Monthly Archives: August 2015

4 Stars for The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #3) by T.J. Klune #MM #Romance

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Title: The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #3)
Author Name & Publisher: T.J. Klune (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 16, 2014 – 350 pgs

Synopsis

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother’s husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.

But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn’t seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.

In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother’s devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.

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Review

FourStars

I loved getting to read Kid’s book.   His humor had me laughing so hard through  most of this book.   Kid has so many things he needs to work through you get to see how he deals with everything and how his family,  Bear and Otter have his back.  I will say I am not a huge fan of most of the blame being put on just one person in a book when I felt like it should have been more equal.  So that part really bugged me.   You could definitely see his love for Dominic and how much what happened had hurt him.  Dominic I liked him but did not love him for Kid.  I just felt like what he had done was really bad and I could see why Kid felt the way he did. Getting to see Bear and Kid interact together was hilarious too.  The way Kid and Bear interact is so funny I laughed so hard there were tears in my eyes on all the parts we get to see them together.   So I really want to say I loved this book but with the way everything went down it knocked it down a star for me.

Kara

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5 Stars for What He Left Behind by L.A. Witt #MMM #Romance

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Title: What He Left Behind
Author Name & Publisher: L.A. Witt (Samhain Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2015 – 238 pgs

Synopsis

Can you ever have a second first time?

Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.

Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.

A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.

Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.

Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.

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Review

FiveStars

Only LA Witt can take a book that is all sex and turn it into a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking love story.  This is Witt at her best and Ian, Josh and Michael are three wonderful men.

Years out of an abusive relationship, Michael still can’t stand being touched.  At all.  He doesn’t date and struggles with human interactions.  When his life-long best friend Josh finds out just how bad things are for Michael, he and his husband Ian step in to help.

I think it was Josh’s flashbacks at the start that hooked me.  His memories of Michael as a playful, horny teenager discovering sex for the very first time are such an horrific contrast to the cowed and timid man Michael had become.

In contrast to Josh and Michael’s joyous early relationship, their first adult interactions are tender but awkward and uncomfortable.  Witt also does a beautiful job of contrasting Josh and Ian’s physically powerful and uninhibited sex with Josh and Michael’s more tender, tentative interactions.

So many authors try to develop characters through sex scenes, but so often it just turns into smut.  Witt has an amazing skill to write sex that is raw and dirty but at the same time human and tender.  Sex does make her characters more and does help them develop as people and partners.

Outside the bedroom, these are three average, but likeable men.  A teacher, a “corporate drone” and a vet technician.  They enjoy wine in their hot tub.  They watch rubbish TV.  I loved them all for their simple comforts.

As much as there is some difficult subject matter in this book, this isn’t too heavy.  Ten years into their marriage, Ian and Josh’s relationship is pretty magical.  There isn’t much angst either.  These men are best friends.  They communicate.  They care for each other.  I really loved this story!

Sarah

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3 Stars for Which One of You is the Mother? by Sean Michael O’Donnell #MM @seansbiggayblog

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Title: Which One of You is the Mother?
Author Name: Sean Michael O’Donnell
Publication Date & Length: August 24, 2015 – 127 pgs

Synopsis

After fifteen years of up-all-night gay disco dance parties, Sean O’Donnell and his longtime partner Todd decided to trade in their leather chaps for mom jeans and start a family. In August 2012 the not-so ambiguously gay duo walked into a Pittsburgh-based adoption agency and said, “We’d like a child, please.” For the next several months they attended parenting classes, subjected themselves to probing FBI background checks, and completed enough paperwork to reforest the whole of the Amazon River basin. Despite lacking a magical baby-making vagina the pair successfully made omelets without eggs when in July 2013 they flew to Oregon to meet their seven-year-old son for the first time. No longer Sean and Todd they would now be forever known as Dad and Papa to the observant boy (“So that’s how you sleep.”) with a million questions (“Do you have a girlfriend?”, “Where do babies come from?”, “What’s gay?”) No sooner had they settled into their new roles when the stork returned the following year, delivering another boy who quickly proved that five-year-olds were basically talking babies who could use the toilet. Which One of You is the Mother? is the story of how two gay guys finally met the two kids who were always meant to be their sons. This is a book that celebrates a different kind of family who just happens to be like every other family on the block. Only gayer. And funnier.

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Review

ThreeStar

The titular question is one Sean Michael O’Donnell hates to hear in this short memoir. The question is subtley homophobic, and tiringly repetitive. He’s a father, and his husband is also a father, and if you can get past Sean’s ego (self-confessed) and painful attempts to be funny (he may be unaware), there’s a beautiful, earnest story underneath.
Sean details the adoption process in the United States with openness and love. I learned a lot. Some of what happens to children is upsetting. Parenting can also be upsetting. Sean doesn’t shy away from the dark corners of the world.
However, other than his struggles with weight, Sean is not particularly self-reflective. Missing are introspective thoughts about his parents, or his partner, or his yearning to have children. It’s a book written about the surface of life. There are no depths. Despite that, when Sean presented a link to a blog that showcased more of his family, I eagerly followed
. ~ Christy

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5 stars for Darkness Entwined (Of Blood and Spirit #2) by Nikki McCoy #MM #ParanormalRomance #Romance @PridePublishing

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Title: Darkness Entwined (Of Blood and Spirit #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Nikki McCoy (Pride Publishing/Totally Bound)
Publication Date & Length: September 8, 2015 — 224 pages

Synopsis

As the powers of darkness and light collide, a soul with no redemption must rely on love to restore the balance.

Keenan was a mistake. An abomination feared by the very being who had sired him for the potent powers of light and dark in his soul. He was tortured for years until he managed to escape the God of Destruction, his father, Roh Se Kahn, only to be imprisoned again and held captive in a war he had no ties to.

King of the Vam’kir, an ancient race who survives on the life-giving blood of humans, Rowan is struggling to enforce the peace treaty signed by his kind and their twin race, the shapeshifting Ba’Kal. After two millennia, their war has finally come to an end, though their alliance is tentative.

Trapped in a loveless marriage, Rowan yearns for happiness he fears may never come. On an expedition to rescue the last of the prisoners held over from the war, he finds Keenan, the mate he’d been searching for his entire life. But their path is lined with impossible obstacles.

Rowan’s people would never accept the bastard son of the dark God at his side, and the threat of Roh Se Kahn brings a new war into their midst.

Will their love for each other be enough to conquer the hatred of Rowan’s people and destroy the dark forces of the God of Destruction?

Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of violence and references to rape.

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Review

FiveStars

I really liked this book a lot!  It had the perfect amount of Alpha protectiveness that I love in a shifter romance and the perfect amount of angst.  Once I started this book I could not put it down, so I ended up staying up all night reading this.  Rowan he was so protective of Keenan, that is one of the reasons I love shifter romance books. Keenan so sweet he would do anything to protect Rowan.   The story moved at this perfect pace and kept me drawn in through the whole book.   I won’t go into much more detail because I hate to give away any spoilers.   I will leave this review with I would definitely recommend this book and I can not wait for the next one in this series!
~Kara

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New Release: Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Cowboy @PatriciaLogan1

Buttermilk Ranch

Title: Buttermilk Ranch
Author Name & Publisher: Patricia Logan (Westburg Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 29, 2015 – 62,000 Words

Synopsis

Wendell Blackowl has spent all his life in the working cow horse show ring where toiling with sweaty cowboys all day is the fodder for wet dreams. Though privately he’s come to terms with his sexuality, publicly Dell’s had to build a façade. When his beloved horse Buttermilk dies, Dell finds himself at loose ends so he decides to pick himself up by his boot straps and do what he’s always wanted to do… open an environmentally friendly organic vegetarian café.

Pace Avila, well known music critic, has been drawn to Austin by the live music scene. When friends invite him to check out a fresh new dinner experience, Pace reluctantly agrees to push the deadline on his national column. He isn’t interested in vegetarian food or a restaurant with the cheesy name of Buttermilk Ranch Café, but the moment Pace lays eyes on the stunning cowboy chef, things begin looking up.

When openly gay Pace walks into his cafe and his life, Dell realizes he’s tired of living a lie and tired of being alone. When Mother Nature throws an unprecedented storm at Austin, the muddy waters threaten to wipe out everything Dell’s worked so hard to build. He soon realizes that with a man like Pace by his side, love really can conquer all.

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Excerpt

“Yoo Hoo! Dell, ya up there, ya sidewinder! Get outa bed or I’m gonna drag that lazy ass out!”

“What?” Pace said, startled awake as he lifted his head from Dell’s chest where he’d fallen asleep in the wee hours of the morning. He wiped his face of drool and stared across the muscled chest he loved, finding Dell’s face. He had one eye peeled open and he didn’t look all too happy by what sounded like Branch’s bellowing from downstairs.

“Fuckin’ ass poor timin’,” Dell grumbled as they both sat upright in bed. Pace knew it would be pretty awful if Branch came bursting into the room with them, lying buck naked in bed. “Guess I’d better find out just what the hell he’s doin’ here.” Pace watched as Dell threw his legs over the side of the bed. He watched his ass from behind, noting the muscled expanse of his back and the thick thighs he loved so much, as the man stood.

“What the hell is he doing here? He and the boys had a show,” Pace grumbled.

“Ya rattlesnake! Ya need me to come up there and put my boot up yer ass?” Branch howled.

Pace couldn’t help but chuckle. He loved his brother but he loved the disgusted look on Dell’s face more. Dell walked to the doorway and stuck his head out.

“I’ll be down in a minute, ya jackass… unless ya want to see me in all my nekkid glory!” Dell yelled back.

Pace heard a chuckle coming from downstairs. “Hell naw! Get some clothes on there, scarecrow! Yer movin’ slower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, here we go,” Dell said, glancing over at him. Pace just buried his face in the pillow and laughed.

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4 stars for Crimson Mate (Of Blood and Spirit #1) by Nikki McCoy #MM #ParanormalRomance #Shifter #GayforYou @PridePublishing

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Title: Crimson Mate (Of Blood and Spirit #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Nikki McCoy (Pride Publishing/Totally Bound)
Publication Date & Length: September 4, 2014 — 240 pages

Synopsis

A war is brewing, and a man born of two worlds holds the key to its prevention. Will Quinn allow Manning to convince him that love can exist between enemies before the coming battle consumes them both?

A centuries-old feud has pitted Ba’Kal–shifters—against Vam’kir–vampires. Quinn has suffered the pain of the ongoing contention in ways no man ever should. Once the respected son of the Vam’kir king, his life was forever altered the day his father realized a truth of which even Quinn was unaware.

As the Ba’Kal ruler, it is up to Manning to seek justice for the vicious attacks the Vam’kir have perpetrated against his kind, but his very beliefs are called into question when he discovers his mate is also his enemy. To keep Quinn safe, he must learn to trust in the impossible–that love might exist beyond boundaries, for failure means the end of his future and the rest of his race.

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Review

FourStarsI really liked this book!  My favorite part of a shifter book is when the two mates meet.  The instant attraction and need to protect that they feel.  I have always been a fan of shifter books for those reasons.  You get that with this book along with the one who fights it and the perfect amount of angst.  Once I started this book I could not put it down.  Manning and Quin clicked to me, they fit together. Now I wish had gotten to see them as a couple a little more then I did but otherwise this was a good book!    I would definitely recommend this book!
~Kara

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NEW REVIEW! 3 Stars for Reclamation (Dominion #2) by Lissa Kasey #MM #Paranormal @parisbvamp

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Title: Reclamation (Dominion #2)
Author Name: Lissa Kasey
Publication Date & Length: May 27, 2015 – 183 pgs

Synopsis

Seiran Rou did the unthinkable to save his own life—he killed someone with magic. Now he’s haunted by the deed, and his internal troubles are ripping apart his newly strengthened relationship with Gabe. And the Dominion still wants him to toe the line and produce an heir.

After receiving threatening e-mails, phone calls, and vandalism that all seem to stem from another dead man from Sei’s tormented youth, Matthew Pierson, Sei thinks he’s going crazy and realizes he needs help. He turns to a Dominion-recommended psychiatrist.

But the past has already dug its claws in deep and someone is helping Sei’s old abuser lead him into a trap. Sei knows Gabe will come for him, and he’s ready to accept his love now. Only he doesn’t know if either of them will survive long enough to find a future together.

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Review

ThreeStar

I started this book less than an hour after finishing book one in the series and found the beginning easy to pick up and follow. However, within several chapters I found myself rolling my eyes and putting it down to go do other things. The maturing and growth the main character showed in the first book, as small of a step as it was, seemed to have vanished completely and several of the first few chapters seemed to be a rehash of his own self doubting and confusion with minor mentions of plot moving content. The severity of his neurosis was so distracting and over the top that I found it hard to really care what happened to him or the characters around him. I actually spent a good part of the first half of the book wishing he would stop whining like a middle school kid and deal with his issues. While some of the issues dealt with were severe and seemed to need the hangups, I feel the author may have gone a little overboard on his specific issues without giving him any true movement toward overcoming them for too long.
I managed to force my way through the first half of the book and was happy to find the second half much better than the first. Thankfully, some of the hangups were finally dealt with and worked through and progress was made which made him less irritating and made me want to connect with him again. With any luck, these growth points and progressions will hold through the rest of the series and he won’t be back-sliding too severely. Thankfully the minor spelling issues and grammatical mistakes found in the first seemed to be dealt with more intently in this book and it flowed better, despite the whining of the main character. If you can push through the rampant self-loathing of the first half of the book, the second half is well worth it. If book three continues the forward progress, I could see recommending this simply to allow for the rest of the series to be read.
~Rhayne

 

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