Emerald Idol by Hank Fielding

Title: Emerald Idol

Author: Hank Fielding

Genre: Contemporary/Historical (Present, 1982, 1984, 1990)

Length: Novel Plus (340pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th August 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2 ½ – 3Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Once upon a time in the eighties, Nick Davanger’s soulful green eyes and successful record-producer partner turned him into the pop sensation known as the Emerald Idol. But Rusty has been dead for a year now, and though Nick is slowly putting his life back together, it isn’t easy—especially since someone is trying to derail his comeback by blackmailing him about his decadent past.

Enter LA detective Anson Bay, who’s been assigned to keep Nick safe. Anson is the total package, handsome as well as competent. He strives to keep business and pleasure separate, no matter how strong his feelings grow, but his attraction to Nick strains the limits of his professionalism.

To aid the search for a suspect, Nick finds himself reliving his time with Rusty, from London’s steamy all-male strip clubs to fame in the Hollywood Hills. Even if he can’t deny that Anson excites him, Nick’s not sure he can love again. Of course, if the villain who’s blackmailing him succeeds, Nick may never have the chance to find out.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3133

Review: Nick lost the love of his life a year ago and he is starting to get back on his feet again. On the brink of his one man show, Memoirs, someone decides to try to derail it by blackmailing him and it leads to Nick remembering how he started out and his actions since then. With the help of police detective Anson Bay they try to discover who is blackmailing him and Nick discovers that he just might have more room in his heart to love.

Do you know that feeling when you read a blurb and you get that ‘I must read this book’ feeling? Well, I got it from this blurb and I have to say I was heartily disappointed. Nick spends most of the book remembering his past, from his experiences in school to his first brushes with homosexuality, from his first meetings with Rusty to his shock hit single, from his dabbling in drugs to his short fling with someone he could have loved, all the while dealing with his own confusion about his race and how he sees himself. It is all laid bare, with flashes to the present time as he deals with a new blackmailer and a new hope for love.

If you are expecting a racing thriller or suspense or romance because of the blurb then tear your expectations up, this is more of a reminiscing story that goes back over Nick’s life and gives us the bare bones of his past. A lot of what he remembers doesn’t directly go towards the plot, it just shows us what molded Nick to be the way he is, and we see his growth and change as he lives his life. Rusty and Nick’s relationship during the early years was an open one so there are mentions of sex with others, there isn’t much in the way of sex scenes on page and although we are told that Nick loves Rusty we don’t feel the connection of romantic love.

When we finally get brought back to the present we are again left disappointed by the interaction that we see between Anson and Nick, we only really see them briefly together and I didn’t feel a connection to them because we just don’t get to see them together in a romantic way. The blackmail plot was quickly wound up towards the end, but left me with the question of how the hell did they get that set of photos?

What kept me reading this book? Because at times I did wonder when the past was dragging on, and I have got to say it was Nick, he was a fascinating character and I ended up wanting to know what happened to him, how he reconciled having a black father and a white mother when he had been brought up by his grandparents as white and not one of those. Of seeing him struggle and love and endure with a relationship that spanned 20 years and of him finding new love.

I will recommend this to those who want a story of a struggle to find yourself, of making mistakes but carrying on with the love of those around you and of finding love when you least expect it.

Hot Austin Nights by Kate Roman

Title: Hot Austin Nights

Series: A Sip 

Author: Kate Roman 

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short story

Publisher: Torquere Press

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Talked into a spring break in Austin, grad student Dan Erickson’s hoping for a hookup, but instead he meets Cord Delgado, a laid-back cowboy who likes good food, good beer and a good hard fuck. Cord bets Dan he can’t sway him from the straight and narrow with three wild, hedonistic days in a town renowned for its party ways. But with a return to the classroom looming, will Dan win the bet and return to New England’s ice and snow? Or will he lose his heart — and his mind — and take a chance on romance?

Product Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=3641

Reviewer:  Cat

Review:  Both Cord and Dan were in Austin to find company. They found they both had a lot in common and Cord asked Dan to stay.  Cord asked for three days to sway him to stay. Dan hated New York, but was committed there. Will Dan go home alone to the cold or will he stay and with Cord?  I’m not telling. You will have to read it yourself.

This was a very sweet and romantic story. My only issue was it was just too short!! I would have loved to read more. The characters were interesting and the scenes were sweet and hot.

I recommend this to anyone that loves a good short fast read, cowboys, college students, sweet love stories and sweet hot loving sex.

Last Dance with Mary Jane by John Goode

Title: Last Dance with Mary Jane

Author: John Goode

Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary

Length: Short (76pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (18th August 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Peter was not prepared when his love Shayne died in a car crash. His days have become therapy and drinking himself to sleep. His only solace is listening to Shayne’s voice mail to hear his voice one last time.

He’s equally unprepared when one night Shayne answers the phone.

He is starting to think that fate is against him.

He has no idea how right and wrong he is.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title is a love story that does not contain a HEA.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/1184

Review: Peter is still in the throes of grief nearly a year after his beloved Shayne died. His regrets are hard to deal with and his only solace is listening to Shayne’s voice on his voicemail, then something happens and Peter discovers that fate may just be taking pity on him.

John Goode has produced a story that is touching, its heart-breaking and it is tragic. Peter is in therapy trying to deal with the loss of the love of his life, he knows who is to blame and he lays that blame at Fate’s fickle feet. Peter just can’t move forward, he has regrets, things he never said and now never can, and he just can’t understand why Fate would take Shayne away from him.

This is a story that will make tears slide down your cheeks, have you whimpering in denial and praying that you will always have the time to say what you need to. Peter and Shayne had already been through enough, Shayne struck down with HIV, but finally pulling through to live a healthy happy life with Peter. But, then he is struck down in a car accident and Peter is left alone. Peter has many regrets and can’t let Shayne go. When Shayne answers the phone one night Peter thinks that he might be able to change Fate.

This is a true love story of pure love that is cut short, and of the grief and the regret that the person left behind endures. The story of how they got together was sweet and the tale of how they got their nick names was romantic they were a couple fated to be together. I really want to say more, but feel that this is a story that must be read, to fully appreciate the turmoil that Peter is going through and his reactions to what is happening around him. All I will say is that I cried. I cried for the what if’s. I cried for his chance to put aside his regrets for life getting in the way and I cried at knowing he had lost the love of his life.

I am going to recommend this to everyone, as it is a story that we all need to read to remind us to appreciate what we have every single day. Now I am off to make sure that my family and friends know how much I love them.

 

Where Nerves End by L. A. Witt

Title:  Where Nerves End

Series: Tucker Springs #1

Author: L. A. Witt

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Amber Allure (June 3rd, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts

Blurb: Welcome to Tucker Springs, Colorado. Population, 70-something-thousand. Home to beautiful mountain views, two respected universities, and a ridiculously high cost of living.

Jason Davis can handle a breakup. And an overwhelming mortgage. And a struggling business. And the excruciating pain that keeps him up at night, thanks to a shoulder injury. But handling all of it at once? No, not so much. When his shoulder finally pushes him to a breaking point, Jason takes a friend’s advice and gives acupuncture a try.

Acupuncturist Michael Whitman is a single dad struggling to make ends meet. When a mutual friend refers Jason as a patient, and Jason suggests a roommate arrangement to alleviate their respective financial strains, Michael jumps at the opportunity.

But for Jason, living together would be easy if he wasn’t so damned attracted to Michael. The temptation to act on his feelings might just be too much if not for the fact that Michael is straight. Or at least, that’s what their mutual friend claims…

Product Link: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/WhereNervesEnd.html

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: Oh, Jason has it real bad. His life seems to have taken the downfall on all departments. His love life sucks, his lover abandoned him for a sugar daddy and left him with the mortgage which he can hardly pay on his own. His professional life sucks even more; his partner died and left him with a great deal of loans and a night-club that hardly makes any profits. But, you know what they say,” if you got your health you got everything”. Problem is that Jason has health issues to top it all. A shoulder injury resulting in chronic pain that leaves him up all night, making his life quality reach bottom. This is where Michael makes his appearance.

Michael is an acupuncturist. After being drilled for several years from his friend, Seth, Jason makes it up his mind to go and see this miracle worker acupuncturist for his pain. It helped a lot the fact that he can barely move his arm or do his work anymore. But the moment he lays eyes on Michael, he doesn’t know what hits him. Michael is magnificent and to put it in Jason’s words “He’d taken that old cliché “tall, dark, and handsome” and made it his little bitch.”

I don’t think I’ve read a book where the protagonists have such an incredible chemistry as Michael and Jason. Although this book is written entirely from Jason’s point of view, the author manages to convey that feeling, at least to me. I was literally bouncing on my chair while reading this book.

Anyway, this story is more a “coming out” story. Jason is gay, but Michael is straight, or at least that’s what he’s been convincing himself and his entire environment for way too many years. The plot has him moving in with Jason as a roommate, leaving Jason in a frustrating state. who said it was easy living with an eye-candy? But, that much tension, that much lust can hardly be contained, and when they finally get together, it’s like rocks colliding. What a hot, HOT scene. Their feelings are so damn intense that make their following break-up even more so. They don’t fight, no; Jason understands that Michael can’t from one day to another change everything in his life, especially when his son is around. How do you explain that to a little boy, but understanding doesn’t make it the least bit easier. Emotions build up and lead to frustration and stress, which leads to awkwardness and pain, which leads to…

Yeah, I loved this book. This was the kind of romance I like and it had me hooked so tightly I once again forgot to sleep. Yes, this book was one of those that you only close when the end has hit the page and you suddenly look around and see the sun rising. It had it all.

Great characters, check.  Both of them were fantastic, so real, with real issues, with real reactions. God, I loved those characters.

Supporting team, check. Seth, their mutual friend couldn’t be better, adding to their life greatly and the ex-wife, hah, I so loved how she reacted. Michael’s kid, Dylan, greatly portrayed. All in all people-wise it was very well done.

The plot was brilliant portraying everyday life in such a realistic way I thought “damn, who’s she been spying on”. The emotions conveyed was what had me in tight grip though. From the day-to-day life, to the sexual scenes emotions had me by my neck holding me in place to feel and live them all along with the characters. A very, very well written book, one I’d strongly recommend anyone to give it a go.