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Archive for September, 2013

AnInchAtATime_500x750_0Title: An Inch at a Time
Author: Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley
Length: 15,700 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: m/m contemporary BDSM romance
Rating: B

Blurb:
James Sheridan is failing history. Luckily, his professor is a rumored pervert, and James isn’t too proud to pay for a better grade with his body. Professor Carson lives up to his reputation, but he’s not unethical enough to take sexual bribes. What he can offer is some highly unconventional tutoring . . . creative use of a ruler included.

The deal? Studying, followed by a “quiz.” Wrong answer? Spanking. Right answer? Reward. Ace the final, earn some mindblowing sex. It’s harder work than sexual bribery, but it beats the volunteer tutors at the student center.

After a few study sessions, James realizes he wants way more than a grade from Professor Carson, even if he’s not sure what that is. Carson’s a silver fox, all right, but James isn’t “bent” the way Carson is, and for him, the spankings are only supposed to be a means to an end. But the better he gets at history, the more he realizes he likes getting answers wrong just as much as getting them right.

Review:
Let’s start with a warning here, this book contains a consensual relationship between a college student and his current history professor. If that strikes you as completely unacceptable, unethical and unprofessional then you are not going to like this book. It didn’t bother me and so I enjoyed this prequel to the previous book Giving an Inch.

James is failing history which could mean getting kicked out of college. As a last resort he decides to act on some gossip which claims that the class professor, Carson, would be willing to give a good grade in exchange for kinky sex. Things don’t go quite according to plan though when Carson offers to tutor James instead to ensure he passes the class, especially as the lessons involve a strict punishment for a wrong answer and delicious pleasure for a correct one.

The fun of this story for me was in the way it filled in the back story from the first book and allowed me to see things only hinted at previously. James is very different to the confident young man in the first book and it made me appreciate how much he had changed. In this book James is not only nervous but he has a large streak of self-loathing as he tries to come to terms with his submissive masochistic nature. Carson leads him through that change but I liked that Carson too has his problems and was’t the all-knowing, powerful Dom. Carson makes mistakes and finds it hard at times to keep his equilibrium at times. Their struggles made both characters seem human and real. The age difference between them wasn’t pushed under the carpet and instead used to show the differences between the two men. There’s an immaturity about James which fit with his age and situation, and this contrasted nicely with Carson’s calm experience.

The BDSM scenes are well orchestrated as well as being hot and I particularly liked the way that James (and the reader) is teased with delayed gratification until the end of the story.

Overall, this was a strong and sexy read which helpfully filled in the gaps and allowed me to see the development of the relationship hinted at in book 2. I liked James and Carson and would be interested to read another story furthering their broken relationship from book one.

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New Sip coverTitle: Hot Shots
Author: Kate Roman
Length: 7,800 words (28 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Rating:  C

Blurb:

Disgraced lawyer Simon West has always called himself ‘bi-curious’. But when hunky photographer Russ offers him some modeling work to pay the bills, it quickly turns into something more. Simon can’t keep his eyes, or his hands, to himself, and it’s clear Russ returns his passion. The more Simon knows about Russ, the more Simon wants him — in every way. Can Simon find the courage to give Russ everything?

Review:

Something about this rubbed me the wrong way. Simon is forced to sell his convertible when he loses his job for being an ass and he runs into Russ. Before long Russ offers him a job as a model, and it doesn’t take them long until Russ and Simon are getting it on. Simon is a bit off kilter as he never considered himself gay, but Russ as him very twisted up.

Before long, Russ has offered him more modeling opportunities telling him that he’ll make more money if he’s willing to pose nude, but Simon realizes if he ever wants to practice law again, having nude pictures wouldn’t help his career. However before long he’s ready to pose in the buff, but they never seem to get that far as they end up in bed.

While there is nothing overtly sleazy in this story, the whole luring the guy who needs money up to his studio and then more or less offering him money to pose naked just seemed really skeezy to me. It’s what you warn your children about. As I said, it doesn’t come across and of course Russ claims he doesn’t do this with other models, but to offer a guy a modeling job came across as kind of creepy to me.

This is me, and my opinion. Others may not get that vibe at all. The story is well written, and Simon does go from being a bit of an ass to having a bit of self-awareness that he’s put himself in this position and it’s no one’s fault but his own, but I just couldn’t get past the premise which didn’t work for me.

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CH_Fringes_100dpi_cvrTitle: Fringes
Author: Shae Connor
Length: 12,000 words (48 pdf pages)
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: m/m/m sci-fit BDSM
Rating: B-

Blurb:

“Imagine, two horny guys, one small spaceship and exotic planets to explore! Each destination the perfect place for hot sexual fantasies and one on one action… But what happens when someone else catches a glimpse of the erotic play? What kind of show does the man with the sexy voice, watching through the ship’s cameras deserve? These two know exactly what to do and how to show it off for their mysterious third. This one is a voyeur’s ultimate fantasy and an exhibitionist’s wet dream!”

Charlie Harding

Review:

This is a fun sexy read that combines voyeurism, exhibitionism, along with menage in a sci-fi setting. Jace and Tal have been a couple for many years and find an abandoned ship on a planet. They decide to check it out and see if there are any salvageable parts. There is nothing of note but they come across a wooden table that is perfectly set up for BDSM, which is a large part of their relationship. Despite the risks on a strange planet, they can’t resist giving it a try, only to find out that the owner of the ship has been watching them. He makes a deal, he will pay them to repair and bring the ship to him, in exchange he gets to watch them perform periodically.

Despite some unease, the money would be nice and hey, they aren’t ashamed of their relationship. Before long they begin to form a friendship of sorts with Cruz whom they talk to regularly as they work. I thought the way the friendship develops, starting as just a voyeur/exhibitionist relationship and then getting deeper. Tal is one of those people who is a whiz with machines, but feels he’s not as smart as Jace and is less confident and forming a friendship with Cruz helps him work through some of his insecurities.

When the ship is repaired and delivered, both men decide they want to try to develop a relationship with Cruz, who is not quite what they expect. I won’t ruin it by spoiling it, but I thought it was sensitively handled and sweet and romantic. This is very much a feel-good story, that is both hot at time, and sweet as well. It’s just a little slice of an established couple. It gives you some background about how they got together, but not much and leaves you at the beginning of a possible new menage romance, however if you looking for something not too angsty but is sexy and fun, it’s definitely worth a read.

 

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chasing_matt_Title: Chasing Matt
Author: Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin
Length: 51 pages
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
Chase Williams is a gorgeous but painfully shy web designer whose long-term boyfriend dumped him for being such a “nice” guy. Instead of meeting his buddies at the local bar for a drink, he helps his elderly neighbor with a DIY project. When a wobbly step ladder leads to a banged up wrist and a trip to the ER, Chase is convinced it’s the worst night ever. Then he meets his handsome nurse.

Matt Owens is the boy next door who loves working in the busy ER. He’s more than ready to clock out from his double shift until he meets his patient in Bed 4.

But will Matt’s attraction to Chase be enough to make him break his rule about never dating patients?

Review:
Chase is fed up of always being the nice guy who spends his nights alone and is even more unhappy that he’s just been dumped for being boring. Helping his neighbour ends with Chase in ER with a badly sprained wrist but at least there’s a gorgeous nurse, Matt, to take his mind off the pain. Chase decides to stick his neck out and asks Matt out, but Matt has a no dating patients rule.

I really enjoyed the start to this story, especially the character of Chase. I felt all his frustration at his inability to secure happiness with another guy. I have a fondness for geeks too and I liked how this aspect was played up in Chase. The scenes between him and Matt at the hospital were nicely done with some amusing banter and a simmering flirtation which promised much. I also liked Matt’s good natured friendship with a female nurse, especially as this poked a bit of fun at the ‘interfering female’ character trope.

Once the pair leave the hospital I was still enjoying the story as the tension between them had just the right amount of awkward. Both men make mistakes and I enjoyed seeing the way that they moved from superficial easy banter, to embarrassment, to trying to make amends.

Where the story worked less well was in the extended sex scene at the end of the story. It goes on for about 10-13 pages or so and felt too emotional and tender for a pair of guys who had only just met – no matter how much they clicked and liked each other. It seemed more like the sort of sex that would happen after a month of getting to know each other and so it jarred a little with the set-up. If they’d gone at it all hot and heavy, slaking their lusts, then that would have seemed more realistic for the story. However, I can see how this way the story was more romantic and I was left in no doubt that the relationship would work past the next morning.

Having said that, this was still a story I enjoyed and for those looking for a very romantic meet and a sexy story then this will be just the story for you.

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tattooyou185Title: Tattoo You
Author: Willa Okati
Length: 20,000 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rating: C

Blurb:
There’s very little Jacob Lee wouldn’t do to please his Donathan — except get a tattoo. The way Jacob Lee figures it, his lover’s got more than enough ink for both of them with his tasty rainbow body, and Jacob Lee has a major phobia when it comes to needles. But as Jacob Lee learns more about the art of tattooing, his lover’s past, and their shared dreams for the future, he finds it might just be possible to face and overcome his fears after all.

Review:
Jacob Lee and Donathan have been together for a while and Jacob Lee loves the tattoos that cover Donathan’s body. He knows that Donathan would love for him to get some ink too but he’s petrified of needles.

I usually enjoy this author’s stories so I was looking forward to this one, especially as it featured a tattooed guy. The premise to the story forms a frame with the set-up being Jacob Lee arranging to get over his fears to have the tattoo and finishing once the tattoo is completed. In between that we have a series of scenes showing how these guys met and their growing love for each other. It was a sweet story and I particularly liked the dynamic between Donathan and Jacob Lee. There’s fun and laughter between them but also a lot of love. The romance shines through the story, making that the best part for me.

The characters of Donathan and Jacob Lee were reasonably well formed, although they fit mainly into the bracket of ‘nice, sweet guys’. Donathan’s tattoos are unusual so that set him apart from the generic.

Having said that, there was something about the story which failed to wholly engage my interest and it took me a couple of goes to get into the story. Despite the romance being the strongest aspect, I skimmed through the sex scene because I was getting a little bored. I also found Jacob Lee’s name to be a little clunky and I kept tripping over it whilst reading. I wasn’t far into the book before I was wishing he was called plain old Jacob.

So overall, whilst there was much to like about the sweet romance story with the added spiciness of the tattoos, this story didn’t keep my attention as much as I was hoping. However, if you like tattoos and reading about established relationships then this could be a story you enjoy.

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fullmoondating185Title: Full Moon Dating: Aiden & Ben
Author: Julia Talbot
Length: 10,100 words (38 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m paranormal (shifters)
Rating: C+

Blurb:

When Aiden goes to Wyoming on the dime of the Full Moon Dating service, he doesn’t really think he and country wolf Ben will be right for each other. He just wants some time off from city life.

Ben knows better right away. He and Aiden are meant to be together, despite Aiden’s city ways and cluelessness about being a werewolf. Can he convince Aiden to stay with him, or will Ben, and Full Moon Dating have to write this one off as a mistake?

Review:

This is a cute little shifter story which is pretty typical of the author’s style. Aiden and Ben both sign up for the dating agency and are put together, even though on the surface it doesn’t look like a match. Ben is definitely a dominant top, but Aiden makes no mention of being into the lifestyle, but they are set up together. Aiden, a photographer travels from Dallas to Wyoming to meet Ben and they soon hit it off.

The biggest issue is that Aiden is a city wolf. He’s grown up in the city where shifting at will is not safe and even on the full moon they shift only for one night. When after their first night he wakes up in his shifted form, he totally freaks out and runs. Ben finds him and helps him through it, but it happens yet again, forcing Ben to chase after him.

Because of the paranormal aspect you have the instant mates thing, but Ben is strong and caring and kind, and Aiden is cute as the city wolf feeling completely out of his element. If you like the author and/or shifter stories you’ll enjoy this. It sets up the second book with the next couple to try out the dating agency. It was a fun light read, but fairly standard fare.

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17305641Title: Caribbean Blues
Author: Ari McKay
Length: 15,900 words (56 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Rating: B

Blurb:

When Jon Lawson’s ex dumps him just before a romantic vacation to the Bahamas, Jon decides to go it alone in order to prove he’s not as boring as his ex claims he is. Once there, he meets marine biologist Derrick Mason, who seduces him into a passionate vacation affair and teaches Jon about more than just the dolphins that brought them together. But when Derrick offers his heart, can Jon put aside safety and security to take a leap of faith that will change his life forever?

Blurb:

This book hit some of my hot buttons, nice guys, a Caribbean resort and dolphins. Much like main character Jon, I was obsessed with dolphins when I was younger, and still find them fascinating, even though growing up near the geographical centre of North America I certainly never saw any live. Jon has decided to go on vacation despite a break-up with his boyfriend, partly to prove that he’s not boring and in a rut. After the first day of drowning his sorrows in the hotel bar, he cancels most of their activities but refuses to cancel the swimming with dolphins activity and is glad that he paid extra for a private session.

Me meets Derrick and before long they bond over dolphins and spend the afternoon with the creatures, and even grumpy old Scrooge who never comes near the dolphins seems to take a liking to Jon. Jon knows he’s only there for a week, but decides to make the most of it, even meeting Derrick’s family and finding out they have a lot in common. Derrick has a Ph.D. in marine biology and Jon is a biology teacher. He wanted to study marine biology but it seems his family told him it was ridiculous and he gave in. At the end of the week Derrick asks him to stay, but that’s too much change for a conservative guy like Jon. When he gets home he starts to doubt his wisdom and a conversation with his brother soon has him putting his head on straight.

There’s not a lot of angst here. You know they are going to get together, but they were both just great guys, and as I said … dolphins!! I really liked that despite Jon kowtowing to his family, his brother was the one member of his family who supported him and never told him his ideas were stupid. I always wondered why his family thought marine biology was a bad choice. Seems to me there would be quite a bit of career opportunity there.

If you’re in the mood for something not to heavy, with a nice feel of being somewhere warm and tropical with nice guys, it’s a perfect choice. With winter bearing down on me, I can imagine picking it up again to escape the cold when it arrives.

 

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