All Work and No Play by Carol Lynne

181-210x336Title: All Play & No Work

Series: Cattle Valley Series, # 1

Author: Carol Lynne

Genre: Contemporary, M/M/M

Length: Novella (88 Pages)

ISBN: 978-1-906328-50-4

Publisher: Totally Bound (November 19th, 2007)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

 

Blurb:When a three man partnership becomes too much for their small Texas town, Ryan Blackfeather knows it’s time to head for greener pastures. With a new job awaiting him in Cattle Valley, Wyoming, he convinces his men, Nate and Rio to make the move.

 

A community built on tolerance, Cattle Valley’s one of the few places in the country where the residents won’t bat an eyelash at the threesomes relationship. Nate, Rio, and Ryan fit right in. However, with Ryan busy in his new job as town Sheriff, Rio and Nate are left to wonder how they’re supposed to make a living. What use are a highly trained mercenary and a private detective in a peaceful community the size of Cattle Valley?

 

This is book one in the Cattle Valley series, see the full series listing here

 

Purchase Link: https://www.totallybound.com/all-play–no-workcattlevalley_boxset_1_PNG-210x336

 

Also available in the special 30th Release Boxed set:  https://www.totallybound.com/cattle-valley-box-set-1?author_id=5

 

Review: This is the first book in the Cattle Valley series, and it would be best when read in sequence.

 

Population 2,823 Welcome to Cattle Valley, an alternative, private community where your sexual preference isn’t an issue, it’s the size of your heart that counts. The city of Cattle Valley was founded by millionaire Charles Beauregard on behalf of his only son and heir, Joshua Beauregard. The victim of a hate-crime, Joshua was murdered on April 13, 1972 in San Francisco, California. After the murder of his son, Charles began making plans to use his wealth and land to insure a safe haven for gays and their families to live in peace. Charles spent the remainder of his life working and seeing that his vision came to fruition.

 

Now, twenty-three years after its dedication, Cattle Valley, Wyoming is a thriving small town. Drop by for a visit, and say hello to our sheriff, Ryan Blackfeather and his two partners, Nate Gills and Rio Adega. After their partner had taken the sheriff job, Nate and Rio were going to join him finally.

 

Nate was a four hundred-dollar shoes and fancy sport convertible type car guy. He was also the most sweetest person ever. Always willing to help anyone that needs a hand. At one time Nate had feelings for Rio and Ryan but figured since those two were already in a committed relationship they wouldn’t want him. He had found himself at a club surrounded by men, when one had spiked his drink. Rio and Ryan had showed up and saved his butt from getting raped. They have been together since.

 

Nate was told that him and Rio needed warmer clothes and they had went into this store, which Nate figured definitely didn’t have anything he would possibly want to wear. Boy was he surprised when they had cashmere sweaters and the guy who owned it was just as sweet and cute as can be. He was also in trouble from the bruise Nate had seen. Deciding he had to find out what he could about the man who was hurting his new friend, he decided to use his investigative skills.

 

The problem with that is Ryan and Rio had to help him, even if they had to hide while watching the man they loved. It had not been easy when they lived in Texas, what with them being three men in a relationship. Too many people frowned down on them so when Ryan had been offered the sheriff’s job he took it. Rio however didn’t really know what to do considering he usually went on long distance jobs keeping people safe. However, he would do anything and everything to keep Nate happy. They would also do everything in the power to keep Nate safe. Which was funny because Nate was a black belt in four different martial arts, but he was little in size, which made his bear of men cuddle him more?

 

I had come across this series by accident while shopping for one of my favorite authors. When I realized the book I had wanted was in the twenties, I knew I wanted to start with the first book in the series so that I could get to know each and every character there is in it. I am very pleased with it, because this book was an absolute pleasure to read. I loved the way Nate was and how the fact that each of his men loved him so very much that they would give up a lot of things to make him happy and keep him safe.

 

I also loved the way that Ryan and Rio were loved back. They have the perfect three some relationship, and everyone knows how hard it is to keep that type of relationship together. Usually there is a lot of jealousy among at least one of the partners, however in this story there is none of that. The only time I saw Nate mad was when he found out that Ryan and Rio followed him to keep him safe. I loved it, that they can show their feelings so open and out. I also loved that Cattle Valley had a place that was a safe haven for men and women in difficult relationships that they would usually get hurt either physically or verbally.

 

This is one of the best series I have read in quite a while. If you love three sexy men, hot loving, tender feelings, dangers coming from someone unexpected, beautiful people, then you will love this wonderful book. I cannot wait to get started reading book two. I would recommend reading this series. You won’t be disappointed.

Pressure Points by Silvia Violet


PressurePointsLGTitle: Pressure Points

Series: Pisgah Mountain Wolves 02

Author: Silvia Violet

Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary

Length: Novel (196 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-62798-566-6

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th March 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: It’s hard enough being an inn manager, serving at everyone’s beck and call, making sure all the guests are happy and the employees are paid on time. Add to that being a werewolf, a recovering alcoholic, and a pack leader. Add to that a brother who is trying to tear the pack apart and a dark past he can’t escape. Needless to say, Carl is under a lot of stress. Not helping: Justin, the inn’s human massage therapist—who Carl is trying not to fall for—has offered Carl a massage to “lower his stress levels.” As his boss, Carl can’t tell Justin his hands might lower stress levels, but they would raise something else.

Despite Carl trying to put him off, Justin won’t give in. Carl’s friends won’t leave him alone, and the divisions in the pack are near exploding. And it’s tourist season. The last thing Carl needs are wolf wars in the lobby. Like it or not, Carl is going to have to rely on Justin and the wolves who love him to teach him how to let go and get through everything without falling apart.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4771

Review: This story is part of a series and while this story can be read as a standalone, it is best read after Denying Yourself. Carl is juggling managing the inn, leading a pack, dealing with his brother’s animosity, dealing with the pressure is beginning to get to him, and finding himself attracted to a human is the last thing he expected. Justin is laid back and he can do wonders for stress with his massages but trying to convince Carl to let go isn’t easy. When Carl begins to let Justin in Justin does his best to prove he can handle the wolf but unless Carl can relax his responsibilities and accept the support that is offered, it just might drive them apart.

This is a great story that follows on from Denying Yourself really well, this time we join Carl as he juggles with the stresses of handling everything himself and the emotional turmoil of dealing with his brother Egan. Carl really does take his positions seriously, as inn manager and pack leader he believes the success or failure is firmly on his shoulders and as his relationship with his brother deteriorates, further he takes that failure to heart. Carl fights his attraction to Justin for two reasons, one because he is human, and two because Justin is only with them for a few months but Carl doesn’t take into account what Justin wants until he can no longer resist the teasing looks and words.

I really enjoyed this story, which shows us the pressure that a born leader is under, we learn a great deal about Carl and his background so we understand the dynamics between the brothers. Justin’s appearance in Carl’s life comes at a time when he really needs it, even if Carl doesn’t realize it at the time, Justin is the easy-going relaxing presence that Carl really needs. Their relationship is hot, very growly and just a touch rough, but it isn’t a sure thing as Carl needs to learn to balance his life. While I would love to tell you more about Justin we just don’t get to know him that well, other than he is a vegetarian, easy-going and a great massage therapist we just don’t learn that much about him… oh other than he loves rough outdoor sex.

This story is really well written with the conflict and tension leaping off the page, I actually felt my own neck and shoulders tightening up as Carl dealt with the mounting pressure. As you can guess, the story is all from Carl’s point of view and while I loved, being able to sink into his life it would have been nice to also see it from Justin’s eyes. While there isn’t the angst and heartbreak that Denying Yourself has there is a lot of anguish, anger and feelings of inadequacy which all comes to a head and has Carl fighting the seductive appeal of drinking his woes into oblivion. I actually found that scene to be one of the best I have ever read, the temptation to sink into the bottom of the bottle, the shame and disgust of nearly giving in and the relief of having friends who care even when you try to drive them away. I can’t wait for Egan and Alex’s story because that pairing has history and pain that will make for an excellent story.

I recommend this to those who love a different kind of shifter story, hot sex and romance, admitting you need support, sharing responsibilities, grabbing hold of love and a great ending.  

Angel’s Blade by Erin M. Leaf

angels_blade__74674.1391638771.300.450Title: Angel’s Blade

Series: Angel Shifters, #3

Author: Erin M. Leaf

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Length: Novella (78 pages)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (February 6th 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: Nathaniel doesn’t want to go Castle Archangel: he’s half-human and can’t fly like the rest of his clan. Even worse, he likes guys and he’s not exactly white. That makes him an interspecies outcast, but he wants to please his dad. Once there, he meets Zeke, the angels’ sexy weapons master. Sadly, Zeke is straight and Nathaniel doesn’t hit on men he can’t have.

When Zeke meets Nathaniel, his gut tells him he’s met his mate, but he’s never been attracted to a guy before. Despite Nathaniel’s wariness and his own fear, Zeke can’t help claiming him when instinct takes over.

Unfortunately, Nathaniel isn’t ready to bond, not even when their connection sparks dormant angelic powers. However, when Zeke flies into danger, Nathaniel follows. Demons stalk their people and it will take every angel who can wield a blade to fight the evil that lurks in unexpected places.

Purchase Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/angels-blade-by-erin-m-leaf/

Review: Short, Sexy and {wait for it….} Steamy!

Nathaniel is half human and half angel shifter. He has no wings, no marks and he is openly gay. He has lived his life as an outcast among his people, but his father loves and believes in him completely, and Nathaniel would do anything for him. He longs to feel the marks of the divine on his skin, the air surrounding him as he flies and the love of a man. He has come to accept these are things he will never have in his life.

Zeke is an angel shifter and weapons master called to Castle Archangel for his skill in weaponry. From the start, he feels a strange connection to the young man with skin the color of tea. Zeke has always been straight, and though he’s confused by the attraction to Nathaniel at first, he recognizes the mate bond and claims the hybrid. Their bond brings out that which has been trapped inside Nathaniel for the whole of his life, and he finally shows his marks and grows his wings.

Nathanial fights the bond itself for weeks as his relationship with Zeke continues to grow and the two go at it like rabbits instead of angels! When a trusted friend turns out to be a demon in disguise and not only is Zeke, but all the angels’ lives put in danger, Nathaniel finds the strength within to soar. But will he finally bond with Zeke? Or will these two angels go crazy from a mate bond not fulfilled due to fear?

Leaf has created such a unique series with the Angel shifters of Castle Archangel. Each angel has a story, a gift and a purpose. And even though they are angels, the supposed perfect beings, they have a flawed reality to their souls that make them almost human. I’m anxious to see where Leaf goes with the next book in this series.

I definitely recommend this series, and though this book could be read alone, it might be better to read the books in order. A must read for fans of shifter romance, paranormal romance and soul mate stories.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **

http://www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com

Trickster by Nicola Cameron

trickster2__10218.1392231823.300.450Title: Trickster

Author: Nicola Cameron

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (65 pages)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (February 12th 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: Delaney Smith, coyote shifter and Trickster Technologies executive, thinks humans are bland, boring, and undateable. So he gets the shock of his life when he comes back from vacation and scents his mate in the Trickster offices — a mate who is not only male, but quite human.

Mark Fellowes is taken aback when the CTO at his new contract job makes a pass at him, and even more surprised at his temptation to respond. Straight and dating a career-minded businesswoman, he’s never even thought about kissing another man — until now.

When Mark is attacked by thieves trying to steal company files, Delaney must put aside his preconceptions to protect his mate. But will a criminal bent on destroying Trickster Tech separate them before he can stake his claim?

Purchase Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/trickster-by-nicola-cameron/

Review: When Delaney Smith returns to work from his vacation, he’s a little surprised to sense his mate in the building. Being a Coyote Shifter, he knows the importance of the mate bond, so when his mate turns out to be a male, he’s not really too surprised. But his straight mate who happens to have a girlfriend is shocked when Delaney makes a pass at him.

Mark Fellowes is loving his new contract job, until the boss comes across his desk and tries to kiss him. He is shocked and upset, at first, until he stops to think about his bodies reaction to the man. Trying to clear his mind, he goes for a run, only to return to some rather unsavoury characters in his apartment.

Delaney is there to protect Mark, and his plan to take things slow with Mark are thrown out the window. He is forced to share his secret with Mark as well as the fact they are mates, and hope that he doesn’t push the shy human over the edge of sanity.

I’ve never read a story about Coyote shifters and I quite liked the uniqueness it brought to this story. Shifter mates and insta-love are being stretched thin, but Delaney and Mark were just so smexy, that I was able to overlook the redundancy of the subject matter. Then there was a little twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, and I do like it when an author can surprise me.

This is a must read for fans of gay shifters and protective alpha male types, very sexy. I hope it’s the start to a series.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **

http://www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com

Faking It by Cat Blaine

faking_it__79991.1392158980.300.450Title: Faking It

Series: Romance On The Go

Author: Cat Blaine

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: Short (43 pages)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (February 11th 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: Hart Vanter has been pretending his whole life. He’s the pampered son of wealthy parents and on the surface, his life should be perfect. But Hart’s hiding a secret—he’s gay and terrified to let anyone know. So he sleeps with women and does everything he can to keep the facade in place.

When his regular bodyguard is promoted, Josh Lang appears on the scene to take his place. Josh is self-assured, gorgeous, and openly gay. And he seems to know Hart’s secret. Josh is there to protect Hart, but can he save Hart from himself?

Purchase Link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/faking-it-by-cat-blaine/

Review: Hart Vanter spends his days working for his dad, and his nights bedding random woman in the hopes that no one will figure out his secret. He seems to have everyone fooled, including himself, but the facade is beginning to crack. When Josh Lang replaces his current bodyguard who got a promotion, the facade crumbles.

Josh is everything that Hart isn’t. Sexy, openly gay and self-assured. He sees something in Hart that he recognizes, a mutual attraction. Hart fights the attraction for about five minutes, then concedes to the urges and feelings he’s fought to keep hidden all his life. Josh proceeds to show Hart exactly what he’s been missing by denying himself all these years.

The storyline was predictable and there were some aspects to Hart and his inner conflict that should have been explored in a bit more detail. But overall, it was a fast, fun read with a lovely bedroom scene that made my lunch hour fly by!

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **

http://www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com

Wake Up From the Nightmare by Sage Marlowe

wakeupfromthenightmare_exlarge_PNG-210x336Title: Wake Up From the Nightmare

 

Series:Nightmares, 06

 

Author: Sage Marlowe

 

Genre: Paranormal/ BDSM,

 

Length: Novella (31K)

 

ISBN: 9780857156594

 

Publisher: Totally Bound (March 7th 2014)

 

Heat Level: Explicit

 

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

 

Reviewer:  Cat

 

Blurb: When the lines between nightmares and reality become blurred, it’s time to wake up and put an end to life’s horrors.

 

When Ben reveals yet more of his secrets, including a piquant part of his past and the last vital element in the plan to put an end to their enemy’s evil deeds, Colin is determined to see this plan through—whatever it takes. He surrenders to vampire Dom Ben’s special brand of training technique and finds some solace in the fact that a ménage à trois with a vampire is a very satisfying arrangement for an incubus demon.

 

Fuelled by his lovers’ highly potent emotions, Colin’s demon side is stronger than ever mentally, but his weakness lies in his heart. He struggles to accept the truths he can no longer deny and the time has come for him to reconsider what he knows about the people he thought he could trust—and those he thought he couldn’t.

 

As the last pieces of the puzzle fall into place and people reveal their true colours, Colin realises that some horrors linger even after he has woken from the nightmare.

 

This is book six in the Nightmares series. See the full series listing here

 

Purchase Link: https://www.totallybound.com/wake-up-from-the-nightmare

 

Review: Reader Advisory: This is the last book in a series with an ongoing story arc. It is recommended to read the series in order of release. This book contains the use of unusual sex toys, and hot ménage scenes.

 

This is the last book in this series, but there is opening left for something else later. I will definitely be on-board for whatever is next. This whole series is very good but I think I will say this is my favourite in the series.

 

 I have to say I found this to be a perfect and very satisfactory ending.  Wow!! What a shocking twist in here and I have to say I never saw that coming! Actually, I was in for two surprises.

This series has a lot of sex and very explicit at that. As I have mentioned before though, in this book it didn’t bother me since the sex is crucial to the storyline, being Colin is an Incubus and feeds on sex. This book has even more sex than the others do do; pretty much jam packed beginning to end. I have to applaud Sage Marlowe on her skill at putting in so much sex, keeping it tasteful, and interesting. I actually leaned a few new things in this book!

 

There weren’t any new characters, except Raven and he was introduced in the last book. I found him intriguing and would have liked more. Hopefully, if there is a new series he will be in it. It is amazing how after six books the characters still evolved and grew. I absolutely loved this book, which is why Sage Marlowe is one of my favourite writers.

 

I highly recommend this if you like a good vampire/ demon series, BDSM, ménage, sex-toys, bondage, D/s, erotica, shocking twists and explosive series finales! I will miss you Colin!

Against Reason by Scarlet Blackwell

19549900Title: Against Reason

 

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

 

Genre: Contemporary

 

Length: Novella (109 pages)

 

ISBN: 978-1-61922-219-9

 

Publisher: Samhain Publishing (February 18th, 2014)

 

Heat Level: Moderate

 

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

 

Reviewer: Cat

 

Blurb: He lost his heart once. Is it too damaged for love to find it again?

 

In the five years since the love of his life abandoned him at the altar, Jake Morgan hasn’t left his house. The locals in this small, English town have dubbed him “Mr. Havisham”, but he’s too preoccupied wrestling his demons to care about Dickensian comparisons.

 

Forced to admit he’s losing the battle to keep up his large estate alone, he reluctantly places an advert for help. The striking young man who answers his call shakes him to the core.

 

When Darius answers the ad for the position at the mysterious mansion, the bitter, lonely master of the house tugs at his heartstrings. Setting aside his own run of bad luck, Darius batters at Jake’s emotional walls with kindness and determination that defy all attempts to drive him away.

 

Just as tendrils of new love begin to intertwine, though, a terrible voice from the past intrudes. And threatens to drive Jake back into the shadows where Darius can never reach him.

 

Purchase Link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/against-reason-p-73235.html

 

Review: Against reason is a story about a man who is very broken and another that is going through a lot of personal issues, such as finding a job to make ends meet and keeping a roof over his head.

 

I am going to start by talking about characters.  Jake had been left at the altar five years ago and was still reeling from it.  He is very heartbroken, the town talks about him and calls him Mr. Havisham (from Great expectations), and he has suffered physically and emotionally for the tragedy. Aside from the jilting, he is also a recluse, and has a severe case of OCD.  I liked Jake since i do relate. Some people that aren’t experienced with OCD may not understand some of the references to numbers, and the need to keep his personal space.

 

There were things I didn’t like about Jake, such as he sometimes bordered on being plain mean and cruel to Darius in my opinion. 

Darius, I would have liked a little more information such as why he was having such employment issues, why he was fired, since he seemed to be a very hard worker and easy to please.  Marc… I won’t even go there… Nope didn’t like him but I am sure we aren’t supposed to.

 

I actually liked the storyline, but I have a thing about broken main-characters, especially if they can overcome whatever broke them.   I like a lot of angst and there is tons of it in this story.

One of my favourite things was the dining room. This was a big shocker and I won’t tell you what was there, but I liked the description, I found it slightly macabre and felt it really emphasized the pain Jake was suffering from.

 

I am not sure a wedding cake  left out would even be standing in five years, but I myself let the reality go  from that and liked the effect it served. After all this is fiction. I also would have liked to know where Jake go his money, had such a huge house and grounds and why he didn’t have to work

 

If you like, a good romance full of angst, dark, sad stories, broken men and some relatively hot mansex this is for you!

The Devil’s Trill Sonata by Matthew J. Metzger

20935687 Title: The Devil’s Trill Sonata

Series: Vivaldi In the Dark, #2

Author: Matthew J. Metzger

Genre: Contemporary/Depression/Young Love

Length: Novel (267 pages)

Publisher: JMS Books (March 2nd, 2014)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating:
♥♥♥♥ 4Hearts

Blurb: Sequel to Vivaldi in the Dark

Three years after that first meeting in a theatre storeroom, Jayden Phillips and Darren Peace are separating for the first time, trading in school for the trappings of adult life. Jayden has achieved his dream of a place at Cambridge University; Darren has achieved his own of escaping the Cold War of home and tasting true independence for the first time.

A hundred miles apart and embarking on two very different paths, Jayden feels it is inevitable that time and distance will slowly pull them apart. School relationships, after all, don’t last. Darren disagrees — at first. Love is all they need, and they have weathered harder storms than chasing dreams.

That is until the separation, and the encroaching influence of Jayden’s new friends, begins to take its toll on Darren’s mental state. Alone, he descends in a rapid downward spiral that is finally arrested by one night and a drastic course of action. In the wake of a single unanswered phone call, Jayden learns that time and distance have the power to do much more than break a relationship.

The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.

Product Link: http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/419060/1/the-devils-trill-sonata

Reviewer:  GiGi

Review: Jayden and Darren are back, this time facing new hurdles to their growing relationship and maturing lives. This story would be about the usual young love, tested by time and distance, which the odds are stacked against, but add to that one partner suffering from depression and you have even more trouble. Both fight an inner conflict about the distance college and job training are now putting between them as Jayden goes off to his dream of studying at Cambridge and Darren moves farther south to train as a crime scene investigator with the police force. They both know the odds, both Jayden and Darren struggle inwardly about whether or not it would just be better to break up now, instead of a slow drift apart. Even new friends suggest that high school love doesn’t last beyond college. But Darrin is determined to make it work, and Jayden is in love and can’t fold either. The pressure of new friends and the crazy workload at Cambridge are wearing Jayden down. He feels pressured to fit in with his snobby new friends and feels the distance between him and Darren grows each painful day.

Darren feels his depression creeping in, even the on the job training demands can’t keep him distracted, he’s starting to feel numb, even to the pain of Jayden drifting away. This story seems darker than Vivaldi in the Dark does, at least for me it brought me down to some very emotional lows. I held very little hope for the young couple, and became frustrated with the lack of coping mechanisms Darren had, not to mention how spineless Jayden became without him.

Parts of the story seemed to slow down and get drawn out, become …well….depressing. Which is kinda what the books is all about. Unfortunately, the main characters don’t pull their heads out of their bums in time to avoid a very tragic incident. Don’t worry though, the ending will satisfy you…but I think there’s more in store for our maturing couple.

This was yet another very well written story, very smooth, and the transitions in POV were clear. The sexual content is appropriate for YA readers, it’s intimate, but it’s vague. I felt the distance between Jayden and Darrin, and I felt the frustration too, the writing was most successful at that. I’m glad that in the end, Darren and Jayden didn’t just learn to cope with Darren’s depression. They took steps to learn to treat it. Empowering and encouraging!

His One and Only bb Jorja Kish

913uVWTuSFL._SL1500_Title: His One and Only

Series: The Lycan Princes, #2

Author: Jorja Kish

Genre: Futuristic/Paranormal/ Shapeshifter

Length: Novella (132 Pages)

ISBN: 978-1-62741-069-4

Publisher: Siren Publishing (January 24th, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

 

Blurb:Theone is a prisoner at one of the notorious Pleasure Domes scattered throughout Voluptus Prime. He contacts a stranger through his dreamscape, a man he only knows as Kellan. Theone knows that if he doesn’t escape with a little help, he’s as good as dead.

Kellan Scarzdale has been hopping in and out of men’s beds for as long as he can remember. Disturbing dreams of a stranger’s pleas forces Kellan to travel light-years to the paradise planet, Voluptus Prime, where he hopes to save the man who stirs his inner beast.

Facing numerous problems, like deactivating a Debt Manacle, Kellan’s shuttle exploding, escaping the Pleasure Dome, and finding a safe place to hide, Kellan and Theone face a greater challenge. In a moment of weakness, Kellan bites Theone, triggering his Mating Heat and binding him and Theone forever. Will their growing love keep them together or will Fate lead them down separate paths?

 

Purchase Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/his-one-and-only

Review: This is book two in this series and they should be read in order. It is the funniest story I have read in a while and it isn’t just because the sons of the High Ruler and Royal Consort can get pregnant. Ok most of it was because of that but there are some parts of this story that will have you falling in the floor laughing. It does have parts though that can make you cry from the tenderness and pain that you feel when you learn what this young prince went through.

Twenty-five years ago, four newborns were kidnapped from their fathers. Fathers who happened to be the High Ruler of the Lycans and his mate the Royal Consort. Their warriors had spent that whole time looking for the children although now they are young men. Theone had been hidden in a pleasure dome, mistreated and hurt he reaches out in dreams. He connects with Kellan and begs for his help. He is injured, blind, and scared out of his mind. With the help of two twins Ty and Ky, he gets a message to Kellan.

Kellan feels something for Theone but doesn’t realize he is his mate until he bites him. Talk about some interesting times waiting for them. Kellan is a cat shifter and after starting the bond ceremony he has twenty-four hours to mate him or he will mate him even without permission. With the twins help he has a little over an hour and half to find his mate, get him to the twins safely, heal his injuries, get the tracking device out of him and get him off the world they were on. The only problem is someone blew up his ship and a couple more explosions, but they have help with it all.

God I love this series, it has the best characters I have read about and the coolest story line. I love the way she makes the worlds all so fascinating. It all comes off so believable. It is amazing the way that Kellan and Theone mix together. You can sense the love between them and there is the hint of kink going on. I loved the ending to this story. It was so sweet and tender that it will make you cry a little with happiness.

I would recommend this story to anyone who loves futuristic themes, shapeshifters, the paranormal worlds, romance, hot and sexy men, danger, and excitement. Not to mention the sex is out of this world. I love the twist and turns this story has and I cannot wait to read the next book in this amazing series.

If We Shadow by D.E. Atwood

IfWeShadowsLGTitle: If We Shadows

Author: DE Atwood

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Length: Novel (240 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-62798-820-

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (March 6th, 2014)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Kit

Blurb: Born female, all Jordan wants is to slip under the radar and live the last year of high school as a boy. His parents and siblings support him, but he’d rather be recognized for his acting and musical talents than his gender issues.

When Shakespeare’s Puck gives him three magical potions—true sight, true seeming, and true love—Jordan discovers being true to himself isn’t as simple as he thought.

Jordan must navigate the confusion of first love, a controversial role in the fall musical, and his transgender identity, while fairy magic creates a net of complications over everything he does. In order to unweave the spells laid over his friends—his supportive older brother, James, his playwright friend, Pepper, and Maria, another transgender student—Jordan needs to understand exactly how far he’ll go to reach his goals of finding true love, true sight, and true seeming.

Purchase Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4784

Review: Jordan awakes one night to find the mythical Shakespearean character Puck in his bedroom.  The imp hands him three vials, explaining they are charms of “True Sight, True Seeming, and True Love” – and thereby hangs a tale.  Jordan is a female to male transgender high school senior.  Today he is auditioning for the school play, hoping to secure the role of Puck in a new play written by junior Pepper Sullivan.  Pepper, who has caught Jordan’s eye, wants him to play the role of Viola, a woman whom Puck changes into a man, and Jordan’s gender identity dysphoria kicks in and sends him into a panic attack.  He wants to turn the role down, but his growing attraction to Pepper convinces him to soldier on. 

When it turns out the girl who originally wanted to play Viola decides to throw a fit, get her mother involved. Turning the play, with its controversial gender and sexuality themes, into a school board contention. Jordan, his brother James, Pepper and her brother Paul, James’s girlfriend Brittany and other cast members, including a gay couple, plot to oppose and defeat what they interpret as bigotry.   In the meantime, Jordan accidentally unleashes the True Love serum first on his brother and Pepper and then on one of the gay boys and a girl, Jordan’s personal life, plans for transition, the play itself and Jordan’s transgender friend Maria are thrown into turmoil.

In many ways, this novel is the standard, and isn’t it amazing that we’ve advanced to a point where there is such a thing, story of a teen who is in transition in terms of his or her gender identity.  Jordan, who has known he is a boy all his life and whose dysphoria resulted in a suicide attempt when he was eleven, is approaching eighteen and besides living as a boy fulltime is about to start taking testosterone injections.  His parents have accepted his identity but are fiercely protective, fearing the sort of hatred and violence so common for transgender youth.  What Jordan has not worked out yet is how to interact romantically with his remaining female biology, and that seriously complicates his desire to date Pepper, who does not know Jordan is not biologically a boy yet.  So far, the usual transgender coming of age is typical and compared to other books an admirable dramatization thereof.

Where IF WE SHADOWS diverges from typical into extraordinary is in two respects, the framework of the play and its heritage in Shakespeare’s use of gender ambiguity and in the impact of the magical, the emergence of the trickster being Puck and his potions.  The literary tribute to Shakespeare is brilliantly done,  using the two comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night seamlessly and insightfully, exploring ideas that are relevant as much to the modern youth as more subtly to the Elizabethan poet and playwright.  The book made this reviewer appreciate anew his exposure to Shakespeare’s plays and world so he could truly appreciate Atwood’s skill at bringing these elements together to create something new and remarkable.

The potions are more a convenient plat device and connection with the play and its appeal than actually necessary’ the influence of the potions, whose efficacy is in doubt, individually and plurally.  The same effect could arguably have been managed through less fantastic circumstances, but the author is a fantasy writer and the use of fantasy just makes the story richer and better in its influence from the play.

As a transgender person, this reviewer found a great deal of truth not only in the process of transition but also in Jordan’s hopes and fears.  It is extremely difficult to both be the gender you know you are but also cope with the “inconvenient” reality of what Jordan calls “the bits”.  On top of that other relevant issues brought forward, how one can be true to oneself without lying to others, such as Jordan’s concern that he is forcing Pepper to make out with a biological girl without knowing it, and how other people’s reactions can be so unpredictable from moment to moment.  The book does not shy away from the fact that potential violence is part of every transgender person’s life, mentioning the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a memorial for people attacked and murdered or who committed suicide purely because their brains’ and bodies’ don’t match.

This reviewer has been impressed with the quality of YA transgender novels that have come out over the past few years.  Atwood’s IF WE SHADOWS stands out for its intelligence and its artistry with the use of Shakespearean and fantasy themes.