Category Archives: C. E. Case

NEW 4 Star Review for Claimed by Love by Skye Jones – #Menage #Paranormal #Erotic

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Title: Claimed by Love (Wild Hunters #1)
Author Name: Skye Jones
Publication Date & Length: December 22, 2014 – 214 pgs

Synopsis

Kayley’s passion-filled dreams of two sexy men torment her nights … but meeting them in real life turns her world upside down! Passion brings them together, but a menace from one’s past threatens to destroy them. Now they’ll have to risk it all and fight for their love. Skye Jones presents Claimed By Love, Book 1 of her exciting new paranormal romance series Wild Hunters.

Kayley Edwards has spent the last four years closing herself off after a vicious attack by her lover left her scarred and terrified. After fleeing her native Alaska, she ran the length of the country and began a new life in Miami, far from family and friends.

When her cousin and his friends decide to vacation nearby, he invites her to join them because he has important news. Determined not to let fear rule her life, she agrees to meet with them, only to have her world turned upside down. His friends include the two gorgeous men who’ve haunted her dreams for months, kindling her desire and challenging her to take a chance on love.

Pack alpha, Luke Johnson, has dreamed of Kayley for years. He and his mate, Sean Wallace, know she is meant to be theirs. But how will she react when she finds the world they inhabit is one she never imagined existed?

As passions collide, Sean finds himself acting as a bridge between his strong-willed alpha and a skittish Kayley. Can they break through her defenses and convince her to join them?

Just as it seems the three may have a future together, a ghost from Sean’s past strikes at the heart of their happiness. They must fight for everything they hold dear to win their chance at love.

Content Notes: Hot, Anal Intercourse, Non-Sexual Violence, Paranormal, Shifters, Wolves, Suspense, Ménage, M/M, M/M/F

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Review

FourStars

Skye Jones’ menage a trios werewolf novel is a pretty good read. Kayley finds herself dreaming of two men. She discovers the men, Sean and Luke, seemingly by chance, and after some tortured soul-searching, there’s a hot threesome. Very hot. Story as advertised, and I was pleased.
There’s a lot more to it, of course. Kayley’s recovering from sexual violence, as is Sean. There’s plot where more sexual violence, and graphic physical violence, occur. Be warned. Beasts lurk here.
And it is essential shifter worldbuilding–alpha males and strict gender roles and masculinity contrast (rather nicely) with the femininity Kayley brings. Which is what drew me (moth to flame) to the story in the first place. There’s no debate, no attempt to define or explain the obvious. Refreshingly bisexual, from a publisher that might be defining the genre. Claimed by Love delivers.
C.E. Case

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4 Stars for Creature Comfort by Rob Rosen – #MM #Paranormal #PostApoc

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Title: Creature Comfort
Author Name: Rob Rosen
Publication Date & Length: February 12, 2015 – 238pgs

Synopsis

Three hundred years into the apocalypse, centuries-old zombie queen, Creature Comfort, and the love of her afterlife, Dara Licked, leave their salt factory in Utah and find themselves beneath a gussied-up Lady Liberty, surrounded by a race of fabulous drag queens. Humanity (what’s left of it) is in dire trouble, attacked by unseen menacing forces, and only Creature can possibly save the day! Thus starts this hilarious tale of mystery and heart-pounding adventure, of friends old and new, of what it means to be alive and, most importantly, in love.

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Review

FourStars

Drag queen zombies. That’s a thing. An almost-conceivable thing, in this tastefully bedazzled apocalyptic future by clever scribe Rob Rosen. This fantastic, campy, hilarious book takes our drag queens on a journey from Utah to New York City (every girl’s dream, right?) to save the world. I mean, sort of. What’s left of it.
Creature Comfort is likeably heroic and even more likeably sarcastic. Her life-mate, Dara Licked, is both wise and alluring. The other characters that come and go are affable and funny, or evil and funny. It all works.
World-building is in full force. I feel sad about the zombies, both the conscious ones (served by humans in exchange for protection) and the unconscious, groaning stereotypes. Eternity weighs heavy at times, even in the moment. It’s a nice touch.
If you have an appreciation for gay camp culture, from Lifetime movies to feather boas, you’ll love this book. If you need to develop an appreciation, Creature Comfort, with her high heels and wig and love of Britney Spears, will guide you.
Spoiler: Radiation-beam eye powers!
C.E.Case

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AuthorBio

Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, and Creature Comfort. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor and Best Gay Erotica 2015.

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3 Stars for Let It Go by Sid Love – #MM #Holiday

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Title: Let it Go
Author Name: Sid Love
Publication Date & Length: January 1, 2015 – 72pgs

Synopsis

“Everyone tells me to stay away from him. But if only I knew how to resist him…”

Goa isn’t supposed to be on Damon O’Neil’s list of places to stay while working in India. It’s merely a substitute for his planned trip to visit his sister in Paris for Christmas and the New Year. His boss had other ideas. He’s sent Damon to carry out urgent upgrades to the company’s offshore units and Damon can’t say no.

When Damon encounters an extra-spicy curry, a handsome Indian guy named Virat comes to his rescue. Damon is instantly smitten with his looks, and especially with his cute smile. But Damon soon realizes he is very much out of his league when Virat introduces his new wife.

However, there might just be a chance Virat isn’t all he pretends to be

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Review

ThreeStar

Let It Go is an appealing, quick read. Damon, our American hero, is likable and his observations on his work-traveled India intriguing. He develops a crush on Virat, who is recently married and on honeymoon in the same resort as Damon. Did I mention it’s Christmas?
Sexual frustration spins and crescendos pleasantly between them. There’s infidelity and manipulation, which may not appeal to every reader. The writing is not strong and I found it a slow start but as it began to build, I got a appropriately swept away.
I laud the cultural contrast presented. Virat is his own man, no stereotype, and India’s political and cultural issues even sneak into a paragraph or two.
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3 Stars for Mercy’s Prisoner by Dusk Peterson – #MM @duskpeterson

mercysprisoner6x9

Title: Mercy’s Prisoner (Life Prison, #1)
Author Name: Dusk Peterson
Publication Date & Length: August 26, 2014 – 264pgs

Synopsis

“‘You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'”

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men’s worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.

A runner-up in the Rainbow Awards 2014, the book bundle “Mercy’s Prisoner” can be read on its own or as the first volume in the Life Prison series. Friendship, desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural speculative fiction series, which is inspired by prison life at the end of the nineteenth century.

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Review

ThreeStar

Borrowing from the author’s website, “Life Prison is a speculative fiction series about male desire and determination in nineteenth-century prisons.” Each of these things is true.
The world-building is exquisite. Anchored in Maryland is the Republic of Mip and its life prisons, forgotten places where the worst criminals go and pray to die. Dying, though, is outlawed, because it is an escape from punishment.
This is an anthology of sorts. The first protagonist is Merrick, a child-murderer. That should set the tone. The murder is vivid and gruesome, as are the rapes and beatings Merrick endures in the life prison.
It’s unrelenting. This is not a light book, and it’s not a redemptive book. If rape, murder, and torture are not for you, then this book is not for you.
Dusk Peterson, despite this, has a huge following. The writing is fantastic. Each word shows talent and craft, research and imagination, passion and purpose. Mercy‘s Prisoner is a great read.
It gets three stars from me because of its ultimately frustrating lack of resolution. Mysteries are hinted at, plots thicken, but there’s no payoff. Dusk relies on murky atmosphere rather than resolution, and leaves the reader with no catharsis.
If you step into Mercy Prison, there will be no escape.
C.E. Case

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AuthorBio

Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction and lgtbq novels. Suspense plays an important role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external and internal. Peterson’s stories are often placed in dark settings, such as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is not one of unrelieved gloominess: romance, friendship, and faithful service are recurring themes. Visitduskpeterson.com for e-books and free fiction.

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer – #FF #Romance #New Adult @kristen_zimmer

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Title: The Gravity Between Us
Author Name: Kristen Zimmer
Publication Date & Length: October 17, 2013 – 310pgs

Synopsis

Where does friendship stop and love begin?

At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.

Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life.

With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved.

Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…

The Gravity Between Us is a daring, romantic, emotional story about friendship, love, and finding the courage to be yourself in a crazy world.

New Adult novel: recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content

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Review

FourStars

The Gravity Between Us seems like a typical fluff book on paper. Rich, famous actress and the girl back home (who’s super talented and hot!). Right? But this book is unique and tons of fun.
Kendall Bettencourt is a down-to-earth-but-not-frumpy starlet who should be reminding you of other starlets, especially ones who’ve made it big in indie and young adult movies. Ahem.
Payton Taylor is her childhood best friend, but she’s neither secretly in love with Kendall nor a sniveling hanger-on offered up for contrast. She’s a thriving, interesting person with her own stuff going on, and she and Kendall have a strong, mature relationship outside of their attraction.
In fact, it’s hard to believe these characters are 18 or 19 years old. They’re wise beyond their years.
But this is not a serious book. It’s FUN, like I said. Solid writing that doesn’t tax the reader too much, good chemistry, unbelievable situations that I want to believe in because they’re so outlandishly pleasing. Yes, everything goes right for our leading ladies, but for once, they seem to have earned it fair and square by being good people. Sometimes hard to find, especially with young protagonists.
This isn’t a book to read if you’re looking for sex. It’s not really there. But if you want some escapism, and some hopefulness–this takes place in a world where gay discrimination in Hollywood is quickly losing grip–then this is going to be a great read.
C.E. Case
FourStars

This book is a great story of love and finding oneself. It surpasses complications and issues multiple times that are thrown at the characters, and they always find the strength to pull through. It took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I got beyond the first few pages I couldn’t put it down for most of the book.

There were a few places where this book seemed to drag. It’s really not until the last 40% of the book that the two main characters really make progress in their relationship. My biggest issue with this book is that it’s very anti-bisexual. It’s set up almost perfectly for Kendall to be bisexual, yet she wants to be anything but bi because being bi is being a “sometimes lesbian” like Lauren is.

As a bisexual woman myself, I found it rather offensive and distasteful. Kendall could have easily be lesbian without dissing or putting down another skittle in the rainbow. She could have even questioned whether or not she herself were bi before discovering she wasn’t. This issue definitely made my rating drop as it was a thread throughout most of the second part of the book.

Payton was a character I could deeply relate to. She was down to earth and had a great sense of humor. Definitely laughed multiple times at her internal monologue. These characters read as if they’re in their early twenties based on actions, although there’s also an immaturity in them when it comes to relationships. I had a hard time thinking of them as only nineteen.

Overall, this was a good read. It explored issues I think many LGBT et al persons experience, whether or not we have gobs of money. It’s a book that explores what it means to come to terms with our own sexuality.

4 stars

AJ

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AuthorBio

Kristen is a New Jersey-based freelance writer and editor. A member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, she holds a B.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Montclair State University. She also studied Music Performance with a focus on percussion instruments at Five Towns College. When not busy writing or burying her nose in books of the YA/New Adult fiction persuasion, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, which includes two adorable Black Lab mixes and a very patient Better Half, and making electronic music. The Gravity Between Us, a contemporary New Adult Romance, is her first novel.

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4 Star Review for Three Strikes by Anya Richards – #MM #Police @anyarwrites

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Title: Three Strikes
Author Name: Anya Richards
Publication Date & Length: January 1, 2015 – 150 pgs

Synopsis

Two lonely men. One secret affair. Irresistible passion that will push them both to the breaking point, and beyond.

A knife attack left ex-Jamaican Posse member Vincent Williams scarred and also made him re-evaluate his life. He’s out of the gang and also the closet but lonely, yet to meet a man who’s interested in more than a one-and-done, a brief sexual encounter.

Because of his career as a police officer, Sergeant Kyle Pictou is afraid of coming out. Normally he doesn’t get involved with anyone close to home, but something about Vincent compels him to take a chance. It’s just sex, after all. Yet, as desire evolves into friendship and seemingly boundless passion, it’s Kyle who’s left wanting more—though he knows he can’t have it.

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Review

FourStars

This book is manly. I’ve been searching for a word to describe it. Masculine men living adult lives, full of thoughtfulness, rich histories, and complicated situations. And hard muscles. The sex, plentiful but not overwhelming in this erotic novel, reflects this well.
This book is multicultural. Appropriately so, for once. Black Jamacian Vincent Williams and First Nations Canadian Kyle Pictou are fully realized characters, rooted in their sometimes clashing cultures, as well as deeply Canadian. This book should serve as a model for how to write diversity. It’s neither pandering nor stereotypical.
This book is an excellent length. I only bring it up because I harp on other books for being too long, and for not showing an editor’s touch. This book is stylish and enjoyable to read. Anya Richards, with her 22 books, and my second review, knows what she’s doing. Here’s hoping she’ll keep writing men for us.
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Excerpt

Both his hands are under my shirt, pushing at it, and I lean forward so he can pull it up. We break the kiss just long enough for Vincent to get the shirt off over my head, then he’s kissing me again, his hands on my chest, easing me back into the corner of the couch. Soon I have one leg stretched out on the cushions, the other foot still on the floor, and Vincent crouched between my spread thighs, leaning over me. He’s not rushing, his kisses deep but still slow. Urgency rises in me, and I shove my hands under his shirt in turn, digging my fingers into his muscles, trying to pull him closer. He’s braced his hands on the arm of the sofa, and I can’t budge him. Lifting his head, he smiles, but his eyes have that heavy-lidded look I recognize.

“Take your time,” he says, then sings in a deep, mellow voice, “Take your time, take your time, take your time. No need to hurry.

I want to ask him what song that is, but while he was singing he’d shifted down, so the last note comes out right against my left nipple. And now he’s sucking and nibbling at it, and I can’t think about anything else but his mouth on my body.

Each nipple gets his undivided attention. Then he licks, with long, slow swipes, over my entire stomach, until I think one more touch will make me spontaneously combust. Just when I believe he’ll finally move south, give me some relief, he slides his entire torso against mine, until our faces are aligned.

“Want to take this upstairs, Sarg, or should I go on, and risk both of us falling off the sofa?”

If I thought I had the strength I’d throw him over my shoulder in a fireman’s carry and take him up to the bedroom myself, but all I can manage is to growl, “Upstairs.”

Vincent nods, but doesn’t move, hesitating for a moment. Then he seems to come to a decision, his gaze searching mine as he says, “I want you…”

I shiver. I know what he’s saying, asking. Most men assume I’m a top, probably because of my demeanor, and I usually end up being just that. But I have no problem with the thought of Vincent topping me. In fact, just imagining it makes another jolt of heat fire out through my veins.

“You know I won’t say no.” How could he not know that, when I’m already putty in his hands? “I told you that earlier. Consensual, remember?”

His smile makes my heart stutter. “Just making sure.”

Then he levers himself upright and off the couch, and holds out his hand to give me a boost. I take his hand and he tugs.

Why does it feel like he’s pulling me into something, rather than just up?

AuthorBio

After living a checkered past, and despite an avowed disinterest in domesticity, multi-published author Anya Richards settled in Ontario, Canada, with husband, kids and two cats who plot world domination, one food bowl at a time. Having trained the humans around her to recognize the ‘Do Not Disturb’ vibes she gives off when writing, she’s still trying to get the cats to honor her need for space. The suspicion is that they perfectly understand, but choose those moments when she’s most engrossed to once more prove who wears the pants in the house.

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3 Stars for A Year in the Life by Cat Grant – #MMRomance @CatGrant2009

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Title: A Year in the Life (Courtlands – The Next Generation #1)
Author Name: Cat Grant
Publication Date & Length: December 15, 2014 –  286 pgs

Synopsis

Courtland fans, get ready – the next generation’s here!

A campus flu outbreak, complicated by a freak October blizzard, brings Cornell seniors Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori together. Three days spent waiting out the storm at Seth’s snowbound apartment leads to an unexpected mutual attraction—and a hot night under the covers, which quickly deepens into a true emotional bond…

Plus, a world of problems for Bilal, an Iranian Muslim. Despite his homeland’s harsh laws and even harsher punishment for homosexuality, Bilal can no longer deny who he really is: A gay man falling in love for the first time.

Seth’s gentle manner and passionate lovemaking bring Bilal more joy than he ever thought possible. Yet, despite the lovers’ growing happiness, Bilal’s haunted by guilt and shame left over from his strict upbringing, and the sad realization that he’ll never see his family in Iran again.

Speaking of families, it’s time for Bilal to meet Seth’s…

Eric, Nick and Ally. Ten years later, this committed triad is still as deeply in love as ever, but even commitment comes with challenges…

Is there room in this non-traditional family for Bilal? His future with Seth may depend on it.

Includes the novella In From the Cold.

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Review

ThreeStar

Seth and Bilal meet through a fateful series of events. Their love is nearly instantaneous, and without angst. Bilal, initially conflicted about being gay, adapts pretty easily, though he remains closeted (see book two?). What Bilal didn’t count on from his pretty artist boyfriend is a whole heap of parents, an adorable little sister, and great friends.
As a romance, this book is a bit thin. However, as a book about family, this book is warm and giving and poignant. It takes place during the fall and winter, culminating at New Year’s, which makes it a perfect Christmas read, and a good start to a promising series.
C.E. Case

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If you’re looking for epic sci-fi, fantasy, or historicals, that’s not me. Contemporary all the way, baby!

However, if you’re looking for down to earth, complicated characters dealing with real-world problems (and the occasional comfort read!), I might just fit the bill. 🙂

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