As hot as cowboy and the stories about them can be, especially when rodeos are involved, there is always the underlying of serious injury. Yes, there...moreAs hot as cowboy and the stories about them can be, especially when rodeos are involved, there is always the underlying of serious injury. Yes, there is danger in ranch work as well, but it’s a whole different dimension when you’re talking bull riding and bucking horses. Tragically, as this story shows, deadly injury doesn’t even have to strike during work. One of the main characters’ friends, James, falls off his horse when they are just goofing off, and breaks his spine. He is not expected to recover.
Alan was there when it happened, and he is about as shaken up as can e. Not just because he is going to lose a friend, but because seeing the effect of a fall like that makes him think about his own choices. He thought the rodeo was the most important thing in his life, more important than living with his lover Colby. He let in anger, the man hasn’t responded to his last few calls, and Alan realizes he has been an idiot. He can only hope it’s not too late!
When Colby hears about James, and how hard Alan has taken it, he hopes the man will make it home to him. Yes, he’s been a little pissy about the fact the guy left him behind, but he still loves Alan with all he is. The relief when Alan makes it home is tremendous, and their reunion turns very hot, very quickly. Colby doesn’t even hesitate when Alan asks if he can stay – for Colby, his ranch had already become Alan’s home a long time ago.
If you like stories with a touch of tragedy that makes men rethink their priorities, if hot cowboys are your thing, and if you’re looking for a short story about two men who are passionate enough about each other to admit they were wrong, then you will probably lie this short story.(less)
High school is a crucial time for many people, a time when they decide who they want to be, or at least what sort of a person they will become once th...moreHigh school is a crucial time for many people, a time when they decide who they want to be, or at least what sort of a person they will become once they grow up. While reading stories set in that time are interesting, I find the ones that look at people thirty or forty years later even more fascinating. They offer the opportunity to look at what really happened, and in the case of “King”, who used to be a hero and feel like a hero when he made his school bully-free, there was bound to be a grand story. Right? Wrong. The way King sees it he is a total failure. For me, the real story unfolds in this book and it is all about how he got to that point, and how an unexpected turn of events helps him see the truth of the effect he has had on so many lives – which does make him a hero. Just of a different kind than he expected.
King’s last good deed of his high school years was, as far as he was concerned, no different than any of the others he performed. Keeping the bullies powerless and giving the kids who need it the courage to stand up for themselves was what he and his merry band of helpers was all about. His great dreams crashed though, and now he lives a boring, closeted life, never having left town like he intended. He may still work small “miracles”, but he doesn’t see them as really important. Boy, does he have it wrong!
On his fifty-seventh birthday, a new chapter of his life begins. Not that he realizes it at first, nor does he expect anything to change. He is too old. Right? Wrong again! His friends have organized not just a party, but an encounter with King’s own hero, Rex Rodman. Their encounter sets in motion a chain of discoveries, discussions, and events that reveal a lot of unexpected truths and teach King some valuable lessons. I loved the road the author took me on as King and Rex maneuver their way around obstacles, preconceptions, and accepted “truths” that turn out to be not so true after all.
If you like stories about second chances, if two men who seem destined for very different things end up discovering there are many more options than they thought sound like an interesting couple, and if you’re looking for a slightly different kind of romance that revolves around self-discovery and learning to be honest with yourself, then you will probably enjoy this novel.(less)
New adventures for Jack Cannon, the hot cop with his even hotter partner Lucky who specializes in undercover assignments? Count me in! Just from knowi...moreNew adventures for Jack Cannon, the hot cop with his even hotter partner Lucky who specializes in undercover assignments? Count me in! Just from knowing Jack and Lucky, and from reading the blurb, I knew the tension was bound to be high. Just consider this: Jack has been promoted (or transferred, he is not too sure) to the new Threat Management unit, a team created to go up against the most vile of the vile criminals in LA. Lucky is still on some mysterious assignment in London, and doesn’t sound right when they speak. They have been separated for weeks, and neither likes that fact. Of course, staying in touch via Skype and phone calls can never be enough for the two lovers.
As does happen on these dangerous “special unit” assignments, Jack gets shot — under suspicious circumstances, no less, and with a new partner who seems less than able to truly support him — then he is “forced” to take a vacation. Of course he decides to spend it in London so he can check up on Lucky, especially since he hasn’t sounded right for a while now. Jack suspects it is another man… But then Lucky comes to see Jack in hospital and everything seems to be okay. Never for long though, not with these guys!
Lucky is in the middle of an elaborate undercover operation and can sure use some backup. He pulls Jack right in, and let me tell you, what goes down next does need both of these great cops’ attention if they want to stand a chance to come out of it alive. The villains may be tough, but Jack and Lucky combined are way tougher!
If you want to know what’s next for this increasingly close couple, if you’re looking for hot cops, hotter action, and incendiary in-an-out-of-the-bedroom action, then you should give this novella a try – just make sure you read the first two volumes first to get the full effect. I think it’s worth it!
Sometimes what seems like the worst setback in life actually turns out to be a very lucky break. Grayson, a cop demoted for arresting the “wrong” kid,...moreSometimes what seems like the worst setback in life actually turns out to be a very lucky break. Grayson, a cop demoted for arresting the “wrong” kid, finds out that his new assignment writing traffic tickets isn’t all bad. It did make me question if a police captain would really demote one of his officers for arresting someone who was clearly drunk and disorderly, endangering other people’s lives, just because the perpetrator is a senator’s son. Bu then again, I guess it could happen – corruption is everywhere after all.
Even though Grayson is extremely grumpy initially, and who could blame him after the total injustice he has suffered, I loved him because he found such a creative way to get back at all the colleagues who didn’t support him when he needed it. Maybe it’s petty to ticket all his colleagues whenever he can, but it made me smile. And at least it gives Grayson something to focus on other than the misery that is now his job. But then one day he writes out a ticket for a double-parked sports car and his luck totally changes.
The owner of that sports car, Luke, also owns the café the car sat in front of, and what follows is a sweet romance. Some shared lunches, careful flirting, and both men realize there might just be more. That’s when it gets very hot, and the truth about Luke comes out. Not what I expected at all, but I thought it was very, very funny.
If you like stories where coincidence is what makes two men meet, then interest and determination is what makes them keep coming back to each other, and if you’re looking for a sweet, hot read with a touch of humor, then you will probably like this short story.
It was great to finally get Mike’s story. After his brief appearances in the first two books of the ‘Box of Nails’ series, I have to admit I was both...moreIt was great to finally get Mike’s story. After his brief appearances in the first two books of the ‘Box of Nails’ series, I have to admit I was both curious about him and very worried. Being shy is not a problem, but he is clearly scared of simply everyone and everything, and the fact that he cuts is not really a good sign. Paul and Jeff (from book two), do the best they can to be his friends and to take care of him, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Mike needs much more than good friends, and I couldn’t wait to see who would ride to his rescue, so to speak.
Angus is a cop, and a friend of Barney’s (from book one). He first hears about Mike at a party, and he is intrigued. Once he meets Mike, he becomes very interested and decides to help him. Since he used to cut as well, when he was younger, he doesn’t just understand what Mike is going through from a theoretical point of view, he actually knows what it feels like to have that need to bleed out the pain, or the fear, or whatever else it is that bothers a cutter to the point where they need to inflict that sort of harm on themselves. His patience seems infinite, but he is determined, and very slowly manages to gain Mike’s trust. It may start out as him wanting to help, because he can, but very soon he realizes he is beginning to love Mike and wants to be a lot more for him than “just” his savior.
Mike is in a very bad spot. Raped and made fun of, taunted at a frat party three years ago, he feels guilt, shame, and downright nasty. Cutting is a way to let out the bad and the fear, but he is also very aware that it could become his way out of this world, permanently, if he ever needs it to be. He cannot believe anyone would be interested in him, that he could be good enough to be important for someone to love him. It takes him a long time to arm up to Angus, but it seems easy. At least a lot easier than he thought it would be. He cannot believe that Angus really loves him, but the evidence keeps mounting, and when Angus needs him, he is there for him.
If you like stories about wounded men who need time and lots of love to heal, if you want to see what it’s like to be afraid all the time only to find out there is a better way of living once the right man comes along to help give you the courage to face your fears, and if you’re looking for a very angsty yet sweet read with an ending like a modern-day fairy tale, then you will probably like this novella.
What a truly fascinating story! Set in the future and a time when AI (artificial intelligences) are a lot more powerful than they are today, this stor...moreWhat a truly fascinating story! Set in the future and a time when AI (artificial intelligences) are a lot more powerful than they are today, this story asks the question of “what makes us human” in a slightly different way than comparing us to aliens or the robots of Isaac Asimov. They would also have had to be AIs, but back when he wrote his amazing novels in the 1950s, human science wasn’t advanced enough to ask the question in those terms. But the topic is the same. And with chess programs already able to outwit the human brain, it really only is a matter of time before we face the kind of problem Michel faces in this story: what is the difference between an AI that has gained self-awareness and has developed feelings using circuits and software and a human, who does the same thing using a brain and chemicals/hormones?
Michel is a fairly normal fifteen-year-old. Not in the way he lives his life as an Interpol kid, perpetually moving from country to the next, wherever his parents’ skills in fighting terrorists are needed. But in the way he looks for friends, companionship, and, very specifically, a boyfriend. Now, he has been told by his parents not to talk to strangers on the feeds (read: online), but what does he do? Exactly. He is curious, and when he meets this boy called Benny in a chat room and they start talking about pets, things develop quickly, and suddenly they are dating. Never having physically met, of course. And once they do meet, well, sort of, since Benny isn’t real? All hell breaks lose, of course.
Michel realizes that Benny isn’t real in the sense that Michel is physically real. But the way he thinks, asks questions, and learns is very real. He may be a powerful AI, but who says that self-awareness is unique to humans? And aren’t feelings a logical consequences of consciousness? They are in humans, so Michel begins to see how they might be just as real for software originally developed by humans. All of these questions are asked, and some answered, in this amazing story that will probably make you think about AI and “intelligent computers” in a very different way.
If you like your science fiction a little on the speculative side while still founded in “real” science, if you enjoy reading stories that try to define what makes us human and a machine a machine, and if you’re looking for an entertaining, yet thoughtful, way to imagine what might happen if software development continues to advance the way it has so far, then you will probably like this story. Teenagers of today may end up having to grapple with issues like the ones in ‘Binary Boy” when they are adults in thirty years or so… maybe earlier.