This is a short but scorching hot fantasy story about a sexy TA that finally snags the seemingly prim and proper professor. The characters were fun, iThis is a short but scorching hot fantasy story about a sexy TA that finally snags the seemingly prim and proper professor. The characters were fun, incredibly hot, and likable even as they all veered into fantasy. The writing was tight and concise with no glaring mistakes but clearly shares my affinity and love for commas and as much as it may pain me to say this, it would be ok to include a few less. Overall this was an entertaining and easy to read story that comes in ~60 pages but includes several sex scenes sure to raise some heat levels.
As the blurb outlines, Harlan is Sawyer’s TA and the men have been secretly lusting after each other from afar but due to the difference in position with Harlan a student, nothing has come of their chemistry until Harlan graduates and decides to make his interest known. Harlan is a relatable character with his sensitivity, determination, and intelligence. His seduction in the form of a stripping video for Sawyer was a great scene ~ well written and easy to visualize, let alone smoking hot. Although both Harlan and Sawyer are not explored too much beyond the obvious they are given enough depth mostly through discussions with others or internal musings that they are not simply flat characters. Their two year long work relationship goes to establishing a prior connection between the men so the author focuses on their sexual chemistry, which won’t disappoint.
The sexual dynamics between Harlan and Sawyer are the main focus of the short story from their unrequited attraction to finally getting together, with a small side trip of an argument before a happy ending. Sawyer has a clear dominant edge both in the bedroom and out that emerges, so their roles are defined early and often to the point that this slides even more into the fantasy aspect of this story. However, this definitely is not bad if you’re looking for explosive chemistry between two incredibly gorgeous men with a bit of kink and toys thrown in for flavor. Some of the lines used in the story are funny and slightly corny, but these are kept to a minimum for the most part.
Additional characters such as Rhys, Harlan’s brother, scream for their own story which no doubt will be forthcoming as his humor and sarcasm are a fun and scene stealing addition. Harlan’s roommate and fellow stripper, Tameron, and Sawyer’s best friend, Macon, all have larger than life personalities and no doubt will have to make future appearances. The unique names alone mean these men will not slide off into this one shot story. Aside from the abundance of clever names, the writing was mostly clean and without obvious errors to detract from the story. For a shorter but scorching tale, this ranks above others easily. If you’re looking for a fast read for pure enjoyment and fantasy considering giving this a try....more
Lone is an interesting book with a very intriguing world created for paranormal and supernatural beings. The characters and writing are tight and soliLone is an interesting book with a very intriguing world created for paranormal and supernatural beings. The characters and writing are tight and solid and the book reads incredibly fast from the first scene to the end. Unfortunately, there are some problems with the book from character problems and repetition but these may or may not bother other readers. For those that enjoy well-written, creative plots with high angst, heavily melodramatic characters with a lack of any self-worth yet redeemable qualities – you may like this offering. Even with the problems I found, I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to future stories set in this creative world.
The world built is with beings called Nightkin, supernatural creatures including vampires, werewolves, warlocks, witches, and Seers. Most are born, not created, and exist with a magic imbuing them with their various powers. This magic is recognizable by all Nightkin and thus it’s handy to know who to stay away from. Of course no supernatural creation is complete without the requisite abomination and in this case these are Ravagers. Mutated beings who have more strength, cunning, and ability than their counterparts yet lack reasoning and emotion subsisting on rage and lust alone. The Ravagers are usually killed at birth or hunted mercilessly until they are killed, rarely living past twenty years.
Seth Anderson is one such Ravager, but he’s managed to elude death by constantly moving and rarely engaging unless forced and then he obliterates anyone coming after him. He certainly takes to heart the phrase “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” He is a small, innocent looking man standing only 5’5” and lacks any strength in his human form. He’s an intelligent, shy, emotionally fragile man who has been beaten, ridiculed and hunted all his life. He has absolutely no concept of self-worth and believes totally and completely he is a monster worth destroying. Yet his own self-preservation wins and he continues to elude death and discovery by living in the middle of nowhere Ohio and rarely allowing photographs.
Rafe is a local pool house owner who’s been dating Seth for three months and declares his love on a short weeklong trip to DC. Rafe at 6’6” is attracted to Seth’s vulnerability and cute appearance, taking on the role easily as protector. Rafe has an unending supply of patience and love and even when expressing anger, remorse, and sadness he yields to Seth’s needs. The transition of thinking of Seth as his lover to knowing Seth’s supernatural side is not a hard transition for Rafe. His easy going demeanor and belief in love conquering all allow him to accept actions and facts that should send him running. Rafe is too good to be true, just as Seth is too needy but they compliment each other in their uneven relationship.
Seth is certainly a sympathetic character with his emotional and self-esteem problems. Having no concept of love or positive behavior towards him, he has trouble accepting Rafe’s constant positive comments and steadfast support. Seth always looks for the hidden meaning, the negative connotation and is quick to jump on any hint of negative reactions or fear and scorn. This does wear somewhat on the course of the story as while it’s understandable that Seth would struggle with his self worth given his past, he drags on in an angst filled and melodramatic funk creating problems and issues that Rafe has already forgiven. Seth simply can’t believe that Rafe would love him and this is the crux that takes Seth the entire novel to accept. It wears over the course of the novel and individual tastes will vary on this overused and exaggerated drama.
The plot was interesting, if basic at its core. The tension and drama almost entirely stem from Seth and his inability to accept Rafe’s love and the few additional scenes of Rafe struggling to accept Seth’s new personality. A definite problem was that once Seth’s supernatural being is exposed, he completely changes. Seth goes from an intelligent, articulate, submissive but not weak man prior to the exposure to inarticulate, fearful, dog-like behavior and emotion. Even when in his human form, Seth rarely is able to express any sort of intelligent discussion and emotion, lapsing back into repeated phrases such as “Bad Seth, Good Rafe” and dialogue that reads as if taking to a pet - “Rafe is tired. Rafe is shelter. Good Seth?” Seth then continues the trend with often submissive behavior and acting even more like a dog than previously, going so far as to be jealous of a family pet that gets Rafe’s attention. Considering how long Seth has survived with this part of his personality, able to become some rock star in the math world, it’s strange and disconcerting when he reverts back to the most simplistic and basic behavior and language. It made absolutely no sense and definitely created problems between the characters and the story. Some of this behavior was understandable but not all of it. It’s really no wonder Rafe got emotional repeatedly at the transformation from Seth as an equal lover to now a pet in the relationship.
Another problem evident were the dangling questions that were not addressed and instead the story ended abruptly with a happy ending. Seth ruminates very near the end, asking himself what he offers Rafe as Seth takes everything he needs from Rafe but offers nothing in return. This essential part of their dynamic is never addressed and there *is* no answer for what Seth offers. Seth eventually is able to say he loves Rafe, which certainly could be the answer but other than outright physical protection and loyalty this emotion still fell flat from Seth. This couple would benefit from a sequel where their dynamic is more explored and understood as the relationship grew and matured. Considering the secondary characters, especially the scene stealing Dorian, no doubt future books will give a look back on Rafe and Seth.
The tight writing and descriptive prose without overindulging in details did create an enjoyable read with interesting and fully realized characters, even if they had drawbacks. Seth’s emotional angst and melodrama ran long towards the end with the repetition of simplistic language and behavior but will definitely be a subjective aspect to the character. Seth is like a stray pet taken in and requires the same amount of patience and constant affection where even one outburst could take considerable time to get over. With this in mind, the story will either appeal or not but I enjoyed it. The author’s writing and ability to infuse emotion within the prose is wonderful and never takes the drama into the ridiculous. His world building is intriguing and will entice readers to want to read more (if that was his intent) and I look forward to more in what I hope will become a series. ...more
A solidly written story about gambling shark that is anything but perfect and surprisingly ends up winning the perfect man in a poker game. Just as heA solidly written story about gambling shark that is anything but perfect and surprisingly ends up winning the perfect man in a poker game. Just as he’s beginning to understand this mysterious stranger in his life, his past rears its head and Ace has to struggle with past regrets, revenge, and what’s really important to a gambler ~ what you win or what you lose. Great action, interesting characters and a tightly written plot cause this story to fly while reading. Released to rave reviews, this book holds up well over time as years later it’s still a wonderful and fun story to read.
Told from first person point of view from Ace’s perspective, the character is immediately introduced as charmingly flawed. He makes his living playing cards with all the ups and downs that come with such an unpredictable addiction. He has much vulnerability and just as much strength, shown in his treatment of Spade, his confusion over the man and his own desires, and his need for revenge. Ace is far from perfect, which lends a genuine honesty to his voice and a reality to his situation. He is by turns intense, moody, charismatic, lost, scared, and commanding. Ace’s appealing complex nature make him instantly relatable and likeable as well as the perfect counterpoint to the perfection of Spade.
Spade is a mysterious man even at the end of the story. Although exactly how he came to be owned by Ace is explained, his perceptions and emotions are complicated. The strong and defined characterization of the man shows how his emerging emotions and perfection work to shape his relationship with Ace. While mostly perfect characters tend to go over the line, the hints of insecurity and confusion serve to humanize that perfection and keep Spade fresh and attractive rather than a simple mirror for Ace’s emotions. The scene on the rooftop between Ace and Spade was especially moving and revealed a deeper connection than the two had originally believed.
The main focus of the story is its strength, concentrating on the dynamic characters of Ace and Spade, both separately and together. Yet the very brief appearance of the scene stealing Jennika was delightful and an added bonus. The concise writing and easy flow to the story made it a quick read for its length and highly enjoyable. The details regarding card playing added levels of dimension to the tale to create a wonderful fast read that I recommend to all readers. A happy ending well deserved by interesting characters and a great plot has this story sliding to my keeper shelf.
Sean and Kyle have a really good relationship. The opening scene shows the depth and ease of their partnership early and perfectly. Kyle still feels tSean and Kyle have a really good relationship. The opening scene shows the depth and ease of their partnership early and perfectly. Kyle still feels that spark of chemistry, the hitch in his breath looking at his lover even after six years. Their familiarity and comfort with each other speaks volumes not only to their love but how their relationship works as individuals and as a couple. So when Sean is shot in a school shooting, Kyle can’t imagine a life without Sean and needs to know on a visceral level that Sean is still alive. Their differing approaches to dealing with the aftermath create a complex and difficult journey as they both struggle to move beyond the life changing event. In a beautifully written book, the author shows that the repercussions of such actions linger for longer and broader than most ever know or imagine.
Sean is a remarkably complex man, a high school science teacher and baseball coach that if not openly gay, certainly takes no pains to hide either his sexual orientation or his lover. He is the one that usually handles the more physical of their relationship, he handles the “outside chores” while Kyle handles the “inside chores” which doesn’t include cooking – that is solely Sean’s territory. Sean is used to being in charge with a large, vibrant personality. Although he’s often stubborn and bossy, those very qualities ensure that the relationship will survive as Sean simply will not allow any other outcome. So when he is physically and emotionally injured by the shooting, Sean’s normal abilities are strained and often impossible. Simple things such as walking, driving, climbing stairs are suddenly herculean efforts leaving him short tempered and angry. Sean’s anger and guilt at his actions and inactions prompt a majority of his decisions and outbursts, giving a very honest portrayal of his struggle.
Kyle is an equally complex character, an OCD architect who handles all the details such as paying bills, indoor plumbing, and kitchen remodeling. His hatred and bafflement of grocery shopping was just one of many endearing and charming quirks of his fiery personality. Quick to temper, Kyle often removes himself from the situation before saying something irrevocable. He prefers to avoid fights rather than have them, afraid that his temper will prompt permanent anger and hurt with a quick retort. His fear for Sean and wish to simply move on, get past the shooting, and mostly get back to their lives and their happiness blinds him to Sean’s struggles sometimes. Kyle has difficulty understanding how the shooting will never be far from Sean’s mind as it’s changed him but how much as it changed the man Kyle loves? Their painful and heated attempts to find a new balance while clinging to the foundation of their relationship makes for a heart felt journey.
Although told from alternating points of view, sometimes from Sean or Kyle, I ultimately ended up empathizing with Kyle more of the two characters. While Sean’s motives and reasoning was understood, Kyle seemed unable to stop himself from reacting the way he did. His love for Sean seemed so big and overwhelming at times, his fear of losing that colored his own vision and understanding. There is a scene where Sean admits to himself that he’s always loved Kyle more than Kyle loved him and accepted that but that felt more like Sean’s insecurity. Often Kyle’s devotion and need for Sean seemed to simmer just below the surface of all their interactions
Together these men are neither perfect nor inherently flawed. They are genuine men who fight, make up, make mistakes and above all, love each other desperately. The emotions elicited were authentic as their experiences were vastly different yet their goal is still the same. Sean’s decision to work with a public relations consultant, Brandt, was difficult and controversial as was Kyle’s continued reaction to the man and schedule Sean accepted without a qualm. Their fights, non-fights, sexual connection and avoidance of the problems hidden badly under the rug give warmth to the characters and their plight, while carrying along on their roller coaster of emotion and problems. Sean and Kyle’s game of saying I love you was wonderful and a touch of welcome humor (as was their friend Tom) in an emotionally charged story.
This is a fantastic character driven story with two incredibly hot and complicated men. The author has such a deft hand at driving the characters and their story, increasing the tension when needed but diffusing a situation before either man implodes with humor, grace, and sexual need which demonstrate the complimentary way Sean and Kyle are able to merge two dominant personalities into a loving and deeply caring relationship. Their story travels a full range of emotion from heart breaking sadness to loneliness, anger and rage, humor, smoking hot sex, confusion, fear, love. While the ending was somewhat of a short resolution, by then, the characters deserved their happy ending. There were some inconsistencies within the story but they in no way detract from its enjoyment and without a doubt, this story is going on my keeper shelf.
If I haven’t made it clear – I urge you to get this book....more