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adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Humor m/m Mild level angst Music/Rock Star Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat

Perfect Imperfections Audiobook by Cardeno C Narrated by Charlie David

perfect imperfectionsBlurb
Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle-of-nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant, bartender, and adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with “The” Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once-in-a-lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.
Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing to pretend about their relationship.

Review

First, I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite books ever and definitely my favorite by this author. It. Was. Amazing!

Jeremy Jameson – “JJ” to Reg- has famous parents and has been in the music industry since he can remember. He’s super famous and really out of touch with the “real world”. He goes out one night “incognito” to a bar to simply “be” and meets Reg, the bar tender there.

Of course, Reg recognizes him, but plays it cool, and the two strike up a friendship over several beers.

Reg is the most laid-back person you could ever meet. He’s the perfect foil for the sometimes overly dramatic JJ. JJ is astute enough to recognize this and asks Reg to come with him on his latest tour. They decide that being “boyfriends” would make this decision make sense to JJ’s manager and the rest of the crew, without having to explain the complexity of why they really want to do this. (JJ needs Reg and Reg is dying to help him out.)

So… even though JJ has been nothing but “straight” and JJ doesn’t even realize Reg really is gay… they embark as lovers on the tour.

The tour is fraught with media blitzes and pushy paparazzi, making JJ crazy. Reg is there to calm him down, however, and with each passing day, Reg is growing closer and closer to JJ and vice versa.

Here is where the story becomes golden for me. JJ continues to act and say and do these ridiculous things – things no straight guy would ever do – but he’s so clueless that it totally works! Reg is never abusive of this trust, only showing him – for once- true love and affection the only way he knows how.

When Halloween comes, the pair go out on the town in costume (JJ in drag!) and suddenly their relationship takes a dramatic turn.

There are a few hurdles thrown in there at the last – but most of this book is really a smooth-sailing adventure of sexual exploration and finding love.

It was tender, sweet and hilarious, all at the same time!

Charlie David does the audio and he is superb! He is one of my favorite narrators and does an excellent job here as well.

The only thing marring the experience from being 100% perfect is that (in the audiobook) there is a theme song. It’s very nice. At the beginning of each chapter and at the end, there is a little blip of the song played. It really made me jump out of the story because it interrupted the flow. I’ve heard some audio books where there is a little music at the beginning of each chapter, but not the end, too. I think that skipping the intro music and definitely not doing it both places would have helped me stay in the story easier.

But – that was a small blip and overall I can’t recommend this story enough. It was wonderful! I’ve read it over and over and already listened to it twice!

6 of 5 stars

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Purchased for Review

To Buy

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Perfect-Imperfections-Audiobook/B014I46OXK/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1440704444&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Gay GFY/OFY Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Memories of the Heart (Memories Book 1) Audiobook by Felice Stevens Narrated by Sean Crisden (Review)

 

memories of heartBlurb

Ruthless, controlling, a loner. All words the hospital staff used to describe Dr. Micah Steinberg – their next head of surgery. When a letter arrives from his grandmother’s friend at the assisted living facility, his orderly world tilts dangerously out of control.

Josh Ruthn had everything until it was revealed much of his world was a lie. Forced to reevaluate his life, Josh gives up his career and returns home to New York City to care for his beloved grandmother. What Josh didn’t figure on was an attraction to a man who on the surface, appears to be exactly like the life Josh chose to leave behind.

As Micah struggles with the reality of his grandmother’s illness, the bond these two share deepens, as Josh helps Micah heal, then open his heart. Micah discovers there is more to life than work, control and success. Josh is in deep but has yet to tell Micah who he really is.

When the fight for the hospital’s head of surgery turns ugly, Josh’s past and present collide. Micah must let go of the past and accept who he is, if his life is going to move forward.

Life is full of surprises, and as both Micah and Josh learn, love can happen whether you plan for it or not.

Review

Micah is a big ol’ jerk. He’s self centered. Condescending. Job obsessed. Ruthless. Doesn’t believe in love. And he forgets to visit his sweet old grandmother in the nursing home!

Josh is perfect. He’s sweet. Kind. Loyal. Believes in true love. And he visits his grandma every day.

Josh’s grandma, Ethel and Micah’s grandma, Ruth are friends at the same home. Ethel sends a letter to Micah scolding him for how he’s treating Ruth. This makes Micah so mad he immediately runs down to the home to set her straight but… while there he also runs into the snotty barista he met that morning on his way to work (Josh)! Josh and Micah strike sparks off one another right away. Since Micah was an ass to Josh, Josh believes nothing but bad things about him. Micah believes Josh is a free-loader trying to get the better of his sweet grandmother for her money.

Well, as it turns out, Josh is a lawyer who left his practice when his partner at work (and in life) dumps him for another man. Josh decided his family was more important and he looks to start over in NYC.

Micah and Josh end up seeing a lot of one another through their grandmothers and the attraction between them sizzles. Neither believes the other is a permanent thing, but they can’t help but get involved.

When Ruth’s health takes a turn for the worse, Micah turns to Josh for comfort and he helps Micah realize what is really important in life.

There are a few hurdles left – Josh’s job, Micah’s past, Micah’s job and Josh’s past… but they move through these fairly easily.

In the end they find a delightfully sappy HEA and Ruth and Ethel get to plan their future together!

**

This was a very low angst read full of hearts and Ruths and sappy phrases. Some will be turned off by this, but not me! I loved it. It was refreshing and sweet and all together enjoyable.

(Rafe, who we meet again in the next book in the series, acted a little strange for someone who’d just met Josh, he seemed awful willing to go to a lot of trouble – but… I’m still eager to read his story with Alex!)

Audio

Sean Crisden is a favorite narrator of mine and though he didn’t do much to make either Josh or Micah’s voices stand out, he did a great job with both grandmother’s and their vaguely Eastern European aged accents.

I really enjoyed both the story and the narration.

5 of 5 stars

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(Purchased for Review)

Audibles Presents:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Memories-of-the-Heart-Audiobook/B013TGDYMW/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1440740216&sr=1-1

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Homophobia Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Nothing Special (Nothing Special #1) by AE Via (Review)

nothing specialBlurb

Cashel Godfrey is big, tattooed, and angry, so people typically keep their distance. Fresh out of the police academy no one is looking to partner with the six foot four beast. When Cashel scanned the orientation room, he wasn’t expecting sexy hazel eyes to be locked onto him. Eyes of the gorgeous Leonidis Day.

Leonidis is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic, and the only one that can make Cashel smile. He’s an out and badass detective, but when Cashel saves his life in a raid that turns deadly, he sees something in the big man that no one else does…something special.

Warning: Two sexy narcotics detectives. One with a serious hot spot for big gun-toting men, the other that yields a cannon; so be ready for the obscene sexual bang when these two come together.

Review

So you can tell from the description that we’ve got two cops, super alpha, super sexy who are already friends. What Leonidis (Day) doesn’t know is that Cashel (God) has some secrets… including his sexuality.

Day is out an proud but God seems to be all straight.

There is lots and lots of sexual tension between these boys and a bit of pain. Cash’s family thinks he killed his father and now won’t speak to him.

And of course there are bad guys doing some bad things that put everyone at risk. Pushing God and Day into each other’s arms.

So – yeah – there are some other issues. Homophobic jerks on the squad and a young guy who steals to help his mama and a weird sexual tension between the aforementioned homophobe and… Some of this made the story a little wonky but if you set that aside and focus on the relationship (especially the sex) it’s a pretty sappy, sweet and HOT story.

I definitely think the author got better as the series progressed in terms of writing and plotting, but I still love this story and re-read it often. I just loved how crazy for each other these two guys get and how willing they are to be vulnerable to each other.

I was able to easily overlook some of the stuff that didn’t exactly make sense or seem at all close to reality for the sake of the “lurve” these guys shared.

Another warning – there is a scene at the end – kind of random- where they all “share partners”… some people are really put off by this. It was pretty hot, if you ask me, and definitely didn’t make me feel like “cheating” since all of them were together – but be warned – it’s in there!

So I highly recommend this book to lovers of two alpha males going at it, sometimes silly dialog, over the top sex scenes and really sappy love stories.

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Amira Press Presents:

http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Special-E-Via-ebook/dp/B00MC82KIS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440743446&sr=8-1&keywords=nothings+special+ae+via

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adult - 18+ Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Gay Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Sexuality

Ethan in Gold (Johnnies #3) Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

EthaninGoldAUDMEDBlurb

Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies and aspiring porn star for www tube v adult movie site, he gets exactly what he wants—comradeship and physical contact on trade—and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.

Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who—against the odds—seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.

Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package—the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.

Review

Evan had an experience early in life that forced his parents to both over-protect him and divorce themselves from him in the physical sense. He became – as a result – touch deprived and sort of manic about it. Starting a job in the porn industry making x-rated movies for www.watchmygf.xxx just seemed like a great way to get all that touch he craved.

Jonah is a quiet guy who loves his dying sister. He’s a virgin and really only wants to share that with someone who will be there for the long haul. Though he and Evan are attracted to each other – the odds of them being “the one” for the other seem pretty low

But… they take the time to work on their friendship and explore what could be between them.

**

This is quite different from the first two and the last book in the Johnnies series. Yes – it’s Amy – there’s angst – but it’s a little more distanced and not nearly so present in this story like it is with the others.

I loved the thought that to Evan giving up porn was a down-side. (in contrast to the others who were so ready to drop it when they found their love.) It gave us the perspective that some people really do CHOOSE this as a their profession for it’s positives. And to Evan it really was all positives.

Evan’s family, Jonah’s family, seeing the other guys and seeing some of the action from a different perspective… these things seemed to fill up most of the story, in my opinion. My biggest complaint (and why this is my least favorite book in the series) is not that I didn’t love the MCs or their stories – quite the opposite. I just felt more distanced from them and their relationship as it got overridden by all the other stuff from all the other people stealing their limelight.

Still in all – of course it’s a wonderful book and a bit lighter to take after the major angst of Chase and Dex- sort of angst-lite if you will and well worth the read/listen.

Audio
Again Sean Crisden does another amazing job and I really appreciated that he did all the books so we got all the voices back when we re-visited previous MCs. I never really liked Evan’s voice much – so it got kinda annoying at times, but not really enough to distract from the overall enjoyment.

4.5 of 5 stars for the book and the audio

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Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5074

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Gay Hidden Lovers m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Music/Rock Star NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Riptide Publishing

Running With Scissors By LA Witt

running with scissorsBlurb

Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.

Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.

Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?

Review

So I will admit that I mostly skimmed this book.

I LOVE the idea. LOVE the author. LOVE the cover. But I didn’t love the outcome.

Jude left his band high and dry and when he returns he’s told absolutely no hook-ups will be tolerated with other band members. So of course… he and AJ find themselves having to hide their developing love for each other and that causes lots of strife and on again/off again angst. Turns out Jude had a “thing” with another band member and there are unresolved feelings between the two to this day.

I didn’t really like Jude all that much and kinda felt AJ was a bit wishy-washy. So their “passion” was just as uneventful for me. In fact, I thought the most passionate thing in the book was the violent reaction to the hook-up the other band members had rather than the love between our two MCs. (The women in particular were pretty screechy.)

I was kinda hoping for this “super shy on the tour bus” guy to become this totally “hot and madly passionate” guy with his beau but it was kinda luke-warm instead. Usually LA Witt is full of hawt and sexy love scenes sometimes a little on the kinky side, but this was pretty white bread.

I think, had I not had high expectations because of my fandom for the author I wouldn’t have felt as let down, because it is still a “good” book, just not as great as I’d come to expect. (As you can tell from my previous review of Static – I am a big fan of this author.)

So, with that… I give it a fair 3 of 5 stars.

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Title provided thanks to NetGalley

Riptide Publishing Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/running-with-scissors

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adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Gay m/m May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Sense of Place (Thomas Elkins Book 3) by NR Walker

sense of placeBlurb

Designing homes is easy. Finding home is something else entirely.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones finally have the support of their families, and their love grows stronger every day. Now living together, they think nothing can stand in their way.

But there are outside influences trying to pull them apart.

Cooper encounters a man, closer to his age and with connections high up the property development chain, who wants Cooper as his own. Tom encounters discrimination and a hidden agenda from a fellow senior partner who’s trying to take him down.

No matter what the world throws at them, Tom and Cooper are the real deal. Age differences aside, Tom has finally found his sense of place. His one true centre, his home.

Review

Tom and Coop have moved in together but it’s not all roses and wine for the couple.
Coop is on a new project that literally takes all his time and patience. Tom has to diverge from his normally not so “in your face” stance and make a stand for himself as Cooper’s lover.

On the family front, Tom’s ex is still not exactly supportive and there are problems on the job as well.

When Tom makes a wild decision that ultimately affects both he and Cooper, it’s Coop’s mother who ultimately gives him the best advice yet as to how to handle Cooper.

**

I ADORED this final installment to the Thomas Elkins series. It was romantic and sweet and sexy.

NR Walker found a way to make us really believe that these guys have what it takes to be a long term couple and not just a hot May/December affair.

The final “sense of place” that they achieve is so well-won and touching… I just loved it.

Because of that last bit, this series remains one of my comfort reads when I want to be immersed in that happy place with the couple who you just know will be together forever.

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy Purchased for Review)

To Buy:

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https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/sense-of-place

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adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Gay GFY/OFY Hidden Lovers m/m Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Scorching/high heat

Bent Arrow by Posy Roberts (Review)

bent arrowBlurb

Sometimes curves in the road take you right where you belong.

Luther Almond’s life working the Bakken oil field is perfect—short-lived jobs, temporary housing, and easy hookups. That’s one reason he won’t move home when he inherits the lake house. When Erik Heat bends over to fix Luther’s pipes, his tattoos hint he might be up for more than working on the drain. The last thing Luther expects is to want more from this guy than one night.

Every time they’re together, Luther is more grounded and Erik more confident. When the lake house demands attention, Luther asks for Erik’s help. There he imagines a more permanent life, one where he stops running. But he wants Erik by his side. Can he find the courage—and the words—to ask?

Review

Luther ran away from his small town living when he realized that being gay and living in rural North Dakota weren’t really compatible.

He’s led a nomadic life, following the jobs and the money until time and opportunity have led him back to his home state and the oil fields. While there he meets Erik, a quiet plumber, also from rural North Dakota.

The tattoo of an arrow leads Luther to ask pointed questions and Erik’s blush lets him know that an approach of the sexy kind might be appreciated.

The two start off slow. Luther works 70-100 hours a week and Erik’s need for keeping things quiet is mirrored by Luther’s own life in the closet. But… as time marches on… Luther finds that he misses Erik when he can’t be around him – and not just because it’s the best sex he’s ever had.

Another ripple on the water is the fact that Luther’s grandmother has left him a house in his home town – a place Luther isn’t ready to settle into. It’s full of problems and Erik is more than willing to spend time up there with Luther fixing things.

When Luther gets let go suddenly, he has to face some hard truths. He might be ready to finally settle down, he definitely doesn’t want to lose Erik, but is he ready to tell the world his secrets?

**

This is a pretty short novella, but it is amazingly sweet and full of details. Through texting and a few meetings Erik and Luther grow ever closer and though we don’t have a lot of on page interaction, Posy Roberts handles the passing of time effortlessly.  Her writing is crisp, clean and lovely.

It never felt rushed and the love really did seem to grow and blossom organically, over time.

I loved where the story led us and enjoyed these two guys as MCs. They were stoic and simple but sweet and romantic. And… let’s face it… the smexy times were hot, too!

I highly recommend this story to fans of quiet, stoic men with poetic hearts and lovers of stories with happy endings.

(And YOWZA isn’t the cover awesome!)

5 of 5 stars

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(Copy provider by the publisher for review)

Labyrinth bound press presents:

http://www.amazon.com/Bent-Arrow-Posy-Roberts-ebook/dp/B0140AA17W/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1440802142&sr=8-7&keywords=posy+roberts

Available September 3 from Amazon

Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased

His Hearth (Warders #1) Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Andrew Schwartz

HisHearthAudBlurb

Julian Nash should be excited: he’s just earned a huge promotion at work and is going out to celebrate. But his happiness fades when he discovers his date cheating on him an hour before. Suddenly alone when everyone knows he’s supposed to have a plus one, Julian is set for a long night until longtime acquaintance Ryan Dean bails him out of the embarrassing situation. During dinner, they discover they have more than just friendship between them: there is mutual admiration and heated attraction. But getting to know Ryan better-and finding a place in his life-will bring Julian surprises and danger he never expected or dreamed existed.

Review

So if you know Mary Calmes’ work, you know that she has this penchant for giving us these guys who are super awesome but don’t know it. That’s Julian. He’s hot, pulled together, sweet but tough, warm-hearted, forgiving, fantastic in bed and (of course) totally unappreciated and somewhat clueless.

Then we have Ryan. Ryan is a super-hero. He fights demons and all other sorts of bad creatures that go bump in the night. But… he also has a day job and in this case it’s doing a morning show as a talk personality. He’s also super hot, kinda quirky, a little insecure, and great at anything he puts his mind to.

The story of the Warders is this: there are a group of Warders for a given area who protect the people from the bad guys. They have some “powers” but are also well trained. Something about them drains the life force from their lovers unless their lover happens to be their “hearth”. In that case the “hearth” is their perfect mate, able to be the home they need when not fighting against evil, a place for them to rejuvenate and relax. They all want to find their hearth, but they have to be careful in their search because the process damages each lover unless they are the hearth.

Ryan believes Julian is his hearth, but he’s not sure and he can’t risk it. Up until the story begins Julian is involved with someone anyway, so it’s a moot point.

When Julian gets thrown over, Ryan is there to help him out and acts as his date. The mutual attraction between them is combustible and Ryan decides to test if Julian might be his hearth.

Luckily – he is! Now Ryan must introduce Julian to his world and in the meantime fight off the bad guys that have already found him

**

I love this series! It is fun and moves quickly. Each book has a different Warder but sort of takes place sequentially so you can read them separately but reading them in order gives you the most flavor.

Julian and Ryan are hot together and the magic and the action are fun and breath-taking. The huge payout is that once they realize who they are to one another there is lots and lots of sentimentality and lovey ooey goodness.

5 of 5 stars

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Audio
Boy I hate to do this. I love this series but I despise the narrator. Not all the books are narrated by the same guy (thank goodness!) but in this case we get Andrew Schwartz. I could tolerate his narration if he didn’t talk so fast. It made me feel like he didn’t breathe and I could feel the lack of oxygen right along with him.
If you can get past the quick pace, he does an okay job with the story telling. He doesn’t do much to change the voices or do much acting in terms of performing the story, but he’s okay.

2.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

 

To buy

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2783

Categories
adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Exploration Fantasy Gay GFY/OFY Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Purchased Riptide Publishing Shifter Speculative Fiction Trans Virgin

Static by LA Witt

Static_500x750Blurb
After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.
Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.
Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.
Especially if he’s static forever.
Review

WOW!

This ranks as one of my all time favorite books in this genre.
I can’t say enough good things about this – but I’ll try!

First – it’s sort of a unique shifter book. Instead of shifting into animals, in this world that LA Witt has created, some people can change their sex at will. Not just the important pieces, but their entire bodies. So they become more masculine, larger, muscular, etcetera for male and smaller, more delicate, etcetera for female. But like fraternal twins, they still retain that look about them so you can see the resemblance.

In this case Alex (both female and male version) is dating Damon as a woman. Damon doesn’t know about the male Alex and this causes a lot of worry as to how to go about telling him. The point becomes moot when Alex’s parents decide to force her to stay permanently male, or “static” by injecting an evil chip into her spine. Of course they have no knowledge of Alex’s female love-life, only a desire to have a son and NOT to have someone who can shift genders.

There is the possibility of removing the chip but it has the potential for disaster, paralysis, death, dismemberment – ok not really – but also continuing the static state. Some people choose this treatment voluntarily but not Alex. S/he has always enjoyed the huge freedom allowed by being able to be one then the other gender. And since she thinks she may be in love with her straight boyfriend, being stuck as a man is particularly harsh.

But… the time comes when Alex must show Damon the truth of the situation. And here is where things really get to be interesting on both a plot level and a sociological level. (This is what makes this book spectacular IMHO – the bringing in so flawlessly the social construct of gender identity and the breakdown of what it means to be woman or man – especially when – in this case – it’s the same person wearing a different “skin”.)

Damon really does care for – maybe even love Alex – so he’s willing to at least try to work through this crisis and see it through. He doesn’t know what he wants. For Alex to go through with the reversal surgery? To try to be with a man when he’s only ever identified as straight? To give up and let Alex do this alone? But no, he’s an amazing person and sticks with it.

The story is so full of social questions. There’s prejudice. There’s the discussion of what if feels like to be in the “wrong body”. There’s the gay/straight/person centric version of sexual attraction. There’s – Gah! So much!

In the end the two lovers must make a decision. Should Alex attempt the surgery and is the risk worth it.

I won’t tell you the final decision but it is thought provoking – to say the least.

LA Witt won some awards for this – as she should have – and I can see why. It’s so amazing, her ability to hit you with these social question while still weaving a beautiful and touching and sometimes erotic love story. Superb!

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lambda finalist

 

 

 

If you have any interest in transgender and gender fluidity or gender ID this is right up your alley. It also fulfills something for those GFY fans. But it’s still, at it’s heart, a love story and a story of knowing one’s heart – so truly, any fan of romance will be entranced.

I can’t recommend it highly enough!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

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Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/static

Categories
adult - 18+ Amberquill Angst Level Book Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Military Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Scorching/high heat

Finding the Way Home by Sean Michael

FindingWayHomeBlurb

When he arrives home from a long stint in the hospital after losing his right arm to an IED blast, Sergeant James Miller certainly doesn’t expect his keys not to work and a strange man answering his door, only to learn his boyfriend has dumped him. Yet that’s exactly what happens, and James is just happy that he can count on his old platoon buddy to have his back, and a spare bedroom he can use until he gets on his feet.
Horace Grundy the third—“Horse” to anyone who doesn’t want to get his butt kicked—is retired and has a tidy house on the beach that he calls home. The place isn’t big, but he figures there is plenty of room for James, even if he has always fancied the man.
Thankfully, the two of them fit together well, and soon the roommates become more. But James’s past isn’t ready to let go of him yet, and the new lovers are caught off-guard when James’s ex-boyfriend suddenly reappears in his life. Can James and Horse’s new relationship weather the storm?

Review

This is a lovely short story about James “Jimmy” Miller who gets back from the War with an amputation only to find his boyfriend of seven years has left him for a doctor.

He calls on his Army buddy, Horace “Horse” Grundy for a place to crash. Horse, who has always had a crush on Jimmy, readily agrees.
There is virtually no angst in this lovely story of two guys re-connecting and then falling in love. Since it’s Sean Michael, there is plenty of hot sex and some tender moments surrounding body acceptance.

At the end there is a bizarre incident with the ex that kind of feels out of place, but it serves as a catalyst to move Jimmy and Horse’s relationship forward as well as give Jimmy some closure, so in the end it works.

I really enjoyed this little story about love and recommend it to fans of the author, military men, disabled vets and hot sex scenes!

4.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy generously provided by the publisher for review)

Amberquill Presents:

http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/2243-Finding-The-Way-Home.aspx