The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott

Title: The Gallows Tree

Author: R.J. Scott

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal

Length: Novel (232pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (7th January 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Cody Garret arrives in England to restore Mill Cottage, but he’s actually come to heal. What he doesn’t count on are Sebastian Toulson-Brown and the destinies woven into the story of the mill, including the sycamore trees that surround it.

Cody Garret is only just finding his way after an abusive relationship ended with his ex in prison. Coming to England to restore Mill Cottage is his way of running so he has time to heal. His goal is simple—hire a company to help make the mill cottage saleable then go back to the States.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Sebastian Toulson-Brown, the brother of his contractor and the man who may be able to show him he can stop running.

But first Cody and Sebastian must deal with the ghosts of lost loves and the destinies that are woven into the story of the mill and the sycamore trees that stand on its land, one of which might be the gallows tree.

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Review: Cody hasn’t come to terms with his past and now he is as far away as he possible can be from the man who haunts his life… sleeping or waking the fear is never far away. Sebastian is quite keen on welcoming the Yank into his village and with the teasing of his two brothers he finds he just might have a chance with Cody.

A really great story that brings together the past and the present while weaving a tale of hardship, fear, trust and love. When Cody starts to hear voices he puts it down to stress but when something appears before him he begins to think that he has lost his mind, with the help of Sebastian he starts to dig into village history only to find it might be the ancestors of not just his family but of Sebastian’s as well.

This is a great story as Cody learns to face his fears, learning to trust and falling in love with a man who would never hurt him. Sebastian helps Cody to put the ghosts to rest and supports him silently when he most needs it. The sex between them is touching and loving and the mystery surrounding the ghosts is… ha so not saying.

I will recommend this to anyone who likes any of the above and if you also liked the Fitzwarren Inheritance Trilogy then you will love this as it is in the same vein.

Portia’s Two Cents:   It’s rare when Pixie and I read the same books, and even rarer when we agree on a rating.  The Gallows Tree is a book we both loved.  I agree with her and just wanted to add my two cents.  Honestly, it took me a minute to get into this book.  We spend a lot of time, in the beginning inside, Cody’s head and a screwier place would be hard to find.  I only kept reading because I love RJ and trusted that she had a plan.  And what a wonderful plan. 

 The Gallows Tree is a typical RJ Scott angst filled drama, but it is also a brilliant thriller with a touch of the paranormal.  Definitely darker, than say, The Christmas Throwaway.  I feel like I’ve experienced a shift in the evolution of RJ Scott.  And I’m glad I kept reading.  It’s nice when a successful author takes chances. Churning out the same ole’-same ole would be easier…but, how boring.

 Not sure what the next RJ Scott release will look like.  Paranormal?  Sweet?  Romantic Suspense?  Who knows?  Frankly, I don’t care.  If she writes it…I will read it.  Full stop.



Love and Wrath by Kaseka Nvita

Title: Love and Wrath

Author: Kaseka Nvita

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Long Novella (95pgs)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press (17th May 2011)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The worst thing to keep from your lover is a secret…

Mallory is in love; his boyfriend Alex is all that he could possibly want, and the life they’re building together makes him happy—almost happy enough to ignore the fact that Alex is clearly keeping secrets. As close as they are, Mallory knows practically nothing about him. Alex travels a lot and frequently comes home smelling of blood and is reluctant to discuss his mysterious job. As Mallory has a secret of his own that he is loathe to share, he lets it go.

Until Alex comes home smelling strongly of magic, and Mallory’s need to know overcomes his desire to leave well enough alone and cling to happiness. But his need to know has unexpected consequences and puts both of their lives in danger…

Purchase Link:

Unpublished works can be found via the author’s website under free reads:

Review: This is this author’s first published book and it is absolutely cracking. Mallory is beginning to wonder just who his boyfriend is.  Alex is secretive.  He disappears for days on end for work, he doesn’t talk about his past… in fact Alex appears not to exist, but Mallory doesn’t want to rock the boat. Alex has a good reason for his secrets. He doesn’t want Mallory involved, but Mallory started digging and now he is in danger.

This is an incredible story that has magic, action, violence, revenge, mistrust, love, happiness and some secrets. Mallory has a secret but he can’t tell anyone as it would put himself and his adoptive dad in danger.  his boyfriend has secrets of his own and Mallory keeps his nose out… until he gets suspicious and then all hell breaks loose. Alex wishes he could tell Mallory what he does but if Mallory doesn’t know then he’s not in danger.  but then the worse happens and now Alex has to rescue Mallory before it’s too late.

A really well-written, well-plotted and executed story that you find hard to put down once you are involved with the story-line. The secrets are put together nicely.  The action is realistic to the setting and the tantalizing glimpses of sex that we see are very well done. The love is there between the two MCs, but the trust has not been built, which causes problems between them. There isn’t much in the way of sex but the build-up is very hot and the actual sex is alluded to. There are a few darkish moments and some brutal violence and (for me anyway) a few light-hearted moments but none of it is overdone and they are just the right touch.

So, I will recommend this to those that love paranormal, were-wolves, were-lions, elves, magical weapons, magic, some really nasty baddies and a happy ever after that will make you smile.

Blue Moon by Rowena Sudbury

Title: Blue Moon

Author: Rowena Sudbury

Genre: Contemporary, Kink

Length: Novella (69pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4th January 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Daredevil wrestler Brad Fraser throws his body around the ring to the cheers of the crowd, but when the lights go dark, he throws it from bed to bed to alleviate the boredom of travel. It all comes crashing down one night at the hands of the resident bad guy, but Brad finds himself rescued by the cool, suave Scott O’Doul, and the two men make a pact based on the illusion of control.

Though their relationship begins as an arrangement of pleasure rather than commitment, over the course of a year on and off the road, Brad finds himself trusting Scott more and more. But Scott plays things close to the chest, and Brad isn’t sure where he stands—until the night Scott nearly pushes him too far.

Purchase Link:

Review: Hmmm, this is one of those books that fly’s by as you read it but you feel, until the last few pages, like you missed something. Brad is being bullied, misused and taken advantage of up until the moment Scott steps in to claim him.  Scott loves the concept of control, he likes the illusion that he is in complete control and with Brad he has found someone who is receptive to Scott being in charge.

I liked this book. It had a bit of kink.  Basically, Brad really wanted it and Scott liked to give him. But, it was also about trust.   Brad is trusting Scott to do the right thing for both of them and Scott controlling Brad and giving him what he needs rather than what he wants.  For me, it was actually more an illusion of control that Scott needed as well because they both know that Brad could say no at any time and Scott would stop. The sex between them is intense and passionate and the scene at the end of the book had me catch my breath, as after a year, both men finally opened their hearts to each other.

With this one, I think I will have to recommend it to those who love hot sex, great action in the ring, an intense partnership, resisting temptation and a happy ending that was touching.




Bedevil by Kiran Hunter

Title: Bedevil

Author: Kiran Hunter

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Short (57pgs)

Publisher: Etopia Press (11th November 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A dream inheritance. A dark legacy. A new beginning.

We all have demons. They can be ignored, but they’ll surface eventually. Once they are out in the open should they be destroyed or tamed? Or perhaps they should be allowed free rein.

Harbinger House has a dark past. Shrouded in mystery, only rumors of what may have occurred inside its walls are left to fuel the local’s gossip. When Gareth Balaam inherits the house from a long lost relative he thinks his problems have ended. But it’s just the beginning. His partner, Tim, thinks the house is haunted. Gareth doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he does believe Tim is using the house as an excuse to not work on their relationship. Tensions rise as Gareth resents Tim for making him give up his lifestyle, and Tim feels Gareth doesn’t take him seriously. All the time they are being watched…

Luka is lonely and bored. Confined to the shadows of the house for decades, he has driven all the previous occupants insane with lust. Except the last. The one man Luka had loved had broken his heart and had left rather than lose his mind. The house stood empty, and Luka was alone. But not anymore. There’s life in the house again, two delicious lovers, two new humans to seduce. Except one refuses to play…

Purchase Link:

Review: This is Kiran Hunter’s debut story and after reading this story I think I may just start author hunting (and they are in my neck of the woods bwahhahaha).

Gareth and Tim are moving into a house that Gareth has inherited.  It’s tucked away in a little village and Gareth thinks it’s the perfect place to show Tim he is serious about him.  After all, there is no temptation, no nightclubs and no men to cheat with. Tim doesn’t really want to be there.  He is having difficulty trusting Gareth and finds it very hard to believe a word he says.  He also feels that the house is haunted and really wants to leave. Luka is all alone when the two new men move in and he has hopes that that will change, but his presence spooks Tim.

I think that this story is well-written, well-plotted, has a good story-line and more than anything else it’s a teaser. It teases us with Gareth’s infidelity, it teases us with Tim’s difficulty to forgive, it teases us with Luka’s presence and it teases us with the mysterious old man in the pub. What we have here is a build-up of a spooky paranormal and I really can’t predict which way it’s going to go in the next book (oh yes I checked).  Will it tip towards a romance? Or towards horror? It has the potential to go either way and I have a feeling that no matter which way it goes it will be great.

Ravyn’s Destiny by Jana Downs

*A digital copy of this title was submitted to MM Good Book Reviews by the author for review*

Title: Ravyn’s Destiny

Series: Ravyn Warriors 03

Author: Jana Downs

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy        

Length: Novel (154pgs)

Publisher: Siren-BookStrand (12th January 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The demon Prince Salvatore is a kingdomless monarch getting tired of life. Watched over by five Ravyn warriors, he’s spent generations trying to take back his kingdom from his murderous cousin. All he desires is to return home in peace. Then he meets an unexpected treasure, a human who won’t tell him his name. Now he wants something for himself that he never wanted before—love.

Destin is a faery King who has been unlucky in relationships. He’s been hurt in the past and has given up on love. By playing a bartender in the human world, he keeps his distance emotionally from other people, until he meets a gorgeous foreigner who wants him to take a chance.

When fate thrusts the two of them together, can they learn to embrace the unexpected gift they’ve been given? Or is their shared destiny just too good to be true?

Purchase Link:

Review: So, we are up to the third book in the series and I ask myself, can Jana Downs continue in the vein in which she started? (Can she keep giving us the good stuff?) And after reading this I have to say…yes, she can!

Salvatore is panting over the little bartender from ‘Daylight’, but is getting absolutely nowhere when he is confronted by one of his consorts. He finally admits that his feelings run deeper than he thought and on her advice he decides to finally ask his little bartender out.   If he is really lucky, then he might even learn his name. Destin (not really his name) has been hurt in the past so just brushes off Salvatore’s flirting as he can never get serious about him.  But then the worst happens and he has no choice but to save Salvatore’s life.  This only makes things even harder for him as Salvatore goes through a vital change.

This is definitely different from the previous books and has an interesting twist. We don’t see much of the Ravyns but what we do see of them is good.  There is one scene where they are all devastated and we see how each of them reacts and it is a really well-written scene.  There is also one scene that will have you gasping in shock, as we learn that there is a spy in the house. In this one, Salvatore knows what he wants but Destin refuses to give in. even when it causes him emotional pain.  It is an uphill battle for Salvatore to gain Destin’s trust.

There is a lot of sex with different partners (seriously, it is integral to the story-line).  But when Destin gives in just once then Salvatore refuses to sleep with anyone else and it is a close call as to who has the stronger will. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as it was well-written. We find out more about Salvatore’s past, we have lots of hot steamy sex, there’s a close call with death (twice!!), Salvatore has a lot to cope with, Destin has to learn to trust his heart and we have a great happy-ever-after and a fantastic new addition to the plot and story-line.

If you like anything from above, then you will love this book.  I will admit that I love how Jana Downs can keep all the Ravyns together without any of them overpowering the book except for the two main characters. And the way that the Ravyns bonds come through as strong as ever, so I am highly recommending this one to all of you.

Carnal Compromise by Robin L. Rotham

Title: Carnal Compromise

Author: Robin L. Rotham

ISBN: 978-1-60928-591-3

Genre: Comtemporary,  MMF Menage

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (August 9, 2011)

Length and Format: Novel 396 KB

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

From the Publisher:   Joe Remke has just one qualification for his lovers—he wants them gone before sunrise, which makes his new bunkmate AJ about as safe as a woman can be around him. It also makes his determination to sleep with his boss downright stupid, because if Brent ever gives in, he’ll be looking for a new job.

Ladies’ man Brent Andersen knows sex with his right-hand man Joe is inevitable, but he’s not going down without a fight. Putting the new female hired hand in their cramped RV was a stroke of genius, taking the heat off him while protecting her from the horny guys on his custom farming crew.

AJ Pender’s hard-bodied roomies may hide their feelings for each other from the rest of the crew, but they aren’t fooling her—Brent and Joe are hot for each other, and it’s all she can do not to cry at the thought. If they ever found out she fantasizes about being the meat in their farmer sandwich, they’d probably die laughing.

Fortunately for Brent and Joe, fantasies have a way of revealing themselves and AJ’s are right up their alley. But even threesomes have their risks, and AJ can serve as a buffer for only so long before the tension between them explodes.

About the Author (From Amazon):  When I complained of being bored the summer before 7th grade, my mother (who worked at a bookstore at the time) handed me a stripped copy of Victoria Holt’s The Shivering Sands–and I was hooked. I became a voracious reader and an aspiring author, bringing home stacks of books from the library every single week. The next year, I did a school report on Ms. Holt and wrote to her asking for information. In reply, she sent me an autographed photo and a lovely two-page hand-written letter in which she encouraged me to follow my writing dreams. Sadly, both the photo and the letter were lost over many moves, but my writing dreams remained.

My Review:  I am usually hesitant to read books involving threesomes because too many of them seem to be all about the sex and not enough about their relationship and character development. I think that Ms. Rotham did a good job finding balance with AJ, Joe, and Brent but I had parts I enjoyed more than others.

At the beginning of this book, Joe and Brent are very close friends. They have known each other for years and while Joe (who is bi) openly acknowledges his attraction to Brent (who has always considered himself straight) the two have no awkwardness between them at all. They share the occasional woman between them, work together with easy camaraderie, and are comfortable together. I love that the author had the 2 male characters already have a bond between them before the sex came into play.

AJ is a bit on the feisty side, which I like. She seems to hold her own with the guys pretty well. Her active imagination has her fantasizing about being with Brent and Joe and she is mortified to be interrupted by them during a very private moment but it just gets the boys moving a little faster to get her into bed.

I would have played that first sex scene out a little differently than the author chose to. I don’t want to give away any plot details but suffice it to say that Joe is a bit of a jerk. While it has been hinted at that he has some serious commitment issues, we don’t really understand WHY. In face, we don’t really know a lot about ANY of the characters history before they end up in bed. We know they are close and enjoy each other’s company but not really what makes each one tick. I think that throwing a little bit of back story into the book as it progressed would have helped me understand the characters better.

I liked the characters, the sex scenes were hot and well written, and I liked the story itself. I just would have rearranged things a bit so that the character’s histories and feelings were a little bit more well understood before the bedroom scenes hit.

Overall, though, a good story and I will certainly be checking out other books by this author!


You’ve Got Male by Diana Sheridan

Title: You’ve Got Male

Series:  Weekend Getaways

Author: Diana Sheridan

Genre: Erotica

Length: Short (23pgs)

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing (7th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: A male-cherry-picker meets gay male novices online and initiates them into the wonderful world of man-to-man sex. He describes the encounters in excruciatingly hot detail.

Purchase Link:

Review: Flipping ‘eck this one should have a freaking scorching hot ‘read at own peril’ warning, because believe me I so did not expect it to be that scorching horny making *cough* urm I mean it is extremely erotic and explicit.

So we don’t learn the protagonist’s name (so I will just call him ‘P’) but we do learn that he likes *cherries* or rather popping them.   He gives us in great detail two of his favorite stories as he is supposed to be working. ‘P’s’ first reminiscence is about ‘Ryan’ a twenty-three year old Gym trainer who he introduces the joys of gay sex to and then ‘P’ reminiscences about ‘Kevin’ an eighteen year old cherry whose house he was working on.

So really what can I tell you about this one… not much really except it is not a romance, although each encounter has something special about it.  I can tell you that this is the perfect book if you want a quick sex fix that will get you hot under the collar in next to no time and leave you feeling nicely satisfied. 😉





Bergdoff Boys by Scott Alexander Hess

Title: Bergdorf Boys

Author: Scott Alexander Hess

Genre: Contemporary, Inter-racial

Length: Novel (199pgs)

Publisher: JMS Books LLC (25th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When Neal Tate, a just-out-of-rehab NYC party columnist, falls for Dewalt, a Harlem drug dealer he meets at a gay bathhouse, he discovers that navigating an honest relationship is a lot more difficult than chasing down the perfect pair of skinny jeans.

Neal finds support from his fashion-loving friends: Rovvy, a blond boy-toy married to Andres Palamos, the shady millionaire owner of Pop magazine where Neal works; Nick, “It-boy” style writer for the New York Times whose fab job and rich hubby are smothering his desires to design; and Annie, straight-girl art director at Pop who gives Neal’s life a smidge of balance.

The success of Neal’s “Bergdorf Boy” column and his growing love for Dewalt lead him to question his capacity for intimacy and his obsessive commitment to both the latest trend and anonymous sex, and to wonder if a monogamous gay marriage could be in the cards.

These Bergdorf boys hop from Madison Avenue shopping sprees to Fire Island photo shoots, dipping their manicured toes into the dizzy underside of the gay nightlife scene hunting for lust, love, and designer must-haves.

Purchase Link:

Review: This is a nice little story about Neal and his life and lifestyle; his friends and family and his new lover and how they both deal with each other’s lives.   They come from very different backgrounds.

Neal was a party boy before it all got to be too much and he went into rehab.  He is now trying to stay off the booze and drugs but one addiction he won’t give up is the sex. Dewalt meets Neal at a bath-house. They hit it off and begin a relationship; both men keeping secrets from the other. In this story we see the progression of their relationship, as well as Neal’s friends as they try to progress through the field of landmines that is life.

This is quite a well written story that is from Neal’s POV and seems to delve into the seedier side of life; bath-houses, sauna/steam rooms, orgies etc. of gay casual encounters, fidelity and the difficulties of gay marriage and Neal’s fear of just being himself and being truthful about his past.

Dewalt hasn’t quite let his past go as he has led Neal to believe, which is a problem for Neal as he still fights the temptation of drink and drugs. When both of these men meets the others friends, it shows Neal just how different they really are and Neal really does come across as a snob sometimes. Neal’s friends marriages are also not what they seem at first glance and it makes him think about the perils of marriage and the farce that some of them are.

I think that with this book it will be hit and miss with readers because although it is a romance it is not the traditional romance that we have become used to in the M/M genre.  It is more down to earth, slightly more realistic about doubts and fears and the fact that not all relationships are like fairy-tales. I have to strongly recommend that you give this one a go, because to be honest with you it was really quite good.



Zombie Wonderland by Piper Vaughn

Title: Zombie Wonderland

Author: Piper Vaughn

Genre: Horror, Zombie

Length: Short (34pgs)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press (6th December 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Nothing says Christmas like droves of the undead…

All Emery wants for Christmas is someone to share it with. It looks like he might finally be getting his wish in Ross, the sexy customer he’s been crushing on for months. But neither of them counted on the zombies, or on being caught in the worst blizzard in half a century. Even with a plan for contending with the zombie hordes, surviving will take a miracle.

It’s not exactly how Emery dreamed of spending Christmas with Ross, but he can’t think of a better way to spend a zombie apocalypse.

Purchase Link:

Review: Emery is alone, not just at work but in his life as well. Only now, he has dreams that involve one of the regular customers. Christmas Eve sees one of his dreams come true when Ross rushes into the diner and sweeps him off his feet… just not quite in the circumstances that he had hoped for. Ross is heading to the diner when the worst happens.   Now he has to reach Emery and get him to safety before they too become victims.  he has watched Emery for a while and this is so not how he wanted to ask him out.

A thoroughly enjoyable short story.  that may be short in pages but is more than large in its gruesomeness. Emery has had a crush on Ross for about three months and has been trying to work up the courage to ask him out. Ross has just decided to ask Emery to go out with him when disaster hits the city.  As the two men struggle to survive and to get to safety they reveal to each other how they feel.

This is romance in the middle of a horror story, which I found to be good. Although I really don’t want to know how the author knows what a head being smashed in sounds like (oh God there goes the gag reflex) or the other multitude of gruesome sounds that are described.  I really liked the action and I thought that the Zombies were coolly disgusting.  The quick relationship that is forged between Emery and Ross is well done and yes, it’s quick.  But they have been watching each other for months. The sex between them is hot, but it is more than just sex, it’s as though they are both celebrating being alive and having survived.

I have to hope (with fingers crossed and lots of begging if I have to) that Piper Vaughn will revisit this couple in future so we can find out how they are doing and to find out how the Zombies came to be. I have to highly recommend this one if you like Zombies, horror, lots of violence towards Zombies and a romance and hot sex in the midst of danger.


Hands on by Adele Quinn

Title: Hands On

Author: Adele Quinn

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Short (34pgs)

Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing (17th November 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Drew is a successful restaurateur and chef, living the life with a great crew and five star reviews. Jeremy, the newest member of the crew, still often finds himself debating with him and family about what he wants out of his life.

When Drew starts having trouble keeping his own life together, Jeremy takes it upon himself to help him out. With an almost healing touch it seems he’s able to revitalize Drew and get him back on his game. While both get exactly what they want out of their first night as more than friends, things seem to spin out of control for them over the next few days.

Drew wants nothing more than to have his restaurant run smoothly and now be with Jeremy, but he doesn’t want anyone to think any less of either of them for diving into a relationship together. Jeremy on the other hand is ready to finally make a decision about his life and jump into shallow water. Will Drew take the risk and follow him or back off the relationship completely?

Purchase Link:

Review: This is Adele Quinn’s first published work and I think that she has done a good job for a first published story. Drew might be a success, but he starts to panic when a rave review comes out and he feels like he has to live up to expectations.  He starts to lose focus at work and he can’t sleep at night. After nearly setting the kitchen on fire, his business partner sends him home to get his head sorted out and then help arrives unexpectedly. Jeremy has had a crush on his boss since he started working in the kitchen.  After seeing his boss starting to unravel for the last couple of days, he decides to lend a hand in helping him to relax.

I quite enjoyed this story as you have two men who both have their own problems.  Drew, because he is worried about keeping his standards high.   Jeremy, because he wonders if being in the kitchen is what he really wants or going back to school to become a chiropractor. The relationship between them is quite sticky, as after the first night together they just can’t seem to get it together without misunderstandings on both sides.

The story was quite well written and we get a good feel for Jeremy and Drew.   We get a slight background on both of them and we get a good understanding as to what the problems they are both facing are. My only problem was that they both seemed to jump to the wrong conclusion at the slightest provocation and just made it harder than they had to and the ending left me feeling slightly let down as there wasn’t a concise resolution.

I will recommend this to those who love hot sex, misunderstandings and a maybe happy for now ending.




The Time of the Singing by Louise Blaydon

Note:  I am invoking my right to distance myself from the drunken rants of any and all of my reviewers.  In the event that you take offense to any or everything that you read below, please limit your comments to her inbox.  Thank you, Portia.♥

Title: The Time of the Singing

Author: Louise Blaydon

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (195pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (11th November 2011)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Raised by devout parents, Israfel Vacek is a teenager before he realizes he may be turning into someone his parents would shun. When he confesses his fears to his brother, Michael suggests Raf might be able to save himself if he joins the clergy.

Though Raf is well-suited to the clerical life, enjoying the piety of his parishioners, his homosexual desires don’t go away. Still, Raf is able to repress them, until one young churchman decides he wants Raf for himself. Nate Mulligan is a bundle of contradictions, a devout believer who insists their love can’t be wrong, and Raf finds himself powerless to resist.

At first, Raf puts his guilt out of his mind, but when a misunderstanding brings his relationship with Nate to Michael’s attention, Raf realizes he has to make a choice: give up Nate to serve the Church and save his relationship with his family… or find his own path to grace and save himself.

Purchase Link:

Review: Okay, so this story has me heavily conflicted.   Mainly, because I hate religion based books.  Yes, I know I should show some compassion for the deluded fools who read a story book and believe it’s written by God. (No offence meant) So I got 3 sheets to the wind (drunk) and cracked the book open.

Raf has always known that he was gay, but because of his religion believes it to be a sin.  When he confesses to his brother, his brother tells him not to be stupid and the second time gets help from the local church to help Raf out. They advise him that it is his ‘Trial’ and to enter the clergy and serve God.   He finds it hard after he takes over a new parish and one of the churchmen sets out to seduce him. Nate is a determined young man when he sets his mind to it and he wants Father Raf.  Nate doesn’t believe everything in the Bible and sets out to show Raf that.

Now, some people have said stuff about Nate’s age ‘cuz he is 17, but in my Country the legal age is 16 so it didn’t bother me in the least.  Some people have said stuff because of the age gap of 12 years, but well my hubby is 10 years older than me so doesn’t bother me in the least.  Some people have said stuff about a clergyman abusing his position but from what I read the poor bloke didn’t stand a chance against Nate.  Nate was a force of nature that got what he wanted no matter what.

This was a well written story that tried to come across as a soul-searching, life-changing, smack in the head by God epiphany but didn’t quite pull it off.  Now don’t get me wrong, it came close, but the writing style was a bit too choppy and bland and stilted to pull it off. We see a lot of Raf in this; including his early struggles with his sexuality and the ‘support’ that he got from the church as well as his internal struggle about his attraction for Nate, Nate’s age and his responsibilities to the church and his family. But what we don’t get much of is anything about Nate, we don’t get Nate’s struggles or fears or doubts, we don’t find out how or why he has so much confidence or conviction, we don’t really know much about him other than the bits and pieces that were thrown at us by way of Raf.

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Vampire and the Werewolf: A New Orleans Christmas by Louisa Bacio

Title: The Vampire And The Werewolf: A New Orleans Christmas

Author: Louisa Bacio

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (77pgs)

Publisher: Ravenous Romance (19th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Before there were three, there were two. When a vampire swoops in to save Trevor from a rogue gang’s blood sport, the werewolf must fight his own inhibitions. The magic of New Orleans and the holiday season bring together these two unlikely lovers.

Purchase Link:

Review: Trevor is living on the streets and goes to the rescue of a woman being attacked.  Unfortunately, he then needs rescuing as more Vampires appear. Lawrence steps in to save Trevor from the rogue vampires and takes him home to help him recover.

This is a well written novella that is hot and erotic. This is the authors first strictly M/M work and I think she has done a very good job with it although I need to make a confession… I haven’t read any of this authors work as I haven’t much patience for female characters (I leave that to Portia lol). But I will admit I am now tempted because of how this author writes.

Trevor is without a pack, alone and living on the streets so when he first receives kindness from Lawrence he wonders what he wants in return and then he begins to ask himself about how he is reacting to Lawrence. Lawrence feels some sort of connection to Trevor and enjoys his company and as he explains to Trevor it is the person he finds attractive and not their sex. When Trevor does decide to embrace his want and to let down his guard the sex between them is explosive.

I really did enjoy seeing these two characters together and how they built up their relationship on small trusts but I was disappointed that we didn’t find out more of both Lawrence’s and Trevor’s backgrounds.  We were given snippets that intrigued us and unfortunately, I don’t know if the author will ever do any more stories with just these two characters so that we can find out more about them in their early years together. (Portia:  There are at least two other books featuring these characters.  Unfortunately, they both involve girly bits, so I guess I’ll be doing those reviews. ;-))

I have to recommend this to those who love vampires and werewolves, really hot erotic sex, a building of trust and a just beginning relationship story.

Above the Cloud by Adrianna Dane

Title: Above the Cloud

Series: Tales of the Midnight Pearl Brotherhood 06

Author: Adrianna Dane

Genre: Fantasy, Witchcraft, Magic

Length: Short (50pgs)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press (Amber Allure) (11th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The ancient myths of the Brotherhood of the Midnight Pearl tell of an island formed from the depths of the ocean, in the midst of a sea of mystical, sapphire beauty. It is an island paradise built on love and devotion to a common belief, a society made up entirely of handsome and desirable men. And Alonzo Smith is on a journey to discover his place among them.

For Alonzo, the frustrations of serving Master Phelix have been many on the group’s journey through the jungle. Alonzo’s patience, however, is about to be rewarded.

On the morning before the group heads toward the Titan Mountains and the next leg of the journey, Master Phelix awakens Alonzo and leads him on one final, intimate, and dizzying jungle adventure. The rewards and revelations may just be more than Alonzo might ever have expected. Now, he must make a choice—does he stay in the jungle with the Obscurants and Master Phelix, or continue on to see what destiny, and/or fate, has in store?

The sequel to Tales of the Midnight Pearl Brotherhood: Lessons Learned…

Purchase Link:

Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Alonzo is separated from the group by Master Phelix and taken into the jungle.  While away, Alonzo finds out Master Phelix’s past and what Master Phelix is looking for in a man.

This is the third book in this series that I have reviewed and I can only say that the author does write really well.  The story is interesting and it is one I really do want to finish, but whoever had the idea to cut it up into small segments should be cut up into small segments themselves. It is frustrating to have to go back and read the previous books just so I know where I am up to and then to have it cut off again just when it gets interesting. (THIS IS A BOOK NOT TV).

Saying that…I am intrigued by Alonzo’s story.   In this one, Alonzo finally gets to submit to Master Phelix and finds out Master Phelix’s story. Alonzo is now near the end of the journey through the jungle.  As he stands at the bottom of the mountain he has to make the decision to make of either going forward or back to the jungle.  And then he realizes at the last-minute that Master Phelix will be leaving them at the edge of the jungle.

I will recommend this to those who already have this series, love hot submissive sex, a journey of self-discovery, has infinite patience or wait until the series has ended and then get the entire series.

Tainted Soul by Sam C. Leonhard

Title: Tainted Soul

Series: Tainted 02

Author: Sam C. Leonhard

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense, BDSM, Kink

Length: Novel (314pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th December 2011)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Gabriel Jordan, part-time werewolf and full-time private investigator, should be living a happy life. Three years ago, he was a homeless thief; now he’s got a loving partner and a job he enjoys, he lives in a nice house, and he doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow. So why the sudden urge to cheat on Aleksei, the handsome and occasionally deceptive fae he loves? Why does Gabriel feel compelled to flee the life he’s built for himself?

Someone’s calling him. Someone’s looking for him. Someone holds his destiny in her hands. The portals to the hidden worlds have become unstable, even dangerous. Fear and madness linger in the dark. Panic and nightmares chase him, but Gabriel can’t fight an enemy he can’t see, and even turning into his wolf form may not be enough to save him.

Purchase Link:

Review: Okay, so I will go through the motions but really if you want to save yourself some time then don’t read the rest of this review, just go get this book.  Clear a couple of hours and sit back and enjoy a brilliant fantasy.

Gabe and Aleksei are back and things are not going too well.  It’s been three years since we last saw them and Gabe is fighting urges that don’t feel quite right to him; and trying to ignore the voice that is urging him to hurt Aleksei. He knows that he still loves Aleksei, but he feels like he is losing his mind at his own reactions.  Aleksei is trying to be patience, but he has realized that something is off and that Gabe is keeping something from him.

This is a brilliant fantasy that ties up all we learned in the first book nicely. Gabe is being Called and it is getting harder to ignore it.  He doesn’t realize that his wolf side is emerging or that he keeps forgetting things. The portals have become unstable and are killing random people; an ancient species awakens and starts to hunt Gabe. Lia (Aleksei’s sister) (a truly nasty woman) is desperate to get Gabe out of Aleksei’s life and we still have the mystery of Gabe’s blood. We also briefly meet Gabe’s mum and all I can say, Gabe was lucky to live on the streets and not with her.

The strength of Gabe’s love is all that is really saving him from doing something that he wouldn’t be able to live with.  and Aleksei’s love for him is all that he can really trust. There is quite a bit going on in this story but you never lose your way or miss anything.  It is also really well written and the characters are brilliant.  The story keeps you in its grip and it keeps you on tender hooks right until the very end.  I also have to say that the very end tore at me even though I knew it had to happen. There is one part of the book that has both m/f and cheating but neither is as it seems and it’s really hard to explain without giving stuff away, but trust me, there’s a good reason for all of it.

For those of you who stayed for the review, you now know why I will recommend this to you.  And if that’s still not enough then I don’t know what to say to you, except are you mad. Okay, fine…there’s danger, angst, pure love, incredible hot sex, a little bit of BDSM/kink, hate and a sneaky vindictive female.




Honest Reviews for Readers and Writers

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