Monthly Archives: December 2015

TWO 4 Stars for Expanding Horizons (Love in Germany #2) by Chris McHart #MM #BDSM @chris_mchart @MLRPress

Expanding Horizons6

Title: Expanding Horizons (Love in Germany #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Chris McHeart (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 11, 2015 – 14,500 Words

Synopsis

After a year and a half together, Ryan and his Dom Julian are still happy and finally married.

Shortly before Christmas, though, Julian brings something up he’s dreamt of before. He wants to play in public with Ryan. His partner is totally against it and suggests something else. Before they know what happens, they have the biggest fight on their hands.

Instead of getting ready for a second Christmas together, they are angry at each other. They both have to step back, make up their minds and apologize before they spend the holidays being miserable.

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Review

FourStars

This is a continuation from Grenzen, book 1 in this series.  I enjoyed this story just as much as the first book.  The characters were true to themselves and I love how they were able to continue their lives –  teacher and programer but still maintain their BDSM lifestyle.
While I can understand why Ryan was hesitant to reveal his lifestyle to anyone, especially given the previous book and his terrible co-worker, I felt that McHart was almost manipulative in his story telling this time.  I was so angry at Julian for multiple reasons, but most of all, because he was the Dom, I sympathized more with Ryan than Julian.  Maybe that’s wrong, but overall, I felt that the scenes that led up to their fight, the scenes during their fight and even a few scenes after their fight were almost all Julian manipulating Ryan.
Finally, when the conflict has resolved, I felt like even though things turned out OK, Ryan was even more justified in his reluctance.  And, despite everything being fine in the end, it was a lesson learned the hard way for Julian.
The chemistry between the two characters was still sizzling and I really did enjoy the book, even though I kind of rail on Julian.
AvidReader
FourStarsI really enjoyed this book, not as much as Grenzen (book 1) but then I always seem to hate when a couple is together and they end up fighting. I especially do not like fighting during the holidays. I didn’t agree with Julian pushing his wishes on Ryan. One thing I found out about BDSM is that it is supposed to be consensual. To me this was Julian pushing his wishes onto Ryan. Overall a very good book, the author definitely has a way with words and this was a very easy read.
~Lynn

Excerpt

I stared at my groom, totally speechless. He was really going to do this with me. Or I was going to do it with him. In either case, this was real. We were going to get married. Like, in ten minutes, we’d be a wedded couple. I swallowed against the lump in my throat. When he’d asked me a few months ago, I was all for doing it immediately. But now, as we were waiting for the last guests to arrive, my nerves were getting the better of Ryan was my everything. My soulmate, partner, and sub, and I loved him more than anything.

Spending the rest of my life by his side was my own personal heaven.

He’d moved to Germany for me, leaving behind his life and family in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as the heat. Currently, in the summer, it was okay, but he’d suffer quite a bit when the winter came. It would take a few years until he was used to the cold winters in Nürnberg.

Currently, Ryan was talking to his mother. His parents had flown in from the States to watch their son get married. I’d met them before and really loved them. They were great in-laws, and I knew they were truly happy Ryan had found a partner, even if it was half a world away from them. When we’d planned our wedding, we’d decided against our dads bringing us to the altar, so I was going to meet Ryan in the middle of the rows of chairs, and then we’d walk to the registrar together. This was going to be a simple civil union, since gays were still not allowed to actually marry in Germany, but for me, it was big. To me, it was marriage.

I tried to catch Ryan’s eye. It was time. We had a party scheduled and afterwards, I intended to have my very own celebration with Ryan. He was my sub for a reason, and I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t forget that on this very special day.

I limited our playing to the bedroom, something Ryan was absolutely fine with, but today, upon seeing him in his dark suit, I desired more. It wasn’t the first time I’d closed my eyes and imagined him on his knees, hands bound behind his back, while I showed him off in public. He was so gorgeous, so stunning, in his submission, and the dark suit accentuated it even more. He wore it as well as he wore my marks. I wanted to let the world know this man was mine. He gave his lust, his love to me, and I wanted everyone to see what was between us. This was one of the steps, and wearing a wedding ring highlighted it even more for me, but I wanted the other side, the BDSM side as well. I wasn’t too fond of public play, but with Ryan I found myself entertaining the thought way too often.

I had absolutely no restraint when it came to this man. We’d been together for a year and a half, yet I still wanted him so much. A shiver crawled down my spine. Later, I would put him on his knees and drive him out of his mind. He submitted so beautifully, and seeing him in the suit, and knowing he’d said “yes, I do” would make it even more arousing.

Ryan nodded in my direction. Show time.

He exchanged a few words with his mother, then headed in my direction. I caught his gaze. A smile played around Ryan’s lips. He looked as happy as I was. We’d planned, organized, and scheduled for this day, and now it was finally here. I still couldn’t believe it. In an hour, we’d be married. I resisted the urge to pinch myself, and instead moved forward toward my future husband.

Ryan took my hand, the expression on his face radiant. The simple room in the city hall faded even more against his grin. And I was getting sentimental.

“Ready, my love?” I asked him, even though I knew he was.

“Of course, always.”

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5 and TWO 4 Stars for Another Shot (Heartsville) by J.H. Knight #MM #Romance

1.5

Title: Another Shot (Heartsville)
Author Name: J.H. Knight
Publication Date & Length: October 28, 2015 – 81 pgs

Synopsis

The town of Heartsville means something different to everyone who lives there. For Aaron Forester, it’s a gay-friendly buffer between himself and the rest of the world. After being outed in high school and bullied to the point of violence, his family uprooted their lives and relocated to the small hamlet. He’s moved on from all that and now owns a popular café in the bustling shopping district. But after twenty years of happy living, Aaron’s past creeps up on him in the most unexpected way.

Brad Collins only has one regret and he’s carried it with him since he was a teenager. When he moves to Heartsville and gets set up on a blind date with the most adorable, engaging man he’s met in a long time, he couldn’t be happier. But Brad didn’t expect the guy to be the person he outed in high school—who he’s now falling in love with.

Aaron and Brad hit it off instantly—in and out of the bedroom. But after a long overdue apology and a small serving of resentment, is their fledgling relationship worth another shot?

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Review

FiveStars

Another great book in the Heartsville series. I loved it.

The plot line was fantastic. Brad and Aaron go on a blind date, both of them not knowing that Brad was involved in Aaron being bullied in high school. The question that hung in the air was when Aaron finds out will he push Brad away or accept and forgive him. The suspense hung in the air as I read.

The dialogue is great. The easy way that Brad and Aaron talk to each other is just wonderful. You get to know another family in the gayborhood.

I would highly recommend this book. You can read it as a stand-alone or as part of this great and wonderful series.

Ariel

FourStars

Another Shot by J.H. Knight is hot it has everything you need to keep you reading. Have you ever had a blind date? If you’re thinking about it you may want to read this book. J.H. Knight puts her two men thru some twist and turns. I really enjoyed the entire story line. This book makes you look forward to the last two books in the series.

Denise

FourStars

This was another great story in the Heartsville Series. This story was sweet and frustrating, but that what makes a great book. This is not a new author for me but I’ve only read a few books by Ms. Knight and this one was thoroughly enjoyable. This was a short and sweet yet a very detailed story. I loved both Brad and Aaron and both just made you want to smile.

~Lynn

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5, 4.5 and 4 Stars for Bloom Box (Heartsville) by Cate Ashwood #MM #Romance @cateashwood

1.5

Title: Bloom Box (Heartsville)
Author Name: Cate Ashwood
Publication Date & Length: October 30, 2015 – 71 pgs

Synopsis

If there’s one thing William Sullivan knows less about than how to run a business, it’s flowers. When Will is left carrying responsibility for the flower shop he’d leased for his cheating ex-boyfriend, he is sure it will lead him into financial ruin.

Just when he’s about to abandon all hope, in walks Milo Hart—young, overflowing with energy, and perhaps best of all, a genius when it comes to flowers. Will hires him on the spot and they begin a working partnership that might be Will’s only saving grace. The more time they spend together, the more Will’s feelings for Milo evolve and Will must choose between keeping things strictly business, or taking a chance to let love bloom.

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Review

FiveStars

Roses, lavender, orchids. A flower shop blooming with flowers with the floral scent surrounding you. This is the setting of this beautiful and wonderful book that I grew to love.

Will has the bare bones of a flower shop in his possession that he doesn’t know what to do with. In walks Milo to rescue him and show him the way. You’re taken on their journey of creating this flower shop with drama aplenty and not knowing what’s going to happen around the corner to a wonderful HEA.

Milo’s mouth is so endearing. Not that way. The words that come out of his mouth have no inhibitions. It’s like his brain is on the Autobahn speeding forward to shoot words out of his mouth with all possible speed. It’s so cute.

Even though Will is maybe 10 years Milos senior he doesn’t treat him like a kid. He values him and respects him and completely appreciates him. He treats him as an equal. I love that in relationships.  Their relationship is simply a beautiful thing.

If you want a book that you can read in front of a roaring fire or one that will help you relax after a long day at work, this is the book for you. This book will put a smile on your face and take you away on a flowery journey. Can you tell, I highly recommend this book.

Ariel

FourStars

4 Stars for Bloom Box by Cate Ashwood in the Heartsville Series. This is the last book in the series and I really like Cate Ashwoods book. She has it all going on. It is a perfect way to end this series with a book that keeps your attention and has you loving her men.

Reviewed by D. Weber

FourandHalfStarsThis was the last book in the Heartsville series and I can honestly say I loved all of them. This book was just wonderful. Milo was a very strong character and I loved him from the beginning. There is a 15 year age difference but that doesn’t matter in the end. Both characters are sweet and loving and that is just what Will needs at this point (along with help with his business). Another great story from an author I love. 

~Lynn

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5 Stars for Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell #MM #Romance @dreamspinners

1

Title: Cookies for Courting (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)
Author Name: Amber Kell
Publication Date & Length: April 22, 2015 – 68pgs

Synopsis

After his sister’s death, businessman Marshall Hunter gains custody of his niece. Unused to children, Marshall struggles to connect with her. In an effort to make her more comfortable in her new home, he hires professional muralist Pace Barlow to personalize her room.

Pace is intrigued by his tiny client, and even more interested in her handsome uncle, but Pace isn’t certain he’s ready for the commitment of an instant family.

When Marshall decides to move for the sake of his niece, will he be able to keep his relationship with his young artist, or will he have to give up love to become a good father for a lonely little girl?

The love baked into an old-fashioned recipe might bring the two men together, but some things take more than magical cookies to fix.

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Review
FiveStars
I really loved this book. I wish it would have been longer. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the story, the little girl. Everything.

The main characters, Pace and Marshall, were perfectly made for each other. Pace is sweet, kind, giving, a creative artist. Marshall is the strong, assertive, wealthy, independent man who has had this 8 year old girl thrust upon him. He takes to being a father pretty quickly and adjusts to it very well. The little girl, Alice, is very sweet and has instant love for Pace, which is great.

The bit of action at the end was surprising. I loved how Pace used his friend to resolve the complication. I don’t want to give it away, what happened and what Pace did. It was awesome, though.

I highly recommend this book. Amber Kell has been one of my favorite authors for a long time and anything she writes is really good. This short story is one of them.

Ariel

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4 and 4.5 Stars for Transformation (The Green Man #3) by Leona Carver #FF #SciFi

1.5

Title: Transformation (The Green Man #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Leona Carver (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: January 27, 2016

Synopsis

Katja Olesk, doctor of botany and supervisor of the Velikaya Knyazhna’s park—the acres of forest they are transporting to terraform their new world—wakes at the end of the ship’s journey to discover that one of the park laborers had died, seemingly of old age after a lifetime in the park. Consumed by rage and paranoia, Katja loses her status on the ship.

Two years later she is exiled to Yuri Gagarin, a tiny colony on a hostile world, and demoted to simple gardening. There she enlists the aid of Des, a boisterous terraformer, to continue the research she’s no longer allowed to do. But the research leads to horrifying discoveries of what the colony leaders have been hiding, and when a devastating illness strikes, Katja must face her greatest fears and return to the park…

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Review

FourStars

My only criticism of this book is the extraordinary long time it took to get into the action. I admit the background was necessary but it was very detailed. Having said that,  what a spectacular and unique book.
Once the action begun it moved at a terrifically fast and engaging pace. The characters were as unconventional as they were marvellous. The plot intricate and very diverse. The ending as surprising and unexpected as it was extraordinary and totally unexpected.
If you are looking for something totally different and engrossing but made wholly believable by this talented author then this book will not disappoint, it may amaze you but I think you will find it truly plausible.
Chris

FourandHalfStarsI liked this book. Enough to look up the first two books in the series. This was a bit fast paced, and it ratcheted up the tension in the story nicely. First we have the unexplained happenings on the ship, which drive our main character, Katya, crazy. At least in the eyes of her shipmates. When she’s exiled to the colony, she meets Des, which leads to her furthering her research in terraforming. This is the catalyst to finding a new life form which threatens the success of the human efforts on this new world. Now it’s a race against time to see if a cure can be found, but the cure Katya thinks of has more to do with the mysterious life force back on board the ship.

The romance definitely takes a back seat here, which is ok because it isn’t really the focus of the story anyway. Which ties in to the end of the story and the resolution of the crisis. I’ll say that at first, I was a little disappointed in the end, not really seeing it as a happy ever after. Upon reflection, it is a happy ever after, just not in the way we think usually think of it. It speaks of hope for the future, and the determination of mankind to survive. I definitely recommend this book.

~AmyP

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5 Stars for The Cellar Hand (Workplace Encounters) by Serena Yates #MM #Romance

1.5

Title: The Cellar Hand (Workplace Encounters)
Author Name & Publisher: Serena Yates (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 29, 2015 – 120 pgs

Synopsis

Orson Digby is no stranger to loss. His family died in a house fire when he was fifteen, and he has never recovered from losing touch with his best friend, when he was made to stay with an aunt in a different state. Orson works hard to learn the art of winemaking, and finally starts a job as cellar hand at Clear Springs Vineyard—only to run into his long-lost best friend.

Geoff Robichaud, freshly out of the Marines, is in charge of security at the winery. The friendship between Orson and Geoff is familiar, but the intense physical attraction is new. As they explore their developing feelings, several acts of sabotage threaten to destroy their new employer’s business and their newfound happiness. They need to rely on Orson’s knowledge of viniculture and Geoff’s understanding of security if they want to solve the mystery and build a future together.

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Review

FiveStars

This was a great story. I loved everything about it. Even though it was a short story, it combined everything that a great story can have and made it complete.

Orson and Geoff’s love story was fantastic. Being best friends as teenagers, losing track of each other due to circumstances beyond their control, finding each other later in life, and rekindling their love for each other. Wonderful, sweet, fantastic.

The mystery in the story was excellent. I didn’t know who had done it. Involving Orson in the solving of the mystery and even in the planning and capturing of the perpetrators was great. I loved it. Great addition to the story.

The plot development and the character development in this story was very well done. I applaud the author. Given it was a short story, I usually don’t have high expectations for plot and character development, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I would recommend this story. It was a great romance with a wonderful mystery included.

Ariel

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New Release: The Sky People Trilogy by DC Juris #Twincest #ScienceFiction @dcjuris

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Title: The Sky People Trilogy
Author Name & Publisher: DC Juris (Torquere books)
Publication Date & Length: December 30, 2015 – 33,000 Words

Synopsis

Driven by visions of his soul mate, Tristan, Jinsu steps through the portal to Earth, leaving all he has ever known behind.. Seven months into their fairy-tale romance, and Tristan and Jinsu couldn’t be happier. But when Jinsu falls ill with a mysterious, lingering condition, everything changes. Jinsu’s magic is dying and taking him with it. Suddenly the couple’s desire to find a way back to Jinsu’s home world is more than just a dream–it’s a necessity. With Jinsu’s time quickly running out, Tristan is forced to seek help from someone he’d hoped to never, ever lay eyes on again.

Tristan awakens on Torottu, but the portal wasn’t meant for humans, and he’s been near death since his arrival almost ten months ago. Even worse, Jinsu has no idea who Tristan is—the return trip through the portal erased his memory of Earth, of their relationship, or Tristan himself.

Winning Jinsu’s heart again won’t be easy, especially if Kelan, Jinsu’s twin, has anything to say about it. Kelan loves Jinsu, too, and he won’t be put aside for Tristan. Not again. Tristan knows his only chance for happiness—and the only chance for Jinsu and Kelan—is to follow his heart.

Previously published by Breathless Press.

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Excerpt

After taking Jinsu home and grabbing a light dinner for himself, Tristan drove across town, up and down streets once all-too familiar, to see the only person he could think of who might be able to help him. He pushed open the office door, taking note of the little faded metal welcome sign and the open 9 to 5 banner hanging crookedly underneath it. He’d arrived just in time.

“Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. How you doin’, sugar?”

Tristan smiled at the petite platinum blonde behind the desk. He’d always liked Nancy.

Despite the fact that she looked like something out of an old mobster movie—big hair, low-cut blouse, gaudy makeup, chewing gum and all—she had that rare work ethic that made her more than just a receptionist. “I’m good. Is Bryan in?”

“Sure, hon. Have a seat. I’ll let him know you’re here.”

Tristan sat on the edge of a metal folding chair—god, Bryan was such a cheapskate—rested his left foot on his right thigh.

Before Nancy could stand up, the door behind her opened to reveal a tall, heavy-set man with closely cropped dark hair just beginning to thin. Older than Tristan, Bryan had started to show his age. “Nancy, do me a favor and—”

Nancy nodded toward Tristan. Tristan stood, the scrape of his chair on the tile far louder than he would’ve liked.

“Tristan?” Slight upward inflection in Bryan’s voice, as if he couldn’t believe Tristan was actually there. Well, that made two of them.

“Long time no see, huh, Bryan?” It was a lame way to break the ice, but how did one approach his former lover when he showed up at said former lover’s work, out-of-the-blue after three years?

“Hold my calls,” Bryan said, with barely a glance at Nancy. “C’mon in, Tris.”

Tristan cringed at the old nickname and followed Bryan into his office. The place was surprisingly neat—neater than Tristan had ever seen Bryan’s surroundings before.

“I’ve gotten better at housekeeping, as you can see.” Bryan gestured to the chair opposite his desk. “Have a seat. At the risk of sounding clichéd, to what do I owe this honor?”

“I need your help with something.” Tristan took a deep breath. Best to get right to it. He didn’t want Bryan getting any ideas or false hopes. Leaving out as many personal, private details as he possibly could, Tristan filled Bryan in on the events of the past seven months: Jinsu’s arrival—he didn’t mention the part about the dreams that had brought them together—his subsequent illness, and what Tristan had learned of Torottu.

“So…that brings you up to now,” Tristan finished. Bryan had sat quietly and listened throughout his speech, fingers steepled together in front of him, elbows resting on his desk, with that just-this-side-of-predatory gleam in his eyes that most people found alluring but Tristan had always hated.

“Huh. Well…it’s not really my line of work.” Bryan leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms.

“What do you mean it’s not your line of work? You investigate the freaky and abnormal.”

“Paranormal, to be specific. This…” Bryan shrugged. “I’m not saying I won’t help you. You know I’d do anything for you. I owe you after what I put you through.”

Tristan ground his teeth. Damn him for bringing up their past. Patience was a virtue when it came to dealing with Bryan, but Tristan could hit below the belt too. “I need your full efforts and attention. You can’t half-ass this. It can’t be like Detroit.”

Bryan straightened and curled his lip, looking away quickly. “Detroit wasn’t my fault.”

“You may not have caused it, but you did nothing to help. Understand, I won’t let Jinsu fall to a witch hunt.”

“What happened in Detroit—”

“What happened in Detroit didn’t have to. You involved the wrong people. You hung innocents out to dry; you threw your partners under the bus and nearly caused a citywide riot. I won’t let you sell Jinsu’s story and I won’t let you endanger his life. You keep the press out of this one. No glorious headlines, understand?”

“You’ve been back to the alley?”

Tristan bit back a conceited chuckle at Bryan’s change of topic. “Several times. There’s nothing there. Everything’s perfectly normal.”

“That may be and it may not. There are things that can’t be seen with the naked eye.” Bryan turned and pulled a book off the over-stuffed shelf behind him, thumbed through it quickly and then tossed it down on his desk. “You know that.”

“Jinsu’s certain he would be able to feel the magic if it were there.” Of course, that was only a theory, but having Bryan second-guess him was annoying.

“Sure, but you said he’s sick. That could be affecting him. I assume you’ve done some other research of your own?”

Tristan nodded. “I’ve been over every book of mythology and the occult that I could get my hands on.”

“Bah. We won’t find what we’re looking for in there. This kind of stuff doesn’t get listed in the public record.” Bryan folded his hands together and gave Tristan a long, lingering, thoughtful look. “I made a mistake with you.”

“Yeah, you did. Look, I didn’t come here for this. This isn’t about you and me. This is about someone’s life. It’s far more important than any petty bullshit.” On the verge of insulting, and definitely risky, but Bryan had never been good with subtlety.

Bryan quirked an eyebrow. “So we were petty, were we?”

“One of us was. I don’t want to argue about the past. Are you willing to help us?”

“Of course I am. I’ll need to gather my resources, make some calls. It may take time.”

Tristan sighed. Time was one thing they didn’t have.

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