Category Archives: Amy

5, 4 and 3.5 Star Reviews for Godsend by Sloan Johnson – #MM #Romance @authorsloani

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Title: Godsend
Author Name: Sloan Johnson
Publication Date: February 2015

Synopsis

You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again.

As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death.

There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place?

The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow… This book started off tough. I was crying by page 3. The way this author handled this subject was heart-warming and believable. My heart ached. I was invested.
You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death.
Scott and Chris meet at group grief therapy and there is some chemistry but Scott is nowhere near ready to let anyone in his life. What this journey shows is Scott coming to grips with Shelly’s death and letting people back in to his life, and his heart. There is some light paranormal and the author did it in a way that warmed your heart and was believable. This is a tough subject to write about (you will know when you read it) And I felt this whole story was a realistic view of what people go through. Sometimes you read stories because you want to get caught up in a journey and other times, you want a dose of reality. This story will do both!! There was anger and anguish, and love and lust. It was a heart-wrenching and heart-warming journey that will have you cheering and smiling through tears. The intimacy (sexyyyy time) was smoking hot!!!! Bring extra panties 🙂
Some people might even find it therapeutic to read this story. They will see there is a light at the end of a very tough tunnel.
Good job Sloan Johnson!!!
Kimberley
FourStars
Godsend is a stand alone and I give it 4 stars. This is a great read.
This book is very well-written. I love how it comes together, and I feel it is very inspirational. Although there is a lot of pain in this book it shows as long as you push through you can be happy again.
I also love how it shows the importance of not giving up on people you love just because they try to push you away. Not to give up on life because even when you feel you cant go on, if you push through it, there is a chance you will be happier than ever before.
Although this book is full of broken people they all come together to make each other whole again. They won’t ever be the same but they learn how to live, and smile and be truly happy again despite what they have been through.
Amber
ThreeandHalfStars
I picked this one because I liked the concept looked interesting and because of the “bisexual” nature of the story. I was honestly a bit disappointed after reading it.

I really like Ms. Johnson’s writing style–it’s excellent. Although I found that the story dragged a bit for my preference, it’s well-written and that’s more personal taste than anything else. Other readers would enjoy the pacing of the book more than I did. The emotional drama was also a bit much for my preference, but again, others would love it. The strictly romance aspect of the book is what a lot of people want.

For me, though, it was the characters who fell flat. Scott and Chris felt as though they could be the same person, and they were generic examples of men. There was nothing that stood out as unique or interesting. Even Scott’s supposed “bisexuality” was a bit of a disappointment. I really felt like his self-reflection could have been expanded on to round him out as a person. Bi men already feel erased in queer lit, and many are put off by a plotline of “a gay man who happens to fall in love with a woman.” It felt more like a flaw in character development than anything else.

I was also disappointed that Shelly’s ghost disappeared partway through and didn’t return. That was a quirky angle I enjoyed and missed when it was gone; it made for faster pacing and a bit of extra insight.

The one big thing I really loved was the grieving and healing. It’s relatable and it was interesting how every single person in the story viewed the process differently. Readers should be forewarned, though. That aspect might be either really hopeful or really triggering, depending on the person.

3.5 stars

Amy
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AuthorBio

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s body. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed, purple haired mom of two kids, one of which was a thank you present to her husband for letting her get a Staffordshire Terrier with more anxiety issues than Sloan has, which is saying something. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself in a good book and forget that she has somewhere to be.

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4 Stars for The Next Call by Sue Brown (Author Interview) – #Sports #MM #Romance @suebrownstories

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Title: The Next Call
Author Name: Sue Brown
Publication Date & Length: February 4, 2015 – 169 pgs

Synopsis

Mark Grayson volunteers for an LGBT helpline, the same one that helped him through his teenage years. One day he takes a call from “Ricky,” a suicidal man being forced into a marriage he doesn’t want. For weeks Mark talks to Ricky and provides support, but he’s frustrated by the lack of information Ricky provides and the decisions he’s making. In the meantime, Mark starts a relationship with another volunteer. Then tragedy strikes and Mark takes time away from the helpline, but when he comes back, Ricky is waiting. Mark realizes Ricky is stronger than before and their relationship changes, but Mark isn’t sure what their future holds if their relationship is destined to be at the end of the phone.

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Review

FourStars

This was an engaging novel that held my interest throughout. For the most part, I liked the main characters and it was easy to root for them.
The one very, very big thing that I disliked was the “bi until gay” trope. Ricky makes it clear in the prologue that he still likes girls, even though he also likes boys. I was excited to see the potential for a bisexual character. But Mark constantly pressures him, refers to him as gay, and refuses to accept any alternative. This is horrible, especially when he does it in the context of the lgbt helpline. I was very frustrated when Ricky finally gave in and said he was gay. This plays into some really awful stereotypes about bisexual people: That it’s a waystation to gay, that they don’t exist, and that bisexual men would not face the issues “real” gay men do. The novel could have been told without any of that (Ricky could still have been closeted and gotten married) or it could have been told as a bisexual story (he could simply not have been in love with the woman picked for him). I wish all of that had been left out.
On the positive side, the story was very well-written, and the pressures of being famous and closeted were handled well. I also liked the sensitivity of the part dealing with Mark’s grief and loss. It was done with nuance and compassion. Readers should be aware that this takes up a large part of the middle of the book, and the thread continues to a small degree for the rest of the story.
There was plenty of humor and lots of nicely steamy moments all through. Despite my frustration over the poor treatment of bisexuality, I otherwise really enjoyed this.
4 stars
Amy

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AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like? The messy house, I am too embarrassed to describe that. I’m sitting on the sofa with my two dogs snoring next to me. Also Starbucks, the library, the member’s bar of the Royal Festival Hall, Clare London’s back garden, and anywhere that serves coffee really.
  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why? Nathan from Nothing Ever Happens. At the time I wrote the story my life was in chaos. I guess the book reflected the emotional turmoil I was feeling. He’s probably one of the least likeable of my characters, but he’s got a lot to deal with.
  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead? Hmmm, I’d like to get more involved in the publishing side of things. I love the process of bring a book together.
  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand? Promote, promote, promote. I screwed up my first year as an author by not realizing that. I think now, four years on, there are more blogs open to new authors than before. It’s not easy to take that first step to put yourself out there but taking the plunge is amazing. Writing the book is the easy part.
  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out? No point wishing that. It’s a recipe for feeling bad about it. The Next Call is an unconventional book and I love it all the more for that.
  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story? People always ask me that and the answer is a combination of life and my crazy brain.
  • What’s next for you as a writer? I want to get a Regency series, a cowboy series and a crime series written, as well as complete my shifter series.
  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write? I live on the outskirts of Greater London. I’ve taken to setting more books in the UK, and recently around where I live. It’s very sedate and quiet here, which I guess does influence me. I don’t tend to write with a city buzz.
  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why? I haven’t read outside the genre for years because there are so many sub-genres to choose from. Romance is a bit of misnomer really. Currently I’m on an MM crime/thriller/murder-mystery fest, which is really what I read before MM. That and fantasy.
  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc? Chocolate, coffee and books. Keep me well supplied with those three things and I’m a very happy Sue. Not shopping could be considered a vice of mine. Amazon is my friend.

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 gotten 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 Stars for What’s in a Name by Pat Henshaw – #MM #Contemporary #Romance #Sweet

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Title: What’s in a Name
Author Name: Pat Henshaw
Publication Date: January 21

Synopsis

Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Saloon rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.

Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.

While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.

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Review

This was a perfect weekend cozy read. I loved it from page one, and it hit every one of my sweet spots.

The story has the feel of a modern-day fairy tale. I don’t normally enjoy the “rescue” type books, but this wasn’t a typical savior-story. Even though it starts with the bartender, who goes by different names throughout, taking care of a drunk and jilted Jimmy, it’s clear Jimmy really doesn’t need a hero. In fact, he has a good life, but he wants someone to share it with who loves and respects him.

I liked both Guy/Stone and Jimmy a lot, and I enjoyed the way their relationship blossomed. Jimmy’s wild guesses about Guy/Stone’s real name were fun, and they fit perfectly with the unfolding of the love between these two delightful men.

The tension and dramatic moments come from outside their relationship, rather than within, and there are a few good surprises regarding the hate crime and its resolution. It’s another good moment where Guy/Stone and Jimmy complement each other in resolving the problem.

This one absolutely gets my highest recommendation. Everything about it was spot-on. I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms. Henshaw’s work.

5 stars

Amy

Teaser

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Excerpt

Stonewall [Saloon] was chaos when I got there. Guy and another bartender were mixing drinks as fast as they could. I squeezed in at the end of the bar near the hatchway and sat on an abandoned stool there.

I didn’t think Guy had seen me come in, so when there was a lull in the frenetic pace and he was nearly within arm’s reach, I called out, “What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink in this place?”

Guy looked up, grinned at me, and yelled back, “Fuck the bartender.”

A slim man sitting next to me perked up, gave Guy the once-over, and yelled, “Okay!”

Guy’s startled gaze met mine, and we broke out laughing.

The man next to me sighed and slumped over his beer. “I knew it was too good to be true,” he mumbled.

I patted him on the shoulder.

“Maybe next time,” I commiserated with him.

“Right,” he answered glumly.

AuthorBio

Born in the Heartland of Nebraska, Pat Henshaw has made America hers by living in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. She has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.

Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Two of her fondest memories are touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.

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5 Stars for Come to My Window by Mia Kerick – #Lesbian #FF #YoungAdult #GenderIdentity

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Title: Come to My Window
Author Name: Mia Kerick
Publication Date & Length: January 15, 2015 – 182pgs

Synopsis

Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction.

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

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Review

FiveStars

This is a terrific book. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want it to end. Both the narrator, Justine, and the other main character, Kemina, are complex, interesting girls. The pleasure is in watching them unfold through the story.

Justine is a great narrator–honest, sometimes brutally so, but likable nonetheless. From putting her father’s girlfriend in her place to admitting her own struggles, she tells it like it is. I loved her interactions with her world. She’s the kind of person girls can admire for her ability to withstand whatever is thrown at her.

I loved the theme of perfection woven into the story and how every character struggles with it in different ways. There is definitely a pretty clear black-and-white line between the truly evil characters and everyone else, but there are also a lot of shades of gray. There’s also an undertone of hope and forgiveness in the side plot about Justine’s mother and her ongoing battle with addiction.

Someday, I hope to share this book with my own daughter. It’s a good one for parents of girls to read and talk about, especially with regard to body image, perfection, and what it means to be beautiful.

5 stars

Amy

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Excerpt

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.
I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.
“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”
“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

AuthorBio

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

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4 and 5 Stars for Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5) by Tempeste O’Riley – #MM #BDSM #Erotic @TempesteO

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Title: Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)
Author Name: Tempeste O’Riley
Publication Date & Length: November 5, 2014 – 24pgs

Synopsis

When Alexander James Noble looks in the mirror, he sees a freak looking back at him. Despite his high grades and plans for culinary arts school after graduation, his parents would hate him if they really knew him.

Forced on a shopping trip with his twin sister, Lyric, and her friends, Alex eyes the girls jealously, longing to be able to dress like them—to be them. The constant struggle of being “gender fluid,” wrestling with an identity that seems to change daily, begins to wear on Alex. But all those questions and fears seem more manageable when his sister gives him his first skirt and lace panties.

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Review

FiveStars

This is a companion short story to Temptations of Desire and takes place when Alex/Lexie is a teen. It’s not a romance.

I loved this story. It was a great exploration of Alex’s feelings about his identity (I am using “his” because the story starts out with Alex presenting/expressing as a boy). I enjoyed the relationship between Alex and his sister Lyric.

There’s no way to do this work Justice without spoiling it for readers. I think it’s an important read about a subject that isn’t talked about nearly enough. I highly recommend this one, even if Ms. O’Riley’s other works in this series don’t appeal. It’s appropriate even for younger teens, who may be figuring out their identity or have friends who are.

5 stars

Amy

FourStars

This was a beautiful story that I thought would have been great to add in to Temptations of Desire. While is was fine as a novella, I thought it would have been more powerful had it been placed in the story of Alex and Dal. I think it would have helped me understand Alex’s past more and it also would have helped me see the relationship between his sister and himself as a healthier one as well.

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AuthorBio

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

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4.5 and 5 Stars for Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined #3) by Tempeste O’Riley – #MM #BDSM #Erotic @TempesteO

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Title: Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined #3)
Author Name: Tempeste O’Riley
Publication Date & Length: September 22, 2014 – 200pgs

Synopsis

Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.

At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.

From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.

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Review

FiveStars

ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS STORY!!!  While I enjoyed the Jamie-Seth and Chase – Rhys stories, this one was my favorite.

Dal is a detective who is the brother of Rhys. Dal sees how happy his brother is, and when he meets the beautiful Alex, he can’t get him out of his mind.

Alex is shy, sweet and wants to find someone who will understand his fluid desires. With a past that has created scars both physically and emotionally, Dal has his work cut out for him.

With family pressures placed firmly on Dal’s shoulders, he tries to appease his family, while being true to himself. The family dynamic in this story was refreshing, even if it did confuse me at times.

O’Riley did an amazing job at developing the how and when Dal and Alex’s pairing came about – it was beautiful in its construction.

Alex and Dal find their way to each other and when the sparks fly, man, is it HOT.

I really enjoyed that O’Riley brought Alex’s family back in to the story – helped to repair some of those scars.

While this book did not have the mystery in it that the others did, I enjoyed it all the same. Dal and Alex’s love was so awesome to watch unfold. I liked how O’Riley wrote about a subject that you don’t often see – I feel like there is an entire group of people who are left out of the LGBT group, but O’Riley did an amazing job with this story.

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FourandHalfStars

This book is part of a series, but I only read this one and its companion short story. I picked it up specifically because of the bisexual and gender-fluid characters.

Ms. O’Riley more than delivered on those counts. I loved her direct exploration of both themes. I was a little concerned that it was a shade cliched, with Dal being a big, muscled, manly cop and Alex/Lexie being very feminine even when identifying as male. However, Dal wasn’t at all a stereotype, and neither was Alex/Lexie. I adored them both and probably could read about them forever. They were utterly perfect.

I liked how Dal didn’t quite understand Alex/Lexie’s gender fluidity at first but came to make sense of it. That felt realistic, from experience. And even though the ending really was a bit contrived and cliched, I’m a sucker for exactly that kind of ending.

My only issue, which is why I can’t give it 5 stars, was glossing over the action of catching the serial killer. That would have been exciting! As it was, it ended up being skipped in favor of a really awkward information dump. Yes, it would’ve made the book longer, but I would have preferred that. It made the parts that came afterward feel rushed and confusing.

All in all, though, it was good, and I highly recommend it.

4.5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

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Two 4 Star Reviews for The Master of Thornfield by Zac Blue – #FF #Historical #Erotic

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Title: The Master of Thornfield
Author Name: Zac Blue
Publication Date & Length: December 30, 2014 – 42pgs

Synopsis

Prior to the events of Jane Eyre, Grace Poole battles the devil as she struggles to save the master and mistress of Thornfield from the consequences of their sexual transgressions.

The rules of Victorian society decree that they can never be together, but the nineteen-year-old maid knows she must do everything in her power to save Mr. Rochester from the darkness that has engulfed Thornfield.

As the curse upon her mistress strengthens, Grace becomes a prisoner within the household she had once controlled. Helpless, the bisexual maid is forced to witness an orgy of sexual depravity while being denied her own sexual release.

Grace escapes Thornfield only to encounter an even greater danger.

When Rochester appears with an Obeah man and his sister—the two people who may be able to save Thornfield—Grace is confronted with both new carnal temptations and her own increasingly complex feelings for her cuckolded master. She warns Rochester of the orgy of sin that has gripped Thornfield, but there are other secrets she cannot divulge.

Grace finds comfort in the arms of Amelia, the Obeah man’s sultry sister.

That comfort, however, is short-lived as Amelia makes Grace realize the enormity of the task before them. The maid must decide if her loyalty lies with her master or mistress and if there is any way she can continue to serve them both.

Grace will be forced to decide exactly how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to save her master.

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Review

FourStars

This book was interesting. I’ve read the previous two installments, and I have to say this one was vastly different. It seemed more settled and resigned–the tone not the writing. That certainly fit the mood of the book.

The twist at the end was certainly interesting. I’m still wondering with Mrs. Rochester’s plans were for the child, but it’s not as relevant with what happened.

I am curious as to why every woman Grace got close to love turned evil in it though. It seems very sexist in a way. It’s not as if the men she craved or had sex with turned evil or were killed, it was only the women. (This part is for the series as a whole, not just the last book.)

This book was good, quick, hot, sexy, and kept my interest. It definitely meets the standards of the first two in the series.

4 stars

AJ

FourStars

This is Part 3, the conclusion of the Thornfield series. In keeping with the other parts, it maintains its erotic momentum throughout.

Reading this series was a stretch for me. I didn’t (and still don’t) care for books that are mostly very graphic sex with little else. However, this was well-written and had enough of an intriguing storyline to keep me from feeling bored with the continuous sex.

The ongoing theme of good and evil, and what constitutes both of those, was interesting. The differences in the sexual encounters reflected the various perspectives of the characters on the subject, which I found fascinating to read.

The end was fitting for the series and felt right given the events leading up to it. While I’m glad I took the risk on this series, it’s not for everyone. Readers shouldn’t expect to go into the book for the purpose of being aroused by the erotic content–they should go in knowing it’s more likely to make them think.

4 stars

~Amy

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Excerpt

A gentle knock came hours later and, without waiting for a response, Amelia entered. She stood framed in the doorway, and Grace took a long, lustful appraisal of her. Her short, wiry hair, her strong face dominated by a large, elegant nose. Her eyes twinkled; her lips looked wet with anticipation. She was a good foot taller than Grace and moved with a feline gait into the room. She still wore the grey dress and carried with her a small black drawstring bag.

“I am here,” she said. She loomed over Grace, who sat on the bed.

“Yes,” said Grace and opened her legs.

“I am a pious woman, Miss Grace. But I believe that there is a time for piety and a time for passion. I believe that a kiss can heal as much as a prayer.”

“Then heal me,” said Grace and lay back on the bed.

Amelia placed the bag on the floor and approached the bed. She took a long, slow impression of Grace. She smiled. “Such a pretty thing you are and so full of hellfire and yearning.”

3.5 Stars for Just a Little Unwell by Iyana Jenna – #MM @IyanaJenna

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Title: Just a Little Unwell
Author Name: Iyana Jenna
Publication Date & Length: January 4, 2015 – 23 pgs

Synopsis

Patrick Trafford is pleased with the simple life he has, spending his time tending a tiny garden accompanied by his best friend, Chad, a cockroach. Nevertheless, he can’t hide the excitement bubbling in him as a man suddenly appears in the garden.

Damien Abner politely welcomes, albeit somewhat at a loss, Patrick’s warm offer to spend time with him. To have a coffee, watch some movie, and dance along with the characters in it.

They begin to date and Patrick has never been happier, though he barely knows who Damien is—not that it matters to him. For him, being clueless does mean bliss.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This is a quick read that sparked my interest for the childlike imagination of the main character. It would be hard to describe the story without giving anything away, especially since the author didn’t include some elements in the blurb.

I wish she would have, actually. I was left feeling uncertain about the direction the story took and why the characters behaved as they did. Unfortunately, I suspect some readers may be triggered by the same things that caught me by surprise. Although it could potentially ruin the twist, I do think a warning would be good given the subject matter.

I liked it, but there were enough things that made me uncomfortable that I was left uncertain how I felt about it.

3.5 stars

Amy

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Excerpt

Patrick floats through the following day. When Damien shows up, Patrick takes him immediately to near the TV, sets the video cassette into place, and clutches Damien’s hands as they dance. He offers coffee and cookies this time and finally brings his guitar out to the sitting room. Patrick feels a bit uneasy when Damien keeps looking at him instead of his guitar.

“Do you like it?”

“Huh?”

“My guitar.”

Confusion flashes across Damien’s good-looking face for a second.

“Oh, absolutely.” His smile cracks. He shifts on the couch to make space for Patrick. Patrick plops down next to him and begins to sing. It’s “More Than Words,” one of his favorite songs. Damien listens carefully.

Damien is silent, even after Patrick has stopped singing. His eyes turn soft.

“So, what do you say? What do you think of my voice?” Patrick asks impatiently.

Damien’s still quiet. Then he closes his eyes and reaches out a hand. He touches the side of Patrick’s face.

Patrick holds his breath and closes his eyes too. He doesn’t dare to move. Damien’s hand feels so warm and good on his skin.

He lets out a heavy sigh when the hand is gone and opens his eyes.

“That’s the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard,” Damien says.

Patrick doesn’t know what to do. He puts aside his guitar — grabs it back — lays it down on the table — takes it back again and holds it close to him. He rocks slowly on the couch.

“Thank you,” he murmurs — not sure whether he is expressing gratitude for the compliment or the touch.

Damien stands up.

“You’re leaving?” Patrick asks, disappointed.

“I have other things I need to do, Patrick.”

Patrick swallows deep. He turns away. “Okay. It’s almost dark anyway and I haven’t been to the garden.”

“Yeah.”

“Will you come again?”

“Do you want me to?”

“I’d love you to.”

“So I’ll come.”

Damien waves and walks away.

As if to remind Patrick he’s there, Chad crawls up Patrick’s shirt front. Patrick palms him up and puts him on the table.

“Do you like him, too?” Patrick asks.

Chad only chirps.

AuthorBio

Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.

Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has three of them. Their names are Cil, Horus, and Betsy, and one kitten. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.

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5 Stars for Taliasman (Beyond Fairytales #9) by Anastasia Vitsky – #FF #Lesbian #FairyTales @AnastasiaVitsky

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Title: Taliasman (Beyond Fairytales #9)
Author Name: Anastasia Vitsky
Publication Date & Length: October 21, 2014 – 72pgs

Synopsis

Born to a destitute woodworker who wanted a son to carry on the family business, Talia grew up with one phrase on her lips: “If I had been born a boy.” If she had been born a boy, she would have been cherished, supported, and launched into the world with her father’s legacy. As only a worthless girl, she toils all day long to earn her handful of inferior grain.

Far away in the heavenly palace, Queen Vina receives a mysterious coin necklace from Nicodemus, teller of stories. Compelled by the throbbing heartbeat, she scours the earth to come across Talia, enslaved to a family who never wanted her. Rather than admit her motives, Vina purchases the girl with a sack full of gold. Furious, betrayed, and homesick, Talia endeavors to share her misery with the entire palace. Vina, afraid to confess her love, allows herself to become trapped in the role of brutal slave owner.

Talia, bred to expect nothing but misery, faces the first choice of her life. Will she accept love, even if it comes from an unlikely source? Or will she reject the one who offers her everything?

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Review

FiveStars

I am so glad I chose to read this gem. It’s a beautiful story with a dreamy, ethereal quality to it (there’s a reason for that, of course). It’s a quick and absorbing read.

I had a hard time putting this one down. I don’t normally enjoy first-person narrative with shifting perspectives, but I think this worked best in that format. We needed to see both sides of the story in order for it to make sense as a whole.

One of my favorite aspects of the story was the exploration of what it means to have been born a girl in a world that seems geared toward preferring boys. The desire to be a boy for its advantages (rather than because of one’s innate sense of gender) is always worth talking about.

The spiritual themes were also present throughout, though I never had the sense that there was heavy-handed religion. There was a sense of holy love underneath the story (which is also intentional; if you don’t know the story this is based on, do read the note at the end).

Finally, this is yet another story which proves there doesn’t need to be graphic content for a story to be romantic and sensual. The scenes between Vina and Talia are lovely and perfect for their relationship.

5 stars

Amy

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AuthorBio

I am a multi-published author of F/F DD fiction, an active blogger, and a coordinator of various events to bring together writing, reading, and kink communities. Look for events such as Christmas in July, Advent Calendar, and Spankee Doodle Dandy.

My current releases include The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus (12/8/12), Desire in Any Language (1/18/13), and Editorial Board (3/2/13) from Blushing Books.

My newest release, The Way Home (Kat and Natalie, Volume One), came out 3/6/2013 and reached #31 on Amazon’s Top 100 list for F/F fiction.

I love to hear from readers!

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5 & 3 Stars for Encore Performance (Performance #6) by Sibley Jackson – #MM #Series @caddyorpims

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Title: Encore Performance (Performance #6)
Author Name: Sibley Jackson (aka Caddy Rowland)
Publication Date & Length: December 23, 2014 – 49pgs

Synopsis

*Note: This short gay romance contains hot gay m/m sex scenes

Jason and Z are together at last. Z, walking away from worldwide stardom, came to New York to find Jason, where Jason welcomed him back with open arms. Now the two lovers have to find a way to put Z’s worries about his past life behind them and build a new one for just the two of them.

They will find a love deeper than either could have imagined. Hopefully it will be enough to last forever—enough to guide them toward a happy life with many changes and surprises along the way.

After all, they’ve survived a four year split-up. It’s time for sex, romance, but NO rock ‘n roll—at least none that forces Z out of the arms of the man he wants to spend the rest of his life loving.

But then another crazy idea pops into Z’s head

*Book 6 (Conclusion) of the Performance Series. Each book is a short story and can stand alone but are best read as a series.

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Review

FiveStars

Encore Performance
5 stars
Book 6
Wow!! Can Sibley Jackson write.  These books were written so well with excellent dialogue and with so much description. From book 1 to the last one, each pulled you in to find out what happens next. It was like reading chapters of a novel, it flowed so well.

The love of Z and Jason just jumped off the pages, the sex scenes were hot and just kept getting better.  This book tied up the whole story and left you wanting nothing.  You knew the struggles they had but ended up with their happily ever after.  The wedding was the icing on the cake, then the business they started just wrapped it all together.

I enjoyed this series so much and I look forward to reading much more by this author.
I definitely recommend this series for some light sexy reads! They are just enough to keep you interested from book to book.

Sherry

ThreeStar

This one really needed a trigger warning. Spoilers: Z admits to essentially date-raping a bunch of star-struck fans (he says they weren’t always willing), and Jason tells him, “They could have said no or fought back. They were men…Even if you somewhat forced them, it wasn’t all you.” That makes me pretty much as angry at a book as I’ve ever been. That’s not acceptable. I can’t even imagine being a man who’s been raped and reading those words. They are violent and ugly.

The rest of the story barely makes up for it. Lots more about real men, lots more about not doing anything too feminine. The story is cute, and I did love the end. By that point, it was easier to see that they had more going on than just in bed. Still, the first part of the book was so upsetting for me that I nearly didn’t finish it.
Amy

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AuthorBio

Sibley Jackson is a pen name author Caddy Rowland writes under when writing gay m/m romance. You will find a complete biography of all of Caddy Rowland’s work by copying and pasting this link in your browser: amazon.com/author/caddyrowland. Additionally, her works under the name Sibley Jackson also appear here.

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