Tarnished Gold by Brita Addams

TarnishedGoldLGTitle: Tarnished Gold

Author: Brita Addams

Genre: Historical (early 1900’s), BDSM kink

Length: Novel (350 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 25th, 2013)

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Heat Level: Explicit

Blurb: n 1915, star-struck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand.

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.

Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.

As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3667

Reviewer:   Pammie

Review:  This story revolves around the lives of Jack and the man he loves, Wyatt.

It’s hard to believe that this story starts almost a century ago. It’s bright and vibrant, and I was happy to lose myself in the 1920s. In this era, the stars were the “property” of the studios, and no one would be seen unless fully made-up, not a hair out of place, and immaculately dressed.

Jack is no different on the outside, but behind closed doors he lives a very different life. Then he meets Wyatt. Their relationship starts off well, but Jack initially tries to abide by his mentor Eric’s advice of ‘not being touched’. He soon realizes he can’t live that way, and soon he and Wyatt are as married a couple as you can envision.

When his studio finally insists that he has to marry, and tuck Wyatt away where no one can see him, Jack takes a stance. He refuses to deny his life or the man he loves.

There is a D/s aspect to Jack and Wyatt’s relationship, but that isn’t the main part of it. Instead it’s about two people with a deep love for one another.

I loved reading the mix of historical events with fictional romance, although it is loosely based on an actual real-life romance of the time. I also liked the way the author concluded the story with a 25 year anniversary. It’s a shame that some actors, even today, don’t feel able to be publically ‘out’.

I recommend this to anyone who likes history, romance, adversity overcome, a dash or two of hot sex (some lightly kinky) and a HEA.

Reviewer: Cat (♥♥♥3Hearts)

Review: leans with dreams to make it big and to go to California with his lover from home and be a star.  His first disappointment happened on the way to the ferry to leave, when he finds that Emory, his lover isn’t going. He goes alone and finds a room and makes some friends. Then, the story moves a bit quickly from then to five years later when he is working, still as a server in a restaurant and meets Eric.  He falls quickly for the man who tells him to leave the restaurant and trust him. Eric promises to make him a star.

The story really begins here.

Jack would do absolutely anything for Eric, but Eric makes it know right away that he will never, ever be anything more than a friend to Jack.  There are lots of twists and turns as we go through Jacks life in his career and personal life.

I took to this story right away, loving it. Once we got to the part with Eric, I was OMG it’s awesome. It had angst, love, and hate.  I couldn’t put the book down. I had one problem; however, the dialogue was so hard to follow at time. I couldn’t always tell who was talking, even with just two people talking.  It was really rough when there were more, but I was hooked so I went on.   I read for hours and I am sure I ran through an entire box of tissue when I thought the story was almost over.  I was shocked to see I was at only 60 percent in. I just knew there was a big bad twist coming and practically chewed my nails. I was a bit disappointed, however, when the twist didn’t really materialize.  At least, not how I expected and then it was rather soft and the rest of the story got a bit repetitive and slow. However, I still really liked the story and the relationship of Jack and Wyatt. I am a sucker for a love that can endure all these hardships. The story line was good, the characters every last one AMAZING, and the sexy pretty hot.

Recommendation:   If you like men searching for a dream, heartbreak, broken hearts, finding a dream, Actors, Directors, historical fiction set in the early 1900’s, Scandal, difficult choices, spanking and a HEA this one is for you.

The Past is Present by Edward Kendrick

The_Past_is_Present400x600Title: The Past Is Present

Author: Edward Kendrick

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Length: Novella (137pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (30th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:   ♥♥♥♥3½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: PI Clive Frazier accepts a thirty-year-old kidnapping case that his husband, policeman Teddy Radcliff, is familiar with. Teddy’s father was the prime suspect. Teddy agrees to help Clive, hoping that he will be able to clear his dead father’s name.

PI Clive Frazier is called to the home of a woman whose daughters were kidnapped thirty years ago. One daughter was murdered. The other vanished. And now her mother has received a letter purportedly written by her just days ago.

At first reluctant to take the case, he agrees to attempt to find her, even though he knows it could upset his husband, police detective Teddy Radcliff. The reason: Teddy’s father was a prime suspect in the kidnapping.

Teddy is leery of the whole idea but agrees to help Clive locate the missing woman, hoping that if they do he will be able to clear his dead father’s name.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/the-past-is-present-ebook-p-1427.html

Review: Clive is a private investigator who is hired to look into the disappearance of two girls thirty years before.  It’s a case he knows well, as his husband, Teddy, and his family was nearly destroyed because of it. Accepting the case is a chance to clear Teddy’s father’s name and Clive asks his husband for his help. Teddy has always had the specter of his father’s suicide over his head.  Helping Clive to discover the whereabouts of one of the girls who went missing might get him answers.  But, danger lurks as they dig into the past.

Ah, I enjoyed this story for its simplicity of relationship and its interesting mystery. Clive and Teddy are an established couple, together for over ten years, Clive’s a PI and Teddy a police detective.  When Clive is approached to take on a case where Teddy’s father was a prime suspect, he jumps at the chance to lay the past to rest. Teddy and Clive join together to find out what really happened thirty years before and to discover why one of the missing daughters has only now contacted her mother.

This is a well written story of a long-term couple who work together to discover the truth of the past. The storyline is great, investigating a thirty-year old case which leads to murder and mystery, but it also shows a wonderful relationship between Teddy and Clive. Raking over the past shows shoddy police work, casting doubts on what really happened. Discovering connections nearly forgotten and a new link to the present and putting the past away isn’t as painless as they had hoped. Teddy and Clive are brilliant, as you watch them together and see the love and support between them.  There’s no conflict or angst in their relationship which makes a lovely change and they have a very health sex life that is only alluded to *pout*.

I recommend this to those who love established long-term, still madly in love relationships, a great mystery, a touch of danger, laying the past to rest and a happy ending.

Just Out of Reach by N. Phillips

JustOutofReach400x600Title: Just Out Of Reach

Author: N. Phillips

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Length: Novella (156pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (30th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:   ♥♥♥♥3 – 3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Owen McBride has had a terrible year. Reed Connor has had an equally bad time. But when the two reunite to help Reed’s brother, they find, if they play their cards right, their lives just might turn around. 

When defense lawyer Owen McBride receives a call from his former best friend Reed Conner saying his brother has been charged with a triple murder. Owen rushes home to help. Even though all the evidence points to the incarcerated man, Owen finds the murder very suspicious. Not to mention the man is strongly proclaiming his innocence. While he tries to untangle the confusing web he realizes he still loves Reed, to whom he’d broken a promise fifteen years before. And in the midst of everything else, he begins to wonder if Reed can give him a second chance.

Can Owen solve the murder and get the man he loves? Or will both remain just out of reach?

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/just-out-of-reach-ebook-p-1425.html

Review: Defense lawyer Owen is starting to get his life back on track after a really bad year, when he receives a phone call from his childhood best friend, Reed, for help. Owen rushes to his hometown to defend Reed’s brother from a triple murder charge.  The evidence is overwhelming, but Owen will do everything he can for Reed. Reed starts to think it was a mistake to ask Owen for help, he has never gotten over Owen leaving him without a word fifteen years before.  But, denying his feelings is impossible and when the murder case is over will he be able to let Owen leave his life again?

This story is a mix of murder investigation and reuniting with first love, forgiving the past and starting anew. Owen and Reed parted ways when Owen left without a word when they were eighteen.  Reed might have been able to forgive him, if it hadn’t been for the promise that Owen made the night before his departure. Now, fifteen years later Reed needs Owen’s help, hoping that he can keep his lingering feelings hidden. Owen has always thought of Reed, he had to do what he did and now he will get to see Reed again, even if it is in the middle of a horrific triple murder.  Owen just prays that he can get through to Reed that he never stopped caring.

I really liked the mystery of the murder case and the investigation that Owen launched.  Trying to discover exactly who would frame Reed’s brother all the while trying to make things right with Reed. Reed and Owen’s relationship is very rocky and it has sharp ups and downs.  You can see the reasoning behind both men and the real awkwardness of the situation.  The tension is palpable between them and you just know it could explode into passion at any time. The story is well written and although the mystery is well done, I think the relationship lacks real depth.  Even though they clearly still love each other after all the time apart, the relationship was written more as an afterthought with little real effort on either men’s side other than their continued attraction.

I will recommend this to those that love first love stories, mystery, danger, reuniting love and a happy ending.

 

Lighting The Way Home by E.M. Lynley and Shira Anthony

Lighting the Way Home - E.M. Lynley & Shira AnthonyTitle: Lighting The Way Home

Series: Delectable 02

Author: E.M. Lynley & Shira Anthony

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (206pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: World-class chef Joshua Golden is homesick for Paris before he even arrives in New York, but he’ll endure it—his parents need him to help run the family restaurant while his mother recovers from surgery. Running a place so far beneath his talents is bad enough, but bad turns to worse when Josh discovers his former best friend and lover, Micah Solomon, is living at his parents’ house with his ten-year-old son, Ethan.

For ten years, Josh has done his best to forget how Micah shattered his heart into tiny pieces. Now Micah’s back, fresh out of prison, and helping out at the restaurant. Micah may not be the kind of sous chef Josh is used to, but he is more helpful and supportive than any of the other employees. But Josh finds it hard to keep his distance when, time after time, Micah proves himself a better man than Josh thought. Reluctantly, Josh realizes there is more to Micah than his lousy life choices… but that doesn’t mean Josh is ready to forgive him.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3688                  

Review: This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Josh comes home to New York for the first time in five years.  His parents need him to help with their restaurant, while his mother recovers from surgery. Josh gets a shock though, when he discovers his ex-best friend and lover living at his parents’ house along with his ten-year old son, and that the ex-con is working at the restaurant as well. Micah made some bad choices in his life and regrets them.  making things up with Josh is not easy to do, but he tries to show the man he has changed. Can Josh ever find it in himself to forgive Micah for the hurt he suffered?

This story is about forgiving the past and starting anew and opening your heart to love. Josh has been a high-flying chef in Paris.  Returning home to New York to help with his parents’ restaurant isn’t what he really wants. But, it gives him the chance to see what he has really been missing for the past several years, after running away from the pain of his heart. Micah made many mistakes when he was younger and he has paid the price, but the person who he hurt the most, Josh, has never given him the chance to prove himself, now he has that chance.

I found this story to be interesting with the twisting emotions that Josh goes through and with self-realization as he looks at himself and what he has missed out on. The story is from Josh’s point of view, so we see everything through his eyes.  He is quite unforgiving of his ex-best friend and at first I couldn’t understand why he was acting like such brat.  But, then you discover they really were lovers for a very short time. It was hard to be too sympathetic with Josh though because he came across as self-serving for most of the book.  Micah, on the other hand, isn’t trying to prove anything, other than he is truly a good man who lost his way abit.  I really liked his character and was rooting for him to get through to Josh and make Josh listen to him.

The storyline was good and the food descriptions were mouth-watering.  I liked how Micah and Josh finally connected, with the entire truth being brought out in the open and that Josh was more forgiving than he seemed. I also liked the fact that Josh took a step back and had a look at his own actions over the years and he accepted his own faults. The two of them coming together was hot and you can easily see how good they are together. The secondary characters are great and add a wonderful family feeling.

I will recommend this to those who love forgiving the past, great characters, great family, rediscovering love and a happy ending.

Portia’s Two Cents:  I agree with everything that Pixie said…I just wanted to add that this story brought to life a side of Judaism that I rarely see in fiction.  This story could very well have been titled, Mizpah. This family aren’t those Jews that celebrate Passover and Chanukah and that’s it.  Their faith is so much a part of their lives.  It was really beautiful to see the generations use their faith, in different ways, to get through some very trying times. The theme of mizpah is what guides Micah, it allows Josh to forgive and it allows the Goldens’ to open their home to Micah and Ethan.  Absolutely beautiful.

When One Door Opens by J.D. Ruskin

WhenOneDoorOpensLGTitle:  When One Door Opens
Author:  J.D. Ruskin
Genre:  Contemporary, Drama
Length:  Novel (210 pages)
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (December 28, 2012)
Heat level:  Explicit
Heart rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb:  Logan Sellers’s parole officer has issued three commandments: stay sober, stay employed, and stay out of trouble. At first Logan thought those three simple rules would be easy to follow. But that was before he accepted a side job assisting his boss’s housebound agoraphobic nephew, Caleb.

Caleb is deceptively normal for a guy who hasn’t left his apartment in three years, and his friendly, caring personality tugs on heartstrings Logan didn’t know he had. But hitting on his boss’s nephew is asking to be unemployed. Logan has enough problems with booze on every corner and a supervisor trying to jump into his bed. He doesn’t need to work out how to free Caleb from the anxiety that keeps him in his apartment; he needs to keep his nose clean, attend his AA meetings, and make a fresh start—alone.

If only his heart would get with the program.
Reviewer: Heart

Product link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3478

Review:  J.D. Ruskin’s first book, When One Door Opens, launches her writing career with a bang. Characters with realistic issues, a compelling story line and excellent writing will most certainly push When One Door Opens to the top of many reading lists.

Logan is fresh out of prison, finally sober, and holding a job. It’s only part-time, but hey, everybody has to start somewhere. He’s still at the phase when authority figures’ questions make his breath catch and every awkward situation makes him crave a beer. But he’s taking it day-by-day and doing better than he has in years. Then, his boss asks him to deliver groceries and check on his nephew, Caleb, as another part-time job, and all of Logan’s hard-earned control begins slipping away at the sight of Caleb in tight sweatpants.

Caleb is a different story: innocent, somewhat naïve, gorgeous, and agoraphobic. He hasn’t left his apartment in three years and doesn’t react well to changes in his life. But there is something about Logan, the ex-con giant, who makes him laugh and seems willing to do anything to see Caleb happy.

When One Door Opens is a gradually building story that shows the shared challenges of a new relationship and the struggles facing each man individually. For Logan, it’s sobriety and obeying rules, while Caleb fights to make a seemingly simple, panic attack-free trip to the store. The main conflict is genuine and lifelike in a way that suits the overall story and lets the reader focus on what is important, rather than get sidetracked by unnecessary drama.
Despite the serious issues these two men face, Caleb and Logan’s interactions are so fun I could have read about them for hours. It was their flaws, as well as the tension between them, that captivated me and kept them in my thoughts long after I was finished reading.

This is the one I will recommend for anybody who likes imperfect characters and needs a comfortable book with which to relax. I sincerely hope this is not the last we see of J.D. Ruskin.

Texas Pride by Kindle Alexander

17660704Title: Texas Pride

Author: Kindle Alexander

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel Plus (318pgs)

Publisher: Kindle Alexander (16th March 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:   ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When mega movie star and two-time Academy Award winner, Austin Grainger voluntarily gave up his dazzling film career, his adoring fan base thought he’d lost his mind. For Austin, the seclusion of fifteen hundred acres in the middle of Texas sounds like paradise. No more cameras, paparazzi, or overzealous media to hound him every day and night. Little did the sexiest man alive know when one door closes, another usually opens. And Austin’s opened by way of a sexy, hot ranch owner right next door.

Kitt Kelly wasn’t your average rancher. He’s young, well-educated and has hidden his sexuality for most of his life. When his long time wet dream materializes as his a new neighbor it threatens everything he holds dear. No way the ranching community would ever accept him if he came out. With every part of his life riding on the edge, can Kitt risk it all for a chance at love or will responsibility to his family heritage cost him his one chance at happiness?

Purchase Link: US: http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Pride-ebook/dp/B00BVQD4ZA

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Texas-Pride-ebook/dp/B00BVQD4ZA

Review: Austin has had enough of living his life in the limelight as a movie star and is retiring.  He has bought land in Texas, in his hometown and is planning on a quiet life away from the media and cameras and hopefully to find some happiness with a man to love him. But, Austin is still hot property and the paparazzi don’t want to let him go.  With his pseudo-girlfriend spiraling out of control and his new relationship about to be blown out into the open Austin has some tough decisions to make. Kitt has worked hard to build his farm back up after his father’s death.  If anyone ever found out his secret, he could lose everything. Discovering his new neighbor is hot movie star Austin, the man he has fantasized about since high school, shakes him down to his roots and starting anything with the man is risky but falling in love is hard to avoid.

This is a great story of a movie star and a cowboy, falling in love and facing prejudice, ramifications of the past and hounding of the press. Austin has come to the stage in his life where he wants to be honest about himself, but being in the limelight there is no way he can be. Retiring to his new farm, he discovers a happiness he never thought he would really have with Kitt, his hot cowboy neighbor. But, Kitt is firmly in the closet; with no way of coming out if he wants to continue supporting his stepmom and sisters.  Austin might be everything he wants, but the risk is nearly too much. Kitt faces losing everything, but is love enough for him to stick by his man?

I thought this story was brilliant.  Kitt and Austin are great characters.  Both of them are men’s men through and through.  both of them have hidden in the closet for their own reasons and when they meet the attraction is instant. The storyline is great and is kept on an even keel with just a few sparks of excitement along the way.  The relationship between Kitt and Austin was well paced, even though they jump in bed after only a few days they aren’t declaring their love for each other right away, which made it more believable. The sex is mega hot, but there isn’t too much of it.  It is nicely spaced out so you can enjoy the rest of the relationship with its longing, doubts and tests.

I have to recommend this to those who love cowboys and movie stars, closeted men being thrust out the door, hot sex, a tested love, finding support in unexpected places, a hidden secret and a very happy ending.

 

Relatively Speaking by Allen Mack

relativelyspeakingTitle:  Relatively Speaking

Series:  N/A

Author:  Allen Mack

Genre:  Erotica          

Length:  Short Story (5,090 words)

Publisher:  JMS books (March 26, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:   Dan and Greg invite Dan’s nephew and his best friend, Curt, to visit after graduation. Plans change when the nephew gets sick, but Curt visits anyway. Playing host isn’t to Greg’s liking at all. What can they do with a juvenile in their home for two whole weeks?

But Greg and Dan soon see Curt is all grown up. Tall, handsome, athletically built, he’s a charmer with a magnetic smile and a butt jeans were designed to show off. Nudity is the norm for Curt at home and alone, and it’s soon apparent he considers himself at home with the men.

Greg becomes more and more unsettled as Curt struts about the house in the buff, while Dan chuckles inwardly at his lover’s increasing discomfort. Greg becomes so horny, he can’t wait to get Dan alone. As things heat up between them, the bedroom door opens to reveal a naked Curt eager to join in the fun.

Product Link:  http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=742

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  Dan and Greg have been happily cohabitating for the last decade. Their secret to a successful relationship is to keep it spicy in the bedroom. The only problem is they are rarely attracted to the same person.

Then Dan’s nephew’s best friend, Curt, comes for a visit. The tall, dark and handsome athlete is perfectly poised to be just what both Dan and Greg are interested in. Greg fights his attraction to the younger man, but Curt parading around the apartment buck naked does nothing for his perseverance and everything for his libido!

If you are looking for a sexy, steamy M/M romance this is not the book for you. Now, if you are interested in a threesome between a seasoned gay couple and a young gay man ready, willing and able to explore his sexuality? Now THIS is the book for you! Mack’s attention to detail once these three get going in the bedroom is explicit, erotic and downright fantastic. This book is definitely a must read for all M/M fans.

Magically Delicious by Caitlin Ricci

MagicallyDeliciousMMS1-400x600Title: Magically Delicious

Series: N/A

Author: Caitlin Ricci

Genre: MM / Contemporary Fantasy / Holiday Story

Length: Short Story

Publisher: Silver Publishing (March 16th, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: Luke ignored his Irish roommates when they advised him to return the coin he found. They warned him about keeping leprechaun gold. He might regret it when a sexy, kilt-wearing leprechaun shows up to claim the last of his gold.

Luke, an American exchange student studying abroad in Ireland, ignored his roommates when they told him to put back the gold coin he found in the garden. They warned him about what would happen if he kept the leprechaun gold. He might wonder if maybe he should have listened to them when a sexy, kilt-wearing leprechaun shows up that night to claim the last of the coins from his scattered pot of gold.

Product Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/magically-delicious-ebook-p-1416.html

Review: An American living in Ireland finds a gold coin. A leprechaun finally feels his last lost coin’s been found. The unaware American has unknowingly claimed it for its own. Now a bargain must be made. A wish for the coin.

And that’s how Arn, the leprechaun, gets hit by the almighty power of Love. But rules demand that Love cannot exist between the realms and Arn must choose his people and immortality or his human lover…

The idea is exquisite and the Fae myth is something I can’t ignore. The story itself is quite funny in a way and alluring. Fairly short, it is still somehow well-developed. A sexy encounter in the wee hours, a victim of a trickster and the trickster turned to victim by the mighty powers of Fate. But, then again I’m biased as I can’t resist them little people. J

I liked it. it was quick and fun and quite nicely written.  a lovely little snack for lovers of leprechauns and the Fae people.

A Luminous Touch by Susan Laine

LuminousTouchLGTitle: A Luminous Touch

Series: Senses and Sensations 03

Author: Susan Laine

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Slight Kink

Length: Novella (148pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th March 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:   ♥♥♥♥3½ – 4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Just off work one wintery evening, EMT Jack Waters comes across a blazing building, and he sets out to do his job. A day later he wakes up in a hospital, suffering from severe burns. For a man who values his beauty, the injury is devastating.

But Jack hardly has time to process what’s happened. Waiting by his bedside are his cop ex-boyfriend, Kevin Thompson, and his fireman rescuer, Luke Kennard, who both seem determined to compete for his attention—burns or no. Jack pushes Kevin away, fearing the man will want nothing to do with him now, and seems to be proven right when Kevin leaves without a fight. The scene is set for seductive, playful Luke to begin a flirtation with Jack, soothing his fragile ego.

When new fires break out all over town, targeting rescue personnel, clues point to someone close to Jack. He survived one fire, but he might not be so lucky next time. For it seems he is pursued by a relentless foe. If he isn’t careful, the flames will reduce him to ashes… unless the love of two men burns him first.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3674

Review: This story is part of a series and is best enjoyed in order, although this story can be read as a stand-alone. When Jack hears a woman’s scream and a child’s crying when he is on his way home from work, as an EMT he doesn’t think twice about running into a burning building. Waking up in hospital with burns is hard especially when his ex-lover Kevin is in the room.  But, he rallies when sexy fire-fighter and his rescuer, Luke, comes to visit. Kevin is pushed away as Jack seems to welcome Luke, and Kevin refuses to just step aside.  As Kevin investigates the fires a chilling pattern is found and Jack becomes the target of the arsonists rage.

This is an interesting story of opposites attracting, but finding it difficult to connect in a relationship.  Add in an admirer and a firebug with an obsession and we have an explosive story. Jack comes across as flighty.  He loves attention, he loves flirting and he’s boisterous and energetic and although he has deep feelings for Kevin, he can’t work out why they keep going their separate ways. Kevin is a more staid man.  He’s quite, keeps his emotions to himself and is prudent and stoic.  He loves Jack and thinks he knows why they can’t stay together, but he isn’t giving up on them.

Luke is introduced as a potential love interest, but don’t be fooled he is pivotal to the storyline, but not how we first suspect… and not how we secondly suspect either (is that mysterious enough for you *g*). This story has two main focal points, the first is the relationship between Kevin and Jack and them working out between them where they keep going wrong and the second focal point is the mystery of the firebug and his reign of terror and his obsession. Kevin and Jack keep missing the mark and it isn’t until they have a heart to heart that they both face the facts and recognize their own failings.  But, their love always brought them back together and now they might be able to move forward… but then there is Luke, the sweet sexy fireman with his penchant for bringing roses to Jack.

The mystery surrounding the firebug is really interesting and the way that Jack gets dragged into danger by being in the wrong place at the wrong time adds some tension.  You get pulled into the story even while you think at times that Jack acts like a child.  You truly want to slap him, as he rubs Luke in Kevin’s face. Luckily, Jack wises up, but you still want to give him a little slap. I really did like this storyline with its twists and mysterious firebug, and I also liked the way that Jack and Kevin had to delve into themselves to fix their relationship.  Their relationship isn’t perfect, but they don’t give up even when tempted by external forces. I really do hope that Susan Laine will write a story for Luke, because after everything in this book he really deserves his own story.

I have to recommend this to those who love messy relationships, admitting your faults, grabbing onto love, a mystery, danger, hot sex and a happy ending.

Heat Under Fire by Andrew Grey

HeatUnderFireLGTitle: Heat Under Fire

Series: By Fire – A By Fire Spin Off

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (122pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Justin Briggs can shout out directions all day on his job as a traffic cop, but put him in front of a hot guy, specifically firefighter Rock Sparks, and he clams up.

Rock finds Justin confusing. While saving a busload of children hanging off the edge of a highway overpass, the cute rookie is cool and confident. But when Rock tries to chat him up, he stutters and chokes. Frustrated, Rock teases Justin, and boy, is his temper hot.

Though Rock and Justin share a steamy kiss, Justin keeps his distance, still tongue-tied. Then, when Justin is injured on the job, Rock takes him to the hospital, and some of the barriers start to crumble. But getting his enigmatic boyfriend to open up brings up more questions about Justin’s past.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3675

Review: This story is connected to a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Justin is a cop stuck on traffic duty.  He has no problem communicating until a hot guy he likes talks to him, then he can’t say a word.  Rock is one hot guy that he really likes. Rock can’t understand Justin, when they cross paths at work Justin is fine, but try to have a personal conversation and the man runs for the hills, and confronting Justin has sparks flying. Finally, Rock and Justin begin to connect, when Justin is taken to the hospital by Rock.  But, finding the truth behind Justin’s odd behavior nearly drives them apart.

This is a great story that has a slightly sinister undertone from Justin’s youth. Rock is just like his name.  He is rock solid, but not overbearing and he can be understanding and sweet.  He likes Justin, but is confused by his behavior. Justin is confident except when he likes a guy.  Then, he can’t talk at all and clams up.  It frustrates him to be able to talk to Rock about work, but not be able to ask him on a date.  But, actions speak louder than words. This is quite an action filled story and yes, there’s romance and some confrontations, losing of tempers and a brief visit from Dirk and Lee, but we also have Justin coming into his own as well.

Well, Andrew Grey has produced an action packed story that keeps you reading from the start and has you wondering what our heroes will get into next. The storyline is wonderful and the characters are something special.  Although, things don’t go fantastically for Justin and Rock at first, they somehow manage to have some wonderful first times together. With the car chases, bus crashes, gas leaks, burning buildings and hospital visits you do wonder how either of them have time for romance, but they pull it off beautifully. Although it sends a shiver down your spine when Justin’s mother comes to visit and you discover the depths she has sunk to, you really will want to slap her something rotten.

I will recommend this to those who love bumbling love, thrilling action, a chilling secret, some really hot foreplay, and two men falling in love.

Bolt-hole by Amy Lane

BoltHoleLGTitle: Bolt-Hole

Series: N/A

Author: Amy Lane

Genre: MM / Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 27, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Terrell Washington’s childhood was a trifecta of suck: being black, gay, and poor in America has no upside. Terrell climbed his way out of the hood only to hit a glass ceiling and stop, frozen, a chain restaurant bartender with a journalism degree. His one bright spot is Colby Meyers, a coworker who has no fear, no inhibitions, and sees no boundaries. Terrell and Colby spend their summers at the river and their breaks on the back dock of Papiano’s. As terrified as Terrell is of coming out, he’s helpless to stay away from Colby’s magnetic smile and contagious laughter.

But Colby is out of college now, and he has grand plans for the future—plans Terrell is sure will leave his scrawny black ass in the Sacramento dust until a breathless moment stolen from the chaos of the restaurant tells Terrell he might be wrong. When the moment is shattered by a mystery and an act of violence, Terrell and Colby are left with two puzzles: who killed their scumbag manager, and how to fit their own lives—the black and the white of them—into a single shining tomorrow.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3672

Review: Yet another book from Amy Lane that, like it or not, grips you in its claws and drags you in its depths. By the time I finished it and took a look around I felt as if I hadn’t had a breath for the duration.  It was that good.

This book follows Terrell, a guy literally trapped in life the way I saw him. He was born black, in a piss poor neighborhood and gay. He managed to get an education, something he thought when he was young was all that he needed to escape the “hood”; his armor and guns to fight the battle. He didn’t make it, instead he was trapped yet again by the “white man’s plan” to keep the black/poor in order.

With a journalism degree in his pocket, Terrell is top barman at Papi’s, and while he’s definitely not happy and has no prospects in his life, he still has one shining point, one little thing that makes him breathe a bit more. His coworker, Colby, tall, blond, blue eyes and a heart like no other human being. His best and only friend, the guy that will take the world for him and protect him when shit hits the fan. Racist client, pain on his back, just a soul to listen? Colby is there for him.

During their one year friendship, though, Terrell had been quite absorbed in his life drama and making sure his “gayness” wasn’t slipping for him to understand how much Colby cares for him. It takes one kiss to shatter Terrell’s “safe place” and a gunshot to end his first real kiss, and mark the beginning of this incredible book.

I must admit I didn’t quite like Terrell at the beginning. Such an angry man, so bitter and I was afraid that bitterness would leave a bad taste in my mouth by the time I finished. I was mistaken and ended loving that character and feeling hurt on his behalf way too many times. It’s an emotional read, this one, with a healthy dose of humor and love and incredibly sexy love-scenes.

Colby is unreal.  He is Prince Charming come to save the world. Literally. And Terrell’s nickname for him, Captain America, is not an exaggeration. He’s a character I’ve never met in real life, hence I distrusted him.  Yet, his chemistry with Terrell was undeniable. They fit well as friends.  They fit well when they slowly started their “thing”.  He was perfect for drawing Terrell out of his hole and into the world.  And by the time their relationship got solid, they were both magnificent. I loved this pair and their hot scenes were just that, hot and sexy and melting and sweet and so damn realistic. Ms. Lane has a way with her words, that’s for sure.

The plot, the action, the crime and the rest were beautifully executed. There was not a single drop in pace and tension, or a dull space to mark this story. It starts fearlessly and goes on just like that with the angst of the romance plot hitting your nerves and preparing you for the agony and twist that comes with a “Bam” near the end.

An excellent book Bolt-Hole will make a point that no matter how shitty things are there is always something to hope and worth fighting for. Strongly recommended.

Who Moved My Holepunch? by Anne Brooke

WhoMovedHolepunchTitle: Who Moved My Holepunch?

Series: Part of the Office Affairs from Amber Allure

Author: Anne Brooke

Genre: MM / Contemporary / Romantic Comedy

Length: Novella

Publisher: Amber Allure (March 23rd, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Darren Fording works as Senior Timetabling Officer for his local college and has happily been arranging the schedules alongside his stalwart team for more than two years. When Max Sheldon arrives to take over as Acting Registrar, Darren finds himself consumed by lust for his new boss and making the kind of decisions he, as a stuck-in-his-ways administrator, has never made before.

At their first official meeting, Darren takes his courage in both hands and initiates a full-on kiss, which Max returns with enthusiasm. The encounter ends there, however, as Max is reluctant to pursue a relationship of any kind with a subordinate. Darren is equally determined not to take “no” for an answer.

When a visit by the educational inspection team goes terribly wrong, Darren must use all his wits to both save the reputation of the college he loves and to prove his worth to the man who’s beginning to mean so much to him.

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

Review: Who Moved my Holepunch is the title of this book and damn it if it could scream OCD louder, not even mentioning the pun in there. And as you can probably guess from the title alone it’s a comedy.

Darren is a timetable manager and he loves his job, as it requires him to stay on his toes and keep everything organized.  That works perfectly with his slightly OCD personality. But, everything change when a new registrar comes in their college.

Max is tall, dark, and drop-dead gorgeous. Not Darren’s type, but that doesn’t stop him from ogling and literally drooling over his new boss. And there is also something in Max’s eyes that make him memorable.  So much so that, Darren starts having wet-dreams about him.  A fact that leaves him quite unsettled whenever he and Max are in the same room.office2

And oh my Lord. I’m astonished with this book. If I was required to utter a single word while reading it, I’m not so sure I could have managed that. Not only was I awfully engrossed with the story, but I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was good, great even.

This book gives the “office affair” phrase quite a new meaning in my opinion. Funny as it was it kept me in agony with the pair’s shenanigans. I literally had a constant fear they’d be caught any second during their “games”. And oh dear, what a thought of having Darren behaving the way he did. Scared me more than a damn horror book would at some points.

In the whole, it was a fascinating read.  I laughed.  I gasped.  And I felt the exquisite chemistry this author achieved between her characters. The world they were put upon was not something I anticipated, but even college administrative jobs can be fascinating within a creative mind. A lovely novella not to be missed.

Sounds of Love by Susan Laine

SoundsofLoveLGTitle: Sounds of Love

Author: Susan Laine

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (220pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th March 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?

Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.

Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2826

Review: Jordan has moved to Washington D.C., after getting shot on the job in New York.  He needed a change of pace and Washington suits him just fine.  Now, he has found someone who has captured his attention, but he has some unexpected emotions to work through. Sebastian works for the police department as a volunteer and when he first meets Jordan the attraction is there, but he is wary of Jordan’s behavior towards him.

This is quite a sweet story about two emotional damaged men who must work through their feelings to come together fully. Sebastian has been treated like an invalid by his family because he is deaf, but he lives a fulfilling life in Washington away from his family. Jordan has for the most part felt abandoned by his family, who seem to be spread all over and rarely keep in touch. Jordan has a lot to work through before he can accept how he really feels for Sebastian, whereas Sebastian can accept it easily, he just needs to help out his brother.

I must admit that I was slightly confused at first as to Jordan’s own description of his own personality when compared to his actual thoughts and actions. But, then I realized that he was only mellow when it came to everything else except his own feelings.  When his feelings became engaged, his calm went completely out the window and he became a manic in his own brain. Sebastian is a wonderful character who is so full of life and doesn’t let the fact that he is deaf affect him too much.

Although, this book is well written it does seem to drag at times and that’s because of Jordan’s internal debating and internal dialogue, he really can ramble. The relationship between Jordan and Sebastian seems to move slowly, but it doesn’t.  It’s just really drawn out in descriptions.  The entire book is just over three weeks with nearly half the book being for the first few days.  There’s conflict thrown in to show how emotionally messed up Jordan is and we get some more in the shape of Sebastian’s mother as well. The high point with a bit of light relief is both Jordan’s brother ,Jack and Sebastian’s brother, Bro, they are two great supporting characters and added some much-needed lightness to the book.

I will recommend this one to those who love sweet sexy men, emotionally distanced men, conflict, slight danger, hot erotic loving and a happy ending for all.

 

Brand New Flavor by E.M. Lynley

BrandNewFlavorLGTitle: Brand New Flavor

Series: Delectable 01

Author: E.M. Lynley

Genre: MM / Contemporary

Length: Novella

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 21st, 2012)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: When artisan ice cream maker Jay Brown first meets food writer Cameron Clay at a charity tasting event, they get along like strawberries and chocolate sauce. Jay’s unique flavors thrill more than Cameron’s jaded palate, but after a delicious encounter in Jay’s delivery truck, where extra-creamy frozen treats are not the only delights sampled, Cameron loses Jay’s contact info—and any hope of a real date.

Desperate, Cameron convinces his editor to host an artisanal ice cream contest in hopes of drawing out the elusive genius. But more complications threaten to intervene. Will Jay even enter the contest? Or will the chance of a happily ever after melt away?

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3369&cPath=190

Review: How can an ice-cream sample test blow your mind? Well, it’s simple.  A secret recipe and a gorgeous man feeding that to you can make that happen.

Cameron is a food critic.  One of the best out there, but he finds it refreshing that the gorgeous giant ice-cream man doesn’t recognize him. He finds it even more enticing that the ice-cream offered is such a unique thing in a world of repetition and blandness. And when the food sample turns into the most intense intercourse he’s ever experienced, Cameron admits to himself that he’s into something good here.

But, first he has to clear the path. Get his ex-boyfriend, who’s come back of a second chance, out of his life for good and then have a proper date with J and see if there is something deeper than plain lust for them.

This book starts with a *grab a fan and cool yourself down* scene that combines ice cream and sex in the most delicious way ever. Admittedly it’s a very good way to grab your attention and thus it proceeds to do just so. Once there you simply can’t put it down, the very notion feels like a crime.

But, beyond that, this book is a mixture of past bad relationships, ex-boyfriends with alcohol and revenge issues and all set up in a world where competition doesn’t hesitate to become ugly and people easily steal other people’s dream away right out of their hands in a fit of pettiness.

Cameron is a delightful character and although he frustrated the hell out of me with his naiveté, I can’t hold it against him. How could he know, right? But, I admired most that persistence he showed during the whole book, even if it brought him troubles. And J, well Jay is practically a ghost.  Made so from past betrayal and his paranoia causes the other half of my frustration. He’s a very sexy character with a certain vulnerability that makes you want to shake him and hug him in the same time.

The blend really worked well.  The allure of putting these two characters together and then separating them for the duration of the plot created the appropriate amount of angst and anticipation. The wicked master plan of the bad guy was brilliant.  So easily achieved and played upon human emotions that it was totally credible making the read even more enjoyable.  And the other elements coming in the way of the two men’s reunion made this entire “chase” painfully good. I wanted to scream and punch something while never even thinking of putting the book down to take a breather.

In the end, with summer so close and the warm days knocking on our door, this book is perfect for opening your appetite and desires. Hot guys, sinful desserts, and an interesting and overwhelming plot are all the ingredients a book needs and Brand New Flavor certainly has them.

The Park at Sunset by Lee Brazil

sunrise cover mcTitle: The Park at Sunset

Author: Lee Brazil

Genre:  Contemporary

Length: Short Story

Publisher: Lime Time Press (March 19th, 2013)(First published in Word Play anthology by Breathless Press 02/02/12)

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Heat Level: Explicit

Blurb:  First they were three, now there are two. Can Jason and Morgan make a relationship work without Paul?

For years the three of them had been inseparable, first as friends, then lovers. It’s been ten years since they parted for what was supposed to be a year apart to pursue their dreams. This isn’t the reunion they planned then. Its nine years too late for one thing, and they are one man short for another.

In the years since Paul’s death, Morgan hasn’t exactly been waiting for Jason to reach out to him. He’s been too busy trying to forget, to move on. Until Jason sends the right message. Is the painting just an excuse to see his ex again?

Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Park-at-Sunrise-ebook/dp/B00BXNM9QG/

Reviewer: Cat

Review:  Warning you will need a truckload of tissues! Jason, Morgan and Paul were friends for life and lovers. Fate intervenes.  Life and time intervenes.  and then something brings Morgan back to see Jason. Will they still have feelings even with Paul gone?   I can’t tell you much without spoiling the story so I will leave it at that.

I will say that I cried and cried and cried. Beautifully written, the characters are so realistic, the story is beautiful and interesting.  You won’t want to put it down

Recommendation: If you love a sweet, short story that will make you cry and also swoon, artists, mathematicians, business men, young lovers that go their separate ways, Fated love hot mansex and just a wonder awesome story you will love this!