Charlie Cochet sure knows how to write them. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or just a cute holiday novella, she is sure to deliver a charmingCharlie Cochet sure knows how to write them. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or just a cute holiday novella, she is sure to deliver a charming story with excellent character development, a wonderful sense of humor and a truly heartwarming happily ever after. It goes without saying that I’m a huge fan… honestly, what’s not to like?
Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts offers it all and more in just 70 pages. We meet Spencer, a true geek if there ever was one, who’s been lusting over his next door neighbor for about a year. Quinn is a gruff policeman married to his work, and while he’s aware that he has a young, male neighbor, he never noticed him beyond that. But when Quinn gets injured on the job and has to spend weeks in his apartment, all alone, Spencer sees an opportunity to finally attract the gorgeous cop’s attention. With brownies, of course. This bold move is very unlike Spencer who is somewhat insecure and considers Quinn to be far out of his league. But once Quinn sees him for who he really is, once he gets to know the smart, adorable guy underneath the geeky exterior, romance is pretty much inevitable.
If you’re looking for a cute, heartwarming afternoon read, it truly can’t get much better than this. It will give you a great taste of Charlie’s work, which might lead you to her THIRDS series, a true favorite of mine. ...more
Wow. Just wow. This may very well be my favorite book by Renae Kaye, and we’re talking about the person who wrote Loving Jay, Shearing Gun,
Wow. Just wow. This may very well be my favorite book by Renae Kaye, and we’re talking about the person who wrote Loving Jay, Shearing Gun, and Blinding Light, the first book in this series. All of these books are my favorites so to have her actually exceed my very high expectations is an unusual thing indeed.
We first met Davo in Blinding Light as Jake’s best friend, but although he was there with a decent advice when one was needed the most, he didn’t get much chance to shine. But even if he were given more time, Davo simply isn’t a character that shines at first (or even third) sight. He seems pretty ordinary on the surface, but deep underneath is a complex and truly stupendous character.
When Davo meets Lee in his favorite bar, he is surprised by how much he likes the gorgeous and entertaining woman. Yes, you read that right – woman. He is also insanely attracted to her, which is a first for him, and more than ready to succumb to his desires. The first time can be written off as a fluke caused by alcohol, but the second and the third are really mind-boggling. However, Lee isn’t actually a woman at all, he is just a petite gay man who occasionally dresses like a woman. Not transgender at all, but a cross-dresser on rare occasions. A wonderful, confident, intelligent man with a strong sense of self and a desire to help others.
For Davo, who’s been bullied into believing that everything typically “girlie” is inherently wrong, this development is even worse than falling for a woman. He likes men, but he likes his men safe and manly, not small, delicate and feminine. The idea of a man dressed as a woman, a man so obviously gay even when he’s in his regular clothes, terrifies him to no end. Luckily, he’s not left to figure it out alone. Patrick and Jake from Blinding Light and their lovely little daughter are very much present in this book and always there with a decent advice. And when all else fails, he has his trusted Magic 8 Ball to help him decide his fate.
Once again, Kaye explores things like gender fluidity, prejudice and bullying in her very recognizable subtle way. She always finds ways to shine light on a truly important issue without letting it overtake her story. This wasn’t the first time that she gently introduced gender nonconformity with her characters, but it was certainly more pronounced and the points were made strongly, but tastefully.
Renae Kaye is an author I admire greatly, not only because she writes all my favorite romances, but because she always shows such tact and consideration while doing it. You’re the Reason may be my personal favorite, but objectively, it’s another in a long string of successes by the author who has nothing left to prove.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review....more
When you've loved a series as much as I have and for as long as I've loved A Matter of Time, getting a novella that celebrates everything that was speWhen you've loved a series as much as I have and for as long as I've loved A Matter of Time, getting a novella that celebrates everything that was special about it is a treat like no other. We’ve followed Sam and Jory to hell and back, seen them make awful decisions and come together in their explosive way, witnessed them settling down and weathering one storm after another, laughed through Jory’s antics and loved them both unconditionally for many, many years. In Piece of Cake, the two can finally get married in their own state after years of domestic partnership, but Jory wouldn’t be Jory if murder and mayhem didn’t follow him closely.
Piece of Cake is basically a condensed version of everything we love about this series. Jory is running around clueless while Sam and Dane do their best to minimize the damage. We see their large, loving family get together to celebrate their love, but most importantly, we get another taste of that unconditional, fiery connection that makes this couple one of my favorite romance couples in the world. Jory might be ridiculous beyond words and Sam can be the epitome of alpha male, but the true magic happens only when they come together, when they make us sigh and wish for a love like theirs.
If you’re new to the series, fix that immediately. It’s a known fact that Mary Calmes sprinkles crack cocaine between the lines of her books. Prepare to get addicted. ...more
It's a rare event when a secondary character outshines the protagonist, but that's exactly what happened in Double Up, the first book in Vanessa NorthIt's a rare event when a secondary character outshines the protagonist, but that's exactly what happened in Double Up, the first book in Vanessa North's Lake Lovelace series. Ben's best friend Eddie was the shining star that held the book together, so it's no wonder that the fans begged for his story.
Writing tastefully about a character nicknamed Kinky Eddie is no easy feat, and yet Vanessa North accomplished it with seeming ease. It would seem that she goes exactly where her characters lead her, even if it means exploring the mindset of a non-submissive masochist. Rough Road is far from being vanilla, but Eddie's relationship with Wish is written very tastefully, even while exploring their mutual kinks.
The obstacles in front of this couple seemed very realistic and probable, which is all one can ask. I love that it took a while for them to really settle into their relationship and figure out what they could possibly mean to each other. It was instalust between them, but love came slowly and gradually, in a way that could be easily imagined and felt alongside them.
For me, Eddie's book outshined its predecessor and it left me hopefull that the next book by North will be even better. I look forward to it....more
Simon and Declan are finally (finally!) back, stronger and more entertaining than ever. After a three year break, we’re finally holding a new adventu
Simon and Declan are finally (finally!) back, stronger and more entertaining than ever. After a three year break, we’re finally holding a new adventure in our hands, a delightful, Aussie-flavored, heartfelt and family-oriented romance unlike anything I’ve ever read.
I’ve been asked on several occasions to choose my favorite gay romance couple, and it’s always been Simon and Dec (and also – just to be fair – Tony and Mac from Kaje Harper’s Life Lessons series). But the charm of these books lies with more than just its two protagonists. As a rule, Kennedy portrays realistic, believable, and above all warm characters.
Eight years after their relationship was forged under extreme pressure, Simon and Declan are still going strong. They’ve built an amazing life together, a life of tolerance, understanding, patience and genuine affection. They have an incredible circle of family and friends and they’ve even found ways to bring their very different careers much closer. Tigers on the Run offers a new peek into their very ordinary life, under somewhat unusual circumstances. Simon faces new drama with his old nemesis, and this time it comes just a bit too close to home. Declan is trying desperately to help a 17-year-old gay football player, but the kid isn’t making it easy at all. Their friends and family have changed and grown, but the love and support remains unchanged. Jumping back into this world truly feels like coming home.
With Simon and Declan in such a strong, committed relationship, one would think that this series has nothing left to give, but one would be very, very wrong. This is exactly the type of thing I want to read – a strong, loving couple facing difficulties together, living their life and overcoming obstacles just like the rest of us. When you add to that Simon’s propensity for drama and his highbrow sense of humor (he is, after all, my very favorite arty wanker), you get a series that will give you more than just characters to love – it will give you friends for life.
I have loved Simon Murray and Declan Tyler from my very first peek into their lives. What’s more, I’ve loved Roger and Fran, Abe and Lisa, and pretty much everyone else just as much. Luckily for me, Tigers on the Run left some possibilities wide open – I hope I’ll be seeing more of them, and soon. ...more
4.5 stars Bluewater Bay is a series published by Riptide Publishing as a collaborative effort of ten of their most prominent authors. Each author wrot
4.5 stars Bluewater Bay is a series published by Riptide Publishing as a collaborative effort of ten of their most prominent authors. Each author wrote (or will soon write) a single independent novel, but they are all set in the small town of Bluewater Bay where an insanely popular paranormal TV series called Wolf’s Landing is being filmed. Although this book counts as the eighth in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone since it has all new characters and situations and the only thing it shares with the others is the setting.
To those of you unfamiliar with Amy Lane, let me first say this: among many (and I do mean many these days) M/M authors, she is practically royalty. There isn’t an M/M fan out there who hasn’t cried over her books, or if there is, it’s a horrible oversight on their part that needs to be fixed immediately. With dozens of novels behind her, Amy Lane has proven over and over again that she’s one of the best.
Her books can be neatly divided into two categories: those swimming in angst, and those that are more light-hearted, although no less exciting. And yet, The Deep of the Sound defies any sort of categorization. It is in many ways a painfully intense book, a heart-wrenching experience from start to finish. And yet the romance itself is surprisingly light and easy, a thing that happens when two complementary souls recognize each other.
Most of the angst comes from Cal’s horrible family situation. He is the sole provider for his brother with severe mental health issues and his uncle with Alzheimer’s disease. Poor Cal is desperate to keep them all together and out of nursing homes or worse, but his job is far from easy.
Cal’s despair is overwhelming, his loneliness a strong fist that suffocates and never lets go. Lane is never afraid to show us her characters at the worst possible time, as the very worst versions of themselves. Cal’s life at the beginning of this story is so incredibly bleak that it brought tears to my eyes in the very first chapter.
Avery’s troubles are a perhaps not so severe, but they’re just as touching. His self-respect is at an all-time low and his support system is virtually non-existent. When two such lives collide, how can it possibly result in anything remotely good? And yet slowly, painfully, by making one step forward and several steps back, it actually does.
Amy’s characters are always unforgettable, always designed to make the strongest possible impact. They’re people, imperfect, sad, often rash people with very little to look forward to. She always finds a way to make them resonate with us, to make them stand out and be remembered. Emotionally, this story is right up there with her very best: The Locker Room, the Promises series and Johnnies series.
If you really are unfamiliar with her book, you can start here, or you can just choose a book at random. You simply can’t go wrong with Amy. ...more
4.5 stars Fated by Indra Vaughn came my way completely accidentally, recommended by author John Inman in the comments of a Facebook poll no more than
4.5 stars Fated by Indra Vaughn came my way completely accidentally, recommended by author John Inman in the comments of a Facebook poll no more than a few weeks ago. To this day I haven’t figured out how it went unnoticed by me until that moment. What’s more, it seems to be somewhat overlooked by its intended audience, which is a crime, to be honest. The characters Vaughn has created deserve to be celebrated and talked about, they should inspire people to start discussions and street teams, and yet, they haven’t just yet. Why? Mostly because their beauty is quiet and unassuming, complex and deeply felt. They’re not instantly likeable or wildly entertaining, they just are… human, vulnerable and often wrong, just like everybody else.
We meet Hart, a police detective, in his own home, working on renovations with his much younger neighbor, Isaac. It’s clear from the start that the two have feelings for each other, but Hart is bothered by their age difference and quite used to a life of profound loneliness. When his father dies and he has to leave to handle his funeral, he’s oddly relieved to put some distance between him and Isaac.
This love story doesn’t begin like most other romances and it certainly doesn’t end that way. Their road isn’t easy or predictable, but the feelings are palpable and incredibly real. Hart makes ridiculously many mistakes along the way, but each stems from a very believable place and seems entirely genuine. While in his home town, he stumbles upon a mystery with paranormal elements he’s not quite ready to accept. When Isaac follows him and gets involved, it all becomes too much for him to handle.
The mystery is fascinating and excellently paced, but the soul of this novel is Hart himself. He is lonely and very set in his ways, and it’s clear that giving his heart to a much younger man terrifies him. Vaughn’s writing is a thing of beauty, a work of art in and of itself, and the setting is gorgeous, vivid and deeply atmospheric. She has such an excellent sense of her story and characters and everything is so well defined, but she skillfully keeps things hidden from us and builds tension to almost unbearable levels.
The sheer gorgeousness of this story cannot be put into words. It is not a conventional romance, nor is it your average paranormal mystery, and yet somehow it’s both. It may be a bit difficult to swallow at times, but it is a story that ultimately soothes, enriches, and makes us reevaluate ourselves. ...more
Although I loved the previous two books, this was by far my favorite of the three. The emotions ran deep, and the conflict felt very real to me, not sAlthough I loved the previous two books, this was by far my favorite of the three. The emotions ran deep, and the conflict felt very real to me, not somehting made up just to separate the MCs. Albert is becoming better with each word written. I hope she'll soon progress to full lenght novels, but to be honest, these novellas work for me too. They can be read fairly quickly, and they still put me through every single emotion.
I highly recommend this series and I'd recommend reading them in order. They can work as standalones, but really, they're not to be missed. ...more