Monthly Archives: December 2014

3 Stars for A Family Christmas for Wake & Cody by D.C. Williams – #MMRomance #Holiday

1.3

Title: A Family Christmas for Wake and Cody
Author Name: D.C. Williams
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2014 – 61pgs

Synopsis

Best friends since kindergarten, Wake and Cody are starting their new lives together. If they can survive Christmas.

Wake Zakrewski’s huge and lively family has always treated Cody like another son. Now that the two best friends are lovers, will that change? Or will this Christmas be the very best one? And is Wake and Cody’s the only new romance in the family?

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Review

ThreeStar

This was a quick and easy holiday read. I don’t know if it’s part of a series, but it worked fine as a stand-alone in either case.

Although I enjoyed the story, it did fall a little flat for me in the sense that there’s no real conflict. In fact, there really wasn’t even much romance. I appreciated that there wasn’t a huge, detailed sex scene (it was mostly fade-to-black and one that wasn’t very descriptive). Not every story needs that. But in this case, with very little else creating interest or tension, it probably would’ve been a good idea.

I didn’t especially like Wake or some members of his family. I understand that there was a bit of overt homophobia, but I thought the author could’ve done a better job either outright condemning it or showing us how Cody dealt with it. They were really obnoxious, and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to be Cody. I couldn’t figure out what he liked about Wake, since Wake kept saying some of the same awful things–including referring to Cody as a f** and using that word as a slur more than once.

I was a little disappointed in how it seemed like the author was going out of her way not to have any characters be too feminine. I thought there was some great potential with the character Kenni, but I wasn’t crazy about the way things ended with him.

I appreciated the author not shying away from genuinely bisexual characters and especially for using the word bisexual (it’s easy to fall into the “it doesn’t need a label” trap). However, that was sort of negated for me by the other issues.

This wasn’t bad, but it ended up lacking enough to hold my interest.

3 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

D.C. Williams is a writer who lives in Pennsylvania with one spouse and one child. I LOVE reader interaction. I used to add that I tended to “friend” people who added my books. I’ve taken that down because at this point I have people adding my books who I really haven’t interacted with at all. The first few months I was doing this I had run into most people who added my books somewhere on Goodreads. Since this is no longer really true (and I’ve long since eased up on the friendvites accordingly) I’m taking this down because I don’t want to discourage people who don’t enjoy author interaction from reading my books. That said, I enjoy reader interaction as much as ever, and please, feel free to add me!

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3 Stars for Never Wrong by Chris McHart – #MM

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Title: Never Wrong
Author Name: Chris McHart
Publication Date & Length: November 7, 2014 – 105 pgs

Synopsis

Jeff was raised to believe love between two men is wrong. Or is it? Can love ever be wrong?

When Jeff meets the much younger Dean, he only knows he wants him, consequences be damned. But things are not as easy, especially after Jeff’s ex calls and announces big news.

And Dean? He thinks the new neighbor is hot, but he’s not interested in something more than a rebound fuck. That’s what he tells himself, at least.

But lust isn’t a good basis for a relationship, more so since Jeff isn’t sure whether he can deal with being gay.

Love is never wrong, but can Jeff accept that?

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Review

ThreeStar

I picked this book because it was a May/December romance, and I have an affinity for them. I was not disappointed on that front. However, this book did leave a lot to desire. Most of the characters were flat, except the main character, Dean. Dean seemed like a sixteen-year-old rather than a twenty-two year old. He was stuck up, selfish, self-centered and spoiled. I really didn’t enjoy his character much at all, and the entire book was from his point of view.

I also had issues with the plot. It’s rare that I find a book where there are so many subplots going on and not enough words to have them make sense, but this was definitely one of those books. We travel all the way from plot A to plot Z with a jumble of plots in between. I think because of the lack of time spent on letting the plot points linger made some of what happened in this book unbelievable and unrealistic for me.

The advantage to this book is that it was well-written. I just felt as though the execution could have been done better. Had the entire plot with Cheryl been eliminated, I do believe this story would have been excellent for the length of the novel and would have fit the timeline created better. That was also the most unbelievable part of it for me.

3 stars

AJ

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AuthorBio

I’m a writer of M/M romance and M/M erotic romance from Germany.

I’ve always had stories in my head, but a while ago I allowed them to get out and on paper. Looks like it has been a good decision, although the more stories I write, the more I have in my head. Maybe I’ll have all of them out someday, and there’ll be nothing more to write, but for the next years, I don’t see that coming.

When I’m not writing, I spend time with my family (I have the best husband EVER) and try to keep all my animals happy. I also enjoy gardening and cooking, although I’m still looking for someone to clean up afterwards. And, of course, I love reading, whenever I have a quiet moment.

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4.5 Stars for Chance to be King by Sue Brown – #MMRomance #SinglePOV

1.3

Title: Chance to Be King
Author Name: Sue Brown
Publication Date & Length: December 17, 2014 (2nd Edition) – 133pgs

Synopsis

After working nonstop for two years, actor Eric Pawlowski desperately needs a respite from his grueling schedule and the crippling migraines that come with it. Thinking that a few weeks in a secluded cottage is just the thing, his vacation gets off to a rough start when he almost mows down the only other guy who lives on the remote road. Fortunately Thomas is quick to forgive, and soon he, Eric, and Eric’s two dogs are palling around like they’ve known each other for years.

But when Eric witnesses Thomas coldly order a lost stranger off his property, he starts to question how well he knows him. Despite a mutual attraction that has Eric cursing every time a well-meaning member of the nearby small town interrupts their attempts to get intimate, Eric wonders if acting on his desire for Thomas will get him involved in a situation he shouldn’t be in. When his rented cabin catches fire in the middle of the night and the firemen call it arson, it confirms Eric’s suspicions.

To keep Eric with him, it’s up to Thomas to come clean about who he is… and his involvement in a decade-old web of tragedy and revenge into which Eric has unwittingly walked.

First Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2010.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This was a compelling read, and I didn’t want to put it down. I was anxious to find out how Eric and Thomas would resolve everything between them.

Ms. Brown’s writing style is excellent. The story is a fairly typical boy-meets-boy romance, but it was so well-written it more than made up for it. I also found it refreshing to read a complete story from a single point of view rather than alternating.

I didn’t find the plot terribly memorable, and I was a little disappointed that the men kept reminding us how very manly they were. However, both Eric and Thomas were likable, and even some of the manly-man stuff was entertaining at times. The story had everything from humor to drama to action with just the right amount of sexiness in between.

All in all, a good read, and I can say with certainty Ms. Brown has a new fan.

4.5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she be found haunting coffee shops to feed her coffee addiction. She spends hours people watching instead of typing. She feeds the plot bunnies, not the word count.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

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5 Stars for Vivid by Ana Raine – #MMRomance

1.3

Title: Vivid
Author Name: Ana Raine
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2014 – 56pgs

Synopsis

(FILL IN WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT)

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Review

FiveStars

This is a beautiful, poignant story, short enough to read in one sitting. I was instantly drawn to the main character, Akai. He’s someone I felt like I wanted to know better.

The whole story unfolds nicely, with enough information that we get to know Akai but not to the point where it feels like too much. The whole thing has a wistful, longing quality to it.

I thought the theme of sledding was interesting, especially the way it drew the past and the present together nicely. Akai was able to confront his own fears and feelings. It made a nice metaphor for the emotional ride Akai was on from the start.

The whole story built nicely toward the relationship between Akai and Collins. Even though readers will draw the obvious conclusions, Akai doesn’t, and the pleasure is in seeing him finally figure things out.

I really enjoyed this and look forward to reading other work by Ms. Raine.

5 stars

Amy

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4.5 Stars for The Right Words by Lane Hayes – #MM #ComingOut #Romance

0.2

Title: The Right Words (Right and Wrong #1)
Author Name: Lane Hayes
Publication Date & Length: December 12, 2014 – 204 pgs

Synopsis

Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.

Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is a terrific “falling in love and coming out” story with plenty of humor and loveable (and entertainingly awful!) characters.

I don’t typically enjoy coming out stories. They’re usually of the annoying “gay for you” or “I was straight til I met you” variety. This wasn’t either of those. The main character, Luke, meets his love interest, Michael, while doing his home remodeling. Michael is unapologetically gay, but he’s not out for a variety of understandable reasons. I enjoyed watching him unfold and let down his guard.

Admittedly, I wasn’t terribly interested in some of the context–the details of Luke’s work in design and Michael’s job as a professional soccer player bored me a bit. I also wasn’t fond of the near-perfect attractiveness of most of the characters. However, that was balanced by having realistic personalities and great chemistry. Although I may not be personally interested in design or soccer, the details over the course of the novel did give the characters a more well-rounded feel, and I think they were necessary. My feelings about it are personal opinion, not something the author should have done differently.

The only real issue for me was the epilogue. I felt that it wasn’t necessary to the story. It felt like wrapping everything up in too neat a bow. I’d have liked to appreciate the last chapter and use my imagination for the rest. Also, it wasn’t really action so much as just telling us what happened–more of an information dump than good closure.

Overall, this was a fun, sexy, enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to checking out Ms. Hayes’ other work.

4.5 stars

Amy

FiveStars

This was an absolutely wonderful love story.  The dialogue was excellent and it gave great insights into the characters.  The characters felt so real and the author took great time building Luke and Michael’s relationship. It was so well written it pulled me into the story and I couldn’t put it down.

I loved Luke, he was so adorable, amusing, and so dramatic.  His dialogue with Michael, when Michael was trying to teach him Spanish was hilarious.  I had so much sympathy for Luke when Tonio would speak Spanish in front of him on purpose. Also when the scandal involving Michael happened I was crushed for Luke.

Michael on the other hand was still in the closet and didn’t want anyone to know about his life.  Some drastic events occurred and I didn’t like how Luke was treated by Michael’s manager.

I absolutely loved the ending!  The was a very good read and I definitely recommend it.

Sherry

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AuthorBio

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel, Better Than Good, was a 2013 Rainbow Awards Finalist and her third in the Better Than Stories, Better Than Friends, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. Lane loves red wine, chocolate and travel, in no particular order (on second thought, maybe wine first). She resides in Southern California with her amazing husband and a regal old yellow Lab in an almost empty nest.

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3.5 Stars for Lonnie’s New Christmas by Jenn Dease – #MM #Holiday @momsdesk1

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Title: Lonnie’s New Christmas
Author Name: Jenn Dease
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2014 – 44pgs

Synopsis

Can Lonnie overcome the bad Holiday memories with his dragon’s help?

Lonnie Douglas has reason to dislike, almost hate the holidays. His parents are now in the background of his life. Back from his time in the Navy, Vincent Taylor lands in Lonnie’s present life, hoping to show him the love and need he has always felt.

Can Lonnie handle the new responsibilities the town leaders are asking of him? Can he overcome the bad memories with his dragon’s help?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I thought this story was cute and sweet, short enough to read in about an hour.

I haven’t read any other stories set in this “world,” but it didn’t matter. Everything was pretty clear. Even without knowing the main characters, I felt like I had a good sense of their histories. They were hot together, and the sex was steamy (if a bit strange, with the mating). One thing I really enjoyed was how the Dragos celebrated Solstice instead of Christmas. That was very cool, and it was cute seeing their kids react to Santa.

My only hesitation was that the story felt a bit rushed and there was no real conflict. It also bordered on silly at some points. That’s mostly personal preference with a story this short, though.

Since I love dragons, I would love to read more in this world.

3.5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

Jenn lives in the Pittsburgh, PA area. She belongs to one of those families that has four generations living in a three block area.

Captain’s Mate is her first published book, which Jenn and her sisters are quite proud of. She loves books, her red-headed sisters, and books.

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4.5 Stars for Catch Me by A.R. Moler – #MM

1.8

Title: Catch Me
Author Name: A.R. Moler
Publication Date & Length: December 5, 2014 – 45pgs

Synopsis

When the SWAT team leader says no to Christmas, you have to wonder why.

It’s Christmas time and Ben Sullivan is having problems getting his boyfriend, Tyler Czuba, to commit to a holiday schedule. Tyler has finally come out to his SWAT team and his relationship with Ben is now out in the open. Tyler has always worked on Christmas and doesn’t seem willing to compromise this year either. When Tyler ends up on desk duty, Ben thinks that maybe that family Christmas will work out after all. But Tyler explodes over the issue. Suddenly, Ben has to wonder if their relationship will even survive the holidays at all.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

A nice, quick holiday story. I loved the chemistry between the main characters, Tyler and Ben. They were great together, and I felt like even in such a short work I had a good sense of who they were. The author did an excellent job of giving readers just the right tidbits to give us a feel for these guys’ personalities without simply telling us a bunch of information.

My favorite part of the story was when Ben finally coaxed the truth out of Tyler about his dislike of Christmas. It was so well done–the emotional tone, the way Ben used all the right tactics, and their eventual conversation (which had details, but again, not too many).

This was a great feel-good read.

4.5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

A.R. Moler is a chemistry professor at a community college, a homeschooling mom and an avid science fiction fan. She is a devotee of first hand research for her writing whenever possible and to this end has – learned to fire a handgun, been rappelling, ridden with both EMS and the police, flown a helicopter, bought a motorcycle and learned to ride it. She has traveled to nearly all the places where her stories are set and taken hundreds of photos for documentation. She has been writing since her high school years, but only recently has become published. Her fiction can be be found at Torquere Press, Cobblestone Press and MLR. Her blog is www.playdohstoichiometry.blogspot.com and is entitled Playdoh, Legos and Stoichiometry. When asked why such a name for her blog, she commented that it reflects 3 of the many phases of her life. Her daughter is 10 years old and was an avid playdoh artist, her son is 14 and owns enough Legos is fill a 55-gallon drum and the stoichiometry–one of the most challenging topics to many chemistry students.

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