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….

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.
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“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?

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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.