This is a good little collection of Valentine's stories, a little something for everyone, BDSM, new love, established couples, reconciliations.
I'd saThis is a good little collection of Valentine's stories, a little something for everyone, BDSM, new love, established couples, reconciliations.
I'd say my faves were
- Breaking Cupid’s Curse by Cindy Sutherland - Night Out by T. Strange (kind of different and I know people not into food-play won't like it, but I bump it up to a fave for the line "Oh God. Trust Jason to have found some sort of gay Japanese sushi brothel.") - Forgiving Valentine by Michael Barnette
Worth picking up if you like V-day stories. ...more
This was a very cute Valentine’s story, and Will was just the shining start of the story. UnlikeThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a very cute Valentine’s story, and Will was just the shining start of the story. Unlike most Valentine’s story, it’s not really about Will and Ethan, but about Will doing some self-discovery of his own. He’s kind of depressed that Ethan has to work over the lunch period on Valentine’s, leaving his plans for a romantic pilgrimage to the Hollywood sign, off the table. However when he receives notification that he won lunch on Valentine’s with an actor he’s crushed on for years, he’s thrilled. And the guy is on his “list”, and you just never know, he COULD fall in love with Will. It happens.
Ethan’s not thrilled that his boyfriend is going on a date on Valentine’s with another man, but he grudgingly accepts it. However the date doesn’t go quite as planned. The actor is less than stellar company, and seems incapable of having a conversation without a script. When Will finally gets fed up with the odd treatment, he confronts Vince, and Vince confesses he was hoping for a woman he could sleep with because kissing guys is gross. Uh oh. We know what that means. Perhaps he doth protest too much. However Will finally realizes that maybe on the screen the guys is great, but getting involved with a closet case in denial, no matter how hot, is not on his radar screen. And Ethan may not be perfect, but he loves him.
Ethan’s narrative is the strength here. He’s probably around 19 or 20, so of course his fantasy kicks into over-drive. At that age don’t we all think that we really could meet our celebrity crush and be ‘the one’? His commentary is laced with a bit of humour and self-deprecation which makes it fun to read, and it turns out that when faced with reality, maybe he’s a bit more mature than he seems. At least he’s confident with who is and where he’s going in life. An example of his thinking that made me chuckled was:
Before we’d decided to go seriously, two days after our amazing Valentine’s Day date almost a year ago (and only three months after first meeting by the Hollywood sign), we’d each made a list of people we were allowed to kiss, guilt-free, if the opportunity happened to arise. Valentino had been second on my list, superseded only by the current Prince of Great Britain (because castles were awesome, and I still vaguely believed in the Disney possibility of winning the heart of royalty by virtue of my kissing skills).
You don’t get to see Ethan and William together that much, but you sense the affection there. Even though Ethan’s not thrilled with the date, he would never deny William his dream date, and they have an easy camaraderie between them. It was just a perfect little fun story about appreciating that the grass isn’t always greener, that won’t leave you reeling from sugar overload and offered a few smiled along the way. Definitely one of the better Valentine’s stories I’ve read in a while....more
Cade is not much into Valentine’s. His former lover had no use for it, and since that first fatefThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
Cade is not much into Valentine’s. His former lover had no use for it, and since that first fateful Valentine’s when he received nothing, he’s convinced himself he doesn’t care. Now that he’s been left HIV positive by his former lover, he doesn’t think there’s any chance of him ever celebrating anyway. However when the meds leave him dizzy, a young hot coworker, that Cade put out of his head as untouchable, especially given his status, offers to drive him home. Cade then takes a chance and invites him in and confesses his status, which no one at work knows. However Joel has a surprise, he may only be 22, but he’s been positive for four years, which starts Cade thinking maybe there could be something.
There is less here about the two men getting together, than about Cade coming to terms with his lover and the results of not only passing on HIV, but in dying and leaving Cade. Their relationship was on the cusp of breaking down, with Cade no longer content with their open relationship, but the diagnosis of Lorin kind of stalled them out until he passed away. It’s only been eight months since his death, and Cade’s not sure if he can or should move on. There is a lovely scene in the cemetery with an elderly woman which helps him to move forward.
You don’t find out much about Joel. He seems like a nice guy, but you never found out how he got the virus or much beyond the fact he is doing well and has a very positive outlook on life and is prepared to give Cade time. There is a cute epilogue where despite Cade’s assertions that Valentine’s is only a consumer rip-off, Joel’s special treatment brings out the romantic in Cade again.
I think it’s a very positive story of HIV folks. It doesn’t hide behind “all is perfect with meds now” as Lorin could not handle the meds and passed away and on the other hand Joel is perfectly healthy, and then there is the middle ground with Cade suffering from the side-effects of the meds. But it’s also not all gloom and doom, there is hope, there can still be love, that a diagnosis is not the end of your life. A well written story with a nice theme and worth a read, especially if you’re looking for stories with HIV positive characters....more
I really enjoyed this story set in the 1930's depression. Bruce is a typical grumpy detective who finds a young homeless man sleeping outside his doorI really enjoyed this story set in the 1930's depression. Bruce is a typical grumpy detective who finds a young homeless man sleeping outside his door. On a whim he invites him in and even offers him the job of secretary since his own has abandoned him for marriage. The atmosphere was great, with lots of language from the 30's and the feel of the hard-boiled detective. Once the two start flirting it was cute and sweet and Bruce wasn't quite such a hard-ass as he'd lead you to believe. A fun little read....more
This is a sweet little story about second chances, but I found there was a lot of information inThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This is a sweet little story about second chances, but I found there was a lot of information in the book which left it feeling a bit packed for me. Because this is set in a world created in Hearts Under Fire, which I haven’t read, the author did attempt to explain who the people were in this book that orbit around our main character Jeffrey. He’s a bit of an unlucky guy, but he’s happy to have a job at Clark’s bar. The explanation of who Clark and his boyfriend Daniel were, was where it got a bit muddy for me and I likely could have benefited from reading the novel first.
It seems Daniel is Jeffrey’s professor at a local college, and several months ago when there was a shooting at the campus, Daniel and Jeffrey were both involved along with Jeffrey’s boyfriend. However his boyfriend couldn’t seem to cope with the aftermath and left school, and Jeffrey, behind. Now it’s Valentine’s and Jeffrey is a bit down, but he tries to be upbeat. He’s also dealing with a schizophrenic mother who is a challenge for him.
As I said, there is rather a lot in this book, too much to describe, but when Clark sends him back to do some work in the office, he’s in for a surprise. Aquila his Spanish ex is there waiting for him. He has come to apologise and to explain that he couldn’t cope but is coming back to school and hopes to rekindle their romance. I thought it was kind of cute that Aquila’s English is not that good, but he tries to explain to Jeffrey, who understood, because enduring such a traumatic experience is life-changing, but he was also hurt by being abandoned.
So I liked Jeffrey and how despite the difficulties in his life, keeps forging ahead and uses his art to help him cope with the challenges. He could easily have crumbled into apathy or checked out of life, but he keeps going, perhaps in part to impress Clark whom he admires. You don’t get to know much about Aquila, you only see them in the office during their reunion, but I could sympathise with why he left Jeffrey, it wasn’t capricious, coping with a disaster is difficult. So I was quite happy that both guys had a second chance to make it right this time.
I think people who are familiar with the novel will enjoy this story as Clark is a fairly central character to this story. You can certainly read it without reading the novel first, but like me, you may find the efforts to include enough background to make this story sensible, leaves you feeling a bit left behind at times. When the focus is solely on Jeffrey and Aquila it worked much better for me.
This is a cute little Valentine’s day story, told from demon Rafael’s point of view. He’s in a coThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This is a cute little Valentine’s day story, told from demon Rafael’s point of view. He’s in a committed relationship with his soul-mate Dominic, who just happens to be a demon hunter, but in this world there are bad demons and good demons. Since Rafael pretty much falls on the good side, while the demon hunting council might not like his relationship with Dominick, they tolerate it. He is an incubus though, which means he feeds on sexual energy, or in his case semen. He has an agreement with Dominic, he can “feed” from others, but Dominic is the only one to have sex with him and this is working well for them.
However Valentine’s Day is approaching and Raphael has been getting hungry and Dominic is out doing his thing, so he decides to kill three birds with one stone. He decides to do a little matchmaking with two cops who he knows are hot for each other, have some dinner, AND make Dominic a bit jealous to get some Valentine’s attention.
You get to know a bit about Raphael through his internal musings, along with his conversation with the cops. When they mistake him for an underage kid, it brings up some painful memories from his past, but I found him a very likable character. He comes across as rather happy-go-lucky and enjoying his life most of the time, he loves his man and he likes to make people happy, like the two cops, even though as Dominic points out, it could backfire.
This story is not meant to be taken to seriously. After Dominic comes to “rescue” him, they take off into the woods, Dominic naked, and you wonder “How are they going to get home?” but really, it doesn’t matter. Magic. It’s meant to be fun and sexy and romantic, even rolling on the forest floor, as Rafael reminds his man why they are together. So when you are in the mood for a good time, without thinking too much about the logic of it all, it’s a great little demon character. You don’t get to know Dominic at all, but I just thought Rafael was great fun. I really do enjoy playful little demons in stories I’m finding and he fits the bill.
Some people may find the sexual interaction between Rafael and other people unappealing, but he is a demon and he has to eat, so I had no problem with it, but I realize it’s a personal thing for individual readers....more
This is a follow-up to the short story Persistence Pays which I greatly enjoyed. Asa and Tan have been together for a while when the pink package arriThis is a follow-up to the short story Persistence Pays which I greatly enjoyed. Asa and Tan have been together for a while when the pink package arrives, and both are totally freaked once they figure out it’s from Asa’s mother. Given what other packages have contained they are sure this one is going to be equally embarrassing.
There is a lot of humour in this story. Asa and Tan are totally over the top in their fear of what is in the box. Although I suppose getting sex manuals from your mother with pages book marked for you to try could cause a fair amount of trauma. I don’t want to think about my parents having sex and I don’t want them thinking about me either.
It was fun to see Asa and Tan still very much in love and lust. A couple of hot sexy scenes showing their adventurous nature were sweet and sexy. However, the character haven’t changed personalities, Asa is still Asa, a bit of a grump who doesn’t like technology and his routine disrupted, except for Tan who manages to convince him of most anything he wants. Even his mother’s over the top supportive parent character is strongly on the page, even though she’s not there in person.
For those who read the first story it will be a nice revisit. You don’t have to have read it first but you may be left with questions as to how they got together as a couple. If you are in the mood for something that will leave you shaking your head a bit at the guys smiling all the while, it’s an excellent choice. And yes, I googled the gifts they got and seems the author has a good imagination because I couldn’t find them. ...more
Brian and Tristan have hardly seen each other for the last month, managing maybe once a week due to conflicting work schedules and Tristan’s work as aBrian and Tristan have hardly seen each other for the last month, managing maybe once a week due to conflicting work schedules and Tristan’s work as a cop. Finally they are getting away for a pre-Valentine’s weekend at a B&B. Just as they arrive, Brian asks to top and Tristan kind of freaks out. He only did it once with his asshole ex and it was very painful. He shares that with Brian, who with some probing, discover that the ex probably meant it to be that way as he was angry with Tristan at the time.Tristan is willing to just “take it” but Brian refuses and distracts him with some other outdoor activities.
While I still find these guys likable and I want them to be happy, I found this extremely frustrating. There was no real progress made on the would he or wouldn’t he bottom and enjoy it question, and even though it passed through Tristan’s mind that maybe he should invite Brian to live with him so at least they’d see each other more, none of that was resolved except more proof that Brian is a great guy who loves Tristan and would never push him. I just felt that there wasn’t much progression of them as a couple beyond Tristan sharing his one time with his ex and some other family stories, and thus found the story less than rewarding. I think if Brian had been able to show Tristan that being on the bottom can be pleasant with someone who cares about you, or they had even discussed moving in together I would have felt there was some movement forward.
I’m not sure how many inches this is going to, but I hope that the next inch is a rather large one because this felt more like a centimetre despite the strong writing and appealing characters. ...more
This is set in the club world and is the same couple, Max and Ravi, that were in the Toy Box Body Paint story I read a few days ago. But while they haThis is set in the club world and is the same couple, Max and Ravi, that were in the Toy Box Body Paint story I read a few days ago. But while they had been together 3 years in that story, this is about the night they met. Club owner Kale more or less orders shy Max to go to a goth club with Dante (the bartender and future love interest of Kale) on Valentine’s. Dante disappears and Max gets bored so goes outside. He meets Ravi who has also been abandoned by his friends so they go over to the diner across the street to talk. They get along great and when Dante texts him that he’s hooked up with twins, Ravi suggests they go to his place. Max usually doesn’t do one night stands and can’t for the life of him figure out why hot sexy Ravi wants to be with him but he goes along and seems he brings back Ravi’s desire to paint again after a hot night of lovin‘.
I like this world a lot, but I’m finding it a bit frustrating that I keep getting bits and pieces and they are totally out of order. This just came out this month and it’s Ravi and Max 3 years BEFORE the book I bought weeks ago. For most of these kind of things I find there is one novel which sets up the world and then small shorts that enhance it, but this seems to be a series of shorts totally revolving around a central hub but the hub is just a pin prick, so there is no logic or order, or I can’t find it. I need a “read these in this order to make the most sense”. Oh and I read the book where Kale and Dante hook up a year ago but in this story Dante doesn’t even have his tail yet. Sigh. So while I like it I find it a bit annoying to have to hop around in time. I suppose I could look for an author website which might explain it but I’m inherently lazy. ...more
David hates V-day with a passion having been dumped that day the last two years. He’s almost home when someone knocks him down the apartment stairs. HDavid hates V-day with a passion having been dumped that day the last two years. He’s almost home when someone knocks him down the apartment stairs. He is rescued by his hot fire fighter neighbor Chris who takes him to the hospital. He has a broken wrist and various other injuries and is sent home. Chris moves in with him for the weekend to take care of him and David finds out Chris IS gay and even has a crush on him and they get freaky in the shower. Now seriously, on that many pain meds and with so many body injuries would someone BE in any condition to have sex 2 days after falling down stairs? Mmmm. I’m not so sure, but it was a cute story that if you just disregard that part (how come the men of m/m are such tough bastards and real life sick and injured men are big whiny babies?) I quite enjoyed the interplay between Chris and David....more