Alpha Second by Violet Joicey-Cowen

vjc-wfp-alphasecondTitle: Alpha Second

Series: Whithowe Forest Pack 01

Author: Violet Joicey-Cowen

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (130pgs)

Publisher: Sire-BookStrand (13th June 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When Charlie Michaelson stumbled onto the pack as a teenager, Alpha Perry Wyndham was overjoyed to realize the young wolf-shifter would one day be his mate. Then Charlie vanished just before his 18th birthday, the age at which he could have been claimed.

Now, three years later, Charlie has finally been found, but he is starved, broken, and not expected to last the night.

As Charlie begins to recover, things become known that will change the lives of the entire pack forever. As the full story unfolds, a deeper wedge is driven between him and his mate, leaving both men feeling rejected and alone. Charlie is devastated to feel Perry backing away, and Perry cannot hope Charlie will still want him after all the young shifter has suffered through.

Will they be able to find their way through the misunderstandings and the shadows of the past to finally claim each other?

Purchase Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/alpha-second

Review: Perry discovered his mate Charlie but had to wait just a bit longer to be able to claim him, Charlie wasn’t yet eighteen, but then Charlie disappeared with no clue as to where he went. Three years later Charlie turns up on Perry’s doorstep starved, broken, injured and not expected to live the night. Charlie has longed for his mate for the last three years, thinking of Perry is all that kept him going, but now physically recovered Perry seems to want nothing to do with him. Perry is sure that after everything that Charlie has gone through the last thing he needs is a horny mate intent on claiming him, so Perry focuses on finding out where Charlie has been. But, as plans are made, the distance between Perry and Charlie grows, can either man just talk to the other before it is too late.

This is a great first published work from new author Violet Joicey-Cowen. Charlie and Perry are both great characters, they just don’t talk to each other and both jump to conclusions due to body language. Perry is the typical Alpha, he wants to look after his pack and his mate, but instead of talking and including his mate, he just presumes he knows what his mate needs. Charlie is still a young wolf and because of the distance, that Perry holds himself at he thinks Perry doesn’t want him anymore, but Charlie doesn’t confront him or ask him about it. Both shifters think they know what is going on with the other, but they are both far from the truth.

Now let’s get on to the rest of the storyline, Charlie’s disappearance, this bit was good but leaves us with unanswered questions. When we discover what happened to Charlie we are horrified especially when we discover there are many more who are in Charlie’s former position, now the way that Perry handled it was brilliant, even as we wish he would open up to Charlie more. The execution of the plan was nicely carried out and the sympathy and heartache flowed smoothly for the poor paranormals that were held, everything that was described and how the scenes played out were nearly perfect and this is where our unanswered questions come from.  

I can’t help but wonder what happened to the guards? What about the faculty they were held at? Are they going to do anything about Michaelson? And what about Charlie’s mother? Why isn’t Charlie in the least bit concerned about her? These are just some of the questions that were rolling around in my head by the time I finished the book. Charlie’s and Perry’s relationship is strained for a lot of the book and it isn’t until near the end that they finally talk and straighten the misunderstandings out, they are hot together and they make a good couple.   

I recommend this if you love shifters, uncommunicative wolves, a brilliant rescue, a hot claiming, great characters and a very happy ending. 

City of Jade by L.J. LaBarthe

CityOfJadeLGTitle: City of Jade

Series: Previously published short story City of Gold, 2011 Dreamspinner Press
  
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
 
Genre: Historical Romance, 1311 Silk Road

Length: Novel (350 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb: 1131, The Silk Road . Gallienus of Constantinople, a scarred soldier who used to work the city gates, enters a new phase of his life when he meets and falls in love with Misahuen of Gyeongju. But prejudice of same-sex relationships dominates Byzantine society, and both the Emperor and the Church denounce such love. Should Misahuen and Gallienus be discovered, the punishment is castration or death. Fearing he’ll lose Misahuen, Gallienus decides to go with Misahuen when he leaves the city forever.
A former farmer, Misahuen fled war-torn Korea and journeyed to Constantinople with a merchant caravan. He didn’t expect to take such an interest in a wounded soldier at journey’s end. But he understands the danger, so he and Gallienus join another caravan as guardsmen and begin a two-thousand-mile trip along the Silk Road. Now all they have to do is persevere to their final destination without the truth of their relationship being discovered and being killed because of it… or by the other dangers along the Road.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3911

Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: A lengthy love story about a refugee of war-torn Gyeongju (Korea) Misahauen; and wounded soldier Gillienus of Istanbul (Constantinople). As the two men meet and fall in love in a city that is not accepted of gay lovers, they decide not to risk death or dismemberment by the Empire if their forbidden love is discovered, instead joining a caravan traveling with a wealthy merchant and his family in 1131, along the Silk Roads to China. Misahauen and Gillienus hope make a home for themselves in a more understanding land among an accepting culture. The story seemed slow going and repetitive at first but then I quickly drew a parallel to what life must have been like traveling for an entire year by caravan. Moving at a slow pace, making camp, selling wares and packing camp on a nearly daily basis. That life must have been very repetitive and the time seemingly long while on the road. So I developed more patience and explored along with Misahuan and Gillienus as they traveled these trading routes to the east, city by city, discovering differences in food, craft, religion and other cultural practices along the way. This story is a historical novel set during the Byzantine Empire along the trade routes between Constantinople, the City of Gold and Shoaxing , the City of Jade, China; cutting through the holy lands along the way. If you are a history buff or art history buff and have a curiosity about the middle and far eastern cultures, you will enjoy this story. The journey is long, full of obstacles, but I felt I’d bonded with the main characters along the way and was sure cheering for their much-deserved HEA by the end.

Pure by M.A. Church

PureLGTitle: Pure

Series: The Gods 03

Author: M.A. Church

Genre: Paranormal, BDSM

Length: Novella (175pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th June 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Zygi Wyatt is an intimidating Dom, but he yearns for love just like the next man. However, finding a partner who isn’t scared of his size is no easy task. The easygoing Mo seems like the answer to his prayers. 

Love is the stuff of dreams. Ask the god Morpheus—he knows all about it. Mo wants Zygi in a forever kind of way, but he has to be sure of Zygi’s love before he claims him for his mate and reveals his true self.

Unfortunately, Zeus is growing increasingly unhappy with Morpheus, and Ares is determined to throw a monkey wrench into everything. Zygi and Mo will have to brave the wrath of the gods to make their dreams come true.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3886

Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Zygi is a Dom and he has his eye on sexy shy man Mo, Mo seems interested and Zygi can’t wait to have him bound to his bed, but something isn’t quite right and there is a overheard conversation lurking in the back of Zygi’s mind. Mo wants nothing more than to claim his mate Zygi, but first Mo has to come clean as to who he really is and with Zeus and Ares, interfering it isn’t easy.

This story is a great ending to The Gods series. We get to see Zygi and Mo start a tentative relationship, moving slowly before interference causes them problems. Mo is an absolute sweetheart, he’s shy and quiet and although he knows what he wants, he is nervous about asking for it. Zygi is a man used to total control and recognizes a submissive at first glance, Mo is definitely submissive, and Zygi wants Mo to be his. Mo has his secrets though and no matter how much he wants to confess them, he is scared of what Zygi’s reaction will be. Zygi doesn’t know if he will be able to forgive the loss of control but Zygi is made to face what he was being protected form.

Hmmm BDSM woven together with an innocent God and an interesting storyline, what more could a kinky gal ask for? I really liked this storyline, the characters, Mo and Zygi were perfect together, and it was beautiful to see Zygi drawing Mo out, guiding him through the first stages of BDSM and giving Mo confidence. Mo brought out the Dom in Zygi very easily and reacted to the Dom sweetly and sexily. There is some tension and angst when Zygi discovers the truth and Zeus has to have words with him to get him to admit the truth of his own reaction. The story is well written and we see all the guys from the previous books. There was one part of the story that caused me to nearly die, Mo gets the ultimate revenge on Ares and it was so unexpected and funny that I sprayed tea everywhere, snorted it out of my nose and choked as I inhaled it… I have so got to stop drinking tea when I read.

I recommend this to those who love Gods and BDSM, hot sex, plenty of horny foreplay, great characters and a very happy ending.  

 

 

Grime and Punishment by Z.A. Maxfield

17861682Title: Grime and Punishment

Series: The Brothers Grime 01

Author: Z.A. Maxfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (182pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (7th May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson’s way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack’s people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don’t solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg’s suicide.

Ryan Halloran’s cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick’s suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.

Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick’s lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they’ve both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/grime-and-punishment.html

Review: When Jack’s career as a firefighter comes to a crashing halt, he makes a new career as a crime scene clean-up technician, he might not be in the thick of the action helping people anymore, but he can still help the victims after the event. When he hears that his ex-lover Nick committed suicide he offers his services to Nick’s cousin Ryan, but it is a way for Jack to put his ghosts behind him. Ryan was trying to give his down on his luck cousin a hand and took him in, now he is facing the devastating clean up of his suicide, being a nurse doesn’t prepare him for clean up after a loved one and Ryan is grateful for Jack’s help. Ryan thought he knew what had happened between Nick and Jack all those years before, and has no qualms of embarking on a hopeful relationship. Jack’s secret comes out and Ryan doesn’t know how to handle it, Jack doesn’t want to look to the past anymore and Ryan doesn’t want to harbor any more lost causes. Can the two men help each other look forward or will they always look to the past. 

This is a great book that takes you to the grim side of life, to the people left behind by tragedy and the mess that is left to clear up. When Ryan and Jack meet the ice quickly thaws between them, Ryan remembers what his cousin, Nick, did to Jack although he doesn’t know the whole story. Jack and Ryan act on their attraction but then Jack is left wondering if he should confess what his real relationship with Nick was, his friends warn him again and again to come clean or to leave Ryan alone. Both Ryan and Jack have to face how Nick has affected them and Ryan has to work out how he feels about the truth.

I enjoyed this story with its crime scene clean-up theme, I liked it for showing such a strong character as Jack, and I liked it for the conflicted emotions it shows. Ryan is just a typical character who is working through a loss; his getting together with Jack doesn’t faze him until he learns the truth from a third-party. Jack doesn’t want to tell another person’s secret, but it is more his secret as well, does he really want to admit that he was hoodwinked and used for years before being betrayed to Ryan or anyone else? No, he would rather protect his heart by placing it in a steel box, encasing it in concrete, and then wrapping it in razor wire.

The storyline is good and the characters are interesting, the romance is rocky because Jack doesn’t come clean but the sex fantastic. I was a bit unsure at first about this story because Jack had an arrangement with his friend, the closeted detective Dave, that was friends with benefits and at times Dave seems to care more than you would expect, but we discover that what Nick did all those years ago scarred more than just Jack. I also found that while Jack thought he was being loyal to his first love he was, in reality, still hiding the truth from himself, facing the truth is hard but letting Nick get away with what he did and not enacting on a little revenge by yelling the truth from the rooftops is just hard to fathom.

So I will recommend this to those that love budding romances, secrets emerging, great supportive family and friends, hot sex and a happy ending.

Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

GhostofAlcatraz-lynneTitle: Ghosts of Alcatraz

Author: Carol Lynne

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (102pgs)

Publisher: Wilde City Press (1st May 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Love is a powerful force. Unparalleled, unpredictable and often unforeseen. Yet it can surface in the most dangerous of situations. Suffocation, mutilation and dismemberment aren’t the normal outside influences that bring two people together, but inside the newly refurbished Alcatraz Prison, anything can happen.

As inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, the deaths prompt Warden Jensen Black to bring in sexy parapsychologist, Brian Phipps. With the help of Brian, Jensen hopes to get to the bottom of what is killing the men he is responsible for. But what he didn’t count on is falling—and falling hard—for the smaller man with the heart of a lion. The question is: will their love survive against the ghosts of Alcatraz?

This book was previously published by Loose Id (2009) and Silver Publishing (2011)

Purchase Link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-mainstream/ghosts-of-alcatraz/#.UbdwwvnVCAU

Review: The setting for this book is 2020. Jensen Black is the Warden at the recently reopened Alcatraz, but the prison is plagued with unexplained deaths, seventeen in as many weeks. Jensen calls in parapsychologist Brian Phipps to pin down what is causing the deaths and is surprised at the sexy man he meets. Brian is called in to investigate some gruesome unexplained deaths at Alcatraz, meeting the sexy Warden is a nice surprise and they quickly fall for each other, but malevolent spirits have other plans.

This is a great paranormal story but sadly lacks in the romance stakes. Jensen has been plagued with horrific deaths at Alcatraz, but the deaths are even worse because of their unexplained nature. That’s where Brian comes in; Brian is a parapsychologist who discovers that Alcatraz is haunted by more than just one evil spirit. Jensen and Brian have an instant attraction and they waste no time acting on it and they rapidly fall for each other. Laying the spirits to rest is harder than Brian hoped for and Brian and Jensen uncover a terrible secret that is over fifty years old, both men along with Jensen’s friend Fisher have to risk their lives laying old ghosts to rest.

The paranormal aspect of this story is brilliant. The reopening of the world’s most notorious prison and its subsequent horrific hauntings is awesome, the mystery and secrets that have been hidden for so long is a brilliant twist, and two men finding love during the stressful dangerous time is great. The murders are gruesome and chilling, more so because of the circumstances surrounding them, the long forgotten secret is one that surprises and I have to say brilliantly thought of.

The one thing that let this story down was the rushed relationship between Brian and Jensen, they are hot together, they seem a great match but they fall in love much too quickly. Within a very short space of time, when they don’t really know each other and in a very high-tension time, they declare their love for each other and it was just wrong. It felt rushed and it was dissatisfying. If we had seen them, together when they weren’t in danger or in a hospital bed, but in a more natural setting then it might have worked better.

I recommend this is you love horrific hauntings, evil spirits, a secret that is over fifty years old, hot men, hot sex, a great story line and a happy ending.

 

Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages edited by Rob Rosen

17402331Title: Lust in Time

Series: Anthology

Author: C.C. Williams, Kayla Jameth, Tilly Hunter, Julian Siminski, Stevie Woods, Jeff Mann, Kenzi Mathews, James Thorpby, K. Vale, Michael Roberts, Salome Wilde, Steve Rudd, Barry Brennessel, Richard May, Landon Dixon, Rob Rosen

Genre:  Historical, Erotica, Anthology

Length: 77, 000 words

Publisher: MLR Press (February 22nd, 2013)

Heart: ♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts

Heat: explicit- overall though a few have little or no sex.

Blurb:  History and fiction meet at the crossroads in these erotic tales of love and lust. From ancient Israel and Greece and Rome, to the time of the Vikings, the Wild West, Woodstock, and all points in between, witness the steamy encounters, lurid battles, raucous clashes, and tender moments of couples who span the centuries. Get swept up in the lives of the biblical David, Emperor Hadrian, barbarians from Britannia, a 19th Century physician, Jewish immigrants, cowboys World War I soldiers, hippies, and so many more, all in search of adventure, passion, and, yes, even fame.

Product link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=RRLSTTIM

Reviewer: Cat

Recommendation: I highly recommend this to anyone that likes Anthologies, stories that date back in time, Vikings, Warriors, Civil war, Cowboys, Indians, time travel,  friends to lovers, Sad stories, true love,  and much, much, more.

Review: Overall. This is a fabulous mix of stories ranging in heat levels and genres. Plenty to choose from, but I suggest you read them all. Here are my individual reviews for each story.

1000 B.C. by C.C. WILLIAMS

David is a Shepard and loves playing his Lyre. He is summoned to go play for King Saul. When he goes, he meets Jonathan King Saul’s son and a great warrior. He will do anything for Jonathan even risk his life to fight a giant named Goliath.

I found this a very sweet and sexy take on the biblical story of David and Goliath. It was interesting, sweet, and loving. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

496 B.C. by Kayla Jameth

Galen was Alexio’s slave and lover. Alexio freed Galen so other kings couldn’t order him to pleasure them. Alexio loved Galen and wanted him for himself. Alexio was put under tutorship to King Lyko’s and King Lykos had designs on Alexio. Galen was jealous though Alexio said his heart was only for him. Galen’s jealousy gets him into a lot of trouble since the other men do not respect him though he is no longer a slave.

I liked this story a lot. It showed hints of a love triangle, but nothing really happened threesome wise. More of one of the men was just a voyeur. This was a sweet and sexy story. ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

27 A.D by Tilly Hunter

Lucius was defeated and captured by Barbarian Finian. Lucias likes the rough treatment and finds himself wanting Finian’s humiliation and more. Finian is very rough on Lucias.

I found this story very intriguing if a bit hard to read. The rough treatment was tough but it was sexy in its own way. If you like rough and not loving BDSM this one is for you   ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

130 A.D.  By Julian Siminski

Antinous is Hadrian’s servant and lover. He is turning twenty and no longer a boy. Antinous fears he will be cast aside since men are not allowed to serve. Sabina Hadrian’s wife is jealous of Antinous and cuts his hair showing he is now a man. Hadrian and Antinous are both very upset. They visit the Oracles and each of the three gets their futures. Antinous sacrifices himself for Hadrian.

I loved this. It was absolutely beautiful. I loved the way it showed Antinous ’love and passion for Hadrian and how they came to be together. I loved the way Hadrian fights for Antinous and the end is so sweet and sad. You definitely need a box of tissues for this! ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

794 A.D by Stevie Woods

Aland and Garrick had been friends since boys. They also have been lovers but must keep this secret. It is highly looked down upon for two men to be lovers. They go on a battle together and were very worried for each other. After the battle, they return to Garrick’s and make love. Garrick knows that Aland must take a wife and Aland Knows Garrick needs one to help him on his land. Though the two men know, they shall always love one another.

I loved this story it was sexy and sweet. It shows that sometimes though love is hard it does overcome all obstacles. My heart went out to the two that they could never show their love publicly yet would always find a way. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1066 A.D by Jeff Mann

Thorir is a Viking. He and Eirik are lovers in a time and among men, this is just not heard of so they must keep their secret. Thorir goes to visit Eirik to spend time before their next trip to plunder and raid a village. Their families think they are hunting.

This story was very good. I loved it. There are many twists and surprises. It’s extremely hot but I warn you the sex is very brutal. This is a good rough and tumble BDSM story and be sure to have your box of tissues. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1576 A.D by Kenzie Mathews

Cesare is a very spoiled rich boy. His father has a close relationship with Jewish family the Montefiore as there accountants. Cesare has seen a mistake in the books and knows the Montefiore’s have been stealing form them. He also has designs on his personal advisor Tuviya. He spots Tuviya with a servant girl laughing and it makes him jealous so he grabs Tuviya and tells him he knows his father has been stealing form his father. He gets rough with Tuviya.

I liked this story. It is a bit rough the way Cesare handles Tuviya and could almost be considered rape. Though Tuviya is confused by the rough treatment he also finds he doesn’t really want the debt settled and be discharged from Cesare’s services. This story is rough and nothing sweet at all about it but it shows that sometimes love isn’t always sunshine and sugar. It’s much deeper.  ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

1822 A.D by James Thorpby

Charles is a doctor to the King and is very glad the king is leaving the next day so he can get some rest. He has a thing for Mosby one of the servants and that is the one thing he doesn’t want to see leave.

This one is very hot and sexy. I loved the story how both men have such feelings and was glad for a sweet story to break up some of the macabre ones, though the sex here is pretty rough and tumble yet loving also. ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

1865 A.D by K. Vale

Ben and Ammon have to keep their love for each other a secret from the Calvary men. They steal some time away before a battle.

I loved this. I loved how Ammon n had surprised Ben by setting them up a sort of romantic place to have sex and share their love. It was sad when they were separated. Another you will need tissues for but it is bittersweet. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1881 A.D. by Michael Roberts

Eric is a time traveler and he has just brought back Billy the Kid with him.

This one was so funny. I laughed until I about cried at the banter between Billy and Eric the sex was pretty hot. I loved it. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1889 A.D by Salome Wilde

This is an account from a Yiddish Journal. It is a rather sweet tale of a man on a trip to start a new life he meets a stranger on the trip and they fall in love though the  man decides he can’t defile his religion and faith and he decides to not pursue the relationship after the trip. It’s sweet romantic and very bittersweet. Beautiful. ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

1890 A.D by Steve Rudd

One night Shem drunkenly wanders into Wayne Smiths tent. They both work for the buffalo bill traveling show. Wayne is busy tending to himself when Sham walks in and they end up in some frisky sex. Wayne asks if he’d be interested in doing it again and adding another bull. Shem hasn’t done a threesome, but accepts the offer. It turns out to be an Indian.

I loved this it’s another funny and hot story. I loved the banter between the two and how the Indian was so silent and submissive to them. It’s super-hot and sexy with a bit of charming wit.♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

1909 A.D. by Barry Brennessel

Jesse is taking his parents to the train station in their new car. A blizzard is coming and he is worried that he will ruin the car and get in trouble. He finally makes it home, but gets the car stuck. A group of boys comes by and one helps. It turns out to be his old friend and first lover Fig.

This is a sweet sexy story of friends to lovers and love lost and reunited. I loved it! ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1916 A.D. by Richard May

Henson is under jacks command. Henson reminds him a lot of his lost love Alex. Alex had been killed in battle a few years back. On leave, Jack runs into Henson. They are form two stations in life. They find a bond between each other.

This was a lovely yet heart-wrenching story. I am a sucker for a good tearjerker and this one does that. Very sexy, very sweet and very sad. ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

1957 A.D by Landon Dixon

A young private Dick was sent in to investigate if Bert was fixing the game show. The young man knew how to use all his skills to manipulate both his boss and the game show master.

This was a cute sexy story. I loved the twists, though the language and sex is very pornish, it is still funny and an enjoyable read. ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

1969 A D by Rob Rosen

This is a very sexy escapade of two men in the 60’s at Woodstock. It is hot and sexy with a bit of a twist. If you haven’t ever read any Rob Rosen, you should. His style and wit are so much fun to read!

If you like a short story to break the monotony of waiting in lines or appointments or just want a bunch of quick to read stories and  like stories with angst  rough sex and not all happy endings. This is a great collection.

Between Now and Then by Adam Fitzroy

BetweenNowAndThen-smallTitle:  Between Now and Then

Series: N/A

 Author: Adam Fitzroy         

 Genre: Contemporary/Time Travel

Length: Novel (182 pages)

Publisher: Manifold Press (February 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:  It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.

Product Link:  http://www.manifoldpress.co.uk/2013/01/between-now-and-then/

Reviewer:   Artemis

Review:   This story starts out in a rather lighthearted way with an interesting collection of friends, coworkers and acquaintances heading out on a journey to watch a sports game.  They bicker, tease, nag and argue but everyone seems to be getting along okay.  The journey home poses some problem when the ferry company they used goes belly up and they are forced to find an alternate route home.  The route they choose takes them into a rather isolated area on a long stretch of empty road.  Pitch black with an eerie mist rolling in; the author does a great job of portraying the slightly spooky surroundings just as Allen starts acting very strangely. As he dives out of the car with Dennis fast on his heals they seem to cross a barrier of sorts that leads them back in time.  In ‘real life’ Dennis and Allen have a sort of casual dislike for each other.  As they are thrust back in time they begin to replay a 75-year-old love affair between two World War 1 soldiers.

I found it interesting how the author had Dennis and Allen essentially living two lives each.  While they had the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of their current selves they also had those same things floating around in their heads from their 75-year-old counterparts. It created quite a bit of tension within the characters minds as they tried to decide whether they liked each other or not. 

I enjoyed this story.  Not only the main characters but the secondary characters were very well written as well.  It is written with a very heavy British influence in terms of the writing style and some of the phrases were totally new to me but I had no problem understanding them in the context of the story.  Overall, a very well written story with a nice time travel twist.

Coming Home by M.J. O’Shea

13406459Title:  Coming Home

Series:  Rock Bay, book 1

Author:  M.J. O’Shea

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (230 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (April 9th 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist-until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him-or the spoiled brat he used to be. The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2862

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  James Alexis Barry better known as Lex (it’s a family name) has always known he was gay. He’s been best friends with his “girlfriend” Amy as long as he can remember. He was a little shorter and a little thicker in high school and was picked on relentlessly by the local homophobic jocks. Ten years later and Lex is not so awkward and pudgy anymore. He’s still living in Rock Bay and dealing with the same assholes he dealt with in school, but he’s made a life and a business with his little coffee shop. And most importantly, Tallis Carrington, the guy that made his teenage life a living hell, is far away in Seattle.

Tallis Carrington, Tally, spent most of his teenage years in the closet. In an effort to make sure that none of his buddies suspected he was gay, he bullied and tormented fellow student “Jamie” (Lex) and made his life a living hell. After his father died and he finally came out to his mother, who then disowned him basically, he moved to Seattle. Now he’s back in Rock Bay, broke and broken. His hometown has not forgotten or forgiven who he was when he was younger and they more than remind him of that fact when he returns. The only person willing to not only give him the time of day, but a job as well, is the enigmatic coffee shop owner Lex.

Tally is instantly pulled toward Lex, but he doesn’t remember who he is. Tally quietly becomes quite attached to Lex and eventually they end up together. But Tally’s old buddies and a hot male nurse, that wants to get to know Lex a little better, are determined that these two don’t get much farther than casual sex. Can Tally prove to Lex and the residents of Rock Bay that he’s a different person? Or will the past put a bridge between these two lovers that can’t be crossed?

I loved the character development between Lex and Tally for the majority of the book. Toward the end, the angst got to be a little much and they lost their way a bit, thankfully O’Shea brought them back full circle in the end. Strong secondary characters added some depth to the story, like Amy, Lex’s best friend, who is actually a lesbian. Mason the hot male nurse that thankfully turns out to like Tally’s old high school buddy Drew more than Lex.

Aside from the angst toward the end, this was a good, solid read. The ending is a little abrupt, but book 2 in the series is ready and waiting! If you are a fan of rocky love stories, characters learning who they are and being true to themselves, and some hot guy on guy action, then I recommend you grab a copy of this one.

 

Say Everything by Gina A. Rogers

17935481Title: Say Everything

Series: Mixed Tape Series, Volume #1

Author: Gina A. Rogers

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: Novelette

Publisher: MLR Press (June 7th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Gregory has no problem talking Atari, muscle cars or just plain dirty, but will he be able to open up his heart to Chad and just say everything?

Gregory put his past up for sale on Craigslist. He never expected Chad, a gorgeous black-haired devil, to waltz in and take it all. He doesn’t leave him empty-handed though, giving him friendship and new memories to fill the space. Torn between his past and the chance at a real future, Gregory has to decide if he can let down his defenses and open himself up to the chance of getting hurt again. But Chad isn’t going to wait forever and Gregory only has one chance to convince him to stay, but he’ll have to say everything.

Product Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=GRSAYEVR

Review: This was a very beautiful story. Gregory is a character who suffered a big shock many years ago that shaped his entire life, the event remaining a secret even to his therapist and not letting him move forward and/or create a meaningful relationship with someone. Until Chad came along.

Chad is a character full of life. He barges in Gregory’s life and changes everything. In a matter of months, Gregory has made leap in his struggle to get back at his life, a struggle that is anything but when he’s with Chad. But Chad needs more. The easy-going guy so easy and fun needs Gregory to totally open up to him and let him in his life and heart for good, no longer keeping him at bay when memories of his past hit.

A lovely story with well-developed characters, sexy, hot intimate moments and a plot that was quite easy, funny at times (Gregory comes along as this sexy nerdy type, and ATARI, oh sweet Lord, the memories) and realistic, as well as having a hint of suspense since Gregory’s past is kept a secret till the very end. And even as we suspect exactly what that secret is, it is not heavy and it still creates a tension we expect to explode any moment now as we read it. On top of that it was quite a romantic read and it’s very well written as it doesn’t come along cheesy or sappy, just plain beautiful.

I for one enjoyed this story immensely and I strongly recommend it for fans of romantic reads and a beautifully executed love-story.

P.S. The time frame that the relationship took to blossom was fantastic and made all the difference.

 

No Man’s Land by G.S. Wiley

NoMansLand400x600Title: No Man’s Land

Author: G.S. Wiley

Genre: Historical (1916 &1924), European

Length: Short (55pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (15th June 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Henry and Jack helped each other through hell in the trenches of World War One. Years later, they meet again. Can they help each other put the war behind them and move on with their lives?

London solicitor, Henry Naismith, went through hell in the trenches of World War 1 with his friend, Jack Harrison, as his only solace. Years later, Henry is back home, the widowed father of a young daughter. Safe in England for the last eight years, he’s never truly left the war behind, and it haunts him day and night.

When Henry meets Jack again by chance, he hopes to rekindle their friendship, and perhaps develop something more. But Jack has wartime nightmares of his own, and they both have a long road to travel before they can begin to recover and get on with their lives–together.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/no-mans-land-ebook-p-1498.html

Part of the Silver Publishing Father’s Day 2013 collection.

Review: Henry and Jack shared a brief kiss in the trenches the night before Jack was to go ‘over the top’; it was the last time Henry saw Jack during the war. Eight years later Henry is a solicitor again, he is a widow and he has an adorable daughter but his years at war still haunt him. Henry meets Jack again by chance, Jack is now a balloon seller with an injury of his own and with his own nightmares that still linger, rekindling their friendship is hopeful but they both have a long way to go to recover from the war.

This is an interesting story of two men meeting in the trenches finding fleeting comfort during horrific times and then reconnecting years later. Henry is a solicitor who nearly lost his foot to trench rot during the war, even now, he suffers from flashbacks and nightmares. For one of Henry’s cases he has to speak with an expert on shell shock and it just might help him to understand his friend Jack’s actions and his own difficulties. Jack made a choice he has to live with, but when he meets up with Henry again he has to confess and can only hope that Henry will forgive him.  

Although I liked this story I thought that it was in the wrong collection, we do see some of Henry’s daughter and there is some interaction between father and daughter but there isn’t enough story surrounding them for it to really be a ‘family’ story. This is much more suited to an ex-military – suffering the after effects of war collection. I liked the trenches setting and the descriptions of what they were facing, I really liked the flash backs and how it affected Henry’s everyday life. G.S. Wiley certainly captured the truth of 1918 France and 1924 England with its harsh truths of how the troops and returning heroes were treated. The difficulties that Henry and Jack faced are stark and so is their hope of any semblance of a relationship, no matter how they might hope otherwise, but it is still something they will hope for.

I will recommend this if you love World War I, friendship, love, hope, and a happy for now ending.    

 

 

My Three Dads by Zane Silva

c. My 3 Dads [ZS]  - 400x600Title:  My Three Dads

Series:  None

Author:  Zane Silva

Genre:   Young Adult

Length:  Novella (91 Pages)

Publisher:  Silver Stream Press (June 15th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:  About to graduate from college, Carl tells the story of his childhood, a sort of informal testimonial to thank the men who raised him. To begin with, he was leery about having a gay couple for his foster parents, but living with Leonard Schafer and James MacPhalen, he found love, respect, and stability for the first time in his young life. Now that his biological father has reappeared and wants him back, everything may change again… and not for the better.

Product Link:  https://silverstreampress.com/my-three-dads-ebook-p-1493.html

Reviewer:   John

Review:  My Three Dads by Zane Silva is a very short, but touching story. The novel stars Carl Crawley who had a very rough life. His dad walked away when he was just a little over two years old, and if that wasn’t enough, his mothers dies and he soon finds himself living in several foster homes. Almost instantly, he develops a bad reputation that leads him to a Boy’s Home a few years later. It was there where James and Leonard take him in and raise him as their own.

I loved Carl. He was a very sweet kid that life took no pity on. Yes, he was little rebel, but he had been through a lot at a very young age. I absolutely loved James and Leonard. They took him in and gave him the opportunity to be a normal kid for once. They lived a happy life until Carl’s father makes an unexpected appearance and gets in between them. I absolutely hated the old man. After thirteen years, he wants his son back all because he was being raised by two gay guys? I seriously wanted to punch him in the face. I never met my father and I really hope that I never do. Anyways, the story was solid and the writing was really good. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that the story went back and forth making it hard to keep up. Besides that, I absolutely loved this short little story.

I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a very cheesy story about a kid as he finds his way in life at the hand of two great and amazing guys.

 

The Reluctant Dad by Parker James

694703a44058faaf792f4ae87ec6bee5.image.200x300Title:  The Reluctant Dad

Series:  Father’s Day 2013 Collection

Author:  Parker James

Genre:   Contemporary, Father’s Day, Gay, Holiday Story, Romance

Length: Novella  (39 pages)

Publisher: Silver Publishing

Product link:  https://spsilverpublishing.com/the-reluctant-dad-ebook-p-1497.html

Heat Level:  Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:  Channing and Jon’s marriage is tested when Jon suggests they adopt a baby. Channing struggles with indecision and a lack of confidence in his abilities to raise a child–again.

Channing, nutritionist and personal trainer, loves life with his husband of four years, Jon, a pediatrician. Jon surprises Channing with a desire to adopt a friend’s baby and Channing is thrown into a tailspin of indecision.

Channing already has a child–a twenty-year-old daughter whose transition from childhood to adulthood brought difficulties and pain for both. He struggles with the choice between making his husband happy by parenting a newborn or being satisfied with the experience he already has where the worst perils of fatherhood are already behind him.

Channing has to choose whether to ultimately break his husband’s heart… or go after a complete love he never knew could exist.

Reviewer:   Pammie

Review:  Channing is thrown into a complete tailspin, when Jon casually announces over lunch that he wants them to adopt a baby. Channing has already raised one child. A daughter conceived when he and a friend were exploring their sexuality. He was assuredly gay, she straight. They remained friends, and Channing took his role as father seriously.

The first thing in Channing’s mind is re-living how he and Jon met. The next is visiting his daughter, Audrey. To his surprise, she’s delighted at the prospect of Jon and him adopting a baby.

Channing is still in turmoil when he arrives home, unsure whether he wants the responsibility of a child for a second time. Jon welcomes him home, but when he proposes a toast to the new baby, Channing blows.

However, his anger pales in comparison to Jon’s.  Jon storms off to bed, leaving Channing stunned.

By the time Channing is ready to go to bed, hours have passed. Channing has analyzed everything about their relationship, and his role in raising Audrey. However, it’s his response to seeing Jon in bed that makes him realize that their relationship isn’t just one thing or another; it’s a whole thing – complete love.

I felt more for Channing than Jon in this story, but then it was told from his perspective. I could empathize with his shock and insecurities, the way adoption was dropped into his lap. The epiphany he has when going to bed seemed a little out-of-place, but I liked that their love is strong enough so that Jon, although upset, doesn’t turn Channing away. A short, sweet Father’s Day treat.

A Gentleman’s Gentleman by Shawn Bailey

AGentlemansGentleman400x600Title: A Gentleman’s Gentleman

Author: Shawn Bailey

Genre: Contemporary, Family

Length: Novella (144pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (15th June 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The last thing rock star Channing Anderson can handle is being in a relationship. But when the father of three takes one look into the deep violet eyes of his sons’ dapperly dressed tutor, he instantly changes his mind.

Divorced rock singer Channing Anderson is looking for a tutor for his five-year old triplets–Dominick, Destin, and Drake. They boys are a handful, and it doesn’t help matters Channing is a soft touch. He never had time for them when he was on the road and left most of their rearing to Addie, their mother. Addie left him for another man, gave him custody of the boys, and went on about her life. Channing’s sister, Virginia, thinks Channing is in way over his head. Along comes an English-born valet to put some order into the boys’ lives and a second chance for love and family in Channing’s heart.

Purchase Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/a-gentlemans-gentleman-ebook-p-1484.html

Review: Rock star Channing is getting desperate, his son Dominick has been kicked out of yet another school and there are no more schools to turn to in the Greater Boston area…public or private. Virginia (Channing’s sister) comes up with a plan to hire a tutor. Broderick (Brodie) is set to make a new start in America. Discovering that he will have three charges instead of just the one he was told about might be a bit more challenging, but he thinks he can manage just fine. Channing is swept away from the first second he lays eyes on Brodie and sets about coaxing the sexy tutor into his bed. Brodie isn’t sure of his feelings though and Channing wonders if he can pursued Brodie to make their family complete.

This is a wonderful family story that warms the heart as you see the perfect family coming together. Channing came out of the closet after his divorce, his ex-wife walked out on him and their children without a backwards glance. But, being a rock star and a parent is a struggle especially when one of your children are commonly viewed as Satan’s spawn. Taking the chance on an overseas tutor, Channing comes to realize that Brodie is a blessing. Brodie embraces his new job in America, and falls hard for the father. But, his sexuality confuses him and he doesn’t want to risk the well-being of Dominick, Destin, and Drake, when he has just started making progress with them.

I enjoyed this light-hearted, feel good family story. the triplets are absolutely gems, each child unique in their own way, but oh so loveable. Channing is a wonderful father who is having a bit of a time of it and who finds himself attracted to Brodie. Quickly falling in love with the man as he gets to know him better. Brodie sweeps in like Mary Poppins, nothing ruffles his calm, and he soon puts the triplets in their place. Falling for their father wasn’t in the plan and he is really sweet as he tries to figure out how he really feels. Addie (Channing’s ex-wife) is an extremely nasty woman and you are actually glad that she left the children in the first place. The writing is pretty good and the relationship was okay, it didn’t quite rock my world though.

I recommend this to those that love family stories, three cute cherubs, a rock star and tutor falling in love and a very happy ending.