Monthly Archives: September 2014

4 and 3.5 Stars for Underdogs by Geonn Cannon – #F/F #Paranormal @GeonnCannon

Underdogs

Title: Underdogs
Author Name: Geonn Cannon
Publication Date & Length: April 2012 – 185 pgs

Synopsis

Ariadne Willow is a private investigator with a secret weapon. She’s a canidae, a person with the ability to transform into a wolf at will. Using her heightened senses to track and her shapeshifting to follow people without being seen, she’s made a decent business for herself and her associate Dale Frye. When one of the richest women in Seattle wishes to hire her, Ari and Dale think their ship has finally come in. All Ari has to do is observe the client’s tabloid-friendly daughter, fresh out of rehab, and confirm that she’s truly clean.

Ari thinks the case will be a piece of cake, but a moment of shocking violence changes everything. Soon Ari finds herself backed into a corner with no way out, forced to either run or risk losing everything she holds dear by fighting an enemy with unlimited power and resources. With Dale refusing to leave her side, Ari decides to make a stand to remind her enemies that there’s only one rule in betting…

Always bet on the underdogs.

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Review

FourStars

This book came recommended, so I was excited to give it a read. I jokingly said, “No werewolf stories!” and was informed that I would like this one because the main character is a wolf (technically “canidae”), not a werewolf.I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t at all disappointed. It’s a fun, light read that had all the elements to make me happy: A bit of fairy tale/supernatural, a crime to solve, and women falling in love. What’s not to like?
The main characters, Ari and Dale, are likeable and fun. I enjoyed getting to know them as the story unfolded. They are smart, savvy, and capable, but they’re not specimens of perfect womanhood, which I appreciated. Their relationship felt natural to me, if a bit predictable (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
It felt a bit slow to start, though I was glad for the background information. The pace picked up quickly, however, and I was soon absorbed.
There were a few moments where I had to suspend my disbelief, and not regarding the wolf-human elements. For example, the climactic “take down the bad guys” scene was a bit over-the-top and unrealistic. However, it fit the story, and unless one cares about having a true-to-life crime story ending, it doesn’t really matter.
The “murder mystery” plot wasn’t much of a mystery, as it’s both predictable from the beginning and the whodunnit is known about halfway through. So if you’re looking for a true mystery, this is not it. The fun is in how Ari and Dale thwart the bad guys and find their happy-for-now ending. So if that’s your thing, this is definitely the book for you.
I did think there were some frequently-used detective story themes, and it was a bit hard to tell if those were intended as tongue-in-cheek or to be taken seriously. I lean towards the former because the general tone of the book is fairly light, but that might be off-putting for someone looking for a fresh take.
I thought the sensuality was just right in terms of how much/how descriptive relative to the rest of the plot. There were a few moments where it felt just a bit choppy, but it evened out.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and look forward to more.
I give it 4 stars.
Amy
ThreeandHalfStars
Underdogs by Geonn Cannon is right up my alley. I LOVE paranormal books. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, whatever, bring it on! That being said, I’m also quite picky about what I read. When I saw the word “shifter” in the description of this book, I was quite skeptical because the last thing I wanted to read was another version of Twilight.
This isn’t that. Underdogs is light, easy to read, and has a nice flow. I was able to get through it in a few hours with no problem. Also good is the character development. Ari and Dale both feel like real people. Their relationship feels real, the characters have flaws and they aren’t perfect. It’s rare to get such depth of development in a novel of this length, and Cannon did a masterful job there.
Now for the not so good. If you’re expecting the mystery aspect to be anything other than a vehicle for the relationship, you’re going to be disappointed. There isn’t much mystery to the “whodunit” aspect and the mystery part is pretty formulaic and simple. Overall, the novel is predictable from start to finish.
Overall, this was definitely worth my time, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. The predictability didn’t detract from the readability or the smoothness of the writing.
Rating: Three and a half stars.
Sirena

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AuthorBio

Geonn Cannon was born in a barn and raised to know better than that. He was born and raised in Oklahoma where he’s been enslaved by a series of cats, dogs, two birds and one unexpected turtle. He’s spent his entire life creating stories but only became serious about it when he realized it was a talent that could impress girls. Learning to write well was easier than learning to juggle, so a career was underway. His high school years were spent writing stories among a small group of friends and reading whatever books he could get his hands on.

Geonn was inspired to create the fictional Squire’s Isle after a 2004 trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. His first novel set on the island, On the Air, was written almost as a side project to another story he wanted to tell. Reception to the story was so strong that the original story was put on the back burner to deal with the world created in On the Air. His second novel set in the same universe, Gemini, was also very well received and went on to win the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Best Novel, Dramatic/General Fiction. Geonn was the first male author to receive the honor.

While some of his novels haven’t focused as heavily on Squire’s Isle, the vast majority of Geonn’s works take place in the same universe and have connections back to the island and its cast of characters (the exception being the Riley Parra series). In addition to writing more novels based on the inhabitants of Squire’s Isle, Geonn hopes to one day move to the real-life equivalent to inspire further stories.

SocialLinks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeonnCannon
Author’s Website: http://www.geonncannon.com/

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3 Stars for Cooking Up a Storm by Ashley Ladd – #M/M @ashleyladd

Cooking up a Storm

Title: Cooking Up a Storm
Author Name: Ashley Ladd
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2014 – 99pgs

Synopsis

Brooks and Rique desperately want to win a coveted chef’s job offered by an eccentric millionaire in paradise. Even more, Rique desperately wants to stay alive.

Brooks and Rique desperately want to win the head chef’s position offered by an eccentric millionaire Jonah Verleun on his beautiful, private but peculiar island that includes a zoo full of exotic animals, an amusement park and a monster shark tank beneath Jonah’s bedroom floor. While Brooks wants the job to escape his heartache and the lover who thwarted him, Rique is hiding from the mob, hoping to live long enough to pay them off with the prize winnings. Fierce competitors, they cook up a storm in a series of cooking challenges while trying to turn down the heat on their intense attraction. When a hurricane strikes the island, the storm Rique has been cooking up explodes, and no heart—or body—is safe.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of multiple male ménage.

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Review

ThreeStar

I chose this because from the description, it looked like a fun, sexy read. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t quite live up to its summary other than more or less following the plot as outlined.

The author almost lost me by page three when she set up the story with one of the main characters, Brooks, recalling how his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a woman. While I understand that Brooks’ reaction is probably not unusual, I was not happy with her use of bisexual myths and hate language. Those would have been all right if she had in some way subverted the tired tropes, but she never bothered and in fact continued to play up the “my boyfriend turned out to be ‘straight'” thing for laughs without undermining the beliefs at all. I think the reader was supposed to just assume she wasn’t serious–unless, of course, she was (it was hard to tell).

Which brings me to my other disappointment. The whole story was so full of cliches and stereotypes and ridiculous things that I would have suspected satire if it weren’t for the fact that it didn’t read like any satire I’ve ever seen. I assume it was supposed to be funny, but instead, it was just kind of bothersome and distracting.

The actual plot (right up until the over-the-top ending) was actually pretty good, and I wish the author had done more with it. I loved the descriptions of the cooking challenges, and she did a nice job of building up to the steamy moments. Unfortunately, they were then ruined by being bland and not particularly sexy. It was annoying that in the first sex scene, one of the men kept distracting from the sex by thinking about unrelated things. It just wasn’t as hot as it could have been.

It’s obvious the author has a good grasp of the language and is highly creative. The story was polished and clearly well-edited. It had momentary flashes of brilliance, including the imaginative cooking challenges. But the other elements were too much for me to really lose myself in the story and enjoy it.

I give it 3 stars.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

Erotic romance author for Ellora’s Cave, Total-E-Bound, and New Concepts Publishing.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AshleyLaddAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ashleyladd
Author’s Website: http://www.ashleyladd.blogspot.com
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oodReads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/ashleyladd

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3 Stars for Ditched by Lucy Felthouse – #M/M @cw1985

Heads or Tails

Title: Ditched
Author Name: Lucy Felthouse
Publication Date & Length: September 19, 2012 – 22pgs

Synopsis

Private Damien Stone is living in a nightmare. He’s out on exercise on Salisbury Plain with Lance Corporal Michael Scott—who also happens to be a huge pain in the arse. He’s a teacher’s pet who seems to delight in bossing Stone around. But that’s not the real reason Stone appears to dislike him so much. It’s because Stone—who’s bisexual—is seriously attracted to his superior, but he can’t do anything about it, because Scott is straight. Or is he?

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Review

ThreeStar

Ditched was a super short story. It was well written, but just did not have the typical Felthouse feel that I have come to love. It felt rushed and somewhat unplanned. I enjoyed what Felthouse tried to accomplish, but the execution just didn’t hit it out of the park for me.

Despite not enjoying this story a lot, I will continue to read Felthouse stories.

~AvidReader

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AuthorBio

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati.

SocialLinks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lucyfelthousewriter
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cw1985
Author’s Website: http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk/

 

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3.5 Stars for Learning to Love by K.C. Wells – #M/M

Learning to Love: Final Exam

Title: Learning to Love: Final Exam
Author Name: K.C. Wells
Publication Date & Length: August 25, 2014 – 244pgs

Synopsis

One house, three couples, and one year left until their final exams….

Evan and Daniel want to take their D/s relationship to the next level. When Daniel suggests conducting a little research at a BDSM club, Evan is more than up for it. Trouble is, one of their housemates isn’t happy about this.

Finances tighten for new couple Josh and Chris. Wanting to ease some of the pressure on Chris, Josh starts as an agency nurse. But tackling a heavy workload at medical school and working late-shifts leaves little time for the couple. Something’s gotta give.

In Spain, Sean was diagnosed as suffering from migraines. But after the medications have no effect and he starts suffering from other complaints, he decides to get a second opinion without telling Michael. When Michael finds out, Sean’s usually laid-back husband’s reaction shocks everyone. But Michael needs to get his head sorted fast, because Sean needs his strength.

As their school career comes to a close and the one person who holds them all together starts to fall apart, the final exam is a true test of friendship.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars
This book is a fairly quick read, and the author definitely has skill with style and pacing. I appreciated that it was obviously well-edited, so there was nothing to distract from enjoying the story.

What I liked: There were several good, steamy sex scenes throughout the book, but not so many as to be tiresome. I liked that the couples were very much in love. I was a little hesitant reading about Evan and Daniel, the couple with the D/s relationship, as I’m not usually keen on BDSM. But this was BDSM-lite, so to speak, and their relationship was more about the D/s than anything else. I liked that the author showed it as part of a very healthy, caring relationship, too.

What I didn’t like: As much as I love reading about guys in love, this was a bit much. First, maybe this is a cultural difference, but these guys didn’t always read as men to me. Not one of the men in the entire story was terribly masculine. Though I personally prefer guys like that myself, it’s simply not realistic that an entire world is populated only by a very specific subset of gay men.

I was also bothered by all the matchmaking, including two teenagers, and how those all seemed to work out just perfectly. Not to mention at least two of the housemates have younger brothers who are also gay. Yes, that happens, but what bothered me was the conversation between Daniel and his brother, who was obviously working some things out. It appears that this world contains straight guys, “straight” guys (who don’t realize they’re gay yet) and gay guys. There are no bisexuals.

Another problem I noticed was that none of the housemates seemed to have a unique personality. They all read roughly the same to me, including their emotions and how they talked. It felt as though any one character could be swapped out with another and no one would have noticed.

There was virtually no tension in the story, and every last detail worked out perfectly. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, but honestly, Sean’s medical issues wrapped up a bit too neatly. Same for Josh’s issues with working too much. It was a bit too tidy for my tastes, and not at all realistic. Life is a lot messier than that.

Overall, it comes across like the author tried to do too much in a single book. I can’t tell how many of the problems I noted are because this is the last book in a series and I didn’t read the other ones. It does read like an extended epilogue, so it’s possible that if I’d read the entire series, I might have loved it for tying everything together with a bow. Unfortunately, that makes it a very poor stand-alone novel, despite the fact that I didn’t need to read the others to understand the previous story strands.

I wish I could rate it more highly. If the really good elements had been supported by a better plot/better characterization, I would have. The good news is, I would like to read the other books and see what I missed. I recommend anyone interested in this book read the others first rather than making a decision based on this review.

I give it 3.5 stars,

~Amy

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AuthorBio

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

SocialLinks

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld
Author’s Website: http://www.kcwellsworld.com/
Email: k.c.wells@btinternet.com

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3.5 & 4 Stars for The Need to Touch by Brooke Johnson and Natalya Parks – #M/M

Need-to-Touch-for-Amazon

Title: The Need to Touch
Author Name: Brooke Johnson and Natalya Parks
Publication Date & Length: March 12, 2014 – 220 pgs

Synopsis

*Warning: Mature content*

You can only win someone’s heart once you’ve captured it.

Nineteen year old Ryder Harrison grew up on the outskirts of a small town in Montana. He was working on the family’s ranch and in love with his best friend, Landon Pennington–and as happy as a pig in shit. That was until his grandfather ships him off to ‘the big city’ in California, to attend a college he had no desire of going to. Regretfully Ryder promised his mother before her passing that he’d finish his education. Staying true to his word, he packs up his shit kickers and heads out. With the mindset that every dreadful thing he could think of was bound to happen to him, he faced the new challenges, Hook-Line-and Sinker! However, the one thing he didn’t plan on was hooking the biggest catch of his life, Bentley Carter!

Twenty year old Bentley Carter has more emotional issues than the Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders has treatments. Living through an abusive childhood, he made a personal promise to always stay true to himself. He promised himself that never again would he let emotions over rule his common sense. Satisfied with his current ‘friend with benefits’ he was ready to chase his new college roommate away. The only thing he didn’t expect was to literally chase Ryder back to Montana. Ryder is everything Ben didn’t want, yet can’t live without.

As young adults living in a cruel and unforgiving world, they are devoted to unmasking the truths about falling in love…

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This is a relatively quick, easy read, perfect for a relaxed afternoon. Despite a few hints at heavier subjects, it’s mostly light, fluffy, steamy fare. The characters are likable and the story isn’t difficult to follow. If you’re looking for something mostly for escapism, this book is a good option.
My one hesitation is that the plot mostly seems like filler between the sex scenes. That’s fine, except that the authors seemed to be hinting at the troubled pasts of both main characters yet glossing over it and offering unrealistically quick resolution. At times, Ben in particular came across as though he’d had years of therapy and knew how to identify all his issues, though he didn’t seem in a hurry to actually resolve them. The relationship between Ryder and his grandfather also seemed shallow and unrealistic. I also wasn’t impressed by multiple uses of implied rape to make the characters more sympathetic. That’s a common trope in romance novels with female protagonists, creating the “flaw” that the male hero needs to save his woman from. Not that I think rape doesn’t happen to men, I just wish the authors had used a different plot device to create emotional drama.
The other problem I noted was that the copy I read had numerous grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. It could have benefited from a good copy editor or beta reader. That might also have resolved some of the issues I noted in terms of the story as well.
One thing that did impress me was how seamless the writing was despite being penned by two authors. They did an excellent job blending their writing. After reading their bios, I assume that comes from their lifetime of friendship. It’s definitely a strength.

Readers should be forewarned that the book ends with a cliffhanger. I personally like books that end that way; it makes me look forward to whatever comes next. In this case particularly, I expect the authors will grow as writers. But some people may be disappointed that the story isn’t sufficiently wrapped up at the end.

I give it 3.5 stars.

~Amy

FourStars

Ryder and Bentley (Ben) are great characters who learn to come in to their own throughout this story. It was a refreshing read with true life complications, past hurts that both characters have to come to terms with and a few past lovers who may or may not have created jealousy amongst Ryder and Ben. However, in the end, each character learns something new about themselves.

I enjoyed the relationships throughout the book that were outside of Ryder and Ben’s – I thought that it helped in the character development of each individual character and then helped in their relationship with each other as well. With Ryder’s reluctance to leave his home in Montana and Ben’s reluctance to devlope more than a simple friendly connection – they each take a journey that will break down what they think they want and rebuild them into who they were always been meant to be.

I enjoyed the relationship between Ryder and Pop a lot – I thought it went a long way for Ryder to be able to leave MT even though he might not have wanted to – It was at Pop’s insistance that Ryder attend school and even though Pop is slightly rough around the edges, I couldn’t help but love Pop’s support of Ryder.

Ethan was another character that I learned to really like – despite his somewhat odd relationship with Ben, I came to realize that even though Ben would never love Ethan the way that he loved Ryder, Ethan was an important support for both characters in the end.

I wish I would have known this book ended with a slight cliff hanger – now I want to know what is going to happen in the future!

There were a few different formatting issues, but I loved the nail polish spacers.

~AvidReader

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AuthorBio

Brooke Johnson lives in Louisiana with her husband, five children and their many pets. When she’s not working on her novels, she can be found hunting, fishing, and playing games with her family.

SocialLinks

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Emma’s New Year by Eden Glenn – @edenglenn #F/F #LBGT

Emma's New Year

Title: Emma’s New Year
Author Name: Eden Glenn
Publication Date & Length: July 10, 2014 –

Synopsis

Emma Reed needs a change from her stale boring straight life. Her lesbian friend drags her to a gay New Year’s Eve dance. There she meets butchy El Westin, out of her league and out of her comfort zone. The unexpected kiss at midnight makes Emma’s outlook start to sparkle and get interesting again. Emma has a choice to make. Is this a night of possibilities influenced by the magic of a borrowed amethyst necklace or is it a resolution in the making?

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is a very quick read. I think it took me all over 30 minutes. The main story line is simple, as it should be for a short story. The characters were independent of each other and had personality that rang through the writing. The writing itself was well done and easy flowing.
I’m not a huge fan of the “gay for you” trope, but it works in this piece. It has to because that’s the point of it. Emma hasn’t ever been in a lesbian relationship or even questioned her sexuality. I’m also a little perturbed by the fact that Emma being bisexual never came into thought or mind. It’s something often missed in books/stories like these, and something that should be thought about. Emma has never been attracted to a woman before, thus it makes more sense that she’s bisexual with a very limited profile of what attracts her concerning women.
I enjoyed reading this piece. It was nice to read language in a story that concerns the LGBT et al community that’s not often shared by straight writers. That language makes this story an “in” story and gives it a different type of characterization and meaning.
The ending of this story was definitely fitting for the rest of the plot. Albeit a bit quicker in resolution than expected, it fits and completes the story. I won’t spoil it for those who want to reads it, but it’s good and gives warm fuzzies.
4.5 Stars – AJ

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AuthorBio

Eden Glenn and her partner the hot “the Lady Librarian” live in the eastern lee of the Great Smoky mountains outside of Asheville, NC in a quaint home brimming of southern charm.

The cottage is surrounded by beautiful gardens that bloom year round and give Eden lots of garden projects to enjoy. Their family includes a cat and a lovable nuisance dog (Lab X Great Dane) that should be in Japan. Eden has blue eyes, but her hair color is subject to change without notice.

She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America)and FCRW (First Coast Romance Writers). She is author of several novelette sized stories.

Prepare to leave your safe world behind.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenGlenn
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Author’s Website: http://www.edenglenn.com

 

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5 Stars for Her Name by Alicia Joseph – #F/F #MustRead #Amazing

Her Name

Title: Her Name
Author Name: Alicia Joseph
Publication Date & Length: July 10th, 2014 – 94 pgs

Synopsis

Madison Andrews believes she has found the love of her life… but only in her dreams. She is convinced the woman is real and she seeks out their life together and the love she believes is her destiny. But how can Madison find the love of her life…and convince herself and her friends she’s not just escaping the death of her mother?

Madison Andrews has spent her entire life–unsuccessfully–searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life–and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.

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Review

FiveStars

“Did you ever have a dream where you woke feeling like it was real?” This is the perfect quote for this book.
From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I just had to know what happened and what was going on. There were moments where I though Madison was going crazy, just like she did. At other times I felt her frustration of no one understanding what she was going through.
Madison has dreams that feel so real that she expects to wake up next to the most amazing woman she’s ever met… Only there is no one there and no one else has met this woman. She doesn’t appear in any of the photographs that were in her dreams.
It’s the most mysterious and frustrating thing for Madison… and yet so incredibly interesting that you won’t be able to put the book down until the mystery is solved.
I absolutely adored this book and how well written it was. I connected with Madison and the unnamed (for the most part) woman. I cried. I certainly laughed at Shelly, Madison’s best friend.
I would definitely recommend Alicia Joseph’s work and would quickly snatch up any of her other novel/novellas.
~Renee
FiveStarsOh my God, this book! I’m not even sure where to begin. It’s hard for me to find a book where I can’t figure out the ending in twenty minutes or less, but this is definitely one book I could not figure out. There’s an element of the paranormal running throughout which is most fascinating and essential to the plot.

This story travels through the best and worst times of a relationship in only a few short pages, and it kept my rapt attention the entire time. I can’t honestly get the characters out of my head, and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for days and even weeks after. The characters are so real, even the side characters have personalities that pop and make them real.

I laughed and cried right along with Madison as she went through the motions of trying to figure out what was going on. Mostly, and probably, because I was right there with her trying to figure it all out and wanting to know who the mysterious woman was. I had a hard time getting her out of my head, the same way I’m sure Madison felt.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a quick contemporary read. I’m trying not to give away too much here as I gush, but this book has certainly had an impact on me. It gives me a lot to think about concerning the choices we make and believing in others. There are so many meanings about trust, friendship, family and true love in such a short piece. I find it amazing that the author was able to fit in so much in so little.

I will definitely be reading future works from Alicia, and I plan on re-reading this book in the future.

5 stars

~AJ

Excerpt

Now, I laid down my fork and leaned into my seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about this anymore, but I did. “This all sounds crazy to you, and maybe in the beginning, it was something to joke about, but now, I’m not sure. These pictures were taken directly out of my life, and this woman was in every one of them. You can’t tell me I just dreamed it from memory, because my memory isn’t that good! The photos were identical all the way from the clothes we wore, to the smile on our faces. Hell, even the background was the same! She was the only thing that was different. How could that be?”

I stared at her, waiting for a response as she took it all in.

“Like I said on the phone, I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Is it weird? Yeah, totally, but I’m no dream expert, and neither are you. Like I said before, maybe it’s your subconscious taking over. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, and it probably has some fancy scientific name.”

“She’s my wife,” I said flatly. “I saw a picture of us from our wedding, and we looked like we belonged together. We know each other. I mean, really know each other. I wish you could see us together, because you’ve never seen me this way with anyone before.”

“And what way is that?”

“In love,” I answered.

“In love,” Shelly repeated and then pushed herself away from the table. “Well, Maddy, me seeing you with her is something that will never happen. Do you wanna know why that will never happen?”

“I know why you think that will never happen, but that’s where you’re wrong.” I stared at her and said, “I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think she’s real.”

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All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1tzOmIY

AuthorInterview

What is one thing, not in your bio, totally random that only a few people know? The movie You’ve Got Mail always makes me smile and puts me in a good mood. I’m sure the fact that it revolves around books has something to do with that. 🙂
What made you decide to write? If it even was a decision. And what kept you at it? I didn’t start writing until after high school, aside for some really bad poetry, (which for some reason I still have).  For a while I thought I was going to do something with music. I was drawn to it for the same reason I think we all are — because it’s inspiring. The most beloved movie scenes probably wouldn’t have evoked the same, strong emotion that captured an audience without background music. That’s what I need — background music to accompany every pivotal moment in my life. Haha! That would be nice and I did play a little piano and guitar growing up, but quickly realized I was terrible at keeping time (even with a metronome) and my voice was awful. I have no sense of pitch.
So my musical aspirations ended there, but I still wanted to be creative and since I’d always loved books, writing was the next natural creative outlet for me. In college, I took every writing course available to me, including screenwriting classes. I wanted to learn the craft in every style. I’m still learning and I hope that never changes because I only want to get better.
I keep at it because there is no replacement for writing. Writing is it for me. It’s hard to get right and I’ve gotten it wrong so many times, but giving up was never an option.
 
What interested you in writing fantasy romance? Did it live up to expectations? I didn’t set out to write a fantasy romance, but I was inspired and when inspiration talks to you, you listen. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of fate verses how much of our own destiny we control. Is something truly not meant to be or could we have made different choices to change the course of our lives that would have made that “something” attainable? This story explores that idea.
 
Her Name is story about a woman, Madison, who believes the woman she dreams about is the real love of her life. Madison’s dreams become so vivid that she’s certain this woman is real and that they shared a life together. While trying to find this woman, Madison discovers that she and this woman have met in real life. Their paths cross, but can fate alone bring them together? Will the universe force the two women to open their eyes and recognize the moment for what it is – their destiny?
This little novella beat any expectations I had. I am so proud of Her Name because it truly was one hundred percent inspiration that made me write it. I can remember jumping out of bed at two in the morning, just as I was about to fall asleep, because another idea came to me and I needed to write it down in my notepad before I forgot. That enthusiasm and excitement about this story was a lot of fun.
There were a couple ways this story could have ended, but for a reason I’ll never tell, it had to end this way.
Here’s a more serious question. What is it like to write in the LGBT realm of craziness that we all support? What’s it like to dip the toe into the rainbow through writing and publishing? This is a great question. I am a new author, so I’m only beginning to step into this realm of craziness, but I’ve already seen examples of authors supporting other authors – across all genres. It’s wonderful and completely uplifting because we’re all in this together and need a strong community. I believe we have that and I’m hoping I get to be a part of this “craziness” for a long time because I think it fits me.
Any thoughts on the importance of supporting the LGBT literary genre in a world that is changing so quickly? I’m new to publishing all together, not just in the gay and lesbian genre. I’m marketing my book on social media, just like every author has to do. Of course, a lesbian romance may not be a desired read for all people, but I’m not limiting myself. I think it’s important to put your work out there for everyone to see. When I promo in Facebook groups, I don’t just select the ones with the lesbian labels. I include my lesbian book in all groups.
I targeted a reviewer once because she specifically stated that she didn’t like novellas and had never read lesbian fiction before. My immediate thought was, “I gotta get this woman to review my book.” Maybe it wasn’t the best strategy, but it worked. She was very generous with her review. She thought the shorter length was perfect because the story felt complete and she was okay with the f/f love story. She gave the book five stars and that meant a lot to me because it wasn’t her genre.
I’ll continue to work to get my book in the hands of people who wouldn’t normally read it. I’d love it if after reading my book, that reviewer decided to give a different lesbian romance author a try. That’s how we build off one another and support the LGBT genre. Get your book out there and don’t limit yourself!

AuthorBio

Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. This is her first published novella. She is currently working on a new lesbian romance novel. When she is not writing, the author enjoys volunteering with animals, reading, and spending time with her many nieces and nephews.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alicia-Joseph/1444411879162094
Author’s Website: http://www.aliciajoseph.com/

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3.5 Stars for Heads or Tails by Titania Ladley – #F/F #M/M

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Title: Heads or Tails?
Author Name: Titania Ladley
Publication Date & Length: January 28, 2007 – 158pgs

Synopsis

At fate’s toss of a coin, everything changes for innkeepers Clifford and Molly Garrett. Are they both really gay, or was it a horrible mistake to divorce? Heads.

Heads…

Left behind to man the B&B, Cliff is instantly attracted when a dark and mysterious hitchhiker arrives at the inn. Between the furtive glances Manny Valentino shoots over his burly shoulders, the pistol hidden in his biker vest and the impressive “gun” nestled inside his ragged jeans, Cliff’s not sure if he’s got himself a dangerous drifter.or the answer to his libido’s prayers.

Tails…

Taking her turn managing the inn while Cliff’s away, Molly’s pleasantly stunned by an Amish woman who comes seeking shelter. But gorgeous Gwenyth Freemont isn’t looking for a vacation destination. Tracked by her abusive husband, Gwen runs like hell right into Molly’s welcoming embrace.and into her heart and soul.

Reader Advisory: Though Heads Or Tails? is the story of a divorced couple exploring their suspected gay sexualities, it is possible to read just the M/M half, or just the F/F half (along with the conclusion section), and still enjoy this unique gay/lesbian story to its fullest

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This is two stories in one really although they both interlink and we don’t get a resolution to both until the end.
For Gwen and Molly’s story – I had a hard time connecting to either character. Gwen is Amish and new to everything, but completely comfortable with other things (like cooking and woodworking) because of her husband. I found her to be more relateable than Molly surprisingly. She had the vile words of her husband that constantly plagued her and made her double guessing her choices, but pleasure and desire won out. Molly on the other hand, who has lived in as an ‘outsider’ for all her life nearly falls in instant love and makes odd statements like ‘you’re a born hottie’, yet has no idea if she is a lesbian or not. I didn’t care for this story all that much with the ‘slurping’ and ‘her sex bloomed like a dew-dappled flower’ type statements. They turned what could’ve been a sensual, sexy experience into cringe worthy scenes.
Manny and Cliff, on the other hand, had a much more enticing and thrilling story. Not because of Manny’s secrets and hidden past, but because their interactions felt more genuine and real. I wanted to watch their relationship develop and their emotions get involved as they both discovered where they were going and whether they were gay, bi or neither. Again there were odd statements like ‘gulping’ cum, which does not sound appealing at all and ‘crinked ass ring’, which I can’t ever say I’ve heard a rear hole called.
Both stories were filled with an excess of details that would slow the story line and make it lose momentum and therefor become boring. Like in the middle of a scene with Cliff and Manny we get a whole page description about rain and thunder that had absolutely nothing to do with their love making. Or a scene when Molly and Gwen are in the shower and we get a whole page of exactly how Molly is washing Gwen’s hair taking away from the building up of their love scene that had been started on the page prior.
Over all, I’d give Gwen and Molly 3 stars and Manny and Cliff 4 stars so averaging them out it’s a 3.5 star read for me.
~Renee

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AuthorBio

Erotic romance author published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain and Red Sage.

SocialLinks

Author’s Website: http://www.titanialadley.com/

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4.5 Stars for Upside Down by Liz Gavin – #F/F #MustRead

Upside Down

Title: Upside Down: ‘Powerless’ continues in
Author Name: Liz Gavin
Publication Date & Length: February 12, 2014 – 235pgs

Synopsis

Carol Anne Sullivan is a tough New York stock broker. She’s suffered enough in order to learn a hard lesson – never let love spoil her relationships. Her boyfriends know that rule from the start. She’s domineering and assertive but also faithful and fair while the relationship lasts.

Mark Aikens is Carol’s boyfriend. He’s been in love with her for a while but his submissive side hasn’t allowed him to rebel against her golden rule and to tell her how he feels. Fear of losing her forever might spur him into action.

Cindy O’Rourke has admired Carol from afar. So, she jumps at the opportunity to work for her idol. Little does she know, things will never be the same for her after that job interview.

Carol has been going through a rough patch: world economical crisis, dysfunctional parents, demanding clients, faultyequipment. Without much time for herself, her love life is suffering. So what is the big deal if she fantasizes about a new employee when her boyfriend, Mark, can’t give her what she needs? The big deal is – the new receptionist, Cindy, is a woman who threatens to turn her world upside down.

This is the steamy tale of an unconventional love triangle which should be read with an open mind and an open heart. Sometimes, love comes to our lives in unexpected ways but with such overwhelming power that the best course of action might be to surrender to it.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

Wow… That’s all I have in my mind when I finished this book.

Carol is a busy woman running her own business with her submissive man candy that she works with. She thinks everything is just as she wants. Has a way to work off her stress, a carefree sexual partner that expects nothing more from her but the sex.

Until he reveals that he is in love with her. She has issues with commitment and it’s the last thing she wants to hear from Mark.

At the same time she is having unusual feelings and interactions with the new receptionist, Cindy. She can’t figure out if she is being hit on or if her head is playing games with her. Given time, and some of her attention, Carol figures out that Cindy is indeed attempting to slowly seduce her. What to do about it though? After an intense (and hot) scene in the en suite bathroom off her office, Carol is more confused than ever.

There is a few twists and turns, and although I can’t say they were unforeseen as I think most people would do semi-similar things if put into the same situation, this book is a PAGE TURNER. I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved it.

Careful though.. You might need a change of panties and sheets and even a new coat of pain because this is a scorcher. There is M/F, F/F and M/F/F scenes. Add in a touch of BDSM too.

The characters were real, flawed and easy to relate to. I absolutely adored Carol and her struggles with trying to decide what she was going to do. Would she pick Mark or would she pick Carol or is it possible for the three of them to make a go of an unusual situation?

The only reason this isn’t a five star book to me was there were a few editing errors along the way and I didn’t necessarily care for Carol’s parents excuses for their absence. I didn’t believe that it would cause them to react the way they did. Neither was such a big thing that I couldn’t get past them and love the book.

I can’t wait to pick up more work from this author as I have no doubt it will be equally as good!

~Renee

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Teaser

UpsideDownTeaser2

AuthorBio

Hello, my dearest readers.

When I was in Second Grade (just a couple of years ago, really), my teacher told my mother I should start a diary because I needed an outlet for my active and vivid imagination. You see, I was a talkative child who would disrupt her class by engaging my colleagues in endless conversations. I loved telling them the stories my grandfather used to tell me.
I guess the teacher wasn’t a big fan of my stories. Or maybe she preferred a quieter group of students. Either way, my mother bought me a diary and I happily wrote on it for a month or so. Then, I gave it up. I didn’t see the appeal since I was writing for my own enjoyment only. I missed the audience my friends in school provided me. I went back to disturbing my dear teacher’s class.
Since then, I’ve been a hungry reader. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on – from the classics to erotica. And that’s how I got the courage to start writing down some of my naughty fantasies. Nowadays, I’m a writer. I write erotic romances and some erotica, too.
Living in New Orleans improves my creativity tenfold. It’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and wonderful city but NOLA also has a darker, wickeder side that has always captured my imagination.
So, welcome to my world of steamy, sexy Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

Sit back, fire up your Kindle and enjoy the ride!

XOXO
Liz Gavin

SocialLinks

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LizGavin_author
Author’s Website: http://elessarpublishing.blogspot.com/

 

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3.5 Stars for Finger Lickin’ Good by Shawn Bailey – #M/M Romance

Finger Lickin' Good

Title: Finger Lickin’ Good
Author Name: Shawn Bailey
Publication Date & Length: August 26, 2014 – 125pgs

Synopsis

Twenty-four year old Cajun-Frenchman Mikael lands a job at a popular French restaurant in New Orleans. The owner of the restaurant, Auguste Carrier is a big Frenchman with a bad temper and most of his employees are afraid of him.

Though Mikael is small in stature he wins the admiration of all the senior chefs at Chez Auguste when he prepares a pot of gumbo. The other employees are not stupid, even though they like Mikael they’ve also noticed how calm Auguste asks when Mikael is around. So they plot to get the two of them together. Mikael doesn’t want to be known as the boss’ boy-toy so he plans to win the man’s respect with his cooking.

Although he has noticed the confident young chef on the day he was hired, Auguste feels that maybe Mikael might be too young fill the shoes of a professional Sous Chef. The last one left him in a lurch and he doesn’t want that to happen again. But once he samples one bowl of Mikael’s delicious gumbo he realizes that he should not judge a book by its cover.

Mikael bears a striking resembles to Auguste’s dead lover Basil and Auguste wonders if he’s only attracted to him for just that reason. Should his stomach tell his mind what to do, or should he follow his heart?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was an interesting synopsis and a sexy cover that I thought had the potential for a great story.

Mikael gets a job in New Orleans working at Chez Auguste. It’s his dream job working for an extremely sexy, hulk of a man, Auguste.

Auguste spends all his time working on his restaurant since he lost his partner years prior. He vowed never to love again after the pain that his last love caused him.

I absolutely loved that there were intricate details about cooking and the process of working in a kitchen that you don’t get in a lot of books, even ones centered around a kitchen/restaurant. I liked that the speech was authentic and how it would be used in New Orleans (such as some French words mixed in with English)

I didn’t care for the lack of drama. There didn’t really seem any end point that we were striving for. It just was another day or week in their lives. While there was some hinted at with the ex lover and the matre d’ that didn’t like Mikael, but it was all so sweetly resolved and no confrontations or intense situations. Along with the medical issue that came into play late in the book with Mikael.

I also had issues with the terminology used in the love scenes. For example, ‘humping’ is a word I personally haven’t used in years as to me it is a children’s word.  ‘You make me go pop’ is also another phrase that sticks out in my mind as not quite working for a love scene.

Overall, I think there needed to either drop the love scenes or make them more sensual and sexual as that’s what the characters are supposed to be feeling and experiencing. Speaking of love, I couldn’t believe that the characters were so against being together, you know — the whole boss/staff member situation, yet they were expressing love for each other within a week. The time was easy to lose as it wasn’t always clear if it had been two hours or two days that had passed, which made things a bit more confusing for me.

~Renee

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AuthorBio

Shawn Bailey hails from New Orleans, LA, where she works as a programmer and help desk administrator. Shawn loves mangas and anime. Her current hobbies are watching Japanese and Korean dramas, when she has the spare time. She’s also trying to learn to speak and read both Japanese and Korean. She’s also into Korean pop music and can often be found with her MP3 player attached to her head. Shawn is single and enjoying the heck out it.

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shawn.h.bailey

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