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5 and 3.5 Stars for Feat of Clay (Men of London #4) by Susan Mac Nicol #MM #erotic @susanmacnicol7

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Title: Feat of Clay (Men of London #4)
Author Name: Susan Mac Nicol
Publication Date & Length: August 25, 2015

Synopsis

Imprisoned and tortured, undercover cop Tate Williams will find redemption in the arms of his boyhood friend, now lover, former SAS soldier Clay Mortimer.
TWO MEN.
TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.
Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.
Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more.

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Review

FiveStars

This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone. I love this series and I loved this book. Clay owns his own PI business, Tate was an undercover cop until his last assignment almost killed him. These two men were friends and then after Tates ordeal they became more. Tate was tortured and left for dead on the side of the road, he still has flashbacks and nightmares. Clay wants nothing more than to have a life with Tate. Their love story is hot and fierce, the sex is amazingly hot and you can feel the love and passion. These two have their ups and downs and I found myself crying because I felt their emotions and pain. When Clay finds out that Tate didn’t tell him everything the crap hits the fan. These two have so much to work on and so much to get through at times you don’t think their going to make it. This was a great story and I enjoyed it when we got to briefly see the characters from previous books in the series.

Angie

ThreeandHalfStars

There have been a number of military/paramilitary m/m series released recently.  The attraction is obvious.  Two highly trained alpha men in great shape with dark pasts?  Perfect.  But while this story contains most of the elements I love in an action-packed m/m, it just didn’t grip me as similar stories have.

I did love Tate.  Rebuilding his life after being tortured in the line of duty, he is a beautiful, troubled character.  His relationship with Jax and the Castaways children is very sweet.  I wanted to love Clay, but I don’t feel I ever get to really know him.  His paramilitary group is never really explained to readers.  I wanted to know about his team and his cases but MacNichol only ever gives us snippets of Clay’s life.  

Both Clay and Tate lacked the personality quirks that made me fall in love with Abigail Roux’s Ty and Zane, AE Via’s God and Day or Xavier Mayne’s Brandt and Donnelly.  Their interactions as a couple are sexy, but lack the warmth, personality and humour I need to really believe in a relationship.  

Deeply earnest couples’ therapy isn’t terribly sexy and neither are Tate’s tantrums.  Clay’s role as the old man in the relationship was slightly odd.  He’s a 36 year-old field agent in his prime.  And for someone who had a career as an undercover detective, Tate reads as much younger than he could possibly be.     

This book pushes the boundary between erotica and romance because most of the relationship building happens in the bedroom.  The sex is pretty vanilla, but it’s hot and frequent.

The action sequences didn’t work for me at all.  At one point Tate and Clay are involved in a car chase because of one of Clay’s cases.  Readers don’t know much about the case, don’t know who is chasing them or why.  In the UK, where even cops on active duty don’t carry guns routinely, the men engage in a deadly shootout on a motorway and are allowed to go home without much questioning.  Really? 

Once again, Susan MacNichol sets her book in London but litters her writing with Americanisms.  Little things began to irk me.  A small British child would eat strawberry laces, not a string of liquorice!  

Sarah

Excerpt

Tate needed no further urging. He lifted himself up, trying to ignore the pain in his battered body, and stared down at the man who half sat, half lay beneath him. Clay’s face was twisted in lust and want, and his cock jutted proudly from the thatch of dark curls at his groin. Tate bit his lip and then lowered himself down onto the hot, slick and eager dick waiting for him.

Clay’s deep gasp of satisfaction made his hole throb, as did the burn of Clay in his arse. Tate spread his legs to take Clay deeper then began to slowly move above him, his hips undulating and his inner muscles tightening around Clay’s cock.

The feeling of power he got from watching his lover slowly lose it was like nothing else. That Tate could take such control of this man he loved, that he could watch his self-control unravel like a skein of wool—that was something for a man to be proud of.

As Tate rose and fell, his hands resting behind him on Clay’s strong thighs, Clay’s cock sliding in and out of him, he revelled in the primal urge to be impaled and fucked to destruction. He was flying so high, the bruised ribs and plastered-up shoulder were of no consequence.

Huh. Sexual endorphins make for great painkillers.

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3 Stars for Sam and Patric (Storming Love: Flood #6) by Cherie Noel #MM #Action

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Title: Sam and Patric (Storming Love: Flood #6)
Author Name & Publisher: Cherie Noel (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 10, 2015 – 62pgs

Synopsis

Patric Carselowey stole Samuel Touchet-Smith’s heart six years ago in an incendiary act of passion. Then he disappeared, joining the Army without a word. When he returned, treating Sam like stranger, he broke Sam’s heart. Now Sam’s meddling Maman and sister have booked him a hiking tour with Patric as the guide. Caught in the unexpected storm, will Sam’s wounded heart be healed during their race to safety or crushed once and for all by lingering misunderstandings and lost memories?

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Review

ThreeStar

The Storming Love: Flood stories are part of the second Storming Love anthology.

Compared to the Blizzard stories, these are much more cohesive. They all focus on the same flood, in the same small Texas town. Each writer has chosen different men to write about, but the stories interlink and build on each other.

Patric and Sam have history, but after serving in the army, Patric seems keen on forgetting the time he and Sam spent together. Things become awkward when Patric is hired to take Sam hiking.

This wasn’t my favourite book in the anthology. I found the relationships and dialogue between Sam, his mum and his sister overwritten and unbelievable. I failed to warm to either man, and I didn’t really enjoy the relationship as much as I did others in this series.

There were a few links to other characters in the other stories which I enjoyed. There wasn’t a huge focus on the flood in this one – I think my favourite stories were the ones where the characters spent the majority of their story fighting the flood.

Sarah

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4 Stars for Cold Truth (Delarosa Secrets #3) by T.A. Chase #MM #Action @TaChase @Totally_Bound

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Title: Cold Truth (Delarosa Secrets #3)
Author Name: T.A. Chase
Publication Date: May 22, 2015

Synopsis

When the truth comes out, Victor and Bieito must decide how strong their love really is.

Victor Delarosa has been the head of the Delarosa cartel for most of his adult life and Bieito Perez has been there by his side the entire way. Yet Victor has secrets he’s kept hidden, even from his long-time lover, and when those secrets show up on Victor’s doorstep, he struggles to find a way to explain while hoping he won’t lose Bieito.

Being Victor Delarosa’s right hand man and his lover is difficult at times for Bieito Perez, but he wouldn’t have his life any other way. Until the day he realizes Victor’s been keeping secrets and he has to re-evaluate their relationship.

Between dealing with a rival cartel, law enforcement, and everything else being a drug lord requires, Victor and Bieito need to redefine their lives and find the courage to say the word ‘love’ out loud before it’s too late for anything other than good-bye.

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Review

FourStars

This book was between Victor and Bieito.  I truly loved how devoted to each other they were.  Victor was able to withstand Bieito’s unwavering love, even in the face of not wanting to show weakness.

The love between these two characters is seen throughout each of the stories in this series.  However, here, you get to see it on a much more personal level.  You see how they react to each other – constantly worrying about each other, wanting to protect each other and their families.

Despite this story being sequential, it felt a little too long in some places.  That is why I gave it 4 stars.  I really enjoyed the action parts of the book, but it seemed to constantly mention Victor’s behavior or outwardly wanting to show his men who was boss, while also reiterating that Bieito was stern and just as mean at times.

In the end, I loved the result and I hope that it shows that there might be a “in the future” book for some of the characters.

AvidReader

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3 Stars for Cafe Blue by J. Carter Swift #MM #Adventure

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TitleCafe Blue
Author Name: J. Carter Swift
Publication Date & Length: January 31, 2015 – 178pgs

Synopsis

On a rainy night at Café Blue, Ayden Munro meets Nikolai Bortzov, a young Russian caught in a nightmare. Both lives will never be the same. Ayden, a writer, is pulled into the dark world of human trafficking, where teenage boys are bought and sold. Café Blue brings together a cast of saints and demons, and the story these characters interact to tell is a story of love and obsession, a story of perversion and murder. Inventive and intense, the reader is given no quarter as the narrative weaves in and out of heartbreakingly sweet moments, and moments of heart-pounding suspense.

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Review

ThreeStar

This book is a whirlwind of adventure, romance and horror.  After placing any hope of realism firmly to one side, I couldn’t help but enjoy this story of an author and an enslaved prostitute taking on multiple evil bad guys in New York City.

True, the cast of characters is immense, the bad guys are straight from central casting and convoluted sub-plots create incoherent action scenes – but once you get past all of that, it is impossible not to love Ayden and Niko.

On their path to true love and happiness, the boys must overcome slavery, snuff films and a sadistic mute with an enormous penis.  After a second read-through, I’m still not sure what exactly happens in the last few chapters of the book, but Swift serves up enough high-camp horror for several novels.

For full enjoyment, this must be read with a sense of humour and a few glasses of wine.

Sarah

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“Why a writer? I should have been a surgeon or a mechanic, for surely a scalpel or wrench couldn’t cause me the anguish words do.”
― J. Carter Swift

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4 Stars for Osaki by Remmy Duchene #MM #Urban Fantasy @Totally_Bound

1.5

Title: Osaki
Author Name: Remmy Duchene
Publication Date: April 2015

Synopsis

Once a samurai, always a Shiver…

Kofi Olabasu needs a vacation. He’s spent so much time looking out for his brother and working that he’s completely neglected himself. To make matters worse, feelings for a man are driving him crazy. The moment Kofi feels Osaki, he knows something is about to change. Confused about his attraction to Osaki, he agrees to take a vacation and accepts Osaki’s offer of being Kofi’s tour guide in Japan. However, nothing is as it seems. Soon every dark corner is filled with danger and those who wish to do him harm.

Osaki has a lot on his plate and love is the last thing he has time for. Not only does he have to get used to his new powers as a Shiver and all the training it involves, but he also finds himself being drawn to a human—though Kofi makes it clear he’s into women—and Osaki must respect the man’s wishes. All Osaki really has to do is focus on training and being the best tour guide possible for Kofi. But nothing ever goes as planned and soon rogue Shivers are popping out of the woodwork, hell-bent on destroying Osaki for his inheritance. It soon becomes quite clear that they want him dead, and they’re not afraid to use Kofi as leverage—or as collateral damage.

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Review

FourStars

Duchene’s prose is lyrical and evocative, a treat for the senses and this is a wonderfully unusual series.  In Duchene’s world, gods, goddesses and other mythological beings wage war in the heavens while finding time to enjoy the 21st century human world.

In the second book, Osaki is a medieval Samurai soldier turned Shiver. He is helping Circo and Koi protect the world from their rogue Shiver brothers, all of whom resent Osaki’s new powers.   Kofi, Circo’s brother-in-law, is a human real estate agent Osaki has been charged with protecting.

I absolutely love the way the author has made ancient mythology fresh.  The author manages to make the classical characters both relevant and historically accurate.  I also love the mix of mythologies – of course a brave Samurai would be granted entry to Olympus!

The main characters are both fabulous.  But while there are fantastic descriptions of the Japanese warrior, there are very few descriptions of Kofi.  And I really loved him!  There are possibly too many characters here for a reader to keep track of, especially when trying to remember the family ties between all the god and demi gods.

This is not a stand alone novel.  For a story with such a complex premise, very little information is offered to readers at the start of the book.  I found myself lost.  I had to put the story down and read Circo, the first book in the series, before I began to understand the story.  Unfortunately, even after reading the first book, I still had unanswered questions that kept me searching through my Kindle, sure I’d missed some important facts.

The action and romance in this story are perfectly balanced.  Kofi’s confusion over his sexual identity is incredibly moving and the relationship with his brother is very sweet.  Kofi’s insecurities are met with Osaki’s gentlemanly reserve, making for an excruciatingly drawn-out courtship.  I loved every single scene between the two men.

While the action scenes were exciting and the whole story very suspenseful, there were times where I found it difficult to understand who their enemy was and why they were fighting.

Overall, this is both a tender love story and an exciting adventure.

Sarah

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Remmy Duchene is a Canadian-hockey-watching-baseball-playing kind of guy. He loves walking in the rain and bugging his friends about his latest story ideas. Remmy believes that true love comes in all shapes, sizes, and sexualities. He is always saying “I’d rather see two gay people in love get married than two straight people that hate each other.”

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3 Stars for Running Into Zero Tolerance (Experimentals #2) by N.J. Nielson #MM #Fantasy @NJNielsen1

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Title: Running Into Zero Tolerance (Experimentals #2)
Author Name: N.J. Nielsen
Publication Date & Length: April 2015 –  130pgs

Synopsis

When there’s nowhere left to run–pray you find Zero Tolerance to keep you safe.

While searching for his missing brother, Linc O’Hare stumbles across his mate and willingly gets kidnapped to save a man whose name he doesn’t even know. Having his mate live in slavery is not on Linc’s to-do list, and he plans to rectify the situation.

Gideon Church was resigned to the hell he’s been living. Escaping with Linc is the best day of his life–until he realises his whole existence has been a lie. With the help of Linc and the inhabitants of Zero Tolerance will Gideon be able to separate the lies from the truth and figure out just who he really is?

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ThreeStar

In this series, a covert paramilitary organisation called Zero Tolerance works to save the Fey race as it crumbles around him.

In book two, when Zero Tolerance member Linc senses his mate, he allows himself to be kidnapped to be with him.  Gideon is a prisoner of his crazed brother Bevan, and Linc won’t let him suffer alone.

Once the men finally escape, they must work to uncover the secrets, lies and genetic modifications that are destroying Fey society.  Working alongside demons and Fey princes, they must find a way to stop Bevan’s brutality.

Not having read the first book in this series, I found the second nearly impossible to follow in parts.  Very little world-building is offered here.  I couldn’t get a clear sense of time or place and I had trouble understanding and separating out the many characters.

I found myself confused, frustrated and flipping back and forth through the book.  The author provides a glossary at the beginning to explain all of the terms and names used in the book, but I needed more explanations through the book.  I would also have liked a final proof-read as technical errors kept tripping me up.

I like Link and Gideon as characters and I love the way Linc empowers his mate.  Gideon’s emerging strength and sense of self is wonderful to watch – I especially love his relationship with his dogs.

The premise behind this book is interesting and unusual, but I would advise readers to definitely start at the beginning of the series.

Sarah

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NJ, is just an ordinary person that has a million stories in her head that she needs to get out and share with the world. I began writing at the age of Twelve with a book Called Admetus Gaea-Untamed World… which I have only recently just found and am almost finished writing it.

I love reading anything, and I have worked my way through a few over the years. My own writing features it all from the paranormal/preternatural, fey, demons & human…. I start with just a picture or a title and sit back as the M/M stories unfold.

I do not plot, preferring to write in Utter Chaos. I was raised in Gladstone, Queensland and now live in a small country town with my family.

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