A Ring and a Promise by Devon Rhodes

Title: A Ring and a Promise

Author: Devon Rhodes

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella

Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (February 13th, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Careers in military service are never easy on relationships—even less so when both lovers are in different branches…and both are men.

Naval Academy graduation now under their belts, Cary Barrientos knows the reality of the upcoming separation from his roommate of the past four years. Owen is more to him than just his best friend—he is the one person Cary can see spending his life with.

Owen Marsh knew that when he became Cary’s lover, the day would come when he would have to walk away. Now that day has come, and he’s having a hard time convincing himself that it’s just sex between them. Even with DADT repealed, there is no way a Marine and a Navy flier can be together. He’s just being realistic not expecting more.

When Cary switches their Academy rings, hoping Owen won’t notice, he makes a vow—he will do whatever he has to do, including believing enough for the both of them, to make their unlikely relationship stand the test of time. But when his Marine is called up for duty overseas, can a piece of jewelry and a promise be enough to get them through?

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the His Hero anthology by Total-E-Bound

Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1525

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: This quick read begins when Owen and Cary graduate from the Naval Academy, with Cary entering the Navy as a pilot, and Owen becoming a Marine. The young men had been roommates and friends throughout their Academy years, only becoming lovers in their last year of school. While Cary hopes to continue their relationship, Owen is more self-contained and Cary all but loses hope for their future together. A Ring and A Promise follows Cary and Owen for several years, and offers small glimpses into their lives, both together and individually. A sweet, heartfelt read that neatly avoids being overly sappy despite occasionally high emotional content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Guitarist in the Fae Queen’s Court by Amber Kell

Title: A Guitarist in the Fae Queen’s Court

Series: Fae Intervention #01

Author: Amber Kell

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Silver Publishing (August 11th, 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: When Jimmy Bo Jackson auditions for a gig little does he know it will plunge him into faery court intrigue or that his lover has been keeping secrets from him.

Prince Rain has avoided the stifling environment of the fae court for years, but when his beloved guitarist goes missing he’ll give up anything to save the man he loves. (via Goodreads.com)

Product Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/products_id/310/?zenid=c4712d8440d5fe9f00f0b3a0545364ff

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: A Guitarist for the Fae Queen’s Court is the first book in Kell’s new series, Fae Intervention. This is a fairly typical Kell book, in that it is a relatively quick and easy read. Rain is somewhat hard to completely like, as he inadvertently set JB up for abduction to the Fae Court. Meanwhile, JB has no clue his lover is a Fae Prince, or that the Fae even exist. I think I would be a little more than mildly annoyed, but JB seems to brush this huge omission off pretty speedily. While part of me was impressed by his rapid forgiveness, a larger part assumed this flub was glossed over to get the book finished and published more quickly. Cynical? Perhaps. But serial romances sometimes seem rather hastily manufactured. In any case, there is an element of mystery to the story that adds a bit of depth, and while Rain and JB aren’t the most complete of characters, A Guitarist is a fun and easy first book in what is sure to be a popular series.

 

 

 

 

Sin and Seduction by Allison Cassatta

Title: Sin & Seduction

Series: N/A

Author: Allison Cassatta

Genre: Contemporary/BDSM

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 10th, 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb: Dorian Grant is king of the New Orleans underworld, but he isn’t mafia and doesn’t appreciate the assumption. He’s simply a crude businessman anyone in his right mind would think twice about screwing over. Life in the Big Easy is all about sin, and violent, short-tempered Dorian has committed them all.

But not all New Orleans sins leave a bad taste in the mouth, as Dorian discovers the night a man stage-named Sweet Heat dances into his life at a club called Sin and Seduction. Dorian was expecting a hot lay. He damn sure wasn’t looking for a relationship, and certainly not with someone like Jansen, who turns Dorian’s grimly organized world upside down.

Now Dorian finds himself pressuring Jansen to quit his job because he can’t stand the thought of other men touching what’s his. Of course, Jansen wants a little quid pro quo—after all, Dorian’s job is dangerous. Jansen just doesn’t realize how dangerous until it’s too late. (via Goodreads)

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3131

Reviewer: Adrienne

Review: Sin & Seduction was a bit hard to read in parts, as there is a fair amount of violence and a fairly graphic scene featuring somewhat dubious consent. Dorian is not a likeable character at all, and Jansen alternates between seeming like an abuse victim and appearing to be a gold-digger. Though there are explanations for their behaviors, it doesn’t really make either any more palatable. In fact, their personalities are so extreme; it is difficult to relate to either character. The repetitive on-off nature of their relationship and the severity of Dorian’s mood-swings are such that between the two, it is hard to keep up with the story.

In between the ups-and-downs of Dorian and Jansen’s affair is the threat of violence from Dorian’s peers, and Dorian’s efforts to maintain his position in the underworld while keeping the brutality from touching Jansen. Despite his attempts, the bloodshed enters their lives, and the effect that has on their already strained relationship becomes as much a focus as their personalities.

If one can get past the violence, and doesn’t hold out for the characters to have startling, life-changing revelations, this is an interesting read.