Monthly Archives: May 2016

PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: 5 Star Review for Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton #MM #Paranormal @mariesexton

CoverTitle: Damned If You Do
Author Name & Publisher: Marie Sexton (Samhain Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 14, 2016 – 123 pgs

Synopsis

The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.

Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil who’ll do anything to avoid going “back to the office”. Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

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Review

FiveStars

WOW.. This story totally took me by surprise. I have to say I really didn’t expect it to hook me the way it did. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. There was so much I had to know!
I will say there were parts that made me scoff a bit.. like playing off the Charlie Daniels Band song, but in the end it was totally a cute and sweet story that I really enjoyed even though I really don’t care for sweet stories.
Both the characters were fun to read about and their stories were always keeping me racing through the pages to find out what was going to happen next because come on this blind kid nabs the attention of the worst devil and I just had to know what happened! Then there was Zeb… i had a feeling there was something up with that guy.
I will say I loved the talk of what it’s like in Hell, I found it quite amusing, just like every other part of the story.
Renee

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5 Star, 3.5 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Fall by Michelle Chow #MM #Paranormal #Romance @LT3Press

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Title: Fall
Author Name & Publisher: Michelle Chow (Less Than Three)
Publication Date & Length: April 20, 2016 — 99 pages

Synopsis

Jeremy’s always looked after his little brother, Callum, and it’s his responsibility to make sure he’s safe. When Callum wanders too far into the woods, and finds himself at the mercy of two wolf shifters, Jeremy’s forced to act quickly.

It’s not ideal waking up in a strange house, with two shifters that scare him more than he’ll admit, but it’s temporary. Or it should be, until Jeremy realises getting rid of the wolves is far easier said than done.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a cute story. More of a young adult read than romance, although it had a romantic theme. This is more about opposites attract and learning to just be who you are.

 

The story flowed well. There wasn’t much if any drama, unless you wanted to count Callum, the younger brother of Jeremy. Towards the end though, Callum explains why he does what he does and it all makes sense and you melt a little for Callum. Jeremy was pretty much in his cat form the whole story (for a very good reason), and his best friend Duke is human. Not being able to converse while Jeremy was in cat form, their conversations at times made me giggle. Sam who is a wolf shifter, was such a young gentleman that my heart tugged for him even before he mentions his family and growing up. I wanted Sam and Jeremy to have their HEA and I wasn’t disappointed.

 

This was a short simple story of boy meets boy, boy likes boy, boy gets his boy, and they live happily ever after without drama. There were no kissing or physical scenes. The ending (a span of 7 years) was quite rushed and was told in 3 short paragraphs. It did make you smile and giggle though.

~Keri

FiveStars

This turned out to be a really good short story. It is a definitely a book about opposites attract. And add in the fact that it is about shifters and you have a winner.

Jeremy is a shifter bob cat that follows his parents rules and tries not to rock the boat when they say not to do something. His little brother Callum is the opposite and does whatever he feels like doing which usually lands them both in trouble cause being a good big brother Jeremy will not leave his brother behind or left to get hurt. That is exactly how they meet Thom and Sam.

Thom and Sam are shifter wolfs and Jeremy’s parents have always told the boys to stay away from them because shifter wolves are dangerous. Stay out of the woods because shifter wolves are territorial. But Callum being Callum does not heed the warning and that is where the trouble begins and how all four boys meet. While I guess I should say five boys because Duke (Jeremy’s best friend) meets the wolf shifters because of Callum doing what he was not supposed to do.

This was a very interesting story because it is the perfect example of when a boy likes a boy he picks on said boy to show him he likes him. It is such a cute story and I really enjoyed it. It was very refreshing. For a while I wondered who was going to end up a couple in the end but I was very pleased with the way it turned out. Very good short story.

~Tosha

ThreeStar

Fall has an interesting premise and great potential in the beginning. But there were things about the book that turned me off the further I got into it.

I was engaged right away by the unique start to the potential romance between Jeremy and Sam. There were some great moments along the way – some cute, some romantic, some moving.

But the story moved along very slowly, and it was hard to stay interested. Things pick up near the end, but then the actual ending feels very abrupt. I feel like if the first half of the book was condensed and the ending was fleshed out, then this would be a great story.

If you’re looking for a unique paranormal romance you might like this book. As there is no sexual content, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone looking for an erotic romance.

Amanda

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Filed under 3 Star, 3.5 Stars, 5 Star, Amanda, Keri, M/M, New Release, Review, Tosha

New Release: TWO 3 Stars and 4 Stars for Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1) by Julie Lynn Hayes (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Humor @ShelleyRunyon

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Title: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens (Rose and Thorne #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Julie Lynn Hayes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 25, 2016 – 50,000 Words

Synopsis

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities.

They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.

Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?

Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime?

Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

Review

ThreeStar

From the first chapter, undercover agents Vinnie and Ethan have already been Together for a few years. I didn’t like that cause it felt like I was missing a whole other book. The story was cute with the purse snatching dog and Vinnie had to dress in drag for an investigation. Apparently he’s used to it. I would have liked to read when he First Did drag but that was just glossed over.
Vinnie and Ethan’s relationship is cute, But since their romance was already in full swing, I was disappointed that I didn’t get To Read about them falling in love. Ok story but it needs a full chapter or Two from when they first met then became a couple. Maybe Book 2 should be a detailed prequel.
~Cookie
ThreeStar

This story took me a while to get into.  I felt like I was plunged into the action without understanding much of anything about the characters.  And when we did get to know the characters, I really couldn’t tell whether the author actually had any respect for the drag queens in the story.  
Ethan and Vinnie’s relationship felt incredibly odd to me.  At times, Vinnie felt like Ethan’s effeminate pet – except they were both supposed to be kick-ass undercover secret agents.  Secret agents who specialised in dressing Vinnie up as a woman to catch bad guys.  Hmm.  It just didn’t make any sense.  The first scene was ridiculous.  Dress Vinnie up as a woman to catch a bad guy who mugs women in a park.  Don’t they have female agents?  Why the charade?  
For me, this didn’t work as a romance.  Ethan didn’t seem to have enough respect for Vinnie as an equal.  I never really understood whether the cross-dressing was a fetish for Ethan or something Vinnie actually enjoyed.  
I’ve added a star because there was more warmth in the second half of the book and the mystery was actually interesting.  But as a reader who loves androgynous and gender fluid characters, as someone who can really get behind a hero in drag – there was a hint of condescension towards the drag queens in this story, a slight sneer in the narrative tone that I really didn’t enjoy.  

Sarah

FourStars
This was such a quick, short, no non-sense romantic comedy. Vinnie and Ethan are already seasoned partners at work and at home. They truly love each other and will do anything for each other. That includes Vinnie wearing dresses. Ethan nicknamed him Boom-Boom Sanchez and after reading about Vinnie’s turn up on stage in drag, that name fits.
 
I couldn’t help but keep giggling throughout the story. There was humor on every page, even during the nabbing of the purse thief. The second mystery though, there just wasn’t enough meat to meet the requirement of mystery or suspense. I really wish there was more depth around that mystery. It could have been made a full-length novel and much more enjoyable with the balance of mystery and laughter.
 
One cannot forget Buddy. He stole the show at times. He was such a bad dog, but one that you couldn’t scold because he was just lovable. You can feel the love of Ethan and the ease of humor from Vinnie. It was amazing that these two were able to solve crimes with such chemistry always being displayed by these two.
 
Overall, this was a cute, fun-loving, full of laughter, short and easy story. I hope to see more of Vinnie and Ethan, but in more depth and longer reads.
~Keri

Excerpt

“Remind me again whose stupid idea this lipstick was,” I huffed under my breath.

Without thinking, I licked my lips. They felt greasy, and tasted even worse. I forced myself not to grimace, afraid it might crack the foundation I’d slathered on my face.

“Mine, you sexy beast,” came the smart-ass reply in my ear. “I think you got purty lips, mmhmmm.”

“Fuck you,” I growled. “You should be doing this, not me, and you know it. I did it last time.”

And the time before that. And the time before that. Wait, did I detect a pattern here?

“What I know is you look better in a skirt than I do. And you look damn good out of it too.”

My cheeks filled with heat at Ethan’s words. Luckily the darkness hid a multitude of sins, my embarrassment being the least of them. Hopefully, no one else was listening—I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Just what I needed—to be the object of ridicule of the Roanoke PD.

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TWO 4 stars for Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly #MM #Romance @writerwadekelly @dreamspinners

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Title: Bankers’ Hours
Author Name & Publisher: Wade Kelly (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 25th, 2016 — 290 pages

Synopsis

Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.

Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-Navy turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his perfectly orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.

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Review

 FourStars

This was a cute story and I fell in love with 26 year old, Grant Adams. He’s so quirky with a low self confidence and he’s a mama’s boy. lol. Still, with all his quirks, he was hard to not love.
His story starts with his sudden move to another town cause his job was closed down and he had been transferred to a new bank. There he meets Tristan, a divorced auto mechanic with a teenage daughter. I related a lot to Grant, actually. It’s surprising how much and that’s why I loved this story. He and Tristan were so very cute together, even though the sudden marriage threw me off. I thought they agreed to marry for all the wrong reasons in the beginning even though I was cheering for them.
I liked that Grant had a best friend who he could talk to, I liked Tristan’s daughter, who stood by her father when he admitted that he was gay, and I disliked Tristan’s ex-wife. She was a major B-word. lol.
Cute story with a cute cast of characters that makes the story worth reading more than once.
~Cookie
FourStars
I actually enjoyed this read, except for maybe having to deal with the same fear as Grant…I think I screamed just as loud as he did *shivers tremendously*.
 
Tristan is an amazing man. Where do I even start? He puts his personal life on hold to raise his daughter.  He joins the military, offers to marry the “thing” (I personally cannot call her a human let alone a mother) who gave birth, keeps his sexual orientation in the closet knowing it may cost seeing his daughter, gives child support money without a court order, owns and runs a successful auto garage and is a very patient man.
 
Grant is just an odd one-of-a-kind. His OCD issues and quirkiness have kept him from finding the right one. But really, the right one just hasn’t come along to accept him for who he is and for Grant to want to change and be a better man. Tristan is the one that is patient with Grant and helps Grant (both intentionally and unintentionally) to let go of his issues.
 
Yes, this was a shot-gun romance. I loved that Grant comes to support and defend Tristan from the crazy “thing” (who I still cannot label as a female human). Grant may be quirky but he is solid when coming to protect Tristan. You go Grant!
 
Now, that “thing” in question…..OMG!!!! Please…2 weeks in a psych ward? No, no, no way. More like lifetime. Unfortunately it is common that parents use their children as pawns. It frustrates the ever living heck out of me and I want to send them to the Bermuda Triangle so they are long forgotten. They are not parents, and this particular breathing human can join them.
 
The secondary cast of characters were fabulous. Even though this is fiction, so much of this story truly happens in real life, no it can be believable. Overall, this story is more of a “good laugh and eye-roll” type of story. Trying to get out of a funk….this is your story. No need to think. You will just laugh, shake your head, roll your eyes, kind of like an “OMG, did that just happen?” rom-com.
~Keri

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3.5 Star Review for Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1) by Aisling Mancy @AislingMancy #MM #Paranormal #Romance

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Title: Sleight of Heart (Morality of Magick #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Aisling Mancy (CoolDudes Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 14, 2016 — 194 Pages

Synopsis

A vampire mage, a Romani young man, and a forbidden love that won’t be denied.

Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.

Pesha is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle Romani Compania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and six half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.

Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?

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Review
ThreeandHalfStars

Sleight of Heart is an entertaining and heartwarming story. Both Taliesin and Pesha have good depth and character. Their romance is sweet and sexy.

Including terms from the Romanes dialect is an interesting choice and definitely makes this book stand out. But I found, especially in the first half, that it took away from the story instead of enhancing it. A bit of translation early on would have helped me to understand it better. Instead, some parts were awkward and confusing.

This is a good introduction to an intriguing world. I can see lots of potential for this series, and I’d like to see what happens next. That said, I think this book does also stand alone quite well, with only a few unanswered questions.

On the whole I enjoyed this story and the characters. I recommend this for someone looking for a unique take on an urban paranormal and fantasy romance.

*I received an unedited copy, and my review assumes that the errors will be corrected prior to publication. I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.*

Amanda

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5 Star Review for Naughty By Night (Grad School Guys #2) by Devon Rhodes #MM #Romance @devonrhodes @PridePublishing

CoverTitle: Naughty By Night (Grad School Guys #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Devon Rhodes (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 101 pgs

Synopsis

Normally, finding the hot neighbor in bed with your boyfriend would be the end—not the beginning—of a wonderful relationship.

Marty can’t catch a break. Unable to confess to his neighbor Kevin that it’s Kevin he’s interested in, he ends up using advice to make a move on Jason instead. He moves too slowly, though, and Kevin and Jason end up dating each other, leaving Marty out in the cold.

Everything changes the morning Jason wakes up to find Marty in bed with him and Kevin. Jason wonders whether he’s made a big mistake in committing to Kevin. Marty’s mortified—he’s wanted Jason from afar for ages, but never had the courage to act on it. And Kevin is plotting something naughty that will give all three men what they’ve wanted all along.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released as a short story by another publisher. It has been considerably expanded for release with Pride Publishing.

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Review

FiveStars

This turned out to be an extremely interesting book that could have turned out so bad if it had not been the three guys that it was actually about.

Marty is not the type of guy in my opinion that is really comfortable in his own skin. He can handle the hook ups and such but it is what happens afterwards that makes him withdrawal into himself. He is not one to be able to carry on a conversation with others because I believe that he over thinks things and he projects his over thinking into being extremely awkward which then leads to dead end relationships with just about any one so he sticks to himself.

Kevin is the exact opposite of Marty. He turns everything into an opportunity of meeting new people and putting himself out there. He is the walking party and he decides to take Marty under his wing and drawl him out of his shell so he can get up the courage to ask out the mystery guy that Marty likes. Which in some crazy way he does but Kevin is just not to perceptive because Marty has a crush on him as well as the hot accountant that works next door to where Marty works, Jason.

Marty never gets up the courage and ends up losing both Kevin and Jason and the kicker is about losing them, he loses them to each other.

I love how Devon Rhodes took a relationship between these three men that seemed virtually impossible and was able to make them all into something more.

I started this post out by saying that this could have turned out so bad if it was not for the characters that it was about. Well to elaborate on that, I meant that these three men did not start out mutually deciding to start a relationship between the three of them. It started out as friendship and Kevin knew that they all had at least an attraction between the three of them but he decided it needed to be taken a step further. This could have turned into an epic failure and they could have lost each other.

Devon made these characters so that completed each other perfectly and made it so that each of them was the missing piece to the puzzle that completed itself once they all came together. It is easy to write book about threesomes but to make these characters so perfect for one another is a true gift because each of these characters have such different personalities. I do not see it being easy to bring these three different personalities together to make each one of them whole but Devon accomplished it and added bits and pieces of humor along the way. Was a great read and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Tosha

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3 Star Review for Gays of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista) by Kris Ripper #MM #Romance @SmuTasticKris

CoverTitle: Gays of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista)
Author Name & Publisher: Kris Ripper (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2016 – 226 pgs

Synopsis

Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.

Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.

But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.

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Review

ThreeStar

I honestly don’t know how to rate this book. At times I hated it because all Emerson did was whine and complain and it drove me nuts! Obie was such a sweet guy, you couldn’t help but love him and want him happy. I didn’t really even start to like Emerson until almost 75% into the book when he finally toned down the complaining. Emerson was great with Dred and getting her to the hospital and handling the situation. I thought the chemistry was great between Obie and Emerson and the students in Emerson’s class were great secondary characters.

Angie

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