Healed Beginnings by Diana DeRicci

healedbeginnings_original(5)Title: Healed Beginnings

Series: Men of Silo #2

Author: Diana DeRicci

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel

Publisher: Purple Sword Publications (May 22, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Ed Norwood is living in limbo. He has his friends, his job, and his parents, but he’s feeling restless. More so now that his ex has found something perfect with another man. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate and move on. He wished he knew.

Duncan Nichols is the man who could change everything, if he is willing. Ex-Army Veteran trained in canine Search and Rescue, Duncan and Ed’s first meeting is fraught with tension and worry after massive storms slice through Silo. Duncan is surprised to find a community that is open and giving in Silo, and is welcomed to return to show off his dog’s skills at the annual firehouse fundraiser.

Without the stressful distractions of storms and missing people getting between them, lust flares nearly out of control between the two men. Only Ed wants and needs more in life than a friend with benefits, and when he says as much, Duncan is quick to put the kibosh on even dreaming of a happily ever after. Then real life intervenes when Ed’s mother falls ill, and Duncan returns to Ed’s side in support.

Can Ed break through the barriers Duncan has put up to protect himself? There’s more to Duncan than the left hand he habitually hides. Ed believes if Duncan cracks even a little, he can prove it. If it just wasn’t his heart at stake to make that happen…

Product Link: http://purplesword.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=142

Review: I loved this book a lot. It was fun, it was hot and it had an emotional approach without it being too much or too heavy. The story follows Ed, a fireman in Silo, and Duncan, a Veteran released from the Army due to his loss of left hand.

Each man has his own troubles and is trying to make their way in life. Ed is feeling deeply the need to have a relationship, to feel that overwhelming and all-encompassing emotion called love. Watching his ex – and now best friend – in a glorious relationship with his new love, the envy and sorrow he feels from not having someone to love that deeply is making him ache inside and crave a change.

Duncan, on the other hand, is a completely different case. On top of his PTSD and the bitter feelings his loss of hand has left him, there is a deeper reason hidden in his past he not only doesn’t want to be a part of a relationship, but doesn’t even come close to thinking of such notion. If there is one thing that makes him run, that is the idea of love and commitment.

Yet when the blurb said that the lust flares nearly out of control between them, it’s exactly so. I loved how heavy that was in the air between those guys. Scorching hot, erotic as it gets, sensuous even at times, the pairs intimate scenes were too intense and credits to the author for not failing that. Ed’s longing in every scene they had made my heart skip and Duncan’s fears, his almost unconscious need for something that scared the hell out of him was perfect.

The story, the plot all revolves around this romance and how each man reacted to the possibility of that special relationship we all crave, knowingly or not. The approach on Duncan’s issues was quite decent and Ed’s reactions to Duncan’s fight-or-flight instinct were lovely to read. My main issue was the speed that some feelings and thoughts came forward. While the time-frame between their first meeting and their settling was big enough, the seriousness and the heavy loving emotions and the forever thoughts came way too fast for my satisfaction.

Nevertheless the end result was quite lovely. A nicely written romantic story that I don’t hesitate to recommend to the fans of the genre, accompanied with exquisite descriptions of some fascinating male characters and scorching personalities. A book I quite enjoyed reading.

Blood-Mark: The Black Tigress: Episode 01: Ghost

947143_655174024498949_942182171_nTitle: Blood-Mark: The Black Tigress: Episode 01 Ghosts

Series: Dimenlien Chronicles

Author: Myristica

Genre: Paranormal, Serial Fiction

Length: Novella (87pgs)

Publisher: Dimenlien Projexts (27th May 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A black tigress shape-shifter is loose on the city of Sapphire Ridge, California, seeking vengeance against Thomas Hampton, the lead vampire who once assisted in imprisoning her over 400 years before. When the Dimenlien Guild, led by Mistress Garen, the only being who has full knowledge of portal usage, refuses to help Hampton recapture the Tigress, he must turn to an enemy who long ago vowed to destroy him if they ever crossed paths again: Jonathan “Pal” Palomino, now a private investigator with Eagle Eye Investigations headed up by Kevin Laredo.

Kevin Laredo never believed vampires existed, let alone creatures of other worlds, but when Jonathan’s past comes back to haunt him, the world for Kevin and his team becomes smaller… and darker. And when Jonathan refuses to help Hampton, the vampire proceeds to mark Vic Turner, Kevin’s lover, threatening to pull him into the Shadow Change completely unless Jonathan agrees. But in messing with Vic, Hampton never bargained for Kevin’s interference, and he soon learns that no one messes with Kevin or those he loves.

Not humans, not monsters… and not vampires.

Purchase Link: US: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Mark-Tigress-Dimenlien-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D1CUYXW

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Mark-Tigress-Dimenlien-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D1CUYXW

Review: Kevin meets Vic again when he is attacked in a parking garage. They had met briefly years earlier, and Kevin has an instant attraction to Vic and soon discovers the attraction is mutual. Kevin offers Vic a job in his investigation agency. Vic wants to accept, but first he has a secret to admit to Kevin. Thomas Hampton is the lead vampire in Sapphire Ridge and he suspects that Arina has escaped from her prison. Now she is coming for him, but is also wrecking vengeance across the city. There’s only one way to bring her to heel and Thomas needs Jonathan to do it. But, Jonathan has hidden from the vampires for years ever since his lover’s life was taken by Veritan. To make matters more interesting, Kevin’s new lover, Vic, is the spitting image of Jonathan’s lost love and Thomas will use whatever means he has to, to gain the bait that he needs.    

This is a great beginning to a great new serial where some humans and paranormals clash. We begin the serial getting to know the characters and the parts that they slot into; the foundation on which the serial is built on and the beginning of what looks to be an interesting and compelling storyline. Each character that we visit plays an integral part in the story; the build up for what is to come in future episodes and showing us the beginnings of relationships and friendships. There are different character perspectives and they do change from scene to scene, but it is quite well done so you never really lose the thread of what is happening. it is trying to show you the characters involved and what is happening to them.

I really enjoyed this installment and how it builds the world around us as we read, introducing us to the interesting characters and giving us a background that is built upon as we go through the story. Kevin and Vic are just beginning a relationship in this first installment. We get the background story on Kevin and Vic slots in some details as he makes a confession. Jonathan is shrouded in mystery and we get hints that something in his past haunts him. As we progress, we discover what it is and the lasting effects it has on him. Thomas is someone who you think quite kindly about at first, but then he reveals his not so nice nature later and he begins to give you the creeps.

I have to admit that I was just a bit disappointed with the blurb because it has revealed details that haven’t appeared in this installment. It has whetted my appetite for the future books though. The characters are really good and we do get to know a bit about them. I have a feeling more details will be revealed in the future as the story is more padded out and expanded on. The storyline is really good and drew me in quite quickly. you have paranormals who hide from the humans and a few humans who know about them, but you also have politics going on in the paranormal world with political maneuvering, side stepping and veiled threats.

I will recommend this to those who love serial paranormal fiction, vampires, humans being dragged into the paranormal world, bloodshed, secrets being revealed and a budding new relationship. 

 

Half-Baked Promises by Erica Pike

13701069Title: Half-Baked Promises

Series: (Love Is Always Write)

Author: Erica Pike

Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance

Length: Short Story

Publisher: M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads (July 21st, 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: One more day, that’s all Kevin needed. One more day to finish the tax audit and get the hell out of town and back to his normal, everyday life. So it absolutely figured that some over-muscled moron with a pneumatic dick substitute would wake him up at the ass-crack of dawn and shoot his plans right to hell. At this point he’d try anything — maybe a bribe?

Product Link: http://www.goodreads.com/ebooks/download/13701069-half-baked-promises

Review: Now this free short story, written for the Love is Always Write event on Goodreads, was quite delightful.

It’s been twelve years since Kevin left Texas for LA and now he’s back for three-day and then he’s the hell out of there. On this last day of work though, things go from bad to worse and the person responsible, while seemingly a stranger at first, turns out to be quite a familiar person. one Kevin never would have thought he’d be attracted to, yet unable to resist him now.

This is the lovely story of a teenager’s crush (Liam, the over-muscled moron) that never stood a chance, but was given a second one twelve years later.

The longing, the passion, the nervousness a second chance brings with it were delicious in this shorty and I couldn’t get enough of the two men. The writing is beautiful and all you want is for the story to keep on going. But as it is the case with stories of this event, they end all too soon. Hopefully, Ms. Pike will follow through with her promise and give us more of Kevin and Liam in her sequel Midnight Muffins.

As it is the forever romantics would probably love this one. Recommended.

 

The Company Man by Beck Black

thecompanymanTitle: The Company Man

Series: The Red Dragon 01

Author: Becky Black

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Length: Novel Plus (257pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (21st May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Jarvez Kashari travels light, sacrificing relationships for ambition. Alyn Evans is out to establish himself as a company captain. Falling in love was not part of either man’s plans.

Once the pride of the Outer Spiral Trading Company’s fleet, The Red Dragon has been neglected and fallen from its old glory. It’s a ship in need of love – and a new captain.

Alyn Evans is a man in need of a new challenge. He’s an ex-warship captain and peace has put him out of a job. A man of his experience should have no trouble commanding a merchant ship…he thinks. But of all the challenges he faces on his first trip out, the hardest one is keeping his hands off his gorgeous and fascinating company rep, Jarvez Kashari.

Jarvez Kashari is a man with a plan. He’s determined to make a name as the company’s best trader and thinks reviving the fortunes of the Red Dragon is the perfect opportunity to prove himself. Jarvez travels light, sacrificing personal relationships to focus on his ambitions – until he meets Alyn Evans. Falling in love was not part of the plan.

Its four months to Earth. Four months for Alyn to juggle passengers, prisoners, suspicious officers, a resentful crew and the intensifying relationship with Jarvez. Four months in space with a traitor aboard…

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/the-red-dragon-1-company-man.html

Review: Alyn has accepted a job with a trading company, now that peace has put him out of a job. Being a captain of a merchant ship will be vastly different from being a warship captain, but he is sure it won’t be too hard. Jarvez is a trader and has plans to be the best trader in the company. he just has to prove himself to his family. Alyn is assigned the Red Dragon, a star-ship that has been vastly neglected and abused by the former captain. Jarvez is the new trader for the ship, but his main task is to investigate the corruption aboard the ship. When the two men first meet they are both rocked. A blissful hour the night before has come back to smack them both in the face. Their attraction is fierce, but mixing business and pleasure is never a good idea. They face four months of space travel with a disgruntled crew and a traitor, and they each fight their attraction to the other.

Alyn and Jarvez are well-rounded characters. They both have an idea of what they want from life. Alyn just wants to captain a star-ship and have the respect of his crew. Jarvez wants to be the best trader in the company, working his way to the best trade routes and improving his wealth. Together they have to decide what they truly want when they can no longer ignore their attraction. Especially, when they are on-board a star-ship whose crew are suspicious of them. When they reach the end of their journey, they have new decisions. For Alyn, it’s a choice to stay with a decrepit star-ship and make her glorious again or accept a newer fancier ship. and for Jarvez , it’s improve the current trading route or go for easy money with the larger, more choice, routes…. And then there’s the choice of doing it together or apart.

I really did enjoy this science fiction story, because we have the relationship between Alyn and Jarvez vying with the storyline of corrupt officers and traitors. they were blended well together and I can’t say which I enjoyed more. Jarvez is a man who wants to prove himself to his family. he wants to go far in the company on his own merit so getting involved with the captain of one of the ships is a mistake he wishes never happened. It is interesting to watch Jarvez fight his consuming need to be with Alyn. He doesn’t always succeed, which gives us some explosive passionate scenes. Alyn is much more able to keep his simmering need controlled, but make no mistake; it is just waiting to be unleashed.

I loved the investigation side of the story. Both men not knowing who they can trust but, trying to win the crew over anyway. Jarvez trying to discover who the third traitor is from among the officers, while Alyn tries to put the ship and its crew back together. Then, we have the prisoners who are in the background, just waiting for their shot. The writing is good and flows well. Nothing happens too fast and there are one or two exciting scenes.

I recommend this to those that love science fiction, traitors, mutiny, investigations, great characters, falling in love in difficult situations, hot explosive sex and an ending that is a new beginning for our two MCs.

Dorian’s Worlds by Allen Mack

Dorians_Worlds_400x600Title: Dorian’s Worlds

Author: Allen Mack

Genre: Science Fiction, Futuristic

Length: Short (48pgs)

Publisher: JMS Books (5th May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: On a future Earth, sex suppressants and tranquilizers are fed to youth at the onset of puberty, keeping them in perpetual servitude by the Revered Senior Classes. They’re housed in sublevel cubicles beneath the city, with little ventilation, extreme heat, and complete lack of outdoor light. Homosexuality and bisexuality are encouraged to prevent a surplus of lower class citizens who might pose threats to Senior rule.

All menial Workers are trained to submit to sexual advances from any Senior with humility and enthusiasm. Medical advances have extended the Seniors’ lives, making their rule virtually unending. Subordinate in every way, through training from early childhood, the lower Class has no recourse.

Then Dorian rebels. While in jail, he recruits others with the same attitudes, who strive to leave Earth. But can they overcome the obstacles in their way to freedom?

Purchase Link: http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30&products_id=808

Review: Mother is about to be voluntarily entombed, now that she has reached the age of parting. She reads from the Book of Dorian of how our world came about and the courage and bravery of one man who refused to be satisfied with his class status.

This is an interesting futuristic story. Telling the story of how a new world and their customs came about. Dorian is increasingly unhappy with the way the world works. All young are born into servitude, every single one of them trained to serve the Eldest in any way until, if they are lucky, they reach the age of Elders themselves. But, Elders very rarely die. Organs are harvested to keep them going and the Seniors and Elders believe it is their right. Dorian rebels briefly and is sent to prison to learn the errors of his ways. In prison, he meets likeminded people and a kernel of an idea takes root.

I quite enjoyed this story. It starts out on Doriana and the ritual of Parting. We then flashback to Dorian’s time and it tells the story of how Dorian began his rebellion. The descriptions and the world we find ourselves in are vastly different from the world we know now, and the phrase ‘respect your elders’ hits very close to the bone. Dorian teams up with Bryn and Lassa and finds joy briefly in Bryn’s arms, sneaking about and risking prison if caught. I was fascinated with what Earth had become and how the Elders enforced their rule, it was also interesting to see how the enforced rules on Earth affected how Doriana’s rules and customs were set up. This isn’t the usual expected m/m. sexuality is fluid and we don’t get the happily ever after that you first expect. what we get is an homage to the person who set a class free and his memory lives in the people on that world, never to be forgotten and the sacrifices remembered.  

I will recommend this to those who love futuristic, science fiction, rebellion against unfair rule, some hot sex, a new beginning, a touch of sadness and an interesting storyline.

Roughed Up by Hank Edwards

51KIrXRBZuLTitle: Roughed Up

Series: Up to Trouble 03

Author: Hank Edwards

Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Suspense

Length: Novella (141pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (7th May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: FBI Special Agent Aaron Pearce and his lover Mark Beecher are taking a well-deserved vacation relaxing on the beaches of Barbados Island. They spend lazy days in the sun, on scooters seeing the sites, or in their room making love.

When Mark sees a young girl in a bar who may be in danger, he begins an informal investigation into her situation, even as Pearce reminds him they are not citizens and have no legal power on the island. Mark is determined, however, and, while investigating on his own, is taken captive by a sex slavery ring.

Pearce panics when Mark goes missing. He has a good idea what happened to Mark and who has taken him, but he cannot prove it. While working with the Barbados Royal Police Force, Pearce realizes he has become the detective’s prime suspect, and understands he needs to conduct his own personal investigation if he has any chance of finding Mark before his lover either sold into sex slavery or murdered.

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/up-to-trouble-3-roughed-up.html

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Aaron/Pearce and Mark are on vacation in Barbados. It’s a time for them to relax and enjoy the sites, but visiting a village and a restaurant sets Mark to wondering about the plight of a young woman who he sees at the bar across the road. Aaron tells him straight that there is nothing they can do, but Mark can’t let it go and storms off after words with Aaron. Aaron is enjoying his time with Mark, although he still has moments of awareness of his surroundings. Aaron begins to worry when Mark disappears. He just knows it has something to do with that bar. Aaron soon learns he will have to find Mark by himself and sets out to locate him, and what he discovers sends dread through him.

This is a great action, suspense story that shows that even when they are on vacation Mark and Aaron can’t keep out of trouble. Aaron is on suspension, Mark is out of work and a week away from all their troubles sounds fantastic. But, Mark is dragged into a sex slave ring when he looks for a young woman he spotted at a bar. Aaron is panicked and has to investigate himself when he can’t seem to get the Barbados Royal Police Force to take Mark’s disappearance seriously. But finding Mark will be harder than he hoped when all he has to go on is the owner of the bar.

Well, how much trouble can one man get into by storming off in a huff? The answer… life and death trouble. I thought this story was brilliant. There was action, suspense, hot sex, arguments, doubts, guilt, recriminations, attempted escapes, rescues and love. Aaron and Mark are very happy together, but they keep having mini blowouts. Each man examines their relationship, but the dangers they face make them realize that the other man is it for him. The storyline is great and keeps you turning the pages. The sex is really hot (I love beach sex). the suspense is a bit of a killer as you chew nails and wonder if Aaron will find Mark in time.

I will admit to having to wonder at times exactly how old Mark really was, because at times he acted like a child refusing to think about the consequences of his actions when he is on a strange island, in a strange country and is sniffing around for answers that even the locals wouldn’t ask. Aaron tried to rein him in and ended up in danger himself, but bless the man; he loves Mark and sets off to find him carefully himself. The relationship between Mark and Aaron is just a touch strained at first. As both of them are still getting used to being together all the time. But, they seem to be coming along just fine.

I will recommend this to those who love action, suspense, with plenty of danger, some very hot loving, great characters, a great storyline and a very happy rescue and ending.