Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorites of 2012


These are my favorites of all the books I reviewed in 2012. Thanks authors, for giving me some great hours with your words.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Wish by Eden Winters

Title: The Wish
Author: Eden Winters
Cover Artist: Christine Griffin
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Genre: Paranormal
Length: 210 pages
Rating:5



At his death, Byron Sinclair left behind more than just his much older partner Alfred Anderson. The couple helped raise their respective nephews, and while Paul Sinclair and Alex Martin are now adults, they still have some growing up to do, particularly when it comes to getting along with each other.

If they refuse to be in the house at the same time, how can Alex be so sure Paul is an opportunistic suck-up with the morals of an alley cat? Paul isn’t impressed with aloof and arrogant playboy Alex, either. Both swear they know all they need to about the other—and about themselves.

Byron’s dying wish is for Alfred to help Paul and Alex see how perfect they are for each other. But when the boys stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what's right in front of them, Byron must get creative—though it’ll be difficult without hands, or a voice, or a body….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Honest to goodness, I don’t know how Eden Winters does it—she can start a novel in a funeral home, and still produce not one love story but two, plus chuckles, groans, gasps, and tears of the happy sort as well as the sad. By the end of this story I was well and truly run through my emotions.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dragon's Lair by JB McDonald

Title: Dragon’s Lair
Author: JB McDonald
Cover Artist: BS Clay
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 82 pages/22,200 words

Being a demon is no fun at all. This doesn't particularly come as a surprise, but his constant escort and rarely seeing his lover does. When Ashe agreed to come to Katsu's land, he did so hoping to spend time with Katsu. Instead, he spends time locked within the palace grounds, ostracized as a monster. This will continue, he knows, until the princess Chieko is healed... or dies.

Dying looks like the greater possibility, and Katsu is already mourning his sister. Then something happens -- something terrible and wonderful. The ground trembles and opens up, and Katsu nearly falls through. At Ashe's greatest need, the dragon responds, saving Ashe's lover. If they can make it happen again, it might just save the princess's life -- and mean Ashe and Katsu can go home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’ve been reading through this “series” and while I’m enjoying the story, I am not so much enjoying the chunks being doled out at intervals. This section comes closest to having a plot arc that can stand on its own, but still very much feels as if it should be directly attached to the section that came before (Dragon Soul) and it doesn’t have a definitive ending, probably because it’s scheduled for release in a few months. I would be less grouchy about this if the publisher and the author were more upfront about the serialization but nowhere is this mentioned at either the publisher or author’s website, nor is correct reading order. Someone coming in cold is likely to flounder around, because none but the first section entirely stands on its own. This one is close, but the beginning is sketchy without the prior installment, and the ending is not exactly there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Compulsion by Clare London

Title: Compulsion
Author: Clare London
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 250 pages

The past always catches up with you. Max Newman should know—he’s been running from his ever since he dropped out of Uni and made a disastrous move to the seedier side of London. Now he’s returned to Brighton to lick his wounds. Though Max believes the club scene is better left behind him, one night he lets his friends drag him out dancing. And suddenly the simple life he’s tried to lead gets complicated.

At Compulsion, the Medina Group’s newest hotspot, Max meets Seve Nunez, a member of the Medina management and a man used to taking what he wants. The sexual chemistry between Max and Seve immediately leads to an intimate encounter in the backyard of the club—just the kind of dangerous behavior Max tried to leave behind. Despite that, he can't help but crave more, and Seve seems just as eager.

But Max soon suspects that Seve may not be the scrupulous businessman he claims. Max has seen the Medina Group at work before, and what he saw got a good friend killed. He's not sure what future he has with Seve, but he'll have to decide whether to trust in Seve’s innocence or keep running. The wrong choice could land them both in mortal danger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If ever two men can’t keep their hands off each other, it’s Max and Seve. From their first meeting in the nightclub where Max had to be dragged in, to the climactic scene where everything changes, these guys are all about the sex. They’ve got chemistry, but do they have a future?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Acceleration by Amelia C Gormley

Title: Acceleration (Impulse #2)
Author: Amelia C. Gormley
Cover Artist: Kerry Chin
Publisher: self
Genre: contemporary
Length: 192 pages

Gavin Hayes is everything Derrick could ask for in a lover. Gorgeous. Passionate. Great in bed. Derrick finds it very easy to just let himself go, to let Gavin guide him and teach him all the things he missed during a decade of celibacy. In the course of a single weekend, Derrick’s routine is transformed, his mornings and evenings filled with sex. Sweet, seductive, wild, or raunchy, Gavin offers Derrick all the pleasure he’s denied himself for so long.

But learning how to be a lover in bed is one thing. Learning to be one out of bed is another. For Derrick, being alone has become habit. Sharing his confidences doesn’t come nearly as readily as sharing his bed. After so many losses, the last thing Derrick wants is to become dependent upon another person who might not always be there.

And Gavin always being there is far from certain. With an ex-lover lurking in the background, and the question of Gavin’s future health still outstanding, neither Gavin nor Derrick feel capable of asking for anything more than right now. But Gavin won’t be kept on the fringes of Derrick’s life. Can Derrick let someone in before the opportunity passes him by?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

When I finished Book 1 of this trilogy (Inertia, reviewed here) I was ready to spring into Book 2 right away. Fortunately, the author didn’t make me wait too long. (I know, Amelia Gormley is not my bitch. She should write faster anyway.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Who's Kissing Santa?

Somebody's kissing Santa--what's the story here? 100-1000 words to tell us, and I'll post with your news, cover, and blurb, Full directions here, and meanwhile, the rest of us will giggle and drool.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brand New Flavor by EM Lynley

Title: Brand New Flavor
Author: EM Lynley
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Genre: contemporary
Length: 144 pages, novella
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When artisan ice cream maker Jay Brown first meets food writer Cameron Clay at a charity tasting event, they get along like strawberries and chocolate sauce. Jay's unique flavors thrill more than Cameron's jaded palate, but after a delicious encounter in Jay’s delivery truck, where extra-creamy frozen treats are not the only delights sampled, Cameron loses Jay’s contact info—and any hope of a real date.

Desperate, Cameron convinces his editor to host an artisanal ice cream contest in hopes of drawing out the elusive genius. But more complications threaten to intervene. Will Jay even enter the contest? Or will the chance of a happily ever after melt away?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First off, this story made me crave some really good ice cream! EM Lynley describes the tactile sensations and the flavors in such a way that it was an absolute need to get a bowl of frozen confection, mostly because first choice (of hot guys) wasn't in grabbing range.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A picture is worth...

I couldn't find a menorah picture I liked, so how about a picture with candles? Anyone have a story for this (100 to 1000 words), send it on, directions here.

Extra credit for anyone who can identify one of the bathers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Current Goodreads Giveaways

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00069] ItalianIce1LG
BloodontheMountainLG nakedtails_final large
FallDowntheMountain400
I pulled the ones that looked of most interest to m/m readers, though I may have missed some.  A couple of them end very soon!

I can’t believe how many of my favorites are on here—PD Singer, Eden Winters, EM Lynley, Amelia Gormley, Shira Anthony, Heidi…

Saturday, December 8, 2012

He Is Worthy by Lisa Henry

Title: He Is Worthy
Author: Lisa Henry
Cover Artist: Petite-Madame VonApple
Publisher: Riptide

Genre: Historical
Length: 28k words

Rome, 68 A.D. Novius Senna is one of the most feared men in Rome. He’s part of the emperor’s inner circle at a time when being Nero’s friend is almost as dangerous as being his enemy. Senna knows that better men than he have been sacrificed to Nero’s madness—he’s the one who tells them to fall on their swords. He hates what he’s become to keep his family safe. He hates Nero more.

Aenor is a newly-enslaved Bructeri trader, brutalized and humiliated for Nero’s entertainment. He’s homesick and frightened, but not entirely cowed. He’s also exactly what Senna has been looking for: a slave strong enough to help him assassinate Nero.

It’s suicide, but it’s worth it. Senna yearns to rid Rome of a tyrant, and nothing short of death will bring him peace for his crimes. Aenor hungers for revenge, and dying is his only escape from Rome’s tyranny. They have nothing left to lose, except the one thing they never expected to find—each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t often read slave-fic, the power imbalances bother me. I do however, read historicals, the more accurate the better. I took a chance on the slave aspect here in order to reach first century Rome through Lisa Henry’s words, and I am very glad I did.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A picture is worth...

This bit of art is by George Quaintance, and there has to be a story behind it. What's yours? (One hundred to one thousand words will do fine, directions here.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Excerpt from the Going for Gold m/m anthology



We have an excerpt from "Swimming the Distance" by Annabeth Albert in the Going for Gold: M/M Olympic Anthology.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You still want my help shaving?” His mouth asked the question even as his brain knew he should go back to sleep. Avoid reminders of how much he loved Bohdan and how much things were sucking right now. No. Not sucking. He wouldn’t let the Olympics take away everything good they had. He sat up more, shook out his tired muscles. We will make it.
“Please.” Bohdan bit his lip. His haunted expression from earlier was back. He should have been sleeping hours ago, not sneaking out to see Kyle, not fucking, not waking up in the middle of the night. But the naked need in his eyes told Kyle everything he needed to know.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fanged Trouble: Halloween Surprise by Winnie Jerome

Title: Fanged Trouble: Halloween Surprise
Author: Winnie Jerome
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: paranormal
Length: 29 pages

Unlikely couple Philippe and Adam from "Fuchsia: Fanged Trouble" are back. It's been two years since the zombie invasion, and the glare of publicity has waned. Adam has now traded his nights taunting vampires for nights managing his corporation. The formerly carefree shifter has become someone who's all work and no play.

To fix this, Philippe has planned a Halloween date night. Adam isn't as enthusiastic, and his reluctance touches off a fight. Now Philippe has to win Adam back, even if it means treading where no vampire has gone before -- into the turbulent waters of social media.

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If you haven’t read Fanged Trouble, (reviewed here) you can still enjoy this short. I opted to review because the first one was cute. With a premise of “vampires and werewolves are known to the world, vampires are sexy but behind the times, and werewolves lack couth but rock social media,” there are lots of buttons to push for humor.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cupid Knows Best by S.A. Garcia

Title: Cupid Knows Best
Author: S.A. Garcia
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 284 pages
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When it comes to his professional life, photographer Carl Conrad is at the top of his game. He molds impressionable minds at the university by day and jets off to Paris for gallery showings on long weekends. Unfortunately, he pays for it with his disastrous personal life: Carl kicked his boyfriend to the curb after one too many punches, so now it’s just him and his hamsters, one of which he suspects may be a space alien.

Then Cupid takes pity on Carl and hits him where it hurts. It takes Carl all of three seconds to fall head over heels in lust with set design student Marcelino Moya, despite the man’s questionable—okay, deplorable—fashion sense. Convincing Marcelino to give him a chance is the hard part, but Carl is up for the challenge, pun definitely intended.

Marcelino plays hard to get, but he isn’t immune to Carl’s charms. Carl talks him around to dinner, dating, and eventually moving in. There’s just one tiny word standing between Carl and perfect happiness. Why won’t Marcelino say it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is marginally possible that I did not approach this novel with the right mind-set. I am willing to be beguiled with language and scenarios that dance from witticism to feyness, but when it comes on top of the MC, Carl, discussing how traumatized he is by hearing from his abusive ex lover, I will admit to having some trouble shifting gears. It seems that the bruises haven’t quite faded from the most recent incident, but this is left vague enough that friends are urging Carl to move on. Which he does, about seven and a half minutes after the words are out of the friend’s mouth. With a student.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A picture is worth...

Mmmm, hot bods in lycra moving fast. What's not to like? And if you have 100 to 1000 words of ficlet or excerpt to go with the pic, send it along to post here. The rest of us will lick them as they go by. (Directions here.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Party Boy's Guide to Dating a Geek by Piper Vaughn and Xara X. Xanakas



Author: Piper Vaughn and Xara X. Xanakas
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 270 pages


Ashley Byrne only wants one thing in life: to finish his tattoo apprenticeship and fulfill his dream of owning his own shop. In the meantime, he spends his nights partying, flirting, and having sex. After all, what else is there for him to worry about? Aside from his hair and his clothes, not much. He’s hot, and rest assured no one knows it better than him. He’s also used to getting what he wants—until he meets Felipe Navarro.

Fee Navarro has everything he needs: a great IT job, a nice apartment, and all the high-tech toys his geeky heart could ever want. He doesn’t do casual, and he knows guys like Ash are nothing but. Ash may burn hot for Fee, but Fee isn’t willing to take a chance on a vain, little party boy with too many tats and an oversized ego. He wants someone to share his life with, and he won’t settle for anything less. Too bad Ash has never been the type to give up easily. He has a plan, and he’s not stopping until he proves he’s more than just a pretty face—he’s someone worthy of winning Fee’s heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Party Boy’s Guide is a charming story of opposites attracting, and more to the point, of one of the opposites understanding what’s attractive about the other and why the attraction is worth working for.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bone: Slip of the Tongue by ID Locke

Title: Bone: Slip of the Tongue
Author: ID Locke
Cover Artist: BS Clay
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: fantasy
Length: 23k words, 74 pages

Ivriah is a Battle Mage specializing in summoning demons to fight for his country, Islafar. He also uses his summoning skills to call male demons to see to his baser needs as same-sex relationships are illegal and ruthlessly punished in Islafar. Incorrect wording in a summons leads to him calling for the Bone Demon, Orajin, instead of the demon intended. While Ivriah finds Orajin very attractive, the fighting demon is far too cheeky for Ivriah’s bedroom tastes.

Orajin is thrilled to finally be called to Ivriah’s bed as he’s been secretly in love with the mage for years. Orajin does his best to show Ivriah that they are very compatible in bed and sets out to prove to the mage that they are perfect for each other. In a sneaky move, Orajin gives Ivriah a bone spur as a “token of affection” that is actually a symbol of engagement among Orajin’s people.

Their developing relationship and Ivriah’s safety and life are threatened when the authorities are alerted to it. Orajin swoops in to the rescue and offers Ivriah a chance to have his heart’s desire if he’s brave enough to take it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This story commences after a battle. Ivriah the mage is horny enough after battle to summon a demon for some sex, but tired enough to muddle his spell and then be flummoxed by the demon when he finally appears. The banter is funny and a little appalling—Ivriah could have summoned something far less well-disposed towards him, and he loses the battle of wits on every turn. It’s a loss he ends up not minding much.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Thousand Word Thursday Story from Amelia Gormley



Lessons

It began with Gavin showing off. A sweltering afternoon in the park walking Chelsea had resulted in a chance encounter with an ice cream cart. Derrick had got his usual cone, but Gavin had opted for a popsicle.

Cherry, he said with a sly smile. In honor of Derrick’s blush.

He’d done things with that popsicle. Suggestive things. Obscene things. Things that really shouldn’t have been anatomically possible. Derrick hadn’t quite believed what he was seeing until Gavin got him back to the house and onto the bed, at which point he’d wrapped his red-stained mouth around Derrick and proven that yes, he really could do that.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Devil's Night Anthology

Title: Devil’s Night
Author: S.L. Armstrong, K. Piet, Alina Ray, Azalea Moone, Tali Spencer
Cover Artist: Dare Empire
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Genre: paranormal
Length: 42,500 words

The infernal host is on the prowl. They want your soul, and they're not afraid to bargain for it. They'll promise you everything you could ever desire, but the price tag may be steeper than you can handle. Whether tempting and seducing mortals, defiling angels, or reveling among themselves, the fiendish creatures in these four haunting tales know that while good is okay, evil is just more fun.

Thaddeus sold his soul to save his family long ago, but the deal he struck with the demon Belial has him spending eternity managing Le Carnaval du Diable, filled to the brim with others damned into servitude. Belial wants more than Thaddeus' soul, though, and his constant advances only add to Thaddeus' stress as he faces a threat to The Devil's Midway.

Craig Peters finds himself Hell Bound and destined for an eternity of torture at the hands of the demon Karawan, despite having no memory of the sin that condemned him to this existence. Over time, though, those memories return, along with an unnatural attraction to Karawan, which leads them both down a path neither of them could have possibly imagined.

When the Hounds Come Out to Play, Ryu and Keir are released from their chains to hunt the wayward damned and drag them down to Hell. A breath of freedom is an opportunity for fun, however, and Ryu isn't about to waste it, even if it means getting caught in a case of mistaken identity with a handsome stranger.

Finally, Beltran is a man of heritage and honor, and when his cousin is brutalized, he has few qualms about consulting a local Inca shaman on her behalf. Little does he know the price of the charm he seeks will make him The Seventh Sacrifice in the amaru demon Kitara's ancient quest for revenge.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another anthology with some favorite authors and new to me names, and a fine diabolical streak running through the stories. Sexual tension, in gobs. Danger and threats, lots and lots. Hellishly charming beings, definitely. Hot sex, oh yeah. But if you read expecting romance, you aren’t going to be happy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ranty McRanterson wants the middle

Lately I’ve been reading more stories than I’d like where a huge chunk of development isn’t there. What the author has included is lovely and draws me in, and then WHAMMO! We’re at the end. Wait a minute! Where did the middle go?

If there’s a great set up and engaging characters, of course I’m going to be interested in what their troubles are, which usually comes up in the beginning of a novel. And since I’m generally reading romance, the ending needs to have the men together, whether it’s for a week or a month or a lifetime. But if the journey from set up to ending is truncated into a few paragraphs, or worse, completely missing, I’m going to notice that out loud, and you can bet I will count off for it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moving in Fits and Starts

Sorry to all the regulars who've been coming by expecting some new content. Because of my ties with Jessewave, her posting issues are also my posting issues. The good news is Wave's site is now transferred to a new host, all is working well, and things should be back to normal. My next Wave review, unless I get really busy (don't count on it, there are 50 billion leaves in my back yard) will be Saturday.



Dark Divas and I have parted ways.

I have some opinion pieces  that may be ready to unleash soon. I'm seeing things that beg for comments.

Also, I am coming up on the 400th post since I switched the focus of this blog to m/m and reviewing. That ought to be good for something special, shouldn't it?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A picture is worth...

So maybe it's not warm where you are, but this pic just heated things up. Any thoughts? (100 to 1000 words, directions here.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We All Scream by Elias True

Title: We All Scream
Author: Elias True
Publisher: Self

Cover: Robin Ludwig Design
Genre: Erotica
Length: 22 pages


A massive storm is brewing and Seth is ready to head back home. But when he sees an unrequited crush from high school driving an ice cream truck, he must pursue. When they meet, Seth flirts and finally gets what he craved from Aaron all those years ago – and much more – in the back of the truck as they wait out the storm of the century.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We All Scream by Elias True is trying to straddle that line between erotica and romance. Seth is pondering a newly acknowledged attraction to men, something that simmered in his past but never quite surfaced except in small encounters of the quick look and glance away type with a school friend. Maybe he was kidding himself about girls all along, he thinks.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't Try This At Home (Anthology)

Author: Anthology, several
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner  
Genre: anthology
Length: 290 pages

Bonked heads. Rough carpet. Burned dinner. Awkward silence. Bitten lips. Startling length. Spilled wax. Pinched fingers. Shattered wineglass. Closet quickie. Flat souffle. Broken bedframe. Shower sex. Overzealous spanking. Embarrassing ex. Lost wallet. Terrible taste. Sore shoulders. Noxious odor. Absent date. Unbelievable girth. Kitchen canoodling. New toy. Stained sheets. Backward compliment. Stifling pillow. Locked handcuffs. Aching ass. Missing keys. Torn seams. Wrenched back. Angry cat. Overeager pass. Uncooperative zipper.

 Something always goes wrong in real life. Fortunately, in these stories love blunts the edges so that romance always triumphs over adversity.
 Stories included are:
 Midnight Caller by Anna Birmingham
Snapshots by Rena Butler
Basil's Luck by Henrietta Clarke
Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters by Taylin Clavelli
Outbursts by Bell Ellis
Tyler Wang Has a Ball by Kim Fielding
Boy Next Door by Ellee Hill
Gremlins in the Works by Kiernan Kelly
Good Food Gone Bad by Venona Keyes
Attack of the Hedgehogs by Kate Pavelle
It's Not What You Think by Teegan Loy
Slippery When Wet by K. Lynn
Desperate Measures by E.T. Malinowski
Gordon's Cat by Aundrea Singer
Photo Finish by AC Valentine

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh boy. I love anthologies, because I encounter new-to-me authors and a wide variety of voices. And it usually works better than this. This is a huge collection, and unfortunately, only about half the stories work well. Most of them are plagued with excessive amounts of that which the anthology calls for. It isn’t enough to have one embarrassing issue or inciting problem: most of the MCs endure issue after issue after embarrassing and/or dangerous issue, to the point of making me wonder how on earth they survived to adulthood. The stories that have a single problem point work much better, unless the reader has a taste for slapstick. I never found the Three Stooges all that funny or sexy, and unfortunately several of these stories are operating on the same principle.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thousand Word Thursday Story from Clare London


OF NARCISSUS by Clare London
©2012

You may call my time at the river like this an indulgence. I call it an escape. I sit silently on the grassy bank, staring into the water, my skin as cool or warm as the weather allows me, but uncaring of any discomfort. It’s my time to be thoughtful.

My brothers scoff. “What’s wrong with you, Cecco? We don’t skulk around in our precious hours off, when there’s wine and women to be found in town. You waste time like a child. Like a girl.” For them, it’s the ultimate insult.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

The painting is "Narcissus" by Caravaggio (1571-1610) but your imagination can tell the story. (BTW, Caravaggio was gay.)  Inspired writers, look here for directions (100 words can be a gem, honest).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wanting It All by Emma Lai

Title: Wanting It All
Author: Emma Lai
Cover Artist: Jana Hansen
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 75 pages

Clayton Palmer is an up and coming lawyer in the family's East Coast firm. A long-standing agreement with his father allows Clayton to head to Colorado during the summer--to work hard as a dude ranch hand and if he's lucky, play harder with a hot cowboy, or two. But this summer, his luck is all bad. His normal bunk buddies are missing, and a lawyer from a competing West Coast firm is a guest.

A week-long retreat with clients doesn't hold any appeal for James Owens until he spies Clayton hauling in the luggage. James has lost to Clayton in the courtroom more times than not, and while he's longed to gain the upper hand over his attractive nemesis in trial, he'll settle for winning in the bedroom when Clayton approaches him and offers to do anything for James to keep his secret.
Though he's always been attracted to James, Clayton's unprepared for the emotions the man inspires and runs scared. Haunted by his feelings for James and doubts about his lifestyle, he decides it's time to seize hold of the reins of his life. When the dust settles, will James be willing to let him into his heart?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This book left me with some very mixed feelings: the writing is smooth and engaging, and I really like the style. When the prose is almost good enough to lull me into ignoring or accepting inconsistencies and plot holes, that’s very good writing indeed. Emma Lai’s style makes me want to read more of her work, with a more logical plot attached.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Summer School by Tam Ames

Title: Summer School
Author: Tam Ames
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: contemporary
Length: 38k words 

Jeremy Decker is preparing for the worst summer of his life, teaching summer school and healing from his recent breakup. But maybe his sexy young teaching assistant will be able to put an end to Jeremy's summer doldrums.

English teacher Jeremy Decker's split with his boyfriend has left him with no plans for the summer and credit card debt. One solution is to teach summer history classes. College history major Lucas Van Sloan is brought in to assist Jeremy, and is thrilled to have a summer job that doesn't include supervising kids at the hometown swimming pool.

A summer heat wave has Jeremy snarlier than even upbeat Lucas can handle. Lucas drags the teacher back to his place and out of the heat, determined to pull Jeremy into his bed while he has him there. However, Jeremy's ex isn't quite ready to let go, and a college student may be no competition for a high-powered attorney.

Review

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Oh yeah, Dickens did get that line first, but it does apply to the summer session where Jeremy’s teaching a subject he’s woefully unprepared for, and Lucas is getting his first real experience in his field. They’re approaching the session from completely opposite mindsets.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Picture is Worth...

Everyone have a good time in Albuquerque at GayRomLit!  The rest of us will dream of going, and maybe of what these two do in the woods. Anyone who has 100-1000 words of shifter goodness, directions are here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Couched as a Question by Jane Davitt
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 29 pages



Blurb

When Matt's partner Jordan suggests redecorating, Matt's agreeable until he discovers it means getting rid of the red couch. They bought that couch together, and they've done a lot more than sit on it. It means a lot to Matt and if Jordan's bored of it, maybe it's not the only part of Jordan's life he wants to change...

Review:

Jane Davitt’s created a delightful story of muddled expectations and slightly crossed wires. With her established couple, she managed to play with the state of the relationship all under the guise of interior decoration. Couched as a Question meets the leather theme for this year’s Charity Sips with a three-cushioned answer to the question “What are we to each other, really?”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Melting Wax and Burning Feathers

Title: Melting Wax and Burning Feathers
Author: Jennifer Cierra
Cover Artist: Dmytro Konstantynov
Publisher: JMS Books
Buy Link:Melting Wax and Burning Feathers
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 10,200 words

Gregory Daniels is a man who has given up. Once he dreamed of going to L.A. and “making it big,” but those dreams exploded, leaving his lover dead and Gregory disillusioned. Now he works 9-to-5 as a tax attorney in Long Beach, California, trying to convince himself a weekly paycheck is enough to make up for a job he hates and dinner alone every night.

Then Gregory notices a talented, beautiful young guitarist playing on the museum steps on his way to work, and he begins to wonder whether he hasn’t sacrificed more than he’s gained in favor of predictability and routine. An opportunity beckons; the only question is whether Gregory trusts himself enough to reach out and take it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This short piece packs a wallop, mixing as it does broken dreams and dreams yet to be realized. Gregory, who has put aside aspirations of stardom for safety and dullness, encounters a musician playing for tips who stirs up many longings. Gregory is a tax attorney with broken dreams. Paul has come to California to find his own stardom, he’s ready to fly up and touch the sun. Gregory flew at the sun once, with Carl, his lover, who had his own dreams of flight that died in an overdose.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A picture is worth...

Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau

Anyone with 100-1000 words about his journey, send it on, directions here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nothing Better Than Leather by Katherine Halle

Title: Nothing Better Than Leather
Author: Katherine Halle
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Publisher: Torquere
Genre: contemporary
Length: 6300 words


Zeke is a writer, who spends his evenings working as a valet at The Palm Restaurant, and lusting after a particular silver BMW 3 Series and its owner. Josh is the owner of that BMW and the only thing he enjoys about his routine evenings at The Palm is the red-haired valet who parks his car. When Josh is injured in an accident at the restaurant and Zeke is volunteered to drive him home, will their time spent together result in something more - or will Zeke forever remain the nameless valet who parks Josh's car?

Take one feisty valet, one straight-laced banker, mix in a fancy car and a long drive out to Malibu, and see what pulls up.

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In keeping with the Leather theme for this year’s Torquere Charity Sips, a BMW’s soft leather seats get the characters together. Zeke, a writer yet to hit it big, parks cars outside a posh restaurant. One of his regulars has the most luscious seat, and oh yeah, the driver’s pretty hot too.