Category Archives: LGBT YA Fiction

At the Lake by Geoff Laughton

AtTheLakeLGTitle: At the Lake

Author: Geoff Laughton

Series: By the Lake

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult

Length: Novel (190 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink (February 26th 2015)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Shane Martinelli and William Houghton come from very different backgrounds. They meet at a high-end summer camp in the Adirondacks, where Shane works as a lifeguard to earn some money and begin saving for college. William is one of the guests, and he doesn’t want to be there. As far as William knows, his father only dumped him at the camp so he could spend time with his latest mistress. When Shane figures out William can’t swim, he offers to teach him. William enthusiastically responds, but when an unexpected storm blows in, William is caught in the water and Shane comes to his rescue. They barely reach shore before lightning strikes the dock—close enough to damage Shane’s hearing.

The following summer both boys return to the camp. Shane doesn’t let his use of hearing aids stand in his way. William is now a counselor-in-training. The attraction between them is undeniable, but how can they possibly make it work? Once camp is over, a week at William’s family home in the Hamptons will determine if the love that bloomed at the lake can survive in the real world.

Product Link:

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Shane Martinelli works as a counselor and life guard at the Summer Camp at the lake to save money for college, and because he loves to swim and working here also affords him time to hone his skills. When he first meets William he is shy and reserved, scared of the water. But over time Shane breaks down the walls William hides behind, befriends him and teaches him how not to be afraid of the water.

Perhaps he taught William too well, because in the water is where Shane finds him as a bad storm approaches. Shane manages to get William out of the water, but when lightning strikes the dock and Shane wraps William up in his arms to protect him, so he bears the brunt of the damage and loses partial hearing.

In the aftermath of the storm and Shane’s hearing loss, Williams’s father helps Shane and his family with the doctor’s bills and such. Call it penitence for having left William alone for his job so much, or call it a thank you to Shane for saving his son, perhaps a little bit of both. When summer rolls around again, Shane and William are back at camp, but everything is different now.

First off, William is not the shy, awkward, skinny little kid Shane met last summer. He has grown both mentally and physically and is more certain of himself now, more certain of what he wants. And what William wants is Shane.

While there are a lot of similarities between the two summers… they swim, make new friends, bond on the dock by the water under the stars. There are a lot of differences as well. Both William and Shane are growing from boys to men and their feelings for each other are growing stronger every day.

Their first kiss doesn’t go off without a hitch, but once they decide how they feel about each other is okay there are more stolen moments, more kisses and passionate night they share in a tent during a storm will set the stage for their relationship from that point on.

Definitely an age appropriate storyline, but the story is still well written, the character development is slow, steady and believable and the relationship between Shane and William is equal parts awkward and strong. I liked the aspect of the story whereas Shane and William were confused and how they hit a few road blocks along the way, but through communication and a lot of effort, they managed to find a solution and a way to be together.

I don’t think I would have enjoyed this story as much if there hadn’t been that little bit of angst, the uncertainty of where the relationship would go after that first kiss, that first disagreement, that first moment of pure intimacy.

This book was a breath of fresh air for me from start to finish and actually took me back to my own teenage years at summer camp. I do love when a story can transport me back in time. Make me think of how my life could relate to the characters. This is a must read for my fellow sappy, hopeless romantics!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

No Big Deal by Danni Keane

NoBigDealLGTitle: No Big Deal

Series:  No Letting Go
Author: Danni Keane
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length: Novella (159 pages)
ISBN: 9781632167255
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (February 5, 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts
Reviewer: Zane
Blurb: Still reeling from his father’s death and stuck in a job he hates, the only moments of happiness in Josh Roberts’ life are those he spends with his boyfriend, Bradley. The boys are inseparable, and when they lose their virginity together, Josh feels closer to Bradley than he ever imagined.

But Josh’s mum, proud of her son and his biggest supporter, expects Josh to go to university after his year off. He doesn’t want to disappoint her by telling her he’s changed his mind, and he struggles to find a solution.

When Bradley moves in with Josh and his mum, Josh truly believes life can be perfect again. But before long, their still-fragile feelings of connection and intimacy are tested when Bradley becomes secretive and distant. Anxious and confused, Josh is desperate to find out why Bradley is rejecting his affections. Bradley finally opens up, but what he reveals will change every aspect of their young love and quite possibly the rest of their lives.

Purchase Link:

Review:No Big Deal” is the latest in the series “Not Letting Go”. Though you don’t need to read the first two short stories (Sunshine and Buttercups, Not Letting Go), I’d suggest you do so in order to get a better understanding of Joshua and Bradley, whom I don’t always like, but I absolutely adore.

Author Danni Keane has given a true portrayal of young love, not hesitating to show the flaws of selfishness and self-centeredness, which we know, is so prevalent in those years. The very same characters that come across as cocky and know-it-all still manage to show innocence and vulnerability, often in the same scene.

Though the things these young lovers have to deal with are gravely serious and would be hardships at any age, to say they don’t handle them well would be somewhat of an understatement. While there were quite a few moments that I wanted to wring their necks, I never stopped rooting for them. One of the things that I love and don’t always find in a young adult novella – Joshy and Bradley are painfully and honestly written. Kudos to Ms. Keane for this accomplishment and for having written what is one of the most realistic ‘first time sex’ scenes I have ever read.

Whether it’s the sweet mush of Right Hand Red or the wacky British humor of The Lord of Twink’s Bottom, I absolutely love reading this author. She writes sadness and pain in such a way that it brings tears to your eyes but not horrible angst to your heart. Her refreshing portrayal of young adults hits me in all the ‘feels’ every time.

Danni Keane has become an auto buy for me; I happily recommend this (as well as the other two reads I mentioned) in the hopes that she becomes an auto-buy for you as well.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through **

Maps by Nash Summers

91mDrYIYGdL._SL1500_Title: Maps
Series: N/A
Author: Nash Summers
Genre: Young Adult/ Gay for You
Length: Novella (71 Pages)
Publisher: Nash Summers (January 12th, 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Reviewer: Aerin
Blurb: If Maps ruled the world, his best pal Benji would be court jester, and every day would celebrate a new experiment.

No, scratch that.

If Maps ruled the world, his best pal would still be living next door, and there wouldn’t be any gap-toothed new guy staring at him as if he’s bonkers.

Pity Maps doesn’t rule the world . . .

Product Link:

Review: This is a fantastic book! I liked this author’s previous books a lot, but this…I absolutely loved!!! In fact, I still feel all gooey inside, all soft and bubbling with happiness; when a writer is capable of writing a book that affects me this way, I’m a forever fan.

This is a YA story and there’s no sex involved so if you’re looking for something steamier, you’re in the wrong place. That being said, this book is still worth reading, if only for a chance to meet these adorable and quirky characters.

Maps is a 16-year-old boy who’s being overly dramatic because his best friend Benji is moving away…..a block away. I adore Maps. he’s such a hilarious character! I started laughing at the first paragraph and I pretty much continued until right before the last one….because that one put this stupid smile on my face that doesn’t seem like it will go anywhere for a while.

Maps is geeky, smart, funny, sarcastic, overly dramatic, self-centered, and socially inapt; all those characteristics shouldn’t work together, right? Well they do and the end result is a character that’s going to stay with me for a long time.

Lane is Maps’ new neighbor, and he’s the polar opposite of Maps. Lane is a jock; he’s big and tall, manly, kind and not quite so smart. Lane and Maps become good friends but there’s this chemistry, this intensity between them that I felt every time these two were around each other. They’re both young and while Lane knows he’s straight, Maps is just now discovering his sexuality. The attraction Maps feels towards Lane doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone, including

Maps’ parents and his best friend Benji. Their acceptance and support was incredibly heartwarming. But Maps is unlike anyone Lane has ever met and he can’t help but be drawn to him. So, Lane likes girls…and Maps.

This isn’t one of those in-your-face love stories, it’s subtle and sneaky and it packs a serious punch, I’m still reeling from it. And that “ending” was so perfect…because it’s not really an ending, at least that’s not the way I look at it.
“Be mine, even just for a little while.”

I hope we see more of Maps and Lane, because I believe their story is just beginning.

I recommend this book to everyone, whether you like YA or not, I guarantee you’ll love it!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

When Ryan Came Back by Devon McCormack

WhenRyanCameBackLGTitle: When Ryan Came Back
Series: N/A
Author: Devon McCormack
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Ghosts/Spirits, Young Adult, Paranormal
Length: Novel (228 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (October 16, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Steven’s life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.

Ryan tells Steven that he didn’t kill himself. He believes he was murdered and that his death is linked to an article he was working on for the school paper. Steven sets out to solve the mystery. But as the story unfolds, so does Ryan’s secret life of sex with guys and depression.

Steven realizes suicide is more plausible than Ryan’s conspiracy theory, but he struggles to convince Ryan of the real cause of his death. And despite revelations of his friend’s closeted life, he must face the truth that Ryan doesn’t—and never will—love him.

ISBN 13: 978-1-63216-456-8

Product Link:

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Ryan should’ve been truthful with Steven from the beginning about everything instead of letting him find out about all those things on his own. Steven should’ve confided in someone about the things that were happening. Steven’s parents shouldn’t have forced him to see a therapist unless he wanted to.

While the story was good, I thought that it was a bit much for a seventeen year old to be going through. Especially trying to figure out Ryan’s death on top of the cover up murder and conspiracy that a few men were involved in.

The teacher having sex with students and recording it disturbed me. I thought it was sad that Ryan and Steven never told each other how they felt when he was alive. It just amazed me how much Steven had to deal with on his own.

All in all, it was a good read.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through*

Ragnarök by Ari Bach

RagnarokLGTitle: Ragnarök
Series: Valhalla #2
Author: Ari Bach
Genre: Science fiction/Lesbian/Young Adult
Length: Novel (350 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: After a year spent hunting for Mishka and Wulfgar, V team is no closer to finding them. If they’re going to locate their nemeses, they’re going to have to break some rules. As they begin their most dangerous mission yet, the stakes grow higher than they ever imagined as they uncover not only the subjects of their hunt, but the greatest threat the Earth has ever known.

To save the planet, their path will take them across the globe, across the solar system, and deeper into their relationships with each other than they’ve ever dared to look. Sacred bonds will be tested, the closest alliances will fall, and Violet will come face-to-face with a far more daunting and dangerous challenge than saving the planet – her growing love for Vibeke – a lover that could be her salvation, or the cause of her ultimate downfall.

ISBN: 978-1-63216-624-1

Product Link:

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This book is the second in the Valhalla series, which should be read in order as it has an ongoing story line. However, in saying that, I have not read book one and have had no problems with following the story. Ragnarök was an interesting choice for me. I do love sci-fi, but I have not read a lot of lesbian same sex fiction. However, just the name Ragnarök attracted me. It’s all about the Viking connection for me. I love history, particularly Norse mythology. However, as much as this is a good book, for various reasons, I am torn with this one. It is certainly a niche story.

The first book is called Valhalla, which many will recognise this as the Norse Viking belief that warriors who die in battle pass to the afterlife aided by Valkyries to reside in the hall known as Valhalla in Asgard with the god Odin. Ragnarök, this book, is named after a Norse poem, which basically talks about the End of Days. After the death of some key gods and many natural disasters which lead to the flooding of the earth, two humans remain to repopulate (not good for genetic diversity!) and the surviving gods will return to mortal realm (or Earth if you like the Marvel Comics version of the Norse gods).

Onto the actual story itself, it was easy to get into. I think it was the level of detail that drew me in, making it so easy for me to imagine this dystopian world of the future. However, the flip side of this being was that this detail occasionally made this a tad on the tedious side. But I am willing to overlook that.

The world we are presented with is partially recognisable to what we know now, but then again this is a few centuries into the future where Norse mythology has apparently taken root again, at least in order to organise resistance/military units. There have also been some catastrophic disasters that have changed the face of the earth. We dive straight into the action of Violet, the main character, who is undergoing a dangerous jump during a mission and a fight midair involving some pretty nifty, futuristic fighter jets. There is some jumping about, again this got a little tedious on occasion, but at the heart of this story is Violet and the beginning of her romance with Vibeke. Both Violet and Vibeke are very strong characters, though for some reason I don’t know, I found myself liking Vibeke more than Violet.

The action does not let up throughout the story, so it was an exhausting novel to read. If it weren’t so exhausting, I probably would have rated it higher. But the ending, oh wow, it was great and totally not what I expected. Neither did I expect to like an ending like this, which is most of the reason for the decent rating. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but the ending of it was my favourite part purely because of how it played out. Though it does make me wonder if Ari Bach is misleading us just a tad and there is going to be another book.

Some sci-fi you can read and know that anyone will enjoy it, but this is the type of sci-fi where you need to enjoy the genre. There is an abundance of sci-fi terms, some of which found in various other stories, but if you’re not into the genre, it may take more concentration to keep a track of what is going on. There is also biology jargon such (e.g. RNA and DNA), but I’m sure it’s nothing that will put anyone off and nothing beyond other sci-fi books.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

By the Creek by Geoff Laughton ~ Audiobook

ByTheCreekAUDLGTitle: By the Creek
Author: Geoff Laughton
Narrator: Paul Morey
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
Length: 5 hours and 29 minutes
Publisher: Harmony Ink,  Dreamspinner Press (06-18-2014)
Heat Level: Mild (age appropriate for teens and young adults)
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Soon-to-be high school junior David Harper hates his family’s move to the country. There’s nothing to do, and he misses his friends in the city. But he doesn’t have a choice. His mother’s job is in Mason County now, so David and his mom are too, and he has to make the best of it.

At first, the only redeeming feature of David’s new home is the swimming hole across the field from his house. Then David meets Benjamin Killinger, and suddenly life stops being so dull.

Benjamin is Amish, and cooling off in the swimming hole is one of the few liberties he and his brothers enjoy. A friendship with an English boy is not—but that doesn’t stop him and David from getting to know each other, as long as it’s on the neutral ground by the creek.

After David risks his life to save Benjamin’s father, the boys’ friendship is tolerated, then accepted. But before long, Benjamin’s feelings for David grow beyond the platonic. Benjamin’s family and the rest of the community will never allow a love like that, and a secret this big can’t stay secret forever…

Product Link:

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Original book review from January 2013…

When I first took this book for review I asked the author to tell me about the story. He said he wanted to write a YA novel with a gay storyline because there really aren’t any available. I have to agree with him, at least not where the entire story is based on the two young men. This isn’t a sexy steamy M/M novel, this is a well written YA novel about young love, that love just happens to be between two young men.

David and Benjamin happen upon each other one afternoon at the swimming hole that lies between their properties. David has recently moved into his ancient country home with his mom, and Benjamin is a member of the Amish family that lives in a homestead across the road from David. The pair move at a steady pace starting with a friendship that is forbidden at first, and then accepted due to David’s actions, moving into something kind of like love. It’s not an instant overnight love, and it’s not a slow burn, it’s pleasantly steady and happens exactly when it’s supposed to.

Benjamin is wildly curious about the outside world and David is more than happy to fill him in. The swimming hole becomes their sanctuary where innocent conversations lead to looks of longing and ultimately, that first kiss. It’s during one of these afternoon frollicks when the boys are locked in a passionate embrace that Ben’s father finds them. David is inconsolable as his mom and two best friends rally at his side. Will Ben come back to him, or will he ultimately choose to stay with his family.

Laughton has a way of conveying emotions from pen to paper that is really unique in books today. I was seriously drawn into David and Benjamin’s reality, I grew with them, I fell in love with them, and I cried with them… it was fabulous!

I was reminded of one of my favorite movies while reading this book, Latter Days. There is a line in By the Creek where Ben questions if the love that he and David share is a sin, David quickly tells him that to be loved and love someone could never be a sin. At the end of Latter Days Jacqueline Bissets character has one of the best lines in any movie ever “So, your church forbids drinking and homosexuality. Well, forgive me for not joining. I can’t imagine Heaven without both of them.” That line is so perfectly, David and Ben!

Highly recommended! Well written. Characters have depth and realism. Overall an emotionally fabulous read!!

Updated audio review…
David is all but forced away from his home, job and friends due to his mom’s relocation for her job. Miserable to say the lease, and slightly bored with isolation, he ventures to the creek that lies between his home and the local property of the local Amish community. It’s here that he meets Benjamin, an Amish teenager that knows nothing other than the life he has been taught to lead. Through his friendship and mutual attraction to David, Ben starts to question the life he is meant to lead. The two teenagers build an unbreakable bound and love that will last a lifetime, by the creek.

The perfect marriage of narration and writing, Morey gives Laughton’s words a voice, he truly brings David and Ben to life. I love when I can listen to a story that I’ve already read, and find something new within the story or the characters that I missed in black and white. While I was so drawn to this story because of the passion and pain that was written into the relationship, hearing David’s pain at possibly loosing Ben at that point in the story just took it to an entirely new place for me.

These two young men were the very definition of endearing, the story just utterly engaging and now with the addition of Paul Morey’s voice to give the words new meaning, one word… Flawless! This is a YA story, but I believe it is written and conveyed in such a way that fans of all ages will fall in love with David and Ben and their journey.

Definitely a must read AND a must listen!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

Something Like Lightening by Jay Bell

81Ic7oc4ghL._SL1500_Title: Something Like Lightening

Series: Storms, #1

Author: Jay Bell

Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult

Length: Novel (333 Pages)

Publisher: Jay Bell (October 2014)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Never stop running. No matter how often life trips you up, or how many times your enemies knock you down, just get up and keep on moving until you find where you belong.

Kelly Phillips has been out of the closet since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he has never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he weren’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome guy at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings.

And then there’s the one who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.

Something Like Lighting is a new beginning in the Something Like… saga, shifting the focus to a fresh set of characters while also revisiting a familiar face or two.

ISBN #: 9781310109133
Product Link:

Reviewer: GiGi

Review: I really enjoyed Something Like Lightening for its moments of self-realization. Kelly seems to have it all, confidence, speed, talent, looks, and plenty of attitude!!! But he really needs to take a closer look at himself…and it takes a huge tragic moment to do that. It’s the sadness, loss, aching awareness of flaws in ourselves and those we love, it’s those things that Jay Bell magically worked into …Lightening. Those are the themes that stung my heart and kept me glued to the pages.

Something Like Lightning is a coming of age, finding one’s true self kind of read. I’m not sure but I think this fits into the Young Adult genre…I’m not as familiar with that.

Now, I know I would have an even greater appreciation for this book if I had read the previous Something Like series…there are repeat characters, overlapping and intersecting plots, and a ton of character building for Kelly that I missed and thus lost a big chunk of the impact this book makes for those readers. So I really need to go back and do some more reading.

The writing is smooth, the characters rich, and the plot painful, somewhat predictable, and poignant at the same time. The big moment I had to read carefully, think about and reread comes before the big accident, it comes in the subtle details of a relationship in decline, the pain in recognizing that, and letting go for the sake of both people involved….such a big life lesson, a huge thing for an author to tackle.

I must also add, I really like the cover art for all of Jay Bell’s books! Yes, beat the stereotype baby!

Guardians by A.M. Burns

GuardiansLGTitle: Guardians
Series: The Woodmen Chronicles, #2
Author: A. M. Burns
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal
Length: Novel (180 Pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (October 2014)
Heat Level: None
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Thom Woodman is a Bigfoot, although he prefers to be called an Oh Mah. When it comes time for the Oh Mah biannual gathering, he’s excited to go with Ben Steele, the human he bonded with.
To Thom’s surprise, he is offered a place among the Guardians, the leaders of the Oh Mah. But since he grew up half in the human world, he can’t make a decision before he finds out more about these Guardians.

When an Oh Mah is killed by a human, the growing antihuman sentiment runs rampant through the gathering. Thom’s family swears to help protect Ben, but when some of the Guardians join the anti-human faction, they aren’t sure they can live up to their promise. Even when Ben is kidnapped, Thom doesn’t know what to say when the Guardians demand his answer. Thom feels like he’s not only being forced to choose between the Oh Mah and the human world, but also between a life with or without Ben.

ISBN: 978-1-63216-391-2

Product Link:

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: This is the second book to this series and they need to be read in order.

You will learn more about Oh Mah’s and their lives. It is also when you first meet Ben and Thom. These are two of the best young men I have ever met. They are so protective of each other and so very loving. Thom is the Oh Mah, which is basically big foot and Ben is his bond mate. Ben is human. The main problem I had with it was the fact that they were still children and it was a no sex book. It has a serious tone and very little humor to it. I found myself not as captivated by it as I should have. It is a wonderful book but for me it was missing something for me to truly love it.

Thom and Ben were going with Thom’s family to a gathering. The gathering was for Oh Mah’s to prove their strength, to find mates and a basic party situation. The Oh Mah’s are a very aggressive bunch and they use their strength to get many things. In fact, they have to fight to get the approval of their potential mates and for the bond to start. Now Thom and Ben had not had to do that. Thom had saved Ben’s life and it had started the bond for them. They were the lucky ones it would seem.

The gathering was in Texas this time and there are many surprises that lay in stride for all of them. Including the danger that comes for them. Many Oh Mahs are prejudice against humans and whites, so Thom doesn’t want Ben to leave his sight. He will do everything in his power to keep him safe. The guardians want Ben to join but there a many factors standing in the way and one of the major ones is the fact that there is something dark going on. Fear, anger, betrayal, and fighting are happening around the camp. Now it is up to Thom to not only protect his mate but also find out the truth.

This story was a fascinating one but like I said for me, it was too out there for me to love. I do love Ben and Thom though. There is so much strength in them both, but they still have quite a bit to grow into. Ben is in danger from the bigots and Thom is being asked to join the guardians. Many changes are coming and it doesn’t seem to be for the better. If you love a sci-fi feeling with a bit of darkness then this is for you. It will give you gorgeous mates, strength, and power, pure love, lots of danger and betrayal.

I would recommend reading this story. It did catch my attention from the moment I started reading and kept it all the way to the end.

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop by Sam Kadence

71Ws3drFXFL._SL1350_Title: Unicorns and Rainbow Poop
Series: Vocal Growth
Author: Sam Kadence
Genre: Young Adult
Length: Novel (260 pages)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (November 6th, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts
Blurb: Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. His fall through a glass table puts him in rehab and on the road to recovery. Then a friend dies. When depression causes him to lose ground, he calls for the only person he trusts—former bandmate Tommy. But Tommy doesn’t know how to help. He begs his friend Sebastian “Bas” Axelrod to aid them through the emotional struggle.

Bas, an openly gay high school student who’s recently lost his grandmother, is trying to survive his last few months of school before escaping to Stanford. Having just lost the only person in his family to care for him, he is victim to the cruelty of the others. His younger brother bullies him, and his parents are suing him for his gran’s inheritance. When Tommy calls, Bas can’t help but run to his side.

Together Dane and Bas find a middle ground, supporting each other through the lows, dancing together during the highs. They build friendships and plan for the prom and graduation, thinking positively as long as they are together.

Product Link:

Reviewer: Tina

Review: Disclaimer: I have not yet read book 1 in this series (but I will be going back to read it).

WOW! I have to be honest that I wasn’t sure if I would like this book based on the title…but this is an absolute must read!! When you read the story, the title will make perfect sense and bring a smile to your face.

Let me get the basics out of the way first – the writing in this book is really good. I am a Nazi when it comes to grammatical and spelling errors and I found none in this book. I have never had a personal experience with eating disorders so I cannot speak to any of the technicalities about it. My review is based solely on the entertainment value of the book.

This story touched me on several different levels…as a mom, as a friend of gay couples that has suffered bullying for their sexual orientation and as a human being that believes all people should be treated equally.

Dane suffered at hands of his parents for most of his life, being subjected to physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse. Even though he has lived through all this abuse and had to grow up pretty quickly because of his fame, he has an innocence and childlike essence that just makes you want to hug him. He has no filter and says whatever comes to his mind regardless of the consequences.

Thankfully he has surrounded himself with friends that can support and care for him and who can help him learn how to be comfortable in social situations. I personally love his lack of filter as I lack one myself. Regrettably, those around him are easily hurt and don’t always understand his comments as ignorance instead of malice.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I absolutely love the way Bas, Adam and Ru help him heal from not only his eating disorder, but the effects of 12 years of abuse. These guys are truly great friends to him.

Bas is just as broken as Dane. His only advocate has been his grandmother whom he just lost. His family is absolutely horrible. He has been bullied and abused. He hides behind his snarky comments and flamboyant behavior. Fortunately for him, Dane sees through that protective layer to the man Bas really is and loves him for it. The 2 of them balance each other and make a great pair – even if they were to remain just friends, forever.

I’m hopeful Bas and Dane are able to follow through with the life plans that Bas has as I think that would be an inspiration for all the troubled teens they come in contact with.

Adam and Ru obviously have a history that is told in book 1 but it is not necessary to read that book before reading this book. As I stated, after falling in love with this book I will be going back to book 1 because I do think that information would help understand some of their quirks in this book.

Tommy is one of Ru and Dane’s ex-band members and plays a pretty big role in this book. He is a good friend to all these guys and wants to help all of them. Unfortunately, he is just as lost as Dane and Bas are but his unraveling takes place over the entire story and leaves us not so patiently waiting for book 3 for his story.

Another 2 characters that I’m hoping we’ll see more of are Paige and Marissa. I can’t say too much about either of them without giving too much away but they both play integral parts of the story that I would like to see more of in future books.

This book is very touching and will stay with you for a long time. It is definitely one you must read.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *

Ben Raphael’s All Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow

BenRaphaelsAllStarVirginsLGTitle: Ben Raphael’s All Star Virgins
Author: K.Z. Snow
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Length: Novella (124 pages)
ISBN: 978-1-63216-257-1
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (September 25th, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Reviewer: Zane
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Jake McCullough and his friends Rider, Brody, Carlton, and Tim are the invisible boys of Ben Raphael Academy, an exclusive co-ed prep school. Brody decides they need “mystique” to garner attention. “Nobody has more mystique than a desirable virgin,” he declares. Thus is born Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgin Order or BRAVO.

The boys polish their appearances. Brody launches a subtle but canny publicity campaign. Soon, the boys are being noticed. But they’re emotionally fragile. Two have succumbed to a seductive female teacher. Jake and Rider, roommates and best friends who are attracted to one another, fear the stigma of being gay.

It takes an unspeakable tragedy to make the BRAVO boys realize what’s important in life, and that “virginity” has more than one meaning.

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Review: Friendship is tough to navigate at any age, but what about when you’re still growing into who you are and who you want to be? At the youthful age of sixteen, to these boys, away at school, their friends are their family. As close as they are, even families have their secrets, and as we know, secrets always come out. For Brody, Tim, Carlton, Rider and Jake, life is about to change, in a big way.

Though we don’t get a deep insight into all of the characters we get a basic idea of who they are via their interactions. Mr. Ringleader, Brody, has big plans to get them noticed by “the girls”. While the five boys follow through with these plans, there are other forces at work, things going on ‘behind the scenes’ if you will, much like what occurs in real life.

The story delves deepest into Jake and Rider, who give us their tale of young teens discovering and accepting their sexuality individually, as well as their feelings for one another, unbeknownst to the rest of their circle. I loved their friendship and watching it blossom into love. I enjoyed being privy to Jake’s thoughts, and having a front row seat to his and Rider’s self-discoveries. As they navigate young adulthood, things come to light that affect them all, and they way things are handled brings about drastic repercussions for not just the two of them, but for all of their friends, which causes them to lose the biggest virginity of all – loss of the innocence of youth.

There are very serious and controversial (and somewhat taboo) issues at hand here. And KZ Snow does not shy away from these. She has given us a very well written novella with believable characters and a strong storyline. If you’re looking for something light and sweet, this is not your book. However, if you are looking for compelling characters, a coming of age story, and an author willing to tackle the hard issues, look no further.

Though not a lengthy book, it does pack a punch. When the dust (and possibly a tear or two) settles, you’ve got a great coming of age story with love, friendship and a happy for now ending that works perfectly for those with the rest of their lives ahead of them.