Category Archives: AvidReader

5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Confidential Encounters: Gay Romance Anthology by Nicole Colville, April Wallington, Louisa Mae, T.A. Reign, Laura Raven #MM #Romance

1 Confidential Encounters E-Book CoverTitle: Confidential Encounters MM Anthology
Author Name & Publisher: Nicole Colville, April Wallington, Louisa Mae, T.A. Reign, Laura Raven (Hidden Pleasures)
Publication Date & Length: June 7, 2016 – 493 pgs

Synopsis

When the pressure at work rises, so does the passion. Five sweltering shorts to heat up your kindle and set your pulse racing.

Relationships in the workplace sound like a fantasy come true, especially with your sexy boss, but it’s not all hot encounters in the stationary cupboard and stolen kisses over the coffee machine. Being a couple in both your professional and personal world could make it easier to face what life throws at you, but it could also threaten to drive you apart.

Confidential Encounters includes five short stories, each very different in their own way with equally different men, but all have one thing in common… their professional and personal lives are mixing.

Though the passion and the heat is off the charts, can they turn hot encounters at work into something more, or is that a step too far?

All the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Kaleidoscope Trust which promotes LGBT rights internationally. By reading, you’re helping support a very valuable service to our community. Thank you.

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Review
FiveStars
My my my!!!! This anthology was so hot. And not just in a sexy way. It was hot because each of the writers took their time to protest not only the sexiness of each story but the way the authors made of the stories have meaning behind them.

There are five different stories in this book. The only thing each have in common is the work place romances. One story is about a man whose family is homophobic and refuses to accept him for being gay. In the story it is basically, the man coming into his own with the help of four others in his office. Then another story is about a gender fluid person who ho does not identify themselves as man or woman because one day they feel one way or another and is hoping that the man they are falling for will accept them for who they are and not what is between their legs. Then there is a story that should be a one night stand but turns into so much more. These are just an example of what you will be getting with this book.

These stories have twinks, bears, muscle bound men, CEO’s and just general workers but each stories contains so much more then who the men are and more about who they become and the story they have in order to get there. This book has depth behind it even though there are five different stories with in the book. I was really impressed with each of the stories and I really enjoyed reading it.

Tosha
FourStars

These were very quick, easy reads.  I have to say that out of this short anthology, I thought that the last one, Beautiful, was the most developed and I enjoyed that one the best.  It had the most to offer in terms of secondary characters and chemistry between the two main characters.

Each of these were unique in their own way.  This was one anthology that I enjoyed aspects of each of the stories.’

The Newcomer and Below the Line were my least favorite of this bunch.  I just had a hard time connecting to the stories.  They were well written, but for me, lacked character development.

I also really disliked the father in Double Dealing – it made me not like this story as much, probably because of the feelings that always came around when I had to read about how Trace’s family treated him.  Despite the family/father making the story harder to like, the writing and character development was more advanced and you were really able to see the relationship develop.

Skin Deep was an OK story.  I think that it was nice that there was acceptance, but the overall feeling I found was more forced.  It could have been because of the original manner the surgeon had though.  This was also a story that I had a difficult time connecting with the main characters.

Overall, this was a successful anthology.  I would definitely recommend these authors to others looking for an introduction in to MM romance stories.

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Filed under 4 Star, 5 Star, AvidReader, M/M, New Release, Review, Tosha

TWO 4 Star Reviews for Grand Opening (Kiss of Leather #4) by Morticia Knight #MM #Romance #BDSM @PridePublishing @MorticiaKnight

CoverTitle: Grand Opening (Kiss of Leather #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Morticia Knight (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 23, 2016 – 182 pgs

Synopsis

The men of Kiss of Leather celebrate a beginning, but will the price be another ending?

The grand opening of Kiss of Leather draws near and the pressure is on to make sure everything is completed in time. Master Josh is a perfectionist, so no detail is too small in order to enhance the quality of the prestigious club they’ve all worked so tirelessly on. Unfortunately, the endless demands on Josh’s time have caused him to forget the more important things in life.

David’s love for Master Josh is overpowering at times, but lately, that love has been constantly tested. How can a sub in a fulltime D/s relationship serve a Master who’s never there? As things continue to deteriorate between him and Josh, David wonders if maybe his Master has tired of having to care for a sub full time.

By the time the grand opening arrives, Josh and David seem to have worked out their differences and David is hopeful for their future. The emotional collaring ceremony between Gavin and Kyle is a beautiful reminder of the power of love. But when an unexpected party crasher intrudes on the evening’s festivities, the men are reminded that there are still too many unanswered questions related to Corey’s kidnapping.

More than ever, the men of Kiss of Leather need to stand strong together. Will Josh and David be able to do the same?

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Review
FourStars

Good series and a good addition to the series. I love each couple in this series and I am glad we get to see a bit of each of them in every book. I adore David and I felt all his emotions and really connected with him. Gavin has always been a favorite of mine and he just proves to be an all-around amazing person. I love Marshall and Stone too….holy hotness. I do enjoy the elements of angst and drama with the whole mystery surrounding the kidnapping. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Angie
FourStars

I have read all of the books in this series and have enjoyed them all.  This didn’t disappoint, but it was definitely not what I expected.

I really enjoyed the dynamic of this story.  It was a different side to the relationships that I was used to reading about.

David and Josh are an ideal couple.  They seem to have it all.  Josh’s business is seeming to take off – he has been investing all of this time and energy in to making his club succeed.

Then you have David.  He’s the sweet, tender sub who only wants to make Josh happy.  He’s stuck in this limbo throughout the story where the reader doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.  It is a very good dynamic – it kind of shows the other side of a 24/7 relationship.

The chemistry is amazing throughout the story – it’s not necessarily the sexual chemistry, but the relationship chemistry is intense.  You want to believe both characters – to have them succeed and make it – however, with everything that’s going on, we don’t know if Josh and David will truly make it through this impasse they’ve seemed to come to.

Knight keeps you guessing and the resolution is one that I absolutely loved.  It should the true depth of devotion and love within their relationship.

Keep them coming!

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3 Stars for A Love Like Blood by Victor Yates #MM #Romance

CoverTitle: A Love Like Blood
Author Name & Publisher: Victor Yates (HIllmont Press)
Publication Date & Length: February 12, 2016 – 202 pgs

Synopsis

Half Somali and Cuban, 17-year old Carsten Tynes, deals with the intricacies of race, Americanism, syncretism, migration, and sexuality under his dying father’s abusive hand in A Love Like Blood. Set in 1998, his family relocates to Beverly Hills, MI to expand their photography business. His father has lung disease and promises to give him the business if he marries his ex-girlfriend. Faced with an unwanted marriage and the slow death of his father, Carsten retreats behind his camera. His camera becomes the loose thread that slowly unravels his relationship with his father and reveals the unseen world of “men who move at night.” However, it is his infatuation with his neighbor, Brett that severs the symbolic umbilical cord between his father and him. When death pushes his father and Brett together, he makes a dangerous decision to protect them.

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Review

 ThreeStar

I wanted to really like this story – I tried very hard to get in to the flow of reading, but Yates’ style and me – we just didn’t mix well.

That being said, the story was well written, but I found it somewhat strange in how it flowed.  It was incredibly descriptive and I liked how you were able to picture the scenes in your head as you were reading, however, it also became, at times, somewhat tedious.

Overall, this was a great story about a very taboo subject for Somali culture.  I loved how you were given a glimpse of the culture, and even though Casten’s dad is less than agreeable, you can really see how their family dynamic has shaped the family as a whole.

While I did enjoy the premise of this story, it just didn’t really work for me.  However, I will not give up on Yates – his writing intrigues me.

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4 Stars for Stranger in Black by Devon Rhodes #MM #Romance @DevonRhodes

CoverTitle: Stranger in Black
Author Name & Publisher: Devon Rhodes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date: August 10, 2016

Synopsis

Before Christian can end his relationship with a closeted cheater, he needs to see the evidence firsthand. He disguises himself and attends a masquerade ball escorted by a friend, in search of the Stranger in Black. When he finds him, he gets something entirely different—and much more erotic—than he expected.

Wearing a black-and-gold mask, Jarrod is on the hunt for Chris, the “other woman” his best friend’s fiancé is having an affair with. But a sexy vision in a white gown captures his attention and takes his breath away, which is strange, since he’s gay.

One by one, the pieces fall away, exposing their dual deception. After the masks—and the pants—are off, Christian and Jarrod must work together to support a friend… and maybe become something more than strangers.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press, LLC, 2011.

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Review

 FourStarsThis was a quick, short read.  At first, I was actually having a somewhat difficult time figuring out what was going on.  You’re just kind of thrust in to the middle of this scene.  However, once you read further, it became clearer.

The characters are all playing a part in the beginning.  I really liked the anonymity, but at the same time, I found that it made the story somewhat jumbled.

The friend and girlfriend were great secondary characters.  David is so very loyal and also hopeful and then you have Mira who is just trying to figure out what she really wants out of life.  I do hope they get their own story.

Jarrod and Christian make a great couple – they have instant chemistry, but take the time to make sure they connect on a different level.  It helps that they have friends who get along.  I also like how Rhodes chose to deal with the cheater, Carl.  I think that it was tasteful and well thought out.

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4 Stars for Running Hot by Yolande Kleinn #MM #Romance @yolandekleinn @Dreamspinners

CoverTitle: Running Hot
Author Name & Publisher: Yolande Kleinn (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 10, 2016 – 50 pgs

Synopsis

Kurt Trench loves running a successful auto repair shop with his twin sister Lena. Lately loyal customer Shane Dolan has been coming around more often, and Kurt assumes it’s because of his sister. While Kurt wouldn’t dream of coming between them, he can’t help being drawn to Shane himself…. Or thinking about him in ways he definitely shouldn’t.

One night everything changes. Kurt doesn’t reciprocate Shane’s kiss—he’s got no intention of stealing his sister’s man—but when he tells Lena what happened, she can’t believe how thick her brother is. She’s not the reason Shane’s been coming around the garage, and Kurt and Shane have more in common than a love of classic muscle cars. Now it’s on Kurt to make the next move, assuming he hasn’t blown his chance for good.

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Review

 FourStarsThis was a sweet short look in to the lives of Kurt, Lena and Shane.  I would not consider this really a story – it was more of a glimpse in to something that would make a much larger story.

That being said, I did enjoy the quick snapshot.  Lena was amazing – she’s funny, snarky, pushy, loving and all the things that a twin sister should be.  She loves Kurt and wants to see him happy.

Then you have Kurt – he’s kind of the stereotypical guy in that he’s oblivious to a lot of hints.  He doesn’t want to step on toes, but can’t help his attraction to Shane.

It’s actually fairly sweet how Kurt tries to protect Lena.  It’s how a brother and sister should look out for each other.

When all is said and done, the attraction is so much, both are overcome.  However, the communication among the characters is poor and only Lena can help clear it all up.  It was sweet, hot, funny and definitely left the reader wanting to know more about this awesome garage family.

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5 Stars and 4 Stars for The Night Screams by Devon McCormack #MM #Romance @devon_mccormack

CoverTitle: The Night Screams
Author Name & Publisher: Devon McCormack (Harmony  Ink Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2016 – 220 pgs

Synopsis

Running naked through the woods, Cal flees the sadistic man who abducted and tortured him. When he stumbles upon a convenience store, he breaks in to steal food. A young store clerk, Jake, confronts him, and they get into a fight that ends with Cal being knocked unconscious. He wakes in the home of Jake’s Uncle Gary, the owner of the convenience store. Realizing Cal needs help, Gary tries to communicate with him, but despite Cal’s efforts, he can’t bring himself to speak. Instead, he writes down his experiences. Horrified by the perverse cruelty Cal endured, Gary takes him to the police, who track down his tormentor.

Abandoned by his parents before his abduction, Cal doesn’t have anywhere to go, so Gary and his wife eagerly welcome him into their home. He feels fortunate to be with such caring people—something he’s never had before. Despite their help, he still can’t find his voice, and he wonders if he ever will. And Jake certainly isn’t making things any easier. It’s clear he doesn’t want Cal to be part of their family. But the more Cal gets to know him, the more he realizes Jake might be the very person who can heal the deep wounds left by his horrifying past.

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Review

FourStarsTriggers: Gay bashing, death, loss, cancer

This was a great story.  It had love, loss, acceptance and learning.

Cal and Jake have a strained relationship at the beginning.  It’s somewhat difficult to tell if it’s jealousy or attraction.

I really like how Gary and Luce were able to take in both boys and offer them something that they were all needing – family.

I loved Gary.  He was funny, the steady sense in this family who, at it’s core is full of love and acceptance.  He knows that his wife has some learning to do but I love how he handles it.

Luce is a wonderful person who just has some catching up to do.

I felt that this story was more about Luce and her learning to accept than it was about Cal and Jake.  However, their story was one of learning how to have a relationship, learning to love themselves and each other.

AvidReader

FiveStars

The Night Screams is poignant and moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an emotional suspense story with romance.

This is a gritty and engaging book. The characters are well developed and easy to love. The romance is realistic, and I’m glad that it’s not sexually explicit. I feel it fits the story better this way.

This story addresses not only the extreme abuse that Cal endured but also social and family issues faced by many LGBTQ teens. Cal’s journey is frightening and heartbreaking at times, but there are also hopeful and heartwarming moments.

Overall, I loved this book! There were a few little plot points that nagged at me through the story. The plot twist that resolved these issues solidified the 5th star in my rating.

Amanda

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3.5 Stars for Safeword by Samantha Cayto #MM #Romance @PridePublishing @Samanthacayto

CoverTitle: Safeword
Author Name & Publisher: Samantha Cayto (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date: August 23, 2016

Synopsis

A dangerous game turns into unexpected pleasure…

Carter’s dream of running from his abusive family into the arms of the perfect Dom has been shattered. Virtually enslaved by a vicious arms dealer, he has to submit to any man his master gives him to.

Undercover agent Damien Crow is close to putting away the arms dealer he’s been hunting for years. All he has to do to gain the man’s trust is ‘play’ with the pretty boy with the frightened eyes and alluring corset piercing down his back. Being straight and not a practicing Dom, he has doubts he can pull off the effort. One look at his playmate changes his mind. The stakes are high, and he must put on a good show.

At first, Carter assumes Damien is just another brutal Dom to survive. But the big, brooding man reignites his passion and gives him something Carter hasn’t had in years—a safeword. It might be his last chance to enjoy being a sub and he embraces the role no matter what the consequences.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released as part of the His Rules anthology with Pride Publishing.

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Review

 ThreeandHalfStarsHmmm, where to start with this… I would say that it was well written, but so short that it made it difficult to really develop anything.  This seemed almost like a teaser to a larger story.

I think that Damien was successful as a Dom, but his reluctance was somewhat strange.  If he had been undercover as long as it seemed, he would have had to play this persona more than just the once, I would think.  However, it seemed that this was his first time – they talked about his crash course and implement schooling…

Then you have Carter – he just seemed meek.  There really wasn’t much to his character other than his complete submission because he knows what’s in store for him.

Overall, while this was short and just a taste of what I believe this author is capable of, I think that if you’re not used to BDSM writing, this would not be the book to start with.  There are too many holes and it doesn’t offer much other than the one scene.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, AvidReader, M/M, New Release, Review