Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Wealth of Unsaid Words by R. Cooper

This book is an oldie but a goodie and since Laura and I started this blog after I read this book the review for A Wealth of Unsaid Words has never been added to the site. I love this book and after reading it again recently I wanted to share that love with you all. So, my original review for this book is below. Enjoy. :)


 To say that this story of a bipolar man, the people he loves and the people who love him, resonated with me would be an understatement. When R. Cooper wrote this story she created something so beautiful and poetically, painfully, accurate.

As someone who is bipolar, I understood Alex. The author captured with such clarity the shame that comes with not being able to control yourself. The feelings of self-loathing and unworthiness. The guilt of feeling like a burden. The way that death seems like the only way to free not only yourself but the people you feel would be better off without you.

The most poignant aspect of this story was the way Alex learns to have faith in the fact that he is loved by Everett and his family. This is something that does not come easily. That faith is something that is fought for and for Alex and every bipolar person the battle is quite literally life and death.

The author painted a gorgeous and hopeful portrait of a love and mental illness. Everett's love for Alex was patient and strong. I appreciated the honest way that the author also portrayed the pain that does comes with loving someone who's mentally ill. It's not easy. Everett's pain at having been pushed away romantically time and time again by Alex was visceral and so very real. But what was also real was how Everett loved every part of Alex; the good, the bad, the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful.

The love that Alex had for Everett was just as strong because it was that love that helped Alex strive to be well. He loved Everett enough to face his fear. Alex's fear was that if he took his medication, ridding himself of his mania, that it would rid him of the creativity that was such an integral part of who he was. Alex asked himself the question that so many bipolar people ask themselves: "If I take these pills will I still be me?"

The way this story ended was like a beacon of light to me. It gave me hope. There is always a fear that comes with mental illness, a fear that no one will ever want you because you think you're damaged. This story gave me hope that there is someone for everyone, that there are people out there who can see past the stigma to the beautiful and brilliant people that are deserving of love. There are people out there who know that even though someone may be mentally ill they still have a wealth of love to give in return.

Please, please read this story because it is a story that rarely gets told, and R. Cooper has told it so perfectly, so exquisitely that it had me in tears. To say I recommend would be putting it lightly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Love in La Terraza by Ethan Day

Damn this was HOT Jeepers Ethan Day is writing some fuckhawt dirrrty sex lately...And so fucking FUNNY too, I was laughing my ass off through the whole book.

I thought I was gonna die! One minute I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe, and the next I'm reading sex so fucking HOT I'm practically hyperventilating...The man is gonna kill me one of these days. Do I care? NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST, this book like all of Ethan's book gave me just the right dose of sweet, sexy, super super funny, light story with a fiesty and totally endearing MC who finds a strong man to love him for just exactly who he is with a cast of characters that were just delicious and funny and just...DEELIGHTFUL. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this man's books HAVE GOT TO BE MADE INTO MOVIES!

So we have Cain, he is 27 and cute and hilarious and in a super bad spot. He is about to lose his apartment building La Terraza which was left to him by his grandmother. He loves that place, he loves his tenants. Cain didn't go to college or anything (which is source of insecurity for him) but he has made a life for himself as landlord of that building which means everything to him. He is desperate at this point, and pretty much at the end of his rope. After receiving super crappy news about another loan that was denied he meets with friends at a pub, and ends up picking up a delicious trick with the name of Herny Abrams. Henry Abrams, 31, architect, who has just moved into town. The mans turns out to not just the hottest fuck that Cain has ever had in his short, but VERY slutty life. He is KIND, and he wants to stick around like A LOT. Little problem is the firm that Henry has been hired by is the one that wants to take La Terraza from Cain...DRAAAAAMAAAAA!

Actually not sooo much drama, but there's gotta be SOME! Mostly this book was sweet and like most of Ethan's book it was about the characters and their friendships, their families and finding. He does these kind of "coming of age, finding what's right's to help you turn a new page" sort of stories that are just such a pleasure to read. Just easy and fun. What's not to love? Especially now that he's gone full on SMUTLISCIOUS with the smexin SWEET MERCIFUL PORN GODS this was HOT DIRRRTY SEX people!!!

Loved Henry and Cain. They were very sweet, the tenants in the building were FAB especially the Scalia brothers Tony and Vito and as always the parents were batshit crazy and so fucking funny I thought I'd die laughing.

I won't even prentend I don't have a soft spot for Ethan's books. I do! So what?! Is it my fault the man writes awesome books?! No it is not, but I'm fucking glad I get to read them.

Go read the damn book! Who says no to awesome book porn, for sure laughs, with super sweet hot dudes and funny old people?!

Charlie and Mitch's book is next right?! RIGHT?!


Love in La Terraza can be purchased at Resplendence Publishing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless

I'm just going to put it out there...This book is sentimental to the extreme, it is sappy, and it is sweet, it's meant to make you cry and get all goofy over two men who are a little broken and different and who get a happy ending the likes of which will make you want to hug a stanger and break into song...ALL those things happened to me. 

If sappy annoys you, it may not be for you...Personally I do not mind having my SAPPY buttons pushed if I am thoroughly enjoying a story, and I really loved this one.

Carter has Tourette's syndrome, which has made him very shy and fearful of social situations. A lot of times he can't control his body and feeling embarassed all the time is exhausting. This made him decide to move from LA to a small town called Santa Josephina. He bought a home there and since he can work from home the move seems like the right thing. So at 24 he is setttled in more or less pretty comfortable but lonely life.

The day he moves in to his new house he sees  a young man in his neighbor's backyard, a really beautiful young man. It turns out the young man is Ethan who lives next door with his parents and teenage brother. He is so beautiful, Carter can't stop looking. But very quickly after talking with Ethan, Carter realizes that there is something different about him.

Ethan received a brain injury almost ten years earlier, which changed his life, mad things more challenging, but Ethan is FULL of life. He does not let those things that make him different keep him from going out in the world and working, making friends and just LIVING.

As soon as Ethan sees Carter he wants him, wants to date him, touch him, kiss him...BE HIS BOYFRIEND. But Carter is cautious, it's a bit scary to think he could be taking advantage of Ethan, or that Ethan could get tired of his awkwardness. Ethan does not give up, he just LOVES Carter, he just does, and it works, and then Carter loves Ethan, and they are so fucking sweet your heart will ache.

It's a lovely story, it really is. Ethan's character is so wonderful. So guileless and open. His world is black and white. He loves, he lives, he says what he wants...and the wants Carter. Man I just loved him. The author did such a respectful and dignified job in writing him. Really well done.

Carter had been so hurt by people's careless teasing and cruelty that he   was content with being a lonely life, but with Ethan he got love, and friends and a new way to see himself. Because through Ethan's eyes Carter was everything that was beautiful and graceful.

The secondary characters were outstanding the friends, Ethan's parents, his little brother was such a complex character (so well written), even the bad guys were good.

This book hit the spot for me, LOVED IT. Would reread it in a second, recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good cry and a second chances, beating the odds story.

Seriously loved these men. Get your tissues out. YOU WILL CRY.

Ethan, who loved Carter is for sale at Dreamspinner Press

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Flix: Latter Days

Latter Days is the story of a nineteen year old Mormon boy, Aaron, who comes to L.A. to do his two years of missionary work. He and the other missionaries move next door to a gorgeous and promiscuous gay man, Christian, and his best friend who's a musician. When Christian makes a bet with his friends that he can seduce one of the Mormon missionaries it leads to a bittersweet love story.

I'm going to tell you all right now that this is one of my favorite movies and has been for a very long time. One of the things I love about the movie is the small parts that make up the bigger picture. My favorite scene is the moment when Christian and Aaron first see each other. Aaron is in the taxi that's picked him up from the airport and Christian is outside of the restaurant where he waits table. The taxi stops at a stoplight and the two men lock eyes and it's like in the old movies when you know the two characters are destined to be together. I also love the impromptu conversations that Aaron and Christian have where they find that they have things in common like how they both like to quote movies. It's those little things that make me believe in their connection every time I watch the film.

Latter Days takes on the issue of religion and homosexuality in a way that makes it accessible to the audience. You see Aaron have doubts and you know he knows that he's gay but, for me, the movie was more about him being drawn to someone that makes him realize that he might be something more than what's expected of him. The movie is realistic though because that realization doesn't make everything easier for Aaron. Not at all.

I loved Aaron because while he was a bit naive he was also full of deep thoughts about the world and the way he saw it. He sees everything in his life as having meaning. One of my favorite scenes is when Christian tells Aaron that a kiss doesn't have to mean anything and Aaron backs away because to him it means everything.

That brings me to Christian who grows so much during the film. Everybody just sees Christian as a shallow pretty boy and Christian is happy to be that until Aaron challenges him to be something more. Christian finds that he wants to believe in something. He wants to stand for something.

When Aaron and Christian finally come together it's beautiful and the results are also tragic. The first time I saw this movie I cried for Aaron. I cried for the fact that things like that happen to people with spirits so beautiful and pure.

Aaron and Christian's story, in the end, is uplifting and gorgeous making this one of the best movies I've seen and earning it a place in my top ten. I highly recommend this story of how love and people triumph.

Drown by Alex Jones

First thing, this book read more like a really promising rough draft than an actual book that I would be happy to pay $5.99 for, the editing was ATROCIOUS. BAD just BADDD. I actually went back to check if it was self-published. It is not, it is published through Rebel Ink Press, I guess part of their rebellious spirit is rebelling against grammatical rules.

The use of nouns in this book pretty much ruined my reading experience. The author overused the words "the goth" and "the jock" to refer to the main characters sooo much, it was ANNOYING. Please, in the future don't be afraid to use pronouns! 

About the story...Dom Sal is a high school JOCK in a town somewhere in the USA I presume, since at no point in the book there was any indication of where they were. He is very religious, he is also poor. Damion Adrik is a GOTH in this same high school, he is rich and he is super fucked up. They get assigned to work together for a history project and they start a relationship.

Dom, the jock, despite the fact that he is a Christian and believes homosexuality is an abomination persues this relationship with Damion, the goth, and Damion, the goth, despite the fact that he is suicidal and HATES EVERYONE most of all jocks is also willing to be with Dom, the jock. SEE HOW ANNOYING NOUN OVERUSE IS!!

See the thing is this story was shallow, the idea was good but there was no detail, NO DEPTH. I still don't know what the kids even looked like! I had no sense of how to picture them in my head, physically how they went together. 

The Cutting. That was an issue for me. Damion was a cutter since his childhood, hurt himself when his feelings of anger or frustration overwhelmed him. Fair enough that is something a lot of teenagers deal with. Thing is I didn't think that it was written very well in this story. These types of subjects need to be written after lots of research and with A LOT of sensitivity and A LOT of respecfulness and I didn't sense any of that in this story, and the graphic description *shakes head* JUST NO! 

I don't even know what happened with these boys, they were all over the place, I'm surprised they were even alive by the end of the book with all the crazyness going on.

The parents were a MESS, the kids pretty much on their own, they were seniors in high school, but not once was there any mention of college. I do not know what the hell happened in this book. I really don't. The religion thing apparently was resolved at some point too, not sure when though.

There was no explicit sex, which makes me think this is supposed to be a Young Adult book, I'm not sure that teens should be reading this. The drug and alcohol abuse and the self-destructive behavior of Damion's was in the book, but how he got better was not. I mean I have to assume he had to get professional help as fucked up as he was, and that he wasn't just miraculously "healed" by the love of his seventeen year old boyfriend who grew up in a house with an alcoholic mother and a stepfather that threw him out for being gay...Not to mention was seriously struggling with reconciling his religious beliefs with his sexuality, without any kind of support from any adults or his peers.

This book needed like another 50 more rounds of editing before it made it to Amazon.

Can't really recommend this one.

For those interested in reading M/M Young Adult Lit here are some options...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lawless by Sarah Black

It is Western, an EPIC love story,a family drama, a crime novel,a thriller...with political intrigue, amazing erotica, super interesting look at cultural differences in relationships, very gritty look at the US/Mexico border and the lawlessness of that place, an AMAZING PASSIONATE Romance...SO GOOD, SO DAMN GOOD. HOW? HOW? HOW? Is this book not a NYT Bestselling NOVEL? HOW?! I could not put this book down for a second!

In reality these are two stories, Fearless #1 and Fearless #2, but they work best as just one book. There is no way that you'll want to stop once you've started this story.

Colton Wheeler is a Lieutenant in Arizona he works out of Tucson. He is in charge of the unit that deals with crimes in the border areas. As he says he is a man that lives and operates in the Gray Areas, doing what he has to do, to protect those who can't protect themselves. 

He has a lover Dr. Diego del Rio, a surgery resident. Colton and Diego they are a pair. Burning passion these men have it's just, I don't even know, just amazing, and tame and selfless and just total.

Colton is not out at work or to his uncle the local Sherrif. His uncle expressed very negative attitudes towards homosexuals in years past, so Colton just kept his personal life to himself. Not that he was interested in hiding, he was practically living with Diego and even though it was not done deal, he would be happy to make a life with the man. Diego was it for Colton, he was everything he wanted in life.

But all of a sudden something terrible happens, and Colton wakes up badly injured and his lover is GONE. GONE...He doesn't know what has happened, obviously it was a hate crime, but Colton will not give up Diego, HE WILL NOT. So he gets out of the hospital willing to do whatever it takes to bring his man back home and live the life they were supposed to live...In his struggle to regain his love, his life, they both discovers just how ugly the faces of hate can be.

Colton's love for Diego is just so complete, so frank, he will lay down at this feet, he will tear his heart out for him, and Diego is just the same. They are just so strong for each other and they have hardships, both stories are hard. They are hurt both of them are, evil people want to tear them apart...Nothing can do that. No one can destroy what they have.

The secondary characters in the book are beyond great, so strong. Especially Diego's old uncle. Sarah Black has such a gift for writing older wiser, characters.

I especially loved her take on Mexican politics, American/Mexican relations and the VAST differences in the way that interracial couple look at family and life. The connections are so different.

This by far is the sexiest of book of Sarah's that I've read...She can write some fine Erotica. Beautiful.

This was fun I laughed out loud so many times. Colton might be one one of my favorite characters ever. LOVED HIM. Diego was like some sort of angel with such a strength, but also so vulnerable.

There were really hard parts in this book, very hard, but they were all so well done. The thriller/crimmie thing was done so damn well.

This book truly, truly had it ALL. From all the books I've read this year this one might be the one that gets reread the most. Absolutely FANTASTIC.

Colton and Diego. I love you forever and ever.

Sarah Black is just in her own category for me. The woman can do no wrong.

I STRONGLY recommend this book.

Lawless is for sale on

Crack Attack: It's Feeling Crowded In Here (a.k.a. One Too Many Characters)

Recently, as I was reading Irresistible by Talia Carmichael, it occurred to me that there can be a few too many characters in a book. Irresistible had characters coming out the woodwork like nymphomanic ants. About 65% of the way into the book I stopped trying to keep track of everyone and that's when it hit me...well, a few things hit me.

1.) There is such a thing as overpopulation
Usually I'm the person who's saying the more the merrier but sometimes thinigs can get a little ridiculous. It's great for an author to throw secondary characters into the mix because no one lives in a bubble. What's not great is to give every person in town a part in the play, if you know what I mean. It starts to sound like a random story being told to me by a stranger on the train.

"So, then my friend's step-brother's cousin who is twice removed was talking to his friend's girlfriend's brother about their second aunt's dog-sitter's son who has play dates with the brother's cousin's half uncle's friend's daughter on Saturdays..."

At that point I've stopped trying to figure things out and have begun calling everyone who is not a main character Bob.

2.) How is it that everyone's related??!!
This one boggles my mind. I don't know if this really happens in smaller towns but it seems like the guys in Irresistible couldn't go two feet without bumping into someone with whom they shared DNA. It's must be a legend in town that about 35 years ago there was a band of four or five men who were brothers. They gathered women and proceeded to spread their copious amouths of seed until they had populated a small town. I understand that authors want to create a sense of community but, trust me on this one, friendship is absolutely fine. Not everyone has to have sprouted from the same set of balls.

3.) Where are the women and the straight men?
I completely understand that when people read M/M they want to read about gay love. One thing though is that gays and straights and women do in fact socialize. *GASP* What is this you say, Laddie? Blasphemy!! I am so baffled by books where almost every character is a gay man. I'm even more baffled by books where everyone suddenly turns gay. I like variety in my characters and if there is no variety I will quickly become bored with the whole setup. Does this happen when I read straight romance? Actually, I do become bored in that situation too. Variety people! Variety!

So, those are the things that Irresistible made me think about. I'm hoping that the nympho ant attack that is this series slows down a bit but if it doesn't? Well, I'll just have to stop reading because there's no way I can keep track.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane

Amy Lane had an author's note for this book explaining that album Magic by Bruce Springsteen had been her inspiration for this story. Since it's one of my favorites album's of his, I braced myself for some heartache. However, like most of Bruce's songs AND Amy's books, I was a bit shaken in the end it's true, but I was also glad of how  lucky I am to be able to hear or read the stories they have to tell.

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die for a mistake

This is story is a sad story. Pretty much every character in this book has been broken, broken by prejudice, misguided religiosity, ignorance, hate, stupidity, mostly though by cowardice. 

One tragic thing happened in the town of Daisy six years before, it was no one's fault really. But the people in Daisy turned that tragedy into a mass grave. 

On the day that Peter learns that his cousin Michael has been killed during his tour of duty...All that poison comes back to haunt him. 

Peter has been in Daisy since he was 12 years old. His mom loved him, but she couldn't take care of him, so she left him with his Aunt Aileen and her son Michael until she could get back on her feet. He was now 23, and still he was in Daisy. He hated Daisy. The people in Daisy were judgmental and hateful...Especially in the last six years since that night. The night that shattered his world and chased away the two people in his life that he loved the most. Michael and Bodi. Michael his family, his friend, his protector, his anchor. Bodi the beatiful boy that he loved from the moment he ever set eyes on him. From the first instant Peter knew he was meant to protect Bodi. Bodi was ethereal and pure...So fragile, the world could break him, Peter knew his calling in life was to keep Bodi from the things that could hurt him...The thing was Michael made Bodi his first, and Peter let him have Bodi. As long as Bodi was happy and whole, Peter was happy too.

You said "Heroes are needed, so heroes get made"
Somebody made a bet, somebody paid

Except this world is harsh and angry and people couldn't forgive Michael and Bodi for their love, because their love had made them fools. Michael the town Golden Boy was a faggot right under their noses...Someone had to pay for that. They did. Bodi left in the middle of the night to a town 100 miles away and never came back, and Michael, he left his whole life ehind, enlisted in the military and came back in a pine box.

Peter who was always braver than that town could handle and gutsier than he ever gave himself credit for, once he knew Michael was gone he went to find Bodi. Bodi needed him to take care of him and he would do it. Six years too late, but he had enough in him to make it happen. He found Bodi working in his garage fixing bikes like he always had, but he found a man that was broken, brittle, lost. So lost. He realized that Michael the man that had been the beacon in their lives was only too human, and had been the most broken of them all. So much so that in his weakness he tore apart Bodi too.

The shadows in Bodi's eyes spoke of a lot sorrow. Bodi had lost hope, and he didn't think his demons were anything that Peter deserved to be burdened with...Except Peter was not giving up so easily.

I'll work for your love dear
I'll work for your love
What others may want for free
I'll work for your love

Peter was going to make Bodi whole again, he was willing to do whatever it took. He understood Bodi's fragility, he had seen it in his own mother. There are some people who need a keeper, someone to make them whole. It may seem unfair, but being able to have the person who you love the most is worth having to be stronger than you ever thought you could. 

Ain't nobody talkin' because everybody knows
We pulled your cycle up back the garage and polished up the chrome

Peter and Bodi they go back to Daisy for the week before Michael's funeral. There are things they need to do, there are things they need to say, and they do it while the restore Michael's bike. That thing had been his pride and joy and they wanted it to go with him.

During those days Peter and Bodi violently or quietly, sometimes with their bodies, sometimes with their voices, sometimes with EVERYTHING they purge the poison that tragic night had injected into their lives they get it all out. They cleanse themselves from the patina that town has left them with and they are able to walk away, if not whole, better positioned for a bright future. 

The ending in this book is bright literally, and it is sedate. This book is the first of Amy Lane's that I ended with a sense of quietness. There was so much pain in this story I felt subdued. It is an awful thing to think that stories like this one happen everyday. That love from a parent, from a lifelong friend can be so fickle. But in the end courage, grace and love won it all, and Bodi and Peter got to live the life that had been stolen from them. 

House on a quiet street, a home for the brave
A glorious kingdom with the sun on your face
Rising from a long night as dark as the grave
On a thin chain of next moments and something like faith
On a morning to order a breakfast to make
A bed draped in sunshine, a body that waits
For the touch of your fingers, the end of the day

Mourning Heaven is available for purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Flix: What Happens Next

I love romantic comedies and I love gay romance, so imagine how ecstatic I was when I came across this cute little gem of a movie on Netflix.

Paul Greco has just sold his very successful business and is retiring. For years he's done a bit of dating that always ends up going nowhere because he's just not that interested. His society queen but well intentioned sister is afraid that he'll die alone so she tries setting him up at his retirement party. She also does one other surprising thing. She gifts him with a sweet little dog who Paul proceeds to name Mrs. Greco. And adorable Mrs. Greco turns out to be the thing that's going to change Paul's life.

On his first day at the dog park, Paul meets Andy; a younger man who sits in the park with his dog every morning. A friendship starts and this is where I fell in love with the movie. Actually, there are a lot of things I loved about this movie.

1.) The older man/ younger man setup. This is one of my FAVORITE pairings and What Happens Next  does it so sweetly! Paul is a bit buttoned up while Andy loves baseball caps and sneakers. Andy is younger but never seems childish or immature. Paul never seems stodgy and Andy LIKES that Paul is older. While the age difference wasn't a big deal it also wasn't ignored.

2.) The slow build-up to the romance. I love a good montage and there is an adorable one in this movie. We get to see Paul and Andy spending time together on their park bench. They get to know each other. That makes the first kiss scene so much better and watching them stress over their first date made me smile like a fool.

3.) The way Paul's realization that he's gay is handled. This was done so well in a way that was in keeping with the light feel of a romance with a bit of comedy. And the way Andy handles heart broke a little for him while at the same time I applauded him standing up for what he wanted and being strong. Go Andy!!!

4.) Paul's sister Elise. A woman who doesn't say the word gay but whispers it and spells it out. A woman who loves her son enough to try and overcome that by going to a PFLAG meeting when she thinks her son is gay. I loved Elise.

And last but not least...

5.) The epilogue!! I LOVED the romantic montage at the end of What Happens Next. It lets you see how much Paul and Andy love each other. I just wanted to hug them both as I cheered them on.

This movie was an absolute delight to watch. I'll probably watch it again and again because it made my heart smile. I highly recommend!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Legend of The Apache Kid by Sarah Black

Sarah Black is an outlaw..She really is. She just refuses to fall in line with what is expected from a story in this genre. Without fail she weaves a story that always make me feel like I've grown a little, like I'm a bit smarter, that I understand things better than I used to. The pacing to this story was in one word SUBLIME...Sarah Black is her own frigging genre.

Raine is sitting in a hot tub in a hotel in New Mexico near Alburqueque and into the tub comes in a young man, an Apache man. Their meeting is brief, the young man is a filmmaker and his "mentor" keeps him on a short leash, but by the time Johnny Bravo walks back to his room, he already made a place for himself in Raine's mind.

Raine is an English professor in Taos, he dabbles in captuting street art, he photographs road signs and street names that say  something interesting. He's happy with this simple life he has, he lives with his father in their little ranch. He likes his job, He LOVES his home...He's comfortable in the place he is.

A year after his meeting with Johnny Bravo in the hot tub, Raine walks in to his favorite coffee shop in Taos to get a cup for himself and his dad  and is surprised to find that his Apache is working there, he has found his way to Taos...To Raine.

It begins nice and easy and the pace of this book was so so amazingly mellow. It was almost like a guided meditation or something. Like so many of Sarah's men Raine was a caretaker he had his daddy, and once JOhnny came into his life he immediately sensed that Johnny was his.

Once Johnny brings his little cousin Edgar, who Raine immediately stars calling Weasel, things fall into place for Raine and his dad they finally have the family that they were waiting for.

The thing is Raine is a bit slow to realize what it is that Johnny needs, he is so afraid that loving Johnny will keep him from achieving his dreams that he fails to see that the only thing that Johnny wants is to be loved by Raine and live his life in love and on the way take some time to capture things on film that he feels the world needs to see.

This book is a love story between men...But not just lovers, no. It's also very much about the love between fathers and sons, friends, family you make, family you have, between a man an his horse and the unique beauty of all those bonds.

Sarah Black writing is so economical and so effective, she does not waste a word and yet always, goes through so many themes and emotions in her books that I never know what to expect. The imagery was poignant and vivid, so many beautiful images in my head. There is so much education in this book, about having a voice that has important things to say and how to keep it from being corrupted by the world, about art and it's role as a beacon for justice, for conserving history, for teaching us that there are a lot more similarities between people than there are differences.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and halfway through began feeling the inevitable regretfulness that I always get reading Sarah's book, because it truly is a crying shame she does not have a bigger audience.

The ending (which I loved) was floaty and open...Sarah's books are not about catering to what we expect as readers, but about taking us to places we seldom go and letting us look around and learn.  Formulas can be fun and reliable, but a lot of times what lingers are the stories that are more about the journey than a tidy ending.

Lovely lovely book.

The Legend of the Apache Kid is for sale at Dreamspinner Press 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gasp! by Z.A. Maxfield

Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!!.... Can I get Gasp! Gasp!

This book was a DELIGHT to read...Like with a capital Hell Yeah!!

Ok so this book...First of all it's been like a gamillion years since I had the pleasure of reading a ZA Maxfield book, like the ZAM that I read in my early M/M romance reader pup days...You know the ones, The Long Way Home or my (ex) Favest Crossing Borders sooo my point is THIS BOOK ROCKED! Like Nigel Gasp....It ROCKED.

Jeff Paxton has just declined to reenlist after finishing his third tour in Afghanistan. He wanted to come home. He wants to be with his people. He wants his family. But instead he gets to babysit Nigel Motherfucking Gasp...His sister Deirdre is going on maternity leave and she can trust no else with her boss. She's the Personal Manager to Mr. Gasp one of the most adored rock stars in the world...He's also about to turn 40 and being the magnificent devil he is, he's going to try and make self-destruction something sublimely naugthy...There is nothing to do but to watch him plummet to the ground...EXCEPT Jedd Paxton is not a guy to stand by and watch people become tragedies. He can't, he WON',T and not Nigel who has been his most luscious wet dream ever since he can remember...So there they are Nigel being a complete asshole...Jeff being a complete hardass...God they couldn't BE more different Nigel is a spastic, eccentric, narcissistic, deluded nut job. Jeff is a stoic, lonely quiet man figthing demons that sometimes just seem too damn real. Could never work...

And that's where ZA Maxfield worked her magic and true to form gave me characters that I could ONLY fall in love with.

Nigel as the Rockstar...SO well done...He was who he was...How can you turn around and suddenly not be the egostistical maniac that you had been for 20 years? Nigel  couldn't...But he wanted too! And he tried to be better. He understood what it was that Jeff made him feel and he recognized it for what it was, despite the fact that Jeff was younger he grounded him and made him feel safe...He never tried to kill the things that made him that eccentric beautifully strange man he had always been...but he aimed for more, for better. He wanted love. He wanted Jeff,and he got to a place where he could SAY IT.

Jeff he was a stranger in a strange land. The only sure thing was that all consuming attraction for Nigel...He made him crazy, he made him want things, he made him HAPPY.

I loved this men. Laughed out loud, cried, yelled at my kindle...Man I loved this book.

ZAM did such a beautiful job with these guys, they were WHO THEY WERE they must have been hell to write because there was VERY little compromise, but there was luscious love, great family and just luscious love everywhere, and hands down the best phone sex I've ever read in any book EVER.

This was smart character development, crafty writing, just a good good read.

Loved this book TOO DAMN MUCH...Love me some ZA Maxfield. She writes it, I'll read it.

Gasp! is available at Loose ID