Category Archives: 4.5 Stars

TWO 5 and 4.5 Stars for Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen (Guest Post)- #MM #Military #Amputee @MelJoyAZ

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Title: Everything Changes
Author Name: Melanie Hansen
Publication Date & Length: March 13, 2015 – 68,029 Words

Synopsis

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Review

FiveStars
This is my first novel by Melanie Hansen, and I have to say the Prologue grabbed my attention.
This was one of the most profound, heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, and beautiful journey’s I have read and I read a lot!!!!
Jase and Carey met and became friends when they were officers in the Army. Jase was a medic and when Carey was wounded, Jase saved his life, and the feelings Jase had for his friend were forever, and deeply embedded in his heart. Carey was indebted to Jase but he also wanted to forget everything that happened during the War. They remained friends but it was strained…until Carey decides to take a visit to Jase, in San Diego. And what ensues is a panty-melting page turning seduction that will leave you flushed and breathless. *fans self* Phew!!!
Melanie Hansen has an incredible way of describing so many gut-wrenching and heart-felt moments, you will sob out loud without even realising it, and not care either. I would suggest not reading this in public as the emotions won’t be contained.
Both have very difficult inner battles to overcome. The war did not leave them unscathed. But with each by their side, the battle doesn’t feel so lonely…. Sigh. I devoured this in one sitting, one morning actually, could not put it down!!! That is all I got, and if you are getting the impression that I loved this author, and the story is a MUST READ, then I said enough.
Reviewer: Kimberley
FiveStars

This is truly a beautiful piece of writing.   The enduring friendship between Marine Corey and Medic Jase is forged in the heat of an Afghanistan warzone.  The men are inseparable on deployment until a tragedy leaves Corey badly injured and Jase trying desperately to save his life even if he can’t save his leg.

Both men return from the war deeply damaged, but their friendship is immutable.  What Jase never tells Corey is how much he truly loves his straight best friend.

Hansen’s elegant prose elevates this book beyond the average wounded warrior story.    Her characters are complex and fully developed.  Hansen never shies away from the realities of war or underestimates the strain of civillian life on former servicemen and women.  Her plot drags readers back and forth in time until we have no hope but to fall madly, deeply in love with both of her captivating leading men.

A character in the story explains that “the best kind of love is friendship that has caught fire.”

Hansen captures this love with sensual, sumptuous language.  Corey’s growing awareness of Jase sexually is delectably slow.  The chemistry between Jase and Corey is explosive, delivering moments of almost unbearable desire.   The slow burn attraction between two men who have loved each other for a very long time is painfully sexy.

Highly recommended.

Sarah

FourandHalfStars

Jase and Carey are kind of an odd couple. They had such a close connection while in the army – so close, that they stayed connected even after the tragedy that is war touched their lives.

Carey seems to hold all of his emotions in side. He hides himself away. Hints from his past creep in to the story and the reader can then guess as to why Carey is the way he is. His character was a hard nut to crack – despite his inner dialogue, he was very frustrating at times. I wanted to hit him over the head to get him to really see how he was living.

Jase is much more free spirited. He is much more go with the flow. However, even with that attitude, he was not unaffected by the war and he has his own demons to overcome.

Despite years of loving each other, neither was able to express that love for quite some time. The story of their love is a struggle – it is filled with years of meaningless encounters with other people, sometimes with each character floating through their life, not really living. While I thought the story was slow at times, I really liked how Hansen brought it all together.

One quote that really hit home was “Just give me one more day. And if that’s all you have to give me, it just today, I’ll take it.” I think that is a great way to get through rough times. This story was about survival, love, finding yourself and finding happiness even among the broken pieces of your life. Today is not tomorrow, nor is it yesterday and these characters were able to live in the moment. So many times, people are not able to do that.

So, this story was touching, hopeful and romantic.

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Excerpt

“You keep looking at me like that, this ain’t gonna last long,” Jase growled. Carey smirked, then twirled his finger in a turn-around motion.

“I feel like a piece of meat,” Jase grumbled good-naturedly, but turned in a slow circle. Carey’s mouth watered as he took in Jase’s broad shoulders and muscular back, tapering in a perfect V into slim hips and high, round buttocks. Carey was a little bemused at how looking at another man’s body was revving him up, but it was. It was just… Jase. Carey already knew how beautiful he was on the inside; now he knew how stunning he was on the outside too.

Using his support leg and his arms, he pulled himself to the edge of the bed and sat up, crooking his finger “Come here.”

Jase’s eyes flared hot, and he took the few steps necessary to reach the edge of the bed. Carey reached up slowly and moved his hands onto Jase’s hips, stroking over the hipbones lightly before tugging him forward to stand between his legs.

“I just want to touch you,” he said hoarsely. “Is that okay?”

Jase smoothed Carey’s hair back from his forehead, his fingertips achingly gentle. “Touch me,” he said

AuthorInterview

One of my characters in Everything Changes, Carey Everett, is an amputee due to an injury he suffered in Afghanistan.  The surgery he received to remove his damaged leg is called a transtibial amputation, which means below the knee.  Carey is fortunate in that respect since transfemoral, or above the knee, amputations are more complicated and prosthetic fittings more difficult.  With a transfemoral amputation, an artificial knee is required so the recovery time and mastering the range of motion takes longer.

Prosthetic comes from the Greek word meaning “addition.”  The oldest prosthetic discovered in history was on the mummy of an Egyptian noblewoman dating back 3,000 years ago.  It was a prosthetic toe made of wood and leather and was fully articulated, meaning it could bend and move exactly like a real toe.

Carey wears a prosthetic made of a blend of lightweight plastic, carbon fiber and titanium.  He attaches it to his residual leg, or stump, with a suction socket.  When he dons, or puts on, his prosthetic, he bears down until air is expelled through a one-way valve and a vacuum seal forms.  When he doffs it, or takes it off, he opens the valve to expel the air and break the seal.

Fitting for a prosthetic is a long, arduous process since an amputee’s residual leg is constantly changing due to swelling or shrinkage.  Physical therapy is painful and involved.  Carey was already dealing with a traumatic and life-changing injury, and adjusting to and learning to walk again with an artificial leg was emotionally and physically draining.  Jase’s support and care during this time made all the difference to Carey’s recovery, and it cemented the existing emotional bond between them which eventually turned to love.

AuthorBio

Melanie Hansen has spent time in both Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

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4.5 Stars for Hissed as a Newt (With a Kick #2) by Sue Brown #MM #Romance

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Title: Hissed as a Newt (With a Kick #2)
Author Name: Sue Brown
Publication Date & Length: September 27, 2014 – 82pgs

Synopsis

“All guys do emotional just in different ways. I eat ice-cream, you get drunk in the gutter…”

A drunk clown rolling around in the gutter is not what David Wright expects to find as he walks to With A Kick, his favourite ice-cream shop. David has had a lousy day. A literary agent has crushed his dreams and all he wants is the consolation of alcoholic ice-cream. He’s about to walk away when he realises the clown has been dumped by his boyfriend. On a whim, David takes the clown into With A Kick before he gets arrested. Underneath the smeared make-up, he meets Stan, who has just found his boyfriend and best friend getting more than friendly. Over ice-cream, David and Stan discuss their problems and discover maybe they can help each other

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I have to say, this was probably my least favorite of the series, even though I still loved it. Stan and David are likeable, but they didn’t feel quite as well-developed as some of the others.

It was a great story, but my one hesitation is that I found the same issues as in other books by Ms. Brown–men reminding us (in dialog or thoughts) that they are Real Men and awful stereotypes about bisexual men (from lying about orientation to cheating, as well as the gay men having negative reactions to them). It’s frustrating as a reader because Ms. Brown is such a wonderful writer that it’s always so jarring and disappointing, and it means I can’t recommend the books as strongly because bisexual men don’t like to read about themselves written this way.

Other than that, I enjoyed this one for the other parts of the story. It was nicely steamy, and I was very glad to see Stan stick up for himself at the end.

4.5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

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5 and 4.5 Stars for Blue Suede Boi by Annie Anthony #FF #Erotic #Romance #androgynous

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Title: Blue Suede Boi
Author Name: Annie Anthony
Publication Date & Length: October 9, 2014 – 23pgs

Synopsis

Has Kaia’s hottest fantasy become a reality in her blue suede boi?

The unattainable object of Kaia’s fantasies is browsing in a store known for barely better than cheap shoes in the most bland strip mall in town. By the chemistry sparking between then, Kaia wonders whether Amanda may have come in looking for more than just the men’s shoe rack. Has Kaia’s hottest fantasy become a reality in her blue suede boi?

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Review

FiveStars

This was a wonderful, quick read full of heat and heart. I was drawn in right away by the first-person narrator. Even in such a short story, there was plenty of detail to give a sense of who these people are and how they relate to each other, and the little bits of backstory sprinkled in round things out nicely.

The sex was hot, very sensual and romantic without being over-the-top. Again, I liked the little details. They made it fun and sexy. The writing style is just lovely, and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

5 stars

Amy

FourandHalfStars

This was a fantastic little short story. It’s hot and sexy and really fun to read. I rarely find books about boi’s or those who are a bit androgynous, and this one definitely doesn’t disappoint.

The two characters have definite chemistry, and they come together with a bang. There’s enough history to give them both rounded personalities, at least as rounded as one can expect for something that takes me (a slow reader) about thirty minutes to finish.
The premise behind the plot is short, quick, absolutely adorable and to the point. It’s smut with a fantastic background. Not quite PWP (if you’re familar with fanfic terminology, if not, Plot? What Plot?), but enough to get anyone’s motor going.
4.5 stars
AJ

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4.5 Stars What You Are by Erin E. Keller #MM #ComingofAge @Erin_Autor

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Title: What You Are
Author Name: Erin E. Keller
Publication Date & Length: February 8, 2015 – 143pgs

Synopsis

Alex walks down the road of his life, apparently without any detours. He has a job, friends, a nice apartment and a girlfriend who meets his needs. A smooth life lived on a smooth road.

But when Daniel shows up at his door, Alex meets the first bump in the road — which turns out to be more like a boulder — in his way.

Daniel is a gorgeous, warm, affectionate man, one who will force Alex to deal with something that happened years ago, something that made him take the safe route through life. With Daniel, he finally realizes that he’d shut down his true self, he begins the most difficult part of his journey — the one that could take him to Daniel and to happiness.

Review

FourandHalfStars

This was a story that is probably more boys’ stories than I’d like to admit. It was touching, soul searching, loving and forgiving.

I really enjoyed this story because the characters were so realistic in their reactions, feelings, their interactions with each other. It made for such a great story – but I am sorry that this is one that many boys go through.

Alex’s character rang so true – Alex struggled all his life to find himself. His friends were both loving and forceful when it came to Alex’s outbursts.

Daniel was a man who was comfortable with himself, but not necessarily happy.

When the two roommates clash – not only do they clash personally, they clash emotionally as well. The characters (even the friends) of this story were so great in that the author allowed the reader to see from each perspective.

I really thought Keller did an amazing job with this story and it had a great resolution.

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TWO 4.5 Star Reviews for Sight and Sinners by Susan Mac Nicol (Author Interview) – #MM #Romance @SusanMacNicol7

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Title: Sight and Sinners (Men of London Book 2)
Author Name: Susan Mac Nicol
Publication Date & Length: February 23, 2015 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

THE MEN OF LONDON
From Charing Cross to Waterloo, there’s no escaping love.
SEEING THROUGH…
28-year-old Draven Samuels has a tragic past, but as an investigator with a high-profile London company he now gets what he wants. Tough, sarcastic, and sceptical, he has no patience for lies and even less for people who waste his time. Even if they’re as beautiful as the wild and dark-haired Taylor Abelard. Especially when they’re talking over the body of a murder victim.

THE DARKNESS
Psychic Taylor Abelard is used to people calling him a freak. He can see past events and feel the ghostly vibrations of people close to him who’ve passed on. It’s why he doesn’t get too close to the living. But this time, against his better judgment, despite Draven’s mocking rejoinders, Taylor will get closer than ever before. The mystery surrounding a dead friend will lead the two men down a dark and seedy trail of blackmail and lies. Add in the heartbreak of a family tragedy, and events lead them straight into each other’s arms. By the end of this night, all their demons will have risen—and been banished with the dawn.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

The Hero’s.
Draven Samuels has a tragic past, He is an investigator with a high-profile London company, He is tough, sarcastic and a skeptic when it comes to anything out of the ordinary.

Taylor Abelard is used to people calling him a freak. He can see past events and feel ghostly vibrations. He is pyschic and he doesn’t get close to the living. Can Draven help banish Taylor’s demons? Can Taylor help Draven believe that demons can be banished?

The story starts out hot and from from page 1 you are pulled in.  The author does a great job of making this a realistic relationship. There are some laugh out loud moments at their antics. And then your heart is breaking while one of them is dealing with a serious issue, and the pain is felt through the pages. It is a very well written journey with Draven and Taylor and will leave you smiling through tears!

Reviewer: Kimberley

FourandHalfStars

This book deals with death and suicide. If these subjects bother you, do not read.
I really enjoyed the other book in this series that I have read. This one was also very enjoyable.
Taylor and Draven have such a hateful beginning. I have to admit that I really disliked Draven for most of the story. I had already grown to love Taylor, so I was always on his side throughout this story.
The author did a great job expressing the emotions behind Taylor’s visions. I found myself laughing and crying with Taylor. I freely admit that I was a fan of Taylor in the previous story, so it took absolutely nothing to convince me of his character’s charms.
Draven, too, I was familiar with, but with the opposite emotion. I disliked him in the last story and continued that dislike in this story. I truly wanted to hurt Draven in parts of this book.
Also, for the most part, I liked the mystery of Drew. Tragic and so sad, I really liked how this part of the story helped to pull Draven and Taylor from their polar opposite sides to come together to figure out what had happened to their friend.
I wanted to throttle Drew’s wife and her father. The shame in this story – I felt each horrible emotion. Susan did an amazing job again with these characters and this story.
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Excerpt

The man Taylor was blowing definitely didn’t know how the hell to keep quiet. Taylor’s lips were wrapped around his dick, while above him a man stood, panting and moaning, turning the air blue with his curses. Taylor stopped what he was doing, causing the blowjob recipient to groan in dismay, and glared at the sweaty face above him.

“For Christ’s sake, Georgie, can you stop it with the fucking porn noises?” He glanced around him nervously. “This is where I work, damn it, and if anyone hears you they’ll come outside to see what all the fuss is about.”

Georgie’s wide eyes cast a quick glance around the deserted alleyway behind ‘Music Mayhem’ where Taylor was employed, then looked down at Taylor kneeling between his legs.

“Sorry, mate, it’s just that you’re so damn good at this and it’s been a while.”

AuthorInterview

  1. Are you an independent author or published author? What made you chose to go that route?

I’m traditionally published, simply because that was how the cards fell. I sent my first story out to publishers (well two of them) and managed to get accepted straight away by Boroughs Publishing Group. They are fantastic to me, supportive and collaborative and I adore them all. They have nurtured me and made me into the writer I am today. Having a publisher has its pros and cons. They pay for everything and I simply write and get my cheque every three months. Sure, the royalties are less than if you self publish.  I also I can’t control my sales or see how they are doing day to day like you can with self publishing. I am looking into the self publishing game but it’s a way away from that at the moment. I have a series to finish J

 

  1. How would you describe your writing style? (Sweet, Light, Dark, Erotic)

I’ve written dark, light and sweet and I’m told my reliable sources that my stories are erotic *grins* I never set out to write such steamy sex scenes but apparently I do. I like the challenge of trying different things. Stripped Bare was sexy and fun with an element of angst. Saving Alexander and Worth Keeping were dark and very emotive books. Waiting For Rain was lighter and funny and Out For The Holidays was a short, sweet ride. Love and Punishment was gritty, erotic and quite gruesome. Double Alchemy was a journey into the paranormal with some dark scenes but also a lot of sensuality. I honestly don’t think I’ve got it in me to have simply one style or genre of writing. It depends how I feel.

 

  1. Have you considered using a pen name? Why or why not?

I am fortunate enough to live in a country that is very progressive in the LGBTQ arena. I’m not religious so I have nothing to hide for fear I might be victimised or ostracised. I have a family that is very open minded, tolerant and accepting. It’s the way I’ve bought my kids up to be and that’s the best way forward in my mind. I have occult interests and make them well known to the extent that one of my more radically religious best friends and I ended up parting ways when he didn’t agree with what I did. So I am fortunate enough to be able to use my real name on the books I write because you know why? I DON’T CARE what anyone else other than those close to me think. I really don’t. I wear my gay romance writer badge with Pride because I can. I understand others don’t have the same privileges and my heart goes out to them.

Oh and also I use my real name so all those people who once knew me can see I achieved my dream of becoming a published author. *winks* There were a few who didn’t believe in me. Maybe now they will.

 

  1. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your writing life?

I guess getting that first M/M book published, which was ‘Stripped Bare’ and making PAN status on it within a couple of days from release. The Published Authors Network is a status (based on sales and royalties) within the Romance Writers of America organisation and I am proud to be a member. My publisher actually Skyped me to tell me I was now eligible and they were so proud of me.

 

  1. What part of a book is your favorite?

I haven’t got any one part I love, I love the whole creation. However, I will say that I really enjoy the angst bits, the parts where the characters are in tears, having an emotional break-down. It makes me choke up and I really feel their pain and revel in it.

  1. If you could co write with any author, who would you pick and why?

Ooh this is a tricky one. Kindle Alexander and I have talked co-writing on a very basic level, but we haven’t got any plans at the moment. I was co-writing a book with Sue Brown, a semi-autobiographical novel, but unfortunately that didn’t work out as the main character in real life canned the project.  I’d have to say if I got the chance I’d want to write with Josh Lanyon. He’s my favourite all time author and I love his work and his characters. PS I know that will never happen but you did ask J

  1. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I tend to write a lot of my own views and opinions into my books and I suppose those are the messages I subliminally want to get across. Delivering from my soap box using the written word…

  1. What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Charlie Cochet’s ‘Rise and Fall’. I love the THIRDS series of books and this one is turning out to be a real page turner…

 

  1. Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely. It used to be a hobby, now I see it as my first beloved job, with my day job as a second *sniggers* I doubt my boss will feel the same… Honestly, I want nothing more than to be able to give up the day job and write full time but at the moment that just isn’t possible, with bills to pay.

 

  1. What is next for you as an author?

Well *leans forward and whispers* I’m going into the porn industry with a male pole dancer friend of mine..and that’s all I’m saying. You’ll get the scoop once we’re done. I have to say it is all based on a fan site development for a future work. I’m continuing to write the third book in the Men Of London series, trying to finish the last book in my Starlight series, and beginning my new story, ‘Living On Air’, which is an epic tale of tragedy and absolute angst, so be warned,  which involves me going behind the scenes at a circus…

 

Quickies:

Favorite Genre to Read? M/M of course

Favorite Day of the Week? Friday

Favorite Gadget? My Smart Phone

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Fritos or Cheetos? Fritos

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles

AuthorBio

Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.

Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

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4.5 Stars for Burning Up (Fitting In #3) by Silvia Violet

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Title: Burning Up (Fitting In #3)
Author Name: Silvia Violet
Publication Date & Length: February 18, 2015

Synopsis

Bryce has been a firefighter for ten years, but when a horrific house fire leaves him reeling, he moves to a new city, hoping to shove those memories behind him. As he adjusts to his new station, Bryce keeps to himself until Matt and Toby, two hot young men in his unit, throw temptation in his path. Bryce knows better than to mess around with men he works with, especially two newbies who are in the closet. But after a difficult day, Matt and Toby offer him compassion and friendship, which slips so easily into sex Bryce finds the combination irresistible.

Matt and Toby want to expand their relationship to include a third, and they’ve set their sights on their sexy bear of a lieutenant. Their first night together is a scorcher, and, more than that, it feels right, to all of them. But since Bryce refuses to hide who he is, and dating men on his shift is against the rules, all three men are going to have to make some tough choices if they want to stay together.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

4.5 Stars

This is the third book in this series, but the first one I read. It truly was a stand alone, but we got to meet one of the couples from one of the other books (I assume since they were a 3-way male couple).
Bryce is openly gay, when outside of work that is. He doesn’t want to be judged at the firehouse so he keeps it to himself. He is attracted to two of the younger guys who are always messing around with each other. Although he is suspicious that there is more than friendship going on between them, he isn’t sure and doesn’t want to get involved with people he works with anyway.
Matt and Toby make it hard for Bryce to resist and one night after too many beers Bryce opens up and shares a story he’s never told anyone and things spin out of control from there. Although Bryce doesn’t want to admit it, he’s fallen for them.
This story was a great way to write an insta-love story. I normally don’t care for them, but this was perfect because they had enough background and situations to make it believable for me even if it was only a month that had passed.
I really enjoyed the drama and torment the characters went through while trying to make the decisions that they felt were right versus what was easy. The naughty scenes were pretty hot too, which is always a good thing.
The only thing I found wrong with the story is that the speech and tone from the characters became almost repetitive and all three men ended up not having any personality or difference in their dialogues.
Other than that, great job. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Renee

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Excerpt

“They’re watching you again,” Mason spoke in a low voice as he whizzed past Bryce, carrying drinks to the opposite end of the bar.

“You’re imagining things again.” Ever since Mason swore that Toby and Matt, who’d become regulars at the bar after Bryce started working there, were gay and interested in Bryce, he’d been teasing Bryce about their interest.

Bryce told himself not to look, but he couldn’t help glancing toward the corner booth where they always preferred to sit before going back to wiping down the bar. Did they sit there because it gave them a good view of the bar? Bryce scowled. No way in hell were his hands shaking. No way in hell was he letting himself get his hopes up. Even if they were gay, even if they were interested in him, starting something with two guys from work would be the pinnacle of idiocy. Hell, getting involved with more than one guy was insane from the start. Just because Mason and his boyfriends had made a threesome work didn’t make it realistic for Bryce. There was an exception to every rule.

“You’re wrong,” Bryce said as he passed Mason on his way to take a customer’s order.

Mason snorted in reply.

Bryce was glad to see the bar was filling up. He did not need to spend the next hour telling himself not to look at Toby and Matt. He did plenty of that at the firehouse. Toby’s smile could heat up and entire room and Bryce never wanted to look away from it, unless it was to contemplate running his hands through Matt’s wavy brown hair while staring into his dark eyes.

But if Mason was right and they were gay, maybe they really were lovers. If so, he had no business approaching them, whether they were watching him or not. Just because they liked to look didn’t mean they wanted to play. They didn’t need him fucking up whatever they had going.

Plus, they worked together. They were a team, with people’s lives on the line.

The line at the bar grew long, and Bryce got busy taking orders, making drinks, and ringing people up at the register. When things finally slowed down, he needed a bathroom break. As he headed to the back, he noticed Matt and Toby playing pool with a couple of guys he recognized as regulars. Toby waved and he waved back, hating the way his pulse accelerated. What the hell was wrong with him?

He pushed open the door of the restroom but failed to check his instinct to glance back over his shoulder. Toby’s eyes were glued to his ass. There was no doubt about it this time. He whirled back around before their gazes had a chance to meet.

So Toby wasn’t straight. Bryce had to admit that now. He was gay or at least bi, but he was just appreciating the scenery. That didn’t mean anything. Bryce appreciated guys’ asses all the time.

When Bryce left the bathroom, Toby and Matt were leaning in close, talking, arguing actually based on the angry expressions on their faces. Bryce hurried back to work, glad he didn’t have to decide whether to speak to them or not. Several minutes later, Toby appeared at the bar. Mason, the little bastard, wasn’t busy, but he made no move to take Toby’s order.

“What can I get you?” Bryce asked.

“Just cashing out our tab.” Our? Maybe Toby was just buying that night.

“Sure.” Bryce looked Toby’s name up in the register, ran his card, and handed him the receipt to sign.

“Thanks,” Toby said, flashing a smile that made his eyes twinkle. How was it that he made that single word sound flirtatious? Bryce was supposed to be the one who flirted, the one in control of a situation, but despite Toby being so much younger, Bryce ended up flustered every time they spoke.

AuthorBio

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

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4.5 Stars for Before I Break by Alec John Belle #MM #YA @AlecBelle

1.3

Title: Before I Break (Before I Break #1)
Author Name: Alec John Belle
Publication Date & Length: September 7, 2014 – 306pgs

Synopsis

When religiously raised Cyril Hayes begins his junior year at East Hill High School, every choice he makes suffers a greater consequence, and while facing challenges of friends, family, and love, learns that hate and intolerance are also a very large part of our world today.

Cyril Hayes is seemingly just like any other male his age. He has the perfect girlfriend, Melissa Summers, his best friend, Jake Rivers, and a lawyer father who brings home enough money to support his family and then some. When Cyril begins his junior year, he doesn’t expect his life to spiral out of control when he meets Avery Branson, the new kid in school who has a big secret: he’s gay. At first, Cyril doesn’t handle this truth well, due to the way he was raised, but as the story progresses, he ventures deep into the reality of homosexuality and begins to accept Avery for who he is.

Not everyone is happy with Cyril’s new friend, including Jake, who believes that homosexuality is a sin and is refusing to budge his beliefs. But Avery isn’t the only one at East Hill with secrets, and soon a tragedy will strike, knocking Cyril’s world completely off balance and leaving a scar on his heart that will change his view of humanity all together.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is a wonderful story because it shows that no matter what you are told in your church regarding gays it only takes meeting one to change your mind.  This is what happens to Cyril. It begins with Cyril Hayes, his girlfriend, Melissa Summers and Jake Rivers, his best friend on the first day of school. Cyril is very excited about starting his junior year. A new student, Avery Branson, enters Cyril’s class and he feels the need to be Avery’s first friend.  Avery is apprehensive and wants nothing to do with Cyril.

Upon reading this and knowing how high school is, I thought maybe Avery is aloof.  He may think he is too good for the students in the school.  However, when I read Avery’s poem that is between chapters you know right away that Avery is not aloof at all, he is this way so he doesn’t suffer any more pain.  You can feel the pain he suffers by reading the numerous poems throughout the book.  I thought it was an excellent way of knowing how Avery was feeling without telling.  They serve as flashbacks as well.

The friendship between Avery and Cyril is up and down.  Cyril has been taught by his church that God hates gays that it has been drilled into his brain for so many years that he believes it.  Cyril does not know that Avery is gay at first.  I cringed when Avery does tell Cyril, because I knew how he would react.  He freaks out, screaming, stating he felt used.  He does apologize and Avery does eventually forgive him.

There is a running story line though out about Jake realizing that Cyril is spending more time with Avery.  Jake can’t understand why he wants to spend more time with a gay guy.  It could be because they went to the same church.  Cyril realizes he has more in common with Avery than Jake.

The ending of the book moved me to tears.  Jake is mentally unstable and does something unthinkable because of the church’s teachings.  Jake has to suffer the consequences of his actions as well.

Angela

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AuthorBio

Alec John Belle is an online high school student that resides in the state of Massachusetts. His hobbies include reading, writing, and trying to find out who “A” is on Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, cyberbullying, anxiety disorders, addiction, and other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal. Before I Break is his first novel.

Before I Break is an Amazon Bestseller in LGBT Issues of Teen Fiction, and a sequel titled Once I Fall is set to hit Amazon December 15, 2015. His new paranormal young adult series, The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, is set to release it’s first three books in 2015.

Alec John Belle has an active Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and previously Blogger before coming to WordPress.

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