Monday, March 25, 2013

Cambion - Dark Around the Edges: Black Magic Woman - 4 Stars

Dark Around the Edges: Black Magic Woman (Cambion, #2)Dark Around the Edges: Black Magic Woman 
by Cari Z.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Available at: Storm Moon Press and Amazon
Release Date February 08, 2013
Book Type Serial
Category Gay
ISBN 978-1-937058-88-3
Cover Art  Nathie Block
Heat Rating
Keywords
abuse themes, angels, dark themes, demons, friends with benefits, incest, M/M, mythology, non-con, paranormal, religious themes, sadism, speculative fiction, torture, urban fantasy

~ ~ ~

4 Sexy Hot M/M PNR Stars

I’m totally hooked! Episode 2 clinched this serial for me. The slowly building relationship between Rio and Dev is wrapped with graphically gratifying, sexy treats and sweetness. So Hot! The great twisted, action-adventure/mystery going on is developing well too.

I love how the Cambion element erases all sense of “inappropriateness” for Devon…and me. Expecting him to refrain from sex would be like asking a dog to stop sniffing around. It’s just what he does, naturally. And he “does it”, naturally, very well. 

THE BLURB 

Episode 2: Black Magic Woman
Tracking Porter Grey means making a deal with Lynlis Syfer, a witch with a gift for finding the unfindable. It takes something special to catch the eye of a woman like that, and so Devon and Rio split up in order to blacken the eyes of Lynlis' two main rivals. But that just gets them in the door. To secure her help requires a sacrifice that may be higher than the boys can afford.
 

THE CHARACTERS

You know it’s good when you can’t tell which MC you want more.


“More,” Devon panted once he was capable of speech. “Again. Just like this, I can take it, I want to.”
“I can do that,” Rio said.


Devon - “Mmmyesss,” Devon said, purring like a kitten. “That’s so… that was so… hhmmmm.” – His incoherent purring just gives me tummy thrills. Oooh, and just wait 'til he takes you shopping!

Rio - …the bottom line…effective violence. Seven feet of mysterious, smooth killing, lover. And, he’s sensitive too.

THE STORY

This episode focuses on separate tasks, and then a combined effort for Rio and Devon. They each get to use their “special talents” (and these boys have…talents), like sex appeal and assassination. But it’s the skills they use on each other that will have you back for more.

Rio and Devon are damn hot together, even if they’re not really a couple…yet. Their chemistry is sweet and spicy and is just getting better and better. The way this episode ends has me absolutely dying to know how Cari Z is going to handle Devon’s predicament, and how Rio is going to “handle” Devon.

THE WRITING

I haven’t read Cari Z before this serial and I’m taken by her ease at combining PNR with the contemporary world. Her sex scenes are fun and erotic and her steam-control-valve on the developing romantic relationship is adjusted just right. I really want to read more of her work.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

~ ~ ~

I sincerely thank Storm Moon Press for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
 ~ ~ ~


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Freedom by Jay Kirkpatrick 5/5 Stars

FreedomFreedom by Jay Kirkpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Available at: Dreamspinner Press and Amazon
ISBN-13: 978-1-62380-284-4
Pages: 232
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Categories: Novels, Science Fiction, Jay Kirkpatrick
Book Type: eBook
File Formats Available: .epub, .mobi, html, pdf 
Other formats: Paperback
~ ~ ~

4.8 Stars

Splendor/Tragedy
Serenity/Anguish
Humanity/Brutality
Touch/Disconnect


An absorbing read that was equally exhilarating and thought-provoking. I was immediately pulled into this book by expressive writing and palpable characters.

Written in a Part 1 – Confinement / Part 2 – Escape format; Freedom is a captivating look at post-apocalyptic earth where psychic ability determines your status in society. Everyone is tested and ranked according to their abilities and usefulness. The higher one tests is not necessarily a good thing. Having “Talent” is the difference between living a hard street life or being a useful member of society. OR, being a tool to be broken.


”People like you and me, Paddy, we’re the lucky ones,” he said quietly. “We tested nicely into pre-established categories. We’re Talented enough to be usedful, but not Talented enough to be interesting.”


Plus, the cover is striking and perfect for the story. It's the best depiction I've seen in a while.

DESCRIPTION
In a future Earth, Patrick Harvey, newly promoted Class One Empath, dreams of the independence his position brings and the apartment he’s saving for. His first solo assignment is treating John Doe 439, a man found outside the city, battered, traumatized, and apparently mute.
Despite a strong taboo against Empaths forging romantic relationships, Patrick realizes he feels a strong attraction to his patient. Soon he learns the man is a high-level Psychic Talent named Jac. Then Jac reveals that there are abusive people hunting him for his gifts, and Patrick’s uncomplicated world explodes.
Jac needs to meet up with his companions and flee the city before anyone else can find him—but it may be too late. Word of Jac’s talents has leaked to Central Government in Chicago. If Jac wants to retain his freedom, he needs to run—now. And if Patrick wants to explore a relationship his society tells him he can’t have, he’ll have to exchange the safe fetters of his job for the uncertainty of liberty.
 THE CHARACTERS

Patrick Harvey (Paddy) - Naïve, intelligent, gentle and kind. Patrick has much to learn about a world he though he knew well.


I wanted to know what was in his mind, what his Talents were, how his life had been. I wanted… I wanted to taste his mouth again, to feel those hard but tender fingers touch my skin. I wanted… wanted…
You can have.


John Doe 439 (Jac) - Unique, special, Talented. Jac changes Patrick’s world while relearning it himself.

The additional characters; Charlie, Sam, Rob and more are all fully realized and completely interesting. Ms. Kirkpatrick truly fleshed out each secondary creating a very full story.

THE STORY

Newly promoted Patrick gets a crack at his first solo case, John Doe 439. John Doe has seemingly lost all decipherable communication skills, but Patrick is determined to make progress. Slowly the two learn to communicate and then, more importantly, to connect. The astounding beauty within Jac (John Doe) reveals itself to Patrick gradually, but others are becoming aware of his ‘specialness’ too. The world is turned upside down when we see that it isn’t Jac who is unclear, but instead Patrick who must decide whether to follow Jac into the unknown or remain in a world of deception.


He is changing me in ways I didn’t know I could change.


A tender moment, one of the most special lovemaking scenes I have read, cements the reader’s need to see Paddy and Jac survive. But there are many, many difficulties and even interesting current (real life) moral issues you may have to come to terms with in deciding whether their relationship works for you. Lots of food for thought here.

No onscreen sex, but the stunning impressions made by the romance are dazzling.

THE WRITING

There’s an interesting usage of mixed POV’s which flowed surprisingly well. I believe this is a first published work for Jay Kirkpatrick, and if that’s true, this is an outstanding effort. The author has shown humanity's capacity for ugliness and brutality, compassion through touch, and how strong community can adapt to survive to create awareness of what is truly important.


Patrick stared at the white toilet on the white floor against the white wall in his tiny white bathroom and listened to the sound of illusions shattering.


EXCEPTIONAL

~ ~ ~

I truly want to thank Dreamspinner Press for taking a chance and sending me an ARC of this fantastic novel. Thank you.

~ ~ ~

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

City Mouse by Amy Lane, Aleksandr Voinov 4/5 Stars

City Mouse (Country Mouse, #2)City Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-005-5
eBook release: Mar 18 2013
eBook formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Word count: 41,100   Page count: 157
Cover by: Jordan Taylor
~ ~ ~

4 Enjoyable Stars


”Strong is having the faith to run after a guy you’ve fallen for and taking the risk of looking like an idiot…”

There’s a lot to be found in this story; humor, sarcasm, frustration, romance, tenderness, erotica….It hit all my buttons. Malcolm’s snarky humor completely captured me in the beginning and Owen’s tender loving calm balanced the relationship. Oh yeah, and the icy-hot sex scene is NOT TO BE MISSED.


”I don’t have any kinks,” Owen lied. And squirmed, too.

Well-dressed Brits is technically a kink,” Malcolm asserted with roughly two-tons of smugness in his compact frame.

THE BLURB

A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?
Wrong.
When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story.  Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.
One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.
Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.



This title is #2 of the Country Mouse series.


THE CHARACTERS

Malcolm Kavanagh - His cynical humor and delightful emotional immaturity had me wrapped around his little finger…just like Owen. It’s hard to deny a guy who needs you SO much, even if he’s an “overbearing wanker.”


Malcolm didn’t like to admit he needed, but he did, and when he gave in and needed Owen, Owen was all about giving this man what he could.


Owen Watson - Good-natured, easygoing and mature beyond his years Owen has a rather magnanimous patience for Mal’s moody tantrums. He’s an anchor in this story and heck, he makes an American girl proud.

I also enjoyed the portrayal of both the moms in the story. Level headed, wise and loving. Nice.


”When you get to that point where you notice a person’s faults, you’ve got to decide if you can live with them or can’t live without them.”


There’s also a cross-over appearance by Percy who is also found in the Market Garden serial. Plus a peek inside the Market Garden itself.

THE STORY

I really enjoyed Country Mouse, book #1 in this series, and totally enjoyed the continuing development of the whirlwind romance in book #2. Mal and Owen know they have a lot to learn about each other, but they also know they have something worthy of the effort. It might be too fast and easy for some, but I was just so caught up in the passionate romance to really notice.

Malcolm is really lucky to have found Owen; possibly the only one who would put up with his domineering personality. Luckily, Owen has some pretty powerful traits of his own. Owen’s gentle nature and calm patience bowl Malcolm over…he really never sees his own control being gently coaxed to surrender.

The relationship elements are as good as the sexy bits, and the sexy bits are good, really, really good.

THE WRITING

Witty humor and quick paced, Lane and Voinov work extraordinarily well together. The grouchy plays so well off the sweet that you can imagine they had a great time co-writing with each other. There was a moment at 84% where I actually shouted out a “hurray!” A decidedly great choice by the authors, and much appreciated.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

~ ~ ~

I would like to sincerely thank Netgalley and Riptide Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Green-Eyed Monster (Crucifox, #1) by Melanie Tushmore 3.5 Stars

The Green-Eyed Monster (Crucifox, #1)The Green-Eyed Monster by Melanie Tushmore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Available at: Storm Moon Press and Amazon
Series Crucifox
Length 99,000 words 241 pages
Release Date March 01, 2013
Book Type Novel
Category Gay, Bisexual
ISBN 978-1-937058-48-7
Cover Art Ria Chantler
Heat Rating


~ ~ ~

3.5 Rockin' Stars!!!


Thrust into the 80’s London alt-rock scene, there’s no doubt that sex, drugs and all the rest are alive and kicking. The gritty club scene is one thing, but then you’re subjected to the grotty communal living conditions that somehow make you yearn for that kind camaraderie. The descriptive drug use and sex are in-your-face and very authentic. There’s also a m-m-f ménage scene just to add some more spice.

Admittedly it did take me a while but, hot boy lovin’ mixed with awkward relationship development eventually won me over. Plus, the weird, crazy, wild-ride ending that threw me for a loop and had me not knowing what to expect next, totally blew my mind. I’ll have to stick around with this series, if nothing more, just to see if the author can take another sharp left turn and surprise me again. 

THE BLURB
Sky Somers is an ex-traveller; the son of a folk musician and a new age hippy. Sky's form of rebellion is electric guitars, and he wants his own band. His desire is to set the world to rights through music. Brandon Cruikshank is new to London, recently arrived from Glasgow. Charismatic, charming; a natural born performer. Brandon is openly bisexual, with a penchant for dressing in women's clothes. His desire is to be adored.

From the moment Sky meets Brandon, he knows he has to have him. Brandon, in turn, wants Sky. But that's when it becomes clear they both have very different desires in mind. Brandon wants Sky as a lover, yet Sky only wants Brandon as a singer in his band. Misunderstanding set aside—or apparently so—Brandon and Sky become firm friends. To escape equally troubled pasts and families, they change their names. Now, Brandon Fox and Sky St. Clair are ready to take over the world.

As the years roll on, Brandon's desire for Sky still simmers, waiting. Then a chance night sharing a hotel room sparks the desire between them, and this time, Brandon wants it all. Sky has never explored his desires before. Now, the passion and jealousy Brandon has unleashed in him threatens to shake the whole band apart.

THE CHARACTERS

Sky - The insecure lead guitarist is an acid using, hardcore musician who’s constantly fighting a past he’s trying to outrun or live up to, I can’t decide which. He’s straight, bi or gay depending on the moment and he’s completely enamored with Brandon, even if he doesn’t know it himself.


”Ah, E is different.” Brandon picked up his flask, taking a sip. “All it does is make you really, really horny.”
“Huh? How do you mean?”
“It just makes you horny. Christ, it’s like bein’ a dog wi’ two dicks, an’ everythin’ feels amazin’.
[…]
My face flushed all the harder…
[…]
“So, you take a pill, then what happens?”
“You feel incredible.”
”And?”...


Brandon - He’s the perfect front man for Crucifox. Flamboyant is a rather understated description of Brandon. If his smooth cool doesn’t get you, his sexy-as-hell Scottish brogue will. Mmmm. Plus, any boy that uses that much Aqua Net holds a certain charm for me.

THE STORY

From back street dives to envy worthy venues we get to tour along with the band – Crucifox. The early drug induced haze and complete lack of professionalism had me wondering if these guys even had a chance of getting their act together. But it’s the combination of the entire band – the cast of characters – that just works. Cringe worthy behind the scenes glimpses of life in the limelight make the successes feel well earned. Somehow these guys and girls stumble through mind-boggling drug and drink fests, while gaining success along the way. At the same time they learn a bit about themselves.

At times (in fact for a good part of the book) Brandon is a prat, but then so is Sky…urgh, I just want to shake these boys!

The band's highs and lows are not smooth. Just when you think you can relax and enjoy their success it all goes to hell. Hang on for a fanatical, bizarre and wild ending that just comes out of nowhere. ROCK & ROLL Maaaaan!

THE WRITING

Initially I found the first person style clunky, but it actually improved throughout the book. The voices did take on a tone of their own, eventually and connections were made. A few scenes seemed to go nowhere or nowhere for now…this is a series, after all. We’ll have to see where it goes. I was curious to see if the series will continue to focus on Sky and Brandon, but a little bird just told me book two is in Brandon’s voice. That is a very good thing. *maybe I can get it in audiobook ‘cus I can’t get enough of that delicious brogue, hmmm.

~ ~ ~

I would like to thank Storm Moon Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

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Friday, March 8, 2013

If It Flies: Market Garden by L.A. Witt, A. Voinov 4 Stars

If It Flies (Market Garden, #3)If It Flies by L.A. Witt  and Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available at: Riptide Publishing
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-004-8
eBook release: Mar 11 2013
eBook formats:pdf, mobi, html, epub
Word count: 35,300
Page count: 139
Cover by: Jordan Taylor


~ ~ ~

4 Intense Stars


Spencer braced against the bed and forced back tears that were increasingly from pleasure more than pain.
Pleasure? From--
Snap.
God, yes.
Snap.

Longer than the first two books in the series combined, this book plays with deeper connections. I thought the Market Garden books might maintain the lighter, sweeter tone of the first two, but no. Instead, Witt and Voinov approached this one with more intensity, if you can believe it. One of the things they did carry over though, was the tempo of building a scene. If they’re trying to get you off, they’re successful. Is that saying too much?

Told from Spencer’s POV, it’s clear why he’s attracted to Nick. What isn’t completely clear is, why the sudden change in Nick? Presumably the next book will show his POV, and that should be EPIC. I find Nick a very interesting character. A beautiful, young blonde guy who’s a Dom just doesn’t fit my preconceived notions. Why I have preconceived notions of Doms is another topic all together.


So strange, being this offbalance and aroused at the same time.


This BDSM tale may not suit the same audience that books 1 & 2 did; the sweeter tone isn’t here but the MC’s find in each other exactly what they need. I appreciate the time the authors took to get me into a headspace where I could understand how pain can enhance the moment. I love the “sparks of light” analogy and if that is truly what it’s like for some, then yes; I can grasp the concept and the pull of that experience. I hope the Market Garden books choose to explore all kinds of sexual experiences, after all that’s exactly what a garden should offer…variety.


The stars are coming out.
THE BLURB

If it flies, drives, or fornicates, it’s cheaper to rent it.
Spencer is in a rut. Long hours at the law firm are sucking the life out of him, and he doesn’t have time or energy for a relationship. He’s lonely, horny, and itching for something new, so he tries the Market Garden, an exclusive—and expensive—brothel. Spencer isn’t in the door five minutes before a cocky rentboy makes his move.
Nick isn’t just any rentboy, though. He’s a Dom, he’s a sadist, and he’s everything Spencer didn’t know he was missing. One night turns into more, and before long, Spencer is one of Nick’s regular clients.
Both men think they’re just scratching each other’s backs: Spencer’s exploring a submissive, masochistic side he never knew he had, and Nick is getting off and getting paid. But as time goes on, it’s clear their strictly professional arrangement . . . isn’t, and if Nick has one hard limit, it’s that he doesn’t get romantically entangled with his johns. The problem is, while Nick doesn't want to be owned, Spencer’s no longer content with just renting.

THE CHARACTERS

Spencer - By day Spencer is an overworked, highly stressed attorney who needs to let go of some tension. At night, with Nick, he’s a emerging masochist.


”I’ll be honest here. I’m new to this.” […]
“What does two hours with Nick get me, anyway?”


Nick - We know he’s a skilled Dom and a sadist. We know he’s cocky and sexy as hell. But that’s about it. He’s still a mystery and I’m okay with that…for now.


Nick was gone. Completely gone. A phantom who’d slipped back into the shadows, leaving only goose bumps as evidence he’d ever been there at all.


THE WRITING

Again, I have to mention the stellar pacing of the writing. By stretching out the intro and giving us a little more insight into Spencer’s world it allows the reader to find themselves in Spencer’s head when he does eventually get together with Nick. And, when they do come together it’s an amazing view of a very different relationship.

There is still a lot to be answered and it’s difficult to see how such a relationship, with all it’s obstacles could flourish, but I’m anxious to see where it goes.



Nick, the one that slipped in and out of the bedroom like smoke under the door,...

OH yeah, I want more of that!




~ ~ ~

Thank you to Riptide Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

~ ~ ~

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Don't by Jack L. Pyke 5 Stars

Don't...Don't... by Jack L. Pyke
5 of 5 Stars

ebook, 354 pages
Published December 13th 2012 by Fantastic Fiction Publishing (first published December 12th 2012)
ISBN13 9781622340781
edition language English 
Available at: Amazon  
 
**Novel (120,000 words)
(M/M - For content labels and excerpt, see details on publisher's site.)

~ ~ ~

Don’t…
…READ THIS

Don’t…
…CRAVE IT

Don’t…
…READ ALL NIGHT

Don’t…
…JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS

Don’t
…FALL FOR JACK, JAN or GRAY

Don’t…
…WANT MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the first chapter I had to relearn my British a bit, then I was off and running. I can’t really tell you if I was more into the thriller or the sex content. Both equally, I guess. Hot, sexy, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat stuff here.

Believe it or not this was my first m-m-m ménage read and I loved it. I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but, well, it’s mine. Yay, whole new genre.

THE BLURB 

"Don't... open me."

Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him.

As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack's every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life.


THE CHARACTERS

Jack - He’s one complex character. The kind of character that has you asking so many questions. Questions to help you understand human nature and response. I love this stuff. Jack is a Master Dom’s sub, with unique power tendencies and an OCD/ODD condition to just twist things up a bit.


Colour flushed my cheeks… "Caged lover.” Jan’s breath was against my ear. “Intriguing.” A very discreet rub of the back of his hand down the cage shaft.

Jan - Mmmmmm, yeah I really, really like Jan. Sexy, young, intelligent, kind and vanilla in a very, very different world. When he and Jack meet it’s instant attraction and action.


I’d never been around a guy who wore a dress, certainly not one who wore a dress like that. … long legs, small frame, yet when she’d sat on my lap, male had made its presence known, and every confusion in me had disappeared.

Gray - Well here’s the mystery man at his best. Even after finishing this book I’m not completely clear on him. That’s not a bad thing, it just adds to the intrigue.


That was his puller, making you seem like nothing else in the world mattered to him but you. Pity it was only a party trick..

THE STORY

The complexity of this straight-forward story is amazing. Yes, I got lost, then I totally got it only to find out I didn’t know anything. There’s sweet romance mixed with a very twisted background mystery/thriller all surrounded in a wild, privileged BDSM world that even vanilla me wants to be involved in.


Trust, respect, compassion.

I definitely want more and, if I had any complaints, it would be that while the story felt complete I just didn’t get enough. I want to spend more time in the Masters’ Circle and more time watching Jack, Jan and Gray.

THE WRITING

The brilliance in this writing lies in the authors ability to completely wrap you up in the scenes she’s building. She creates a very full world with constantly moving elements that have your mind so focused you-are-there.

Combine that with characters that jump off the page and I think you’ve got it all. Jack’s gruff nature. Jan’s gentle tenderness. Gray’s sophisticated cool. I think there’s something for 'almost' everyone.

EXCEPTIONAL

~ ~ ~

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