Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘B-’ Category

ReturnToDestiny_cvr-2-210x330Title: Return to Destiny
Author: Vona Logan
Length: 16,000 words
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: m/m time travel romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
Wade Summers is a decent guy… who happens to have a ghost taking advantage of his body at will. His attempts to escape it have failed, not that Wade is complaining. But while his body is teased, tantalized and taken to new heights of pleasure, his soul longs to know more about this enigmatic lover.

In 2022, erotic dreams and déjà vu of a gorgeous man are driving Michael Turner insane. When a strange old man convinces him he’s let Mr. Right slip through his fingers, Michael desperately tries to figure out at what point he missed getting the man of his dreams and will stop at nothing to return to his destiny.

Review:
I have a fondness for time travel romance and this one had an unusual twist. It tells of Wade who is suffering from an unusual condition. Every so often a ghostly visitor caresses him to orgasm. On one hand, Wade finds the erotic interludes very satisfying but on the other, they happen at the most embarrassing and inconvenient moments. Nine years in the future, Michael is having erotic dreams about a stranger. He visits a New Age type shop to try and find some answers to these dreams and instead discovers a way to find his mystery lover.

The story begins well with a light humourous touch in the narrative as Wade abandons his family dinner when his ghostly visitor arrives. It was a an amusing start and I liked that the lighthearted tone remained for the rest of the story. There’s a bittersweetness to the story when we move to Michael and he is considering the missed opportunities in his life. Wishing he could turn back the clock and his reevaluation of some of the bad decisions he has made is something we can all identify with, and I felt a good deal of sympathy for Michael.

The time travel aspect blended a certain amount of far eastern mysticism with a gruesome procedure, along with an interesting secondary character in the man who offers Michael the key to happiness. Once Michael has gone back nine years, we are teased a little as the lead up to the men meeting is delayed and built. Once they meet the story is sweet and satisfying and the story left me feeling happy for both of them.

If I have any niggles, it’s that out of the couple, Wade isn’t as well rounded as Michael and I would have liked to have seen a bit more of him. Aside from that very minor niggle, this was a nicely written and engaging story that I would be happy to recommend to those who like the time travel theme.

Read Full Post »

Say_EverythingTitle: Say Everything
Author: Gina A. Rogers
Length: 16,000 words
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rating: B-

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

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

Review:
This was a nicely written short, one of those which feels complete with a definite structure and story which satisfied without leaving me wanting more. It tells of Gregory who, after 20 years of mourning the loss of his best friend, has decided that it’s time to make some steps towards moving on. He advertises a room full of 80’s memorabilia for sale and this brings Chad who is a party planner looking for things for an 80’s themed party.

There was much to like about the story. The opening meet between the men sizzles with sexual tension and I liked that they weren’t afraid to go for what they wanted. Chad’s vitality and energy calls to Gregory who is at a turning point in his life. Chad helps him along this difficult road and I very much enjoyed seeing them develop as a couple. There was a lighthearted tone to the narrative which offset the theme of recovering from grief. The story never felt heavy but still managed to show how difficult life had become for Gregory.

The part which worked less well for me was at the end when the big secret is revealed. It wasn’t much of a secret to be honest and part of me was hoping that the story wouldn’t develop the way it did. That type of plot has become tired and a little cliched in my opinion and I wasn’t too happy to see it dragged out again here. I finished the story pleased for the characters and charmed by their relationship but slightly disappointed at the lack of originality in the final reveal.

Overall, this is a story I would recommend and maybe there will be many readers out there who won’t mind the cliche at the end. Certainly, the excellent writing and the characterisation compensates for that ending.

Read Full Post »

whiplashTitle: Whiplash
Author: Jack Greene
Length: 8,000 words (23 pdf pages)
Publisher:
Phaze Books
Genre: m/m contemporary
Rating: B-

Blurb:

When lawyer Jeff Richmond is rear-ended by a soccer mom in a minivan, he can’t believe it when the diagnosis is whiplash.

The prescription is physical therapy, but when he meets the therapist, adorably geeky Martin, he suddenly has other things on his mind.

Review:

This has the typical feel of a Jack Greene book, light and fun with a hint of the fantasy. Jeff is one of those driven lawyers who never has time for anything. Being rear-ended forces him to acknowledge that whiplash is a real thing. He’s forced to take time out of his busy schedule to undergo physiotherapy. Although once he meets his physiotherapist Martin, he’s not complaining quite so much.

After a few weeks of therapy, Jeff makes a move, but Martin explains that he’s very shy and a virgin which usually scares guys off, but Jeff is happy to tackle that little problem. 🙂

The rest of the book is their date at Martin’s house and the sexual interlude. There’s next to zero angst, but I do enjoy the author’s writing style and sometimes you just want something where everything works out pretty easily and leaves you with a smile on your face. I also like that Martin made Jeff lighten up a little bit, and having mild whiplash, I can only imagine how much it hurts when it’s serious. It was a fun read.

Read Full Post »

SuperheroesVacationTitle: Superheroes on Vacation
Author: Helen Louise Caroll
Length: 9,000 words
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m science fiction comedy romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
When a secret agent and a superhero go on vacation, trouble follows.

Secret agent Gary Finn has been looking forward to this vacation for weeks. Besides spending some quality time in the Jacuzzi with his lover, Cole, he’s planning on asking him a very important question.

Cole, also known as the superhero the Crimson Bug, is looking forward to this vacation just as much Gary. His birthday is coming up and he needs something to distract him from the feeling that he’s getting too old for the job.

Unfortunately for both men and their plans, the casino they’ve picked for their vacation spot has just become the target of a supervillain…

Review
I rather enjoyed the previous story, Superheroes in the Suburbs, which provided an amusing pastiche on the world of superheroes and secret agent agencies. In this story we meet up again with Cole, AKA Crimson Bug, and his lover Gary, who works for a hush hush secret agency. Gary has planned the perfect getaway, setting the scene for a planned marriage proposal. Unfortunately things don’t go to planned when their casino is raided by an evil supervillain.

Like the previous book the best part of this story is in the amusing references to superheroes as it pokes gentle fun at heroes, villains and super secret agents. I smiled a lot at these references and got the impression that the author was having a great time thinking up ridiculous scenarios for the main character’s past exploits. Everything is over the top but that’s the point of the story and so I found myself vastly amused.

Alongside the pastiche is a sweet romance between Gary and Cole as both consider retirement and a peaceful life with each other. In many ways I wish there had been a bit more of a focus on that aspect to the story. It gets squashed in between all the silliness and I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a bit more of the romance added to the end once all the action was over and the bad guy defeated.

Having said that, this really was an amusing and fun story. If you’re looking for something lighthearted then this would be a good story to pick up.

Read Full Post »

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.

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Hooked_2013Title: Hooked
Author: Indra Vaughn
Length: 18,000 words
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
Robin goes out to have an itch scratched and ends up with more than he bargained for in Tyler. Or maybe he didn’t bargain enough.

Robin Lloyd has it all, he’s successful, makes good money, and he’s handsome enough to get laid without having to think twice about it.

Tyler Anthony, the lay of the day, catches him off guard in more ways than one. Robin has no idea he’s taking a prostitute home, or that he’s going to become addicted to the guy, even if the sex they’re having could hardly be mistaken for affectionate.

Review:
Robin goes out to a club looking for a hook-up and finds it in the form of Tyler. However, once they get back to Robin’s place Tyler starts negotiating fees and Robin realises he’s accidentally picked up a hooker. After a bit of outrage on Robin’s part, he agrees to the fee and gets his hook-up but it leaves Robin feeling unsettled. He can’t get Tyler out of his head and seeks him out again. Tyler, however, isn’t interested in anything but mind-games.

I’m a bit of a sucker for hooker stories and this one drew me in straight away. Robin’s obsession with Tyler was played well and I could see how Tyler had managed to get under Robin’s skin. Robin’s emotions were realistic as he veers between a strong desire to see Tyler and self disgust because he knows that Tyler is only messing with his feelings. Part of me wanted Robin to gain some self-respect and forget about Tyler and yet I also understood why Robin kept coming back for more. The teasing glimpses of the real Tyler show a vulnerable man worthy of Robin’s affections. The scenes where they are together are hot and passionate, full of emotional undertones and despite the bad way that Tyler treats Robin, I wanted them to end up together.

Any niggles I had with the story were to do with lack of specifics. Robin is a self made man but aside from mentioning that he works hard, we don’t really know what his business entails. We know next to nothing about Tyler and sometimes I wished we had seen some scenes from Tyler’s point of view. I wanted to know what was going on in his head and perhaps then I would have had more sympathy about some of his behaviour. Instead he often comes across as manipulative and ungrateful.

However, these niggles are only minor things in a story that gripped me from the first page. I read the story quickly, drawn in by the character of Robin and his indecision over Tyler and so I’d happily recommend this story.

Read Full Post »

FlexibilityTitle: Flexibility
Author: Maja Rose
Length: 6,104 words (27 pdf pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Rating: B-

Blurb:

Jared Glass thinks he’s got a pretty sweet deal. Andrew Blackwell is his best friend and roommate, they both live for gymnastics, and Jared’s on his way to the 2016 Olympics. Then Jared’s teammate breaks his leg, and Andy is named his replacement … except no one tells Jared, and isn’t that something you’d tell your best friend? Then again, they’re good at bending around the obvious: Andy’s been in love with Jared for years but stays silent; Jared denies it could even be possible. Surely two friends this close can be more?

Review:

I think if you like characters who are rather flighty and self-deluded you’ll enjoy this, or he’ll make you crazy. Jared doesn’t handle change well, and just in advance of the Olympics, his roommate suddenly becomes his team-mate which throws him completely into a panic attack. He also sort of admits that he is into Andy, but has managed to convince himself that it’s normal he’s jealous of Andy’s boyfriends, and that he never wants him to leave. Besides, Jared’s had girlfriends.

Even Jared’s twin sister gives him grief over his hidden homosexuality, but he continues to deny it, until Andy is hurt in a car accident and he finally realizes the reality of it all.

I did enjoy Jared, even if he is totally over the top. His internal monologue as he convinces himself that he’s not in love with Andy, and that finding him attractive is normal, and telling himself that he’s totally self-aware, were amusing. Even though they cuddle and hold each other, he’s padding happily down the Nile.

Plus, Jared refuses to believe he’s that dumb. No way is he emotionally constipated enough not to have noticed he’s in love with his best friend. That would seriously be the worst example of self-awareness ever. Anna is totally wrong; he is like 300 percent innate emotional awareness, 200 percent muscle. Like Batman. Actually, bad example on the awareness slot.

The banter between Jared and his twin was cute. A typical sister she wastes no time in tell him he’s an idiot, and I liked that Andy was letting him go at his own pace, but I could see that Jared’s drama-queen antics could put some readers off. However it almost reminded me of a sitcom. Everything has to be just a little bit extreme to show how ridiculous he’s being. I found myself smiling while reading and the length is just right for that kind of humour as I doubt it could be sustained for a novel length book or it would make you crazy long before it ended. Great if you need a pick-me up.

Read Full Post »

IndieRadio113_9Title: Indie Radio 113.9
Author: Saura Underscore
Length: 80 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:
Jacob Timber is hopelessly crushing on very private radio personality Ethan Moore—host of the most famous Indie music radio show on London’s 113.9, the Jukebox Hour—but being in love with a voice isn’t much different than being alone. Jacob’s not even sure the man is gay.

Jacob is so infatuated that all he wants for his birthday is to meet his crush in person—and he gets his wish. With Ethan and Jacob, it’s love at first sight.

But do dreams really come true? Despite how he feels in Ethan’s arms, Jacob doubts it. He knows he’ll never be happy with a man who pretends to love him, only to bring his true girlfriend to public events.

Review:
This sweet story begins with Jacob who works in a London bar whilst studying for a degree in Law. His dream is to meet the presenter of his favourite radio show, Ethan Moore, whose sexy voice gives Jacob wicked thoughts. His dream comes true but 18 months later Jacob’s dreams are shattered when he sees Ethan kissing a woman.

The story is in two parts with the first part dealing with the beginnings of Jacob and Ethan’s relationship. Jacob is one of those likeable characters with a sweet and unassuming personality. I quickly warmed to him and wished him well, smiling when he gets a chance with Ethan. Ethan is less well defined but we learn enough about him through Jacob’s narrative to get the impression of a nice guy whose attraction to Jacob is strong.

The second part of the book is twenty months later. Jacob is in despair after splitting up with Ethan two months previously. He’s persuaded to listen to Ethan’s show (he hasn’t listened since they split up) and makes a startling discovery. This part was done well too with a frantic change of pace as Jacob realises he may have made a mistake. Forced separation isn’t often my favourite plot device but because the separation has happened off page, and the focus is on the reconcilliation, the story worked well for me. There’s a decent amount of character growth as Jacob has to face up to the fact that he may well have been the cause of his own misery by refusing to speak to Ethan, and the story ends with a warmth that I found pleasurable.

This is a new author to me and I enjoyed her writing. There were some occasional stilted phrases but on the whole the story was smoothly written. I gobbled up the story and found it to be a fairly satisfying read. My only niggle was that whilst these characters were nice guys and the radio show was an unusual twist, I can’t see this story sticking in the mind for long. However, I would still recommend it to those of you looking to pass an enjoyable half hour.

Read Full Post »

nomanslandTitle: No Man’s Land
Author: GS Wiley
Length: 10,929 words
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: m/m Historical Romance
Rating: B-

Blurb:

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

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

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

Review:

I’m always excited to get a new GS Wiley story to review, so I was eager to open this story. Historical Fiction/Romance isn’t typically my favorite genre, but every now and then I get a hankering for it. This story was nice in that respect, because it can sometimes be daunting for me to dive into a long historical novel.

The premise of this story is the effect of war on men. Henry forges a special friendship, even a semi-loving relationship with Jack, another soldier in the trenches in France in WWI. No Man’s Land is the “over the top”, the area of death where no one seems to return. Henry is plagued — both in the trenches and after the war — with the images of broken and lifeless men. Near to rotting with trench rot on one foot and infested with fleas, nevertheless, they seem to find a special moment a day before Jack goes “over the top.”

Eight years later, Henry is back in London working for the defense of other former soldiers such as himself, dealing with the effects of the war. He’s a widower with a little girl named Louise. He deals daily with his broken memory and the secrets he’s held to himself, but it isn’t until he runs into Jack that the issues — and the hope for more than lonely fatherhood — arise once more for him. Only now, there are other difficulties between them, their memories, the illegality of their love for one another and the secret that Jack has held all these years.

I did quite enjoy this story. It’s too short to really get into the story but for a 10k word short story, it does really well to convey the world and doesn’t offer too much plot for it’s size. The downside to that is that I think some will be disappointed not to get more of the romance between the two. Some pretty big issues develop between Henry and Jack, on top of the difficulty of trying to have a relationship in the first place and there really isn’t enough time to get into the characters the way that I’d really like to. But, the choice of length aside, the author did well with the length and presented the story as a second chance between the two men and a start to something new. And it’s definitely a story that I could see with a couple of sequels. There is quite a lot of story that is left to tell, in my opinion, and I would definitely be interested to read them.

If you’re like me and like to read a historical short rather than delving into a longer historical work, then this should definitely be on your list. I liked the feel of the story, there’s a pervasive air of tension, fear and depression in the story and Henry engages in his world by comparison to his experiences in the war. That creates a dire mood that is somewhat lifted by the appearance of an older Jack. I’ve always liked GS Wiley’s writing, so this is another story that I connected with.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »