Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Christmas Contemporary Gay Heat Index Holiday Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse lawyer m/m NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat second chance at love

Fortunate Blizzard by LC Chase

fortunate blizzardBlurb

There are worse things than being stranded in a blizzard.

Artist Trevor Morrison has always appreciated the little things in life, treating each day as a gift. And with good reason: he’s been on the transplant-recipient list for too long now. When he learns just how numbered his days truly are, he resolves not to take them for granted. But he won’t be unrealistic, either—which means romantic commitments are off the table.

Marcus Roberts seems to have it all. He’s handsome, financially sound, and on the fast track to partnership at a prestigious law firm. In reality, though, his drive for success has meant no time for friends or relationships. Add in the fact that his family discarded him long ago, and he’s facing yet another holiday season alone.

When the biggest snowstorm to hit Colorado in decades leaves Marc and Trevor stranded at the same hotel, a chance encounter and a night of passion leads to more than either of them expected. Finding comfort in each other is a welcome surprise, but time is not on their side. Either they find a way to beat the odds, or they lose each other forever.

Review

Trevor has just found out that his 7 year quest for a kidney transplant has most probably been denied for the last time – just in time for the holidays. He’s on his way back home to Connecticut when he gets stuck in a blizzard on the way to the airport. There he meets the workaholic lawyer, Marcus.

Trevor and Marcus have chemistry that is off the charts. They just click. They just seem to work. But… they can never be. Despite having so much in common and feeling so much for each other in such a short time, Trevor knows it would be cruel to get involved with Marcus and Marcus doesn’t have time for someone in his busy life does he?

I don’t want to give more of the story away… but… it ends on a very HEA.

**

This is one of those tear-jerking, lovely, holiday, mushy, soul-grabbingly sweet stories. I loved it!

I loved Trevor and Marcus as a couple. I loved Trevor’s family! I loved Marcus’ friends! I loved the way LC Chase found us a (somewhat) plausible resolution to a seemingly impossible problem.

If you are in the mood for sap, holidays, tears, and happiness – give this one a try!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review

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Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Contemporary Cowboys Exploration Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat

Let it Ride (Book 2) by LC Chase

let it rideBlurb

Pickup man Bridge Sullivan is the kind of cowboy everyone wants—as a brother, a friend, a lover. People think he’s straight, but Bridge isn’t one for labels, and when a sexy male paramedic jumpstarts his heart, he charges in with all guns blazing.

New York City transplant Eric Palmer grew up in foster care. While he always had a roof over his head, he never felt love or a sense of belonging . . . until he joined the California rodeo circuit as a paramedic and found a band of brothers who took him in as one of their own. Now, one in particular is making Eric’s pulse race.

When things heat up between Bridge and Eric, Bridge has to prove to Eric he’s not just experimenting with the rougher sex, while Eric must overcome his fears of being unwanted and cast aside. He knows that trusting Bridge may be the key to his happy ever after, but getting in the saddle is much, much easier than learning to let it ride.

Review

This was my second LC Chase book and I absolutely loved it! I am not normally a western/cowboy type book lover, but there are a few where the setting is just perfect for the love story and this is one of those books.

This is a GFY (Gay for you)which is definitely one of my favorite tropes, so it was easy to love. But – you can make a GFY go really bad if you don’t convince me (the reader) that the guy “going gay” has really thought about it and made the amazingly difficult leap believable. LC does, and does it very well.

Bridge is a great character, sexy, funny, sweet, heart of gold. Everyone loves him and so did I. What I really appreciated about this guy was how LC showed us his thinking process from attraction to action. Though it was “insta love” it wasn’t “Insta involvement” or “Insta gay”. He was appropriately trepidacious about possibly losing not one but several friends, and he didn’t want to hurt anyone. I thought it was well done and insightful.

Eric is the hot paramedic with a sad past. I didn’t like his character nearly as much as Bridge. I wanted him to either fight the relationship harder in the beginning or less at the end. He seemed to give in to Bridge, and his “we’ll just be fuck buddies” never rang true to me. I felt like he was deluding himself in a way that was much less believable than Bridge’s conviction to be a gay man.

The glimpse of the characters from the first book (I’ll bet) is nice for those who have read it and I will definitely be reading the first one, thanks to this book. Obviously it was not necessary to have read the books in order to enjoy this one.

The sex was fantastic, the love story sweet, the angst tear producing.

All in all a great book.

I give it a 4.5 of 5 stars only because I wanted Eric’s character to be a little more consistent.

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Copy provided by Riptide for an honest review

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Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Cop/Crime Cowboys Fantasy Gay Ghost Halloween Heat Index m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Riptide Publishing Shifter vampire

My Haunted Blender’s Gay Love Affair and Other Twisted Tales by Abigail Roux, Andrea Speed, and Anne Tenino

MyHauntedBlender_500x750_0Die Laughing.

A collection of not-so-chilling tales of love and laughter from three of the genre’s masters of pulp.

Blurb for The Bone Orchard:

In The Bone Orchard, by Abigail Roux, Pinkerton investigator Ezra Johns and US Marshal Ambrose Shaw have a lot to learn about life—and the afterlife—in their quest to bring a vicious murderer to justice. Fortunately, they’ve got all the time in the world to figure it out.

Review:

Ambrose Shaw is after a serial killer in the old west when he gets shot and ends up haunting the spot where he died, trying to bring the killer to justice.

Ezra Johns follows Shaw to bring the killer to the gallows but then falls victim to the killer’s ghost.

In the time between the trial and his death, Ezra falls in love with Ambrose and then joins him in the afterlife, eternally fighting the ghost of the killer.

With a nice cross-over twist, we see some familiar faces as the relatives of Ezra facing danger and it’s up to Ezra and Ambrose to save them.

**
I loved this story. It was sweet and sentimental, funny and exciting, somewhat historical, a lot fantastical, and just a joy to read.

If you’re a fan of Abigail Roux you won’t want to miss this, nor will you if you love westerns and ghosts.

I give it a 4.5 of 5 dinging it a little only because I wanted a different ending for our boys. Was it still happy? Probably…depends on your way of thinking. ☺

Blurb for Horny

In Horny, by Anne Tenino, a group of supernatural law enforcers enlist the help of a human, Ryan Caulfield, to catch Zeus: the god voted Least Likely to Keep It in His Pants. But there’s more to Ryan than even he knows, and the satyr searching for Zeus is tempting him with far more than simple justice.

Review:

Ryan owns a bar in the middle of nowhere. One night a bunch of demigods shows up looking for Zeus. They set up a trap to catch him and stop him from selling erectile dysfunction potions. In the meantime a mysterious Oracular guides Ryan and Leander to become more than just a one-night stand and in fact shows Ryan that he may be more than just a barkeep.

**
Let me start by saying that in general I love Anne Tenino, have read most of her books and loved them. I started this story super psyched as a result. When I finished, I was left scratching my head.

The imagination is there. The characters are there. The plot is there. The execution… isn’t. I got confused by a lot and this is a short story.

I understood why Ryan was guarded and didn’t want to get involved with Leander, he was looking for permanence not a one-night-stand– but then when more of his history is revealed, it didn’t make sense, and his whole “too sensitive” thing never made sense.

Leander, who should have wanted that fast commitment and instant love, didn’t, and that didn’t make sense, given what we learn about his god house.

The other demigods’ characters were also a little confusing and I wasn’t sure there role in the story. They just muddied the water for me.

I think that this story would have come across better if the author had either edited it down more tightly, focusing on the main characters more, or elongated it to a full-length novel or long novella.

I give a 3.5 of 5 stars because it was funny and sweet and I really liked the idea, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations of what this author can do.

Blurb for: In City of Monsters, by Andrea Speed

An ex-investigator turned some-kind-of-shifter (he doesn’t know, but with his luck, it’s probably nothing cool) is hired to find a missing reverse tooth fairy in the hellish dimension of Dev. But even simple things aren’t easy for a guy with more vices than virtues, and his situation gets even more complex when a hot newcomer to Dev with a taste for danger joins him on the case.

Review:

Hunter is an unknown were who meets up with a newbie unknown were (humans who are infected with magic by an animal, sent to another dimension, Dev, and live out there lives as the wereanimal they were infected by.) Neither Sakari nor Hunter know what they are, but they find out and it’s hysterical.

Hunter’s job is to find things, right now he’s finding a reverse tooth-fairy’s twin brother to pay off gambling debts to a werehippo mob boss.

**

This is a hysterical short story, mostly about the city itself and a teeny tiny bit about Hunter and Sakari. There is like, one sentence of romance, and the rest is just hilarious world-building and nonsense.

Though I enjoyed the unique and funny nature of this story, I wasn’t exactly sure why it was included in this anthology, unless it’s meant to be a pre-cursor to a new series or something.

I liked it for what it was and give it a 3 of 5 stars.

**
Overall, the anthology was pretty dang funny, there were some ridiculously sweet parts (Bone Orchard), interesting worlds (City and Horny) and very creative uses of appliances (City).

I give it a 3.5 of 5 stars and I would definitely recommend it.

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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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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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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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