(Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday And Andrew Q. Gordon

Title: (Un)Masked

Author: Anyta Sunday & Andrew Q. Gordon

Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy

Length: Novel (206pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th August 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3151

Review: Jay and his best friend, Gristle, have one dream together, to perform at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre. and Jay has another dream, to meet his soul-mate. Lethe, an accordion busker turns out to be that person, but there is more to Lethe than meets the eye and Jay does his best to support Lethe when he learns the truth. But, something in the shadows wants them to fail and will do anything to ensure it.

This is a story that will leave you with more questions than answers, but still oddly satisfied with the end result. Jay and Gristle have been best friends and brothers for twelve years, when Jay meets Lethe, he discovers that there are things out there that he never imagined, but it doesn’t stop his feelings for Lethe. Lethe has never had anyone want him just for being him before and the two begin to fall in love, but something tragic happens that could drive a wedge between them and Jay tries to break Lethe’s curse, but it could cost him his life.

I just want to say before we go any further that Gristle was my favorite character. He was full of life and made Jay live his life with a touch of excitement and anticipation. Even though he was the best friend and straight, he gave this book a lot of character throughout the first part of the book and I will never, ever forgive the authors for the shock they gave me in part two… never, because I carried that shock throughout the second half and I felt everything that Jay did. I could fully understand Jay’s need to do the play the way he did and his need longing and guilt was so well written.

We get to know the characters as best we can, but we aren’t given much background about them, which left me feeling a bit frustrated. How did Jay and Gristle become such good friends? What’s their back story? Why was Lethe’s bloodline cursed? These are things that the more I read, the more I wanted to know the answers to. The characters are brilliantly written with the emotions laid out bare for us to see. Jay’s sacrifice towards the end was breath-taking, the ultimate gift of love with just a touch of selfishness thrown in. Although there is romance and love between Jay and Lethe we don’t see any sex scenes, it’s all off page and surprisingly you don’t feel like you missed out.

I am going to recommend this to those who want something a bit different in their paranormal, as it is just hints and lingering feelings. Who want a soul touching story of two young men fighting to make a go of it when the curse goes against them, of a love between friends that brings tears to your eyes and a happy ending with a challenge still lingering in the future.

 

Vestige by K. J. Pederson

Title: Vestige

Series:  N/A

Author: K.J. Pederson

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery Suspense, Other Paranormal

Length: Novella

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:  Josiah Halden’s life is coming apart. He’s an athletic, handsome high school senior bound for college.  He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s struggling with his sexuality and nursing a crush on John from his gym class, and he’s plagued by nightmares and impossible visions of the night his parents died-visions he fears are an early indicator of the mental illness that runs in his family.

But the nightmares are a part of something more sinister than madness, something linked to the strange black iron idol of a Canaanite warrior-God Josiah inherited from his father, which keeps showing up in his dreams. Josiah’s friend Makani insists the statue is “wrong”-but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? After all it’s only a statue…..
Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3148

Reviewer:  Cat

Review: Josiah is smart, handsome and athletic. He seems to have it all, but is struggling with his sexuality. He is also plagued by nightmares and he thinks he is going insane like his grandfather and great-grandfather. His nightmares are plagued by a statue he inherited from his father of a Canaanite warrior. His friend, Makani, thinks he should get rid of it. that it is bad to bring an idol of a God onto the island.  Is Makani right?  Josiah is also struggling with a crush on a friend from gym class.  Does John feel the same way about Josiah?  I am not telling you will have to read the book and find out yourself.

I thought the story was a very sweet story of a young boy dealing with his sexuality. Actually, a few young boys dealing with their sexuality. I liked the sweet playful sex between the boys as they tried to find love.

The story had a lot of mystery and twists and turns.  I found the dream scenes very confusing and there were so many of them. I also found myself wondering where were the adults since the boys were eighteen and under. But overall the story was good and interesting with plenty of twists and turns and some fun playful sweet sex.

I recommend this story to anyone that likes a touch of supernatural or paranormal, Mystery and suspense, coming of age, young me coming into their sexuality and a sweet hot love story.

The Square Peg by Alex Snow and Jane Davitt

Title:  The Square Peg

Author:  Alexa Snow & Jane Davitt

Genre:   Contemporary, BDSM, D/s

Length:  Novel (229 pages)

Publisher:  Loose Id (August 7th, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:  Benedict, a successful accountant, who’s just been dumped for being boring, is surprised and pleased to learn that he’s inherited half ownership in a gay bar from his estranged father, seeing it as a chance to get out of his rut. That’s until he meets his new partner, a mouthy, disturbingly hot Brit called Shane, and discovers that the bar’s in the red and Shane’s not interested in renovations that could drive away their regulars.

When a late-night confrontation turns into the hottest sex either of them has experienced, they realize there’s one way to fit a square peg into a round hole, but are they solving problems or papering over the cracks? As they explore the new dynamic between them, pushing their limits until Ben’s shocked at where his desire to dominate Shane takes him, the renovations to the bar begin. They’re building something new, something good — but fear and an unexpected act of violence may tear down what they’ve created.

Product Link:  http://www.loose-id.com/the-square-peg.html

Reviewer:   Any

Review: I had mixed feelings about this book. At some points I flew through the pages, eager to see what would happen next, and at other points, I was tapping my toes.

Let me start with the things that had me flying through pages:

  • The clean writing. The authors use clear, precise sentences to convey information, and they employ many of the senses in any given scene. That led to a more tactile experience of the book, where I felt, smelled, and heard as well as saw the story being played out.
  • The two perspectives. This choice was great. I loved reading how the other felt/thought. It kept things interesting.
  • The Square Peg. I liked the idea of the bar and its transformation (which nicely echoed the relationship status between Shane and Benedict – at least for the beginning).
  • The sex scenes. Yeah, they were pretty hot for the most part. Certainly they had me flushed. 😉 (More on this further down . . .)
  • Vin. What a wonderful likeable character. His story is going to sweep me away. I can just feel it, and the end of The Square Peg alludes to that story coming pretty soon. This hook was a great way of sucking in readers for wanting more.

The things that made my foot tap:

  • The 180 lust to love. This happened too quickly that it didn’t feel real. I would have liked a little more development emotionally between Shane and Benedict.
  • Ben as a Dom. I think this was the crux of my issues with the book. When I first started reading, I was introduced to a character who, to me, did not feel the confident Dom type. In fact, I was thinking, if anything, it would have been Shane to be the more aggressive of the two. Now, as the story progressed, I accepted the fact it wouldn’t be as I anticipated, and went with it, but that first transition made the experience a bit rocky.
  • Coming hand-in-hand with this ‘something’s not quite right with Ben as a Dom’ was the way Ben seemed to second guess his actions after giving Shane a firm hand. I wavered with this one. Sometimes I was irritated, I guess I just wanted strong and commanding and no quibbles. Then, at other times, I thought maybe these insecurities show a more realistic side to someone trying out being a Dom for the first time.

Overall though, this was a good read, and I would recommend it to those in the mood for a light, erotic read. It’s fun.

 

Plunder by Kari Gregg

Title: Plunder

Series: Spoils of War 02

Author: Kari Gregg

Genre: Slave, Master, Prisoner of War

Length: Novel (172pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (14th August 2012)

Heat: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Captured as a boy when Herra invaded his homeland, Micah realizes that finding his way to freedom in Alekia with his savior and lover Eli was the easier task. They now hide among the Alekites, but battle with Herra looms.

With Eli’s love, Micah must come to terms with his status as a noble and his mother’s birthright of witch’s blood inside him. The two also face the father Micah cannot forgive and Eli’s family, who very much want Eli back as firstborn heir rather than the lowly slave who rescued the king’s favorite son.

When court intrigues stir and Herran armies march to war, Micah and Eli must make their stand…or fall as plunder.

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/spoils-of-war-plunder.html

Review: This book is part of a series and must be read in order. Micah is finding it hard to acclimatize to his freedom. The only person that he can truly feel safe with is his slave/master Eli. Micah is expected to be the savior of Alekia, but he doesn’t know how and as he learns the truth of Eli’s past, he fights to do the right thing.

This book takes up where Spoils of War finished. It continues with Micah still trying to come to terms with being free, never mind a Prince and heavily relying on Eli. Micah and Eli are ensconced in a villa that to Micah is like a gilded cage, the new things he is supposed to learn, the punishments he receives from his tutor and then discovering what his father really wants him for. Micah still struggles with his own instinctive behavior and now also the magic that he learns resides inside him.

This is an excellent continuation of Spoils of War. One that doesn’t pretend that all Micah has suffered in the past can be easily overcome. one that shows you the continued struggle that Micah is going through, not just how he views himself as a slave, but also how hard he finds it to believe that he deserves Eli’s love. Eli acts a bit out of character to try to force Micah to become the man Eli knows he can and Micah finds it very hard to believe his father ever loved him. The storyline is brilliant. Even with Micah free from his captors he still feels like a prisoner and Eli trying to find ways to make Micah realize he is still the person he was before he was taken.

Micah is a strong character; in his suffering he is so much stronger than he thinks. Eli might be the rock that he desires, but Micah can find the strength to stand by himself when he truly needs to. The mental suffering he endures as his memories return, memories he banished when he was first captured is quite harrowing, and the way that he tries to protect his love, Eli, is touching. Eli is the perfect foil for Micah, the strong slave/master who gave up everything for the man he loves and adores, who will always be there for the man he will be. There are many erotic sex scenes, many of them with Micah reaffirming to himself that he is really Eli’s and that Eli was his.

I will recommend this to those who like traumatic recoveries, prisoner of war survivors, true love in hard situations, betrayal, forgiveness, violence and finally, an ending that will hopefully lead to a happy ever after.

 

 

 

Rayne’s Wild Ride by Jambrea Jo Jones

Title: Rayne’s Wild Ride

Series: N/A

Author: Jambrea Jo Jones

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella

Publisher: Total E-Bound (October 31st, 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: Rayne Carr was riding his bike, minding his own business when his life was forever changed. Driving over State Boulevard Bridge he sees a woman about to jump and intervenes. Appearances can be deceiving.

Charles Sylvester Piper, III wants to end it all. No one understands him. His father is abusive and his mother hides in a bottle. When his younger brother finds Piper in his favorite dress he is kicked out of his basement apartment. With nowhere to turn he leaves his life to fates hands. When a big scary biker asks for a kiss on the worst night of his life, who is he to refuse.

Is love really all you need?

Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1399

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: Piper is a 22-year-old man, he’s gay, and he likes dressing in woman’s clothes. When he’s discovered by his father he suffers a violent scene and gets thrown out.  In a moment of emotional instability, Piper decides to end his misery by jumping off of a bridge. A biker passing by sees him and in his attempt to stop him asks for a kiss. Piper has never had a kiss and can’t resist the temptation of having at least one before he ends his life.

Ray can’t believe the lighting that strokes him by this woman’s kiss. Such a passionate person should not be trying to end her life and he makes it up his mind to do his best to help her… or him, as it turns out the gorgeous woman is a man dressed up…a stunning one that is.

This is how the story starts and it follows the efforts of Piper finding himself and standing on his feet, accepting all that he is. On one side, his dysfunctional family with a violent father, a drunken mother, and an uncaring brother. On the other, there’s Ray, a big bear of a man who seems not only to have no problem with Piper’s kink, but finding him actually hot. And Ray’s family, of course, that is the exact opposite of his. They are caring, accepting, and giving.

Piper’s character was fairly emotional and confused. Although he is 22 years old, he’s very much innocent, being in the closet for so many years and having constant fear of his father in every corner. I would have loved this story to be a bit darker, a bit more real perhaps.  It flows so light and that makes no justice for the protagonist’s background.

Ray, on the other hand, is the very essence of sunshine. He’s literally the incarnation of a guardian angel. He shows up, saves the helpless Piper and sticks by him as if they’d known each other for years. At least they make up with their intimate moments. They do look good together and the sexual scenes that follow are hot and cute at the same time.

All in all, this was a fairytale, a romance that had the Snow-white, the Prince, the “dwarfs” and the evil Witch. Not entirely my thing, but if you’re into romance with a smooth, flowing plot this is your book for you.