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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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