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5 Star Review for The Innocent Betrayal (Innocent #2) by Victoria Sue #MM #Historical @Vickysuewrites

Cover

Title: The Innocent Betrayal (Innocent #2)
Author: Victoria Sue
Publication Date & Length: June 20, 2016 – 157 pgs

Synopsis

London 1811
Can love withstand the ultimate betrayal?
William was running. Running from his father, running from his arranged marriage, and running from himself. He’d never wanted to manage his father’s vast empire. He would have been quite happy to find some small corner of England and read and paint. He knew it would be too much to ask for the company of a man to go with that. Too dangerous. His only hope for escape is to hide who and what he is and pretend to be a servant.
Alex was barely surviving after the fight with Napoleon’s armies. Riddled with guilt, he buried the knowledge of his wife’s death, and his crippled body, at the bottom of whatever brandy bottle he could find.
Two broken souls. One so damaged he thinks he doesn’t deserve love, and one so convinced he would never find it he has stopped looking.
Danger, lies, and espionage. The fate of hundreds of English soldier’s lives depending on them to trust each other, to work together.
Alex is forced to make a choice, unable to swallow his pride and rejects Will and their chance of happiness. Will is heartbroken, and Alex is destroyed. Will Alex realize his mistake in time? Can he learn to trust Will, but more importantly himself, and would Will ever forgive him if he did? And finally, would love ever survive a betrayal – even if it is an innocent one?

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Review
FiveStars

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, William Prenderville runs away, accepting a position as the companion for a wounded soldier, Alex. What he doesn’t realize is exactly how much he’ll come to care for Alex in the end.
I read this book in one sitting. After reading The Innocent Auction, I was excited to read about William, who made a brief appearance in the first book. The Innocent Betrayal was so well written. The characters and were strong and unique and made for an amazing read. I absolutely loved Will. His sincerity and goodness was clear throughout the book, but it wasn’t overplayed. In addition, his relationship with Alex was so beautiful. Alex – who is scarred from the war – doesn’t think that anyone could love him because of how he looks now. Will definitely proves that isn’t the case.
One of the things I loved most about this book is that it didn’t shy away from some of the uglier aspects of war and injury. Alex was up front, if embarrassed, about the fact that he couldn’t top because of his injury, and Will was completely understanding. I also particularly loved the line where Will says Alex made a mistake about him that all men made, implying most people thought he was a bottom. I had a nice laugh at that.
The spy plot was really interesting, and I really enjoyed seeing how that would all play out. It definitely kept me guessing as to who was involved and who wasn’t. And I like how the spy aspect of things helped with the happily ever after.
There’s absolutely nothing I didn’t love about The Innocent Betrayal. It’s a book I will definitely read again, and now I’ve found another one-click author.
Alyson

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5 Stars for The Innocent Auction by Victoria Sue #M/M #Historical @Vickysuewrites

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Title: The Innocent Auction
Author: Victoria Sue
Publication Date & Length: December 28th 2015- 200 pages

Synopsis

London 1810.

Their love was a death sentence.

Deacon, Viscount Carlisle, was aware of the slums and gin-lanes of London. Just as he was aware of the underground traffic that furnished the brothels and bath houses with human innocents. He was also aware that the so-called justice system would hang the accused without much of an attempt at a defense, unless the unfortunate had deep pockets to pay for it.

He just hadn’t expected to be directly involved in any of it.

It started with a plea for help and ended with forbidden love, the love between a Viscount and a stable-boy. An impossible love and a guarantee of the hangman’s noose.

Will Deacon fight for Tom? Will he risk the death sentence and take that fight from the stately halls of his English mansion to the horrors of Newgate Prison and the slums of London?

Or will he realize that if he doesn’t, death will be a welcome end to the loneliness of the sentence he is already living?

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Review

FiveStars

To save his cousin from disgrace and prosecution, Deacon, Viscount Carlisle attends an innocent auction. However, he ends up saving both his cousin and one of the prizes up for auction – a teenage boy named Tom. Four years later, Deacon and Tom reunite, but their relationship becomes much more complicated than either of them imagined it would be.
I really loved the dynamic between Deacon and Tom. Both men are driven by a certain duty. Deacon wants to see his family home restored, and knows that the only way to do that is to marry. Tom feels a sense of duty toward Deacon, since Deacon saved his life. Even though their attraction goes against the duty they feel, they can’t help but give into it. Their relationship was beautifully written and really well balanced. Where Tom could be seen as beneath Deacon, or immature, they’re portrayed as equals in spite of their age difference.
Equally as well-written were the sex scenes. Steamy and passionate, without overtaking the rest of the story. It was a perfect balance of sex and plot! The sex scenes almost seemed to evolve with the plot, which I loved. The first few times were rushed and furtive, but as Deacon and Tom realize just how much they care about each other, they become more of a slow burn instead of a bright flame.
The one thing that I wasn’t so fond of was Beau’s fate, even though I understand why it was written that way. I wished that things had turned out happily for him, as well. Interestingly enough, this is one of the few M/M historical romances I’ve read that actually fully delves into the legal aspect of being gay in that time, so I thought that was an interesting angle!
This was a fantastic read, and anyone who loves M/M historical romance will want to pick up a copy. A nice balance of romance and plot that’s definitely one I’ll read again. I’m absolutely looking forward to reading the sequel.
Alyson

Excerpt

Tom was stunning in the candlelight. The servant’s clothes he wore were a hundred times softer than the rough shirt he had taken off him in the stables. Tom’s skin was just as soft, though, the muscles just as firm, and the reaction to Deacon’s touch just as thrilling.
He heard the small moan from Tom’s lips as he pulled the shirt from his trousers, his fingers touching the skin on his abdomen. Tom lifted his arms above his head in silent invitation, and Deacon’s cock swelled in eagerness. Tom let his arms fall as the shirt was thrown aside, and Deacon hurriedly unbuttoned his trousers, as Tom’s fingers went to work on Deacon’s.
Neither of them said a word. It wasn’t just fear that they would be heard, but more an affirmation that while ever they didn’t speak, they were equals, lovers. The sensation of Tom’s teeth as he grazed his collarbone was perfect. Something to be celebrated, not reviled. Surely something that made him feel so complete could never be a sin? For in that one moment, Deacon didn’t have to pretend anymore and he was content.
In moments, Tom had him undressed. “Stay still.”
Deacon groaned as the order went straight to his cock.
Tom’s calloused fingers swept over his shoulders and down his chest. Tom’s nails dug in around his nipples, and Deacon swayed towards him with every pull as if there were invisible strings attached. Tom bent his head, his warm lips drugging Deacon’s movements till they stilled. How could his skin vibrate as if alive, yet his body remain immovable as if cast in stone?
When Tom knelt in front of him, Deacon gasped. “You—” can’t? That was ridiculous, and Deacon bit the words off before they were uttered. His breaths came out in hurried gasps when Tom looked up, blue eyes on fire almost as they smoldered with heat.
Deacon almost couldn’t breathe as Tom wrapped his lips around his cock. His knees wobbled, inspiring Tom to bring two strong hands around to clasp his buttocks, pulling him nearer and making Tom almost seem to swallow him.
Almost immediately, Deacon felt the tingles in his spine. He had to hang on, and he threaded his fingers through Tom’s hair, desperate for some anchor before he exploded. Thrice. He’d had this done three times by whores, but never had he wished to think of something else while it was being done. Tom had his full attention.
“Oh.” Deacon pressed his lips together hard as Tom’s teeth scraped back and his tongue followed the fold on his foreskin, pushing it back slowly. He could nearly feel the come rush from his balls at the same speed as the blood pounding through his veins. Tom must have sensed this, because when Deacon’s back arched, he intensified the suction nearly to the point of pain, his fingers digging in Deacon’s buttocks to keep him close. That sinful tongue and commanding mouth wringing Deacon’s orgasm from him.
Deacon gasped. Eyes blinded by momentous pressure that rose in him and threatened to take over his body. He heard a small satisfied sound from the man on his knees and that was it, the catalyst that sent him over the edge. Deacon shot his pleasure into the warm mouth compelling it thus, and flung his head back, mouth open in a silent cry, his legs supported only by Tom’s hands.
Deacon’s cock jerked a final time just as Tom swallowed around it and let it drop from his lips. His eyes still closed, he felt the pressure from Tom’s hand pushing him backwards towards the bed. One more step, and Deacon hit the bed with the back of his knees, which folded, ably helped by the push of Tom’s hand. Deacon felt the bed dip and a cautious tongue lick at the side of his throat until he moved his head to the side to give the man better access. He vaguely heard a chuckle, and answered it with a tilt of his lips. He had neither the command of his body nor the presence of mind to do any other.
He just needed a minute. Then he would explore the gorgeous body laid beside him and return the favor. Just one minute.

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4 Star Review for Perfect Obsession by Lucien Grey #MM #Romance @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Perfect Obsession
Author Name & Publisher: Lucien Grey (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 29, 2016 – 37 pgs

Synopsis

Son of a mad cloth merchant, William inherited his father’s eccentricity, obsessed with fashion and his quest for perfection. When he is insulted by the Prince Regent himself, Will is distraught.

Determined to comfort Will and restore his good spirits, George commissions a new suit for his lover that is certain to cause a stir, even if it seems more and more like the only thing Will loves about him is his money and the lavish lifestyle it affords.

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Review

FourStars

What do you do when your lover is obsessed with perfection?
Naval officer, Lord George Beswick would do anything for his lover, William Rohen, who desires nothing but the finest clothes. He sets out to help William create the perfect wardrobe, though his insecurities and William’s threaten to tear them apart.
I’ve always been a fan of regency romances, and this one did not disappoint. Even though this was a novella, I was impressed at just how well formed the characters were. I felt as though I had spent an entire book with them, getting to know their quirks. Their relationship was incredibly well written, and incredibly human. They both grappled with insecurities about their relationship and how much they meant to one another, but they dealt with them in healthy, mature ways.
On top of that, the sex was really hot. The novella focuses a lot on clothing, and that definitely added a sexy element to all the erotic scenes. The term ‘clothing porn’ comes to mind!
Overall, a great look into this relationship. I would love to read more about them!
Alyson

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4 Stars for A Gathering Storm (Travelling Companions #2) by Amy Paine #Bisexual #FF #EroticRomance #ShortStory @NineStarPress

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Title: A Gathering Storm (Travelling Companions #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Amy Paine (NineStar)
Publication Date & Length: June 13, 2016 – 70 Pages

Synopsis

Marriage is proving hard for Millie, and as her love for Benita grows new wings, she is thrown into the impossible position of risking all for the thrill of a love so exciting, so deep and heart stopping that her life could be changed forever.

Millie faces a gathering storm of emotion that is about to topple her over the edge into an instruction in sin. On the one hand, she must fight to sustain her marriage and secure a certain future for her impoverished mother. On the other, she longs to break free to chase the dream of a forbidden love.

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Review

FourStars

This is the second in the Travelling Companions series and I enjoyed it very much.  In the first book Millie and Benita meet on a train and become lovers.  Now Millie has to marry to save her mother from poverty but is distraught at the prospect of losing her lover.  The story is one of deep love and attraction and a feeling that the world is acting against the two women.  Set as it is in the 1920s they have to hide their relationship and once Millie marries this will become ever more important.  Millie’s character goes through some changes in this volume  as she adjust to life as lady of the manor and has to find ways to keep seeing Benita.  She is completely obsessed by her and now that she has to have regular sex with her husband it has become more obvious that she is a lesbian! The sex scenes are very hot and quite varied.  As Benita learns more about being a lesbian she is able to bring that to their physical relationship. I also saw quite a change in Benita too as she wants to take more control and in some ways I found it an unattractive trait.  I felt she took it too far.  This was a really good short read and I look forward to the next in the series.
Kitty Kat

Excerpt

 

The church looked lovely. The pews were decked out in foliage, and the large vases of spectacular flowers in their Greek urns, from Hemsby’s gardens, flanked the doors and naves.

Millie gathered her skirt up in her hands. It was difficult because the dress was so huge and elaborate, made up of copious lengths of lace and silk. Its train and long veil tangled around her arms and legs as if the confounded dress were trying to tell her something.

No, no, she must not think like that. She pushed such nonsense from her head. It would be hard enough as it was to get through what lay in front of her. Millie pasted a smile onto lips that didn’t want to smile at all. She had to think ahead, to think of the good points of being married to James.

Her uncle smoothed his hand along her thin arm. “Darling, there’s no need to be nervous.”

“No, I know. I’m not. Well, just a little…perhaps,” she replied, forcing a weak smile.

She was having absurd notions, as if she were delirious. Maybe, despite the preparations, James wouldn’t show up. Of course, that was wishful thinking. She was about to marry into the Hemsby fortune, and last-minute hitches didn’t happen to a family like his. But still she thought about it, as she had so many times over the last week or two. Wondered what it would be like to be free, free to live and love who she wanted. And she did love, didn’t she? But it wasn’t James.

She fluffed out her dress, smoothed the silk and satin with her hands.

It was a perfect day for a wedding, with a clear blue sky and not a cloud in sight. The crowds from the village had turned out in their finery, lining the one main street flanked by the jolly houses in burnished golden stone, the sunlight reflecting from their windows. The little public house was decked with bunting.

She passed beneath the lychgate and, glancing up, noticed the servants from the house that was soon to be her home. Some of them she liked. Davies, her maid-to-be, for instance. Others, such as Foukes the butler, she didn’t like quite so much. He was stodgy and patrician, and she’d once heard him whispering about her to the housekeeper. He’d said she was a fly-by-night. But she could cope with it. She had to.

Her mother, Patricia, arrived behind her in the car. The lines on her face seemed less etched than they had been of late. She was responsible for that, Millie thought with a sense of pride. She had saved the day—was saving the day, and salvaging her mother from a life of penury. When her father had died, leaving them in so much debt, the lovely dower house had been about to be taken off them. Then, amazingly, James had come along out of the blue. Her own angel. Ready to save her, incorporate her into the kind of wealthy lifestyle her mother had dreamed of, had wanted for her but never expected her to get. Sometimes she wondered how she had managed to trap him, when to all intents and purposes she wasn’t his type. James was a playboy who frittered away his considerable income in Monaco. She knew he’d had affairs, but none of those women had suited him and she had. She was flirtatious, she supposed, but she had always acted so coolly towards him, and maybe that was the reason. He had taken her reticence as morality when, in fact, the true reason was she just didn’t have an eye for men, not at all. No, her interests lay in a rather more feminine direction.

The little gatehouse waited for Patricia Carruthers, and Millie knew she was content with it. Content to have her daughter on her doorstep.

While she would be Lady Millicent Alice Hemsby. Her heart did a flutter. Any other girl would be delirious with joy, and she was grateful, she truly was, except…She loved someone else; she didn’t love James. Yes, he had been kind to her, made her immensely grateful, rescued her, but she couldn’t love him, not in the way he wanted because…because…

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3 Star Review for Death Comes Darkly by David S. Pederson #MM #Historical

CoverTitle: Death Comes Darkly
Author Name & Publisher: David S. Pederson (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 1, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Can a detective and a policeman find love amidst murder? Heath Barrington is an attractive, clever, big city detective, confident, strong, and crazy about police officer Alan Keyes. Down-to-earth, noble, and naïve, Alan struggles with his desires for Heath versus 1940s America and his guilty conscience.

Heath’s skills of deduction and reasoning are put to the test as he and Alan work together to solve the murder of an eccentric millionaire in his mysterious, isolated estate. They search for clues and uncover long buried secrets of the weekend guests while keeping secrets of their own.

It’s up to Heath to solve the mystery and convince Alan that some secrets aren’t worth keeping, and lust can lead to love.

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Review

ThreeStar

Hmm, this book reminds me of that game Clue, which was also a movie. It’s a “who done it” mystery and Heath Barrington, big city detective, is right in the middle of it. He gets invited to some rich big wigs house and boom, there’s a murder mystery that happens a little later than usual in the book. Now, the writing was great, it had a classic detective 1940’s feel to it. I’m just bummed that there wasn’t much romance. Yeah, Heath’s secret boyfriend Officer Alan was there, but since they had to keep their relationship in the down low, I didn’t get enough romance. Yeah, I get that it’s the 1940s. Still, there were more than 2 gay men in this story.
This book I’d recommend to mystery buffs. I wouldn’t go into reading this expecting a lot of romancing going on. I liked them though and wish there would be more Heath and Alan time if there’s another book.
Cookie

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5 Star Review for Shaken to the Core by Jae #FF #Historical

CoverTitle: Shaken to the Core
Author Name & Publisher: Jae (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 15, 2016 – 386 pgs

Synopsis

Kate Winthrop, the only child of a wealthy shipping magnate, has the course of her life charted for her by her parents. She’s expected to marry well and produce a successor to the Winthrop empire. But Kate has a very different path in mind. Her true passion lies with photography—and with women.
Alone in the city after losing her brother, Sicilian immigrant Giuliana Russo starts working for the Winthrops as a maid. Despite their different social status, Kate and Giuliana become friends, much to the dismay of Kate’s parents.
As the connection between the two women grows, a devastating earthquake hits San Francisco and ignites fires that sweep through the city for three days and nights.
Will the disaster shatter their tentative feelings for each other, or will they find the courage to save each other’s lives—and their hearts?
Join Kate and Giuliana on a journey of danger and discovery in the action-packed historical romance Shaken to the Core, set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

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Review

FiveStars

This is the beautiful epic tale of two women living through the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and becoming the people they want to be.  Kate is from a wealthy family and meets Giuliana when she becomes a maid in her parent’s household.  Giuliana’s brother has just died and it is now up to her to earn money to send home to her family in Sicily. Kate has an independent streak and wants to become a newspaper photographer, much to the consternation of her family.  They are drawn to each other and begin a friendship which slowly becomes much more.  They feel they must hide their deepening feelings for each other but when the earthquake strikes all the old rules begin to change and they spend more and more time together.
This is a wonderful book and I found myself totally immersed in it.  The historical aspect of it is so well researched and described I felt that I could imagine the falling ash and aftershocks!  Kate and Giuliana are fully involved in helping others after the quake and become invaluable to Dr Lucy, a female Dr they have become friends with.  I loved her character as she was strong and feisty and gave them a shove in the right direction when they needed it.  I was rooting for the two women to be together and Jae managed to tease it out so well.  It was a beautifully slow tortuous tease but well worth the wait. It was so difficult for them to realise for themselves what they were feeling as neither had an awareness of lesbianism.  Also the class divide and the threat of Kate’s parents finding out was real. I can’t recommend this book highly enough as it is one that will stay with me for a long time.
Kitty Kat

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5 Stars for Brute by Kim Fielding {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Historical @KFieldingWrites @Dreamspinners

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Title: Brute
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 3, 2012 – 270 pgs

Synopsis

Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.

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Review

FiveStars

This review is for the audiobook, read by K.C. Kelly.

Brute is an engaging, moving, and romantic story. This book is read beautifully by K.C. Kelly who really brings the story to life.

This story has a unique premise, and it had me immediately engaged. The characters are well developed and easy to love. The story of Brute’s life is very powerful and moving, and his compassion and bravery shine through.  Gray is resilient and strong. Their romance is sweet and also heartbreaking at times.

The sex scenes are well written and passionate, but I wouldn’t recommend this for someone looking for a highly erotic story.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for strong fantasy genre M/M romance.

Amanda

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