Friday, December 28, 2012

Wish ListWish List by J.J. Cassidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ebook, 61 pages
Published December 1st 2012 
Available at: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781623802165
edition language English
series Evergreen



~~~

So, I think this has been my favorite of my holiday reads this year. It was a little far fetched, but it could happen, so that was okay. It was a little too quick to develop, but I didn't mind. It was a little too sexy, but....naw, you know that's not true.

THE STORY

Berg, just out of the army, finds himself cold, wet and alone on Christmas eve. Rescued by DJ, Berg hesitantly accepts a kindness and is soon overwhelmed with company, food and heat. Lots and lots of body heat.

THE CHARACTERS


(Berg) - Kissing wasn't usually on the menu for Berg; the kind of sex he had mostly involved getting off as fast as possible and never involved horizontal surfaces, except for kneeling on the floor.

Berger Pedersen- Loved him. Those of you who know will understand if I say this character reminded me of the best parts of "Vadim Krasnorada". The gentle, insecure Vadim. Plus the physically strong Vadim. A great combination.

(DJ) - DJ fell flat on his back. Dear Santa, thank you so very fucking much. I always believed in you. Double cookies next year, I swear. Treats for the reindeer, too. I owe you big time.


DJ Delaney- He is confident, forward and so, so sexy. He's perfect in this story, it needed his tentative boldness to drive the story forward and make the pace work.

THE WRITING

I had a ridiculous shock during this book. Just after starting it I glanced to see how far along I was and my heart actually jumped to see I was 74% done. NO! There wasn't going to be enough of this story. I didn't want it to end. I really wanted to stay with these characters for much, much longer. I'd love to see more DJ and Berg in the future.

With the exception of the pushy pace, which was necessary for this short, the writing was tight. No cheesy holiday sentiment here, just straight-forward writing. Very clean. This is all about character development and the author hit the nail on the head. Well done.



I'm off to see what else J.J. Cassidy has for me to read.

~~~

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Aunt Dee Dee's Holiday CheckAunt Dee Dee's Holiday Check by Joel Skelton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Available at: Dreamspinner Press


ebook  65 pages

~ ~ ~


I waited, and hoped, and waited some more and in the end I was well rewarded and full of love. This was a very enjoyable quick read. It took a bit to "get there", but it did get there. I wouldn't mind the Valentine's sequel to this one.


"We're on vacation, right? We've got no one to answer to. We can do whatever we want, right?


Henry is sexy, forward and just hot!

Ethan was at once both amazed and proud of his ability to pleasure.


Ethan, oh Ethan is just mmmmm, yummy!

~ ~ ~

If you are looking for a quickie and feel like you deserve a treat, go for it. This is more about relationship and attraction than Christmas or messages, but no less enjoyable.



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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Flesh Cartel #3: ChoicesThe Flesh Cartel #3: Choices by Rachel Haimowitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Available at: Riptide Publishing see release date below
eBook ISBN: 978-1-937551-71-1
eBook release: Jan 7 2013
eBook formats:  pdf, mobi, html, epub
Word count: 18,800
Page count: ~67
Cover by: Imaliea
~ ~ ~

First Season:
The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture
The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction

Second Season:
Begins with this book #3.

Attention Per Riptide Publishing:

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes:

explicit violence
non-consent


This is a psycho-sexual thriller, not a m/m romance. Please proceed with that in mind:


One of my updates described this as a "speeding bullet" and holy hell it is. Each episode has just, flat out, been one hell of a ride. This speeding bullet will hit you hard with pain, torture, mind fucks and god, this underlying gut-twisting need for these guys to hang on. It's like you know you'd already be totally gone, but Dougie and Mat just can't lose it...not yet. Then, at the same time, losing it would be the best kindness they could get.

You WILL feel these books, these characters, this crazy intensity that doesn't slow down for one minute.

THE CHARACTERS
___
They killed me and I'm a ghost and this is limbo, and they sent me here for hurting my own brother.


Dougie - A PhD grad student isolated with only his devastating guilt for company, he is being prepared to meet a psychological master.
___
...and it didn't escape him how fucked-up his worldview had become when the thought of being claimed by his new owner was something to look the fuck forward to.


Mat - The Fighter. His endurance is his worst enemy; then he meets Nickolai, who plans to teach Mat to endure...everything.
___
Nikolai preferred transformation and ascension to brute terms like "breaking,"


Nickolai A fucking, twisted fuck. Who's character is this? Rachel, Heidi? Damn, I know I hate this guy, without question...but....
___

THE STORY

Out of the fire, into the frying pan. Yeah, that about sums this one up.

THE WRITING

Again, if a story with this level of intensity wasn't written perfectly, it would be a glaring problem. In my opinion, this is written perfectly. In fact, beyond perfect. The hidden, twisted mental turns just kept screwing me to my chair. I want/need to look away but I can't begin to put this series down. Bring me more.

The title, Choices, seemed innocent enough, heh. The next is Consequences Holy hell!


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

~ ~ ~


A very sincere thank you to Netgalley and Riptide Publishing for providing me with a early release version of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

~ ~ ~

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mending Noel by Charlie Cochet
4 of 5 Stars 

ebook, 
64 pages 
Published December 1st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press 
ISBN13 9781623802035 
Series Evergreen
Available at: Dreamspinner Press

 

Clipart



Sparkly Sweet Sexiness!
Dripping Droplets of Delightful Dudes!
Crackling Cinnamon Kisses, Kris Kringle!!!!!!



Holy Holly, I had to take a BIG Jumpin' Jack Frost Leap of Faith on this one. Within two pages I was thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?"  

Thank Tinsel I read on; what a Pretty Present this turned out to be. So, Heighten your Holiday and don't be afraid to climb up on Santa's lap to read this Twink'ling Tale of Christmas Cheer. Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!! 


Rudolph Recommends - Highly 





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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Boy's ShadowOne Boy's Shadow by Ross A. McCoubrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ebook
Published May 24th 2012 by iUniverse.com (first published May 23rd 2012)
Edition Language English
Available at: Amazon.com
YA - Young Adult



Sweet twink Hardy Boys anyone?

~~~~~~

So, I gave a teaser that I had found the Hardy Boys of M/M romance. Let’s see if my analogy holds water:

Young, adorable, sweet-natured, and well-mannered boys?
- Check
Involved in a mystery?
- Check
Budding romance and innocent, eh hm, exploration?
- Check

Okay, so maybe the original Hardy Boys weren’t big on romance but this is a new era and the timing is ripe. Caleb and Shane could definitely show Frank and Joe a thing or two.


”I’ll cover your mouth with one hand to muffle any noise you make, I promise.”
     I couldn’t help it. I laughed. Shane was giggling too as he said, “Guess that’s not very romantic, huh?”
     "Not really. It’s oddly kinda hot, but, no, not very romantic.”
“Fair enough.” Shane flopped over on his back, still snickering.

Whoa now, this is YA. Some may say this is a too good, too innocent, goodie two-shoes read. Maybe, but every now and then I need to climb out from under that dark, cynical shadow (that I enjoy so much) and take a fresh breath of air…….and shed a few tears.

**This may become my number one recommendation for entry-level M/M romance.

Hand this to your bigoted “friends”, share it with your curious kids and read it for yourself to restore something lost. A simple, warm-natured read of love, finding yourself and the strength that comes from both.

THE STORY

At 15, Caleb moves into a new home with a past, which soon becomes;


…the life-changing event people talk about that helps define who you are.

The connection he feels with his new home is tempered with the connection he finds with his new friend Shane. Together, with help from Caleb’s older brother Blake, they work to unravel the mysterious disappearance of another boy some sixty years ago.

THE CHARACTERS

Caleb Lincoln Mackenzie – Honest, but not exemplary. Curious but hesitant. Caleb is a normal, blushing, likeable boy who’s unshakeable values move the story forward.


”I got my first kiss.”

Blake Mackenzie – Best big brother, period.


”Tolerant?” Blake repeated, confused. “I don’t tolerate my brother and my friends. I love and accept them for who they are.”

Shane – Serious, gentle and a survivor.


”I can’t forget it happened, Caleb.”

Toby – Beautiful and illusive. Toby needs to tell his story.


”You guys think maybe Toby didn’t get lost? I mean, maybe there was an accident. Why else would the gunshot be so important?”

THE WRITING

You’ll find this an easy-going, relaxing read which has a steady forward pace. The mystery kept me intrigued and ultimately surprised me. I really thought I had it figured out, but I was so wrong. Well done.

The youthful, coming-of-age romance is handled very well. There’s a little steam which is very tastefully presented.

If I have any concerns, it’s with the ease of acceptance Caleb found. However, I think the author is sending the message, “It get’s better” and indeed society isn’t what it once was. Opinions are changing and it’s nice to see that represented once in a while. Caleb does have to overcome prejudice but it’s not the knock-out, drag-out typically found in this sort of story. Kind of refreshing really.

~~~
Admittedly, I am slightly swayed in this review by a new Twitter friendship with the delightful Ross McCoubrey. His lovely nature is well represented in his writing and may have helped to push this 4.8 star review to 5.0.



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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Afflicted IIAfflicted II by Brandon Shire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recommended
 E-book and Paperback, 214 pages
Available at: Amazon.com and others via BrandonShire.com
Expected publication: December 6th 2012 by TPG Books
ISBN13 9781480289857
Edition Language English
Series

10% of sales proceeds go to LGBT Youth organizations supported by Brandon Shire.


”Two men,” Hunter said, “pulling each other in to the center of a circle.”

The abrupt ending of Afflicted (I) left me breathless; I needed more, immediately. Luckily, the wait was worth it. This contemporary romance stands out primarily due to the unique character that is Hunter Stephens. However, it’s the sex, and the sex, and the hot, hot, hot sex that cements this story. The non-visual descriptions allow the reader a special experience that is like nothing else. Through Hunter and Dillon’s sexual explorations they learn everything about one another. They see what is beautiful and what is broken. From outside influences and internal struggles there is much to overcome before they can make a solid commitment.

I suggest really trying to read this book while considering how you would describe things if you couldn’t see. Had never seen. Your words would undoubtedly be different. I found that Hunter’s descriptions of physical attributes, whether Dillon’s or nature's, were often connected to emotions. The descriptions of emotions that Dillon’s body felt like to Hunter is fascinating and makes for a rare reading experience. It is Masculine and Raw and very Real.

THE STORY Sort of...

>Sex in the cabin was about confessions and demons.
>Sex against the wall, well that was just about lust and power.
>Sex in the kitchen was about discovering something new. And spicy!
>Sex, public sex, was about so many things, but mostly about Brandon giving us a gift. Holy hell, what a gift. Thank you Mr. Shire!!!!

Honestly there is a lot more to the story than sex, and it's all poignant, pertinent and captivating.

THE WRITING


It’s not space I want…” Hunter said as he reached up and captured the side of Dillon’s face in his palm.He ran his thumb across Dillon’s chin, feeling the small stubble. “…It’s breadth,…

Mr. Shire’s writing in Afflicted II is straight-forward without as much lyrical prose found in Afflicted. I found his composition tight and the story arc was perfection . There is a new-found ease that works well for this story.

THE CHARACTERS

Hunter Stephens- Arrogant, defensive, fiercely independent and gorgeous. He’s blind, but that’s everyone else’s problem. He might even throw a tantrum or two to prove it. Oh, my little ninja.


Because I’m impulsive, and immature, and…in love with you..

Dillon Chambers- A broken survivor; Dillon will steal your heart. Sweet, tender, gentle. OH WAIT, he can also dominate the hell out of Hunter. Really.

Others- Every secondary character is well-developed and intriguing on their own:

Travis – Worth fixing? I don’t know.
Lydia – Let’s get her a real man.
Margie – We could all use a Margie in our lives. Let’s get her laid.
Connie – There isn’t enough Connie in this story, but she’s perfect.
Roland – Hmm, a fighter, a savior, a pimp. Hmm.

~~~~~~~

His cries became a weight; a mass that was more than either of them could tolerate.


His touch was like liquid sugar; sweet, and hot, and running so slowly over Hunter’s skin that it felt like he was on fire everytime Dillon caressed him with his lips.

~~~~~~~


**My sincerest thanks to Brandon Shire for providing me with an eARC of this wonderful story in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

A Solid Core of AlphaA Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ebook, 320 pages
Published August 8th 2011 by (first published August 7th 2011)  
  Available at Dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN 9781613721
Edition Language English
This book was released in 2011 and has been reviewed and rated heavily. It was, in part, due to the high rating that I decided to give it a try. Also, I love sci-fi and when it has a M/M romance element, then all the better. It's going to be very hard to put into words how much I enjoyed every moment of this read. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading much more from Amy Lane.

THE STORY

…and C.J. was plunged into a hell so exquisite there wasn’t a name for it.


I think I would call this a Lost and Found story. In fact, it is the ultimate lost story. Being alone on a space shuttle for 10 years, without human contact, of any kind, would cause anyone to lose it. The world Anderson builds to counteract his loneliness is fascinating and as I read I thought that would be the main focus of the story. It isn't until Anderson's shuttle reaches an outpost that the "real" story unfolds and makes this book so much more than I expected.

THE WRITING


Above them, the night was darkest purple, and the stars were so clear and white they could draw blood.
The writing style is very straight-forward. No fancy tricks, very little poetic prose and it still kept me glued to the page. Amy Lane's style seems clean, understandable and enjoyable. I wouldn't call her writing simplistic as it was her carefully crafted underlying anticipation that had me applying the brakes while I was plowing on full-speed ahead.

THE CHARACTERS

No one else got to gawk at the boy who had talked to dolls for over eight years.


Anderson Rawn - Surprisingly multi-faceted, Anderson grows, suffers, flirts, loves and hates. He's endearingly innocent and admirably strong. It’s easy to imagine yourself in Anderson’s place. It’s hard to think about how you would fare.

C.J.’s sigh came from his toes.


Cyril John Poulson (C.J.) – Playful, intelligent, caring and sexy. CJ is too smart for his own good, when he meets Anderson he knows he’s in trouble, he knows whichever way he moves forward could be the biggest mistake of his life.

”Anderson…” It was a plea, but not even C.J. knew whether it was a plea to stop or to keep going…”



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