Tell Me It’s Real by T. J. Klune

TellMeItsRealLGTitle:  Tell Me It’s Real

Author: TJ Klune

Genre:  M/M Contemporary -Humor

Length:  Novel (350 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 15th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts – More if Portia would let me 😉

Blurb: Paul Auster doesn’t. Paul doesn’t believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother’s homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.

Enter Vince Taylor.

Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.

But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it’d-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he’s forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince’s family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he’s perfect the way he is

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3581

Reviewer:  Showme

Review:   I’m just going to start off by saying how hilarious this book was. It is the funniest book I have read in a long time. I probably laughed out loud over one hundred times and spent almost the rest of the book smiling. I’ve told all my friends it’s a must read. I loved it!  😀

It starts off will a brilliant ramble from Paul in which he basically lays it all out on the table for us. He’s so over the top in the best way possible.  The cast from this book is amazing: Paul superstar drag queen best friend, the beautiful but not so bright love interest, the crazy parents who go way too far with trying to support their gay son, the Homo King jock, and Paul’s nana and her parrot who is totally offensive. Seriously, nobody but a parrot named Johnny Depp would get away with saying the things he says and still manage to make me laugh. There was some serious content but nothing so heavy to weigh down the humorous tone of the book. I’m sure I’ll read and reread this book because I gave up on highlighting every funny thing I came across. There was just too much!

Reading the story from Paul’s POV was so much fun. The way he thinks is so outrageous! His character could have easily been too much but Mr. Klune never let that happen. Paul is little self- conscious and sometimes shy. He has no problem being overly open and vocal with the loved ones in his life but not with sexy stranger way out of his league who won’t stop staring at him at the one gay club in Tucson.  His embarrassing attempt to stay hidden away from all the action doesn’t go so well when his drag queen best friend, Sandy, drags him to the stage for his thirtieth happy birthday song. Up close the stranger is more perfect than he could have imagined and way out of his league. Thinking it will never work out he slips out of the club without talking to him. Apparently the universe is dead set on them meeting because Monday morning the man he can’t stop thinking about from the other night is his new trainee, Vince.

Vince isn’t dumb, but he says some things that would make people think that. He just has his own way of viewing the world. He’s beautiful and kind. Every animal in the book loves him. Vince is totally enamored of Paul from that first glimpse in the club. Every hilarious moment with Paul after only captivates him more. Vince is very open and persistent about wanting a chance with Paul but Paul thinks someone like Vince is too good for him. The only thing standing in Paul’s road to happiness is him.

I’m hoping there is a sequel to Tell Me It’s Real. I just have to know what happens between Sandy and, well, you’ll know who when you read it. This ensemble is just too good for one go around.  I want more! This book will be added to one of my favorites list. It’s an absolute feel good book. I would recommend this book to everyone.

 

Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain

17287966Title:  Hearts and Flour

Series:  Stand Alone book

Author:  Tara Lain

Genre:   M/M Romance

Length:  Novella (91 Page)

Publisher:   Etopia Press (February 1st, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   A raw food fanatic and a cupcake baker—can two hearts rise above the flour?

Healthy, vegan food is Micah Truveen’s religion. So when his devoted customers start showing up with white flour cupcakes, Micah’s ready to scream. When he discovers who’s been spreading the cupcake poison to the community, there’s going to be trouble. And to make a bad day even worse, Micah comes home to find his boyfriend in bed with someone else—on the day before Valentine’s Day! In frustration, he throws the rat out and agrees to go to his friend’s orgiastic Anti-Valentines party. Not his style, but lately, his style seems to be crumbling around him like stale baked goods.

Southerner Quentin Darby wishes he could stop wearing women’s clothes. He desperately wants to live up to the glowing opinion his grandmother holds of him, so he’s never even told her he’s gay. And now there’s this guy from the party who makes him wish he could just be who he is—a man who likes women’s clothing, loves to bake, and thinks everything’s better with cupcakes. Until a man with an axe to grind decides the time to grind it is now…

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-and-Flour-ebook/dp/B00B8UBC8A

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  Micah Truveen’s life is just about perfect.  The openly gay, devoted vegan runs a successful raw food restaurant, teaches classes on how to prepare raw food and has the best boyfriend a guy could want.  Or so he thinks.  First he catches his supposed vegan customer’s eating cupcakes, and then he walks in on his boyfriend with another guy. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Quentin Darby leads a double life.  By day he takes care of his grandmother and together they make the cupcakes that have Micah seething; by night he’s the cross dressing Queen.  While Quentin is a closeted gay, trying to keep up appearances with his grandmother, Queen waves her freak flag, proudly!  In her skimpy red dress, sky-high stilettos and sexy undies that drive Micah crazy and make him see double.

Micah spots Queen at a friend’s Anti-Valentine’s day party and he’s instantly enamored with her… him.  It doesn’t take long for Micah to figure out Queen is a guy, and it takes even less time before these two are trying to devour each other!  When Micah finally learns that Quentin is the infamous cupcake baker, is the relationship doomed before it even starts?

All along the way Lain gives us not only some knock your socks off romps in white sheets, but she also touches on hatred, bigotry, blackmailing and stupidity.  When Micah finally figures out he’s no better than everyone else by being completely closed-minded about the cupcake issue with Quentin, will it be too late for him to have a second shot at happiness with him?

Venetian Masks by Kim Fielding

Feb 11 (2)Title:  Venetian Masks

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre:  M/M Contemporary

Length:   Novel (216 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 11th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4-4.5Hearts

Blurb: Jeff Dawkins’s last partner left him with a mortgage he can’t afford and nonrefundable tickets for a month’s vacation in Europe. Despite a reluctance to travel, Jeff decides to go on the trip anyway. After all, he’s already paid for it. He packs a Kindle loaded with gay romance novels and arrives in Venice full of trepidation. There he meets the handsome and charming expat Cleve Prieto, who offers to serve as his tour guide. Jeff has serious misgivings—he wasn’t born yesterday, and something about Cleve doesn’t sit right—but anything is better than wandering the canals alone. With Cleve’s help, Jeff falls in love with Venice and begins to reconcile with his past. For the first time, Jeff finds himself developing strong feelings for someone else. But he can’t be sure who that person is because Cleve’s background remains a mystery embroidered with lies.

Then a dark figure from Cleve’s past appears, and Jeff must choose whether to let Cleve flee alone or to join him on a desperate run through central Europe. Maybe Jeff will finally be able to see behind Cleve’s masks—if he survives the journey.(less)

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3568

Reviewer:  Showme

Review:  This was a very good book that I read in one sitting which is very rare for me. Kim Fielding’s writing has a way of pulling me into her stories that’s lets me escape my reality and sink into one of hers stories.  It starts a little slow and rich in details, but soon I fell into the groove that transports me to the streets of Venice.

Jeff’s life has been turned upside down. He’s not exactly heartbroken about being dumped by his boyfriend of six years, but had become comfortable with his life and the change wasn’t welcomed. His mother insists on him taking the vacation his ex had planned for them as the plane tickets were non-refundable. His first two days in Venice are pleasant, but he quickly gets lonely. He’s approached by the handsome tattooed man he was caught ogling the day before to have dinner with him. Jeff thinks his vacation is looking up, but he’s disappointed to find Cleve only wants be his tour guide for cash and meals while he’s in Venice. He had been hoping that Cleve wanted him on a more personal level and not just his money, but he’s enjoyed the time they’ve spent together. Problem is he’s caught Cleve lying a couple of times, so he’s a little weary of the man. Jeff hires him on a trial basis. Cleve is fun and beautiful, but he knows you aren’t supposed to trust a drifter. Especially one so aloof about his past. Jeff can’t help his attraction to Cleve, who seems to want him too, but is he just doing it for the money? Cleve does have a rather sordid past that Jeff slowly discovers through sheer need to know about the man who has captured his attention so thoroughly. The details aren’t pretty, but Jeff realizes he doesn’t care.  He wants him. Someone needs to help Cleve and he’s willing to fight for the man he loves.

This book was funny, romantic and suspenseful. The attraction between the characters is there from the beginning, but Jeff, and the reader, don’t really trust Cleve so it leaves you conflicted about him.  Kim Fielding is officially an auto buy for me. Once again I don’t know if I can do her book justice in a review because she can weave subtle storylines and make them special and real. I highly recommend picking this one up.

Laure by T.D. McKinney & Terry Wylis

med_LaureTitle: Laure

Author: T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Extended Novel (per Amber Allure)

Publisher: Amber Allure (January 13th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts – OMG

Blurb: It was everything college graduate Joshua Huggins could have dreamed and more. A new job on a big Southern estate named Laure, a generous salary, and the perfect boss, Adrien Brette, a scion of deep-rooted Mobile society, older, stunningly handsome, and just a little mysterious. But the mystery may be darker than Joshua imagined. Something ominous is stalking Laure. Adrien lives in seclusion, and his sister hides under the care of a strange nurse. Even Adrien’s aunt and her boyfriend are strangely protective.

Despite all the barriers Adrien puts up, he’s still the most compelling man Joshua has ever met, and the younger man can’t help following his heart. Even though Adrien can’t return his love. Even though the truth of Adrien’s wife’s death could destroy everyone at Laure.

Now, Joshua must choose between sacrificing the honor and naïveté Adrien so adores, or losing everything he’s come to love. Among the Spanish moss and azalea blossoms of Laure, the past is never dead…

Product Link:  http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Laure.html

Reviewer:   Sage

Review: McKinney and Wylis’s latest release, Laure, is a modern gothic contemporary. They twist the traditional gothic tidbits of naïve heroine, brooding hero and magnificent estate in their own unique fashion to craft a wonderfully contemporary gothic gay romance.

Our narrator, Joshua Huggins, begins the book an all but broke new college graduate seeking his first real job as a personal assistant. He’s overwhelmed not only by where the meeting is, but the man himself. Despite his nerves, or perhaps because of them, Joshua opens up to Adrien in ways that leave him wondering later if he blew his chance. Instead, he won the job and moves out to Adrien’s estate, a Greek Revival plantation house and its surviving grounds which is the Laure of the title. There he meets the expected cast of characters in the forbidding nurse, the slightly crazy sister, and the close-knit relatives. The story unfolds slowly as Joshua learns more about both the house and Adrian until you reach the inevitable nerve-wracking conclusion.

Because the story is told in first person by Joshua, it is difficult to go in-depth about my likes and dislikes with the story. It’s intense, there’s no other way to put it, and pulls you in completely. I wasted a whole day devouring this book because I just had to know how Joshua and Adrien’s story would conclude. Would love triumph over all or would it all crash and burn? Each character in this novel, no matter how minor, is unique. They linger in your mind long after the final page is read, but especially Joshua and Adrien. They’re enjoyment of Laure’s veranda will stay with me for a long time.

Laure is a book I cannot recommend enough. And, when you realize I hate first person stories with a passion, that’s really saying something indeed. If you love classic Gothic romances in the vein of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, than you’ll definitely love Laure.

Latitude Extreme by Stephanie Hecht and Jackie Nacht

latitudeTitle:  Latitude Extreme

Series:  Latitude 02

Authors:  Stephani Hecht & Jackie Nacht

Genre:   Contemporary, Adventure

Length:  Novella (85 pages)

Publisher:  eXtasy Books (January 15, 2013)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb:   Craig and his sister Lana have officially been recruited for season two of Latitude on the famous LGBTQ network. The only problem is that Lana is now going to be teaming up with her new boyfriend, former camera man Angel. So why are they contacting him to come on the show this season with no teammate? And after what happened last season, he feels a trap coming.

Luke Nolan knows that this probably isn’t the way to reunite with Craig. In fact, it’s probably a terrible mistake after the debacle of a fight they had five years ago before graduating from high school. However, after seeing him on the show last season, he knows that he hasn’t gotten over Craig. He will do anything to get him back, even go to the extreme. But will Craig listen long enough to rectify the misunderstanding that has been haunting Luke these past five years?

Product Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Latitude-Extreme-ebook/dp/B00B4XSUUO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360588123&sr=8-1&keywords=latitude+extreme

Reviewer:   Any

Review:  An amazing race around the world.

This book was all go-go-go and I went-went-went with it—and with a smile, too. In this book, teams race against each other for clues that lead them to the million-dollar finish line. The big question pushing me through the novella: who will win?

This was a satisfying action-adventure read with a nice twist of conflict. Craig is teamed up with a guy he hated from his high-school days. They must work together not only to complete each challenge, but to overcome their past issues as well. In the first half of the book, the tension between Luke and Craig is strong and held my interest, however, I did feel it wane in the middle when Craig was very quick to forgive Luke. I would have loved to see that step taking a bit more time and emotion.

Still, the romance was enjoyable and, coupled with the race—and the other awesome team characters—this made for an enjoyable evening read.