Monthly Archives: April 2016

NEW RELEASE: 3 stars for The Role by Richard Taylor Pearson #MM #Romance

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Title: The Role
Author Name & Publisher: Richard Taylor Pearson (Lethe Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 4, 2016 — 296 Pages

Synopsis

Mason Burroughs is an actor on the verge of giving up after being turned away at audition after audition. But his life changes when he bumps into Kevin Caldwell, an old crush from acting school. Kevin helps Mason land a role that could make him the next Broadway star. However, as rehearsals begin, Mason learns that there’s a lot more drama than just what’s on stage. With a personal trainer claiming he can mold his body to resemble a Greek statue, an underhanded understudy waiting in the wings to replace him, a megalomaniacal director, and Kevin hellbent on breaking up Mason and his boyfriend, Mason must choose how much he is willing to sacrifice to make his Broadway dream a reality.

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Review

ThreeStar

I love reading new authors but really hate it when the story comes up short. That was the case with this story. It was interesting but I could not seem to connect with either of the MC’s. That made it fairly difficult to read. In fact started to read it and then would quit and read another book and then go back to it. I did like the whole story plot that was very interesting as I love the theater. Not sure if I could read another book by this author but because of the story line I would certainly try it in hope that the characters were a little more developed.

~Lynn

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4 star, 3 star and 5 star Reviews for Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (#1) by Joe Cosentino #MM #Romance

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Title: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Cozzi Cove #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Joe Cosentino (NineStar)
Publication Date & Length: March 21, 2016 — 213 Pages

Synopsis

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love.

Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher.

When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist.

And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected.

What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?

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Review

FourStars

This is only my second book by this author and it was really good. It was very easy to read and the writing was excellent.  I would consider this a fantasy type book because of this happening in it (sorry just can’t say, you’ll have to read it) and it is clearly a story about accepting loss and moving on. This book clearly showed the author’s imagination and I loved how he introduced each of the characters into the story. Although the story centers on Cal Cozzi there are many different characters in this book. At first I had trouble keeping up because the characters where introduced all at the very beginning and not throughout the book. In fact I was thinking I might have to make a chart to be able to remember them all. As the story went on I was able to keep all the different characters straight which made it much more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the next book and would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to spend time on the beach (even virtually).

~Lynn

FiveStars

Cozzi Cove in my opinion is a book about moving on, letting go of past hurt, finding a new love, forgiving but leaving behind a dead weight, getting over anxiety, moving on to the next step in ones life, choosing to live instead of exist, and spending time with the one you grow to love even though it may not be long that you get to spend with them.

This book is about many different people. All of these men come together and get to know one another because of Cal Cozzi. He owns a bungalow resort and is gay friendly and advertises that his resort is. Many different people come to stay at the resort for a vacation and most leave their with a completely different life. It is as if the place is magical. People have the tendency of coming there and falling in love. Whether the love is short lived or lasts a lifetime.

These different groups of people are so different from one another it is like looking and seeing night and day. But regardless they all mesh well together. Even the couples that come together are the exact opposite of one another but that makes the story that much sweeter.

I really enjoyed this book. There was surprises that I did not see coming. There were parts that were hilarious, parts that were serious, parts that were happy and parts that were sad. Regardless of the emotion that the character was portraying at that moment I was able to feel it myself. So if for no other reason that made this an amazing book. I also truly loved the story line and the diverting the people in it. It made it seem so much more realistic. So job well done Joe.

~Tosha
ThreeStar

If Mauve Binchy wrote a book about a gay American beach resort, this would be it..  This is the story of Cozzi Cove and the escapades of the residents during one hot summer week.  While I loved the premise of this story, I wasn’t completely charmed by the execution.  
The cast is quirky.  While this is a fun summer beach read, there are some very serious moments.   Some of the stories are heart wrenching, others are moving and a few are just silly.  I bristled at some of the cliches and felt that some of the attitudes and language felt quite dated.  I have to wonder how old the author is because I’m not sure how many Millennial readers would even recognise some of the antiquated gay stereotypes present in this book.  
This is very much a “telling” not “showing” style of writing and I found the slightly camp, at times slightly bitchy narration grating.  While I connected with several of the characters’ stories, none of the characters ever felt very three dimensional to me.
There is a little bit of sex in this story, and the antiquated language makes some of the descriptions brilliantly amusing.

~Sarah

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5 stars for Shell Shocked (Yolks on You #1) by Jessica Payseur #MM #Mystery #ActionAdventure

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Title: Shell Shocked (Yolks on You #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jessica Payseur (JMS Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 27, 2016 — 199 pages

Synopsis

When Dominic agrees to join his boyfriend Alec and his kids for a weekend away at the annual Eggstravaganza in Mount Angus, Wisconsin, he’s expecting a boring, if kitschy, experience. He isn’t expecting to discover Alec is cheating on him, and he certainly isn’t expecting an exploding cow to drop him in the middle of a deadly mystery.

Suddenly single and surrounded by a town’s worth of suspects, Dom finds himself oddly drawn to playing the sleuth, especially if it will get him closer to Kiko, the owner of the niche shop Yolks on You.

Together the two men navigate a web of intrigue and lies, and the sniping of a jealous Alec, in a town filled with murder and Easter-themed mayhem. Will they manage to make it through the Eggstravaganza alive, or will the murderer leave them much more than just Shell Shocked?

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Review

FiveStars

This is an intriguing book with murder, mayhem, cheating boyfriend turned ex jealous boyfriend, to explosions, guns, and lots of Easter eggs. So in other words there is something for everyone in this book, including but not limited to finding that one person who makes you think of changing your whole life and taking a chance on love again.

His was really a great book. It holds you captivated from the moment the first explosion takes place. Every time you think the characters, Kiko and Dom, has figured out who it is that is setting the explosions off there is a new twist and turn that tells you …. Nope, you have the wrong person. Then when you get close to the end and you really think that you know who it is finally… You are thrown for another loop and BAM it is not that person either.

Not to mention along the way Kiko and Dom continually get closer to one another and you are left wondering will they work out or are they going to leave it at a vacation fling. Even that is a mystery up to the last moment when you think you finally figured that out also and hen they do what you did not see coming.

If you like a book with action, adventure, mystery, and love lost and love gained…. You will love this book. I know I did and I cannot wait to see what Jessica Payseur will do in the future with new books in the series. Definitely a book that captures your attention and holds it too the very end. It was a great read.

~Tosha

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3 stars for Rooks and Romanticide by J. I. Radke #MM #Fantasy #Historical @Dreamspinners

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Title: Rooks and Romanticide
Author Name & Publisher: J. I. Radke (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2015 — 250 Pages

Synopsis

In an alternate world, Romeo and Juliet are gunslingers. Verona gives way to a steampunk Victorian London. The victims of turf wars are dumped in an alley they call Lovers’ Lane, and the moment the son of his family’s enemy touches his face, Cain’s revenge is poisoned by love. Fate would have it no other way.

Levi Ruslaniv is the heir to the Ruslaniv family gang, but ridiculous ancient feuds do not interest him. Cain Dietrich’s vengeful hatred for the Ruslaniv family is rooted deep, since he believes the Ruslanivs arranged for the murder of his parents. But his encounter with Levi pierces him deeper than hatred ever could.

With bullets and blazes of glory, schemes, spies, and pack mentalities, loyalty runs as deep in the veins as passion or revenge, and there is only one way to end the fighting. From the start it was inevitable—a bloodstained fate for children with bloodstained hands, and the streets of New London will never be the same.

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Review

ThreeStar

Rooks and Romanticide is a moody, gay retelling of Romeo and Juliet in atmospheric old London. Despite knowing the premise (and the ending) I really enjoyed the ride JI Radke provided.
Cain is a tortured soul bent on revenge. Levi comes only for fun but is compelled by his lover’s pain. There’s a lot of violence and a lot of darkness. I felt for the characters.
I appreciated the flowery language that was a tribute to Shakespeare, not a repetition. It added to the otherworldliness and romanticism of the story. I would have liked Radke to show me new things and go more into the unknown, rather than to rehash ancient woes. Hopefully there’s more from this author soon.
– C. E. Case

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5 stars for The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino #MM #Fantasy #ParanormalRomance

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Title: THe Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland
Author Name & Publisher: Joe Cosentino (Dreampsinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 27, 2016 — 86 Pages

Synopsis

Cinder, a poor and beautiful young man who designs clothing, makeup, and hair for his stepmother and stepsisters, offers his clothing and slippers to a naked stranger in the woods who turns out to be none other than Prince Charming. Follow Cinder and Prince Charming in this twist on the classic “Cinderella” tale, as they discover their inner strengths and find their very own happily ever after. Enjoy “The Naked Prince” and three other reimagined Tales from Fairyland, each with a unique spin on stories we all know and love, including “The Golden Rule,” where eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home in Fairyland by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three burly men on Bear Mountain, “Whatever Happened To…?,” in which friction ensues between a celebrity with a growing appendage and the reporter who has a thing for giants, and “Ice Cold,” where young Gaelen must save his love Kieran after a handsome but evil prince freezes Kieran’s heart and bewitches him into being the prince’s slave.

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Review

FiveStars

 I thought the stories in this book were so cute!

There was humor in this book along with some sweet parts too! I loved this authors twist on the old fairy tales and the way he wrote the characters in these stories.

But lets not forget the steam either which was very hot! Each story in this book was so good and will take you into a different tale that will either have you laughing so much there will be tears in your eyes or will give you some very steamy scenes!

I am really trying not to give away any spoilers because this book was just so funny and good you really need to read this for yourself, so I will leave this review with I 100% loved this book!
I would recommend this book!

~Kara

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5 stars for Bitter Taffy (Candy Man #2) by Amy Lane @amymaclane {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: Bitter Taffy (Candy Man #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Amy Lane (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 29, 2015 — 192 pages

Synopsis

Rico Gonzalves-Macias didn’t expect to fall in love during his internship in New York—and he didn’t expect the boss’s son to out them both and get him fired either. When he returns to Sacramento stunned and heartbroken, he finds his cousin, Adam, and Adam’s boyfriend, Finn, haven’t just been house-sitting—they’ve made his once sterile apartment into a home.

When Adam gets him a job interview with the adorable, magnetic, practically perfect Derek Huston, Rico feels especially out of his depth. Derek makes it no secret that he wants Rico, but Rico is just starting to figure out that he’s a beginner at the really important stuff and doesn’t want to jump into anything with both feet.

Derek is a both-feet kind of guy. But he’s also made mistakes of his own and doesn’t want to pressure Rico into anything. Together they work to find a compromise between instant attraction and long-lasting love, and while they’re working, Rico gets a primer in why family isn’t always a bad idea. He needs to believe Derek can be his family before Derek’s formidable patience runs out—because even a practically perfect boyfriend is capable of being hurt.

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Review

FiveStars

Another great story by Amy Lane. I really fell in love with these characters. Rico was dealing with a lot of pain coming from different areas in his life while Derrick was there as support and not pushy at all. The two men simply worked well together. They were perfect for each other.
I hate Rico and Adam’s family, but love the one that they have made. I think the twist at the end of the book was quite interesting and I can’t wait to see where the next story leads us.
The narrator once again did an excellent job with the story!
Renee

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4 stars for Midsummer Nights (Bad Fairies #1) by T.J. Land #MM #Romance #Fantasy #BDSM

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Title: Midsummer Nights (Bad Fairies #1)
Author Name & Publisher: T. J. Land (NineStar)
Publication Date & Length: January 25, 2016 — 58 pages

Synopsis

Newly arrived at Oberon’s court, Puck has already made a name for himself through his wit, his wiliness, and his very nice legs. But he’s not interested in the envy of his peers; what he’s really after is the attention of the Lord of All Fairies himself. Seducing the monarch will surely win him power and prestige, provided he can withstand Oberon’s famously bad temper.

Soon, though, Puck realizes that Oberon’s belligerent façade is just that, and his schemes of strategic seduction are submerged beneath budding infatuation. Now, Puck will have to muster all his tricks, from sonnets to the lash, to win the fairy king’s heart – a task which becomes substantially more difficult when Oberon discovers that Puck has been consorting with mortals…

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Review

FourStars

This is an entertaining and sexy story. Oberon and Puck are fun characters to get to know, and it’s intriguing to follow their growing relationship. The sex scenes are hot, plentiful and kinky.
Even though it’s part of the Bad Fairies series, I feel this novella can stand alone as a complete story. That said, I’m also hoping that the next installment will add some more depth to the story and characters.
I recommend this for anyone looking for a light and fun fantasy with some kink.
Trigger warnings: Rough sex and BDSM
~Amanda

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TWO 5 star and ONE 4.5 star Reviews for Girls with Guns by Michele Grubb, Carsen Taite, and Ali Vali #FF #Romance #Lesfic

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Title: Girls with Guns
Author Name & Publisher: Michelle Grubb, Carsen Taite, and Ali Vali (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 12, 2106 — 240 Pages

Synopsis

Three stories by three talented crime writers—Carsen Taite, Ali Vali, and Michelle Grubb—each packing her own special brand of heat.

In Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb: Officer Belinda Riley knew the signs of a suicide bomber, but this time she was blind to the obvious. This time she didn’t want to believe what was right in front of her eyes.

In Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite: Bounty hunter Luca Bennett has always lived on the edge of the law, but now she’s living with a cop and doing her darnedest to stay out of trouble. When an old enemy resurfaces, will the shady ways of Luca’s past come back to haunt her?

In Hell Fire by Ali Vali: Dr. Abigail Eaton stumbles into a massacre, but once someone tries to kill her it seems like no accident. While hunting for the perpetrators of a sex trafficking empire, Agent Riley Abbott saves Abigail from a professional hit and discovers the young mother might be the key to more than just her case. Riley takes Abigail and her family to what she thinks is safer ground, and runs right into the arms of reputed mob boss Cain Casey.

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Review

FiveStars

Taken as a whole this is an extremely varied, exciting and at times romantic read. The authors offer the reader insight into Law Enforcement, Terrorism and do this in an imaginative and believable way. The link is Guns, but this is the only similarity, each woman has a totally different concept and outlook on how to use her gun.
For an anthology I was pleasantly surprised not only by the consistently high standard of writing by all three author’s but also by their inventiveness and presentation of each scenario.
I didn’t like one of the references made in jest in the first story as I found it a little stereotypical, but this was the only thing. In the second novel the veracity of the plot had me doubting it, but the ending was magnificent, humorous and totally unexpected, it had me laughing out loud. The final instalment of this trilogy was for me outstanding.
A very worthy read that I can thoroughly recommend, different, audacious at times thought provoking but never dull.
~Chris
FiveStars
Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite was a really good read, the story of bounty hunter Luca and her attempt to catch an old foe. After ending up on jury duty she finds the case on trial begins to overlap with her quest to bring an corrupt ex-cop to justice. Her new live-in romance with Jess also gets put to the test. I found the mystery well written and full of suspense, with enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I didn’t find Luca the most sympathetic of characters but I think that was her strength. She is supposed to be the determined, hard-nosed bounty hunter and needed to have that slight detachment . Her lover Jess was the softer, more obviously loving of the two. I think they made a good partnership. I want to go and read some more of Carsen Taite’s work now .

Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb was my favourite of the three stories. Bel is a MI5 security officer on the London Underground and spends her days trying to spot suspicious commuters. She keeps her
Job a secret from girlfriend Esther, who is a bit of an enigma herself. She is not keen on committing but when they have the most intense sexual connection one night Bel thinks they may have a chance. Tension is ramped up at an amazing rate as Bel travels through the underground network in search of a suspected suicide bomber. There are so many surprises and elements to this story I can’t believe Michelle Grubb managed to fit it into one story . The chase through the underground was so well described I almost felt I was there. A brilliant read.

Hell Fire by Ali Valli was a fast paced thrilling read. Abigail witnesses a shooting and then becomes a target herself. Finlay, an undercover FBI agent becomes her protector and saviour, as she tries to get Abigail and her three children to safety . Ties to the Russian mob and a sex trafficking ring become apparent but what do they have to do with Abigail and her family? Finlay and Abigail become closer as the story develops but frustratingly for both life seems to keep getting in the way. I really enjoyed their relationship and how further revelations brought them to a place where they could see a future together. This thriller was jam packed with twists I didn’t see coming and kept me enthralled .

Kitty Kat
FourandHalfStars

I was really pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this anthology. Each of the three stories dealt with law and order, as well as the criminally inclined, but each also exposed a softer side to characters who could’ve been hardened by what they’ve seen and experienced. It also showcased each author’s style, and while different, the three stories seemed very complementary to me.

The first story was Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite. I don’t think I’ve read anything by her before, although I keep hovering over that “buy” button. I’m not sure I actually liked Luca. Although she genuinely seemed to love Jess, she struggles to allow herself to be vulnerable, even seeing the admission of feelings to be somehow weak. Her feeling that being in a relationship, even one she likes and doesn’t want to give up, somehow makes her soft, leads her to make choices that could cause her trouble in that relationship down the road. I did, however, love her declaration for Valentine’s Day at the end. This will probably get me to actually click that button the next time I’m looking for a good read.

Next is Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb. Bel and Esther have a very amorphous relationship, and it’s one that makes me question whether Bel really knew Esther much at all. That totally plays into what happens at Bel’s job one day, looking for threats to public safety on the London Underground. Grubb definitely had me wondering the whole story, and I definitely didn’t see the twist coming, so kudos to Ms. Grubb for a wonderfully suspenseful tale.

Last is Ali Vali’s Hell Fire. A lot seems to happen in a very short time for Abigail and her kids, and the only safe port in this storm seems to be Finley, who’s stepped forward to keep the small family safe and alive. In her quest to find out who has targeted Abigail, Finley gets closer and closer to the brave woman and her children, but Finley has a past of her own, a past that her law enforcement employers might have a problem with. Can Finley use that part of her life to help Abigail? And if so, at what cost? Definitely an interesting read, and it reminds me that I need to go finish Cain Casey’s series.

So, strong female characters, who know how to use a gun and who know that justice and law sometimes don’t go together, make this three story anthology a great read for anyone who loves crime stories. Definitely a good addition to anybody’s library.

~AmyP

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NEW RELEASE: 3 star and 4 star Reviews for for Love vs the Limelight by Manda Olie #romance #contemporary #MM @LT3Press

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Title: Love vs the Limelight
Author Name & Publisher: Manda Olie (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 27, 2016 — 45 Pages

Synopsis

Rick Campbell is the Hollywood Heartthrob who has it all: a great career, an excellent agent, and fantastic friends. Unfortunately, he also has a secret that could potentially ruin his success. His reputation as a lady-killer is completely fabricated in order to ensure he keeps getting work.

His silence when it comes to the truth may cost him Christian, the love of his life, who’s grown tired of being a dirty little secret and has issued Rick with an ultimatum: tell the truth or lose Christian. Heartbroken and afraid, harassed by reporters and adrift in a world that’s slowly changing, Rick has to choose between the life he’s worked hard to build and the man he doesn’t want to live without.

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Review

ThreeStar

This is a very short story of an actor forced to choose between his partner and his successful, closeted life.  The story has been told many times before and the length of this book doesn’t really allow for well developed characters or unique plot twists.

I could see the attraction of both Rick and Christian, but neither character was fully developed in this very short story.  I found Bella annoying and the pretentious LA lifestyles weren’t really for me.  

So, for a quick twenty-minute read, I can see the appeal.  Personally, I enjoy the complexity of novels and the Bluewater Bay series has very recently told more complex versions of this story several times over.  

~Sarah

FourStars

Love versus the limelight is a great name for this book because that is exactly what this book is about. So the title could not be more correct then it is.

Rick is an actor who hides his sexuality behind a beard but in the process of hiding he loses the one he truly loves, Christian, because he is too scared to come out as being gay.

Basically as I said before the title to the book is fitting because that is what it is truly about. Throughout the whole book Rick is scared to admit to the public who he is. I believe that a lot of Ricks problem is that he is so far in his own head and about how badly he believes the public will perceive who is his because of his sexuality that he can see past that.

Christian is the one that I truly liked in this book because he stood by his convictions of not being someone’s dirty little secret. But I think that he did so respectfully because even though he knew he could not keep hiding their relationship if they stayed together, he still offered his support to Rick even when his heart was broken.

This was a good, quick read but it was very interesting in the same aspect. I really enjoyed it.

~Tosha

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4 stars for Branded (Gold Warrior #1-2) by Clare London @Clare_london #MM #Fantasy @Dreamspinners

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Title: Branded (Gold Warrior #1-2)
Author Name & Publisher: Clare London (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: January 19th, 2016 – 451 Pages

Synopsis

2nd Edition

Maen is a Gold Warrior, an elite defender of Aza City, respected by his fellow soldiers and favored by his imperious Mistress for services both in and out of the bedchamber. His loyalty and commitment are unwavering until he recruits Dax, a captivating and challenging Bronzeman who, despite his youth and inexperience, seduces Maen with his fierce hero worship. When they’re captured by enemies of the City, Maen risks everything to save Dax: his position, his faith, and even his life. But he loses his lover to the rebels and upon his return to the City is stripped of his rank.

In Aza, where a soldier’s only lawful devotion is to the City and his Mistress’s pleasure, the disgraced Maen is placed under the watchful guard of the arrogant Gold Warrior Zander and relegated to preparing a Royal History for the new Queen. But his discoveries cast a new and shocking light on the past and threaten to stir revolution in both citizens and rebels. With the help of the lively and inquisitive scribe Kiel, Maen initiates a chain of events that will change their world forever—and offer him the chance to regain both his honor and his heart’s desire.

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Review

FourStars

 So I want to start of this review by saying I really loved this world the author created in this book!

This was a long book and there were parts that did drag for me a little bit. Without going into too much detail and giving away any spoilers there was also a few parts in this book I honestly was just not a fan of.

But I did really like how this author wrote these characters and a lot of this story! There was steam in this book along with some M/F scenes also. Which to be honest threw me of this story a little. I loved the two MC’s together which I have to say they were so good as a couple. I am really trying to not give away any spoilers so I will leave this review with..

I thought this author did such a amazing job with the detail in this world and making me feel like I was really there with the characters as I was reading this book! Yes there were parts that dragged and some I honestly was not really a huge fan of but other then those parts I really liked this book!

~Kara

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