Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stories from The Real Story Safe Sex Project from Ty Nolan and Eden Winters

The Real Story Safe Sex Project, spearheaded by Brent Hartinger, is gathering up stories and blog posts promoting condom use. Many talented authors have contributed stories to this worthy project. If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, said Oscar Wilde, and Brent also knows that if you want to reach and teach, it helps a lot to entertain.

To do my small part in boosting the signal, I’m going to spotlight these stories rather than review them. Every author has a different take on this message, and everyone has something valuable to add. Please read and forward the stories, which are free, and thank you, authors, to anyone and everyone you know who needs to protect themselves, male and female alike. Because that old ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure, or a ton of battle.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A picture is worth...

Anybody besides me want to go for a ride? Tell us in 100 to 1000 words (drabbles are fine, really) and send your news along too. See How Thousand Word Thursday Works for details.

The rest of us will try not to drool on the leather. But maybe not very hard.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Moon's Dirty Light by H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce

Title:The Moon's Dirty Light
Author:H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce
Purchase at Exstasy Books
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Carmen Waters
Genre: paranormal, shifters
Length: 114 pages, 27,700 words
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, more

Is there ever a good time to tell the man with whom you just had mind blowing sex that you're a werewolf and, chances are, come the next full moon, he'll be sporting fur and fangs too?

Police Officer Logan Robinson isn't sure. Logan's been in lust with his partner and best friend Dylan Reed for as long as he can remember. But Logan is a werewolf and after accidentally giving his partner the mating bite during sex Dylan will become one too.

Dylan is royally pissed when he finds out because Logan conveniently forgot to mention his little affliction until after they'd spent the night humping each other's brains out. As if turning into a creature of the night wasn’t enough, Logan and he are investigating murders that look suspiciously like dog-attacks, but they're not.

Finding a killer is tricky enough. Now it will be almost impossible with their personal issues clouding the investigation. And if Dylan does turn into a four-legged freak at the next full moon, the fur will fly.

Review

I really liked the premise of the story: oopsie, you’re going to be a wolf. Played for humor, this could be funny, and I’ve seen it done well. Played seriously, it can be quite moving. The story didn’t quite fall on the side of humor, because Dylan, the bitten partner, reacted very seriously before he got into the spirit of the thing, and the police work had the promise of real police work before it fell apart.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Forester II: Lost and Found by Blaine D. Arden

Title: The Forester II: Lost and Found
Author: Blaine D. Arden
Purchase at Storm Moon Press
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Nathie
Genre: paranormal, elves
Length: 36k words, novella
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf,

Blurb:

"The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning."

One turn has passed, another Solstice is just around the corner, and having an illicit affair with not one but two lovers—smith Ianys and shunned Forester Taruif—is taking its toll on Truth Seeker Kelnaht.

If it isn't sneaking around to find some quality time with his lovers, it's heavy rainfall hiding traces of a missing stripling, or waiting for the elders to decide whether or not to set Taruif free.

And if that's not enough, Kelnaht fears that in gaining one lover, he might be losing another, as Ianys seems to be pulling away from them, and it looks like someone is, once again, trying to frame Taruif.


Review:

Well, after that blurb there’s just not a whole hell of a lot I can do to spoil it.

Lost and Found is the follow-up story to The Forester, reviewed here. This second stands alone reasonably well, since all pertinent relationships are explained within the text. That means a certain amount of repeating from the first book, but it’s kept brief and to the point. Some aspects are explained more fully, and I’m afraid those explanations cost at least one character some sympathy points.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A picture is worth...


Oh please someone put words to this!  Tell us in 100 to 1000 words (drabbles are fine, really) and send your news along too. See How Thousand Word Thursday Works for details.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Captive Magic by Angela Benedetti

Title: Captive Magic
Author: Angela Benedetti
Purchase at Torquere
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: BS Clay
Genre: Urban fantasy
Length: 307 pages, 92K words
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, print

Teleporter Breck Bayes made a deal with a demon to save the life of his little sister Amanda, who was dying of cancer. The demon expects Breck to work off the debt -- as a thief who can get past any walls or locks. If Breck balks, Amanda's cancer will come back, and she'll die. Breck's a good guy, but a few trinkets versus Amanda's life? It's no contest.

Manny hears about Breck's popping around town and uses his own talents to find and confront him. Sentinels are supposed to prevent the magegifted from using their talents to steal, by force if necessary, but then he gets the whole story. Manny understands family, and he decides that his Sentinel persona is going to have to suck it up and deal while he helps Breck get out from under the demon -- even if it means becoming an accomplice to the thieving while they plot Breck's escape. But then the demon notices Manny, whose truesight and seeking would be very useful in its quest to own things that don't properly belong to it, and suddenly it's not only Breck who's in trouble.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This is the third novel in the Sentinels universe, and it’s time for Manny’s story at last. He’s been left behind to mind the magic in California while the rest of the Sentinels are dealing with the craziness in the Seattle area in the previous book, Emerging Magic. (Good stuff, read it.) Since this world busts out with elves and incubi and elementals, Manny’s reaction to a report of a guy who disappears *poof* is—who is he, why is he doing this, and what does he want? Not how’s he doing it or he couldn’t possibly be doing it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Current Goodreads Giveaways

Here's what I could find for giveaways tagged mm, romance, or GLBT. Some end soon, some have a ways to go. I can personally recommend Blue Notes which is now out in a second edition. Good luck!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Picture is Worth...


 Gives a whole new meaning to "Opening Day" or "making the team." Tell us in 100 to 1000 words (drabbles are fine, really) and send your news along too. See How Thousand Word Thursday Works for details.

The rest of us will dream about playing with his balls. Oops. Ball. Yeah, ball, that's the ticket.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jaded by EM Lynley

Title: Jaded (Precious Gems #3)
Author: EM Lynley
Purchase at Dreamspinner
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: contemporary, thriller/mystery
Length: 250 pages
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, print

Blurb:

Gay-romance writer Trent Copeland finds his life in a rut while his boyfriend, Special Agent Reed Acton, is away on an undercover mission. After attending a special course at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Trent’s eager for another challenge. He jumps at the opportunity for a trip to Japan to oversee appraisals of two art collections to be sold at the gallery he co-owns. But the trip isn’t all cherry blossoms and Hello Kitty. When one of the collectors he meets—rumored to be the head of a Yakuza gang—turns up dead, Trent is accused of the murder and thrown in jail.

Reed drops everything to help find out who really committed the crime. He's in unknown territory in Japan, forced to navigate Tokyo’s sex underworld to unravel the truth and save Trent. He poses as a “host” at a seedy late-night club. When Reed’s undercover activities place him at a ruthless Yakuza leader’s sex party, he must be willing to go to any lengths to secure Trent’s safety and freedom. But trusting the wrong people brings both Reed and Trent to the Yakuza leader’s attention. If they’re ever to have a happy ever after, they’ll first have to call on every skill just to stay alive.

Review:

Regulars here know EM Lynley gets to the top of my TBR pile frequently: she’s clever, she’s consistent, and she tells a good tale in a variety of settings. So getting a third installment of a series where I enjoyed the first two made me very happy. Trent the romance novelist and inadvertent agent, and his lover Reed the Secret Agent are back for more adventure and a deepening of their relationship.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Almost Mine by Eden Winters

Title: Almost Mine
Author: Eden Winters
Purchase at Rocky Ridge Books
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: P.D. Singer
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 15k words
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf


A perfect life. A perfect home. A perfect husband. Gone in an instant.

Ian’s world turned upside down the day Travis walked out without so much as a word, or even a backward glance, leaving a lonely Ian to wonder why. Their son implores him, “Please go see Dad.”

Two years of hurt leaves Ian ready to confront the man who’d broken his heart, but what if everything he’d believed about their failed romance turned out to be wrong? What if the biggest problem in Ian’s marriage was…Ian?

Review:

Eden Winters is looking at the other end of romance—what happens in a long relationship when trouble’s brewing? This short gives us a look at breaking, healing, and rekindling of what had been so good for so long.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Picture is Worth...

Go! Go! Go! Or Come! Guess that got out of hand fast. Where's Mr. Cyclist going and who's waiting for him on the other end? Or... You tell us, in 100 to 1000 words, and send your news along too. See How Thousand Word Thursday Works for details.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Made in China: The Great Wall by Z. Allora


Title: Made in China: The Great Wall
Author: Z. Allora
Purchase at MLR Press
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: P.L. Nunn
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, yaoi
Length: 244 pages
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, print

There's no gay in China so what's the drummer of Made in China supposed to do about loving his male best friend when his family thinks he's engaged to the girl next door?

Jun "Styx" Wong's heart and mind battle to determine his destiny. His mind tells him to be a good Chinese son and marry the girl his parents chose, but his heart longs for his best friend, Jin, and life with their new band. "Jun" means honesty, but he's not even honest with himself. A quest to eradicate his feelings for Jin nearly ends his life. Styx's near death serves as a wake-up call for Jin, whose blond hair--legacy of his German father--marks him as different. Jin harbors secrets of his own. His experiences prepare him to take the drastic measures needed to help Jun overcome the walls surrounding them. Because there is no gay in China...

WARNING: This story contains a scene of dangerous sexual practices.


Review:

This book is a wonderful step away from what we’d consider contemporary romance—it is, but in China where we don’t understand how differently people think until we’re invited inside their heads. Where the problems and the solutions make perfect sense within a framework Z Allora helps us understand.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mail Order Cowboy by Lor Rose

Title: Main Order Cowboy
Author: Lor Rose

Buy at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Genre: Cowboy, ménage m/m/m
Length: 4900 words
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf,

Blurb:

The heart wants what it wants.

Austin and Loren have been together for sixteen years and own a small cattle ranch but something was missing. Their love was playful, youthful, and fun, but they knew there was more for them. What that more was, they didn't know. Talk of adding someone else interested the couple but no one had the spark they craved.

Hugh was a friend of Austin’s son and needed a place to go and a job. His own parents disowned him. He needed a place to stay and a job. Calling his friend’s dad was a last resort but what other choice did he have?

What Hugh found he didn't expect but maybe, just maybe, he was worth something after all.


Review:

If you’re expecting the entire story as promised by the blurb, the words in the file will feel inadequate. It’s all in there, in a line here, a line there, but not how it played out. Then back to the smexing.

Because if you’re trying to add someone to a relationship rather than enjoying an afternoon’s romp, isn’t a little more conversation than “Are you a virgin?” in order? Austin and Loren are basing everything on some eavesdropping that could be eliciting some very complicated emotions rather than straight out desire to join in. Overhearing someone getting called a man-whore isn’t the same as being happy to be on the receiving end. I turned my romance brain off and my porn brain on, and the problem disappeared.