved Greg….he was patient and kind, with a lighthearted humor that seemed to just win over everyone he encountered…except Danny’s mother. She was just freakishly scary in her religious beliefs and I couldn’t understand how she could ‘forgive’ her son for being gay, but had such a huge problem with Greg for not believing in God and Jesus the way she did. She did everything in her power to drag the two men apart and I really don’t know how the people in her life didn’t throttle her.
I was a little surprised that the ending offered such a rapid turnaround in terms of her opinions. There is an extremely heated scene with lots of screaming and all of a sudden there is crying and a completely new mom. I think the switch happened a little too fast for me to feel comfortable with. I was happy to see the happily ever after, but I think that portion needed a little bit more time to develop.
There were a few scenes where I thought the author delved a little too deeply into a thread that didn’t need that much analysis, but overall, he did a great job of showing us who each character was and how they got to be where they are today. The secondary characters were all well developed and I hope Tucker has a book coming up where he grows up a bit and finds someone he can have his own happily ever after with!
This is less of a romance and more of a look into the struggles a gay couple have to deal with in terms of society. It is sad that Danny and Greg (or any couple!) has to deal with this sort of stuff and I can only hope that laws in the US change QUICKLY so that other couples don’t have to go through what they did
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 519 KB (68 pages)
Publisher: Dare Empire eMedia Productions (August 25, 2010)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts-liked it
Blurb: Jensen Rivers wasn’t looking for trouble. As the new kid on the block at Clyde’s Body Shop, all Jensen wanted was a job, a place where he could put his head down and ass up. Young and handsome, he was the kind of simple, honest guy who was happiest when he was working hard, with oil smeared across his chest and grease up to his elbows.
But Dean ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson plans on getting more than just Jensen’s hands dirty! Reckless and arrogant, drenched in sweat and dripping with a masculinity that cannot be tamed, Hutch challenges Jensen to a series of perilous night races. The prize: sexual domination!
Night after night, wheels burn, passions flare and the no-holds-barred lust between two testosterone fuelled daredevils ignites. But losing a race is one thing. Losing your heart is something altogether more dangerous.
Will Jensen risk everything to find the love trapped behind Hutch’s fearless façade? Will Hutch bury the secret tragedy of his past before he throws away his last chance at a future?
Product Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/40787
Review: Drive Shaft is a fast paced, aggressive and very sexy short story that provides a rush of adrenaline and some instant gratification. Jensen has hired on as a mechanic at his Uncle’s auto shop. Hutch is fellow mechanic and definitely a bit rough around the edges. He is full of anger and passion and is looking for a little bit of excitement. The author hints at loss in his past that causes him to push others away, but readers won’t find out til the end of the book exactly what is traumatizing him.
Jensen and Hutch get along like a house on fire and both have a passionate love of a good automobile. Hutch challenges Jensen to a race with the prize being full control of that night’s loving. The race is fast, dangerous, and ends in a rush…as does the sex that follows! A repeat of the race (and the sex) leaves the reader with the understanding that these are BOTH very strong men with a need for control. The last race is a tad bit different…the race is just as fierce, but Hutch and Jensen are starting to realize that the connection between them is more than just a battle for the winning position.
I really liked this book and think the character development was done very well, especially for a story as short as this one. While I have little understanding of the mechanics of a car or motorcycle, I could appreciate what fine pieces of machinery they were. I was a little skeptical that guys with that much pride in their automobiles would treat them quite as aggressively as Hutch and Jensen did, but they certainly knew how to handle them. If you are looking for a fast paced and aggressive love story, this is certainly a good choice.
Genre: M/M historical fiction
Format/Length: 91 pages (226 KB eBook)
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (November 7, 2011)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Orphaned in infancy and raised by the great comedy actress Dorothy Jordan, Sim Treagar has lived all his nineteen years among the high drama, greasepaint and shabby theatrical glamour of the Drury Lane Theatre.
When Lieutenant Gervase Levison comes to the theatre to deliver the Royal Duke’s congé to Sim’s adoptive mother, the two men fall immediately into a passionate love affair.
But Gervase’s powerful family oppose their love and seek to use it against the Lieutenant, in a high-stakes game of rumors, scandal and thwarted inheritances. When Gervase is sent to sea, his prospects are safe but Sim’s heart is broken. Can they ever hope to be reunited in a love his handsome sailor’s family can’t countenance?
Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1429
Review: Child of the Theatre is set in London in the 1800s and the author does a wonderful job of giving us a true feel for the time period. There are descriptions of costumes and architecture that are appropriate to this period of history. Although, I was a bit surprised at how easily the characters accepted their homosexuality…seems like this would be something that was frowned on by Victorian society, especially in the upper class.
I really enjoyed Sim’s character. At times he blushes sweetly or makes a witty joke. He is passionate with Gervase, but also a tad shy. Gervase’s character, on the other hand, is a little bit domineering, but in an authoritative way. Not cruel, just a man who knows what he wants and expects others to do his bidding. The interactions between him and Sim are tender one minute and wild the next. You can really feel that they are drawn to one another very deeply.
As in any good romance, there are challenges that the couple must face…specifically Gervase’s family and their intense dislike of his relationship with Sim. They are torn apart, they both suffer the agony of separation, and then they are reunited, but the challenges aren’t necessarily gone just because they are back together. The ending leaves me to wonder whether the author has a sequel in mind for these characters!
Author: Kate Roman
Genre: M/M Contemporary/Mythology
Length: Novella (249 KB, 54 pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (May 8, 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 1/2Hearts
Blurb: Eros Omnia — Ross to his friends and Cupid to the rest of the known world – is having a bad day. With just one more set of arrows to shoot before he can move up to Mercury’s vacant position, Ross loses one of the arrows and worse yet, uncovers a plot implicating two of the oldest gods on Olympus. At the same time, one of those arrows shot true in the finest ass Ross has seen in an eternity. With a little cunning, some bravado and the most beautiful mortal he’s ever laid eyes on, Cupid’s aiming to make his worst day turn out to be the best yet…
Review: Ross has been the God of Love for close to a century and has discovered that the work isn’t particularly rewarding. There is a position opening up for Mercury (the God of Trade) and Ross is determined to get the job. He only has to act as Cupid on one last assignment and he is pretty sure the position of Mercury is his….as long as he doesn’t screw up! Getting Tony and Kristin together proves a little bit difficult, however. Tony Aster, a medical student that makes Ross’s heart beat a little faster, finally gets hit with his arrow after a rather humorous incident involving a pigeon, but Kristin proves a little bit more difficult. Ross ends up losing the arrow meant for her and now Tony is walking around primed for falling in love with whoever sticks themself with the lost arrow. Two things happen as Ross tries to fix his slightly messed up case….he discovers that there is a plot amongst some of the other Gods to ruin his chances at a promotion and he falls head over heels in love with Tony.
Since I have always been fascinated with Mythology, this story really drew me in right from the beginning. It is a quick read so there isn’t a lot of time to develop the secondary characters very well, but I think the author did a really good job of letting us get to know Ross and Tony. As a medical student, Tony has a natural tendency to be nurturing and Ross would love more than anything to just fall into his arms, but always has his mission to unite Tony and Kristin in love in the back of his mind. They give into the very real attraction between them and become physically involved, which makes Ross wonder why Kristin and Tony were ever meant to fall in love in the first place.
I thought the author gave a unique little plot twist at the end in terms of why Ross was being sabotaged. Sometimes I had a hard time following who was who in terms of all the gods involved, but probably because the story moved along so fast. Overall, though, I enjoyed the author’s writing style and thought Ross and Tony were both really great characters. She also gave a lot of description when discussing people and places involved which really made it an enjoyable story